Sales at Skinner
It's not surprising that this Louisa May Alcott letter, c. 1868, realized $10,000, over an estimate of $3,000-4,000. For it is not merely an autograph signed letter by the famous author, but one written to her publisher Thomas Niles, in which she makes editorial notes regarding Little Women. All that, an an ink smudge showing her partial fingerprint!
I am thankful to our Fine Maps columnist, Jeffrey Murray, for making me feel smart while I perused Skinner's map offerings. This one, for example, is the work of MacDonald Gill, whose work we featured in our spring 2012 issue in Murray's column about the Empire Marketing Board. This brightly colored map is a bird's eye view of London c. 1914, originally commissioned to be displayed in railway stations. This one came complete with the original publisher's printed envelope. At $1,400, it made more than double its estimate.
This one I couldn't resist including--not for its rarity as much as its beauty (though it is unrecorded, according to Skinner). The English psalm book, c. 1625, is bound in a contemporary silk embroidered binding with the death's head on the front and back covers. It was estimated at $1,000-$1,500 but did much better at $3,250.
Images via Skinner.com.