29 December 2015

Borrowing Leaves

Yes, the holiday week continues and, no, I don't have enough time for blogging. Today I'll borrow a leaf from Felican Kristnaskon! (Merry Christmas!), which borrowed a leaf from Top eBay Chess Items by Price.

While I was working on the Christmas post, I looked at eBay auctions that never make the cut in 'Top Chess Items' and particularly liked the photo shown below. Titled '1957 Vintage MARCEL DUCHAMP LARRY EVANS Chess Photo Art 16x20 ~ PHILIPPE HALSMAN', it sold for nearly US $110, Buy-It-Now.

I don't normally use watermarked photos -- this one is marked 'Finephoto' (the name of the eBay seller) in the lower left -- but the subject, the quality of the photo, and the additional information convinced me to break this rule. The description ('Print Specifications') added,

Photographer: Philippe Halsman (Latvia born American, 1906 - 1979) - internationally renowned portrait and fashion photographer, one of the most important and influential photographers from the 1940's through the 1970's.
Subject: Marcel Duchamp and Larry Evans playing chess.
Date Of Negative: 1957
Type Of Print: Authentic Vintage Sheet Fed Photogravure (from original image - authorized by Philippe Halsman)
Date Of Print: 1972
Original Issue: Bound sheet fed photogravure compilation.
Paper: Medium weight, clay coat - satin/matte finish.
Print Origin: Italy
Approximate Image Size Inches: 8.75 x 10.25 inches
Mount Board Size Inches: 20 x 16 inches
Mount Board Color: White
Print Border: No - full bleed print.
Condition Grade: Extra Fine ++
Verso: Professionally dry mounted with Bienfang archival materials onto sturdy 4ply museum mat board.

One of the most significant photographic artists of the 20th century, Halsman has had numerous exhibitions of his work and his iconic portrait images are held in important collections and museums throughout the world. In 1958 Halsman was listed in Popular Photography magazine's "World's Ten Greatest Photographers" along with Irving Penn, Richard Avedon, Ansel Adams, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Alfred Eisenstaedt, Ernst Haas, Yousuf Karsh, Gjon Mili, and Eugene Smith. In 1975 he received the Life Achievement in Photography Award from the American Society of Magazine photographers.


Marcel Duchamp and Larry Evans weren't exactly unknowns either. All of that taken together makes a concise introduction to collecting vintage chess photos.

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