Fine Photographs and Photobooks / Bloomsbury Auctions London - Thursday 18 May 2017

Fine Photographs and Photobooks

Bloomsbury Auctions
16/17 Pall Mall

Thursday 18 May 2017 2.00 pm


Sunday 14th May,

Monday 15th May,

Tuesday 16th May,

Wednesday 17th May,

Day of sale from 9.30am

Online Catalogue

Bloomsbury Auctions is delighted to present its autumn Photographs sale on 18th May at 2pm, coinciding with Photo London week.

From the beginnings of the medium to the present day, the auction features 175 lots of both prints and books, by a wide range of photographers.

The sale opens in the 19th century. This section includes a rare albumen  Panorama of Montreal, c.1895,  measuring 41.3 x 154.4cm by Notman & Son (lot 6, £1,500-2,000) and 52 delicate hand-colored albumen prints of Japan from 1860s-90s by photographers such as Felice Beato, Raimund Von Stillfried-Ratenicz and Tamamura Kozaburo (lot 13, £1,200-1,500). Travel photography from the 19th century is represented in a rich section including views of Italy, the Middle-East, the Holy Land and Cyprus by important photographers like Felix Bonfils, James Anderson or Roger Fenton.

This section ends with a delicate portrait of G.F. Watts taken by Victorian photographer Julia Margaret Cameron in 1864. (lot 15, £1,200-1,500) This print was originally pasted into a scrapbook belonging to artist Edward Clifford, which he later gifted to his friend and co-lodger Henry Blackwell Harris, one of the founders of the Oriental Ceramics Society.

The core section of the sale is 20th century photography, with some unmissable names like Cecil Beaton,  Willy Ronis, Ruth Orkins, Mario Giacomelli, Manuel Alvarez Bravo, René Burri, Brett Weston, Ansel Adams. Four photographs by Elsbeth Judas  are offered, a photographer whose work was known little about until her first major exhibition at the age of 98, including a photograph of Sir Winston Churchill used as visual references for the much-talked-about Graham Sutherland’s painting of the Prime Minister on the occasion of his 80th birthday. (lots 26 to 29, £1,200-1,500 each).

The auction has a strong and varied selection of  American photography. Starting with early 20th century works, offering a delightful hand-painted early print of Rhododendron Hollow-Wesley, 1912 by Paul Strand (lot 38, £2,000-3,000) along with a bromoil print of an early 1916 Brooklyn Bridge print by William Gordon Shields (lot 32, £2,000-3,000). Later works include fine examples of street photography masters Berenice Abbott, Homer Page, Ralph Eugene Meatyard, William Klein and Ray K. Metzger. A rarely seen triptych by Harry Callahan (lot 100, £2,000-3,000) brings some colors to this section, along with two prints by Ernst Haas (lots 101, 102).

Glamourous and iconic portraits from a private collection will be auctioned, including an early portrait of Marilyn by Andre de Dienes (lot 55, £800-1,200), a portrait of Sarah Bernhardt by Nadar taken in 1880s (lot 56m £300-500), Madonna, True Blue, 1986, image used on the cover of the well-known album and shot by Herb Ritts (lot 65, £5,000-7,000) and other  portraits by Ellen Von Unwerth, Clarence Sainclair Bull and Annie Leibovitz.

The sale also highlights the art of nude photography, with some beautiful vintage prints by William Witt (lot 40, 41), an iconic Perspective II by Ruth Bernhard (lot 42, £5,000-7,000) and a suggested Nude with Shadows, ca.1950  by Erwin Blumenfeld (lot 99, £2,000-3,000).

Social and documentary photography is also highly present in the catalogue with a bright Moonrise in Mumbai, 1991 by Steve McCurry (lot 129, £3,000-5,000) contrasting with a beautiful monochrome of Mali, 1985 by Sebastiao Salgado (lot 140, £3,000-5,000). Other highlights include four prints by French photographer Yan Morvan from his series ‘Blousons Noirs’, 1975 focusing on the biker gang subcultures (lots 117 to 120).

