Auction Results: Fine Photographs, March 11, 2021 @Swann

With more than 400 lots on offer, the Fine Photographs sale at Swann last week was a high volume affair. A horizontal variant of Dorothea Lange’s Migrant Mother took the top lot honors, and with a total of 17 positive surprises to help amplify the momentum, the Total Sale Proceeds (of roughly $1.4M) came in above 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 406
Aggregate Pre Sale Low Estimate $1304900
Aggregate Pre Sale High Estimate $1945700
Total Lots Sold 314
Total Lots Bought In 92
Buy In % 22.66%
Total Sale Proceeds $1400802

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

Detailed Breakdown
Low Total Lots 379
Total Low Lots Sold 292
Total Low Lots Bought In 87
Low Buy In % 22.96%
Aggregate High Estimate of Low Lots $1461700
Total Proceeds from Low Lots $995127
Mid Total Lots 27
Total Mid Lots Sold 22
Total Mid Lots Bought In 5
Mid Buy In % 18.52%
Aggregate High Estimate of Mid Lots $484000
Total Proceeds from Mid Lots $405675
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 tied between two lots, each estimated at $25000-35000: lot 255, Ansel Adams, Portfolio V, 1936-1960/1970, and lot 282, Irving Penn, Tulip/Tulipa: China Pink, New York, 2006. The Adams portfolio did not sell, while the Penn floral sold at $32500. The top outcome of the sale was lot 53, Dorothea Lange, Migrant Mother (horizontal), 1936, estimated at $20000-30000, sold at $68750 (image above, via Swann).

73.57% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range and there were a total of 17 positive surprises in the sale (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate). Seven of these lots came in the vernacular imagery section (lot 335, (Daredevil Photographer), lot 339 (Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec), lot 345 M. Mumeya – China), lot 347, (China), lot 356, (Boston Blaze), lot 391, (Beefcakes & Bodybuilders), and lot 396 (Atomic Bomb – Manhattan Project)). The 10 positive surprises in fine photographs/photobooks were as follows (images above via Swann):

Lot 33, František Drtikol, Harlequin, 1919, estimated at $2500-3500, sold at $7000

Lot 53, Dorothea Lange, Migrant Mother (horizontal), 1936, estimated at $20000-30000, sold at $68750

Lot 72, Walker Evans, Maine Pump, 1933/1974, estimated at $1500-2500, sold at $6500

Lot 87, Margaret Bourke-White, Group of three photographs from Czechoslovakia, 1937-1938, estimated at $1200-1800, sold at $6500

Lot 130, Roger Mayne, Boys, Leeds, England, 1958/1959, estimated at $2000-3000, sold at $6750

Lot 138, Willy Ronis, Le Petit Parisien, 1952/2005, estimated at $2000-3000, sold at $8125

Lot 280, Emmet Gowin, A trio of photographs from Mount Saint Helen’s series, 1980-1981, estimated at $4000-6000, sold at $12500

Lot 283, Evelyn Hofer, Isabella, 1969/1982, estimated at $1000-1500, sold at $5250

Lot 303, William Eggleston, Untitled, from True Stories, c1986, estimated at $2500-3500, sold at $7500

Lot 309, Cindy Sherman, Nipple with Diamond, 1990-1991, estimated at $1000-1500, sold at $3000

The complete lot by lot results can be found here.

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Read more about: Cindy Sherman, Dorothea Lange, Emmet Gowin, Evelyn Hofer, František Drtikol, Margaret Bourke-White, Roger Mayne, Walker Evans, William Eggleston, Willy Ronis, Swann Auction Galleries

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