Auction Results: Photographs, May 17, 2018 @Sotheby’s London

Sotheby’s got the Spring photography auction season in London started last week with its various owner Photographs sale. Led by a Richard Avedon portfolio (which found a buyer), the sale generally met expectations. The overall Buy-In rate hovered above 27%, but with a handful of largely lower-end surprises to pick up some of the slack, the Total Sale Proceeds fell squarely in the middle of the aggregate pre-sale range.

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

Summary Statistics
Total Lots 72
Aggregate Pre Sale Low Estimate £1118000
Aggregate Pre Sale High Estimate £1630000
Total Lots Sold 52
Total Lots Bought In 20
Buy In % 27.78%
Total Sale Proceeds £1307250

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

Detailed Breakdown
Low Total Lots 12
Total Low Lots Sold 9
Total Low Lots Bought In 3
Low Buy In % 25.00
Aggregate High Estimate of Low Lots £52000
Total Proceeds from Low Lots £67375
Mid Total Lots 42
Total Mid Lots Sold 31
Total Mid Lots Bought In 11
Mid Buy In % 26.19%
Aggregate High Estimate of Mid Lots £573000
Total Proceeds from Mid Lots £476625
Total High Lots 18
Total High Lots Sold 12
Total High Lots Bought In 6
High Buy In % 33.33%
Aggregate High Estimate of High Lots £1005000
Total Proceeds from High Lots £763250

The top photography lot by High estimate was lot 24, Richard Avedon, Avedon/Paris portfolio, 1978, estimated at £150000-200000. It was also the top outcome of the sale at £237000 (image above, via Sotheby’s).

100.00% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range and there were a total of 7 positive surprises in the sale (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate) (images above via Sotheby’s):

Lot 8, Elliott Erwitt, Felix, Gladys, and Rover, 1974/later, estimated at £3000-5000, sold at £10000

Lot 9, Jeanloup Sieff, Chapeau du maitre Akio Hirata, 1992, estimated at £2000-3000, sold at £6000

Lot 10, Robert Doisneau, La Dame Idignee, The Romi Gallery, Paris, 1947, estimated at £2000-3000, sold at £10000

Lot 16, Helmut Newton, Woman With Horse, Burbank, 1987, estimated at £10000-15000, sold at £30000

Lot 19, Andy Warhol, Self-Portrait, 1977, estimated at £2000-3000, sold at £10000

Lot 22, Sally Mann, Venus After School, 1992, estimated at £3000-5000, sold at £11250

Lot 72, David Yarrow, 78 Degrees North, Svalvbard, Norway, 2017, estimated at £18000-25000, sold at £81250

The complete lot by lot results can be found here.

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Read more about: Andy Warhol, David Yarrow, Elliott Erwitt, Helmut Newton, Jeanloup Sieff, Richard Avedon, Robert Doisneau, Sally Mann, Sotheby's

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