Auction Results: Photographs Signature Auction – New York, May 3, 2015 @Heritage

Given a predominance of lower priced material on offer, it isn’t entirely surprising to find some softness in photography auctions like the one that took place at Heritage over the weekend – there is generally less passionate (and/or irrational) bidding going on for the kind of work available. While the overall Buy-In rate hovered near a respectable 25%, roughly 55% of the lots that sold did so below their estimate ranges, so there were certainly some bargains to be had for those that were following along. All in, the Total Sale Proceeds missed the low end of the pre-sale range by a decent margin.

The summary statistics are below (all results include the buyer’s premium):

Summary Statistics
Total Lots 217
Aggregate Pre Sale Low Estimate $730600
Aggregate Pre Sale High Estimate $1152600
Total Lots Sold 162
Total Lots Bought In 55
Buy In % 25.35%
Total Sale Proceeds $590438

Here is the breakdown (using the Low, Mid, and High definitions from the preview post):

Detailed Breakdown
Low Total Lots 203
Total Low Lots Sold 154
Total Low Lots Bought In 49
Low Buy In % 24.14%
Aggregate High Estimate of Low Lots $812600
Total Proceeds from Low Lots $430438
Mid Total Lots 13
Total Mid Lots Sold 7
Total Mid Lots Bought In 6
Mid Buy In % 46.15%
Aggregate High Estimate of Mid Lots $280000
Total Proceeds from Mid Lots $122500
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 $60000
Total Proceeds from High Lots $37500

The top lot by High estimate was lot 8, Ansel Adams, Portfolio Two: The National Parks and Monuments, 1942-1949/1950, estimated at $40000-60000; it was also the top outcome of the sale at $37500.

Only 45.68% 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 Heritage):

Lot 74023, Alfred Stieglitz, Georgia O’Keeffe: A Portrait (uncut press print), 1918, estimated at $300-500, sold at $1625

Lot 74120, Richard Avedon, Louis Armstrong (studio work print), 1956, estimated at $4000-6000, sold at $16875

Lot 74144, Beatrice Helg, Scala IV, 1994, estimated at $300-500, sold at $1000

Lot 74213, Duane Michals, Necessary Things for Writing Fairy Tunes, 1989, estimated at $800-1200, sold at $2750

Complete lot by lot results can be found here.

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Read more about: Alfred Stieglitz, Béatrice Helg, Duane Michals, Richard Avedon, Heritage Auctions

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