Rare Books &c. at Auction This Week

Image: Swann Galleries

Engraving after Thomas Davies of an American waterfall (1768), offered at Swann Galleries this week.

At Bloomsbury on Tuesday, December 7, The History of Western Script: A further selection from The Schøyen Collection. The 60 lots include an Egyptian thirteenth dynasty gold foil funerary inscription bearing the name of Princess Nubhetepti-khered (£30,000–50,000). At the same estimate is a six-leaf fragment of a ninth-century Carolingian manuscript. A sixth-century-BCE dedication for a traveler's staff, made by impressing a mold into gold leaf, could sell for £20,000–30,000. A tenth-century Visigothic miniscule manuscript fragment containing Smaragdus of St-Mihiel's commentary on the Rule of St. Benedict rates the same estimate, as does another tranche of E.H. Dring's collection of charters, this lot comprising 161 manuscript charters. For the text historian, much more of great interest here.

Binoche et Giquello holds a 12-lot sale of Livres d'Heures – Manuscrits – Archives on Tuesday, followed by Collection d'un Amateur, in 203 lots. Expected highlights from the first sale include a late fifteenth-century manuscript book of hours with miniatures by at least three different artists (€250,000–300,000) and another book of hours, the "Heures Pascal," dated to 1450–60 (€160,000–180,000). In the larger sale, Montaigne's copy of Corio's L'Historia di Milano is expected to sell for €30,000–50,000, and a copy of the 1561 edition of Philippe de Commines' Mémoires in a fine binding could sell for €30,000–40,000.

The Sotheby's Paris sale of Livres et Manuscrits ends on Wednesday, December 8. The 127 lots include the autograph manuscript of Émile Zola's adaptation of his novel Germinal for the stage, the last major Zola manuscript in private hands (€100,000–150,000). The 1561 edition of Jacques du Fouilloux's La Venerie is estimated at €60,000–80,000.

On Thursday, December 9 at Bellmans, Printed Books, Manuscripts and Maps.

Doyle sells Rare Books, Autographs & Maps on Thursday, in 457 lots. Expected to lead the way is a first edition of Whitman's Leaves of Grass in the first binding style ($70,000–100,000).

On Thursday at Bonhams New York, Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books, in 422 lots. Audubon's Carolina Parakeets rate the top estimate at $80,000–100,000, and an album of 53 chromolithograph plates of scenes in Pernambuco, Brazil published around 1873 is estimated at $25,000–35,000. A group of five engraved American waterfalls (1768) based on watercolors by Thomas Davies could sell for $8,000–12,000.

Rounding out the week, Arader Auctions holds their December Auction on Saturday, December 11, in 163 lots. Expected highlights include a copy of Gardner's Photographic Sketch Book of the War (1866), estimated at $200,000–250,000, and a manuscript road map from about 1765 charting the route from what is now Charlestown, Massachusetts to North Yarmouth, Maine ($70,000–100,000).