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Photographs from the Forbes Collection
LEWIS CARROLL (1832-1898)
Lorina and Alice Liddell in Chinese Costume, c. 1860
Album print
Image/sheet: 5 x 6 ½ in. (14 x 16 cm.)
$10,000- 15,000

Photographs from the Forbes Collection


Mon 29 Sep 10:00

Christie's New York

20 Rockefeller Plaza
NY 10020 New York



Mon-Fri 9:30-17:30

On September 29th Christie’s will present three distinct photograph auctions in New York, including the diverse ‘Photographs’ sale, and two private collection sales: ‘Photographs from the Forbes Collection’ and ‘Triple XXX: Photographs from the Collection of Don Sanders.’

Running concurrently with the September 29th sales will be an online only auction titled ‘Helmut Newton Photographs for Playboy,’ that includes 20 photographs from the collection of Don Sanders. The online auction will be open for bidding from September 23rd through October 7th at www.christies.com/HelmutNewton.

With a total of 266 lots, the sales are expected to exceed $7 million.

Photographs from the Forbes Collection

Assembled by Robert Forbes, the sale of Photographs from the Forbes Collection includes 62 lots that extensively represent both Irving Penn and Harry Callahan. Forbes first became captivated by the medium of photography in college. A friend introduced him to Beaumont Newhall’s History of Photography, inspiring Forbes to begin scouring antique shops for early daguerreotypes and tintypes. He also took notice of the books that his father, renowned collector Malcolm Forbes, had piled up in his living room exploring photographers such as Robert Frank, Richard Avedon and Irving Penn. When Forbes began collecting fine art photography, works by Penn were among his first acquisitions, creating the foundation for what became a truly remarkable collection as well as a friendship between the two men. Also included in the sale is a wonderful grouping of photographs by Harry Callahan of his wife Eleanor, and several pieces by important artists such as Robert Mapplethorpe, Henri Cartier-Bresson and Richard Avedon. The collection was regularly featured in exhibitions at the Forbes corporate building in New York.

The auction’s top lot is a pristine example of Harlequin Dress (Lisa Fonssagrives-Penn), 1950 by Irving Penn ($200,000-300,000). Also included is an important albumen portrait by Lewis Carroll of Lorina and Alice Liddell in Chinese Costume, c. 1860 (estimate: $10,000-15,000). Alice in Wonderland’s eponymous heroine was inspired by the seated Alice Liddell. The sisters don genuine Chinese costume borrowed from a local museum, reflecting the Victorian passion for all things `Oriental.’ This print was originally in an album belonging to Emma Llewelyn, whose brother John Dillwyn Llewelyn was in Carroll’s circle of friends.