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Monthly Archives: May 2008


1. Coney Island (Joe’s Penny Arcade)
$240
gelatin silver print, ‘Weegee’ credit stamp, titled ‘Coney Island’ and inscribed ‘from European’ in pencil (on the verso)
11¼ x 14 in. (28.4 x 35.3 cm.)
SALE 1538, 12 – 13 JULY 2005

2. Midnight Robbers, before 1946
£230 ($389)
Glossy gelatin silver print, image size 9 7/8 x 10¾ in., various ink stamps including Weegee The Famous and Photo-Representatives and pencil annotations on verso.
SALE 7854, 20 NOVEMBER 1997

3. At Sammy’s in the Bowery (c.1944)
$403
Gelatin silver print. Printed in 1993 by Sid Kaplan. Numbered 1/100 in pencil and copyright credit stamp on the verso.
13 x 10.5/8in. (34.2 x 27cm.) Framed.
SALE 8241, 9 JUNE 1999

4. Couple dancing, 1940s, printed later
£242 ($422)
Gelatin silver print, 12½ x 10 in., mounted on card, framed.
SALE 4637, 31 OCTOBER 1991

5. Merry Go Round, Coney Island
$460
Gelatin silver print. 1940s. Inscribed No. 22 in ink in the margin and credit stamp on the verso. 10 5/8 x 13in.
SALE 7505, 7 DECEMBER 1993

6. ‘Morning after’, 1950s
£345 ($558)
Gelatin silver print, 11 5/8 x 6¼ in., mounted on yellow card, titled in ink on mount, signed in ink and with exhibition label Haber & Fink New York on verso, matted
SALE 5265, 19 OCTOBER 1994

7. Marilyn Distorted
$633
Gelatin silver print. 1960s. Weegee The Famous and West 47th Street stamps on the verso. 13 3/8 x 10½in.
SALE 7646, 8 APRIL 1993

(The above info is culled from the Christie’s website…)

Seven Highest Prices Paid for Weegee Photos and Books at Christie’s, New York…


1. Weegee, A Portfolio (1940s-50s)
$47,000
SALE 9484, 13 OCTOBER 2000
New York: Privately published, 1981. 49 gelatin silver prints, printed by Sidney Kaplan. Each with PHOTO BY WEEGEE N.Y.C. and PRINT: KAPLAN stamps on the verso. One of four complete portfolios realized from the original edition of 25.
Each approximately 163/8 x 125/8in. (41.7 x 32cm.) or the reverse.
LOT NOTES
Originally planned as an edition of 25, this portfolio is one of only 4 produced in 1981 by Wilma Wilcox and three of Weegee’s colleagues. Although posthumously printed by Sidney Kaplan in 1981, the group of 49 prints represents Weegee’s greatest images from throughout his career. One of the four examples is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and another was sold at Phillips, New York on 31 January 2000.


2. Naked City. New York: Essential Books, 1945.
$37,000
SALE 2110, 10 APRIL 2008
Octavo (234 x 164 mm). 239 black and white photographs. Original tan cloth, spine and front cover lettered in blue; original photo-illustrated dustjacket, printed in yellow, red and black (a few short tears, a few very small chips at extremities); cloth folding box. Weegee’s signature in green ink on the title page, dated “1948”.

Autograph letter signed (“Weegee”) to John Faber (“Mr John Faber”), with envelope, undated but postmarked “13 April 1960″, from the Mapleton Hotel, London. 10 pages, quarto.

FIRST EDITION, SIGNED BY WEEGEE AND IN AN EXCELLENT DUST-JACKET.
WITH A LENGTHY LETTER FROM WEEGEE TO JOHN FABER, of the Eastman Kodak Co., describing how he came to shoot ‘The Critic’, one of his most famous photographs: “this photo changed the whole course of my life”. His work as “official” photographer for Murder Inc not starting until midnight Weegee decided to take a chance on an opening at the Metropolitan Opera House: “the other photographers… told me to go back to my corpses, being a non conformist I said to myself fuck that nonsense, I went outside in the cold”, a car pulled-up, but the war meant a black-out was in effect, “I couldn’t see much but I could smell the smugness, so I aimed my camera and made the shot… and rushed back to the newspaper”. Weegee describes the “dopey” editor rejecting the photograph, and how it was subsequently picked-up by Life and published throughout the world and “in my first book Naked City”. Weegee then discusses selling the film rights, becoming a celebrity himself, and moving to Hollywood (“all the gangsters having shot each other off”). He goes on describing working on both sides of the Atlantic for Vogue&, Life, Fortune and others: “I still haven’t recuperated from that photo”.


3. The Critic (Mrs. Leonora Warner & her mother, Mrs. George Washington Cavanaugh attending opening night at the Metropolitan Opera), 1943
$31,000
SALE 1893, 18 OCTOBER 2007
gelatin silver print
10 5/8 x 13½in. (26.7 x 34.2cm.)


4. Woman Cab Driver and Macy’s Clown
$25,850
SALE 9432, 12 OCTOBER 2000
Woman Cab Driver and Macy’s Clown
Gelatin silver print. Circa 1942. Credit stamp on the verso.
10½ x 133/8in. (26.7 x 34cm.) Framed.

