Auction Results: Contemporary Art Evening and Day Auctions, November 18 and 19, 2021 @Sotheby’s

The definitional edges of what constitutes a photograph and what doesn’t when it comes to collage are decidedly indefinite. In our view, if a significant portion of a collage is constructed from photographic imagery, then it sneaks under the larger umbrella of the medium, and in the particular case of several of the photography lots on offer in Sotheby’s Contemporary Art sales in New York sale last week, that meant collage works by Romare Bearden, Robert Rauschenberg, and Mickalene Thomas all counted toward our photographic tallies. The Bearden collage was the top photo lot, coming in above $1.1M, and with the positive surprise of a Richard Prince Instagram portrait that jumped to $625K, the Total Sale Proceeds for photography (of nearly $2.9M), topped the high end of the aggregate pre-sale estimate range.

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

Summary Statistics
Total Lots 9
Aggregate Pre Sale Low Estimate $1375000
Aggregate Pre Sale High Estimate $2007000
Total Lots Sold 7
Total Lots Bought In 2
Buy In % 22.22%
Total Sale Proceeds $2893200

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

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 $7000
Total Proceeds from Low Lots $6300
Mid Total Lots 0
Total Mid Lots Sold NA
Total Mid Lots Bought In NA
Mid Buy In % NA
Aggregate High Estimate of Mid Lots $0
Total Proceeds from Mid Lots $0
Total High Lots 8
Total High Lots Sold 6
Total High Lots Bought In 2
High Buy In % 25.00%
Aggregate High Estimate of High Lots $2000000
Total Proceeds from High Lots $2886900

The top photography lot by High estimate was lot 101, Romare Bearden, The Street, 1975, estimated at $500000-700000; it was also the top photography outcome of the sales at $1109000 (image above, via Sotheby’s.)

100.00% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range and there was just one positive surprise in the sale (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate) (images above, via Sotheby’s):

Lot 441, Richard Prince, Untitled (Portrait), 2014, estimated at $100000-150000, sold at $625000

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

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Read more about: Richard Prince, Romare Bearden, Sotheby's

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