Auction Results: Photographic Literature & Important Photographs, May 20, 2010, @Swann

The results of Swann’s combination sale of photographic books and photographs last week were slightly weaker than those of the equivalent sale last October. In both sections of the sale, the buy-in rate was over 40% and the total sale proceeds fell well below the total Low estimate. Additionally, there were are high percentage of lots that sold below their estimate range (over 50% in the photographs portion of the sale).

The summary statistics across the two portions of the sale are below (all results include the buyer’s premium):

Total of Both

Total Lots: 454
Pre Sale Low Total Estimate: $1345400
Pre Sale High Total Estimate: $1956100
Total Lots Sold: 264
Total Lots Bought In: 190
Buy In %: 41.85%
Total Sale Proceeds: $962612

Photographic Literature Only

Total Lots: 195
Pre Sale Low Total Estimate: $302800
Pre Sale High Total Estimate: $438150
Total Lots Sold: 110
Total Lots Bought In: 85
Buy In %: 43.59%
Total Sale Proceeds: $191580

Important Photographs Only

Total Lots: 259
Pre Sale Low Total Estimate: $1042600
Pre Sale High Total Estimate: $1517950
Total Lots Sold: 154
Total Lots Bought In: 105
Buy In %: 40.54%
Total Sale Proceeds: $771032

Here is the breakdown, separated into two sections (using the Low, Mid, and High definitions from the preview post, here):

Photographic Literature Only

Low Total Lots: 186
Low Sold: 106
Low Bought In: 80
Buy In %: 43.01%
Total Low Estimate: $286150
Total Low Sold: $132180

Mid Total Lots: 9
Mid Sold: 4
Mid Bought In: 5
Buy In %: 55.56%
Total Mid Estimate: $152000
Total Mid Sold: $59400

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 in the book section was lot 22, Doris Ullman, Roll, Jordan, Roll, 1933, at $25000-35000; it was also the top outcome of the session at $28800.

Only 64.55% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range in this portion of the sale. There were two surprises in this section (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate):

Lot 85, Irving Penn, Irving Penn, 1984, at $6480
Lot 113, Harold Edgerton, Moments of Vision: The Stroboscopic Revolution in Photography, 1979, at $3840

Important Photographs Only

Low Total Lots: 236
Low Sold: 140
Low Bought In: 96
Buy In %: 40.68%
Total Low Estimate: $1122950
Total Low Sold: $542192

Mid Total Lots: 23
Mid Sold: 14
Mid Bought In: 9
Buy In %: 39.13%
Total Mid Estimate: $395000
Total Mid Sold: $228840

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 in the photographs section was lot 279, Edward Weston, Nude (Charis), 1935, at $35000-45000; it was also the top outcome of the session at $33600.

Only 49.35% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range. There were a total of six surprises in this section (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate):

Lot 210, Felix Beato, Album of old Japan, 1872, at $26400 (image at right, top, via Swann)
Lot 216, Paul Strand, Wall Street, New York, 1915/1916, at $9000
Lot 244, Wilhelm Von Gloeden, Untitled (frontal nude, seaside), c1900, at $4080
Lot 269, (Crime), 29 New York-related crime photographs, 1920-1930s, at $9600
Lot 374, Berenice Abbott, Group of science photographs, 1958-1961/1982, at $7500
Lot 420, Eliot Porter, Group of nature studies, 1968-1974, at $16800 (image at right, middle, via Swann)

Complete lot by lot results for both sessions can be found here.

104 East 25th Street
New York, NY 10010

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