December 2018

Currier & Ives Print with Special Ties to Thomas W. Streeter Sets Record at Swann

Lot 342-Currier & Ives.jpgNew York -- Swann Galleries closed out their fall season with a marathon sale of Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books on Thursday, December 13. The auction saw a sell-through rate of 89%, five records, and steady interest across categories.

The runaway top lot of the sale was Across the Continent, 1868, a Currier & Ives print depicting the changing landscape of the mid nineteenth-century American frontier upon the completion of the Transcontinental Railroads. Significant for its subject matter and memorable provenance, the work came across the block, by descent, from the noteworthy collection of Thomas Winthrop Streeter who was gifted the lithograph on his 80th birthday by his children. Across the Continent reached $62,500-a record for the print. 

Maps and atlases represented a generous portion of the sale with several lots taking top spots and setting records. Maps included Samuel de Champlain’s scarce 1664 record of his later discoveries in Canada with $22,500, and John Overton’s New and Most Exact Map of America from 1671 with $11,875. Additional cartographic material featured a chart of the middle Atlantic Coast including New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina by Joseph Frederick Wallet Des Barres ($13,750); Joan Vingboons’ Caarte van Westindien, circa 1700, a large engraved chart of Florida, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean ($10,625); and a 1676 New and Accurate Map of the World by John Speed ($9,375). Atlases included George Woolworth Colton’s Atlas of America on the physical and political geography of North and South America and the West India Islands, which set a record with $11,250, and a first edition of a rare atlas of Spanish-controlled harbors in North America, Central America and the Caribbean, which earned $11,700. 

Perhaps in response to the political climate, satirical color plate books performed well: Caricaturana, 1836-38, Honoré Daumier’s collaboration with Charles Philipon, taking aim at French society sold for $18,750; and The Caricature Magazine, circa 1806, by George Moutard Woodward, which satirized various elements of nineteenth-century British social and political themes, garnered $16,250. Later in the sale, individual Gillray prints saw a 100% sell-through rate.

Additional highlights from color plate books included John James Audubon’s The Birds of America, 1859, which featured seven volumes and 500 tinted and hand-colored lithograph plates. The publication was offered together with Audubon’s The Quadrupeds of North America and reached $16,250. Michele Rene d’Auberteuil’s eighteenth-century weekly Parisian theatre journals, Costume et Annales des Grands Theatres de Paris, set a record with $11,875. Also from the selection was Thomas Say’s American Conchology, 1830, and a well-illustrated manuscript ciphering book from the eighteenth century by William Greene ($8,750 and $8,125, respectfully).

A run of Japanese material was led by a color woodblock map of Uraga and Edo Bay relating to Commodore Matthew Perry and His Black Ships at $15,600. Additional Perry material included a manuscript report on the arrival of the commodore, featuring two large portraits of Perry and Commander Henry A. Adams, which was sold for $6,500. A panoramic color woodblock map of the roadways, waterways, cities, towns and topography of the entire island chain of Japan; and a large Edo-period woodblock Japanese atlas and encyclopedia were won for $8,450 apiece.   

Caleb Kiffer, Specialist of Maps & Atlases, noted of the sale, “In many ways this sale showed a great confidence in the antique map market with more interest than has been seen and strong prices to back that up. It was also encouraging to witness a surge in the middle-market items. The highlight of the sale, Currier & Ives' Across the Continent was an exceptional result. It is a beautiful, historic image, but it was the fact that it was such a meaningful piece of Thomas Winthrop Streeter's personal collection that propelled it into record territory.”

The next auction of Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books at Swann Galleries will be on June 6, 2019. The house is currently accepting quality consignments.

Additional highlights can be found here.

Image: Lot 342: Currier & Ives, Across the Continent / Westward the Course of Empire Takes Its Way, formerly in the collection of Thomas Winthrop Streeter, New York, 1868. Sold for $62,500, a record for the print.

Category

Announcing Introspective Collective, A Joseph Cornell Co-op

Roni_Peter.jpgNew York — No artist is an island. Harnessing wide-ranging interests to create striking works unconfined by limitations, Joseph Cornell's life and art are the inspiration behind Introspective Collective. Aspects of Cornell’s output—visual and lyrical poetics, collage, assemblage, found objects, and dance—provide a framework to show how the individual and the community interconnect to create art that can be reflective while also contributing to discussions about societal concerns.

