May 2019

Peter Harrington to Exhibit Remarkable Rare Books at Firsts London

Courtesy of Peter Harrington

Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies by William Shakespeare (Third Folio, 1663) to be offered at Firsts for £500,000.

London — Peter Harrington, the UK’s largest rare bookseller, this year celebrates its 50th anniversary, and is pleased to present an exciting selection of rare books, manuscripts and letters at Firsts London. The focus of the Fair is on the first appearance, in print or manuscript form, of works, writers and ideas that have shaped our collective cultural history. With this is mind, Peter Harrington has gathered together a selection of rare -- often unique -- material to showcase including:

  • A first edition of Huckleberry Finn (£150,000) which is inscribed by Twain and is identified by his tour manager as "the first copy that the author ever set his eyes on";
  • The first fully illustrated edition of Pride & Prejudice (£7,500);
  • A first edition of George Eliot’s first fiction in book form, Scenes of Clerical Life (£19,500);
  • The first translation of Galileo’s Dialogo (£50,000) into any language;
  • A first edition of Sir Walter Raleigh’s The History of the World (£12,500).

Firsts London is one of the largest and most prestigious antiquarian book fairs in the world and showcases items from more than 150 leading UK and international dealers. This year’s theme is Shakespeare, and Peter Harrington will be displaying a fine selection of rare and unusual items, including a Third Folio edition of Shakespeare’s plays (£500,000), generally regarded as the rarest of the 17th-century folio editions.

Firsts - London’s Rare Book Fair at Battersea Evolution is open:
Friday 7 June: noon – 8pm (£20 admission) Press Preview from 11am RSVP
Saturday 8 June: 11am – 7pm (free admission)
Sunday 9 June: 11am – 5pm (free admission)
To register for complimentary tickets visit: www.firstslondon.com
Battersea Evolution, Chelsea Bridge Gate, Battersea Park, London SW8 4NW. FREE shuttle bus operates between Sloane Square and the Fair

Peter Harrington Rare Books is on Stand: J07

To view the full list of items Peter Harrington are taking to Firsts London click HERE.
 
Pom Harrington, owner of Peter Harrington Rare Books, says: ”We are absolutely delighted to be taking part in Firsts – London’s Rare Book Fair and hope as many people as possible will come to Battersea Park over the weekend of 7th – 9th June to see the fascinating first editions we have on display as well as the other Fair highlights. These include the opportunity to see an exhibition of Shakespeare books and props from the Globe including an extremely rare Shakespeare First Folio. Book your tickets now."

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The Eric Carle Museum Presents “The Picture Book Odysseys of Peter Sís”

© 1996 Peter Sís. Reprinted with permission from Farrar, Straus, Giroux Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved.

Peter Sís illustration for Starry Messenger: Galileo Galilei (Frances Foster Books).

Amherst, MA — Peter Sís invites readers on incredible journeys. His exquisitely detailed picture books follow the historic adventures of French pilot Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and Czech arctic explorer Jan Welzl, while others herald the scientific discoveries of Galileo Galilei and Charles Darwin. Fueled by his life experiences, Sís transports readers to the ancient city of Prague in The Three Golden Keys and explores its political past in his autobiography The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain. He chronicles his father's two-year Himalayan voyage in Tibet Through the Red Box, and creates a modern-day fairytale in Madlenka. The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art is pleased to present The Picture Book Odysseys of Peter Sís, on view from June 8 to October 27, 2019. This exhibition celebrates the artist's contributions to children's literature over 30 years, showcasing original illustrations from 26 picture books, as well as a selection of Sís's editorial illustrations, public art projects, and unique painted objects.

Born in Brno, Czechoslovakia in 1949, Sís's formative years and early career as a film animator in Prague came at the height of the Cold War and Soviet totalitarianism. In 1982 he sought asylum, and eventually citizenship, in America. Unsurprisingly, Sís's books embody the principles of freedom and the autonomy to transcend borders, both physical and political.

Sís shares memories of his youth in a remarkable trio of picture books. His most personal narrative, The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain (2007), illustrates life in Czechoslovakia under communist rule. Sís balances black-and-white scenes of secret police and quelled uprisings with family photographs and painted dreams of freedom. The Three Golden Keys (1994) is a surreal return to the artist's childhood in Prague. Famous landmarks reveal Czech legends and golden keys that unlock the door to the artist's family home. As a young boy, Sís was enthralled by the tales of his father, a filmmaker who traveled the world and shared stories of the places he had seen. The mystical Tibet through the Red Box (1998) chronicles his father's nearly two-year odyssey lost in the Himalaya Mountains.

Sís's picture book biographies are multi-layered with timelines, maps, diary excerpts, and elegant hand-written text. His first picture book for adults, The Conference of the Birds (2011), is a breathtaking volume in which the birds of the world alight on a perilous journey in search of a king. The artist is currently at work on a new picture book about Sir Nicholas Winton, a London stockbroker who saved 669 Jewish children from Nazi persecution in Czechoslovakia on the eve of World War II.

