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Photographic Literature & Fine Photographs
Ansel Adams, "Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico." Silver print, 13 x 17 6/16 inches (34.2 x 44.2 cm.), with Adams's signature, in pencil, on mount recto and his signature, "Yosemite National Park California" hand stamp, title and inscription "For Val Sarra! 1948 - at last!!!!," in ink, on mount verso. 1941; printed 1948
Estimate: $350,000-450,000

Photographic Literature & Fine Photographs

Auction: – 8 Dec 2009

Tue 8 Dec 14:30

Swann Auction Galleries, Inc

104 East 25th Street
NY 10010 New York



Photographic Literature & Fine Photographs
Yousuf Karsh, Portrait of Sir Winston Churchill. Silver print, 19 3/4 x 15 3/4 inches (50.2 x 40 cm.), with Karsh's signature and "Ottawa," in ink, on recto. 1941; printed 1960s
Estimate: $6,000-9,000

PRIZED WORKS OF PHOTOGRAPHIC LITERATURE AND A STELLAR SELECTION OF FINE PHOTOGRAPHS AT SWANN GALLERIES' DECEMBER 8 AUCTION Highlights Include a Rare Vintage Print of Ansel Adams's Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico On Tuesday, December 8, Swann Auction Galleries will conduct a two-part auction of Photographic Literature & Fine Photographs, which offers many rare and museum-worthy works. Of special note is a vintage print of Ansel Adams's Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico. The Adams photograph is arguably his best known work. Taken in the late afternoon on October 31, 1941, the poetic and richly symbolic image depicts a rural cemetery in the foreground, the gravestones illuminated by the setting sun. The eye is drawn to a waxing moon above a sweeping bank of clouds that meet mountains framing the horizon. This particular print, in which Adams rendered the clouds and sky in a range of subtle gray tones, was created in 1948. It is believed that Adams produced fewer than 10 photographs with this delicate tonal quality, and three are now in museum collections. The photograph is signed and inscribed to Valentino Sarra, a photographer and W.P.A. poster designer, who was a friend of Adams (estimate: $350,000 to $450,000). There is another copy of Moonrise in the auction, which was printed in the 1960s, and like other later prints, shows greater contrast and a dramatically dark sky ($30,000 to $45,000). Among featured 19th-century photographs is a select group of 13 plates from William Henry Fox Talbot's The Pencil of Nature, 1844-46, the work that established Talbot as the inventor of the photographic negative/positive process. The salted paper prints include images of architecture, glass bowls and vases, and a lone delicate leaf ($40,000 to $60,000 for the group). Other early photographs of note are Lewis Carroll's Portrait of Emily Cecilia Harrison, albumen print, circa 1860 ($4,000 to $6,000); an album with 72 views of abbeys and cathedrals in the British Isles by Francis Bedford, circa 1870 ($4,500 to $5,500); a choice group of 24 studies from Louis-Émile Édouard's Le Nouvel Opéra de Paris, albumen prints, circa 1865-74 ($5,000 to $7,500); and a lavish album containing 50 hand-colored albumen prints of Japan, circa 1890 ($3,500 to $4,500). Modern works include several examples by André Kertész, among them Satiric Dancer, oversize print, 1926, printed 1970s ($15,000 to $25,000), and Washington Square (Winter), 1954, printed 1970s ($6,000 to $9,000); Alfred Eisenstaedt's Premier at La Scala, Milan, 1933, printed 1995 ($12,000 to $18,000); Horst P. Horst's Mainbocher Corset, 1939, printed 1990 ($10,000 to $15,000); Edward Weston's Wm. Edmondson, Stonecutter of Nashville, ferrotyped silver print, 1941 ($7,000 to $10,000); and Harry Callahan's Chicago, 1950, a stark view of leafless trees against a snowy white background, printed 1970s ($15,000 to $20,000). Contemporary