By Loring Knoblauch
Softness in the top end lots was the undoing of an otherwise solid photography outing at Phillips in London. While the overall Buy-In rate came in at a respectable 26% and there were a few positive surprises to spice things up, it was the failure of all three of the highest priced lots and 10 out of 19 in the top tier that ultimately caused the Total Sale Proceeds to fall just below the low end of the pre-sale range.
The top lot by High estimate is lot 67, Alexander Rodchenko, Steps, 1929, estimated at £140000-180000; it did not sell. The top outcome of the sale was lot 36, Ed Ruscha, Gasoline Stations, 1962/1989, estimated at £40000-60000, sold at £106900.
97.70% of the photo lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range and there were a total of 6 surprises in the sale (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate):
Lot 52, Michael Dweck, The Duke’s Mermaid (Sapphire) from Sculptural Form – Surfboard, 2015, estimated at £12000-18000, sold at £37500
Lot 105, Nick Brandt, Lions Head to Head, 2008, estimated at £7000-9000, sold at £27500
Lot 72, Abelardo Morell, $7 Million, 2006, estimated at £6000-8000, sold at £17500
Lot 13, Bruce Weber, Lisa Marie, Palm Beach, FL, 1986, estimated at £4000-6000, sold at £13750
Lot 61, René Burri, Sao Paolo, Brazil, 1960/2003, estimated at £4000-6000, sold at £12500
Lot 12, Sante D’Orazio, Christy Turlington with Towel, Panoramic View Hotel, Montauk, 1993/later, estimated at £3000-5000, sold at £11250
Complete lot by lot results can be found here.