Auction Results: Contemporary Art Evening and Day Auctions, May 16 and 17, 2019 @Sotheby’s

The photographs sold in Sotheby’s recent Contemporary Art auctions in New York generally met expectations. With a photography Buy-In rate of roughly 22% and only one positive surprise, the Total Sale Proceeds for photography (just over $1.3M) came in near 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 18
Pre Sale Low Total Estimate $1282000
Pre Sale High Total Estimate $1893000
Total Lots Sold 14
Total Lots Bought In 4
Buy In % 22.22%
Total Sale Proceeds $1317500

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

Detailed Breakdown
Low Total Lots 0
Low Sold NA
Low Bought In NA
Low Buy In % NA
Total Low Estimate $0
Total Low Sold $0
Mid Total Lots 10
Mid Sold 8
Mid Bought In 2
Mid Buy In % 20.00%
Total Mid Estimate $283000
Total Mid Sold $317500
Total High Lots 8
High Sold 6
High Bought In 2
High Buy In % 25.00%
Total High Estimate $1610000
Total High Sold $1000000

The top photography lot by High estimate was lot 132, Cindy Sherman, Untitled Film Still No. 17, 1978, estimated at $300000-500000; it did not sell. The top photography outcome of the sales was lot 420, Barbara Kruger, Untitled (Avoid Eye Contact), 2018, estimated at $200000-300000, sold at $400000 (image above, via Sotheby’s).

92.86% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range and there was just 1 positive surprise in the sales (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate) (images above via Sotheby’s):

Lot 432, Lorna Simpson, Speechless, 2017, estimated at $12000-18000, sold at $43750

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

Barbara Kruger, Lorna Simpson, Sotheby's

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