David Doubilet's Diving Penguins tops Nat Geo auction at $6,000

David Doubilet's Diving Penguins, Antartica, 2011 attracted the highest bids of Christie's online-only auction entitled Boundless: 125 Years of National Geographic Photography, which closed on July 29.

David Doubilet Diving Penguins
David Doubilet is a celebrated underwater photographer, who states his goal is to 'redefine photographic boundaries'

The sale comprised 125 of the most arresting images from the iconic and long-standing magazine, newly printed in limited editions of 20. Doubilet's astonishing shot sold for $6,000.

Selling at $4,200 was Ralph Lee Hopkins' An Adelie Penguin, Brown Bluff, Antartica, 2005, showing the flightless bird leaping in mid air.

Olsen's shot of Calcutta was published as part of a year-long series by National Geographic entitled Seven Billion

Matching this price was Randy Olsen's Calcutta, India. Taken in 2010, the shot of the city's crowded streets featured in the January 2011 issue of National Geographic magazine, which was part of a year-long series entitled Seven Billion that explored the future of man as the global population reached 7bn.

As the magazine notes: "Its steaming streets crammed with vendors, pedestrians, and iconic Ambassador taxis, Kolkata throbs with some 16 million people — and more pour in every day from small towns. In 1975, only three cities worldwide topped ten million. Today 21 such megacities exist, most in developing countries."

All of the photographs were issued with a certificate of authenticity from the National Geographic Image Collection, which is signed by Julia Andrews, director of the fine art programme.

National Geographic Christie's auction
National Geographic has around 11.5m photographs and artefacts in its archives

Proceeds from the sale will be dedicated to the preservation of the National Geographic archives, as well as supporting emerging photographers and artists.

The auction follows on from Christie's previous sale of photographs from the National Geographic archives, which saw Steve McCurry's immediately recognisable Afghan Girl auction with a 257% increase on estimate to set a record for the artist's work.  

See our superb selection of art & photography for sale.

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