Auction Results: Photographs (online), September 30, 2020 @Christie’s

The results from the recent Photographs (online) sale at Christie’s were decidedly soft. Aside from a Richard Avedon portrait from his series In the American West, which soared to $350K, the demand was choppy at best. With an overall Buy-In rate near 50% and no positive surprises aside from the Avedon print, the Total Sale Proceeds slumped to just $1.3M, 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 120
Aggregate Pre Sale Low Estimate $1890350
Aggregate Pre Sale High Estimate $2729600
Total Lots Sold 61
Total Lots Bought In 59
Buy In % 49.17%
Total Sale Proceeds $1301500

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

Detailed Breakdown
Low Total Lots 47
Total Low Lots Sold 25
Total Low Lots Bought In 22
Low Buy In % 46.81%
Aggregate High Estimate of Low Lots $334600
Total Proceeds from Low Lots $140875
Mid Total Lots 62
Total Mid Lots Sold 32
Total Mid Lots Bought In 30
Mid Buy In % 48.39%
Aggregate High Estimate of Mid Lots $1305000
Total Proceeds from Mid Lots $510625
Total High Lots 11
Total High Lots Sold 4
Total High Lots Bought In 7
High Buy In % 63.64%
Aggregate High Estimate of High Lots $1090000
Total Proceeds from High Lots $650000

The top lot by High estimate was lot 72, Peter Beard, Maureen Gallagher and a night feeder at Hog Ranch, February, 1987, 1987, estimated at $120000-180000; it sold at $150000. The top outcome of the sale was lot 80, Richard Avedon, Tom Stroud, oil field worker, Velma, Oklahoma, June 12, 1980, 1980/1985, estimated at $80000-120000, sold at $350000 (image above, via Christie’s.)

Only 66.10% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range and there was just 1 positive surprise in the sale (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate) (image above, via Christie’s):

Lot 80, Richard Avedon, Tom Stroud, oil field worker, Velma, Oklahoma, June 12, 1980, 1980/1985, estimated at $80000-120000, sold at $350000

The complete lot by lot results can be found here.

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