The Most Expensive Book of the Twentieth Century

Helmut Newton, Self-Portrait with Wife and Models, Vogue Studio, Paris, 1981
Helmut Newton, Self-Portrait with Wife and Models

Christie’s Photographs sale in London on 16 May featured over 100 works from the nineteenth century through to the twenty-first.

Helmut Newton is an acknowledged master of the recent past and his work was, as ever, in great demand. A self-portrait with his wife and a model from 1980 exceeded its estimate of £70,000 to £90,000 and eventually sold for over £200,000.

Hailed as one of the greatest photographers of our time, Newton imprinted his own unique stamp on not only the photography industry, the fashion circle, but the art world.  Hot foot it to Paris if you can to see the major retrospective of his work at the Grand Palais (ends 17 June).

Helmut Newton, Sumo
Helmut Newton, Sumo

German born Newton was photographer to many of the fashion giants including Vogue, Harpers Bazaar and Elle amongst many others. His work is not only erotic and highly sensual, it is also iconic and influential. Some may argue it objectifies women as sexual objects, some may say he simply shows off the beauty of a woman’s figure, but you cannot deny these prints are mesmerizing.

And the most expensive book of the twentieth century? It’s Newton’s Sumo. Aptly named, this masterpiece weighs in at over 30kg (we know, we have to lift it to ship it to you!), 464 pages, limited to 10,000 signed and numbered copies, it is a giant book in every sense. Which is why Philippe Starck designed a stand to display the book and its images in all their glory.

If you want your own piece of art and publishing history, Monograph can supply Sumo to you complete with the Philippe Starck stand and the original packaging (not that you will leave it in the box for long once you have it).

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