Auction Results: Pier 24 Photography from the Pilara Family Foundation, December 18, 2023 @Sotheby’s (online)

The fifth installment of the liquidation of the holdings of the Pier 24 Photography museum took place earlier this week at Sotheby’s, with a no reserve selection of works. On top of the two sales last May that brought in a combined tally of more that $10.6M (here and here), a smaller sale of anonymous imagery this October (here) that added another $85K, and yet another $2M slice of works several weeks later (here), this sale handled some of what was left. Since there were no reserves, the overall Buy-In rate was 0.00%, but nearly half of the lots sold below their estimate ranges. In the end, Total Sale Proceeds (of roughly $850K) fell squarely in the middle of the aggregate pre-sale estimate range.

The summary statistics are below (all results include the buyer’s premium):

Summary Statistics
Total Lots 128
Aggregate Pre Sale Low Estimate $678500
Aggregate Pre Sale High Estimate $1029500
Total Lots Sold 128
Total Lots Bought In 0
Buy In % 0.00%
Total Sale Proceeds $853313

Here is the breakdown (using our typical Low, Mid, and High definitions):

Detailed Breakdown
Low Total Lots 101
Total Low Lots Sold 101
Total Low Lots Bought In 0
Low Buy In % 0.00%
Aggregate High Estimate of Low Lots $624500
Total Proceeds from Low Lots $551180
Mid Total Lots 27
Total Mid Lots Sold 27
Total Mid Lots Bought In 0
Mid Buy In % 0.00%
Aggregate High Estimate of Mid Lots $405000
Total Proceeds from Mid Lots $302133
Total High Lots 0
Total High Lots Sold NA
Total High Lots Bought In NA
High Buy In % NA
Aggregate High Estimate of High Lots $0
Total Proceeds from High Lots $0

The top lot by High estimate was tied between three lots, each estimated at $15000-25000: lot 10, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Rue Mouffetard, 1954/later, lot 55, Edward Steichen, Gloria Swanson, 1924/1960s, and lot 59, Edward Steichen, Greta Garbo, 1928/1960s; the Stiechen print of Greta Garbo was the top outcome of the sale at $44450 (image above via Sotheby’s), while the Steichen print of Gloria Swanson sold at $17780 and the Cartier-Bresson print sold at $38100.

Just 54.69% of the lots that sold had proceeds in or above the estimate range and there were 2 positive surprises in the sale (defined as having proceeds of at least double the high estimate) (images above via Sotheby’s):

Lot 31, Stephen Shore, 2nd Street, Ashland, WI, 7/10/73, 1973/later, estimated at $4000-6000, sold at $16510

Lot 103, Berenice Abbott, Stone & William Street, Manhattan, 1936, estimated at $3000-5000, sold at $27940

The complete lot by lot results can be found here.

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Read more about: Berenice Abbott, Edward Steichen, Stephen Shore, Sotheby's

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