Drawing on Cornell’s life and art as the framework, this exhibition seeks to explore the crosscurrents where the individual artist intersects with the wider community. The captivating artwork on display is well worth a visit to the gallery. A wall of shadow boxes addressing climate change hangs opposite an installation concerning Hurricane Maria. Scrolling images of ballerinas in unexpected places are projected alongside a collage of broadsides on loan from The Center for Book Arts.

Visit The Clemente through January 20th to catch this show!

Participating artists: Damali Abrams, Golnar Adili, Aravind Enrique Adyanthaya , Jose Ambriz, Tomie Arai, Milcah Bassel, Elizabeth Louise Castaldo, Ana Paula Cordeiro, Aurora De Armendi, Roni Gross and Peter Schell, Barbara Henry, Wennie Huang, James Kelly, KS Lack, Norah Maki, Colin McMullan DBA Emcee C.M., Master of None, Luis Pons, paul singleton iii, and Daphne Stergides??

Panel Discussion: Altruism and art-making: inherent contradictions - January 19th, 2019 at 2:30PM with Amanda Deutch, paul singleton iii and Aurora De Armendi, moderated by Drake Tyler

Project website https://introspectivecollective.home.blog/

Image: Undertow Roni Gross and Peter Schell

Category

Sotheby's December Auctions of Books & Manuscripts Total $6.1 Million

sothbook.jpgNew York — Sotheby’s December auctions of Books & Manuscripts concluded on Monday, with nearly 700 works sold across six live and online-only sales for a total of $6.1 million. From a newly-discovered manuscript of poems by John Donne, to the ‘dissolution of contract’ that formally ended the Beatles, below is a selection of highlights from the two online-only auctions at the center of this sales series. 

Richard Austin, Head of Sotheby’s Books & Manuscripts Department in New York, commented: “Building off the success of our online-only auction of Books & Manuscripts this June, whose $3.3 million total achieved the highest result for an online-only sale at Sotheby’s in any category, we are very pleased with the results of our December auctions both live and online. In particular, we were excited to see more than half of all sold lots in our online-only sales exceeding their high estimates. From classical music manuscripts to pop music history, rare first editions to newly-discovered autographed letters, we saw many strong prices across the diversity of our field.” 

NEWLY DISCOVERED MANUSCRIPT OF POEMS BY JOHN DONNE 

A previously unrecorded handwritten manuscript by 16th-century British poet, John Donne, which was recently discovered by a Sotheby’s specialist at Melford Hall in Suffolk, sold for $595,315 - marking Sotheby’s highest-ever price achieved in an online-only auction. Described by Sotheby’s book specialists as ‘one of the supreme literary achievements of the English language’, the manuscript is one of the largest contemporary collections of Donne’s poems. 

A contemporary of William Shakespeare, Donne was born into a Catholic household, and experimented with careers first as a soldier-adventurer, and then as secretary to the Lord Keeper in Elizabeth I’s court, a position from which he was promptly sacked, and briefly imprisoned, for eloping with his employer’s niece. His rakish life provided ample material for the poems in this collection - songs and sonnets, erotic elegies and satires. Converting to the Church of England, Donne rose to become Dean of St Pauls in the 1620s with the support of King James I. His extraordinary body of lyrics, full of frank eroticism, theatrical arrogance and jarring rhythms, were considered unlikely output from one of England’s leading priests. 

THE FIRST BOOK TO DESCRIBE A STOCK EXCHANGE 

Sold to benefit the Rare Book Acquisition Fund of the Library of the Jewish Theological Seminary, a rare first edition of Joseph Penso de la Vega’s Confusion de Confusiones written in 1688 achieved $375,000 (estimate $200/300,000). Likely one of less than ten surviving copies, Confusion de Confusiones represents the first book ever to describe a stock exchange. It gives a detailed explanation of the Amsterdam stock exchange, and outlines practices such as puts, calls, pools and manipulations, which remain relevant in today’s exchanges. Despite its great accuracy and keen insights, Confusion was relatively unknown until German economist Richard Ehrenberg published an influential essay in the 1892 Jahrbücher für Nationalökonomie und Statistik, “Die Amsterdame Aktienspekulation un 17. Jarhhundert.” The historical significance of the work was further enhanced by translations into German and Dutch in 1919 and 1939, and in 1957 an abridged translation in English by Hermann Kellenbenz brought the text even wider recognition. 

