Auction Results: Art & Storytelling: Photographs & Photobooks, October 19, 2017 @Swann

There was just enough softness in the high priced lots at Swann Galleries’ recent photography and photobook sale to dampen the overall results. With an overall Buy-In rate of roughly 30% and plenty of positive surprises, the sale had a chance to hit its marks, but when the numbers were tallied up, the Total Sale Proceeds fell just a touch below the low end of the aggregate pre-sale range.

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

Summary Statistics
Total Lots 409
Aggregate Pre Sale Low Estimate $1562550
Aggregate Pre Sale High Estimate $2314150
Total Lots Sold 285
Total Lots Bought In 124
Buy In % 30.32%
Total Sale Proceeds $1468364

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

Detailed Breakdown
Low Total Lots 379
Total Low Lots Sold 263
Total Low Lots Bought In 116
Low Buy In % 30.61%
Aggregate High Estimate of Low Lots $1565150
Total Proceeds from Low Lots $1075889
Mid Total Lots 27
Total Mid Lots Sold 21
Total Mid Lots Bought In 6
Mid Buy In % 22.22%
Aggregate High Estimate of Mid Lots $509000
Total Proceeds from Mid Lots $347475
Total High Lots 3
Total High Lots Sold 1
Total High Lots Bought In 2
High Buy In % 66.67%
Aggregate High Estimate of High Lots $240000
Total Proceeds from High Lots $45000

The top lot by High estimate was lot 103, Ansel Adams, Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico, 1941/1965, estimated at $80000-120000 (image in preview post); it did not sell. The top outcome of the sale was lot 11, John Thomson, Album of 67 photographs of China, Singapore, and Borneo, c1862-1872, estimated at $40000-60000, sold at $45000 (image above, via Swann).

76.49% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range and there were a total of 14 positive surprises in the sale (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate). These can be divided into several groups including vernacular imagery (lot 323, Eberhard Faber Pencil Co., lot 327 Firefighters, lot 339 Beverly Hills Businesses, lot 354, Beecher Ogden, lot 360 Eisenhower-Nixon Bandwagon, and lot 376 Warner Brothers’ Backdrops) and 19th and early 20th century works by anonymous makers (lot 21, Civil War, and lot 34, Japan). The positive surprises in fine photographs and photobooks were as follows (images above, via Swann):

Lot 2, Edward Curtis, Flathead Camp on the Jocko, 1910, estimated at $6000-9000, sold at $20000

Lot 5, Edward Curtis, The Potter, Hopi, 1906, estimated at $5000-7500, sold at $25000

Lot 8, Frank A. Rinehart, Geronimo (Guiyatle), Apache * Chief American Horse, Sioux * Chief Red Cloud, 1898-1900, estimated at $3000-4500, sold at $9100

Lot 32, Samuel Bourne, A pair of albums from India with a total of 100 photographs, 1863-1870, estimated at $1500-2500, sold at $6250

Lot 235, W. Eugene Smith, Pride Street, 1955-1956/after 1963, estimated at $2000-3000, sold at $6760

Lot 281, Saul Leiter, Waiter, Paris, 1959/1990s, estimated at $6000-9000, sold at $25000

The complete lot by lot results can be found here.

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Read more about: Edward Curtis, Frank A. Rinehart, John Thomson, Samuel Bourne, Saul Leiter, W. Eugene Smith, Swann Auction Galleries

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