April 2012 | Nate Pedersen

Heritage Auction #6085

The New York branch of Heritage is holding a large auction tomorrow, loaded with great items from the medieval era to the present day.  If you've got some extra money to spend ahead of the New York Antiquarian Book Fair this weekend, here are a few items that caught this blogger's fancy in the auction catalog (which you can download here).

Lot 36120: The first book ever signed by Stephen King.  An advance proof of Carrie, King's first novel, with an endearing inscription to his friend and former college roommate "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."  You can jump into this auction with a $5,000 minimum.  Estimate: $10,000 and up.

Pages 40 - 47 of the catalog contain a fine selection of art books and periodicals.  Brandon Kennedy, who wrote the feature on Larry McMurtry in our current issue, marveled over the unique offerings in the recent newsletter from Heritage.  Kennedy draws our attention to forty issues of Derrière Le Miroir (Lot 36066) and fifty-eight issues of XXe Siècle (Lot 36066), noting "it might be awhile before such a large portion of art periodicals come around again."

If medieval artwork is more your game, then turn to pages 48 - 52 which contain some gorgeous examples of medieval illuminated leaves.

Much of the auction centers around the collection of James and Deborah Boyd, which was particularly strong in economics and the art of warfare.  Their collection contained such standouts as a first edition of Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations (Lot 36228 - Estimate: $80,000) and the extremely rare, 1926 privately printed edition of T. E. Lawrence's The Seven Pillars of Wisdom, estimated to go for over $40,000. (Lot 26256)

gould-john-eagle-owl-lithographic-plate-from-the-birds-of-europe-1062899.jpgBut one of my favorite books in the auction is Lot 35058: Gould's Birds of Europe in imperial folio, complete with the 448 beautiful color plates.  Gould's striking bird illustrations are only rivaled by Audubon himself.  The starting bid for this beauty is $50,000 with an estimate of $75,000 plus.

Remember that even if you aren't in New York you can get in on the action through Heritage's Live Auction feature on their website.