Auction Results: Photographs (online), November 16, 2021 @Sotheby’s London

Weakness among the top lots at the recent online Photographs sale at Sotheby’s in London ultimately dampened the overall results. The top lot Man Ray print failed to sell, as did two other high priced offerings (from Hans Bellmer and Wolfgang Tillmans), and with just a few low priced positive surprises on hand to balance the missing proceeds, the tally just didn’t add up. In the end, the Total Sale Proceeds came in at roughly £675K, 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 89
Aggregate Pre Sale Low Estimate £906200
Aggregate Pre Sale High Estimate £1326800
Total Lots Sold 62
Total Lots Bought In 27
Buy In % 30.34%
Total Sale Proceeds £678510

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

Detailed Breakdown
Low Total Lots 39
Total Low Lots Sold 29
Total Low Lots Bought In 10
Low Buy In % 25.64%
Aggregate High Estimate of Low Lots £155300
Total Proceeds from Low Lots £130536
Mid Total Lots 44
Total Mid Lots Sold 30
Total Mid Lots Bought In 14
Mid Buy In % 31.82%
Aggregate High Estimate of Mid Lots £561500
Total Proceeds from Mid Lots £369054
Total High Lots 6
Total High Lots Sold 3
Total High Lots Bought In 3
High Buy In % 50.00%
Aggregate High Estimate of High Lots £610000
Total Proceeds from High Lots £178920

The top lot by High estimate was lot 29, Man Ray, Erotique Voilée, 1933, estimated at £180000-260000; it did not sell. The top outcome of the sale was lot 70, William Eggleston, Untitled (10.D.70.V1), ca.1970, estimated at £80000-120000, sold at £100800 (image above, via Sotheby’s).

98.39% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range and there were a total of 4 positive surprises in the sale (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate) (images above, via Sotheby’s):

Lot 9, Nick Knight, Black Rose, 1993, estimated at £1000-2000, sold at £6930

Lot 34, Richard Avedon, Elise Daniels, Turban by Paulette, Pre-Catelan, Paris, August 1948, 1948/1978, estimated at £2000-3000, sold at £6300

Lot 35, Richard Avedon, Marlene Dietrich, Turban by Dior, The Ritz, Paris, August 1955, 1955/1978, estimated at £2000-3000, sold at £7560

Lot 76, Malick Sidibé, A Terre Sous Leurs Pieds, 1972/1998, estimated at £1000-2000, sold at £5040

The complete lot by lot results can be found here.

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Read more about: Malick Sidibé, Nick Knight, Richard Avedon, William Eggleston, Sotheby's

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