Issue #163  8/3/2009
Villa Grisebach's Auction Sells Nearly 73% of Its Lots and Totals Over 370,000 Euro

Villa Grisebach's spring photography auction in Berlin totaled a respectable 370,000 euro--about $525,000 (including buyer's premium), just under its total low estimate of 398,000 euro. The auction sold 93% by euro amount and nearly 73% by lot--an excellent percentage compared to most recent auctions. The prices below include buyer's premium. The euro was about $1.42 at the time.

Bern and Hiller Becher's Manchester Gas Storage Unit (lot 1216) sold for above its estimate at 5,950 euro.

Alfred Eisenstaedt's Marilyn Monroe (lot 1231) easily surpassed its estimate (8,000 euro) and sold for a stunning 24,395 euro. Lot 1249, Horst's "Odalisque Sitting", a variant image in an 18-5/8 x 15-1/8 inch platinum-palladium print, sold well over its low estimate of 6,000 euro at 11,900 euro.

Selling just below their estimates were lot 1276, Arnold Newman's "Igor Stravinsky", at 5,950 euro, lot 1277, Arnold Newman's Portfolio: Portraits, at 16,660 euro, and lot 1260, Irving Penn's "New Guinea Man and Sitting Woman" in a platinum print, at 10,115 euro.

A stunning modernist nude by Albert Rudomine (lot 1304) sold for just a hair under 5,000 euro.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's models for two glass skyscrapers were the main focus of the auction. The four photos of these iconic architecture projects exceeded their total estimates (18,500 euro) and sold for 76,398 euro, including buyers' premiums.

Pamela Hanson's "Carla Bruni in Bed" (lot 1369) also soared above its estimate (2,500 euro) and sold to a private collection in South America for 13,090 euro. Lots of interest in France's first lady.

Axel Hutte's large color photograph of "Berlin, Schillingbrucke" (lot 1372) sold well over its estimate range at 16,065 euro.

Sebastiao Salgado's photographs, "Brazil, Serra Pelada Goldmine" (lot 1382) and "Antarctica" (lot 1383), sold well above their estimates at 6,545 and 5,950 euro respectively.

The last sold lot of the sale (1390), Frank Thiel's "Stadt 2/12, (Berlin)", fell just short of its low estimate at 5,355 euro.

Bernd Schultz, CEO of Villa Grisebach, called it "a very promising start to our spring auctions."