Botanical Watercolors, a Pilgrim Press Volume, and a Nobel Prize Medal: Auction Preview

Image: Sotheby's

Botanical watercolor from a large collection offered at Sotheby's this week.

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

At ALDE on Tuesday, November 29, Reliures Originales & Livres Illustrés Modernes, in 267 lots. Among the expected top lots is Stéphane Mallarmé's Poésies (1932), illustrated by Matisse and estimated at €22,000–30,000.

Sotheby's London sells the second part of The Library of Henry Rogers Broughton, 2nd Baron Fairhaven on Tuesday, in 264 lots. A small folio volume of 15 Nicholas Robert watercolors of flowers on vellum in a contemporary binding dated 1643 rates the top estimate at £150,000–200,000. Two volumes of original drawings by Pierre Antoine Poiteau and Pierre Jean François Turpin for Humboldt and Bonpland's Plantes Équinoxiales, owned at one time by the father of author Matthew Lewis, is expected to sell for £100,000–200,000. Seventeen volumes from a larger set of early eighteenth-century botanical watercolors is estimated at £80,000–120,000.

At Heritage Auctions on Wednesday, November 30, 84 lots of Texana. These include an 1829 Jim Bowie pay order written at Natchez, the 1861 edition of Jacob de Cordova's map of Texas, and an 1835 legal document written by William Barret Travis.

On Thursday, December 1, Fine Books, Manuscripts & Works on Paper at Forum Auctions, in 448 lots. A thirteenth-century Liège psalter on vellum rates the top estimate at £70,000–90,000. Also on the block are a Pillone binding (£30,000–50,000); a copy of Columna's Historia Destructionis Troiae (c.1477–1479) with evidence of early English ownership (£25,000–35,000); and a copy of John Dod's A Plaine and Familiar Exposition of the Tenne Commandements printed in 1617 at Leiden by William Brewster at the "Pilgrim Press." This is estimated at £6,000–8,000.

Heritage Auctions holds a Historical Platinum Session Signature sale on Thursday, in 81 lots. The Nobel medal and certificate awarded to Paul A. Samuelson for the economics prize in 1970 have a starting bid of $400,000. The May 8, 1792 printed broadside of a law to provide for American copper coins, signed by Jefferson as Secretary of State, opens at $100,000.

At PBA Galleries on Thursday, Fine Literature – with Beats, Bukowski & the Counterculture – Rock & Other Posters in 489 lots. A Jack Kerouac letter to Lois Sorrells Beckwith is expected to sell for $6,000–9,000. Bukowski's Crucifix in a Deathhand (1965), one of twelve copies inscribed by Bukowski with an original painting, rates an estimate of $5,000–8,000. The Limited Editions Club Lysistrata (1934), illustrated by Picasso and signed by him at the colophon, could sell for $5,000–8,000.