Auction Preview: Important Photobooks & Photographs, May 19, 2011 @Swann

Swann has its Spring combo sale of photobooks and photographs in New York later this week, mixed right in the middle of the London season for maximum confusion. The photobooks section is littered with signed first editions and other rarities, highlighted by a massive single lot collection of monographs, portfolios, bound prints, loose photographs, and other volumes from 21ST Editions. The photographs section sticks more closely to the lower end/later print material Swann is best known for. Across the two sales, there are 391 lots on offer, with a total High estimate of $1704150. Since the two genres are so different, I’ve separated the analysis of the sale into two parts below.

Important Photobooks
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Here’s the statistical breakdown:

Total Low Lots (high estimate up to and including $10000): 122
Total Low Estimate (sum of high estimates of Low lots): $208050
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Total Mid Lots (high estimate between $10000 and $50000): 5
Total Mid Estimate: $104000

Total High Lots (high estimate above $50000): 1
Total High Estimate: “Refer to Department”
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The top lot by High estimate in the book section is lot 99, 21ST Editions, Collection, 1998-2010, at “Refer to Department”.

Below is the list of photographers represented by 3 or more lots in the book portion of the sale (with the number of lots in parentheses):

Ed Ruscha (9)
Richard Avedon (5)
Walker Evans 5
Robert Frank (5)
Lee Friedlander (4)
Camera Work (3)
Henri Cartier-Bresson (3)
Eikoh Hosoe (3)
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(Lot 45, Ed Ruscha, Twentysix Gasoline Stations, 1963, at $8000-12000, image at right, top, via Swann.)

Photographs

Here’s the statistical breakdown:

Total Low Lots (high estimate up to and including $10000): 242
Total Low Estimate (sum of high estimates of Low lots): $1003100
.
Total Mid Lots (high estimate between $10000 and $50000): 21
Total Mid Estimate: $389000

Total High Lots (high estimate above $50000): 0
Total High Estimate: NA

The top lot by High estimate in the photographs section is tied between two lots: lot 161, Ansel Adams, Clearing Storm, Mount Williamson, From Manzanar, Sierra Nevada, California, 1944/1970s, and lot 212, Walker Evans, 5 photographs from the portfolio Walker Evans, 1935-36/1971, both at $20000-30000.

Below is the list of photographers represented by 4 or more lots in the photographs portion of the sale (with the number of lots in parentheses):

Andre Kertesz (9)
Edward Curtis (7)
Berenice Abbott (6)
Ansel Adams (6)
Edward Weston (5)
Ilse Bing (4)
Walker Evans (4)
Milton Greene (4)
Lewis Hine (4)
Horst P. Horst (4)
Alfred Cheney Johnston (4)
Minor White (4)

(Lot 268, Margaret Bourke-White, Hi-Level Bridge, 1928, at $3000-4500, image at right, middle, and lot 293, Toshio Shibata, Yugawara Town, Kanagawa Prefecture, 1993, at $2000-3000, image at right, bottom, both via Swann.)
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The complete lot by lot catalog (for both parts of the sale) can be found here. The 3D version is located here.

Important Photobooks & Photographs
May 19th

Swann Galleries
104 East 25th Street
New York, NY 10010

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Read more about: Ed Ruscha, Margaret Bourke-White, Toshio Shibata, Swann Auction Galleries

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