Auction Preview: Photographs by William Eggleston from the Collection of Bruce and Nancy Berman, October 13, 2008 @Christie’s

Following up on the white glove sale of Diane Arbus prints from the Berman collection last spring, a second single artist sale from the same collection has been organized for this season, focused on the work of William Eggleston. The sale material spans his entire career, with negatives starting in the mid 1960s and continuing up through 2001. All the work is in color.

There are a total of 60 lots in the sale, with a total high estimate of $2191000 (the sum of the high estimates of all the lots).

  • In the Low range (high estimate $10000 and lower), there are 8 lots with a total high estimate of $63000
  • In the Mid range (high estimate above $10000 up through $50000), there are 43 lots with a total high estimate of $938000
  • And in the High range (high estimate above $50000), there are 9 lots with a total high estimate of $1190000

Given this generally elevated set of prices, it is interesting to note that 39 of the 60 lots in this sale are later prints (only 21 vintage, as defined to be within 2 years of the negative date), and that the gap between the prices of vintage and later (the multiplier if you will) is very difficult to discern, as the prices are all overlapping, depending on the image quality. This is evidence that the Eggleston market is strong, and I think there will be some big prices realized here on specific lots.

Although clearly an important photographer, Eggleston doesn’t fit particularly well into our subject matter driven, black and white collection. Here are a handful of lots that we do find of interest:

  • Lot 114 Untitled (Arizona) 2001 is a group of artificial flowers and could go in our floral genre
  • Lot 132 Untitled (Memphis, Tennessee) 1979 is the Used Tires gas station image and could fit into our industrial genre
  • Lot 140 Memphis 1971 is the green shower image, which doesn’t fit anywhere but is an amazing image regardless (even if it is a later print)
  • Lot 150 Untitled 1971 is the Peaches sign and could fit our industrial genre

Photographs by William Eggleston from the Collection of Bruce and Nancy Berman
October 13, 2008

20 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, NY 10020

UPDATE: read the entertaining back story to the sale here.

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