Monday, December 08, 2008

The Constantiner Collection of Photographs at Christie's

As I mentioned yesterday, Christie's New York will be auctioning an important collection of original photographs on December 16 & 17. The 320 photographs were collected by Leon and Michaela Constantiner and includes works from Helmut Newton, Richard Avedon, Irving Penn, Horst P. Horst, Herb Ritts, Andy Warhol, Robert Mapplethorpe and Peter Lindbergh. There are many high fashion images in the collection. If you live in New York, go see the preview December 12-16.

Mainbocher Corset - This photograph by Horst P. Horst was taken in Paris on August 11, 1939. Horst said of this photo, "It was created by emotion.... It was the last photo I took in Paris before the war. I left the studio at 4.00 a.m., went back to the house, picked up my bags and caught the 7.00 a.m. train to Le Havre to board the Normandie.... The photograph is peculiar -- for me. While I was taking it, I was thinking of all that I was leaving behind." The photo is signed on the back and numbered 43/50. Pre-auction estimate is $40,000-60,000.

Black and White Vogue Cover - This photo was taken by Irving Penn in 1950. Jean Patchett models a dress by Larry Aldrich and hat by Lilly Daché. It is numbered 31/34 of a limited production printed in 1976 by Conde-Nast. Pre-auction estimate is $200,000 - 300,000.

Twelve of the Most Photographed Models of the Period - Irving Penn took this photo in 1947. It is incribed, "'Affectionate souvenir of our friends among these lovely ladies, and of pleasant evenings, for Dot Simpson, I.P., New York" Models left to right: Meg Mundy, Marilyn Ambrose, Helen Bennett, Dana Jenney, Betty McLauchlen (on ladder), Lisa Fonssagrives, Lily Carlson, Dorian Leigh (on floor), Andrea Johnson (seated), Elisabeth Gibbons, Muriel Maxwell (in black) and Kay Hernan. Signed and dated by Penn. Pre-auction estimate $15,000 - 20,000.

First Bikini, Harper's Bazaar, Montego Bay, Jamaica - Toni Frissell took this photo in 1945. Frissell says of this photo, "Model Dovima was dressed in the first bikini to be seen away from France. Next to the Casablanca was a tall white diving platform up fifty feet. I called to the fisherman and asked if he would let my model pose below the diving board. The effect was remarkable. The picture won an art award the next year." Pre-auction estimate $2,000-3,000.

Smoke + Veil, Paris, for Vogue - William Klein took this photo of Evelyn Tripp in 1958. Signed and dated on the back. Pre-auction estimate is $8,000-12,000.