Auction Results: Photographs, October 3, 2013 @Christie’s

It’s nearly impossible to salvage a decent overall outcome at an auction when your million dollar top lot fails to sell and only 4 out of the top 12 lots on offer find buyers. This was the reality faced by Christie’s with its various owner Photographs sale last week in New York. In general, there wasn’t much to report: the Buy-In rate crept up near 35% , there were few positive surprises, and the Total Sale Proceeds missed the low end of the range by a wide margin.

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

Summary Statistics
Total Lots 242
Aggregate Pre Sale Low Estimate $6028500
Aggregate Pre Sale High Estimate $8968000
Total Lots Sold 158
Total Lots Bought In 84
Buy In % 34.71%
Total Sale Proceeds $4535188

Here is the breakdown (using the Low, Mid, and High definitions from the preview post):

Detailed Breakdown
Low Total Lots 58
Total Low Lots Sold 39
Total Low Lots Bought In 19
Low Buy In % 32.76%
Aggregate High Estimate of Low Lots $425000
Total Proceeds from Low Lots $274398
Mid Total Lots 154
Total Mid Lots Sold 101
Total Mid Lots Bought In 53
Mid Buy In % 34.42%
Aggregate High Estimate of Mid Lots $3753000
Total Proceeds from Mid Lots $2475500
Total High Lots 30
Total High Lots Sold 18
Total High Lots Bought In 12
High Buy In % 40.00%
Aggregate High Estimate of High Lots $4790000
Total Proceeds from High Lots $1784750

The top lot by High estimate was lot 267, Edward Curtis, The North American Indian, Portfolios 1-20 and Text Volumes 1-20, 1907-1930, estimated at $1000000-1500000;it did not sell. The top outcome of the sale was lot 303, William Eggleston, Memphis (Tricycle), c1970/1980, estimated at $250000-350000, sold at $293000.

94.94% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range, and there were a total of 5 surprises in the sale (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate:

Lot 130, Berenice Abbott, New York at Night, 1932/1934, estimated at $20000-30000, sold at $87500 (image above, left, via Christie’s)

Lot 139, Irving Penn, The Hand of Miles Davis, New York, July 1, 1986, 1986, estimated at $70000-90000, sold at $245000

Lot 205, Francesca Woodman, Self Portrait, 1979/1980, estimated at $25000-35000, sold at $173000 (image above, middle, via Christie’s)

Lot 206, Francesca Woodman, Self-deciet (sic), 1978/1979,estimated at $15000-25000, sold at $50000

Lot 272, Ruth Bernhard, Spanish Dancer, 1971/later, estimated at $7000-9000, sold at $21250 (image above, right, via Christie’s)

Complete lot by lot results can be found here.

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Read more about: Berenice Abbott, Francesca Woodman, Ruth Bernhard, Christie's

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