NEW YORK—A restored copy of Detective Comics #27 (DC, 1939) CGC Apparent VF 7.5, the monumental debut of the Caped Crusader—the second most sought-after of all comic book titles—will cross the auction block on Friday, Feb. 20, as part of Heritage Auctions’ Comics & Comic Art Feb. 19-21 Signature® Auction at the Fletcher-Sinclair Mansion (2 E. 79th Street, at 5th Ave.). It is expected to bring $100,000+.

“A few restored copies of Action #1, the debut of Superman, have broken the $100,000 mark at Heritage,” said Ed Jaster, Senior Vice President of Heritage Auctions. “This copy of Detective #27 could be the second restored copy of this issue to reach that level. This is a cornerstone book for any collection and we expect bidding will be appropriate to the rarity and the condition.”


PHILADELPHIA, PA—The University of Pennsylvania’s long tradition of collecting and study in the history of science recently gained potential for many new chapters of unprecedented research following the Penn Libraries’ acquisition of over fifty manuscripts from Ralph George Algernon Percy, the 12th Duke of Northumberland. The manuscripts were collected by General Charles Rainsford (1728-1809), an 18th century gentleman scientist, and cover subjects such as alchemy, astrology, Cabbala and Tarot.

“This acquisition represents a rare chance to obtain items that have not been fully studied in the past and will undoubtedly shed much more light on the subject of the Occult Enlightenment and what we think of as Enlightenment science,” said Mitch Fraas, Curator of Early Modern Manuscripts at the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts, about the collection.


SAN MARINO, Calif.—The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens added important rare material to its history of science collection recently:  handwritten research notes by Louis Pasteur (1822-1895) on the brewing of beer, furthering the scientist’s understanding of the fermentation process; and, for the manuscripts collection more generally—1,000 pages by a sailor and largely self-taught writer and artist who called himself “Wicked Ned,” and a collection of unpublished letters, poems, and other material from the family of Jane Austen.

The Huntington’s Library Collectors’ Council purchased the collections at its annual meeting earlier this  month. “These are each spectacular additions to the library,” said David Zeidberg, Avery Director of the Library at The Huntington. “And while Pasteur and Austen may be household names and those materials are compelling in their own right, I have to say, the Wicked Ned material is absolutely stunning.”

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Seth Kaller Inc., Historic Documents & Legacy Collections, White Plains, NY is pleased to collaborate with Keno Auctions on eight special documents in its January 31 Winter Sale, complimenting their “masterpiece” Philadelphia Chippendale mahogany tea table.  Kaller’s lots include Thomas Holme’s 1687 map of Pennsylvania, called the “greatest of early American maps,” one of William Penn’s earliest land deeds, and a letter between two of Penn’s sons mentioning their father’s famous black Quaker hat and their mother’s chocolate recipe.  

Three rare 1789 New York Gazette of the United States newspapers contain the earliest obtainable printing of the Bill of Rights, Washington’s first presidential Thanksgiving Proclamation, and an anti-slavery address by Benjamin Franklin. Finally, Kaller is offering a unique document that records patriotic toasts from 1769 on the fourth anniversary of Boston’s anti-Stamp Act Riots.


DALLAS—The extraordinary Dow Collection of Abraham Lincoln memorabilia sold for $803,889, double expectations, at a Historical Americana auction held Jan. 24, 2015 by Heritage Auctions in Dallas. This year marks the 150th anniversary of the president's assassination, and the collection's top lots were captured by one-of-a-kind memorabilia tied to assassin John Wilkes Booth.

A superlative display of photographs and scarce autographs from Lincoln, Booth, and Boston Corbett, the soldier who shot and killed Booth—a set nicknamed "The Martyr, The Assassin and The Avenger"—sold for $30,000 and a set of four oil paintings created for a carnival side show displaying the mummified remains of a man who claimed to be Booth himself, also sold for $30,000. An 1861 letter written by Booth to a friend boasting about his career and value as an actor also brought $30,000.

