Issue #52  1/13/2003
Three More French Auctions in January, One in April

While I am not very enthusiastic to see any more auctions right now in the market, which has been flooded with them recently, I will mention three catalogue photography auctions set for late January in France, especially since they are interesting and run by three experts that I respect and value as good friends. The catalogues are available as noted below, and there may be charges involved when ordering from auction houses directly. Remember that France is six hours before Eastern Standard Time.

On January 22nd, Millon & Associates will hold a photo auction of 19th and 20th century material. Christophe Goeury is the expert and he can be reached at ChristopheGoeury@hotmail.com or at 33-1- 42-54-16-83. Remember to dial the international connection in front of this number (in the U.S. that is usually 011). The auction will be held at Drouot and can be previewed there the day before (or January 13-17 at the auction house). You probably will want to give Goeury your information prior to the auction, because this house is notorious for not calling bidders who reserve phones. His English is quite good. No credit cards accepted here.

On January 24th, Pierre Berge & Associates (a new name in auctioneers for photography) will hold its 19th century (and some 20th century) photo auction. The interesting things here are the rare Frederick Fiebig calotypes of India and Ceylon and the very good Baldus images from a fine but broken PLM album. The expert is Marc Pagneux. Pagneux can be reached at marc.pagneux@image-culte.com or at +33-1-42-46-84-04. The auction will be held at Drouot and can be previewed there the day before (or early by appointment at Pagneux gallery near Drouot). Pagneux is just starting to learn English, but his wife Bridget has excellent English. I am not sure of the credit card policy of this house, but there is no indication of acceptance in the catalogue.

On January 25th, Galerie de Chartres will hold its 19th century photo auction. The key material here is an important group of positives and negatives by De Clercq. While previewing, I had the pleasure of having lunch at Auctioneer Jean-Pierre Lelievre's lovely apartment in old Chartres. His wife and family were delightful hosts. The expert here is Arnaud Delas. Delas can be reached at hypnos@hypnos-photo.com or at +33-1-45-44-99-71. His English is excellent.

I will be happy to provide expert advice and bidding for any clients. My charge is $250 minimum against 5% of the total hammer price. You can call me on my mobile this coming week at 1-215-518-6962 or by email at anovak@comcat.com . If you have never bid in a European auction, I would highly suggest that you also read my article The Insider's Guide To Buying Photographs at the I Photo Central website, which you can see at: http://www.iphotocentral.com/collecting/collecting.php .

Also coming up in April in Paris (sounds like an old song, no?) is the auction of the contents of noted surrealist poet and writer Andre Breton's cramped Montmartre apartment. CamelsCohen is the auction house, which will set some kind of record when they take over the entire first floor of Drouot from April 1-18. The Photography catalogue is 60 euros; the boxed set of all six catalogues (manuscripts, books, folk art, primitive art, modern art and photographs) is 280 euros. The auction house can be reached at 33-1-47-70-38-89 or at contact@camelscohen.com . The photography auction will be held over a three-day period April 15-17. The expert here is David Fleiss, who can be contacted at gal1900@club-internet.fr or at +33-1-43-25-84-20.


My friend French book and photo dealer Serge Plantureux publishes a thick catalogue usually once (or even twice) a year. The latest is nearly an inch thick and is entitled La Route de la Photographie: Cent Propositions pour une Collection. The 100 items are indeed fun and typically eclectic. The price is usually 30 euros plus postage (not inconsiderable considering the weight), but Serge will sell it for only $30 inclusive of shipping for readers of the newsletter that mention they saw it here. Serge and his assistants have decent English (as well as many other languages as well). You can call him with your credit card number at +33-1-53-29-92-00. His email is plantu@noos.fr .