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Bonhams: Photographs Auction Analysis

  • Bonhams auction, new york
  • Bonhams auction, new york
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April 30, 2015

After competing for 107 lots, Bonhams: Photography auction in New York was finished on April 28. Out of the 107 lots, 64 were sold, which makes a 59.4 percent of total sold lots. Even though one Ansel Adams’ photograph was sold for the  hammer price of $145000, it turned out as a bit of a disappointment since low estimate was at $150000 with high estimate at $250000. Apart from this 6-digit lot, we have seen a couple of 5-digit sums, while the average hammer price settled down at the 4-digit price – $8388. Our auction analysis showed that 9 lots were sold over the high estimate, which makes 14.1 percent of sold lots. As opposite to that, 57.8 percent of lots (37 lots) had their hammer price under the low estimate, leaving us with 18 sold lots in the range of estimated values with 28.1 percent. With median hammer at $3800, the median hammer average hammer difference was -54.7 percent. The results of the auction analysis were under estimate spread of 32.9 percent.  For individual results, please scroll down.

  • Bonhams auction, new york

The Best Individual Results at Bonhams: Photographs

As previously mentioned, the highest hammer price was achieved with the artwork from Ansel Adams titled Winter Sunrise which changed the owners hands for $145000 with 3.3 percent under the hammer low estimated since it was estimated at $150000. Yet another lot from Ansel Adams had a high price tag to it, Maroon Bells from 1951 with a starting price of $50000 was sold for $90000 achieving fantastic 28.6 percent over the high estimate. The biggest surprise of this auction analysis was the artwork by Hiromu Kira The Thinker which was sold for $22000, and with the spread of $7000-$10000 achieved stunning 120 percent over the high estimate. Lee Friedlander’s Nashville scored 37.5 percent over the high estimate with the final price of $5500. Famous portrait of Sir Winston Churchill by Yousuf Karsh was sold for a 5-digit price, $11000, overcoming the high estimate by 22.2 percent, and almost the double price of low estimate value with 83.3 percent. One Shirin Neshat’s artwork – On Guard, was sold for a 5-digit price – $11000, still, it remained in the estimate range. David Hockney’s The Steering Wheel, earned its owner $16000, with 60 percent over the high estimate. Read below what were the highs and lows of the auction in our auction analysis.

  • Bonhams auction, new york

Lows at Bonhams: Photographs

As our auction analysis has shown, the worst achieved results share the same percentage of hammer low estimate difference. At 50 percent under the low estimate were sold both Berenice Abbott’s artworks. Alfred Stieglitz’s Equivalent with a low estimate at $10000 was sold for $5000. Addie Taylor in her Shack by Diane Arbus, estimated between $4000-$6000, went for $2000, achieving another negative 50 percent of low estimate value. John Gutmann’s The Swimmer with the low estimate at $2000, changed the owner for thousand dollars, thus giving our auction analysis another 50 percent below the low estimate. We had a few surprises at the auction: Annie Leibovitz portrait of Meryl Streep, Helmut Newton’s Sumo and Andy Warhol’s Selected Images of Jerry Hall, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Halston were not sold, though, the low estimated prices were not the lowest ones at Bonhams: Photographs auction.

