Auction Results: Inside the Photograph: Further Selections from the Peter C. Bunnell Collection, October 17, 2023 @Phillips (online)

Phillips has been slowly metering out the extensive photography collection of former MoMA and Princeton University Art Museum curator Peter Bunnell, and building on a small no reserve online sale earlier this year in February (results here), this sale continued to work the pile down, with another group of lots, again many with no reserve. The top lot laurels were taken by an Alfred Stieglitz view of poplars from the 1930s, and with a few more positive surprises to help balance the lots sold under their estimate ranges, the Total Sale Proceeds (of roughly $195K) fell in the middle of the aggregate pre-sale estimate range.

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

Summary Statistics
Total Lots 48
Aggregate Pre Sale Low Estimate $160200
Aggregate Pre Sale High Estimate $240600
Total Lots Sold 46
Total Lots Bought In 2
Buy In % 4.17%
Total Sale Proceeds $193851

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

Detailed Breakdown
Low Total Lots 44
Total Low Lots Sold 44
Total Low Lots Bought In 0
Low Buy In % 0.00%
Aggregate High Estimate of Low Lots $167600
Total Proceeds from Low Lots $146861
Mid Total Lots 4
Total Mid Lots Sold 2
Total Mid Lots Bought In 2
Mid Buy In % 50.00%
Aggregate High Estimate of Mid Lots $73000
Total Proceeds from Mid Lots $46990
Total High Lots 0
Total High Lots Sold NA
Total High Lots Bought In NA
High Buy In % NA
Aggregate High Estimate of High Lots $0
Total Proceeds from High Lots $0

The top lot by High estimate was lot 22, Edward Weston, Shell and Rock – Arrangement, 1931/1940s, estimated at $15000-25000; it sold at $13970, but was not the top outcome of the sale. That honor went to lot 28, Alfred Stieglitz, Poplars, Lake George, 1932, estimated at $10000-15000, sold at $33020 (image above via Phillips).

Just 58.70% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range and there were a total of 6 positive surprises in the sale (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate) (images above via Phillips):

Lot 9, Jerry Uelsmann, Totemic Aspen, 1970, estimated at 700-900, sold at $2159

Lot 13, Jerry Uelsmann, Five Selected Images, 1969-1995, estimated at $2000-3000, sold at $7620

Lot 28, Alfred Stieglitz, Poplars, Lake George, 1932, estimated at $10000-15000, sold at $33020

Lot 32, Minor White, The Three Thirds (Pike, New York), 1957, estimated at $3000-5000, sold at $10795

Lot 37, Henri Cartier-Bresson, The Tuileries Gardens, Paris, France, 1976, estimated at $1200-1800, sold at $4064

Lot 44, Aaron Siskind, Arizpe, Mexico 21, 1966, estimated at $1000-1500, sold at $4064

The complete lot by lot results can be found here.

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Read more about: Aaron Siskind, Alfred Stieglitz, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Jerry Uelsmann, Minor White, Phillips

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