Auction Results: Photographs Signature Auction, October 16, 2014 @Heritage New York

The results of Heritage’s massive various owner Photographs sale last week in New York felt like evidence for the idea that as price decreases, the softness of the market increases. With an overall Buy-In rate flirting with 40% and a paltry 33% of lots that sold finding buyers in or above their estimate ranges, we’d be safe to assume that the Total Sale Proceeds missed the pre-sale estimate range. But this is a “make-it-up-on-the-volume” strategy, and so from that perspective, the $800K of proceeds likely doesn’t look too bad in comparison with the many other collectible categories Heritage deals in.

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

Summary Statistics
Total Lots 402
Aggregate Pre Sale Low Estimate $1199550
Aggregate Pre Sale High Estimate $1877100
Total Lots Sold 246
Total Lots Bought In 156
Buy In % 38.81%
Total Sale Proceeds $822031

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

Detailed Breakdown
Low Total Lots 383
Total Low Lots Sold 233
Total Low Lots Bought In 150
Low Buy In % 39.16%
Aggregate High Estimate of Low Lots $1383100
Total Proceeds from Low Lots $533281
Mid Total Lots 17
Total Mid Lots Sold 11
Total Mid Lots Bought In 6
Mid Buy In % 35.29%
Aggregate High Estimate of Mid Lots $354000
Total Proceeds from Mid Lots $188750
Total High Lots 2
Total High Lots Sold 2
Total High Lots Bought In 0
High Buy In % 0.00%
Aggregate High Estimate of High Lots $140000
Total Proceeds from High Lots $100000

The top lot by High estimate was lot 74207, Helmut Newton, Tied-Up Torso, Ramatuelle, 1980, estimated at $60000-80000; it was also the top outcome of the sale at $62500.

A miniscule 33.74% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range, but there were a total of 8 positive surprises in the sale (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate):

Lot 74063, Paul Strand, The Formative Years 1914-1917 (portfolio), 1983, estimated at $2000-4000, sold at $18750 (image above, left, via Heritage)

Lot 74064, Edward Steichen, The Flatiron, 1905/1981, estimated at $800-1200, sold at $2500

Lot 74133, Stuart Franklin, Tienanmen Square, Beijing, China, 1989/2007, estimated at $1000-2000, sold at $4688 (image above, middle, via Heritage)

Lot 74134, Eddie Adams, Street Execution of Vietcong Prisoner, Shanghai, 1968/2004, estimated at $1000-2000, sold at $4688

Lot 74209, Bob Seidemann, Janis Joplin, 1967/1996, estimated at $800-1200, sold at $2500

Lot 74266, Cindy Sherman, Untitled (Queen of Hearts), 1988/1994, estimated at $1500-2500, sold at $8750 (image above, right, via Heritage)

Lot 74345, Ansel Adams, Oaktree, Snowstorm, Yosemite National Park, California, 1948/later, estimated at $300-500, sold at $1375

Lot 74358, Andreas Feininger, Yiddish Clothier, 1940, estimated at $400-600, sold at $1625

Complete lot by lot results can be found here.

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Read more about: Cindy Sherman, Paul Strand, Stuart Franklin, Heritage Auctions

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