Auction Results: Contemporary Art Evening and Day Auctions, October 17 and 18, 2014 @Sotheby’s London

It was a fairly lackluster outing for photography at the recent Contemporary Art Evening and Day auctions at Sotheby’s in London. With few positive surprises, an overall Buy-In rate for photography over 36%, and some softness in the top end lots, the Total Sale Proceeds for photography fell meaningfully below the pre-sale estimate range.

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

Summary Statistics
Total Lots 36
Aggregate Pre Sale Low Estimate £1576500
Aggregate Pre Sale High Estimate £2168500
Total Lots Sold 23
Total Lots Bought In 13
Buy In % 36.11%
Total Sale Proceeds £1044625

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 £4000
Total Proceeds from Low Lots £2375
Mid Total Lots 22
Total Mid Lots Sold 15
Total Mid Lots Bought In 7
Mid Buy In % 31.82%
Aggregate High Estimate of Mid Lots £274500
Total Proceeds from Mid Lots £213500
Total High Lots 13
Total High Lots Sold 7
Total High Lots Bought In 6
High Buy In % 46.15%
Aggregate High Estimate of High Lots £1890000
Total Proceeds from High Lots £828750

The top lot by High estimate was tied between two lots: lot 33, John Baldessari, Voided Person with Guns at Head (Flanked by Confrontations), 1990, and lot 154, Andreas Gursky, Jumeirah Palm, 2008, both estimated at £300000-400000; the Baldessari sold at £278500 and was tied with lot 43, Richard Prince, Untitled (Cowboy), 1987, estimated at £180000-250000, as the top photography outcome of the sales. The Gursky did not sell.

91.30% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range and there were two surprises in the sales (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate):

Lot 370, James Welling, #1A, #22, 1998, estimated at £4000-6000, sold at £16250 (image above, left, via Sotheby’s)

Lot 397, Susan Hiller, Inside a Cave Home, Coober Pedy South Australian Desert, 1983, estimated at £7000-9000, sold at £20000(image above, right, via Sotheby’s)

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

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