June 2019

Historic Pride Sale at Swann Brings Market Premiers and Auction Records

Courtesy of Swann Auction Galleries

Walt Whitman, Memoranda of the War, remembrance copy, inscribed to Peter Doyle, sold for $70,000.

New York — The Pride Sale at Swann Galleries on Thursday, June 20 offered a curated selection of LGBTQ+ art, photography, literature, autographs and ephemera from the past 200 years, with many first-time appearances on the market. The sale was a resounding success with 75% of the lots finding buyers, bringing a total of $950,833.

Topping the sale was Peter Hujar’s portrait of David Wojnarowicz. The 1985 silver print sold after aggressive bidding between two collectors on the phone for $106,250, a record for the artist. “Hujar's compelling portrait captures an intimate moment in 1985, a few years after the couple first met. Hujar, who was 20 years Wojnarowicz's senior, was initially a mentor, introducing him to photography and darkroom practices; soon after they became lovers. The strong bond between the two is encapsulated in David poignant statement, ‘Everything I made, I made for Peter.’ It was deeply satisfying to bear witness and see these two giants of the LBGTQ+ and photographic communities generously recognized,” noted Daile Kaplan, Swann VP and Director of Photographs.

Additional works by Hujar included Come Out!, 1969, an iconic-image that was used for numerous Gay Liberation Front posters ($10,000). David Wojnarowicz also featured in the sale with True Myth / Domino Sugar, a 1983 screenprint on a supermarket poster, that earned $13,000, a record for the print, and Neon Dancer, a 1982 postcard to activist Jim Fouratt with a multimedia drawing by the artist, which brought $17,500.

Further photographic material included an important selection of works by Robert Mapplethorpe: Jim and Tim in Sausalito, 1977, which brought a record for the silver print at $25,000. The artist’s complete 1981 Z Portfolio reached $47,500, and a selection of four works from the 1978 X Portfolio sold for $21,250. Duane Michals’ Narcissus, 1985, earned a record for the sequence at $27,500. There was a frenzy of bidding as works by Donna Gottschalk and Joan E. Biren (JEB) came across the block. High points of the run were Sisterhood Feels Good, a 1971 poster by Times Change Press which utilized Gottschalk’s Sleepers, Limerick, Pennsylvania photograph ($1,125), and JEB’s 1971, printed 1997, silver print Charlotte Bunch with members of the Furies in the living room of one of their collective houses ($3,000). Works by Don Herron, Annie Leibovitz and Jack Smith rounded out a standout offering.

Autograph material proved to be popular as well, with an autograph letter signed by Harvey Milk on March 7, 1978, as the acting Mayor of San Francisco, garnered a record for an autograph by the politician at $11,250. The note was written to Don Amador, a leading LA-based activist, and his husband Tony Karnes, and exlaims: “Thought you should have a memo from the 1st upfront gay mayor of any city–it’s for real!!!” An archive of personal effects of trans icon Candy Darling, which included letters, photographs, and her personal datebook and diary for 1970, was won for $19,500.

Literary highlights featured a remembrance copy of Walt Whitman’s Memoranda of the War, 1875-76, inscribed by the author, “with his love,” to his partner Peter Doyle, which brought a record for the work at $70,000. Also of note was a marker and graphite study for Frog and Toad Together, 1972, by Arnold Lobel ($9,375).

Fine art from the early-twentieth century included a pen, ink and pencil preliminary sketch for Horseplay, 1935, by Paul Cadmus ($47,000) and Gerda Wegener’s circa 1920 crayon, charcoal and wash drawing, Two Women in a Window, which featured her partner Lili Elbe ($20,000). Works from the latter half of the twentieth century included pieces by Andy Warhol, Michael Leonard and Henry Scott.

Of the sale, Nicholas D. Lowry, Swann President, said, “It is validating as a specialist to discover that you can still be pleasantly surprised at an auction. The catalogue was extremely well received, the exhibition was well attended and the auction itself was busy and the bidding was active. Works from every single one of our areas of specialty achieved prices that helped us to decide to turn this auction into a yearly event. The sale was a historic, artistic and cultural exploration for the whole company. We were proud to be able to do it and delighted it turned out so well.”

Swann Galleries is currently accepting quality consignments. Inquiries for future auctions can be directed to pride@swanngalleries.com. Visit swanngalleries.com or download the Swann Galleries App for catalogues and bidding.

