Auction Results: Photographs (online), May 19, 2022 @Sotheby’s London

Weakness among the middle and high price tiers and a Buy-In rate over 40% combined to  sink the results of the recent online Photographs sale at Sotheby’s in London. The top lot Peter Beard print also failed to sell, and with only a couple of positive surprises, the Total Sale Proceeds came in at roughly £480K, well 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 84
Aggregate Pre Sale Low Estimate £892100
Aggregate Pre Sale High Estimate £1305600
Total Lots Sold 50
Total Lots Bought In 34
Buy In % 40.48%
Total Sale Proceeds £481950

Here is the breakdown (using our usual Low, Mid, and High price tier definitions):

Detailed Breakdown
Low Total Lots 26
Total Low Lots Sold 24
Total Low Lots Bought In 2
Low Buy In % 7.69%
Aggregate High Estimate of Low Lots £96600
Total Proceeds from Low Lots £55944
Mid Total Lots 45
Total Mid Lots Sold 20
Total Mid Lots Bought In 25
Mid Buy In % 55.56%
Aggregate High Estimate of Mid Lots £503000
Total Proceeds from Mid Lots £206766
Total High Lots 13
Total High Lots Sold 6
Total High Lots Bought In 7
High Buy In % 53.85%
Aggregate High Estimate of High Lots £706000
Total Proceeds from High Lots £219240

The top lot by High estimate was lot 48, Peter Beard, Ele Portfolio (15 prints), 1960-1984/2008, estimated at £120000-180000; it did not sell. The top outcome of the sale was lot 19, Robert Mapplethorpe, X Portfolio (13 prints), 1977-1978, estimated at £50000-70000, sold at £63000 (image above, via Sotheby’s).

74.00% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range and there were a total of 2 positive surprises in the sale (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate) (images above, via Sotheby’s):

Lot 11, Gilles Bensimon, Elle and Friends Number 3, c1987 estimated at £3500-5500, sold at £12600

Lot 41, Gabo, Liaison IV, 2006/2007, estimated at £2000-3000, sold at £6300

The complete lot by lot results can be found here.

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Read more about: Gabo, Gilles Bensimon, Robert Mapplethorpe, Sotheby's

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