Courtesy of Sotheby's

Henri Matisse’s groundbreaking artist book, Jazz, offered October 22.

New York – Sotheby’s is honored to announce that we will auction 1,000+ works from the collection of the late American businessman and philanthropist Ira A. Lipman and his wife Barbara K. Lipman.

Works from the Lipman Collection spanning fine art, jewelry, watches, books and manuscripts, decorative arts and more will be sold throughout a series of auctions across fall 2020 and spring 2021. The sales begin this month in New York with important works from Lipman’s extensive collection of prints and editions: Henri Matisse’s Jazz, one of the most important art books of the 20th century, will highlight the Important Prints & Multiples Evening Sale on 22 October, while a rare group of prints by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec known as his Elles series will feature in the livestreamed Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale on 28 October.
 
Sotheby’s will also present a dedicated online auction of prints from the Lipman Collection this November, and a dedicated sale of Lipman’s remarkable collection of printed and manuscript Americana, which will highlight our Americana Week sales in January 2021.

IMPORTANT PRINTS & MULTIPLES EVENING SALE
22 October 2020
 
Sotheby’s offerings from the Lipman Collection begin with a complete edition of Henri Matisse’s Jazz from 1947 – one of the most seminal and groundbreaking artist books of the 20th century (estimate $400/600,000). While living in Venice from 1943-44, Matisse was unable to paint or draw as freely as he once had due to his ailing health, and consequently returned to the cut-out technique he developed years prior, in preparation for his iconic mural commissioned for the Barnes Foundation in Pennsylvania. Dubbing the process as ‘drawing with scissors’, the artist used large shears to create cut-outs, which became a new medium unto themselves and laid the groundwork for a new chapter of his artistic output that would define his later career.

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Courtesy of Hindman Auctions

The Kelmscott Chaucer in a fine twentieth-century vellum binding by Peter Franck realized $75,000.

Chicago – Hindman's auction of The Library of Gerald and Barbara Weiner realized more than $1.2M, achieving a strong sell-through rate of 87%. Following the success of a record-setting 2019 for the Books and Manuscripts department, this auction once again exceeded expectations.

“We are proud to have had the opportunity to handle this fine collection.  A diverse group of books and manuscripts found very strong results in last week’s sale, a sign of the strength of the auction market in the category” said Gretchen Hause, Hindman’s Director and Senior Specialist in Fine Books and Manuscripts.

The auction was led by a first edition of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species (lot 40), which sold for $112,500 against a presale estimate of $60,000-80,000.  The copy contained an autographed note, signed by Darwin in the third person to an unnamed recipient. Hindman has continued to see enormous success for Darwin’s works after setting the world auction record for the very fine Mellon-Garden copy of the Origin, sold in 2019.

Highlights include a copy of William Shakespeare’s Fourth Folio and a copy of the Kelmscott Press’s Works of Geoffrey Chaucer. The Fourth Folio (lot 209), printed in 1685, was the last edition of Shakespeare’s plays published in the 17th century. Estimated at $60,000-80,000 the work sold for $81,250. The Kelmscott Chaucer (lot 69), the supreme achievement of the Kelmscott Press, in a fine 20th-century vellum binding by Peter Franck, commissioned by Philip Duschnes, realized $75,000 against a presale estimate of $60,000-80,000.

Another highlight was an autographed letter from J.R.R. Tolkien to George Sayer regarding the manuscript and publication of The Lord of the Rings (lot 222). Tolkien requests that Sayer return his copy of the manuscript and describes George Allen & Unwin’s desire to publish the work after it had been rejected by nearly every major British publisher, including Tolkien’s own publisher, Collins. The letter reads in part, “Can you still put me up?...I could come any time after the 18th that is suitable to you and your wife. The earlier the better for me since G. A. & U. are now clamouring to reconsider the Lord of the Rings, so that the sooner you have finished it – I could not leave you in the middle of the third book for all the publishers in the world, and anyway I greatly desire to hear your opinions at the end – the better for me in that regard.”  The extraordinary letter realized more than seven times its presale estimate, ultimately selling for $35,840 against an estimate of $4,000-6,000.

African Americana, offered in a separate session, performed exceptionally well as demand has continued to rise in this category. A copy of Martin Luther King Jr.’s Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? (lot 266) sold for $8,125 against a presale estimate of $3,000-5,000. This first edition presentation copy was inscribed by King on the front free endpaper. Also highlighted in this session was a typed letter signed from Malcom X to author Alex Haley from 1964 (lot 267), one of a series of responses to the editorial, "The Lesson of Malcolm X" published by the Saturday Evening Post on September 12, 1964.

