TEFAF was the first to release its numbers, indicating a 7% rise in the overall world art market to almost 56 billion USD, which is essentially a doubling of values over the past ten years. The U.S share was 39%, with England and China both equally commanding a 22% global share. Leading the way in sales were mid-century modern and contemporary pieces, from such famed artists as Warhol, but lesser known artists lead the charge when it came to the volume of sales. Once again proving that the current trend with Mid-Century modern would appear to be all encompassing.
Following the TEFAF announcement, came Clare McAndrew's report, which seemed to indicate similar findings, though stressing the movement in art sales as being up for dealers and somewhat down for auction houses. McAndrew's report also had the benefit of numbers closer to today, as her report included finalized figures up to the calendar year-end of 2016, which were based on a survey sent to over 6,500 dealers from around the globe. On the whole, the good news for antiques dealers was that overall worldwide sales were up by just over 4% across the board. This included sales at shows, online venues, galleries, as well as general antiques from bricks & mortar establishments.
In the end, both reports seemed to signal a strengthening movement within the decorative arts community, as post '08-Decession fears finally appear to be waning from most dealers and customers long-range radar screens. As McAndrew's report concluded, "There's been an uplift in sales... with dealers gaining shares in the global market." Or, as one long-term antiques analyst put it, "This reveal is simply a positive move for the entire market - no matter how you spin it."
Most other industry experts expressed similar themes, with predictions of sustained growth in the overall antiques and art markets expected to continue throughout 2017.
- A.I.A. Staff Writers