Sís balances the sophistication of his biographies with original fairytales and playful early readers. His first picture book, Rainbow Rhino, was published in 1987. It is a dreamlike animal fable about longing and friendship, themes Sís also explores in An Ocean World (1992). The birth of his children Madeleine and Matej inspired an outpouring of new creativity with early reader titles like Fire Truck (1998), Ship Ahoy! (1999), Dinosaur! (2000), and Ballerina (2001). Sís illustrates these nearly wordless stories in simple graphic styles defined by bold outlines, ample white space, and limited colors.

Before and during his early career in children's books, Sís also worked as a freelance illustrator. He contributed more than 1,000 editorial drawings to The New York Times over 18 years. For the last two decades, Sís has dedicated himself to public art. He partnered with Amnesty International on the creation of a series of tapestries in support of universal human rights. Woven in Southern France, the enormous textiles adorn public spaces in Cape Town, Dublin, New York City, and Prague. Sís's three tapestries dedicated to the American Civil Rights Movement are currently touring the United States.

Sís's books span countries and continents, with translations in many languages. He has received dozens of top awards. The American Library Association has honored him with three Caldecott Honor awards. In 2003 he became the first children's book artist to be named a MacArthur Fellow, and in 2012, he won the Hans Christian Andersen Medal, the prestigious international award for lasting contributions to children's literature. The Carle previously featured Sís's work in The Art of Eric Carle & Friends: What's Your Favorite Animal (2014), in which he drew a giant flying carp with three royal cats bearing gifts on its back. Sís was also the featured speaker at The Carle's annual Barbara Elleman Research Library Lecture in 2013.

This exhibition is made possible with generous support from Macmillan Children's Publishing Group.

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Darwin, Einstein Letters at RR Auction on June 12

Courtesy of RR Auction

Charles Darwin letter requesting a sketch of a barnacle fossil.

Boston, MA — Boasting nearly 1,000 lots in a variety of genres, RR Auction's June Fine Autographs and Artifacts sale is highlighted by a Science and Technology section with online bidding until June 12.

Highlights include a Charles Darwin letter requesting a sketch of a barnacle fossil.  The four-page handwritten letter signed "C. Darwin," from August 8, 1850. Letter to Nathaniel Thomas Wetherell, underscoring Darwin's belief in the scientific significance of the study of Cirripedia (barnacles).

During the period of 1846 to 1854 Darwin spent time studying barnacles (Cirripedia), publishing a monograph entitled Living Cirripedia in 1851. We are able to date this letter precisely because August 1850 was the only month with a "Thursday 8th" in the period between the Palaeontographical Society's decision to publish Fossil Cirripedia and the publication of the first volume of this work in 1851, in which Loricula pulchella is described. James de Carle Sowerby drew all the figures of the specimens in the first volume of Fossil Cirripedia.

At the time of writing, Darwin does not seem to have known that George Brettingham Sowerby, Jr., had described and figured this particular specimen in 1843. However, since that time Wetherell had cleared away more material from the specimen, revealing features not seen by G. B. Sowerby, Jr., and a new drawing was made for Darwin's description (Fossil Cirripedia (1851): 81). Published by the Darwin Correspondence Project, University of Cambridge. (Estimate: $15,000+)

Also featured is an Albert Einstein letter on the topic "Geometrization." The one-page letter in German signed "A. Einstein," postcard letterhead, April 1926. Letter to Hans Reichenbach in Stuttgart, Germany, concerning Reichenbach's recent work on geometrization of the magnetic field as well as his criticism of Hermann Weyl's similar theory.

At the time of this letter, Reichenbach and Einstein were communicating about the former's construction of a theory establishing a connection between electricity and geometry, which he hoped would prove as effective as that of general relativity connecting gravitation and geometry. Reichenbach concluded, however, that his theory was less successful than that of general relativity, and he informed Einstein in a prior letter that based on his experiments, evidence proved that geometrization of a physical field could not be considered a significant advancement. In this letter, Einstein appears to agree with Reichenbach, while at the same time criticizing Hermann Weyl's own theory on geometrization of the electromagnetic field. (Estimate: $20,000+)

Along with a Lunar Module rotational hand controller. This hand controller would be used for controlling the Lunar Module's attitude: the handle pivots at the palm for pitch up/down, through the center of the handle for yaw, left/right, and inside the housing for roll left/right. These three-axis controls for pitch, roll, and yaw were vital for successfully maneuvering the spacecraft to and from the lunar surface, and for rendezvous and coking with the Command Module on the return home. A significant and easily recognizable piece of iconic Lunar Module hardware. (Estimate: $50,000+)

Other top lots include Apollo 14 moonwalker Edgar Mitchell's lunar surface-worn backpack strap, a letter by Joseph Stalin with a hammer-and-sickle sketch, a Beatles-signed promo slick for A Hard Day's Night, hand-drawn plans from Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin studio, and signed letters by luminaries like Davy Crockett, Paul Gauguin, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Sigmund Freud, Richard Wagner, and Claude Monet.

