In the News

The Morgan Acquires Drawings by Major African-American Artists from the South

New York—The Morgan is excited to announce that it is expanding its collection—one of... read more

Illustrations from Treasured Children's Literature at Swann on December 6

New York - Swann Galleries continues their auction season with Illustration Art on Thursday,... read more

Minnesota Center for Book Arts Announces "New Editions" Book Art Event

Minnesota Center for Book Arts (MCBA) invites the community to attend New Editions, a... read more

Manuscript of Gettysburg Address on Display at Library of Congress for 155th Anniversary

On Nov. 19, 1863, Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The... read more

Potter & Potter's December 1 Vintage Travel Poster Event

Chicago — Potter & Potter Auctions is pleased to announce its 750 lot Vintage... read more

The Holy Grail of Glenn Gould Manuscripts at Bonhams

New York - On December 5, Bonhams Books and Manuscripts sale will offer Glenn... read more

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture Acquires Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee Archive

New York — The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture at The New... read more

Russian Literary First Editions Coming up at Christie’s

London--On 28 November, Christie’s will present the single owner auction Russian Literary First Editions... read more

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2015 Bookseller Resource Guide

Collectors and Their Collections

The Jewel of the Palace

Lt.-Col. Charles Ramus Forrest, Picturesque Tour along the River Ganges and Jumna in India, $50,000 at Sotheby’s New York on October 18, and $11,250 at Christie’s New York on June 23.

The front cover of the Cosway binding of Picturesque Tour along the River Ganges and Jumna in India, in which a dozen small miniatures surround the principal architectural view. Courtesy of Sotheby’s.

The twenty-four hand-colored aquatints after Forrest that illustrate this Ackermann publication of 1824 are regarded by some as the finest Indian views by an amateur artist. The exquisite palace that the Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan built at Agra in memory of the beloved wife he called Mumtaz Mahal, the Jewel of the Palace, is also principal of three oval miniatures on the lower cover of the luxuriously bound copy of Forrest’s work that Sotheby’s sold as part of the Safra collection of Cosway bindings (noted previously).

Keeping Score

Athletic vs. Atlantic, the first printed baseball scorecard, $36,000 at Swann Galleries of New York on September 15.

An early printed baseball scorecard at Swann’s brought in a surprising $36,000. Courtesy of Swann Galleries.

Partially completed in pencil, this card dates from the days before organized leagues and overt professionalism, though top-level players such as those involved in this ‘Great Game for the Championship of the United States’ were already sharing gate receipts.

Some thirty thousand sports fans came to see this 1866 game between the Athletlic Club of Philadelphia and Brooklyn’s Atlantic Club, in which the Athletics scored two runs in the top of the first inning before the surging crowd—far too many to be accommodated at the rather primitive venue—caused the game to be cancelled in the bottom half of the inning, as reflected on this card.

The card was one of the successes of the first of three sales planned for the dispersal of ‘How History Unfolds on Paper,’ a vast collection of books, manuscripts, autographs, photographs, broadsides, and ephemera that Eric C. Caren has spent years building and revising—and one in which he set himself the surely impossible aim of acquiring a representative document from every important even in modern history.

Franklin on Inoculation

Benjamin Franklin & William Heberden, Some Account of the Success of Inoculation for the Small-Pox in England and America, $15,600 at Swann Galleries of New York on October 17.

The title page of Benjamin Franklin’s book about small pox inoculation. Courtesy of Swann Galleries.

Franklin had once actively opposed inoculation, but the tragic death of his son in 1736 helped change his mind, and he went on to become one of its strongest advocates. Published in 1759, this statistical account of smallpox inoculation in Boston during a 1753-54 epidemic, showing the beneficial results, was written in collaboration with Heberden, who added the “Plain Instructions by which any Person may be enabled the Operation, and conduct the Patient through the Distemper.”

A sometime deaccessioned duplicate from the library of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, it bore their embossed stamp and bookplate.

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Derek HayesIan McKay’s weekly column in Antiques Trade Gazette has been running for more than 30 years.