October 2021 | Jeremy Dibbell

Rare Books &c. at Auction This Week

Image: Bonhams

Jean-Claude Richard's Voyage pittoresque ou description des royaumes de Naples et de Sicile (1781–86), offered at Bonhams New York this week.

Here's what I'll be watching this week:

On Tuesday, October 12, 373 lots of Lettres & Manuscrits Autographes – Musique at Ader. The top manuscript lot is expected to be a four-page Haydn autograph manuscript from the Trio Hob.XI 48 and Trio Hob.XI 50, which is estimated at €30,000–40,000.

At Forum Auctions on Thursday, October 14 Travel Books, Maps and Atlases, in 297 lots. A collection of some 85 travel drawings by Sir Arthur Wellesley Torrens, godson of the Duke of Wellington, is estimated at £5,000–7,000. Nearly thirty of the drawings are from Torrens' postings in the West Indies. A copy of the America noviter delineata map by Jan Jansson based on Jodocus Hondius could sell for £4,000–6,000.

Also on Thursday, 220 lots of Early Printed Books at Swann Galleries. A 1497 Nuremberg edition of Sebastian Brant's Stultifera Navis, lacking the final three leaves, from the library of George Parker Winship, is estimated at $15,000–20,000. A third edition copy of Juana Inés de la Cruz' Poëmas de la Unica Poetisa Americana is estimated at $10,000–15,000. A collection of 89 watercolors of Northern Africa by Lt. Col. Charles Hamilton Smith rates the same estimate.

The Gary Munson Collection of Horror and Fantasy Rare Books will be sold at Heritage Auctions on Thursday, in 125 lots. A first edition of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1818) was bid up to $60,000 by Sunday afternoon. Other lots of note include a first printing of Burroughs Tarzan of the Apes (1914), a first impression of The Hobbit (1937), and a first issue copy of Dracula (1897). The manuscript of Lovecraft's short story "Pickman's Model" will also be on the block.

On Friday, October 15, at Bonhams New York The Robin Satinsky Collection of Illustrated Books, in 349 lots. A tall copy of the Nuremberg Chronicle rates the top estimate at $50,000–80,000. Jean-Claude Richard's Voyage pittoresque ou description des royaumes de Naples et de Sicile (1781–86) is estimated at $40,000–60,000, and an inscribed copy of Man Ray's Revolving Doors (1926) could sell for $30,000–50,000.

And last but not least, Fine Printed Books and Manuscripts including Americana at Christie's New York ends on Friday. The 205 lots include a first edition copy of Description de l'Egypte (1817–30), in the publisher's blue boards, in a custom cabinet, is estimated at $300,000–500,000. A first edition of Kepler's Astronomia nova (1609) could sell for $200,000–300,000, and a first edition of Darwin's Origin (1859) is estimated at $150,000–200,000. A truly tremendous range of material in this one, so do have a close look at the catalog.