Auction Results: Important Photographs & Photobooks, December 9, 2010 @Swann

The results of Swann’s various owner photographs and photobooks sale last week were generally soft, with an overall Buy-In rate over 37% and Total Sale Proceeds that missed the estimate range by a wide margin. As has become commonplace at Swann, a high percentage of lots (in this case, just over 32%) that did sell found buyers below the low estimate. While the material at Swann is always eclectic, I think there just wasn’t enough firepower of offer here to really attract buyers at the end of the season.

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

Total Lots: 364

Pre Sale Low Total Estimate: $1206100
Pre Sale High Total Estimate: $1744700
Total Lots Sold: 228
Total Lots Bought In: 136
Buy In %: 37.36%
Total Sale Proceeds: $854877
Here is the breakdown (using the Low, Mid, and High definitions from the preview post, here):
Low Total Lots: 336
Low Sold: 215
Low Bought In: 121
Buy In %: 36.01%
Total Low Estimate: $1193700
Total Low Sold: $638682
Mid Total Lots: 28
Mid Sold: 13
Mid Bought In: 15
Buy In %: 53.57%
Total Mid Estimate: $551000
Total Mid Sold: $216195
High Total Lots: 0
High Sold: NA
High Bought In: NA
Buy In %: NA
Total High Estimate: $0
Total High Sold: NA

The top lot by High estimate was lot 145, Brett Weston, Twenty Photographs 1970-1977, 1978, at $30000-45000; it was also the top outcome of the sale at $33600.
Only 67.54% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range, and there were a total of 9 surprises in this sale (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate):

Lot 29, W.D. Smithers, Pair of period lamps, 1950s, at $1800
Lot 31, N. Caple & Co, British Columbia Indians, 1894-1896, at $3120
Lot 41, Man Ray, Serge Lifor in Romeo and Juliet, 1926, at $16800 9image at right, bottom, via Swann)
Lot 71, Edward Steichen, Gloria Swanson, New York, for Vanity Fair, 1924/1960s-1971, at $26400 (image at right, middle, via Swann)
Lot 156, X-rays, Group of 18 photographs, 1896, at $6960
Lot 179, Yevgeny Khaldei, Raising the Soviet Flag over the Reichstag, Berlin, 1945/1990s, at $5280 (image at right, top, via Swann)
Lot 300, Walker Evans, Many Are Called, 1966, at $1200
Lot 319, Robert Capa, Death in the Making, 1938, at $3360
Lot 347, Eliot Porter, All Under Heaven: The Chinese World, 1983, at $2280
Complete lot by lot results can be found linked from here.

104 East 25th Street
New York, NY 10010

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