Holy Land photograph collection up 175% on estimate

A collection of vintage photographs of Jerusalem and the Holy Land has sold for £965,000 ($1.4m).

The lot beat an estimate of £350,000 ($511,019) by 175.7% in the April 28 travel sale at Sotheby's.

Jerusalem photos Sothebys
The collection featured 1,700 images taken in the Holy Land between 1850 and 1930

It consisted of 1,700 images taken by photographic pioneers, including Isaac Alberts and Frances Frith, between 1850 and 1930.  

There are images of some of the region's most important sites, including Temple Mount and the Wailing Wall.

The auction house explained prior to the sale: "The focus of this collection, formed over 25 years, was to acquire the finest examples of the earliest obtainable paper photographs of the most revered and historic sites in Jerusalem and its environs, taken by the most prominent photographers working in the Holy Land in the nineteenth century.

"The result is the largest single collection of photographs of the Holy Land to appear at auction, and a collection of the greatest historical significance, which would be very difficult to replicate today."

A rare copy of Ernest Shackleton's Aurora Australis, the first book published in Antarctica, made £75,000 ($109,433), up 25% on a valuation of £60,000 ($87,546).  

It was produced in a run of 100 during the winter of 1908, while the crew waited for the seasonal thaw to begin so they could get their expedition underway.

It features poems, essays and illustrations by the crew compiled "to combat the spirit of polar ennui".

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