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1930's Kleinhans Photos Sell for Thousands

Courtesy of Swann Auction Galleries

An album of vintage photos from a department store window in Buffalo sold for thousands of dollars at auction in New York City this week.

Swann Auction Galleries sold the album of more than 220 silver print photos depicting 1930's era windows from Kleinhans Department Store here in Buffalo for $13,000, that includes the buyer's premium, to an online bidder.  The winning bid exceeded initial estimates of the photo's worth, which where listed as $6,000-$$9,000.

Swann Galleries Director of Photographs and Photo Books Daile Kaplan says silver prints are the most popular technique of the 20th century. She notes photographs like these are well-liked items among private collectors and museum curators.

"It shows these marvelous tableaus that feature men's fashion apparel, and jaunty and modern designs from a very period that's very popular in Hollywood movies, continues to be popular in the retro market," notes Kaplan, adding "It also reflects the ways in which photography transforms from a documentary mode to a fine art mode because the pictures are very well done."

Kaplan notes the auction house sold a similar Kleinhans album, with twice as many photos, from an earlier era for about $16,000 earlier this year.