Thursday, June 3, 2010

Auction Results: Photobooks, May 21, 2010 @Christie's South Kensington

The results of the recent Photobooks sale at Christie's in London were considerably stronger than the other photography-related book sales this season. While I don't have access to historical photobook auction records, according to Christie's, the inscribed Frank (at right) likely set a record for a regularly-published (not special or limited edition) postwar book, fetching a hefty £43250. Photobooks by Henri Cartier-Bresson and Richard Prince also soared to big prices (see below). Overall, the buy-in rate was solid (just under 28%) and the total sale proceeds covered the total High estimate.

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

Total Lots: 136
Pre Sale Low Total Estimate: £235900
Pre Sale High Total Estimate: £347400
Total Lots Sold: 98
Total Lots Bought In: 38
Buy In %: 27.94%
Total Sale Proceeds: £353442

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

Low Total Lots: 38
Low Sold: 27
Low Bought In: 11
Buy In %: 28.95%
Total Low Estimate: £26000
Total Low Sold: £32165

Mid Total Lots: 88
Mid Sold: 64
Mid Bought In: 24
Buy In %: 27.27%
Total Mid Estimate: £202400
Total Mid Sold: £187752

High Total Lots: 10
High Sold: 7
High Bought In: 3
Buy In %: 30.00%
Total High Estimate: £119000
Total High Sold: £133525

The top lot by High estimate was lot 265 (the cover lot), Emmet Gowin, Concerning America and Alfred Stieglitz, and Myself, 1965, at £18000-25000; it sold for £39650. The top outcome of the sale was lot 261, Robert Frank, The Americans, 1959, at £43250. (Image at right, top, via Christie's.)

A perfect 100.00% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above their estimate. There were a total of 14 surprises in this sale (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate):
Lot 220, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Images á la sauvette - The Decisive Moment, 1952, at £13750
Lot 224, Vilem Ambrosi, Vira v dobre dilo, c1935, at £1250
Lot 236, André Kertész, Day of Paris, 1945, at £1750
Lot 241, Munka, A mi életünkböl - A Munka elsö fotókönyve, 1932, at £6250
Lot 251, Vladimir Vlcek, Dnesni Moskva - Today's Moscow, 1947, at £1500
Lot 254, El Lissitzky, Man Ray, Moholy-Nagy, and others, Broom, 1922/1923, at £2250
Lot 261, Robert Frank, The Americans, 1959, at £43250
Lot 273, Horst P. Horst, Photographs of a Decade, 1944, at £7500
Lot 294, New Topographics, Photographs of a Man-Altered Landscape, 1975, at £1875
Lot 297, Gilles Peress, Telex Persan - Telex Iran, 1984, at £5000
Lot 299, Photomontage, Frente Popular Antifascista, c1938, at £2250
Lot 301, Richard Prince, Adult Comedy Action Drama, 1995, at £15000
Lot 320, Jacques Thevoz, Fribourg et d'autres choses, 1970, at £2000
Lot 330, James Wedge, The James Wedge Book, 1972, at £1500

Complete lot by lot results can be found here.

85 Old Brompton Road
London SW7 3LD

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