February 2018 | Jeremy Dibbell

Rare Books at Auction this Week

This week's big auction day is Wednesday, Valentine's Day, which sees a quartet of sales:

                                                                                                                                                       - At Dominic Winter Auctioneers in Cirencester, Unreserved Printed Books including books from The Alan & Joan Tucker, in 181 lots. This is the first of several sales of books (these mostly poetry) from the collection of Alan & Joan Tucker, who ran a bookselling business in Stroud from 1962 until Alan's death in 2017.

                                                                                                                                                    - Rare Books, Manuscripts, Maps & Photographs at Lyon & Turnbull in Edinburgh, in 547 lots. Pascal Coste's Monuments Modernes de la Perse (Paris, 1871), being sold by the Newbattle Abbey College Trust, is estimated at £5,000-7,000, and a large set of more than 125 early photographs of India could fetch £5,000-8,000. An (incomplete) Bible printed at Edinburgh in 1764 in a spectacular herringbone binding with a leather traveling case rates at £600-800 estimate. A large number of lots will be of interest to the George Mackay Brown collector.

                                                                                                                                               - In Paris, Binoche et Giquello offers the Collection d'un Bibliophile: Livres & Manuscrits Précieux, 1478-1977, in 166 lots. A 1543 Paris edition of Livy, with a binding by the binder Nicolas Fery in Rome, is estimated at ??100,000-150,000. A number of other extremely attractive bindings and early printed books in this one.

                                                                                                                                               - Rounding out Wednesday's sales is an auction of Libri, Manoscritti e Autografi at Pandolfini in Florence, in 144 lots. A 1579 Ortelius atlas published by the Plantins gets the top pre-sale estimate, at ??20,000-25,000. A complete set of the Encyclopédie (35 volumes) could sell for ??15,000-20,000. For the bibliographer, a second edition of Konrad Gessner's Bibliotheca instituta et collecta (1583) rates ??800-900.

                                                                                                                                                           On Thursday, February 15, Swann Galleries sells Icons & Images: Photographs & Photobooks, in 322 lots. A silver print of Lewis Hine's "Mechanic at Steam Pump in Eclectric Power House" from approximately 1921 is estimated at $70,000-100,000. Many other Hine photographs are also included in this sale. Among the Ansel Adams photographs offered is "Georgia O'Keeffe and Orville Cox," estimated at $18,000-22,000 (pictured).



                                                                                                                                                           Much more (and I do mean much more) than books are included in the 310 lots which comprise the Political Memorabilia including the Daniel Schofield Collection sale at Eldred's in East Dennis, Massachusetts on Friday, February 16. Pins, coins, signs, photographs, postcards, &c. &c. Among the printed items are some notable early American imprints, including Ebenezer Pemberton's 1710 election sermon, missing its title page ($700-1,000) and Samuel Danforth's 1714 election sermon ($100-150), as well as a wide selection of political pamphlets, broadsides, and election tickets.

                                                                                                                                                                    Image credit: Swann Galleries