Auction Results: Post War & Contemporary Art Evening and Day Auctions, October 16 and 17, 2015 @Christie’s London

When 5 out of the top 6 lots fail to sell, even if the rest of the sale performs well, it’s pretty hard to recover. That’s the lesson from the Post War & Contemporary Art sales at Christie’s in London last week. While the overall Buy-In rate for photography was below 23% and there were a few positive surprises (Gerhard Richter’s photographic works continued their strong run), those positives couldn’t pick up the slack for the lost revenues at the top end. In the end, the Total Sale Proceeds missed the low end of the pre-sale range by a meaningful margin.

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

Summary Statistics
Total Lots 27
Aggregate Pre Sale Low Estimate £1504000
Aggregate Pre Sale High Estimate £2272000
Total Lots Sold 21
Total Lots Bought In 6
Buy In % 22.22%
Total Sale Proceeds £925350

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

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 10
Total Mid Lots Sold 9
Total Mid Lots Bought In 1
Mid Buy In % 10.00%
Aggregate High Estimate of Mid Lots £132000
Total Proceeds from Mid Lots £160000
Total High Lots 17
Total High Lots Sold 12
Total High Lots Bought In 5
High Buy In % 29.41%
Aggregate High Estimate of High Lots £2140000
Total Proceeds from High Lots £763350

The top photography lot by High estimate was lot 44, Andreas Gursky, San Francisco, 1998, estimated at £400000-600000; it did not sell (image in preview post). The top photography outcome in the sales was lot 290, Andreas Gursky, Aletschgletscher, 1993, estimated at £200000-300000, sold at £212500 (image above, via Christie’s).

100.00% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range and there were a total of 4 positive surprises in the sales (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate) (images above via Christie’s):

Lot 43, Tracey Emin, I’ve Got It All, 2000, estimated at £25000-35000, sold at £74500

Lot 304, Gerhard Richter, Cage Grid II (Single Part I), 2011, estimated at £25000-35000, sold at £92500

Lot 305, Gerhard Richter, Abstraktes Bild (P1), 2014, estimated at £4000-6000, sold at £30000

Lot 310, Gerhard Richter, Sils Maria, 1993, estimated at £20000-30000, sold at £72100

The complete lot by lot results can be found here (Evening) and here (Day).

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Read more about: Andreas Gursky, Gerhard Richter, Tracey Emin, Christie's

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