Something for Everyone

Hindman Auctions’ 2021 sales kick off with fascinating finds in every price range.
Courtesy of HIndman Auctions

View of San Francisco, California by N. Currier and Wm. B. McMurtie (1851, estimated $6,000–8,000).

Hindman Auction’s 2021 sales schedule is shaping up to generate impressive results. This comes on the heels of a banner year for the house in 2020.

Last year, Hindman reported an impressive $5.48 million in sales, and out of 1,100 lots offered in the house’s Chicago salesroom, 995 were sold, achieving a 90.5 percent sell-through rate for 2020. Meanwhile, individual book sales also achieved strong results: Hindman’s June Fine Printed Books and Manuscripts sale achieved a 94 percent sell-through rate; the November auction achieved a 91 percent sell-through rate; and the October single-owner auction generated $1.2 million in sales.

Following these results, Hindman has its sights set on ambitious goals for 2021. A single-owner literature sale on March 19 will kick off this year’s sale season. This will be followed by Hindman’s Fine Books and Manuscripts sale—including Americana—which will be hosted May 12–13.

One highlight of the May sale will be a large collection of Currier and Ives prints.

“This large, very fine collection was amassed very carefully by a Midwestern collector who knew the material very well,” said Gretchen Hause, director and senior specialist of the Books and Manuscripts department at Hindman. “These prints are in great condition, and some of them are rarities at auction.”

Themes for the Currier and Ives prints include railroads, trains, and steamboats, as well as winter, night, and Western scenes. Individual estimates vary, but begin at $800 and go up to $15,000.

Fine press books will also be well-represented in the sale. One notable lot is a nearly complete set of Limited Editions Club books dated through 2010 from a fine private collection.

“This very fine collection of fine press books includes a virtually complete run of Limited Editions Club books, which we’ll offer as a single lot of about 600 volumes,” Hause said. “Complete Limited Editions Club sets are rare at auction. I know of only two sets offered in the last 20 years, and the collector put the books together with an eye toward fine condition.”

This collection also includes fine examples of books from the Allen Press, Logan Elm Press, Grabhorn Press, Arion Press, Golden Cockerel Press, Bird and Bull Press, Pennyroyal Press, and Westgate Press. Books from this collection will be offered in both the live May 13 auction, and in an online auction of Fine Press Books, which will run concurrently with the live auction.

The sale will also include a collection of Bibles, which range from the incunable period through the 19th century in America, printed in a variety of locations and languages, estimated between a few hundred and several thousand dollars.

Though not available in person, bidding will take place through traditional channels, such as absentee and telephone bidding, as well as through Hindman’s new online bidding platform, called the Digital Bid Room, which includes a new app.

“We’re going to have a strong first half of 2021,” Hause said. “In addition to a single-owner sale of fine literature to be held in March, the May sale will feature interesting finds fresh to market from private collections and wide selections of printed books and Americana in a variety of price ranges. There will be something for every collector.”