Auction Results: Photographs, November 17, 2021 @Doyle

Too many lots selling below their estimate ranges led to softness in the results of the recent Photographs sale at Doyle in New York. More than 53% of the lots that found buyers did so under their estimate ranges, and while there were a number of low priced positive surprises, their momentum wasn’t enough to pull up the overall numbers. In the end, the Total Sale Proceeds (of roughly $580K) came in below the low end of the aggregate pre-sale estimate range.

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

Summary Statistics
Total Lots 150
Aggregate Pre Sale Low Estimate $631400
Aggregate Pre Sale High Estimate $950500
Total Lots Sold 113
Total Lots Bought In 37
Buy In % 24.67%
Total Sale Proceeds $588418

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

Detailed Breakdown
Low Total Lots 140
Total Low Lots Sold 106
Total Low Lots Bought In 34
Low Buy In % 24.29%
Aggregate High Estimate of Low Lots $318500
Total Proceeds from Low Lots $186478
Mid Total Lots 6
Total Mid Lots Sold 5
Total Mid Lots Bought In 1
Mid Buy In % 16.67%
Aggregate High Estimate of Mid Lots $112000
Total Proceeds from Mid Lots $61740
Total High Lots 4
Total High Lots Sold 2
Total High Lots Bought In 2
High Buy In % 50.00%
Aggregate High Estimate of High Lots $520000
Total Proceeds from High Lots $340200

The top lot by High estimate was lot 44, Walker Evans, Forty-six gelatin photographs dating from his 1933 trip to Cuba, 1933, estimated at $200000-300000; it sold at $163800. The top outcome of the sale was lot 15, Felice Beato, Photographic Views of Japan with Historical and Descriptive Notes, c1869, estimated at $40000-60000, sold at $176400 (image above, via Doyle).

Only 46.90% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range, and there were a total of 12 positive surprises in the sale (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate) (images above via Doyle):

Lot 9, David Armstrong, Thiebaud, Paris, 2005, estimated at $500-800, sold at $1764

Lot 15, Felice Beato, Photographic Views of Japan with Historical and Descriptive Notes, c1869, estimated at $40000-60000, sold at $176400

Lot 17, Lynda Benglis, Three works. Minibird; Bauhinia; and Rhodi, c2002-2003, estimated $1000-1500, sold at $3150

Lot 21, Margaret Bourke-White, Self-Portrait in Aviator’s Suit, with fourteen other prints by the artist, 1943/1957, estimated at $700-1000, sold at $2268

Lot 24, Margaret Bourke-White, Sierra Madre Mountains, California, 1935, estimated at $3000-5000, sold at $10800

Lot 37, John Dugdale, Self-portrait with Venetian Man, 1997, estimated at $700-1000, sold at $3150

Lot 60, Peter Hujar, Candy Darling on her Death Bed, 1973/1980s, estimated at $5000-8000, sold at $23940

Lot 65, Michael Kenna, Stonehenge, Wiltshire, England, 1990, estimated at $400-600, sold at $1260

Lot 69, Fred McDarrah, Three vintage gelatin silver prints. Comprises Kusama at Gallery Gertrude Stein, December 21, 1963; Kusama Does Election Day Demonstration, Varick Street, November 3, 1968; and Yayoi Kusama in her Studio, June 1, 1963, 1968, 1967, estimated at $1000-1500, sold at $5040

Lot 73, Eadweard Muybridge, Chickens scared by a torpedo, c1887, estimated at $300-600, sold at $1386

Lot 120, Alfred Wertheimer, Group of three gelatin silver prints of Charles Manuel “Sweet Daddy” Grace, 1950s, estimated at $800-1200, sold at $5040

Lot 150, Various, Photobooks (approximately 60 volumes), estimated at $700-1000, sold at 3465

The complete lot by lot results can be found here.

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Read more about: David Armstrong, Eadweard Muybridge, Felix Beato, Fred W. McDarrah, John Dugdale, Lynda Benglis, Margaret Bourke-White, Michael Kenna, Peter Hujar, Doyle

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