Auction Results: The Photographs Sale, May 19, 2010 @Bloomsbury London, Rome and New York

Bloomsbury’s triple play of London, Rome, and New York photographs auctions last week delivered discouragingly dismal results, with all three sales tallying buy-in rates of 50% or higher and total sale proceeds far beneath each of their respective total low estimates. New York was the weakest of the three, with a buy-in rate above 70% and and total sale proceeds just over a third of the total low estimate. It appears that the first major problem is a lack of real bidders, likely a result of a combination of less enticing material, a smaller client database, and not enough additional publicity. While we’d like to see Bloomsbury have some success, these are tricky, interrelated issues, and until they make progress on all of them, I’m afraid this photographs department will continue to struggle.

London: Session I

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

Total Lots: 120
Pre Sale Low Total Estimate: £174200
Pre Sale High Total Estimate: £252100
Total Lots Sold: 56
Total Lots Bought In: 64
Buy In %: 53.33%
Total Sale Proceeds: £119011

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

Low Total Lots: 113
Low Sold: 50
Low Bought In: 63
Buy In %: 55.75%
Total Low Estimate: £190100
Total Low Sold: £72651

Mid Total Lots: 7
Mid Sold: 6
Mid Bought In: 1
Buy In %: 14.29%
Total Mid Estimate: £62000
Total Mid Sold: £46360

High Total Lots: 0
High Sold: NA
High Bought In: NA
Buy In %: NA
Total High Estimate: £0
Total High Sold: NA

The top lot by High estimate in this session was lot 27, Eugenio Courret, Vistas Monumentos Y Tipos De Lima, 1870, at £10000-15000; it was also the top outcome of the session at £15860.

71.43% of the lots that sold had proceeds above or in the estimate range. There was only one surprise in this session (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate):

Lot 6, Adolphe Braun, Views in Switzerland, c1865, at £3660

Complete lot by lot results for London can be found here.

Rome: Session II

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

Total Lots: 178
Pre Sale Low Total Estimate: 202250€
Pre Sale High Total Estimate: 282050€
Total Lots Sold: 89
Total Lots Bought In: 89
Buy In %: 50.00%
Total Sale Proceeds: 126330€

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

Low Total Lots: 175
Low Sold: 87
Low Bought In: 88
Buy In %: 50.29%
Total Low Estimate: 243050€
Total Low Sold: 104330€

Mid Total Lots: 3
Mid Sold: 2
Mid Bought In: 1
Buy In %: 33.33%
Total Mid Estimate: 39000€
Total Mid Sold: 22000€

High Total Lots: 0
High Sold: NA
High Bought In: NA
Buy In %: NA
Total High Estimate: 0€
Total High Sold: NA

The top lot by High estimate in this session was effectively tied between lot 227 (the cover lot), Robert Mapplethorpe, Patti Smith, N.Y.C., 1976, at 10000-15000€, and lot 280, Elio Luxardo, Pietro Donzelli, Federico Vender and others, Con una piccola Rondine, 1951, at 12000-15000€. The Mapplethorpe sold for 11000€; it was tied for the top outcome of the session with lot 318, Julia Margaret Cameron, Holy Family, 1872, which also sold for 11000€. The Luxardo et al. did not sell.

Only 67.42% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate. There were a total of 3 surprises in this session (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate):

Lot 237, Sebastiao Salgado, Lisbon, Portugal, 1975 at 2400€
Lot 329, Willy Ronis, Place Vendome, 1947/1980, at 2200€
Lot 348, Cesare Colombo, Apprendisti N. 1, c1970, at 1000€

Complete lot by lot results for Rome can be found here.

New York: Session III

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

Total Lots: 126
Pre Sale Low Total Estimate: $330000
Pre Sale High Total Estimate: $490700
Total Lots Sold: 37
Total Lots Bought In: 89
Buy In %: 70.63%
Total Sale Proceeds: $114314

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

Low Total Lots: 123
Low Sold: 36
Low Bought In: 87
Buy In %: 70.73%
Total Low Estimate: $438700
Total Low Sold: $104554

Mid Total Lots: 3
Mid Sold: 1
Mid Bought In: 2
Buy In %: 66.67%
Total Mid Estimate: $52000
Total Mid Sold: $9760

High Total Lots: 0
High Sold: NA
High Bought In: NA
Buy In %: NA
Total High Estimate: $0
Total High Sold: NA

The top photography lot by High estimate in this session was tied between lot 417, Imogen Cunningham, Nude, 1932/1960 and lot 426, Marilyn Minter, Mardi Gras, 2007, both at $15000-20000; the Cunningham sold for $9760 and was the top outcome of the session, while the Minter did not sell.

70.27% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range. There were no surprises in this session (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate).

Complete lot by lot results for New York can be found here.

Bloomsbury Auctions

24 Maddox Street
Mayfair
London W1S 1PP

Palazzo Colonnavia della Pilotta 19
00187, Roma

6 West 48th Street
New York, NY 10036

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Read more about: Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions, Bloomsbury Auctions, Bloomsbury Auctions

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