Auction Results: Photographs, including Edward Weston/Cole Weston: The Master Set Property of the Cole Weston Trust, September 30, 2014 @Sotheby’s

The results of Sotheby’s various owner Photographs sale earlier this week in New York were a bit of a good news/bad news story. The bad news was that the massive collection of Edward Weston images printed by Cole Weston didn’t sell, thereby torpedoing the numbers for the auction (given its estimate of $2-3 million). The good news was that if we strip out that one disappointing lot, the sale performed admirably well, with a total of 19 positive surprises and Total Sale Proceeds near the top of the range (again stripping out the EW/CW lot). While the Buy-In rate came in over 30%, those positive surprises were broad based and helped the mid and high end lots to deliver solid aggregate results. In this case, the quality of the material seems to have attracted plenty of eager buyers.

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

Summary Statistics
Total Lots 236
Aggregate Pre Sale Low Estimate $5738000
Aggregate Pre Sale High Estimate $8654000
Total Lots Sold 163
Total Lots Bought In 73
Buy In % 30.93%
Total Sale Proceeds $5547188

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

Detailed Breakdown
Low Total Lots 103
Total Low Lots Sold 65
Total Low Lots Bought In 38
Low Buy In % 36.89%
Aggregate High Estimate of Low Lots $833000
Total Proceeds from Low Lots $571188
Mid Total Lots 111
Total Mid Lots Sold 80
Total Mid Lots Bought In 31
Mid Buy In % 27.93%
Aggregate High Estimate of Mid Lots $2501000
Total Proceeds from Mid Lots $2507000
Total High Lots 22
Total High Lots Sold 18
Total High Lots Bought In 4
High Buy In % 18.18%
Aggregate High Estimate of High Lots $5320000
Total Proceeds from High Lots $2469000

The top lot by High estimate was lot 108, Edward Weston/Cole Weston, The Master Set (548 photographs), 1918-1949/1958-2003, estimated at $2000000-3000000; it did not sell. The top outcome of the sale was lot 126, Man Ray, Lee Miller, c1930, estimated at $100000-150000, sold at $455000 (image above, left, via Sotheby’s).

90.80% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range, and there were a total of 19 surprises in the sale (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate):

Lot 1, Ansel Adams, Oak Tree, Sunset City, Sierra Foothills, California, 1962/1973-1977, estimated at $10000-15000, sold at $31250

Lot 13, Ansel Adams, Taos Pueblo, 1930, estimated at $20000-30000, sold at $81250

Lot 34, Edward Weston, Artichoke – Halved, 1930, estimated at $30000-50000, sold at $173000 (image above, right, via Sotheby’s)

Lot 58, Lewis Hine, Mechanic at Steam Pump in Electric Power House, 1921, estimated at $70000-100000, sold at $269000 (image featured in preview post)

Lot 80, Alfred Stieglitz, Dorothy True, 1919/1946, estimated at $15000-25000, sold at $149000 (image above, middle, via Sotheby’s)

Lot 81, Alfred Stieglitz, Hand and Ford Car, 1933/1946, estimated at $20000-30000, sold at $125000

Lot 94, Harry Callahan, Eleanor (Double Exposure), 1948, estimated at $30000-50000, sold at $100000

Lot 101, Robert Adams, Longmont, Colorado, 1979-1982/1992, estimated at $15000-25000, sold at $68750

Lot 102, Robert Adams, Fort Collins, Colorado, 1976/1996, estimated at $12000-18000, sold at $37500

Lot 125, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Stockholm, 1930, estimated at $30000-50000, sold at $112500

Lot 126, Man Ray, Lee Miller, c1930, estimated at $100000-150000, sold at $455000 (image above, left, via Sotheby’s)

Lot 148, Ray Metzker, Europe: Frankfurt, 1961/Later, estimated at $6000-9000, sold at $22500

Lot 149, Ray Metzker, Selected Philadelphia Images, 1963 and 1981/Later, estimated at $7000-10000, sold at $28125

Lot 162, Francesca Woodman, Untitled (Providence, Rhode Island, Self-Portrait, Kneeling), 1975-1976, estimated at $20000-30000, sold at $68750

Lot 163, Francesca Woodman, Untitled (Providence, Rhode Island, Self-Portrait with Glass), 1976, estimated at $40000-60000, sold at $149000

Lot 164, Francesca Woodman, Untitled (Horseshoe Crab, Providence), 1976, estimated at $5000-7000, sold at $28125

Lot 173, Robert Adams, Looking Toward Los Angeles Across San Timoteo Canyon, San Bernadino County, California (Redlands), 1978/1982, estimated at $7000-10000, sold at $31250

Lot 175, Robert Adams, Boulder County, Colorado, 1973/1983, estimated at $8000-12000, sold at $28125

Lot 206, Robert Mapplethorpe, Irises, 1988, estimated at $12000-18000, sold at $50000

Complete lot by lot results can be found here (Photographs) and here (EW/CW).

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