Al Capone records, Stonehenge, and a Rasputin letter: Auction Preview

Image: Forum Auctions

Detail of Stonehenge from William Stukeley's 1743 publication, offered at Forum Auctions this week.

Here are the sales I'll be watching this week:

RR Auctions' sale of Fine Autographs and Artifacts in 918 lots ends on Wednesday, January 11. There is much gangster and "outlaw" related material in this sale, including Cook County Jail inmate record cards for both Al and Ralph Capone, a large signed photograph of Al Capone as well as a collection of medical records about Capone apparently retained by his final doctor. Similar materials include a notebook containing ten manuscript poems written by Bonnie Parker while in a Texas jail in 1932, a manuscript note by Grigori Rasputin, and a 1933 letter from John Dillinger to a paramour, Mary Longnaker. Other lots in this sale include a Benjamin Franklin letter to London publisher William Strahan and a 1795 Thomas Jefferson letter to Philadelphia merchant Joseph Mussi.

Forum Auctions sells 291 lots of Books and Works on Paper on Thursday, January 12. Sharing the top estimate of £1,000–1,500 are William Stukeley's Stonehenge and Abury (1740 and 1743); the first volume of Elizabeth Blackwell's Curious Herbal (1737); and the first edition in English of Pierre Pomet's Compleat History of Druggs (1712). Other lots include a 1552 Lyon edition of Dioscorides' De Medicinali Materia and the dedicatee's copy of William Stukeley's Palaeographia Britannica (1746).

At PBA Galleries on Thursday, Antiquarian: Fine Press, Fine Bindings, Graphic Art & More, in 413 lots. The 26-volume Vailima Edition of the works of Robert Louis Stevenson (1921) and the 12-volume Author's Edition of the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1903) share the top estimate of $5,000–8,000. Four volumes of Annalen der Physik containing the first four papers published by Einstein are estimated at $3,000–5,000, as are Blondel's Cours d'Architecture (1675–1683) and Hill's General Natural History (1748–1752).