Auction Results: Photographs (online), June 3, 2020 @Christie’s

The reserve prices were firmer at Christie’s Photographs (online) sale (which finished up yesterday) than they were in some of the auction house’s photography efforts in the past pandemic month or two, but not surprisingly, those starting bid prices led to a much higher overall Buy-In rate (over 45%). Thirty lots were pulled before the sale went live, likely evidence of consignor jitters about the current moment, but the sale soldiered on, regardless of the distracting circumstances. A number of positive surprises helped to balance the many passed lots, but when the dust settled, the Total Sale Proceeds of roughly $2.4M came 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 238
Aggregate Pre Sale Low Estimate $3268000
Aggregate Pre Sale High Estimate $4883000
Total Lots Sold 130
Total Lots Bought In 108
Buy In % 45.38%
Total Sale Proceeds $2422125

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

Detailed Breakdown
Low Total Lots 88
Total Low Lots Sold 48
Total Low Lots Bought In 40
Low Buy In % 45.45%
Aggregate High Estimate of Low Lots $628000
Total Proceeds from Low Lots $356500
Mid Total Lots 136
Total Mid Lots Sold 73
Total Mid Lots Bought In 63
Mid Buy In % 46.32%
Aggregate High Estimate of Mid Lots $2985000
Total Proceeds from Mid Lots $1421875
Total High Lots 14
Total High Lots Sold 9
Total High Lots Bought In 5
High Buy In % 35.71%
Aggregate High Estimate of High Lots $1270000
Total Proceeds from High Lots $643750

The top lot by High estimate was lot 93, Diane Arbus, Family on their lawn one Sunday in Westchester, N.Y., 1968, estimated at $200000-300000; it did not sell. The top outcome in the sale was lot 247, Peter Beard, But past who can recall or done undo (Paradise Lost), 1977, estimated at $70000-100000, sold at $118750 (image above, via Christie’s.)

96.15% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range and there were a total of 8 positive surprises in the sale (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate) (images above, via Christie’s):

Lot 46, Ansel Adams, Old Faithful Geyser, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, 1942/1978-1984, estimated at $10000-15000, sold at $35000

Lot 115, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Dessau, Germany, 1945/later, estimated at $4000-6000, sold at $16250

Lot 157, Eikoh Hosoe, Ordeal by Roses #32, 1961/1970s, estimated at $7000-9000, sold at $25000

Lot 198, Edward Burtynsky, Colorado River Delta #2, Near San Felipe, Baja, Mexico, 2011/2013, estimated at $15000-25000, sold at $52500

Lot 211, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Nyala, 1980, estimated at $15000-20000, sold at $47500

Lot 231, Alison Rossiter, Fuji, exact expiration date unknown, (#2) from the series ‘Latent’, ca. 1930s, processed in 2009, estimated at $4000-6000, sold at $16250

Lot 239, Lynn Davis, Iceberg #29, Disko Bay, Greenland, 2000/2001, estimated at $8000-12000, sold at $35000

Lot 249, Peter Beard, Untitled (Greetings Richard), July 30-31, 1988, estimated at $10000-15000, sold at $50000

The complete lot by lot results can be found here.

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Read more about: Alison Rossiter, Ansel Adams, Edward Burtynsky, Eikoh Hosoe, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Lynn Davis, Peter Beard, Christie's

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