On the other hand, despite record years of millions upon millions and spectacular auctions, many industry players are still experiencing losses and are facing major challenges for more years to come.

Da Vinci's Salvator Mundi sold at Christie's last month Da Vinci's Salvator Mundi sold at Christie's last month

It has, in many ways, been a fantastic year with several successful auctions and incredible sales such as the sale of Leonardo da Vinci Salvator Mundi, which reached a staggering $450.3 million at Christie's, New York, just last month. Read the full story here.

While the market has become increasingly global and easily accessible, there are still relatively few buyers, for understandable reasons, fighting for the most expensive pieces. However, this small group of buyers proves to be enough as they market has reached new levels during the past year, with bidders from around the globe battling it in the sale room. Buyers from the United States' west coast to Asia's east coast, from northern Scandinavia to South Africa are all sizing each other up at auction when it comes to the big bucks.

This year, the auction record for a work by Basquiat was smashed at Sotheby's, New York, Contemporary Art evening auction when Untitled, 1982, sold for $110.5 million This year, the auction record for a work by Basquiat was smashed at Sotheby's, New York, Contemporary Art evening auction when Untitled, 1982, sold for $110.5 million

What the industry saw as one of the biggest threats just a couple of years ago - the "online revolution" - is today considered to be the largest asset for auction houses and especially for customers. Digitalisation has become even for the most traditional of traders and auctioneers, the new normal.

However, the transition from analogue behavior to digital has also been a laborious and expensive journey for many. Costly new initiatives have also underestimated the market's special conditions where supply, brand and expertise are probably the three most important prerequisites for success, whether online or not.

Paul Newman's legendary Rolex Daytona watch surpassed all expectations, making a new world record when it sold for $17.8 million (with commission) at Phillips, New York, on October 26, 2017 Paul Newman's legendary Rolex Daytona watch surpassed all expectations, making a new world record when it sold for $17.8 million (with commission) at Phillips, New York, on October 26, 2017

One example is the German auction house Auctionata, whose intention was to challenge the very biggest players. Despite showing promising numbers, they did not manage to turn the curve up before it was too late. This January, they sadly filed for bankruptcy.

Even the Nordic market has had a hard time adapting at speed. For example, last year, Bukowskis received several hefty investments. At the same time, Lauritz's share dropped to an "all time low", 3.78 SEK (around 45 cent) yesterday.

The extremely rare Ru Guanyao brush washer from the Northern Song Dynasty from The Le Cong Tang Collection was sold for £28.2 million, setting a new record for Chinese ceramics The extremely rare Ru Guanyao brush washer from the Northern Song Dynasty from The Le Cong Tang Collection was sold for £28.2 million, setting a new record for Chinese ceramics

Further mergers, acquisitions and closures are to wait in the coming years. Even here at Barnebys, we concluded 2017 with the purchase of two American companies, Simple Auction Site and Collectors Weekly. At the same time, a new exciting venture: Skeleton, a white label solution for auctions, was developed by our team.

Barnebys vision has always been to democratise the industry without capitalising on the auction houses or for the part of art, design and antique dealers. Contrary to the third party platforms currently available, Barnebys wants to increase the sales made at auction houses and dealers by strengthening the brand and customer relations of the players. We are now very happy and proud to now be able to offer this to the industry.

Read below my pick of the biggest stories of 2017.

The price of art? Da Vinci sells for record $450.3 million

Basquiat's Boom for Real: Top 5 works by Jean-Michel Basquiat ever sold at auction

Behind the bidding: The world's most expensive watch

New world record for Chinese ceramic set as piece sells for £28.2 million at Sotheby's Hong Kong

Picasso's blue muse sells for $45 million

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