Thursday, November 13, 2008

Auction: Photographs of London and Contemporary, 20th Century & 19th Century Photographs, November 20, 2008 @Bloomsbury London

Bloomsbury's upcoming photography auction in London has two distinct parts: a thematic grouping of pictures loosely centered on the city of London, and then a more straightforward mixed group of photography from across the history of the medium.

The London group has a wide variety of images, from all time periods (19th century through to contemporary), displayed in roughly chronological order. There are city landscapes and architectural views, street scenes and people, wartime shots, portraits of politicians, London fashion images, and even a few pictures of the Beatles, the Clash, and Johnny Rotten. I'm not sure the "London" theme gives resonance to everything that's included here, but I understand the idea of using a theme to put a framework around a group of pictures like these.

The rest of the sale (displayed in reverse chronological order, just to keep you guessing) follows well worn paths. In total, the sale has a total of 302 lots on offer, with a total high estimate of 632300 Pounds. Here's the price breakdown:

Total Low Lots (high estimate below 5000 Pounds): 287
Total Low Estimate (sum of high estimates of Low lots): 506300 Pounds

Total Mid Lots (high estimate between 5000 and 25000 Pounds): 15
Total Mid Estimate: 126000 Pounds

Total High Lots (high estimate above 25000 Pounds): 0
Total High Estimate: 0 Pounds

With 95% of the lots in this sale below 5000 Pounds, and many below 1000 Pounds, this is the definition of a Low end sale, with a broad range of material available at reasonable prices.

For our collection, in the London section of the sale, we liked:
  • Lot 26 Wolfgang Suschitzky, St. Paul's Cathedral, 1942
  • Lot 70 Roger Mayne, Southam Street, 1958 (image at right)

In the more general area of the sale, we found the following lots of interest:

  • Lot 166 Elliott Erwitt, New York City (Tony's of Worth Street), 1969/Later
  • Lot 184 Bill Brandt, Nude, 1954
  • Lot 185 Bill Brandt, East Sussex Coast, 1959
  • Lot 245 Walker Evans, Barn Window Detail, 1930/Later
  • Lot 247 Berenice Abbott, Financial District Rooftops, 1938
  • Lot 263 Charles Jones, Gazania Splendorous, c1900
  • Lot 265 Charles Jones, Narcissus, Madame De Graaf, c1900 (image at right)
  • Lot 300 William Henry Fox Talbot, Fern, 1863
While there are few real stand out images in this sale, there are plenty of attractively priced secondary images that are worth a look.

Photographs of London and Contemporary, 20th Century & 19th Century Photographs
November 20th

Bloomsbury Auctions
Bloomsbury House
24 Maddox Street
London W1S 1PP

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