Auction Results: The Modern Image, Photographs from an Important American Collection, April 5, 2013 @Sotheby’s New York

The results from this single owner sale at Sotheby’s last week are proof that if the overall Buy-In rate can be kept low, even if prices aren’t particularly frothy, the Total Sale Proceeds will likely come in in an acceptable range. Roughly 35% of the lots that sold in this auction found buyers below their pre-sale estimates, but with a Buy-In rate of just under 17%, the aggregate proceeds fell right in the middle of the range.

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

Summary Statistics
Total Lots 59
Aggregate Pre Sale Low Estimate $1943000
Aggregate Pre Sale High Estimate $2950000
Total Lots Sold 49
Total Lots Bought In 10
Buy In % 16.95%
Total Sale Proceeds $2544376

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

Detailed Breakdown
Low Total Lots 21
Total Low Lots Sold 16
Total Low Lots Bought In 5
Low Buy In % 23.81%
Aggregate High Estimate of Low Lots $181000
Total Proceeds from Low Lots $156875
Mid Total Lots 25
Total Mid Lots Sold 21
Total Mid Lots Bought In 4
Mid Buy In % 16.00%
Aggregate High Estimate of Mid Lots $598000
Total Proceeds from Mid Lots $487126
Total High Lots 13
Total High Lots Sold 12
Total High Lots Bought In 1
High Buy In % 7.69%
Aggregate High Estimate of High Lots $2180000
Total Proceeds from High Lots $1909375

The top lot by High estimate was lot 18, Edward Weston, Two Shells, 1927, estimated at $600000-900000; it was also the top outcome of the sale at $533000.

Only 65.31% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range. There were a total of 4 surprises in the sale (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate):

Lot 16, Edward Steichen, Anna May Wong, 1930, estimated at $7000-10000, sold at $25000

Lot 17, Edward Steichen, Douglass Lighters (for J. Walter Thompson), 1926, estimated at $40000-60000, sold at $203000 (image at right, top, via Sotheby’s)

Lot 28, Walker Evans, Defensa Carniceria, Havana, 1933, estimated at $6000-9000, sold at $20000 (image at right, bottom, via Sotheby’s)

Lot 55, Irving Penn, Nude Torso, Soaping, New York, 1978/1992, estimated at $15000-25000, sold at $59375 (image at right, middle, via Sotheby’s)

Complete lot by lot results can be found here.

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Read more about: Edward Steichen, Irving Penn, Walker Evans, Sotheby's

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