SHAKESPEARE’S COMEDIES, HISTORIES AND TRAGEDIES 

Published according to the true Originall Copies, Shakespeare’s Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies brought $300,000 - double its high estimate of $150,000. The present edition was printed by Thomas Cotes, who had taken over Isaac Jaggard’s shop in 1627, for publishers Robert Allot, John Smethwick, William Aspley, Richard Hawkins, and Richard Meighen - each of whom had rights in one or more of the plays. 

THE DISSOLUTION OF THE BEATLES 

Marking the end of a global phenomenon, Apple Corps Limited Dissolution of Contract, Signed by All Four Beatles fetched $118,750, more than double its high estimate. While The Beatles had creatively parted ways in 1969, they had reached an accord to formally dissolve by 1974 following years of litigation, and the documents were meant to be signed on 19 December at a meeting at the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan. McCartney and Harrison were there in person, while Starr, having already signed the document, was on the telephone. Although Lennon lived a short distance from the Plaza, he left his former band mates waiting, purportedly giving the excuse: “the stars aren’t right” (in reality his absence was due to lingering concerns over taxation). 

On 29 December, a lawyer met a vacationing John with the amended contract in Disney World. The moment was captured by John’s partner May Pang, who remarked that Lennon “looked wistfully out the window” before signing underneath his band mates’ signatures. 

A RARE LETTER FROM THE FATHER OF MODERN GENETICS 

A remarkable letter written in German from Gregor Mendel to his parents mentioning Friedrich Franz reached $300,000, more than 20x its high estimate of $15,000, with 45 bids placed. Given the tone of the letter, it is assumed that it dates to the 1840s, when Mendel, upon the recommendation of his physics teacher Friedrich Franz, entered the Augustinian St. Thomas's Abbey in Brno. Mendel had not planned to be a monk, but the Augustinian's valued science, research, and education. Mendel was one of Franz's favorite students, and the two men eventually became good friends and often debated a number of topics including the origin of the solar system and of life as such, Goethe's philosophy, and the purpose of human life. Mendel passed away in complete obscurity, and as a result manuscripts relating to his life very rarely appear at auction, and no other autograph letters by Mendel are known to have appeared auction. 

Image: A rare first edition of the first book to describe a stock exchange, Confusion de Confusiones achieves $375,000. Courtesy Sotheby's.

Category

New Benefit at Heritage Auctions: Make Offer to Owner Archive

Dallas, TX - Heritage Auctions’ Make Offer to Owner (MOtO) program, through which clients can make anonymous offers on lots previously sold at auction, has added an extremely useful new feature showing the amount and status of every resale offer ever made via HA.com.

Any Heritage member who sees a previously auctioned item of interest with a Make Offer to Owner button has the option of submitting an offer, after which the item’s owner can accept or decline the offer, or submit a counter-offer to the potential buyer. The new Make Offer to Owner Archive is sortable by Category as well as by Accepted, Rejected and Pending status. The Archive includes every MOtO offer made via HA.com since the feature was introduced first in 2009, with the most recent offers appearing first.

“This new, permanent archive increases our already market-leading transparency,” said Heritage Auctions Co-Chairman Jim Halperin, “and we hope it will encourage more MOtO competition on previously auctioned items by showing pending offers in one convenient place. Just type ‘HA.com/moto’ into your browser to access the main MOtO Archive page anytime, then pick a category and refine the list to see Pending, Rejected, Accepted or All offers. Our members will be amazed at how much information they can glean by accessing their favorite categories on a daily basis. Every listing includes a link to the entire item page. Members are encouraged to outbid any and all pending MOtO offers if they would pay more for that item than the pending high offer.”

