Auction Results: Photographs, April 5, 2024 @Bonhams

The results from the recent Photographs sale at Bonhams in New York were generally underwhelming. The highest priced lots fared the worst, with both top lots failing to sell, but an overall Buy-In rate above 35% didn’t help matters either. With just a few positive surprises, the Total Sale Proceeds (of roughly $600K) fell well 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 140
Aggregate Pre Sale Low Estimate $966300
Aggregate Pre Sale High Estimate $1421700
Total Lots Sold 89
Total Lots Bought In 51
Buy In % 36.43%
Total Sale Proceeds $608896

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

Detailed Breakdown
Low Total Lots 110
Total Low Lots Sold 74
Total Low Lots Bought In 36
Low Buy In % 32.73%
Aggregate High Estimate of Low Lots $637700
Total Proceeds from Low Lots $381696
Mid Total Lots 27
Total Mid Lots Sold 15
Total Mid Lots Bought In 12
Mid Buy In % 44.44%
Aggregate High Estimate of Mid Lots $504000
Total Proceeds from Mid Lots $227200
Total High Lots 3
Total High Lots Sold 0
Total High Lots Bought In 3
High Buy In % 100.00%
Aggregate High Estimate of High Lots $280000
Total Proceeds from High Lots $0

The top lot by High estimate was tied between two lots, estimated at $70000-100000 and $80000-100000 respectively: lot 13, Edward Steichen, White Lotus, 1939/1940, and lot 78, Diane Arbus, ‘Family On The Lawn One Sunday In Westchester, N.Y.’, 1968; neither print found a buyer. The top outcome of the sale fell to lot 8, Ansel Adams, Golden Gate Before The Bridge, 1932/1932-1935, estimated at $20000-30000, sold at $35840 (image above, via Bonhams.)

84.27% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range and there were 3 positive surprises in the sale (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate) (images above, via Bonhams):

Lot 27, Sophie Calle, North Pole, 2018, estimated at $6000-8000, sold at $16640

Lot 34, Robert Mapplethorpe, Feet, 1982, estimated at $4000-6000, sold at $12160

Lot 110, Richard Misrach, ‘2.21.00, 4:38 p.m.’ (from ‘Golden Gate’), 2000, estimated at $3000-5000, sold at $10880

The complete lot by lot results can be found here.

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Read more about: Ansel Adams, Richard Misrach, Robert Mapplethorpe, Sophie Calle, Bonhams

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