Lot 133. Man Ray (1890-1976), Minotaur, dated and numbered '36' in pencil and with the photographer's '31 bis, Rue Campagne Première' studio stamp (Manford M6) and posthumous copyright stamp (Manford M30) on the reverse, 1933, 5 7/8 by 9 1/4 in. (14.9 by 23.5 cm.) Estimate: $150/250,000. Sold for $175,000. Courtesy Sotheby’s.
NEW YORK, NY.- Emily Bierman, Head of Sotheby’s Photographs Department in New York, commented: “We are delighted with the results of today’s sales – the first Photographs auction of the new year. There was robust demand across the sales with our top lots spanning from early photography – setting a new record for William Henry Fox Talbot – to experimental 1920s and 1930s works – including Man Ray’s Minotaur for $175,000 – to classic mid-century images such as Alfred Stieglitz’s exceptional Equivalent 227, which more than tripled its presale estimate at $150,000. It was a privilege to present ‘A Beautiful Life: Photographs from the Collection of Leland Hirsch’ and share the beauty pioneer’s vision with the world. The overwhelmingly enthusiastic response from collectors reflects the quality and importance of the collection he assembled. We once again saw many new bidders in the sale as well as significant interest from Asia, in addition to our traditional collecting centers of Western Europe and the United States, demonstrating the increasingly global nature of the field.”
A Beautiful Life: Photographs from the Collection of Leland Hirsch
Auction Total $2 Million
Leland Hirsch, CEO of Celeb Luxury commented: “I am absolutely thrilled with the results we saw today from the sale of my very personal collection of photographs. I am particularly happy that we set a new record for Herb Ritts’ powerful image of the ‘Big Five’ supermodels and the strong price we achieved for Avedon’s Dovima, among the highest of the season. Sotheby's thoughtful presentation and focused marketing achieved results far beyond expectations. As always, working with Emily and whole Sotheby’s team proved to be a delightful and fulfilling experience.”
Assembled with passion over the course of nearly two decades by the ‘godfather of haircolor,’ this superb collection of photographs offered some of the most recognizable images of the 20th and 21st centuries, featuring works by iconic fashion photographers Richard Avedon, Irving Penn and Peter Beard as well as convention-defying works by Diane Arbus and Man Ray. The sale was led by Richard Avedon’s Dovima with Elephants, Evening Dress by Dior, Cirque d’Hiver, Paris, August 1955 which achieved $375,000 (estimate $300/500,000). Created in 1955 and published by Harper’s Bazaar for their September issue, the present work is a monument in the history of fashion photography, fully illustrating the artist’s profound gifts as a photographer.
From the Collection of Leland Hirsch. Lot 27. Richard Avedon (1923-2004), Dovima with Elephants, Evening Dress by Dior, Cirque d’Hiver, Paris, large format, flush-mounted to linen, signed and editioned '32/50' in pencil and with title, date, edition and copyright/reproduction limitation stamps on the reverse, framed, 1955, printed later, 51 1/2 by 41 in. (130.8 by 101.1 cm.) Estimate: $300/500,000. Sold for $375,000. Courtesy Sotheby’s
From the Collection of Leland Hirsch. Lot 45. Peter Beard (B. 1938), 'Hog Ranch Front Lawn, Night Feeder (2:00 AM) with Maureen Gallagher & Mbuno, Feb. 1987', photographer in ink, framed, 1987, printed and assembled in the 1990s, 50 3/8 by 71 3/8 in. (128 by 181.3 cm.) Estimate: $200/300,000. Sold for $250,000 . Courtesy Sotheby’s
a unique object, mural-sized, signed, titled, dated, annotated 'Peter Beard, Hog Ranch, Box 47616, Nairobi, Kenya,' and inscribed with a passage from Joseph Conrad by the photographer in black, white, and red inks on the image, and with drawings of insects and animals, blood, and collage elements: a box of matches; a leaf; a photo strip of 3 images of a baby mountain gorilla; half-tone reproductions of a red sweater, Peter Beard photographs of animals, and a self-portrait with a crocodile annotated 'I'll write whenever I can' by the photographer in ink, framed, 1987, printed and assembled in the 1990s .
