Auction Results: Contemporary Day Auction, October 13, 2023 @Sotheby’s London

With no photography lots in either the Now Evening or the Contemporary Art Evening auctions at Sotheby’s last week in London, the Day sale was the only venue for photography collectors to track. The results were generally uneventful, with a work by Gilbert & George taking the top photo lot honors just above its estimate range and just one positive surprise. All of the photographs on offer found buyers, so the overall Buy-In rate was a tidy 0.00%, but that number is slightly deceiving, as two photo lots (works by Thomas Ruff and Florian Maier-Aichen) were withdrawn prior to the sale. When the tally was complete, the Total Sale Proceeds for photography (of roughly £275K) fell squarely in the middle of the aggregate pre-sale estimate range.

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

Summary Statistics
Total Lots 7
Aggregate Pre Sale Low Estimate £219000
Aggregate Pre Sale High Estimate £300000
Total Lots Sold 7
Total Lots Bought In 0
Buy In % 0.00%
Total Sale Proceeds £273685

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

Detailed Breakdown
Low Total Lots 2
Total Low Lots Sold 2
Total Low Lots Bought In 0
Low Buy In % 0.00%
Aggregate High Estimate of Low Lots £15000
Total Proceeds from Low Lots £33655
Mid Total Lots 2
Total Mid Lots Sold 2
Total Mid Lots Bought In 0
Mid Buy In % 0.00%
Aggregate High Estimate of Mid Lots £55000
Total Proceeds from Mid Lots £48260
Total High Lots 3
Total High Lots Sold 3
Total High Lots Bought In 0
High Buy In % 0.00%
Aggregate High Estimate of High Lots £230000
Total Proceeds from High Lots £191770

The top photography lot by High estimate was tied between two lots, each estimated at £60000-80000: lot 254, Richard Prince, Untitled (Legs), 1977, and lot 282, Gilbert & George, Tops, 1988; the Prince work sold at £60960 while the Gilbert & George work was the top photography outcome of the sale at £82550 (image above, via Sotheby’s).

85.71% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range and there was  1 positive surprise in the sales (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate) (image above, via Sotheby’s):

Lot 262, Mona Hatoum, Over My Dead Body, 1988-2002, estimated at £6000-8000, sold at £27940

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

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Read more about: Gilbert and George, Mona Hatoum, Sotheby's

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