Rare Books &c. at Auction This Week

Image: Sotheby's

Detail from a finely-bound copy of Le Livre de la Jungle, offered at Sotheby's Paris this week.

A whopper of an auction week coming up! Here are a few of the sales I'll be watching:

On Tuesday, June 22, Fine Literature at Doyle, in 263 lots. A colored drawing of Winnie the Pooh and Piglet, signed and dated by E.H. Shepard, is expected to lead the way at $15,000–25,000. An inscribed presentation copy of Lewis Carroll's The Nursery "Alice" (1890) could sell for $7,000–10,000, and an 1878 Leo Tolstoy letter in French seeking a tutor for his children is estimated at $5,000–8,000.

At Lyon & Turnbull on Wednesday, June 23, 407 lots of Rare Books, Manuscripts, Maps & Photographs. A copy of the Cranwell edition of T.E. Lawrence's Seven Pillars of Wisdom (1926), this one of 32 "incomplete" copies presented to men who had served with Lawrence and could not pay the full price, rates the top estimate at £25,000–35,000. A document issued by the Privy Council of Lady Jane Grey in 1553 and an account of Mary I's speech to the Commons in early 1554 are estimated at £6,000–8,000.

On Thursday, June 24, Éditions Originales Littéraires du XIXe au XXIe Siècle at ALDE, in 313 lots. 

At Bonhams London on Thursday, 298 lots of Fine Books, Manuscripts and Photographs, including a copy of the 1713 Cambridge edition of Newton's Principia presented by Newton to his collaborator John Wickins (£40,000–60,000). A similar presentation copy of the 1706 first Latin edition of Newton's Optice, also given to Wickins, is estimated at £30,000–50,000. A copy of the ninth printing of Ulysses, inscribed by Joyce to H.G. Wells, could sell for £20,000–30,000. There is also another Lewis Carroll presentation copy, this time of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland to Margaret Evelyn Hardy (£20,000–30,000).

Books and Works on Paper are the order of the day at Forum Auctions on Thursday, in 292 lots. 

 At Swann Galleries on Thursday, 278 lots of Illustration Art. Two original Charles Schulz "Peanuts" strips rate the top estimate of $15,000–25,000 (those published December 7, 1971 and December 8, 1971).

Rounding out the busy Thursday, 313 lots of Antiquarian Books with Manuscripts and Food & Drink at PBA Galleries. An incomplete copy of the 1570 London edition of Euclid is estimated at $15,000–25,000. A lengthy 1979 J.D. Salinger letter to Eileen Paddison could sell for $10,000–15,000. A copy of the 1804 London edition of Plato, the first complete English translation of Plato's works, is estimated at $6,000–9,000.

Image: Sotheby's

On Friday, June 25 the 184-lot sale of Livres et Manuscrits de Cervantès à Houllebecq at Sotheby's Paris ends. An exceptionally-bound copy of Kipling's Le Livre de la Jungle rates the top estimate, at €80,000–120,000. Montaigne's translation of Raymond Sebon's La Theologie Naturelle (1569) could sell for €40,000–60,000. There are quite a few more fine bindings and other items of interest in this sale, so I recommend a thorough browse.

Also on Friday, American Historical Ephemera & Photography at Cowan's, in 407 lots. An 1862 Civil War flag from the 2nd Michigan Cavalry could sell for $20,000–30,000. An early half-plate daguerreotype of a San Francisco firefighter is estimated at $15,000–25,000, and a large collection of some 200 draft and received letters and other documents from Danvers, MA physician Samuel Holten could sell for $10,000–15,000.

On Saturday, June 26, The Gentleman's Library & Bindery at Addison & Sarova, in 273 lots. Addison & Sarova will also hold a 338-lot Bookworm Auction on Sunday, June 27.

And also on Saturday, Rare Books, Antiquarian Maps, and Manuscripts at Second Story Books, in 162 lots. An uncancelled copy of Vauban's Project d'une Dixme Royale (1707) is estimated at $28,000–35,000, as is a copy of the 1731 Homann Grosser Atlas. A mismatched set of the 1833 first American edition of Frankenstein is estimated at $16,000–20,000.