Dreweatts & Bloomsbury - Editions and Works on Paper Auction Analysis

July 8, 2015

Bad timing. That's probably the main reason why Editions and Works on Paper auction at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury London was sooo awful. It sold just above half of auctioned lots, five of seven top priced lots weren't sold, and, obviously, total amount of money gathered failed big in compare to the projected auction value. Why is this so? Less than a month ago, on June 11, at Phillips London was held Editions: Including A Selection Of Works On Paper, and this auction was actually quite a good one, as it sold more than 80 percent of lots. There were no other auction of editions and works on paper in London since then, and the two big auction houses in London, Sotheby's and Christie's, did not have such an auction in more than two months.

However, Sotheby's and Christie's did have four huge auctions in three days (two evening and two day sales), and Bonhams and Phillips also had their contemporary art auctions. One of the auctions (Sotheby's Contemporary Art Day Auction) even took place on the same day as Editions and Works on Paper auction at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury: the Sotheby's had their sale at 10 AM, Dreweatts & Bloomsbury had their at 1:30 PM. So, the end of the season, insurmountable competition on the same day, and hundreds of millions of dollars spent on contemporary art on June 30 and July 1 during evening sales at Sotheby's and Christie's - appears that these circumstances had the decisive influence on Dreweatts & Bloomsbury's auction.

Banksy - The Only Bright Spot of Dreweatts & Bloomsbury's Shortfall

So, the Editions and Works on Paper auction at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury London was a really bad one, but it was marvelous for almost every Banksy's work that was put on sale. All of his 11 auctioned works were sold, and six of his sold pieces were in top 8 of lots that had exceeded expectations. Banksy's Love Is In The Air had its hammer price 4.5 times higher than its high estimate, and was, by far, the most successful lot of the auction. His Love Rat, I Fought the Law and Gangster Rat also had an excellent auction, with Anish Kapoor's Untitled (Ring object) that nestled in between them.

Still, these lots didn't have highest hammer prices - Pablo Picasso's Maternite (B.70) did, and it was sold for $24,964, while Richard Hamilton's Flower-Piece Progressives (L.92a-g), Damien Hirst's Big Love, Henry Moore's Landscapes with Cows and Richard Serra's Promenade Notebook Drawing were very close, with hammer prices between $21,843 and $24,183. Andy Warhol's Endangered Species, Siberian Tiger (F.& S. II.297) had the highest estimated value before the auction ($78,011 - $109,215), but wasn't sold, as well as Hanne Darboven's Kalenderaufzeichnung ($46,807 - $78,011).

Dreweatts & Bloomsbury London
Anish Kapoor - Untitled (Ring object), 2003 (Lot 214). Estimated at $1,560 - $2,340, sold for $4,057 (+73.3 percent difference).

Dreweatts & Bloomsbury London
Left: Banksy - Grin reaper, 2005 (Lot 103). Estimated at $6,241 - $9,361, sold for $14,822 (+58.3 percent margin). / Right: Richard Serra - Promenade Notebook Drawing, 2009 (Lot 289). Estimated at $15,602 - $23,403, sold for $21,843.

Dreweatts & Bloomsbury London
Banksy - Pulp Fiction, 2004 (Lot 96). Estimated at $3,901 - $5,461, sold for $9,049 (+65.7 percent difference).

Dreweatts & Bloomsbury London
Banksy - Love Is In The Air, 2003 (Lot 102). Estimated at $2,340 - $3,120, sold for $14,042, or with +350 percent - the highest margin of the auction.

Dreweatts & Bloomsbury London
Left: Banksy - Gangster Rat, 2004 (Lot 101). Estimated at $3,901 - $5,461, sold for $9,361 (+71.4 percent difference). / Right: Banksy - Love Rat, 2004 (Lot 100). Estimated at $3,901 - $4,681, sold for double high estimate, $9,361 (+100 percent difference).

Dreweatts & Bloomsbury London
Cy Twombly - Untitled from, On the Bowery Portfolio (b.27), 1969-71 (Lot 302). Estimated at $9,361 - $12,482, sold for $18,723 (+50 percent difference).

Dreweatts & Bloomsbury London
Damien Hirst - Big Love, 2010 (Lot 186). Estimated at $23,403 - $31,204, sold for low estimate. This lot had third highest hammer price of the auction.

Dreweatts & Bloomsbury London
Banksy - I Fought the Law, 2004 (Lot 97). Estimated at $3,901 - $5,461, sold for $9,361 (+71.4 percent difference).

Less Than $1 Million Gathered at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury

Out of 321 lots, only 170 were sold, or 53 percent, for less than $1 million (the sum of hammer prices was $959,751). More than 87 percent of sold lots changed owners for a price that was in range of estimated values (44.1 pecent), or under low estimate (43.5 percent). The median hammer price ($3,745) was very close to the average hammer price ($5,646), which means that many lots have been sold for low end prices.

Bellow you can find the summary of the auction, and more details of every auctioned lot.

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All images courtesy of Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions London.

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London, United Kingdom