For the last week, David has been raving to me about this book he is reading, and he can’t stop talking about it.
I must admit ‘Capturing the light: a true story of genius, rivalry and the birth of photography’ does sound like a brilliant read, and I want to get around to it in the holidays, too. After all, I have some catching up to do, as I was well aware of Louis Daguerre, but not Henry Fox Talbot (this perhaps shows the cultural differences between the British and the continental Europeans…).*
So when this particular auction catalogue from Leonard Joel arrived, not surprisingly we both lunged for it: it presents the Dinesh Parekh Collection of International Photographs, with 355 lots to be offered on 15th December in Melbourne.
It is an amazingly comprehensive offering of some of the best known photographers worldwide from the earliest days. No, there isn’t one by Louis Daguerre in it, but two by Henry Fox Talbot (lots 306 and 307), dating from the 1840s. There are gems by Ansel Adams, August Sander, Brassai, Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Doisneau, to name just a few.
Interestingly, unusually (and very helpfully), the catalogue is sorted by the photographer’s last name, which makes it very easy to find a particular artist.
In short, I said to David: “You just have to do another Dave’s Faves on this one. This is a unique opportunity that won’t be coming up in Australia anytime soon again, so pick your faves as quickly as possible, otherwise I’ll do it!”
So here they are, Dave’s Faves from the Dinesh Parekh Collection of International Photographs:
Lot 21 – Cecil Beaton, Untitled (Ball), 1951, est. $800-1,200. You can’t beat Beaton
Lot 34 – Enrique Bostelmann, i. El Sobre, 1974, ii. To Market (Hacia el Mercado), 1968, iii. Paternidad, 1968, est. $600-1,000. Viva Mexico!
Lot 44 – Brassai, Untitled (Eating at the Velodrome), ca. 1932, est. $3,000-4,000. Tour de Brassai!
Lot 55 – Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Mexico, 1938, est. $1,500-2,500. Mexican Master
Lot 63 – Julia Margaret Cameron, Mrs Herbert Duckworth, 1865-66, est. $3,000-5,000. Premier Portraitist
Lot 121 – Roger Fenton, Crimean war, 1855, est. $1,400-1,800. Foreign correspondent
Lot 148 – Philippe Halsmann, Dali’s Skull, 1952, est. $700-900. Dali’s skilful skull
Lot 169 – Yousuf Karsh, Alberto Giacometti, 1965, est. $1,500-2,500. Can you spot Alberto?
Lot 240 – Eliot Porter, Maple Leaves and Pine Needles, 1956, est. $1,000-1,500. Don’t leave this one
Lot 307 – William Henry Fox Talbot, The Hungerford Suspension Bridge, 1842, est. $5,000-7,000. One of the earliest photographs with excellent provenance by one of photography’s inventors
You can see the catalogue online at www.leonardjoel.com.au.
Personal viewing is at 333 Malvern Road, South Yarra, from 11 to 14 December. The auction is on Sunday, 15 December, 2 pm.
Of course, we are happy to advise you and do due diligence on any lots that may interest you – just email us on [email protected] or ring David on 02 9977 7764.
We hope that you enjoyed our newsletters, and would like to thank you for your support.
We both wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, and are looking forward to an exciting year 2014 in the art world!
Brigitte and David
*Capturing the Light, by Roger Watson and Helen Rappaport, published by MacMillan, 2013
PS: I didn’t want to keep these quotes by Daguerre and Fox Talbot from you, as they so speak for themselves:
Louis Daguerre, letter to Charles Chevalier 1839:
J’ai capturé la lumière fugitive et l’ai emprisonné! J’ai contraint le soleil à peindre des images pour moi! [I have captured the light and arrested its flight! The sun itself shall draw my pictures!]
Henry Fox Talbot, letter to the editor of The Literary Gazette, 1839:
I hope it will be borne in mind by those who take an interest in this subject, that in what I have hitherto done, I do not profess to have perfected an Art, but to have commenced one; the limits of which it is not possible at present exactly to ascertain. I only claim to have based this new Art upon a secure foundation: it will be for more skilful hands than mine to rear the superstructure.