Auction Results: Post-War & Contemporary Art, September 28, 2017 @Christie’s

With the exception of an important mid-1970s multi-image work by Hannah Wilke, the photography included in Christie’s recent Post-War and Contemporary Art sale in New York delivered little in the way of excitement. While the Wilke grid sold above its estimate range, the rest of the sale stumbled, with an overall Buy-In rate over 58% and no positive surprises. In the end, the Total Sale Proceeds just missed aggregate pre-sale low estimate.

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

Summary Statistics
Total Lots 24
Aggregate Pre Sale Low Estimate $908000
Aggregate Pre Sale High Estimate $1405000
Total Lots Sold 10
Total Lots Bought In 14
Buy In % 58.33%
Total Sale Proceeds $903750

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

Detailed Breakdown
Low Total Lots 1
Total Low Lots Sold 1
Total Low Lots Bought In 0
Low Buy In % 0.00%
Aggregate High Estimate of Low Lots $6000
Total Proceeds from Low Lots $8125
Mid Total Lots 18
Total Mid Lots Sold 7
Total Mid Lots Bought In 11
Mid Buy In % 61.11%
Aggregate High Estimate of Mid Lots $439000
Total Proceeds from Mid Lots $139625
Total High Lots 5
Total High Lots Sold 2
Total High Lots Bought In 3
High Buy In % 60.00%
Aggregate High Estimate of High Lots $960000
Total Proceeds from High Lots $756000

The top photographic lot by High estimate was lot 45, Hannah Wilke, SOS Starification Object Series, 1974/1979, estimated at $300000-500000 (image in preview post); it was also the top photographic outcome of the sale at $708500.

Only 70.00% of the photo 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 closest thing to a positive surprise was lot 229, Charles Gaines, Walnut Tree Orchard, 1977, estimated at $15000-20000, sold at $37500 (image above, via Christie’s).

Complete lot by lot results can be found here.

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