October 2018

Science Fiction & American Rarities at Swann Galleries on November 13

King It.jpgNew York - An exceptional auction of 19th & 20th Century Literature comes to Swann Galleries on Tuesday, November 13. The sale of nearly 300 lots includes first edition literary classics, scarcely seen dust jackets, deluxe sets and rare science fiction.

Science fiction and imaginative literary works feature a robust selection of seldom-seen material by icons of the genre. A group of three signed and inscribed typescripts of chapters from Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 holds an estimate of $800 to $1,200. A run of titles by Philip K. Dick is led by the scarce deluxe limited edition of The Selected Letters of Philip K. Dick, with five volumes present, (Estimate: $2,000-3,000); and one of only three special deluxe issue copies of The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick, Los Angeles, 1987, with the author’s signature tipped in, estimated at $1,200 to $2,000. An unbound pre-proof copy of Stephen King’s It, 1986, representing the earliest state of the book’s production, is predicted to sell for $1,500 to $2,500.  

The top lot of the sale is from the collection of Al Hirschfeld, whose first edition of Ernest Hemingway’s Three Stories & Ten Poems, Paris, 1923, includes a correspondence from his friend, Ben Grauer. Hirschfeld, who was a veteran of movie studio publicity departments, met Hemingway in Paris in 1925 and would go on to draw the author several times. The present copy of the author’s first book is expected to bring $18,000 to $20,000.

Additional first edition works by twentieth-century American literary figures include the cover lot in the sale, the 1935 novel, Tortilla Flat by John Steinbeck. The work was the author’s first clear success and is available with the scarce dust jacket ($3,500-5,000). A completely unrestored copy, with the first issue dust jacket, of J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, 1951, is present with an estimate of $7,000 to $10,000; and Sartoris, 1929, by William Faulkner is estimated at $3,500 to $5,000.

Transcendentalist works include the signed authors edition of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, 1876, and, from 1888, a signed first collected edition of Whitman’s Poems & Prose which holds Leaves of Grass, Specimen Days, and Collect ($3,500-5,000 and $4,000-6,000, respectively). The first edition of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s May-Day and Other Pieces, 1867, is signed and inscribed by the author to his nephew ($4,000-6,000). Also available is set number 70 of the manuscript edition of The Writings, 1906, by Henry David Thoreau. With 20 volumes each in their original bindings, the set includes a manuscript sheet by Thoreau from Autumnal Tints and is predicted to bring $7,000 to $10,000.

The Sea-Wolf, 1904, by Jack London is available in the sale in the first edition, second issue, with the extraordinarily rare dust jacket. The dust jacket was previously known only by rumor; only one other copy is thought to exist ($4,000-6,000).

Toni Morrison’s debut novel The Bluest Eye, 1970, makes an appearance with a signed first edition carrying an estimate of $3,500 to $5,000.

Children’s literature features a first edition of the 1962 Newbery Medal winner A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle. The copy features the rare first state dust jacket without the Newbery sticker ($3,500-5,000). Beatrix Potter’s The Tailor of Gloucester, 1902, is present in the first edition and is of one of 500 copies. The work was the author’s second book, both written and illustrated by her, as well as her personal favorite ($2,000-3,000).

First edition literary works from the Haycraft-Queen Cornerstones reader’s list include a first printing of Edgar Allan Poe’s Tales, 1845, estimated at $15,000 to $20,000. Dracula, 1897, by Bram Stoker is available in the first issue, at $4,000 to $6,000; and a first issue of The Hounds of the Baskervilles, 1902, by Arthur Conan Doyle which features “you” for “your” on line three of page 13 ($1,200-1,800).

The complete catalogue and bidding information is available at www.swanngalleries.com.

Additional highlights can be found here.

Image: Lot 184: Stephen King, It, unbound cut galley pages representing the earliest state of book production, New York, 1986. Estimate $1,500 to $2,500.

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Winner of 2018 ABA Book Collecting Prize Focuses on Propaganda

7cfeccbb-958f-4674-940f-2961665a709d.jpgThe Antiquarian Booksellers' Association is delighted to announce that the winner of the third ABA National Book Collecting Prize goes to London University student Musa Igrek, for his collection of propaganda in the 1950s and 1960s.

The £1,000 Annual Prize for student book-collectors, sponsored by the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association, will be awarded to the winner at the ABA Chelsea Rare Book Fair, on Friday 2 November, at Chelsea Town Old Hall. Half of the prize money is for the winner to expand his collection and half is to donate volumes for the University Library.

The quality of all of the entrants was once again extremely high, with the submissions prompting quite a debate. Musa’s passion and originality for his collection ‘‘Divine Power - the Red Shelf’ shone through, however, with the judges deeming it to have great potential for the future.

As Musa noted in his entrance essay: ‘I have for years been fascinated with the secret funding of books; in the Cold War era, governments saw books as a powerful means to win hearts and minds & minds… A clandestine unit of the British Foreign Office, the ‘IRD’ (Information Research Department) attracted my keen interest… The bright red covers of these books give them a character all of their own… I hope to publish a book that will reveal the full scale of the British government’s undercover publishing activities during the Cold War.’

The IRD was tasked with promoting Western Democracy and the ‘British Way of Life’ - Orwell’s Animal Farm and 1984 were translated into Eastern European languages with the support of the IRD. In Britain, more than a hundred titles were published by seemingly independent publishers such as Ampersand, Batchworth Press, Phoenix House and Bodley Head.

