Eadweard Muybridge’s Animal Locomotion beats estimate

A collection of 50 plates from Eadweard Muybridge’s Animal Locomotion (1883-1886) sold for $62,500 at Swann Auction Galleries in New York yesterday.

It was valued at $45,000, resulting in an increase of 38.8%.

This is the famous photographic series where Muybridge explored human and animal movement.

Muybridge Animal Locomotion

Eadweard Muybrdge's locomotion sequences were hugely influential 

The project is said to have come about after California Governor Leland Stanford asked Muybridge to settle a bet on whether horses lift all four legs off the ground while galloping (it turns out they do).

There were around 781 sets in all, some of which vary in their contents.

Muybridge’s price point has advanced significantly over the past couple of months.

A complete copy of Animal Locomotion realised £75,000 ($91,987) against an estimate of £40,000 ($48,576) at Lyon & Turnbull in January.

Elsewhere in the auction, a collection of 22 original NASA photographs achieved $43,750, almost doubling an estimate of $25,000.

The set was originally printed for a travelling exhibition titled Sightseeing: A Space Panorama organised by the Smithsonian in the 1980s.

The auction house explains: "These are the only known Cibachrome (Ilfochrome) prints made from original NASA positives…

“All the photographs were taken between 1965 and ’84, and printed circa 1985.

“Their significance has been thrown even more into focus by the approaching 50th anniversary of the first Moon landing in 2019, which is attracting more collectors to this field.”

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