Press Releases

Science Stands Out at Skinner’s Fine Books & Manuscripts Auction

Courtesy of Skinner Inc.

Newton, Sir Isaac (1643-1727) Opticks: or a Treatise of the Reflexions, Refractions, Inflexions and Colours of Light. Sold for: $43,050.

Marlborough, MA — Skinner’s Fine Books & Manuscripts online auction featured great returns for material related to the sciences. Important landmarks in the history of science have performed well consistently for decades.

A collection carefully culled from the inventory of Dr. Adrian Pollock, a prominent London bookseller in the 1970s, is especially appealing now. Dr. Pollock kept all of his correspondence regarding his book purchases, and several letters regarding Newton’s Opticks are especially interesting. Dawson had a different copy of the same edition of the book in lesser condition (later binding, trimmed down, etc.) that was priced considerably less; by more than $1,000, but Dr. Pollock chose to buy the better and more expensive copy. His choice was vindicated by the auction result: His first edition Newton’s Opticks from 1703 sold for $43,050.

Dr. Pollock’s rare book collection also featured an author’s presentation copy of Voltaire’s Elemens de la Philosophie de Neuton given by Voltaire to Newton’s personal physician, William Cheselden went for $27,060; a 1613 edition of Galileo’s work on sunspots, Istoria e Dimostrazione sold for $24,600; Newton’s work on The Method of Fluxions from 1736 garnered a bid of $13,530; and a second edition of his Principia sold for $12,300.

Not to be outdone, a large signed portrait photograph of Marie Curie, a prized piece which rarely appears on the market, earned a winning bid of $28,290.

Informed collectors who understand the value of condition and are willing to pay more for a better copy are rewarded with a book that will build in its desirability as time goes on.

Overall, for both bidders and consignors, the auction was a success. Skinner is currently accepting consignments of good books in great condition. Please contact department specialist, Devon Eastland at books@skinnerinc.com or phone 508-970-3293 to discuss important books or collections.

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“Gone With the Wind” Deluxe-bound Shooting Script up for Auction

Courtesy of RR Auction

A deluxe-bound Gone With the Wind shooting script presented to Leslie Howard by David O. Selznick.

Boston — A deluxe-bound ‘Gone With the Wind’ shooting script presented to Leslie Howard by David O. Selznick will be auctioned by Boston-based RR Auction.

The final shooting script for the classic 1939 Selznick International film Gone With the Wind, richly custom-bound in full maroon morocco by producer David O. Selznick and presented to actor Leslie Howard as a Christmas gift following the release of the movie.

The front cover and spine are beautifully gilt-stamped, "Gone With the Wind, Screen Play," with the recipient's name stamped at the bottom right of the front cover, "Leslie Howard." Perfectly signed and inscribed on the first free end page in fountain pen, "For Leslie—with the fond (but probably futile) hope that he'll finally read it! David S., Xmas, 1939."

The volume totals 273 pages with gilt top edges, comprising the 256-page script, original yellow Selznick International wrappers, actor and staff credit pages, endpapers, and eight pages with affixed glossy stills from the film bound in.

When Gone With the Wind finished filming, and indeed as each person finished their respective employment as production progressed, David O. Selznick collected and destroyed the shooting scripts for reasons of secrecy.

Following the film's Atlanta premiere on December 15, 1939—just in time for Christmas—Selznick personally inscribed and signed specially bound copies of the final GWTW shooting script and presented them to a certain number of cast, crew, and associates. His pithy and perfectly in-context inscriptions in these prized scripts add an exceptional dimension—in this instance he refers to the fact that Leslie Howard apparently never read Margaret Mitchell's book or the full script, learning only the lines necessary for his portrayal of the weak-willed Ashley Wilkes. Howard did not want the role, but was persuaded by Selznick to take it when he was also offered the Associate Producer position on Intermezzo in which he starred with Ingrid Bergman, shooting some of that film at the same time as GWTW. Howard also received the highest rate of any of the GWTW stars at $7,500 per week. It was Howard's last American film, and he was the only actor not to attend the Atlanta premiere (director Victor Fleming did not either, due to a falling out with Selznick). Howard instead returned to Britain to help with the effort in World War II, and he was killed when his plane was shot down during a diplomatic mission in 1943.

