Auction Results: Classic Photographs (online), October 7, 2022 @Sotheby’s

The Classic Photographs sale at Sotheby’s (online) last week stumbled through a lackluster outing. While the top lot Ansel Adams print did find a buyer just above its estimate range, the middle tier of offerings had a particularly tough run, and with an overall Buy-In rate approaching 50% and just one positive surprise to balance out the many passes, the Total Sale Proceeds (of roughly $1.4M) fell well below 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 105
Aggregate Pre Sale Low Estimate $2007500
Aggregate Pre Sale High Estimate $3081500
Total Lots Sold 55
Total Lots Bought In 50
Buy In % 47.62%
Total Sale Proceeds $1397718

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

Detailed Breakdown
Low Total Lots 45
Total Low Lots Sold 30
Total Low Lots Bought In 15
Low Buy In % 33.33%
Aggregate High Estimate of Low Lots $340500
Total Proceeds from Low Lots $180558
Mid Total Lots 47
Total Mid Lots Sold 18
Total Mid Lots Bought In 29
Mid Buy In % 61.70%
Aggregate High Estimate of Mid Lots $1121000
Total Proceeds from Mid Lots $379260
Total High Lots 13
Total High Lots Sold 7
Total High Lots Bought In 6
High Buy In % 46.15%
Aggregate High Estimate of High Lots $1620000
Total Proceeds from High Lots $837900

The top lot by High estimate was tied between two lots, both estimated at $150000-250000: lot 45, Ansel Adams, Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico, c1941/1973-1977, and lot 46, Ansel Adams, The Tetons and The Snake River, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, 1942/1973-1977. The Moonrise print sold at $189000, while the Grand Teton print was the top outcome of the sale at $252000 (image above via Sotheby’s).

76.36% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range and there was just 1 positive surprise in the sale (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate) (image above via Sotheby’s):

Lot 5, Berenice Abbott, The George Washington Bridge Under Construction, c1930, estimated at $6000-9000, sold at $21420

The complete lot by lot results can be found here.

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Read more about: Ansel Adams, Berenice Abbott, Sotheby's

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