Ansel Adams, Alice in Wonderland, Gold Rush Diaries: Auction Preview

Image: Sotheby's

Illustration of an ocellated turkey from Captain Thomas Brown's Illustrations of the American Ornithology, offered at Sotheby's London this week.

An absolutely jam-packed week of sales coming up! Here's what I'll be watching:

Sotheby's London sells 91 lots of Fine Books from a Distinguished Private Library on Tuesday, November 28, including a remarkable copy of Captain Thomas Brown's rare publication Illustrations of the American Ornithology, this on large paper with an engraved dedication to the Earl of Airlie. It is expected to sell for £80,000–100,000. John Gould's Monograph of the Trochilidae (1849–1887) is estimated at £70,000–100,000, and a copy of the first Dutch edition of Weinmann's Phytanthoza Iconographia (1736–1748) with its colored mezzotints is expected to sell for £35,000–45,000.

At Hindman on Tuesday, 154 lots of Photographs, including an Important Collection of Ansel Adams. A copy of Adams' Portfolio VI (missing one print) is estimated at $60,000–80,000, while a 1974 print of Maroon Bells, Near Aspen, Colorado, 1951 could fetch $50,000–70,000. Rodney Graham's Nautical Scene with Loudhailer (2004) is estimated at $30,000–50,000, and Imogen Cunningham's Fageol Ventilators, 1934 is expected to sell for $10,000–15,000.

New England Book Auctions has a Fall Miscellany of Fine Books & Prints, including Selections from the Veatchs Book Inventory on Tuesday, in 215 lots. This is apparently the first of a series of sales which will include material from the Veatchs inventory.

On Wednesday, November 29 at Chiswick Auctions, 369 lots of Books & Works on Paper, including Simpson and Kaye's India Ancient and Modern (1867), expected to fetch £15,000–20,000. A copy of the 1733 John Pine engraving of Magna Carta could sell for £6,000–8,000. A collection of E.M. Forster correspondence with Bob Buckingham and his family, including several books formerly owned by Forster and the Buckinghams is estimated at £4,000–6,000.

Ending on Wednesday, the Sotheby's Paris online sale of Livres & Manuscrits du XIIIe au XXIe siècle, in 127 lots. A complete copy of Goya's La Tauromaquia (1816) rates the top estimate at €150,000–200,000. Chagall's Le Cirque (1967) could sell for €100,000–120,000, and a thirteenth-century Paris Bible is estimated at €80,000–100,000.

At University Archives on Wednesday, 472 lots of Rare Autographs, Manuscripts, Books & Sports Memorabilia. A July 22, 1863 letter of introduction written by Abraham Lincoln is expected to sell for $65,000–75,000, and a 2009 Bob Dylan copy of the lyrics to "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" could sell for $35,000–45,000. A group of 35 Benjamin Disraeli letters is estimated at $3,000–4,000.

On Thursday, November 30, Forum Auctions sells Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper, in 523 lots. The only known copy of an Augsburg woodcut of Saint Jerome penitent (about 1498) is estimated at £15,000–20,000. At the same range are the first printed edition of Ibn Butlan's Tacuini Sanitatis (1531), a 1924 pencil portrait of J.R.R. Tolkien by Eric Valentine Gordon, and a signed copy of the first edition of Fitzgerald's Tender is the Night.

At Hindman on Thursday, 386 lots of American Historical Ephemera & Photography, including an extensive collection of William J. Jewell's Gold Rush letters, diaries, and photographs ($15,000–25,000).

Potter & Potter Auctions sells Lewis Carroll and Alice: The Collection of Stephen and Nancy Farber on Thursday, in 272 lots. A presentation copy of the second edition of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland inscribed by Dodgson to illustrator Richard Doyle, along with a copy of Through the Looking-Glass, is expected to sell for $30,000–50,000. A rare presentation copy of Alice inscribed by illustrator John Tenniel with a pencil drawing of the Mad Hatter could fetch $15,000–25,000. Alice Hargreaves' copy of the 1923 Nabokov translation of Alice is estimated at $10,000–15,000.

At PBA Galleries on Thursday, 525 lots of Fine Literature – Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror – Mysteries & Thrillers – Beats & the Counterculture. A November 18, 1963 typed Jack Kerouac letter to publisher Robert Giroux is expected to lead the way at $10,000–15,000, and a first edition of Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time (1962) is estimated at $7,000–10,000.

Ending on Thursday at Heritage Auction, a 576-lot Rare Book Signature Auction, including a copy of Alexander Hamilton's "Reynolds Pamphlet."

Bonhams London's 128-lot sale of Books, Maps and Manuscripts ends on Friday, December 1. A page from Gandhi's English grammar notebook is expected to sell for £6,000–8,000, and a group of 31 lithographs from John Gould's bird books could sell for £3,000–5,000.