Auction Results: Images and Objects: Fine & Vernacular Photographs, May 21, 2015 @Swann

Swann’s recent sale of fine photographs, vernacular imagery, and photobooks offered a wide variety of material, but ultimately didn’t quite fire on all cylinders. The overall Buy-In rate hovered over 34% and there weren’t enough positive surprises in the higher priced lots to make up the difference. While the Edward Curtis volumes did sell (for $233000, below the low estimate), the Total Sale Proceeds missed the bottom end of the aggregate pre-sale estimate range by a decent margin.

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

Summary Statistics
Total Lots 385
Aggregate Pre Sale Low Estimate $1727200
Aggregate Pre Sale High Estimate $2549400
Total Lots Sold 254
Total Lots Bought In 131
Buy In % 34.03%
Total Sale Proceeds $1429619

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

Detailed Breakdown
Low Total Lots 349
Total Low Lots Sold 230
Total Low Lots Bought In 119
Low Buy In % 34.10%
Aggregate High Estimate of Low Lots $1374400
Total Proceeds from Low Lots $711459
Mid Total Lots 33
Total Mid Lots Sold 21
Total Mid Lots Bought In 12
Mid Buy In % 36.36%
Aggregate High Estimate of Mid Lots $710000
Total Proceeds from Mid Lots $357110
Total High Lots 3
Total High Lots Sold 3
Total High Lots Bought In 0
High Buy In % 0.00%
Aggregate High Estimate of High Lots $465000
Total Proceeds from High Lots $361050

The top lot by High estimate was lot 36, Edward Curtis, The North American Indian (Volumes 1-20), 1907-1930, estimated at $250000-350000 (image above via Swann); it was also the top outcome of the sale at $233000.

79.13% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range and there were a total of 5 positive surprises among the fine photographs in the sale (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate) (images above via Swann):

Lot 31, Alfred Stieglitz, The Photo-Secession, Numbers 1-6, 1902-1904, estimated at $1500-2500, sold at $6750

Lot 48, Lida Hall, Archive of Atlantic City, 1915-1916, estimated at $1000-1500, sold at $4250

Lot 86, Frank Paulin, Lovers, Times Square, New York City, 1956, estimated at $2500-3500, sold at $8125

Lot 118, Laure Albin Guillot, Ciels, 1944, estimated at $500-750, sold at $3000

Lot 154, Laure Albin Guillot, Splendeur de Paris, 1945, estimated at $800-1200, sold at $2600

The lots of vernacular photography that were positive surprises included: Writers (lot 18), Texas (lot 43), Cyanotypes (lot 50), Dogs (lot 53), Advertising (lot 87), Mug Shots (lot 280), and Los Angeles (lot 329)

Complete lot by lot results can be found here.

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Read more about: Alfred Stieglitz, Frank Paulin, Laure Albin-Guillot, Lida Hall, Swann Auction Galleries

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