Rare Books &c. at Auction This Week

Image: PBA Galleries

Detail from Eadweard Muybridge's 1877 panoramic photograph of San Francisco, offered at PBA Galleries this week.

This week brings manuscript letters, first editions, medical books, rare maps, and historical ephemera to the auction block.

At Bonhams New York on Tuesday, June 28, Fine Books and Manuscripts, in 216 lots. An 1875 Jesse James letter written after a raid on the family's farm by Pinkerton detectives and called the most important extant James letter is estimated at $300,000–500,000. A June 6, 1864 letter from Robert E. Lee to Ulysses S. Grant sent during the Battle of Cold Harbor during negotiations over a truce to evacuate the wounded is expected to sell for $120,000–180,000. A first state copy of Tarzan of the Apes (1914) is estimated at $40,000–60,000, while an extensive collection of material relating to Timothy Leary and Joanna Harcourt-Smith could sell in the same range. A lengthy 1831 Davy Crockett letter is also estimated at $40,000–60,000.

The Hindman sale of American Historical Ephemera & Photographs, in 335 lots, also ends on Tuesday.

Bonhams online sale of the Medical and Scientific Library of W. Bruce Fye Part IV ends on Wednesday, June 29. The 210 lots include Andrea Cesalpino's Peripateticarum quaestionum libri quinque (1571), in a contemporary binding and previously in the collection of Haskell F. Norman, which is expected to sell for $25,000–30,000. A copy of the second complete edition of William Harvey's De motu cordis (1639) is estimated at $20,000–30,000, and a first edition of Charles Estienne's De dissectione partium corporis humani (1545) could sell for $15,000–18,000.

At PBA Galleries on Thursday, June 30, Elite Americana & Rare Maps, in 96 lots. An 11-panel panoramic photograph of San Francisco by Eadweard Muybridge taken in 1877 shares the top estimate of $50,000–80,000 with a copy of Alfred E. Mathews' Pencil Sketches of Montana (1868) with fascinating early Montana provenance. An 1834 letter from the Governor of California to the Secretary of Justice in Mexico City is estimated at $40,000–60,000, and a copy of McKenney & Hall's History of the Indian Tribes of North America (1836–1844) could sell for $30,000–50,000.