 

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ILAB Breslauer Prize for Bibliography Receives $25,000 Donation

The endowment of the ILAB Breslauer Prize for Bibliography has recently been funded with a further generous donation of $25,000 from the B.H. Breslauer Foundation of New York — Submissions are currently being accepted for the 2022 prizes.

The International League of Antiquarian Booksellers can now announce that the future of these important prizes in the field of bibliography is assured.

The ILAB Prize for Bibliography was founded in 1964. In 2008, its name was changed to the ILAB Breslauer Prize for Bibliography in recognition of a grant of $100,000 given by the Breslauer Foundation in honor of the late Dr. Bernard H. Breslauer (1918-2004). He and his father, Martin Breslauer, were leading antiquarian booksellers in Berlin, London and subsequently New York, spanning between them the entire 20th century. Both published scholarly works on the history of bibliophily and themselves formed remarkable collections of historical bibliography.

Felix de Marez Oyens, President of the B.H. Breslauer Foundation, comments: “My fellow trustees and I are pleased to make this additional donation in order to enable the ILAB to award every fourth year not only the main bibliography prize of $10,000, but also second and third prizes of $5,000 and $3,000 respectively. The discipline of bibliography is not usually a lucrative pursuit. It is important therefore that the practitioners of this branch of scholarship be encouraged as much as possible by institutional libraries and also by the rare-book trade, which profit from it. We hope that these prizes, which are not inconsiderable, will continue to play a major role in that encouragement.”

The prize jury considers publications relating to descriptive and analytical bibliography, the history of the book, typography, paper making, historical and artistic bookbindings, etc.

Fabrizio Govi, ILAB Vice-President and Breslauer Prize Secretary, comments: “On behalf of ILAB and the international rare-book trade, I express our sincerest gratitude to the directors of the B.H. Breslauer Foundation for their continued support. ILAB received over fifty submissions for the latest prizes, which were awarded in 2018, and we now look forward to receiving even more submissions for the 18th edition of ILAB Breslauer Prize for Bibliography Prize in 2022.”

Submit a publication for the next prize, awarded in 2022!

ILAB encourages scholars, authors, publishers, universities and booksellers to submit publications for the 2022 prize.
Please send a copy of the work to the offices of the Prize Secretary, Mr Fabrizio Govi:
Fabrizio Govi - Libreria Govi  
Via Bononcini, 24   I-41124 Modena ITALY
Or contact the ILAB Secretariat: Angelika Elstner   secretariat@ilab.org
 
All recent submissions available at the ABA Library in the UK

All publications submitted for recent prizes are archived at the ABA Library and can be consulted and viewed for research and study purposes on request. Please contact the ILAB Secretariat if you wish to receive access to the catalogue and the books.

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American Bar Association History Published

Talbot Publishing is pleased to announce the publication of an important new title:

Best Men of the Bar The Early Years of the American Bar Association 1878-1928
JOHN AUSTIN MATZKO
Introduction by Kellen R. Funk
xxxvi, 333 pp. ISBN 978-1-61619-587-8 Hardcover $85

Courtesy of Talbot Publishing

Within a narrative history of the early American Bar Association, Matzko illustrates how the organization endeavored to create a traditional professional gatekeeping organization by gaining control of legal education, entrance examinations, and ethical codes. The early ABA supported reformist values of political and social change if such change could be overseen by courts. It was not until the second decade of the twentieth century that it began its transformation into a more conservative group.

ADVANCE PRAISE

“Matzko’s perceptive and judicious – and sometimes delightfully sardonic – history of the American Bar Association’s first 50 years rescues the ABA from its reputation as a cabal of reactionary corporate lawyers, and reveals it as a club of gentlemanly but moderately progressive law reformers. This book is a really important and informative contribution to the history of the legal profession and of professions generally.”
ROBERT W. GORDON Stanford Law School

“In this penetrating and gracefully-written account of the formative first-half century of the American Bar Association, Matzko actually makes institutional history absorbing – an excellent account of the personalities and ideas that formed the legal profession on a national level, the transition from a ‘Gentleman’s Club’ to a professional association and, in due course, an entity which established widely-shared minimum standards for the quality of legal education and admission to the State bars. Likely to be the definitive account for some time to come.”
WILLIAM E. BUTLER Dickinson Law, Pennsylvania State University

“Skillfully using prosopographic methods, Professor Matzko provides an exhaustively researched and perceptively written institutional history of the American Bar Association in the Gilded Age. His work challenges us to take a new look at this formative period’s impact on the legal profession, on constitutional theory, and on political phiosophy. We have long needed such a close examination of the validity of earlier and more general views concerning the practicing bar in this period. This is a ‘must read’ for all who seek understanding of this sparsely studied but critically important transitional era in American legal and constitutional history.”
HERBERT A. JOHNSON University of South Carolina School of Law

