Auctions | March 26, 2012

Gould’s The Birds of Europe expected to bring $75,000+ at Heritage Auctions

gould-owl.jpgNEW YORK - A stunning first edition of John Gould’s monumental 1832-1837 The Birds of Europe, with Edward Lear’s exquisitely rendered plates of raptors, is expected to bring $75,000+ as one of the top books in Heritage Auctions’ April 11 Rare Books Signature® Auction at the Fletcher-Sinclair Mansion (Ukrainian Institute of America) at 2 East 79 Street (at Fifth Ave.).
“This is simply a gorgeous set and a complete copy of Gould’s epic work,” said James Gannon, Director of Rare Books at Heritage. “Couple that with Lear’s masterfully rendered plates and you have a wonderful confluence of artistry, technique and production that collectors are certain to appreciate.”
A significant amount of buzz is also being generated around a superb copy of Alexander Gardner’s Photographic Sketch Book of the War (Estimate: $90,000+), Washington, D.C.: Philp and Solomons, (1865-66). The two oblong folio volumes come complete with 100 albumen prints mounted on larger sheets with lithographed frames and captions.
“This is a wonderful example of the most celebrated, memorable and graphic collection of Civil War photographs,” said Gannon.
The Heritage event, on track to be Heritage’s best Rare Books auction in the category’s history, features 755 total lots of rare books, maps, prints and original art with a deep grouping of modern literary classics, many signed.
Foremost among these modern classics is expected to be an uncommonly nice copy of one of 750 numbered copies of the first edition of James Joyce’s Ulysses, estimated at $15,000+. A special run of signed William Faulkner limited editions is sure to delight fans of the South’s greatest writer, namely Go Down, Moses (Estimate: $8,000+),Sanctuary (Estimate: $8,000+), As I Lay Dying (estimate: $5,000+), Soldier’s Pay (Estimate: $5,000+), Sartoris (Estimate: $2,000+), and Light in August (Estimate: $2,000+).
Fans of modern horror have already begun to take notice of an extraordinary special advance proof of King’s first novel, Carrie, inscribed by the author to his close friend, Phil “Flip” Thompson, who dared King to write a novel about a woman, thus resulting in the writing of this very book. Just as important, if not more important, is that this is the first book Stephen King ever signed, with his inscription reading: “For Flip and Karen - two of the best there are - and I mean that - by the way, this is the first book I've signed in my life - it's kind of fun. All the best, no matter what. Stephen King February 4, 1974.”
“Stephen King is the greatest horror writer who has ever lived,” said Joe Fay, Manager of Rare Books at Heritage. “His impact and influence on modern culture will be studied for generations. To say that his very first autograph in a book makes this an attractive rarity is an understatement. This is a stellar piece, and one destined to be the cornerstone book of any King collection.”
Also included in the auction, as a separate catalog, is the very special James and Deborah Boyd Collection, featuring more than 200 fine books in economics, military history, literature and science. Chief among the Boyd Collection is a 1776 first edition of Adam Smith’s groundbreaking work of economics, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, described by Printing and the Mind of Man as “the first and greatest classic of modern economic thought.” It is estimated at $80,000+.
Heritage Rare Books auctions have recently featured small groupings of important illustration and the April 11 auction continues this popular feature with a good number of original illustrations from the continuing sale of The Estate of Garth Williams, as well as a small but choice selection of original art from illustrator and portraitist John Tibbetts, including his original signed and inscribed portrait of Ray Bradbury and Ray Harryhausen, estimated at $1,000+.
Further highlights include, but are not limited to:
H. P. Lovecraft. The Outsider and Others: Sauk City: Arkham House, 1939. First edition of the first Arkham House book, from the collection of famous art hoaxer and journalist, Paul Jordan Smith.
Estimate: $1,500+.
Ray Bradbury. Fahrenheit 451: New York: Ballantine Books, 1953. First edition, number 36 of 200 copies, signed by Bradbury and bound in asbestos. Estimate: $5,000+.
Maps - Peter Apianus. Tipus Orbis Universalis Ivxta Ptolomei Cosmpgraphi Traditionem et Americi Vespucii... 1520: Vienna: 1520. First edition of the earliest obtainable map to name the New World “America.” Estimate: $30,000+.
Isaac Titsingh. Illustrations of Japan: Consisting of Private Memoirs and Anecdotes of the Reigning Dynasty of the Djogouns, or Sovereigns of Japan… London: Printed for R. Ackerman, 1822. With 13 beautiful hand-colored, line-engraved and aquatint plates, including a three-leaf fold-out panoramic scene of a Japanese funeral. Estimate: $5,000+
An Excellent Collection of Early American Political Tracts, including: Thomas Paine. Common Sense: Addressed to the Inhabitants of America: Philadelphia and London: J. Almon, 1776. Bound with seven others published in 1775 or 1776. Estimate: $5,000+.
New York City - Certified Copies of Original Maps of Property in New York City… Hoboken: Spielmann & Brush, 1881. First edition, a scarce and complete set of beautiful hand-colored lithographs showing the late 19th-century street grid of Manhattan laid on top of the former property lines of farms and land owners. Estimate: $4,000+.
George Washington, A True and Authentic History of His Excellency George Washington…: Philadelphia: Printed by Peter Stewart, 1790. First edition. A rare and early work on Washington, printed during his first term as the first American president. Estimate: $5,000+.
Homer, George Chapman, translator. The Whole Workes of Homer; Prince of Poetts In his Iliads, and Odysses… London: (R. Field and W. Jaggard) for Nathaniel Butter, circa 1616. First collected edition in English. Estimate: $25,000+.
Heritage Auctions, headed by Steve Ivy, Jim Halperin and Greg Rohan, is the world’s third largest auction house, with annual sales more than $800 million, and 700,000+ online bidder members. For more information about Heritage Auctions, and to join and gain access to a complete record of prices realized, along with full-color, enlargeable photos of each lot, please visit
Want to get the up-to-the-minute updates and breaking news stories about Heritage Auctions? Get them as they happen at:; To view a complete archive of Heritage press releases go to: To link to this press release on your blog or Website: