Auction Results: Classic & Contemporary Photographs, April 18, 2019 @Swann

The results of the recent combination fine/vernacular photographs sale at Swann were generally uneventful. An album of Martin Chambi’s photographs from Cusco, Peru, and elsewhere provided a major positive surprise, soaring to nearly $60K. But this was just one unexpected outcome in a sale that largely stayed put. With an overall Buy-In rate of just higher than a third, the Total Sale Proceeds fell a bit underneath the low end of the aggregate pre-sale estimate range.

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

Summary Statistics
Total Lots 315
Pre Sale Low Total Estimate $1253050
Pre Sale High Total Estimate $1855450
Total Lots Sold 209
Total Lots Bought In 106
Buy In % 33.65%
Total Sale Proceeds $1226530

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

Detailed Breakdown
Low Total Lots 283
Low Sold 185
Low Bought In 98
Low Buy In % 34.63%
Total Low Estimate $1142450
Total Low Sold $768405
Mid Total Lots 29
Mid Sold 22
Mid Bought In 7
Mid Buy In % 24.14%
Total Mid Estimate $518000
Total Mid Sold $350625
Total High Lots 3
High Sold 2
High Bought In 1
High Buy In % 33.33%
Total High Estimate $195000
Total High Sold $107500

The top lot by High estimate was lot 185, Robert Mapplethorpe, Lisa Lyon, 1980-1982 estimated at $50000-75000; it sold at $50000. The top outcome of the sale was lot 251, Martin Chambi, Album with 118 photographs, 1920s, estimated at $6000-9000, sold at $58750 (image above, via Swann).

79.90% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range and there were a total of 7 positive surprises in the sale (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate). Six of these lots came in the vernacular imagery section (lot 245 India – Industry, lot 251, Martin Chambi, lot 253, Flora and Fauna, lot 268, Home Sweet Home, lot 286, Fritz Lang – Metropolis, and lot 295, Marvel Beauty School – Winnipeg, MB). The one positive surprises in fine photograph was as follows (image above via Swann):

Lot 171, Graciela Iturbide, 5 photographs from Mujeres de Juchitan, 1979-1989/1990, estimated at $5000-7500, sold at $15000

The complete lot by lot results can be found here.

Graciela Iturbide, Martin Chambi, Swann Auction Galleries

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