Auction Results: Art & Storytelling: Photographs & Photobooks, February 25, 2016 @Swann

The results of the recent photography sale at Swann Galleries were admirably solid. The top lot Ansel Adams sold in the range, the overall Buy-In rate was respectable (at roughly 25%), there were less sales below the estimate range than usual (only 16%), and there were plenty of positive surprises in the offerings of both the fine and vernacular photographs to keep things interesting. When it was all tallied up, the Total Sale Proceeds fell safely into the middle of the pre-sale estimate range.

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

Summary Statistics
Total Lots 268
Pre Sale Low Total Estimate $1457200
Pre Sale High Total Estimate $2147900
Total Lots Sold 200
Total Lots Bought In 68
Buy In % 25.37%
Total Sale Proceeds $1640196

Here is the breakdown (using the Low, Mid, and High definitions from the preview post):

Detailed Breakdown
Low Total Lots 231
Low Sold 172
Low Bought In 59
Low Buy In % 25.54%
Total Low Estimate $1030900
Total Low Sold $750746
Mid Total Lots 35
Mid Sold 26
Mid Bought In 9
Mid Buy In % 25.71%
Total Mid Estimate $757000
Total Mid Sold $587200
Total High Lots 2
High Sold 2
High Bought In 0
High Buy In % 0.00%
Total High Estimate $360000
Total High Sold $302250

The top lot by High estimate was lot 99, Ansel Adams, Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico, 1941/early or mid 1950s, estimated at $200000-300000; it was also the top outcome of the sale at $221000 (image in preview post).

84.00% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range and there were a total of 16 positive surprises in the sale (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate) (images above via Swann):

Lot 6, Eadweard Muybridge, Cottonwood Bend, Valley of the Yosemite, No. 15, 1872, estimated at $2000-3000, sold at $25000

Lot 16, Group of approximately 250 photographs of the Philippines relating to Dean Worcester’s political ideology, 1902-1912, estimated at $5000-7500, sold at $18750

Lot 51, Alexander Rodchenko, Portfolio entitled Fotografien und Fotomontagen, 1979, estimated at $2000-3000, sold at $6760

Lot 61, Judaica/World War II, Album with 168 carefully composed photographs in occupied Poland by a Nazi photographer, 1941, estimated at $1200-1800, sold at $4500

Lot 122, Cornell Capa, Hebrew lesson, Brooklyn, New York, 1955/1970s, estimated at $1800-2200, sold at $5250

Lot 127, Danny Lyon, Mary (Colombia), 1972, estimated at $2000-3000, sold at $6000

Lot 253, Edward Emerson Barnard, A Photographic Atlas of Selected Regions of the Milky Way. Parts I & II., 1927, estimated at $2000-3000, sold at $17500

From the vernacular photography section, Lot 214, Anonymous, Lot 218, Aviation, Lot 231, Coal, Lot 232, Gulf Oil – Kentucky, Lot 234, Ku Klux Klan – Ohio, Lot 242, Trailer Park, Lot 243, Television – American Bandstand, Lot 245, Male Nudes – Scrapbooking, and Lot 246, Mexican Cinema were also positive surprises.

The complete lot by lot results can be found here.

Aleksandr Rodchenko, Cornell Capa, Danny Lyon, Eadweard Muybridge, Swann Auction Galleries

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