Auctions | September 29, 2010

Swann Galleries October Sale

New York—On Thursday, October 14 Swann Galleries will conduct an auction of 19th & 20th Century Literature and Art, Press & Illustrated Books containing a rich and diverse selection of works by well-known authors and artists.

The sale begins with 19th & 20th century literature, which includes first editions, signed and inscribed copies, children’s literature and sets and bindings.

Among celebrated 19th-century works are Jules Verne’s Journey to the Centre of the Earth, first state of the Scribner deluxe edition—described as the most beautiful of the early American editions of this title, New York, 1874 (estimate: $1,500 to $2,500); and a beautiful set of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There in original cloth, London, 1866 and 1872 ($15,000 to $20,000).

Featured modern first editions include Ernest Hemingway’s first book, Three Stories and Ten Poems, one of only 300 copies, Paris, 1923 ($15,000 to $20,000); a large private collection of books by William Faulkner including his first novel, Soldiers’ Pay, New York, 1926; and his most celebrated book, The Sound and the Fury, New York, 1929 ($6,000 to $9,000 each). There are signed copies of Thomas Wolfe’s Of Time and the River, New York, 1935 ($2,000 to $3,000), Jack Kerouac’s Excerpts from Visions of Cody, New York, 1959 ($1,500 to $2,500), and several Cormac McCarthy titles, among them the signed limited edition of No Country for Old Men, New Orleans, 2005 ($600 to $900).

Poetry highlights include William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Lyrical Ballads, first edition, second issue, containing the first appearance of Coleridge’s Rime of the Ancyent Marinere, London, 1798 ($3,000 to $5,000); a fine first edition of Edna St. Vincent Millay’s first book, Renascence and Other Poems, inscribed and signed to a friend, New York, 1917 ($1,500 to $2,500); and Gerard Manley Hopkins’s Poems, first edition of his first book, London, 1918 ($2,500 to $3,500).

The Art, Press & Illustrated Books portion of the sale includes architecture, modern and private press books, livres d’artiste, art journals, and works on decorative and applied art. Of special note are Francisco José de Goya’s Los Caprichos, 80 etchings with aquatint, Madrid, circa 1899 ($8,000 to $10,000); a signed copy of Fernand Léger’s Cirque, with 63 fanciful lithographs on vélin d’Arches, Paris, 1950 ($15,000 to $25,000); a signed copy of Six Fairy Tales, David Hockney’s take on the Grimm Brothers, Petersburg Press, London, 1970 ($8,000 to $12,000); and Mark Beard’s Nineteen Famous People, Twenty-Two Friends and Six Nudes, with images of his hand-colored photographs of subjects such as Andy Warhol and Tennessee Williams, one of only ten signed copies, New York, 1992 ($5,000 to $7,500).

There are two sumptuously illustrated works by Arthur Szyk, a copy of his best known book, The Haggadah, one of 125 on vellum, signed by Szyk and editor Cecil Roth, London, 1939 ($30,000 to $40,000), and one of 500 copies of the extremely rare limited edition facsimile of the Statutes of Kalisz, Paris, 1932 ($40,000 to $60,000). Szyk created the illuminated manuscript, his interpretation of the medieval charter of rights granted to the Jews of Poland in 1264.

The sale also offers nearly 50 lots of works by the merrily macabre illustrator Edward Gorey—most widely known for his animated introduction to the PBS television series Mystery! There is a first limited edition copy of his celebrated book Amphigorey, signed and with an original drawing, New York, 1972, a rare copy of his collaboration with Samuel Beckett, All Strange Away, one of 26 lettered copies, signed by both, New York, 1976 ($2,000 to $3,000 each); and lots containing ephemera, such as a group of beanbag animals, rubber stamps and buttons depicting different characters ($500 to $750).

Rounding out the diverse auction are lovely Art Nouveau works including Les Péchés Capitaux, with color etchings of the seven deadly sins by Henry Detouche, from a limited edition on vélin du Marais, Paris, 1900 (800 to $1,200); the first Dutch edition of avant-garde artist El Lissitzky’s Of Two Squares, a children’s book about a black square and a red square who work together to establish a new order out of absolute chaos, The Hague, 1922 ($1,500 to $2,500); and a scarce sample book for Schumacher’s Taliesin line of wallpapers designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, Chicago, circa 1955 ($2,500 to $3,500).

The auction will begin at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 14. The items will be on public exhibition Saturday, October 9, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Monday, October 11 through Wednesday, October 13, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Thursday, October 14, from 10 a.m. to noon.

An illustrated catalogue with information on bidding by mail or fax is available for $35 from Swann Galleries, 104 East 25th Street, New York, NY 10010, or online at

For further information, and to arrange in advance to bid by telephone during the auction, please contact Christine von der Linn at (212) 254-4710, extension 20, or via email at

Live online bidding is also available via