Auction Results: Back to Black: Photographies, November 13, 2015 @Sotheby’s Paris

Aside from a vintage Bernd and Hilla Becher watertower typology that soared over its estimate range, the results of Sotheby’s recent Back to Black: Photographies sale in Paris were rather dismal. With an overall Buy-In rate of over 46%, large chunks of lots went unsold. Even with a few positive surprises (including three Thomas Struth Chicago streetscapes), the Total Sale Proceeds missed the low end of the pre-sale range by a decent margin.

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

Summary Statistics
Total Lots 135
Aggregate Pre Sale Low Estimate €1837000
Aggregate Pre Sale High Estimate €2666000
Total Lots Sold 72
Total Lots Bought In 63
Buy In % 46.67%
Total Sale Proceeds €1595163

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

Detailed Breakdown
Low Total Lots 50
Total Low Lots Sold 27
Total Low Lots Bought In 23
Low Buy In % 46.00%
Aggregate High Estimate of Low Lots €301000
Total Proceeds from Low Lots €196938
Mid Total Lots 73
Total Mid Lots Sold 39
Total Mid Lots Bought In 34
Mid Buy In % 46.58%
Aggregate High Estimate of Mid Lots €1180000
Total Proceeds from Mid Lots €702625
Total High Lots 12
Total High Lots Sold 6
Total High Lots Bought In 6
High Buy In % 50.00%
Aggregate High Estimate of High Lots €1185000
Total Proceeds from High Lots €695600

The top lot by High estimate was lot 96, Diane Arbus, Identical Twins, Cathleen and Colleen, Roselle, New Jersey, 1967, estimated at €200000-300000; it did not sell. The top outcome of the sale was lot 114, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Wasserturme (Trichter), 1972, estimated at €60000-80000, sold at €411000. (image in preview post)

93.06% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range and there were a total of 7 surprises in the sale (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate) (images above, via Sotheby’s):

Lot 22, Bruce Weber, Tom. Bear Pond. Adirondack Park, 1988, estimated at €3000-5000, sold at €17500

Lot 77, Albert Renger-Patzsch, Machines de Schubert & Salzer Machinefabrik, Ingolstadt, 1949-1965, estimated at €6000-8000, sold at €16250

Lot 94, Robert Frank, Pablo and Andrea, NYC, 1958, estimated at €7000-10000, sold at €23750

Lot 114, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Wasserturme (Trichter), 1972, estimated at €60000-80000, sold at €411000 (image in preview post)

Lot 116, Thomas Struth, South Wabash Avenue (George Diamond), Chicago, 1992, estimated at €5000-7000, sold at €18750

Lot 117, Thomas Struth, South Lasalle Street, Board of Trade, Chicago, 1992, estimated at €6000-8000, sold at €35000

Lot 118, Thomas Struth, South Dearborn Street vs. Post Office Building, Chicago, 1992, estimated at €5000-7000, sold at €16250

Complete lot by lot results can be found here.

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Read more about: Albert Renger-Patzsch, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Bruce Weber, Robert Frank, Thomas Struth, Sotheby's

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