View Full Version : Bill Brandt - Interesting Pricing Twist

Brian Ellis
15-Nov-2005, 06:42
At http://www.billbrandt.com/Gallery/galleryentrance.html there's a sale of Bill Brandt prints. I was surprised to see that the highest priced are the digital prints, then platinums are the next highest, then traditional silvers are the lowest. That's the opposite of what I usually see, where the digital prints are priced lower than silver. I can't figure out any reason for this pricing other than perhaps the fact that the digital prints are larger than the platinum and silver. Anyone else have any thoughts as to a reason for this pricing structure or seen it with any work other than Brandt's? I'm not familiar with Brandt other than having admired what work of his I've seen over the years but surely there's nothing peculiar to him alone that would account for this pricing.

adrian tyler
15-Nov-2005, 07:08
apart from the size the pigment prints are in an edition of 25, platinum 35 and silver 175, so it's the exclusivity in addition to the size. studying the recent threads on this forum about the quality of modern pigment prints i don't think that any person who keeps abreast of the issue will doubt the quality and durability.

15-Nov-2005, 07:10
Just as interesting -- it appears that none of them are signed prints. Looks like pure ripoff to me.

15-Nov-2005, 07:22
They're reprints. Therefore, not Bill Brandt prints at all. The silver gelatin prints are more correctly labelled "Robin Bell prints from Bill Brandt negatives".

15-Nov-2005, 07:29
Brandt's work (original negatives) is being printed by surrogates and endorsed by Mrs. Brandt. I'm sure this was all addressed before his death In 1983. Now this is what I've heard through the grapevine so don't quote me.

Joseph O'Neil
15-Nov-2005, 07:39
I do desktop publishing and I still have my own wet darkroom. I can tell you up front, when all costs are factored in, prints from computer - especially on the really good, high end printers - is more expensive than the wet darkroom.

The pricing, IMO, just reflects the true cost of producing the print, and nothing more.


Jorge Gasteazoro
15-Nov-2005, 07:47
it appears that none of them are signed prints

Brandt is dead, if they were signed it would be spooky... :-)

I tend to agree with Bill, but there are a few considerations. I know Brandt did not work with a 16x20 camera, so the pt/pd prints are either from enlarged negatives or digital negatives. Either way it seem the results were not good enough to price them higher. Making a 16x20 pt/pd print is more expensive than making a 30x40 ink jet print, so size must be the only consideration.

A gallery in CA tried to market them as "carbon" prints, that did not go too well. So now they are "modern archival" (sorry Adrian, I still question their durability.) I guess at more than 4000 pounds a shot it is understandable they dont want to call them ink jet prints....

In the end you get an unsigned reproduction made by someone else for this prices, regardless of printing method, I think Bill has it right....

Paddy Quinn
15-Nov-2005, 09:56
I think you are putting Bill on a bit of an artistic pedestal there Michael?

Among other things he certainly wasn't averse to making some cash by working for Picture Post (maoing others) - a sort of cross between People Magazine and the old Life magazine - leaning more towards the common touch side of things.

While appearing rather reserved, he was much more down to earth than your post might suggest.