Auction Results: Photographs, October 11, 2023 @Phillips

Against the backdrop of a relatively weak auction season for photography, the Photographs sale last week at Phillips in New York generally met expectations, which might be deemed a success in this environment. The top lot William Eggleston tricycle found a buyer within its estimate range, and although the overall Buy-In rate creeped up over 25%, a number of positive surprises helped to balance the numbers. In the end, the Total Sale Proceeds (of roughly $4.5M) came in just above 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 307
Aggregate Pre Sale Low Estimate $4331700
Aggregate Pre Sale High Estimate $6365300
Total Lots Sold 228
Total Lots Bought In 79
Buy In % 25.73%
Total Sale Proceeds $4501822

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

Detailed Breakdown
Low Total Lots 135
Total Low Lots Sold 108
Total Low Lots Bought In 27
Low Buy In % 20.00%
Aggregate High Estimate of Low Lots $947300
Total Proceeds from Low Lots $883412
Mid Total Lots 151
Total Mid Lots Sold 107
Total Mid Lots Bought In 44
Mid Buy In % 29.14%
Aggregate High Estimate of Mid Lots $3308000
Total Proceeds from Mid Lots $2268400
Total High Lots 21
Total High Lots Sold 13
Total High Lots Bought In 8
High Buy In % 38.10%
Aggregate High Estimate of High Lots $2110000
Total Proceeds from High Lots $1350010

The top lot by High estimate was lot 117, William Eggleston, Memphis, c1969/1970, estimated at $250000-350000; it was also the top outcome of the sale at $317500 (image above via Phillips).

95.18% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range and there were a total of 11 positive surprises in the sale (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate) (images above via Phillips):

Lot 32, Consuelo Kanaga, Profile of a Young Girl from the Tennessee Series, 1948/1950s, estimated at $5000-7000, sold at $33020

Lot 54, Ruth Orkin, My bike shadow & me on a San Francisco Hill, 1938, estimated at $2000-3000, sold at $6985

Lot 60, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Queen Charlotte’s Ball, London, 1959/later, estimated at $10000-15000, sold at $33020

Lot 123, George Tice, Petit’s Mobil Station and Watertower, Cherry Hill, N.J., 1974, estimated at $7000-9000, sold at $24130

Lot 127, Emmet Gowin, Subsidence Craters on Yucca Flat, Nevada Test Site, 1997, estimated at $3000-5000, sold at $10160

Lot 132, William Klein, Simone + Nina, Piazza di Spagna, Rome, 1960/2012, estimated at $8000-12000, sold at $25400

Lot 163, Kehinde Wiley, After Hans Holbein the Younger’s Portrait of Simon George, 2009, estimated at $8000-12000, sold at $27940

Lot 262, Wolfgang Tillmans, paper drop (light) a, 2019/2020, estimated at $12000-18000, sold at $48260

Lot 270, Anne Collier, Introduction, Fear, Anger, Despair, Guilt, Hope, Joy, Love/Conclusion, 2002, estimated at $10000-15000, sold at $33020

Lot 279, Christopher Williams, Erratum, AGFA Color (oversaturated), Camera: Robertson Process Model 31 580 Serial #F97-116, Lens: Apo Nikkor 455 mm stopped down to f90, Lighting: 16.000 Watts Tungsten 3200 degrees kelvin, Film: Kodak Plus-X Pan ASA 125, Kodak Pan Masking for contrast and color correction, Film developer: Kodak HC 110 Dilution B (1:7), used @ 68 degrees Fahrenheit, Exposure and development times (in minutes):, Exposure Development, Red Filter Kodak Wratten PM25 2’30 4’40, Green Filter Kodak Wratten PM61 10’20 3’30, Blue Filter Kodak Wratten PM47B 7’00 7’00, Paper: Fujicolor Crystal Archive Type C Glossy, Chemistry: Kodak RA-4, Processor: Tray, Exposure and development times (in seconds), Exposure Development, Red Filter Kodak Wratten #29 8, Green Filter Kodak Wratten #99 15’5 1’10, @ 92 degrees Fahrenheit, Blue Filter Kodak Wratten #98 30’5, October 7, 2000, 2000, estimated at $7000-9000, sold at $29210

Lot 289, Edward Burtynsky, Shipbreaking #50, Chittagong, Bangladesh, 2000, estimated at $6000-8000, sold at $24130

The complete lot by lot results can be found here.

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Read more about: Anne Collier, Christopher Williams, Consuelo Kanaga, Edward Burtynsky, Emmet Gowin, George Tice, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Kehinde Wiley, Ruth Orkin, William Eggleston, William Klein, Wolfgang Tillmans, Phillips

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