Auctions | November 10, 2020

Rare Books & Manuscripts at PBA Galleries on November 19

Courtesy of PBA Galleries

Nebrija’s Gramatica Latinae, 1495. Estimate: $10,000-15,000

Berkeley, CA – PBA Galleries will present an auction of Rare Books & Manuscripts on November 19th. The sale will feature 222 lots of rare, important, attractive, and at times, amusing lots of printed books and manuscript material covering a broad range of subjects. Included are early printed books and religious tomes; works on the history of America, California, and the West; manuscript and printed cookbooks from Mexico; travel and exploration including rare English color plate books; science, medicine and mathematics; illustrated books; finely bound sets; landmarks of literature; original documents from the Napoleonic Wars; and more.

Articles, letters, and other ephemera capture landmark historical moments. One of these is the earliest American publication announcing the invention of art and photography: “Pictorial delineations by light…,” an important article in The American Journal of Science and Arts, 1839, will be up for auction in the rare original wrappers (Estimate: $1,500-$2,500). An autograph letter from one of Napoleon’s most notable generals, Marshal Ney, to Minister of War Marshal Berthier (1811) recommends an officer be promoted to general. The letter is housed in a deluxe custom leather case, with an original brass shako plate (Estimate: $2,000-$3,000). Bidders will be interested in a manuscript cookbook from Mexico (1909), containing instructions for creating a varied array of ice creams, drinks, flans and other assorted confections, with many of the recipes quite involved and detailed (Estimate: $2,000-$3,000).

Rare literary works are expected to draw spirited bidding. A rare incunabula edition of Antonio de Nebrija’s Introductiones Latinae, cum commento (1495) is an important work by the influential Spanish humanist most noted for his contributions to grammar and lexicography (Estimate: $10,000-$15,000). John Ogilby’s important translation of Homer His Iliads (1660) will be presented in a large folio edition with 52 copperplate engravings, a nobleman’s copy in early paneled calf (Estimate: $7,000-$10,000). John Ross’ Narrative of a Second Voyage in Search of a North-West Passage (1835) includes the rare separate Appendix, a nice set of the first edition with the full complement of lithographs, mezzotints and maps, in modern half morocco binding (Estimate: $2,000-$3,000).

Striking illustrations, photographs, and engravings are present throughout the sale. Views in Greece from drawings by Edward Dodwell (1821) is up for bidding: This large folio displays 30 fine hand-colored aquatint plates printed on thick paper, from drawings by the author and the artist Simone Pomardi, who accompanied him on his travels (Estimate: $7,000-$10,000). Salvador Dali’s striking folio illustrated edition of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is one of 2500 copies (1969), with 12 color plates and the text set in morocco and linen drop-back box, as issued, signed by the artist (Estimate: $6,000-$9,000). Florida Architecture of Addison Mizner (1928) with 184 plates from photographs, is finely bound in full red morocco and one of 100 copies in the “Edicion Imperial” and signed by Mizner ($7,000-$10,000).

PBA continues to safeguard the health of employees and clients by remaining closed to the public. PBA will limit live auction participation to online or phone bidding. For more information about upcoming sales or to schedule a Zoom preview or phone bidding for a future auction, please contact the galleries at 415.989.2665 or