Auction Results Fall 2008: Saturday @Phillips, Bonhams & Butterfields, and Yann Le Mouel

It’s time for a results roundup from the auctions in the past few weeks. We’ll cover three sales: Saturday @Phillips (New York), Bonhams & Butterfields (New York/San Francisco) and Yann Le Mouel (Paris). All results include the buyer’s premium.

Saturday @Phillips

Total Lots: 524
Total Photo Lots: 111
Photo % (By Lot): 21.18%
Pre Sale Low Total Estimate (Photo Only): $235100
Pre Sale High Total Estimate (Photo Only): $334700

Total Photo Lots Sold: 74
Total Photo Lots Bought In: 37
Buy In %: 33.33%
Total Sale Proceeds: $794313
Total Sale Proceeds (Photo Only): $193688
Photo % (By Dollar): 24.38%

The photography in this sale performed just fine, with a generally satisfactory buy-in rate (given the times). I think this is a result of a solid and well chosen group of pictures and a focus on a different group of collectors. Additionally, the photo lots more than carried their weight (21.18% by lots, but 24.38% by proceeds). Unfortunately, on such a small base, it’s still only a few thousand dollars.

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

Low Total Lots: 110
Low Sold: 73
Low Bought In: 37
Buy In %: 33.64%
Total Low Estimate: $322700
Total Low Sold: $184313

Mid Total Lots: 1
Mid Sold: 1
Mid Bought In: 0
Buy In %: 0.00%
Total Mid Estimate: $12000
Total Mid Sold: $9375

High Total Lots: 0
High Sold: 0
High Bought In: 0
Buy In %: 0.00%
Total High Estimate: $0
Total High Sold: $0

Not much to say here, beyond the numbers, as it was a low end sale by design, and performed adequately as such.

Bonhams & Butterfields

Total Lots: 222
Pre Sale Low Total Estimate: $1004800
Pre Sale High Total Estimate: $1439000

Total Lots Sold: 111
Total Lots Bought In: 111
Buy In %: 50.00%
Total Sale Proceeds: $602580

Bonhams & Butterfields’ 50% buy-in rate was the highest among the US based houses this season, and the approximately $600000 in proceeds was pretty far below their expectations, so I’d guess that they’re disappointed with these results. Perhaps it was a function of being the last in line and buyers having already folded up their wallets and gone home.

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

Low Total Lots: 202
Low Sold: 100
Low Bought In: 102
Buy In %: 50.50%
Total Low Estimate: $965000
Total Low Sold: $397380

Mid Total Lots: 19
Mid Sold: 11
Mid Bought In: 8
Buy In %: 42.11%
Total Mid Estimate: $384000
Total Mid Sold: $151200

High Total Lots: 1
High Sold: 1
High Bought In: 0
Buy In %: 0.00%
Total High Estimate: $90000
Total High Sold: $54000

The numbers above are pretty ugly all around. Sitting in the room must have been painful.

Yann Le Mouel

Total Lots: 322
Pre Sale Low Total Estimate: 649200 Euros
Pre Sale High Total Estimate: 872800 Euros

Total Lots Sold: 147
Total Lots Bought In: 175
Buy In %: 54.35%
Total Sale Proceeds: 295080 Euros

The numbers for Yann Le Mouel are actually a bit hard to parse through, as nearly 40 unexpected lots (?) were added the day of the sale (most were bought in), but only show up as results without estimates or lot information. In addition, the results are posted as hammer only, so I’ve grossed them up to include the premium. That said, no amount of massaging the numbers will make them look any better. This was a dismal outing, with less than half the lots selling and less than half the low estimate being realized as proceeds.

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

Low Total Lots: 310
Low Sold: 144
Low Bought In: 166
Buy In %: 53.55%
Total Low Estimate: 546800 Euros
Total Low Sold: 239880 Euros

Mid Total Lots: 10
Mid Sold: 3
Mid Bought In: 7
Buy In %: 70.00%
Total Mid Estimate: 206000 Euros
Total Mid Sold: 55200 Euros

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

Whether this sale is a bellwether for a softer European market is still unknown. We have the London and various German sales coming up in the next few weeks, so we’ll have to wait and see if this sale is at all representative of the overall tenor of the market. Since the quality of the material in this sale was weaker than that of the stronger upcoming sales, I’m not sure we can draw many conclusions from this data, except that the whole market has pulled back substantially.

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