While most of these scripts were specially bound in maroon cloth and leather, a select handful of recipients—including stars Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Leslie Howard, and Olivia de Havilland—received deluxe full leather bindings. The script presented to Olivia de Havilland appeared at auction in 1997, where it achieved a $40,250 result; a year earlier, Clark Gable's deluxe script achieved the remarkable price of $244,500.

“It’s an exceptional, one-of-a-kind star script from one of Hollywood’s iconic films, which celebrates its 80th anniversary this year,” said Bobby Livingston, Executive VP at RR Auction.

Among other related lots is signed material from Leslie Howard, Vivien Leigh, Hattie McDaniel, and Ona Munson.

The sale also features the remarkable collection of Old Tucson Studios founder Robert Shelton—from props and costumes seen in classic Westerns to a rifle given to him by John Wayne, Shelton's Old Tucson artifacts represent a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for collectors to obtain true relics of Hollywood's Old West.

Other highlights in the auction include an incredible in-person collection of 20,000+ signatures, extraordinary pieces of original animation art from Walt Disney Studios, an elegant velvet belt worn by Marilyn Monroe, and a huge assortment of signed scripts, ranging from old-time films to modern-day TV sitcoms.

The Hollywood auction featuring The Robert Shelton Old Tucson Studios Collection from RR Auction will conclude on May 23. More details can be found online at www.rrauction.com.  

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Leonard Cohen’s Letters to his Muse Head to Auction

Courtesy of Christie's

A selection of Leonard Cohen's letters to his muse, Marianne.

New York — This June 5-13 Christie’s will bring to auction a superb and largely unknown archive of over 50 letters from the acclaimed Canadian poet, singer-songwriter, and novelist Leonard Cohen (1934-2016) to his most famous muse, the inspiration for the song "So Long, Marianne," Marianne Ihlen. Postmarked from Hydra, Montreal, New York, Tel Aviv, and Havana, and written during pivotal years in Cohen's career, these poetic letters brim with both biographical detail and raw emotion, documenting one of the most captivating love affairs of its time as well as the transformation of a young man into a great artist. Highlights from the sale include a letter written in Tel Aviv in September 1960 at the start of their relationship where Cohen writes “It’s hard to write you. The surf is too loud. The beach is too crowded, and you’re too much in my heart to put anything down” (estimate: $6,000-9,000), a cracked bronze bell from Marianne & Leonard's home in Hydra that recalls lyrics from his song “Anthem” (estimate: $8,000-12,000) and an autograph letter from February 1967 after his first major performance in New York. Cohen describes in the letter that he “sang in New York for the first time last night, at a huge benefit concert. Every singer you’ve ever heard of was there performing. Judy Collins introduced me to the audience, over 3000 people, and they seemed to know who I was, mostly because of ‘Suzanne” (estimate: $8,000-12,000). Estimates range from $300-$12,000 and registration is open starting Tuesday, May 21.

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The Folio Society Publishes Gene Wolfe’s "The Book of the New Sun”

London — Gene Wolfe’s epic The Book of the New Sun is one of the great literary masterpieces of speculative fiction. Such a remarkable and multi-faceted work, often described as ‘the Ulysses of fantasy’, demanded Folio’s most lavish treatment: a fully illustrated limited edition. Our art director and editorial team worked with the author who approved each stage of illustration and production.

The strictly limited 750 hand numbered sets feature an exclusive limitation page signed by Gene Wolfe, Neil Gaiman and Sam Weber.

Courtesy of the Folio Society

The Folio Society's new edition of Gene Wolfe's The Book of the New Sun, with an introduction by Neil Gaiman.

