The c.1872 albumen print of Alexandra ‘Xie’ Rhoda Kitchen (1864- 1925) asleep on a sofa was estimated at $8000-12,000 and took $10,500 (£8700).
Xie was a favourite subject of the Alice in Wonderland author and he photographed her around 50 times, from the age of four until just before her 16th birthday. She was the daughter of Rev George William Kitchen (1827- 1912), one of Dodgson’s colleagues at Christ Church College, Oxford who later became the Dean of Winchester and Durham. She went on to marry Arthur Cardew, a civil servant and gifted amateur musician, and had six children.
In an April online sale, Sworders sold a series of eight photographs taken by Dodgson of Xie that came for sale from a descendant of the sitter. A French dealer was the buyer of all eight photographs bidding hammer prices of between £10,000-16,550 each with another version of this print sold at £12,650.
Of the approximately 3000 photographs Dodgson made in his life, just over half are of children. At the time, the camera was still a relatively new technology, and Dodgson, as an early and capable enthusiast, found no shortage of friends who wanted him to make likenesses of their children. Since the 1930s, biographers and scholars have questioned his intentions when taking these pictures and the relationship he had with his young subjects.
The Joe Baio sale was one of Hindman’s first in New York. The auction featured 101 photographs from one of the most extensive and notable private photography collections in the world. Baio has collected photography since the mid-80s, focusing on the theme of childhood and adolescence, inspired by raising and photographing his own children.
Signed by Dodgson
Alice in Wonderland is the focus of the Farber collection that comes for sale at Potter & Potter in Chicago on November 30. One of the high spots of the sale is a presentation copy of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland signed to the illustrator Richard Doyle.
This 1866 copy (the first published English edition with the misprint ‘wade’ for ‘wabe’ in the poem Jabberwocky) is particularly rare as Dodgson signs in his own name. Typically, the author was careful to protect his privacy and to prevent his serious mathematical works from being linked with his books for children.
Doyle was one of the artists Dodgson was considering as an illustrator for the sequel to Alice. At the time John Tenniel, who provided the 44 illustrations to the first book, had refused to do it, insisting that one book by Lewis Carroll was he could stand. However, he later relented and in June 1868 consented to illustrate Through the Looking Glass.
The estimate of this special copy, one that was sold at Sotheby’s in 1937 and carries the book plate of the US publisher Max Charles Gaines (1894- 1947), is $30,000-50,000.