Phillips London: Photographs Auction Analysis

May 23, 2015

Phillips made a notable result with Photography Auction held on May 21 in London. Out of 142 offered lots, 111 of them were sold, proving the popularity of photography prints amongst art collectors. The total sum of money this auction gathered was only a $130000 shorter of the sum of high estimates of sold lots. The highest hammer price was seen in the sale of Herb Ritts' Versace Dress, Back View, El Mirage from 1990, but the best individual result was achieved with the sale of Wolfgang Tillmans' Anemone II from 2003.

Herb Ritts And His Sculpted Silhouettes

Herb Ritts was an American photographer famous for his black and white portraits resembling, with their stillness and aesthetics, to monumental and motionless classical Greek sculptures. He was able to breath in a sensuous feeling of closeness to earth, wind and water by placing almost natural fashion portraits amidst the pieces of terrain or ocean ephemera. Ritts' Versace Dress, Back View, El Mirage nourishes us with delights of abstraction through combination of sculpted silhouette with confined space inside a canopy. This image, that used to belong to Sir Elthon John, was originally created as a part of an advertising campaign for Versace featuring the supermodel Christy Turlington.

The Overview Of Phillips London: Photography Auction

A great 78.2 percent of lots were sold at Phillips London: Photography auction, or 111 lots out of 142. These sold lots gathered $2,179,906 which was for 5.7 percent less than the sum of their high estimates ($2,310,715). Thirty-nine lots, or 35.1 percent were sold over high estimate, as oppose to 27 lots, or 24.4 percent, sold under low estimate. Number of sold lots in range of estimated values stopped at 45. Maximum hammer price was seen in the sale of lot 23 with a hammer price of $203,174.  Average hammer price at this auction was $19,639. Hammer price median was $10,940 (this means that the same number of lots were sold for more than $10,940 and for less than $10,940). The difference between average hammer price and median was -44.3 percent, which means that almost the same number of lots were sold bellow this auction’s average price as above it.

After Ritts' artwork, the highest hammer prices were seen in the sales of Florian Maier-Aichen's Untitled (Saddle Peak) from 2004 sold for $140,659, and Ruud van Empel's Boy & Girl for $101,587. The best performing lots with high hammer estimate differences are Wolfgang Tillmans' Anemone II with 150 percent hammer difference over high estimate, Elliott Erwitt's California with 140 percent, Nick Brandt's Portrait of Zebra Mother and Baby with 116,7 percent and Miroslav Tichý's Untitled with 110 percent.

Scroll down to see details of the most successful lots of Phillips London: Photography auction.

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Left: Florian Maier-Aichen - Untitled (Saddle Peak), 2004, (lot 40) Estimated at $62,515 – $93,773. Sold for $140,659. This lot made it to the second place for the priciest artworks sold. / Right: Herb Ritts - Versace Dress, Back View, El Mirage, 1990, (lot 23) Estimated at $109,402 – $140,659. Sold for $203,174. The most expensive lot of this auction.

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Nick Brandt - Portrait of Zebra Mother and Baby, Ngorongoro, 2005, (lot 114) Estimated at $3,126 – $4,689. Sold for $10,159. This lot had a nice hammer high estimate difference with 116.7 percent.

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Left: Miroslav Tichý - Untitled, 1950-1980, (lot 32) Estimated at $2,344 – $3,126. Sold for $6,564. / Right: Sarah Moon - The Clock, 1999, (lot 21) Estimated at $6,252 – $9,377. Sold for $4,689. This lot performed badly and was sold for a price that was 25 percent under the low estimate.

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Left: Horst P. Horst - Classical Head with Flowers, 1988, (lot 12) Estimated at $18,755 – $28,132. Sold for $14,066. Sold at a hammer price 25 percent under the low estimated value / Right: Wolfgang Tillmans - Anemone II, 2003, (lot 18) Estimated at $3,126 – $4,689. Sold for $11,722. The best achievement of the auction with 150 percent over the high estimate value.

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Left: Bill Brandt - Nude, Hampstead, London, 1952, (lot 77) Estimated at $4,689 – $7,814. Sold for $3,126. / Right: Ruud van Empel - Boy & Girl, 2008, (lot 116) Estimated at $46,886 – $62,515. Sold for $101,587. The third highest bid of the auction.

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Elliott Erwitt - California, 1955, (lot 132) Estimated at $2,344 – $3,126. Sold for $7,502. The second best performing lot with 140 percent.

Phillips London: Photography Auction In Details

Please, scroll down to find out more about each lot that was auctioned at Phillips London: Photography Auction – find out their estimated values, hammer prices and find out which lots weren’t sold.

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All images are courtesy of Phillips London.

Featured images:

Guy Bourdin - French Vogue, Dec 1976 - Jan 1977, (lot 29)

René Burri - São Paulo, Brazil, 1960, (lot 128)

Elliott Erwitt - North Carolina, 1950, (lot 82)

Also in slider:

Abelardo Morell - Camera Obscura View of the Brooklyn Bridge in Bedroom, 2009, (lot 100)

Sebastião Salgado - Churchgate Station, Western Railroad Line, Bombay, India, 1995, (lot 102)

Louis Faurer - Park Ave. Garage at Hotel Marguery, New York City, 1950, (lot 129)

Robert Polidori - Salle du Maroc, Salles de l’Afrique, Aile du Nord – 1er étage, Chateau de Versailles, 1983, (lot 97)

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