“John A. Matzko has produced an engrossing history of the American Bar Association, relating both the unfortunate episodes of the ABA stoutly resisting racial, gender, ethnic, and religious diversification of the American Bar and maintaining a conservative, elitist, corporate law makeup but, also, of the progressive stances the ABA took in such areas as legal ethics and legal education. Like the history of the American Bar itself, the history of the ABA provides a number of rich tales that every lawyer, law student, and would-be lawyer should read and savor.”
MICHAEL H. HOEFLICH University of Kansas School of Law

“Deeply researched and nicely written, Best Men of the Bar narrates the history of the first fifty years of the life of the American Bar Association. It is at once a tale of organizational accomplishment, a reflection of American society in the years from 1878 to 1928, and a chronicle of how a small group of elite lawyers advanced the stature of their profession.”
WARREN M. BILLINGS University of New Orleans

Table of Contents

Preface Introduction
    .    1  The Founding
    .    2  Struggles for Survival 1878-1891
    .    3  The “Noiseless, Unobtrusive Way” 1891-1911
    .    4  Conservative Reformers: ABA Ideologies, 1878-1914
    .    5  Between Gentlemen’s Club and Professional Association: 1911-1928
    .    6  Gatekeeping: Legal Education
    .    7  Gatekeeping: Bar Examinations and the Canon of Ethics
    .    8  “An Attitude of Opposition”: 1911-1919
    .    9  Anxious and Ineffectual: 1918-1928

Appendix
A. Presidents of the American Bar Association, 1878-1928 B. Members of the Executive Committee 1878-1928 C. Dates and Places of the Annual Meetings, 1878-1928
D. Membership and Attendance at the Annual Meeting, 1878-1928
Bibliography Index

THE AUTHOR
JOHN AUSTIN MATZKO received his PhD from the University of Virginia. He taught history for more than forty years at Bob Jones University. His Reconstructing Fort Union was published by the University of Nebraska Press in 2001.

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The “Holy Grail” of AA Big Book Collections Heads to Auction

Courtesy of Profiles in History

This collection is truly the “Holy Grail” of AA books containing all 16 first edition printings in various colors, each in their original dust jackets for a total of 19 books.

Los Angeles — Profiles in History is proud to announce a historic and rare collection of nineteen Alcoholics Anonymous books will be going up for auction on July 11th in Los Angeles. All nineteen books are first edition printings and are signed by the founding members of the AA Fellowship. The importance of this collection cannot be overstated.

They were collected over a lifetime by Ken Roberts, who recently chose Profiles in History to sell the original typed working manuscript for The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. It sold for 2.4 million dollars.

All nineteen books will be a part of a single lot and will also include an exceedingly rare 1940 Bill Wilson stock certificate used to raise funds to continue to print copies of the groundbreaking Big Book. The stock certificate is one of only two known in private hands. Bill Wilson was of course the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous and wrote the Big Book that serves as the bible to millions worldwide.

The collection is estimated to sell for $300,000 - $500,000.

Michael Fitzpatrick, leading AA historian, speaker and author of four books by Hazelden Publishing, states the following about this collection: “This unprecedented collection is by far the most unique display of early Alcoholics Anonymous material to be revealed since AA began. The 19 books accompanied by the stock certificate tell the early AA story as the fellowship grew from 1939 – 1954.”

William Schaberg, AA expert, antiquarian book dealer and author of Writing the Big Book: The Creation of A.A. (based on 11 years of primary document research and seven years of writing, being published this fall by Central Recovery Press), states the following, “All 19 first edition versions of the Big Book!  All in dust jackets!  All Signed!  This is a truly amazing and unique collection and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to acquire them as a complete set!”

This collection is truly the “Holy Grail” of AA books containing all 16 first edition printings in various colors, each in their original dust jackets for a total of 19 books.  The entire collection tells the story of AA’s explosive growth and the printing changes from April 1939 when the book first appeared, through the final printing of the first edition in August 1954. This collection will be accompanied by a signed letter of authenticity by William Schaberg.

Each book is very special and unique, however special attention must be brought to the following four items in the collection.

