Auction Results: Ansel Adams and the American West (online), April 8, 2021 @Christie’s

The results of the recent single artist sale of the work of Ansel Adams at Christie’s last week continued the strong run for the photographer’s work. The sale was the last of three sales which featured Adams prints from the collection of the Center of Creative Photography. (The statistics from the previous two sales are also available, from 2019, here, and from 2020, here.) This selection was led by a print of Half Dome, and with only one passed lot and a few positive surprises, the Total Sale Proceeds (of roughly $800K) came in well above the aggregate pre-sale estimate range.

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

Summary Statistics
Total Lots 47
Aggregate Pre Sale Low Estimate $421000
Aggregate Pre Sale High Estimate $628000
Total Lots Sold 46
Total Lots Bought In 1
Buy In % 2.13%
Total Sale Proceeds $806250

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

Detailed Breakdown
Low Total Lots 25
Total Low Lots Sold 24
Total Low Lots Bought In 1
Low Buy In % 4.00%
Aggregate High Estimate of Low Lots $172000
Total Proceeds from Low Lots $271500
Mid Total Lots 22
Total Mid Lots Sold 22
Total Mid Lots Bought In 0
Mid Buy In % 0.00%
Aggregate High Estimate of Mid Lots $456000
Total Proceeds from Mid Lots $588750
Total High Lots 0
Total High Lots Sold NA
Total High Lots Bought In NA
High Buy In % NA
Aggregate High Estimate of High Lots $0
Total Proceeds from High Lots $0

The top lot by High estimate was tied between two lots: lot 2, Ansel Adams, Mount Williamson, Sierra Nevada, from Manzanar, California, 1944/1950-1962, and lot 11, Ansel Adams, Moon and Half Dome, Yosemite National Park, California, 1960/1962, both estimated at $30000-50000. The Half Dome view was the top outcome of the sale at $106250 (image above via Christie’s), while the Mount Williamson view sold at $47500.

89.13% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range and there were 4 positive surprises in the sale (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate) (images above via Christie’s):

Lot 8, Ansel Adams, Thunderstorm, Yosemite Valley, California, 1945/c1979, estimated at $10000-15000, sold at $37500

Lot 11, Ansel Adams, Moon and Half Dome, Yosemite National Park, California, 1960/1962, estimated at $30000-50000, sold at $106250

Lot 25, Ansel Adams, Young Oaks in Snow, Yosemite National Park, California, 1938/1962-1963, estimated at $6000-8000, sold at $18750

Lot 35, Ansel Adams, In Cascade National Park, Washington, c1960/c1970, estimated at $6000-8000, sold at $17500

The complete lot by lot results can be found here.

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