Auction Results: Post-War and Contemporary Art, Evening, Morning, and Afternoon Sales, May 15 and 16, 2019 @Christie’s

With no photography lots in the Evening or Morning sessions at Christie’s recent Post-War and Contemporary Art sales in New York, the photography included in the series of sales settled into the quieter Afternoon slot. While the eye-popping $91M price tag for Jeff Koons’ Rabbit grabbed all the headlines, the photography results generally met expectations. With an overall Buy-In rate for photography that topped 35%, the Total Sale Proceeds for photography (of roughly $1.7M) came in near the midpoint of the aggregate pre-sale estimate range.

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

Summary Statistics
Total Lots 14
Aggregate Pre Sale Low Estimate $1578000
Aggregate Pre Sale High Estimate $2303000
Total Lots Sold 9
Total Lots Bought In 5
Buy In % 35.71%
Total Sale Proceeds $1723000

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

Detailed Breakdown
Low Total Lots 0
Total Low Lots Sold NA
Total Low Lots Bought In NA
Low Buy In % NA
Aggregate High Estimate of Low Lots $0
Total Proceeds from Low Lots $0
Mid Total Lots 6
Total Mid Lots Sold 4
Total Mid Lots Bought In 2
Mid Buy In % 33.33%
Aggregate High Estimate of Mid Lots $173000
Total Proceeds from Mid Lots $205000
Total High Lots 8
Total High Lots Sold 5
Total High Lots Bought In 3
High Buy In % 37.50%
Aggregate High Estimate of High Lots $2130000
Total Proceeds from High Lots $1518000

The top photography lot by High estimate was lot 821, Barbara Kruger, Untitled (When I hear the word culture I take out my checkbook), 1999, estimated at $300000-500000. It was also the top photography outcome of the sales at $519000 (image above, via Christie’s).

100.00% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range and there were just 2 positive surprises in the sales (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate) (images above, via Christie’s):

Lot 823, David Hockney, Christopher Isherwood Talking to Bob Holman, 1983, estimated at $25000-35000, sold at $102500

Lot 911, Wangechi Mutu, Untitled, 2002, estimated at $20000-30000, sold at $60000

The complete lot by lot results can be found here (Evening), here (Morning), and here (Afternoon).

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Read more about: Barbara Kruger, David Hockney, Wangechi Mutu, Christie's

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