21 April 2016. 21 April 1860. One of the very first photography auctions was held exactly 156 years ago to the day. It comprised two lots: the apparatus and prints of Gustave le Gray, along with his debts. There was a single bidder – well, two partners in fact, the Marquis de Briges and his brother, the photographer’s financial backers who had eventually pushed him into bankruptcy and had come to collect their rewards. Alexandre Dumas published a subdued article in his journal, the dark humour barely perceptible and eluding the observers’ wisdom.
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