Auction Results: Photographs, October 2, 2019 @Bonhams

The Photographs sale at Bonhams in New York last week stumbled out of the gate (with 8 straight passes) and never recovered. The Buy-In rate eventually came in at a whopping 68%, so there were clearly some bargains to be had. A Becher typology was the top outcome of the sale and a Werner Rohde still life (with a 1929 Film und Foto label) quadrupled its high estimate, but the rest of the news was more depressing. In the end, the Total Sale Proceeds tallied up at less than $500K, far 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 153
Aggregate Pre Sale Low Estimate $1234700
Aggregate Pre Sale High Estimate $1792300
Total Lots Sold 48
Total Lots Bought In 105
Buy In % 68.63%
Total Sale Proceeds $466172

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

Detailed Breakdown
Low Total Lots 108
Total Low Lots Sold 39
Total Low Lots Bought In 69
Low Buy In % 63.89%
Aggregate High Estimate of Low Lots $562300
Total Proceeds from Low Lots $219845
Mid Total Lots 42
Total Mid Lots Sold 8
Total Mid Lots Bought In 34
Mid Buy In % 80.95%
Aggregate High Estimate of Mid Lots $930000
Total Proceeds from Mid Lots $146252
Total High Lots 3
Total High Lots Sold 1
Total High Lots Bought In 2
High Buy In % 66.67%
Aggregate High Estimate of High Lots $300000
Total Proceeds from High Lots $100075

The top lot by High estimate was lot 11 Andres Serrano, Piss Christ, 1987, estimated at $80000-120000; it did not sell. The top outcome of the sale was lot 121, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Six Industrial Facades, 1974-1985, estimated at $80000-100000, sold at $100075 (image above, via Bonhams).

93.75% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range and there were a total of 3 positive surprises in the sale (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate) (images above via Bonhams):

Lot 12, Anonymous, X-ray of a cadaver, c1910, estimated at $1000-1500, sold at $3060

Lot 60, Werner Rohde, Karneval, 1928, estimated at $7000-9000, sold at $37575

Lot 77, Werner Mantz, Untitled, 1929, estimated at $3000-4000, sold at $10700

The complete lot by lot results can be found here.

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Read more about: Bernd and Hilla Becher, Werner Mantz, Werner Rohde, Bonhams

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