'Lost' Egyptian photo album up 221% at Sotheby's auction


2015-06-26 13:42:40


'Lost' Egyptian photo album up 221% at Sotheby's auction

The John Beasley Greene photo album shows Egypt and Algeria in the 19th century

An album of photographs by John Beasley Greene (1832-1856) have sold for 482,500 ($819,237).

The lot led a photography sale at Sotheby's London, achieving an increase of 221.6% on a 150,000 ($254,685) estimate.

John Beasley GreeneJohn Beasley Greene is considered one of the earliest instigators of modernism

Greene mainly photographed landscapes and archaeological sites in Egypt and Algeria and is considered a proto-modernist due to the subtlety and minimalism of his compositions.

Greene was just 19 when he embarked on his voyage to Egypt in 1853. On his return, wealthy merchant and keen photographer Louis Dsir Blanquart-Evrard published an album of 94 of his prints.

He was tutored by Gustave Le Gray, a French photographer who pioneered a range of technical innovations, and produced a large body of work before dying of tuberculosis in Cairo at the age of 24.

Assembled by an acquaintance of Beasley Greene, the album was thought lost, but then rediscovered on a library shelf in France.

A portfolio of prints by Richard Avedon (1923-2004) made 134,500 ($216,236).

Richard Avedon ParisAvedon's portfolio was shot in Paris in the 1940s and 1950s

Avedon's work for Harper's and Vogue defined American style throughout the 1940s and 1950s.

He was among the first fashion photographers to shoot outside the studio, bringing life to a format that had previously been highly formal.

The edition was printed in 1978 and is signed and numbered 33 of 75.

Avedon's auction record was set in 2010, when a large print of 1950s supermodel Dovima made 719,000 ($1.1m).

Other lots in the sale included a print of Robert Mapplethorpe's Dan S, which sold for 98,500 ($167,244) against a 60,000 ($101,874) estimate - an increase of 64.1%.

We have an exciting art and photography range, including this signed copy of portrait photographer Yousuf Karsh's Fifty Year Retrospective.

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