Auction Results: Photographs, April 7, 2021 @Sotheby’s

The original top lot Edward Weston dunes print was withdrawn from the recent Photographs sale at Sotheby’s, but that absence didn’t entirely upend the momentum of the sale. With the Weston gone, the top lot honors fell to a Richard Avedon print of Marilyn Monroe (which sold for roughly $165K), and with an overall Buy-In rate under 30% and a handful of positive surprises, the Total Sale Proceeds (of just under $2.1M) came in just above 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 162
Aggregate Pre Sale Low Estimate $2036000
Aggregate Pre Sale High Estimate $3093000
Total Lots Sold 114
Total Lots Bought In 48
Buy In % 29.63%
Total Sale Proceeds $2093994

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

Detailed Breakdown
Low Total Lots 62
Total Low Lots Sold 44
Total Low Lots Bought In 18
Low Buy In % 29.03%
Aggregate High Estimate of Low Lots $508000
Total Proceeds from Low Lots $370314
Mid Total Lots 92
Total Mid Lots Sold 64
Total Mid Lots Bought In 28
Mid Buy In % 30.43%
Aggregate High Estimate of Mid Lots $1975000
Total Proceeds from Mid Lots $1188180
Total High Lots 8
Total High Lots Sold 6
Total High Lots Bought In 2
High Buy In % 25.00%
Aggregate High Estimate of High Lots $610000
Total Proceeds from High Lots $535500

The top lot by High estimate was tied between two lots, each estimated at $80000-120000: lot 5, Richard Avedon, Marilyn Monroe, Actress, New York City, 1957/1980, and lot 8, Irving Penn, Miles Davis, Hand and Trumpet, New York, 1986/1998. The Avedon print was also the top outcome of the sale at $163800 (image above via Sotheby’s), while the Penn print sold at $81900.

84.21% 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 2, Matthew Brandt, Grays Lake ID 6 (from Lakes and Reservoirs), 2012, estimated at $7000-10000, sold at $27720

Lot 66, Catherine Opie, Untitled #7 (Surfers), 2003, estimated at $20000-30000, sold at $107100

Lot 151, Peter Beard, Hunting Cheetahs on the Taru Desert, Kenya, June 1960, 1960/later, estimated at $15000-25000, sold at $60480

Lot 153, Gabriel Orozco, Semillas y Cartón (Seeds and Cardboard), 1993, estimated at $3000-5000, sold at $18900

The complete lot by lot results can be found here.

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Read more about: Catherine Opie, Gabriel Orozco, Matthew Brandt, Peter Beard, Richard Avedon, Sotheby's

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