Auction Results: Photographs, October 2, 2019 @Christie’s

Led by an eclectic mix of Helmut Newton prints, Andy Warhol Polaroids, and benefit lots for Aperture, the sprawling various owner Photographs sale at Christie’s in New York last week tallied up at nearly 300 lots and $9M of estimated value. While the top lot Edward Curtis North American Indian volumes didn’t sell, there were enough positive surprises to fill in a few of the gaps. In the end, the overall Buy-In rate lingered just above 30%, and the Total Sale Proceeds topped $6M, 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 296
Aggregate Pre Sale Low Estimate $6006000
Aggregate Pre Sale High Estimate $9041500
Total Lots Sold 203
Total Lots Bought In 93
Buy In % 31.42%
Total Sale Proceeds $6015000

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

Detailed Breakdown
Low Total Lots 104
Total Low Lots Sold 71
Total Low Lots Bought In 33
Low Buy In % 31.73%
Aggregate High Estimate of Low Lots $717500
Total Proceeds from Low Lots $559750
Mid Total Lots 163
Total Mid Lots Sold 112
Total Mid Lots Bought In 51
Mid Buy In % 31.29%
Aggregate High Estimate of Mid Lots $3254000
Total Proceeds from Mid Lots $2497500
Total High Lots 29
Total High Lots Sold 20
Total High Lots Bought In 9
High Buy In % 31.03%
Aggregate High Estimate of High Lots $5070000
Total Proceeds from High Lots $2957750

The top lot by High estimate was lot 136, Edward Curtis, The North American Indian (20 portfolios and 20 text volumes), 1907-1930, estimated at $600000-900000; it did not sell. The top outcome of the sale was lot 349, Helmut Newton, Panoramic Nude, Woman with Gun, Villa d’Este, Como, 1989, estimated at $300000-500000, sold at $399000 (image above via Christie’s).

94.09% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range and there were a total of 13 positive surprises in the sale (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate) (images above via Christie’s):

Lot 101, Doris Ulmann, Lang Syne Plantation, South Carolina, c1927, estimated at $5000-7000, sold at $16250

Lot 107, Sid Grossman, Mr. Parr and his boys, c1940, estimated at $3000-5000, sold at $10250

Lot 115, Walker Evans, Mule Team and Poster, Demopolis, Alabama, 1936, estimated at $10000-15000, sold at $43750

Lot 139, Lewis Hine, New York City from the Empire State Building, 1931, estimated at $40000-60000, sold at $125000

Lot 156, Weegee, Weegee portfolio, 1936-1952/1982, estimated at $20000-30000, sold at $62500

Lot 240, Sally Mann, Virginia at 9, 1994, estimated at $8000-12000, sold at $35000

Lot 241, William Wegman, On and On, 2015, estimated at $12000-18000, sold at $50000

Lot 301, Fan Ho, Fisherman’s Return, 1957, estimated at $10000-15000, sold at $32500

Lot 339, Lynn Davis, Iceberg #30, Disko Bay, Greenland, 2000/2001, estimated at $7000-9000, sold at $36250

Lot 340, Lynn Davis, Iceberg #27, Disko Bay, Greenland, 2000/2001, estimated at $7000-9000, sold at $20000

Lot 342, Peter Beard, Large tusker (c 150 lbs per side), Tsavo North, near hunting block 33/Ithumber Hill on the Athi-Tiva dry river, 1965/later, estimated at $40000-60000, sold at $225000

Lot 343, Peter Beard, World-Class Black Rhino, Aberdare Forest, 1972/later, estimated at $40000-60000, sold at $250000

Lot 351, Helmut Newton, Yves St. Laurent, Rue Aubriot, French Vogue, Paris, 19575/1988, estimated at $15000-25000, sold at $90000

The complete lot by lot results can be found here.

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Read more about: Doris Ulmann, Fan Ho, Helmut Newton, Lewis Hine, Lynn Davis, Peter Beard, Sally Mann, Sid Grossman, Walker Evans, Weegee (Arthur Felig), William Wegman, Christie's

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