The Fine Autographs and Artifacts Featuring Science & Technology from RR Auction will conclude on June 12.  More details can be found online at www.rrauction.com.  

RR Auction is a globally recognized and trusted auction house specializing in historical autographs and artifacts.

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This Summer the Getty Museum Presents “Once. Again. Photographs in Series.”

The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles. © Milton Rogovin

LEFT: Michael and Pam, 1973, Milton Rogovin (American, 1909 - 2011). Gelatin silver print. CENTER: Michael and Pam, 1984, Milton Rogovin (American, 1909 - 2011). Gelatin silver print. RIGHT: Michael and Pam, 1992, Milton Rogovin (American, 1909 - 2011). Gelatin silver print.  

Los Angeles – Artists have long used cameras to record change, documenting transformations in landscapes or intimate portraits of people at different times in their lives. Once. Again. Photographs in Series, on view July 9-November 10, 2019 at the J. Paul Getty Museum, Getty Center, features historical and contemporary artists who have revisited people and places to make extended photographic series, prompting reflection on the impact of the passage of time—on photographers as well as their subjects.

The exhibition, drawn primarily from the collection of the Getty Museum, takes its cue from artist Gordon Parks’ trips to Brazil over several decades to document the life of Flávio da Silva. Parks’ photographs are on view in Gordon Parks: The Flávio Story, installed in the adjacent galleries of the Center for Photographs.

Photographing friends and family is a familiar pastime for many, and the exhibition includes the work of several artists who made masterful portraits of loved ones over the course of many years. Alfred Stieglitz photographed artist Georgia O’Keeffe frequently during their tumultuous 30 year relationship, and the photographs on view expose shifts in their rapport as well as changes in Stieglitz’s photographic style over time. Series by Harry Callahan of his wife Eleanor, Paul Strand of his wife, artist Rebecca Salsbury, and Julia Margaret Cameron of her niece Julia Jackson similarly offer fascinating reflections on the changes in relationships over time.

The exhibition also includes compelling contemporary portraits, including photojournalist Seamus Murphy’s record of the physical and emotional toll inflicted upon a family living in Afghanistan under rule of the Taliban, and Donna Ferrato’s documentation of a woman who fled an abusive relationship. Both series register the struggles as well as triumphs.

A number of artists in the exhibition document seasonal and man-made changes in the landscape. In a 1953 series by William A. Garnett, aerial photography is used to captures a walnut grove before and after the trees were felled to make way for a housing development. The startling perspective of Garnett’s images came to play an important role in the burgeoning environmental movement. Richard Misrach used his move to a new home in the hills above Berkeley, California, as an opportunity to take hundreds of photographs of the astonishing range of colors and atmospheric conditions surrounding the Golden Gate Bridge at sunset each evening. Several of his richly saturated sunset images are featured in the exhibition. Works by Roni Horn, Jem Southam, and Josef Sudek also trace changes in the natural world, to both political and poetic effect.

Transformations in the built environment also reveal the profound effects of the passage of time. LaToya Ruby Frazier documented the painful process of clearing the rooms of her family home in a series of self-portraits in which she cloaked herself in the familiar belongings of her loved ones. In order to spotlight socioeconomic changes in American neighborhoods, Camilo José Vergara photographed the dramatic transformation of a single Harlem storefront over 40 years, as it changed hands, changed facades, and split into two establishments. Other artists in the exhibition, including John Divola and William Christenberry, chronicle the disintegration of architecture over time, creating evocative meditations on deterioration.

“‘Once again’ is a phrase repeated in a poem by William Wordsworth,” says Mazie Harris, assistant curator of photographs at the Getty Museum and curator of the exhibition. “He was fascinated by the powerful feeling that arises when revisiting a familiar place. He’s experiencing his surroundings in real time and yet is constantly aware of his memories of being there before. The photographers in this exhibition conjure that same sensation. They offer us the opportunity to see people and places afresh, even as we track the powerful changes wrought by time.”

Once. Again. Photographs in Series, is on view July 9-November 10, 2019 at the J. Paul Getty Museum, Getty Center. The exhibition is curated by Mazie Harris, assistant curator of photographs at the Getty Museum. Related events to come.

Admission to the Getty is always free.

 

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Very First Tintin Cover Discovered, Heads to June 8-9 Auction at Heritage

Courtesy of Heritage Auctions, HA.com

Hergé's The Adventures of Tintin Vol. 1: Tintin in the Land of the Soviets is estimated at $1,300,000+.

