Cutting-edge modern photo-books bring strong prices at Swann Dec. 11

Swann Galleries’ Dec. 11 auction of Photographic Literature & Photographs saw strong results for distinctive modern photobooks.

A complete run of 50 issues of Visionaire, New York, 1991-2007, sold for $24,000. All prices include 20 percent buyer’s premium. Each issue of the celebrated publication was created collaboratively by famous figures of the fashion and art worlds and had a unique theme and special packaging. One example was wrapped in a Tiffany blue box, and another was presented in a Louis Vuitton portfolio case.

A record $16,800 was achieved for Man Ray’s Mr. and Mrs. Woodman, with 27 original photographs of wooden mannequins arranged in various sexual positions, one of 50 numbered copies signed by the artist, The Netherlands, 1970.

A copy of the scarce Paris, 80 Photographies de Moï Ver, illustrated with collotype reproductions of Moï Ver’s cinematic photocollages, first edition, one of 100 numbered copies, Paris, 1931, brought $15,600; and a set of the three monumental issues of Provoke, the Japanese avant-garde publication with images by Daido Moriyama, Takuma Nakahira and others, Tokyo, 1968-69, $12,000.

Among individual photographs in the auction were André Kertész’s Mondrian’s Glasses and Pipe, Paris, silver print, 1926, printed 1950s-60s, $7,800; Walker Evans and Jim Dow’s Coal Stevedore, Havana [Dockworker, Havana], silver print, 1933, printed 1971, $8,400; Henri Cartier-Bresson’s Ile de la Cité, Paris, silver print, 1951, printed 1980s, $7,800; Mario Giacomelli’s Untitled (Landscape with haystacks), silver print, circa 1970, $6,000; as well as a group of 10 F.S.A.-era photographs printed by Arthur Rothstein, including images by Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange and Ben Shahn, 1935-39, printed 1970s, $6,240.

Finally, a meticulously maintained archive of more than 20,000 vernacular photographs by commercial photographer Stanley Costa, most abstract and architectural images depicting the American pastoral landscape of the 1950s through 1970s realized $24,000.

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