Active 19th century
ALLÉE OF TREES BORDERING THE GAVE RIVER
salt print from a paper negative, mounted, a 'Bristol Francais A. Binant a Paris' blindstamp on the mount, 1854
13¾ by 9¾ in. (34.9 by 24.8 cm.)
Grading this salt print on a scale of 1 to 10 – a 10 being a print that has rich, deep dark tones and highlights that retain all of their original detail – this print rates an 8-9. The undertones are slightly warm.
This salt print is in overall excellent condition. There is a high degree of detail and saturation throughout. While the tonality has shifted somewhat to yellow, the darkest areas have retained a strong chocolate brown tonality.
The following is visible on the mount: darkening around the periphery, a long crease in the upper right corner; a fingerprint at the upper center edge; and some very faint, scattered foxing. The corners of the mount are rounded and the upper paper-ply is peeling slightly.
The reverse of the mount is darkened around the edges and there is some faint, scattered foxing. The following is written in an unidentified hand in pencil on the reverse of the mount: '64'; '66'; '31 x 41'; 'D032225'; 'W/MC'; and 'WHG.'
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.
Beaussant Lefèvre, Paris, 1 June 1990, Lot 37
Very little is known about the biography of the photographer who signed his images ‘W. H. G.’. A one-time student of Gustave Le Gray (see lots 109 and 124), W. H. Guebhard photographed landscapes in a manner reflecting a taste for formalism. In the present image, the Gave de Pau river is bordered by an orderly row of trees, the composition adhering to the rule of thirds. A similar photograph by Guebhard in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, depicts a grand alleé, nearly mirroring the present composition. In that photograph the placid stream is replaced by a wide gravel path but the elements of the composition remain the same.
This photograph was acquired from the 1990 sale of The W. H. G. Collection, an auction of 91 early French photographs, including 34 prints by the 'phantom' talent W. H. G.