PHILADELPHIA, PA—The Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphia is thrilled to announce the upcoming display of newly discovered works by Oscar Wilde (1854‐1900), one of the world’s most influential and prominent cultural personalities. The materials include a notebook from around 1880, with unrecorded versions of early poems and with drawings by the inimitable Irish-born writer; a hand-corrected typescript of the play Salome; and a draft of part of his poem “The Ballad of Reading Gaol” (1898), with previously unknown variations. These will be displayed for the first time in the exhibition Everything is Going On Brilliantly: Oscar Wilde and Philadelphia, opening at the Rosenbach on January 23.

Housed in the Free Library of Philadelphia’s Rare Book Department, the materials were catalogued and available to the public, however they were unpublished and their significance was unknown. Their importance to the Wilde canon was discovered by Rosenbach consulting curators and Wilde scholars Mark Samuels Lasner and Margaret D. Stetz while conducting research for the exhibition.


BEVERLY HILLS—Bidding has just opened on all the lots in The Art of LAIKA at Heritage Auctions, the hotly anticipated first ever sale of material from the visionary, Academy Award®-nominated films of LAIKA, the animation studio behind Coraline, ParaNorman and The Boxtrolls, which just received an Oscar® nomination for Best Animated Movie. 

The LAIKA auction is limited to a grouping of just more than 250 various pieces of screen-used material, including 45 puppets and a selection of models, props and art. The auction takes place at Heritage Auctions in Beverly Hills on Thursday, Feb. 12, 2015.


New York— An outstanding assortment of ski images for American and European cold-weather destinations will be featured in Swann Galleries' annual winter auction of Vintage Posters on February 12. There are also lovely Art Nouveau images, turn-of-the-century bicycle ads, Israel and Judaic posters and powerful Art Deco designs. 

Notable ski posters include circa 1930 European examples, such as one of Roger Broders’s rarest ski images, Sports D'hiver Dans Les Vosges (estimate: $7,000 to $10,000); Franz Lenhart’s Dolomiti / Cortina ($4,000 to $6,000) and the sexy Winter in Austria from Atelier Binder, depicting a blond skier with her skis slung over one shoulder ($3,000 to $4,000).


A unique relic of the Age of Piracy will be on display at the venue of the California International Antiquarian Book Fair in Oakland, California, on February 6th and 7th, 2015, at the Oakland City Center Marriott Hotel. The 17th century stoneware pitcher with “ostrich egg finish,” given by the notorious pirate Captain William Kidd to the “proprietor” of Gardiner’s Island, off Long Island, New York, is destined for the auction block, to be sold by PBA Galleries the morning of Sunday, February 8th. The pre-sale estimate is $80,000 to 120,000.

In the summer of 1699 William Kidd, Scottish-born seaman, known privateer, suspected pirate, was safe in New York harbor, just returned from an adventurous, and evidently quite profitable, venture in the East Indies. Some treasure he had stashed on Caribbean Islands, some he and his men had spent on wine and women, and some he retained on board ship. His swashbuckling ways, however, had ruffled not a few feathers, and he was sought on charges of piracy. A financial backer in Boston, coerced by fear of his own prosecution, had promised Kidd clemency if he would come to that city and surrender to authorities. Thus lured, Kidd embarked for Beantown, but stopped on his way at little Gardiner’s Island, owned by John Gardiner. There he befriended Gardiner, giving him several gifts, and also a task, to safeguard “several bales and boxes containing gold, silver, jewels and cloth of various sorts.” These he left, to be retrieved when his good name was finally cleared. Among the gifts Kidd gave to Gardiner and his wife was some “gold cloth,” and the unassuming, utilitarian pitcher, filled with dried fruits for the Gardiner children.

BOSTON, MA—(January 23, 15) A letter written by Titanic survivor Lady Duff-Gordon sold on Thursday for $11,875, according to Boston, MA based RR Auction.

The three-page letter on two adjoining sheets that is on her personal letterhead signed “Lucy Duff-Gordon,” is dated May 27, 1912.

The letter to a friend, in full: “How kind of you to send me a cable of sympathy from New York on our safety. According to the way we’ve been treated by England on our return we didn’t seem to have done the right thing in being saved at all!!!! Isn’t it disgraceful.”

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