Auction Results: Photographs, October 2, 2020 @Bonhams

An overly large Buy-In rate (over 55%) and no positive surprises combined to dampen the results at the Photographs sale at Bonhams in New York last week. The Total Sale Proceeds tallied up at just over $750K, coming in meaningfully 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 164
Aggregate Pre Sale Low Estimate $1225800
Aggregate Pre Sale High Estimate $1804700
Total Lots Sold 73
Total Lots Bought In 91
Buy In % 55.49%
Total Sale Proceeds $769379

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

Detailed Breakdown
Low Total Lots 122
Total Low Lots Sold 51
Total Low Lots Bought In 71
Low Buy In % 58.20%
Aggregate High Estimate of Low Lots $600700
Total Proceeds from Low Lots $224604
Mid Total Lots 38
Total Mid Lots Sold 20
Total Mid Lots Bought In 18
Mid Buy In % 47.37%
Aggregate High Estimate of Mid Lots $934000
Total Proceeds from Mid Lots $413375
Total High Lots 4
Total High Lots Sold 2
Total High Lots Bought In 2
High Buy In % 50.00%
Aggregate High Estimate of High Lots $270000
Total Proceeds from High Lots $131400

The top lot by High estimate was tied between three lots, each estimated at $50000-70000: lot 38, Ansel Adams, Maroon Bells, Near Aspen, Colorado, 1951/1974; lot 64, Ansel Adams, Portfolio One: Twelve Photographic Prints by Ansel Adams, 1938-1948/1948; and lot 128, Ansel Adams, Portfolio IV: What Majestic Word, in Memory of Russell Varian, 1963. The Maroon Bells print was the top outcome of the sale at $75075 (image above, via Bonhams), while Portfolio I did not sell and Portfolio IV sold at $56325.

86.30% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range and there were no positive surprises in the sale (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate).

The complete lot by lot results can be found here.

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