Rare Books &c. at Auction This Week

Courtesy of Bonhams

Charlton Heston's copy of the first separate edition of Macbeth, offered at Bonhams this week.

A few of the sales I'll be watching this week:

On Wednesday, December 4, Fine Books, Manuscripts, Atlases & Historical Photographs at Bonhams London. The 393 lots include a first issue of Darwin's Origin (£80,000–120,000); a collection of some 350 letters from Karl August Varnhagen von Ense to Charlotte Williams Wynn (£40,000–60,000); and the complete original artwork for Edward Ardizzone's Tim to the Rescue (£30,000–50,000).

Aristophil sale 28 will also be held on Wednesday at Aguttes in Paris. The 94-lot sale of Germanica is expected to be led by a fragment of Mozart's 1773 "Serenade in D Major," estimated at €85,000–95,000. An 1817 Beethoven autograph note could sell for €35,000–40,000, and a 1799 letter from Haydn is estimated at €30,000–40,000.

At Bonhams New York on Wednesday, a 105-lot sale of History of Science and Technology. This one also includes a first edition of Darwin's Origin ($80,000–120,000), but the two top lots are expected to be an Apple-1 motherboard signed by Steve Wozniak and used to power an Apple-II prototype ($200,000–300,000) and a working Apple Macintosh prototype ($120,000–180,000). A 42-leaf section of Plato from Finici's 1484 edition is also estimated at $80,000–120,000.

Rounding out Wednesday's sales, University Archives holds an auction of Relics, Autographs, Photos & Ephemera, in 263 lots. A life preserver from the U.S.S. Arizona is estimated at $30,000–100,000, and a September 1782 George Washington letter is estimated at $15,000–17,000. A 1955 J.D. Salinger letter to Rose-Ellen Currie could sell for $10,000–12,000.

There's a trio of sales on Thursday, December 5:

- At Bonhams New York, Fine Literature, Featuring Two Private Collections, in 362 lots. The first separate edition of Macbeth (London, 1673), once in the library of Charlton Heston, is expected to lead the way at $80,000–120,000. A copy of the 1684 first separate edition of Julius Caesar could sell for $20,000–30,000, and a 1676 edition of Hamlet is estimated at $15,000–25,000. A copy of the Fourth Folio is also estimated at $20,000–30,000, as is a copy of Hawthorne's rare first book, Fanshawe.

- PBA Galleries holds a 455-lot sale of Fine Literature – Bukowski & the Beats. A set of the five Bukowski broadsides printed by Black Sparrow Press in 1966 rates the top estimate at $20,000–30,000. Lots 380–455 are being sold without reserve.

The Collection of James Kwis Leonard at Heritage Auctions includes a first edition of Dracula, bid up to $6,050 at time of writing; a signed first edition of Christopher Morley's The Haunted Bookshop (current bid $1,250); and the original parts of Bleak House (bid up to $480 to date).

Forum Auctions holds an online sale of Maps and Atlases on Friday, December 6. François Valentyn's 1726 map of Abel Tasman's voyages is expected to lead the sale at £2,000–3,000.