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RR Auction: Photography Auction

by RR Auction


754 lots with images

January 17, 2013

5 Route 101A, Suite 5

Amherst, NH, 03031 USA

Phone: +1 (603) 732-4280

Fax: +1 (603) 732-4288

Email: Bobby.Eaton@RRAuction.com

Etienne Carjat

Lot 1: Etienne Carjat

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Description: French journalist, caricaturist, and photographer (1828-1906). The rival of Nadar in French photography, he is best known for his numerous portraits and caricatures of political, literary, and artistic Parisian figures. ALS in French, one page, 5.25 x 8.25, Et. Carjat & Cie. letterhead, Paris, April 20, 1889. Letter to "Hudelist." In part (translated): "You were so nice about my daughter that it encourages me to ask you for another little favor. It concerns your displaying in your window the photograph of the incomparable...mandolin quartet which returned from St. Petersburg with an ample supply of praise. The father has been my friend for 20 years; I saw the brats born and develop their talent...I am counting on you to provide for the eyes of the passers-by their nice mugs and the quartet (of your servitor) who accompanies them." Central vertical and horizontal folds, uniform shade of toning, and a couple tiny tears to the upper border, otherwise fine condition.

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Louis Daguerre

Lot 2: Louis Daguerre

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Description: ALS in French, signed "Daguerre," one page, 5.25 x 7.75, Diorama letterhead, Paris, February 11, 1828. Letter to a Count. In part (translated): "I have the honor to send you the letter enclosing the etchings I told you about. Success depends on your answer, having been given the intentions of Her Royal Highness the Dauphine. Dear count, please give me a favorable reply." Light scattered creases, a few tiny holes to the lower left, and some trivial mirroring to ink, otherwise fine condition. Accompanied by an original unsigned carte-de-visite of Daguerre by Mayer & Pierson of Paris.Struggling with the slow, labor-intensive methods of early photography and determined to improve them, the ambitious artist Louis Daguerre sought out much needed funding for his work from Marie Therese Charlotte, Dauphine of France and daughter of Marie Antoinette. Hoping to impress with a sample of his etched plates, he implored her Count for a favorable reply, declaring that "success depends on your answer." At the same time, he was beginning his relationship with Joseph Niepce, an inventor on a similar quest who had achieved great success with his own method of heliography, resulting in the first permanently fixed image from nature using a camera. The two would officially join forces the following year, achieving the initial advances that culminated in the groundbreaking Daguerreotype a decade later. With its exceptionally early mention of a Daguerre etching, this is a remarkable letter from the man who revolutionized the world of photography.

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John W. Draper

Lot 3: John W. Draper

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Description: Scientist and pioneer daguerreotypist (1811-1882) who took the first detailed photograph of the moon in 1840. Bank check, 7.25 x 2.5, filled out and signed by Draper, "John W. Draper," payable to F. Kinder for $25.00, May 24, 1879. Check bears a two-cent revenue stamp in the upper left, initialed by Draper. Several vertical folds, one through a single letter of signature, cancellation cut near signature, and a bank stamp to body, otherwise fine condition.

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Harris and Ewing

Lot 4: Harris and Ewing

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Description: Photographic studio in Washington, D.C., opened in 1905 by George W. Harris and Martha Ewing. Today, the Library of Congress preserves 700,000 glass and film negatives in their Harris & Ewing Collection. TLS, signed in an unknown hand, one page, 8.5 x 11, Harris & Ewing portraiture letterhead, July 10, 1913. Letter to a prospective customer, offering prices ranging from $3.50 to $15 on enlarged photos of the US Supreme Court. In part: "We wish to say, however, that no one has ever photographed the Court since Justice Pitney succeeded Justice Harlan, therefore, we only have photographs including Justice Harland and not Justice Pitney." Central vertical and horizontal folds, and mild scattered creases and soiling, otherwise fine condition. An exceptional piece of photographic history.

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Felix Nadar

Lot 5: Felix Nadar

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Description: Pseudonym of Gaspard-Félix Tournachon (1820-1910), a French photographer, caricaturist, journalist, novelist, and balloonist. ALS in French, signed "Nadar," one page, 5.25 x 8, Nadar Photographie letterhead, no date. Brief letter to his assistant Camille. In full (translated): "Will you arrange to have the balloon inflated at about noon?" In good condition, with central horizontal and vertical fold, some paper loss along left edge, scattered spotting, and some creasing and soiling. The text is largely unaffected by the flaws. Accompanied by an unsigned carte-de-visite of Nadar in a balloon basket. In 1859, Nadar was the first to take aerial photographs from the basket of a balloon. Many of his ideas were used by the US Army Balloon Corps for enemy reconnaissance during the Civil War.

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