Auction Results: Stripped Bare: Photographs from the Collection of Thomas Koerfer, November 9, 2017 @Christie’s Paris

The vintage print of Man Ray’s Noire et Blanche that led the Koerfer collection sale at Christie’s in Paris last week soared to just under €2.7M, and on the back of that single lot, the auction brought home exemplary results.

Always in search of ways to call things “world records”, Christie’s was quick to claim world record privilege for the Man Ray sale, calling it a new record for a “classic” photograph. While the exact cut-off date definition of “classic” isn’t entirely clear and the lofty price doesn’t match the heights of quite a number of contemporary photographs, it certainly tops the last high priced vintage photograph sold, another Man Ray print (Portrait of a Tearful Woman, from 1936) sold for just under $2.2M in May.

The rest of the sale performed more to expectations. With an overall Buy-In rate just above 30% and only a couple of positive surprises, the Man Ray exuberance drove the tally, with the Total Sale Proceeds coming in well above the aggregate pre-sale estimate range.

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

Summary Statistics
Total Lots 73
Pre Sale Low Total Estimate €1925500
Pre Sale High Total Estimate €2867000
Total Lots Sold 50
Total Lots Bought In 23
Buy In % 31.51%
Total Sale Proceeds €3782500

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

Detailed Breakdown
Low Total Lots 40
Low Sold 28
Low Bought In 12
Low Buy In % 30.00%
Total Low Estimate €172000
Total Low Sold €138125
Mid Total Lots 28
Mid Sold 18
Mid Bought In 10
Mid Buy In % 35.71%
Total Mid Estimate €425000
Total Mid Sold €280625
Total High Lots 5
High Sold 4
High Bought In 1
High Buy In % 20.00%
Total High Estimate €2270000
Total High Sold €3363750

The top lot by High estimate was lot 8, Man Ray, Noire et Blanche, 1926, estimated at €1000000-1500000 (image in preview post); it was also the top outcome of the sale at €2688750.

82.00% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range and there were a total of 2 surprises in the sale (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate) (images above, via Christie’s):

Lot 33, Boris Mikhailov, Untitiled, from the series Case History, 1997-1998, estimated at €5000-7000, sold at €17500

Lot 57, Andy Warhol, Male Nude, 1976, estimated at €2000-3000, sold at €6875

Complete lot by lot results can be found here.

Read more about: Andy Warhol, Boris Mikhailov, Man Ray, Christie's

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