First is a first edition, first printing of the Big Book from April 1939 in  it's original jacket, signed by Bill Wilson. Only 4,650 copies were printed, this book is an exceptional find, especially in the highly sought-after original dust jacket.  It’s estimated that fewer than 200 copies still remain in their original dust jacket.  It's bound in red cloth and inscribed by Bill Wilson, “To Vincent – In great regards – Ever Bill NY Nov 2/56”.

Second is a first edition, second printing from March 1941. This is Hank Parkhurst personal annotated copy.  Hank Parkhurst was New York AA #2.  He was the first sober success that Bill Wilson had in New York, although Hank only stayed dry for four years. Hank was Wilson’s partner in the book project and many AA historians, including Bill Schaberg of Athena Books, have stated that, without Hank, the book never would have happened.

Next is a first edition, seventh printing from January 1945, signed by Bill Wilson.  Apparently AA failed to comply with the government mandate to conserve paper, because this wartime edition was supposed to be drastically reduced in size to conform with government regulations. For whatever reason, AA did a limited run of the seventh printing of likely less than 200 printed while the printing presses were being converted to meet with the new government standards.  The eighth printing followed one month later with a run of 20,000 copies.  Since collecting AA books and memorabilia has become popular over the past 35 years only three Seventh Printing Big Books have surfaced that retain the original dust jacket.  This book not only comes with the elusive dust jacket, but is also signed by Bill Wilson making this particular copy the “crown jewel” of all AA books.

Finally an original Works Publishing Stock Certificate, issued 20 June 1940.  There have been many rumors and myths regarding AA Stock or Works Publishing Stock.  Many of these rumor have sprung from recordings of Bill W. stating that Hank Parkhurst stopped into a stationery store and bought a pad of blank stock certificates and wrote across the top “Works Publishing par $25”.  The sale of the stock was supposed to help fund the printing of The Big Book.  Wilson’s comments seem to indicate that these stock certificates would have been issued prior to the April, 1939 publication of the book. However, this information is not accurate and furthermore, evidence that has recently surfaced completely contradicts Wilson’s version of the story.  AA’s archived records show that 44 people contributed money for the purchase of stock in Works Publishing prior to May 1940 and these people were issued “stock certificates” in June 1940.  All stock certificates were sold back and returned to AA in April 1942.  This stock certificate is one of only two known to be in private hands.

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Ben Shahn Led Swann’s American Art Sale

Courtesy of Swann Auction Galleries

Ben Shahn, Men on a Bench, gouache on paper, circa 1940. Sold for $50,000.

New York — Swann Galleries continued the spring 2019 season with a sale of American Art on June 13, which boasted three artist records.

American Modernists were standouts in the sale with two of the three records: Attilio Salemme’s 1945 oil on canvas painting Rivalry, at $21,250, and Nautical Composition with an Anchor, oil on board, by Joseph Lambert Cain, at $11,250. Suzy Frelinghuysen’s Cubist-inspired oil and collage work, Act Three, 1942 reached $40,000, and Esphyr Slobodkina’s Abstract Composition, gouache on board, circa 1940s earned $8,450.

Scenes of America’s diverse terrain were well received by collectors. Highlights included a run of vibrant watercolors by Charles Burchfield: Clouds and Trees Under Blue Skies, circa 1920s ($23,750), Summer Landscape (Trees on a Hill), 1917 ($13,750), and Brook, 1916 ($12,350) were among the top lots. Also of note was an example of Hughie Lee-Smith’s mid-career oeuvre, Coastal Landscape, oil on canvas, 1960s ($11,250); Albert Bierstadt’s oil on paper Rocky Mountain Landscape ($22,500); and a snowy New York City scene, At the Plaza, New York, by Guy C. Wiggins ($18,750).

Western landscapes featured Ruth Monro Augur’s circa late 1930s oil on canvas depiction of the Oklahoma Land Rush, which sold for $10,000, and a group of 10 circa-1870 Mexican cowboy and horse-riding scenes by Victor Pierson, which set a record for the artist at $7,500.

Ben Shahn’s Men on a Bench, gouache on paper, circa 1940, led the sale at $50,000. Further figurative works of note featured Seated Man, a pencil drawing by Marsden Hartley ($30,000) and Pavel Tchelitchew’s 1932 pen and brush drawing Studies of Wrestlers ($9,375).

Swann Galleries is currently accepting consignments for the fall 2019 season. Visit swanngalleries.com or download the Swann Galleries App for catalogues, bidding and inquiries.

 

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Neil Armstrong ‘Giant Leap’ Signed Photograph Sold for $52,247 at Auction 

Boston — An extremely rare signed photograph of Neil Armstrong taking his ‘giant leap for mankind ’ sold for $52,247 according to Boston-based RR Auction.

