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

Swann Galleries largely delivered to expectations in its recent photography sale. Led by solid outcomes for nearly all of the top priced lots, a number of positive surprises across the sale categories, and an overall Buy-In rate under 30%, the Total Sale Proceeds found their way to 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 419
Aggregate Pre Sale Low Estimate $1743700
Aggregate Pre Sale High Estimate $2568850
Total Lots Sold 297
Total Lots Bought In 122
Buy In % 29.12%
Total Sale Proceeds $1829950

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

Detailed Breakdown
Low Total Lots 376
Total Low Lots Sold 265
Total Low Lots Bought In 111
Low Buy In % 29.52%
Aggregate High Estimate of Low Lots $1496850
Total Proceeds from Low Lots $994600
Mid Total Lots 39
Total Mid Lots Sold 28
Total Mid Lots Bought In 11
Mid Buy In % 28.21%
Aggregate High Estimate of Mid Lots $787000
Total Proceeds from Mid Lots $509100
Total High Lots 4
Total High Lots Sold 4
Total High Lots Bought In 0
High Buy In % 0.00%
Aggregate High Estimate of High Lots $285000
Total Proceeds from High Lots $326250

The top lot by High estimate was lot 250, Robert Frank, Political Rally, Chicago, 1956/1970s, estimated at $60000-90000 (image in preview post). It sold for $67500. The top outcome of the sale was lot 38, Julia Margaret Cameron, Portrait of Kate Keown, 1866, estimated at $50000-75000, sold for $106350 (image in preview post).

74.07% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range and there were a total of 13 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 300 Americana, lot 301 Occupational Tintype, lot 302 Maine Central Railroad, lot 358 Gas Stations – Texaco, lot 359 Billboards, lot 370 Circle of the Beat Poet Diane De Prima) and 19th and early 20th century works by unknown makers (lot 11 Harvard Medical School and lot 32 Ambrotypes). The positive surprises in fine photographs and photobooks were as follows (images above via Swann):

Lot 75, Edward Curtis, Cañon de Chelly, 1904, estimated at $6000-9000, sold at $20800

Lot 127, Josef Sudek, From My Window, 1944, estimated at $4000-6000, sold at $12500

Lot 235, Diane Arbus, The House of Horrors, Coney Island, 1962/before 1978, estimated at $5000-7500, sold at $15000

Lot 356, O. Winston Link, A binder with 37 crisp photographs documenting a hospital in New York City, 1953, estimated at $2000-3000, sold at $6250

Lot 408, Richard Avedon, In the American West, 1985, and Evidence 1944-1994, 1994, estimated at $600-900, sold at $2860

The complete lot by lot results can be found here.

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Read more about: Diane Arbus, Edward Curtis, Josef Sudek, O. Winston Link, Richard Avedon, Swann Auction Galleries

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