Auction Results: Photographs from the Martin Z. Margulies Foundation, April 4, 2024 @Phillips

When lists of powerhouse photography collectors have been made in the past decade or two, Martin Margulies would never fail to be amongst the top rung of the most active names. This sale brought together a portion of his holdings, sold to benefit his foundation, and the results generally met expectations. The top lot Cindy Sherman bus riders found a buyer and tied for the top lot honors with a Thomas Struth museum view, and a record price was set for a print by Alec Soth (at roughly $152K). More broadly, the overall Buy-In rate settled in under 25%, and even with just a few positive surprises, the Total Sale Proceeds (of roughly $2.2M) tallied up in the middle of the aggregate pre-sale estimate range.

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

Summary Statistics
Total Lots 158
Aggregate Pre Sale Low Estimate $1886500
Aggregate Pre Sale High Estimate $2796500
Total Lots Sold 119
Total Lots Bought In 39
Buy In % 24.68%
Total Sale Proceeds $2229094

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

Detailed Breakdown
Low Total Lots 91
Total Low Lots Sold 73
Total Low Lots Bought In 18
Low Buy In % 19.78%
Aggregate High Estimate of Low Lots $590500
Total Proceeds from Low Lots $513969
Mid Total Lots 57
Total Mid Lots Sold 38
Total Mid Lots Bought In 19
Mid Buy In % 33.33%
Aggregate High Estimate of Mid Lots $1116000
Total Proceeds from Mid Lots $743575
Total High Lots 10
Total High Lots Sold 8
Total High Lots Bought In 2
High Buy In % 20.00%
Aggregate High Estimate of High Lots $1090000
Total Proceeds from High Lots $971550

The top lot by High estimate was lot 46, Cindy Sherman, Untitled (Bus Riders I), 1976/2000, estimated at $150000-250000; it was tied for the top outcome of the sale at $190500 with lot 49, Thomas Struth, Pergamon Museum 1, Berlin, 2001 (images above via Phillips).

89.92% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range and there were a total of 3 positive surprises in the sale (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate) (images above via Phillips):

Lot 44, Francesca Woodman, From Space 2, Providence, Rhode Island, 1975-1978/1997, estimated at $7000-9000, sold at $63500

Lot 55, Alec Soth, Charles, Vasa, Minnesota, 2002, estimated at $50000-70000, sold at $152400

Lot 112, Marc Riboud, The Antique Dealer’s Shop Windows, Beijing, 1965/later, estimated at $3000-5000, sold at $10160

The complete lot by lot results can be found here.

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Read more about: Alec Soth, Cindy Sherman, Francesca Woodman, Marc Riboud, Thomas Struth, Phillips

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