Auction Results: Four Decades: In Celebration of AIPAD, December 21, 2020 @Sotheby’s

10 out of the 11 highest priced lots failed to sell at Sotheby’s pre-holiday online sale of photographs to celebrate AIPAD, and few auctions can recover from that kind of top price weakness. A later print from Malick Sidibé ultimately took the top honors, but with little other excitement, the Total Sale Proceeds (of $315K) came in well 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 88
Aggregate Pre Sale Low Estimate $654500
Aggregate Pre Sale High Estimate $1003700
Total Lots Sold 42
Total Lots Bought In 46
Buy In % 52.27%
Total Sale Proceeds $315378

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

Detailed Breakdown
Low Total Lots 62
Total Low Lots Sold 30
Total Low Lots Bought In 32
Low Buy In % 51.61%
Aggregate High Estimate of Low Lots $360700
Total Proceeds from Low Lots $116298
Mid Total Lots 24
Total Mid Lots Sold 12
Total Mid Lots Bought In 12
Mid Buy In % 50.00%
Aggregate High Estimate of Mid Lots $523000
Total Proceeds from Mid Lots $199080
Total High Lots 2
Total High Lots Sold 0
Total High Lots Bought In 2
High Buy In % 100.00%
Aggregate High Estimate of High Lots $120000
Total Proceeds from High Lots $0

The top plot by High estimate was tied between two lots, each estimated at $40000-60000: lot 33, Robert Frank, Covered Car, 1956/1950s, and lot 49, William Henry Fox Talbot, Elm Tree Lacock Abbey, c 1843. Neither print found a buyer. The top outcome of the sale was lot 1, Malick Sidibé, ‘Nuit de Noël’ (Happy Club), 1963/2013, estimated at $10000-15000, sold at $47880 (image above via Sotheby’s.)

Only 59.52% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range and there was just 1 positive surprise in the sale (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate) (image above via Sotheby’s):

Lot 1, Malick Sidibé, ‘Nuit de Noël’ (Happy Club), 1963/2013, estimated at $10000-15000, sold at $47880

The complete lot by lot results can be found here.

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