Rare Books &c. at Auction This Week

Image: Canada Book Auctions

Magnified fly from Amusement Microscopique, offered at Canada Book Auctions this week.

Quite a week coming up in the salerooms, including auctions of the library of William St. Clair and of the Glaisdale Agricultural Library. 

At Canada Book Auctions on Tuesday, September 27, Fine and Rare Books, Maps and Prints, in 333 lots. A copy of the 1570 first English edition of Euclid, The Elements of Geometrie with the groundplat in facsimile is estimated at $25,000–35,000. Ledermuller's Amusement Microscopique (1764–1768), the first edition in French, is expected to sell for $6,000–8,000, and a first Canadian edition of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Beautiful and Damned (1922) could fetch $4,000–6,000.

Lyon & Turnbull sells 336 lots of Rare Books, Manuscripts, Maps & Photographs from the Library of the Late William St. Clair on Wednesday, September 28. A 1648 Oliver Cromwell autograph letter to Richard Norton as part of negotiations over the projected marriage of Cromwell's son Richard to Dorothy Maijor is expected to reach £5,000–8,000. A signed set of Eric Gill's proof engravings for the 1927 Golden Cockerel Press edition of Troilus and Criseyde could sell for $3,000–5,000. An album of 120 salt prints from calotype negatives attributed to Charles George Hood Kinnear and dated to around 1846–1848 is estimated at £4,000–6,000.

At University Archives on Wednesday, Rare Autographs, Manuscripts & Books, in 414 lots. A Neil Armstrong autograph diagram of the Apollo 11 moon landing mission is estimated at $90,000–110,000. An autograph fragment from George Washington's first inaugural address, one of those chopped up and distributed by Jared Sparks (this sent in 1850 to "Miss Abby L. Davis") is estimated at $60,000–70,000. An Isaac Newton manuscript fragment containing notes on religion could sell for $28,000–35,000. An 1864 Sojourner Truth CDV photograph believed to be signed by Truth using her "X" mark is estimated at $24,000–30,000.

On Thursday, September 29, Forum Auctions sells Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper, in 368 lots. A copy of the very rare 1553 first edition of Parte Primera de la Chronica del Peru is estimated at £50,000–70,000. A single Gutenberg Bible leaf, of Numbers 7:38–8:12, is expected to sell for £40,000–60,000. At the same estimate range are the first issue of the first printed book on memory, Jacobus Publicius' Ars Oratoria. Ars Epistolandi. Ars Memorativa (1482), printed by Ratdolt at Venice; and a copy of the 1469–1499 edition of Sir John Mandeville's Travels in Italian. A leaf from a blockbook Biblia Pauperum from around 1465 could sell for £25,000–35,000.

At Swann Galleries on Thursday, Printed & Manuscript Americana, in 395 lots. A large collection of manuscript papers, letters and diaries from Gideon Welles and his family is estimated at $60,000–90,000. A first issue copy of Catlin's North American Indian Portfolio (1844) could sell for $40,000–60,000, and a copy of the Charleston Mercury extra broadside issue announcing the passage of the South Carolina ordinance of secession in 1860 rates an estimate of $25,000–35,000.

The PBA Galleries sale of Books in All Fields – With Literature; Americana & Maps; Art & Photography also ends on Thursday. The 338 lots are being sold without reserve starting at $10.

On Friday at Tennants Auctioneers, The Glaisdale Agricultural Library: The Private Collection of a Yorkshire Agriculturist, in 179 lots. The first two volumes (bound together) of the first trade and agricultural periodical, A Collection of Letters for the Improvement of Husbandry & Trade (1681–1683) is expected to lead the sale at £2,000–3,000.