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Original prints by both men form part of over 200 lots to be auctioned off by Dick Ellis of the Amersham Auction Rooms on behalf of the Indochina Media Memorial Fund at the Freedom Forum, Stanhope House, Stanhope Place, London W1.

The works by Fenton and Robertson have been donated for auction by Lord Macdonald of Tradeston, the Transport Minister, who became a shrewd collector of old photographs when as Gus Macdonald he wrote and presented the Granada TV series Camera – Victorian Eyewitnesses.
Fenton’s picture was taken by him in The Crimea in 1855 and depicts General Cissé, officers and staff of General Bosquet, Commander of the French 2nd Division. Fenton, who spent six months in the Crimea before being invalided home, is generally regarded as being the pioneer of war photography. He took well over 700 shots on his Crimea excursion, but only 360 were ever printed. His picture is a salt paper print, from a wet collodion glass negative, and has a guide price of £350 to £400.

James Robertson spent a year in The Crimea and his photograph depicts a line of guns across a valley bottom, with the legend 44 The Creek Battery on the side. It is a salt paper print, and is expected to fetch between £150 and £200.

Many of the photographs on offer have been donated by the photographers or, in the case of those who died, their estates. Many focus on Indochina, ranging from the days of French colonialism to the American war in Vietnam and its aftermath. The IMMF is a charity run by journalists, many of whom worked in Indochina, and dedicated to setting up a series of courses and workshops for young photo-journalists in Vietnam.

Collection Viollett, a well-respected French collection that has hundreds of archived photographs, many from French colonial days in Indochina, has donated several, depicting life in the area during the 1920s.

More recent works on offer include pictures by Larry Burrows, the award-winning Briton who worked for Life magazine and was killed when his helicopter was shot down over Laos in 1971.

Horst Faas, the double Pulitzer prize winner who is currently European picture editor for the Associated Press and is a trustee of the IMMF, has donated several signed copies of his work, as have Don McCullin, Tim Page and Sebastiao Delgado.

Well represented are works from the world-famous Magnum agency founded by Robert Capa and Henri Cartier-Bresson. Capa, a Hungarian who became a naturalised American, shot to fame with his picture of a soldier being killed on a hillside during the Spanish Civil War.

He died after stepping on a landmine in Vietnam during the French War in the early 1950s; the pictures for sale here are copies donated by his brother of the last frames he ever shot, moments before his death.

The auction will be preceded by an exhibition of the photographs to be sold, at the Freedom Forum from April 16-18. Pre-sale bids may be made by filling in a form at the exhibition, or by contacting Dick Ellis at the Amersham Auction Rooms on 01494 729292. Copies of the catalogue are available, price £10.