Auction Results: The Face of the Century: Photographs from a Private Collection, April 2, 2019 @Christie’s

When the top lot Edward Weston shells didn’t find a buyer at Christie’s recent single owner photographs sale, the rest of the sale struggled to fill in the hole. While there were a handful of positive surprises and the overall Buy-In rate came in at a very respectable 13%, it just wasn’t enough to pick up the slack, and the Total Sale Proceeds fell just below the low end of the aggregate pre-sale range.

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

Summary Statistics
Total Lots 90
Aggregate Pre Sale Low Estimate $1822000
Aggregate Pre Sale High Estimate $2794000
Total Lots Sold 78
Total Lots Bought In 12
Buy In % 13.33%
Total Sale Proceeds $1812000

Here is the breakdown (using our typical Low, Mid, and High definitions):

Detailed Breakdown
Low Total Lots 29
Total Low Lots Sold 29
Total Low Lots Bought In 0
Low Buy In % 0.00%
Aggregate High Estimate of Low Lots $168000
Total Proceeds from Low Lots $125125
Mid Total Lots 50
Total Mid Lots Sold 40
Total Mid Lots Bought In 10
Mid Buy In % 20.00%
Aggregate High Estimate of Mid Lots $1296000
Total Proceeds from Mid Lots $1050625
Total High Lots 11
Total High Lots Sold 9
Total High Lots Bought In 2
High Buy In % 18.18%
Aggregate High Estimate of High Lots $1330000
Total Proceeds from High Lots $636250

The top lot by High estimate was lot 144, Edward Weston, Shells 6S, 1927, estimated at $300000-500000; it did not sell. The top outcome of the sale was tied between two lots: lot 188, Helmut Newton, Self Portrait with Wife and Models, Paris, 1981/1988, estimated at $40000-60000, and lot 190, Helmut Newton, Tied-Up Torso, Ramatuelle, 1980/1988, estimated at $50000-70000, both sold at $100000 (images above via Christie’s).

Only 65.38% 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 Christie’s):

Lot 117, Baron Adolph de Meyer, Nijinsky, L’Après-Midi d’un Faune, 1912, estimated at $10000-15000, sold at $50000

Lot 120, František Drtikol, Nude, c1925, estimated at $6000-8000, sold at $20000

Lot 146, Anton Bruehl, Stocking Ad, 1930s, estimated at $4000-6000, sold at $22500

Lot 179, Helmut Newton, Rue Abriot, Yves St. Laurent and Nude, Paris, 1975/1988, estimated at $25000-35000, sold at $87500

Lot 185, Helmut Newton, Mannequins Quai d’Orsay II, Paris, 1977/1988, estimated at $25000-35000, sold at $75000

The complete lot by lot results can be found here.

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Read more about: Anton Bruehl, Baron Adolph de Meyer, František Drtikol, Helmut Newton, Christie's

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