Fifty years ago, on July 20, 1969, the Apollo 11 Lunar Module 'Eagle' touched down on the surface of the moon.  Astronaut Neil Armstrong descended the spacecraft's ladder and spoke his immortal words: 'That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.' Buzz Aldrin soon followed behind him, and the two became the first earthly beings to set foot upon another celestial body.

Courtesy of RR Auctions

An 8 x 10 photo of Neil Armstrong just before setting foot on the lunar surface, signed in black felt tip, "Neil Armstrong, Apollo 11.”

The glossy 10 x 8 photo of Neil Armstrong just before setting foot on the lunar surface, signed in black felt tip, "Neil Armstrong, Apollo 11.”

Captured from NASA's original video transmission of the historic event, this is one of the most recognizable images of the lunar landing: Armstrong taking his first step onto the landing pad, seconds before delivering what is arguably the most famous quote of the 20th century.

As the Apollo 11 astronauts touched down on the moon and the first television transmissions made it to earth, NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab in California was called to work. Responsible for altering the images to photo film, the photo development team there was first to see and handle most of the now-famous images.

In appreciation for his hard work, NASA gave the man in charge of the Jet Propulsion Lab this photo, one of very few images of Armstrong on the lunar surface (as the man behind the camera, he is absent from almost all photos from the landing).

As coincidence would have it, the technician's sister lived in the same neighborhood as Neil and Jan Armstrong in Bethesda, Maryland, and on a family visit he was introduced to the astronaut and his wife.

A very gracious Armstrong gladly signed this photo, which has been in the possession of the family of the head of NASA's Photo Department Richard Windmiller, Sr. until now.

“It’s boldly signed by the first man to step foot on the surface of the moon and represents the pinnacle of Armstrong signed photos,”said Bobby Livingston, Executive VP at RR Auction. 

Highlights from the sale include, but are not limited by:

Apollo 1 crew signed photograph sold for $31,251.

Charlie Duke's Apollo 16 Flown Robbins Medal sold for $28,016.

Apollo 11 full-length photograph of Buzz Aldrin standing on the moon, signed by all three Apollo 11 astronauts sold for $21,587.

Neil Armstrong signed Apollo 11 Flight Plan sold for $21,446.

Buzz Aldrin's Flown Apollo 11 American Flag sold for $20,803.

Apollo 13 Crew-Signed Flown Flag Display sold for $16,250.

Apollo 11 fully signed crew lithograph sold for $16,078.

Apollo 11 Roll of 70 mm Positives made directly from the original Apollo 11 roll sold for $14,647.

The Space Exploration Auction featuring Apollo 11th 50th Anniversary Artifacts began June 13 and concluded on June 20. For more information including results go to www.rrauction.com.

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17th-Century Banking Ledger at Bonhams

London — A newly discovered banking ledger kept in person by Edward Backwell, whose banking business in the second half of the 17th century was the immediate forerunner to the Bank of England founded in 1694, leads Bonhams Fine Books and Manuscripts sale in London on Wednesday 26 June. It is estimated at £100,000-150,000.

Courtesy of Bonhams

Nine of Backwell’s customer ledgers were already known to exist and are considered so important that they are included in the UK section of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) ‘Memory of the World’ register. UNESCO describes them as “uniquely significant in documenting the finances of Restoration England and the birth of modern banking,” and calls Backwell himself, “one of the financial giants of his age.”
 
The ledger offered by Bonhams is earlier than those listed on the UNESCO register and is different from the earlier documents in three significant respects:
 
    •    it was compiled under the personal supervision of Backwell himself, and is signed by him in a number of places
    •    it is a working document – unlike the nine later ledgers which were copies made by scribes – and bears the signatures of the people who received the money or their agents.
    •    it confirms that Backwell acted as banker to the government; and was performing some of the functions of a central bank fully three decades before the establishment of the Bank of England.
 
This ledger which covers the period August - March 1660 shows Backwell administering the finances of the Excise which collected duty on home-produced goods such as alcohol and imported commodities e.g. tobacco. Essentially, this involved paying the salaries and expenses of tax-collectors, making Backwell the HMRC of his day.
 
The ledger also shows that Backwell acted as paymaster to the House of Commons, paying the wages of its staff. Additionally, at the order of the Commons, he paid stipends to the great officers of state. These included George Monck, Duke of Albemarle the soldier who played a key role in the restoration of the monarchy, and Charles II’s younger brother James, Duke of York, who later became King James II.
 
