Auction Results: Bloomsbury London, Rago, and Phillips London

We’ve got three additional photography sales to cover from last week: Bloomsbury London, Rago, and Phillips London. All results include the buyer’s premium.

Bloomsbury London

Total Lots: 302
Pre Sale Low Total Estimate: 434100 Pounds
Pre Sale High Total Estimate: 632300 Pounds

Total Lots Sold: 126
Total Lots Bought In: 176
Buy In %: 58.28%
Total Sale Proceeds: 181344 Pounds

Like the drubbing at Sotheby’s London earlier in the week, this sale was pretty disastrous all over. Even the things that did sell often sold well below their Low estimates. With only about 30000 Pounds of premium, I imagine this sale was awfully close to failing to break even against the auction house’s costs plus overhead.

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

Low Total Lots: 287
Low Sold: 121
Low Bought In: 166
Buy In %: 57.84%
Total Low Estimate: 506300 Pounds
Total Low Sold: 128970 Pounds

Mid Total Lots: 15
Mid Sold: 5
Mid Bought In: 10
Buy In %: 66.67%
Total Mid Estimate: 126000 Pounds
Total Mid Sold: 22150 Pounds

High Total Lots: 0
High Sold: 0
High Bought In: 0
Buy In %: NA
Total High Estimate: 0 Pounds
Total High Sold: 0 Pounds

I think the lesson here is (again) about needing to source high quality material. There just weren’t enough great pictures in this sale to draw out the buyers.

Rago

Total Lots: 301
Pre Sale Low Total Estimate: $963900
Pre Sale High Total Estimate: $1453600

Total Lots Sold: 203
Total Lots Bought In: 98
Buy In %: 32.56%
Total Sale Proceeds: $505290

As a reminder, this was the Dan Berley sale, with many solid images and portfolios on offer at generally low estimates, so it’s a little surprising that this sale performed only passingly well, even in these tough economic times.

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

Low Total Lots: 277
Low Sold: 205
Low Bought In: 72
Buy In %: 25.99%
Total Low Estimate: $857600
Total Low Sold: $377490

Mid Total Lots: 22
Mid Sold: 8
Mid Bought In: 14
Buy In %: 63.64%
Total Mid Estimate: $476000
Total Mid Sold: $127800

High Total Lots: 2
High Sold: 0
High Bought In: 2
Buy In %: 100.00%
Total High Estimate: $120000
Total High Sold: $0

The Mid and High ranges performed quite poorly here, and many Low lots sold for under their Low estimates, which together clearly impacted the total proceeds. My guess is that the overall buyer turnout was weak, ultimately driving down prices.

Phillips London

Total Lots: 188
Pre Sale Low Total Estimate: 1105500 Pounds
Pre Sale High Total Estimate: 1623500 Pounds

Total Lots Sold: 127
Total Lots Bought In: 61
Buy In %: 32.45%
Total Sale Proceeds: 1003951 Pounds

The sale was a grab bag of different styles and periods, but the targeting seems to have produced a solid outcome.

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

Low Total Lots: 98
Low Sold: 65
Low Bought In: 33
Buy In %: 33.67%
Total Low Estimate: 296500 Pounds
Total Low Sold: 160876 Pounds

Mid Total Lots: 81
Mid Sold: 54
Mid Bought In: 27
Buy In %: 29.63%
Total Mid Estimate: 807000 Pounds
Total Mid Sold: 608125 Pounds

High Total Lots: 9
High Sold: 5
High Bought In: 4
Buy In %: 44.44%
Total High Estimate: 520000 Pounds
Total High Sold: 234950 Pounds

The Mid range really carried this sale. There were actually quite a number of lots that sold above their High estimates, which has been virtually unheard of this auction season. Credit here goes to the Phillips team for digging out some unexpected material for which stingy buyers were willing to open their wallets.

NOTE: This will be the last post this week, given the Thanksgiving holiday. We’ll be back on Monday, December 1st, with a review of Cindy Sherman’s new exhibit at Metro Pictures.

Send this article to a friend

Read more about: Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions, Phillips ~ 450 Park, Rago Arts and Auction

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

Recent Articles

Auction Results: The Eye That Shapes: Further Selections from the Peter C. Bunnell Collection, February 1, 2023 @Phillips (online)

Auction Results: The Eye That Shapes: Further Selections from the Peter C. Bunnell Collection, February 1, 2023 @Phillips (online)

Phillips got the 2023 auction year for photography going earlier this week with an early season, no reserve sale of works from the collection of former MoMA and Princeton University ... Read on.

Sign up for our weekly email newsletter