Robert Howlett photograph of Isambard Kingdom Brunel in 1857 – £6000 at Dominic Winter.

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They include the iconic shot of the diminutive engineer with cigar in front of the giant launching chains wearing stove pipe hat, mudspattered trousers and boots.

A less well-known image taken by Howlett on that same November 1857 day is the arched top albumen print shown above.

It depicts Brunel standing with (from left to right) the Scottish civil engineer and shipbuilder John Scott Russell; Henry Wakefield, a highly-regarded engineer in Brunel’s drawing office; and Edward Smith Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby.

An uncommon print, this 11 x 9in (27 x 23cm) copy with the four figures identified in pencil to the original card mount sold online for £6000 (estimate £300-500) at the sale of Photographs, Autographs & Historical Documents held on November 24 at Dominic Winter (20% buyer’s premium) of South Cerney, Gloucestershire.

Provocative print


Mainbocher Corset by Horst P Horst – £8500 at Chiswick Auctions.

An original platinum palladium print of one of the most famous images from 20th century fashion photography sold for £8500 at Chiswick Auctions’ (25% buyer’s premium).

The signed artist’s print of Mainbocher Corset by Horst P Horst (1906-99, produced in an edition of 50 by Hamiltons Gallery London 1988, sold to a west London private buyer who had spotted it in the window of Chiswick’s new Barley Mow premises before the sale of 19th & 20th Century Photographs on November 25.

Mainbocher Corset was the last photograph taken by the German- American fashion photographer before he fled Paris in 1939.

Taken for Vogue magazine, it depicts the model Madame Bernon wearing Parisian lingerie (a pink satin corset by Detolle) at a time when the corset had come back into fashion after a period of unpopularity. The version of the print used by Vogue was retouched to make the corset appear a snug fit.

However, in this print taken from the original negative, the lefthand side of the corset hangs down provocatively from the model’s side. It was considered too risqué for publication.