Auctions | May 16, 2023

$150,000 Estimate for Rare Walt Whitman Leaves of Grass First Edition

Freeman's

Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass

Freeman’s June 8 auction A Fine Collection of American Literature and History is led by an exceedingly rare 1855 first edition, first issue, of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass.

With an estimate of $100,000 - $150,000, it is one of only 337 copies printed in the more ornate first issue gilt binding, and is almost as new. The provenance is particularly interesting. It comes from the library of American collector Thomas Winthrop Streeter and with his book-plate, as well as from the library of Arthur Swann and with his book-plate on front paste-down, as well as the black morocco book-plate of Haven O'More (The Garden Collection). There are more than two dozen other Whitman titles in the auction.

 History of Indian Tribes of North America
1/4
Freeman's

 History of Indian Tribes of North America

Thomas Paine’s pamphlet Common Sense
2/4
Freeman's

Thomas Paine’s pamphlet Common Sense

Observations Leading to a Fair Examination of the System of Government Proposed by the Late Convention
3/4
Freeman's

Observations Leading to a Fair Examination of the System of Government Proposed by the Late Convention

Walden
4/4
Freeman's

Walden

Other highlights include:

* Henry David Thoreau's Walden; or, Life in the Woods, 1854, first edition, estimate $8,000 - $12,000

* a very rare American 1776 edition of Thomas Paine’s revolutionary pamphlet Common Sense, estimate: $20,000 - $30,000

* a first edition of Thomas McKenney and James Hall’s History of the Indian Tribes of North America, estimate: $50,000 - $80,000

* a rare 1787 first edition of the leading anti-Federalist attack on the United States constitution, Observations Leading to a Fair Examination of the System of Government Proposed by the Late Convention, estimate: $8,000 - $12,000

The auction is part of back-to-back sales of fine art and rare books and manuscripts at Freeman’s as they present a special American Week.