VITTORIO SELLA K2 PHOTO
REAL SILVER GELATIN PRINT FROM SELLA'S NEGATIVE
VIEW OF THE ABRUZZI SPUR FROM THE V. SELLA COL
395mm High x 295 Wide
SIGNED BY MOST OF THE 1954 ITALIAN EXPEDITION TEAM
This is an original photograph (one made on photographic paper in a darkroom) from Vittorio Sella's original negative. The production of the print was sanctioned by the Sella Institute which holds the rights to Sella's photography. The photograph was taken by Sella and it appears in de Filippi's official account, Karakoram And Western Himalaya 1909, opposite page 258 with caption "K2 as seen from the East, on the Rocks above Camp VI". The photo has the Institute's rubber ink stamp on the blank backside. The print is part of a limited edition batch of the same image that was produced at the request of the Alpine Club of Italy for release at the October 1954 Trento Film Festival to commemorate the first ascent of K2. I recall reading somewhere that several hundred were produced. They are all presently quite scarce. The paper measures 395mm tall x 295mm. The photo image on the paper measures 327mm tall x 278mm. This is on the large size for a Sella photo print since most were made as contact images being the same size as the very large negatives. This one has been signed by most of the team on the 1954 Italian K2 expedition that made the first ascent of the mountain, most likely signed at the time of the Trento Film Festival: Walter Bonatti, Lino Lacedelli, Cirillo Floreanini, Ugo Angelino, Erich Abram, Pino Gallotti, Ubaldo Rey, Gino Solda, Sergio Viotto, Guido Pagani, Mario Fantin. It lacks the signatures of Arditio Desio, Achille Compagnoni, and Mario Puchoz (who died on K2 during the expedition). Compagnoni did not attend the Trento Film Festival since he was still recovering from badly frostbitten hands. Desio did not attend the festival though he had been warmly encouraged to attend it. Loosely included with this item is a smaller card that has been hand-signed (not printed) by Achille Compagnoni. Most examples of this commemorative photo print have not been signed by Compagnoni and even fewer have been signed by Desio. We know of only one example bearing Desio's signature. Desio did not accede to signing many items.
CONDITION: The photo is in good condition being clean without fading and with no tears or creases. The backside of the photo has staining where old backing paper had been wet and transferred some of its coloring. A small area of the outside right margin of the image side has some of the discoloration. There is a slight, faint bleed-through of the discoloration onto the image side of the photo near the middle (above the cloud shadows showing on the lower slopes of the mountain). It is almost undetectable except when inspecting the image very closely. The signatures on the photo are mostly strong except for those of Bonatti and Fantin which are faded. The signatures that I have seen on other examples of this photo have sometimes been very faded since the ink used in them is sensitive to light. Price: $1350.
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