April 2012 | Jeremy Dibbell

Auction Report: April Sales

Some brief recaps of the early sales, and previews of what's coming for April:

- Sotheby's held a Photographs sale on 3 April, which brought in $3,783,252.

- Christie's Paris sold materials from the collections of the Hugo Family on 4 April, for a total of ??3,229,537. A charcoal/ink drawing by Victor-Marie Hugo was the top lot, fetching ??409,000. Various other fascinating lots were included in the sale; the catalog is well worth a browse.

- Leslie Hindman held a Fine Books and Manuscripts sale on 4 April. Louis Dupre's Voyage a Athenes et a Constantinople (1825) was the top lot, at $41,480.

- Also on 4 April, Bloomsbury sold Antiquarian Books: The Property of a Collector, Part I, in 575 lots. A presentation copy of Charles Babbage's Passages from the Life of a Philosopher (1864) sold for £6,500.

- At Swann on 4 April, Property from the Estate of Filmmaker Gary Winick was sold, including 19th & 20th Century Photographs and Photobooks. You can find results here.

- Christie's New York sold Photographs on 5 April, for a total of $6,880,450.

- There's a key sale coming up on 10 April at Christie's New York as material from the Private Library of Kenneth Nebenzahl goes under the hammer. Just 165 lots, but all of them something to see (with six having presale estimates of at least $100,000). A complete subscriber's copy of Edward S. Curtis' The North American Indian (1907-1930) takes the top estimate, at $1,000,000-1,500,000. A lovely ~1450 illuminated manuscript on vellum of Christoforo Buondelmonti's Liber insularum Archipelagi could fetch $800,000-1,200,000; the same range is estimated for Battista Agnese's portolan atlas, dating from ~1542-6. Among the other lots are copies of Thomas Morton's New England Canaan and New Englands Memoriall, Sir Thomas Phillipps' personal seal, and more.

- On 11 April, Heritage Auctions will hold Historical Manuscript and Rare Books sales in New York. Among the highlights: a copy of the Stone Declaration of Independence on parchment and a book from Washington's library.

- At PBA Galleries on 12 April, Fine and Rare Books, in 300 lots. An archive of letters from Joan London to her father Jack is the top-estimated lot, at $10,000-15,000.

- On 12 April at Swann, Fine Books, in 100 lots. Quite a few interesting incunabula, among other things.

- Bonhams holds a Mapping and Discovery of America sale on 14 April, in 94 lots. A 1512 manuscript  containing accounts of early voyages to America is estimated at $180,000-250,000. Also be to had: early examples of Mexican printing, and more.

- The following day, Bonhams sells Titanic-related artifacts, including an unused ticket to the ship's launch, items removed from the ship, and props from the 1997 movie.

- On 16 April at Bonhams, Fine Books and Manuscripts Featuring the Michael Lerner Collection, in ~400 lots. Much natural history and fine printing to be had.

- At Swann on 17 April, Revolutionary Americana from the Allyn K. Ford Collection, plus a selection of Autographs. The Ford papers are a really remarkable collection, being sold off by the Minnesota Historical Society as being out of scope. See my piece in the spring Fine Books & Collections for more on this sale, which includes a body of correspondence to Gen. George Weedon (being sold off piecemeal) along with an important David Hume letter.

- Bonhams Oxford holds a Printed Books and Maps sale on 17 April, in 507 lots.

- Bloomsbury will sell Children's and Illustrated Books on 19 April, in 388 lots.

- The Library of Jacques Levy will be sold at Sotheby's New York on 20 April, in 374 lots. Among the top-estimated lots are Ferdinand Hayden's The Yellowstone National Park (1876), estimated at $150,000-200,000; a collection of David Roberts' drawings ($120,000-180,000), &c.

- Doyle New York sells Rare Books, Autographs, and Maps on 23 April, including the Paige Rense Nolan autograph collection. A first octavo edition of Audubon's Birds of America is estimated at $50,000-60,000.

- Christie's London sells Travel, Science and Natural History on 25 April, in 308 lots. As usual there's a good variety here, with some really fascinating things up for grabs. A 1794 W. & S. Jones orrery is one of my favorites this time around (est. £30,000-50,000); a ~1705/15 German pocket globe is also offered.

No preview yet available for the following:

- PBA Galleries 26 April sale of Fine Americana, Travel & Exploration, and Cartography.

- Bloomsbury's 28 April Bibliophile Sale.