Rare Books &c. at Auction This Week

Courtesy of PBA Galleries

The first substantial book printed in California (1835), offered at PBA Galleries this week.

Here are the sales I'll be watching this week:

On Tuesday, July 6 at Bloomsbury Auctions, The Roger Martin Collection of Western Manuscripts and Miniatures and other properties. There are 142 lots in this sale, with the first 130 from Roger Martin's collection. A fourteenth-century illuminated psalter in Old French rates the top estimate, at £25,000–35,000, and a single leaf from a c.1475 Flemish manuscript [BnF MS. fr. 1048] made for Burgundian courtier Louis de Gruuthuse is estimated at £20,000–30,000. There is also a single leaf from an eighth-century manuscript in pre-Caroline Germanic miniscule, estimated at £12,000–18,000.

ALDE sells 207 lots of Livres Anciens du XVe au XIXe Siècle on Wednesday, July 7. A copy of the Nuremberg Chronicle in a sixteenth-century German binding is expected to sell for €40,000–50,000. Eleazar Albin's Natural History of Birds and Natural History of English Insects, previously in the library of Pierre Berès is estimated at €10,000–12,000.

At Forum Auctions on Wednesday, Signed and Inscribed: A Gentleman's Library of Modern Literature, in 510 lots. Four lots all share the top estimate of £6,000–8,000, including a copy of the first edition of William Golding's Lord of the Flies (1954), presented by Golding to his friend Adam Bittleston and later inscribed by Golding to Bittleston's daughter Karin: "I sent this to Adam Bittleston in 1954. Apparently I wrote nothing in it - now I rededicate it to Karin Bittleston. William Golding." Other lots at the same estimate range are a rare inscribed copy of Patrick White's first novel Happy Valley, later disavowed by the author; Graham Greene's copy of his cousin Christopher Isherwood's All the Conspirators; and a first edition of Proust's Sodome et Gomorrhe II inscribed by Proust to the Duchess of Clermont-Tonnerre.

Closing out Wednesday's sales, 364 lots of Autographs & Memorabilia at Chiswick Auctions. The highlight of this sale is expected to be a large collection of correspondence, photographs, sketches, &c. related to Sir Alfred Munnings, which is estimated at £12,000–15,000. A signed photograph of Che Guevara taken in Bolivia in 1967 could sell for £3,000–4,000, and the same estimate is assigned to a pair of wooden skis from the Nimrod Expedition of 1907–1909.

On Thursday, July 8, Forum Auctions sells 284 lots of Books and Works on Paper. An album of twelve watercolor and gouache Shunga erotic artworks is estimated at £1,200–1,800, and Delaunay's 1864 chromolithographic reproduction of the Grimani Breviary could sell for £600–800. Dickens' Bleak House in the original parts rates a £500–700 estimate.

Two lots from The Exceptional Sale at Christie's London will be of interest here: Leonardo da Vinci's sketch of a bear's head, estimated at £8–12 million, and an Isaac Newton manuscript of authorial edits to the Principia with additional notes by David Gregory could sell for £600,000–900,000.

Courtesy of PBA Galleries

Aguttes holds the forty-second sale of Aristophil material on Thursday, Lettres & Manuscrits Autographes – Dessins – Aquarelles – Photographies. Several Napoleonic manuscript items are expected to be top among the 233 lots.

PBA Galleries sells 75 lots of Elite Americana & Rare Cartography on Thursday. Figueroa's Manifesto a la Republica Mejicana (1835), the first substantial book printed in California (this the Doheny copy) is estimated at $40,000–60,000. An ink manuscript map of San Francisco, a prototype for Bridgens' large lithographed wall map (1854), is estimated at $30,000–50,000.

And on Friday, July 9 at ALDE, Bibliothèque Angelo Mariani – Illustrateurs russes – Reliures originales, in 320 lots. Among the expected top lots is a deluxe copy of Kipling's Jungle Book novels (Paris, 1919–20), at €8,000–10,000.