Peter Beard’s ‘Orphan Cheetah Triptych’ Breaks Artist’s Record, Sells for $662,500 at Christie’s

Peter Beard, ‘Orphan Cheetah Triptych,’ 1968. (Courtesy Christie’s)

Peter Beard’s Orphan Cheetah Triptych (1968) was the top lot at the Christie’s photography sales on Oct. 4 and 5, when it sold for $662,500, more than quadrupling its high estimate of $150,000 and setting a new world record for Mr. Beard. The sales together brought in a total of $7,793,000, with 73 percent sold by lot.

Other highlights of the sales include Richard Avedon’s 1955 work Dovima with Elephants, Evening Dress by Dior, Cirque d’Hiver, 1955, and an Avedon photo of Brigitte Bardot from 1959, both of which sold for $266,500. It should make Peter Brant happy that two photos of his supermodel wife Stephanie Seymour by Avedon, taken in 1992 and 1997, were in the top 10 lots, selling for $230,000 and $104,500 respectively.

William Eggleston’s Memphis (Tricycle), ca. 1970, which had a high estimate of $250,000, failed to sell. The other six works by Mr. Eggleston in the auction realized between $4,375 and $47,500. The image of the tricycle has been the subject of some controversy since a print of the same image, in a much larger size, was sold for $578,500 in March at the “Photographic Masterworks by William Eggleston” sale at Christie’s and is at the heart of a suit by a collector of Mr. Eggleston’s work who claims Mr. Eggleston’s newer larger print would undermine the value of the vintage print in his collection.