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Photography & Poster Auctions in February

Fine Photographs Auction on February 19th Feature Works from 19th & 20th Centuries

Swann Galleries’ auction of Fine Photographs on Thursday, February 19 offers a premium selection of important photographs, ranging from mid-19th-century albumen and salt paper prints and daguerreotypes to luminous 20th – century silver prints and contemporary fine art photographs in both traditional and experimental mediums.   

Among the earliest works offered is Seascape with Clouds by Gustave Le Grey, an albumen print from 1856 (estimate: $12,000 to $18,000).  Also from the 1800s is a lyrical image by Julia Margaret Cameron, Young Woman with Flowers in Her Hair, circa 1865 ($4,000 to $6,000) and a run of Eadweard Muybridge prints, including two Horse and Rider studies from 1881 (each $10,000 to $15,000).  An image by Muybridge of El Capitan, the cliff face at Yosemite also famously photographed by Ansel Adams and Carleton Watkins, is a departure from his motion studies and shows the well-known rock face reflected in the Merced River ($4,000 to $6,000).

Photographs from the 20th century include a run of images from Lewis W. Hine’s first body of work, documentary portraits of immigrants such as Couple, Ellis Island, 1905-12 ($10,000 to $15,000) and An Albanian Woman from Italy at Ellis Island, also 1905-12 ($8,000 to $12,000).  Two vintage prints by Edward Weston depict figures of the 1920s art world, Mary Marsh Buff, 1922, assistant curator at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and photographer Johann Hagemeyer, 1921 ($4,000 to $6,000 and $9,000 to $12,000, respectively).  A 1906 orotone print of Canyon del Muerto by Edward S. Curtis, in the original Curtis frame, is also offered ($15,000 to $25,000).  

Two scarce vintage prints by André Kertész, Tree Study Against a Riveted Metal Tank, Hungary, silver print, 1923 ($10,000 to $15,000) and Carousel Horses, Paris, silver print, late 1920s-early 30s, were once in the artist’s estate ($20,000 to $30,000).  Also featured is Kertész’s complete Photographs, Volume I, 1913-1919 portfolio with 10 silver prints, published in 1973 in an edition of 50 ($30,000 to $45,000).

A selection of photographs by Edward J. Kelty comes from the collection of Alan Siegel. These include a number of Kelty’s signature panoramic group-portraits of circus performers, offered both as single images and in group lots of three to eight, with depictions of bearded ladies, giants, little people, contortionists, clowns, ring leaders and more. There is an x-ray of Ajax, the Sword Swallower from 1928 ($2,000 to $3,000), a group of four animal-centric circus panoramas ($5,000 to $7,500) and a rare cyanotype featuring clowns from Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey (Combined) Circus behind Madison Square Garden, circa 1925 ($4,000 to $6,000).

Ruth Bernhard, Harry Callahan, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Irving Penn and others represent a large selection of well-known artists from the second half of the 20th century. The top lot in the auction is Helmut Newton’s Portrait of Karl Lagerfeld in Paris, an oversized ferrotyped silver print, 1976, showing the famous fashion designer tossing a bouquet of lilies toward the Eiffel Tower ($70,000 to $100,000).

Other fine art photography highlights include Peter Beard’s Zebra Carpet, Lariak Estate, Laikysia, Sept. 1960, for The End of the Game: Last Word from Paradise, a silver print with hand drawn embellishments ($30,000 to $40,000) and Diane Arbus’s Teenage Couple on Hudson Street, N.Y.C., printed by Neil Selkirk, 1963 ($20,000 to $30,000).  Steve McCurry’s unforgettable Afghan Girl, Pakistan, an oversized Fujicolor Crystal Archive print, 1985, printed circa 2000 and Sebastião Salgado’s Church Gate Station, Bombay, India, a mural-sized silver print, 1995, blend modern documentary photography with contemporary aesthetics ($9,000 to $12,000 and $45,000 to $65,000, respectively). Works by Nan Goldin, William Eggleston, Mike & Doug Starn, Jerry Spagnoli, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Daido Moriayama and Jon Rafman round out the contemporary selection.

