We now have a "date certain" and a final pricing structure for Ctein's Final Blowout Pre-Darkroom-Death Dye Transfer Sale.
If you've been following along, you know that Ctein—his only name, and pronounced "kuh-TINE"—long one of the World's master dye transfer printers, will soon be closing his darkroom for good and using up the last of his stockpiled dye transfer materials in one last grand gesture. (He mortgaged his house in the '90s to lay in a large supply.) The sale will offer four full-sized (about 16x20 inches, give or take) dye transfer prints. We're not quite sure yet how many prints will be available, but the number will be somewhere between 100 and 200. He's still counting his sheets of paper.
David Hockney, Artist, London, 1977. Photo by Bern Schwartz; dye transfer print by Ctein. Ctein was the dye transfer printer for many famous photographers, including rock and roll photographer Jim Marshall.
(This picture is not in the sale.)
Full-sized dye transfer prints are very expensive, even to have one made from your own photograph. Ctein's current price for large prints is $1,650 (and that will be going up sharply after his darkroom closes), and, actually, that's a bargain price for big dye transfer prints. The prints in this sale will be the most expensive we've ever offered at $575 each, but still, for what they are....
Shipping to anywhere in the world will be a flat $25 regardless of destination or number of prints.
The sale will begin at noon on Wednesday, April 17th and will proceed until the prints are sold out or until noon on Monday, April 22nd, whichever comes first.
We've had several inquiries already about pre-paying or reserving prints in advance, and I'm sorry, but we won't do that. It's first-come, first-serve beginning on at noon Wednesday the 17th. That's when you can first see the images, too. (There will be four.)
There are still a scant handful of working dye transfer printers in the world, and a few photographers (including Ctein) will continue to sell previously made prints from stock. (It has been many years since the materials were last commercially available.) But this will be the last large sale of made-to-order dyes in the history of photography, for what it's worth. My guess is that it won't be too many years before this glorious and devilishly difficult ancient process is entirely extinct.
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