A Picture of a Lewisville Lumber Salesman Sold For $26,000. But Those Merc Photos, Not at All.
The drive-thru at the Friendly Mercantile, as seen amongst the 17 photos that can be yours for a steal
Heritage Auction Galleries/Hedrich Blessing
Richard Avedon's photo of Lewisville lumber salesman John Harrison and his daughter Melissa, taken in 1981 for In the American West, sold for $26,290. Bruce Barnbaum's 1986 Dallas -- a photo of the Chapel of Thanksgiving, with the Republic National Bank in the background -- sold for a mere $298.75. But when Heritage Auction Galleries closed its June Signature Photography Fine Art Auction Wednesday evening, one lot didn't sell at all: that collection of 17 seldom-seen Hedrich Blessing photos taken inside the Mercantile Bank Building shortly after its makeover in 1958.
Originally, Heritage guesstimated that the photos would sell for between $4,000 and $6,000. But, apparently, they got lost amongst the Mapplethorpes, Eisenstaedts and Adamses that did sell for five and six figures. Which is how the Merc photo series ended up as a post-auction buy: Heritage is offering the 17 pictures for the low, low price of $2,390. No bidding, no haggling, no nothing except the check-writing. (And, yes, I'm looking at you. No, wait ... you.)
And while we're on the subject, here's another locally taken snapshot that didn't sell: The great Garry Winogrand's George Wallace, Cotton Bowl, Dallas (from 15 Big Shots) taken in 1964. It's a little higher than all 17 Friendly Merc photos: $2,688.75.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Dallas, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.