This, perhaps timely, collection won against high quality entries from students at Aberdeen (‘Pursuit of Knowledge 1790-1850’ focusing upon books read by the Bronte sisters); Oxford (‘One Very Nonsensical Collection’ - Russian and Slavic translation of Edward Lear and other ‘nonsense’ literature); St Andrews (‘Staging and Stories: Twentieth-Century Pageants’) and Edinburgh (’Vintage American Cookbooks, Recipe Booklets, and Pamphlets’).

Two entries were highly commended this year: Cambridge ('Protests and Experiments in Revolution-Era Russian Poetry'), and York (‘Treacherous Tigers, Devoted Dogs: Animals in Print, c. 1700-1900’). Both extremely sophisticated collections.

All the entries displayed great enthusiasm, passion, and bibliographical knowledge, and it is so inspiring to see the upcoming generation of young collectors creating unusual collections, with limited means, yet revelling from the thrill of finding hidden treasures. We feel confident that all will remain collectors for life, and that the wider book world will be hearing more for one or two of the class of 2018.

Some books from the collection of Musa Igrek are now on display in Senate House Library, University of London (Seng Tee Lee area, 4th Floor), together with some from the collection of Lucy Vinten-Mattach, co-winner of the University of London's Anthony Davis book collecting prize. The display will run until 23 November.

Preparations for the 2018-19 Collecting Prize is already underway, with the winners from all partaking universities being considered for the ABA National Prize in September 2019. The Judges are: Deborah Coltham, Justin Croft and Brian Lake (booksellers), Ed Potten (independent researcher formerly of Cambridge University Library) and Lisa Baskin, (collector).

 

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A World of Discovery at the 2018 IFPDA Fine Art Print Fair

New York—The Fine Art Print Fair, the largest fair devoted to printmaking, concluded its 27th annual run on Sunday, October 28th, showcasing works from 80 exhibitors, spanning old master to contemporary, unique masterworks to new editions. 27 international exhibitors participated from the United Kingdom, Spain, France, Germany, Mexico, Switzerland, Denmark, Italy and Ireland, as well as five distinguished first-time exhibitors. Artist highlights include Vija Clemins, Eugené Delacroix, Edvard Munch, Carmen Herrera, Kiki Smith, and Bruce Nauman. Exhibitors sold a wide variety of works across the board to private collectors, museum curators and connoisseurs from around the world. Over 12,000 visitors attended this year’s Fine Art Print Fair. 

“An extremely healthy print market was evident at this year’s fair,” says David Tunick, President of the IFPDA. “Over 100 museums attended - just about every museum in America, as well as some of the leading European museums. The Fine Art Print Fair is center of the world in the global print community every year - a must-go-to event - and this year was no exception. Museums, collectors, and art consultants bought many, many important works from Renaissance to cutting-edge contemporary in every price range. And the fair lives on with more conversations and acquisitions continuing in the coming weeks and months.” 

The sales and highlights at the Fine Art Print Fair 2018 include the much admired Andy Warhol “Scream” sold by David Tunick, Inc. (New York) and featured in the New York Times article on the fair. The screenprint from 1984 went to a private collector for a substantial six-figure sum. 

Sims Reed Gallery (London, UK) sold an early David Hockney portfolio, “A Hollywood Collection,” which was acquired by a private American collector. Hockney envisaged the series as an ‘instant art collection’ and it is one of Hockey’s earliest series within his printed oeuvre. Each print is in the form of a different genre of painting — a still life, a landscape, a portrait, a cityscape, a nude and an abstract. These were the first prints printed under Gemini by Ken Tyler in Los Angeles. They were made shortly after Hockney moved to the US. The set was sold for just under $60,000. Sol LeWitt Grids and Colors portfolio for $50,000 and Roy Lichtenstein Water Lily for just under $40,000 met with buyers as well. The fifty screenprints include the colours black, red, blue, yellow and white, presented in series of ten with a background colour grid of each colour over which the other colours are printed in combination. The screen prints were printed by Jo Watanabe, New York and the edition was published by Rüdiger Schöttle, Munich. This was LeWitt's sole publication of prints in 1979. The edition is small — an edition of 10, and there were also five artist’s proofs. 

Thomas French Fine Art (Akron, OH) enjoyed a successful run at the fair and comments, "Clients came from all over the country, and abroad, to view masterworks from the participating dealers. There was strong interest in classic master prints. We sold Matisse, Corot, Lichtenstein, Picasso, Warhol and Duchamp, amongst many others.” Thomas French exhibited rising artist, Darius Steward, for the first time in New York City and had overwhelming response from museums and collectors, acquiring many of his works. Regarding the print market, the gallery sold out many small editions of Stewards drypoints. 

Among the sold highlights at Mary Ryan Gallery (New York) were two institutional acquisitions: the gallery has sold three prints by Emma Amos, including “3 Ladies,” 1970, to museums, and with the generous support of James and Laura Duncan, the British Museum has acquired for their collection the lithograph “February,” 1958, by George Miyasaki. 

Childs Gallery (Boston, MA) reported excellent sales including Jean-Michel Basquiat’s “Untitled (Emok)” from Portfolio I, 1982/2001, Screenprint, 40x40 in. This print is one of a series of four release posthumously by the Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat. The prints are based on four of Basquiat’s favorite paintings, which he refused to sell and remain with the artist’s estate to this day. Childs Gallery also sold Lee Krasner’s “Twenty-four Hours Light,” 1979/80, Oil and crayon collage on lithograph. 

Poligrafa Obra Grafica (Barcelona, Spain) reported excellent sales to mostly American private collectors at the fair, selling out 5 out of the 6 artists featured in their booth. Poligrafa sold an edition of Jordi Alcraz, “Paritura,” 2018, Pigment and cord on cardboard, from an edition of 14 for $15,000.