The auction will begin at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 19.  The photographs will be on public exhibition at Swann Galleries Saturday, February 14, Tuesday, February 17 and Wednesday, February 18 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.; and Thursday, February 19, from 10 a.m. to noon and by appointment. For further information, and to make advance arrangements to bid by telephone during the auction, please contact Daile Kaplan at (212) 254-4710, extension 21, or via e-mail at  Live online bidding is also available via


Skiing & Art Nouveau Posters Lead February 12th Vintage Poster Auction

An outstanding assortment of ski images for American and European cold-weather destinations will be featured in Swann Galleries' annual winter auction of Vintage Posters on February 12. There are also lovely Art Nouveau images, turn-of-the-century bicycle ads, Israel and Judaic posters and powerful Art Deco designs.

Notable ski posters include circa 1930 European examples, such as one of Roger Broders’s rarest ski images, Sports D'hiver Dans Les Vosges (estimate: $7,000 to $10,000); Franz Lenhart’s Dolomiti / Cortina ($4,000 to $6,000) and the sexy Winter in Austria from Atelier Binder, depicting a blond skier with her skis slung over one shoulder ($3,000 to $4,000). Among the American ski highlights are Herbert Bayer’s Ski in Aspen Colorado, 1946 ($5,000 to $7,500); Phil von Phul’s Sun Valley, Let’s Go! / Union Pacific, one of the rarest Sun Valley posters to come to market ($4,000 to $6,000); Jack Rivolta’s Up Where Winter Calls to Play / Lake Placid, circa 1938, which features the bobsled run built for the 1932 winter Olympics ($3,000 to $4,000) and several wonderful images created for Dartmouth College’s annual Winter Carnival, including Ted Hunter’s 1937 design and T.N. Joanethis’s 1938 version ($2,500 to $3,500 and $2,000 to $3,000 respectively).

The auction offers an array of dazzling Art Nouveau posters and decorative panels, such as Leopoldo Metlicovitz’s Mostra Del Ciclo E Dell'automobile / Milano, publicizing Milan’s 1907 automobile and cycle show, which is the sale’s top lot with an estimate of $25,000 to $35,000. Another Metlicovitz highlight is his Mele / Mode Novità, 1910, for a department store in Naples ($20,000 to $30,000).

Also stunning are a run of works by Art Nouveau master Alphonse Mucha, among them a set of four panels depicting allegorical images of young women as The Flowers, 1898 ($20,000 to $30,000) and his iconic image for Job rolling papers, this one printed on silk and with Mucha’s signature in ink, 1896 (also $20,000 to $30,000).

Rounding out the Art Nouveau highlights are Jean Misceslas Peské’s poster for L’estampe et L’affiche, the seminal magazine devoted to prints and posters, 1898 ($5,000 to $7,500) and the celebrated Cycles Gladiator, circa 1895, which depicts a lovely female nude with flowing red hair being propelled through starry space by her bicycle ($10,000 to $15,000).

 A small section of other bicycle images features E. Thelem’s Cycles Peugeot, circa 1897 ($1,500 to $2,000); PAL’s Cycles - Clément - Motocycles, circa 1897 ($800 to $1,200) and Felix Fournery’s Cycles De Dion – Bouton, 1925 ($1,500 to $2,000).

Judaica posters and images devoted to the founding of Israel include the compelling All Together / To Make Idealistic Dream Come True ($1,500 to $2,000); Roli Studio’s Israel Independence Day, 1954 ($1,000 to $1,500); and Samuel Grundman’s Go Enjoy, 1960 ($700 to $1,000).

Additional auction highlights are Orsi’s VIIIe Olympiade / Jeux Olympiques / Paris 1924, one of two designs chosen by the French Olympic Committee to advertise the 8th Olympiad ($5,000 to $7,500); Embhard N. Culin’s Art Deco masterpiece, In 1939 / The New York World's Fair, 1937, in its rare larger format ($4,000 to $6,000); and a fantastic image of a fish for Tasmania / The Anglers' Paradise, circa 1933 ($2,500 to $3,500).

The auction will begin at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, February 12, and will continue after a lunch break at 2:00 p.m.  The posters will be on public exhibition at Swann Galleries on Saturday, February 7, from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Monday, February 9 through Wednesday, February 11, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information and to make advance arrangements to bid by telephone during the auction, please contact Kristina Goodstadt at (212) 254-4710 ext. 53, or via e-mail at