The Fall photography auction season in New York got started yesterday, with the single owner Robert L. Forbes collection sale at Christie’s. On the surface, the results might look adequate: Total Sale Proceeds falling within the pre sale range, a major positive surprise with a Lewis Carroll portrait, and the top five lots all finding buyers. But these positives mask some meaningful weakness in the sale: a Buy-In rate above 40%, no other positive surprises (beyond the Carroll), and particular softness in the mid range; the Callahan run of Eleanor later prints didn’t fare particularly well, nor did the lesser known Penn images from Cuzco. So in many ways, it was an uneven mixed bag, disguised by the vibrant jolt of the Carroll.
The summary statistics are below (all results include the buyer’s premium):
|Aggregate Pre Sale Low Estimate||$1074500|
|Aggregate Pre Sale High Estimate||$1637500|
|Total Lots Sold||37|
|Total Lots Bought In||25|
|Buy In %||40.32%|
|Total Sale Proceeds||$1278125|
Here is the breakdown (using the Low, Mid, and High definitions from the preview post):
|Low Total Lots||18|
|Total Low Lots Sold||11|
|Total Low Lots Bought In||7|
|Low Buy In %||38.89%|
|Aggregate High Estimate of Low Lots||$130500|
|Total Proceeds from Low Lots||$67125|
|Mid Total Lots||39|
|Total Mid Lots Sold||21|
|Total Mid Lots Bought In||18|
|Mid Buy In %||46.15%|
|Aggregate High Estimate of Mid Lots||$897000|
|Total Proceeds from Mid Lots||$517500|
|Total High Lots||5|
|Total High Lots Sold||5|
|Total High Lots Bought In||0|
|High Buy In %||0.00%|
|Aggregate High Estimate of High Lots||$610000|
|Total Proceeds from High Lots||$693500|
The top lot by High estimate was lot 10, Irving Penn, Harlequin Dress (Lisa Fonssagrives-Penn), 1950/1979, estimated at $200000-300000; it was also the top outcome of the sale at $245000.
78.38% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range, and there was only 1 surprise in the sale (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate):
Lot 16, Lewis Carroll, Lorina and Alice Liddell in Chinese Costume, c1860, estimated at $10000-15000, sold at $106250 (image above, left, via Christie’s).
Complete lot by lot results can be found here.