Auction Results: Photographs, April 5, 2017 @Sotheby’s

Aside from some increased interest in troves of portraits by Philippe Halsman, the results of the recent various owner Photographs at Sotheby’s were largely uneventful. The overall Buy-In rate hovered near 30%, there were few surprises, and when the dust settled, the Total Sale Proceeds of roughly $3.4M missed the bottom of the aggregate pre-sale range.

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

Summary Statistics
Total Lots 188
Aggregate Pre Sale Low Estimate $3602000
Aggregate Pre Sale High Estimate $5600000
Total Lots Sold 128
Total Lots Bought In 60
Buy In % 31.91%
Total Sale Proceeds $3430500

Here is the breakdown (using the Low, Mid, and High definitions from the preview post):

Detailed Breakdown
Low Total Lots 82
Total Low Lots Sold 63
Total Low Lots Bought In 19
Low Buy In % 23.17%
Aggregate High Estimate of Low Lots $660000
Total Proceeds from Low Lots $589500
Mid Total Lots 88
Total Mid Lots Sold 56
Total Mid Lots Bought In 32
Mid Buy In % 36.36%
Aggregate High Estimate of Mid Lots $2120000
Total Proceeds from Mid Lots $1288750
Total High Lots 18
Total High Lots Sold 9
Total High Lots Bought In 9
High Buy In % 50.00%
Aggregate High Estimate of High Lots $2820000
Total Proceeds from High Lots $1552250

The top lot by High estimate was lot 44, Timothy O’Sullivan and William Bell, ‘PHOTOGRAPHS SHOWING LANDSCAPES, GEOLOGICAL AND OTHER FEATURES, OF PORTIONS OF THE WESTERN TERRITORY OF THE UNITED STATES, OBTAINED IN CONNECTION WITH GEOGRAPHICAL AND GEOLOGICAL EXPLORATIONS AND SURVEYS WEST OF THE 100TH MERIDIAN (SEASONS OF 1871, 1872 AND 1873)’ – album of 49 albumen prints, 1871-1873, estimated at $300000-500000 (image in preview post). It was also the top outcome of the sale at $362500.

88.28% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range and there were a total of 4 positive surprises in the sale (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate) (images above via Sotheby’s):

Lot 92, Philippe Halsman, Selected Images of Marilyn Monroe for LIFE Magazine, 1952/later, estimated at $8000-12000, sold at $27500

Lot 93, Philippe Halsman, Selected Portraits, 1940-1970s, estimated at $6000-9000, sold at $25000

Lot 94, Philippe Halsman, Selected Portraits, 1940-1970s, estimated at $6000-9000, sold at $81250

Lot 138, Lucas Samaras, Photo-Transformation 10/27/73 (Eyes), 1973, estimated at $6000-9000, sold at $21250

The complete lot by lot results can be found here.

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