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Photography IV: Marie-Therese & Andre Jammes Collection for Sale at Sotheby's
Charles Nègre: Asile Impérial de Vincennes, La visite du médecin, 1858-59. Epreuve albuminée, 21.6 x 16.5 cm. Estimate: EUR 20 - 30.000. © Sotheby’s/ Art Digital Studio

PARIS.- Sotheby’s announces the sale in Paris on 15 November 2008 of the final instalment of the photographic collection of Marie-Thérèse and André Jammes – one of the most important private collections of photographs of the 19th century ever assembled.

The sale will contain some 180 lots, with an overall estimate of €2.2-3m. It presents a rich panorama of French photography dating back to the earliest photographic reproduction processes, and includes work by such great 19th century masters as Edouard Baldus, Bisson Frères, Joseph-Philibert Girault de Prangey, Henri Le Secq, Gustave Le Gray and Charles Nègre. Taken together, the collection covers all the major themes of 19th century photography, including portraits, monuments, and the landscapes of France, the Middle East and elsewhere.

The names Marie-Thérèse and André Jammes have been celebrated by the international market since the first part of their collection was sold by Sotheby’s in London on 27 October 1999. The 287-lot sale revolutionised the photography market, yielding a record price of £507,500 (€791,000) for Gustave Le Gray's Grande Vague – Sète and totalling £7,430,693 (€11,582,000).

Parts 2 and 3, sold by Sotheby’s in Paris on 21/22 March 2002, were devoted to Charles Nègre and French primitive photography. The sale brought €11,814,210 in total, with the first ever image printed from a photographic process by Nicéphore Niépce, the inventor of photography, selling for €489,750, and high prices for photographs by Charles Nègre, Victor Regnault and Edouard Baldus.

Part 4, to be offered in Paris this November, features calotype prints and daguerreotypes by French masters of primitive photography; the work of leading photographers from the heyday of the glass negative and albumen print; and valuable documents illustrating photographic technique.

Highlights include an important group of 13 daguerreotypes by Joseph-Philibert Girault de Prangey (1804-92), with views of France, Egypt, Italy and Greece (estimates1 between €10,000-70,000); a full-plate daguerreotype by Baron Jean-Baptiste Louis Gros (1793-1870) showing his own studio (estimate €80,000-120,000); a very rare selection of paper negatives and salt paper prints (estimates €12,000-25,000) by John Beasley Greene (1832-65); and a study of an oak tree in the Forest of Fontainebleau (estimate €50,000-70,000) by Gustave Le Gray (1820-84).

The sale also contains a series of extraordinary portraits taken by Charles Nègre at the Imperial Asylum in Vincennes, along with heliogravures of his celebrated studies of French Gothic monuments; and a remarkable array of clichés-verre, a photographic engraving technique adopted by Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot (1796-1875) and the Barbizon School of painters.

Among the technical marvels of early photography is the original positive gelatine template for Etienne Carjat's portrait of Baudelaire, used to make the Woodburytype prints for the famous Galerie Contemporaine (estimate €60,000-80,000); and an extremely rare colour print of a still-life by Charles Cros (1842-88) made using the trichrome process he invented (estimate €150,000-200,000).

The collection also includes wonderful prints by Edouard Baldus, Bisson Frères, Charles Clifford, Eugène Cuvelier, Henri Le Secq, Nadar (The Apostle Jean Journet, 1857, estimate €30,000-40,000), E. Pec, Fortuné-Joseph Petiot-Groffier and Victor Regnault.

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