Auction Results: Contemporary Discoveries, December 15, 2022 @Sotheby’s (online)

Softness in the upper price tiers dampened the photography results from the recent Contemporary Discoveries online sale at Sotheby’s last week. While the top lot Matthew Barney print failed to sell, two Gerhard Richter black-and-white abstractions doubled their high estimates to share the top lot honors. With an overall Buy-In rate for photography of 30%, the Total Sale Proceeds for photography (of roughly $375K) fell 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 60
Aggregate Pre Sale Low Estimate $516000
Aggregate Pre Sale High Estimate $768000
Total Lots Sold 41
Total Lots Bought In 18
Buy In % 30.00%
Total Sale Proceeds $376614

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

Detailed Breakdown
Low Total Lots 39
Total Low Lots Sold 31
Total Low Lots Bought In 8
Low Buy In % 20.51%
Aggregate High Estimate of Low Lots $238000
Total Proceeds from Low Lots $125874
Mid Total Lots 19
Total Mid Lots Sold 10
Total Mid Lots Bought In 9
Mid Buy In % 47.37%
Aggregate High Estimate of Mid Lots $450000
Total Proceeds from Mid Lots $250740
Total High Lots 1
Total High Lots Sold 0
Total High Lots Bought In 1
High Buy In % 100.00%
Aggregate High Estimate of High Lots $80000
Total Proceeds from High Lots $0

The top photography lot by High estimate was lot 92, Matthew Barney, CR 1: Ms Goodyear, 1995, estimated at $50000-70000; it did not sell. The top photography outcome in the sale was tied between two lots: lot 73, Gerhard Richter, Untitled (2.11), 1989, estimated at $20000-30000, and lot 82, Gerhard Richter, Untitled (7.11), 1989, estimated at $20000-30000; both lots sold at $60480 (images above, via Sotheby’s.)

Just 53.66% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range and there were a total of 3 positives surprise in the sale (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate) (image above, via Sothebys):

Lot 73, Gerhard Richter, Untitled (2.11), 1989, estimated at $20000-30000, sold at $60480

Lot 82, Gerhard Richter, Untitled (7.11), 1989, estimated at $20000-30000, sold at $60480

Lot 109, Roxanne Lowit, Three Models in a Tub, Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington, Linda Evangelista, Paris, 1990, estimated at $4000-6000, sold at $22680

The complete lot by lot results can be found here.

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Read more about: Gerhard Richter, Roxanne Lowit, Sotheby's

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