Leibovitz, Edgerton set auction records

LONDON (Fotophile.com) — Photographs by Annie Leibovitz and Harold Edgerton set auction records for the individual artists at a Christie’s King Street sale on 18 May 2005.

Liebovitz’s 1986 photograph of New York pop artist Keith Haring sold for £31,200 ($57,190) to a private American buyer for roughly four times its pre-sale estimate, and Harold Edgerton’s 1938 stroboscopic image, “Bobby Jones’s Golf Swing,” fetched £16,800 ($30,794). Both images were from the collection of James Danziger, former picture editor for The London Sunday Times Magazine and Vanity Fair features editor.

The top three sale prices at Christie’s main photography auction were: Gustave Le Gray‘s “The Breaking Wave, Sète” (1857) to a private American buyer for £102,000 ($186,966); Helmut Newton‘s “Elsa Peretti in Halston ‘Bunny Girl’ costume, New York” (1975) for £50,400 ($92,383) to a private European bidder; and “Dovima with Elephants, Evening dress by Dior, Cirque d’Hiver, Paris” (1955) by Richard Avedon for £49,200 ($90,184).

“We were delighted with the very strong competitive bidding on these two tightly edited sales which included many rarities and fetched a combined total of just under £1.5 million,” said Philippe Garner, international specialist head of photographs for Christie’s. “We were particularly gratified to witness the participation of many new private bidders from Europe and America.”

Newton also held the fifth and seventh sales positions. Private buyers paid £45,600 ($83,585) for “Sie Kommen (Naked), French Vogue, Paris” (1981) and £38,400 ($70,387) for “Paloma Picasso wearing dress by Karl Lagerfeld, Saint-Tropez, 5 July 1973.”

William Henry Fox Talbot prints took the fourth and sixth spots. “A Bush of Hydrangea in Flower” (c. 1842) sold for £45,600 ($83,585) and “Oak Tree in Winter” (probably 1842/43) fetched £38,400 ($70,387).

From the Danziger collection, private American buyers bought Andy Warhol‘s “Mick Jagger, 1980s” Polaroid for £11,400 ($20,896), about twice its pre-sale estimate, and a 1982 Polaroid of artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, who is the subject of a major retrospective at the Brooklyn Museum.

Photographs with top pre-sale estimates included Flip Schulke‘s image of Muhammad Ali training underwater, which originally appeared in Life magazine, and a Herb Ritts photograph of Cindy Crawford printed on gold paper, expected to draw between £3,000 and £4,000.

A private American buyer bought the Schulke print for £10,200 ($18,697), approximately 10 times its pre-sale estimate, and a private British bidder paid £12,000 ($21,996) for the Ritts.

The next auction at King Street takes place 14 November.