Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Auction Results: Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening, Morning, and Afternoon Sales, May 15 and 16, 2013 @Christie's New York

While Christie's was busy setting auction records and selling nearly half a billion dollars worth of Contemporary Art in the evening sale alone last week, the photography buried in its three sales didn't offer any particular lightning strikes or frothy exuberance. Of the just under $600 million in sales across the three sessions, a little less than $6.5 million came from photography, or a fraction more than 1% of the total proceeds. From the vantage point of the photography on offer, the overall Buy-In rate was just under 30% and the Total Sale Proceeds fell in the middle of the range, a generally predictable result all things considered.

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

Total Lots: 57
Pre Sale Low Total Estimate: $5178000
Pre Sale High Total Estimate: $7340000
Total Lots Sold: 40
Total Lots Bought In: 17
Buy In %: 29.82%
Total Sale Proceeds: $6440750

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

Low Total Lots: 0
Low Sold: NA
Low Bought In: NA
Buy In %: NA
Total Low Estimate: $0
Total Low Sold: NA

Mid Total Lots: 28
Mid Sold: 20
Mid Bought In: 8
Buy In %: 28.57%
Total Mid Estimate: $900000
Total Mid Sold: $730000

High Total Lots: 29
High Sold: 20
High Bought In: 9
Buy In %: 31.03%
Total High Estimate: $6440000
Total High Sold: $5710750

The top photography lot by High estimate was lot 3, Andreas Gursky, Klitschko, 1999, estimated at $800000-1000000; it was also the top outcome of the sales at $1323750.

90.00% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range and there were a total of only two surprises (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate):

Lot 424, Rodney Graham, Can of Worms, 2000, estimated at $15000-20000, sold at $47500 (image at right, bottom, via Christie's)
Lot 487, Cindy Sherman, Untitled Film Still #54, 1980, estimated at $250000-350000, sold at $723750 (image at right, top, via Christie's)

Complete lot by lot results can be found here (Evening), here (Morning), and here (Afternoon).

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New York, NY 10020

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