The auction concludes with a range of photobooks including a niche selection of books from Japan.


At right, a selection of highlighted lots include:

LOT 15

Julia Margaret Cameron (1815-1879)

G. F. Watts, 1864

Albumen print pasted on original card, signed in ink by the photographer and titled in ink in unknown hand on card recto, 
25.2 x 20.5cm (10 x 8in)
Literature: J. Cox and C. Ford, Julia Margaret Cameron, The Complete Photographs , 2003, ill.827.
P. Funnell, Victorian Portraits in the National Portrait Gallery Collection , 1996, p. 4



Lot 32

William Gordon Shields (1883-1947)

Brooklyn Bridge, 1916

Bromoil print, signed in pencil on mount recto, 
10 x 7.5cm (3 7/8 x 2 7/8in)



Lot 38

Paul Strand (1890-1976)

Rhododendron Hollow-Wellesley, 1912

Hand-coloured platinum print, signed and titled in pencil on mount recto, 
17.5 x 22.5cm (6 7/8 x 8 7/8in)



Lot 42

Ruth Bernhard (1905-2006)

Perspective II, 1967

Gelatin silver print, printed later, flush mounted to card, signed in pencil on card recto, signed, titled and dated in pencil with photographer’s copyright stamp on card verso, 
19.7 x 34.2cm (7 3/4 x 13 1/2in)
Provenance: Debra Heimerdinger Fine Arts, San Francisco
Literature: Ruth Bernhard, The Eternal Body, A Collection of Fifty Nudes , 1986, title page and pl. 26
Ruth Mitchell, Bernhard: Between Art and Life, p. 89



Lot 50

Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908-2004)

Vel d’Hiv, 1957

Four gelatin silver prints, each anotated in pencil in unknown hand with photographer’s stamp verso, 
each 29.5 x 19.5cm (11 5/8 x 7 3/4in)
These photographs are part of the short series Six Days in Paris (1957), an unusual series by Cartier-Bresson capturing the excitement of the popular event of six full days and nights of racing in a packed Vel d’Hiv (Vélodrome d’Hiver).



Lot 66

Ellen Von Unwerth (b.1954)

Claudia Schiffer, 2010

Gelatin silver print, printed later, signed, titled, dated and editioned 1/15 in pencil verso, signed, titled, dated and editioned in black ink on certificate of authenticity affixed to frame verso,
55.5 x 37cm (21 7/8 x 14 1/2in)
Provenance: Michael Hoppen, London



Lot 85

Mario Giacomelli (1925-2000)

Io Non Ho Mani Che Mi Accarezzino Il Volto, 1961

Gelatin silver print, printed 1980s, signed in pencil with photographer’s copyright and series stamps verso, 
40.5 x 30.4cm (15 7/8 x 12in)
Literature: Alistair Crawford, Mario Giacomelli , 2001, p.224 



Lot 94

Weegee (1899–1968)

Bingo Cards, February 1941

Gelatin silver ferrotyped print, annotated in unknown hand with photographer’s and various stamps verso, 19.5 x 23.5cm 
(7 5/8 x 9 1/4in)



Lot 101 

Ernst Haas (1921-1986)

Swimmer, Greece, 1970

Chromogenic print, printed later, signed by Alexander Haas, titled and editioned 6/30 in black ink on accompanying Haas Studio label, 
66 x 44cm (26 x 17 1/4in)



Lot 117

Yan Morvan (b.1954)

Untitled, from the ‘Blousons Noirs’ series,1975

Subligraphic print on aluminium, with printed signature and editioned 1/15 verso, 
80 x 100cm (31 1/2 x 39 3/8in)





For details on lots, condition reports and bidding registration please contact:

Justine Gruser

+44 (0) 20 7495 9494