Aldine Imprints, Chekhov’s First Book, Buffon’s Birds: Auction Preview

Image: Aguttes

Illustration from Marcus Elieser Bloch's Ichthyologie (1785–1797), offered at Aguttes this week.

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

At Chiswick Auctions on Tuesday, May 14, 209 lots of Books and Works on Paper, including a William Nicholson boxing illustration (£26,000–28,000); Léon de Laborde's Voyage en Orient (1837–1845), estimated at £6,000–8,000; and Amedeo Preziosi's Stamboul (1865), expected to sell for £4,000–6,000. A partial set of Franz Bauer's Delineations of Exotick Plants (1796–1803) is estimated at £3,000–4,000.

Aguttes sells 339 lots of Lettres & Manuscrits Autographes | Livres Anciens & Modernes on Wednesday, May 15. Buffon's Histoire naturelle des oiseaux (1770–1786) in ten volumes is expected to sell for €30,000–40,000, as is Bloch's Ichthyologie (1785–1797). A northern French illuminated book of hours on vellum from about 1470–1480 is estimated at €20,000–25,000.

At Dominic Winter Auctioneers on Wednesday, Printed Books & Maps, in 464 lots. The Aldine editio princeps of the works of Aristophanes (1498), formerly in the collection of Sir Thomas Phillipps, is expected to lead the sale at £20,000–30,000. The 1499 Aldine Epistolae Diversorum Philosophorum, edited by Marcus Musurus, could sell for £15,000–20,000. Much more of interest here for the collector of early printed books.

University Archives sells 430 lots of Rare Signed Autographs, Manuscripts, Books & Memorabilia on Wednesday, including a 1937 Albert Einstein letter to physicist Cornelius Lanczos ($25,000–35,000); a 1958 Martin Luther King, Jr. letter to Darrell Randall about a potential trip to the Soviet Union ($20,000–30,000); and an uncommon 1909 letter by Wilbur Wright to sculptor Louis-Albert Corbin ($12,000–15,000).

At Swann Galleries on Thursday, May 16, 316 lots of Fine Photographs. Expected highlights include Cindy Sherman's Untitled Film Still #52 ($120,000–180,000); and Dorothea Lange's Migrant Mother, Nipomo California (1936), estimated at $100,000–150,000.

Potter & Potter will sell 610 lots of Vintage Posters on Thursday, including Harry R. Hopps' 1917 "Destroy This Mad Brute" enlistment poster ($10,000–15,000) depicting Germany as an ape wearing a "Militarism" helmet holding a captive Lady Liberty. Pierre Fix-Masseau's 1932 Exactitude locomotive poster is estimated at $8,000–12,000, and A. M. Cassandre's 1935 poster of the Normandie is expected to sell for $7,000–10,000.

At PBA Galleries on Thursday, 468 lots of Fine Literature – Science Fiction, Fantasy & Mysteries – Robinson Jeffers – Beats & the Counterculture, including Chekhov's first book, Skazki Mel'pomeny (Tales of Melpomene), from the library of bibliophile Dmitry Modestovich Ostafieva ($20,000–30,000). A November 18, 1963 typed Kerouac letter to publisher Robert Giroux is expected to sell for $7,000–10,000.