BUTCHER SIGN, MISSISSIPPI
the photographer's name stamp (Keller C), studio stamp (Keller K), and a rights stamp on the reverse, hinged to board, signed in pencil on the mat, 1936, probably printed in the 1940s, matted and signed in the 1970s (Seeing Things, pl. 25; Keller 477 and 478, variant croppings)
9¼ by 12¾ in. (23.5 by 32.4 cm.)
This enlargement, on double-weight paper with a semi-glossy surface, is in generally excellent condition. It is a sharp print that delivers a great deal of crisp, exacting detail. Upon very close examination, there is a small handling crease in the lower left corner and a tiny chip to the right edge.
As is frequently the case with photographs by Walker Evans, the printing date of this photograph is impossible to determine definitively. When examined under ultraviolet light, this print does not appear to fluoresce, indicating a lack of optical brighteners which were added to commercially prepared papers starting in the mid-1950s.
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.
Phillips, Son & Neale, Inc., New York, 1978
As recounted by Jerry Thompson in his The Last Years of Walker Evans (New York, 1997), Evans stopped dry-mounting his prints and began hinging them to board in the early 1970s as photographs began to enter the realm of the fine art market. When a photograph was requested by Evans's dealer Robert Schoelkopf, Thompson would comb through the studio to see whether a print already existed that Evans would deem 'good.' The photograph offered here, with its nuanced tonality and fine print quality, was likely one such print, found, matted, and signed on the occasion of a specific order.