Auction Results: Photographs, May 23, 2015 @Sotheby’s London

The Buy-In rate was the dampening effect that muted the results of Sotheby’s recent various owner Photographs sale in London. With more than 44% of the lots failing to find buyers, and without enough positive surprises to make up the difference, it is no surprise that the Total Sale Proceeds fell below the pre-sale estimate range.

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

Summary Statistics
Total Lots 139
Aggregate Pre Sale Low Estimate £2005000
Aggregate Pre Sale High Estimate £2877000
Total Lots Sold 77
Total Lots Bought In 62
Buy In % 44.60%
Total Sale Proceeds £1667875

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

Detailed Breakdown
Low Total Lots 6
Total Low Lots Sold 1
Total Low Lots Bought In 5
Low Buy In % 83.33%
Aggregate High Estimate of Low Lots £30000
Total Proceeds from Low Lots £3250
Mid Total Lots 107
Total Mid Lots Sold 63
Total Mid Lots Bought In 44
Mid Buy In % 41.12%
Aggregate High Estimate of Mid Lots £1382000
Total Proceeds from Mid Lots £999625
Total High Lots 26
Total High Lots Sold 13
Total High Lots Bought In 13
High Buy In % 50.00
Aggregate High Estimate of High Lots £1465000
Total Proceeds from High Lots £665000

The top lot by High estimate was tied between two lots: lot 44, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Untitled (FGM78), 1923-1925/1929 and lot 46, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Untitled (FGM80A), 1923-1925/1929, both estimated at £100000-150000. The first Moholy-Nagy sold for £125000 and was the top outcome of the sale, while the second failed to sell.

96.10% of the photo lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range and there were a total of 5 surprises in the sale (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate) (images below via Sotheby’s):

Lot 7, Helmut Newton, Woman into Man, Paris, 1979/1984, estimated at £7000-10000, sold at £40000

Lot 13, Nobuyoshi Araki, Yakusa, 1994, estimated at £8000-12000, sold at £43750

Lot 16, Horst P. Horst, Round the Clock II, New York, 1987, estimated at £4000-6000, sold at £17500

Lot 17, Irving Penn, Chanel Feather Headdress (B), New York, 1994/2005, estimated at £15000-20000, sold at £68250 (image in preview post)

Lot 61, Erwin Blumenfeld, Shadow Profile, New York, 1944, estimated at £18000-23000, sold at £47500

Complete lot by lot results can be found here.

Send this article to a friend

Read more about: Erwin Blumenfeld, Helmut Newton, Horst P. Horst, Irving Penn, Nobuyoshi Araki, Sotheby's

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

Recent Articles

Wing Shya/Tsuguya Inoue, Chaos

Wing Shya/Tsuguya Inoue, Chaos

JTF (just the facts): Published in 2020 by Little More (distributor link here). Hardcover, 316×265 mm, 308 pages (unpaginated), with black-and-white and color image spreads/pairings. With short texts by the ... Read on.

Sign up for our weekly email newsletter