YEATS, WILLIAM BUTLER (1865-1939, Irish poet), PORTRAIT BY THE AMERICAN PHOTOGRAPHER ALICE BOUGHTON, [c. 1903]

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Lot 522
YEATS, WILLIAM BUTLER (1865-1939, Irish poet)

Sold for £ 18,750 (US$ 23,417) inc. premium
YEATS, WILLIAM BUTLER (1865-1939, Irish poet)
PORTRAIT BY THE AMERICAN PHOTOGRAPHER ALICE BOUGHTON (1866-1943), vintage photograph, platinum print, half length, looking rather quizzically down to the right through pince-nez, SIGNED BY YEATS ('W B Yeats') in pen and ink and by Alice Boughton in pencil on the image, and by her on the verso in ink, framed and glazed, image mounted to view c. 7 x 5 inches (17 x 12.5 cm), size of image 8 x 6 inches (20 x 15 cm), overall size 14 x 12 inches (36 x 29 cm), not dated [but 312, Madison Avenue, New York, probably 22 December, 1903]

John Quinn arranged for Yeats to be photographed by Alice Boughton, probably on 22 December 1903. On 7 January 1904, Quinn wrote to her thanking her for two solio prints and two platinum prints, telling her that 'Yeats received the three photographs which you sent him and was charmed by them.' Quinn particularly liked one of Yeats reading a book, which was published in Florence Brooks's article in the New York Herald on 17 January 1904. Another, presumably the present image, was published in the Gaelic American on 5 March 1904.

RARE: this is a very rare and marvellous portrait of Yeats; it has not been found reproduced in books about Yeats. Photographs signed by him are uncommon. There is no example of this image in the National Portrait Gallery.

REFERENCE: The Collected Letters of W.B. Yeats, volume three, 1901-1904, edited by John Kelly, 1994.
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