Rare Books &c. at Auction This Week

Image: Christie's

Paul Revere's "The Bloody Massacre" print (1770), to be sold at Christie's on Friday.

Quite a busy week coming up! Here's what I'll be watching.

On Wednesday, January 20, ALDE sells Lettres et Manuscrits Autographes, in 311 lots. Among the expected highlights are a portrait of Alfred Dreyfus' brother Mathieu, by Mathilde de Pury (c. 1887), which has been in the family of the sitter since it was painted (€30,000–40,000). A complete André Gide manuscript, for La Tentative Amoreuse (1893), is estimated at €5,000–6,000.

Also on Wednesday, 127 lots of Livres Anciens et Modernes at De Baecque. A nice copy of Audebert and Viellot's Oiseaux dorés ou à reflets métalliques (1801–1802) rates the top estimate at €18,000–25,000. Baudelaire's Les Fleurs du mal (1857), bound by Pierre-Lucien Martin, could sell for €8,000–10,000. At the same estimate range are a set of Buffon's Histoire Naturelle (1770–1789) and an 1886 book of hours woven on silk.

On Thursday, January 21, Forum Auctions sells Books from the Library of the Late Brian Findlay in 216 lots. A copy of the 1731 London edition of Wyclilff's translation of the New Testament is estimated at £3,000–4,000. The 1632 second edition of Sandys' translation of Ovid's Metamorphoses, together with an imperfect copy of the first edition, could sell for £800–1,200. The first illustrated edition of Dante (Venice, 1515) is estimated at £600–800.

At Hindman Auctions on Thursday, 52 lots of Photography. Sharing the top estimate at $10,000–15,000 are Shirin Neshat's Water over Head (1999) and Robert Mapplethorpe's Calla Lilies (1988).

Skinner, Inc. sells Fine Prints and Photographs on Thursday, in 228 lots. 

Rounding out Thursday's sales is a 255-lot auction of Fine Books at PBA Galleries. The first volume of the first edition in English of Newton's Principia (1729), without the frontispiece, is expected to lead the sale at $6,000–9,000. A copy of the Willy Pógany 25-copy edition (1910) of Coleridge's Rime of the Ancient Mariner is estimated at $5,000–8,000.

Christie's New York's sale In Praise of America: Important American Furniture, Folk Art, Silver, Prints and Broadsides ends on Friday, January 22. Among the printed matter in this sale are a July 1776 broadside Declaration of Independence, printed at Exeter, New Hampshire, by Robert Luist Fowle. This copy, from the collection of Ambassador J. William Middendorf II, is estimated at $600,000–900,000. Also from Middendorf's collection, a copy of Paul Revere's Bloody Massacre (1770), estimated at $200,000–300,000; a second edition, third issue copy of the 1775 Bloody Butchery broadside after Lexington and Concord ($80,000–120,000); and a copy of the first London edition (1677) of William Hubbard's The Present State of New-England with the "Wine Hills" map ($70,000–80,000).

On Saturday, January 23, Arader Galleries will hold their Winter 2021 Auction, in 180 lots. A Bernard Van Orley oil portrait of Margaret of Austria (c. 1525) rates the top estimate at $400,000–600,000. Several of Aubudon's birds also feature, as do a set of Gould's Birds of Europe (1832–1837), estimated at $100,000–150,000 and Gould's Monograph of the Ramphastidae, or Family of Toucans (1833–1835), estimated at $75,000–125,000. A Doncker sea atlas from the 1660s could sell for $80,000–120,000.