UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Early Photographs and Prints

The ancient city of Petra (Jordan), half-built, half-carved into the rock, has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1985. As early as 1864, the famous archaeological site was the destination of an expedition of the French archeologist Honoré Théodoric d’Albert de Luynes, who was accompanied by Louis de Vignes, a pioneer of photography. His ‘Vues de Phénicie, de Judée, des pays de Moab et de Petra’ contain albumen prints from waxed paper negatives taken during the expedition. With an estimated price of € 100,000, this spectacular album is the most valuable item of this year’s Fall Auctions of Reiss & Sohn in Koenigstein im Taunus, Germany.

The Rhine Gorge with its castles, historic towns and vineyards was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in June 2002. Without any doubt, the most beautiful series of views of the Rhine is the ‘Collection de cinquante vues du Rhin’ (1798) by Laurenz Janscha and Andreas Ziegler. Their magnificent colour plate book is expected to raise € 40,000.

Also worth mentioning is an outstanding and large plan of the famous Japanese city and former Imperial capital Kyoto, finely depicting such historical monuments like the Enryakuji and the Kiyomizu Temples or the Golden Pavilion, now also belonging to the UNESCO World Heritage sites. It is one of the earliest plans which were published in the Edo period, and is dated between 1716 and 1734 (€ 10,000).