$277,200 Sale of Rare Colonial First Edition at Freeman's
Philadelphia — Freeman’s September 21 Books and Manuscripts auction inaugurated Freeman’s fall auction season with the remarkable $277,200 sale of New Englands First Fruits (Lot 11). The extremely rare first edition on early colonial New England includes the first printed account of Harvard University—and garnered considerable interest in Wednesday’s auction, with competitive bidding driving the sale price more than nine times above its pre-sale high estimate of $30,000.
“We’re thrilled by the successful sale of New Englands First Fruits, and so is the consignor,” says Darren Winston, Head of Freeman’s Books and Manuscripts department. “This is the first copy to be offered at auction in over 20 years, and today’s result confirms the market demand for this material, setting a new world auction record for the title.”
COMPETITIVE BIDDING FOR CLASSIC TEXTS AND AMERICANA
A rare and beautiful first edition of L. Frank Baum’s classic The Wonderful Wizard of Oz—made famous by the 1939 classic film starring Judy Garland—achieved $37,800, more than tripling its pre-sale high estimate (Lot 35; estimate: $8,000-12,000).
Several important Americana manuscripts and documents likewise commanded competitive bidding wars, resulting in sale prices that far exceeded estimates—including the Narrative of Sojourner Truth (Lot 4), a scarce copy that achieved $27,720 (estimate: $1,500-2,500). A 1738 colonial treatise on paper money sold for $21,420 (Lot 19; estimate: $1,000-1,500), and a very rare 1683 document issued to the very first purchaser of Pennsylvania land sold for $20,160 (Lot 89; estimate: $5,000-8,000).
THIS FALL: RARE AMERICANA COMES TO AUCTION
“We’re now turning our attention to our November 15 Books and Manuscripts: Rare Americana auction,” says Darren Winston, “which builds on the department’s recent successes in bringing rare, foundational items to market, including the $4.42M sale of a rare copy of the Declaration of Independence and the white-glove auction of The Alexander Hamilton Collection of John E. Herzog.”
The November sale is still accepting documents, autographed letters, currency notes, and first editions, which will be sold alongside items from figures like Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, Paul Revere, and Abraham Lincoln—an unmissable collector’s opportunity.