  • Bonhams auction, new york

Bonhams: Photographs in Details

Lot No.Artist NameArtwork NameLow Estimate $High Estimate $Hammer Price $Hammer High Estimate Difference [%]Hammer Low Estimate Difference [%]
1Ansel AdamsNevada Falls, Yosemite National Park, California (Rainbow)100001500012000-2020
2Ansel AdamsForest Floor, Yosemite Valley, California500070005500-21.410
3Ansel AdamsRedwoods, Humboldt County, Northern California600080005000-37.5-16.7
4Ansel AdamsEdward Weston, Carmel Highlands700010000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
5Ansel AdamsMonolith, the Face of Half Dome, Yosemite National Park2500035000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
6Ansel AdamsWinter Sunrise, Sierra Nevada from Lone Pine, California150000250000145000-42-3.3
7Ansel AdamsEvening Clouds, East Side of Sierra Nevada, California3000050000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
8Ansel AdamsClearing Winter Storm, Yosemite National Park, California3000050000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
9Ansel AdamsMaroon Bells, near Aspen Colorado50000700009000028.680
10Ansel AdamsWinter Sunrise, Sierra Nevada from Lone Pine, California250003500018000-48.6-28
11Ansel AdamsRedwood Grove, Northern California60008000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
12Ansel AdamsRedwoods, Richardson Grove, California60008000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
13Ansel AdamsMonument Valley, Arizona1000015000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
14Edward S. CurtisBefore the Storm, Apache400060004200-305
15Edward S. CurtisFlathead Camp on the Jocko River400060006000050
16Edward S. CurtisAt the Old Well at Acoma40006000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
17Edward S. CurtisThe Vanishing Race45005500Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
18Edward S. CurtisThe Vanishing Race75009500Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
19Lewis Wickes HineFactory Boy, Glassworks, Alexandria, Virginia40006000700016.775
20Lewis Wickes HinePushcart Peddlers, New York City400060003000-50-25
21Willy RonisRue Muller à Montmartre, Paris200030001900-36.7-5
22Eugène AtgetThe Organ-grinder200030001700-43.3-15
23Berenice AbbottUntitled (Paul Bunyan Pine); Smokestacks, Lumber Mill, (variant) 2300050001500-70-50
24Berenice AbbottSmokestacks, Lumber Mill, Westwood, California200030001000-66.7-50
25Roman VishniacBasement Lodgings and Workshop, Warsaw200030001500-50-25
26George TiceBodie, California45006500Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
27Brett WestonBalcony, Mexico20003000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
28Brett WestonGlen Canyon25003500Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
29Alfred StieglitzEquivalent (Songs of the Sky)10000150005000-66.7-50
30Margaret Bourke-WhiteSelected Images 48000100005000-50-37.5
31Margaret Bourke-WhiteStudy for Russell Burdsall & Ward, Bolt & Nut Company, U.S.A.50007000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
32Bernd and Hilla BecherWater Tower, Trier-Ehrang200025002000-200
33Hiromu KiraThe Thinker70001000022000120214.3
34Helen LevittChildren with a Broken Mirror, N.Y.C.4000600065008.362.5
35Helen LevittN.Y. (Graffiti)40006000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
36Stanley KubrickMickey, The Shoe-Shine Boy1500020000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
37Lee FriedlanderNashville, Tennessee30004000550037.583.3
38Diane ArbusAddie Taylor in her Shack, Beaufort, South Carolina400060002000-66.7-50
39O. Winston LinkSometimes the Electricity Fails, Vesuvius, Virginia35005500Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
40Danny LyonSelected Images, from Conversations with the Dead40006000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
41Elliott ErwittJacqueline Kennedy, Arlington Cemetery, Virginia20003000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
42Marc RiboudLiu Li Chang2000300032006.760
43Henri Cartier-BressonGames in a refugee camp at Kurukshetra, Punjab, India700090005500-38.9-21.4
44Marc RiboudAfter bathing in the Ganges, Varanasi, Bénarès, India200030001600-46.7-20
45John GutmannAutumn in Charlottenburg, Berlin200030001100-63.3-45
46André KertészSidewalk, Paris200030001500-50-25
47Ilse BingScandale, Paris25003500Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
48Minor WhiteIce in Light and Shadow300050003800-2426.7
49John GutmannThe Swimmer, San Francisco200030001000-66.7-50
50Arnold NewmanW. Eugene Smith, New York City250035003200-8.628
51Yousuf KarshSir Winston Churchill600090001100022.283.3
52Garry WinograndJohn F. Kennedy, Democratic National Convention200030002200-26.710
53Sebastião SalgadoGold Mine, Serra Pelada, Brazil (Backs)400060004800-2020
54Sebastião SalgadoSerra Pelada Gold Mine, Brazil400060004800-2020
55Sebastião SalgadoTwo Women making an Offering to a Goddess Statue, Brazil200030001500-50-25
56Joe RosenthalFlag Raising at Iwo Jima350045003800-15.68.6
57Wolf von dem BusscheN.Y, N.Y.: Ten Photographs25003500Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
58Bruce WeberChris Grover, NYC250035002500-28.60
59Ruth BernhardTwo Forms50007000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
60Duane MichalsThe Nature of Desire250035001900-45.7-24
61Duane MichalsTwo friends are playing cards. One is cheating, from Homage to Cavafy200030001000-66.7-50
62Horst P. HorstThe New American Foot, New York, for Vogue50007000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
63Sarah MoonPour Alexander McQueen500070004800-31.4-4
64Irving PennVogue Fashion Photograph (Paris) Schiaparelli Coat (Bettina) (A)3000040000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
65Richard MisrachSprinklers250035002000-42.9-20
