WPA Artists, Steinbeck Typescript, Hunter S. Thompson’s Gideon Bible: Auction Preview

Image: Swann Galleries

Thomas Hart Benton's 1939 lithograph "The Departure of the Joads," one of 100 copies, offered at PBA Galleries this week.

Here's what I'll be watching this week:

At Forum Auctions on Thursday, January 25, 235 lots of Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper, Including Books from Sir William Stirling-Maxwell's Library. A first edition copy of Darwin's Origin of Species is expected to lead the way at £50,000–75,000. An annotated typescript draft copy of John Steinbeck's first novel, Cup of Gold, later given by Steinbeck to his nephew-by-marriage David Heyler is estimated at £35,000–50,000. The first Aldine edition of Perottus' Cornucopiae (1499) could sell for £15,000–20,000, and a 1718 Greek New Testament in a baroque Venetian silver-gilt binding dated 1744 is estimated at the same range.

Swann Galleries sells 238 lots on Thursday in a sale titled The Artists of the WPA. Lots include a copy of the rare 1939 Thomas Hart Benton lithograph The Departure of the Joads, estimated at $12,000–18,000; another Benton lithograph, Running Horses (1955), could sell for $10,000–15,000. A 1933 Walker Evans photograph, Connecticut Frame House, is estimated at $5,000–7,000, and Marian Post Wolcott's photo Highway and Farm During Snowstorm near Barnard, Windsor County, Vermont could sell for $4,000–6,000.

At PBA Galleries on Thursday, Fine Literature – with Science Fiction, Fantasy & Mysteries – Children's Books – Beats & the Counterculture, in 472 lots. Hunter S. Thompson's copy of the Gideon Bible is expected to lead the way at $10,000–15,000. A first printing of Mark Twain's Tom Sawyer in the sheep binding is estimated at $7,000–10,000, and a November 24, 1968 Jack Kerouac letter to his niece has been assigned the same range. A first edition of Albert Robida's Voyage de Fiancailles au XX Siècle (1892) in a Charles Meunier binding is estimated at $5,000–8,000.

Arader Galleries hold their Winter Auction on Saturday, January 26, in 179 lots. A copy of Audubon's White Pelican is estimated at $150,000–200,000 and a 1572 Chrieger woodcut depiction of the Battle of Lepanto could sell for $100,000–200,000. A first edition of John Gould's Birds of Europe (1821–1837) is expected to fetch $120,000–160,000.