Auctions | June 6, 2012

Stieglitz and Stein Were Highlights at National Book Auctions

[ITHACA, NY] National Book Auctions, located in Ithaca, NY hosted a Sunday, June 3rd auction that featured a broad range of rare antique books, as well as a quantity of posters and ephemera. Featured was a large collection of modern first editions, the majority of which retained their original dust jackets. Also offered was another session from a large nautical collection which will be brought to market over a series of auctions this year.

Bringing a collective hammer price of $3474.75 (including buyer’s premium) were three volumes of “Camera Work: A Photographic Quarterly.” These were edited and published by Alfred Stieglitz, who was an American photographer and modern art promoter who was instrumental over his fifty-year career in making photography an accepted art form. “Camera Work” was a completely independent magazine of pictorial photography that was meant to carry forth the same artistic standards of the photo-secessionist movement.

Gertrude Stein’s “The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas” brought a hammer price of $1168.50 (including buyer’s premium) This book of Stein’s is written in the guise of an autobiography authored by Alice B. Toklas, who was her lover. This is a rare second printing autographed by both Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas, along with an inscription to Eugene Stinson, famous music critic for the Chicago Daily News.

Bringing a hammer price of $1560.00 (including buyer’s premium) was an antique sketchbook with original drawings and watercolors.  This volume bears the name of its original owner, Edith L. Willis, and the date of 1885, which have been stamped in gilt on the front cover.  Mrs. Willis was married to Dr. Frederick Willis and they were related to the Louisa May Alcott family. Mrs. Willis circulated the sketchbook among several artists, principally or exclusively in the Boston area in 1885. Some artists contributing their work include Benjamin Champney, T. M. Kellogg, and William Henry Burr, among several others.

National Book Auctions is a public auction service specializing in books, ephemera, and art. National Book Auctions is a targeted service offering experience and expertise unique to marketing antique and modern books and ephemera for consignors and collectors alike. Preview for the upcoming Sunday, June 24th auction is at 10 a.m. and the live auction starts at noon. For more information or to consign collectible material please contact David Hall, Business Manager, at 607-269-0101 or email