Auction Results: Photographs, April 5, 2019 @Bonhams

It was a generally flat outing at the Photographs sale at Bonhams in New York last week. The top lots (by Dora Maar and Nadar) failed to sell, the overall Buy-In rate creeped up near 45%, and there weren’t enough positive surprises to create a jolt of energy. The Total Sale Proceeds tallied up at just under $900K, well below the low end of the appregate pre-sale estimate range.

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

Summary Statistics
Total Lots 213
Pre Sale Low Total Estimate $1269900
Pre Sale High Total Estimate $1866600
Total Lots Sold 118
Total Lots Bought In 95
Buy In % 44.60%
Total Sale Proceeds $886848

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

Detailed Breakdown
Low Total Lots 169
Low Sold 95
Low Bought In 74
Low Buy In % 43.79%
Total Low Estimate $862600
Total Low Sold $425123
Mid Total Lots 41
Mid Sold 22
Mid Bought In 19
Mid Buy In % 46.34%
Total Mid Estimate $774000
Total Mid Sold $411650
Total High Lots 3
High Sold 1
High Bought In 2
High Buy In % 66.67%
Total High Estimate $230000
Total High Sold $50075

The top lot by High estimate was tied between two lots: lot 47, Attributed to Nadar, Charles Deburau, Mime, in Pierrot Costume, 1854-1855, and lot 55, Dora Maar, Villa à Vendre, 1936, both estimated at $60000-80000; neither work sold. The top outcome of the sale was lot 179, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Coke Plant Flemalle, Liege; Coke Plant, Emscher-Lippe, Dorsten, Ruhr; Coke Plant, Zeche Ewald Fortsetzung Recklinghausen, Ruhr, c1980, estimated at $18000-22000, sold at $50075 (image above, via Bonhams).

83.05% 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 Bonhams):

Lot 56, František Drtikol, Untitled (Composition), c1926, estimated at $5000-7000, sold at $15075

Lot 80, Cornell Capa, Bolshoi Ballet School, Moscow, 1958/later, estimated at $1200-1800, sold at $3825

Lot 117, William Christenberry, Hale County, Alabama, 19483/1995, estimated at $2000-3000, sold at $8825

Lot 179, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Coke Plant Flemalle, Liege; Coke Plant, Emscher-Lippe, Dorsten, Ruhr; Coke Plant, Zeche Ewald Fortsetzung Recklinghausen, Ruhr, c1980, estimated at $18000-22000, sold at $50075

The complete lot by lot results can be found here.

Bernd and Hilla Becher, Cornell Capa, František Drtikol, William Christenberry, Bonhams

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