artnet Auctions sale of Icons: 20th-21st Century Photographic Portraits showed strength in the photographs market as the ten-day online photographs auction concluded June 25 with $135,000 in sales (including 10% buyer’s premium). The sale featured over 200 original fine art photographs of legends of fashion, film, music, politics, sports, arts and literature from Marilyn Monroe to Madonna.
Screen stars led the sale with spirited bidding for photographs of Hollywood legends Audrey Hepburn, Marlene Dietrich, Greta Garbo, Grace Kelly and Marilyn Monroe. The top lot sold was a rare 1956 portrait of Audrey Hepburn by Yousuf Karsh. This exquisite portrait, which had never been offered at auction, realized an impressive $12,650.
Photographs of screen siren Marilyn Monroe also commanded top prices. Five of the top ten lots sold were portraits of the actress taken by Bert Stern. Among them, the stunning chromogenic print Marilyn Monroe: From The Last Sitting, “I Beg of You”, 1962 fetched $1,650, more than double the low estimate.
Other top lots included a 1931 gelatin silver print of Greta Garbo by Clarence Sinclair Bull, which sold for $1,842 against an estimate of $800-$1,000 and Marlene Dietrich, by George Hurrell, which realized $1,760 against an estimate of $1,000-$1,500.
There was also strong demand for portraits of artists including Salvador Dali, Frank Stella and Pablo Picasso. Two 1970 portraits of Salvador Dali by Marc Lacroix sparked frenzied bidding; Dali and His Muse, Gala realized $6,053, 400% above the low estimate and Dali’s Profile commanded $5,610, 370% above the low estimate.
Other top lots demonstrated the appeal of subjects ranging from astronauts to country music stars. A rare 1969 photograph of the NASA Apollo 11 Moonwalk by Neil Armstrong realized $3,750, 90% above the low estimate while Mark Seliger’s Johnny Cash, Hendersonville, Tennessee, 1992 sold for $3,025, 21% above the low estimate.
“The success of the sale points to the continued demand for high quality photographs at the right estimates” said Bill Fine, President of Artnet Worldwide. “Buyers and sellers alike are increasingly turning to artnet Auctions due to the quality of the works offered on our site, and our comparatively low 10% buyer’s and seller’s premiums.”
Note: The sold values above include artnet Auctions’ 10% buyer’s premium.
Visit artnet Auctions at www.artnetonlineauctions.com.
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Image: Marc Lacroix – Dali and His Muse Gala