Auctions | September 2020 | Jeremy Dibbell

Rare Books &c. at Auction This Week

Image: Forum Auctions

Lithograph from Marc Chagall's Cirque, offered at Forum Auctions on Friday, September 25.

Here's what's coming up this week:

Artcurial in Paris will sell Livres & Manuscrits on Tuesday, September 22, in 236 lots. One of twenty deluxe copies of the 1959 exhibition catalog of the Exposition Internationale du Surréalisme, Boîte Alerte: Missives lascives, is expected to lead the way, estimated at €50,000–80,000. A first edition of Aucler's La Thréicie (1799) could sell for €20,000–30,000, while a first edition of Céline's Voyage au bout de la nuit (1932) is estimated at €15,000–20,000.

Also on Tuesday, 134 lots of Books and Manuscripts at Il Ponte in Milan. Estimates are mostly in the three-figure range, but a copy of the 1494 Lascaris Anthologia Graeca Planudea is estimated at €10,000–15,000.

On Thursday, September 24, Forum Auctions will sell A Further Selection of 16th & 17th-Century English Books from the Fox Pointe Manor Library, in 340 lots. A second issue copy of Locke's Essay Concerning Humane Understanding (1690) rates the top estimate at £12,000–18,000. A 1579 London edition of Plutarch's Lives, translated by James Amyot and Thomas North, could fetch £8,000–12,000. Both parts of Sir Thomas More's Co[n]futacyon of Tyndales Answere (1532–1533), bound together and with early annotations, are estimated at £6,000–8,000. Marmaduke Stephens' A Call from Death to Life (1660), about the persecution of Quakers in early Boston, is estimated at £4,000–6,000.

Swann Galleries sells 364 lots of Printed & Manuscript Americana on Thursday, including a Civil War sketchbook by artist John Richard ($25,000–35,000), and an 1865 cavalry officer's diary which describes some particularly gruesome scenes ($15,000–25,000). A complete copy of Pedro de Arenas' 1611 Vocabulario Manual de las Lenguas Castellana, y Mexicana (printed at Mexico City) is estimated at $12,000–18,000; no copy has been traced at auction since 1926.

Rounding out Thursday's sales, Americana – Travel & Exploration – World History – Cartography at PBA Galleries. The 437 lots include Matthieu Bonafous' Histoire Naturelle, Agricole et Économique du Maïs (1836), called "the most sumptuous monograph of the nineteenth century about corn," with engravings after Redouté and others ($5,000–8,000). At the same estimate is a broken run of the California State Mining Bureau's Summary of Operations from 1919 to 1936.

Finally for the week, Forum Auctions sells Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper on Friday, September 25. The 234 lots include Marc Chagall's Cirque (1967), estimated at £100,000–150,000, and a c.1928 illuminated manuscript of Poe's Annabel Lee and Other Poems, in a jewelled binding by Alberto Sangorski (£50,000–70,000). The issue of the Journal of the Proceedings of the Linnean Society containing Darwin and Wallace's first printed exposition of natural selection could fetch £12,000–18,000.