Issue #80  11/4/2004
Elton John Sale Hits High Note With 92.4% Sold Rate and $900,000 in Sales

By Stephen Perloff
Editor of The Photograph Collector

That evening Christie's held a much-touted sale of work from the Elton John Collection. Christie's Rockefeller Center salesroom was packed with many new faces among the curious and the usual suspects and Christopher Burge himself took the sale.

Tucson gallerist Terry Etherton, bidding for a client, won Ansel Adams's The Tetons and the Snake River ($35,000-$45,000) for $43,020. A bit later, Adams's St. Francis Church, Rancho de Taos, New Mexico, 1929 ($12,000-$18,000), collected $26,290. Andres Serrano's Dante's Inferno, 1990 ($25,000-$35,000) sold to the phone for $31,070.

Robert Mapplethorpe's Vase with White Tulips ($30,000-$50,000) blossomed into the top lot of the sale as it went to order for $83,650. And his color Calla Lily ($30,000-$50,000) took third place as it went to the same bidder for $53,775.Paul Outerbridge, Jr.'s Interlocking Rings, 1924 ($10,000-$15,000) was unhooked for $26,290 as Michael Shapiro gave up the trick to an order bidder. Irving Penn's elegant Mermaid Dress ($25,000-$35,000) won the second place crown at $57,360. And Harry Callahan's Collage, Chicago, 1957 ($20,000-$30,000) went for $26,290.

Certainly the sale was a success, with a minuscule 7.6% buy-in rate, a 98% sold by dollar rate, with 29 lots selling over the high estimate and 17 under the low estimate, and a $900,791 total.

(Copyright ©2004 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/.