Potter & Potter Auctions Delves Into Books & Manuscripts

Potter & Potter, the Chicago auction house that has until now focused mainly on magic, is officially entering the book biz, with its inaugural books and manuscripts auction on July 8. With a few notable exceptions--e.g., this Lovecraft-Houdini typescript--Potter & Potter has previously focused its efforts on music and movie memorabilia, posters, circus ephemera, and other collectibles. This first books and manuscripts sale will, according to Potter & Potter, "feature high spots in a number of collecting categories, including printed and manuscript Americana, modern first editions, travel and exploration, natural history, fine bindings and continental books from the 16th century to present day."

There's a lot of ground to cover in this 564-lot sale. Here are a few highlights:

Screen Shot 2017-07-04 at 8.32.47 AM.pngA complete run of Street & Smith's The Shadow (1931-1944), in forty-eight bound volumes, from the library of Walter B. Gibson, creator of "The Shadow" character. The estimate is $8,000-12,000.

A Peter Force engraving of the Declaration of Independence on rice paper, from Force's 1837-53 series of books, "American Archives." The estimate is $15,000-20,000.

A first edition of Andy Warhol's Children's Book (1983), signed five times by Warhol. The estimate is $5,000-7,000.

A signed check from Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) to his brother, Orion, in the amount of $82 on July 26, 1875. A related letter at the Bancroft Library tells us that the money was to rent a church pew, which didn't sit well with Twain. "I am willing to lend you money to procure the needs of life, but not to procure so useless a luxury as a church pew." The estimate is $1,200-1,800.

Image via Potter & Potter Auctions