Auction Results: Fine Photographs: Featuring 100 Works from the Stephen White Collection, April 27, 2023 @Swann

Even with more than a dozen positive surprises, the results from the photographs sale at Swann last week were largely uneventful. The top lot Helmut Newton print found a buyer within its estimate range and the overall Buy-In rate hovered in the mid-thirties, neither strong nor particularly weak. Softness in the higher priced lots ultimately dragged the numbers down a bit, with the Total Sale Proceeds (of roughly $975K) falling 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 325
Aggregate Pre Sale Low Estimate $1148600
Aggregate Pre Sale High Estimate $1709350
Total Lots Sold 207
Total Lots Bought In 118
Buy In % 36.31%
Total Sale Proceeds $975824

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

Detailed Breakdown
Low Total Lots 299
Total Low Lots Sold 192
Total Low Lots Bought In 107
Low Buy In % 35.79%
Aggregate High Estimate of Low Lots $1178350
Total Proceeds from Low Lots $724699
Mid Total Lots 26
Total Mid Lots Sold 15
Total Mid Lots Bought In 11
Mid Buy In % 42.31%
Aggregate High Estimate of Mid Lots $531000
Total Proceeds from Mid Lots $251125
Total High Lots 0
Total High Lots Sold NA
Total High Lots Bought In NA
High Buy In % NA
Aggregate High Estimate of High Lots $0
Total Proceeds from High Lots $0

The top lot by High estimate was lot 224, Helmut Newton, Rue Aubriot (i), Yves St. Laurent, Haute Couture Collection, Paris1975/2000s, estimated at $30000-45000; it was also the top outcome of the sale at $37500 (image above, via Swann).

78.74% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range and there were a total of 18 positive surprises in the sale (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate). Two of these lots were vernacular imagery (lot 60, First Flight, and lot 122, World War I – Ernest Brooks & Thomas Keith Aitken). The 16 positive surprises in fine photographs/photobooks were as follows (images above via Swann):

Lot 28, Thomas H. Johnson, Von’ Storch Shaft, the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company, 1863-1865, estimated at $4000-6000, sold at $12500

Lot 32, Frank A. Rinehart, Dance Bonnet and Scalp Lock, 1899, estimated at $1000-2000, sold at $5250

Lot 55, Alice Boughton, William Butler Yeats reading a book, 1904, estimated at $2000-3000, sold at $6500

Lot 75, Edward Steichen, Mine Craters Combres Hill, 1918-1919, estimated at $1000-2000, sold at $10625

Lot 153, Alfred Stieglitz, In the New York Central Yards, 1903/1907, estimated at $1000-1500, sold at $4250

Lot 173, Roy DeCarava, Man Coming Up Subway Stairs, 1952, estimated at $8000-12000, sold at $32500

Lot 185, Garry Winogrand, A selection of 8 photographs from the series Women are Beautiful, 1960s-1970s/c1980, estimated at $5000-7500, sold at $16250

Lot 206, Jim Marshall, Janis Joplin, Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco, 1968/2000, estimated at $2000-3000, sold at $6750

Lot 213, George Dureau, Robert Mapplethorpe Shirtless #1, 1985, estimated at $2500-3500, sold at $7500

Lot 223, Richard Avedon, Avedon: Photographs 1947-1977, 1978, estimated at $800-1200, sold at $3500

Lot 236, Ralph Eugene Meatyard, Untitled (Boy in window of barn), 1960, estimated at $3000-4500, sold at $11700

Lot 242, Arthur Tress, Man [Tava] and Ocelot, New York, 1978/1990, estimated at $1000-1500, sold at $4000

Lot 245, Ansel Adams, Lyell Fork Meadows, 1927, estimated at $2000-3000, sold at $6500

Lot 268, Eugène Atget, Marché Edgar Quinet, 1910, estimated at $3000-4500, sold at $9375

Lot 273, Lotte Jacobi, Kurfürstendamm, Berlin, 1932, estimated at $2000-3000, sold at $6250

Lot 305, Jerry Uelsmann, Untitled (boat below waterfall), 1997, estimated at $2000-3000, sold at $6500

The complete lot by lot results can be found here.

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Read more about: Alfred Stieglitz, Alice Boughton, Ansel Adams, Arthur Tress, Edward Steichen, Eugène Atget, Frank A. Rinehart, Garry Winogrand, George Dureau, Helmut Newton, Jerry Uelsmann, Jim Marshall, Lotte Jacobi, Ralph Eugene Meatyard, Richard Avedon, Roy DeCarava, Swann Auction Galleries

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