When the Bank of England was established in 1694, Backwell’s cashier general Thomas Speed was appointed its Chief Cashier and was the first person authorised to issue bank notes. The newly established central bank provided the resources to rebuild Britain’s navy. The consequent drive to develop new materials and new manufacturing techniques acted as the catalyst for the Industrial Revolution and the founding of the modern economy.
 
Consultant Felix Pryor who catalogued the ledger for Bonhams said, “This recently unearthed document is an extraordinary and major discovery. It sheds new light on the crucial role of banking in the making of the modern state, and provides a deeper understanding of the origins of Great Britain’s global economic dominance during the 18th and 19th centuries.”

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Hake’s Presents 2,000+ Lots of Comic Art, Comic Books & Pop Culture, July 10-11

York, PA – So far, 2019 has been a dynamic year for pop culture. Avengers: Endgame smashed box office records with an opening weekend that grossed $1.22 billion worldwide. That led the way for a visit from Godzilla: King of the Monsters and, arriving on July 2nd, Spider-Man: Far From Home. But that was just a warm-up. On July 10-11, Hake’s will host a 2,047-lot auction loaded with original comic art, comic books, super-rare Star War figures, political memorabilia, and top-notch entertainment posters.

Courtesy of Hake's

First printing of poster promoting the Feb. 19, 1966 launch of iconic San Francisco hippie music venue The Family Dog, starring Jefferson Airplane and Big Brother & the Holding Company. Estimate $20,000-$35,000

Bidding will start with 100+ lots of original artwork for comic book covers and interior pages; Sunday and daily comic strips; and specialty pieces. Expectations are sky-high for Dave Cockrum’s (1943-2006) action-packed title splash page for X-Men Vol. 1 #95, published by Marvel Comics in October 1975. “Dave Cockrum is a very important artist, and this issue is significant because it features only the third appearance of the New X-Men – Wolverine, Storm, Colossus, Nightcrawler, Banshee and Thunderbird – led by Cyclops,” said Hake’s president, Alex Winter. “We think so highly of this artwork that we chose to enlarge it and use it as the full front cover of the auction catalog.” Artist-signed and inscribed, with a Marvel Comics copyright ink stamp on verso, the lot is estimated at $75,000-$100,000.

Hake’s has a great treat in store for collectors of comic-strip art: three consecutive lots of Charles Schulz art for Peanuts daily strips from 1960, 1961 and 1965, respectively. Each comes directly from the collection of the Van Pelt family, who were neighbors and friends of Charles Schulz and his first wife, Joyce, when the couple spent a year in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The name “Van Pelt” is entrenched in Peanuts lore, as it was the surname Schulz chose for Lucy, Linus and Rerun. “In fact, the Van Pelts’ daughter Louanne was the inspiration and namesake for Lucy Van Pelt,” said Winter. Each strip is signed, and two of them bear a warm personal inscription and the signature “Sparky,” which was Schulz’s nickname. Estimate: $10,000-$20,000 each

Also worthy of special mention is legendary fantasy/sci-fi artist Greg Hildebrandt’s cover art for a new comic book (July 2019 release) titled Warlord of Mars Attacks #2. Visually stunning and richly colorful, the imagery depicts Martian attackers pitted against hero John Carter of Mars and Princess of Mars Dejah Thoris from Edgar Rice Burroughs’ series of Martian novels. This fabulous acrylic-on-canvas is estimated at $5,000-$10,000.

Nearly 1,000 comic books will cross the auction block, including more than 220 that are CGC certified. Among the premier Golden Age entries is Green Lantern #1 (DC, Fall 1941) in 6.5 Fine+ condition and estimated at $10,000-$20,000. A star entry from the Silver Age, The Amazing Spider-Man #1 (Marvel, March 1963), is CGC-graded 5.0 VG/Fine and also carries a $10,000-$20,000 estimate.

Hake’s experts believe the fantastic 79- by 79-inch six-sheet poster for Republic’s 1941 12-chapter serial Adventures of Captain Marvel, offered with a $10,000-$20,000 estimate, is the only known survivor of its type. “In recent years, interest in 1940s Captain Marvel movie serial posters has increased dramatically, and so have the prices,” Winter observed. “A Chapter 1 one-sheet sold at auction in 2017 for $31,000, and another sold for $33,000 earlier this year. Our six-sheet is so massive and rare, it’s anyone’s guess what it will sell for, once collectors become aware of it.”

