Santa must not have received our e-mails, letters, calls, faxes, or artisanal chocolate-studded candygrams, because yesterday at Sotheby’s in London, that lot of all 53 issues of Visionaire (at right) went unsold. The mind-boggling collection of 17 years worth of the thrice-yearly limited edition publication failed to fetch its reserve price, which would have been under the auction house’s lot estimate of £15,000-£20,000 (a range of about $22,000 to $30,000, based on current exchange rates). Nonetheless, it will continue to haunt our dreams. Faring better on the block yesterday? Irving Penn‘s 1951 photo of a New York City sewer cleaner from his small trades series, which went for £13,750 (approximately $20,500; sale prices include buyer’s premium), a Peter Beard silver print of baby cheetahs that soared above its high estimate to sell for £23,125 ($34,600), and a collection of circa 1860 albumin prints of trees by Charles Thurston Thompson that went for £10,000 ($15,000). As for those Visionaires, we’ve got to believe that Santa deftly avoided commissions by cutting a deal directly with the seller.
Previously on UnBeige: