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Original 1983 Madonna Polaroids could fetch $350,000

A set of original Polaroid photographs of Madonna, taken in 1983 just weeks before she first became famous, is up for sale in New York.
The unique collection is being offered by Manhattan Rare Books, with a price tag of $350,000.

The photographs were taken by Richard Corman, a photographer notable for his portraits of famous figures such as Muhammad Ali, Nelson Mandela, Paul Newman and Bill Clinton.

But back in 1983, both Madonna and Corman were starting their respective careers.

The photo shoot took place just six weeks before the release of Madonna’s debut album, which catapulted her to international fame with the hits Holiday, Lucky Star and Borderline.

Corman himself had just completed a two-year apprenticeship with photographer Richard Avedon, and was striking out on his own for the first time.

The photographs were taken at the behest of Corman’s mother, a movie casting agent, who believed Madonna had a unique star quality.

"I called from across the street, and when I looked up, she yelled to come upstairs, and I saw these cat eyes looking over the railing of her four-story walk-up," Corman told Vogue magazine, recalling their first meeting. "I knew then and there that this was somebody special.

"She was funny in the most beguiling way. As soon as I walked up, she served me espresso and bubblegum on a silver plate and tray."

The photographs were taken at the home of Madonna’s brother in Manhattan, and feature the singer’s unique personal styling which inspired a generation of fans in the mid-1980s.

Corman believed his original Polaroids from the shoot had been lost, until they were recently rediscovered in his warehouse.

"For 35 years I thought they were lost,” said Corman. "Everything I do is labeled, I’m extremely organized, we archive anything—but this was just a little brown cardboard box. I opened it, and it took my breath away."

He brought the entire unseen set together for a critically acclaimed, limited-edition fine art book entitled Madonna 66, published in November 2016.

Now one collector will have the chance to own the original photographs, each one signed and numbered, inside a custom case by the noted book artist Sjoerd Hofstra.

"This is a unique opportunity for a serious collector to own a complete collection, documenting an important moment in art and cultural history, one that will be available only as a complete and intact collection until September 5th," said Michael DiRuggiero, owner of Manhattan Rare Books.

"After that, if there is no buyer, the set will be dispersed and the images offered individually."

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