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Sotheby's sale of photographs offers work by leading 19th, 20th and 21st century masters
Ahmet Ertug (B. 1949), Société Générale, Paris: Banking Hall, 2011. C-print, mounted to aluminium and under plexiglass, framed. Signed, titled, dated and numbered on an artist's label fixed to the reverse of the frame. Ed. 2/3 + 1 AP. Print 180 x 211 cm, frame 207 x 238 cm (print 71 x 83 in., frame 81 ½ x 93 ¾ in). Estimate : 30 000 – 40 000 €.

PARIS.- The Photographs Sale at Sotheby’s France on May 15 will include an exquisite selection of 113 photographs, offering a rich overview of work by leading 19th, 20th and 21st century masters.

In addition to the unrivalled photographic album with 9 salt-paper prints, produced by Gustave Le Gray for the Salon of 1852 (est. €240,000-280,000 / 315,000-368,000)*– the section devoted to Historic Photography includes a number of very rare images. The sale begins with a superb quarter-plate daguerreotype (10 x 7cm) of a Dervish of the Mevlevi Order, taken in the Ottoman Empire during the 1840s, one of the first known images of a whirling dervish (est. €20,000-25,000 / $26,000-33,000).

Another album certain to attract keen interest contains Vistas of Macao (c.1870) by William Pryor Floyd, showing the special administrative region under Portuguese rule (est. €18,000-23,000 / $24,000-30,000).

This section features four superb artists’ portraits by Man Ray, originating from the Sotheby’s Man Ray sale, March 1995. This great 20th century master photographically portrayed great fellow artists such as Picasso (est. €7,000-10,000 / $9,000-13,000); Miró and Derain (est. €5,000-7,000 / $6,500-9,000 respectively); Léger and Vlaminck (est. €4,000-6,000 / $ 5,000-8,000 one lot).

Another remarkable series of portraits of artists, made by Robert Doisneau in the 1940s and 1950s, includes Jean Dubuffet in His Studio (est. €8,000-12,000 /$10,500-16,000) and Fernand Leger and Blaise Cendrars in a Café (est. €4,000-6,000 / $5,000-8,000).

A group of photographs of 1930s Paris by Ilse Bing, including such classics as Cancan Dancer – Moulin Rouge, 1933 (est. €4,000-6,000 / $5,000-8,000), It Was So Windy In The Eiffel Tower, 1931 (est. €4,000-6,000 / $5,000-8,000) and the renowned Self-portrait With Leica, 1931 (est. € 5,000 – 7,000 / $6,500-9,000) , will also be offered.

Sotheby’s will also be auctioning silver prints by two of the most sought after photographers on the market today: the Hungarian André Kertész and the Czech Josef Sudek, for whom Sotheby’s achieved a world record of €300,750 in Paris in 2010. Sudek is represented by The Magic Garden During a Summer Shower, 1954-59 (est. €10,000-15,000 / 13,000-20,000); Kertész’ by Portrait of a Couple and Portrait of a Lady, taken in Paris in the early 1930s (est. €15,000-20,000 / $ 20,000-26,000 one lot).

Aficionados of fashion photography will be entranced by Peter Lindbergh’s portfolio Photographien, 2001, containing 10 platinum-palladium prints of celebrated photographs taken by the master of glamour and fashion between 1984-95 (est. €40,000-50,000 / $52,000-66,000).

Coinciding with the major Helmut Newton retrospective at the Grand Palais in Paris, Sotheby’s will be offering a life-size print of his eminent Big Nude IX, The Two Violettas, taken in Paris in 1991 (est. €90,000-120,000 / $118,000-158,000). Another outstanding lot is a platinumpalladium print of Irving Penn’s Cocoa Dress (Balenciaga), Lisa Fonssagrives – Penn, Paris, 1950 (est. €45,000-65,000 / $59,000-85,000).

Sotheby’s will also offer an icon of recent American photography: Joel Sternfeld’s McLean, Virginia, dated December 1978, one of the first photographs from his landmark series American Prospects. Sternfeld is considered one of the most prominent representatives of New Colour Photography, which in the 1970s brought colour to artistic photography (est. €40,000-60,000 / $52,000-79,000). The sale coincides with Joel Sternfeld’s first European retrospective which started at the Museum Folkwang, Essen in 2011 and will end at the Albertina in Vienna later this year.

Furthermore, this section features contemporary works, such as a 1999 diptych by Brazil’s Vik Muniz from his Pictures of Chocolate series, inspired by Géricault’s The Raft of the Medusa (est. €60,000-80,000 / $79,000-105,000); and a large-format 2011 photograph of the Société Générale bank’s Paris headquarters by Turkey’s Ahmet Ertug (est. €30,000-40,000 / $40,000-52,000). This is the second time that Sotheby’s Paris offers an important work by Ertug, following the world record price of €60,750 for a work of the artist achieved by Sotheby’s in November last year for Panthéon, 2011.

Thursday 10 May 10am-18pm
Friday 11 May 10am-18pm
Saturday 12 May 10am-18pm
Monday 14 May 10am-18pm

* Estimates do not include buyer’s premium

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