Almost every garage sale hound dreams of a score like this. According to the CNN story, a California man paid $45 for two small boxes of 65 6.5″ x 8.5″ photographic plates back in 2000. Since then, he has set out on a journey to prove that they were taken by the great Ansel Adams.
In the decade since his discovery, he has shown the works to several appraisers and photography experts who have finally come to the conclusion that these are, in fact, the early work of Adams. The plates were created between 1919 and 1930, before he had gained mainstream noteriety.
Experts say they offer a unique look into a period of the master’s career, mainly thanks to a darkroom fire that destroyed about 5,000 plates in 1937. CNN has a small gallery of example images to preview. As you clik through them, you might keep in mind the fact that the whole collection is expected to draw up to $200 million when put up for sale. That’s roughly $3 million per image.