the first photographically illustrated auction catalogue
(PHOTOGRAPHS) Christie, Manson & Woods. Catalogue of the celebrated collection of works of art and vertu known as “The Vienna Museum,” the property of Messrs. Lowenstein Brothers, of Frankfort-on-the-Main
London: Christie, Manson & Woods, 1860
36 salt paper prints (approx. 11.4 x 17.8 cm), mounted, one of which is hand colored. Original red cloth gilt. Frayed at spine ends, light foxing and soiling. Very good.
FIRST EDITION. This important volume is “the earliest photographically illustrated auction catalogue” (Gernsheim, Incunabula, 122). It contains 36 photographs on salted paper by Hermann Emden of Frankfurt.
“Christie’s interest in adapting photography also encompassed the illustration of catalogues. In 1860 they sold the private collection of the Lowenstein brothers of Frankfort-am-Main which was known as ‘the Vienna Museum.’ This auction was accompanied by what is believed to be the first photographically illustrated auction catalogue and, most significantly, the text actually refers to the thirty-six photographic illustrations by Hermann Emden of Frankfort, one of which was hand colored. Illustrated catalogues were very uncommon before 1860 and to have a photographically illustrated catalogue with a text making prominent references to the photographs makes this publication even more unusual” (Hamber, A Higher Branch of the Art).
A landmark in the history of commerce, publishing, and photography.
Truthful Lens 34.