The Fine Books and Manuscripts Including Americana auction was held at Hindman’s Chicago saleroom on October 8, 2020 with bidders participating by absentee, telephone and four online bidding platforms. The department will hold their final sale of 2020 in two sessions, on November 12-13, at Hindman’s Chicago saleroom.  The first session of the auction features fine selections of incunabula, Renaissance printing, literature, and printed and manuscript Americana including American prints. The second session, to be held Friday November 13th, includes a fine selection of livres d’artiste, and features the fine Edward Gorey collection of Thomas J. Barrett.

Hindman is now welcoming consignments for the department’s spring auctions. For more details and to see full results for the auction, please visit HindmanAuctions.com.

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Courtesy of Boston Virtual Book Fair

Boston – The first-ever Boston Virtual Book Fair, to be held November 12-14, 2020, will launch with an all-day Paid Preview on Thursday, November 12. Online programming on Friday and Saturday, November 13 and 14, will feature curator Marylène Altieri exploring the culinary collection at Harvard’s Schlesinger Library, including the papers of famed chef Julia Child; Nicole Aljoe, director of the Africana Studies Program at Northeastern University, sharing her latest research around a recently discovered mysterious 19th century text by Chloe Russell, “A Woman of Color of the state of Massachusetts, also commonly termed the Old Witch, or Black Interpreter” at the Boston Athenaeum; Boston-based scholars/curators Allison Lange and Theo Tyson discussing the Women’s Suffrage Movement from the perspective of its visual representation; and The Ticknor Society’s popular Collectors’ Roundtable.

The 44th Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair (reimagined as the Boston Virtual Book Fair in 2020) is the annual fall gathering for book lovers and collectors, featuring the top selection of items available on the international literary market. Hosted by the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America and the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers, this three-day virtual marketplace will feature 150+ booksellers from around the globe!   
 
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 12
 
11AM-7PM EST  Paid Preview, Tickets are $50. Available at www.abaa.org/vbf.
 
Be the first to browse and shop 150+ dealers at the Boston Virtual Book Fair. An alluring treasure trove awaits seasoned collectors as well as new visitors. The event will showcase the finest in rare and valuable books, illuminated manuscripts, autographs, ephemera, political and historic documents, maps, atlases, photographs, fine and decorative prints, and much more.
 
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 13
 
1PM EST: Julia Child and Company: Culinary Delights at the Schlesinger Library

Marylène Altieri, Curator of Published and Printed Materials
Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America,
Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
 
Julia Child’s voluminous and fascinating papers are just one of several collections of prominent women in the world of food at the Schlesinger Library. Their papers are nestled in comprehensive collections of cookbooks, culinary periodicals, product pamphlets, and menus that give depth and context to the record of their achievements. Schlesinger’s broader mission to document the lives of women in America further enhances their meaning and provides researchers with unparalleled resources. Marylène will introduce you to the range of these materials, with perhaps some timely recipes thrown in!
 
3PM EST: The Curious Case of Chloe Russell’s “The Complete Fortune Teller and Dream Book”
 
Nicole N. Aljoe, PhD
Director of Africana Studies Program, Department of Cultures, Societies, & Global Studies
Associate Professor of English & Africana Studies, Northeastern University
 
This talk will explore an intriguing text held in the Boston Athenaeum. Titled The Complete Fortune Teller and Dream Book, it purports to be written by Chloe Russell, “A Woman of Color of the state of Massachusetts, also commonly termed the Old Witch, or Black Interpreter.” Dated around the turn of the 19th century, the text is a puzzle for scholars. Russell is documented as owning a home in Boston’s West End and was alternatively listed as a washerwoman and cook; she is not now known to have written anything else. The text itself, an interesting compilation of astrology and superstitions around choosing a mate, might have been reprinted from elsewhere. The talk will share some of the unique aspects of this surprising text that facilitate speculation about its possible occasion for publication.
 