Dallas, TX – The first cover appearance of arguably the most popular comic character worldwide, as well as a pair of lots by the artist who has been called “the Japanese equivalent of Walt Disney” and a group of more than 50 lots of Walt Disney animation art, come to auction June 8-9 in Heritage Auctions’ European Comic Art Auction in Dallas, Texas.

Hergé The Adventures of Tintin Vol. 1: Tintin in the Land of the Soviets (estimate: $1,300,000+) incorporates Hergé’s unique artistic style and his reflection on the political scope of the time. The title character is shown carving a makeshift propeller for his plane from a tree trunk, under the watchful eye of his bandaged-but-attentive dog, Snowy.

“Tintin is a seminal character, who has been loved and admired for generations the world over,” Heritage Auctions Comics & Comic Art Director Joe Mannarino said. “His popularity is as great now as it has ever been.”

Adding to the appeal and value of the image is the fact that it not only is the first cover image for Tintin and Snowy, but it also is one of the rare privately owned cover illustrations signed by Hergé, increasing the chance that it could end up bringing one of the highest prices ever paid at auction for a piece of comic art.

The sale includes artwork by legendary Japanese manga artist, cartoonist, animator and film producer Osama Tezuka, whose pioneering techniques and innovative redefinitions of genres earned him acknowledgement as the “father of manga” and even references as the Japanese equivalent of Disney, who was one of Tezuka’s main inspirations. Tezuka lots in the auction, each of which carries an opening bid of $500, include:

·         Osamu Tezuka Big X Related Splash Page 37 Original Art (Shueisha, 1963-66): The Godfather of Manga, Tezuka (creator of Astro Boy, Kimba the White Lion, Princess Knight, and Phoenix), produced this great image from Big X, which appeared in Shōnen Book in the mid-1960s.
 
·         Osamu Tezuka Nakayoshi August-1966 Princess Knight Partial Page Illustration Original Art (Kodansha, 1966)

François Schuiten Jules Verne Illustration art (2003) was created for a major French magazine and represents Verne, one of the novelists who was a key figure in the artist’s childhood. With an opening bid of $21,000, the image includes tributes to some of Verne’s greatest works, including Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and Around the World in Eighty Days. Verne’s interest in scientific and technological progress, as well as the inventions developed in his novels and short stories, made him into a major source of inspiration for one of the characters of the Obscure Cities series. The image is in acrylic and pencil, with an image size of 11-1/4 inches by 17 inches.
 
Carrying an opening bid of $20,000, Winsor McCay A Tale of the Jungle Imps Sunday Comic Strip Original Art dated 2-22-03 (Cincinnati Enquirer, 1903) is just the sixth Sunday in the series by the artist whose 1914 Gertie the Dinosaur cartoon prompted some to consider him the “father of animation.” The strip preceded McCay’s better-known Little Nemo in Slumberland by a full two years, and two other McCay strips, Little Sammy Sneeze and Dream of the Rarebit Fiend, by a year. Each series had a theme of explaining the existence of certain animals. This episode is entitled “How the Pelican Got his Pouch.”
 
Hugo Pratt Corto Maltese Volume 5 “L’Ange à la Fenêtre d’Orient” – “Fables et Grand-Pères” Page 19 (Casterman, 1974) from the artist’s legendary series, has an opening bid $18,000. The author excelled in black and white, as evident in this page from the “L’Ange à la Fenêtre d’Orient” volume. Of note on this 19th page from the Fables and Grandfathers adventure is the fact that Corto is included in almost every panel. This page, in ink on board, has an image area of 13 by 17-3/4 inches.
 
With an opening bid of $15,100, Enki Bilal Baby-Boom Couverture (Éditions Mazarine, 1985) is a visual goldmine. Offered here is a plash page heralded by the greatest American specialists of the medium. In ink on Bristol board, it has an image area of 9 by 11-1/2 inches.

Also included is a group of 54 lots of Disney animation art, including:

·         Sleeping Beauty Dragon Concept/Color Key Painting by Eyvind Earle Original Art (Walt Disney, 1959)
 
·         Peter Pan Mermaid Concept Painting by Mary Blair Original Art (Walt Disney, 1953)
 
·         Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Snow White Animation Drawing (Walt Disney, 1937)

Other top lots include, but are not limited to:

·         Moebius Le Garage Hermétique de Jerry Cornelius Page 125 (Métal Hurlant, 1976-78)
 
·         Vicente Segrelles Le Mercenaire “La Evidencia” Page 3 (CIMOC #100, 1989)
 
·         Vicente Segrelles Le Mercenaire Volume 2 “La Formule” Cover (CIMOC Magazine, 1982)
 
·         Régis Loisel Pelisse et le Fourreux Illustration art (2018)
 
·         Jean Giraud Blueberry Volume 9 “La piste des Sioux” Page 6 (Dargaud, 1971)

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Waverly Rare Books to Host Sci-Fi & Fantasy Auction on June 6

Courtesy of Waverly Rare Books

First American edition copy of J.G. Ballard’s The Atrocity Exhibition (Doubleday & Co., N.Y., 1970), very rare, as the book was suppressed by publishers prior to its release, est. $8,000-14,000.

