Auction Results: 21st Century Evening Sale, November 9, 2021 @Christie’s

The last time a photograph sold at auction for more than $3M was 2017, so the fact that the results from Christie’s recent 21st Century Evening Sale included two photographs over $3M, and a total of five above $1M, was certainly exciting news. The quality and scarcity of the available works was the driver of the frothy bidding: three Cindy Sherman centerfolds from 1981 were on offer, as was a Richard Prince cowboy and an early Barbara Kruger work. One of the Shermans ultimately took the top lot honors at $3150000, just ahead of the Prince cowboy. And the Kruger work set a new auction record for the artist, at $1170000. When the dust settled, it was a white glove sale, for both photography and overall, with Total Sale Proceeds for photography of over $11M, coming in 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 5
Aggregate Pre Sale Low Estimate $7000000
Aggregate Pre Sale High Estimate $10700000
Total Lots Sold 5
Total Lots Bought In 0
Buy In % 0.00%
Total Sale Proceeds $11010000

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 0
Total Mid Lots Sold NA
Total Mid Lots Bought In NA
Mid Buy In % NA
Aggregate High Estimate of Mid Lots $0
Total Proceeds from Mid Lots $0
Total High Lots 5
Total High Lots Sold 5
Total High Lots Bought In 0
High Buy In % 0.00%
Aggregate High Estimate of High Lots $10700000
Total Proceeds from High Lots $11010000

The top photography lot by High estimate was tied between two lots, each estimated at $2000000-3000000: lot 11A, Cindy Sherman, Untitled, 1981, and lot 12A, Cindy Sherman, Untitled, 1981; lot 12A was the top outcome of the sale at $3150000 (image above, via Christie’s), while lot 11A sold at $2070000.

100.00% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range and there were no positive surprises in the sale (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate). That said, since all of the lots topped $1M in proceeds, the results for all five lots are listed below (images above, via Christie’s, in order):

Lot 11A, Cindy Sherman, Untitled, 1981, estimated at $2000000-3000000, sold at $2070000

Lot 12A, Cindy Sherman, Untitled, 1981, estimated at $2000000-3000000, sold at $3150000

Lot 13A, Cindy Sherman, Untitled, 1981, estimated at $1000000-1500000, sold at $1590000

Lot 16A, Barbara Kruger, Untitled (Your Manias Become Science), 1981, estimated at $500000-700000, sold at $1170000

Lot 25A, Richard Prince, Untitled (Cowboy), 1997, estimated at $1500000-2500000, sold at $3030000

The complete lot by lot results can be found here.

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