Auction Results: Photographs, April 4, 2023 @Phillips

It was an altogether solid outing for Phillips at its Photographs sale earlier this week in New York. The top two lots both sold above their estimates, only to be topped by another Ansel Adams print. The overall Buy-In rate was a svelte 10% and with more than a dozen positive surprises to juice the numbers, the Total Sale Proceeds (of roughly $6.4M) came in above the top end of the aggregate pre-sale estimate range.

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

Summary Statistics
Total Lots 311
Aggregate Pre Sale Low Estimate $4279700
Aggregate Pre Sale High Estimate $6350900
Total Lots Sold 278
Total Lots Bought In 33
Buy In % 10.61%
Total Sale Proceeds $6417184

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

Detailed Breakdown
Low Total Lots 166
Total Low Lots Sold 155
Total Low Lots Bought In 11
Low Buy In % 6.63%
Aggregate High Estimate of Low Lots $1301900
Total Proceeds from Low Lots $1094106
Mid Total Lots 126
Total Mid Lots Sold 106
Total Mid Lots Bought In 20
Mid Buy In % 15.87%
Aggregate High Estimate of Mid Lots $2784000
Total Proceeds from Mid Lots $2686558
Total High Lots 19
Total High Lots Sold 17
Total High Lots Bought In 2
High Buy In % 10.53%
Aggregate High Estimate of High Lots $2535000
Total Proceeds from High Lots $2636520

The top lot by High estimate was tied between two lots, both estimated at $200000-300000: lot 18, Robert Mapplethorpe, Man in Polyester Suit, 1980, and lot 177, Irving Penn, Harlequin Dress (Lisa Fonssagrives-Penn), 1950/1979; each of the lots sold at $355600, but neither was the top outcome of the sale. That honor went to lot 203, Ansel Adams, Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico, 1941/no later than 1959, estimated at $150000-250000, sold at $381000 (image above via Phillips).

85.25% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range and there were a total of 14 positive surprises in the sale (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate) (images above via Phillips):

Lot 34, Pierre-Louis Pierson, Diptych: Studies of the Comtesse Castiglione, 1861-1867/1930s, estimated at $2000-3000, sold at $8636

Lot 50, Nan Goldin, Greer and Robert on the bed, New York City, 1982, estimated at $8000-12000, sold at $35560

Lot 51, Nan Goldin, Nan after being battered, 1984, estimated at $6000-8000, sold at $30480

Lot 54, Robert Mapplethorpe, Television, 1982, estimated at $3000-5000, sold at $30480

Lot 66, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Momme (floral comforter) from Notion of Family, 2008, estimated at $4000-6000, sold at $25400

Lot 86, Edward Burtynsky, Ölfusá River #1, Iceland, 2012, estimated at $15000-25000, sold at $53340

Lot 95, Olafur Eliasson, Untitled (Iceland), 2000, estimated at $3000-5000, sold at $12700

Lot 164, Berenice Abbott, Gasoline Station, 1936, estimated at $5000-7000, sold at $17780

Lot 173, Malick Sidibé, Les très bons Amis dans la même Tenue, nuit du 3 juin (Very Good Friends in the Same Outfit), 1972/1999, estimated at $1200-1800, sold at $4445

Lot 185, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Stylized Sculpture 054 (Designer: Elsa Schiaparelli, 1947), 2007, estimated at $12000-18000, sold at $38100

Lot 223, Edward Steichen, Steichen (The Steichen Book), 1906, estimated at $12000-18000, sold at $53340

Lot 240, Elliott Erwitt, A Portfolio of Ten Photographs, 1946-1968/1974, estimated at $5000-7000, sold at $15240

Lot 259, Ansel Adams, Leaves, Mills College, 1931/late 1950s or early 1960s, estimated at $30000-50000, sold at $254000

Lot 314, Jan Groover, Untitled and Untitled (two prints), 1980-1987, estimated at $1500-2500, sold at $8255

The complete lot by lot results can be found here.

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Read more about: Ansel Adams, Berenice Abbott, Edward Burtynsky, Edward Steichen, Elliott Erwitt, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Jan Groover, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Malick Sidibé, Nan Goldin, Olafur Eliasson, Pierre-Louis Pierson, Robert Mapplethorpe, Phillips

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