April 2018 | Jeremy Dibbell

Rare Books &c. at Auction This Week

On Tuesday, May 1, Leslie Hindman Auctioneers sells Fine Books and Manuscripts, in 490 lots. Top lots are expected to include Williamson and Howitt's Oriental Field Sports (1805-1807), with forty hand-colored aquatint plates; a copy of the first printed Bible concordance (Strassburg, not after 1474) in a contemporary binding; and Audubon's "Purple Heron" (all estimated at $10,000-15,000). Other lots that caught my eye include a first edition of Ivanhoe in original boards ($2,000-3,000), an 1841 Audubon letter to Boston publisher Charles C. Little ($1,500-2,500), and an early facsimile (1833) of George Washington's Revolutionary War accounts ($100-200).


Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers in Kilkenny, Ireland holds a Rare Book & Collectors' Sale on Wednesday, May 2, in 850 lots. The one to watch here is the first edition copy of The Hobbit, estimated at ??20,000-30,000.


Thursday, May 3 sees a Graphic Design sale at Swann Galleries, in 254 lots. Man Ray's London Transport "Keeps London Going" poster (1938) is expected to lead the way at $80,000-120,000. A 1902 Beethoven exhibition poster by Alfred Röller could sell for $30,000-40,000.


Also on Thursday, PBA Galleries sells Fine Literature: The Fred Bennett Collections (with additions), in 514 lots. A first edition of Jack Schaefer's Shane, signed and with a proof version of the dust jacket, is estimated at $10,000-15,000. One of 25 privately printed copies of Robert Louis Stevenson's Father Damien inscribed by RLS and with an added note to the recipient could fetch $3,000-5,000. A first edition of Tennyson's Queen Mary signed by Tennyson and inscribed by both Henry Irving and Ellen Terry is estimated at $2,000-3,000.




And last but certainly not least, Profiles in History will sell The Big Book: The Original Working Manuscript of Alcoholics Anonymous on Saturday, May 5. Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. sued to block the sale last year, but a recent settlement will allow the auction to proceed. The auction house has placed an estimate of $2-3 million on the 161-page annotated typescript.


Image credit: Profiles in History