Heritage’s MOtO program has become increasingly popular with both sellers and buyers. Most members who have made a purchase through the program have bought, or at least made offers, again. Using the program offers clients an added measure of security and comfort about the authenticity of a lot that cannot be replicated through a secondary outside seller.

The program has enjoyed tremendous growth, with combined sales in 2017 and 2018 - the program’s two most successful years - of more than $16 million. The MOtO program has been particularly popular among Sports and Comics collectors.

Category

One of the Most Exceptional Photography Collections in North America Travels to the Morgan

3f7db8c354cf83d542b33caa_1220x946.jpgNew York — The Morgan Library & Museum presents an exhibition of photographs from one of the most comprehensive repositories of photography on the continent, the collection at the National Gallery of Canada. The first in a series of three major photography shows at the Morgan in 2019, The Extended Moments: Photographs from the National Gallery of Canada is organized into a sequence of pairings that underline the persistence, over time and across space, of trends and tensions central to photography. The moment in each photograph in the sequence is “extended” by images neighboring it on either side, even as the exhibition as a whole presents the age of photography, from its beginning in 1839 to now, as a single “extended moment.” 

Included in the show are 68 works representing photography's role in art, journalism, science, exploration, activism, warfare, the chronicling of family and community histories, and many other subjects. Spanning a period of 180 years, the exhibition also features works by notable artists such as Edward Burtynsky, Julia Margaret Cameron, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Lynne Cohen, John Herschel, Richard Learoyd, Lisette Model, Zanele Muholi, Edward Steichen, and Josef Sudek.

Canada’s was the first national gallery to actively start collecting photography. In 1967 the Gallery began building a collection that chronicles the medium from its prehistory to the present, including major contributors to the field. The gallery’s holdings are distinguished by coverage of the complex history of photographic processes and by deep historical strengths, including the daguerreotype and early French and British photography. More recently, the Gallery has expanded the collecting mandate for photographs to take a more inclusive look at photography as a cultural phenomenon. 

“Photographs have influenced the human imagination in myriad, complex ways from the very beginning of the medium’s history,” said Colin B. Bailey, Director of the Morgan. “Images are made daily and document our national and global histories. Photography is also a deeply personal art that asks questions about how the world works. This is an incredible opportunity for the Morgan to familiarize visitors in the U.S. with one of the most distinguished photography collections on the continent.”

“The Morgan is at once the newest kid on the block. The Department of Photography here is only six years old—and a place where photography gets seen in long historical perspective among the arts of communication,” said Joel Smith, curator of the Morgan exhibition. “It is an honor to host the venerable collection of the National Gallery of Canada here; it also feels like a case of natural synergy.” 

Image: Zanele Muholi, ZaVa, Amsterdam, 2014. National Gallery of Canada. Courtesy of the artist, Yancey Richardson, New York, and Stevenson Cape Town / Johannesburg.

 

Category

Minnesota Center for Book Arts Showcases Work by Artist Cooperative

raw pcard front.jpgRaw is a new exhibition presented by Minnesota Center for Book Arts (MCBA). The exhibition is on view from December 14th - February 3rd in the Open Book Cowles Literary Commons. The opening reception for raw will take place on Thursday, January 10 from 6-8pm. Both the exhibition and opening reception are free and open to the public.

Raw features work by eleven MCBA Artist Cooperative members: Wendy Fernstrum, Georgia A. Greeley, Marvel Grégoire, Karen Kinoshita, Monica Edwards Larson, Raven Miller, Charles Nove, Paul Nylander, Bridget O’Malley, CB Sherlock, and Emily Umentum. Exploring the intersection of ideas, objects, and emotions, artistic methods represented include handmade lace paper, photogravure prints, monotype, intaglio, chapbooks, experimental books, and broadsides.

MCBA’s Artist Cooperative is a community of artists dedicated to book arts. Co-op membership is open to artists with demonstrated interest in papermaking, bookbinding, letterpress printing, screen printing, or related arts. Membership offers 24/7 access to a wide range of equipment in MCBA’s studios, exhibition opportunities, class tuition discounts, peer support, and more.

