Auctions | March 25, 2011

“To Kill A Mockingbird” Leads at March Auction

[ITHACA, NY] National Book Auctions, located in Ithaca, NY, held a March 20th auction with over 400 lots of collectible books, ephemera and artwork including numerous signed first editions, Pulitzer prize-winning novels and an eclectic assortment of collectible pottery and dinnerware from Aurora, NY-based MacKenzie-Childs.
Of particular interest was a signed first edition of Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird” (J. B. Lippincott Company, 1960). This rare book, in its original dust jacket, is arguably the most important American modern classic. The authenticated Harper Lee signature appeared on the blank leaf between the front free endpaper and the half-title page. The copy featured the first printing dust jacket identification points including the quote from Truman Capote in green at the top of the front flap, the lack of a printing statement on the lower left of the front flap, and the Truman Capote photograph on the rear. This variant first printing dust jacket shows the Grau/McGinley quotes on the rear flap, features which contributed to it’s $6,500 hammer price (plus buyer’s premium).
Also at the late March auction was a first edition copy of John Kennedy Toole’s “A Confederacy Of Dunces” (1980) which fetched a $1,200 hammer price (plus buyer’s premium) and a rare copy of Upton Sinclair’s “Dragon’s Teeth” (1942). The Author-Published advance copy realized a $325 hammer price (plus buyer’s premium) and featured a crimson clth binding with bright white lettering on the spine and front board. Other signed first editions and Pulitzer titles were also sold during the five-hour event.
The hammer price across all MacKenzie-Childs material exceeded $11,500 (plus buyer’s premium) and ran the gamut from dinnerware to lamps and from miniature to tables. These early offerings featured many discontinued patterns and products, attributes that contributed to their collectability. National Book Auctions announced this week that they will feature more early MacKenzie-Childs pieces in their upcoming April 17th auction.
National Book Auctions is a targeted auction service offering experience and expertise unique to marketing antique and modern books and ephemera for consignors and collectors alike. National Book Auctions is now developing new catalogs for the next year featuring collectible books, art, currency and ephemera and is now seeking new consignments. For more information, please contact David Hall at 607-269-0101 or email