Paris Photo Auction Bucks Trend –

Paris Photo Auction Bucks Trend –

Baron Jean-Baptiste-Louis Gros (1793-1870), Vue du salon du Baron Gros, vers 1850-1857

Baron Jean-Baptiste-Louis Gros (1793-1870), Vue du salon du Baron Gros, vers 1850-1857

As one of the most important private collections of 19th century photography to have ever been assembled, the sale of the collection of Marie-Thérèse and André Jammes by Sotheby’s offered collectors and investors the opportunity to acquire some of the most historically important photographs in existence.  The importance of this collection was highlighted by the final of the four part sale that took place on the 15th of November achieving a total of €2,029,876 total from 192 lots which equated to 72.4% sold by lot and 79.6% by value – an extremely positive result at a time when sales that total less than 60% by value have become the norm. Highlights of the sale included a full-plate daguerreotype (c.1850-57) by Baron Jean-Baptiste Louis Gros which sold for €216,750 (lot 7, estimate €150,000-200,000), an 1850s wax-paper negative by John Beasley Greene that sold for €48,750 (lot 3 estimate €15,000-18,000) and a daguerreotype by Joseph-Philibert Girault de Prangey titled “Great Mosque in Jerusalem” which fetched €55,950 (lot 21 estimate €25,000-35,000). The collection of Marie-Thérèse and André Jammes was sold by Sotheby’s in four parts the first of which went under the hammer in 1999 in London achieving a total of US$12.3 million for 265 lots. The second and third parts of the sale of the collection took place in March of 2002 and were devoted to Charles Nègre and French 19th Century Photography. The combined total of parts two and three was €11,814,210 which included the sale of the first-ever image made using a photographic process for €489,750

Marie-Thérèse and André Jammes were Antiquarian booksellers in Paris who developed their collection over a period of more than 40 years acquiring works from industry contacts, dealers and collectors.
According to a Sotheby’s press release from 2002 “André Jammes had the vision of building a study collection of early photographs in 1955, when he was still in his twenties. Continuing a family tradition, he had, from a young age, developed a passion for books and the processes of creating them. He was especially interested in the evolution of typography and calligraphy, and has published important research in these subjects. Such interests became a stepping stone into the then largely neglected field of the history of photography. Jammes was drawn to the medium and soon recognised that the early history of photography deserved to be better effectively researched and better appreciated. Monsieur and Madame Jammes justly regarded the invention of photography as a development of enormous importance, comparable to that of printing in the 15th century.”

More information on the Marie-Thérèse and André Jammes can be found here:

The fact that Jammes sold the best part of his collection to the J. Paul Getty Museum prior to auctioning off the remaining works through Sotheby’s makes on wonder what the results of the sale could have been had the very best works from the collection been sold.

**Nicholas Forrest is an art market analyst, art critic and journalist based in Sydney, Australia. He is the founder of, writes the art column for the magazine Antiques and Collectibles for Pleasure and Profit and contributes to many other publications.

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