highlights are Helen Levitt's evocative image of children in New York, ektacolor print, 1972, printed 1989 ($6,000 to $9,000); six photographs from Helmut Newton's Private Property, Portfolios I-III, 1973-83, printed 1984, containing images of Sigourney Weaver, Karl Lagerfeld, David Hockney, and others ($12,000 to $18,000); Steve McCurry's photo of an Afghan Girl with piercing green eyes, cibachrome print, 1985, printed circa 2003 ($5,000 to $7,000); and Tina Barney's Beverly, Jill and Polly, color coupler print, 1982 ($7,000 to $10,000). Among the earliest examples of photographic literature in the sale are Francis Frith's Egypt Nubia and Ethiopia, with 100 albumen stereo views, London, 1862 ($7,000 to $10,000); and Camera Work #20, with 10 photogravures, three by Stieglitz, New York, 1907 ($5,000 to $6,000). From the 1920s and '30s are August Sander's Antlitz der Zeit, Munich, 1929 ($2,000 to $3,000); Roger Parry and Fabian Loris's Banalité, signed by both, with 16 photogravures, Paris, 1930 ($3,000 to $4,500); Italia Imperiale, edited by Manilo Morgagni, Milan 1937 ($4,000 to $6,000); Brassaï's Paris de Nuit, Paris, 1933 ($2,500 to $3,500); and Walker Evans's American Photographs, signed and with an original photograph, New York, 1938  ($4,000 to $6,000). Later works of note are a signed copy of David Heath's A Dialogue with Solitude, New York, 1965 ($3,000 to $4,500); Robert Frank's The Lines of My Hand, Tokyo, 1972, and Flower Is . . . , Tokyo, 1987  ($3,500 to $4,500 and $4,000 to $6,000 respectively); Edward Ruscha's Thirtyfour Parking Lots in Los Angeles, Los Angeles, 1967 ($2,200 to $2,800); Lewis Baltz's The Tract Houses, The Prototype Works, The New Industrial Parks near Irvine, California, issued with a print, each volume signed by Baltz, New York and Germany, 2005 ($2,500 to $3,500); Todd Hido's One Picture Book #06: Taft Street, four volumes, Tucson, 2001 ($2,000 to $3,000); and Visionaire issue number 18, the Fashion Special, in a leather Louis Vuitton portfolio case, New York, 1996 ($1,400 to $1,800). Japanese highlights include Yoshikazu Suzuki's Ginza Kaiwai, Ginza Haccho, two volumes, Tokyo, 1954 ($4,000 to $6,000); Shomei Tomatsu's Nagasaki 11:02, Tokyo, 1966 ($3,000 to $4,500); Yutaka Takanashi's Toshi-e [Towards the City], two volumes, Tokyo, 1974 ($3,000 to $4,000); and Hirsoshi Sugimoto's Theaters, with a signed photogravure, New York, 2000 ($1,500 to $2,500). The auction will begin at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, December 8 with Photographic Literature, and will continue at 2:30 p.m. with Fine Photographs. The photographs and books will be on public exhibition at Swann Galleries Thursday, December 3, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Friday, December 4, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, December 5, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Monday, December 7, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. An illustrated catalogue with information on bidding by mail or fax, is available for $35 from Swann Galleries, Inc., 104 East 25th Street, New York, NY 10010, or online at www.swanngalleries.com. 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 email at dkaplan@swanngalleries.com. Live online bidding is also available via Artfact.com. Live online bidding is also available via Artfact.com.

Photographic Literature & Fine Photographs
Robert Frank, Flower Is . . ., illustrated with reproductions of Frank's exquisite photographs, one of 500 copies from a limited edition; in the original shipping box. Tokyo, 1987.
Estimate: $4,000-6,000
Photographic Literature & Fine Photographs
Steve McCurry, "Afghan Girl." Cibachrome print, 17 1/2 x 11 1/2 inches (44.5 x 29.2 cm.), with McCurry's signature, in ink, on recto. 1985; printed circa 2003
Estimate: $5,000-7,000