66Richard MisrachUntitled (Cactus and Motel)25003500Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
67Richard MisrachChemical Weapons Storage, Wendover Air Base20003000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
68Richard MisrachSaguaro Cactus40006000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
69Richard MisrachBurning Bush #240006000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
70Richard MisrachStonehenge #6500070005000-28.60
71Don Hong-OaiGibbons at Play, Tianzi Mountain300050002500-50-16.7
72Jerry UelsmannUntitled (Study)200030001500-50-25
73Robert ParkeHarrisonTree Symphony500070003000-57.1-40
74Joel-Peter WitkinWaiting for de Chirico in the Artist's Section of Purgatory, New Mexico400060003200-46.7-20
75Joel-Peter WitkinWoman Masturbating on the Moon, New Mexico4000600065008.362.5
76Robert MapplethorpeWinter Landscape60008000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
77Ray K. MetzkerCity Whispers, Chicago200030001200-60-40
78Hiroshi SugimotoBaltic Sea, Rügen200003000016000-46.7-20
79Ezra StollerModern Architecture1200018000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
80Rineke DijkstraVendas Novas, Portugal8000120006500-45.8-18.8
81Bert SternMarilyn Monroe in black dress, from The Last Sitting for Vogue30005000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
82Bert SternMarilyn Monroe, That Famous Smile, from The Last Sitting30005000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
83Lawrence SchillerMarilyn Monroe in the Pool30004000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
84Loretta LuxThe Dove60008000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
85David LaChapelleDevon Aoki: Fish Stick400060004000-33.30
86Andy WarholSelected Images of Jerry Hall, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Halston, from Studio 54 3700010000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
87Masao YamamotoSelected Images, from A Box of Ku series and The Nakazora series400060002800-53.3-30
88William WegmanIn the Box6000100006000-400
89Adam FussUntitled, from My Ghost Series300050002500-50-16.7
90Helmut NewtonSumo60008000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
91Shirin NeshatCouple at Intersection, from Fervor series2000030000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
92Shirin NeshatOn Guard100001500011000-26.710
93Thomas StruthSão Francisco de Xavier500070004200-40-16
94Andres SerranoPrecious Blood10000150008000-46.7-20
95Harry CallahanMorocco200030001500-50-25
96Stephen ShorePalm Beach Mall, West Palm Beach, Florida, November 81000015000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
97Thomas StruthMuseo del Prado, Room 12, Madrid200025002200-1210
98Candida HöferTeatro Colón Buenos Aires500060004000-33.3-20
99Nan GoldinMash naked at the Bar Rouge, Tokyo60008000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
100Nan GoldinJoey at Spaghetteria, New York City400060003200-46.7-20
101Annie LeibovitzMeryl Streep, New York City70009000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
102Adi NesUntitled60008000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
103Gregory CrewdsonUntitled (Pregnant Woman/Pool), 1999, from Twilight Series1500025000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
104Sean ScullyPueblo Dzibalchen #6, #8, #9, #12 4400060003500-41.7-12.5
105David HockneyThe Steering Wheel7000100001600060128.6
106Olafur EliassonIslandsserien, from Iceland Series70009000Not SoldNot SoldNot Sold
107Ernst HaasRoute 66, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA, from In America series80001000010000025
TOTAL (Sold lots):496500750500536800-28.58.1
Total number of lots:107
Number of sold lots:64
Sold lots [%]:59.8
Number of sold lots over high estimate:9
Over high estimate (Total) [%]:8.4
Over high estimate (Sold) [%]:14.1
Number of sold lots in range of estimated values:18
In range of estimated values (Sold) [%]:28.1
Number of sold lots under low estimate:37
Under low estimate (Sold) [%]:57.8
Results were under estimate spread of [%]:32.9
Max Hammer [$]:145000
Average Hammer [$]:8388
Median Hammer [$]:3800
Median Hammer Average Hammer Difference [%]:-54.7
Bonhams auction, new york
Ansel Adams – Maroon Bells, near Aspen Colorado, 1951, (lot 9)
Bonhams auction, new york
Ansel Adams – Nevada Falls, 1947, (lot 1)
Bonhams auction, new york
Andy Warhol – Selected images of Jerry Hall, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Halston, from Studio 54, 1980, (lot 86)
Bonhams auction, new york
Lee Friedlander – Nashville,Tennessee, 1963, (lot 37)
Bonhams auction, new york
John Gutmann – The Swimmer, San Francisco, 1934, (lot 49)
Bonhams auction, new york
Helmut Newton – Sumo, 1999, (lot 90)
Bonhams auction, new york
Diane Arbus – Addie Taylor in her Shack, Beaufort, South Carolina, 1968, (lot 38)
Bonhams auction, new york
Berenice Abbott – Smokestacks, Lumber Mill, Westwood, California, 1943, (lot 24)
Bonhams auction, new york
Alfred Stieglitz – Equivalent (Songs of the Sky), 1924, (lot 24)
Bonhams auction, new york
Yousuf Karsh – Sir Winston Churchill, 1941, (lot 51)
Bonhams auction, new york
Robert Mapplethorpe – Winter Landscape, 1979, (lot 76)
Bonhams auction, new york
Ray K. Metzker – City Whispers, Chicago, 1981, (lot 77)

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Featured images: Hiromu Kira – The Thinker, 1930, (lot 33) Duane Michals – Two friends are playing cards, One is cheating, grom Homage to Cavafy, 1978, (lot 61) Hiroshi Sugimoto – Baltic Sea, 1996, (lot 78)

Slider images: David Hockney – The Steering Wheel, 1982, (lot 105) Shirin Neshat – On Guard, 1997, (lot 92) Annie Leibovitz – Meryl Streep, 1981, (lot 101)

All images are courtesy of Bonhams.