MONROVIA, Calif. — A forgotten collection of Edward Weston gelatin silver prints — some acquired directly from the photographer by purchase or trade extending back 100 years — have reemerged and will appear at John Moran Auctioneers on Wednesday, December 6. The catalog is now available for bidding at LiveAuctioneers.

Weston (1886-1958) is regarded as the father of fine art photography, taking the medium from its pedestrian origins into proper consideration as an art form. Born in Illinois, Weston became a quintessential photographer of California, and much of his subject matter reflects his adopted home.

In 1924, Weston, his son Chandler and a female companion were traveling in Mexico when they happened upon ex-pat Frederick W. (“Fred”) Davis, who had a residence in Cuernavaca. Davis invited the trio to his home, where Weston made an image of a palm tree in Davis’ lush garden. At Weston’s second Mexico City exhibition, Davis acquired the photo of the palm, and the friendship continued for years, with Davis buying more prints from Weston and building a small collection.

Davis eventually passed away, and his belongings were put into long-term storage. Only recently did his descendants open the boxes to discover the long-forgotten Weston prints. The sale includes 23 Westons, eight of which are from the Davis collection.

Edward Weston’s photograph Prologue to a Sad Spring, taken in March 1920, features his photography colleague, model, and erstwhile lover, Margrethe Mather. From the Davis collection, the print is estimated at $60,000-$80,000.

Davis’ garden palm is the featured subject in Weston’s Cuernavaca, taken on the photographer’s 1924 visit to Davis’ Mexican home. It is estimated at $100,000-$200,000.

Imogen Cunningham (1883-1976) is another acclaimed American photographer of nature, nudes and industrial subject matter. The Moran sale includes four of her works, three of which are botanical images. Triangles is a 1928 photograph on her other favorite subject, the human form. The gelatin silver print was given by Cunningham to her assistant in 1975 and carries an estimate of $12,000-$18,000.

Depression-era photography for the Farm Security Administration is how Dorothea Lange (1895-1965) is best remembered today, but her expansive career brought her into contact with a huge swath of America — and the world — as one of the first photojournalists. Portrait of Ruth Alden Langdon, 1921 is a fascinating image she took when she was relatively unknown, featuring a young woman who was a direct descendant of John Alden (1599-1687) of Mayflower fame. The image is estimated at $2,000-$3,000.