Auctions | February 12, 2013

PBA Galleries Holds 500th Auction on Feb. 18

PBA Galleries invites you to join us to commemorate our 500th auction to be held on Monday, February 18th in our San Francisco Gallery. Preview the 225 lots in our Fine and Rare auction prior to the start of the sale and mingle with exhibitors and visitors following the 46th California International Antiquarian Book Fair.


Coffee and pastries at 9am during preview. Auction begins at 11am.


The rare and desirable material on view includes works of literary, historical, cultural and scientific import, ranging from a 14th century manuscript reconciling Christianity with Platonism, to a set of the 16 printings of the first edition of the Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book, each in the original dust jacket. The variety of printed and manuscript material includes important editions of the Bible; rare works on China; early alchemy; natural history; cosmology; cartography; travel and exploration; Americana; fine printing; illustrated books; photography; literature; art and architecture; rare manuscript material on Cuba; an important typescript on spiritualism by Harry Houdini; and much more.

Help us celebrate the occasion of bringing books and buyers together for over 20 years in the Bay Area and beyond. We look forward to another 500 sales of fine books and collectibles!


Among the treasures you will find

  • A set of the 16 printings of the first edition of the Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book, each in the original dust jacket, including the rare first printing, and the even more elusive seventh printing. Estimate: $200,000/300,000

  • The first edition, first issue of the King James Bible, 1611, the legendary "He Bible," so called because of the phrase in Ruth iii: 15, "and he went into the city," later corrected to "and she went into the city." Estimate: $100,000/150,000


  • A Magician Among the Spirits, the original typescript by Harry Houdini for a new edition of his exposé of the fraud and deception endemic amongst spiritualists, psychics and other paranormal practitioners. Estimate: $70,000/100,000


  • First edition of Thomas Mann's  Death in Venice. This copy reserved for the publisher, with a specially printed colophon and in a unique binding. Estimate: $20,000/30,000


  • John Webb's historical essay on the language of China. The first book on the Chinese language to be published in Europe, and possibly the first book in English on China. With the rare map. Estimate: $15,000/25,000


  • An early black letter printing, and perhaps the earliest obtainable edition of Sir Thomas Malory's  History of the renowned Prince Arthur, King of Britayne.  Estimate $12,000/18,000


  • George Dixon's Remarks on the Voyage of John Meares. The opening salvo in the famed "Dixon-Meares Controversy". Estimate $8,000/12,000


  • Album of 105 original albumen photographs of Egypt, circa 1887. Includes images by noted photographers Antonio Beato, Pascal Sebah, Felix Bonfils, and others. Estimate: $4,000/6,000


  • First edition of Sir Walter Raleigh's The History of the World, written while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London. Estimate: $8,000/12,000

For more information, please contact Shannon Kennedy

About PBA Galleries

PBA Galleries of San Francisco is the only west-coast auction house specializing in books & manuscripts, maps & atlases. The company offers private and heirloom libraries at auction, providing clients with a staff of professional appraisers, online and printed catalogues, and bi-monthly auctions where participants can bid in person, by phone, fax, e-mail, and in real-time by signing up at the PBA Galleries website. 

PBA Galleries

133 Kearny Street - 4th Floor

San Francisco, California 94108

415 989 2665