Auction Results: Photographs, December 7, 2009 @Christie’s

Christie’s end of year photographs sale in December mopped up a variety of lower end lots and delivered surprisingly satisfactory results given the mixed bag of material: the buy-in rate was near 25% and the Total Sale Proceeds covered the Total Low Estimate. For Christie’s to clear nearly $1 million on a late season sale like this is certainly a sign that the depth and breadth of collector interest is continuing to firm up.

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

Total Lots: 190
Pre Sale Low Total Estimate: $947300
Pre Sale High Total Estimate: $1394700
Total Lots Sold: 138
Total Lots Bought In: 52
Buy In %: 27.37%
Total Sale Proceeds: $966751

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

Low Total Lots: 163
Low Sold: 117
Low Bought In: 46
Buy In %: 28.22%
Total Low Estimate: $913700
Total Low Sold: $594251

Mid Total Lots: 26
Mid Sold: 19
Mid Bought In: 7
Buy In %: 26.92%
Total Mid Estimate: $411000
Total Mid Sold: $312500

High Total Lots: 1
High Sold: 1
High Bought In: 0
Buy In %: 0.00%
Total High Estimate: $70000
Total High Sold: $60000

The top lot by High estimate was lot 111, Ansel Adams, Portfolio Four: What Majestic Word, 1963, at $50000-70000; it was also the top outcome of the sale at $60000.

Only 76.09% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range; there were many more lots that sold below the range than in a normal sale, with a few lots without reserves selling for as little as $500. There were a total of five surprises in this sale (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate):

Lot 10, Jacques-Henri Lartigue, Grand Prix de l’A.C.E., Automobile Delage, 1912/Later, at $12500
Lot 38, Leni Riefenstahl, Der Liebestanz, 1980s, at $6000
Lot 53, Hans Bellmer, La Poupee, 1935/1972, at $6875
Lot 77, Frederick Debourg Richards, Angelsea, New Jersey, c1880, at $5250
Lot 136, Alfred Stieglitz, Studies from Camera Work, 1907-1917, at $16250

Complete lot by lot results can be found here.

20 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, NY 10020

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