Auction Results: Contemporary Curated, March 2, 2017 @Sotheby’s

The photography available in Sotheby’s recent Contemporary Curated sale in New York generally stumbled on all the measures we use to track success – the top photo lot failed to sell, the overall photo Buy-In rate was high (40%), and there were no positive surprises to pick up the sack. As a result, the Total Sale Proceeds for photography fell well below the aggregate pre-sale low estimate, coming in at just over $370K against a low estimate of roughly $680K.

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

Summary Statistics
Total Lots 25
Aggregate Pre Sale Low Estimate $686000
Aggregate Pre Sale High Estimate $952000
Total Lots Sold 15
Total Lots Bought In 10
Buy In % 40.00%
Total Sale Proceeds $376250

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

Detailed Breakdown
Low Total Lots 3
Total Low Lots Sold 2
Total Low Lots Bought In 1
Low Buy In % 33.33%
Aggregate High Estimate of Low Lots $22000
Total Proceeds from Low Lots $17500
Mid Total Lots 17
Total Mid Lots Sold 10
Total Mid Lots Bought In 7
Mid Buy In % 41.18%
Aggregate High Estimate of Mid Lots $460000
Total Proceeds from Mid Lots $208750
Total High Lots 5
Total High Lots Sold 3
Total High Lots Bought In 2
High Buy In % 40.00%
Aggregate High Estimate of High Lots $470000
Total Proceeds from High Lots $150000

The top lot by High estimate was lot 226, Richard Prince, Untitled (Portrait), 2014, estimated at $150000-200000 (image in preview post); it did not sell. The top photographic outcome in the sale was lot 24, Gerhard Richter, Untitled (5.5.89), 1989, estimated at $40000-60000, sold at $62500 (image in preview post).

Only 66.67% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range and there were no positive surprises in the sale (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate). The closest thing to a positive surprise was lot 288, Cindy Sherman, Untitled, 1999, estimated at $6000-8000, sold at $11250 (image above via Sotheby’s).

The complete lot by lot results can be found here.

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Read more about: Cindy Sherman, Gerhard Richter, Sotheby's

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