Auction Results: Contemporary Curated, March 6, 2020 @Sotheby’s

Sotheby’s had by far the most photography available in its Contemporary Curated sale in New York last week, as compared to the offerings of its competitors. And while the low and mid range lots performed well, there was enough softness in the highest price tier to dampen the overall results. The top lot Andres Gursky print did not sell, and the top price tier had a Buy-In rate of over 45%, leading to Total Sale Proceeds for photography of just over $1M, meaningfully below 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 24
Aggregate Pre Sale Low Estimate $1538000
Aggregate Pre Sale High Estimate $2235000
Total Lots Sold 19
Total Lots Bought In 5
Buy In % 20.83%
Total Sale Proceeds $1081250

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

Detailed Breakdown
Low Total Lots 0
Total Low Lots Sold NA
Total Low Lots Bought In NA
Low Buy In % NA
Aggregate High Estimate of Low Lots $0
Total Proceeds from Low Lots $0
Mid Total Lots 13
Total Mid Lots Sold 13
Total Mid Lots Bought In 0
Mid Buy In % 0.00%
Aggregate High Estimate of Mid Lots $445000
Total Proceeds from Mid Lots $521250
Total High Lots 11
Total High Lots Sold 6
Total High Lots Bought In 5
High Buy In % 45.45%
Aggregate High Estimate of High Lots $1790000
Total Proceeds from High Lots $560000

The top lot by High estimate was lot 265, Andreas Gursky, Pyongyang II, 2007, estimated at $400000-600000; it did not sell. The top photography outcome of the sale was lot 263, Gerhard Richter, 12. Dec. 99 (Firenze), 1999, estimated at $30000-40000, sold at $137500 (image above, via Sotheby’s.)

Just 68.42% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range and there was just 1 positive surprise in the sale (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate):

Lot 263, Gerhard Richter, 12. Dec. 99 (Firenze), 1999, estimated at $30000-40000, sold at $137500

The complete lot by lot results can be found here.

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