Henri Cartier-Bresson prints

Prints of Henri Cartier-Bresson are highly valuable and wanted collector’s items. During his lifetime Cartier-Bresson created many prints of his photographs. His prints have never been numbered and have never belonged to a limited edition.

There are two kinds of prints in circulation: gallery prints and press prints. Early gallery prints are only signed on recto. Gallery prints from the mid-1970s have the embossed Henri Cartier-Bresson stamp (left corner next to the image) and his signature (right corner under the image). The press prints generally used to be distributed to agencies, newspapers and magazines. They can bare different stamps, like Henri Cartier-Bresson’s own copyright stamp or the Henri Cartier-Bresson Magnum stamp.

The press prints, especially vintage ones, are very rare, since (in general) they were produced for the client on demand. However, they do sometimes appear on the market. It is known that in the art market as a whole, a certain number of prints in circulations are falsifications. Prospective buyers should be always aware of this and take their decision based on their own judgement and, advisably, opinion of reputable experts.

The Foundation Henri Cartier-Bresson claims to be the single organisation issuing Certificates of Authenticity. Some auction houses, like Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Swann do not sell prints with Certificates of Authenticity issued by other bodies. Others, including www.photography-auction.com, have another position. We offer prints at our auction if the authenticity of the prints is confirmed by our internal experts and/or independent third party appraisers based on the physical examination of the prints, as well as other conditions are met. The authenticity of the Cartier-Bresson’s prints offered at the inaugural auction is verified and confirmed by an independent certified appraiser, and the buyers of the prints can order an official letter, stating that the print is authentic and listing the hammer price at the auction.