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First photograph exposed

first photo
Changing photographic history: The world's first photo  

PARIS, France -- The world's first known photograph was sold for 450,000 euros ($398,000) at a Sotheby's auction in Paris on Thursday.

The print considered a cultural treasure went to the French National Library after the government ruled it must stay in France.

The photograph was taken in 1825 by Joseph Nicephore Niepce, the father of photography, and has forced experts to rewrite photographic history. They initially thought images dating from 1826 were the world's first.

"This image and its accompanying correspondence oblige us to rewrite those crucial first stages of the history of photography," Sotheby's said in a statement.

Along with the faded photograph representing a drawing of a boy and a horse, a set of letters from Niepce to his son also appeared at the auction. The letters disclose the techniques used by the famous photographer.

Parisian bookseller Andre Jammes put the print up for sale as part of a collection which charts the development of photography in France through Niepce's work.

Other photos in the sale include an 1889 picture of the Eiffel Tower and a 1935 photo of two nude women dancing.

Jammes, who has been collecting old photos since the 1950s, first became widely known in the art world after selling the first section of his collection in 1999 in London for $10.6 million.


• Sotheby's

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