Results: Christie's Photographs Week, New York Totaling an extraordinary $17,608,525, the highest total in auction history for the
category, Christie’s presented its most exciting week of Photographs sales.
News-Antique.com - Apr 20,2008 - CHRISTIE’S LEADS APRIL NEW YORK PHOTOGRAPHS WEEK WITH RECORD BREAKING SALES TOTALING AN UNPRECEDENTED $17.6 MILLION
New World Auction Records Set for Artists Irving Penn, Henri Cartier-Bresson, and William
New York – Totaling an extraordinary $17,608,525, the highest total in auction history for the
category, Christie’s presented its most exciting week of Photographs sales. The five auctions held
across two days: Fine Photobooks, Photographs from the Collection of Gert Elfering Collection, Photographs by
Diane Arbus from the Collection of Bruce and Nancy Berman, the Photographs Sale from various owners, and
the Ansel Adams Collection of Photographs, collectively offered buyers the most versatile selection of
photography. The unrivalled success of the sales, which were expected to realize in the region of
$14.8 million, have demonstrated unprecedented strength and maturity in a market that continues to
inspire growth and interest. Combined with February’s sale of Photographs, the spring season totals
$18,922,988, giving Christie’s continued market leadership in the category.
“The Christie's Photographs department is delighted by the spectacular results achieved this week.
We are pleased by the overwhelming response from collectors worldwide and their sustained
appreciation for the diversity of the works presented. With these sales the breadth and scope of the
market has been brought to new levels, and new auction records were set for numerous
photographers, including notably Irving Penn, Henri Cartier-Bresson, and William Eggleston.” say
Philippe Garner, International Head of Photographs and Joshua Holdeman, International Director
The sales kicked off with the remarkable collection of Fine Photobooks. Arguably the finest collection
of its kind offered at auction to date, this sale realized $2,602,450 against an estimate of $1.5-2.2
million. Almost without exception, every book in this private collection was distinguished by superb
condition and provenance. Most of the books offered were signed or inscribed by the
photographers, linking some of the key figures of 20th-century photography. Highlights included
Jindrich Styrsky, Emilie prichazi ka mne ve snu, (Emily Comes to Me in a Dream), 1933 (Estimate: $60,000-
90,000), which sold for $193,000 and A complete set of artist’s books, 1963-1978 by Ed Ruscha,
(Estimate: $60,000-90,000), which sold for $121,000.
Photographs from the Collection of Gert Elfering, an established collector and tastemaker, sold for a total of
$4,373,200 against an estimate of $2-3 million. The sale demonstrated the vibrant interest in
fashion, beauty and high-style photography and collectors around the globe were enticed by the
most stunning images of the past fifty years. Among the sale’s top lots were the bold and
breathtaking Sie Kommen (Naked and Dressed), Paris, 1981, by Helmut Newton, (Estimate: $140,000-
180,000) which sold for $241,000 and Irving Penn’s Mouth for L'Oréal, New York, 1986, dye-transfer
print, which quadrupled its estimate and demanded $205,000.
The Bruce and Nancy Berman Collection of Photographs by Diane Arbus achieved $1,372,000 and was 100%
sold. The collection highlighted some of Arbus’s most iconic photographs; Child selling plastic orchids
at night, N.Y.C. 1963, was the sale’s top lot and went for $115,000, and A family on their lawn one