I have been traveling for the past week, so did not personally watch the latest Profiles in History sale (“Hollywood Auction 53”) live, but received a number of e-mails and texts from others in this art market commenting about the overall “lackluster” and “disappointing” results of the event, though there were a few surprises and stand out pieces (such as the Lord of the Rings Legolas bow going for $372,000 with Buyer’s Premium, Kate Winslet’s dress from Titanic selling for $330,000 with BP, and an X-Wing model from Star Wars realizing approximately $270,000 with BP). Based on a spreadsheet compiled by a friend, focusing on Lots 433-902 (the second half of the catalog, following classic Hollywood photos, etc.), about 40% of the items were not sold.
With such a high number of passed lots, it really does beg the question as to the state of the hobby and consignors looking to hit the relative jackpot with their memorabilia, by demanding reserves and estimates that exceed the market value of the items. It will be interesting to see, with the next big Profiles in History sale catalog, if some downward adjustments are made on reserves and estimates, since the problem, I would imagine, is not the desirability of the items, but the minimum amount that sellers are willing to accept.
In addition and with exceptions, of that which actually sold, much of the material in this auction seemed to go for lower prices than one might have expected, based on the same or comparable sales in the past year or two.
Below is the partial results compilation created by a friend (I have not verified the accuracy of the information contained herein):