November 2018 | Jeremy Dibbell

Rare Books &c. at Auction This Week

Another very crowded auction week:

On Monday, November 26, Ketterer Kunst held a sale of Rare Books in Hamburg. A German copy of the Nuremberg Chronicle in a mid-sixteenth-century binding sold for ??147,600, and a Latin Book of Hours (use of Troyes) from around 1480 in a nineteenth-century find binding by Simier fetched ??70,110.

Bonhams London sold Fine Books, Manuscripts, Atlases and Historical Photographs on Tuesday, November 27, in 216 lots. A Robert Schumann manuscript of his Fantasiestücke for piano led the sale, selling for £224,750. A copy of John Gould's Monograph of the Trochilidae (1849-1861) made £47,500. A seventeenth-century Ethiopian manuscript in Ge'ez sold for £22,500.

Wednesday, November 28, Binoche et Giquello sells Livres Anciens et Manuscrits, in 53 lots. A very rare copy of tienne Dolet's Le Second Enfer d'Estienne Dolet, natif d'Orléans (1544) is expected to lead the way, with estimates of ??80,000-100,000. Chiswick Auctions holds an auction of Rare Books & Works on Paper in 338 lots: among those with high estimates are a presentation copy of Andy Warhol and Suzie Frankfort's Wild Raspberries (1959), at £10,000-12,000 (pictured at left); and an incomplete copy of the Tyndale Bible, at £8,000-10,000.

Also on Wednesday, Rossini sells books, manuscripts, and autographs from the library of philosophy professor John Lefranc (1927-2015), in 211 lots. And at Christie's London, Russian Literary First Editions & Manuscripts: Highlights from the R. Eden Martin Collection, in 228 lots. Rating the top estimate is Osip Emil'evich Mandel'shtam's Kamen (1913), inscribed by the author to poet Viacheslav Ivanov (£60,000-90,000); just one other inscribed copy is known. A rare copy of Gogol's Vechera na khutore bliz dikan'ki (1831-1832) is estimated at £50,000-70,000. I'll have more on this sale in the next print issue.

On Thursday, November 29, Forum Auctions sells Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper, in 347 lots. A set of Buffon's Histoire Naturelle des Oiseaux (1770-1786) is estimated at £70,000-90,000, and a first edition of the King James Bible ("He" version) could fetch £30,000-40,000.

Also on Thursday, PBA Galleries sells The Craig Noble Collection of L. Frank Baum & the Wizard of Oz, in 257 lots. An inscribed copy of Baum's Sam Steele's Adventures in Panama (1907) is assigned the top estimate at $8,000-12,000.

Friday, November 30 sees a History of Science and Technology sale at Sotheby's New York, in 109 lots. Richard Feynman's Nobel Prize medal is expected to sell for as much as $800,000-1,200,000; his copy of Dirac's Principles of Quantum Mechanics is another highlight. Several lots of Feynman manuscripts are also part of the sale. A bible signed and inscribed by Albert Einstein is estimated at £200,000-300,000, and a working-condition three-rotor Enigma machine could sell for £180,000-200,000.