I sent this right before July 4. With summer and everything else going on, the timing was bad. I didn't want this to get lost in your past emails, so I'm sending it again. There is also a link on behold.com so you can go back to it whenever you like. Please also see the note at the end about the proposed auction of color photographs.
WORKER WITH A GIANT MACHINE. Ca. 1940’s. 20 x 15 ½ inch toned gelatin silver print. I have decided to present these great photographs individually. This one shows a solitary worker dwarfed by the huge circular machine part. He not only provides scale, there is also a sense of the individual’s solitary labor at the overwhelming machine. This isn’t a team of workers, but one lone man. This is clearly a photograph by a consummate artist who remains anonymous. It is especially impressive in this large size.
Excellent condition. $1000
TWO MEN AT WORK ON THE GIANT TURBINE. 19 ½ x 16 inch toned gelatin silver print. The tones are lighter than the others in this series, so the faces and figures of the workers are blank, giving this a ghostly character. Excellent condition. $400
WORKER BESIDE A SMELTER. 19 ½ x 15 inch toned gelatin silver print. The worker is separated from the smelter by a hanging chain. A black workman is barely visible at the top of the smelter. This photograph has more of an expressionist character than a documentary one. It is by the same unacknowledged artist. Excellent condition. $600
A MAN SEATED AT A STRANGE MACHINE. 19 ½ x 15 ½ inch toned gelatin silver print. The man is wearing a suit. He is management, not a worker. This is a daringly composed composition. I wouldn’t be praising these photographs just because I need to sell them. I know how good they are. Excellent condition. $500
WOMAN AT WORK ON A SMALL PART. 19 x 16 ½ toned gelatin silver print. In contrast to the giant scale of the machines shown in several of these photographs, here there is delicate work that requires a magnifier and tweezers. Excellent condition. $400
FIVE VERY BEAUTIFUL, EVEN MOVING, PORTRAITS OF A GIRL. In two of them she is reading. These are 7 x 6 ½ to 8 ½ x 5 5/8 platinum prints on tissue, with a brownish tonality, tipped on to thin paper, on 16 x 11 inch sheets, with tiny carefully hand drawn credits to the Veritas Studio, Munich, 1911, on four of them. In one of them the mount is extended another 1 ½ inches, that has holes punched that held them in a decorative portfolio this is still intact. There is trivial damage to this extension, but not on the prints or mounts. The mount edges are very slightly rough, as made.
This is a rare and very special process. I believe the artist is her mother. That accounts for the relaxed poses that are more seen in paintings than photographs. I will give more information about the artist in one of the next lots.
Excellent condition. $1500
TWO PORTRAITS OF A BOY, HER BROTHER. Similar size, the process and format are as the previous. The mount has the ½ inch extension on the left, with the 3 holes for mounting. These are delicate close portraits, frontal and profile. Excellent condition. $750
THREE SELF-PORTRAITS OF THE MOTHER, THE PHOTOGRAPHER STEPHANIE LUDWIG. In one she is examining a photograph. The others are very slightly variant profiles. Similar to the previous.
Ludwig, also known as Stephanie [Sometimes Stefanie] Held-Ludwig (1871 – 1943) operated a photography studio in Munich around the turn of the 20thcentury called Studio Veritas. I have only been able to find bits of information that I can’t authenticate. One source says she died in the Theresienstadt concentration camp.
A terrific portrait photograph by her can be found at
I suspect she is not better known because her work was destroyed during WW2.
Fine condition. $800
PERCY LOOMIS SPERR (1890 – 1964) “Fletcher Street from Pearl Street”, ca. 1930. Sperr was an interesting photographer, who made thousands of photographs of NYC streets, mostly commissioned by the NY Public Library. He needed crutches because of childhood meningitis. His work should be compared with that of Atget and other photographers who were commissioned to record the streets of changing cities. This fine toned gelatin silver print on double weight paper presents the snowy street in a moody evocative composition. It is signed and titled in the bottom margin. A large blue label on the verso gives his credit from Atlas Photos. Fine condition. $300
GEORGE TICE, “Marie in Shower, Lancaster Pa. 1964” Printed ca.1964.9 3/8 x 7 ½ inch gelatin silver print, dry mounted on a 16 ¾ x 13 ¾ inch mount. It is signed on the mount beneath the print, with the title in pencil on the verso.
Tice's wife, Marie, filmed through a translucent shower door. This is a beautiful delicate print with pleasing tones from the dark hair to the white towel. Tice was an important photographer noted for his moody images from small town Pennsylvania. A rare subject.
Fine print. $1500
ARTHUR ROTHSTEIN, MOTION STUDY OF YANKEES PITCHER EDDIE LOPAT.
