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Christie's auctions off iconic fashion photographs as a part of its mid-season sale

December 6, 2009 | 10:47 am

Sander Christie's will be auctioning off a handful of photographs from iconic fashion photographers as part of its grab-bag mid-season photography sale on Monday.

Among the lots is a playful print of French actress Anouk Aimee, taken for Vogue magazine by William Klein in 1962 (estimated to sell for $4,000 to $6,000). In it, the expressive actress -- wearing ladylike gloves and a net-front floral hat -- is staring mischievously at a cigarette in her hand (anchored by a long cigarette holder, of course.) "It's a very typical print for William Klein," said Matthieu Humery, a photography curator for Christie's.

There's also a print of the influential "Mainbocher Corset, 1939," which depicts the back of a woman in a half-done-up corset. Shot by Horst P. Horst, it's an image that inspired Madonna in the late '80s, said Humery. And Jean Paul Gaultier "has used this image a lot in his work." The gelatin silver print is expected to sell for $7,000 to $9,000.

Among the more modern prints is "Hasegawa Kyoko wears Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche, 2003," one in a series of images fashion lensmen Izima Kaoru took of models wearing their favorite designers, lying prone as though dead. "The idea was, like, what would you wear when you died?" explained Humery. "He made many of them. But it's quite difficult to find images from Izima Kaoru." The chromoprint is expected to fetch $6,000 to $8,000.

And though not strictly fashion images, among the lots are a few prints that skirt the genre's perimeters. Among them, a print of a nude Sharon Tate and Roman Polanski from famous British fashion and portrait photographer David Bailey -- printed in 1988 for the first time; and August Sander's "The Wife of the Painter Peter Abelin, 1926," a stunning shot of a woman dressed in chic drag, lighting a cigarette.

Christie's mid-season sales are built to appeal to beginning collectors, said Humery, adding, "It's usually less expensive photography lots ... which is good for someone who wants to start a collection and for very nice gifts." Imagine finding Anouk Aimee under your Christmas tree. Heavenly.

-- Emili Vesilind

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Photos: Classic fashion photographers: Penn, Avedon and Newton

Photo: August Sander's "The Wife of the Painter Peter Abelin, 1926." Credit: Christie's

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