A huge collection of nineteenth century photographs is being sold in Paris. Enormously exciting, but disappointingly the best works are swamped by too many lots and the estimates are erratic and at times ahead of retail once the auction house commission is added. There is a huge variation in pictures from the magnificent (including two exceptional early works by Gustave le Grey) to the mundane. The auction should have been at a bigger auction house and better catalogued, with proper experts, and at the same time as Paris Photo to attract international clients who aren’t in Paris in March. But it was fascinating to really look at the works and to see the enormous variation in print quality as in various Gustave le Gray landscapes.  The variations in print quality were only hinted at by the catalogue and the online reproductions. One of my favourite works was one of the best Vallou de Villeneuve’s I’ve ever seen.