Each of the four volumes, in a single handmade slipcase, features a striking binding design by award-winning illustrator Sam Weber, who has also created an extraordinary sequence of haunting artworks, including double-page spreads and hand-drawn decorative initial letters at the start of each chapter.This edition includes a new introduction by modern master of fantasy and life-long fan of Wolfe, Neil Gaiman.

This masterpiece of speculative fiction tells the story of Severian, a young torturer just learning his trade, who makes the mistake of falling in love with one of his victims. Unable to bear the sight of her pain, he offers his love the mercy of a sharp blade, and for this crime he is exiled from his home.

He is ordered to travel to the distant city of Thrax, there to take up the position of Executioner, but the journey will be longer and stranger than he can imagine. On the road Severian finds new friends and enemies, and discovers a strange jewel that seems to command power over life and death – a power that others will kill to obtain...

Product information
Limited to 750 numbered copies signed by Gene Wolfe, Neil Gaiman and Sam Weber • UK £395 US $595 Can $795 Aus $880

Rare Bond Titles Lead Literature at Swann

Courtesy of Swann Auction Galleries

Ian Fleming, Goldfinger, first edition, inscribed to Sir Henry Cotton, MBE, London, 1959. Sold for $25,000.

New York – “The enduring appeal of inscribed first editions, particularly those with a significant associations, was on full display and resulted in a number of high prices, including several records,” said John D. Larson, specialist for Swann Galleries’ 19th & 20th Century Literature sale on Tuesday, May 14.

Ian Fleming’s James Bond was the star of the sale with four first editions ranking among the top ten lots: Goldfinger, 1959, led the sale at $25,000, and featured an inscription to Sir Henry Cotton, MBE–three-time winner of The Open Championship–recommending a particular golf scene in the book; Fleming’s first Bond novel, Casino Royale, 1953, in the first state dust jacket earned $18,750; a presentation copy of Thunderball, 1961, inscribed to Charles Douglas Jackson, a friend of Fleming’s who was posthumously revealed to be a CIA agent, brought $16,250; and the rarest Bond title, The Man with the Golden Gun, 1965, with the gilt gun stamped on the front cover, earned $11,050.

Auction records were set for several titles by Edgar Rice Burroughs with an inscribed first edition of Tarzan the Invincible, 1931, at $3,500, and a signed first edition, presentation copy of At the Earth’s Core, 1922, at $3,750. Further genre works of note featured a first edition in the unrestored dust jacket of Hugo Gernsback’s foundational science-fiction classic Ralph 124C 41+. A Romance of the Year 2660, 1925, which earned $9,375.

Firsts at auction included first American editions, in original dust jackets, of Gaston Leroux’s The Phantom of the Opera, 1911, at $12,500 and Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows, 1908, at $3,500.

A scarce presentation copy of Security Analysis, 1934, inscribed to a Wall Street trader was won for $20,000. The first edition is likely the first known to bear the signature of its principal author, Benjamin Graham.

Nineteenth-century titles included the first American edition of Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, 1885 ($7,500); first editions, first issues of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, 1892, and The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, 1894 ($3,250); and a signed author’s edition of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, 1876 ($4,500). Ralph Waldo Emerson’s copy of the reconstituted issue of the Transcendentalist periodical The Dial: A magazine for Literature, Philosophy, and Religion, 1860, with notations in Emerson’s hand, brought a record for the work at $3,250. 

Swann Galleries is currently accepting consignments for fall 2019 auctions of Books & Manuscripts. Visit swanngalleries.com or download the Swann Galleries App for catalogues, bidding and inquires.

Additional highlights can be found here.

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Landmark Offering of Proof-State Map of the Colonies at Swann Galleries

Courtesy of Swann Auction Galleries

Lewis Evans, A General Map of the Middle British Colonies in America, proof copy, annotated, signed & dated by Evans, Philadelphia, May 2, 1755. Estimate $30,000 to $50,000.

