Photography - Rome in the 19th Century

A particular highlight of the Photography offer this autumn was the sale of a collection of 80 early views of Rome from the 19th century, from the collection of Orsola and Filippo Maggia.

The highest hammer price in the consistently well bid auction was won for an album by the unidentified monogrammist “L.L.” featuring 35 views of Rome which sold to a US American private collector for € 12,000 (lor 867, € 12/15,000). As expected, the early salt paper prints from Giacomo Caneva and Frédéric Flachéron, the initiators and protagonists of the Scuola Romana di Fotografia, were particularly in demand. Caneva’s “Study with Hills and Trees, Campagna Romana” (lot 857, € 4/5,000) was sold for € 4,100, also to an American private collector, and his “Column of Phocas, Roman Forum” changed hands for € 3,000 (lot 810, € 2,200). Flachéron’s enchanting, fine photograph “Temple of Jupiter and Arch of Septimius Severus, Roman Forum” reached € 2,500 (lot 809, € 2,200).

Further highlights included James Anderson’s famous views of the Roman Forum including “View to the Capitol” with a result of € 2,500 (lot 817, € 1,200), as well as the canonical view of the “Temple of Saturn” (lot 802, € 1,200/1,500), which sold for € 2,100.

The ensuing Photography auction also saw many high points. The bright landscape shot “Verso Lagosanto” from the series “Il profilo delle nuvole” by Luigi Ghirri was hotly competed for, with many interested collectors, primarily from Italy, pushing the price of the colour photograph up to € 14,500 (lot 1046, € 3/4,000).

Rudolf Koppitz’ famous “Bewegungsstudie” of a group of Russian dancers from 1925 proved again a particularly beloved photographic motif amongst the collectors, selling for € 7,500 to a private Italian buyer (lot 909, € 5/6,000). The winding tower of the “Zeche Germania, Dortmund-Marten”, captured with a new objective view by Albert Renger-Patzsch and presented here as a vintage print of outstanding quality from the estate of the architect Fritz Schupp, was acquired by a South German collector for € 7,000 (lot 917, € 3,500). Otto Steinert’s luminogram “Die Lampen der Place de la Concorde” from 1952 was reminiscent of a gestural painting of Art Informel; it changed owners for € 16,000 and remains also in Germany (lot 939, € 12/15,000).

A portrait of the musician Nick Cave as a lithprint by Anton Corbijn doubled in price, eventually selling to a Dutch bidder for € 12,500 (lot 1033, € 5/6,000).