Christie’s Irving Penn sale featuring works from his long-time assistant Pat McCabe was a “white glove” sell out. Seventy lots were offered and everyone sold. The top two lots were versions of his early 1970s Guedras:
[private_subscriber][private_bundle]2010 is shaping up to be a big year for the market of the recently deceased Irving Penn. For the past five years Penn has been a leader in terms of total sales and lots offered, coming second only to the perennially popular Ansel Adams (Fig. 7).
Although Penn is not among the top 10 earners in terms of single highest prices, two lots on offer at Christie’s next week—Cuzco Children, ($150,000-200,000) and Woman in a Moroccan Palace ($300,000-500,000)—could bump him up a few notches. Since 2007, a half dozen other prints of Cuzco and Woman carrying comparable estimates have appeared on the market; four were bought in, but two proved to be major market milestones for Penn: A print of Woman brought $396,000 in 2007—a record for Penn at the time—and in 2008 a Cuzco print brought $529,000, which remains his auction record today. Continue Reading
Colin Gleadell gears up for the Irving Penn sale with this look at the photographer’s market:
Although he was 92 and had presided over a steady and successful career, there are still editions of Penn’s prints that he made 30 years ago which have not sold out from his studio. Those editions are now, therefore, more limited than anticipated, and thus more valuable.
And, if there is one thing that has propped up Penn’s market over the years, it is the knowledge that, since the 1960s, these editions have been strictly policed by the artist. Once the numbers come to an end, there will be no more – no later prints, no larger or smaller ones, as is the case with many other photographers. With some exceptions in his early prints, buyers know exactly how many are out there, and that supplies confidence to the market. Continue Reading