Confidence in world’s fastest-growing luxury asset ‘ebbing away’

Art was the only luxury asset to hit double-digit growth last year, jumping 11pc in value, with a Picasso painting exchanging hands for £113m.

The most expensive piece of art to go on sale last year was the Spaniard’s 1932 Femme à la montre (Woman with a Watch), a painting of his teenage mistress, which fetched an eye-watering $139m (£113m) in Sotheby’s New York.

It also became the second-most expensive Picasso ever sold at auction, after the Spanish artist’s 1955 Les femmes d’Alger (Women of Algiers, Version O) generated a record $179.4m at Christie’s in 2015.

Art soared 11pc in value in 2023, but all of the gains were made in the first half of the year before values started to slide significantly, according to Knight Frank’s annual Wealth Report.

Other luxury asset classes which rose in value last year included jewellery (by 8pc), watches (5pc), coins (4pc), colour diamonds (2pc) and wine (1pc).

A Bleu Royal ring with a 17.61 carat vivid blue diamond went under the hammer for $43.8m at Christie’s – the most expensive piece of jewellery sold at auction last year, followed by an eternal pink 10.57 carat diamond which fetched $34.8m.

The most expensive watch to find a new home at auction was a two-crown world time wristwatch for $8.5m.

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