One of the images from the Combes archive sold for £2300 at Unique Auctions.

Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

Unique (22% buyer’s premium) had estimated the archive of around 3500 original images housed in nine ‘archival quality’ sleeved binders at £300-500 on January 1 but it took £2300.

They were taken from 1928-82 by James G Combes (1913-98), an enthusiastic rambler, traveller and photographer.

Subjects were as diverse as a formation of airborne bomber aircraft taken in 1938, motorcycle racing at Cadwell Park the following year, a railway station at Ghelum, North Punjab in 1943, gargoyles on the roof of Notre Dame cathedral in Paris in 1949, bomb damage in 1950s London, a rail crash in Lincoln in May 1962 and a rare image of a historic building, ‘Teapot Hall’ in the Lincolnshire village of Dalderby, taken sometime before it was destroyed by fire in 1945.

The lot included a box of the original negative containers with notes made by the photographer, and a number of black and white prints also by Combes.