In the recent London Contemporary Art sale season, Phillips was the only one of the three major auction houses to bring a meaningful selection of contemporary photography to market – both Christie’s and Sotheby’s failed to have even a single photograph in their Evening sales, and neither of their Day sale photo offerings merited a full statistical tally.
At Phillips’ 20th Century & Contemporary Art sales last week, the photography on offer performed solidly. While the top lot Wolfgang Tillmans abstraction didn’t sell, basically everything else did. With an overall Buy-In rate under 12% and one other positive surprise (an early Thomas Ruff head portrait), the Total Sale Proceeds for photography came in above £800K, above the low end of the aggregate pre-sale estimate range.
The summary statistics are below (all results include the buyer’s premium):
|Aggregate Pre Sale Low Estimate||£765000|
|Aggregate Pre Sale High Estimate||£1136000|
|Total Lots Sold||15|
|Total Lots Bought In||2|
|Buy In %||11.76%|
|Total Sale Proceeds||£818900|
Here is the breakdown (using our usual Low, Mid, and High price tier definitions):
|Low Total Lots||0|
|Total Low Lots Sold||NA|
|Total Low Lots Bought In||NA|
|Low Buy In %||NA|
|Aggregate High Estimate of Low Lots||£0|
|Total Proceeds from Low Lots||£0|
|Mid Total Lots||6|
|Total Mid Lots Sold||6|
|Total Mid Lots Bought In||0|
|Mid Buy In %||0.00%|
|Aggregate High Estimate of Mid Lots||£106000|
|Total Proceeds from Mid Lots||£119600|
|Total High Lots||11|
|Total High Lots Sold||9|
|Total High Lots Bought In||2|
|High Buy In %||18.18%|
|Aggregate High Estimate of High Lots||£1030000|
|Total Proceeds from High Lots||£818900|
The top photography lot by High estimate was lot 39, Wolfgang Tillmans, Freischwimmer 27, 2003, estimated at £210000-300000; it did not sell.
The top photography outcome of the sales was lot 40, Cory Arcangel, Photoshop CS: 110 by 72 inches, 300 DPI, RGB, square pixels, default gradient ‘Spectrum’, mousedown y=23900 x=11650, mouseup y=32650 x=11650, 2009, estimated at £100000-150000, sold at £252000 (image above, via Phillips).
93.33% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range and there was just 1 positive surprise in the sales (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate) (image above, via Phillips):
Lot 256, Thomas Ruff, Portrait (J. Blum), 1989, estimated at £7000-9000, sold at £26460