Issue #236  10/25/2017
Be-hold Holds Photo Auction on November 17th
A page from Mrs. Bury's book on Polycystins
A page from Mrs. Bury's book on Polycystins

Some of the highlights of the next Be-Hold auction include unusual colored photographs. Early ones include a wonderful mammoth plate ivorytype by Williams. Certainly nothing this size has been offered in recent years, if ever.

There is also an unusual example of a Hallotype, a version of colored photograph on glass patented by Hall, and used by Gurney. This may be the only example known, or at least one of the very few. There is also a striking large hand-colored salted print portrait by Anderson of Richmond, VA of a significant Richmond Clergyman of the Civil War era.

Unusual 20th-century color works include some dye transfer experiments, probably from the 1940's, and some wild examples of color derivatives, an offshoot of the dye transfer process by German experimenters. There are complex cyanotypes by John Metoyer, who was the subject of a volume from 21st Editions.

One of the most beautiful and rare items being offered is a volume by Mrs. Bury (Priscilla Susan Bury, 1799-1872) of "Polycistins." Mrs. Bury was an artist and wife of a biologist, who specialized in sea creatures. She made beautiful drawing of these tiny sea creatures, artfully arranged on pages. The book consists of albumen prints by Negretti and Zambra of the pages of drawings. Examples of the first and even second editions are very rare, and mostly found in scientific libraries. This appears to be a special, possibly unique version of the first edition.

There is a beautiful large albumen landscape by Jackson of "Roches Moutonnies" on the original Hayden Survey mount. Most spectacular is a huge panorama by Howard Clinton Tibbits of Mariposa Grove. It is 145 in. long, on one continuous strip of early gelatin paper backed by linen. A very similar panorama by Tibbitts sold at Sotheby's in 1999 for around $35,000.

One of the German "color derivation" prints in the auction
One of the German "color derivation" prints in the auction

A group of carbon prints by Henry Dixon from The Society for Photographing Relics of Old London are offered. The project was similar to that of Charles Marville and Atget. These have the initials of Alfred Marks, who conceived of the project and directed the activities. Thus these may have been from his collection.

There is a series of photographs by Charles Rivers. He was a social activist who made photographs while he was a construction worker on the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Builder that merit comparison with similar image by Lewis Hine.

Photographs by major 20th-century photographers such as Minor White, Robert Doisneau and others are surrounded by interesting and unusual vernacular and travel photographs.

There won't be a printed catalog of the auction, but a very richly illustrated PDF is on the Be-Hold website that may be downloaded. The website can be found at: http://www.be-hold.com.

The auction itself will be conducted on the two platforms LiveAuctioneers and Invaluable, starting at 11 am (EST) on Friday, November 17. Material may be viewed at Be-hold in Yonkers, NY, along with an exhibit of photographs by Paolo Gioli that are still on display in the gallery.

Contact Larry Gottheim at +1-914-423-5896, or email at behold@be-hold.com.