July 23 (Bloomberg) — Christies International sold 1.2 billion pounds ($1.98 billion) of art and antiques worldwide in the first half, a decrease of 35 percent from a year earlier, the auction house said in an e-mailed statement.
A total of 211 works of art sold for more than $1 million, compared with 457 items in the same period a year earlier as the economic slowdown deterred collectors.
The total includes 133.1 million pounds of private sales conducted by London-based Christies and its wholly owned subsidiary, Haunch of Venison, a 13 percent decline from the equivalent period in 2008.
Christies said its policy, in line with British accounting standards, is to convert non-U.K. results, using an average exchange rate, weighted daily by sales throughout the year. On this basis, the 1.2 billion pound total for the first half of 2009 corresponds to $1.8 billion, the company said.
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