Rare Books &c. at Auction This Week

Image: Sotheby's

Images from Sylvia Plath family photo album offered at Sotheby's this week.

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

The Sotheby's London Books and Manuscripts: 19th and 20th Century sale ends on Tuesday, July 20. The 150 lots include a copy of the first book edition of Charles Dickens' Nicholas Nickleby (1839), presented by Dickens to Lady Holland. This is estimated at £50,000–70,000. One of just two known copies of the 1859 Rules, Regulations, & Laws of the Sheffield Foot-Ball Club, the first printed rules of football (soccer) rates the same estimate. A collection of sixty-two letters and postcards from Hermann Hesse to Stefan Zweig could sell for £40,000–60,000.

At Sotheby's New York on Tuesday, Space Exploration, in 87 lots. An Apollo Guidance Computer made in the late 1960s is estimated at $200,000–300,000. A flight sheet taken to the surface of the moon by Buzz Aldrin could sell for $60,000–80,000, and Richard Feynman's notes from his time on the Rogers Commission to investigate the loss of the Challenger are estimated at $40,000–60,000.

On Wednesday, July 21 at Sotheby's London, Your Own Sylvia, 55 lots from the collection of Frieda Hughes. A photograph album containing more than 160 pictures from 1957 to 1962 rates the top estimate, at £30,000–50,000. Two letters from Plath to Ted Hughes are each estimated at £15,000–20,000: an October 5, 1956 letter about religion and faith, and a second letter, typed the following day, about she and Hughes and their future as writers.

Dominic Winter sells Printed Books, Maps & Documents on Wednesday, in 458 lots. Philip Pittman's Present State of the European Settlements on the Missisippi (1770), lacking one of the maps, is estimated at £3,000–5,000, and the Kelmscott Press Golden Legend could sell for £3,000–4,000. A near-complete run of the New Naturalist Library is estimated at £2,000–3,000.

PBA Galleries sells Fine Art & Illustration and Photography on Thursday, July 22, in 450 lots. A copy of the Trillium Press Divine Comedy (2003–2005) is expected to lead the sale at $12,000–18,000.