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London to Brighton - Lot 44
Wednesday 22 October 2014


Offered at Bonhams London to Brighton Sale on Friday 31 October, the Argent Archer Archive provides a rare window into the Victorian and Edwardian ages of motoring.
The collection features images dating back over a century, from the Scottish Trials of 1905 to the Blackpool Motor Races of 1904; the Gordon-Bennett race and the Phoenix Park Trials of 1903 Ireland to as far back as the Automobile Club 1,000 Mile Trial of 1900.

Toby Wilson, Bonhams Head of Automobilia, said: “Argent Archer was essentially the founding father of automotive photography in the UK. From his first studio on London’s Lime Street in 1881 he built a reputation within the industry as one of the best, and as the automotive industry grew up around him he was able to capture some wonderful images of the best of motoring from that period.

It is exceptionally unusual to find Victorian and Edwardian motoring photographs, so to see so many in one collection is quite incredible. This is a remarkable and important archive of pioneer and veteran motoring photographs.”

When Archer returned from an event and processed his photographs onto paper from his glass plate negatives, he would put them all in a studio album, each with hand-written titles and offer them for sale as photographic prints to interested parties. They were available as plain photographic prints or displayed on Argent Archer photographic mounts. The collection featured in Bonhams sale comprises 767 printed photographic images in eight albums, 102 full glass plate negatives and 62 half glass plate negatives, with estimates ranging from £800 to £5,000.

The Argent Archer Collection includes:
  • Lot 43: Argent Archer's 1903 photograph album covering the Gordon-Bennett race, Phoenix Park Trials and Castlewellan Races, Ireland 1903, - estimated at £3,000-4,000
  • Lot 44: Argent Archer's photograph album of the 1000 Mile Crystal Palace Reliability Trials, September 18 to 28, 1903 - estimated at £3,000-4,000
  • Lot 45: Argent Archer's photograph album 'Souvenir of Automobile Club 1,000 Mile Trial, 23 April to 12 May 1900' - estimated at £4,000-5,000
  • Lot 46: Argent Archer's photograph album covering the Scottish Trials, 1905 - estimated at £800-1,200
  • Lot 47: Argent Archer's photograph album covering two hill climbs, undated, circa 1904 - estimated at £1,500-2,000
  • Lot 48: Argent Archer's photograph album covering the Bexhill Speed Trials, May 1902 - estimated at £1,500-2,000
  • Lot 49: Argent Archer's photograph album covering the Blackpool Motor Races, October 14 & 15 1904 – estimated at £800-1,200
  • Lot 50: Argent Archer's photograph album covering South Hailing Hill Climb and Bexhill Motor Trials, June 1905 – estimated at £800-1,200
Held on Friday 31 October at Bonhams flagship showroom on 101 New Bond Street, the annual London to Brighton Run Sale will offer over sixty lots of both Veteran Motor Cars and Automobilia.

For a review of some of the Motor Cars offered at the sale (CLICK HERE) or visit the Sale webpage (CLICK HERE).

Bonhams London to Brighton Veteran Car Run

The Bonhams London to Brighton Veteran Car Run taking place on Sunday 2 November is a truly magnificent spectacle and offers members of the public a rare opportunity to view 500 pre-1905 vehicles travel on mass along public roads. There are many places and ways to view the cars along the 60-mile route from Hyde Park, London to Madeira Drive, Brighton.

For a chance to win a pair of tickets to next year’s Goodwood Revival and a year’s Bonhams UK Motoring catalogue subscription, spectators can upload a #VeteranCarRun photo to Twitter or Instagram.


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