Auction Results: 20th/21st Century Evening Sale and Post-War and Contemporary Art Day Sale, October 15 and 16, 2021 @Christie’s London

While the shifting terminology for what is defined as contemporary art at Christie’s (as seen here in 20th/21st Century and Post-War and Contemporary Art sales) offers ongoing possibilities for confusion and annoyance, the photographs included in the recent sales in London performed well. The top lot Gerhard Richter strip image found a buyer above £900K, and with just one pass against more than 20 photo lots on offer, the extremely low Buy-In rate for photography kept the numbers up. With a couple of additional positive surprises, the Total Sales Proceeds for photography (of nearly £2.4M) came in near the top end of the aggregate pre-sale estimate range.

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

Summary Statistics
Total Lots 21
Aggregate Pre Sale Low Estimate £1811000
Aggregate Pre Sale High Estimate £2434500
Total Lots Sold 20
Total Lots Bought In 1
Buy In % 4.76%
Total Sale Proceeds £2392500

Here is the breakdown (using our usual Low, Mid, and High price tier definitions):

Detailed Breakdown
Low Total Lots 3
Total Low Lots Sold 3
Total Low Lots Bought In 0
Low Buy In % 0.00%
Aggregate High Estimate of Low Lots £11500
Total Proceeds from Low Lots £10000
Mid Total Lots 9
Total Mid Lots Sold 8
Total Mid Lots Bought In 1
Mid Buy In % 11.11%
Aggregate High Estimate of Mid Lots £160000
Total Proceeds from Mid Lots £195000
Total High Lots 9
Total High Lots Sold 9
Total High Lots Bought In 0
High Buy In % 0.00%
Aggregate High Estimate of High Lots £2263000
Total Proceeds from High Lots £2187500

The top photography lot by High estimate was lot 32, Gerhard Richter, Strip, 2012, estimated at £650000-850000; it was also the top photography outcome of the sales at £922500 (image above, via Christie’s).

90.00% of the photo lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range and there were 3 positive surprises in the sales (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate) (images above, via Christie’s):

Lot 134, Thomas Demand, Balkone (Balconies)1997, estimated at £15000-20000, sold at £62500

Lot 264, Nobuyoshi Araki, Tokyo Comedy, 1997, estimated at £25000-35000, sold at £75000

Lot 270, Idris Khan, Church Walk Studio 3, 2012, estimated at £1000-1500, sold at £3500

Complete lot by lot results can be found here (20th/21st Century Evening) and here (PWCA Day).

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Read more about: Gerhard Richter, Idris Khan, Nobuyoshi Araki, Thomas Demand, Christie's

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