Auction Results: Contemporary Art Evening and Day Auctions, February 10 and 11, 2016 @Sotheby’s London

Sotheby’s stock took a steep dive after the results of the recent Contemporary Art sales in London, but it wasn’t the photography that was the culprit. Led by an Ai Wei Wei triptych that soared to over £750K and a Richard Prince 1970’s magazine appropriation that sold for more than 14 times its estimate, the photography generally performed admirably, with enough positive surprises to drive the Total Sale Proceeds (for photography anyway) far above the high end of the pre-sale range.

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

Summary Statistics
Total Lots 26
Aggregate Pre Sale Low Estimate £962000
Aggregate Pre Sale High Estimate £1385000
Total Lots Sold 19
Total Lots Bought In 7
Buy In % 26.92%
Total Sale Proceeds £2026500

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

Detailed Breakdown
Low Total Lots 1
Total Low Lots Sold 1
Total Low Lots Bought In 0
Low Buy In % 0.00%
Aggregate High Estimate of Low Lots £5000
Total Proceeds from Low Lots £72500
Mid Total Lots 8
Total Mid Lots Sold 5
Total Mid Lots Bought In 3
Mid Buy In % 37.50%
Aggregate High Estimate of Mid Lots £105000
Total Proceeds from Mid Lots £117500
Total High Lots 17
Total High Lots Sold 13
Total High Lots Bought In 4
High Buy In % 23.53%
Aggregate High Estimate of High Lots £1275000
Total Proceeds from High Lots £1836500

The top photography lot by High estimate was lot 42, Ai Weiwei, Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn, 1995-2004, estimated at £150000-200000; it was also the top photography outcome of the two sales at £755000 (image in preview post).

94.74% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range and there were a total of 5 positive surprises in the sales (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate) (images above via Sotheby’s):

Lot 42, Ai Weiwei, Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn, 1995-2004, estimated at £150000-200000, sold at £755000 (image in preview post)

Lot 101, Pamela Rosenkranz, Because They Try to Bore Holes in My Greatest and Most beautiful Work (Relief of Avarice), 2012, estimated at £15000-20000, sold at £42500

Lot 173, Cindy Sherman, Untitled Film Still #56, 1980, estimated at £40000-60000, sold at £197000 (image in preview post)

Lot 174, Richard Prince, Untitled, 1977-1979, estimated at £3000-5000, sold at £72500

Lot 317, Gerhard Richter, Haggadah (P2), 2014, estimated at £4000-6000, sold at £40000

The complete lot by lot results can be found here (Evening) and here (Day).

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Read more about: Ai Weiwei, Cindy Sherman, Gerhard Richter, Pamela Rosenkranz, Richard Prince, Sotheby's

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