Auctions | October 7, 2016

Ansel Adams' Camera Highlights Photography Offerings at Heritage Auctions

camera.jpgNEW YORK — The camera used a half-century ago by legendary photographer and environmentalist Ansel Adams will be offered in a public auction in New York City by Heritage Auctions’ Photographs auction, October 27.  The Arca-Swiss 4x5 inch view camera (est. $70,000-$100,000) was used by Adams for shooting the well-known 1968 image Arches, North Court, Mission San Xavier Del Bac in Tucson, Arizona and other famous photographs of that era.

“This is the only Ansel Adams’ view camera ever offered at auction,” said Nigel Russell, Heritage Auctions Director of Photography. “After he used this camera between 1964 and 1968 he gave it to his assistant, Lillian DeCock, who also became a distinguished photographer. This camera and equipment, along with four other cameras used by DeCock and her husband, were consigned by her heirs.”

Also featured in the auction is a very rare and complete set of the six alternative photos for The Beatles iconic Abbey Road album cover taken and autographed by Iain Macmillan in 1969 (est. $60,000-$80,000). Five of the shots show John, Paul, George and Ringo walking across the street at Abbey Road, and one of the Mcmillan's images has them walking in the opposite direction of the photo eventually used for the album cover. 

There also are three portraits of the American female dancer Keith Coppage by Tina Modotti taken while she was living in Mexico City in 1928 (est. $20,000-$30,000).

The auction also features an unusual and rare group of vintage Irving Penn photographs including a variant of the well-known 1948 portrait of the Dusek Brothers, professional wrestlers from the family of Wally Dusek (est. $10,000-$15,000). From the estate of Vogue editor Allene Talmey are three photographs of India (est. $5,000-$7,000 each) taken on Penn’s and Talmey’s 1947 around-the-world trip as well as a portrait of Sir Khawaja Nazimuddin, the second Prime Minster of Pakistan (est. $10,000-$15,000) and Condé Nast editor Frank Crowninshield (est. $10,000-$15,000).

Other highlights in the sale include a complete James Van Der Zee portfolio of 18 photographs taken 1905 to 1938 and printed by Richard Benson in 1974 (est. $15,000-$20,000); a solarized gelatin silver print, circa 1937, by Man Ray of Jane Clark, the wife of Sir Kenneth MacKenzie Clark (est. $12,000-$18,000); and Dorothea Lange’s Mended Stockings, San Francisco, 1934, printed c. 1960 (est. $10,000-$15,000).

Modern and Contemporary photographs include Hiroshi Sugimoto’s Celtic Sea, Boscastle (Day), 1994 (est. $20,000-30,000) as well as his Hi-Way 39 Drive-In, Orange, 1993. The work of Robert Mapplethorpe is represented by his contemplative portrait of Clifton Taylor, 1981 (est. $10,000-$15,000) and Lisa Lyon, 1980 (est. $10,000-$15,000).  Also in the sale is the haunting post 9/11 scene Brooks Brothers, September 12, 2001, (est. $10,000-$15,000) by Sean Hemmerle.

For the first time Heritage will also be offering a selection of 150 historic cameras including Willard D. Morgan's Leica IIIc Camera Outfit (est. $10,000-$15,000), a Leica I Camera, German, 1930 (est. $1,500-$2,000) and a Kardon Signal Corps PH-629/UF Rangefinder Camera (est. $1,500-$2,000).

Heritage Auctions is the largest auction house founded in the United States and the world’s third largest, with annual sales of more than $800 million, and over one million online bidder members. For more information about Heritage Auctions, and to join and receive access to a complete record of prices realized, with full-color, enlargeable photos of each lot, please visit

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