As the largest and most comprehensive center of its kind in the nation, Minnesota Center for Book Arts celebrates the book as a vibrant contemporary art form that takes many shapes. From the traditional crafts of papermaking, letterpress printing, and hand bookbinding to experimental artmaking and self-publishing techniques, MCBA supports the limitless creative evolution of book arts through book arts workshops and programming for adults, youth, families, K-12 students, and teachers. MCBA is located in the Open Book building in downtown Minneapolis, alongside partner organizations The Loft Literary Center and Milkweed Editions. To learn more, visit www.mnbookarts.org.

Image: Laima by Emily Umentum

Category

The Morgan Presents Tolkien's Adventurous Tales and Original Illustrations

5639a46bda86eabb9e15e422_884x1100 copy.jpgNew York — This winter, the Morgan Library & Museum offers a once-in-a-generation opportunity to see a remarkable collection of materials related to one of the world’s most beloved authors, John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (1892-1973). Tolkien’s adventurous tales ignited a fervid spark in generations of readers. From the children’s classic The Hobbit to the epic The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien’s stories of hobbits and elves, dwarves and wizards have introduced millions to the rich history of Middle-earth. Opening January 25, Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth—a new exhibition at the Morgan organized in collaboration with the Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford—celebrates the man and his creation. 

This exhibition provides the largest collection of Tolkien material ever assembled in the United States. First presented at the Bodleian Libraries in 2018, the 117 objects on view include family photographs and memorabilia, Tolkien’s original illustrations, maps, draft manuscripts, artefacts, and designs related to The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion. The exhibition guides visitors through Tolkien’s development as a writer and artist, from his childhood and student days, through his career as a scholar of medieval languages and literature, to his family life as a husband and father. It presents a unique opportunity to understand the intensely visual imagination, the dedicated scholarship, and the aspects of daily life that shaped Tolkien’s most treasured works. 

Notable objects in the exhibition include draft manuscripts of The Hobbit and the original manuscripts of The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion, displayed alongside striking watercolors, dust jacket designs, and drawings. Other highlights are the photographs and letters from Tolkien’s childhood and student days. Drawn from the collections of the Tolkien Archive at the Bodleian Libraries (Oxford), Marquette University Libraries (Milwaukee), the Morgan, and private lenders, the objects on display introduce visitors to Tolkien’s creative process from his early abstract paintings in The Book of Ishness and the letters written and illustrated for his children to his epic fantasy novels.

The exhibition also offers a rare look at Tolkien’s artistic output, which was wide-ranging and experimental, naturalistic and abstract. In his landscapes of Middle-earth and intricate designs, visitors can catch a glimpse of Tolkien world-building and working out his ideas on paper. 

Since the publication of his novels, Tolkien has amassed a variety of admirers including poet W.H. Auden and singer Joni Mitchell,” said Colin B. Bailey, director of the museum. “This exhibition helps us see what was so extraordinary and universally appealing about his gifts as a storyteller and his ability to combine the scholarly with the artistic. The show presents an intimate look at Tolkien’s world through his handwritten and drawn works. We are grateful to the Bodleian Libraries, The Tolkien Estate and The Tolkien Trust for this landmark collaboration.”

“It is exciting to see so much material in Tolkien’s own hand,” said John McQuillen, Associate Curator of the Printed Books and Bindings Department. “It’s as if we are looking over his shoulder while he composes and illustrates his vision of Middle-earth. We get to glimpse moments in the creation of the narrative, such as when he changes the wizard’s name to Gandalf or suddenly comes up with the idea of the One Ring. It is almost voyeuristic: we have the opportunity to see the creative process that brought us the books with which we are so familiar.”

Image: J. R. R. Tolkien (1892 - 1973), Dust jacket design for The Hobbit, April 1937, pencil, black ink, watercolor, goache. Bodleian Libraries, MS. Tolkien Drawings 32. © The Tolkien Estate Limited 1937. ® TOLKIEN is a registered trademark of The Tolkien Estate Limited. 

