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  • Emerson's Norfolk Broads book will highlight Keys auction at $48,000
  • Post author
    Paul Fraser
  • bookBroadsEmerson'sNorfolk

Emerson's Norfolk Broads book will highlight Keys auction at $48,000

One of just 200 copies of Peter Henry Emerson's Life and Landscapes on the Norfolk Broads is to be sold through Keys Fine Art Auctioneers on September 26 in the UK.

Peter Henry Emerson Norfolk Broads book
Two men loading reeds onto a boat, one of the many prints of working life in the Norfolk Broads


The book, first published in an extremely limited run in 1886, will sell with a £25,000-30,000 ($40,030-48,036) estimate, with Keys' Sarah Prior telling BBC News that it will be "one of the most valuable we have ever auctioned".

The 81-page book contains a fantastic selection of Emerson's platinum prints, with Norfolk-based expert on 19th century photography John Bejafield explaining that they have "an exceptionally long life; you get deep shadows and bright highlights, and very luminous mid-tones. The images are breathtaking, they jump out of the page at you."

"Emerson was and is regarded as the father of naturalistic photography, and was absolutely vociferous about his technique," he added to the BBC.

Peter Henry Emerson Norfolk Broads book
It is extremely rare to find a complete example such as this at auction, with the auction house expecting strong results


As well as being a rare example of Emerson's arresting photography, the book provides aan unmatched look at life on the Norfolk Broads, with images of reed cutting, eel fishing, shooting and water-lily collecting included.

As such, the auction house is expecting the book to exceed its estimate.

Individual prints of Emerson's work have sold for as much as £4,500 ($7,200) in the recent past.

Peter Henry Emerson (1856-1936) was a British photographer and writer, though was originally born in Cuba. Abandoning a career as a surgeon, he was soon elected to the Council of the Photographic Society.

However, he later detached himself from the photographic establishment, after publishing a book that argued that truthful and realistic photography would replaced contrived, posed images, much to the chagrin of many working in the field.

Paul Fraser Collectibles has some brilliant photographic collectibles for sale.


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Images: Keys Fine Art Auctioneers

  • Post author
    Paul Fraser
  • bookBroadsEmerson'sNorfolk