Auction Results: Contemporary Art Evening and Day Sales, October 14 and 15, 2015 @Phillips London

When every photography lot in the top price tier sells and the entire Evening Sale goes white glove, a moment of near perfect auction house bliss descends. This unlikely double rainbow occurred at last week’s Evening and Day sales of Contemporary Art at Phillips in London. Against a prevailing funk that had descended over the recent photography sales in New York, these sales performed admirably, with an overall Buy-In rate for photography under 20% and complete sell through for the top end lots. While there were few positive surprises, they weren’t really needed in this case – even without an unexpected bump, the Total Sale Proceeds found their way to the top end of the pre-sale range.

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

Summary Statistics
Total Lots 31
Aggregate Pre Sale Low Estimate £1515000
Aggregate Pre Sale High Estimate £2198000
Total Lots Sold 25
Total Lots Bought In 6
Buy In % 19.35%
Total Sale Proceeds £1958625

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 £3000
Total Proceeds from Low Lots £2500
Mid Total Lots 16
Total Mid Lots Sold 10
Total Mid Lots Bought In 6
Mid Buy In % 37.50%
Aggregate High Estimate of Mid Lots £240000
Total Proceeds from Mid Lots £164125
Total High Lots 14
Total High Lots Sold 14
Total High Lots Bought In 0
High Buy In % 0.00%
Aggregate High Estimate of High Lots £1955000
Total Proceeds from High Lots £1792000

The top photography lot by High estimate was lot 4, Richard Prince, Untitled (Cowboy), 1980-1986, estimated at £500000-700000; it was also the top photography outcome of the two sales at £602500 (image in preview post).

96.00% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range and there were a total of 2 positive surprises in the sales (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate) (image above via Phillips):

Lot 143, Adam Fuss, Untitled, 1990, estimated at £10000-15000, sold at £43750

Lot 196, Carol Bove, Strawberries Need Rain (After Dark Photo Collage), 2003, estimated at £4000-6000, sold at £20000 (image in preview post)

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

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