Category

Al Hirschfeld's Marx Brothers Drawing Tops Illustration Art Auction

eedfemeejcaehclf.jpgNew York­-Swann Galleries’ auction of Illustration Art on December 6 saw a bustling auction room as well as live bidding from the newly launched Swann Galleries app. Original works from children’s literature and Peanuts comic strips from Charles M. Schulz were among highlights. Of the sale, Illustration Art Specialist Christine von der Linn noted, “We had a strong turnout and set records for six illustrators. The breadth and quality of the material enabled us to further the appreciation and enjoyment of this specific category of art.”

Illustrations from children’s literature saw outstanding results, boasting five of the six records: Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar with $20,000; H.A. Rey’s color pencil work for Cecily G and the 9 Monkeys, 1939-the first book to introduce Curious George-earned $17,500; a watercolor and ink alternate version of the title page for Angelina Ballerina by Helen Craig saw $5,460; and Leonard Weisgard’s double-page illustration for The Golden Christmas Tree brought $5,000. Two archives from Helen Stone found buyers: a rich collection of production material from Tell Me, Mr. Owl, 1957, which included sketches, studies and thoughtfully composed finished drawings garnered $3,500, a record for the artist; and the 50-page mockup of Watch Honeybees with Me, 1964, with numerous illustration, was collected by an institution for $688. Also present was Jerry Pinkney’s special holiday watercolor for a 2009 cover of School Library Journal, which realized $7,000.

The runaway top lot of the sale was a pen and ink drawing of the Marx Brothers by famed cartoonist Al Hirschfeld. The illustration for the cover of Why a Duck?, 1971, which features Chico, Harpo and Groucho in classic Hirschfeld style, barreled through its high estimate of $7,500 selling for $26,000 after a bidding war.Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the Peanuts gang took the spotlight with five original Peanuts comic strips by Charles M. Schulz earning top spots in the sale. The Years are Going by Fast, 1979, which put Schroeder, his piano and Lucy’s fussbudget personality on display; along with Everyone Needs to Have Hope, 1971, with Snoopy atop his doghouse, were sold to collectors. Eventually, That Could Wear Out My Nose, 1971, Woodstock is Searching for His Identity, 1972-each featuring Snoopy and Woodstock; and Neighborhood Dog of the Year, 1973, with Linus and his ever-present security blanket, were won by an institution. Each of the five strips brought $12,500. 

Additional cartoons included an original 11-panel Doonesbury strip, Is Rufus Ready for his Lesson? by Garry Trudeau. The comic was dedicated and inscribed to the influential psychologist, educator and civil rights activist Kenneth B. Clark ($5,750).

Illustrations from The New Yorker performed well, with a cartoon by Charles Addams of a couple passing a giant bird house which sold for $16,250, and a 1926 New Yorker cover by James Daugherty-the earliest cover for the publication offered at Swann to date-realized $3,750.

Other notable lots included: a previously unknown work by Rockwell Kent, To All Fascists for the League of the American Writers ($6,500); and Mary Mayo’s illustration for a General Mills Wheaties advertisement ($3,000, a record for the artist). Scottish illustrator Sir William Russell Flint found success with a watercolor and gouache scene from Homer’s Odyssey of Penelope weaving her shroud selling for $22,500. 

The next auction of Illustration Art at Swann Galleries will be on June 4, 2019. The house is currently accepting quality consignments.

Additional highlights can be found here.

Image: Lot 233: Al Hirschfeld, The Marx Brothers, illustration for the cover of Why a Duck?, pen and ink, 1971. Sold for $26,000. (Pre-sale estimate: $5,000-7,500).

Category

The Roger Casson Library of Polar Exploration, Travel & Local History Heads to Auction

Shackleton Landing Party (1024x692).jpgAn important private library of polar exploration, travel and local history books, including many rare and important volumes, is to be auctioned at Tennants Auctioneers in North Yorkshire on 10th January in a single-owner sale. 

The library was put together over many years by the late Roger Casson, an architect from North East England, and is notable for the outstanding condition of much of the collection. The focus of the library is Polar Exploration in the 19th and early 20th century, which accounts for over 200 lots in the sale. Of particular note are a good collection of works recounting the ill-fated final expedition made by Sir John Franklin in 1845 to find the North-West Passage, and the numerous search missions that followed the disappearance of his ships and their crew. 

