Auction Results: Photographs, May 19, 2017 @Sotheby’s London

An overall Buy-In rate of higher than 40% is a tough obstacle for any auction to overcome, and Sotheby’s various owner Photographs sale in London failed to discover any solution to the problem of too many passed lots. With few positive surprises to bolster the foundations, the Total Sale Proceeds stumbled to noticeably less than the aggregate pre-sale estimate.

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

Summary Statistics
Total Lots 99
Pre Sale Low Total Estimate £1037500
Pre Sale High Total Estimate £1527500
Total Lots Sold 58
Total Lots Bought In 41
Buy In % 41.41%
Total Sale Proceeds £816000

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

Detailed Breakdown
Low Total Lots 15
Low Sold 10
Low Bought In 5
Low Buy In % 33.33%
Total Low Estimate £69500
Total Low Sold £40375
Mid Total Lots 71
Mid Sold 41
Mid Bought In 30
Mid Buy In % 42.25%
Total Mid Estimate £838000
Total Mid Sold £544375
Total High Lots 13
High Sold 7
High Bought In 6
High Buy In % 46.15%
Total High Estimate £620000
Total High Sold £231250

The top photography lot by High estimate was lot 52, Peter Beard, Elui, son of Nzenge Mkambo from Voi, 1962/later, estimated at £70000-100000 (image in preview post). It did not sell. The top outcome of the sale was lot 51, David Yarrow, Mankind, 2014, estimated at £15000-20000, sold at £60000 (image above, via Sotheby’s).

While 100.00% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range, only 32% sold above their ranges and there were only a total of 3 positive surprises in the sale (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate) (images above via Sotheby’s):

Lot 9, George Hoyningen-Huene, The Divers, 1930/later, estimated at £5000-7000, sold at £18750

Lot 51, David Yarrow, Mankind, 2014, estimated at £15000-20000, sold at £60000

Lot 76, Nan Goldin, Nan and Brian in Bed, N.Y.C., 1983, estimated at £8000-12000, sold at £50000

The complete lot by lot results can be found here.

Read more about: David Yarrow, George Hoyningen-Huene, Nan Goldin, Sotheby's

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