10 Best Photographs to Collect Under £10,000

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The Photographs sale on 19 May in London features a vast selection of iconic works with a strong emphasis on fashion and glamour. The diverse offering promises something for all, including the budding connoisseur. Click ahead to see 10 works with starting estimates below £10,000.

Photographs

19 May | London

10 Best Photographs to Collect Under £10,000

  • Guy Bourdin, Untitled (Hair in Grass), 1984–85. Estimate £8,000–12,000.
    Arriving at French Vogue by camel, Guy Bourdin’s life and works defined what it meant to be visually daring in the 20th century. Using fashion photography as his medium, Bourdin explored the outrageous and the sublime. As a perfectionist, he knew how to grab attention, done here so exquisitely with Untitled (Hair in Grass).

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  • Tyler Shields, Three Witches, 2014. Estimate £8,000–12,000.
    To Tyler Shields, “a great photograph freezes time forever… I want to tell the story of a lifetime in a photograph”. The power of his works is the ability to make you think something new each time you look at a piece. Aged only 34 and already hailed as ‘Hollywood’s favourite photographer’, Shields turns the outrageous into chic and the fascinating into decadence.

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  • Helmut Newton, Mannequins, Quai d’Orsay, Paris, 1977.
    Estimate £10,000–15,000.
    At a time when fashion photography presented models as subservient, Helmut Newton altered gender roles, giving the female an abundancy of power, domination and control. The title of Mannequins, Quai d’Orsay may appear to present the models as simple, lifeless creations of perfection but the striking visual imagery he has created ensures that the models not only command the photo, they are the photo.

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  • Michel Comte, Mike Tyson, 1990. Estimate £7,000–10,000.
    Michel Comte cites risk as his main inspiration; a photographer for Vogue, Vanity Fair, Lancôme, Jaguar and even war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan, Comte’s style is an articulation of what it means to be an artist. The simplicity of his works, in particular the timeless elegance of his black-and-white photography as with this portrait of Mike Tyson, oozes sophistication, intricacy and minimalism.

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  • Daido Moriyama, Tights, no. 10, 1987. Estimate £6,000–8,000.
    Japan’s most important photographer Daido Moriyama defined what it meant to be avant-garde in the 20th century. He is the most celebrated photographer from the Japanese Provoke movement of the 1960s and has staged over 100 solo exhibitions worldwide including at MoMA and Tate Modern. From photographing street life, political unrest and even globalisation, his technique in using graphic design in photography makes him one of the most significant photographers to add to your collection.

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  • Ormond Gigli, Sardinia, 1969. Estimate £3,000–5,000.
    Gigli’s vision as a photographer saw his works appearing in TIME, LIFE, Paris Match and many others. What is particularly captivating about his images is his ability to gain his subjects’ trust. Often to the backdrop of unusual settings, he was able to capture the natural beauty of his subjects whilst maintaining effortless glamour. This image shot in Sardinia is a prime example: not only does it capture the beauty of the model but also the splendour of Sardinia itself.

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  • Miles Aldridge, The Rooms #2, 2011. Estimate £8,000–12,000.
    As one of the most significant contemporary photographers, Miles Aldridge has the ability to create cinematic, alternative worlds that seep with grandeur. His The Rooms series changed what it meant for women to be domesticated, making this piece one of the most exciting to appear at auction. He commands the use of colour and vibrancy and embodies everything that is glamour, exaggeration and most of all, perfection. 

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  • Horst P. Horst, Mainbocher Corset, 1939. Estimate £7,000–10,000.
    It was on the eve of the Second World War that Horst P. Horst took his most iconic fashion photograph of the Mainbocher Corset at the Vogue Paris studios. His photographic style aimed to capture the alluring and the untouchable.

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  • Edward Burtynsky, Shipyard #15, Qili Port, Zhejiang Province, China, 2005. Estimate £7,000–10,000.
    Edward Burtynsky has described the motivation behind his China series as “mass consumerism… and the resulting degradation of our environment intrinsic to the process of making things to keep us happy and fulfilled”. He focused his lens to capture what exactly “frightens” him in China’s industrialised landscape in unsettling images about what it means to be ‘man-made’. 

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  • Hiroshi Sugimoto, Stockholm City Library, 2001. Estimate £7,000–10,000.
    Hiroshi Sugimoto is known for his abstract work featuring Buddhist sculptures, theatres and architecture. His œuvre asks viewers to question the relationship between photography and reality. Stockholm City Library from his Architectural series achieves this precisely. Instead of photographing buildings to show their grandeur and details, Sugimoto blurred images in order to capture the mental image of them.

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