One of the most valuable lots in the sale is a limited edition of The Heart of the Antarctic, Being the Story of the British Antarctic Expedition 1907-1909 by Ernest H. Shackleton. Published by Heinemann in 1909, the two-volume set, which includes two panoramas and three folding maps, in one of only three hundred sets bound in vellum. Also included in the lot, which is offered with an estimate of £7,000-10,000 (plus buyer’s premium), is the accompanying The Antarctic Book, Winter Quarters, 1907-1909, which contains sixteen signatures of the Shore Party from the famous expedition. 

Other highlights include a copy of the three-volume The South Polar Times, published by Smith, Elder between 1907-1914, of which a numbered limited edition of 250 were produced, and in this case includes two of the very rare dust wrappers (Estimate: £4,000-8,000 plus b.p.). Also of note is a copy of James Murray and George Marston’s Antarctic Days, Sketches of the homely side of Polar life by two of Shackleton’s Men (Andrew Melrose, 1913). The limited deluxe edition is signed by Murray, Marston and Shackleton, and is being offered with an estimate of £3,000-5,000 (plus b.p.).

The sale will also include numerous books on other travel, including early voyages, and exploration of the Middle East, the history of the North East and architecture. 

A fully illustrated catalogue for the sale will be available on our website, www.tennants.co.uk, two weeks before the sale, alternatively, please contact the salerooms for further details. 

Image: The Antarctic Book, Winter Quarters, 1907-1909 with signatures of the Shore Party: Estimate - £7,000-10,000

Category

Original Star Wars Designs Achieve Top Lot at Bonhams

DS Gunners copy.jpgLondon--A sketchbook showing the original hand-drawn costume designs for key characters in Star Wars - including Darth Vader, Chewbacca and the Stormtroopers - sold for an impressive £125,000 at Bonhams, New Bond Street, on Tuesday 11 December 2018.

The sketchbook was part of the 73-lot sale: Designing an Empire: The John Mollo Archive, and in the collection belonging to the family of John Mollo, the double Oscar®-winning costume designer for Star Wars, Gandhi, Alien and Chaplin.

Katherine Schofield, Head of Bonhams Entertainment Memorabilia department, said, “John Mollo’s personal sketchbook provides a unique insight into the creation of the Star Wars universe. We are delighted that his historic work has been celebrated with bidders from around the globe eager to own this piece of cinematic history.” 

The story began in 1975, when Mollo was commissioned by George Lucas to work on the Star Wars series. Lucas urged Mollo to avoid the stereotypical space-age look of earlier science fiction productions and instead to focus his designs on the pivotal concept of light versus darkness - ‘I just want to see light versus dark,’ he said. 

The sketches include mechanical diagrams exploring how Darth Vader’s helmet would allow the actor to breathe, the first drawing of Chewbacca’s legendary suit and detailed sketches revealing every detail of the stormtroopers’ costumes. It was these, and other, designs that give John Mollo iconic status in Hollywood.

Other highlights of the sale included:

  • Napoleon: A fine collection of costume designs by John Mollo from Stanley Kubrick’s unfinished production, 1970, sold for £14,375
  • Star Wars Episode IV - A New Hope: pre-production line drawing of Princess Leia in her white hooded gown sold for £10,625

Bonhams Entertainment Memorabilia sale also took place on Tuesday 11 December  with 161 lots on offer.

Highlights from the sale included:

  • Ken (K.K) Downing/ Judas Priest: A Gibson Flying V guitar, 1967, sold for an astonishing £150,000 (Estimate £15,000-18,000), a world record result for a ‘lead heavy metal guitar’
  • The HeliosCentric Helios console: constructed in 1996 through an amalgamation of part of the Island Records Basing Street Studio 2 Helios Console (1970-1974) sold for £112,500.
  • Ken (K.K) Downing/ Judas Priest: A Gibson Flying V Medallion Guitar, 1971 sold for £81,250 (Estimate £12,000-14,000).
  • Ian Fleming/ James Bond: A second draft treatment carbon copy for ‘James Bond of the Secret Service’ from Ian Flemings office, October 1959 sold for £35,000.
Category