The May 15 photographs sale from Sotheby's is to feature Gustave Le Gray's stunning images of the 1852 Paris Salon.
The images provide a rare glimpse of what was the greatest art event in the world, the official exhibition of the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Commissioned by Philippe de Chenneviéres, Le Gray was charged with the documentation of the 1852 Salon, which was held at the Palais Royal for the final time.
The album contains nine salt paper prints each bearing the photographer's blind-stamp. Bound in dark-green shagreen and featuring a gilded crowned "M" on the back cover, the copy is one of only two known to exist.
The "M" monogram is thought to be attributed to Mathilde Wilhelmine, cousin of Napolean III and companion of Comte Emilien de Nieuwerkerke, director general of the French national museums.
The captivating collection will sell for €240,000-280,000 ($315,000-368,000) in the Paris sale. Until 2003, Le Gray held the record for the most expensive single photograph ever sold at auction. His Grande Vague, Séte was sold for £507,500 ($840,370) to Sheik Saud Al-Thani of Qatar in 1999.
The important sale will also see an incredible selection of artists' portraits from Man Ray. The modernist painter was also a renowned fashion and portrait photographer and created this superb collection of images of his friends and fellow artists.
His portrayal of Pablo Picasso is expected to bring €7,000-10,000, while another portrait of Joan Miró is to make €6,500-7,000. Other portraits from Man Ray include that of Andre Derain, Fernand Léger and Maurice de Vlaminck.
Paul Fraser Collectibles will bring you the results of this sale as soon as they are available. Collectors will want to view our superb range of rare photographs and art, which includes this historical personal collection of images from Lieutenant General Oliver Leese.