Newton to Pepys, Hogwarts to Potter, FDR to Earhart: Auction Preview

Image: Swann Galleries

Image from an Albert Bierstadt sketchbook of a 1896 trip to Switzerland, offered at Swann Galleries this week.

Here are the sales to keep an eye on through the end of June:

On Wednesday, June 21, Lyon & Turnbull sell 329 lots of Rare Books, Manuscripts, Maps & Photographs. An album of 26 watercolors by Shaykh Muhammad Amir of Karraya or his studio, known as the Balfour Album, shares the top estimate of £15,000-20,000 with a 1663 portolan chart of the Mediterranean on vellum. A four-volume set of La Fontaine's Fables (1755-1759) is estimated at £10,000-15,000.

At Bonhams London on Wednesday, Fine Books and Manuscripts including a Nobel Prize for Penicillin, in 191 lots. Ernst Chain's 1945 Nobel Prize medal rates the top estimate, at £300,000-500,000. Other lots include a first edition of Darwin's Origin, estimated at £80,000-120,000, and a 1695 Isaac Newton letter to Samuel Pepys, which is expected to sell for £60,000-90,000.

Doyle New York's June 21 sale includes 131 lots of Photographs, including many from the collection of Norma and Martin Stevens.

On Thursday, June 22, 497 lots of Autographs & Memorabilia at Chiswick Auctions, including a prop Hogwarts invitation letter to Harry Potter from the making of the first film, estimated at £10,000-12,000.

Bonhams New York sells 216 lots of Fine Books and Manuscripts on Thursday, including a four-page extract from Napoleon's Clisson et Eugenie, which is estimated at $60,000-90,000. Expected to sell for $60,000-80,000 are a 1935 letter from FDR to Amelia Earhart and a manuscript copy of Naomi Shemer's music and lyrics for "Yerushalayim Shel Zahav" ("Jerusalem of Gold"). A particularly interesting lot in this sale is a manuscript containing more then fifty medical lectures by Dr. John Morgan, written during his time in London in 1760-1761. This is estimated at $30,000-50,000.

At Swann Galleries on Thursday, 239 lots of Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books. An Albert Bierstadt sketchbook from a trip to Switzerland in 1896 rates the top estimate, at $25,000-30,000. Sharp & Allen's Victoria Regia (1854) and a partial set of McKenney & Hall's History of the Indian Tribes of North America (1842-1844) are each estimated at $15,000-20,000.

PBA Galleries sells 404 lots of Books in All Fields - with Literature, Americana, Maps, Art & Photography on Thursday, with most lots starting at $10.

The Bonhams online, no-reserve Fine Books & Manuscripts sale ends on Friday, June 23. The 200 lots include a seventeenth-century manuscript copy of works by Aristotle.

New England Auctions sells 200 lots of Early Printing, Americana, and Cartography on Tuesday, June 27.

At University Archives on Wednesday, June 28, 413 lots of Rare Autographs, Photographs, Books, plus PSA Slabbed items. Lots include a 1958 Martin Luther King, Jr. letter to Darrell Randall about a potential trip to the Soviet Union ($50,000-75,000).

On Thursday, June 29, PBA Galleries sells 113 lots of Elite Americana – Travel – Maps – Audubon. A good number of Bien and Havell Audubon prints are up for grabs in this one.