The core of the Jack Naylor collection, which is considered to be one of the finest privately-owned photographica collections, will be sold at an unreserved auction on October 18-21, 2007 by Guernsey's Auctions. Following several days of public previewing, 2,000 items from the very earliest photographs to rare and historic cameras will be auctioned off at the America's Society landmark mansion located at 68th St. and Park Ave. in New York City. Jack Naylor is a long-time collector since the mid-1950s, who is well-known for his house/museum and his kind hospitality.
The balance of the collection will be sold on-line approximately six months after the October event. A four-color catalogue documenting the collection and October auction can be reserved from Guernsey's at $50 ($65 for international buyers).
The Naylor collection has been described as representing the "complete history of photography"--from the earliest pre-photography period to the 20th Century.
Naylor's assemblage of daguerreian material contains literally thousands of daguerreotypes (both American and European) taken between 1839 and 1850 by some of the masters of the new art, including Southworth and Hawes, Whipple and Plumbe. The daguerreian portion of the Naylor collection is also replete with rare daguerreian cameras, lenses and studio furnishings. It also contains a collection of daguerreian and early photography nudes and erotica. An early image of Edgar Allan Poe was also discovered in Naylor's vast daguerreian archive.
The Naylor collection also includes significant "pre-photography" objects and curious devices from around the world, created in the centuries and decades prior to the advent of the daguerreotype. Other later photography equipment represented in the collection is quite rare. One key example is the carved and inlaid Megalascope, created by Venetian photographer Carlo Ponti in 1859.
Although the Naylor collection is primarily focused on photography, there are sections of the collection that include non-photography-related items. For example, well-known for his work related to the Civil War, the Mathew Brady section leads into an even larger 150 item Civil War section that is, for the most part, not photography-related. It includes the rare Wedgwood abolitionist medallion given to Ben Franklin and a life mask of President Lincoln. Among the other non-photographic items are Queen Victoria's purse and what is believed to be the first print made in America--a 1727 engraving of Reverend Cotton Mather. Yet another remarkable non-photographic artifact in the collection is an American flag actually taken to the moon by astronaut Neil Armstrong and gifted to Naylor.
The Naylor collection has hundreds of rare cameras and lenses, including Dr. Edwin Land's instant photography prototype, the earliest Kodak examples, Jacques Cousteau's first underwater cameras, multiple lens cameras from the 1860s, Leica's best efforts (including a 1930 gold-plated, lizard-skinned Luxus 35mm and the 8 x 10-inch Deardorff used by Playboy to capture 30 years worth of centerfolds. Of particular note is the espionage section of 165 specialized cameras and other related items used by Soviet, German, British and American spies throughout the 20th century, along with several 19th-century examples. To keep it intact, the entire espionage collection will be sold as a single lot and will be the only item in the sale with a reserve.
The Naylor collection also contains many of Edward Curtis' original glass-plate positives of his famed Indian images.
The collection is also rich in vintage photographs, such as 21 images by Margaret Bourke-White, which were taken while traveling in Russia in 1930. Other iconic images include Alfred Eisenstaedt's VJ Day in Times Square and Arthur Rosenthal's Iwo Jima Flag Raising. Original prints by Dr. Bradford Washburn of the world's most unapproachable terrains and stop-motion pictures by Dr. Edgerton add to the collection, as do the photographic portraits of Marilyn Monroe, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Douglas MacArthur, Winston Churchill and the memorable image of Nastassja Kinski and the serpent, which is boldly autographed by Richard Avedon.
Although the above is far from a complete category listing of this amazing collection, Naylor's impressive library of rare photography books certainly needs mentioning. It, along with many rare examples of ephemera, will be exciting to paper collectors universally.
For complete information, you can go to the auction house's web site at http://www.guernseys.com or contact Guernsey's at 1-212-794-2280 or firstname.lastname@example.org .