Susan Sheehan Gallery (New York), specializing in Post-War American prints and works on paper, sold a work by Sam Francis, “The White Line,” 1960, lithograph, edition of 75 for $40,000. 

Ruiz-Healy Art (San Antonio, TX / New York) reported the sale of the serigraph “Iron Will” by Margarita Cabrera to the Wellin Museum of Art at Hamilton College. 

Dolan/Maxwell (Philadelphia) sold a rare and important plaster by Stanley William Hayter, as well as works by Picasso, Miró, Masson and Tanguy. Notable new works that were purchased include pieces by Victoria Burge, Michael Canning, and Nona Hershey. Museum sales included a special impression by Norma Morgan and a lithograph from the 1960’s by Charles White. 

First-time exhibitor Hauser & Wirth (New York) notes, “We were thoroughly welcomed by collectors, curators, and the print community, and exceeded our expectations with over half a million dollars in sales.” The gallery placed several works with institutions across the United States and internationally. Sales highlights included over 40 of their new Hauser & Wirth edition by Rashid Johnson, released to coincide with the fair, including “Untitled Anxious Crowd,” 2018. 

Two Palms (New York) reported the sales two Stanley Whitney monotypes, one Cecily Brown monotype, two Terry Winters monotypes, a Jeff Koons “Gazing Ball” print, and three Mel Bochner monotypes. Numerous editioned works from Dana Schutz, Elizabeth Peyton and Terry Winters were also sold by the gallery at the Fair to private collectors. 

Durham Press, Inc. (Durham, PA) sold several Beatriz Milhazes prints, including “Purple Dahlia,” 2015 for $52,000. They also sold several suites of Chitra Ganesh’s “Sultana’s Dream” with several on hold for museums. The project consists of 27 linocuts and retails for $18,000 for the suite. 

Goya Contemporary/Goya-Girl Press (Baltimore, MD) sold six impressions of Sanford Biggers “Afropick,” 2005, mostly to institutions. The gallery noted, “For us, it highlights the commitment institutions have made to acquire great works that are also reflective of our societal makeup, history, and collective experience.” 

The Curators & Collectors Breakfast, a special morning preview of the Fair, included a presentation honoring the Richard Hamilton Acquisition Prize, Jordan Schnitzer Award for Excellence in Printmaking and the IFPDA Book Award. 

The Richard Hamilton Acquisition Prize was presented to The Metropolitan Museum of Art. This annual prize aims to enable museums to acquire significant prints for their collections and inspire individual collectors by illustrating the profusion of affordable museum quality works on offer at the Fine Art Print Fair. Today, The Met collection is comprised of more than 17,000 drawings, 1.2 million prints, and 12,000 illustrated books created in Western Europe and America. The Met used the prize to acquire a Screenprint from Mary Ryan Gallery at the Fair -- Sam Gilliam’s work entitled Phase,” 1974, Screenprint, edition of 16, (right). Gilliam is an important American artist best known for his “Color Field” painting and draped canvases as well as for becoming the first African American artist to represent the United States at the Venice Biennale in 1972. 

The IFPDA announced the two winners of the Jordan Schnitzer Award for Excellence in Printmaking are Ida Applebroog and Lothar Osterburg. The award supports emerging or under-recognized contemporary artists whose practice highlights printmaking. Established with the generous support of the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation, the prize awards each artist with a $10,000 grant in order to both encourage the artist’s focus in printmaking while raising public consciousness about the unique ways in which artists engage printmaking in their artistic practice. 

The presentation concluded by awarding the IFPDA Book Award to The Enchanted World of German Romantic Prints, 1770-1850 and Hiroshige & Eisen: The Sixty-Nine Stations Along the Kisokaido . Both works in the field of prints encourage research, scholarship, and the discussion of new ideas in printmaking. 

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Unknown Draft of Schumann Piano Masterpiece to be Offered at Bonhams

schumann.jpgBonhams is to offer an extensive draft of Robert Schumann's 1837 piano masterpiece Fantasiestücke Opus 12 - written in the composer's own hand - at the Fine Books and Manuscripts sale in London on Tuesday 27 November. The draft, which is unknown to music scholars, is estimated at £200,000-300,000, and was taken out of Germany months before the outbreak of World War II by the distinguished German jurist Dr Moritz Sprinz.

Bonhams Books and Manuscripts specialist, Simon Roberts said, "This major discovery provides a fascinating insight into Schumann's working methods, and the creative decisions he took in completing the version of Fantasiestücke we are familiar with today. The work's publication heralded an intense burst of activity that produced in 1838 two of his greatest compositions for piano, Kinderszenen, and Kreisleriana."

The 14-page manuscript was completed in July 1837 and given by Schumann to the composer Gustav Schmidt in August the same year. It was acquired by Dr Sprinz shortly before he left Germany in February 1939.

The work in its published form is made up of eight pieces. They alternate in mood between the serious and the playful, reflecting the dual aspects of the composer's personality that he called Eusebius, representing the dreamer, and Florestan, standing for his passionate side. He had previously explored this concept extensively in Davidsbündlertänze, written earlier in 1837.

The manuscript sent to Schmidt contains six of the eight pieces from the final work and a ninth piece that was dropped at proof stage. Four pages are devoted to what became in the published work the fifth, and longest, piece - In der Nacht - and they reveal in great detail the development of the composer's initial ideas. Markings in Schumann's characteristic red crayon also show how he experimented with the order in which the pieces should be played. Although the final order appears programmatic, in fact the composer was later happy for some of the pieces to be played individually as part of a recital, even making suggestions as to which ones would be most suitable. 

