Auction Results: Fine Photographs, May 16, 2024 @Swann

Two $100K+ outcomes for Cindy Sherman and Dorothea Lange prints led the way at the recent Fine Photographs sale at Swann last week in New York. With an overall Buy-In rate near 30% and some general softness throughout, even with more than a dozen positive surprises, the Total Sale Proceeds (of just over $1M) came in 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 316
Aggregate Pre Sale Low Estimate $1195400
Aggregate Pre Sale High Estimate $1779050
Total Lots Sold 223
Total Lots Bought In 93
Buy In % 29.43%
Total Sale Proceeds $1060254

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

Detailed Breakdown
Low Total Lots 295
Total Low Lots Sold 209
Total Low Lots Bought In 86
Low Buy In % 29.15%
Aggregate High Estimate of Low Lots $1065050
Total Proceeds from Low Lots $652179
Mid Total Lots 19
Total Mid Lots Sold 12
Total Mid Lots Bought In 7
Mid Buy In % 36.84%
Aggregate High Estimate of Mid Lots $384000
Total Proceeds from Mid Lots $170575
Total High Lots 2
Total High Lots Sold 2
Total High Lots Bought In 0
High Buy In % 0.00%
Aggregate High Estimate of High Lots $330000
Total Proceeds from High Lots $237500

The top lot by High estimate was lot 176, Cindy Sherman, Untitled Film Still #52, 1979, estimated at $120000-180000; it was also the top outcome of the sale at $125000 (image above, via Swann).

71.30% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range and there were a total of 13 positive surprises in the sale (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate)(images above via Swann):

Lot 7, Julia Margaret Cameron, A Study of the Cenci, 1870, estimated at $3000-4500, sold at $10400

Lot 46, Marion Post Wolcott, Kitchen in Negro tenant home. Mileston Plantation, Mississippi Delta, Mississippi, 1939, estimated at $1000-1500, sold at $3500

Lot 84, Godfrey Frankel, NYC, El Station, 1947/1950, estimated at $500-750, sold at $3640

Lot 86, Joe Schwartz, Miss America, Ocean Hill, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, 1940s, estimated at $700-1000, sold at $3000

Lot 127, Michael Kenna, Daybreak, Vaux le Vicomte, France, 1996, estimated at $1000-1500, sold at $3000

Lot 148, Gisele Freund, Portrait of Virginia Woolf, 1939/early 1980s, estimated at $1200-1800, sold at $4000

Lot 153, Gjon Mili, Pablo Picasso Drawing with Light, c1948, estimated at $3000-4500, sold at $11250

Lot 157, Victor Skrebneski, Bette Davis, 1971, estimated at $2000-3000, sold at $8125

Lot 164, Dennis Stock, Portrait of the American jazz musician Miles Davis, 1958/2000s, estimated at $700-1000, sold at $3000

Lot 218, George Platt Lynes, Lew Christensen as Orfeo, c1938, estimated at $2000-3000, sold at $7800

Lot 238, Werner Rhode, Wachspuppenkopf (wax dollhead), 1929, estimated at $1200-1800, sold at $5250

Lot 296, Jan Groover, Peppers, 1979, estimated at $1000-1500, sold at $3500

Lot 312, Robert A. Cumins, World Trade Center, September 11, 2001, 2001/later, estimated at $1500-2500, sold at $5250

The complete lot by lot results can be found here.

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Read more about: Cindy Sherman, Dennis Stock, George Platt Lynes, Gisele Freund, Gjon Mili, Godfrey Frankel, Jan Groover, Joe Schwartz, Julia Margaret Cameron, Marion Post Wolcott, Michael Kenna, Victor Skrebneski, Werner Rhode, Swann Auction Galleries

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