New York — An exceptional offering of cartography forms the cornerstone of the Thursday, June 6 sale of Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books at Swann Galleries. Highlights include a historic early draft of a pioneering eighteenth-century map, as well as important works on botany and anthropology.

Lewis Evans' General Map of the Middle British Colonies in America, 1755, was one of the most influential maps published in Colonial America, describing the land to the West of the British territory, into Ohio, with new information. The map was so popular that it was translated into numerous languages throughout the remainder of the eighteenth century. The house is poised to offer a rare look into Evans' decision-making process and creation of the historic map with a working proof signed and dated by Evans May 2, 1755­–just 53 days before the map was finished and ready for official production. The present iteration features the cartography of the land, but the general details are lacking: nearly all the major place names and toponyms seen on the finished map do not appear, though several were added in manuscript by Evans. "This is the kind of item one thinks to be impossible, or at least improbably to survive modern times, but has had the good fortune to surface," said Maps & Atlases specialist Caleb Kiffer. The proof copy is expected to bring $30,000 to $50,000.

Other maps of the United States include A. P. Folie's 1792 Plan of the Town of Baltimore and its Environs, published in Philadelphia, an auction debut ($7,000-10,000); an 1828 hand-colored engraved pocket map of Ohio by James Turnbull–the first engraved map published in the state of Ohio ($2,000-3,000); Claud Thomson's 1794 manuscript survey of a vast tract of frontier land in Franklin County, in northeast Georgia with descriptions of the property by Thomson ($2,000-3,000); and Emil B. Fischer's Map of Southwestern Colorado, 1893, a large color-lithographed folding map originally used to locate mines ($2,000-3,000).

A selection of Dutch map publisher Pieter Verbiest’s decorative maps are on offer. Highlights include a richly decorated 1636 double-hemispheric world map featuring agricultural allegories of the four seasons, of which only two copies are recorded, ($10,000-15,000); a 1634 second-state variant carte-a-figures map of Italy; and a first-state variant 1639 map of Spain and Portugal, both are estimated at $3,000 to $5,000.

Additional world cartography of note includes Petrus Plancius' important 1592-94 imprint of the lower portion of the African continent with stunning decorations of fanciful beasts and sea monsters ($3,000-5,000). The work comes from a rare series of separately published charts describing the coastlines of the world beyond Europe by Cornelis Claesz.

Jacob Robyn's 1860 English edition of Arent Roggeveen's atlas of coastal charts relating to the New World is present at $20,000 to $30,000. Nicolas Visscher’s Atlas Minor Sive Geographia Compendiosa, Amsterdam, circa 1700 ($7,000-10,000); Robert de Vaugondy, Gilles and Didier’s Atlas Universel, Paris, 1757 ($6,000-9,000); and Antonio García y Cubas’ Atlas Geográfico, Estadístico é Histrórico de la República Mexicana, Mexico, 1858 ($4,000-6,000), ensure a standout presentation of atlases.

George Catlin's North American Indian Portfolio, London, 1844, leads a run of color plate books at $30,000 to $50,000. The work includes 25 tinted lithographed plates by Day & Haghe and features scenes of the Native American people seen during Catlin’s travels through the Great Plains during the 1830s. Also of note is Victoria Regia; or the Great Water Lily of America, Boston, 1854, by John Fisk Allen and William Sharp, with six chromolithographed plates ($15,000-20,000), and a complete run of The Botanical Magazine; or Flower Garden Displayed, London, 1787-1827, by William Curtis, with nearly 3,000 hand-colored engraved plates offered together with Lectures on Botany; Lectures on Various Subjects and Practical Observations on the British Grasses ($7,000-10,000). 

Exhibition opening in New York City June 1. The complete catalogue and bidding information is available at swanngalleries.com and on the Swann Galleries App.

Additional highlights can be found here.

