Auction Results: Fine Photographs, October 20, 2022 @Swann

A rare vintage print of Dorothea Lange’s “Migrant Mother” headlined the recent Fine Photographs sale at Swann in New York, and delivered a frothy $300K outcome to buoy up the results of the sale. The rest of the action was quite a bit more predictable, with an overall Buy-In rate of roughly a third, a cluster of positive surprises, and a tally of the Total Sale Proceeds (of roughly $1.15M) that fell just 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 314
Aggregate Pre Sale Low Estimate $1124200
Aggregate Pre Sale High Estimate $1673250
Total Lots Sold 210
Total Lots Bought In 104
Buy In % 33.12%
Total Sale Proceeds $1156559

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

Detailed Breakdown
Low Total Lots 294
Total Low Lots Sold 197
Total Low Lots Bought In 97
Low Buy In % 32.99%
Aggregate High Estimate of Low Lots $1153250
Total Proceeds from Low Lots $642609
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 $370000
Total Proceeds from Mid Lots $208950
Total High Lots 1
Total High Lots Sold 1
Total High Lots Bought In 0
High Buy In % 0.00%
Aggregate High Estimate of High Lots $150000
Total Proceeds from High Lots $305000

The top lot by High estimate was lot 114, Dorothea Lange, Migrant Mother, Nipomo, California (Destitute pea pickers in California. Mother of seven children. Age 32)1936, estimated at $100000-150000; it was also the top outcome of the sale at $305000 (image above, via Swann).

72.38% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range and there were a total of 11 positive surprises in the sale (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate). Three of these lots were vernacular imagery (lot 3, New Zealand, lot 25, Impressionism, and lot 69, Femme Fatale & Queen of the Night). The 8 positive surprises in fine photographs were as follows (images above via Swann):

Lot 11, Timothy O’Sullivan, Group of 6 Geological Survey photographs, 1873-1874, estimated at $4000-6000, sold at $17500

Lot 81, Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Los Obstáculos, 1929/1970s, estimated at $2000-3000, sold at $6750

Lot 112, Andreas Feininger, 9th Avenue Elevated, 9th Ave between 14th Street and 19th St., 1940, estimated at $2500-3500, sold at $7250

Lot 114, Dorothea Lange, Migrant Mother, Nipomo, California (Destitute pea pickers in California. Mother of seven children. Age 32)1936, estimated at $100000-150000, sold at $305000

Lot 153, Fan Ho, Different Directions, Hong Kong, 1958, estimated at $3000-4500, sold at $9375

Lot 175, Robert Frank, Backyard–Venice West, California., 1956/1970s, estimated at $6000-8000, sold at $17500

Lot 191, John Vachon, A pair of portraits of Marilyn Monroe, 1953, 1956, estimated at $1000-1500, sold at $5750

Lot 279, Bruce Davidson, Subway Platform, 1980/2003, estimated at $1500-2500, sold at $6250

The complete lot by lot results can be found here.

Send this article to a friend

Read more about: Andreas Feininger, Bruce Davidson, Dorothea Lange, Fan Ho, John Vachon, Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Robert Frank, Timothy O'Sullivan, Swann Auction Galleries

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

Recent Articles

Judith Joy Ross, Photographs 1978–2015

Judith Joy Ross, Photographs 1978–2015

JTF (just the facts): Published in 2022 by Aperture (here). Hardcover, 9.4 x 11 inches, 312 pages, with 200 photographs. Includes illustrated essays by Svetlana Alpers, Addison Bross, and Joshua ... Read on.

Sign up for our weekly email newsletter