Fantasiestücke, refers to a collection of writings by the influential German Romantic author, E.T.A. Hoffmann, on whose work Schumann had previously drawn for inspiration. The work came at the end of a four-month fallow period for the composer and he dedicated it to the 18 year-old Yorkshire-born Scottish pianist, Anna Robena Laidlaw with whom he had become very close during that time. Schumann wrote to Robena in August 1837, saying the pieces "belong to you - and the entire Rosenthal with its romantic associations, is present in the music." (Rosenthal is the wooded area near Leipzig where the two had taken walks together).

A year later, however, Schumann wrote to his fiancée, the acclaimed concert pianist Clara Wieck, who was on tour in Austria, suggesting that the final piece Ende vom Lied was intended to evoke a happy wedding - namely theirs. They eventually married in 1840 after a lengthy court battle with Clara's father who was bitterly opposed to the match, possibly because a large part of the family's income derived from Clara's appearance fees. 

Glenn Gould annotated Goldberg Variations Score

Bonhams Books and Manuscripts sale in New York on Wednesday December 5 features the score of Bach Goldberg Variations used by Glenn Gould during his 1981 recording of the work. It is extensively annotated in the pianist's own hand. Gould had recorded the work once before in 1955 when he was 22, and the notes show how much his interpretation had altered over the intervening years. His friend the writer Tim Page writes about the discovery of the score in the Winter edition of Bonhams Magazine. 

 

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Works on Paper, Rare Books & Illuminated Manuscripts at Gray’s Auctioneers on Nov. 14

Manuscript.jpgCleveland, OH — Gray’s Auctioneers will offer an extensive number of fine works on paper, rare books and illuminated manuscripts at an auction planned for Wednesday, November 14th, online and in the firm’s gallery at 10717 Detroit Avenue in Cleveland, starting at 11 am Eastern time. Featured will be an impressive collection of fine editions from the Print Club of Cleveland, among other rare items.  

The catalog is up and online, at GraysAuctioneers.com. Bidding is also available on the two platforms Liveauctioneers.com and Invaluable.com. Telephone and absentee bids will also be accepted. For any collector of fine art, literature, or historical texts, the November auction is a celebration of these arts and more. In-person previews will be held Monday thru Friday, November 8th -14th, 10 am-5 pm, EDT.

Starting off the auction in Lot 1 is a print of St. George and the Dragon, from 1947, by Salvador Dalí (Spanish, 1904-1989).  Dalí had an extensive history with the city of Cleveland through his patrons Reynolds and Eleanor Morse.  Reynolds Morse was a highly successful local businessman who first encountered Dalí via a retrospective that was held March 21st, 1943 at the Cleveland Museum of Art.  

Morse attended with his soon-to-be wife Eleanor and the couple became diligent collectors of Dalí’s work. They even formed a friendship with the artist and his wife, Gala. St. George and the Dragon (1947) is one of Dali’s most recognizable lithographs, depicting the famous Christian legend, which Dali revisited many times, first as a painting completed in 1942, then as a sculpture completed in 1947. 

Lot 2 is a lithograph Summer Benediction (1953), by Charles Ephraim Burchfield (American, 1893-1867). A visionary artist known for his moody and hallucinatory watercolors, Burchfield graduated from the Cleveland Institute of Art under watercolor artist Henry George Keller. In 1928, Burchfield approached artist Frank Rehn to ask if he could sell his paintings through his gallery in New York City.  

The two men struck a deal and, fortunately for Burchfield, his paintings continued to sell through the Great Depression. By 1954 he was an esteemed veteran painter and was elected as a full member into the National Academy of Design.  Like many of Burchfield’s pieces, Summer Benediction depicts a hazy and mystical nature scene, almost dreamlike in tone, with a wavy contour and deft use of shading.

Lot 3 is a print entitled Approaching Storm (1938) by Thomas Hart Benton (American, 1889-1975). Benton cultivated a vivid naturalistic style known as Regionalism, depicting scenes of everyday life in a swirling and almost musical style influenced by his friend Stanton Macdonald-Wright’s synchronism.  Benton found his first big break as a muralist, for the 1933 Century of Progress Exhibition in Chicago.  

Benton went on to prestigious career as a painter, muralist, an educator, writing an autobiography titled An Artist in America in 1937.  He often courted controversy for his outspoken political beliefs, advocating for working people and including allusions to America’s race problem in his murals. He eventually alienated himself from the New York arts scene, pushing him to find his true muse in the vast expanses of rural America, as can be seen in the ominous and melancholy Approaching Storm.

Lots 4 and 5 are two pieces by Lyonel Feininger (German-American, 1871-1956): a lithograph titled Off the Coast (1951) and a woodcut titled Gelmeroda (1920).  An expressionist who was born in New York but was educated and spent most of his adult life in Germany, Feininger began his artistic career as a caricaturist and comic strip artist for The Chicago Tribune, known for his strip The Kin-Der Kids.  

Feininger eventually transitioned to fine art, joining the Berliner Sezession in 1909 and becoming associated with other leading German expressionist groups, including the Bauhaus.  Feininger’s unique expressionistic style, with its hard angles and fragmented light, brings to mind a softer futurism or cubism, finding a warmth in the midst of jagged abstractions, as seen in the two prints up for auction.

