Auction Results: Classic Travel Photographs (online), March 25, 2021 @Sotheby’s London

The combination of a passed top lot and an overall Buy-In rate over 55% dampened the results of the recent Classic Travel Photographs sale at Sotheby’s in London. While several 19th century images of Egypt by Francis Frith performed well, the Total Sale Proceeds (of just £130K) 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 74
Aggregate Pre Sale Low Estimate £213400
Aggregate Pre Sale High Estimate £290700
Total Lots Sold 33
Total Lots Bought In 41
Buy In % 55.41%
Total Sale Proceeds £132867

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

Detailed Breakdown
Low Total Lots 67
Total Low Lots Sold 31
Total Low Lots Bought In 36
Low Buy In % 53.73%
Aggregate High Estimate of Low Lots £145700
Total Proceeds from Low Lots £106659
Mid Total Lots 6
Total Mid Lots Sold 2
Total Mid Lots Bought In 4
Mid Buy In % 66.67%
Aggregate High Estimate of Mid Lots £55000
Total Proceeds from Mid Lots £26208
Total High Lots 1
Total High Lots Sold 0
Total High Lots Bought In 1
High Buy In % 100.00%
Aggregate High Estimate of High Lots £90000
Total Proceeds from High Lots £0

The top photography lot by High estimate was lot 33, England—Peter Henry Emerson and T.F. Goodall, Life and Landscape on the Norfolk Broads, 1886, estimated at £70000-90000; it did not sell. The top outcome of the sale was lot 27, Egypt—Francis Frith, Pyramid at Dashur from the southwest, c.1858, estimated at £7000-8000, sold at £21420 (image above, via Sotheby’s.)

100.00% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range and there were a total of 5 positive surprises in the sale (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate) (image above via Sotheby’s):

Lot 19, Crimea—Roger Fenton, Harbour of Balaklava, The Cattle Pier, 1855/1856, estimated at £1000-1500, sold at £8820

Lot 24, Egypt—attributed to Robert Murray, Temple of Abou Simbel, c.1856, estimated at £2000-3000, sold at £10710

Lot 25, Egypt—Francis Frith, Pyramids of El-Geezah, c.1858, estimated at £1500-2000, sold at £18900

Lot 27, Egypt—Francis Frith, Pyramid at Dashur from the southwest, c.1858, estimated at £7000-8000, sold at £21420

Lot 40, Greece—attributed to Fred Boissonas, The Acropolis, Athens, early 20th century, estimated at £800-1200, sold at £4032

The complete lot by lot results can be found here.

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Read more about: Francis Frith, Roger Fenton, Sotheby's

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