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 14
 
1PM EST: Historical Artifacts and the Myths of the Women’s Voting Rights Movement
 
Dr. Allison Lange
Associate Professor of History, Wentworth Institute of Technology, Boston
Curator of the suffrage exhibitions at Massachusetts Historical Society and Schlesinger Library
                                                          
Theo Tyson
Polly Thayer Starr Fellow in American Art and Culture at the Boston Athenaeum
Curator of the (Anti)Suffrage exhibition
 
Dr. Lange and Theo Tyson will discuss the Women’s Suffrage Movement from the perspective of its visual representation, from books and prints to books, posters and photographs. The discussion explores the ways that historical artifacts established many of the popular myths of the women’s suffrage movement, many created by the activists themselves.  
 
3PM EST: The Ticknor Society Collectors’ Roundtable

The Ticknor Society sponsors an annual roundtable of collectors at the Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair, and this year’s participants include Heather O’Donnell (founder of Honey & Wax Booksellers of Brooklyn), Erika Hapke (Bernett Pinka Rare Books of Boston), and Peter X. Accardo (Programs and Public Service Librarian, Houghton Library).

 
ABOUT THE FAIR
 
The 2020 Boston Virtual Book Fair kicks off with an all-day Paid Preview on Thursday, November 12, 11AM-7PM, and requires purchase of a $50.00 ticket. It will be an exclusive opportunity to get a first look at items for sale. The Fair opens, free to the public, at 11AM on November 13 and will run 24 hours a day online at abaa.org/vbf until November 14 at 7PM. For more information and tickets for the Paid Preview, visit abaa.org/vbf.
 
Collectors can virtually peruse the booths of every exhibitor in the Fair or quickly visit their favorite dealers, hosted in an easy-to-navigate online version of the traditional book fair booth. A search feature allows visitors to quickly browse by category, dealer, or keyword—with each item featuring a brief description, condition, and price—and they can contact dealers directly to learn more about the items for sale. Each exhibitor will showcase up to 50 of their most interesting and significant pieces, creating a remarkable and diverse selection of items from around the world. Fresh items will be available throughout the weekend as dealers continually restock their virtual booths.
 
Whether just browsing or buying, the Fair offers something for every taste and budget—books on art, politics, travel, gastronomy, and science to sport, natural history, literature, fashion, music, and children’s books—all appealing to a range of bibliophiles and browsers. From the historic and academic, to the religious and spiritual, from the exotic to everyday—the Fair has offerings in every conceivable genre and subject. Attendees have the unique chance to view rare and historic museum-quality items, offered by some of the most prestigious participants in the trade.
 
With the Fair hosted completely online, everyone around the globe can attend the Boston Virtual Book Fair, one of the oldest and most respected antiquarian book shows in the U.S.

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Courtesy of Heritage Auctions, HA.com

An inscribed first edition of Earl Derr Biggers' 1925 The House Without a Key sold for $50,000.

Dallas, TX – Heritage Auctions’ Rare Books event, held Oct. 15-16, was an absolute success thanks to one of the most spectacular works of the 16th century and some of the most significant authors of the 20th century. And a few mystery guests even made some noteworthy appearances during the sale.

Over the course of four thrilling sessions spread over two days, almost 1,300 bidders spent $2,287,797 on highly coveted tomes, many of which came from the celebrated assemblage of mystery book publisher, dealer and collector Otto Penzler. Even more books from Penzler’s shelves will be made available during three online sessions to be held Dec. 5-7 – many, from authors seldom seen at auction.

“What we saw during this sale was inspiring,” said James Gannon, Heritage Auctions' Director of Rare Books. “We weren’t necessarily surprised by the results, because a majority of the books in Otto’s collection are the best-known examples in the very best condition with just gorgeous dust jackets. We knew the market was there, based on results from parts I and II of the Penzler sale. But a lot of the authors in this event were relatively new to the auction market – as will many of those to be featured in part IV.”

The Astronomicum Caesareum of Petrus Apianus, dedicated to the Emperor Charles V in 1540, realized $325,000 to become the event’s top lot. This comes as no surprise given its status as “the most spectacular contribution of the book-maker's art to sixteenth-century science,” in the words of Owen Gingerich, Harvard University’s Professor Emeritus of Astronomy.

So few copies of this richly hand-painted folio have survived 480 years, especially in this remarkable condition. And the copy sold Oct. 15 continued to surprise right until it reached the auction block, as experts discovered 29 original silk threads and eight tiny seed pearls, each measuring 1 mm, among the rotating volvelles.

A first edition of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit or There and Back Again from 1937 realized $60,000. Close behind at $55,000 was a first edition of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.

But from Penzler’s collection came some of the event’s biggest surprises and delights.