Over the past few years, Hake’s has had the privilege of auctioning the legendary Russell Branton Star Wars collection. The spectacular prices realized for Branton’s obscure figures and prototypes inspired other advanced collectors to consign their own rare treasures, Winter said. As a result, the July 10-11 auction includes fresh selections from the Branton collection as well as many extraordinary pieces from new sources.

The nearly 200 cataloged Star Wars lots span all price ranges and are led by several undisputed knockouts, including a Jawa figure, Vinyl Cape variation, from Meccano’s French release of Kenner’s 1978 Star Wars toy line. AFA-graded 80+ NM, the 2.25-inch figure is encapsulated in an unpunched 12 Back blister card. It is the single highest-graded example of only three such figures ever to be accepted for grading consideration by AFA. Pre-sale estimate: $20,000-$35,000.  

Proving that lightning can strike twice in the same place, a rocket-firing Boba Fett prototype action figure in AFA 85 NM+ condition from Kenner’s 1979 line is similar to one from the Branton collection that Hakes sold for $86,000 last year. “The current talk is that this is now a six-figure piece. That remains to be seen, but it’s sure to be a contender for the top seller in our July sale,” Winter said. Estimate: $75,000-$100,000

Over 400 roof-raising American political items follow a timeline from George Washington to the modern era, with many choice highlights included. A truly magnificent brass-framed 1860 campaign ambrotype containing Mathew Brady’s “Cooper Union” portrait of Abraham Lincoln is not only a very rare survivor, but also exhibits superior condition. Estimate: $35,000-$50,000. The most coveted of all political postcards, a Cox-Roosevelt jugate with an Aug. 7, 1920 postal cancellation, comes from the collection of revered postcard expert Hal Ottaway. “Hal considered it the great prize of his collection, and we concur,” said Winter. Estimate: $20,000-$35,000

The baseball section features two equally rare and important Negro League artifacts. A broadside touting all eight teams (six teams depicted) from the 1935 season is even more significant for the fact that 15 National Baseball Hall of Famers are among them. The best extant example of its type, the poster is estimated at $10,000-$20,000. From the early Cuban baseball era, a real-photo postcard depicting the 1925-26 Havana Baseball Club is notable for the presence of National Baseball Hall of Famers Martin Dihigo and Jud Wilson. Ex Richard Merkin collection, it is estimated at $10,000-$20,000.

Concert posters continue to attract new collectors at each successive Hake’s sale. Another terrific selection awaits bidders in the July 11 session, led by two 1960s classics: a first printing of the poster promoting the 1966 launch of San Francisco’s iconic hippie music venue The Family Dog, $20,000-$35,000; and a psychedelic poster for Janis Joplin’s March 15, 1969 Ann Arbor, Michigan concert, $10,000-$20,000.

Hake’s July 10-11 auction is now open for bidding and follows the new consecutive two-day format for bidding, as opposed to Hake’s previous method that included a gap day between the two sessions. For a free catalog or additional information, call 866-404-9800 (toll-free) or 717-434-1600. Email hakes@hakes.com. Online: http://www.hakes.com

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Colonial Map Reaches $125,000 at Swann

Courtesy of Swann Auction Galleries

Lewis Evans, A General Map of the Middle British Colonies, in America, proof copy, annotated, signed & dated by Evans, Philadelphia, 1755. Sold for $125,000.

New York – “There was strong bidding across the board and it’s hard not to be pleased with the general outcome of the sale,” said Maps & Atlases Specialist, Caleb Kiffer of Swann Galleries June 6 sale of Maps & Atlases, Natural Science & Color Plate Books which saw an 84% sell-through rate. Highlights included rare cartographic publications by Lewis Evans and Petrus Plancius, as well as color plate books by John Fisk Allen and Willian Sharp.

The star of the auction was the May 2, 1755 draft of A General Map of the Middle British Colonies in America by Lewis Evans. The early proof of the historic map that documented the Colonies into Ohio for the first time sold for $125,000. “Having the opportunity to bring the Lewis Evans 1755 pre-production proof copy to auction has been a highlight of my many years in this business.  It jump-started my heart the moment the consignor presented it to me and continued beating at a fast pace up until the moment it hammered. I'm calling the map an artifact, which it truly is, and having it double the estimate demonstrates its historical significance. I'm very pleased with the outcome and honored to have brought it out into the public realm here at Swann Galleries,” Kiffer said of the offering. 

