RARE BOOK GUIDE - THE RUNNERS, THE RIDERS & THE ODDS

21 June 2009

David Bailey's Box of Pin-Ups, 1965.



David Bailey. DAVID BAILEY'S BOX OF PIN-UPS. Weidenfeld & Nicholson, London [1965].



Current Selling Prices
$6000-$12000 /£3000-£6000


One of the victims of this recession has been photobooks. However like real estate in Britain and America they had become grossly overvalued and a correction was due. There were 3 big photo auctions in May and, whereas none bombed, results were lacklustre. Dealers tended only to be buying on commission and collectors only shelled out for stuff in exemplary condition.

Some surrealist items did well (the 1936 photo collage book 'La Septieme Face du Dé' by Hugnet made £10000 in it s Duchamp covers) and others badly --rude boy Hans Bellmer's not uncommon 'Les Jeux de la Poupée' failed to make its £40K reserve. Bailey's book turned up in 2 sales on the same day. Christies copy in a repaired box and lacking the cardboard throwaway insert made a punchy £4375. At Bloomsbury the gavel came down almost simultaneously at £1800 on a lesser copy ('missing lower cover and cardboard packing sheets stamped 'To be thrown away', the box with some marks and splits at edges.) Below is our original late 2007 report on this groovy book. It is hard to imagine the circumstances in which one would find a fine copy--but if one were found, even in these borassic times it would surely make £10,000+. Perhaps Lord Snowdon, the unsaleable photographer, still has his copy-- pristine because too nasty too touch with its pics of lowlife criminals and thugs. Possibly, like Churchill's Graham Sutherland portrait, it was destroyed.


PHOTOGRAPHY / 1960
Much sought after and valuable book from the mid 1960s before kaftans, bells, patchouli and psychedelia. I can remember as a teen seeing it in the shops and thinking it was expensive (£10?); there must have been quite a few printed and they got bought by the affluent and many got broken up and pinned up on walls of their kids -- the exact purpose for which they were intended. Of the few sets I have handled, quite often the photos had been taken down and put back in the box - with the pinholes at the corners as the evidence. In this auction description they have tape marks:
David Bailey's Box of Pin-ups. Description: A set of 36 portrait photographs (halftone prints), sheets 370 x 320mm., printed captions on versos, 15 (list available) with small tape marks at top corners, loose as issued in original box, upper cover with title, notes by Francis Wyndham and portrait of Bailey by Mick Jagger, lower cover with a repeat of Mick Jagger by Bailey, both cardboard packing sheets stamped "To be thrown away" present, the box with some marks and splits at edges, folio, Sixties style recorded and defined in a select gallery of movers and shakers from the worlds of music, fashion, art, photography, advertising, film and the stage. "Glamour dates fast, and it is its ephemeral nature which both attracts Bailey and challenges him." The text on the reverse of the image, penned by Francis Wyndham, cites Shrimpton as the inspiration behind this homage to visual culture: 'I want to do a book about images', said David Bailey, 'Jean's an image'.
This set made £4000 in 2004. There is some fetish about sets that retain the piece of thick card printed with the instruction to throw it away. A fine set made £20K in a photo sale in 2006 when 2 sixties obsessed and presumably bunced up punters went into full combat in a classic pissing competition. Some might consider the 60s way overrated and Bailey too. His work is noticeably absent from Martin Parr's seminal 'Photobooks 1 & 2'. Bailey has been accused of lack of taste and certainly anybody seen wearing a studded and pleated denim flat cap (as DB did in his documentary about Cecil Beaton) would have a job explaining himself to the taste police + his photos of Marie Helvin wrapped up in newspaper are a sort of limp response response to the pervo chic of Hemut Newton. His real strength has been as a fashion photographer drawing out stylish and sexual response from the beauties of the Love Generation. Also as a collector of photography he showed interesting and innovative taste--at CSK I recall seeing him buy a Van Gloeden of a svelte young girl--a rare item as the good Baron mainly concentrated on boys.



'Pin-ups' was art-directed by the caricaturist Mark Boxer, later editor of Tatler and briefly editorial director of Vogue, and David Hillman, responsible for Nova in its glory years. The subjects included Mick Jagger, Terence Stamp, Brian Jones, Kasmin, Jean Shrimpton, John Lennon & Paul Mccartney,Beaton, Rudolf Nureyev, Michael Caine, Hockney, Snowdon, the Kray Brothers and others. The strong objection to the presence of the Krays on the part of Lord Snowdon was the major reason no American edition of the "Box" ever appeared, nor a British second edition was ever issued. Gerald Scarfe, regarding the book as obsequious, responded promptly with ‘Gerald Scarfe’s Box of Throwups’ - a book I have never seen and which may be just a contribution or a ghost. Image below is of Bailey's muse - the pulchritudinous Jean Shrimpton aka 'The Shrimp.'

