November 2020 | Jeremy Dibbell

Rare Books &c. at Auction This Week

Chiswick Auctions

Eighteenth-century Spanish embroidered binding, offered at Chiswick Auctions this week.

Zwiggelaar Auctions in Amsterdam will hold a three-part sale this week: Part I (Children's books, Literature, Old books, Manuscripts, Cookbooks, Amsterdam, Topography) on Monday, November 30, in 565 lots; Part II (Topography, Atlases, Comics, Asian arts, Fine arts) will be held on Tuesday, December 1, in 560 lots; and Part III (Photography, Sports, Chess books, Picture postcards, Erotica, Various) will be sold on Wednesday, December 2, in another 559 lots. 

A sale of Music, Continental Books and Medieval Manuscripts at Sotheby's London ends on Tuesday, December 1. The 116 lots include a painted miniature by Simon Bening on vellum, laid down on wood, dated to the 1530s–40s (£150,000–200,000). An incomplete but substantial copy of the 1482 Bologna edition of the Hebrew Pentateuch, the first book printed with the Hebrew text fully vocalized, is estimated at £120,000–150,000. This copy contains indications that it was used as a model for copying Torah scrolls. A four-page August 1818 letter from Franz Schubert to his brother Ferdinand could sell for £80,000–120,000, while a series of 62 letters and postcards from Hermann Hesse to Stefan Zweig over the period from 1903 to 1938 is estimated at £60,000–80,000. The auction house describes this as "perhaps the most significant collection of Hesse's letters ever to be offered at auction."

Chiswick Auctions

At Chiswick Auctions on Wednesday, December 2, 370 lots of Books & Works on Paper. A rare copy of the first edition of Giambattista Vico's Scienza Nuova (1725) is expected to lead the sale, at £8,000–12,000. A first printing of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (1997) is estimated at £6,000–8,000, while a signed first edition of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows with ephemera from a "Moonlight Signing" event is estimated at £4,000–6,000. A nearly-complete run of the Almanach de Gotha could sell for £4,000–6,000. There's also a lovely 18th-century Spanish embroidered binding, estimated at £1,500–2,000.

On Thursday, December 3, Books and Works on Paper at Forum Auctions, in 305 lots. 

Also on Thursday, PBA Galleries sells Fine Art – Photography & Prints, in 350 lots. A copy of the 1943 Albert Skira edition of Rabelais' Panagruel, with 180 color woodcuts by André Derain and an additional suite of 144 prints, is estimated at $20,000–30,000.

Arader Galleries will hold their December sale on Saturday, December 5. The 183 lots include a number of Audubon Birds, as well as important maps and survey drawings.