Auctions | February 10, 2012

More Serendipity Stock at Bonhams in April

San Francisco—The much-anticipated continuation of Bonhams February 12 sale of property from Serendipity Books in Berkeley, Calif., along with a great selection of European paintings and 20th century designs, will go on the auction block at Bonhams Period Art & Design sale, April 15-16 in San Francisco.

Property from Serendipity Books, on offer April 16, will include more than 200 lots of fiction and poetry, including works by John Steinbeck, Samuel Beckett, William Faulkner, Allen Ginsburg, Robinson Jeffers, Henry James, Richard Ford, Joseph Conrad, Henry Miller, Ring Lardner and others.

Highlights will include a 1924 edition of James Joyce’s Ulysses (est. $300-$500); a first edition of Malcolm Lowry’s Under the Volcano (est. $300-$500); a first edition of John Steinbeck’s  East of Eden (est. $300-$500); an advance proof copy of Horace McCoy’s They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (est. $400-$600); and an advance uncorrected proof along with an advance reader’s copy of Marilyn Robinson’s Housekeeping (est. $400-$600).

Peter Howard (1939-2011), the late owner of Serendipity Books, has been eulogized as “one of the most imaginative booksellers of his generation.”  Howard stocked not only individual titles but entire collections.  He wanted people to search for their books, looking carefully and hopefully finding not only what they were looking for, but far more.

European Paintings on offer will comprise a mix of Old Master and 19th century works. One highlight is a charming mythical subject: a French 18th century oil of Diana and Endymion (est. $4,000-$6,000).

Notable selections featuring Biblical scenes will include a Flemish School 17th century oil on panel of Christ on the Cross (est. $3,000-$5,000) and an Italian School painting of Susannah and the elders (est. $3,000-$5,000) from the late 18th/early 19th century.

Other highlights will include A landscape with a shepherdess and animals by a stream, an oil painting attributed to the Dutch artist Jan Kobell II (1778-1814), featuring cattle and sheep watched over by their shepherdess, against a country view of trees and a blue sky; Church ruins by a river by Alfred Glendening Jr. whose views of the English countryside are well known (est. $3,000-$5,000); and an amusing genre scene The performer cornered by 19th century British artist Alfred W. Cooper (est. $3,000-$5,000).

Also noteworthy will be A portrait of a lady, attributed to James Northcote (British, 1746-1831) featuring a woman thought to be Mrs. Hughes, wearing a white gown and black cloak, looking to the left (est. $3,000-$5,000).

The Director of Period Art & Design auctions in San Francisco, Christine Skinner, says of the auction, "The April Period Art & Design sale will host a strong selection of quality property geared towards the serious collector."

Rounding out the sale will be selections of 20th century design, including a 'Baluster' Charles X style burlwood circular dining table by Therien & Co. (est. $2,000-$3,000); an Art Deco style mahogany dining suite by Baker (est. $2,000-$3,000); a set of five Baroque style side chairs by Michael Taylor Designs (est. $1,500-$2,000); a pair of en suite Art Deco style blue upholstered club chairs (est. $800-$1,200); and a large contemporary travertine marble coffee table with a lower bookcase (est. $800-$1,200), among others.

The sale’s illustrated catalogue will be available online in the weeks preceding it, for review and purchase at  

Auction Preview: April 13-15, San Francisco
Auction: April 15-16, San Francisco

About the Auction Category: This monthly event will include paintings, prints, rugs, lighting, mirrors, antique furniture, modern designer furniture, decorative accents, silver and much more, with many in the $500-$5,000 price range. The property is hand selected to include items that would appeal to collectors of all levels, interior designers and those who may want to find a unique piece for their home. Sourced primarily from the West Coast, the majority of the property comes from exclusive sources - from high-profile Napa Valley estates filled with contemporary designer furnishings to Pacific Heights homes, embellished with antiques and unique decor. Many of these homes have been styled by high-profile Bay Area interior designers. Each auction catalog will feature an interview with a prominent interior designer with their take on current design trends.