Auction Results: Photographs, October 2, 2018 @Bonhams

The highest priced lots in the recent Photographs sale at Bonhams in New York fared poorly, and coupled with an overall Buy-In rate over 45%, it was inevitable that the final tally would be disappointing. While a handful of positive surprises did help a bit, the Total Sale Proceeds fell well below the low end of the aggregate pre-sale estimate.

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

Summary Statistics
Total Lots 138
Aggregate Pre Sale Low Estimate $1087000
Aggregate Pre Sale High Estimate $1604000
Total Lots Sold 75
Total Lots Bought In 63
Buy In % 45.65%
Total Sale Proceeds $646250

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

Detailed Breakdown
Low Total Lots 101
Total Low Lots Sold 60
Total Low Lots Bought In 41
Low Buy In % 40.59%
Aggregate High Estimate of Low Lots $593000
Total Proceeds from Low Lots $375000
Mid Total Lots 32
Total Mid Lots Sold 14
Total Mid Lots Bought In 18
Mid Buy In % 56.25%
Aggregate High Estimate of Mid Lots $651000
Total Proceeds from Mid Lots $227500
Total High Lots 5
Total High Lots Sold 1
Total High Lots Bought In 4
High Buy In % 80.00%
Aggregate High Estimate of High Lots $360000
Total Proceeds from High Lots $43750

The top lot by High estimate was lot 32, Richard Avedon, Charlie Chaplin, Leaving America, September 13, 1952, 1952, estimated at $80000-120000; it did not sell. The top outcome of the sale was lot 81, Ansel Adams, The Tetons and the Snake River, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, 1942/later, estimated at $30000-50000, sold at $60000.

90.67% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range and there were a total of 5 positive surprises in the sale (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate) (image above via Bonhams):

Lot 18, Griffith J. Davis, Untitled, 1940s, estimated at $2000-3000, sold at $6875

Lot 65, Herb Ritts, Madonna, True Blue, Hollywood, 1985, estimated at $5000-7000, sold at $15000

Lot 72, Dain Tasker, Tulips; Lily; and Strelitzia (Bird of Paradise), c1930, together estimated at $5000-7000, sold at $30000

Lot 102, Man Ray, George Cukor’s House and Garden, 1940-1949, estimated at $2500-3500, sold at $8125

Lot 114, Martine Franck, 12 year old Tulka Khentrul Lodro Rabsel with his tutor, Lhagyel, Shechen Monastery, Bodnath, Nepal, 1996/later, estimated at $2000-3000, sold at $6000

The complete lot by lot results can be found here.

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Read more about: Dr. Dain L. Tasker, Griffith J. Davis, Herb Ritts, Man Ray, Martine Franck, Bonhams

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