Auction Results: Portrait of a Collector: The John M. Bransten Collection of Photographs, April 6, 2017 @Christie’s

The results of the recent Bransten collection sale at Christie’s were quite polarized. At the high end, several lots reached into six figures, including both of the top lots by Edward Weston and Diane Arbus. At the low end, while most of the prints on offer found buyers, roughly a third dropped to prices far below their estimates. With just a few positive surprises in the mix, this led to Total Sale Proceeds that fell at the upper end of the aggregate pre-sale range.

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

Summary Statistics
Total Lots 28
Aggregate Pre Sale Low Estimate $1318000
Aggregate Pre Sale High Estimate $1955000
Total Lots Sold 25
Total Lots Bought In 3
Buy In % 10.71%
Total Sale Proceeds $1888125

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

Detailed Breakdown
Low Total Lots 11
Total Low Lots Sold 11
Total Low Lots Bought In 0
Low Buy In % 0.00%
Aggregate High Estimate of Low Lots $66000
Total Proceeds from Low Lots $63375
Mid Total Lots 10
Total Mid Lots Sold 9
Total Mid Lots Bought In 1
Mid Buy In % 10.00%
Aggregate High Estimate of Mid Lots $169000
Total Proceeds from Mid Lots $181750
Total High Lots 7
Total High Lots Sold 5
Total High Lots Bought In 2
High Buy In % 28.57%
Aggregate High Estimate of High Lots $1720000
Total Proceeds from High Lots $1643000

The top lot by High estimate was tied between two lots: lot 7, Edward Weston, Nude, 1925, and lot 12, Diane Arbus, Child with a toy hand grenade in Central Park, N.Y.C., 1962/1963, both estimated at $400000-600000 (images in preview post). The Weston print was the top outcome of the sale at $871500, while the Arbus print sold for $511500.

Only 68.00% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range and there were a total of 3 positive surprises in the sale (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate) (images above via Christie’s):

Lot 8, Imogen Cunningham, Magnolia Blossom, 1925/later, estimated at $10000-15000, sold at $35000

Lot 9, Paul Strand, Virgin, San Felipe, Oaxaca, 1935, estimated at $10000-15000, sold at $32500

Lot 18, Etienne Carjat, Charles Baudelaire, c1862/c1878, estimated at $1000-1500, sold at $4000

The complete lot by lot results can be found here.

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Read more about: Étienne Carjat, Imogen Cunningham, Paul Strand, Christie's

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