On Valentine's Day, Swann Galleries in Manhattan is hosting an auction that could net you some of the most historic images of NYC. Their "Icons & Images" event offers photos from mid-nineteenth century portraiture to Edgar Allan Poe tintypes to Berenice Abbott prints. Also, that photo of the llama riding in a car through Times Square—a lesser known classic!
There are also twenty-two large prints selected from NASA's Archives which had never before been published by NASA, and a selection of works by twentieth-century American photographers, including Alfred Stieglitz, Ansel Adams, Robert Frank, Berenice Abbott, Margaret Bourke-White, Roy DeCarava, Lewis W. Hine and Dorothea Lange.
In addition, they're offering up a selection of photos from Nan Goldin from 1990s NYC, led by "Cody in the Dressing Room at the Boy Bar," circa 1991 (NSFW).
Click through for more of the photos that will be up for sale, where the lowest estimated bidding price is $300, and goes up to $45,000. However, we're told that "some of the photos were printed contemporaneously and some were printed later... for example, Berenice Abbott's 'Broadway Near Broome Street' was taken and printed the same year (1935) but her 'Penn Station, New York' was taken in 1936 and printed in 1982." While a few are unique, most photographs up for sale are multiples—associate cataloguer for the department, Keavy Handley-Byrne, explains:
"Vintage photographs—hose that were printed very close to the negative date (generally, within a few years)—are often at the upper end of market values, while photographs that are printed later tend to be a little more affordable, as you can see by the estimates. All of these prints are authenticated, usually by the artists themselves, but otherwise by their galleries or estates, in keeping with their wishes. All of these prints were made from negatives taken and chosen by the artists."
Reminder: Clicking through our archives of old NYC photos is free.