Falls Church, VA – On Thursday, June 6, Waverly Rare Books, a division of Quinn’s Auction Galleries, will conduct a 286-lot auction brimming with scarce and significant examples of science fiction and fantasy. The majority of the sale features items from the collection of Daniel “Dan” Breen, a lifelong collector of rare science fiction and fantasy.

Titled a Science Fiction and Fantasy Auction, the event will be held at Quinn’s Falls Church gallery, with all forms of remote bidding available, including absentee and live via the Internet through LiveAuctioneers. Previews will be held on Saturday, June 1 from 10 a.m. till 12 noon; and Monday through Thursday, June 3-6, from 10 a.m. till 6 p.m.

Dan Breen was the owner of the Second Foundation bookstore in Chapel Hill, N.C., where important items such as the first edition of The Dark Knight were signed. Many items in the sale were inscribed to Breen or purchased directly from the authors. He became good friends with Manly Wade Wellman and Karl Edward Wagner, and many books offered in the auction have prior provenance from their notable collections.

The Breen collection includes a first-edition set of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings and an exceedingly rare, suppressed copy of J.G. Ballard’s The Atrocity Exhibition, of which fewer than 20 copies are believed to exist. Also featured are storyboards signed by the comic book artist Sal Buscema, comic book character art by Javier Cabada, and sericels from classic Disney movies.

With a pre-sale estimate of $10,000-$15,000, the first edition, three-volume set of Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings is a candidate for top lot of the auction. Published in 1954-1955 by George Allen and Unwin, Ltd., London, they include The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of the King. All contain maps, have their dust jackets, and are in very good condition.

The first American-edition copy of J.G. Ballard’s The Atrocity Exhibition (Doubleday & Co., N.Y., 1970) is particularly rare because the title was suppressed by publishers prior to its release and copies were destroyed. Only a few survived, including the example in Waverly’s auction, which is estimated at $8,000-$14,000. It is graded very good-to-near fine, with only light wear and some staining to the dust jacket.

A first-edition, first-printing copy of H.G. Wells’ timeless classic The Time Machine (Henry Holt, N.Y., 1895) – with the author’s name incorrectly spelled as “H.S. Wells” on the title page – is expected to change hands for $4,000-$6,000. Although it lacks its dust jacket, the book is in very good condition with wear commensurate to age.

Another sci-fi classic – Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World (Chatto & Windus, London, 1932) – carries an estimate of $2,000-$3,000. The first-edition copy has teal boards with a gilt title on the spine. It retains its original dust jacket with the price still showing on the front flap, and is graded very good to fine.  

Original dust jacket art for the book Lonely Vigils, a collection of stories written by Manly Wade Wellman and published by Carcosa (Chapel Hill, N.C., 1981), should reach $2,000-$4,000. The art, by George Evans, is in a 20½-inch by 15¾-inch frame and is accompanied by an envelope sent from printer to publisher that contains a proof copy of the dust jacket, notes and other items.

A manuscript file pertaining to the book Borders of Infinity by Lois McMaster Bujold has an estimate of $2,000-$3,000. The file contains a photocopy of the first half of the first draft in the author’s holograph, signed by Bujold; a cover letter and postcard relating to the purchase of the manuscript, both signed; and a first edition copy of Free Lancers (1987), co-written by Bujold.

An author’s manuscript copy of the book Ender’s Game (1985) by Orson Scott Card could command $1,500-$2,000. A photocopy of the final draft as a review copy is accompanied by a letter from sci-fi author Tom Disch requesting a review, and a color print of the dust-jacket art for the first edition. Page one has been signed by Card, with an inscription to Breen on verso.

A first-edition copy of A Voyage to the Moon (Elam Bliss, N.Y., 1827) by George Tucker (as Joseph Atterly) is estimated to fetch $1,000-$1,500. The book is the earliest interplanetary novel by a native-born American to employ mechanical means for space travel, published pseudonymously by the Chairman of the Faculty of the University of Virginia. The book is in very good condition.

A first-edition copy of The Princess Bride (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, N.Y., 1973) signed by the author William Goldman and inscribed on the leaf facing the title page (“10 June ’81 for Audree, best wishes William Goldman”), is expected to find a new owner for $800-$1,200. Graded in near-fine condition, the book has gray cloth boards and has its original dust jacket.

A four-volume, first-edition set of books by George R.R. Martin collectively called A Song of Ice and Fire (Bantam, N.Y. 1996-2005), should reach $400-$600. The book titles are: A Game of Thrones (1996); A Clash of Kings (1998); A Storm of Swords (2000); and A Feast for Crows (2005). All have original printed dust jackets, and the set has a full number line on the copyright page.

