This page considers the size of the art market and of
other collectibles markets.
It covers -
How big is the "art market" (a term sometimes
used as a surrogate for a handful of high-end commercial
galleries and auction houses) and the broader market for
The answer is simple: there is significant disagreement
much money is involved?
is buying - Russian billionaires, US hedge fund managers,
are the intermediaries
growth is occurring
are the implications of tax or other regulatory initiatives
(eg recurrent claims by UK dealers that droit
de suite would "ruin" the industry - or
merely crimp their ability to buy Colombian nose candy
- have proven to be false)
report by economist Clare McAndrew for the European Fine
Art Foundation (TEFAF) claimed that art dealer sales in
2006 reached U$28.6 billion, estimated as slightly more
than 50% of the presumed US$54.9 billion global total.
That figure encompassed an estimated 1 million transactions.
The report was based on surveys of 3,500 dealers and 3,000
The US supposedly accounted for US$25 billion of the sales
of fine and decorative art, with the UK enjoying a "60
percent share of the European market, and 27 percent global
share" (followed by France and Germany). China was
supposedly "now the world’s fourth largest
global art market, with 5 percent of world sales by value".
A 2007 report in Barron's sized turnover in the
global "private art market" during 2007 as around
US$30 billion. A survey of dealers, art advisers and collectors
by US-based ARTnews claimed that global private
art sales in 2007 were between US$25 billion and US$30
The chair of PaceWildenstein more modestly commented that
"It's impossible to know how big the private art
market is", before going on to estimate that "it's
two to three times the auction market".
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