Auction Results: Contemporary Photographs, October 3, 2018 @Sotheby’s

The massive (nearly 49%) Buy-In rate should have derailed the recent Contemporary Photographs sale at Sotheby’s in New York, but a few sales in the top price tier and a handful of well placed positive surprises helped to prop up what otherwise should have been a troubled sale. In the end, the Total Sale Proceeds fell at the lower end of the aggregate pre-sale range.

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

Summary Statistics
Total Lots 76
Aggregate Pre Sale Low Estimate $1213000
Aggregate Pre Sale High Estimate $1801000
Total Lots Sold 39
Total Lots Bought In 37
Buy In % 48.68%
Total Sale Proceeds $1252750

Here is the breakdown (using our typical Low, Mid, and High definitions):

Detailed Breakdown
Low Total Lots 28
Total Low Lots Sold 10
Total Low Lots Bought In 18
Low Buy In % 64.29%
Aggregate High Estimate of Low Lots $216000
Total Proceeds from Low Lots $87000
Mid Total Lots 41
Total Mid Lots Sold 23
Total Mid Lots Bought In 18
Mid Buy In % 43.90%
Aggregate High Estimate of Mid Lots $1025000
Total Proceeds from Mid Lots $628250
Total High Lots 7
Total High Lots Sold 6
Total High Lots Bought In 1
High Buy In % 14.29%
Aggregate High Estimate of High Lots $560000
Total Proceeds from High Lots $537500

The top lot by High estimate was lot 48, Andreas Gursky, Gardasee (Lake Garda Panorama), 1986-1993, estimated at $80000-120000; it sold at $125000. The top outcome of the sale was lot 24, Michael Dweck, Sonya, Poles (Montauk), 2002/2010, estimated at $50000-70000, sold at $168750 (images above via Sotheby’s).

74.36% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range and there were a total of 4 positive surprises in the sale (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate) (images above via Sotheby’s):

Lot 24, Michael Dweck, Sonya, Poles (Montauk), 2002/2010, estimated at $50000-70000, sold at $168750

Lot 40, Catherine Opie, Untitled #5 (Icehouses), 2001, estimated at $20000-30000, sold at $125000

Lot 41, Catherine Opie, Untitled #6 (Icehouses), 2001, estimated at $20000-30000, sold at $81250

Lot 56, Pierre Keller, Keith Haring and Andy Warhol, 1985, estimated at $4000-6000, sold at $40000

The complete lot by lot results can be found here.

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Read more about: Andreas Gursky, Catherine Opie, Michael Dweck, Pierre Keller, Sotheby's

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