Every year in mid-May the spring auction frenzy sees major sales of contemporary art and eye-popping timepieces. Commanding less fund-busting prices but equally appealing from an aesthetic point of view are the photography sales the auction houses somehow manage to squeeze in as well. This season a staggering selection of photos of our favorite style icons, as well as some alluring odes to the female form (see right), are set to cross the block. Sotheby’s, perhaps finding itself with less impressive offerings on its hands, decided to hold its sale early in Paris on May 10, leaving the field clear for Christie’s, Phillips de Pury and Bonhams to stage theirs in London from May 17 – 19. Christie’s as usual has the priciest offerings, but the standout from the point of view of variety is the Phillips sale, while Bonhams boasts a great collection of more affordable classics. Check out the slideshow for our top picks and best of luck bidding:
From the darkroom to the auction block, an abridged guide to obtaining some of the 20th century's most iconic photography.