An inscribed first edition of Earl Derr Biggers' 1925 The House Without a Key – the very first entry in the Charlie Chan mystery series – opened bidding late Friday at $4,600. But bidders fought mightily over this copy, eventually driving its final price up to $50,000, more than 12 times its pre-auction estimate. It wouldn’t be the last time seldom-seen titles from Penzler’s shelves made their mark during this event.

In fact, a short time later there was yet another heated round of bidding over the first-ever mystery novel by Ellery Queen, 1929’s The Roman Hat Murder. This signed first edition opened bidding in the low four figures. But admirers of Frederic Dannay and Manfred Bennington Lee – the writers behind the Queen pseudonym – tussled over the tome until it, too, reached an astonishing realized price of $40,000. A first edition of the very first Nero Wolfe mystery, Rex Stout’s 1934 Fer-De-Lance, wasn’t far behind at $31,250.

A first edition of Queen’s The Egyptian Cross Mystery, published in 1932, sold for $25,000. That was 25 times its original estimate.

But it wasn’t only well-known titles by renowned writers that pushed this event past the $2.2-million mark, For instance, an extraordinarily rare first edition of John Dickson Carr's The Mad Hatter Mystery from 1933 opened bidding at $2,800. But a protracted scramble drove the final price to $17,500, more than 17 times its original estimate.

And on and on the event went – one highlight after another. And it was no mystery why.

“Otto’s name in the industry is as much a mainstay as some of the best-known mystery and detective fiction authors,” said Gannon. “Having something from his personal collection is probably a highlight of many current mystery and detective fiction collectors.”

For a complete list of titles and prices realized from the Oct. 15-16 Rare Books Signature Auction Featuring Otto Penzler Mystery Fiction Part III, register for free at HA.com and see here.

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Courtesy of Bonhams

The Great Voyages - America. Printed in Frankfurt 1590-1592 by Theodor de Bry. Estimate: $30,000-50,000

New York — The American West has long held a grip on the public imagination, and the work that is often credited with first defining the concept; The Yellowstone National Park, and the Mountain Regions of Portions of Idaho, Nevada, Colorado and Utah by the landscape painter Thomas Moran and the pioneering geologist Dr Ferdinand Hayden, leads Bonhams Americana, Travel and Natural History sale on Wednesday October 21 in New York. It is estimated at $150,000-250,000.
 
The work has been described as the greatest American landscape book of the post-civil war era. Its origins lie in an invitation to Moran from Dr Hayden, Director of the US Geological Survey, to accompany him on the 1871 geological survey of the until then unexplored region of Yellowstone. Moran’s astounding collection of paintings made an immediate impact and played an important role in the designation of Yellowstone as America’s first National Park in 1873. Fifteen of the paintings were published as chromolithographed plates by L. Prang & Co. of Boston in 1876 under the title The Yellowstone National Park, and the Mountain Regions of Portions of Idaho, Nevada, Colorado and Utah.
 
Bonhams Director of Books and Manuscripts in New York Ian Ehling said: “Moran and Hayden's masterpiece left an indelible impression, bringing the unique majesty of the West to public attention for the first time. The printing process itself was an immense achievement, involving up to fifty-six layers of carefully registered lithographic stones to create an extraordinary depth of color and adding immeasurably to the overall impact. It is rightly regarded as the pinnacle of the art of chromolithography.”
 
The complete suite of 15 vibrant chromolithographed plates, comprises: Gardiners River Hot Springs * The Great Blue Spring of the Lower Geyser Basin * The Castle Geyser, Upper Geyser Basin * The Lower Yellowstone Range * Yellowstone Lake * Tower Falls and Sulphur Mountain * Head of the Yellowstone River * The Grand Cañon of the Yellowstone * The towers of Tower Falls * The Mountain of the Holy Cross, Colorado * The Mosquito Trail, Rocky Mountains of Colorado * The Summit of the Sierras * The Great Falls of Snake River, Idaho Territory * Valley of the Bubbling Waters, southern Utah * The Great Salt Lake of Utah.
 
The robust Americana section will be followed by the Robert and Alice Piccus Collection of fine maps, and the Robert I Johnson, perhaps the largest private collection of books and on molluscs, including titles seldom found even in research libraries, including
 
Other highlights of the sale include:
 
    •    A Journal of the Overland Route to California! and the Gold Mines by Lorenzo Aldrich. 1818/19-1851. First edition in original wrappers of one of the rarest and most interesting of the overland gold rush journals, being the first printed account of a 49'ers journey, from Albany, through Arizona to San Diego. It was published posthumously in Lansingburgh, just outside Albany, New York, by friends of Aldrich and is based on his diary and notes that he took on his trip across North America and back by ship. Estimate: US$40,000-60,000.
 
