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This and the following three images (lots 28-31) were discovered in a suitcase, along with hundreds of other like images of vegetables, fruits and flowers, in a London antiques market in 1981. While most of the prints bore the initials 'CJ' and a few the name 'Charles Jones' on the verso, that name was unknown to the photographic community at the time of the discovery. Charles Jones, a gardener by profession, took these images of plant life for his own enjoyment and was not recognised as a photographer during his lifetime. Nearly all of Jones's prints, with the exception of a few duplicate images, are unique.
The varying surface textures - the shimmering skin of the onion and the veined leaves of the cabbage - meticulously captured by Jones reveal a technically adept photographer. The sharp details, the close-up views and the clean compositions in which his plants take centre stage evoke a modernist sensibility ahead of the pictorialist style that dominated photography at the turn of the century.
Jones's work has been exhibited at The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, the Musée de Elysée, Lausanne and other venues. For further reading, see: Sexton & Flynn Johnson, The Plant Kingdoms of Charles Jones, Thames & Hudson, 1998.