$60k Ansell Adams snap stars at Christie's

There were plenty of snap-happy bidders at Christie's Photographs sale in New York on Tuesday, December 7.

David Bailey's 1969 nude portrait of Roman Polanski and his deceased wife Sharon Tate attracted most of the press attention in the run-up to the sale, mainly thanks the the media's interest in the famous couple's lives.

'Imperfect couple': Tate and Polanski

The black and white image eventually sold for a respectable $11,250, in the upper echelons of its $8,000-12,000 estimate.

Bailey's photograph, titled Goodbye Baby and Amen, is captioned: "The imperfect couple... They became part of the Anti-Establishment establishment. They became rich but never regal."

The real star of the day, however, was Ansel Adams's Portfolio Four: What Majestic Word. In Memory of Russell Varian [1898-1959], which realised $60,000.

Second came another work by Adams, Special Edition of Fine Prints: Photographs of Yosemite. The collection of Old West desert photos earned a hefty $40,000.

Ansel Adams's Photograph of Yosemite ($40k)
Ansel Adams's Photograph of Yosemite ($40k)

The third highest sale was Still Life, Marseilles, 1992 by Joel-Peter Wilkin. The surreal portrait of a man surrounded by assorted foodstuffs netted $21,250, almost twice its $12,000 top estimate.

Overall, the Christie's sale made $966,750, selling 84% of it lots by value. 


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