?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 2,000 - $ 3,000
(SPIRITUALISM--FALCONER BROTHERS) Group of 12 photographs of séances and spirits surrounded by cloudy halos of ectoplasm. Includes participants with spirits appearing above their heads, ethereal women in angel-like clouds of ecotoplasm, and children. Silver prints, the images measuring 4x3 inches (10.2x7.6 cm.), and slightly smaller, and the reverse, more than half with sheets slightly larger, three with a credit, in the negative, and two with notations (one reading "Taken on Christmas Day at the Psychic Centre"), in ink, on verso. 1930s
Craig and George Falconer conducted séances in which spectators were not only invited to watch a medium at work, but also to participate in the photographic process (loading film, shooting pictures, processing prints) and recording the visitation of a spirit. The brothers specialized in ectoplasm portraits, which showed white clouds of supernatural energy produced when the departed appeared (with the help of mediums). The pair was arrested and convicted in 1931 when two plainclothes policemen, who were posing as sitters, charged that "extras" (spirits) were actually photomechanical images and that the cloudy ectoplasm was manipulated. But, the brothers returned to photography and seemed to have profited from their trade through the rest of the decade.