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Christie's: Icons of Glamour and Style, The Contantiner Collection Part II

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January 2009

Following the success of their December auction, Christie’s announced the sale of Part II of The Constantiner Collection.

This will be offered in a single session in New York. Assembled by Leon and Michaela Constantiner, this spectacular collection focuses on photography as a key shaping force within the media worlds that have, for over half a century, celebrated fashion, style, celebrity and desire.

The Collection features the work of highly sought-after artists, including Helmut Newton, Horst P. Horst, Tom Staebler, Guy Bourdin, Jeanloup Sieff and Bert Stern. Glamorized figures represent the core theme; subjects range from stars of the era of Marilyn Monroe to contemporary celebrities such as Madonna, Tom Hanks and Cindy Crawford.

A double contact sheet of Helmut Newton’s Sie Kommen – Naked and Dressed, is the top lot of the sale. This rare version of one of his most famous subjects comprises a pair of greatly enlarged gelatin silver contact prints, each signed, titled and dated by Newton (estimate: $150,000-250,000).


A four-panel diptych of Sie Kommen, a highlight of the December sale, set a world auction record for Newton. Helmut Newton’s work is well represented in the sale, which includes the diptych, Dressed and Nude Model Reclining, Brescia, 1981 (estimate: $50,000-70,000), and Violetta with monocle – Big Nude IX, Paris, 1991 (estimate: $20,000-30,000).

The sale also features rare color work by Guy Bourdin, including Fashion study, French Vogue, circa 1975 (estimate: $3,000-5,000). Tom Staebler’s Playboy cover of Candace Collins from February 1980, is the sale’s cover lot (estimate $2,000-3,000).

Studies of Marilyn Monroe complete the offering from the Collection of an extraordinary selection of portraits of the greatest Hollywood siren of all time.

Her glamorous public image is celebrated, while a range of informal and more intimate photographs build a powerful document of her personality and explore the fragile, vulnerable quality of Monroe’s particular appeal.

The sale presents photographs of Monroe by many distinguished artists, including André de Dienes, Weegee, Cecil Beaton, Eve Arnold, Elliott Erwitt, Milton Greene and Bert Stern.

With estimates starting at $1,000, the sale offers collectors the opportunity to acquire key images from every facet of her career.

Among the highlights are an iconic study by Bert Stern from The Last Sitting for Vogue (estimate: $5,000-7,000), and Weegee’s witty 1960 image of the star as she playfully puckers her lips for the camera (estimate: $6,000-8,000).
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