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Famed Hollywood photos up for auction

Hollywood Wrap with George Pennacchio
March 24, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
Some of the most glamorous photos in Hollywood history are going on the auction block. The images take us back in time to when George Hurrell ruled the world of celebrity photography. "Some things are going to be a few hundred dollars. Some things are going to go for tens of thousands of dollars," said Brian Chanes, Profiles in History.

And then there's a famous photo of Jean Harlow shot by photographer George Hurrell.

"I wouldn't be surprised if that goes for over $100,000," said Brian Chanes.

And he's not alone.

"This is the camera negative of Jean Harlow on a bear rug," said Christopher Belport, a photograph consultant. "It was taken in 1934 for Vanity Fair. It's the most important and celebrated camera negative of George Hurrell's career."

Hurrell was known for capturing romance and seduction in his photos.

Now most of his best work is included in an auction from the private collection of Michael Epstein and Scott Schwimer, who are selling some 1,200 lots to continue providing money to various charities.

"These are the two rarest photographs in the world taken by a Hollywood photographer," said Belport. They're both of early film star Ramon Novarro. And he is in good company.

"Joan Crawford was George Hurrell's favorite subject," said Belport. "He felt she had the most ideal features, alongside Greta Garbo. You could photograph her from every angle and and it would be ideal. She loved to pose."

And from Clark Gable to Jane Russell and beyond, George Hurrell loved to take their pictures.