Auction Results: Photographs, October 14, 2020 @Phillips

A touch of softness in the highest price tier was all it took to weaken the results of the Photographs sale at Phillips in New York last week. The overall Buy-In rate came in just over 30%, but the passed lots were weighted toward the top end. While a Moholy-Nagy photogram jumped up to $375K and there were a few additional positive surprises, they weren’t enough to pull the Total Sale Proceeds (of roughly $3.5M) 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 267
Aggregate Pre Sale Low Estimate $3869100
Aggregate Pre Sale High Estimate $5681400
Total Lots Sold 186
Total Lots Bought In 81
Buy In % 30.34%
Total Sale Proceeds $3537000

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

Detailed Breakdown
Low Total Lots 137
Total Low Lots Sold 99
Total Low Lots Bought In 38
Low Buy In % 27.74%
Aggregate High Estimate of Low Lots $912400
Total Proceeds from Low Lots $673875
Mid Total Lots 107
Total Mid Lots Sold 73
Total Mid Lots Bought In 34
Mid Buy In % 31.78%
Aggregate High Estimate of Mid Lots $2364000
Total Proceeds from Mid Lots $1574375
Total High Lots 23
Total High Lots Sold 14
Total High Lots Bought In 9
High Buy In % 39.13%
Aggregate High Estimate of High Lots $2405000
Total Proceeds from High Lots $1288750

The top lot by High estimate was lot 83, Andreas Gursky, São Paulo, Sé, 2002, estimated at $400000-600000;  it did not sell. The top outcome of the sale was lot 217, László Moholy-Nagy, Fotogramm, 1925-1928/1929, estimated at $80000-120000, sold at $375000 (image above via Phillips).

91.40% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range and there were a total of 6 positive surprises in the sale (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate) (images above via Phillips):

Lot 39, Dennis Hopper, Andy Warhol and Members of the Factory, 1964/2010, estimated at $5000-7000, sold at $16250

Lot 44, Peter Hujar, David Wojnarowicz, 1981, estimated at $8000-12000, sold at $45000

Lot 59, Nobuyoshi Araki, Kaori, 2004, estimated at $6000-8000, sold at $17500

Lot 93, Nan Goldin, Jimmy Paulette on David’s Bike, NYC, 1991, estimated at $7000-9000, sold at $20000

Lot 189, Pentti Sammallahti, Delhi, India (flock of birds), 1999/2018, estimated at $800-1200, sold at $3250

Lot 217, László Moholy-Nagy, Fotogramm, 1925-1928/1929, estimated at $80000-120000, sold at $375000

The complete lot by lot results can be found here.

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Read more about: Dennis Hopper, László Moholy-Nagy, Nan Goldin, Nobuyoshi Araki, Pentti Sammallahti, Peter Hujar, Phillips

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