Rare Books &c. at Auction This Week

Image: Christie's Images Ltd. 2022

Jeweled binding by Alberto Sangorski on an illuminated manuscript copy of Tennyson's Guinevere, offered at Christie's this week.

Another very busy week for bibliophiles coming up in the auction rooms. 

At Ader on Tuesday, October 4, Lettres et Manuscrits Autographes, in 327 lots. Expected to lead the sale is a September 28, 1885 letter from Arthur Rimbaud to his family describing the situation of Aden in Yemen and estimated at €30,000–40,000. An October 28, 1891 letter from Isabelle Rimbaud to her mother describing the final days of her brother Arthur could sell for €20,000–25,000. A December 5, 1636 letter from Pierre Gassendi to Gabriel Naudé on the observation of the sun is estimated at €15,000–20,000, and a May 23, 1697 letter from Louis XIV to his son the Count of Toulouse is expected to sell for €10,000–12,000.

Sotheby's Milan's online sale of Antiquarian Books ends on Tuesday. The 283 lots include an eight-volume set of Johannes Blaeu's townbook views of Italy and the Piedmont (1724–1725), estimated at €70,000–90,000. A copy of the first appearance of Ptolemy's Almagest in print (the 1496 Venice edition edited by Johannes Regiomontanus), bound in a leaf from a twelfth-century French glossed psalter, is expected to sell for €60,000–80,000. At the same estimate range is a copy of one of the first books printed in Romania, a 1512 edition of the Gospels in Church Slavonic. This copy is in a contemporary local binding. Some other interesting early printed books to be had in this one.

Forum Auctions sells Books and Works on Paper online on Thursday, October 6. Among the 285 lots are George Cartwright's A Journal of Transaction and Events ... on the Coast of Labrador (1798), estimated at £1,500–2,000. A facsimile set of the Great and Little Domesday Books are expected to sell for £1,000–1,500. A 129-volume broken run of the Gentleman's Magazine from 1731 to 1822 is estimated at £800–1,200.

At Christie's New York on Thursday, Valuable and Important Books and Manuscripts from the Library of Edward R. Leahy. The 214 lots include a Shakespeare Second Folio (1632) and a first edition of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1818), both of which are estimated at $200,000–300,000. The latter was previously owned by the London publishers Adolphus and Rudolph Ackermann. A marvelous illuminated manuscript copy of Tennyson's Guinevere (1909–1913) in a jeweled binding by Alberto Sangorski for Rivière is expected to sell for $100,000–150,000. A Shakespeare Fourth Folio (1685) is estimated at $70,000–100,000. At the same estimate range are a copy of the 1640 first English translation of Machiavelli's The Prince and a presentation copy of Boswell's Life of Johnson inscribed by the author to John Douglas, Bishop of Carlisle. Many more fascinating lots in this one as well, so do have a thorough look at this catalog.

On Thursday at PBA Galleries, 391 lots of Fine Art, Photography, and Posters. A c.1951 print of Ansel Adams' Tetons on the Snake River, Wyoming is expected to fetch the top price at $30,000–50,000.

Binoche et Giquello sells La Bibliothèque Poétique de Jean Paul Barbier-Mueller–Deuxième Partie on Friday, October 7, in 152 lots. Sharing the top estimate of €40,000–50,000 are a 1550 first edition of Pierre de Ronsard's Les Quatre Premiers Livres de Odes and a volume containing the 1553 second edition of Cinquième Livres des Odes and the 1555 third edition of Les Quatre Premiers Livres de Odes.