Significant 19th & 20th century photographs offered at Swann Galleries Oct. 21

NEW YORK—Swann Galleries’ Oct. 21 auction of Important 19th & 20th Century Photographs offers an outstanding selection of vintage and contemporary works by a host of American, European and Asian masters.

Desirable lots with photographs of exotic lands and people include 75 rare Japanese landscapes, street scenes and views of temples by Felix Beato, the first photographer to devote himself entirely to photographing Asia, circa 1870 ($25,000 to $35,000); and a remarkable album containing 68 photographs of Brazil by Marc Ferrez, late 1880s-early 1890s ($25,000 to $35,000).

Early images include a sixth-plate ruby glass ambrotype of abolitionist John Brown, circa 1859 (estimate: $7,000 to $10,000); Charles Nègre’s photograph of the Charles-Antoine Coysevox statue Flore, albumen print, 1859 ($18,000 to $22,000); Julia Margaret Cameron’s Shepherds Keeping Watch by Night, albumen print, 1865-1866 ($9,000 to $12,000); Timothy O’Sullivan’s Ancient Ruins in the Canyon de Chelle, N.M., albumen print from his geological survey of the U.S., 1873 ($15,000 to $25,000); and Edward S. Curtis’s luminous orotone, The Vanishing Race, in an original Curtis frame, 1904 ($10,000 to $15,000).

Highlights from the early 20th century are Edward Steichen’s painterly Mrs. Steichen and the Steichen Children, silver print, circa 1910 ($15,000 to $25,000); Edward Weston and Margrethe Mather’s elegant view of The Marion Morgan Dancers, platinum-palladium print, circa 1921 ($40,000 to $60,000); Tina Modotti’s Maria Marin de Orozco, platinum print, 1925 ($12,000 to $18,000); Edward Weston’s Nude [Miriam Lerner: Hands and Torso], silver print, 1925 ($30,000 to $45,000); Dorothea Lange’s Ex-slave with a Long Memory, Alabama, silver print, 1937, printed 1950s ($15,000 to $25,000); and a portfolio titled The Vanishing World, with 12 photographs depicting Polish Jews during the late 1930s by Roman Vishniac, silver prints, 1936-38, printed 1977 ($25,000 to $35,000).

Classic mid-century works include Ansel Adams’s Winter Sunrise, Sierra Nevada, from Lone Pine, California, silver print, 1944, printed 1978 ($25,000 to $35,000); W. Eugene Smith’s Spanish Spinner, from his famous Spanish Village series, silver print, 1950, printed 1970-71 ($7,000 to $10,000); Ruth Orkin’s The Cardplayers, The Family of Man, 1947, a series of six silver print photographs of three young children deeply engrossed in their game of cards, printed 1955 ($20,000 to $25,000); O. Winston Link’s Hot Shot Eastbound at the Iaeger Drive-In, West Virginia, silver print, 1956, printed 1998 ($9,000 to $12,000); and works by Henri Cartier-Bresson, Alfred Eisentaedt, Robert Doisneau, and Weegee.

Among desirable portfolios are George Tice’s The Amish, with 12 sentimental photographs of the Pennsylvania Dutch Country, silver prints, 1961-66, printed 1968 ($6,000 to $9,000); Minor White’s Juniper, with 12 silver prints, one of 100, 1947-71, printed 1975 ($14,000 to $18,000); Paul Caponigro’s Portfolio II, with eight refined photographs of nature, silver prints, 1957-70, printed 1973 ($9,000 to $12,000); Danny Lyon’s The Southern Civil Rights Movement, with 28 photographs, one of only 10 sets, plus an artist’s proof, 1962-64, printed 1996-98 ($35,000 to $45,000); Bert Stern’s The Last Sitting, with 10 Chromogenic photographs of Marilyn Monroe taken just before her death, 1962 ($12,000 to $18,000); and a deluxe edition of Lee Friedlander’s Photographs, one of 150 copies issued with two original photographs, New York, 1978 ($12,000 to $18,000).

Noteworthy contemporary examples include William Eggleston’s Untitled (Confederate flag), dye-transfer print, 1973, printed 1996 ($10,000 to $15,000); Francesca Woodman’s Untitled (skull), silver print, 1977-1978 ($14,000 to $18,000); Tina Barney’s ode to a weekly tradition, Sunday New York Times, color coupler print, 1982 ($7,000 to $10,000); Robert Mapplethorpe’s Ken Moody, silver print, 1984 ($8,000 to $12,000); Joel Sternfeld’s Acquedutto Claudio, Rome, Chromogenic print, 1989 ($6,000 to $9,000); William Wegman’s portfolio, Letters, Numbers, Punctuation, with 44 photographs of his model Weimaraners, New York, 1993 ($20,000 to $30,000); and Chuck Close’s portrait of Ross, Polaroid print mounted to aluminum, 1993 ($6,000 to $9,000).

The auction will begin at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 21.

The photographs will be on public exhibition at Swann Galleries on Thursday, October 16, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday, Oct. 17, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, Oct. 18, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Monday, Oct. 20, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Tuesday, Oct. 21, from 10 a.m. to noon.

Illustrated catalogs are available for $35 from Swann Galleries, 104 East 25th Street, New York, NY 10010, and may be viewed online at

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

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