Rare Books &c. at Auction This Week

Before we get to the very busy calendar of sales coming up this week, I must note a couple of the results from last week's auction at Christie's, which saw Einstein's "God Letter" set a new auction record for an Einstein letter at $2,892,500, and a copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone capture the auction record for Harry Potter at $162,500.

  

Here's what I've got my eyes on this week:

  

Ader holds a sale of Lettres et Manuscrits Autographes on Monday and Tuesday, December 10-11, in 716 lots over the two days. Expected to lead the first day's sale are a Gaspare Spontini musical manuscript (??15,000-20,000) and a Paul Verlaine manuscript poem (??8,000-10,000). The second day's offerings include a number of Karl Marx letters which rate the top estimates of the day.

  

Bonhams London sells Entertainment Memorabilia on Tuesday, in 161 lots. Some of the printed and manuscript material on offer includes an Eric Clapton autograph copy of the first verse of the lyrics for "Layla" (£35,000-45,000) and a carbon copy of Ian Fleming's second draft proposal for the first James Bond movie (£30,000-40,000).

  

Also on Tuesday, Artcurial holds a Books & Manuscripts sale, in 293 lots. A copy of Roberts' Holy Land rates the top estimate, at ??20,000-25,000. An illuminated Book of Hours, produced around 1500 for the use of Bourges, could fetch ??12,000-15,000.

bears.pngDominic Winter Auctioneers will sell Printed Books & Maps; Children's & Illustrated Books; 20th Century Literature on Wednesday, December 12, in 539 lots. The 1835 edition of William Curtis' Flora Londinensis rates the top estimate, at £5,000-7,000. On Thursday, December 13, Dominic Winter holds a Modern Literature & First Editions sale, in 464 lots. Rating the top estimate there are a pair of very early teddy bears (pictured above), with the original owner's copy of the book The Roosevelt Bears, Their Travels and Adventures (£7,000-10,000).

  

At Christie's London on Wednesday, Valuable Books and Manuscripts, in 279 lots. Quite an array of excellent lots here! Adam Smith's own copy of his Wealth of Nations, later owned by the great Smith collector Homer Vanderblue, is expected to sell for £500,000-800,000. A presentation copy of Karl Marx's Das Kapital, inscribed to his cousin Nanette Philips, is estimated at £150,000-250,000. Also on the block will be two manuscript sledging journals from the 1910-1913 British Antarctic Expedition by Tryggve Gran (£120,000-180,000); the 1488 editio princeps of Homer (£100,000-150,000); a first edition Hypnerotomachia (£80,000-120,000); and an extremely rare copy of the Qing "Blue Map" of the world (£50,000-80,000).

  

Swann Galleries sells Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books on Thursday, December 13, in 385 lots. A 1593 Cornelis De Jode polar-projection world map is expected the lead the sale at $15,000-20,000. A copy of the third octavo edition of Audubon's Birds and the royal octavo Quadrupeds could fetch $20,000-30,000, and a chart of the mid-Atlantic coast from Des Barres' Atlantic Neptune (1780) is estimated at $18,000-22,000.

  

Also on Thursday, PBA Galleries holds a sale of Americana, Travel & Exploration, Hunting & Sporting, World History, and Cartography, in 573 lots, and Sotheby's New York sells Fine Autograph Letters and Manuscripts from a Distinguished Private Collection: Part II | Music, Americana, English and Continental Literature, in 152 lots. A few of the many potential highlights from this sale include a collection of fourteen Giuseppe Verdi letters to impresario Alessandro Lanari ($100,000-150,000); a "lost" 1810 Beethoven letter to a friend asking for a boot-black recipe ($50,000-80,000); and a 1755 Benjamin Franklin letter to his friend James Wright about the Braddock expedition ($30,000-40,000).

   

Rounding out the week, Sotheby's Paris will sell books from the library of Pierre Bergé on Friday, December 14.

  

Image courtesy of Dominic Winter Auctioneers

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