Sought-after classics

The Photography Auction was again spread over two auctions on consecutive days this spring season: as well as the 205 lots in the Photography Auction on 31 May, a further 16 important artistic photographic works were offered for sale on 1 June as part of the 'Contemporary Art + Photography' Auction.

August Sander's famous portrait Der Maler Heinrich Hoerle from 1928, here as a print from 1953, was sold under condition for 48,000. After-sale discussions have already started (lot 23, 50/70,000). A further print by Sanders, the 1930 shot Kino Capitol, Köln, was fought over through many telephone lines, pushing the vintage print from 3,500 up to 16,100 and selling to a Belgian collector (lot 24).

The nude studies by Guglielmo (Wilhelm) Plüschow were in demand on the day, selling over the 800 estimate for 5,000 (lots 6 - 9), as was one by Wilhelm von Gloeden (lot 5, 3,300, estimate 800). Eugène Atget's albumin print of the picturesque decay of the Cour Ovale, Fontainebleau around 1905, long before the castle became a tourist attraction, changed hands for 5,000 (lot 3, 4/5,000). Alfred Ehrhardt was successful with one example of his Wattenmeer studies from 1935, rising from 3/4,000 up to 6,700 (lot 41).

A number of group lots, some including vintage prints, some later prints, also sold significantly above their estimates, as with both folders of vintage prints by the German photographer Hedda Hammer Morrison, including prints of China in the 1930s. The folders sold for 5,700 (lot 60, 1/1,200), and 6,000 (lot 61, 800/1,000). A result of 12,400 was seen for a two-part Bauhaus portfolio with 20 prints of masterpieces of Bauhaus photography of the 1920s, printed in 1984, with some signed by the artists themselves, and some by the estate managers (lot 30, 10,000).

Jimmy Nelson is artistically concerned with the destruction of living spaces, and was represented in the auction by two large-format photographs of indigenous tribes from the series 'Before they pass away'. The prints were sold for 8,700 and 6,700 (lots 184/185, each 3/4,000). Sebastião Salgado reached 9,900 (lot 186, 8/10,000) with an impressive shot of an albatross colony on the Falkland Island of Iles Malouines.

Glamour was provided by the Canadian rock singer and photographer Bryan Adams with his fashion portraits of Victoria Beckham, selling for 8,100 (lot 192, 5/6,000), and of Kate Moss in Prada, which changed hands for 6,400 (lot 193, 5/6,000).

Contemporary Art + Photography (1 June)

The three industry images by Bernd and Hilla Becher impressed with their quality and condition, and sold for a total of 33,000 (lots 590-592, total estimate 21/26,000). A conceptual approach was also pursued by Isa Genzken in her large-scale work Ohr from 1980, displayed at the Venice Biennale in 1982, and now selling for 7,000 (lot 602, 4/5,000).