Auction Results: Photographs, October 6, 2023 @Bonhams

Following the trend of lackluster results during this season’s photography auctions, the Photographs sale at Bonhams failed to generate much heat. The highest priced lots were the softest, but the overall Buy-In rate above 45% wasn’t a welcome metric. With just a few positive surprises to help the numbers a bit, the Total Sale Proceeds (of roughly $795K) fell 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 191
Aggregate Pre Sale Low Estimate $1520700
Aggregate Pre Sale High Estimate $2320300
Total Lots Sold 105
Total Lots Bought In 86
Buy In % 45.03%
Total Sale Proceeds $795432

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

Detailed Breakdown
Low Total Lots 154
Total Low Lots Sold 86
Total Low Lots Bought In 68
Low Buy In % 44.16%
Aggregate High Estimate of Low Lots $795300
Total Proceeds from Low Lots $339712
Mid Total Lots 32
Total Mid Lots Sold 18
Total Mid Lots Bought In 14
Mid Buy In % 43.75%
Aggregate High Estimate of Mid Lots $745000
Total Proceeds from Mid Lots $315520
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 $780000
Total Proceeds from High Lots $140200

The top lot by High estimate was tied between two lots, both estimated at $150000-250000: lot 34, Richard Avedon, Francis Bacon, artist, Paris 4-11-79, 1979, and lot 48, Irving Penn, Poppy: Glowing Embers, 1968/1989; the Avedon print did not sell, while the Penn print was the top outcome of the sale at $140200 (image above, via Bonhams.)

Just 59.30% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range and there were 3 positive surprises in the sale (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate) (images above, via Bonhams):

Lot 32, Alfred Eisenstaedt, Andrew Wyeth’s Bedroom, Cushing, Maine, 1965, estimated at $1500-2500, sold at $7040

Lot 43, John Dugdale, Palazzo Doria (Hall of Antiquities), Rome, 1997, estimated at $1000-2000, sold at $4480

Lot 189, Barbara Probst, Exposure #103: N.Y.C., 401 Broadway, 12.05.12, 4:26 p.m., 2012, estimated at $5000-7000, sold at $15360

The complete lot by lot results can be found here.

Send this article to a friend

Read more about: Alfred Eisenstaedt, Barbara Probst, Irving Penn, John Dugdale, Bonhams

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

Recent Articles

Frank Lebon, One Blood

Frank Lebon, One Blood

JTF (just the facts): Published in 2024 by Little Big Man Books (here). Softbound with dust jacket, 10 x 7 inches, 292 pages with numerous color photographs. Includes a text ... Read on.

Sign up for our weekly email newsletter