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Library of Congress Acquires Papers of Classical Soprano Jessye Norman

Washington, D.C. — World renowned opera singer and recitalist Jessye Norman has donated thousands of items documenting her illustrious 50-year career to the Library of Congress. The acquisition was announced on Thursday evening during a conversation with the celebrated soprano in the Coolidge Auditorium before an enthusiastic crowd. The audience listened to Norman discuss her decades-long career, her role as a trailblazer in classical music and her passion for mentoring young artists. The program was part of the Music Division’s “Concerts from the Library of Congress” series.

The collection of about 29,000 items consists of musical arrangements written specifically for Norman, including orchestrations of songs by George and Ira Gershwin and the sacred music of Duke Ellington; business papers related to Norman’s opera and concert performances; publicity materials; concert and opera programs; mockups of album art work; fan mail; recordings; and professional and amateur photographs, providing a visual record of her legacy as a performer.

The collection also contains correspondence, schedules and itineraries dating from Norman’s early operatic career in Europe, through her debut at the Metropolitan Opera, to her unforgettable performance at the 1996 Olympic Summer Games and recent advocacy work with young people. Rarely seen materials include correspondence regarding projects that were never fully developed.

“Jessye Norman is one of the most iconic opera singers of the 20th century,” said Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden. “She not only produces a beautiful, acoustically rich sound, but also conveys artistic depth through both the poetry and musical phrasing. Her understanding of vocal artistry places her among the most recognized and revered sopranos in the world. We are pleased that this legendary performer’s papers will join the Library’s unparalleled musical arts collections.”

“When a freshman at Howard University, having found my way to the Library of Congress and the vast, wonderfully welcoming reading room where it was possible to study in peace, I could never have imagined that years later this august building would store papers from my professional life, which at that time, was not imaginable either,” Norman said. “I am honored beyond words to express my depth of feeling, so I will simply thank you.”

The collection chronicles Norman’s early career as a changemaker. She had the courage and foresight to delay accepting more dramatic singing roles in order to nurture her developing voice, instead dedicating herself to recital performances for many of her formative years. She later tackled roles featuring more emotionally complex characters, becoming the catalyst for the revival of challenging operatic works such as Schoenberg’s one-woman opera “Erwartung.” Norman orchestrated her career like a maestro and charted her own course of excellence with her incomparable voice and artistry.

Raised in Augusta, Georgia, her childhood affinity for reading, science and music gave her the foundation for an international career as a classical singer. Although her career has taken her around the globe, she remains active in her hometown of Augusta with the Jessye Norman School of the Arts, an after-school arts education program for middle-and-high school students.

Norman is a five-time Grammy winner, which includes the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. She has received numerous awards, including the Kennedy Center Honors, the National Medal of Arts, the Glenn Gould Prize for Music and more than 40 honorary doctorates. 

The Jessye Norman Papers will complement the Library’s existing collections of legendary classical artists, including Leonard Bernstein, Jascha Heifetz and Beverly Sills. The collection will be available to researchers, scholars and opera enthusiasts in the Library’s Performing Arts Reading Room. 

The Library’s unparalleled music holdings include manuscript and printed scores, in addition to correspondence, photographs, financial and legal papers, sound recordings, books, librettos, music-related periodicals and microforms and musical instruments. The Library’s music manuscript holdings include those of European masters such as Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Liszt and Mozart, and those of American masters such as Aaron Copland, Samuel Barber, Leonard Bernstein, George Gershwin and Charles Mingus. The Alan Lomax collection of field recordings of American roots music, Woody Guthrie’s original recordings and manuscripts, and one-of-a-kind recordings of bluesman Robert Johnson from the 1930s are also among the Library’s musical treasures. More information about the division’s holdings of music, theater and dance can be found at loc.gov/rr/perform/.

The Library is inviting visitors to Explore America’s Changemakers through a series of exhibitions, events and programs. Exhibitions drawing from the Library’s collections will also explore Rosa Parks’ groundbreaking role in civil rights history and artists’ responses to major issues of the day. Other events throughout 2019 will explore changemakers through music, performances and public programs.