    •    The Great Voyages - America. Printed in Frankfurt 1590-1592 by Theodor de Bry. The first Latin edition of the first three part of The Great Voyages by the Dutch engraver and publisher best known for his illustrations and maps for books on European expeditions to the Americans, but who famously himself never travelled to the New World. Estimate: US$30,000-50,000.
 
    •    The Universal Conchologist, by John Martyn, Published in 1784. The “select edition” - one of a few copies for presentation with the plates finely hand-colored by Martyn to resemble original watercolors. It has been described as one of “the most beautiful of all shell books, containing exquisite renderings of shells collected on Cook’s three voyages and on other voyages”. Estimate: US$8,000-12,000.
 
    •    Auserlesne Schnecken, Muscheln und andere Schaalthiere by Franz Michael Regenfuss. The first edition, containing Regenfuss’s spectacular conchological illustrations, is one of the most important shell books. It comes in a splendid contemporary Danish armorial binding with the Royal arms on the sides. Estimate: US$15,000-25,000.

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© 2015 Penguin Random House LLC.

Eric Carle, Illustration for The Nonsense Show. Collection of The Eric and Barbara Carle Foundation.

Amherst, MA -- Inhabit a joyful world where an orange elephant, a fish in a birdcage, and a snake entwined in spaghetti can spark imaginations and inspire giggles. The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art is pleased to explore its co-founder’s innate sense of humor in Eric Carle: Just for Laughs. This new exhibition features comical collages from The Mixed-Up Chameleon (1975), The Grouchy Ladybug (1977), The Greedy Python (1985), The Nonsense Show (2015), and seven other titles. On view for the first time are four of Carle’s amusing illustrations for The Scarecrow Clock (1971), a little known and now out-of-print book, on loan from The Kerlan Collection at the University of Minnesota Libraries. A selection of illustrated letters and thank you notes further reveal Carle’s wit and humor in his personal relationships. Just for Laughs is on view now through February 28, 2021.

Peek into Carle’s creative process with book dummies for The Grouchy Ladybug. Laugh alongside his absurdist illustrations for The Nonsense Show. Dive into Carle’s letters for a glimpse of his mischievous side. Draw funny animals inspired by The Mixed-up Chameleon. Read books under a bright blue “sky” in the gallery’s reading corner.

Carle’s art has always had the propensity to make us laugh. “From the Very Hungry Caterpillar’s tummy ache to the topsy-turvy world in The Nonsense Show, Eric infuses his stories with humor,” says chief curator Ellen Keiter. “Little did we know when we planned this exhibition two years ago how much we would appreciate an excuse to laugh together.”

This exhibition is made possible through the generous support of the Hsin-Yi Foundation.

Eric Carle Just For Laughs
Exhibition artworks from the following books:

The Scarecrow Clock, George Mendoza, 1971
Walter the Baker, 1972
The Mixed-up Chameleon, 1975
The Grouchy Ladybug, 1977
Watch Out! A Giant!, 1978
Twelve Tales from Aesop: Retold and Illustrated, 1980
Otter Nonsense, Norton Juster, 1982
The Greedy Python, 1985
Today is Monday, 1993
The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse, 2011
The Nonsense Show, 2015

When to Visit:
The Museum’s fall hours are Thursday and Friday, 10am-3pm, Saturday 10am-4pm, and Sunday 12pm-4pm. Visitors are encouraged to use the new registration system, choosing a morning or afternoon time slot. (Walk-ins are welcome as space permits.) In order to comply with state guidelines and to offer a safe and comfortable visit, the Museum has a number of new protocols in place:

•   There are capacity limits and new cleaning protocols for Museum spaces. Some areas may require guests to wait in a socially distanced line before entering.  
•   Visitors are required to wear face coverings. Children 2-5 are encouraged to wear face coverings. Children under 2 should not wear face coverings.   
•   All visitors must maintain six feet of distance between Museum staff and guests outside their group. Children must stay with their adult(s) at all times.  
•   The Carle Bookshop is open and offers curbside pickup.
•   The Art Studio is open to the public, but will welcome one family or group at a time. Upon arrival, visitors can sign up at the admissions desk for a specific time. For visitors who don’t take a Studio spot, art activity kits “to go” are available for pick up and can be used in Bobbie’s Meadow or to take home.
•   The Café is closed. Visitors are welcome to picnic in Bobbie’s Meadow, which is in full bloom!

