Friday, July 15, 2011

Auction Results: Photographies, L'Imaginaire du Nu, June 28, 2011 @Yann Le Mouel

The results of Yann Le Mouel's recent sale of nude photography in Paris were thoroughly dismal. With an overall Buy-In rate near 70% and no positive surprises at all, it is no wonder that the Total Sale Proceeds missed the range by a huge margin. And with just over 20000€ of total premium to the house, I think it is difficult to make the case that this sale even covered its costs.
The summary statistics are below (all results include the buyer’s premium):

Total Lots: 248
Pre Sale Low Total Estimate: 275350€
Pre Sale High Total Estimate: 358650€
Total Lots Sold: 76
Total Lots Bought In: 172
Buy In %: 69.35%
Total Sale Proceeds: 129552€

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

Low Total Lots: 241
Low Sold: 72
Low Bought In: 169
Buy In %: 70.12%
Total Low Estimate: 284650€
Total Low Sold: 77952€

Mid Total Lots: 7
Mid Sold: 3
Mid Bought In: 4
Buy In %: 42.86%
Total Mid Estimate: 74000€
Total Mid Sold: 51600€

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 was lot 129, Peter Lindbergh, Milla Jovovitch, NYC, Italian Vogue, 1996, at 15000-20000€; it was also the top outcome of the sale at 20400€.

93.42% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range. There were no surprises in this sale (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate).
Complete lot by lot results can be found here.

Yann Le Mouel
22, Rue Chauchat
75009 Paris


Joe Baio said...


By focusing only on the results you are missing a wonderful opportunity to teach budding collectors. This was a lovely and intriguing auction, rich with interesting, fresh works and real opportunities for those of us who don't have an "Irving Penn budget". (Let everyone on Fifth Avenue overpay for every Cuzco Boys print he made over the last 50 years. So long as they stay away from what I want I'm HAPPY.)

Here are some things your routine reports are missing. First, the German and French auction houses routinely bring material to the market that otherwise would remain buried or trash-piled. Second, the works are frequently both wonderful in the hands and on the walls and are quite reasonable priced. Third, the work is clearly not the same old same old we see in the US and UK auctions conducted by the biggees. Fourth, the condition reports that are fully available to buyers are generally very accurate. Fifth, from my perspective the houses run a clean auction: I frequently win at amounts less than my full bid. And finally, shipping costs -- unlike those imposed by the big-time houses -- are reasonable. You can frequently use your own FedEx account and the house will pack for free. Try to get Sotheby's, Christie's or Phillips to do that for you with foreign buys. Sometimes the shipping exceeds the hammer at those places.

In this case, I was the successful bidder on thirteen lots covering 25 individual pieces at less than 600 Euros a a lot. And wait until you see them mounted and framed!

Like so many others, you continue to focus on the record breakers and the "failed sales" and the lots that sold for double or more of the estimates. "Who paid the most! Who paid the most!" Here you are just like everyone else, and frankly, who cares about this crap? Let the over-payors continue to lead the way down.

You could focus instead on the true gems that are available at bargain prices based on quality of image and the estimates provided in catalogues. Or you could identify post-sales pictures that were incredible, and yet are still available.

On second thought, don't do that. Some diamonds and pearls might get away from me if people learned about what really goes on in these fabulous, non-glamorous auctions that offer photographs from more than the same 25 artists (and the same 2 to 5 images by each artist) that we must view over and over and over again in the NY and UK monster auction houses. Now that I've had a chance to reflect, please keep reporting exactly as you have been about these houses. There's nothing there for the titans of industry and the masters of the photographic universe.

Thanks, and please excuse the typos.

Joe Baio

Joe Baio said...


Meant to write Loring. Sorry about that.


Tony Dorazio said...


I look to Loring's blog as just one source of information, albeit a great source of information.

I don't think that he has ever represented his information as being comprehensive to the point of covering everything in photography.