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Frazetta’s “Egyptian Queen” Sets $5.4-Million World Record at Heritage Auctions

Courtesy of Heritage Auctions, HA.com

The 1969 fantasy painting Egyptian Queen, one of the most legendary artworks by famed artist Frank Frazetta, sold for a world record $5.4 million.

Dallas, TX – The 1969 fantasy painting Egyptian Queen, one of the most legendary artworks by famed artist Frank Frazetta, sold for a world record $5.4 million Thursday, May 16, at a public auction of vintage comic books and comic art held by Heritage Auctions in Chicago, Illinois.

The painting bests the world record as the most expensive piece of original comic book art ever sold at public auction. The previous record was the $1.79 million paid for Frazetta’s Death Dealer 6, 1990, which was set by Heritage in May 2018.

The masterpiece is credited more than any other with revolutionizing fantasy illustration in American art. Egyptian Queen first appeared in print as the cover for Eerie magazine #23 in mid-1969, and as multiple prints and posters over subsequent decades.

The winning bidder does not wish to be identified at this time.
 
The painting has been in the possession of Frazetta’s family ever since it was created 50 years ago, and Thursday was the first time it was made available for private ownership in Heritage Auctions’ Comics & Comic Art Auction. In addition to a world record, the painting also set a house record as the most expensive item ever sold by Heritage Auctions, surpassing a luxury Dallas estate, which closed for $4.95 million in 2016.
 
“This result elevates Frank Frazetta’s art into the stratosphere of visual narrative art on a par with the likes of Norman Rockwell, Maxfield Parrish and other luminaries,” Heritage Auctions Vice President Todd Hignite said.

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Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction to be Awarded to Richard Ford

Photo credit: Karen Robinson, Eyevine

Richard Ford will be awarded the Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction.

Washington, D.C. -- Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden announced today that Richard Ford, author of Independence Day – the first novel to win both the Pulitzer Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award – will receive the Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction during the 2019 Library of Congress National Book Festival on Aug. 31.

“He has been called our Babe Ruth of novelists, and there is good reason why,” Hayden said, announcing the prize. “He is quintessentially American, profoundly humane, meticulous in his craft, daring on the field, and he hits it consistently out of the park. We are proud to confer the Library’s lifetime award for fiction on this luminous storyteller – one of the most eloquent writers of his generation – Richard Ford.”

Hayden selected Ford as this year’s winner based on nominations from more than 60 distinguished literary figures, including former winners of the prize, acclaimed authors and literary critics from around the world. The prize ceremony will take place during the National Book Festival at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.

One of the Library’s most prestigious awards, the annual Prize for American Fiction honors an American literary writer whose body of work is distinguished not only for its mastery of the art but also for its originality of thought and imagination. The award seeks to commend strong, unique, enduring voices that – throughout long, consistently accomplished careers – have told us something essential about the American experience.

“The good fortune of being given this prize – even apart from its private encouragement – is to be allowed to participate in what I’ve always taken to be the Library's great achievement: to encourage literacy, to advocate for the primacy of the literary arts and to draw closer to the needs of readers,” Ford said. “The Library of Congress' Prize for American Fiction makes me feel – accurately or not – what most novelists would like to feel, which is useful to our country's conversation with the world.”

Ford was born in 1944 in Jackson, Mississippi, and grew up between there and Little Rock, Arkansas. He earned degrees from Michigan State University and the University of California, Irvine, where he studied under 2014 Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction winner E.L. Doctorow. Ford’s seven novels include “The Sportswriter,” the first of the Bascombe Trilogy, and “Canada,” winner of the Prix Femina étranger. He has also published three short story collections, as well as the New York Times bestselling novella collection “Let Me Be Frank with You” and a memoir, “Between Them: Remembering My Parents.” Although they deal with deeply American subjects, his books are read in 35 foreign languages.