10 x 14 inch gelatin silver print, 1954. It does not fluoresce. Lopat (1918 – 1992) became one of the NY Yankee’s star pitchers from 1948. He was later active in coaching and management. This is a fine example of Rothstein’s artistic work, different from those social oriented pictures that he is most known for. This is not a motion studio similar to Edgerton’s work. The focus is on Lopat’s face. The blurriness is part of the fine composition. This was one of a group of Rothstein’s photographs I’ve been presenting that were in an exhibition in S. America. A label with the subject and date in Spanish is present but no longer glued on the verso. The other photographs in this group also had a label, but they are now lost. Rothstein’s stamp is there, as well as the number in the exhibition. A print is in the collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art. Fine condition. $500
ARTHUR ROTHSTEIN, ARTISTIC STUDY OF MOUNTAINS. 10 x 14 gelatin silver print, ca. early 1950’s. It does not fluoresce. His name and the exhibition number are on the verso, as well a light glue presence from a previous exhibition label, now lost. This differs from the many photographs of Western mountain landscapes, for example by Jackson, Watkins, Muybridge and others. It almost becomes an abstract image rather than a pictorial one. Fine condition. $500
T.J. HILEMAN, 6 STUDIES OF GLACIER PARK LANDSCAPES, ca. 1940. Toned gelatin silver prints, various sizes from 5 ¾ x 7 ¾ to 7 x 11 inches.Hileman (1882 - 1945) became the official photographer for the Great Northern Railway in 1924. His work is far from tourist imagery. It has an unusual compositional arrangement that the landscape itself invites. His stamp is on the verso, some with pencil titles. They are matted. Contact me for the additional images. Fine condition. $500
J.F.K. FUNERAL, UNUSUAL PICTURE, 1963. 10 ¾ x 13 ¼ inch gelatin silver print. The central figure is Lyndon Johnson, with Lady Bird’s head just peeping out from behind his shoulder. Military figures line the stairs. The largest figure, a civilian in the foreground with his head turned, is the “leading man” movie actor Peter Lawford, who became part of the Kennedy family by marriage. He was a member of the “rat pack.” The printing emphasizes the blazing whiteness of the cap of the black of the navy soldier seen from the back. The top of a similar cap is seen about Lawford’s head, like a halo. The composition makes this quite different from the many official photographs of the event. Fine condition. $500
ED FEINGERSH, from “A Day in the Life of a Woman Doctor,” ca. 1940, 81/2 x 11 ¼ inch gelatin silver print on double weight paper. The verso has his stamp, his PIX credit stamp, and an assignment stamp for McCall magazine. Feingersh (1925 – 1961) worked for the Pix Agency on many projects. Among them were photographs of the Korean War and a notable series on Marilyn Monroe. He was known for his effective use of natural light. There are light stains on the verso, but nothing shows on the recto. Fine condition. $650
WHAT A PHOTOGRAPH CAN BE. 8 x 10 inch gelatin silver print, 1978, an official photograph from the San Francisco Fire Department with the Department stamp and notations on the verso. Years ago I started to issue newsletters to my mailing list that were essays on various aspects of photography. I would also put them on the be-hold website. I would receive emails in response that I would also post on the website. One was devoted to this photograph. The photographer tried to get a picture of the injured man, through the tangle of other things in the way. What results is a dynamic masterpiece of what came to be called “vernacular” photography. So much of what is appreciated in snapshots and other formats in far simpler than this in effect and meaning. Fine condition. $500
RALPH NELSON, LIBERTED PRISONER BACK FROM VIETNAM, A LOVE STORY. 13 ¼ x 9 ½ inch gelatin silver print on double weight paper. Nelson’s Camera5 credit stamp, pen title in French on the verso. I once had a variant of this subject. This is my favorite. The soldier has just stepped off the plane and is reunited with his wife. We don’t see their faces but their character and love is evident. The photograph by an anonymous photographer generates an emotional response, and spreads out way beyond its boundaries. Fine condition. $750
EVIDENCE. NAZI CRIMINAL. 4 x 6 inch gelatin silver print, printed 1946. A label in English reads: “Franz Hoessler, an S.S. officer, with a truckload of his work.” Hoessler has a microphone in front of him. Originally the photograph was made by a Nazi photographer to honor this achievement He had supervisory roles in several concentration camps, including Auschwitz and Bergen Belsen.
He is probably photographed by a Nazi photograph as a positive image, and this was later used as evidence in the post-war Bergen-Belsen trial, where he was found guilty of crimes against humanity and executed. A very extensive article about him can be found here--https://thereaderwiki.com/en/Franz_H%C3%B6ssler
There is also a very light copyright stamp from the Imperial War Museum.
I’m sorry to conclude these offerings on such a negative note, but that is one aspect of photography. No visible defects. $1000
NEXT AUCTION, COLOR.
I am seeking consignments of strong examples of color photographs, from hand-colored daguerreotypes and other early formats including salted paper and albumen prints. Also good examples of various color processes, including autochromes, experimental processes, strong examples of color carbro and dye transfer. I don’t want photographs that just happen to have or be in color, but are especially rich and beautiful because of it.
66 Main Street. #1013, Yonkers, NY 10701 (914) 423-5806