Auction Results: Contemporary Art Day Auction, November 17, 2020, and Contemporary Art Day Auction: Online, November 18, 2020 @Sotheby’s

The recent Contemporary Art Day and Contemporary Art Day: Online auctions at Sotheby’s were supposed to be photographically led by an Andreas Gursky Pyongyang print, estimated at $450000-600000. That is until the print was withdrawn at the last minute, leaving the two sales without much in the way of photographic firepower. The top lot honors then fell to a solid John Baldessari work from the mid-1980s, which found a buyer within its estimate range. Two photography-based collage works by Betye Saar provided the only real excitement, both jumping well above their high estimates. When the dust settled, the Total Sale Proceeds for photography across the two sales came in at just over $400K, just above the low end of the aggregate pre-sale estimate range (with the Gursky removed).

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

Summary Statistics
Total Lots 8
Aggregate Pre Sale Low Estimate $383000
Aggregate Pre Sale High Estimate $537000
Total Lots Sold 4
Total Lots Bought In 4
Buy In % 50.00%
Total Sale Proceeds $413910

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

Detailed Breakdown
Low Total Lots 0
Total Low Lots Sold NA
Total Low Lots Bought In NA
Low Buy In % NA
Aggregate High Estimate of Low Lots $0
Total Proceeds from Low Lots $0
Mid Total Lots 6
Total Mid Lots Sold 3
Total Mid Lots Bought In 3
Mid Buy In % 50.00%
Aggregate High Estimate of Mid Lots $107000
Total Proceeds from Mid Lots $136
Total High Lots 2
Total High Lots Sold 1
Total High Lots Bought In 1
High Buy In % 50.00%
Aggregate High Estimate of High Lots $430000
Total Proceeds from High Lots $277200

The top photography lot by High estimate was lot 146, John Baldessari, Various Chairs, 1986, estimated at $250000-350000; it was also the top photography outcome of the two sales at $277200 (image above, via Sotheby’s.)

100.00% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range and there were two positive surprises in the sales (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate) (images above, via Sotheby’s):

Lot 289, Betye Saar, ABCD Education, 2001, estimated at $20000-30000, sold at $81900

Lot 290, Betye Saar, Honey, 2001, estimated at $10000-15000, sold at $44100

The complete lot by lot results can be found here (Contemporary Art Day Auction) and here (Contemporary Art Day Auction: Online).

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Read more about: Betye Saar, John Baldessari, Sotheby's

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