Auction Results: 20th Century Evening, 21st Century Evening, and Post-War & Contemporary Art Day Sales, November 17 and 18, 2022 @Christie’s

Christie’s continued its 2022 run of achieving multi-million dollar outcomes for vintage photographic rarities with a 1926 print of Man Ray’s Noire et Blanche at the recent 20th Century Evening sale in New York. The print found a buyer at $4020000, well above its pre-sale estimate range of $1800000-2200000. And while the price didn’t jump above the $10M mark (as other prints by Man Ray and Edward Steichen have successfully done earlier this year), the outcome was still a strong result.

The rest of the photography spread across the various other contemporary art sales at Christie’s last week performed more to expectations. When the dust settled, the overall Buy-In rate for photography was a respectable 20%, and with a few positive surprises to go along with the Man Ray outcome, the Total Sale Proceeds for photography came in above $6.4M, well above 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 15
Aggregate Pre Sale Low Estimate $3870000
Aggregate Pre Sale High Estimate $5324000
Total Lots Sold 12
Total Lots Bought In 3
Buy In % 20.00%
Total Sale Proceeds $6424080

Here is the breakdown (using our typical Low, Mid, and High definitions):

Detailed Breakdown
Low Total Lots 2
Total Low Lots Sold 2
Total Low Lots Bought In 0
Low Buy In % 0.00%
Aggregate High Estimate of Low Lots $14000
Total Proceeds from Low Lots $22680
Mid Total Lots 2
Total Mid Lots Sold 1
Total Mid Lots Bought In 1
Mid Buy In % 50.00%
Aggregate High Estimate of Mid Lots $60000
Total Proceeds from Mid Lots $69300
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 $5250000
Total Proceeds from High Lots $6332100

The top photography lot by High estimate was lot 10, Man Ray, Noire et Blanche, 1926, estimated at $1800000-2200000; it was also the top photography outcome of the sales at $4020000 (image above, via Christie’s.)

83.33% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range and there were a total of 2 positive surprises in the sales (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate) (images above, via Christie’s):

Lot 415, Peter Hujar, Divine, 1975/lifetime, estimated at $15000-25000, sold at $69300

Lot 512, Louise Lawler, Does Andy Warhol Make You Cry?, 1988, estimated at $80000-120000, sold at $340200

The complete lot by lot results can be found here (20th Century Evening), here (21st Century Evening), and here (Post-War & Contemporary Art Day).

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Read more about: Louise Lawler, Man Ray, Peter Hujar, Christie's

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