Auction Results: Photographs & Photobooks, May 27, 2021 @Swann

The results from the Photographs & Photobooks sale at Swann last week were relatively muted. A print of Robert Frank’s covered car took the top lot honors, but with a Buy-In rate near 27% and a few less positive surprises than usual, the Total Sale Proceeds came in at just over $1M, just 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 383
Aggregate Pre Sale Low Estimate $1187250
Aggregate Pre Sale High Estimate $1781600
Total Lots Sold 280
Total Lots Bought In 103
Buy In % 26.89%
Total Sale Proceeds $1080656

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

Detailed Breakdown
Low Total Lots 364
Total Low Lots Sold 269
Total Low Lots Bought In 95
Low Buy In % 26.10%
Aggregate High Estimate of Low Lots $1331600
Total Proceeds from Low Lots $842256
Mid Total Lots 18
Total Mid Lots Sold 10
Total Mid Lots Bought In 8
Mid Buy In % 44.44%
Aggregate High Estimate of Mid Lots $380000
Total Proceeds from Mid Lots $185900
Total High Lots 1
Total High Lots Sold 1
Total High Lots Bought In 0
High Buy In % 0.00%
Aggregate High Estimate of High Lots $70000
Total Proceeds from High Lots $52500

The top lot by High estimate was lot 233, Robert Frank, Covered Car, Long Beach, California, 1955-56/1971, estimated at $50000-70000; it was also the top outcome of the sale at $52500 (image above, via Swann).

70.36% 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). Four of these lots came in the vernacular imagery section (lot 331 Artists, lot 363 Fashion, lot 364 Cameras, lot 383 O.J. Simpson’s White Bronco). The 4 positive surprises in fine photographs/photobooks were as follows (images above via Swann):

Lot 8, Edward Steichen, Moonrise, Mamaroneck, New York, from The Early Years portfolio, 1904/1981, estimated at $700-1000, sold at $2750

Lot 71, Roman Vishniac, Cracow, A Jewish Street * Munkatch. Baruch Rabinovitch examining the Yeshiva Bahurim * Munkatch. The Beltser Rov Aaron and Baruch Rabinovitch of the Spira dynasty, 1937, 1938/1970s, estimated at $3000-4500, sold at $15000

Lot 158, Hannes Beckman, Glasses, c1935, estimated at $6000-9000, sold at $20000

Lot 168, Alfred Eisenstaedt, A group of three photographs from St. Moritz showing the iconic ice skating waiters1932, estimated at $2500-3500, sold at $12500

The complete lot by lot results can be found here.

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Read more about: Alfred Eisenstaedt, Edward Steichen, Hannes Beckmann, Robert Frank, Roman Vishniac, Swann Auction Galleries

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