From the Collection of Leland Hirsch. Lot 1. Herb Ritts (1952-2002), 'Stephanie, Cindy, Christy, Tatjana, Naomi, Hollywood', mounted, signed, titled, dated, and editioned '11/25' in pencil and stamped on the reverse, overmatted, framed, 1989, 18 1/2 by 20 in. (47 by 50.8 cm.) Estimate: $50/70,000. Sold for $150,000 . Courtesy Sotheby’s
'I enjoy shooting women as feminine objects. There's a sensitivity to the photographs. Many times they're stripped down to the elements, as in the picture of the five models together. They're not like what Lindbergh or Bruce Weber does. I enjoy women being women in my way, and they're still feminine. They're very much themselves.’ – Herb Ritts.
From the Collection of Leland Hirsch. Lot 33. Diane Arbus (1923-1971), 'Child with a toy hand grenade in Central Park, N. Y. C.', signed, titled, dated, and editioned '72/75' by Doon Arbus, the photographer's daughter, in ink and with the 'A Diane Arbus Photograph' and reproduction rights stamp on the reverse, framed, exhibition labels on the reverse, 1962, printed posthumously by Neil Selkirk, 14 3/4 by 15 in. (37.5 by 38 cm.). Estimate: $70/100,000. Sold for $137,500 . Courtesy Sotheby’s
‘Giving a camera to Diane is like putting a live grenade in the hands of a child.’ – Norman Mailer
From the Collection of Leland Hirsch. Lot 9. Irving Penn (1917-2009), 'Man lighting girl's ciigarette (New York)', selenium-toned, signed, initialed, titled, dated, and annotated in pencil and stamped on the reverse, framed, a Norton Museum of Art exhibition label on the reverse, 1949, printed in 1983, one from an edition of no more than 8 gelatin silver prints, 19 1/8 by 20 1/4 in. (48.6 by 51.4 cm.) Estimate: $70/100,000. Sold for $125,000 . Courtesy Sotheby’s.
'I always felt we were selling dreams, not clothes.’ – Irving Penn.
From the Collection of Leland Hirsch. Lot 18. Man Ray (1890-1976), 'Bras' (Arm), titled and inscribed 'To Ummann' [?] in pencil, annotated 'Top' in red pencil, and with the photographer's '31bis, Rue Campagne Première, Paris-14e' (Manford M5) and reproduction limitation (Manford M14) stamps on the reverse, framed, circa 1933, 11 3/4 by 9 in. (29.8 by 22.8 cm.) Estimate: $80/120,000. Sold for $100,000 . Courtesy Sotheby’s.
'Were it not for the fact that photography permits me to seize and to possess the human body and face in more than a temporary manner, I should quickly have tired of this medium.’ – Man Ray (Formes Nues, 1935, introduction)
Auction Total $3.1 Million
Today’s various-owner auction was led by William Henry Fox Talbot’s The Pencil Of Nature, which sold for $275,000 (estimate $150/200,000). Issued in 6 parts between 1844 and 1846 and comprised of 24 photographs, the present work was the first photographically illustrated text to be commercially sold and the culmination of more than a decade of experimentation by the famed British scientist, inventor and photography pioneer. The sale also saw record prices achieved for contemporary artists, including David Gamble, JoAnn Verburg and David Yarrow.
William Henry Fox Talbot, 'The Pencil Of Nature'. Various sizes to 6 1/4 by 8 1/2 in. (15.9 by 21.6 cm.) Estimate: $150/250,000. Sold for $275,000. Courtesy Sotheby’s.
(London: Longman, Brown, Green, & Longmans, 1844-46), the complete set of six fascicles illustrated with 24 salt prints, 21 prints on mounts with hand-ruled borders, 20 numbered in an unidentified hand in pencil or ink on the mount, 3 loose; plate 1 a variant, circa 1846, and plate 2 a substitute. 4to, grey linen-backed boards, ink title on spine, inscribed 'Herbert Lambert from M. T. Talbot, August 1921' and 'N. D. Larkin. 1959.' in ink on the title, five-line 'Notice to the Reader' inserted behind the front end paper, a modern print of Window at Lacock Abbey tipped to the front free end paper. Bound without printed wrappers.