Auction Results: Photographs Signature Auction, June 5, 2018 @Heritage New York

The big news at the recent Photographs Signature Auction at Heritage in New York last week was the discovery during the preview that the handful of Walker Evans prints on offer were not later prints (as identified in the catalog) but actually vintage prints. As a result, all four lots soared to prices many times (more than 10X in one case) their estimates.

Otherwise, the sale performed more in line with expectations. While the overall Buy-In rate of roughly 25% and the more than a dozen positive surprises would normally be solid indicators of momentum, the fact that less than half the lots that sold did so at or above their estimates muted that energy, keeping the Total Sale Proceeds at roughly 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 423
Pre Sale Low Total Estimate $1312000
Pre Sale High Total Estimate $2048300
Total Lots Sold 320
Total Lots Bought In 103
Buy In % 24.35%
Total Sale Proceeds $1356038

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

Detailed Breakdown
Low Total Lots 389
Low Sold 292
Low Bought In 97
Low Buy In % 24.94%
Total Low Estimate $1192300
Total Low Sold $775288
Mid Total Lots 32
Mid Sold 26
Mid Bought In 6
Mid Buy In % 18.75%
Total Mid Estimate $636000
Total Mid Sold $447000
Total High Lots 2
High Sold 2
High Bought In 0
High Buy In % 0.00%
Total High Estimate $220000
Total High Sold $133750

The top lot by High estimate was lot 73058, Irving Penn, Cuzco Children, Peru, December, 1948, 1948/1978, estimated at $100000-150000; it was also the top outcome of the sale at $93750.

Only 45.94% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range and there were a total of 13 positive surprises in the sale (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate) (images above, via Heritage):

Lot 73017, O. Winston Link, Hot Shot East Bound at Laeger, West Virginia, 1954/later, estimated at $3000-5000, sold at $15000

Lot 73032, Sid Avery, Humphrey Bogart at the Helm of His 55 Foot Yacht ‘Santana’, 1952/later, estimated at $100-200, sold at $425

Lot 73040, Paul Caponigro, Woods #20, Redding Connecticut, 1968/later, estimated at $600-800, sold at $1875

Lot 73053, Max Yavno, Self Service, 1978, estimated at $1000-1500, sold at $3750

Lot 73087, Ansel Adams, Rails and Jet Trails, Roseville, California, 1953, estimated at $4000-6000, sold at $13750

Lot 73119, Frederick Evans, A Sea of Steps, Wells Cathedral, Steps to Chapter House, 1903/1998, estimated at $1000-2000, sold at $5750

Lot 73129, Walker Evans, West Virginia Living Room, 1935, estimated at $1000-1500, sold at $11250

Lot 73133, Walker Evans, Barber Shop, New Orleans, 1936, estimated at $2500-3500, sold at $45000

Lot 73134, Walker Evans, Interior of Coal Miner’s Home with Rocking Chair and Advertisements on Wall, West Virginia, 19358, estimated at $2000-3000, sold at $20000

Lot 73135, Walker Evans, Fish Market Near Birmingham, Alabama, 1936, estimated at $1500-2500, sold at $18750

Lot 73212, Andy Warhol, Wayne Gretzky, c1983-1984, estimated at $2000-3000, sold at $6875

Lot 73242, John Dugdale, Self Portrait in Rondout Creek, Rosendale, NY, 1993, estimated at $1000-1500, sold at $3500

Lot 73272, Dorothea Lange, Migrant Mother (contact sheet), 1936/1960s, estimated at $10000-20000, sold at $40000

The complete lot by lot results can be found here.

Andy Warhol, Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange, Frederick Evans, John Dugdale, Max Yavno, O. Winston Link, Paul Caponigro, Sid Avery, Walker Evans, Heritage Auctions

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