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Photograph of first supermodel may fetch $17K

A photograph of the woman considered by many to be the world's first supermodel is featured in the 235-lot auction at Dreweatts on June 4.

LONDON — The upcoming Photo Opportunities auction at Bloomsbury Auctions on Thursday, June

Woman in Balenciaga coat

This photograph titled "Woman in Balengciaga coat" by Irving Penn, of his wife Lisa Fonssagrives in 1950s Paris, is expected to sell for between $11,300 and $17,000. (All photos by Dreweatts and Bloomsbury Auctions)

4 coincides with the relaunch of Photo London and features big names of fashion photography including Irving Penn and Norman Parkinson.

Appealing to a wide range of photography lovers from veteran collectors to first time buyers looking for bold and beautiful works, the London sale pleases all tastes and pockets. Among the lots expected to generate significant interest from bidders is a photo taken in Paris, in 1950. "Woman in Balenciaga coat" by Irving Penn is an image of the photographers wife Lisa Fonssagrives, who is recognized by many as the first supermodel. The photo may command between $11,300 and $17,000.

Another potential stand out is "Dog Friday" taken on Praslin Island, Seychelles, circa 1971. Grace Coddington, creative director of American vogue and a former model, said this about the scene of that shoot and photographer Norman Parkinson, "Parks taught me such a lot...he and I were on a shoot in the Seychelles in 1971 with the model Apollonia van Ravenstein, standing on miles and miles of virgin white sand. Suddenly a dog appeared out of nowhere. Apollonia stretched her arms to call it, and at that moment, the picture sprang to life." The photo is expected to sell for $1,700 to $2,200.

Photographer Garry Winogrand is also represented in the sale, which features 235 lots. An untitled photograph from the portfolio "Women Are Beautiful" circa 1960s, featuring women in every-day activities on a beach, may see $1,300 to $1,700.

Another photo set to cross the block is by Elliot Erwitt, titled "Wyoming" and taken in 1954. Of the photograph, Erwitt said this "I was traveling across the country from New York to Los Angeles and taking a lot of pictures, while driving, out of the it's an image of a bygone era, but at the time seemed ordinary." The photo has an estimate of $2,200 to $3,400.

For more information about this auction, visit

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