Rare Books &c. at Auction This Week

Swann Auction Galleries

Swann Galleries sells Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books in New York on Thursday, 7 March, in 274 lots.

A busier week coming up in the auction world:

 On Tuesday, March 5, Rossini auctions the first sale of books from the collection of Guy Gaulard, in 229 lots.

Heritage Auctions will hold a Rare Books Signature Auction in New York on Wednesday, March 6, including the first selection of books from the Otto Penzler Collection of Mystery Fiction. A copy of the first book edition of The Federalist, with both volumes in original boards, has a reserve of $75,000, as does a cow sculpture designed and painted by Maurice Sendak. Among the Penzler items expected to sell well are first editions of Dashiell Hammett's Red Harvest and The Maltese Falcon, and Donald Yates' copies of Raymond Chandler's The Big Sleep and Farewell, My Lovely.

Also on Wednesday, Printed Books, Maps & Documents at Dominic Winter Auctioneers, in 500 lots. Lots 45-117 comprise the first part of the Ladwell Collection of Fine Bird Books.

Sale title notwithstanding, three manuscripts rate the top estimates: a sixteenth-century prayer book with thirty-five miniatures and bound around 1800 in the style of Edwards of Halifax could fetch $20,000-30,000, while a mid-fifteenth century Book of Hours, Use of Rome, on vellum, is estimated at $15,000-20,000. A Dutch Book of Hours, Use of Utrecht, also from the middle part of the fifteenth century, could sell for $8,000-12,000. A copy of the first Ibarra edition of Don Quixote (1780, pictured above), rates the same estimate; it was once in the Kansas City Public Library.  

At PBA Galleries on Thursday, Fine Books: A Biblio-Medley for All Tastes, in 515 lots. Beginning with lot 322 the remainder of the sale is unreserved. The top-estimated lot, returning to the saleroom after first being offered last September, is a copy of Herbert Childs' biography of American physicist Ernest Orlando Lawrence, An American Genius (1968). Inscribed by the author and signed by more than forty scientists (among them ten Nobel laureates) and Lawrence family members, the volume is now estimated at $8,000-12,000. A large-paper copy of Sauvan's Picturesque Tour of the Seine (1821), could sell for $4,000-6,000. A printed Quran with hand-painted illuminations is also estimated at $4,000-6,000, as is a copy of the scare Arion Press issue of John Ashbery's Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror (1984).