Contemporary art has been very good to Sotheby’s, fueling a 46% boost in sales for the world’s second-largest auctioneer this year over last, Bloomberg says. A crop of new collectors from the US, Russia and Asia brought new records for artists like Francis Bacon and Jeff Koons, for a total take of $5.33 billion. But some dealers fear the craze could be headed for a crash.
Industry auction totals are expected to swell 36% this year and could grow another 7.5% next year, but one dealer warns the liquidity “won’t last forever.” Profits at Sotheby’s may dip 2% in 2008. But the auction house says it isn’t worried about its heightened dependence on contemporary art.