Auction Results: Photographs, October 9, 2009 @Sotheby’s

The results of the Sotheby’s various owner sale in many ways mirrored the results of the Christie’s various owner sale the day before: a Buy-In rate about 25%, Total Sale Proceeds that just covered the Total Low Estimate, a solid mid range with some general softness in the high end, and quite a few surprises. While two data points aren’t much of a trend, perhaps we should think of this as the new “Normal”.

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

Total Lots: 246
Pre Sale Low Total Estimate: $3532000
Pre Sale High Total Estimate: $5292000
Total Lots Sold: 182
Total Lots Bought In: 64
Buy In %: 26.02%
Total Sale Proceeds: $3751754

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

Low Total Lots: 112
Low Sold: 78
Low Bought In: 34
Buy In %: 30.36%
Total Low Estimate: $893000
Total Low Sold: $708129

Mid Total Lots: 120
Mid Sold: 96
Mid Bought In: 24
Buy In %: 20.00%
Total Mid Estimate: $2809000
Total Mid Sold: $2333000

High Total Lots: 14
High Sold: 8
High Bought In: 6
Buy In %: 42.86%
Total High Estimate: $1590000
Total High Sold: $710625

81.87% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above their estimate. There were a total of thirteen surprises in this sale (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate):

Lot 16 Ansel Adams, Leaves, Mills College, Oakland, California, 1931/1958, at $80500
Lot 17 Ansel Adams, Oak Tree-Sun, 1962, at $25000
Lot 38 Walker Evans, Church Organ and Pews, 1936/1970s, at $16250
Lot 79 Carleton Watkins, Washington Column, 2082 ft, 1878, at $25000
Lot 52 Aaron Siskind, New York 1, 1951/1960s, at $21250
Lot 57 Paul Strand, Ragusa-Sicily, 1954, at $25000
Lot 74 Anonymous, The Gaucho, 1840s, at $62500
Lot 102 Paul Outerbridge, Still Life with Red and Blue Flowers, 1933, at $25000
Lot 109 Robert Doisneau, Le Baiser de L’Hotel de Ville, 1950/Later, at $21250
Lot 146 Robert Frank, McClellanville, SC (Barbershop Through Screen Door), 1955/1960 at $182500
Lot 147 Robert Frank, From the Funeral, Frogmore, SC, 1955/Later, at $25000
Lot 188 Irving Penn, Nadja Avermann B, 1994/1999, at $25000
Lot 228 David Levinthal, Barbie Millicent Roberts, 1997, at $56250

The top lot by High estimate was lot 196 Various Contemporary Photographers, The Master Collection, 1998-2009, at $200000-300000; it was also the top outcome in the sale at $218500.

Complete lot by lot results can be found here.

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