Auctions & shows

Phillips New York auction confirms demand for photographs

A recent Phillips New York Photographs auction totalled $6,089,250 selling 82% by value and 71% by lot. The auction house said bidders responded enthusiastically to the fresh-to-the market material.

A notable point of the auction was the sale of 48 works from the section entitled Property From A Distinguished California Collection, which achieved an impressive sell-through rate of 85% selling 94% by value.

The collection included works by Robert Frank, Irving Penn, Robert Mapplethorpe, Nick Brandt and Sebastião Salgado, as well as two marquee lifetime prints by Diane Arbus called Patriotic Young Man with a Flag NYC, 1967, which sold for $93,750 and the sale cover lot, King and Queens of a senior citizens’ dance, NYC, 1970, which sold for $161,000 – twice the high estimate.

“We were delighted to open the season with an eclectic evening sale that was 92% sold by value and 87% sold by lot,” said Vanessa Kramer Hallett, senior director and worldwide head of photographs.

“The top result, achieved for Richard Avedon’s iconic portfolio The Family at $341,000, shows that there is still demand in the market for the highest caliber of photographs. Indeed, many of our top results across our sales this season were for the biggest names in the field, including William Eggleston, Irving Penn, Robert Frank and Peter Beard.”

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Alasdair Whyte

Alasdair Whyte

Alasdair is a financial journalist writing about art. He has focused on high value asset finance since 1998. As well as Private Art Investor, he also edits Corporate Jet Investor (despite knowing very little about aircraft) and Helicopter Investor (ditto).