Auction Results: Photographies, October 30, 2013 @Yann Le Mouel

Given the overheated manner in which auctions are characterized these days, we are often tempted to deem an auction successful when records are broken, prices are high, and everything sells. And from an auction house’s perspective, this is certainly the case – the more breathless and crazy, the better. Against these standards, Yann Le Mouel’s recent photography sale would have to be seen as depressing outing; with a Buy-In rate over 60% and Total Sale Proceeds that were less than half the pre-sale aggregate Low Estimate, there were few highlights worth reporting.

But I think it is worth remembering that this kind of sale is a collector’s dream: few buyers, thin bidding, and plenty of bargains to be had at the reserve price or less. If there was material in this sale that fit your tastes, you missed a solid opportunity to build your collection without much competition from others. Unless you are a speculator playing on the volatility of the market, this is the kind of sale you want, not the flashy kind that get covered in the newspapers. There will always be softness at the low end of the photography market, and for those with a discerning eye for specific items, a sale like this one is far more satisfying than one where your favorites get bid into the stratosphere and you go home empty handed.

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

Summary Statistics
Total Lots 287
Aggregate Pre Sale Low Estimate €744200
Aggregate Pre Sale High Estimate €1033400
Total Lots Sold 113
Total Lots Bought In 174
Buy In % 60.63%
Total Sale Proceeds €317100

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

Detailed Breakdown
Low Total Lots 252
Total Low Lots Sold 104
Total Low Lots Bought In 148
Low Buy In % 58.73%
Aggregate High Estimate of Low Lots €593400
Total Proceeds from Low Lots €198900
Mid Total Lots 35
Total Mid Lots Sold 9
Total Mid Lots Bought In 26
Mid Buy In % 74.29%
Aggregate High Estimate of Mid Lots €440000
Total Proceeds from Mid Lots €118200
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 NA

The top lot by High estimate was tied between two lots: lot 156, Irving Penn, Picasso, Cannes, Novembre 1957, 1957/1970 and lot 205, Irving Penn, Gant bourré de coton faisant des cornes, pendu sur les portes de Naples pour conjurer le mauvais sort, Italie, 1948, both estimated at €20000-30000; neither sold. The top outcome of the sale was lot 242, Nick Brandt, Cheetah in Tree, Maasai Mara, 2003, estimated at €18000-20000, sold at €22800.

92.04% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range, and there were a total of 5 surprises in the sale (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate:

Lot 46, Pierre Boucher, La chute d’un corps, Photocollage, 1936, estimated at €800-1200, sold at €3240 (image above, left, via Yann Le Mouel)

Lot 141, Mario Giacomelli, Nature mort, Sanigallia, 1953-1956, estimated at €3000-5000, sold at €10320 (image above, middle, via Yann Le Mouel)

Lot 250, Sam Levin, Brigitte Bardot, 1959, estimated at €400-500, sold at €1140

Lot 277, Jean-Francois Jonvelle, Modeles sur la plage, 1980/later, estimated at €500-600, sold at €1200 (image above, right, via Yann Le Mouel)

Lot 280, Jean-Francois Jonvelle, Nude du dos, 1980/later, estimated at €500-600, sold at €1260

Complete lot by lot results can be found here.

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Read more about: Jean-Francois Jonvelle, Mario Giacomelli, Pierre Boucher, Yann Le Mouel

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