Also up for bid will be three pieces by the revolutionary French painter Henri Matisse (1869-1954).  Considered one of the true luminaries and innovators of modern art in the early twentieth century, Matisse developed a style of flat expressionistic shapes and vibrant color that came to be known as Fauvism.  He famously expanded the limits of what was possible with color and form in modern art.

Gray’s will also offer three lithographs by the equally legendary French impressionist Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919): Louis Veltat in Lot 9, La Pierre au Trois Croquis in Lot 10, and Claude Renoir, La Tête Baisée in Lot 11. Renoir befriended Claude Monet, and the two developed an artistic partnership, making similar inquiries into light and color as they became the leaders of the Impressionist movement.  

Renoir was often penniless and struggled to find financial security from his paintings but by the end of the 1870s had become successful, prolific and fashionable and is now recognized as one of the seminal figures in the development of modernist aesthetics.  Renoir painted several thousand paintings in his lifetime and is known for his luminous use of color and brushwork, and unique warmth and sensuality.

Also for sale will be four etchings by Frank Weston Benson (American, 1862-1951): The Punter, 1927, in Lot 15; Turnstones, 1928, in Lot 16; Rainbow Cove, 1927, in Lot 17; and Evening Flight, 1927 in Lot 18.  Born in Massachusetts, Benson was a contemporary of Renoir and Monet’s and derived great inspiration from them in developing his own contributions to the American school of Impressionism.  

Benson attended the Académie Julian 1883 and found near immediate success in Europe, traveling across the continent to see exhibitions of his own work and spending time painting. A master of light and color, he produced some of the most achingly beautiful landscapes and portraits of any American painter, and he was a foundational figure in America’s burgeoning art scene in the late 19th century.

Gray’s has an extensive collection of etchings this month by American artist James Abbott McNeil Whistler (1834-1903), known for his striking sense of realism and masterful technique. He developed a moody realistic style, later incorporating influences from the burgeoning Impressionist movement and Japanese painters. At age 21, Whistler left for Europe to pursue an artistic career and never returned. 

While he developed a great reputation as a painter and wit, Whistler’s temper and combative nature fractured many of his close relationships and turned many critics against him.  He was deeply defensive of his work and, while his stylistic contributions are not in doubt, his contributions to attitude and ethos have been just as influential on later artists. Gray’s is offering seventeen of Whistler’s works in the sale.

Also up for auction are a number of Illuminated Manuscripts from the collection of Otto F. Ege, dating from the 13th thru the 16th centuries.  Coming chiefly from the Middle Ages, Illuminated Manuscripts are manuscripts - typically written on vellum - that have been decorated with painted lettering or pictures, and are often even inlaid with gold or silver, from which the term “illuminated” originates.  

Illumination was a way for medieval scribes to make important texts legible to both the masses and to a ruling class that was largely illiterate in Latin, the language in which these holy texts were transcribed.  They are also the best surviving specimens of medieval painting, and the best preserved. Indeed, for many areas and time periods, they are the only surviving examples of painting.  There are 21 for sale.

This month’s auction also features a section of rare books, including a first edition printing of Charles Dickens’ beloved masterpiece A Christmas Carol in Prose, Being a Ghost Story of Christmas (1843), including original illustrations by John Leech and printing mistakes included in only the first release;  a first edition copy of L. Frank Baum’s classic allegorical fairytale The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900), with original illustrations by W.W. Denslow in Lot 145; and a 1935 limited edition printing of Edgar Alan Poe’s Tales of Mystery and Imagination with intricate illustrations by Arthur Rackham in Lot 125.

The highlight of this section is Lot 91, John James Audubon’s seven-volume Royal Octavo edition of The Birds of America, From Drawings Made in the United States and their Territories.  Consisting of 435 hand-colored, life-size prints, made from engraved plates and measuring around 39 by 26 inches, the set includes images of six now-extinct birds, including the passenger pigeon and Carolina parakeet.

The book was originally released by pay-as-you-go subscription, as a series of copperplate etchings released over time, one print at a time, every two-to-five months.  Only 120 full copies of this original set are known to survive. In December 2010, The Economist magazine estimated, adjusted for inflation, that five of the ten highest prices ever paid for printed books were paid for copies of Birds of America.    

Gray’s Auctioneers & Appraisers is Northern Ohio’s leading licensed auctioneers and appraisers of fine art, jewelry, antiques, decorative arts, rare books, and antique rugs. A boutique auction house with over two decades of experience in the art business, the experts at Gray’s now offer traditional real estate services.  The specialists at Gray’s have worked with museums, educational institutions, corporations and private collectors to achieve the full value of their collections at auction. Gray’s auctioneers are licensed, insured and bonded in favor of the State of Ohio. Learn more at www.graysauctioneers.com 

Gray’s Auctioneers & Appraisers is always accepting quality consignments for future auctions. To inquire about selling a single piece, an estate or an entire collection, you may call them at (216) 226-3300; or, you can send an e-mail to their appraisals department, at appraisals@graysauctioneers.com. 

To learn more about Gray’s Auctioneers & Appraisers and the live and internet auction planned for Wednesday, November 14th, at 11 am EDT, visit www.graysauctioneers.com. Updates are posted often.

Image: French Illuminated Manuscript, circa 15th century, from a Book of Hours, on vellum with illuminations on both sides, 6 ¾ inches tall by 4 ¾ inches wide (est. $3,000-$5,000).

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Brâncusi Breaks $100k at Swann Galleries' Photographs Auction

Lot 71-Bancusi-lg copy.jpgNew York - Swann Auction Galleries’ Thursday, October 18 sale of Photographs & Photobooks, which boasted historical and contemporary fine art photographers alongside stand out vernacular material, earned $1.6M.

