Rare Books &c. at Auction This Week

Courtesy of Swann Auction Galleries

Illustration from Fisk & Sharp's Victoria Regia (1854), estimated at $15,000–20,000 at Swann Galleries on June 6.

A pretty busy auction run this week; here are a few things I'm keeping an eye on:

On Tuesday, June 4, Illustration Art at Swann Galleries, in 205 lots. Estimated at $25,000–35,000 are a Frederic Remington pen and ink drawing for "A Scout with the Buffalo Soldiers," Mead Schaeffer's painting for the dust jacket and frontispiece for a 1922 edition of Moby Dick, and an Al Hirschfeld's ink drawing of Paul Robeson as Othello for the New York Times (1943).

At Christie's London on Wednesday, June 5, Beyond the Horizon: The Mopelia Collection of Fine Atlases and Travel Books, in 203 lots. Expected to lead the way is Johannes van Keulen's De Groote Nieuwe Vermeerderde Zee-Atlas ofte Water-Werelt (1688), a spectacular sea atlas with charts after Claes Janszoon Voght, with contemporary hand-coloring (£150,000–200,000). Four lots share an estimate of £100,000 to 150,000: a complete copy of Johannes Metellus' Speculum orbis terrae (1602), with several very rare early maps of North America; a first French edition of Willem Blaeu's pilot book (1620), from the library of the famed astronomer Peiresc; a twelve-volume set of official French nautical charts (1758–1833); and a collection of 458 natural history watercolors from the expedition to French Polynesia led by Charles Noury.

Also on Wednesday, Important Judaica at Sotheby's New York, in 157 lots. Among the books and manuscripts are a rare fifteenth-century miniature Yemenite Pentateuch, estimated at $200,000–300,000; an illustrated 1790 marriage contract from Corfu ($50,000–70,000); and a collection of more than 400 Judaica bookplates ($14,000–16,000).

On Thursday, June 6, Swann Galleries sells Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books, in 400 lots. A proof copy, with manuscript annotations, of Lewis Evans' 1755 "General Map of the Middle British Colonies," is estimated at $30,000–50,000. At the same estimate is a copy of Catlin's North American Indian Portfolio, containing 25 tinted lithographs. A very nice copy of Fisk and Sharp's Victoria Regia; or the Great Water Lily of America (1854, pictured above) is estimated at $15,000–20,000.

ALDE in Paris holds a sale of Lettres et Manuscrits Autographes on Friday, June 7, in 470 lots, and Arader Galleries' June Auction will be on Saturday, June 8.