Waverly’s June 6, 2019 auction will commence at 6 p.m. Eastern Time. For additional information about any item in the sale, call 703-532-5632, extension 575; or e-mail waverly@quinnsauction.com. Waverly Rare Books is located at 360 S. Washington Street, Falls Church, VA 22046. View the online catalog and bid absentee or live online at LiveAuctioneers.com. Visit Waverly’s (and its parent company Quinn’s) website at http://www.quinnsauction.com. Quinn’s is always happy to discuss possible consignments to future auctions.

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Bidders Pursued Campaign Banner & Wild Bill Hickok Love Letter at Heritage Auctions

Courtesy of Heritage Auctions, HA.com

A letter by "Wild Bill" Hickok, written in June 1876 to his wife, Agnes, sold for $100,000.

Dallas – The only known example of a campaign banner for the United States’ 12th president soared past pre-auction estimates to lead the final total for Heritage Auctions’ Americana & Political Auction to $1,963,776 May 4-5 in Dallas, Texas.

Zachary Taylor: Only Known Example Campaign Banner for the 1848 Whig Candidate and 12th President inspired bids from multiple collectors before it closed at $200,000, four times its pre-auction estimate. It is done in the style of banners that were popular in 1840 and 1844 but disappeared in ensuing elections before enjoying a renewed popularity in 1856.

“This is the only example of this flag we have ever seen,” Heritage Auctions Americana Director Tom Slater said, “making it one of the most important political flags ever to come to auction.”

Doubling its pre-auction estimate was James Butler “Wild Bill” Hickok: Perhaps the Most Important Known Autograph Letter Signed from this Old West Legend, which prompted bids from nearly a dozen collectors before closing at $100,000. Written in June 1876 to his wife, Agnes, in Omaha, Nebraska, where Hickok was assembling a prospecting exhibition to the Black Hills, this letter revealed a softer side in stark contrast to Hickok’s rough-edged gunslinger persona.

One of what is believed to be only three known examples, General George Washington's “Christmas Miracle”: Crossing the Delaware and the Stunning Victory at Trenton was chased by multiple bidders until it drew $87,500. Titled “Fresh Advices from the Westward…” the broadside handbill comes from the office of The Providence Gazette. Adding to the rarity and significance is the fact that 18th-century American newspapers rarely printed Sunday editions because of the Sabbath, but the significance of the news in this rarity justified an exception to the rule.

A Poster Honoring the Kansas “Loyal Delegates to the 1884 Republican National Convention” sold for $62,500, more than six times its pre-auction estimate. It was produced by the J.M.W. Jones Stat’y & P’t’g. Co.” to honor those who stuck with James G. Blaine on the second ballot to allow him to edge out incumbent president Chester A. Arthur for the presidential nomination.

According to the legend at the bottom, the poster is a representation of “the large banner that was carried through the streets of Chicago by the Kansas Delegation to the Republican National Convention on June 5th, 1884.” When Blaine was nominated, it was carried again through the aisles of Convention Hall.

Cox & Roosevelt: An Almost Certainly Unique Black and White Variant of the Customarily Brown Whitehead and Hoag 7/8" Jugate, from the collection of Sam and Jeff Pressman, brought $50,000. One of only two known to have been offered in the last 50 years, this button was known to only a few hobby insiders before it emerged in response to a Coin World buying ad placed by Sam Pressman in the 1970s.

The sale also included several collections, including the Dr. Donald A. Hopkins collection of Robert E. Lee photographs, which is one of the most comprehensive collections of Lee photographs ever assembled. Among the highlights were:

Robert E. Lee: Mammoth Mathew Brady Photograph: $15,000
Robert E. Lee: Large Mounted Albumen of Lee on Traveller: $10,000
Robert E. Lee: Unpublished, Boldly Signed Carte-de-Visite: $5,250

Other top lots included:

George Washington: A Superb, Large, Signed Oil on Canvas Portrait by Philadelphia Artist Robert Street (1796-1865): $41,250
Rare Punch Cigar Store Advertising Figure Cast in Zinc, Circa 1885: $40,000
Henry Clay: A Marvelous Rare and Highly Distinctive 1844 Campaign Flag Banner: $37,500
John A. Sutter: A Superb Engraved Sword Presented to this Famous California Gold Rush Figure by the Sutter Rifles Militia Group: $33,750
Sam Houston: Fabulous Life-Size Pastel Portrait by Harriet Anderson Stubbs Murphy: $32,500

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Top Results at Potter & Potter’s Poster Auction

Courtesy of Potter & Potter Auctions

Broders, Roger (French, 1883-1953). St. Pierre de Chartreuse. Sold for $2,160.

Chicago — Potter and Potter's May 22nd Vintage Poster Sale generated wall to wall interest -- and results! After the hammer fell for the last time, 65 lots realized between $500-999; 21 lots made between $1,000-1,999; and 11 lots broke the $2,000 barrier. Prices noted include the company's 20% buyer's premium.

