Highlights of the sale include John Jabez Edwin Mayall’s exquisite daguerreotype portrait of Charles Dickens’ wife Catherine, dated 1852-55 and estimated at £8,000-12,000. Discovered in an antiques shop, this is the only daguerreotype portrait of Catherine known to exist and is offered with two rare ivory passes for the Royal Italian Opera, 1870, inscribed ‘Chas. Dickens Esq.’ and ‘Miss Dickens’, which were found housed inside the morocco case.
There is range of classic black and white material from European masters such as Mario Giacomelli, Willy Ronis, Frank Horvat and André Villers, as well as examples of early Russian photography including Alexander Rodchenko’s Pioneer Trumpeter from 1930 (estimate £1,500-2,000). The sale’s American section showcases works from artists including William Klein, Elliott Erwitt, O. Winston Link and Diane Arbus. Also offered are two unique colour polaroids by Robert Mapplethorpe, one a candid 1980s self-portrait (estimate £3,000-5,000) and the other an image of the artist’s trusted assistant and lover, Javier Gonzalez (£2,000-3,000).
Herb Ritts’ Loriki with Spear, 1993, is another lot in the sale. With an estimate of £15,000-20,000, this is an example of Ritts’ departure from the glossy, high-fashion images that had so far defined his career, and complements other African imagery in the sale by Malick Sidibé, Sebastião Salgado and Peter Beard.
Idris Khan’s composite image, Every...Bernd and Hilla Becher spherical gasholders, dated 2004 and estimated at £4,000-6000, rounds off the sale’s contemporary section, which also features an example of the work of Loretta Lux, Spring (estimate £5,000-7,000) and Andreas Gursky’s Montparnasse (estimate £1,800-2,200), one in a strong line-up of 1st Edition photobooks that appear throughout the sale and include Karl Blossfeldt’s Wundergarten der Natur, 1932 (estimate £1,000-1,500), Henri Cartier Bresson’s The Decisive Moment, 1952 (estimate £500-800) and Helmut Newton’s limited edition Sumo from 1999 with its original packaging (estimate £3,000-5,000).