Published: January 11, 2011
Christie’s photographs sale on December 13 achieved $920,688 and was 74 percent sold by lot, 82 percent sold by value. The top lot of the sale was Carrie Mae Weems’s untitled #2450 from “Kitchen Table Series,” 1990, three gelatin silver prints that went to an anonymous bidder for $35,000. The cumulative year total for photographs sales at Christie’s for 2010 is $16,288,666.
Matthieu Humery, head of sale, commented, “Christie’s is pleased with the solid results of this sale, where collectors continue to show interest in top-quality works by the likes of Ansel Adams, Irving Penn and Henri-Cartier Bresson. Buyers are also interested in contemporary works, such as Carrie Mae Weems’s untitled #2450 from ‘Kitchen Table Series,’ 1990, which realized nearly three times its high estimate. Peter Beard’s iconic photographs taken in Africa also realized double and triple their high estimates.”
The sale’s cover lot, a glamorously cheeky image by Penn, “Dorian Leigh and Ray Bolger,” Vogue cover, 1946, was personally inscribed by the artist to the model, reflecting their close professional relationship that developed through countless collaborations. The gelatin silver print, accompanied by an issue of Vogue magazine, December 15, 1946, realized $30,000.
Ansel Adams’s “Half-Dome, Merced River Winter, Yosemite,” 1938, an early image and a spectacular, reverential portrayal of the American West that Adams was so fond of, also fetched $30,000.
Among the top Peter Beard highlights were “Orphaned cheetah cubs at Mweiga National Park headquarters,” for The End of the Game , 1968, gelatin silver print, $27,500; “Bibiana at El Molo Bay, Loiyangalani, Lake Rudolf,” 1968, gelatin silver print with ink and blood handwork, printed later, $26,250; “150-160 Iber, Tsavo North, along the Athi-Tiva, in hunting block 33,” February 1965, gelatin silver print with ink handwork, printed late, $21,250; and from The End of the Game , “Last Word from Paradise,” circa 1965, gelatin silver print with ink handwork, printed later, $18,750.
Rounding out the sale’s top ten lots were Henri Cartier-Bresson, “La Plaine de la Brie,” 1968, gelatin silver print, printed 1970s, $20,000; Ruth Bernhard, “Hips Horizontal,” 1975, gelatin silver print, $16,250; and Nobuyoshi Araki, untitled, 2007, dye-bleach print, $15,000.
Prices reported include the buyer’s premium. For information, 212-636-2000 or www.Christies.com .
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