Coronavirus Updates: Christie’s Postpones New York and Geneva Auctions While Keeping Hong Kong Sales on Schedule

COVID-19 continues to spread around the globe with more than 240,000 confirmed cases and over 9,800 deaths. As Europe is struggling to combat the pandemic, many countries have closed their borders and issued travel bans in an attempt to contain the outbreak.

In response to the current situation, Christie’s decided to postpone the upcoming auctions in New York and Geneva, originally scheduled in May. Meanwhile, they will continue with the Hong Kong spring sales scheduled from 30 May to 3 June.

The Luxury Week in Geneva and the 20th Century Week in New York will both be delayed until June. The former includes sales of jewels, watches and wine.

Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, Christie’s will combine its London and New York auctions of Impressionist and modern art, as well as post-war and contemporary art into a consolidated 20th Century Week, which will take place from 23 – 26 June. Jussi Pylkkänen, Christie's Global President, says its European consignors ‘like the idea of selling in New York in June’.

Auction house Phillips also made similar adjustments to its calendar. They will consolidate its New York and London 20th-century and contemporary art sales into one New York sale during the week of June 22. The auction house’s Hong Kong sales scheduled in late May will go on as planned.

Christie’s will go ahead with its Hong Kong spring auctions in May

Christie’s CEO Guillaume Cerutti said that consignors ‘are more cautious’ at the moment. “They are waiting to see if they can postpone their decision about selling.” Will the auction house scale down the upcoming auctions if it is still very difficult to get good consignments from around the world?