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Sotheby's Archives - PDNPulse
July 9th, 2015

Sotheby’s and eBay Partner to Make Rare Photo Prints Avail to Auction Site’s Audience

A print of Ormond Gigli's "Lips" is estimated to fetch between $10,000-$15,000.

A print of Ormond Gigli’s photograph “Lips” is estimated to fetch between $10,000-$15,000.

While people can bid in-person during the July 22 Sotheby’s auction, Contemporary Living—Photographs, Prints & Design, they’ll be competing with eBay users from all over the world for prints by the likes of Diane Arbus, Garry Winogrand, Sally Mann, Araki and many other greats. eBay users have had access to certain Sotheby’s auctions since the brick-and-mortar auction house and popular auction site announced their partnership in April of this year.

“Everyone—regardless of their location—will see the same item offered in the Sotheby’s New York salesroom and on eBay simultaneously and have the ability to bid online in real time,” said eBay Director of Emerging Verticals and Live Auctions Megan Ford, in a written statement issued to PDN. “The Contemporary Living sale is especially exciting for the wide variety of work from renowned artists, photographers, and designers.”

Among the many auction highlights is “Talmont II, Frankreich,” a mural-sized photograph by Elger Esser that has an estimate of $20,000–$30,000; “Kusho #2,” an image by Shinichi Maruyama estimated at $15,000–$25,000; Sally Mann’s “Untitled (Deep South #20),” estimated at $10,000–$15,000, and “Shipbreaking #50, Chittagong, Bangladesh,” by Edward Burtynsky, estimated at $10,000–$15,000. Uneditioned prints by Garry Winogrand, Daido Moriyama, Ruth Bernhard, O. Winston Link, Francesca Woodman, and Sebastião Salgado are on offer for estimated prices between $2,500 and $30,000.

Shinichi Maruyama's mural-sized print of "Kusho #2" is expected to sell for between $15,000-$20,000.

Shinichi Maruyama’s mural-sized print of “Kusho #2″ is expected to sell for between $15,000-$20,000.

Existing eBay users and those new to eBay can register here to bid or follow the auction. The general public can also preview the sale without registering.

Related: Photographers Could Get Royalties on Auction Sales Under Proposed Federal Bill
Managing Your Inventory of Limited-Edition Prints

April 10th, 2013

Spring Photography Auctions Total More Than $30.8 Million, Set Artist Records

© 2013 Man Ray Trust / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris. Man Ray's "Untitled Rayograph, 1922" set an auction record for a work by the artist of $1.2 million at the Christie's photographs sale on April 4.

© 2013 Man Ray Trust / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris. Man Ray’s “Untitled Rayograph, 1922″ set an auction record for a work by the artist of $1.2 million during a Christie’s photographs sale on April 4.

Six photography sales last week at the three major auction houses in New York City brought in more than $30.8 million dollars and included record sales for masters Man Ray and Diane Arbus, among others, as well as contemporary artists including Robert Frank, Richard Misrach, Alex Prager and Viviane Sassen.

Two sales at Christie’s on April 4 and 5 totaled nearly 15 million. “The strength of these results is indicative of the thriving market for photographs, which continues to gain momentum with every sale,” said Philippe Garner, one of the Christie’s directors, in a statement.

The April 4 sale of a private collection of modernist photographs totaled more than $7.5 million, including a $1.2 million, auction record sale of a unique gelatin silver photogram by Man Ray, “Untitled Rayograph,” made in 1922. Nine other world auction records for artists were set during the sale, according to Christie’s. (more…)

June 18th, 2010

Polaroid Collection Sale Going Ahead As Planned

The Sotheby’s auction of more than 1000 photographs from the Polaroid Collection founded by Edwin H. Land in the 1950s will go ahead next week despite the controversy surrounding the sale.

Hundreds of artists, including Ansel Adams, William Wegman, Andy Warhol, Imogen Cunningham, Robert Frank, Helmut Newton, Luigi Ghirri, Chuck Close and Robert Mapplethorpe, donated Polaroid photos and other photographic prints to Land’s collection with the understanding, according to Close, that they were contributing to a collection that would be kept intact.

However PBE Corp., formerly Polaroid Corp., has been ordered by a Minnesota Bankruptcy Court judge to sell the collection to pay debts. PBE Corp. became a victim of a $3.7 billion Ponzi scheme by Minnesota businessman Tom Petters, whose Petters Group Worldwide bought it in 2005. Petters was convicted last year of fraud and money laundering, a sentence he is appealing while serving a 50-year prison term. After unsuccessful efforts to sell the collection to an institution, PBE Corp. decided to hold an auction to compensate creditors.

Some of the artists, most notably Chuck Close, under guidance from former magistrate judge Sam Joyner were reportedly contemplating legal action to block the sale from taking place, however no legal action has materialized.

Sotheby’s will auction only part of the collection—“the part of the collection that we felt had the most auction viability,” Sotheby’s photography expert Denise Bethel told reporters. The high estimate for the Sotheby’s auction is nearly $11 million.

Bankruptcy trustee John R. Stoebner will continue to seek buyer for the works that aren’t being offered for sale in the Sotheby’s auction, Bethel said.

Meanwhile, The Impossible Project, a Netherlands company that makes instant film for vintage Polaroid cameras offered an undisclosed sum for the 4,500 images from the Polaroid Collection that have been on loan at the Musée de l’Elysée in Switzerland since 1990. According to Dr. Florian Kaps, the company’s executive director, the offer has been accepted in principle but a contractual agreement is yet to be signed. Kaps says he hopes to complete the sale next week.

Adding to the controversy surrounding the sale and dispersal of the Polaroid Collection are questions about whether thousands of images may have been lost or stolen under PBE’s ownership. AD Coleman has pointed out on his blog Photocritic International that previous estimates placed the size of the collection at more than 24,000 pieces, while PBE Corp. stated in bankruptcy proceedings that the collection numbers just 16,000 pieces.

Stoebner did not respond to PDN’s request for an interview.

The Sotheby’s sales is scheduled for June 21–22. More information about the work included in the sale can be found here: http://www.sothebys.com/minisite/polaroid/index.html

Related: Auction Preview: Gems of the Polaroid Collection

—By Conor Risch and Eli Meixler