Auction Results: The Collection of Douglas S. Cramer (online) and Contemporary Art | New York (online), December 16 and 17, 2021 @Sotheby’s

A pair of online contemporary art sales at Sotheby’s last week provided the last significant auction opportunities for photography collectors in 2021. The results themselves were largely predictable, with a Barbara Kruger lenticular photograph from the mid-1980s taking the top photo lot honors across the two sales. With a Buy-In rate for photography under 20%, the Total Sale Proceeds for photography (of nearly $450K) came in squarely in the middle of the aggregate pre-sale estimate range.

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

Summary Statistics
Total Lots 31
Aggregate Pre Sale Low Estimate $362000
Aggregate Pre Sale High Estimate $524000
Total Lots Sold 26
Total Lots Bought In 5
Buy In % 16.13%
Total Sale Proceeds $449568

Here is the breakdown (using our usual Low, Mid, and High price tier definitions):

Detailed Breakdown
Low Total Lots 12
Total Low Lots Sold 10
Total Low Lots Bought In 2
Low Buy In % 16.67%
Aggregate High Estimate of Low Lots $88000
Total Proceeds from Low Lots $62118
Mid Total Lots 19
Total Mid Lots Sold 16
Total Mid Lots Bought In 3
Mid Buy In % 15.79%
Aggregate High Estimate of Mid Lots $436000
Total Proceeds from Mid Lots $387450
Total High Lots 0
Total High Lots Sold NA
Total High Lots Bought In NA
High Buy In % NA
Aggregate High Estimate of High Lots $0
Total Proceeds from High Lots $0

The top photography lot by High estimate was lot 148, Carrie Mae Weems, Violet Colored Girl, 1990, estimated at $30000-40000; it sold at $40320. The top photography outcome of the sales was lot 140, Barbara Kruger, Untitled (My hero!/You can dress him up but you can’t take him out), 1986, estimated at $18000-25000, sold at $47880 (image above, via Sotheby’s.)

73.08% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range and there was just one positive surprise in the sales (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate) (images above, via Sotheby’s):

Lot 4, Lucas Samaras, Photo-Transformation, 1973, estimated at $5000-7000, sold at $15120

The complete lot by lot results can be found here (Cramer) and here (Contemporary Art).

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Read more about: Barbara Kruger, Lucas Samaras, Sotheby's

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