Auction Results: Photographs, April 1, 2015 @Sotheby’s

The results from Sotheby’s various owner Photographs sale in New York last week were a case study in the power of positive surprises. While the top lot Strand portrait failed to sell, the selection of Friedlander little screens jumped to $850000, more than making up for the missing proceeds. More than a dozen other lots soared above their high estimates, pushing the Total Sale Proceeds to the very top of the pre-sale estimate range.

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

Summary Statistics
Total Lots 188
Aggregate Pre Sale Low Estimate $3582000
Aggregate Pre Sale High Estimate $5414000
Total Lots Sold 144
Total Lots Bought In 44
Buy In % 23.40%
Total Sale Proceeds $5166875

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

Detailed Breakdown
Low Total Lots 78
Total Low Lots Sold 55
Total Low Lots Bought In 23
Low Buy In % 29.49%
Aggregate High Estimate of Low Lots $658000
Total Proceeds from Low Lots $576625
Mid Total Lots 92
Total Mid Lots Sold 76
Total Mid Lots Bought In 16
Mid Buy In % 17.39%
Aggregate High Estimate of Mid Lots $2186000
Total Proceeds from Mid Lots $2123750
Total High Lots 18
Total High Lots Sold 13
Total High Lots Bought In 5
High Buy In % 27.78%
Aggregate High Estimate of High Lots $2570000
Total Proceeds from High Lots $2466500

The top lot by High estimate was lot 38, Paul Strand, Rebecca, 1921, estimated at $300000-500000; it did not sell. The top outcome of the sale was lot 145, Lee Friedlander, The Little Screens (38 prints), 1961-1970/later, estimated at $200000-300000, sold at $850000 (image in preview post).

89.58% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range and there were a total of 18 positive surprises in the sale (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate) (images above, via Sotheby’s, except where noted):

Lot 7, Ansel Adams, Forest, Castle Rock State Park, California, 1962/1976, estimated at $7000-10000, sold at $27500

Lot 15, Ansel Adams, Road After Rain, Northern California, 1960/1973-1977, estimated at $8000-12000, sold at $27500

Lot 17, Robert Adams, Boulder County, Colorado, 1973/1983, estimated at $8000-12000, sold at $37500

Lot 19, Edward Weston, Selected Images, 1941, estimated at $7000-10000, sold at $22500

Lot 26, Dorothea Lange, Taos, 1922, estimated at $20000-30000, sold at $75000 (image in preview post)

Lot 32, Eadweard Muybridge, Selected Motion Studies, 1887, estimated at $25000-35000, sold at $75000

Lot 72, Yousuf Karsh, Georgia O’Keeffe, 1956/later, estimated at $5000-7000, sold at $27500

Lot 73, Edward Weston, Church, Motherlode (Church Door, Hornitos), 1940, estimated at $30000-50000, sold at $125000

Lot 93, Robert Frank, Daytona Beach, 1958, estimated at $15000-25000, sold at $52500

Lot 97, Arnold Newman, Igor Stravinsky, 1946/later, estimated at $5000-7000, sold at $17500

Lot 108, Walker Evans, License Photo Studios, New York, 1934/1940s-1950s, estimated at $10000-15000, sold at $30000

Lot 116, Larry Sultan, Practicing Golf Swing, 1986, estimated at $5000-7000, sold at $25000

Lot 117, Larry Sultan, My Mother Posing For Me, 1984/later, estimated at $8000-12000, sold at $27500

Lot 121, Irving Penn, Jasper Johns (A), 2006, estimated at $5000-7000, sold at $16250

Lot 124, Duane Michals, Portrait of Andy Warhol, 1973, estimated at $8000-12000, sold at $35000

Lot 143, Lewis Baltz, Industrial Structure During Painting, Irvine, 1974, estimated at $10000-15000, sold at $32500

Lot 145, Lee Friedlander, The Little Screens (38 prints), 1961-1970/later, estimated at $200000-300000, sold at $850000 (image in preview post)

Lot 148, Thomas Struth, North Garland Court, Chicago, 1990, estimated at $7000-10000, sold at $20000

Complete lot by lot results can be found here.

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Read more about: Ansel Adams, Arnold Newman, Dorothea Lange, Duane Michals, Eadweard Muybridge, Edward Weston, Irving Penn, Larry Sultan, Lee Friedlander, Lewis Baltz, Robert Adams, Robert Frank, Thomas Struth, Walker Evans, Yousuf Karsh, Sotheby's

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