Art of Living Well

Christie’s Auctioneer Adrien Meyer Is Addicted to This Grounding, Under-$20 Ritual

Adrien Meyer at the Christie's podium. Image courtesy of Meyer.

This is the Art of Living Well, a column from CULTURED that explores how tastemakers think about luxury: the luxuries that are free, the ones that cost way too much, and the little ones that punch above their weight.

There aren’t many roles that require more poise, grace under pressure, and decisiveness than an auctioneer (other than, of course, air-traffic controllers, hostage negotiators, surgeons, and other professionals whose jobs are matters of actual life and death).

For more than a decade, Christie’s Global Head of Private Sales, Adrien Meyer, has presided over the rostrum, striking down the gavel at sales including the auction of Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s collection last fall, which brought in more than $1.5 billion in a single night. Below, Meyer shares the luxuries big and small that keep him fueled to tackle everything from leading an auction to preparing an important pitch. 

What product do you use every day that instantly improves your mood?

I kick off the day with a cup of tea, usually Mariage Frères brought back from one of my trips to France.

What’s your favorite small luxury to give to someone else? 

A Japanese cooking knife. They are incredible products made with exquisite craftsmanship—it’s almost like a work of art.

What is something you’d love for someone to buy for you, but would never buy for yourself?

Something I can exchange!

What’s a luxurious ritual you inherited from someone in your life?

A ritual that I find luxurious—inherited from a storied auctioneer and former colleague—is a 15-minute power nap just before taking a sale.

What do you do when you need to feel grounded?

Before taking an auction—specifically, an evening sale—I go to Kurumazushi in Midtown Manhattan for a sushi lunch by myself. It keeps me centered, focused—and I just pray the fish isn’t spoiled! 

What is your favorite luxury that costs less than $20?

Getting my shoes shined before an important pitch!

What is the most luxurious thing in your life that’s free? 

Being surrounded by works of art at work. And knowing that at Christie’s, our exhibitions are free and open to all.