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Monday, April 8, 2013

News from Sotheby’s New York auctions of Photographs: Achieves a combined total of $7,605,566

Over the past two days, Sotheby’s auctions of Photographs achieved a combined total of $7,605,566, well within the overall estimate of $6.5/9.8 million. Last night the single-owner evening sale, The Modern Image: Photographs from an Important American Collection, totaled $2,544,376 (est. $1.9/2.9 million), with a strong 83% of lots sold, while today’s various-owner Photographs sale brought $5,061,190 (est. $4.5/6.9 million). The top lot of the sales was Two Shells by Edward Weston – an exquisite 1927 print that represents the definitive early state of the image which sold for $533,000.

Beth Iskander, Vice President in Sotheby’s Photographs department commented: “We were pleased with the results of our single-owner sale, The Modern Image: Photographs from an Important American Collection. Our total of $2.5 million was comfortably within the estimate, and we saw strong prices for many of the great 20th century photographers, including Edward Weston, Edward Steichen, František Drtikol, Dorothea Lange, and Imogen Cunningham. An artist record was set for Philippe Halsman, when Marilyn Monroe Jumpingsold for $100,000, well over the $40/60,000 estimate. The result is testament to the remarkable vision and connoisseurship of Dr. Paul Lloyd Scharf.”

Christopher Mahoney, Senior Vice President in Sotheby’s Photographs department said: “Our various-ownerPhotographs auction realized a solid total of $5,061,190, within our pre-sale expectations and with 77% of lots sold. Major works by the masters of the medium, such as Robert Frank, Ansel Adams, Alfred Stieglitz, and many others, were all sought by multiple bidders before achieving prices in excess of their high estimates. László Moholy-Nagy is particularly well-represented in the top ten, with Pneumatik selling for $185,000 and setting a record for a fotoplastik by the artist. Bidding was international, with considerable activity from South America and Europe as well as a robust American market.”

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