Chiswick to auction celebrated prints by Horst P. Horst, Irving Penn, Nov. 25

Horst Mainbocher photograph

Horst P. Horst (1906-1999), Mainbocher Corset, Paris, 1939. Platinum palladium print, printed later, signed, dated and the 1st of and edition of 50. Estimate £8,000-£10,000 ($9,470-$11,835). Image courtesy of Chiswick Auctions

LONDON – An original platinum palladium print of one of the most famous images of the 20th century will be offered for sale on November 25 at Chiswick Auctions, with absentee and Internet live bidding through LiveAuctioneers.

The signed artist’s print of Mainbocher Corset by Horst P. Horst, the first print produced from an edition of 50, is expected to bring £8,000-£10,000 ($9,470-$11,835) at Chiswick’s sale of 19th & 20th Century Photographs on November 25.

Mainbocher Corset was the last photograph taken by the German-American fashion photographer Horst before he fled Paris in 1939. Taken for Vogue magazine, it depicts the model Madame Bernon wearing Parisian lingerie at a time when the corset had come back into fashion after a period of unpopularity.

The version of the print used by Vogue was retouched to make the corset appear a snug fit. However, in this print taken from the original negative, the left-hand side of the corset hangs down provocatively from the model’s side. It was considered too risqué for publication.

Horst Mainbocher photograph

Irving Penn (1917-2009), Woman in Dior Hat with Martini (Lisa Fonssagrives-Penn), 1952, printed 1984, selenium-toned silver gelatin print. Estimate £10,000-£15,000 ($11,835-$17,755). Image courtesy of Chiswick Auctions

The sale includes a later but equally iconic image taken by American fashion photographer Irving Penn. The selenium-toned silver gelatin print Woman in Dior Hat with Martini (Lisa Fonssagrives-Penn) from 1952 is estimated at £10,000-£15,000 ($11,835-$17,755).

Chiswick’s November 25, 2022 auction includes photobooks and literature, 19th and 20th century photography, and contemporary photography. For additional information on any item in the auction, email