He does not deserve your wind-bagging about how "in" you are and how much more you know about the "real" going-ons in the world of photography. Sounds like you have a big chip on your shoulder. Maybe you should get a better job so you can afford some of the work he describes here.

Loring, get well soon.

Tony Dorazio

Joe Baio said...


Glad you have such fierce protectors. (Not that you need any.) You always said you were looking for more passionate exchanges. Glad to do my part.

Tony (if I may call you that), I hardly view myself as either "in" or knowledgeable about the "real" goings-on of pretty much anything. But a "wind-bag"? Absolutely!

As for a better job, I will try to get one that will teach me how to write with more apparent irony and tongue-in-cheek-edness for Loring's more literal readers.

And Loring, get better, for crying out loud.


atuh said...

Joe, Loring does not owe you a thing :-) He can write what he pleases because this happens to be his blog. I personally thank him for making stuff available to me that I'd not get otherwise ( at least without a crazy amount of time on Google ).

And of course he does not need any vociferous 'protectors'. So he does not see things the way you do? Well, sucks, now get over the heart burn and move on.

Joe Baio said...


I'm confused. I thought your blog was designed to be "a venue for thoughtful discussion" of photography "and other items of sometime interest to photography collectors large and small." I did not realize that "thoughtful discussion" means "unvarnished praise, total agreement and no alternative suggestions.' Isn't one of the major points of your blog for people to express different opinions on subjects of common interest, or should we all see things exactly as you do? (That is a rhetorical question as you well know.) And just so you are not confused -- and I know you are not -- you certainly can write what you please, and please don't stop. Good point, atuh!

Good to see that we all agree that you don't need any "protectors", vociferous or otherwise. Nope, I'm the one who needs protecting around here. I knew I should have written anonymously, because then nobody would know I'm a dog.

By the way, Tony and atuh (funny name), before you work yourselves up into a new lather, read Loring's most recent posting, where he correctly calls me a friend. We're on the same team guys. Lighten up. Let's try to keep the discourse about photography, auctions, galleries, artists and the ideas that this blog presents and hopes to provoke.

Joe Baio (because it's too late to be anonymous)

Joe Baio said...


I'm confused. I thought your blog was a pipeline from "one photography collector to another: a venue for thoughtful discussion of vintage and contemporary photography" and "other items of sometime interest to photography collectors large and small". I didn't realize that "thoughtful discussion" meant unwavering praise for your fine writing or seeing things only the way that you see them. Live and learn. At least atuh has set me straight about how you can write what you please because this is your blog. Amazing the things you can learn online!

I initially thought to write anonymously but decided against it. Dumb move. While you don't need protection, Loring, I apparently do. Tony and atuh, please note that in his July 28 posting Loring accurately identifies me as his friend. In other words, we're on the same team, guys.

Anyway, let's try to stick to the subjects that our generous host has identified, and let's have a thoughtful discussion -- "from one collector to another" -- about photography and our diverse experiences with this amazing medium. Who knows, we might all learn something.

Joe Baio

atuh said...

Joe I respect your right to have your own views, but your first post seemed to veer very close to accusations of being elitist.

Quote: "Like so many others, you continue to focus on the record breakers and the "failed sales" and the lots that sold for double or more of the estimates. "Who paid the most! Who paid the most!" Here you are just like everyone else, and frankly, who cares about this crap? Let the over-payors continue to lead the way down."

And about being privy to ignored gems, collecting is personal and subjective. What are gems to you might not be gems to another. For example I'd rather buy a Goldin print than Ansel Adam's 'moonrise over Hernandez'. So by focusing on statistics, Loring covers a very accurate area that is useful to a broader audience, than say for instance if he were to focus on just his personal likes.

Honestly I am unable to afford a master's print at the moment because of financial reasons. But Loring's posts serve to educate me enough to develop my own palette for collecting when I am able to afford them.

Of course I may have been presumptuous in thinking that Loring was being accused of being elitist. If so, blame it on my subjectivity and I duly apologize :-)But cheers to the invitation to thoughtful discussions!