Auction Results: Postwar and Contemporary Photographs, September 28, 2017 @Sotheby’s

The results from Sotheby’s recent Postwar and Contemporary Photographs sale in New York were confidently solid. While there was a little softness in the top lots, the headline Thomas Struth print did sell and the overall Buy-In rate settled in at a respectable 25%. With a handful of positive surprises to pump up the numbers, the Total Sale Proceeds fell into the wide middle of the aggregate pre-sale range.

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

Summary Statistics
Total Lots 94
Pre Sale Low Total Estimate $2103000
Pre Sale High Total Estimate $3168000
Total Lots Sold 70
Total Lots Bought In 24
Buy In % 25.53%
Total Sale Proceeds $2486125

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

Detailed Breakdown
Low Total Lots 30
Low Sold 20
Low Bought In 10
Low Buy In % 33.33%
Total Low Estimate $250000
Total Low Sold $166125
Mid Total Lots 55
Mid Sold 45
Mid Bought In 10
Mid Buy In % 18.18%
Total Mid Estimate $1398000
Total Mid Sold $1207500
Total High Lots 9
High Sold 5
High Bought In 4
High Buy In % 44.44%
Total High Estimate $1520000
Total High Sold $1112500

The top lot by High estimate was lot 23, Thomas Struth, Mailänder Dom (Fassade), 1998, estimated at $300000-500000 (image in preview post); it sold for $456500. The top outcome of the sale was lot 62, Philip-Lorca diCorcia, A Storybook Life (The Complete Series), 2003, estimated at $250000-350000, sold at $468500.

87.14% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range and there were a total of 5 positive surprises in the sale (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate) (images above via Sotheby’s):

Lot 1, Thomas Struth, West Broadway, New York, Tribeca, 1978/2000, estimated at $20000-30000, sold at $68750

Lot 31, Thomas Struth, Pflanzen Nr. 22, 35, 67, and 70, 1992-1993, estimated at $10000-15000, sold at $37500

Lot 50, Vito Acconci, Hand & Mouth (Film Stills & Text), 1970, estimated at $8000-12000, sold at $26250

Lot 51, Helena Almeida, Inhabited Drawing, 1975, estimated at $10000-15000, sold at $37500

Lot 87, Roe Ethridge, Thanksgiving 1984 (Table), 2009, estimated at $6000-9000, sold at $20000 (image in preview post)

The complete lot by lot results can be found here.

Helena Almeida, Roe Ethridge, Thomas Struth, Vito Acconci, Sotheby's

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