For those of you who may want to pull your money from failing banks, soon you will have the option to tie all of your savings up into William Eggleston prints. On Monday October 13th, Christie's will hold an auction dedicated entirely to the Eggleston prints currently in the Bruce and Nancy Berman collection. A handsome catalog presenting the lots is now available.
Much like the catalogs dedicated to the Robert Frank sale a few months back and the couple recently auctioning Diane Arbus prints, these are more like mini monographs than a typical catalog. This one is over 90 pages worth of images that must run into the hundreds - several of which I hadn't seen before. Most of these are attributed to a series called Dust Bells Volumes I & II. It is an amazing collection of a wide variety of work.
Through a series of foldouts, the lots are presented with estimates - some reaching astronomical figures as might be expected from the rise in popularity of Eggleston. Most interestingly of which are the five Los Alamos portfolios which include 75 dye transfer prints and valued at $350,000-550,000.
My personal favorite Eggleston image -- Sumner, Mississippi, 1972 -- which describes two men, one white one black, standing in a wood near a white car is estimated to set me back $50,000-70,000 for a dye transfer printed in 1999.
Lot 113 offers an interesting sister image to his famous red ceiling photograph -- describing another light bulb backed by a ceiling of badly warped plywood. Both were taken the same year, 1973. This one is valued at a modest $8,000-12,000.
There is no chance of my participating but I may go to watch to see if there is any sign of the recent economic rollercoaster. There certainly weren't any signs during the last rare photobook auction but then again, the world has drawn a little closer to the apocalypse since then.
Christie's William Eggleston Auction