Ford’s many honors include the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Fiction, the Siegfried Lenz Prize, the Premio la Lettura, the Princess of Asturias Award for Literature, the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award for fiction and the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in the Short Story, as well as fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Ford is the Mellon Professor and Emmanuel Roman and Barrie Sardoff Roman Professor in the Humanities at Columbia University. Ford lives in Boothbay, Maine with his wife, Kristina Ford.

For more information on the prize, including previous winners, visit loc.gov/about/awards-and-honors/fiction-prize/.

 

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Books, Manuscripts, and Americana at Christie’s on June 12

Courtesy of Christie's

CRICK, Francis H.C. (1916-2004) and WATSON, James D. (b.1928). Galley proof signed ("Francis Crick" and "James D. Watson") with two annotations. "Molecular structure of nucleic acids: A structure for deoxyribose nucleic acid." Nature 171 (1953): 737-738. Estimate: $180,000-220,000

New York – This June 12th, Christie’s Books & Manuscripts department will be presenting two live sales: The Birth of Modern Business: Luca Pacioli’s Summa de Arithmetica (estimate: $1,000,000-1,500,000), a stand-alone sale of the original how-to guide for business and a various owner sale of Fine Printed Books & Manuscripts Including Americana. The latter includes over 200 objects ranging from early printed books to 20th-century manuscripts. The public view will open in Christie’s Rockefeller galleries in New York from Friday June 7th to Tuesday June 11th.

Fine Printed Books & Manuscripts Including Americana | Live Auction | 12 June
 
A notable highlight of the June auction is a group of Letters from Benjamin Franklin to Henry Homes, Lord Kames. This important series of letters were written between 1760 and 1775 from Franklin, "the First American," to Henry Home, Lord Kames (1696-1782), a key figure in the Scottish Enlightenment. The correspondence chronicles Franklin's transformation from a champion of the British Empire to an advocate for American liberty and independence. Another highlight is a three-page letter from George Washington to Major General Daniel Morgan from 1794 that is a strongly worded expression of Washington's deepening concern over the spread of the so-called Whiskey Rebellion (estimate: $100,000-150,000). These are two of the many highlights of the Roger D. Judd Collection of Historical Letters, Documents, and Manuscripts. The collection features additionally important letters and documents by a diverse range of personalities including Ferdinand and Isabella, Henry VIII, Elizabeth I, Hernando Cortes, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, Robert E. Lee, "Stonewall" Jackson, George Armstrong Custer, Mark Twain, Edgar Allan Poe, Dwight Eisenhower, and Ronald Reagan.
 
The auction also features important scientific properties including the original, signed galley proofs of Francis Crick and James Watson’s articles on DNA: “Molecular Structure of Nucleic Acids” and “Genetical Implications of the Structure of Deoxyribonucleic Acid” (estimate: $180,000-220,000), marking the first time their pioneering work on "the secret of life" ever appeared in print; this is the only known prepublication copy of Watson & Crick's momentous 1953 paper. Also of interest are a series fresh-to-market Albert Einstein correspondences including a series of letters written to Antonia Stern, the daughter of his close friend, historian Alfred Stern, including letters alluding to a romantic affair between the two in the early 1930s and correspondence between Einstein and Paul Epstein, a theoretical physicist at Caltech, with important letters expressing his discomfort with the implications of quantum theory: "In other words, God tirelessly plays dice under laws which he has himself prescribed." In a third collection of letters, written to a young physics student, Einstein takes further jabs at quantum theory, describing it as "concocted of incoherent elements of thought". To round off the scientific offerings, there is a unique hand-painted globe that portrays an early theory of life on the planet mars by made by the Danish female astronomer Emmy Ingeborg Brun (estimate: $30,000 - 50,000).
 
Literary highlights lead off with Edgar Allan Poe’s gold pocket watch (estimate: $80,000 - 120,000) bearing his engraved name within; Philip Roth’s IBM Selectric typewriter; important correspondences from J.D. Salinger and Margaret Mitchell and others. The sale also includes a superb selection of color-plate books covering subjects ranging from natural history to military uniforms.

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