Auction Preview: Photographs, October 9, 2009 @Sotheby’s

Sotheby’s has opted for a single various owner sale this season and filled it with a solid collection of vintage work, offered with surprisingly conservative estimates given the quality/rarity of many of the images up for sale. Both Paul Outerbridge and Harry Callahan are represented more fully than we’ve seen in many years. Overall, there are 246 photographs on offer, with a total High estimate of $5292000. (Catalog cover at right, via Sotheby’s.)

Here’s the breakdown:
Total Low Lots (high estimate up to and including $10000): 112
Total Low Estimate (sum of high estimates of Low lots): $893000
Total Mid Lots (high estimate between $10000 and $50000): 120
Total Mid Estimate: $2809000
Total High Lots (high estimate above $50000): 14
Total High Estimate: $1590000
The top lot by High estimate is lot 196 Various Contemporary Photographers, The Master Collection, 1998-2009, at $200000-300000.
Below is the list of photographers represented by at least 5 items in the sale (with the number of lots in parentheses):
Ansel Adams (15)
Robert Mapplethorpe (15)
Harry Callahan (13)
Paul Outerbridge (13)
Bill Brandt (7)
Henri Cartier-Bresson (7)
Robert Frank (7)
Andre Kertesz (8)
Edwin Hale Lincoln (7)
Peter Beard (6)
Helmut Newton (6)
Edward Weston (6)
Manuel Alvarez-Bravo (5)
Diane Arbus (5)
Walker Evans (5)
Irving Penn (5)
Man Ray (5)
Francesca Woodman (5)
There are plenty of images to tempt us in this sale. Lots that would fit well into our collection include:
Lot 23 Edward Weston, Cabbage, 1936
Lot 66 Horst P. Horst, Calla Aethiopica, 1945/1985
Lots 81-87 Edwin Hale Lincoln, Wild Flowers of New England, Volumes I-VII, 1935 (if we were looking to acquire the complete set, the fact that these are being sold separately would be truly maddening)
Lot 96 Paul Outerbridge, The Arm, 1930 (at right, middle)
Lot 133 Bill Brandt, Belgravia, London, 1958
Lot 148 Harry Callahan, Sign Detail, 1945 (at right, bottom)
Lot 154 Harry Callahan, Light Study, 1940s
Lot 170 Robert Mapplethorpe, Lily, 1984
Lot 178 Robert Mapplethorpe, Calla Lily, 1988
Lot 241 Robert Mapplethorpe, Flower Studies, 1978
The complete lot by lot catalog can be found here. The eCatalogue is located here.
October 9th
1334 York Avenue
New York, NY 10021

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