Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Auction Results: The American Landscape: Color Photographs from the Collection of Bruce and Nancy Berman, October 7, 2009 @Christie's

The Berman sale at Christie's last week was proof of the consistent demand in the secondary markets for classic American color photography: the buy-in rate was very low (just over 12%) and the Total Sale Proceeds fell near the top of the estimate range, at just over $1500000. The Mid range lots were especially strong, outperforming the estimate range by almost 26%. A terrific result all around.

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

Total Lots: 189
Pre Sale Low Total Estimate: $1120000
Pre Sale High Total Estimate: $1679000
Total Lots Sold: 166
Total Lots Bought In: 23
Buy In %: 12.17%
Total Sale Proceeds: $1544625

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

Low Total Lots: 160
Low Sold: 140
Low Bought In: 20
Buy In %: 12.50%
Total Low Estimate: $955000
Total Low Sold: $839000

Mid Total Lots: 27
Mid Sold: 24
Mid Bought In: 3
Buy In %: 11.11%
Total Mid Estimate: $414000
Total Mid Sold: $521625

High Total Lots: 2
High Sold: 2
High Bought In: 0
Buy In %: 0.00%
Total High Estimate: $310000
Total High Sold: $184000

This sale didn't exactly go as planned, at least according to the estimates in the catalog - 31.93% of the lots that sold had proceeds below their estimate, while 37.95% pushed above their estimate; it looks like the estimates were set in the middle and collectors decided which lots were of interest (and which weren't) and bid accordingly. There were eleven surprises in this sale (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate):

Lot 9 Erwin Olaf, The Hallway, 2005, at $25000
Lot 40 Chris Jordan, Container Yard #1, Seattle, 2003, at $20000
Lot 47 Mitch Epstein, Dad's Briefcase, Holyoke, MA, 2000, at $10625
Lot 48 Mitch Epstein, Office Door (private sign), Holyoke, MA, 2000, at $10000
Lot 50 Mitch Epstein, Flag, Holyoke, MA, 2000, at $15000
Lot 80 William Eggleston, Untitled, Paducah, Kentucky, 1996, at $18750
Lot 108 Adam Bartos, Blue Mustang, 1978, at $10625
Lot 121 William Eggleston, Untitled, Berlin, 1982, at $27500
Lot 122 William Eggleston, Untitled, Memphis, 1972, at $20000
Lot 134 Robert Polidori, 2732 Orleans Avenue, New Orleans, LA, 2005, at $47500
Lot 166 William Eggleston, Near Greenwood, Mississippi, 1979, at $37500

The top lot by High estimate was lot 151, Bruce Davidson, Subway portfolio, 1980, at $150000-250000; it was also the top outcome of the sale at $146500.

Complete lot by lot results can be found here.

20 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, NY 10020


gphoto said...

missed a "surprise", lot 134 Robert Polidori, New Orleans.

Personally I thought this picture was the only important photo in the whole sale.

dlkcollection said...

You're right. It got overlooked in my spreadsheet and is now fixed. Thanks!