Posters featuring dramatic 19th and 20th century magic acts were headliners in this sale, taking several of the top lot slots. Lot #656, an eight-sheet color lithograph The World’s Greatest Psychic Sensation. Samri S. and Miss Baldwin in Oriental Hypnotic Dream Visions came well within estimate, making $4,800. This 109 x 81” c. 1895 graphic pictured Miss Baldwin - blindfolded and empowered with second sight by magical forces - sitting and surrounded by red imps rushing to her with questions. And lot #663, a 28 x 41 ½” poster of Kar-Mi (Joseph Hallworth) titled Performing The Most Startling Mystery of All India rose to $3,120 on its $300-400 estimate. This 1914 color lithograph depicted the magician levitating a sarcophagus amongst skeletal hands and frightened, turbaned observers.

As noted in Potter's December, 2018 Vintage Travel Poster sale, examples featuring destinations and celebrations in India again proved hot commodities at this event as well. Lot #273, an India Car Festival At Puri poster produced in Bombay by the New Jack Printing Works Ltd., in 1958 raced its way to $2,640 on its $600-900 estimate.  Millions of devotees gather to drag the chariot and be blessed at this annual event.  Lot #275, a 1960s era India Kanchenjunga near Darjeeling poster also produced in Bombay by New Jack Printing Works Ltd. sold for $2,640 on its $300-500 estimate. This stunning 40 x 26 ¼” piece was finely illustrated with two men playing large instrumental horns in the snow-covered mountains. And lot #422, a 1960s era Otto Nielson (Danish, 1916-2000) Scandinavian Airlines System India traded hands at $1,800 on its $200-300 estimate. This 39 ¼ x 24 ¾” example, printed in Denmark by Axel Andreasen & Sonner, featured a fuzzy, friendly monkey holding an orange, sitting in a tree.  

First class travel posters illustrated by David Klein (1918 - 2005) caught the attention of adventuresome bidders worldwide. Klein was talented artist best known for his work with TWA and Howard Hughes in the 1950s and 1960s.  Lot #321, Klein's Fly TWA New York poster came well within estimate, landing at $2,400. This brilliantly colored poster featured an abstract rendering of New York City in quadrilaterals and sparkling lights, with a TWA Lockheed Constellation to its upper right. Lot #332, his 1961 New York World’s Fair Fly TWA Jets poster - one of the rarest of all New York World's Fair posters - made $2,640 on its $1,400-2,200 estimate.  This stunning example spotlighted the fair’s giant globe on a bright orange background filled with fireworks. And lot #315, Klein's 1955 Disneyland Fly TWA poster made $2,400. This out of this world poster featured a TWA Moonliner rocket in its foreground and Cinderella’s Castle and other Disney landmarks in the distance.

Posters illustrated with enticing domestic and international travel destinations, as well as iconic midcentury images, rounded out this important sale. Lot #201, a Stan Galli (1912-2009) Los Angeles United Air Lines poster depicting a platinum blonde in sunglasses at the beach sold for $2,160 on its $1,500-2,000 estimate.  This 1960s example, measuring 40-½ x 25",  was an uncommon variant of a poster typically advertising southern California, as opposed to Los Angeles. Lot #122, a Roger Broders (French, 1883-1953) St. Pierre de Chartreuse poster from 1930 illustrated with a mountain and forest range made $2,160. St. Pierre de Chartreuse is a commune located in southeastern France. And also making a mark here was lot #499, a 1950s era Santa Fe Texas railroad travel poster depicting the famous livestock brands of the Lone Star State. Estimated at $400-600, it served up $1,680.

According to Gabe Fajuri, President at Potter & Potter Auctions, "We saw broad interest in the travel posters in our sale, and competition for posters related to India continues to be strong. As expected, the works by major designers - Galli and Klein in particular - were also hotly sought after."

Potter & Potter, founded in 2007, is a Chicago area auction house specializing in paper Americana, vintage advertising, rare books, playing cards, gambling memorabilia, posters, fine prints, vintage toys, and magicana - antiques and collectibles related to magic and magicians. The company's next sale, The Magic Collection of Jim Rawlins, Part II, will be held on June 29, 2019. For more information, please see www.potterauctions.com. Follow us on Facebook (potterandpotterauctions), Twitter (PnPAuctions), and Instagram (potterauctions).

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Les Enluminures Returns to Masterpiece London

Courtesy of Les Enluminures

The Bybbesworth Hours, illuminated manuscript in Latin on parchment. Made in the Southern Netherlands, Bruges, c. 1405-1415. Twelve miniatures by the Master of the Beaufort Saints and associates, Fol. 1 Ov, St. Christopher.

