Back in California, Edward finds a new muse. He shows his pictures to Henrietta Shore who rebuffs him : you bore us with too many nudes. In an approach that is reminiscent of Georgia O'Keeffe's wild flowers on the other side of the United States, Henrietta watches eroticism and mysticism in the voluptuous forms of the nature.
Edward is convinced. Henrietta let him handle her collection of sea shells. The series of 14 negatives of portraits of empty shells on a black background realized by Weston in 1927 is a masterpiece of art photography.
Edward is aware of his own achievement and realizes many positive prints in that first year. The Nautilus is his favorite picture. He is a great photographer who does not keep an imperfect print. Two prints of this famous photograph fetched a nearly identical price at Sotheby's : 1.1M including premium on 15 October 2007, 1,08M including premium on April 13, 2010.
The rarest image is that of the sixth negative of which only one positive print is still in private hands. Executed in 1927 on matte paper in format 18 x 24 cm, it is estimated $ 400K for sale by Christie's in New York on October 4, lot 15.
The photos of peppers made by Edward Weston in 1930 follow a similar artistic desire.