Auction Results: Post-War & Contemporary Art Day Sale, December 3, 2020 @Christie’s

For the second time in the last month, a big ticket top photography lot was withdrawn from an auction just prior to the sale. In this case, it was a Richard Prince cowboy print, estimated at $400000-600000, (almost) on offer in Christie’s recent Post-War & Contemporary Art Day Sale, Featuring The Collection of Morton and Barbara Mandel in New York. Its departure left a Robert Mapplethorpe print to take up the top lot mantle. A few weeks ago (report here), it was an Andres Gursky print at Sotheby’s that went missing, so there is certainly a chill in the air at the moment for high priced photography.

Pulling the work from the sale seems to have been prudent on the consignor’s part, as the photography available in the sale struggled to keep its head above water. The top outcome was ultimately a Hiroshi Sugimoto seascape, but with a 50% Buy-In rate for photography and no positive surprises, the Total Sale Proceeds for photography (of just over $600K) came in well below 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 10
Aggregate Pre Sale Low Estimate $1175000
Aggregate Pre Sale High Estimate $1670000
Total Lots Sold 5
Total Lots Bought In 5
Buy In % 50.00%
Total Sale Proceeds $633750

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 2
Total Mid Lots Sold 1
Total Mid Lots Bought In 1
Mid Buy In % 50.00%
Aggregate High Estimate of Mid Lots $70000
Total Proceeds from Mid Lots $27500
Total High Lots 8
Total High Lots Sold 4
Total High Lots Bought In 4
High Buy In % 50.00%
Aggregate High Estimate of High Lots $1600000
Total Proceeds from High Lots $606250

The top photography lot by High estimate was lot 454, Robert Mapplethorpe, Man in the Polyester Suit, 1980, estimated at $300000-400000; it did not sell. The top photography outcome of the sale was lot 439, Hiroshi Sugimoto, North Pacific Ocean, Ohkurosaki, 2002, estimated at $250000-350000, sold at $312500 (image above, via Christie’s.)

80.00% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range and there were no positive surprises in the sale (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate).

The complete lot by lot results can be found here.

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Read more about: Hiroshi Sugimoto, Christie's

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