Guests planning to visit should check The Carle's website for additional details and to reserve advance tickets here. Questions about visiting can be sent to info@carlemuseum.org.

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Courtesy of Potter & Potter

William Cullen Bryant's two-volume Picturesque America; Or, the Land we Live in..., sold for $3,360.

Chicago — Potter & Potter Auctions' signature fall event was a best seller in every respect. When the hammer fell for the last time, 98 lots realized $750-2,499; 23 lots scored $2,500-$9,999; and four lots broke the five digit mark. Prices noted include the company's 20% buyer's premium.

Museum quality fine art, paintings, and prints took several of the top lot slots in this exciting sale.   
•    Lot #630, Pablo Picasso's Le Pigeonneau, was estimated at $10,000-15,000 and traded hands at a breathtaking $37,500. This hand colored and signed artist proof from 1939 was printed in Paris by Robert Blanchet and was accompanied by two letters of authenticity.
•    Lot #605, David Hockey's framed Ossie and Mo, was estimated at $1,000-2,000 and made $4,800 - almost five times its low estimate! This signed work was numbered 4/75, printed by Maurice Payne on Chisbrook handmade paper, and published by the Petersburg Press in 1968.
•    Lot #581, William Adolphe Bouguereau's beautifully rendered Study of the Head of a Brunette Woman, delivered $14,400. This signed, pastel on board work included its original Galerie Drouant–David and Galerie Percier Paris gallery tags

Important century and millennium spanning books also generated heated bidding and impressive results.
•    Lot #6, a second edition of Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life, was estimated at $8,000-10,000 and sold for $11,400. It was published in 1860 in London by John Murray. This example had an 1860 imprint and “fifth thousand” on title page; roughly two copies of the first issue exist with an 1859 imprint.
•    Lot #231, a copy of Gaius Julius Caesar's The Commentaries printed in London in 1712 by Jacob Tonson, realized $14,400 - more than twice its low estimate. This 560 page folio was edited by Samuel Clarke and included the double-page plate of the bison, which is usually missing.
•    Lot #13, Thomas Hawkins' The Book of the Great Sea-Dragons, Ichthyosauri and Plesiosauri…Extinct Monsters of the Ancient Earth from 1840. was estimated at $3,000-4,000 and made $7,200. This first edition was published in London by W. Pickering and featured thirty plates copied from skeletons in the author’s collection of fossil organic remains.  
•    Lot #83, an 18 volume set of The Works of Jonathan Swift, from the library of Robert R. Livingston, soared to $5,520 on its $1,00-2,000 presale estimate. These books were printed by Mrs. Mundell, et al, in Edinburgh in 1778. Each volume included Mr. Livingston's personal bookplates. One of the Founding Fathers of the USA, Livingston was a member of the Committee of Five that drafted the Declaration of Independence, the administrator for George Washington’s Oath of Office when he assumed presidency in 1789, and the chief negotiator of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803.
•    Lot #584, a boldly inscribed presentation copy of Alma Mahler's Gustav Mahler: Memories and Letters from 1946, scored $3,600 on its $400-600 estimate. Alma Mahler was a composer, author, and the spouse of Gustav Mahler. This book had six paper items laid in the volume, including an autographed letter, Western Union telegram, photo postcards, snapshots, and other ephemera.
•    Lot #67, William Cullen Bryant's two volume Picturesque America; Or, the Land we Live in: A Delineation by Pen and of the Mountains, Rivers, Lakes, Forests, Water-Falls, Shores, Canyons, Valleys, Cities, and Other Picturesque Features of our Country, sold for an astonishing $3,360 on its $250-350 estimate. This first edition, first printing set was published in New York by the D. Appleton & Company was profusely illustrated with 49 full-page steel-engraved plates, including additional title pages and frontispiece engravings, and numerous intertextual wood engravings.

