The auction brought a total of £1.85 million. Strong prices were achieved for fashion photography by Richard Avedon, Helmut Newton, Peter Lindbergh, and important names from the 20th-century, including Irving Penn and Robert Mapplethorpe. The sale was led by a unique album of 43 photographic prints of Egypt and Algeria, taken between 1852 and 1856 by American photographer and archaeologist John Beasley Greene, which sold for £482,500, almost five times the pre-sale low estimate.
This May sees the return of regular Photographs sales to London. Sotheby’s is honoured to open this sale with a section of works donated by leading contemporary photographers such as Hiroshi Sugimoto, Susan Derges and Guido Mocafico in support of the Bodleian Library’s campaign to acquire the Personal Archive of William Henry Fox Talbot.
The sale will additionally include photographs from the early days of the medium to the present day. One of the sale’s undisputed highlights is a unique 1850s album comprising 44 salt or albumenised salt prints by the ingenious John Beasley Greene, which offers spectacular modern views of the Egyptian landscape and Constantine in Algeria. This album of photographs is joined by Richard Avedon’s glamorous portfolioAvedon/Paris, 1978, dedicated to early photographs of his favoured muses of the 1940s and 1950s.
Amateurs of classical modern photography will be enticed by a group of Otto Steinert’s most striking, virtually abstract images. Spanning spectacular works by the masters of fashion photography such as Horst P. Horst, Herb Ritts, Peter Lindbergh and Helmut Newton, the sale concludes with exciting contemporary photographic creations. Unique monumental works by artists such as Vera Lutter and Adam Fuss executed in elegant ranges of grey are complemented by extremely vibrant interiors by Robert Polidori and Ahmet Ertug, as well as the unique, lavishly hand-coloured African savannah scenes by Peter Beard.