Auction Preview: Images and Objects: Fine & Vernacular Photographs, May 21, 2015 @Swann

Swann’s upcoming photography sale covers a lot of ground – fine photographs, vernacular imagery, and photobooks, all swirled into one hefty, thematically organized sale. The auction is led by a complete set of Edward Curtis’ The North American Indian (signed by both the photographer and President Teddy Roosevelt). Having recently read Timothy Egan’s rousing biography of Curtis (here), I have a much deeper appreciation for the massive scope of the project and the extreme dedication required to bring it to fruition; it’s clearly one of the great photobook projects of all time. The rest of the sale wanders widely, with plenty of unexpected material to explore. Overall, there are a total of 385 lots available in the auction, with a Total High Estimate of $2549400.

Here’s the statistical breakdown:

Preview Statistics
Total Low Lots (high estimate up to and including $10000) 349
Total Low Estimate (sum of high estimates of low lots) $1374400
Total Mid Lots (high estimate between $10000 and $50000) 33
Total Mid Estimate $710000
Total High Lots (high estimate above $50000) 3
Total High Estimate $465000

The top lot by High estimate is lot 36, Edward Curtis, The North American Indian (Volumes 1-20), 1907-1930, estimated at $250000-350000 (image above via Swann).

Here’s the complete list of photographers with five or more lots in the sale, along with the number of lots on offer:

Multiple Lots For Sale
Ansel Adams 11
Irving Penn 8
Brett Weston 8
Berenice Abbott 7
Edward Curtis 7
Henri Cartier-Bresson 6
Andre Kertesz 6
W. Eugene Smith 6
Ruth Bernhard 5
Edward Weston 5

Other lots of interest include (images above, via Swann):

Lot 65, Margaret Bourke-White, Industrial Abstraction, 1935, estimated at $7000-10000

Lot 81, Sherril Schell, Light and Shadow in New York City, 1930, estimated at $6000-9000

Lot 226, W. Eugene Smith, Alert Soldier, Saipan, 1944, estimated at $5000-7500

Lot 238, Southworth & Hawes, Two Sisters Posing with a Chair, c1850, estimated at $30000-45000

The complete lot by lot catalog can be found here.

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Read more about: Albert Sands Southworth and Josiah Johnson Hawes, Edward Curtis, Margaret Bourke-White, Sherril Schell, W. Eugene Smith, Swann Auction Galleries

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