Auction Results: Icons & Images: Photographs & Photobooks, February 15, 2018 @Swann

The 2018 spring auction season for photography got off to a solid start last week at Swann, with its sale of photographs and photobooks generally meeting expectations. The sale was headlined by a broad selection of 24 lots by Lewis Hine, and these prints, including a vintage print of the iconic wrench-wiedling industrial worker, largely sold well.

The overall Buy-In rate came in just above 26% and there were a total of 15 positive surprises spread across the sale categories. When the dust settled, the Total Sale Proceeds fell toward 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 321
Pre Sale Low Total Estimate $1504500
Pre Sale High Total Estimate $2201100
Total Lots Sold 235
Total Lots Bought In 86
Buy In % 26.79%
Total Sale Proceeds $1664647

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

Detailed Breakdown
Low Total Lots 278
Low Sold 207
Low Bought In 71
Low Buy In % 25.54%
Total Low Estimate $1346100
Total Low Sold $989947
Mid Total Lots 42
Mid Sold 27
Mid Bought In 15
Mid Buy In % 35.71%
Total Mid Estimate $755000
Total Mid Sold $593450
Total High Lots 1
High Sold 1
High Bought In 0
High Buy In % 0.00%
Total High Estimate $100000
Total High Sold $81250

The top lot by High estimate was lot 60, Lewis Hine, Mechanic at Steam Pump in Electric Power House, c1921, estimated at $70000-100000; it sold at $81250. The top outcome of the sale was lot 20, Robert B. Talfor, Photographic Views of Red River Raft, 1873, estimated at $18000-22000, sold at $93750.

81.70% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range and there were a total of 15 positive surprises in the sale (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate). Three of these lots came in the vernacular imagery section (lot 252 Dogs, lot 264 Business Liquidations, and lot 279 Nuclear Testing – Bikini Atoll). The positive surprises in fine photographs and photobooks were as follows (images above via Swann):

Lot 3, Edward S. Curtis, An Offering at the Waterfall, Nambe, 1925, estimated at $7000-10000, sold at $25000

Lot 5, Edward S. Curtis, Male figure with headdress and pipe, Male figure with snakes, Jicarilla Maiden, Buffalo Dance at Hano, Hopi, Picturesque Walpi, c1907, 1908-1914, estimated at $8000-12000, sold at $25000

Lot 6, Edward S. Curtis, Kutenai Duck Hunter, 1920, estimated at $4000-5000, sold at $10625

Lot 13, Eadweard Muybridge, Man rowing, 1887, estimated at $600-900, sold at $2160

Lot 20, Robert B. Talfor, Photographic Views of Red River Raft, 1873, estimated at $18000-22000, sold at $93750

Lot 45, Lewis W. Hine, One of many youngsters working in Carolina cotton mills, 1908/1931, estimated at $10000-15000, sold at $30000

Lot 57, Lewis W. Hine, Hull house beneficiary, Italian Grandmother, 1910, estimated at $5000-7500, sold at $15000

Lot 108, Yevgeny Khaldei, Raising a flag over the Reichstag, Berlin, 1945/c1990, estimated at $1200-1800, sold at $5670

Lot 119, Ansel Adams, Georgia O’Keeffe and Orville Cox, 1937/late 1960s, estimated at $18000-22000, sold at $48600

Lot 125 Ansel Adams, El Capitan, Winter, 1950/c1973, estimated at $1500-2000, sold at $7020

Lot 178, Cindy Sherman, Self-Portrait as Lucille Ball, 1975/2001, estimated at $7000-10000, sold at $25000

Lot 318, Robert Heinecken, Are You Rea portfolio, 1968, estimated at $600-900, sold at $3500

The complete lot by lot results can be found here.

Ansel Adams, Cindy Sherman, Eadweard Muybridge, Edward Curtis, Robert Heinecken, Yevgeny Khaldei, Swann Auction Galleries

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