Our Top Five... Photographs to appear on the 2010 markets

We've previously mentioned that the market for collectible photographs has really started to move over the last 12 months.

What's more, as a collecting niche it offers you endless variety - whether you're looking for Hollywood icons, famous art or important moments in history.

The different kinds of photographs available to you as a buyer have certainly been demonstrated in the first half of 2010.

For this reason, we've compiled our own Top Five of some of the best and most important images to appear on the market this year, past and future...

Marilyn Monroe photographed by Richard Avedon

Perhaps the most immediately striking image on our list, here is the Some Like it Hot! star photographed by New York's Richard Avedon.

As Avedon himself once said: "A portrait is not a likeness. The moment an emotion or fact is transformed into a photograph it is no longer a fact, but an opinion.

"There is no such thing as inaccuracy in a photograph. All photographs are accurate. None of them is the truth."

That's certainly the case here - Avedon's photograph reveals a side to Monroe never captured anywhere else. The image will auction in Paris in November, priced $100,000-150,000. (Read more)

Clearing Winter Storm, an American landscape by Ansel Adams

Today, Ansel Adams' name is synonymous with majestic photographs of American landscapes.

Adams originally trained as a pianist, before entering professional photography in 1930. Thereafter, he was a tireless champion of the medium when few recognised it as a legitimate art form.

Earlier this year, the power of his legacy was demonstrated in Swann New York's sale of the Stephen L White collection. Adam's Clearing Winter Storm sold for a staggering $481,000 at Christie's in 2008. (Read more)

A rare standing-up portrait of US President Abraham Lincoln

Of course, landscapes and famous faces aren't the only avenues for a collector to explore - how about an original photographic portrait of a face later immortalised on Mount Rushmore?

Centuries after his assassination on Good Friday, 1865, there are today only 119 known photographs of Abraham Lincoln in existence, with just 24 of him standing up.

In January 2010, a photograph of Abraham Lincoln sold for $103,500 over a pre-sale estimate of just $8,000-12,000 - a amazingly shrewd investment from the seller's point of view. (Read more)

France's First Lady, Carla Bruni, in an 'unpresidential pose'

Moving on to a political portrait of a different kind, and here is Mrs Bruni-Sarkozy like you've never seen her before. Years before meeting French President Nicholas Sarkozy, his glamorous wife was photographed by Helmut Newton.

Entitled Carla Bruni with Family Photos and dated to 1992, this signed, titled, dated and numbered (1/10) edition of the photograph sold for £6,875 at Phillip's de Pury's March sale, in London. (Read more)

­­Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara... with a fishing rod

For years Che Guevara's iconic image has graced the front of t-shirts and students' bedroom walls - but it was an image of him clutching a fishing rod which made a big splash at auction, earlier this year.

It sold as part of a collection of photographs taken and signed by Alberto Korda, Fidel Castro's personal photographer in the '60s and '70s. and realised £6,600.

Featuring Che Guevara relaxing with a fishing rod sometime in the 1960s, the silver print on fibre paper is one of only 50 produced, numbered 0001/50, and signed and dated by Korda in 1978.

Cropped and enlarged from a larger better known photograph, it shows the back of Fidel Castro's head. Castro is reportedly seated to his left. (Read more)


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