The word "vintage" is now part of common language! As it generally refers to any object (clothing, furniture, automobile) that dates from an ancient era, it has in photography a very specific definition that influences the value of the artwork: strictly speaking, a vintage is a print made from an original negative, by the artist himself or his official printer, at the same period as the shooting. 

A print made up to 10 years after the shooting, by the artist or an official representative, can be accepted as vintage because the production techniques and the socio-cultural context remain the same. Of course, the closer to the shooting period, the more valuable is the artwork.

After this 10 year period, a negative may be "withdrawn" by its owner. But it will be considered an interpretation, beyond the control of the photographer, and its quality will depend on the talent of the shooter.
Sometimes, there is no vintage print: when the final print of time has disappeared (destroyed or lost) or when the photographer rediscovers many years later an image he had never shot.

Auctions are an ideal place to find accessible vintage, such as those presented at fotofever paris 2018 by Viviane Esders, in preview of the auction sale scheduled in Drouot on November 23rd on the theme of 20th century Women Photographers.

Vintage Photography is part of the fotofever START TO COLLECT program, initiated 6 years ago to facilitate the discovery and collection of photography.

© Ruth Vernhard, In the Box - Vertical, 1962
Tirage argentique ca. 1970, signé au crayon sous l’image, signé, titré et daté au crayon au dos
Image : 34,5 x 21,5 cm ; Cadre : 66 x 51 cm
Estimation : 5 000-8 000 €
© Mona Kuhn, Nus de dos, 1998.
Tirage argentique d'époque signé, titré, daté et numéroté 9/25 au crayon au dos
Image : 37,8 x 37,8 cm ; Cadre : 59,5 x 59,5 cm
Estimation : 1 500-2 500 €
© Laure Albin Guillot, La déesse Cypris, 1932
Tirage Fresson d’époque, tampon au dos.
Image : 22,8 x 16,4 cm ; feuille : 36 x 24,5 cm
Estimation : 1 500-2 500 €
© Rogi André, Dora Maar, 1941.
Tirage argentique ca. 1945 monté sur carton, signé par l’auteur à l’encre sur et sous l’image, signé par l’auteur à l’encre au dos.
Image : 38,7 x 28 cm ; montage : 57,6 x 39 cm
Provenance : Collection Camille Renault, par descendance.
Estimation : 3 500-5 000 €


Viviane Esders, Expert in Photography since 1991, works for auctions, private and institutional collections. At the same time, she advises and guides individuals and businesses in the creation of photographic collections.