Auction Results: Fine Photographs: Icons & Images, October 17, 2014 @Swann

The results from the photography sale at Swann last week were somewhat less than inspiring. Aside from two vintage Ruth Bernhard prints from the 1970s that unexpectedly jumped to big prices, there were few moments of excitement in this sale. The overall Buy-In rate hovered at roughly one-third, and with general softness at the mid and high price points, the Total Sale Proceeds missed the pre-sale estimate range by a decent margin.

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

Summary Statistics
Total Lots 334
Aggregate Pre Sale Low Estimate $1747800
Aggregate Pre Sale High Estimate $2557000
Total Lots Sold 223
Total Lots Bought In 111
Buy In % 33.23%
Total Sale Proceeds $1457990

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

Detailed Breakdown
Low Total Lots 280
Total Low Lots Sold 95
Total Low Lots Bought In 85
Low Buy In % 30.36%
Aggregate High Estimate of Low Lots $1463000
Total Proceeds from Low Lots $952540
Mid Total Lots 52
Total Mid Lots Sold 27
Total Mid Lots Bought In 25
Mid Buy In % 48.08%
Aggregate High Estimate of Mid Lots $959000
Total Proceeds from Mid Lots $448250
Total High Lots 2
Total High Lots Sold 1
Total High Lots Bought In 1
High Buy In % 50.00%
Aggregate High Estimate of High Lots $135000
Total Proceeds from High Lots $57200

The top lot by High estimate was lot 205, Roy DeCarava, Portfolio entitled Roy DeCarava (12 photogravures), 1950-1979/1991, estimated at $50000-75000; it was also the top outcome of the sale at $57200.

87.00% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range and there were a total of 9 positive surprises in the sale (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate):

Lot 14, Eadweard Muybridge, Woman carrying a bucket from Animal Locomotion, 1887, estimated at $1000-1500, sold at $3750

Lot 48, Man Ray, The transvestite Barbette, 1926/1970s, estimated at $3000-4500, sold at $10000 (image above, middle, via Swann)

Lot 90, Carl Van Vechten, Group of 86 photographs, 1939, estimated at $1800-2200, sold at $6500

Lot 155, George Platt Lynes, Portrait of Yul Brenner, 1942, estimated at $1200-1800, sold at $6000 (image above, right, via Swann)

Lot 183, Ruth Orkin, American Girl in Italy, 1951/later, estimated at $1000-1500, sold at $3750

Lot 246, Various, Mother Jones International Fund for Documentary Photography: Civil Rights Portfolio, 1942-1968, estimated at $3500-4500, sold at $10400

Lot 257, Ruth Bernhard, With Turban No. 1, 1971, estimated at $3000-4500, sold at $21250

Lot 265, Ruth Bernhard, Balancing, 1971/1970s, estimated at $3500-5500, sold at $23750 (image above, left, via Swann)

Lot 282, Helmut Newton, Number 11, estimated at $1500-2500, sold at $6500

Complete lot by lot results can be found here.

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Read more about: George Platt Lynes, Man Ray, Ruth Bernhard, Swann Auction Galleries

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