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Triple XXX: Photographs from the Collection of Don Sanders
‘Venus Project: 1997- 2001’
237 unique chromogenic Polaroid prints, contained in binders
Each approximately 4 ¼ x 3 ½ in. (10.8 x 8.9 cm.) overall
$20,000 – 30,000
© Sylvie Blum

Triple XXX: Photographs from the Collection of Don Sanders


Mon 29 Sep 16:00

Christie's New York

20 Rockefeller Plaza
NY 10020 New York



Mon-Fri 9:30-17:30

Triple XXX: Photographs from the Collection of Don Sanders
‘The Somnambulist’ 1970; ‘Déja-vu’, 1972; and ‘Days at Sea’, 1974
The unique suite of 125 gelatin silver master prints for the trilogy
Image: each approximately 18 x 12 in. (45.7 x 30.5 cm) or the reverse
Sheet: each 20 x 16 in. (50.8 x 40.6 cm.)
© Ralph Gibson
$200,000- 300,000

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.

Triple XXX: Photographs from the Collection of Don Sanders

This exceptional collection of photographs comprises one of the most important and comprehensive groupings of nude photographs known to exist. Encompassing 77 lots, the sale features works by Nobuyoshi Araki, Lucien Clergue, Ralph Gibson, Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, David Levinthal, Helmut Newton, Bettina Rheims and Jock Sturges, and is titled for two of its most prominent lots, Timothy Greenfield-Sanders’ XXX (estimate: $50,000-70,000), a series of portraits of porn stars, and the complete suite of 272 photographs by David Levinthal of erotic dolls, XXX (estimate: $250,000-350,000).

The collection also features a number of unique, or virtually unique, bodies of work, many personally commissioned by Don Sanders, including the complete set of 125 master prints for Ralph Gibson’s 1970s trilogy, The Somnambulist, Déja-vu, and Days at Sea (estimate $200,000-300,000). Other highlights include an oversized print, currently believed to be unique, of Helmut Newton’s Bergstrom over Paris (estimate $200,000-300,000). Another memorable addition, Nobuyoshi Araki’s For Robert Frank (estimate $60,000-80,000), is a unique scrapbook given by the artist to photographer Robert Frank during his visit to Japan for the opening of his retrospective exhibition in Yokohama in 1995. A complete series of 101 prints, this is one of only five sets in existence.

Don Sanders, a Houston-based businessman, is not only a collector, but a friend and active patron of a number of the prominent artists in the sale, including: Clergue, Gibson, Sturges, Greenfield-Sanders and Rheims. Sanders also champions and encourages the talents of younger photographers, including the fashion photography partnership of Ines Van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, as well as the husband and wife team of Gunther and Sylvie Blum whose work is well represented in the sale. This is not the first collection Sanders is selling with Christie’s. In 2012, he sold his watch collection in order to fund another passion - his shelter and adoption center for stray cats, Friends for Life.