A Look Inside the Catalogue: Photographs & Photobooks

At Auction October 18

Complete Catalogue


Can cameras capture ghosts?

Find out on October 16, from 6 to 8 pm, when writer Allison C. Meier will be at Swann to illuminate the history of spirit photography. Space is limited – please RSVP.

A Magnum Opus

A complete set of Edward S. Curtis’s rare and desirable magnum opus, The North American Indian, 1907-30, in 20 text volumes and 20 portfolios, leads the auction. This is set number 11, one of the first 25 sets reserved for J. P. Morgan, who gifted it to the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art.


Lot 57: Edward S. Curtis, The North American Indian, complete with 20 volumes & 20 folios, set #11, volume one signed, 1907-30. $1,000,000 to $1,500,000.



Nineteenth Century

Five mammoth plates by Carleton Watkins, featuring Cascade, Nevada Falls, circa 1861, and Julia Margaret Cameron’s intimate portrait Tennyson and His Sons Hallam and Lionel, 1862, are among early photographs.


carleton e. watkins

Lot 17: Carleton E. Watkins, Cascade, Nevada Falls, albumen print, circa 1861. Estimate $20,000 to $30,000.


Lot 14: Felice Beato, album of 200 hand-colored carte-de-visites, Japan & China, 1863-69. Estimate $30,000 to $40,000.



Twentieth Century

Peter Beard’s sublime Charging Lion, 1964, and Malick Sidibé’s lively Suite of 25 Photographs, 1964-2001, round out a diverse selection of recent works. This section also includes photographs by Nick Brandt, Sally Mann, Marilyn Minter and Matthew Pillsbury.

Lot 277: Malick Sidibé, suite of 25 silver prints, 1964-2001. Estimate $20,000 to $30,000.


Lot 278: Graciela Iturbide, Magnolia I & II, silver prints, 1996. Estimate $3,000 to $4,500.


Lot 422: Richard Prince, Menthol Pictures, War Pictures, Menthol Wars, first editions, New York & Buffalo, 1980. Estimate $6,000 to $9,000.


Lot 99: Edward & Brett Weston, Dunes, Oceano, silver print, 1936. Estimate $9,000 to $12,000.




Lot 164: Aaron Siskind, suite of 50 silver prints, circa 1938-80, printed 1970-80s. Estimate $40,000 to $60,000.


three photographs by Roy DeCarava.

Lot 178: Roy DeCarava, eponymous portfolio of 12 photogravures, Renaissance Press, 1950-79, printed 1991. Estimate $50,0000 to $75,000.


Manuel Álvarez Bravo & Tina Modotti

Infrequently seen portfolios include Manuel Álvarez Bravo’s Fifteen Photographs, 1974, and the eponymous Roy DeCarava, 1991, with twelve rich photogravures. A platinum print of Tina Modotti’s iconic and lush Roses, Mexico, 1924, was printed and signed in 1976 by friend and colleague Álvarez Bravo.


Lot 90: Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Fifteen Photographs, portfolio edited by Lee Friedlander, 1929-72. Estimate $30,000 to $45,000.



Walker Evans


Lot 161: Walker Evans, River Rouge Plant (Ford Motor Company), Number1 Coke Quencher, silver print, 1947. Estimate $8,000 to $12,000.



Vernacular Photographs

Vernacular material includes three groups of spiritualist photographs and compelling Longchamps fashion images, as well as a series of photographs that document the first detonation of a nuclear bomb.


Lot 372: Group of 25 contact prints of fashionable women at Longchamps, Auteuil, 1910. Estimate $1,800 to $2,200.


Series of eight photographs documenting the first detonation of a nuclear weapon at Los Alamos Laboratory, silver prints, 1945.

Lot 389: Series of eight photographs documenting the first detonation of a nuclear weapon at Los Alamos Laboratory, silver prints, 1945. Estimate $2,000 to $3,000.




Complete Catalogue


For more information on the sale, contact a specialist in the Photographs & Photobooks department.

Consign with Swann