The top lot of the sale was Constantin Brâncusi’s Vu d’atelier, a circa 1928 silver print of the artist’s studio, featuring four of his iconic sculptures, including Socrates which is part of MoMA’s collection. The image brought $125,000, over an estimate of $30,0000-45,000.

Roy DeCarava was a highlight of the sale with three auction records being made for the artist. The complete Roy DeCarava, with 12 hand-printed dust-grain photogravures, including many of his iconic images of Harlem, set the record for the portfolio and the artist with $100,000; while a late 1960s-early 70s printing of Hallway, circa 1953, earned $31,250, a record for the image.

Additional contemporary works included a suite of 25 photographs by Malick Sidibé, in the artist’s custom frames, which set the record for the artist at $55,000. A complete, comprehensive three-part portfolio of 30 prints from Herman Leonard’s Images of Jazz series, with photographs of Louis Armstrong, Nat King Cole and Billie Holiday, set the record for the photographer with $30,000. Nick Brandt’s 2005 archival pigment prints, Giraffe Triptych, Maasai Mara, which showcases three giraffes in Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya, brought $15,000.

Early photography found success in the sale: The Pyramids of Dashdoor, from the East, 1858, by Francis Frith, was won for $15,000, and an album containing 200 hand-colored cartes-de-visite, featuring people of Japan and China, by Felice Beato, John Thomson and F.W. Sutton, from 1863-69, sold for $35,000.

Vernacular works continue to shine at auction. R.J. Waters’ group of three panoramas depicting San Francisco before the 1906 earthquake, as well as during and after the devasting fire that followed, garnered $21,250. 

Other notable works included a late 1950s-early 60s printing of W. Eugene Smith’s The Walk to Paradise Garden, 1948, which sold for $47,500. The silver print features the artist’s children and has been employed in multiple ad campaigns. Ansel Adams’s Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico, printed before 1977, earned $37,500.

Daile Kaplan, Vice President and Director of Photographs & Photobooks, noted of the sale, “The results saw robust prices for a range of photographs by contemporary, classical and vernacular photographers, demonstrating how the market is always changing and expanding. Great photographs by great artists are continually being discovered and newly appreciated by collectors of all stripes.”

The next auction of Photographs & Photobooks at Swann Galleries will be held in early 2019.

Additional highlights can be found here.

Image: Lot 71: Constantin Brâncusi, Vu d’atelier [The artist’s studio], silver print, circa 1928. Sold for $125,000.

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ABA Chelsea Rare Book Fair Opens November 2

d040c985-d19e-4e9f-a3ea-4988136c0168.jpgLondon—Welcome to Chelsea. Not a boot, bun or soccer match but the friendliest book fair. The ABA Chelsea Rare Book Fair returns to the beautiful and historic Old Town Hall for its 28th edition.

Over eighty exhibitors - from seven European countries and the USA - who specialise in vintage and rare books, first editions, maps, prints, manuscripts and all kinds of ephemera will gather in Chelsea Old Town Hall on 2 & 3 November for the 2018 edition of The ABA Chelsea Rare Book Fair.

With prices starting at just a few pounds, visitors can add something wonderful to an existing collection, find that extra special Christmas gift, or even start a new collection. 

On display will be classics like Dickens' A Christmas Carol, George Eliot's rarest book Scenes of Clerical Life, Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland, Austen's Northanger Abbey and Persuasion,  Shelley's Frankenstein and Enid Blyton's children's magazine; photography and art books including photos of the royal family, the first edition of Philippe Halsman's Jump Book, David Hockney's early illustrations from his time at Bradford Grammar School, Edward Burne-Jones The Flower Book containing 38 watercolour designs; maps of London and way beyond;  expedition adventures such as the first printed record of Cook's first voyage with 'Endeavour'; beautifully bound editions including an example of Scottish 'wheel' binding; poetry from Heaney and Coleridge, and a scarce collection of poems written by Sylvia Pankhurst during one of her numerous terms in prison, Writ on Cold Slate;  and much, much more.

The ABA will also be commemorating the centenary of the end of the First World War. Exhibitors will be displaying related works including a scarce photogravure on india of 'Jutland Jack' - at 16 years old one of the first recipients of the Victoria Cross, editions of poetry by Siegfried Sassoon  and Rupert Brooke, a handwritten letter on the first day of the Somme, a woman's manuscript of working for the War Victims' Relief Committee of the Society of Friends, an edition of Peace in Our Time with dust jacket designed by E McKnight Kauffer, a rare volume of poetry by Vera Brittain, Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks and novels by Pat Barker.

Have a wander round and seek out your favourites, join a free Guided Tour led by expert dealers on topics such as 'Eating Books', 'Modern Firsts and Children's Firsts', 'From Aldous to Zadie: Writers of the Modern Era', bookbinding and an introduction to collecting rare books.  Come to the Book Signing, enjoy tea and cake in the café.

Opening Times
Friday 2 November         2pm - 7pm
Saturday 3 November   11am - 5pm

Entry is free if visitors pre-register at www.chelseabookfair.com 

FREE GUIDED TOURS

FRIDAY 2 Nov
5:30pm: Introduction to Rare Books
Andrea Mazzocchi, a specialist in Medical, Gastronomy and Travel books from Bernard Quaritch, will be providing an introduction to the world of rare book collecting.

6pm: From Aldous to Zadie: Writers of the Modern Era
Anke Timmermann from Type & Forme will share the stories behind rare editions and beautiful dustwrappers, modern classics and forgotten bestsellers of the 20th and 21st centuries.

