Exhibition of 19th & 20th century photography at Chiswick Auctions’ new premises in Chiswick

Image above: Abbey Rd photograph of the Beatles – Ian Macmillan

From Fox Talbot to David Bailey

Chiswick Auctions’ first exhibition at their new premises in Chiswick opened on Thursday 12 May – nearly 400 photographs from the 19th and 20th centuries ranging from wallet sized Victorian portraits to huge prints which would cover the entire wall of an average living room.

“There’s something for every level of collector” says Chiswick Auctions’ photography specialist Austin Farahar.

Collecting photographs has become big business. Man Ray’s Le Violon d’Ingres, a nude woman with F holes drawn on her back, transforming her body into a surrealist violin, has just become the most expensive photograph ever to sell at auction, when it sold for $12.4 million at an auction in New York at the weekend.

Austin’s ambitions are more modest. The guide prices at his auction range from £100 to £50,000. There are some famous names among those whose work is on sale: Jacques Henri Lartigue, Cartier Bresson, Eve Arnold, Jane Bown.

Image above: Daguerreotype of a woman mounted in an ornate gilt frame; Daguerreian Unknown c.1850s

Daguerreotypes and salt paper prints

The first 150 lots are the results of early experimentation with photography in the 19th century – Daguerreotypes, work by Fox Talbot and his contemporaries, photographs from paper negatives.

Outdoor image from those early photographers are very rare, says Austin, as they liked to control the environment in which they took the picture as much as possible. Lot 2 is a remarkable image of three gentlemen standing outside, wearing stovepipe hats. The ‘Daguerreian’ is unknown, but it dates from c. 1845 – 48.

Typically, he tells me, the photograph is in a red morroco hinged case. In around the 1840s and ’50s the fashion changed from carrying miniature painted portraits around to carrying cased images such as this one. Lot 8, a portrait of a seaman, comes in a similar morocco case with push button side hinge.

Fashion and celebrity photography from the ’60s and ’70s

Some of the very early work includes previously unknown pictures by Julia Margaret Cameron, “an early female pioneer of photography whose use of sets and props in emotive photographs was beyond her time” says Austin. Most of her work is in albums held in private collections.

There is also a photograph by Lewis Carroll, of Winnie Holliday, the daughter of family friend Henry Holliday, who illustrated The Hunting of the Snark.

“You can see the influence of impressionism” says Austin, in two “extraordinarily rare” salt paper prints, a technique invented by English scientist and inventor Henry Fox Talbot.

Among the 20th century photographers whose work is on sale  are some of the famous names of the 1960s – David Bailey, Guy Bourdin and Terry O’Neill. There is also the instantly recognisable shot of Abbey Rd, the famous photo-shoot of the Beatles for their last album, photographed by Ian Macmillan. Apparently he stood on a ladder in the middle of the road to take it while a policeman held back the traffic.

Images above: Steve McQueen – Terry O’Neill; David Bailey instructing a model – Terry O’Neill; Marilyn Monroe at the ice cream parlour in Beverly Hills, 1952 – Andre de Dienes; John Lennon at Twickenham Studios in 1963 – Terry O’Neill; Brigitte Bardot, 1971 – Terry O’Neill; Andy Warhol, Paris, 1982 – Christopher Makos 

The photographs on sale in Chiswick Auctions 19th and 20th Photography auction are on show in Chiswick Auctions’ new premises at the Barley Mow centre, Barley Mow Massage, W4 4PH,  Monday – Friday, 10am – 4pm, Saturday 21 May, 11am – 4pm. The auction will take place at Chiswick Auctions’ old premises at 1 Colville Rd, London W3 8BL, (off Bollo Lane) on Tuesday 24 May at 11am.

See all the lots on sale here: 19th & 20th century photographs

This page is paid for by Chiswick Auctions.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Chiswick Auctions returns to Chiswick

See also: Take part in the 2022 Bedford Park Festival photography competition

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