Sotheby's Photographs auction, held on April 6 in New York, has been topped by Robert Frank's New Orleans (Trolley).
The print sold for $293,000, making a 17.2% increase on its $250,000 high estimate.
Born in 1924 in Zurich, Robert Frank is a leading figure in American photography, most famous for his 1958 book The Americans, which features a foreword by legendary beat writer Jack Kerouac.
New Orleans (Trolley) appears as one of many shots of US life in The Americans - in this instance depicting racial segregation. The photograph was taken in 1955, though this print was likely produced sometime before 1972. Markings on the reverse of the example at auction suggest that this is the same print used for reproduction in the 1972 LIFE Library of Photography volume, Documentary Photography.
Ansel Adams' striking Monolith, The Face of Half Dome brought the auction's second highest results, selling with a 7.6% increase on its $250,000 high estimate, at $269,000. Depicting the famous peak in Yosemite National Park, this is the largest version of the print ever sold at auction, measuring 39 by 29 inches.
Monolith is considered one of Adams' finest works and represents a turning point in his career, as it saw the first time the photographer had anticipated how he wanted the finished print to look before taking the shot, a technique he employed for the remainder of his career.
The photography market is particularly robust in the early stage of 2013, having seen some superb results at auction. In Phillips' April 2 sale in New York, a new world record was set for the work of Diane Arbus at $602,500.