Auction Preview: Photographs, April 6, 2011 @Sotheby’s

Sotheby’s kicks off the main event spring Photographs auction season in New York next week with a slightly smaller various owner sale (both in number of lots and total estimate) than in the previous few years. It’s a well balanced if relatively safe sale, with highlights from a variety of photographic periods, from a Mathew Brady full plate daguerrotype to an Avedon portfolio, with solid vintage prints by plenty of masters (Walker Evans, Timothy O’Sullivan, Man Ray, Edward Weston, Aaron Siskind, Harry Callahan etc.) and the obligatory Ansel Adams and Irving Penn prints thrown in for good measure. All in, there are a total of 174 photographs on offer, with a total High estimate of $4339000.

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Here’s the statistical breakdown:

Total Low Lots (high estimate up to and including $10000): 64
Total Low Estimate (sum of high estimates of Low lots): $545000

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Total Mid Lots (high estimate between $10000 and $50000): 97
Total Mid Estimate: $2329000

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Total High Lots (high estimate above $50000): 13
Total High Estimate: $1465000

The top photography lot by High estimate is lot 111, Richard Avedeon, Avedon/Paris (portfolio), 1978, at $150000-250000.
Here’s the list of photographers represented by three or more lots in the sale (with the number of lots in parentheses):

Ansel Adams (17)
Peter Beard (9)
Edward Weston (8)
Irving Penn (7)
Andre Kertesz (6)
Robert Mapplethorpe (6)
Henri Cartier-Bresson (5)

Paul Strand (5)

Harry Callahan (4)
Sally Mann (4)
Helmut Newton (4)
Man Ray (4)
Bernd and Hilla Becher (3)
Adam Fuss (3)

Francesca Woodman (3)
(Lot 96, Jaromir Funke, Composition (from Abstraktni Foto), 1929, at $50000-70000 (image at right, bottom); Lot 112, Irving Penn, Nude 58, 1950/1979, at $30000-50000 (image at right, middle); and Lot 152, Adam Fuss, Untitled (Sunflowers), 1993, at $15000-25000 (image at right, top); all images via Sotheby’s.)
The complete lot by lot catalog can be found here.
April 6th
1334 York Avenue
New York, NY 10021

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