Historic photographic images a collector's dream

Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 10th December, 2013

More than 400 images by many of the world’s best-known photographers from the mid-19th century to the late 20th century will be auctioned from 2pm Sunday at Leonard Joel 333 Malvern Road, South Yarra.

The images belong to Dr Dinesh Parekh who has been collecting photographs for most of his adult life.

His interest in photography developed as a teenager growing up in Rajhisthan, India and he began collecting in earnest after qualifying in 1962 as a doctor.

The first photographs he acquired were of 10 of the most beautiful women in the world, including examples by renowned photographer Yousuf Karsh.

Dr Parekh’s passion for collecting continued for more than 40 years – during which time he amassed more than 10,000 paintings, lithographs, chromolithographs albumen and silver gelatin photographs from the 1840s to the early 21st century.

The breadth of the collection up for auction is remarkable, covering all periods and a wide range of subjects that will appeal to many collecting tastes.

The earliest example is a rare 1840s salt type print of Hungerford Suspension Bridge by William Henry Fox Talbot, the inventor and photographer pioneer who developed the calotype print.

From this early period of photography there also is an impressive collection of early images of historic buildings by French photographers Edouard Baldus, Henri le Secq, Louis de Clerq and Gustave le Gray.     

Typical of le Gray’s work is the Study of the Pavilion Sully at the Louvre Paris 1858/9 while de Clerq’s albumen print from a waxed paper negative provides an unusual still life treatment in Grenada, Alhambra Fontaine des Lions, 1860.

Twentieth century photographers are equally well represented with the highlights including a selection of beautiful images taken mainly in Paris from the 1930s to the 1960s by Hungarian-French photographer Brassai and Frenchman Robert Doisneau.

Brassai’s eye for beauty can be seen in the silver gelatin print Grosse Poule, Place d”Italie, 1932  while Hungarian Andre Kertesz’s unusual approach is evident in Distortion No. 40, 1933 and Circus Budapest 1920.

More contemporary photographers from the past 30 years also are included in the auction collection – many conservatively estimated, providing collectors with a great opportunity to acquire affordable images.

A great example is American Margaret Bourke-White’s silver gelatin print Accident on the Beach from the 1950s, providing a bird’s eye view of a swimming tragedy.

Another is American Harry Callahan’s dye transfer print Providence 1977 and fellow countryman Carl Purcell At the funeral of JFK, 1963.


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