Dec. 29, 2021


DESA Unicum S.A., the leading auction house in Poland, has recorded a significant turnover of over 270 million PLN this year, meaning a 84 million PLN (43%) higher turnover than in 2020 (including auction fees; excluding charity auctions). Thus, the company has strengthened its position as a definite industry leader of the Polish art market, as well as of all of Central and Eastern Europe.

In 2021, DESA Unicum has put up 202 auctions (including eight charity auctions). 102 auctions took place in-person, 100 were held online. To compare, in 2020, we have organised 153 auctions (including six charity and 63 online auctions), which makes up for a 32% year-on-year increase.

The November ‘Post-War and Contemporary Art' auction resulted in the highest-ever turnover - 32 million PLN - in the history of DESA Unicum. A slightly lower turnover amounting to nearly 31 million PLN was recorded on December 9th at the ‘Old Masters, 19th Century, and Modern Art' auction.

The turnover in the Contemporary Art sector amounted to nearly 168 million PLN - 68 million PLN more than in 2020 (a 68% increase). The second sector, in terms of its size, is the Old Masters sector, which recorded a result of over 102,3 million PLN. This means an increase of 6.7% compared to last year's 96 million PLN.

A total of 7441 objects were sold at all auctions, which when compared to the result from 2020 (6350 objects) constitutes a 17% growth. In 2021, DESA Unicum has recorded 36 transactions worth over 1 PLN million - 50% more than in the previous year (24).

The year 2021 was unique for DESA Unicum for one more reason. On December 2nd, during an in-person ‘Post-War and Contemporary Art. Pop-Art. Pop culture. Postmodernism.' auction the first digital artwork was sold - an NFT (Non-Fungible Token). It was the ‘Why there is something rather than nothing' by Paweł Kowalewski, which sold for 552,000 PLN (including the auction price). Starting in 2022, NFT works are to be permanently included in DESA Unicum's auction offer.

Top 10 auction transactions at DESA Unicum in 2021 (prices include the auction fee):

1.    Andrzej Wróblewski ‘Two married women' - 13,44 PLN million PLN (the most-expensive sold painting in the history of the Polish art market)

2.    Magdalena Abakanowicz, 50 figures ‘Crowd III' - 13,2 million PLN

3.    Roman Opałka, ‘Detail 407817 – 434714' from the ‘1965/1 - ∞' series -8,64 million PLN

4.    Jan Matejko ‘Saint Stanislaus scolding Bolesław the Bold' - 5,52 million PLN

5.    Jacek Malczewski, ‘Nativity Play' -4,8 million PLN

6.    Józef Brandt, ‘Fair in the region of Krakow' - 4,68 million PLN

7.    Jacek Malczewski, ‘Portrait of Stanisław Witkiewicz' - 3,6 million PLN

8.    Roman Opałka, ‘Detail 5446535-5462919' from the ‘1965/1 - ∞' - 3,6 million PLN

9.    Jacek Malczewski, ‘Orpheus and Eurydice' - 2,88 million PLN

10.    Magdalena Abakanowicz, ‘Mutant' (sculpture) - million PLN

‘We have a very successful year behind us. We have recorded spectacular increases in terms of the number of auctions organised, as well as the total turnover of all auctions. The significant increase in the auctions' number, including online auctions, has contributed to the good result. A few new records were set too. One of them was the most expensive sold painting in the history of the Polish art market - ‘Two married women' by Andrzej Wróblewski. Moreover, the success of our ‘digital debut' with the NFT format at the December in-person auction bodes well for our plans for this segment in the DESA Unicum offer. The past year reaffirms us in the excellent prospects for the Polish art market, which has been dynamically developing in the last years.'

– says Agata Szkup, Chairman at DESA Unicum.