Auctions | August 2020 | Jeremy Dibbell

Rare Books &c. at Auction This Week

Image: Swann Galleries

November 1882 Oscar Wilde autograph dinner invitation, offered at Swann Galleries this week.

Before we get to the upcoming sales, some notes from last week:

At the Sotheby's Books and Manuscripts: A Summer Miscellany sale, the revised final working typescript of Truman Capote's Breakfast at Tiffany's, used as the setting copy, sold for £378,000, over estimates of £120,000–180,000. But it was an 1829 letter from Mary Anning to William Buckland which vastly exceeded expectations, selling for £100,800 over estimates just just £8,000–12,000! This is believed to be the first Mary Anning letter ever offered at auction.

A quiet week coming up in the salerooms, but with a trio of sales to keep an eye on, all happening Thursday, July 13:

Forum Auctions will sell Books and Works on Paper, in 258 lots. An 1854 Teesdale New General Atlas of the World rates the top estimate, at £1,000–1,500. A three-volume set of William Dampier's Voyages, mounted and heavily marked up in preparation for a new edition in the early nineteenth century, is estimated at £600-800. An album from around 1927 containing fifty pochoir-colored woodcut Sensu fan designs could also fetch £600–800. Papers and various materials from the children's book author Patricia Rubinstein (1915–2003) are estimated at £300–400.

At Swann Galleries, LGTBQ+ Art, Material Culture & History. The 293 lots include a set of photographer Duane Michals' sequence Narcissus (1985), one of 25 copies, estimated at $20,000–30,000. A sketchbook of early works by David Wojnarowicz (1954–1992), could sell for 10,000–15,000. Mark de Solla Price's collection of ephemeral material related to the gay nightlife of New York City in the 1980s is estimated at $5,000–7,5000. An Oscar Wilde note inviting "Ted" (perhaps Theodore Tilton) to dinner during his November 1882 visit to New York City could sell for $3,000–4,000.

Finally, at PBA Galleries, a sale of Publications of the Limited Editions Club, in 368 lots, most being sold without reserve. A huge range of LEC titles, so do have a browse if you're keen on them!