SATURDAY 3 Nov
1pm: A Whistle Stop Introduction to the History of Bookbinding
Antiquates' bookseller Tom Lintern-Mole will take you through how books were bound from their earliest appearance right through to the 20th century.

1:30pm: Introduction to Rare Books
By Sophie Schnedierman, a specialist in private press and illustrated books for over 28 years. For novice collectors or those with a keen interest in book collecting.

2pm: Highlights of Modern Firsts and Modern Children's
Dr Les Ashton of Ashton Rare Books will be discussing a wide and varied range of Modern Firsts and Modern Children's titles to reveal what makes them so special.

2:30pm: Beautiful Bindings
Andrew McGeachin of Heywood Hill Books will be taking us through the history of the decorated book, from the illuminated manuscript to the modern day.

3pm: Eating Books
First time exhibitor at Chelsea, Ben Kinmont from the USA, will be giving a delicious talk about collecting books on Gastronomy.

BOOK SIGNING

Friday 2 Nov 4.30pm

Rare dealer David Batterham will sign copies of Dear Howard, a hugely enjoyable collection of letters to the painter Howard Hodgkin, with an Introduction by Barry Humphries and described by Alan Bennett as portraying 'a gallery of eccentrics with Batterham himself the most notable, drunk, often penniless...'.

Image: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, reprint of the 1921 2nd edition (World's End)

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Vonnegut's Wartime Letters to Headline Autographs Auction at Swann Galleries

356-Vonnegut.jpgNew York - Swann Auction Galleries’ Autographs sale will take place on Thursday, November 8, with a selection of rare and illuminating autographs, letters and other items from artists, authors and musicians, as well as figures from American history and beyond.

Among artist highlights is an illustrated autograph note signed, dated July 10, 1959, from Joan Miró to the MoMA Director of Exhibitions and Publications, Monroe Wheeler. Written in French, the note reads, “Returning home, and with the nostalgia of your country, I send you a friendly memory,” with a drawing by the artist of a figure surrounded by three stars in his recognizable hand. The letter is accompanied by a fancifully addressed envelope (Estimate: $6,000-9,000). Also in the sale: a signed birthday card that contains a still-life drawing by Jacob Lawrence ($2,000-3,000).    

The highlight among literary autographs in the sale is a group of letters from Kurt Vonnegut to members of his family, largely from his time enlisted in the army during WWII. Vonnegut was an American writer best known for his science-fiction infused anti-war novel Slaughterhouse-Five. The offering of 12 letters touch on various subjects covering the War, love, alcohol and art, and contain small drawings and doodles by a young Vonnegut ($4,000-6,000).  

A written acceptance to the birthday party of a friend’s daughter from Charles Dickens, written in the dialect of the character Mrs. Gamp from Martin Chuzzlewit, is estimated at $4,000 to $6,000. Additional literary figures include Mark Twain, with an autograph letter signed SL. Clemens, explaining that target of his new book is the founder of Christian Science (not its followers), offered at $3,000 to $4,000; and an undated manuscript journal entry by Henry David Thoreau recounting a meeting with Hugh Quoil, a character in Walden ($3,000-4,000).

A typed letter signed, from Igor Stravinsky to conductor Bernardino Molinari, is available for $4,000 to $6,000. The letter, written in French, explains how Rite of Spring should be performed and features three bars of music in holograph. In the letter Stravinsky explains that Molinari should “…use my Columbia record where The Rite is recorded under my direction and you will therefore be able to find the answers to a lot of your questions.”

Civil war autographs include the top lot in the sale, an 1861 letter, in uncommonly good condition, from Robert E. Lee to the colonel of the Kanawha Valley troop volunteers, aiming to boost their morale ($15,000-25,000); and a letter from a Confederate Major Inspector-General desperately requesting resources to supply livestock for the siege of Petersburg. Endorsements on the sheet, including two by President Jefferson Davis, show his request was rejected and paint a picture of the declining ability of the Confederates to prosecute the war ($2,500-3,500).

An autograph letter signed, dated December 9, 1874, from Mary Todd Lincoln is estimated at $3,500 to $5,000. Written on mourning stationary, the letter is addressed to the wife of her lawyer, expressing the former first lady’s enjoyment of the Florida sunshine, but also her disdain for the “rebel horde” (members of Florida society) that had been continuously visiting her.

Other Americana highlights include Susan B. Anthony’s message, written on her publisher’s stationary, to an unnamed editor asking for favorable review of The History of Woman Suffrage, 1881, expected to bring $2,000 to $3,000.

The complete catalogue and bidding information is available at www.swanngalleries.com.

Additional highlights can be found here.

Image: Lot 356: Kurt Vonnegut, archive of 12 letters signed, to his family, including 6 illustrated, 1930s-40s. Estimate $4,000 to $6,000.

 

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Research Collections of T.E. Lawrence's Biographer Acquired by Magdalen College

Magdalen College, Oxford have acquired a major collection of books, manuscripts, and iconography on the Arabist, soldier, and writer T.E. Lawrence (‘Lawrence of Arabia’, 1888-1935), assembled over fifty years by Jeremy Wilson, Lawrence’s authorised biographer, whose publications dispelled many of the myths surrounding Lawrence and re-defined the modern perception of him. Daryl Green, College Librarian, commented: 

‘Magdalen is delighted to acquire this important research collection relating to Lawrence, one of the most celebrated twentieth-century figures associated with the college, through the generosity of our alumni and other patrons. This acquisition significantly enlarges our Lawrence holdings and will provide future scholars with access to Wilson’s manuscripts and typescripts, his library of books by and about Lawrence (many inscribed to him or annotated), and his remarkable collection of iconographic materials relating to Lawrence. With this acquisition, Magdalen’s collections now include volumes from Lawrence’s own library at Cloud’s Hill, first and limited editions of books by Lawrence, artefacts and archives which illustrate Lawrence’s time as a Senior Demy at Magdalen (1911-1914), and rare portraits which have previously been exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery and the Imperial War Museum. A selection of these items will be on display, together with important loans for private and public collections in our forthcoming exhibition “Lawrence of Oxford” (7 November 2018-1 May 2019).’ 

