ROBERT WIENE AND WILLY HAMEISTER | SELECTED FILM STILLS FROM THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI
ROBERT WIENE AND WILLY HAMEISTER
1873-1938 and 1889-1938
SELECTED FILM STILLS FROM THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI
a group of 55 photographs, several with numerical notations in pencil on the reverse, 1919-20 (55)
Each approximately 10 by 13 in. (25.4 by 33 cm.) or the reverse
A detailed report for each of the 55 photographs is beyond the scope of this condition report; those wishing condition reports on specific photographs are welcome to contact the Photographs Department for further information.
These photographs are in generally very good condition. They are on stiff, double-weight paper with a nearly matte surface. There are deposits of original retouching on several prints. The photographs exhibit wear consistent with age, including: yellowing to varying degrees; silvering in the darkest areas; creases; some soiling; and occasional minor tears and losses to the margin edges and corners. A few prints have numerical notations on the reverse.
The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot provided by Sotheby's. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colours and shades which are different to the lot's actual colour and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation because Sotheby's is not a professional conservator or restorer but rather the condition report is a statement of opinion genuinely held by Sotheby's. For that reason, Sotheby's condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE INCLUDED IN THE CATALOGUE.
This remarkable group of 55 photographs documents many of the psychologically and visually twisted scenes from the 1920 silent film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, generally recognized as the first true horror film. Robert Wiene directed this tale of an insane, diabolical hypnotist who manipulates a somnambulist to execute a series of murders. Considered the first German Expressionist film, the sets and costume designs mirror the dark narrative through the use of abstract designs and unsettling camera angles which were captured by cinematographer Willy Hameister. The allegorical story referenced contemporaneous political events: Dr. Caligari personified the German government during World War I, while the somnambulist symbolized soldiers who were trained to function as killing machines.
Stills and promotional photographs from The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari have rarely appeared at auction. A selection of prints has been located in institutional collections, including Los Angeles County Museum of Contemporary Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.