Auction Results: Photographs, April 10, 2018 @Sotheby’s

The results from Sotheby’s various owner Photographs sale in New York this week were quietly uneven. With an overall Buy-In rate near a third, the auction needed both the sale of the top lot (a copy of William Henry Fox Talbot’s The Pencil of Nature) and a number of positive surprises to pick up the slack. When the dust settled, the Total Sale Proceeds fell at the lower end of the aggregate pre-sale range.

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

Summary Statistics
Total Lots 163
Pre Sale Low Total Estimate $2887500
Pre Sale High Total Estimate $4389500
Total Lots Sold 110
Total Lots Bought In 53
Buy In % 32.52%
Total Sale Proceeds $3120500

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

Detailed Breakdown
Low Total Lots 50
Low Sold 36
Low Bought In 14
Low Buy In % 28.00%
Total Low Estimate $372500
Total Low Sold $317125
Mid Total Lots 96
Mid Sold 62
Mid Bought In 34
Mid Buy In % 35.42%
Total Mid Estimate $2147000
Total Mid Sold $1330875
Total High Lots 17
High Sold 12
High Bought In 5
High Buy In % 29.41%
Total High Estimate $1870000
Total High Sold $1472500

The top lot by High estimate was lot 214, William Henry Fox Talbot, The Pencil of Nature, 1844-1846, estimated at $150000-250000; it was also the top outcome of the sale at $275000 (image above via Sotheby’s).

83.64% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range and there were a total of 8 positive surprises in the sale (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate) (images above via Sotheby’s):

Lot 101, David Wojnarowicz, Rimbaud in New York (in Diner), 1978/1990, estimated at $12000-18000, sold at $42500

Lot 110, Stephen Shore, Bay Theater, 2nd St., Ashland, Wisc., 1973, estimated at $7000-10000, sold at $32500

Lot 158, David Gamble, Andy Warhol’s Wig, Glasses, and Watch, 1987/later, estimated at $6000-9000, sold at $23750

Lot 159, David Gamble, Andy Warhol’s Medicine Cabinet, 1988/later, estimated at $6000-9000, sold at $25000

Lot 210, Alfred Stieglitz, Equivalent 227, 1927, estimated at $40000-60000, sold at $150000

Lot 240, Chris Smith, Float Like a Butterfly, Sting Like a Bee, 1971/later, estimated at $5000-7000, sold at $15000

Lot 246, Ormond Gigli, New York City (Girls in the Windows), 1960/later, estimated at $10000-15000, sold at $47500

Lot 257, David Yarrow, The Wolf on Main Street, 2015, estimated at $15000-25000, sold at $100000

The complete lot by lot results can be found here.

Alfred Stieglitz, Chris Smith, David Gamble, David Wojnarowicz, David Yarrow, Ormond Gigli, Stephen Shore, William Henry Fox Talbot, Sotheby's

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

Recent Articles

Auction Results: Photographs, May 16, 2019 @Phillips London

Auction Results: Photographs, May 16, 2019 @Phillips London

The various owner Photographs auction at Phillips in London last week generally hit its marks. The top three lots all found buyers, there were more than a handful of positive surprises, ... Read on.

Sign up for our weekly email newsletter