Auctions | November 5, 2014

Freeman’s Books, Maps & Manuscripts Sale Impresses with 90% Sell-Through

Philadelphia, PA—Freeman’s Books, Maps & Manuscripts auction brought an impressive $580,000, with 90% of the 712 lots sold on October 16. U.S. historical documents, rare first editions, and autograph materials representing notable persons, were of interest to buyers.

One of the highlights from the auction was Robert E. Lee’s signed manuscript of “General Order No. 9” which sold for $81,250. Written in April 1865, General Lee surrendered to the Army of North Virginia, which effectively ended the American Civil War.

Another high point of the sale was an 11-volume set of the United States Continental Congress’ Journals of Congress more than quadrupled the estimate of $5,000-8,000 before achieving $26,250. This set of journals is particularly remarkable since finding a set in nearly continuous and original condition is rare.

Last but not least, a letter signed by President James A. Garfield’s, while he was president, brought quite a bit of excitement to the auction before selling for $8,450. While letters signed by presidents during their term are uncommon, this letter is rare because President Garfield was only president for 200 days.  

The Books, Maps & Manuscripts department is currently accepting consignments for the spring 2015 auction in April. Please contact department head David Bloom at 267.414.1246 or

Notable Lots from the Books, Maps & Manuscripts auction

Lot 304: $81,250, 1 piece. Lee, Robert E. Manuscript Signed. General Order No. 9. [Virginia, April, 1865].

Lot 299: $26,250, 11 vols. (United States Continental Congress.) Journals of Congress. [1774-87].

Lot 163: $13,750, 8 vols. Audubon, James. The Birds of America. New York: George R. Lockwood, [1870-71].

Lot 30: $9,375, 1 vol. Dali, Salvador. Conquest of the Irrational. New York: Julien Levy, 1935.

Lot 473: $8,450, 1 piece. Garfield, J[ames] A. Letter Signed. Washington, D.C., Executive Mansion, June 15, 1881.

Lot 363: $8,125, 4 pieces. Arabic Manuscript Material - Koran Fragments on Vellum: Ca 9th to 12th century. 

Lot 456A: $7,150, American, British & World Notables - Autograph Material: Several hundred pieces. 

Lot 539: $7,150, 1 vol. Reid, John, pub. The American Atlas. New York, 1796.

Lot 258: $6,875, 1 vol. (Robinot, Antoine, pub.) Histoire de deux Turcs et d'un Juif, avec un descours de l'entier Banissement des Juifs du Royaume de Perse. De l'anglois de monsieur T.E. Paris, 1673. 

Lot 25: $6,500, 4 vols. (Asian Art.) Siren, Osvald. Chinese Sculpture from the Fifth to the Fourteenth Century. New York: Scribner's, 1925.