Auction Preview: Portrait of a Collector: The John M. Bransten Collection of Photographs, April 6, 2017 @Christie’s

Christie’s begins its Spring auction season for photography with a single collector sale, with lots drawn from the collection of John Bransten. It’s a very small sale, and a highly uneven one – roughly half a dozen lots suck all the air out of the room. While the auction is co-headlined by a vintage Edward Weston nude and a vintage Diane Arbus grenade boy and supported by a pair of vintage August Sander portraits and a vintage Walker Evans architectural view, the rest of the offerings, however intriguing, fall into a background blur. Overall, there are a total of 28 lots available in the sale, with a Total High Estimate of $1955000.

Here’s the statistical breakdown:

Preview Statistics
Total Low Lots (high estimate up to and including $10000) 11
Total Low Estimate (sum of high estimates of low lots) $66000
Total Mid Lots (high estimate between $10000 and $50000) 10
Total Mid Estimate $196000
Total High Lots (high estimate above $50000) 7
Total High Estimate $1720000

The top lot by High estimate is tied between two lots: lot 7, Edward Weston, Nude, 1925, and lot 12, Diane Arbus, Child with a toy hand grenade in Central Park, N.Y.C., 1962/1963, both estimated at $400000-600000 (images above, via Christie’s).

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

Multiple Lots For Sale
Diane Arbus 2
Julia Margaret Cameron 2
Frederick Evans 2
Lee Friedlander 2
August Sander 2
Alfred Steiglitz 2
Paul Strand 2

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

Lot 3, Walker Evans, Wooden Church, South Carolina, 1936, estimated at $50000-70000

Lot 14, August Sander, Secretary at West German Radio, Cologne, 1931/late 1940s-early 1950s, estimated at $80000-120000

Lot 22, August Sander, Art Dealer, Cologne, 1927, estimated at $100000-150000

The complete lot by lot catalog can be found here.

August Sander, Diane Arbus, Edward Weston, Walker Evans, Christie's

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