James van der Zee photograph sets World Record price of $52,000 at Christie's

Christie's New York December 19 sale of Photographs was a great success for the company, totalling $680,250 and selling 91% by value.

The day's second sale, Crossing America: Photographs from the Consolidated Freightways Collection, Part II, achieved $505,063 and was 97% sold by value.

James Van Der Zee Untitled
James van der Zee's record-breaking Untitled

Deborah Bell, Specialist Head of Department, commented:

"We are very pleased to conclude the fall season with strong results achieved by our two sales, Photographs and Crossing America: Photographs from The Consolidated Freightways Collection, Part II, which realized a combined total of $1.2m.

"Both sales were met with strong international participation, demonstrating the continuous growth of the global demand for this category.

"Following the success of The Consolidated Freightways Collection, Part I, the sale of Part II was sold 97% by value, relaying the powerful appeal of the American landscape as encompassed by this coveted corporate collection.

"We are especially pleased with the world auction record set by James Van Der Zee's Untitled (West 127th Street, Harlem), 1932, which realised $52,000 against a pre-sale estimate of $7,000-9,000."

Man Ray Untitled
Man Ray's silver gelatin Untitled

The gelatin silver print had previously been exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art,New York, The American Century: Art and Culture, 1900-2000.

The top lot from the other sale was another silver gelatine print named Untitled, but was entirely different.

This piece was by Man Ray, presenting a woman in profile. It had been included in a Paris exhibition devoted to the photographer in 1998. Listed at $5,000-7,000, it quadrupled expectations to bring $27,500.

Collectors of fine photographs have the opportunity to own beautiful or striking objects which can, in some cases, be considered strong investments. We're currently offering a signed copy of one of the greatest photographic books: Yousuf Karsh's Karsh: a Fifty-Year Retrospective.  

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