Auctions | May 25, 2016

The Esther Salinas Collection: Fine Illustrated Classics, Fairy Tales & Religious Books at Swann Galleries

Lot-16-Szyk copy.jpgNew York— On Tuesday, June 14, Swann Galleries will auction The Esther Salinas Collection of Fine Illustrated & Plate Books, featuring intricately embellished editions of the Bible, Western and Eastern fairy tales and fables, as well as illustrated classic literature by Goethe, Shakespeare, Cervantes and many others. Lovingly assembled over the course of 50 years by Dr. David Salinas, PhD, of California, the collection is named in honor of Dr. Salinas’s mother, Esther Benyakar Salinas, a Sephardic-Jewish immigrant who came to the United States from Macedonia in 1913.

            The collection features many illustrated religious texts, with several versions of the Bible, including La Sainte Bible, 12 volumes with 300 cooper-engraved plates after original drawings by Marillier and Monsiau, Paris, 1789-1804 (estimate $4,000 to $6,000); and a seven-volume set of The Old Testament [&] New Testament, Embellished with Engravings … by the Most Eminent English Artists, with 70 plates after works by English painters, London, 1800 ($3,000 to $4,000). Two colorful works by Polish-Jewish artist and book illustrator Arthur Szyk include his most celebrated work, The Szyk Haggadah, the first Szyk edition, with 14 full-page plates and numerous vignettes and border decorations, signed by Szyk and editor Cecil Roth, London, 1939 ($15,000 to $25,000); and Le Livre d’Esther, with 19 color plates, custom-bound by modern master Kerstin Tini Miura, Paris, 1925 ($4,000 to $6,000).

            Headlining the sale is a complete six-volume set of the rare first edition of David Roberts’s The Holy Land, with 241 tinted proof lithographs before titles were printed, London, 1842-49 ($35,000 to $50,000). The sale also features several other texts related to travel including Samuel Owens and William Westall’s Picturesque Tour of The River Thames, with 24 hand-colored aquatint plates, London, 1828 ($4,000 to $6,000).

            Among the classic works included in the collection are a copy of English poet Edward Young’s The Complaint, and The Consolation; or Night Thoughts, the first illustrated edition by William Blake, with 39 etched and engraved pictorial borders, London, 1797. Night Thoughts is estimated at $8,000 to $10,000. A nine-volume set of William Shakespeare’s The Dramatic Works, with 96 copper engravings, London, 1802, is also on offer. Printed for publishers John and Josiah Boydell, The Dramatic Works was the pair's most ambitious and famous project, with a printing house, type foundry and an ink factory specially built to facilitate its creation. The Dramatic Works is estimated at $5,000 to $7,500.

A deluxe edition of Lewis Carroll’s children’s classic Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, illustrated with 12 heliogravures by surrealist master Salvador Dalí, New York, 1969, is also in the sale ($12,000 to $18,000). Other classics include several versions of Cervantes’s Don Quixote, including a first edition of the 1746 version, illustrated by Bernard Picart after paintings by Charles Coypel, Paris; and a first edition, in two volumes, translated by Charles Jarvis and illustrated in 68 engraved plates by G. Van der Guct after J. Vanderbank, London, 1742 ($3,000 to $4,000 and $2,500 to $3,500, respectively).

Among the fables and fairy tales is a first English trade edition of the Norwegian tale East of the Sun and West of the Moon by folklore collectors Asbjørnsen and Moe, with art by famed Danish illustrator Kay Nielson with 25 tipped-in color plates, London, 1914 ($2,500 to $3,500). A first signed limited edition of the Brothers Grimm classic Little Brother & Little Sister and Other Tales, with 13 tipped-in color plates by Arthur Rackham and one additional signed plate, London, 1917, is also on offer ($2,000 to $3,000).

The auction will be held Tuesday, June 14, beginning at 1:30 p.m. The auction preview will be open to the public Friday, June 10 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, June 11 from noon to 5 p.m.; Monday, June 13 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Tuesday, June 14 from 10 a.m. to noon.

An illustrated auction catalogue is available for $35 from Swann Galleries, Inc., 104 East 25th Street, New York, NY 10010, or online at

For further information or to make advance arrangements to bid by telephone during the auction, please contact Specialist Christine von der Linn via or at 212-254-4710, ext. 20.

Image: Lot 16 Arthur Szyk, The Szyk Haggadah, with text in Hebrew and English, first Szyk edition, signed by Szyk and Cecil Roth, London, 1939. Estimate $15,000 to $25,000.