Monday, October 22, 2007

Christie's Important Photographs Auction Results


Back on September 30th I wrote about the Christie’s auction catalog of Important Photographs (from a private collection). This auction catalog was interesting because it was centered on a group of significant Robert Frank photographs. The auction took place on the 17th of October and the results have been posted. In total, 34 of the 37 lots brought in $2,061,150.00. 3 lots did not sell. Here are the results, if you have a copy of the auction catalog you can sing along.

Lot #1 print of Frank’s Political Rally, Chicago sousaphone player. Sold for $91,000.00

Lot #2 print of Frank’s Robert Kennedy seen over Mayor Daley’s shoulder sold for $67,000.00

Lot #3 print from Brassai of a couple at the Bal des Quatre-Saisons sold for $39,400.00

Lot #4 print of Frank’s Charity Ball, New York City sold for $73,000.00

Lot #5 print of Walker Evans’ accordion player in the subway sold for $16,250.00

Lot #6 print of Evans women with hats on subway sold for $27,400.00

Lot #7 print of Evans man with newspaper on subway sold for $18,750.00

Lot #8 print of Evans two women on the subway sold for $22,500.00

Lot #9 print of Frank’s three usherettes (I had never seen this photo) did not sell.

Lot #10 print of Frank’s Movie Premier, Hollywood (woman in profile) sold for $49,000.00

Lot #11 print of Frank’s Movie Premier, Hollywood (catalog cover image) sold for $37,000.00

Lot #12 print of Frank’s Wanamaker Fire, NYC sold for $37,000.00

Lot #13 print of Dorothea Lange’s White Angel breadline, San Francisco sold for $103,000.00

Lot #14 print of Morris Engel’s Harlem merchant sold for $20,000.00

Lot #15 print of Evans’ Havana streetcar sold for $39,400.0

(Sing the following in Castrato)

Lot #16 print of Frank’s Trolley, New Orleans sold for $623,400.00 The high estimate was set at 250,000.00. Turns out, the apartment that would cost the equivalent in New York City WOULD be large enough to hang the print on the wall. Six hundred and twenty three thousand, four hundred dollars or $10,697.00 per inch of image for that print size.

Lot #17 print of Frank’s Canal Street, New Orleans sold for $43,000.00

Lot #18 print of Evans subway woman with child in chokehold sold for $37,000.00

Lot #19 print of Helen Levitt two men on the subway sold for $20,000.00

Lot #20 print of Arthur Leipzig Subway lovers sold for $21,250.00

Lot #21print of Brassai’s Le chat blanc de l'epicerie sold for $32,200.00

Lot #22 print of Weegee’s Mother and child in Harlem sold for $18,750.00

Lot #23 print of Ben Shahn’s Rehabilitation clients, Arkansas sold for $13,750.00

Lot #24 print of Frank’s Caerau, Wales miners sold for $115,000.00

Lot #25 print of Frank’s Welsh miners sold for $91,000.00

Lot #26 print of Margaret Bourke-White’s Cement factory, Novorossisk sold for $8,750.00

Lot #27 print of Frank’s Yom Kippur, East River NYC sold for $85,500.00

Lot #28 print of Evans subway portrait sold for $15,000.00

Lot #29 print of Evans subway man and woman sold for $17,500.00

Lot #30 print of Frank’s Coney Island, 4th of July sold for $21,250.00

Lot #31 print of Frank’s San Gennaro festival, NYC sold for $51,400.00

Lot #32 print of Diane Arbus’s Man and boy on a bench in Central Park sold for $10,000.00


Lot #33 print of Lisette Model’s Running legs did not sell.

Lot #34 print of Frank’s three transvestites did not sell.

Lot #35 print of Frank’s Motorcyclist looking back over his shoulder sold for $91,000.00

Lot #36 print of Frank’s City Hall, Reno sold for $58,600.00

Lot #37 print of Frank’s motorcyclist couple from Indianapolis sold for $46,600.00

I actually find it nice to see Robert’s photographs commanding such prices when twenty years ago for the expense of one Cindy Sherman c-print you could have bought three or four of his. By the way…how are those Sherman prints holding up these days?

8 comments:

Stuart Alexander said...

In the sale immediately following the American Collection called: 'On Artists: Photographs from the Collection of Rex, Inc.' there were three Cindy Sherman photographs that held up pretty well.
Lot 127 sold for $205,000. Lot 137 did not sell. Lot 142 sold for $24,600.

Matt Weber said...

It's funny, $623,000 for an 8x10 print may seem funny, but if you consider that the image may be (in some ways) the most important one from the second half of the 20th century, it might end up being a great investment! I'm thrilled that a "street photograph" could sell for that much. Also, $37,000 for a subway photo ain't bad...

I love it!

Amy said...

I'm terribly sorry Jeff, I didn't buy you that Robert Frank print to hang on your wall. I can do you a copy in biro on a waitress pad and mail it to you, though.

Jeff Ladd said...

Amy,
I want the drawing!..just make sue it looks better than Jno Cook's version in the Robert Frank Coloring Book.

Jeff Ladd said...

Matt,
You are right...I just can't fathom those kinds of numbers.

One Way Street said...

Thanks for publishing these numbers. The market is a parallel universe which bears its own study: one doesn't learn much more than what the market itself is. I'm not convinced auction prices mean anything other than auction prices, in general. Still, the Frank prices are fascinating, although I find it morbid too - after all he's not getting any of this fabulous money.

photography lenspilot said...

these prices are really incredible and for me it is a mystery how they are made. i guess just the simple theory of offer and demand ;)

Merritt Hewitt said...

Collectors are finally catching up to the fact that photographs are THE iconic images of the 20 & 21 centuries. ART?.......But still worth good money. And if these guys were real smart they'd start crawling the photoblogs rather than the galleries. This is where the real talent is hanging out. And photojournalism is now Photography's cutting edge. Jeez Louise, are their any major books in the pipeline. Nachtwey of course, but what about some of the younger ones: Chris Anderson. Magnum is doing essays, but any books planned?