T.E. Lawrence graduated from Jesus College, Oxford in 1910 with first class honours and he was awarded a four-year’s Senior Demyship by Magdalen College, Oxford at the instigation of the distinguished archaeologist D.G. Hogarth, himself an alumnus and sometime fellow and tutor of Magdalen, and Keeper of the Ashmolean Museum. This award, worth £100 a year, enabled Lawrence to participate in the British Museum’s excavations at Carchemish organised by Hogarth, who would be the Director of the Arab Bureau during World War I (working closely with Lawrence during the Arab Revolt), and whose friendship was one of the most important in Lawrence’s life. 

Jeremy Wilson (1944-2017) first became interested in Lawrence as an undergraduate at Balliol College, Oxford in the early 1960s. Some years later Wilson met T.E. Lawrence’s younger brother and literary executor, the archaeologist A.W. Lawrence, and, at his behest, Wilson edited T.E. Lawrence’s Minorities (1971) for Jonathan Cape. In 1975 Wilson was appointed T.E. Lawrence’s authorised biographer and he began assembling a research collection of printed, manuscript, and graphic works to support his work on Lawrence, publishing introductions to the Penguin Modern Classics edition of Lawrence’s The Mint (1978) and the Limited Editions Club edition of Lawrence’s translation of The Odyssey in 1981, editing the Whittington Press edition of Lawrence’s Letters to E.T. Leeds (1988), and writing the catalogue of the National Portrait Gallery’s landmark exhibition Lawrence of Arabia

In 1989 Wilson published his magisterial Lawrence of Arabia; The Authorised Biography of T.E. Lawrence, which was widely praised for its meticulous scholarship, comprehensive research, and painstaking, almost archaeological, removal of the palimpsest of myth, rumour, and misinformation which had obscured Lawrence’s life. Reviewing it for The New York Times Review of Books Nigel Nicolson wrote that, ‘this biography will endure beside Seven Pillars as [Lawrence’s] monument, and any future book about T.E. Lawrence will be but a commentary on it’. Lawrence of Arabia consolidated Wilson’s position as the pre- eminent authority on Lawrence and in the following decades he contributed to numerous journals, lectured on Lawrence internationally, and, with his wife Nicole, established the Castle Hill Press to publish finely-printed, scholarly editions of Lawrence’s letters and works. 

Magdalen College’s acquisition of Wilson’s research collection was handled on behalf of Nicole Wilson by Mark James of antiquarian booksellers Type & Forme, who said, ‘we are very pleased to have assisted Magdalen with the successfully acquisition of this remarkable collection’, while Nicole Wilson commented, ‘I am delighted that Jeremy’s working library and archive are now with Magdalen, an institution that he had a particular affection for and where he gave one of his last lectures, “T.E. Lawrence: A Fascination with Portraits”, in 2015’. 

 

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Schomburg Center to Display 'Lost' Chapter of "The Autobiography of Malcolm X"

New York — The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture will host a public display from October 23 through November 10 of its newly-acquired, never-before-seen manuscripts, notes, and unpublished chapter from The Autobiography of Malcolm X. 

The limited-time display will be open to the public for viewing at the Schomburg Center near the main entrance, and will feature selections of Malcolm X’s autobiographical writing with editor Alex Haley including:

  • The partial, yet-extensive manuscript of The Autobiography, illustrating the influential text as a work-in-progress, with back-and-forth written dialogue between Malcolm X and Haley on everything from diction to timing and tone
     
  • Written fragments showing Malcolm X’s reworking of key passages from the final pages of his autobiography
     
  • The never-before-seen “lost” unpublished chapter from The Autobiography of Malcolm X, titled “The Negro,” which was removed from the manuscript during the editing process and unpublished and unavailable until now

New manuscript pages will be displayed and turned weekly through November 10.  After November 13, researchers will be able to access the manuscripts by appointment at the Schomburg Center with a New York Public Library card.

On July 27, the Schomburg Center announced acquisition of the Malcolm X Manuscripts, previously held by a private collector, who acquired them at a sale of Alex Haley’s estate in 1992. The acquisition is a critical addition to over 16 linear feet of Malcolm X manuscript material, available at the Schomburg Center, including a diary, letters, speeches, journals, and photographs.

“These materials are extremely significant, as they can provide researchers with extensive new insights into the writing process and thoughts of one of the most important and influential figures and books of the 20th Century,” said Schomburg Center Director Kevin Young on the acquisition. “The Autobiography of Malcolm X is a monumental work; to actually see how that book took shape through Malcolm X’s handwritten corrections and notes is very powerful. Additionally, the omitted chapter, believed to be removed after Malcolm X’s death, places the work in a new context, and provide an understanding as to why it was excluded from the book in the first place. The possibilities for new revelations are nearly endless, and we are so proud that the Schomburg Center can bring this material to light for the first time.”

Media requests for interviews and coverage of the display and the Malcolm X manuscripts can be made to ayofemikirby@nypl.org.

 

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