Auctions | January 27, 2015

Auction of Rare Americana to be Held in NYC, January 31

Holme Map_300dpi copy.jpg

Seth Kaller Inc., Historic Documents & Legacy Collections, White Plains, NY is pleased to collaborate with Keno Auctions on eight special documents in its January 31 Winter Sale, complimenting their “masterpiece” Philadelphia Chippendale mahogany tea table.  Kaller’s lots include Thomas Holme’s 1687 map of Pennsylvania, called the “greatest of early American maps,” one of William Penn’s earliest land deeds, and a letter between two of Penn’s sons mentioning their father’s famous black Quaker hat and their mother’s chocolate recipe.  

Three rare 1789 New York Gazette of the United States newspapers contain the earliest obtainable printing of the Bill of Rights, Washington’s first presidential Thanksgiving Proclamation, and an anti-slavery address by Benjamin Franklin. Finally, Kaller is offering a unique document that records patriotic toasts from 1769 on the fourth anniversary of Boston’s anti-Stamp Act Riots.

The auction is set for Saturday, January 31, 2015, at noon. Preview 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, and by appointment, at Keno Auctions, 127 East 69th St., N.Y., NY 10021. View all the lots here or see short descriptions and links to individual items below. 

The Bill of Rights—Earliest Obtainable Printing

After several months of negotiation, both houses of Congress agreed to the final text of twelve amendments. The day before this newspaper printing, Washington sent engrossed copies to each state for ratification. Gazette of the United States. October 3, 1789.  New York, N.Y.  Estimate $30,000-60,000. 

George Washington’s First Thanksgiving Proclamation

Calling for “a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.”  Gazette of the United States. New York, N.Y., October 7, 1789. 4 pp. Estimate $15,000-30,000. The original was purchased by a private collector for more than $8 million dollars, and is currently on loan to Washington’s Mount Vernon estate; View info here:

The Potter-Crouch-Jordan Family Chippendale mahogany tea table, a rare survival of Pre-Revolutionary craftsmanship from Philadelphia that has descended in the family of the original owners for over 250 years. If one employs the four factors used to evaluate a scalloped-top Philadelphia tea table; quality, rarity, condition and provenance, this example ranks at the very top. It is quite simply, an unequivocal masterpiece and represents the apogee of Philadelphia Rococo craftsmanship. Estimate $500,000- $2,000,000.

“The Greatest of Early American Maps”—The Only Known Copy in Private Hands

THOMAS HOLME. A Map of the Improved Part of the Province of Pennsilvania ... Containing the three Countyes of Chester, Philadelphia, & Bucks….  London 1687. Six sheets joined to 33½ x 55½ in. No other English American colony was mapped in the seventeenth century on such a large scale, and in such amazing detail. We have found no other copies recorded in private hands, and no sale records in the last several decades.  The first state survives in a single example at the British Library, believed to be William Penn’s copy. Copies of this second state are in the collections of the Biblioteca nacional de España, and Bibliothèque nationale de France, American Philosophical Society, Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Library Company of Philadelphia, Library of Congress, and Winterthur.  Estimate $200,000- 300,000  

A Fantastic 1769 Sons of Liberty Toast: “Liberty without End. Amen.”

Autograph document, Boston, Massachusetts, August 14, 1769, capturing patriotic toasts for the fourth anniversary of Boston’s Stamp Act Riot.  Estimate $20,000-30,000

One of Penn’s Earliest Deeds—with Bonus Parcel Now Part of Independence Mall

King Charles II granted William Penn the lands that became Pennsylvania on March 4, 1681. On March 21, 1681 (1682), Penn sold 500 acres to Thomas Saunders, making him a “First Purchaser” entitling him to an additional lot in the town of Philadelphia.  Estimate $10,000-20,000 

William Penn Grants 1,500 Acres to a Founding Member of the Colony

Document Signed, “Wm Penn,” with his seal, April 11, 1682. Estimate $6,000-12,000

John Penn Writes to His Younger Brother About Their Father in His Black Cap, and Their Mother’s Chocolate Recipe

Fifteen-year-old John writes home to his younger brother Thomas (who later owned ¾ of Penn’s proprietary interest in Pennsylvania). Autograph Letter Signed. December 4, 1715. With six examples of THOMAS PENN practicing his signature on verso. Estimate  $15,000-30,000

Benjamin Franklin Supports the Abolition of Slavery, Washington Addresses the Reformed Dutch Church (on the revolution and peaceful establishment of constitutional government, and ensuring religious freedom) and Offers Thanksgiving Thoughts. Gazette of the United States. November 25, 1789, New York, N.Y.   Estimate  $4,000-8,000