New York—Summer is in full swing and bright images are out in force for Swann Galleries’ largest August auction of Vintage Posters to date. 

    With almost 700 lots, the two-part auction scheduled for August 5 will feature several vivid and vivacious works by theatrical French artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, including the iconic Salon des Cent, 1895 (estimate: $40,000 to $60,000), which depicts a young beauty who captured the artist’s attention on a summer boat trip from Le Havre to Bordeaux. Also in the sale are Confetti, 1894, ($30,000 to $40,000); La Revue Blanche, 1895, ($20,000-$30,000); and the intriguing Qui? / L’Artisan Moderne, 1896, ($20,000 to $30,000) among others.

New York, NY, July 6, 2015—In July 1918, Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961) was serving as a volunteer with the Red Cross on the Italian Front during World War I when he was seriously wounded by mortar fire. He was just eighteen.
Later he would write, “When you go to war as a boy you have a great illusion of immortality. Other people get killed; not you ... Then when you are badly wounded the first time you lose that illusion and you know it can happen.”

Buyers from around the globe bid furiously for the chance to acquire rare Hebrew Manuscripts at Kestenbaum & Company’s Fine Judaica auction held on June 25th. Tremendous interest and competitive bidding drove hammer prices exponentially beyond their catalogue estimates. The stellar sale results were confidently expected considering the unique quality of the material on offer and the fact that almost one-third of these medieval and pre-modern Hebraic manuscripts remain unpublished. Indeed, for the week ending June 27th, Kestenbaum & Company earned the second highest total proceeds of all Book and Manuscripts auctions worldwide. 

Kestenbaum & Company was honored to have been awarded a singular consignment for auction on behalf of the public authorities of the State of Israel. Much planning went into the preparation of the sale including the hiring of specialist consultant Rabbi Dovid Kamenetsky of Jerusalem to assist with the scholarly research. 

LONDON, Maddox Street—Napoleonic and Georgian satire was in high demand and making top prices in Bloomsbury Auctions’ sale on Thursday 25th June. The packed-out Maddox Street saleroom saw competitive bidders pushing prices to new record heights, with 98% of the lots selling for a total of £320,000 ($500,000), over three times the low estimate.

All lots in Lord Baker of Dorking’s opening collection of Napoleonic Caricatures sold, with many achieving well over estimate. James Gillray’s iconic The Plumb-pudding in danger, showing Pitt and Napoleon carving up the globe, sold for £18,600 far exceeding its previous record of £11,950 set in London, 2002 [Lot 51].  Other record prices included Gillray’s set of six Egyptian Sketches, £10,416 [Lot 8], The Valley of the Shadow of Death, sold for £4,712 [Lot 68] and Fighting for the Dunghill, sold for £4,340 [Lot 6] both also by James Gillray.

A most remarkable item of historical importance is coming up on auction, particularly because of the 1916 Easter Rising commemorations which are planned for next year in Ireland.

Lot 2 - Casement, [Sir] Roger: Autograph letter in manuscript, signed by Roger Casement, expressing strong views on Irish language and independence

Roger David Casement (IrishRuairí Dáithí Mac Easmainn; 1 September 1864 - 3 August 1916)—known as Sir Roger Casement between 1911 and shortly before his execution for treason, when he was stripped of his knighthood[1]—was an Anglo-Irish diplomat for the United Kingdom, a humanitarian activist, Irish nationalist and a poet. Described as the "father of twentieth-century human rights investigations," he was awarded honours in 1905 for his report on the Congo and knighted in 1911 for his important investigations of human rights abuses in Peru. These achievements became overshadowed by his efforts during World War I to gain German collaboration for a 1916 armed uprising in Ireland to gain its independence.

Letters About Literature, a Library of Congress national reading and writing program that asks young people in grades 4 through 12 to write to an author (living or deceased) about how his or her book affected their lives, has announced its 2015 winners.

More than 50,000 young readers from across the country participated in this year’s Letters About Literature initiative funded by a grant from the Library’s James Madison Council with additional support from the Library’s Center for the Book. The initiative is a reading-promotion program of the Center for the Book, with the goal of instilling a lifelong love of reading in the nation’s youth. Since 1997, more than a million students have participated.


DALLAS—A c. 1860 Brooklyn Atlantics Baseball Card, passed down in the family of player Archibald McMahon for more than 150 years, will be on the block Thursday, July 30, 2015, as part of Heritage Auctions’ Platinum Night Sports Auction, held in conjunction with the 2015 National Sports Collectors Convention in Chicago.  It is expected to bring $50,000+.

“This is a seminal artifact, not just of baseball, but of American history,” said Chris Ivy, Director of Sports Auctions at Heritage. “It ranks with the most significant mementos of the sport's infancy ever to surface and is, quite possibly, the only team card on Earth printed before the first drop of blood was spilled in the American Civil War.”

New York, NY, June 25, 2015—In memory of the great type designer, typographer, and calligrapher Hermann Zapf (1918-2015), the Morgan Library & Museum will exhibit one of his most virtuosic creations: a calligraphic manuscript of the preamble of the UN Charter, written in French, English, Spanish, and Russian. The work will be on view from June 26, the date the UN Charter was signed seventy years ago, through October 25, the weekend of UN Day, which marks the date the treaty went into effect. 


Hermann Zapf, creator of the legendary Palatino, Optima, and Zapfino typefaces, died on June 4 at the age of ninety-six. Born in Nuremberg in 1918, he was a master of the alphabet whose career spanned a period of enormous technological change in the field of typography. From the era of hot metal type to the advent of digital fonts, he embraced each new form with grace and innovation. Zapf designed letters that pervade our everyday lives—the beautiful lines of his sans-serif Optima, for example, adorn the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C., and the 9/11 Memorial in New York. His innovative typeface Zapf Dingbats was a precursor to the now-ubiquitous emoji set. His command of letterforms is particularly notable in the astonishing handwork of his calligraphic manuscripts.

Addison & Sarova Auctioneers is proud to announce the sale of the library of Robert Easton.  This massive collection will be offered over two different sales in the Summer and Fall of 2015.  

Mr. Easton, known as the “Henry Higgins of Hollywood,” was the premier language and dialect coach in Hollywood for many decades up until his passing in 2011.  He was first involved in the film industry as an actor, but his true passion was language.  He coached thousands of actors during his career and garnered high praise from many household names such as John Travolta and Forest Whitaker (among countless others).

WASHINGTON, DC—On July 1, 2015, David M. Rubenstein, philanthropist and co-CEO of The Carlyle Group, a global alternative asset manager, will become a trustee of the National Gallery of Art, while Victoria Sant will become trustee emerita after 15 years of service on the board, 12 of them also as Gallery president. Rubenstein was appointed for a term of ten years.

“On behalf of the trustees, it is my great pleasure to welcome David Rubenstein to the Board as the Gallery prepares to celebrate its 75th anniversary year and the reopening of its East Building in 2016,” said Frederick W. Beinecke, Gallery president. “We will continue to seek the wise counsel and support of Vicki Sant, who has been the Gallery’s tireless champion for decades.”

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