As we first reported back in June, Ritz Camera is putting itself on the auction block as it struggles to pull itself out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The public auction will be held tomorrow, and may mean the breakup of the largest camera store chain in the United States. The company ran 800 stores back in 2009, but now only has around 300 under various names, including Ritz Camera, Wolf Camera, and The Camera Shop. That number will soon be trimmed to 137. A number of buyers are reportedly interested in snatching Ritz up, presumably due the fact that the company still generates a good bit of revenue — nearly $200 million over the past year through its brick-and-mortar and online businesses.
If you have any gift cards for any of Ritz’s camera shops, you should think about using them as soon as you can. There will soon be an aggressive trimming of unprofitable retail locations, and who knows what a potential buyer might have planned for the stores?
Photo agency Getty Images is on the auction block, in a second round of bids that are climbing towards $4 billion for a potential sale. Investment firm KKR & Co. and private equity investment firm TPG are on the list of at least five interested bidders, the Wall Street Journal reports. Read more…
The largest photo book ever published sold yesterday at the Bonhams Book, Maps, Manuscripts and Historical Photographs sale in London. The book is made up of 20, un-enlarged prints of Egypt, Sinai and Jerusalem taken by renowned English photographer Francis Frith that each measure a colossal 30in x 21in. To give you some perspective, we’ve superimposed a picture of Canon’s new T4i (to scale) onto the picture from the book itself. As you can see, these are some big prints. Read more…
The Friends of Anton is an organization that has come together over the past year to ensure the future of slain South African photojournalist Anton Hammerl’s three children; and 3 days ago the organization in partnership with Christie’s held the latter’s first ever auction of contemporary photojournalism prints, raising over $100,000 towards their touching cause. Read more…
A rare Beatles photograph taken in the same shoot as the iconic Abbey Road album cover is set to go up for auction on May 22nd, and is expected to fetch up to £9,000 (~$14,300). The photograph by Iain Macmillan was one of seven photographs captured while the band walked back and forth across the zebra crossing. A police officer held up traffic while the photographer was given 10 minutes to do the shoot while standing on a ladder. Only 25 copies of this “wrong way” photo were ever printed.
Want to see how the world’s most expensive camera was auctioned this past Saturday? The video above shows the 1923 Leica O-Series going up at the WestLicht Photographica Auction and being sold at the record-breaking price of $2.79 million after auction fees and tax. WestLicht points out that these cameras have been appreciating like crazy in recent years: the first sold in 2007 for $440K and a second sold in 2011 for $1.9M before this most recent auction. Each of the auctions set a new world record for “most expensive camera”.
Yes, that camera you see sitting on the table is the actual camera being auction. The model at the end is holding a very expensive piece of metal and glass in her hands.
If you’re the kind of person who hates expensive collectors items then you may want to look away; because a 1923 Leica O-Series just set a new world record and became the most expensive camera ever sold. The price? Approximately $2.79 million after tax. The funny thing is that the exact same model (there are 12 of the original 25 left in existence today) set the previous world record of $1.89 million last year at the exact same WestLicht Photographica Auction. And when you consider that the first O-Series to be auctioned back in 2007 went for only ~$435,000, you have to marvel at that rate of appreciation.
A fake war photograph by Canadian artist Jeff Wall was sold yesterday at Christie’s in NYC for a staggering $3.6 million — a new record for Canadian photographers and the third highest price ever paid for a picture. The 1992 photo, titled Dead Troops Talk, was captured inside a suburban Vancouver studio using models, borrowed military outfits, and fake blood. It shows a group of dead Soviet soldiers chatting with one another during the Soviet-Afghan war of 1986. The sold image is one of two copies that exist, and considered Wall’s most important creation. Interestingly enough, Andreas Gurksy (who holds the record for most expensive photo) cites Wall as an influence.
PDN has published an interview with art collector Jonathan Sobel, who’s suing photographer William Eggleston for creating and selling new prints of iconic photos that were once sold as “limited edition” prints. The new prints that recently fetched $5.9 million at auction were digital prints that were larger than the original ones.
The dispute boils down to this question: If an artist produces and sells a limited edition of a photographic work, and then re-issues the same image in a different size, or in a different print format or medium, does the re-issue qualify as a separate edition? Or do the new prints breach New York law that defines “limited edition,” and therefore defraud the buyers of those original limited edition versions of the work?
The answer could have a significant effect on the photographic print market. A number of photographers issue limited editions of their works, then later issue new editions of the same works, reprinted at different sizes or in different mediums. The reason is obvious: When an edition sells out, and scarcity drives up the price, artists want to cash in on pent up demand.
Sobel, who has spent 10 years studying and collecting Eggleston’s work, claims that eight of his prints that were previously worth $850,000 have been devalued by the recent sale.
36 of American photographer William Eggleston‘s digital pigment prints were auctioned off at Christie’s on Monday, fetching a whopping $5.9 million — far more than the $2.7M they were expected to sell for. Eggleston is credited with helping making color photography a legitimate artistic medium for galleries, which had previously favored B&W prints. A print of Eggleston’s “Memphis (Tricycle)” (shown above) was the top seller after being snatched up for $578,500. Read more…