London -- Les Enluminures is pleased to be returning to Masterpiece London, where the company will share for the second year in a row a themed stand with Daniel Crouch Rare Books on the subject of "Sapiens: Mapping the History of Ideas." Les Enluminures and Daniel Crouch Rare Books contribute to the fair's mission as the "world's leading cross-collecting fair" by exhibiting diverse works in dialog with each other — manuscripts, historic rings and jewelry, with maps, globes, and printed books on travel and exploration. This year's theme is inspired by the publishing phenomenon by Yuval Noah Harari "Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind" (2015) which offers an "absorbing, provocative history of civilization" (Financial Times). We have taken seriously Harari's dictum: "We study history not to know the future but to widen our horizons."

Les Enluminures approaches the theme broadly by selecting works of art from medieval civilization that resonate with, and expand on, some of the ideas central to Sapiens: Genealogy (Family), Love, and Death.

Art, politics, and history come together in a remarkable group of six rings that have been in the family of the Earls of Galloway since their origins. These include examples by known English portrait artists, and the collection constitutes a rich repository of Stuart and Jacobite pictorial and cultural history which takes the story of the Stuarts from the execution of 1649 to the death of Prince Charles Edward, and the changing of alliance to the Hanoverian monarch, George Ill (d. 1820).

Books of Hours — medieval "must-haves" — also witness transmission. One special English example, the Bybbesworth Hours, went from Bruges to England, as it passed through centuries of English mercantile and diplomatic families. It evokes other themes consistent with devotional art of the civilization of the Middle Ages. Tokens of love, gifts of marriage, commodities of inheritance, Books of Hours touch on all the subjects of Family, Love, and Death.

Harari tells us that one-third of the children born before the Industrial Revolution made it to the age of fifteen, so it is no surprise that Death emerged as a focus for art and society. A unique group of mourning rings, along with a jeweled pendant containing relics of the saints underscore this universal theme.

Founded by Dr. Sandra Hindman nearly thirty years ago and with locations in Paris, Chicago, and New York, Les Enluminures has forged long-standing relationships with major museums and prestigious private collections throughout the world. It exhibits currently at TEFAF Maastricht, Masterpiece, the Winter Show, and Paris Fine Art. The gallery is well-known for the level of its scholarship but also for the diversity, high quality, and provenance of the works it offers for sale.

Sandra Hindman states: "We are thrilled to be returning to this well-run, beautiful fair held during the lively and enriching London Art Week and to be offering there a group of exciting works of art."

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Travel & Exploration “Firsts” at Firsts: London

London -- For this year’s Firsts: London’s Rare Book Fair, ILAB antiquarian booksellers Type & Forme (UK) and Charlotte Du Rietz (Sweden) have joined forces to present travel ‘firsts’ from around the globe in a printed catalogue on Travel & Exploration. Their stands will showcase rare travel books, manuscripts, and photographs capturing the experiences of explorers and tourists, pilgrims and missionaries, artists and photographers, and women travellers spanning five centuries.

The first representation of the Arabic, Syriac, Coptic, and Ethiopic alphabets in print is found in Bernhard von Breydenbach’s Peregrinatio in terram sanctam (1486), an illustrated guide to the Holy Land for pilgrims. Other notable ‘firsts’ include the first edition of William Bligh’s A Narrative of the Mutiny, on Board His Majesty’s Ship Bounty (1790), and issues of Teny Soa (The Good Word) – the first newspaper to appear in Madagascar, which was published in Antananarivo by the London Missionary Society from 1870 onwards.

Other highlights include Lady Hester Stanhope’s Memoirs and Travels (1846) – which record the eccentric aristocrat’s travels through the Middle East, where she spent the last 25 years of her life as a hermit in a monastery at the foot of Mount Lebanon – and the first edition of E.M. Forster’s Alexandria (1922). Forster wrote his history and travel guide after being stationed in Alexandria as a Red Cross volunteer from 1915- 1918, and it was published in the city in 1922. Most copies of the first edition were destroyed, and this rare copy is from the library of Stephen Keynes, the nephew of Forster’s friend John Maynard Keynes.

Courtesy of Type & Forme/Charlotte Du Rietz

Photographic images of the Gobi Desert by Paul Lieberenz.

The catalogue also includes some important ‘lasts’, including a set of photographic prints from Sven Hedin’s last expedition, ‘The Sino Swedish Expedition’ of 1927-1935, which crossed the Gobi Desert. These images by Paul Lieberenz, the expedition photographer, depict camel caravans and horse carriages travelling through the desert, mountain passes, and the Jollbar Khan’s castle at Hami.

An important and very frank twelve-page letter of 1865 by David Livingstone discusses other African explorers and condemns Richard Burton as ‘an awful ruffian’, adding ‘I don’t believe that Burton was at Mecca’. Some ten weeks after writing it, Livingstone departed for his last expedition, during which he searched for the source of the Nile and was relieved by Henry Morton Stanley. He would never return to Britain, and died in Africa on 30 April 1873.