Auction Preview: Photographs, May 20, 2010 @Phillips London

The upcoming Photographs sale at Phillips later this week continues the unbroken string of “in the middle” sales for this London spring season. While this auction has a few more contemporary works than the others, there just aren’t enough jaw-dropping stand out images on offer at any of the sales to really draw significant attention. Overall, there are a total of 127 lots available here, with a Total High Estimate of £1166500. (Catalog cover at right, via Phillips.)

Here’s the statistical breakdown:
Total Low Lots (high estimate up to and including £5000): 57
Total Low Estimate (sum of high estimates of Low lots): £173500
Total Mid Lots (high estimate between £5000 and £25000): 61
Total Mid Estimate: £628000
Total High Lots (high estimate above £25000): 9
Total High Estimate: £365000
The top lot by High estimate is lot 54, Robert Mapplethorpe, X, Y, Z Portfolios, 1977/1978, at £60000-80000.
Here is the list of the photographers who are represented by three or more lots in the sale (with the number of lots in parentheses):
Peter Beard (4)
Nobuyoshi Araki (3)
Lillian Bassman (3)
Bryn Campbell (3)
Horst P. Horst (3)
Robert Mapplethorpe (3)
Irving Penn (3)
Sebastiao Salgado (3)
While there weren’t too many great fits for our own collection, the wit in the Graham Smith image above certainly made me smile. (Graham Smith, Who She Wanted and What She Got, South Bank, Middlesbrough, 1982/2008, at £1800-2200; image at right, via Phillips.)
The complete lot by lot catalog can be found here.
May 20th
Howick Place
London SW1P 1BB

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