Auction Results: 21st Century Evening and A Century of Art: The Gerald Fineberg Collection Parts I and II, May 15, 17, and 18, 2023 @Christie’s

With three photographic outcomes above $1M and three more above $500K, the run of contemporary art sales at Christie’s earlier this week that included the 21st Century Evening and Gerald Fineberg Collection sales proved to be fertile ground for high priced photography. The top photo lot Richard Prince cowboy came in at roughly $1.55M (and within its estimate range), followed by a William Eggleston tricycle (at roughly $1M) and a Diane Arbus portfolio (at roughly $1M).

The rest of the photography spread across the various sales performed more or less to expectations. When the dust settled, the overall Buy-In rate for photography was a paltry 5%, and with a few positive surprises, the Total Sale Proceeds for photography came in above $7.5M, firmly at the middle of the aggregate pre-sale estimate range.

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

Summary Statistics
Total Lots 20
Aggregate Pre Sale Low Estimate $6380000
Aggregate Pre Sale High Estimate $9080000
Total Lots Sold 19
Total Lots Bought In 1
Buy In % 5.00%
Total Sale Proceeds $7571440

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

Detailed Breakdown
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 3
Total Mid Lots Sold 3
Total Mid Lots Bought In 0
Mid Buy In % 0.00%
Aggregate High Estimate of Mid Lots $130000
Total Proceeds from Mid Lots $241920
Total High Lots 17
Total High Lots Sold 16
Total High Lots Bought In 1
High Buy In % 5.88%
Aggregate High Estimate of High Lots $8950000
Total Proceeds from High Lots $7329520

The top photography lot by High estimate was lot 25C, Richard Prince, Untitled (Cowboy), 1999, estimated at $1500000-2000000; it was also the top photography outcome of the sales at $1562500 (image above, via Christie’s.)

78.95% 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 843, Wallace Berman, Untitled, 1970, estimated at $30000-50000, sold at $100800

Lot 867, Nan Goldin, Self-Portrait in Kimono with Brian, NYC, 1983, estimated at $20000-30000, sold at $115920

The complete lot by lot results can be found here (21st Century Evening), here (Fineberg Part I), and here (Fineberg Part II).

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Read more about: Nan Goldin, Richard Prince, Wallace Berman, Christie's

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