Auction Results: Photographs, New York, March 31, 2009 @Christie’s

If higher end buyers had shown up in more force at Christie’s yesterday, the results might have been quite a bit better than what actually occurred. 9 of the 15 high end lots (60%) were bought in, and when these big ticket items fail to sell, it drags down the whole endeavor. That said, the Low and Mid ranges performed solidly, and so overall, it was a reasonable, workmanlike performance, albeit with lower total proceeds than they probably would have liked or expected.

The summary statistics are below:

Total Lots: 115 (one lot withdrawn since preview post)
Pre Sale Low Total Estimate: $2273000
Pre Sale High Total Estimate: $3340000

Total Lots Sold: 82
Total Lots Bought In: 33
Buy In %: 28.70%
Total Sale Proceeds: $1554250

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

Low Total Lots: 15
Low Sold: 12
Low Bought In: 3
Buy In %: 20.00%
Total Low Estimate: $123000
Total Low Sold: $106000

Mid Total Lots: 85
Mid Sold: 64
Mid Bought In: 21
Buy In %: 24.71%
Total Mid Estimate: $1707000
Total Mid Sold: $1025500

High Total Lots: 15
High Sold: 6
High Bought In: 9
Buy In %: 60.00%
Total High Estimate: $1510000
Total High Sold: $422750

86.96% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range, so Christie’s is clearly fine tuning their estimates with more accuracy. There were two surprises (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate) in this sale: lot 47, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Judith Martinez Ortega, Mexico, 1934 at $25000, and lot 116, William Eggleston, Untitled, 1973, from Los Alamos, at $18750.

Complete lot by lot results can be found here.

20 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, NY 10020

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