News | June 20, 2024

Rare Fishing Titles and Keats’s Copy of The Works of Edmond Spenser to Auction

Freeman's Hindman

The Works of that Famous English Poet, Mr. Edmond Spenser. London, 1679. Keats’ own copy. Estimate: $50,000 - $80,000 (detail)

Continuing Freeman’s | Hindman’s spring series of books, manuscripts, and historical ephemera sales, its Books and Manuscripts auction on June 25 will feature around 300 lots of printed Americana, literature, fishing, art, maps, prints, and more, led by English Romantic poet John Keats's personal copy of The Works of Edmond Spenser. Book collector A. Edward Newton considered it the centerpiece of his own remarkable collection.

Freeman's Hindman

The Works of that Famous English Poet, Mr. Edmond Spenser. London, 1679. Keats’ own copy. Estimate: $50,000 - $80,000

"Books such as Keats's own copy of Spenser remind us all how much history can be quietly sitting on a shelf, waiting to be recognized and reintroduced to the world of book collecting,” said Darren Winston, Senior Vice President and Co-Head of the Books and Manuscripts department. “Books should make you stop and think, or gasp, or sometimes think you have a direct line to the history of literature, as holding this copy of Spenser does. A truly remarkable and unique book."

Other important items include a 1615 illuminated portolan chart of the Mediterranean by John Oliva (estimate: $20,000 - $30,000) and the very rare 1698 first edition of Gabriel Thomas’s foundational An Historical and Geographical Account of the Province and Country of Pennsylvania; and of West-New-Jersey in America… (estimate: $15,000 - $25,000).

Izaak Walton's The Compleat Angler or the Contemplative man's Recreation. Being a Discourse of Fish and Fishing  (estimate: $30,000 - $50,000) is one of 55 lots of books and prints from the Fishing and Sporting library of American naturalist and adventurer Brooke Dolan II - from the same source and going under the hammer is Sir Humphrey Davy’s copy of Sarah Bowdich’s 1828 The Freshwater Fishes of Great Britain, considered one of the rarest works on ichthyology ($25,000-$35,000).

Additional highlights from the sale include:

  • a land patent signed by Benjamin Franklin selling a tract of land confiscated from loyalist Joseph Galloway ($12,000-$18,000)
  • the first complete edition of the Hebrew Bible published in America in 1814 ($7,000-$10,000)
  • an 1838 first edition of Carswell’s Pathological Anatomy ($8,000-$12,000)
  • a near-complete set of James Otto Lewis’s 1835 The Aboriginal Port Folio ($8,000-$12,000)
  • a fine association copy of George Edwards’s The Natural History of Uncommon Birds..., 1743-51 ($15,000-$25,000)
  • the first-ever game based on Alice in Wonderland, 1882 ($2,000-$3,000)
  • letters signed by Sigmund Freud ($5,000-8,000) and Albert Einstein ($3,000-$5,000)
  • a signed copy of Theodore Roosevelt’s African Game Trails ($4,000-6,000)
  • a pen used by JFK to sign the Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty of 1963 ($3,000-$5,000)