VALUE? Not impossibly rare - the print run was quite high because it was trendy material. However fresh, complete, unhandled examples with the box firm and intact are pretty scarce. Copies have made as little as $3000 in auction in the last 3 years and defective copies less, on the other hand they can climb to $10,000 and beyond. No copies at present on any internet bookmalls. People used to actually sell the pictures individually like some botanical breaker--think £100 a plate. Possibly to future generations the photos will be like Julia Margaret Cameron's highly prized photos of Victorian beauties and celebs. On the other hand the 60s era may be seen as less 'far out' and amazing when the boomers are no longer around to proclaim its ecstasies.

23 comments:

Mynou said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
stanley said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
antonio said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

antonio:put it on ebay then.Don't try to turn this amusing and informative site into your personal sale outlet.

Anonymous said...

regardless of the previous comments if anyone has a set David Bailey's Box Of Pin Up's for sale please contact me on - m_scottuk@yahoo.co.uk - thanks

Anonymous said...

Dear me, what a devastating and Wildean riposte from an illiterate who is unable to spell even the most common of profanities correctly. I am deeply humbled...

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

an asswipe - not a ass wipe. Stick to typing he he - it's obviously the limit of your intellect.

Anonymous said...

It is a sad comment of our society that the reply from aaa, can now be seen on a site such as this. Though the reply from anonymous seemed rude and unnecessary, aaa had no need to use that language. Can we not keep the mean offensive street language off these pages?
Thank you once again for a great site

Bookride said...

Intemperate language removed, not to censor but because the guy lost the plot...thanks for pointing it out. I'm not really against a bit of book tradng if civilised...it's my day job!

John Hooton said...

I remember drooling over this when I was a humble photographer's assistant. It was £25 - way beyond my means on £12 per week alas!

Barry Roberts said...

I have a copy I wish to sell - unfortunately it has two missing plates, Brian Jones...
The box is pretty tatty and has been repaired but apart from that its up for grabs. If you're interested contact me at Barry@barryroberts.co.uk

stanley said...

If anyone has a set of David Bailey's "Box of Pin Ups" for sale please contact me on m_scottuk@yahoo.co.uk - Thanks

Anonymous said...

Was 25 pounds really the correct retail price in 1965? Because, that's like 377,52 pounds worth in nowadays money. Can anybody remember?

Frank said...

If I remember correctly I paid around £4 to £5. when the box was first produced, only to throw them in the skip in 1993 when they became flood damaged, not insured and did not realise there value, If I had known I would have salvaged them.

Regards

patricia aston said...

I have a copy of this and it has travelled around the country with me. Photos are in mint condition, cardboard bit saying 'throw away' is intact. Because of being stored in various places box is a bit worn as one would expect but has not been sellotaped or interfered with at any time. Kept in polythene bag. I would not expect to sell for under £5,000.

stanley said...

patricia can you contact me m_scottuk@yahoo.co.uk re selling

Patricia said...

Contacted stanley but heard no further from him. Take it my conditions of sale are not acceptable. Intend to send it to one of the main auction houses with a reserve in order to sell it.
Patricia Aston

Anonymous said...

I am lucky enough to have a complete set, plus an incomplete 29 of the original 36. Is there anyone out there with an also incomplete set? perhaps we can swap

antonio schillagi said...

From : Anonymous said...
I am lucky enough to have a complete set, plus an incomplete 29 of the original 36. Is there anyone out there with an also incomplete set? perhaps we can swap...
*********************************
Do you or someone knows if in the set is a duplicate print of Mike jaeger w/ another man (dont remember his name)?
I have a complete set, however 1 of the prints is duplicate.

antonio schillagi said...

I have a copy of Mick Jagger and Max Maxwell in MINT conditions and I'm looking to buy or trade my print for the Five Stones print from the box of pin-ups.
Please reply to aschillagi@gmail.com

Thank you and I'm sorry for my poor English :)

antonio schillagi said...

Anonymous said...
I am lucky enough to have a complete set, plus an incomplete 29 of the original 36. Is there anyone out there with an also incomplete set? perhaps we can swap
______________________________

Anonymous, do you have the Rolling Stones print?

antonio schillagi said...

FOR SALE:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/161564237095?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1558.l2649#rpdCntId