The massive (nearly 49%) Buy-In rate should have derailed the recent Contemporary Photographs sale at Sotheby’s in New York, but a few sales in the top price tier and a handful of well placed positive surprises helped to prop up what otherwise should have been a troubled sale. In the end, the Total Sale Proceeds fell at the lower end of the aggregate pre-sale range.
The top lot by High estimate was lot 48, Andreas Gursky, Gardasee (Lake Garda Panorama), 1986-1993, estimated at $80000-120000; it sold at $125000. The top outcome of the sale was lot 24, Michael Dweck, Sonya, Poles (Montauk), 2002/2010, estimated at $50000-70000, sold at $168750.
74.36% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range and there were a total of 4 positive surprises in the sale (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate) (images above via Sotheby’s):
Lot 24, Michael Dweck, Sonya, Poles (Montauk), 2002/2010, estimated at $50000-70000, sold at $168750
Lot 40, Catherine Opie, Untitled #5 (Icehouses), 2001, estimated at $20000-30000, sold at $125000
Lot 41, Catherine Opie, Untitled #6 (Icehouses), 2001, estimated at $20000-30000, sold at $81250
Lot 56, Pierre Keller, Keith Haring and Andy Warhol, 1985, estimated at $4000-6000, sold at $40000
The complete lot by lot results can be found here.