Late 19th and early 20th century photographs, images, and cabinet cards were another focus of this exciting auction.
•    Lot #710, a collection of early photographs of men and women with hats, was estimated at $100-200 and topped off at $2,280. These included daguerreotypes of a wealthy man with a cane and top hat; an ambrotype of a young man smoking a cigar; and a partial real photo postcard with a seated man donning a hat and bowtie.
•    Lot #751, a group of 13 occupational cabinet cards from the 1880s, was estimated at $200-300 and worked its way to $2,040. Professions represented included a tailor, organ builder, blacksmith, chimney sweep, picture framer, glassblower, saddle makers, actors, and others.
•    Lot #779, a collection of 30+ cabinet cards and CDVs of French stage performers, writers, and other notables, was estimated at $100-200 and sold for $1,440. Most were taken by the Nadar Studio; individuals pictured include Dumas, Daudet, Bernhardt, Gustav Doré, Victor Hugo, and others.

Ephemera of all sorts, periodicals, modern editions, and other manuscripts brought this sale full circle.
•    Lot #632, a group of 35 Playboy Magazines from 1954–1958 delivered $3,600 - twelve times its low estimate.
•    Lot #644, a four volume limited edition folio on Abstract Expressionism produced by the Tiber Press in 1960, made $6,000 . This important post-war American artist book featured collaborations between four of the most influential American poets of the second half of the twentieth century, and four important second-generation New York School artists. Each publication was signed by the author and artist.
•    Lot #222, a typed French language manuscript travelogue detailing a trip China by way of the Tran-Siberian Railway in the 1913-1924 timeframe, was estimated $400-600 and sold for $3,120. The tome was lushly illustrated with post cards, snapshots, maps, and real photos mounted with photo corners and numerous annotations or captions.

According to Gabe Fajuri, President at Potter & Potter Auctions, "Strong results across the board and a 93% sell-through rate shows that demand is high for quality - but more importantly, it shows that Potter & Potter continues to deliver exceptional results in the book and manuscript market, not to mention fine art. We're thrilled with the results of the sale and already have our next auction in this category set for mid-March of 2021."

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Courtesy of Heritage Auctions, HA.com

James Ellroy’s manuscript of White Jazz, from the collection of Otto Penzler.

Dallas – It looks, at first glance, like a colossal ransom note or madman’s manifesto – all-caps ballpoint-scribble filling 562 pages of hole-punched loose-leaf. Whole sentences crossed out; notations in red bleeding across the scrawl. A mess, yes. But also a masterpiece.

Contained in this heap of seemingly harried handwriting is novelist James Ellroy’s fourth and final installment in the so-called L.A. Quartet: 1992’s White Jazz. The book, about a lunatic, hateful Los Angeles police lieutenant murdering for the mob until the gun is aimed at him, is almost 30 years old and set in 1958. But its description of L.A. as Shakedown City at sunset – where the cops are criminals, made-up characters commit dirty deeds for real-life figures, and everything sacred is rendered profane – remains as piercing and prescient as anything set to be published tomorrow.

“There are so many layers, so many levels at which you can read an Ellroy book,” says Otto Penzler, the bookstore owner who once edited and published the novelist. “Obviously you can look at White Jazz, or any of his novels, as crime books, but they’re so much about politics, society, history. You can know a lot about L.A. in the 1940s and ‘50s when you read James Ellroy.”

For decades, Penzler owned his dear friend’s handwritten White Jazz manuscript, stored in a slipcase with red morocco spine labels tooled and lettered in gilt. But when Penzler made the decision in 2018 to sell his celebrated collection of mystery novels through Heritage Auctions, he let it all go – including the first draft of White Jazz, which is the culmination of a rich, sprawling, seedy story told in The Black Dahlia, The Big Nowhere and, most famously, L.A. Confidential.

And so the self-proclaimed Demon Dog of Crime Fiction’s masterpiece of sparse, savage prose finds itself in Heritage’s Oct. 15-16 Rare Books Signature Auction Featuring Otto Penzler Mystery Fiction Part III. It’s a must-own not only for Ellroy fans, but for disciples of Great American Literature.

In this manuscript you can see Ellroy sharpening his prose – trimming phrases, words, thoughts, pauses deemed unworthy and unnecessary. Through the blood-red edits you can watch him gut and peel away the copy until all that remains is sinew and bone. In White Jazz, the marksman’s machine-gun writing style found its bull’s-eye.

This is the book the Los Angeles Times called “bebop noir” and “hardboiled stream-of-consciousness” and “avant-garde.” The one Less Than Zero author Bret Easton Ellis said was “so stripped-down it’s almost surreal.” The one Hollywood famously tried to tame for the big screen but never could.

