Auction Results: Leaves of Light and Shadow: Photographs Gathered by William T. Hillman, March 31, 2015 @Christie’s

The auction of a portion of the collection of William T. Hillman last week at Christie’s had one of the softest outcomes for a single owner photography sale in recent memory. With an overall Buy-In rate over 50% (with particular weakness at the top end) and few positive surprises, the Total Sale Proceeds missed the low end of the estimate range by more than a million dollars.

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

Summary Statistics
Total Lots 117
Pre Sale Low Total Estimate $2335500
Pre Sale High Total Estimate $3488000
Total Lots Sold 57
Total Lots Bought In 60
Buy In % 51.28%
Total Sale Proceeds $1271000

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

Detailed Breakdown
Low Total Lots 40
Low Sold 19
Low Bought In 21
Low Buy In % 52.50%
Total Low Estimate $254000
Total Low Sold $141625
Mid Total Lots 59
Mid Sold 33
Mid Bought In 26
Mid Buy In % 44.07%
Total Mid Estimate $1434000
Total Mid Sold $766875
Total High Lots 18
High Sold 5
High Bought In 13
High Buy In % 72.22%
Total High Estimate $1800000
Total High Sold $362500

The top lot by High estimate was lot 11, Diane Arbus, Waitress in a Nudist Camp, N.J., 1963, estimated at $200000-300000; it did not sell. The top outcome of the sale was lot 117, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Blast Furnaces, Frontal Views, 1976-1986, estimated at $80000-120000, sold at $112500.

92.98% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range and there were a total of 2 positive surprises in the sale (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate):

Lot 1, Mona Kuhn, Merle, 2003, estimated at $6000-8000, sold at $16250 (image above, right, via Christie’s)

Lot 43, William Klein, Model and Graffiti, Paris (Vogue), 1961, estimated at $7000-9000, sold at $25000 (image above, left, via Christie’s)

Complete lot by lot results can be found here.

Mona Kuhn, William Klein, Christie's

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