Auction Results: 20/21 Photographs: Photographs Selected by James Danziger, May 22, 2015 @Christie’s London

Something went momentarily haywire at Christie’s recent photography auction in London. Whether it was a miscataloged lot or just two bidders getting unexpectedly aggressive, a later print of August Sander’s iconic 1914 image Three Farmers on Their Way to A Dance, Westerland jumped to more than ten times its high estimate (to £104500). Sadly, even this wasn’t enough to save an otherwise soft sale. With an overall Buy-In rate of more than 40% and few positive surprises, the Total Sale Proceeds just missed the low end of the pre-sale estimate range.

The summary statistics are below (all results include the buyer’s premium):

Summary Statistics
Total Lots 103
Aggregate Pre Sale Low Estimate £591200
Aggregate Pre Sale High Estimate £841800
Total Lots Sold 61
Total Lots Bought In 42
Buy In % 40.78%
Total Sale Proceeds £577063

Here is the breakdown (using the Low, Mid, and High definitions from the preview post):

Detailed Breakdown
Low Total Lots 43
Total Low Lots Sold 24
Total Low Lots Bought In 19
Low Buy In % 44.19%
Aggregate High Estimate of Low Lots £164800
Total Proceeds from Low Lots £99313
Mid Total Lots 57
Total Mid Lots Sold 36
Total Mid Lots Bought In 21
Mid Buy In % 36.84%
Aggregate High Estimate of Mid Lots £557000
Total Proceeds from Mid Lots £427750
Total High Lots 3
Total High Lots Sold 1
Total High Lots Bought In 2
High Buy In % 66.67%
Aggregate High Estimate of High Lots £120000
Total Proceeds from High Lots £50000

The top lot by High estimate was lot 86, Gustave Le Gray, Brig on the Water, 1856, estimated at £30000-50000; it sold for £50000. The top outcome of the sale was lot 30, August Sander, Three Farmers on Their Way to a Dance, Westerland, 1914/later, estimated at £8000-10000, sold at £104500 (image above, via Christie’s).

Only 72.13% of the photo lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range and there were a total of 5 surprises in the sale (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate) (images below via Christie’s):

Lot 30 August Sander, Three Farmers on Their Way to a Dance, Westerland, 1914/later, estimated at £8000-10000, sold at £104500

Lot 52, Stephen Somerstein, Martin Luther King Jr., 1965/later, estimated at £2000-3000, sold at £7500

Lot 82, Andy Warhol, Crosses, 1982, estimated at £3000-5000, sold at £11250

Lot 93, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Eton, 1962, estimated at £8000-10000, sold at £20000

Lot 100, Lloyd Ziff, Robert Mapplethorpe and Patti Smith, Brooklyn, New York, 1968/2013, estimated at £3000-5000, sold at £12500

Complete lot by lot results can be found here.

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Read more about: Andy Warhol, August Sander, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Lloyd Ziff, Stephen Somerstein, Christie's

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