The Buhl Collection of photographs is legendary among art collectors, and will be celebrated by Sotheby's in a New York auction this winter.
The single-owner auction will showcase a series of works which explore the theme of the human hand. The collection boasts an impressive range of pieces, from artworks by early 19th century pioneers to the masters of 20th century photography and beyond.
Henry M. Buhl, a philanthropist, assembled his collection over 20 years. Buhl's photographs were exhibited at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, in 2004. The expo, entitled Speaking With Hands, drew much critical acclaim.
"The sale of photographs from the Buhl Collection will rightly take its place alongside the greatest auctions ever held in [this] field," said Denise Bethel, Director of Sotheby's Photographs Department.
"Henry Buhl's singular focus and passion for the theme of the hand was equalled by the iconic quality of the images he selected. The sale will offer collectors a wonderful opportunity to acquire everything from intriguing anonymous photographs to acclaimed masterworks."
Sotheby's describes Buhl's collection as a "real template for the best of collecting."
Highlights in the sale will include Alfred Stieglitz's 1920 photograph of the fingers of noted New York artist Georgia O'Keeffe. That photograph is estimated at $1m-1.5m.
Other highlights in Sotheby's auction include a two-dimensional photogram (a photographic image made without a camera by placing objects directly onto the surface of a light-sensitive material) of hands by Man Ray (estimated at $300,000-500,000).
A rare work by Hungarian photographer László Moholy-Nagy is also estimated at $300,000-500,000 (pictured).