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Colossal prices for Kenyan wildlife photos

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Three striking wildlife photographs by renowned American-Kenyan photographer Peter Beard fetched $725000 (over R10.6million)

The recent Christie’s New York photography auction in total produced sales of over $6m to again endorse the increasing value of photography as an art form.

Beard’s works sold were:

* World-class Black Rhino, Aberdare Forest which fetched $250000.

* Large Tusker, Tsavo North: $225000.

* Orphaned Cheetah Cubs, Mweiga, Kenya: $250000.

Beard’s photographs of African wildlife have been widely shown since the 1970s.

He was born in 1938 as the heir to a railroad fortune and tobacco inheritance. He travelled to Kenya after graduation and while working at Tsavo National Park, photographed and wrote about the demise of 35000 elephants and other wildlife. The plight of the animals became the subject of his first book The End of the Game.

He bought a property next door to the coffee farm owned by Out of Africa’s Karen Blixen which became his home in Africa.

The top price fetched for any photo at the Christie’s auction was for Helmut Newton’s Panoramic Nude, Woman with Gun, Villa d’Este, Como, which sold for $399000. 

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