Swann Gallerys March 24 Fine Photographs Auction Results

. April 6, 2011 . 0 Comments

Swann Galleries March 24 auction of Fine Photographs saw active bidding from dealers and collectors alike, resulting in a successful sale of material from the 19th through 21st centuries.

Daile Kaplan, Vice President and Director of Photographs at Swann, said, “The results of today’s auction demonstrate that the market for classical photography is operating at a full gallop. Just as there is tremendous demand for iconic vintage and modern prints by master 20th-century photographers, prices for scarce photobooks and photographically illustrated volumes—Swann’s market niche—are also climbing.”

The sale’s top lot was Adam Clark Vroman’s lavish album Arizona and New Mexico, Volume II, with more than 165 platinum prints of Native Americans, their dwellings and the famous Snake Dance, 1897, which sold for $62,400*–a record price for a work by the photographer at auction.

Another highly desirable album was Linnaeus Tripe’s Photographs of the Elliot Marbles; and other Subjects; in the Central Museum Madras, with 75 albumenized salted paper prints from the dry collodion process, 1858-59, $57,600.

Highlights among fine photographically illustrated books included Alvin Langdon Coburn’s New York, illustrated with 20 hand-pulled photogravures, first edition, signed and inscribed by Coburn, London & New York, 1910, which brought a record $45,600; Camera Work, Numbers 12 through 21 and 38, together 11 issues with photogravures of photographs by Edward Steichen, Alfred Stieglitz and others, New York, 1905-08 and 1912, $43,200; and Robert & Shana Parkeharrison’s Listening to the Earth, with 10 hand-coated platinum prints bound-in, one of 65 numbered and five lettered copies issued with a photograph and signed by the contributors, 2004, $12,000.

The highest priced photograph in the sale was Alfred Eisenstaedt’s beloved Children at Puppet Theatre, Paris, silver print, 1963, printed 1991, $48,000. Other celebrated silver print photographs were an Untitled image of a TWA plane in flight by Margaret Bourke-White, 1934-35, that sold for a record $31,200; Walker Evans’s Allie Mae Burroughs, Wife of a Cotton Sharecropper, Hale County, Alabama, 1936, $14,400; Helen Levitt’s New York, a poignant image of a little boy holding a mask, circa 1940, printed 1971, $19,200; Harry Callahan’s Wabash Avenue, Chicago, Fall, 1958, $28,800; and Irving Penn’s nude portrait of Alexandra Beller, New York, from the “Dancer” series, 1999, printed 2000, $24,000.

There were also two compelling images by Roy DeCarava, Man in Striped Shirt at the Piano, silver print, 1954, printed 1983, $14,400; and Man Coming up Subway Stairs, silver print, 1952, printed 1996, $12,000.

Portraits of famous subjects included Yousuf Karsh’s Winston Churchill, silver print, 1941, printed 1980s, $13,200; a unique enlarged contact sheet with Bert Stern’s images of Marilyn Monroe, from the “Last Sitting,” Fuji Crystal Archive print, 1962, printed 1979, a record $22,800; Annie Leibovitz’s Robert Redford, Malibu, California, Cibachrome print, 1980, $11,400; and Robert Silvers’s photomosaic of Anne Frank, Fuji Crystal Archive print, 2002, a record $13,200.

Another contemporary work of note was Susan Derges’s The Observer and the Observed #6, large silver print, 1992, which was illustrated on the catalogue cover, and set an auction record for the artist at $28,800.

*All prices include buyer’s premium.

Category: Fine Art

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