• ARTnewsletter Archive

    Solid Results at Swann Photo Sale

    A 1970, untitled William Eggleston dye-transfer print (part of the artist’s “Los Alamos” series), depicting dolls in frilly dresses sitting on a shelf, was the top lot at the Swann Galleries April 4 sale of photographs and photobooks.

    NEW YORK—A 1970, untitled William Eggleston dye-transfer print (part of the artist’s “Los Alamos” series), depicting dolls in frilly dresses sitting on a shelf, was the top lot at the Swann Galleries April 4 sale of photographs and photobooks. The Eggleston print sold for $60,000, outpacing its $30,000/40,000 estimate. A number of other lots also produced strong results, such as Ansel Adams’s Portfolio #4: Majestic Word, 1963, which sold for $54,000, compared with an estimate of $50,000/75,000, and a 1911 edition (No. 36) of the magazine that includes 16 photogravures by Alfred Stieglitz, which sold for $26,400 on an estimate of $20,000/30,000.

    A portfolio of more than 90 photographs, dating from the 1930s, depicting “a German dignitary’s Asian and American travels,” sold for $24,000, compared with an estimate of $2,500/3,500, and Margaret Bourke-White’s DC-4 Flying over New York City, 1939, printed ca. 2000, sold for $20,400, compared with an estimate of $10,000/15,000.

    Also of note, a pair of photographs by Weegee, Love Story, and Ice Cream…Aspirin…Soda Pop…Vitamin Pills…Etc., ca. 1940s, sold for $20,400, compared with an estimate of $6,000/9,000, and Sebastião Salgado’s Kuwait, 1991, printed ca. 2000, sold for $19,200 (estimate: $10,000/15,000).

    The auction was divided into two parts, with the morning sale featuring 107 photographs, posters, drawings and prints—part of the estate of filmmaker Gary Winick, who died last year just short of his 50th birthday. The untitled Eggleston print and the Weegee pair were from his estate.

    However, more than 30 percent of the lots failed to find buyers, including Richard Avedon’s Santa Monica Beach #2, California, 1963, which had been estimated at $30,000/45,000.

    In all, the sale earned $1.18 million, just missing the presale estimate of $1.2 million/1.8 million, and 298, or 68 percent, of the 435 lots were purchased.