Edward Weston Shells photograph achieves 81% increase

A photograph from Edward Weston's iconic Shells series has sold for $905,000 at Sotheby's New York, an increase of 81% on an estimate of $500,000.

The print dates to 1927 and is numbered 18 of an edition of 50.

Edward Weston Shells
Weston's Shells series are among the most celebrated works in the photographic medium

Weston's photographs are among the most celebrated artworks ever produced in the medium and have proven influential on generations of artists.  

He wrote in his journal at the time: "I am not blind to the sensuous quality in shells, with which they combine the deepest spiritual significance."

The auction record for a work by Weston (1886-1958) is $1.6m, set for a nude at Sotheby's New York in 2008.

A photograph of the actress Gloria Swanson (1899-1983) by Edward Steichen (1879-1973) made $629,000 - up 25.8% on a $500,000 estimate.

Gloria Swanson photo Steichen
Gloria Swanson was one of the biggest stars of the silent film era

The iconic image appeared in Vanity Fair in 1928, at the height of Swanson's career. She was hugely popular during the silent era but her career began to ebb after the studios transitioned to "talkies".  

Her most famous role was as a washed up silent film star in Billy Wilder's Sunset Boulevard (1950).

Steichen was an artist and photographer who worked for Conde Nast and Vogue during the 1920s and 1930s, when he was the highest paid photographer in the world.

In November 2013, an impressionist painting and a portrait of the sculptor Rodin by Steichen achieved substantial increases on their estimate, indicating his popularity among collectors.

Sign up to our free newsletter to keep up to date with all the latest from the world of collecting.

Featured products

Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Sale price£399
In stock
Fidel Castro signed certificateFidel Castro Signed Certificate
Fidel Castro signed certificate
Sale price£2,995
In stock
King Henry VIII Autographed DocumentKing Henry VIII Autographed Document
King Henry VIII Autographed Document
Sale price£55,000
In stock