Auction Results: Photographs, October 14, 2020 @Sotheby’s London (online)

An overall Buy-In rate of nearly 50% dampened the results of the recent Photographs sale at Sotheby’s in London. The softness was felt similarly across the price tiers, with the highest price tier faring the worst and the top lot failing to sell. Prints from Wolfgang Tillmans fought against the prevailing tide and performed solidly. In the end, the Total Sale Proceeds (of roughly £1.0M) fell 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 149
Aggregate Pre Sale Low Estimate £1570900
Aggregate Pre Sale High Estimate £2289100
Total Lots Sold 77
Total Lots Bought In 72
Buy In % 48.32%
Total Sale Proceeds £1077058

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

Detailed Breakdown
Low Total Lots 40
Total Low Lots Sold 21
Total Low Lots Bought In 19
Low Buy In % 47.50%
Aggregate High Estimate of Low Lots £161100
Total Proceeds from Low Lots £93240
Mid Total Lots 86
Total Mid Lots Sold 46
Total Mid Lots Bought In 40
Mid Buy In % 46.51%
Aggregate High Estimate of Mid Lots £941000
Total Proceeds from Mid Lots £568018
Total High Lots 23
Total High Lots Sold 10
Total High Lots Bought In 13
High Buy In % 56.52%
Aggregate High Estimate of High Lots £1187000
Total Proceeds from High Lots £415800

The top photography lot by High estimate was lot 36, Peter Beard, Large Mugger Crocodile, Circa 15-16 Feet, Uganda, 1966, estimated at £100000-150000; it did not sell. The top outcome of the sale was lot 154, Mario Testino, Exposed, Kate Moss, 2008, estimated at £60000-80000, sold at £75600 (image above, via Sotheby’s.)

97.40% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range and there were a total of 4 positive surprises in the sale (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate) (image above via Sotheby’s):

Lot 21, Misan Harriman, Why is Ending Racism a Debate?, London, June 2020, 2020, estimated at £3000-5000, sold at £10080

Lot 43, Wolfgang Tillmans, Paper Drop, Star, 2006, estimated at £7000-10000, sold at £35280

Lot 46, Wolfgang Tillmans, Dan, 2008/2009, estimated at £5000-7000, sold at £15120

Lot 49, Wolfgang Tillmans, Window Caravaggio, 1997/1999, estimated at £8000-12000, sold at £27720

The complete lot by lot results can be found here.

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Read more about: Mario Testino, Misan Harriman, Wolfgang Tillmans, Sotheby's

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