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
Aggregate Pre Sale Low Estimate $2887500
Aggregate Pre Sale High 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
Total Low Lots Sold 36
Total Low Lots Bought In 14
Low Buy In % 28.00%
Aggregate High Estimate of Low Lots $372500
Total Proceeds from Low Lots $317125
Mid Total Lots 96
Total Mid Lots Sold 62
Total Mid Lots Bought In 34
Mid Buy In % 35.42%
Aggregate High Estimate of Mid Lots $2147000
Total Proceeds from Mid Lots $1330875
Total High Lots 17
Total High Lots Sold 12
Total High Lots Bought In 5
High Buy In % 29.41%
Aggregate High Estimate of High Lots $1870000
Total Proceeds from High Lots $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.

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

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