5. Their First Murder (ca. 1936)
$23,000
SALE 7902, 21 APRIL 1994
Gelatin silver print.
1945.
Weegee The Famous; Arthur Fellig credit stamps; Popular Photography layout stamp and typed narrative text on a trimmed page affixed to the verso. 11¾ x 10 5/8in.
LOT NOTES
In response to Mr. Whiting’s request to reproduce the picture offered here (see Lot 166), Weegee wrote on September 13, 1946 in a letter which accompanies the lot: Thanx for your kind letters. & excuse the delay in answering them…As I am having my teeth fixed and a new set of STORE TEETH ordered from my favorite MAIL ORDER house…You might be intested (sic) that I have changed my act once more…NOW I am doing the photos for the SCRIPPS HOWARD newspapers full page ads in papers and magazines all over the country….$$400.00 yes I said four hundred bucks for a nights work.


6. Mother and Child in Harlem, 1943
$18,750
SALE 2076, 17 OCTOBER 2007
gelatin silver print
titled ‘Negroes Moving into Wight [sic] Neighborhood’ in an unknown hand in pencil, ‘Weegee the Famous’ and ‘Photo-Representatives’ credit stamps (on the
verso)
13 3/8 x 10 5/8in. (33.9 x 27 cm.)


7. Coney Island
$17,925
SALE 1039, 18 APRIL 2002
Gelatin silver print. 1940/1940s. Reproduction limitation stamp on the verso.
7½ x 9½in. (19 x 24.2cm.)

(The above is from Christie’s’ website… obviously many of the titles and dates are not accurate…)

I guess this tells us that people are crazy, or, that it’s the iconic, or “Famous Forty,” Weegee images are still the ones that are the most sought after…
The exception is the amazing “Mother and Child in Harlem,” 1943.
One of the best things about the portfolio is that the negatives are uncropped, they are all full frame…

April 8, 2008
Sotheby’s
LOT 182

WEEGEE

“MAN SLEEPING ON A FIRE ESCAPE”

Estimate: $5,000—7,000
Lot Sold. Hammer Price with Buyer’s Premium: $4,375
13¾ by 10¾ in. (34.9 by 27.3 cm.)
The photographer’s ‘Photo-Representatives’ and ‘6526 Selma Avenue, Hollywood 28, California’ studio stamps on the reverse, matted, framed, 1943

(This is a great print, most of the prints that wee have seen are printed from a negative that has damage to the upper left corner…)





Christie’s
Feb. 20, 2008

1. The Slumber Hour, Scrubwoman at 20 Wall St. Tower, Midnight, 1945
$5,625
gelatin silver print
‘Weegee from Photo-Representatives’ credit stamp (on the verso)
13 5/8 x 10¾in. (34.5 x 27.2cm.)

2. All Night Mission, Bowery, 1940
$2000
gelatin silver print
‘Photo by Weegee’ credit stamp and agency copyright credit reproduction limitation label affixed (on the verso); exhibition label affixed (on the mat)
10¼ x 13½in. (26 x 34.2cm.)

3. Hedda Hopper, 1948
$2,500
gelatin silver print
‘ABC Press’, ‘Atlantic Press’ and ‘Weegee from Photo-Representatives’ copyright credit stamps (on the verso)
9½ x 7¾in. (24 x 19.6cm.)

4. Nazi in Yorkville, who ran for Congress, was committed to Bellevue, c. 1941
$1,875
gelatin silver print
titled in ink and ‘5 Center Market Place’ copyright credit stamps (on the verso)
13½ x 10½in. (34.2 x 26.5cm.)

5. The Critic (Mrs. Leonora Warner & her mother, Mrs. George Washington Cavanaugh attending opening night at the Metropolitan Opera), 1943
$6,875
gelatin silver print
‘451 W. 47th Street’ credit stamp (on the verso)
7¼ x 8¼in. (18.3 x 20.8cm.)

(The above is from Christie’s web site, wee won’t correct all the mistakes, like the absurd parenthetical title of The Critic…)

That was an absurd price to pay The Critic, it looked like a potentially posthumous print, perhaps from a copy negative, definitely printed after 1961…

WEEGEE

Recent Auction Results: Christie’s
April 2008, Sale 2110
Naked City. New York: Essential Books, 1945.
$37,000
Octavo (234 x 164 mm). 239 black and white photographs. Original tan cloth, spine and front cover lettered in blue; original photo-illustrated dustjacket, printed in yellow, red and black (a few short tears, a few very small chips at extremities); cloth folding box. Weegee’s signature in green ink on the title page, dated “1948”.
Autograph letter signed (“Weegee”) to John Faber (“Mr John Faber”), with envelope, undated but postmarked “13 April 1960″, from the Mapleton Hotel, London. 10 pages, quarto.

FIRST EDITION, SIGNED BY WEEGEE AND IN AN EXCELLENT DUST-JACKET.
WITH A LENGTHY LETTER FROM WEEGEE TO JOHN FABER, of the Eastman Kodak Co., describing how he came to shoot ‘The Critic’, one of his most famous photographs: “this photo changed the whole course of my life”. His work as “official” photographer for Murder Inc not starting until midnight Weegee decided to take a chance on an opening at the Metropolitan Opera House: “the other photographers… told me to go back to my corpses, being a non conformist I said to myself fuck that nonsense, I went outside in the cold”, a car pulled-up, but the war meant a black-out was in effect, “I couldn’t see much but I could smell the smugness, so I aimed my camera and made the shot… and rushed back to the newspaper”. Weegee describes the “dopey” editor rejecting the photograph, and how it was subsequently picked-up by Life and published throughout the world and “in my first book Naked City”. Weegee then discusses selling the film rights, becoming a celebrity himself, and moving to Hollywood (“all the gangsters having shot each other off”). He goes on describing working on both sides of the Atlantic for Vogue&, Life, Fortune and others: “I still haven’t recuperated from that photo”.

(of course the above is from the christie’s web site)

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