Edward Steichen’s ‘White Lotus’ Brings Record for the Image in Winter 2020 Sale of Classic & Contemporary Photographs

It was a Who’s Who among American photographers in Classic & Contemporary Photographs on Tuesday, February 25. The auction brought $1M and saw competitive bidding in the room and on the Swann Galleries App.

 

Edward Steichen

 
Edward Steichen, White Lotus, dye transfer print, 1939, printed 1940.
Edward Steichen, White Lotus, dye transfer print, 1939, printed 1940. Sold for $81,250, a record for the image.
 

Edward Steichen led the sale with the dye transfer print White Lotus, 1939, printed 1940. The scarce color work brought a record for the image at $81,250. Also by Steichen was a 1922 silver contact print—a portrait of the artist Constantine Brancusi, which sold for $17,500.

 

American Photography


 
Margaret Bourke-White, The George Washington Bridge, warm-toned silver print, 1933
Margaret Bourke-White, The George Washington Bridge, warm-toned silver print, 1933. Sold for $81,250.
 

Margaret Bourke-White’s 1933 warm-toned silver print The George Washington Bridge, came across the block from the collection of Robert Edward Kiehl, by descent, and earned $81,250.

 
Edward Weston, Eroded Rock, silver print, 1930.
Edward Weston, Eroded Rock, silver print, 1930. Sold for $12,500.
 

The Weston family provided a strong showing with Edward Weston’s 1930 silver print Eroded Rock earning $12,500 and Brett Weston’s Dunes, Oceano, silver print, 1934, bringing $10,000.

 
Charles Sheeler, Buggy in a Barn, Doylestown, Pennsylvania (Christman card), sepia-toned silver print, 1915-17, printed 1928.
Charles Sheeler, Buggy in a Barn, Doylestown, Pennsylvania (Christman card), sepia-toned silver print, 1915-17, printed 1928. Sold for $12,500.
 

Additional works from American stalwarts included Charles Sheeler’s sepia-toned silver print Buggy in a Barn, Doylestown, Pennsylvania (Christmas card), 1915-17, printed 1928, which brought $12,500; and Minor White’s silver prints Beginnings, Rochester, New York (Frosted Window), 1952, and Moon and Wall Encrustations, Puttneyville, NY, 1965, sold for $11,250 apiece.

 

Farms Security Administration

 
Walker Evans, River Rouge Plant (Ford Motor Company), Number 1 Coke Quencher, silver print, 1947.
Walker Evans, River Rouge Plant (Ford Motor Company), Number 1 Coke Quencher, silver print, 1947. Sold for $10,000.
 

Farm Security Administration photographers proved successful, with River Rouge Plant (Ford Motor Company), Number 1 Coke Quencher, silver print, 1947, by Walker Evans, won by an institution for $10,000. Dorothea Lange was also present with Family Walking on Highway, Five Children, silver print, 1938, printed circa 1960, $9,375.

 

Henri Cartier-Bresson

 
Henri Cartier-Bresson, Rue Mouffetard, silver print, 1954, printed 1980s.
Henri Cartier-Bresson, Rue Mouffetard, silver print, 1954, printed 1980s. Sold $16,250.
 

Humanist photography featured a run of Henri Cartier-Bresson: Behind the Gare St. Lazare, silver print, 1932, printed 1980s, and Hyères, France, silver print, 1932, printed 1980s, $11,875 each.

 

Nineteenth-Century Photographs

 
Francis Frith, The Pyramids of Sakkarah, from the North East, mammoth-plate albumen print, 1858. Sold for $12,500.
 

Nineteenth-century works included mammoth-plate albumen prints by Francis Firth: The Pyramids of Sakkarah, from the North East, 1858 ($12,500), and The Second Pyramid from the Southeast, 1858 ($10,625).

 
 

Browse the complete list of results from our February 25, 2020 sale of Classic & Contemporary Photographs.

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