Smile – Photographs and Photobooks from the 1960s
Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions
24 Maddox Street
Friday 20 May 2016 11.00
Sunday 15th May
11.00 am - 4.00 pm
Monday 16th May
9.30 am - 5.30 pm
Tuesday 17th May
9.30 am - 5.30 pm
Wednesday 18th May
9.30 am - 5.30 pm
Thursday 19th May
9.30 am - 7.00 pm
Day of Sale from 9.30 am
Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions’ Smile: Photographs and Photobooks from the 1960s will take place at 11am, Friday 20th May 2016 at 24 Maddox Street, London W1S 1PP (with a preview from 6-8pm at Bloomsbury House on 17th May). This exciting collection of photographs and photobooks features some of the most iconic images from the sixties many of which are embedded in our cultural history. The auction includes images from the music, fashion and film industries as well as popular culture and events which made the news of the day.
London of the Beatles is depicted with images of Twiggy (lots 1 & 2), Jane Shrimpton (lots 3 & 4), David Frost and TW3 (lots 7 & 8), The Who (lot 13), David Hemming and Vanessa Belgrave in Blow Up (lot 12). A Box of Pinups by the photographer synonymous with the decade, David Bailey, also features and includes 36 portraits of the stars of the 60s (lot 9, £5,000-8,000).
Amongst music photography’s best-known images is Iain MacMillan’s universally acclaimed shots of The Beatles on Abbey Road, featured above. The original idea was conceived by Paul McCartney, who sketched out exactly how he wanted the album cover to look. Local police only allowed traffic to be held up for 10 minutes for MacMillan to take his photographs, and he managed to get six shots. Here are the original six frames as well as the back cover of Abbey Road, estimated at £50,000- £70,000 (Lot 20). Other musicians from the decade are present with photographs of the Rolling Stones, including a shot by Terry O’Neill in the Tin Pan Alley on the blink of their career in 1963, Jimi Hendrix (lot 57) and Bob Dylan filming Subterranean Homesick Blues song in 1966 (lot 58).
Other highlights include a series of fashion photographs of the actress and model Brigitte Bardot by French photographer Sam Lévin (1904 – 1992). Lévin photographed Bardot over a period of 20 years. Particularly evocative images of the idol include Brigitte with Black Lace, 1963 (lot 28) and Golden Chair, 1963 (lot 31) along with three other portraits, each estimated of £1,000-£1,500. Further portraits of Bardot by Terry O’Neill, Jean Barthet and Patrick Morin reveal various facets of the muse, on set and in real life. The auction includes other icons of the decade: Raquel Welch on a cross, (lot 42, est. £4,000-6,000), her personal response to feminists whom she felt were ‘crucifying’ her because of her sex symbol status; Marilyn Monroe in her last photo sessions, 1962 (lots 43-47) and Jane Birkin, in French sexual revolution campaign mode, (lots 37-39).
Lot numbers 47 to 50 show the creative partnership between photographer Jean Clemmer and the fashion designer Paco Rabanne that started in the 1960s and produced some of the most iconic fashion photographs of the time, witnessing the sexual freedom of the 1960s and breaking with the common view of fashion photography by depicting black and Asian models which was revolutionary at this time.
Film lovers of the decade will particularly enjoy shots of a playful Jane Fonda on the set of Barbarella in 1967 (lots 88-90, est. £700-£900 each). Other movies covered include Charade, from 1962, with on location shots of its stars, Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn, (lots 80-84, each at £400-600); the cream pie fight removed from the final cut of Stanley Kubrick’s Dr Strangelove (lot 82, est. £800-1,200) and portraits of French New Wave symbol Jean-Paul Belmondo on set by Martine Franck (lots 73-77). Images of Jane Fonda, (lots 72 & 78) and Claudia Cardinale (lot 79) also make an appearance.
In addition, the auction covers events which hit the headlines, notably developments in space exploration: kicking off in 1961 with the Mercury Seven (lot 67), Apollo 11 in 1969, and NASA astronaut Buzz Aldrin on the moon with the American flag, captured by Neil Armstrong (lot 71, est. £3,000-£4,000).
The Vietnam War is seen from the stance of Vietnamese journalists in lot 61, and the ensuing protests that the lengthy conflict created amongst the younger generation is captured in John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s infamous Bed Peace (lot 60, est. £400-600). The rise of the hippie movement as played out at the Woodstock Festivals of 1968 and 1969 is shot respectively by Mark Edwards (lot 62) and Jim Marshall (lot 63).
The sale also includes photographs by Norman Parkinson, Bert Stern, Gered Mankowitz, Douglas Kirkland, Colin Jones, the 1960s paparazzi Willi Rizzo, and many others. This auction provides a unique opportunity to acquire images from the swinging decade in which photography became the pre-eminent, global medium.