Three Enticing Small Auctions

Over the next week or two, three auctions that might be off your radar should merit your attention. One is a complete surprise, from the University of Michigan. They announced today a closed-bid auction of more than three hundred lots of duplicate or donated material. "The material offered for sale is representative of the collecting strengths of the Special Collections Library and includes books, serials, and pamphlets in the following broad subject areas: American Literature, English Literature, Children's Literature, History, Mathematics, Social Movements, and Transportation History." Proceeds will benefit the UM Special Collections Library. Can I just say how delighted I am by this auction? It is so heartening to see material like this--some ex-lib, some not--being offered to book lovers, collectors, and other institutions who will treasure it. In the past (and even in the present), libraries might have pitched this stuff. Other topics include Fine Press & Bibliography; Early Books; Anarchism; Classics; Picture Books; etc. You will need time to peruse the list before the deadline of March 25, so get started.

Collection of thirty Armorial Bindings from European royal libraries, most dating from the eighteenth century. From the estate of Louis S. Auchincloss. Estimate: $1500-2000. At Stair Auctioneers & Appraisers on March 20.

Stair Auctioneers & Appraisers of Hudson, New York, has an interesting two-day auction this weekend, beginning with paintings, works on paper, and architectural drawings on March 19, and followed by furniture, Americana, silver, and carpets on March 20. So what's so interesting to me? Slipped in on March 20 is the "partial library of the late Louis S. Auchincloss." Auchincloss was a fine historian and novelist, who portrayed the upper classes with wit, biting at the heels of Henry James and Edith Wharton. He passed away in January of 2010. The short list contains some historic documents, leather bindings, books inscribed to him, and random literature, all worth a look. A video preview is here.

Lastly, from March 17-April 7, Christie's International is holding a "Bid to Save the Earth" Green Auction. The categories are broad--entertainment, music, travel, sports, etc., but the art & collectibles category proves fun to browse. Limited edition prints and posters, private tours at galleries and museums, and "experiences," such as a session with a professional photographer, are all up for bidding. To read more, go here.