An Early Christmas Present
Henri Cartier Bresson
A few days ago (19/12/2016) a client came in the front door. With her was an exquisite Black & White print she had found in her father’s garage amongst the camping gear.
She had dropped the frame and broken the glass. After some research she thought the Colour Factory was the best equipped to repair the frame.
I asked her if she knew what this image was worth and where it came from? She said her dad bought it because the boy in the picture looked like his young deceased Cousin.
The image was signed 'Henri Cartier Bresson'. The image was also embossed with the same name. Henri Cartier Bresson was a French photographer who pioneered street photography.
A Google enquiry took me to the website of Beetles and Huxley. Beetles and Huxley is a renowned gallery in London that focuses on photographic artists who have played a significant role in the history of art. The value of Henri's images sell there for between 20 & 50 thousand pounds!
As this is one of his most popular images, 'Boy Carrying a Wine Bottle, (Rue Mouffetard, Paris, 1954)' it would be at the top end of the sale prices. The photograph was in immaculate condition, and after careful inspection, was genuine. So I spoke to Helen Frajman from M33, a well-respected valuer. Although Helen specializes in Australian photography, she thought Beetles Huxley was a good indication of value.
We decided to re-frame it to museum standards. When the client's daughter picked up the work I spoke to her father on the phone. He said he bought the picture from an exhibition at The Church Street Photographic Centre for $2000.00. The centre was run by Joyce Evans, grandmother of Australian Photographic movement. I spoke to Joyce. She advised that the print was supplied by the Magnum Group in London an original for an exhibition of his work.
So, who said photography was not a good investment?! What a great Christmas story.