Rare Books &c. at Auction This Week


Important photo archive of aviation history, offered at Bonhams New York this week.

On Tuesday, September 17, Bonhams New York holds The Air and Space Sale, in 156 lots. Expected to lead the way is a rare vintage test model of the Sputnik-1 satellite, at $400,000–600,000. A significant collection of more than 1,300 photographs documenting the aviation industry from its earliest days through the 1940s, collected by Flying magazine editor Henry Woodhouse, is estimated at $50,000–70,000. A 52-page autograph manuscript by cosmonaut Alexei Leonov, written in 1975 about his experiences on the Apollo-Soyuz mission could fetch $20,000–30,000, as could a partial transcript of the first phone call to the moon signed by Nixon, Armstrong, Aldrin, and Collins.

PBA Galleries holds a sale of Cartography – Americana – Exploration – Voyages: The Warren Heckrotte and Margaret Gee Collection (with additions) on Thursday, September 19, in 223 lots. An 1800 atlas of Russia published at St. Petersburg shares the top estimate, at $10,000–15,000, with James Burney's Chronological History of the Discoveries in the South Sea or Pacific Ocean (1803–17). Five lots are estimated at $5,000–8,000, including a copy of the first complete atlas of Russia (St. Petersburg, 1745) and a large-paper copy of Theodore Roosevelt's Big Game Hunting in the Rockies and on the Great Plains (1899).

Also on Thursday, The Collection of Victor Niederhoffer: Books and Autographs and Books, Maps & Manuscripts at Freeman's in Philadelphia. The first comprises 99 lots, including a Thomas Jefferson manuscript letter about the Embargo Act ($30,000–50,000); a 1990 Ronald Reagan letter to his daughter Patti Davis could fetch $15,000–20,000. Another 337 lots will be offered in the broader sale, including a copy of the sixth state of the Fry-Jefferson map of Virginia ($12,000–18,000). A presentation copy of Clement C. Moore's Poems (1844), inscribed to the Prussian envoy to the United States, is estimated at $5,000–8,000. A collection of more than forty documents relating to the Mary Ann Furnace of York County, Pennsylvania, could sell for $4,000–7,000.

Rounding out the week on Saturday and Sunday, 21–22 September is The David and Janice Frent Collection of Presidential & Political Americana, Part VI at Heritage Auctions. As with previous installments from this collection, a fine mix of textiles, buttons, posters, and other campaign memorabilia.