Auction Results: Photographs, April 2, 2019 @Christie’s

Softness in the highest price tier dimmed the results at Christie’s recent various owner Photographs sale in New York. While the top lot Diane Arbus print found a buyer and an Alexander Rodchenko print went even higher, 50% of the lots in the top tier didn’t sell. The overall Buy-In rate for the sale came in at just under 35%, and with only a handful of positive surprises, the Total Sale Proceeds fell below the low end of the aggregate pre-sale estimate range.

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

Summary Statistics
Total Lots 141
Pre Sale Low Total Estimate $3681000
Pre Sale High Total Estimate $5432000
Total Lots Sold 92
Total Lots Bought In 49
Buy In % 34.75%
Total Sale Proceeds $3511750

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

Detailed Breakdown
Low Total Lots 33
Low Sold 23
Low Bought In 10
Low Buy In % 30.30%
Total Low Estimate $235000
Total Low Sold $131125
Mid Total Lots 84
Mid Sold 57
Mid Bought In 27
Mid Buy In % 32.14%
Total Mid Estimate $2117000
Total Mid Sold $1440625
Total High Lots 24
High Sold 12
High Bought In 12
High Buy In % 50.00%
Total High Estimate $3080000
Total High Sold $1940000

The top lot by High estimate was lot 359, Diane Arbus, A family on their lawn one Sunday in Westchester, N.Y., 1968/1970-1971, estimated at $250000-350000; it sold at $275000. The top outcome of the sale was lot 372, Alexander Rodchenko, Lestnitsa (Steps), 1929/1935, estimated at $150000-250000, sold at $281250 (image above via Christie’s).

81.52% 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 Christie’s):

Lot 314, Robert Mapplethorpe, Lisa Lyon, 1982, estimated at $6000-8000, sold at $16250

Lot 323, Richard Avedon, Lew Alcindor, Basketball Player, 61st Street and Amsterdam Avenue, New York City, May 2, 19863/1990, estimated at $30000-50000, sold at $106250

Lot 393, Richard Misrach, Mono Lake #2, California, 1999, estimated at $10000-15000, sold at $40000

Lot 400, Hiroshi Sugimoto, North Pacific Ocean, Iwate, 1986, estimated at $20000-30000, sold at $100000

Lot 408, Sally Mann, Untitled (Deep South #1, Scarred Tree), 1998, estimated at $10000-15000, sold at $37500

The complete lot by lot results can be found here.

Aleksandr Rodchenko, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Richard Avedon, Richard Misrach, Robert Mapplethorpe, Sally Mann, Christie's

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