April 2012 | Jeremy Dibbell

Auction Report: Recent Sales

For the full April preview, go here. Also see my report on the Kenneth Nebenzahl sale. In this post, note particularly the final sale, yesterday's Jacques Levy auction at Sotheby's New York.

- At the 11 April Heritage Auctions Historical Manuscript and Rare Books sales in New York, the Stone Declaration of Independence on parchment sold for $597,500, while the book from Washington's library fetched $101,575. A copy of Alexander Gardner's Gardner's Photographic Sketchbook of the War sold for $194,500, and a presentation copy of Thomas Jefferson's A Manual of Parliamentary Practice (1801) made $113,525.

- The archive of letters from Joan London to her father Jack sold for $18,000 at PBA Galleries 12 April Fine and Rare Books sale.

- At Swann's, Fine Books sale on 12 April, the top lot was a portion of a vellum leaf from a ~1000 CE Greek Bible, with text from Philippians 2. It had been estimated at $800-1,200, but sold for $33,600. Another leaf from the same Bible sold for $26,400.

- Bonhams Mapping and Discovery of America sale on 14 April saw the 1512 manuscript  containing accounts of early voyages to America do even better than expected; it made $326,500. A copy of Jeffreys' American Atlas (1776) fetched $86,500.

- At Bonhams Titanic sale, the unused ticket to the ship's launch proved the top lot, at $56,250. A dinner menu from the ship for the night of 12 April 1912 sold for $31,250.

- The Fine Books and Manuscripts Featuring the Michael Lerner Collection at Bonhams, held 16 April, saw a presentation copy of Ginsberg's Howl sell for $74,500, and a Jonathan Swift letter fetched $56,250.

- Swann's 17 April Revolutionary Americana sale proved their best book/manuscript sale ever, making a total of $2,084,031 with 418 of 436 lots selling. A letter by Jonathan Trumbull as Washington's aide-de-camp to Gen. George Weedon reporting that Cornwallis had requested to open negotiations at Yorktown was the top seller, at $90,000. A Jefferson letter to Weedon sold for $57,600, and the David Hume letter about the stamp act made $48,000.

- Bonhams Oxford sold Printed Books and Maps on 17 April. A presentation copy of James Hosburgh's Directions for Sailing to and From the East Indies ... (1809-11) was the top lot, at £3,125.

- At Bloomsbury's Children's and Illustrated Books sale on 19 April, the top lot was an original Edmund Dulac watercolor, which fetched £11,000.

- The Library of Jacques Levy sale at Sotheby's yesterday was a big one indeed. The sale brought in a total of $6,415,964, with many lots leaving their presale estimates far behind. The collection of David Roberts' drawings (est. $120,000-180,000) sold for $482,500, while a presentation copy of Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest (1899) fetched $362,500 (over estimates of $80,000-120,000). An Eragny Press volume of Camille and Lucien Pissarro watercolors and wood-engravings sold for $314,500 (better than doubling its estimate), and Ferdinand Hayden's The Yellowstone National Park (1876) sold for $254,500. Another eight lots broke $100,000.