“No one else in the world can have it,” Penzler says of the White Jazz manuscript coming to market for the first time. “Ellroy is one of the great writers of the last century, and certainly one of the most significant and influential. A lot of writers tried to emulate his style. Mostly they failed. But that’s not his fault. Joyce Carol Oates called him the American Dostoevsky, and it’s a quote I frequently use because it does signify his importance.”

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Courtesy of Swann Galleries

Christopher Marlowe, The Jew of Malta, London, 1633. Earliest extant edition of this antiauthoritarian Elizabethan play. Estimate: $40,000-60,000.

New York — On Tuesday, October 27, Swann Galleries brings back its standalone offering of Early Printed Books, returning with Senior Specialist Devon Eastland at the helm.

The sale is led by the earliest extant edition of Christopher Marlowe’s antiauthoritarian Elizabethan play The Jew of Malta, 1633. The work is set to come across the block estimated at $40,000 to $60,000. Early imprints also include a first edition of Pascal Xavier Coste’s Monuments Modernes de la Perse, 1867 ($8,000-10,000); Francis Meres’s Palladis Tamia, 1598, which contains contemporary references to Shakespeare, including the first mention of the Sonnets, as well as the first list of plays ($8,000-10,000); and The History of Don-Quichote [Quixote]. The First [and Second] Part, London, 1620, by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra ($6,000-8,000).

Incunabula will feature Concordantiae Bibliorum, 1474, by Conradus de Alemania [Halberstadt the Elder] ($20,000-30,000); Conclusiones de Diversis Materiis Moralibus sive de Regulis Madatorum, 1467, by Johannes Gerson ($3,000-5,000); and Johannes Nider’s Praeceptorium Divinae Legis, sive Expositio Decalogi, 1479, in which he covers the theoretical underpinnings of the various powers of demons and the pacts they form with humans ($3,000-5,000).

Illuminated manuscripts include a mid-fifteenth-century Book of Hours from France with 16 large full-page miniatures ($15,000-25,000). Also of note is a sixteenth-century French manuscript leaf with a large Crucifixion scene, masterfully painted in full color with a gilt and lapis lazuli border ($2,000-3,000).

Scarce works on science and medicine include the first English edition of Sir Isaac Newton’s The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy, 1729 ($20,000-30,000); William Molyneux’s rare work Dioptrica Nova. A Treatise of Dioptricks, 1692, the first on optics published in English ($1,500-2,500); a circa-1860 manuscript on equine veterinary cures described in narrative form ($400-600); and an 1895 cyanotype showing an anatomy class at the Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania working on a cadaver ($300-400).

The travel offering boasts a substantial selection of works on North American exploration with a section of Canadian travel: a fine copy of John Rae’s Narrative of an Expedition to the Shores of the Arctic Sea, 1850, in original cloth ($3,000-4,000); a first edition of Sir Alexander MacKenzie’s Voyages from Montreal, 1801 ($2,500-3,500); Samuel Hearne—the first European to make an overland trek across northern Canada and arrive on the shore of the Arctic Ocean in 1771—is present with a first edition issue of A Journey from Price Wale’s Fort in Hudson’s Bay to the Northern Ocean, 1795 ($1,000-1,500); and a first edition of John Long’s Voyages and Travels of an Indian Interpreter and Trader, 1791, which details his time in Montreal ($2,500-3,500); as well as other first edition titles by Sir George Back, Sir John Franklin, and Sir John Richardson. Further North American travels will include Philip Pittman’s Present State of the European Settlements on the Mississippi, 1770 ($10,000-12,000); the first edition in English of  Louis de Lom d’Arce Lahontan’s New Voyages to North America, 1703 ($3,000-4,000); and works by James Adair, Bartolomé de las Casas, Josiah Gregg, and Gilbert Imlay.

Limited previewing (by appointment only) will be available from October 21 through October 26, to be scheduled directly with the specialist in advance and conforming to strict safety guidelines. Swann Galleries staff will prepare condition reports and provide additional photographs of material on request. Advance order bids can be placed with the specialist or on Swann’s website, and phone bidding will be available. Live online bidding platforms will be the Swann Galleries App, Invaluable, and Live Auctioneers. The complete catalogue and bidding information is available at www.swanngalleries.com and on the Swann Galleries App.

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New York — The Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) is pleased to make several announcements in celebration of its 40th Anniversary in 2020: the opening of its Windows for Chinatown exhibition and its new temporary space MOCA Workshop replacing the MOCA Collections and Research Center that was destroyed in the 70 Mulberry Street fire.

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