Auction Results: Fine Photographs & Photobooks, October 17, 2013 @Swann

With a Buy-In rate over 40% and few positive surprises, it isn’t entirely surprising that the Total Sale Proceeds for Swann’s photography sale last week fell well below the estimate range. While the Alexander Gardner series of images of the hanging of the Lincoln conspirators jumped to a record price (thank you Met Civil War show), it wasn’t enough to buoy the entire sale.

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

Summary Statistics
Total Lots 242
Pre Sale Low Total Estimate $1472200
Pre Sale High Total Estimate $2147300
Total Lots Sold 144
Total Lots Bought In 108
Buy In % 42.86%
Total Sale Proceeds $1082689

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

Detailed Breakdown
Low Total Lots 200
Low Sold 119
Low Bought In 81
Low Buy In % 40.50%
Total Low Estimate $1176300
Total Low Sold $617369
Mid Total Lots 52
Mid Sold 25
Mid Bought In 27
Mid Buy In % 51.92%
Total Mid Estimate $971000
Total Mid Sold $465320
Total High Lots 0
High Sold NA
High Bought In NA
High Buy In % NA
Total High Estimate $0
Total High Sold NA

The top lot by High estimate was tied between two lots: lot 20, Robert Turnbull Macpherson, Roma album, 1860, estimated at $30000-45000 and lot 153, Irving Penn, Cuzco Children, Cuzco, 1948/1949, estimated at $35000-45000; the Macpherson sold at $30000, while the Penn sold at $40000. The top outcome of the sale was lot 18, Alexander Gardner, 4 photographs depicting the hanging of the Lincoln conspirators, 1865, estimated at $20000-30000, sold at $100000.

84.03% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range, and there were a total of 6 surprises in the sale (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate):

Lot 6, (China), Group of 28 miscellaneous photographs, 1860s-1870s, estimated at $3000-4500, sold at $20000 (image above, middle, via Swann)

Lot 9, (Japan), Group of 11 photographs, 1890s, estimated at $2000-3000, sold at $6000 (image above, right, via Swann)

Lot 18, Alexander Gardner, 4 photographs depicting the hanging of the Lincoln conspirators, 1865, estimated at $20000-30000, sold at $100000

Lot 39, Alfred Stieglitz, The Hand of Man, 1902/1911, estimated at $3000-4500, sold at $9375

Lot 59, (Crime), Wooden Bertillon drawer with 46 catalogues mugshots on cards, 1936-1947, estimated at $1500-2500, sold at $5500

Lot 106, Bill Brandt, A Snicket in Halifax, 1937/1970s, estimated at $10000-15000, sold at $325000 (image above, left, via Swann)

Complete lot by lot results can be found here.

Alexander Gardner, Bill Brandt, Swann Auction Galleries

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