Photographs / Phillips London - Thursday 19 May 2016


30 Berkeley Square, London W1J 6EX

Thursday 19 May 2016 15.00 BST


13 – 19 May
Monday – Saturday 10am-6pm
Sunday 12pm-6pm

Online Catalogue

Phillips announces the auction of Photographs on 19 May which will feature 160 lots, including many masterworks of the 20th and 21st centuries. Phillips presents ULTIMATE, a collection of exclusive works ranging from rare masterworks and editions of one to a unique selection of Vogue images, as well as the Collection of Paul and Toni Arden to be offered in our Spring sale. Amongst the top lots of the auction are works by Masahisa Fukase, Peter Beard, Robert Mapplethorpe, Irving Penn, Cecil Beaton, Desiree Dolron, and Thomas Ruff.

Phillips auction of Photographs will take place alongside Photo London, a world-class photography fair that harnesses the city’s outstanding creative talent, and which brings together the world’s leading photographers, curators, exhibitors, dealers and the public in an event that celebrates photography, the medium of our time.

This May is the celebratory month for the centenary of British Vogue. Phillips is honoured to join in the celebration with ULTIMATE VOGUE, a curated selection of photographs taken for Vogue, available for sale only at Phillips.

The 13 featured artists – Peter Lindbergh, Walter Pfeiffer, Steven Meisel, Ellen von Unwerth, Mario Testino, Nick Knight, Steven Klein, Mario Sorrenti, Glen Luchford, Sølve Sundsbø, Mert Alaş and Marcus Piggott, and Alasdair McLellan – represent four decades of image-making and are leading forces in fashion photography.


In 2016, Vogue celebrates 100 years as the undisputed fashion bible in Britain. Vogue is the cultural barometer placing fashion in the context of the larger world we live in – how we dress, entertain, what we eat, listen to, watch; who leads us, excites us and inspires us. From its beginnings to today, three central principles have set Vogue apart: a commitment to visual genius, an investment in storytelling, and a selective, optimistic editorial eye. Vogue has a combined print and digital circulation of 195,010 (ABC July to Dec 2015); readership is 1,327,000 (NRS Jul-Dec 2015); and unique users to the website total 2,354,570 (Google analytics Jan-March 2016). In addition to the print and digital edition and the website including Vogue Video, the media brand holds an annual VogueFestival in central London.

The VOGUE and VOGUE logo trade marks are owned and licensed by The Condé Nast Publications Ltd.

The cover lot of the sale is Masahisa Fukase’s iconic image of a lone raven in profile from his seminal series Ravens. This powerfully evocative image, which can be read as a self-portrait, is blind-stamped on the cover of his 1986 photobook Ravens and is the first image reproduced. The British Journal of Photography selected Fukase’s Ravens as the best photobook published between 1986 and 2009. This work is one of only two known extant large-format exhibition prints made by Fukase of this image; the other print, held at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, is signed in pencil on the verso and similar in print date and size.

Another exceptional work is by Peter Beard. This unique mural-sized work, which epitomises Beard’s distinctive art form of combining photography, drawing and collage, was acquired by the present owner in 2000 and is appearing at auction for the first time.

Further adding to the ULTIMATE highlights are two rare masterpieces by Robert Mapplethorpe:  Self Portrait, 1988 andCalla Lily, 1986. Self Portrait, realised only as a gelatin silver print in an edition of 10 + 2 AP, was acquired by the present owner in 1996 at auction – the only time this image has appeared at auction – and has been in the same private collection for 20 years. Calla Lily, realised as a gelatin silver print edition of 10 + 2 AP, a platinum print with black borders in an edition of 2 and as two unique works, was acquired by the present owner in the 1980s from the Robert Miller Gallery and is appearing at auction also for the first time.

Paul Arden was the Executive Creative Director at Saatchi & Saatchi for over two decades. Throughout their 30 years of collecting, Paul and Toni Arden were drawn to photographers who challenged the viewer, turned the mundane into the surreal, and pushed the boundaries of the medium. Irving Penn’s Bedside Lamp, an oversized pigment print, is a stunning still life of one of Penn’s most prized possesions. Thomas by Robert Mapplethorpe and In the Box by Ruth Bernhard highlight the lines and sculptural form found in the human body. Works by Imre Kinszki, Frederick Sommer and Adam Fuss are examples of photographers taking the ordinary and transforming it into the extraordinary. Charles Jones’s Up-To-Date Potatoes evokes a modernist sensibility ahead of the Pictorialist style that dominated photography at the turn of the century.


Phillips is a leading global platform for buying and selling 20th and 21st Century art and design. With dedicated expertise in the areas of Art, Design, Photographs, Editions, Watches, and Jewelry, Phillips offers professional services and advice on all aspects of collecting. Auctions and exhibitions are held at salerooms in New York, London, Geneva, and Hong Kong, while clients are further served through representative offices based throughout Europe, the United States and Asia. Phillips also offers an online auction platform accessible anywhere in the world.


For more details on these works and how to bid, please contact 

Genevieve Janvrin
Head of Photographs, Europe
+44 20 7318 4092