Auction Results: Icons & Images: Photographs & Photobooks, February 14, 2017 @Swann

The spring auction season for photography got off to a solid start earlier this week at Swann, with its Valentine’s Day sale of photograph and photobooks generally meeting expectations. Nearly all of the top lots found buyers, and the sale performed better than usual for the auction house in terms of overall Buy-In rate (just above 25%) and percentage of lots selling in or above the pre-sale estimate range (above 89%). In the end, the aggregate Total Sale Proceeds fell comfortably in the middle of the pre-sale range.

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

Summary Statistics
Total Lots 322
Pre Sale Low Total Estimate $1384300
Pre Sale High Total Estimate $2049300
Total Lots Sold 238
Total Lots Bought In 84
Buy In % 26.09%
Total Sale Proceeds $1582852

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

Detailed Breakdown
Low Total Lots 281
Low Sold 204
Low Bought In 77
Low Buy In % 27.70%
Total Low Estimate $1277300
Total Low Sold $883102
Mid Total Lots 41
Mid Sold 34
Mid Bought In 7
Mid Buy In % 17.07%
Total Mid Estimate 772000
Total Mid Sold 699750
Total High Lots 0
High Sold NA
High Bought In NA
High Buy In % NA
Total High Estimate $0
Total High Sold $0

The top lot by High estimate is lot 13, Eadweard Muybridge, Selection of 50 plates from Animal Locomotion, 1887, estimated at $30000-45000; it was also the top outcome of the sale at $62500 (image in preview post).

89.13% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range and there were a total of 16 positive surprises in the sale (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate). These can be divided into several groups including vernacular imagery (lot 268 San Francisco Earthquake, lot 274 General Motors Employees, lot 282 New York – Grocery Shopping, and lot 283 Civil Rights – Alabama) and 19th and early 20th century works by unknown makers (lot 254 American Tintypes and lot 255 Ambrotypes). The positive surprises in fine photographs and photobooks were as follows (images above via Swann):

Lot 4, (Henry Clay), Half-plate daguerreotype, 1850, estimated at $1200-1800, sold at $4000

Lot 6, (Edgar Allan Poe), Sixth-plate tintype, 1849-late 1850s, estimated at $10000-15000, sold at $37500

Lot 49, Ralph Steiner, Ten Photographs from the Twenties and Thirties & One From the Seventies, 1920s-1930s and 1970s/1977, estimated at $3000-4500, sold at $10000

Lot 54, Bill Brandt, Rainswept Roofs, 1933/1970s, estimated at $4000-6000, sold at $16250

Lot 56, Lewis Hine, Empire State Building, 1930/1950s, estimated at $12000-18000, sold at $37500 (image in preview post)

Lot 64, Laura Gilpin, The Storm Over La Bajada, 1946/early 1960s, estimated at $4000-6000, sold at $12500

Lot 77, Horst P. Horst, Portrait of a handsome man (Fred), c1940s, estimated at $1400-1800, sold at $8125

Lot 79, George Platt Lynes, Chuck Howard, 1949, estimated at $2000-3000, sold at $8450

Lot 80, George Platt Lynes, Male nude, 1949-1950, estimated at $1800-2200, sold at $6000

Lot 114, Robert Doisneau, Be Bop en Cave, Vieux Colombier, 1951/1980s, estimated at $1500-2500, sold at $5000

The complete lot by lot results can be found here.

Bill Brandt, Eadweard Muybridge, George Platt Lynes, Horst P. Horst, Laura Gilpin, Lewis Hine, Ralph Steiner, Robert Doisneau, Swann Auction Galleries

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