Auction Results: Photographs, April 13, 2022 @Sotheby’s (online)

A 19th century Thomas Eakins boxing nude soared to more than 6X its high estimate at Sotheby’s recent Photographs sale, but aside from that outstanding outcome, the results from the sale were altogether underwhelming. An overall Buy-In rate over 40% was the first culprit, followed in quick order by weakness in the middle and high price tiers. With only a handful of positive surprises to pump up the numbers, the Total Sale Proceeds (of roughly $2M) missed the bottom end of the aggregate pre-sale estimate range by a wide margin.

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

Summary Statistics
Total Lots 188
Aggregate Pre Sale Low Estimate $2756500
Aggregate Pre Sale High Estimate $4190700
Total Lots Sold 110
Total Lots Bought In 78
Buy In % 41.49%
Total Sale Proceeds $2004030

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

Detailed Breakdown
Low Total Lots 79
Total Low Lots Sold 56
Total Low Lots Bought In 23
Low Buy In % 29.11%
Aggregate High Estimate of Low Lots $553700
Total Proceeds from Low Lots $308700
Mid Total Lots 101
Total Mid Lots Sold 52
Total Mid Lots Bought In 49
Mid Buy In % 48.51%
Aggregate High Estimate of Mid Lots $2337000
Total Proceeds from Mid Lots $1399230
Total High Lots 8
Total High Lots Sold 2
Total High Lots Bought In 6
High Buy In % 75.00%
Aggregate High Estimate of High Lots $1300000
Total Proceeds from High Lots $296100

The top lot by High estimate was lot 36, Richard Avedon, Dovima with elephants, Evening dress by Dior, Cirque d’Hiver, Paris, August 1955, 1955/1980, estimated at $180000-280000; it did not sell. The top outcome of the sale was lot 57, Thomas Eakins, Untitled (Male Nudes Boxing), c1883, estimated at $30000-50000, sold at $327600 (image above via Sotheby’s).

75.45% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range and there were a total of 5 positive surprises in the sale (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate) (images above via Sotheby’s):

Lot 57, Thomas Eakins, Untitled (Male Nudes Boxing), c1883, estimated at $30000-50000, sold at $327600

Lot 79, Thomas Ruff, Anderes Porträt Nr. 133/1, 1995-1996, estimated at $1500-2500, sold at $6300

Lot 90, Jospeh Koudelka, Calais – Digue du nouveau port, 1988/1996, estimated at $8000-12000, sold at $27720

Lot 182, Hiro, Apollo – 11, 9:32 A. M. 7-16-69 Maiden Voyage To The Moon, 1969, estimated at $15000-25000, sold at $63000

Lot 184, Nan Goldin, Sharon in the river, Eagles Mere, Pa., 1995, estimated at $5000-7000, sold at $15120

The complete lot by lot results can be found here.

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Read more about: Hiro (Yasuhiro Wakabayashi), Josef Koudelka, Nan Goldin, Thomas Eakins, Thomas Ruff, Sotheby's

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