Issue #147  8/4/2008
Phillips Various Owner Sale Hit Just Under $1-3/4 Million With High 37.3% Buy-in Rate

By Stephen Perloff
Editor of The Photograph Collector

Phillips's various owners sale got off to a good start as a phone bidder paid $46,600--two-and-a-half times the high estimate--for Andreas Feininger's The Photojournalist (Dennis Stock). Another phone bidder went to the high estimate--$181,000--on a vintage print of Arbus's Child with a toy hand grenade, but the print was clearly stained.

The portfolio Avedon/Paris ($150,000–$200,000) passed at $120,000. But Peter Beard's Giraffes in mirage on the Taru Desert, Kenya, more than doubled its high estimate at $325,000, by far the highest price of the day.

Vik Muniz's diptych, The Raft of Medusa from Pictures of Chocolate, sailed to $103,000, just over the low estimate, and his Sigmund doubled its low estimate at $63,400. Two Hiroshi Sugimoto's passed: Salvador Dali ($150,000–$250,000) at $85,000 and Bay of Sagami ($400,000–$600,000) at $280,000. The estimates were obviously too aggressive.

The bid for the cover lot--Chuck Close's Kate Moss, six digital inkjet prints comprising nine images, 2003/2005--was a little thin at $121,000, under the low estimate. Lastly, Thomas Ruff's Nude Vol 18 hit its low estimate at $61,000.

The sale totaled $1,739,550 with a worrisome 37.3% buy-in rate. Only six lots sold in the room.

Thus the total for the two sales was $3,269,400. That's a long way down from the $10 million sale Phillips had before they fired Rick Wester and Lisa Newlin Galeano, but still respectable.

(Copyright ©2008 by The Photograph Collector.)

My thanks to Steve Perloff and The Photograph Collector Newsletter for giving me permission to use this information. The Photograph Collector, which is a wonderful newsletter that I can heartily recommend, is published monthly and is available by subscription for $149.95. You can phone 1-215-891-0214 and charge your subscription or send a check or money order to: The Photograph Collector, 140 East Richardson Ave, Langhorne, PA 19047. Or to order The Photograph Collector Newsletter online, go to: http://www.photoreview.org/wordpressindex/shop/.