Auction Preview: Photographs, April 1, 2015 @Sotheby’s

With only 18 lots in the highest price tier and just over $5.4 million in aggregate value on offer, Sotheby’s various owner Photographs sale in New York next week is smaller (by value) than either of its major photo sales from last year and both of the offerings from its main competitors this season. Led by a Paul Strand platinum print portrait of his wife Rebecca and complemented by complete sets of Nicholas Nixon’s The Brown Sisters and Lee Friedlander’s The Little Screens, the sale feels tightly edited but somewhat thinner that usual in blockbuster vintage consignments. That said, there are still plenty of unexpected gems to tempt most collectors. Overall, there are a total of 188 lots available, with a Total High Estimate of $5414000.

Here’s the statistical breakdown:

Preview Statistics
Total Low Lots (high estimate up to and including $10000) 78
Total Low Estimate (sum of high estimates of low lots) $658000
Total Mid Lots (high estimate between $10000 and $50000) 92
Total Mid Estimate $2186000
Total High Lots (high estimate above $50000) 18
Total High Estimate $2570000

The top lot by High estimate is lot 38, Paul Strand, Rebecca, 1921, estimated at $300000-500000 (image above, left, via Sotheby’s).

Here’s the complete list of photographers with five or more lots in the sale, along with the number of lots on offer:

Multiple Lots For Sale
Ansel Adams 21
Irving Penn 8
Peter Beard 6
Henri Cartier-Bresson 6
László Moholy-Nagy 6
Francesca Woodman 6
Edward Weston 5

Other lots of interest include (images above, via Sotheby’s):

Lot 26, Dorothea Lange, Taos, 1922, estimated at $20000-30000

Lot 66, László Moholy-Nagy, Negative/Positive Photogram Pair, 1920s, estimated at $200000-300000

Lot 107, Walker Evans, Wall Street Windows, 1929, estimated at $20000-30000

Lot 113, Nicholas Nixon, The Brown Sisters (40 prints), 1975-2014, estimated at $200000-300000

Lot 145, Lee Friedlander, The Little Screens (38 prints), 1961-1970/later, estimated at $200000-300000

The complete lot by lot catalog can be found here.

Dorothea Lange, László Moholy-Nagy, Lee Friedlander, Nicholas Nixon, Paul Strand, Walker Evans, Sotheby's

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