A 1792 Plan of the Town of Baltimore and its Environs by Antoinne Pierre Folie ($21,250) and John Montresor’s large 1775 map of the Hudson River Valley ($8,125) concluded a overall spectacular offering of American cartography.

Decorative cartography of note included Petrus Plancius’ 1592-94 map of Southern Africa, which featured fanciful beasts, sea monsters and a scene of giant lobsters devouring a ship ($87,500). Two works by Pieter Verbiest found success: a double-hemispheric world map from 1636 reached $25,000, as well as a 1639 representation of Spain and Portugal sold for $8,450.

John Fisk Allen and William Sharp’s Victoria Regia, 1854, which consisted of six chromolithographed plates of the life phases of the Great Water Lily of America, lead the selection of natural history and color plate books at $30,000. Further highlights featured George Catlin’s North American Indian Portfolio, 1844, 25 tinted lithographed plates depicting Catlin’s travels of the Great Plains in the 1830s ($27,500), and a complete run of William Curtis’ The Botanical Magazine, 1787-1827 ($7,800).

Additional material of note included John Carte’s Frontispiece of the Cosmographical Clock, the only known example representing the events of December 3, 1699, which was won for $15,000.

Swann Galleries is currently accepting consignments for the fall 2019 season. Visit swanngalleries.com or download the Swann Galleries App for catalogues, bidding and inquiries.

Additional highlights can be found here.

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Joy Harjo Named U.S. Poet Laureate

Washington, D.C. — Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden today announced the appointment of Joy Harjo as the nation’s 23rd Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry for 2019-2020. Harjo will take up her duties in the fall, opening the Library’s annual literary season on Sept. 19 with a reading of her work in the Coolidge Auditorium.

Harjo is the first Native American poet to serve in the position – she is an enrolled member of the Muscogee Creek Nation. She succeeds Tracy K. Smith, who served two terms as laureate.

Photo by Shawn Miller, Library of Congress.

Joy Harjo has been named Poet Laureate of the United States.

“Joy Harjo has championed the art of poetry – ‘soul talk’ as she calls it – for over four decades,” Hayden said. “To her, poems are ‘carriers of dreams, knowledge and wisdom,’ and through them she tells an American story of tradition and loss, reckoning and myth-making. Her work powerfully connects us to the earth and the spiritual world with direct, inventive lyricism that helps us reimagine who we are.”

Harjo currently lives in her hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and is the nation’s first Poet Laureate from Oklahoma.

“What a tremendous honor it is to be named the U.S. Poet Laureate,” Harjo said. “I share this honor with ancestors and teachers who inspired in me a love of poetry, who taught that words are powerful and can make change when understanding appears impossible, and how time and timelessness can live together within a poem. I count among these ancestors and teachers my Muscogee Creek people, the librarians who opened so many doors for all of us, and the original poets of the indigenous tribal nations of these lands, who were joined by diverse peoples from nations all over the world to make this country and this country’s poetry.”

Harjo joins a long line of distinguished poets who have served in the position, including Juan Felipe Herrera, Charles Wright, Natasha Trethewey, Philip Levine, W.S. Merwin, Kay Ryan, Charles Simic, Donald Hall, Ted Kooser, Louise Glück, Billy Collins, Stanley Kunitz, Robert Pinsky, Robert Hass and Rita Dove.

Harjo was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on May 9, 1951, and is the author of eight books of poetry – including “Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings” (W. W. Norton, 2015); “The Woman Who Fell From the Sky” (W. W. Norton, 1994), which received the Oklahoma Book Arts Award; and “In Mad Love and War” (Wesleyan University Press, 1990), which received an American Book Award and the Delmore Schwartz Memorial Award. Her next book of poems, “An American Sunrise,” will be published by W.W. Norton in fall 2019. Harjo has also written a memoir, “Crazy Brave” (W.W. Norton, 2012), which won the 2013 PEN Center USA literary prize for creative nonfiction, as well as a children’s book, “The Good Luck Cat” (Harcourt, Brace 2000) and a young adult book, “For a Girl Becoming” (University of Arizona Press, 2009).

As a performer, Harjo has appeared on HBO’s “Def Poetry Jam” and in venues across the U.S. and internationally. In addition to her poetry, Harjo is a musician. She plays saxophone with her band, the Arrow Dynamics Band, and previously with Poetic Justice, and has released four award-winning CDs of original music. In 2009, she won a Native American Music Award (NAMMY) for Best Female Artist of the Year.

Harjo’s many literary awards include the PEN Open Book Award, the American Indian Distinguished Achievement in the Arts Award, the New Mexico Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts and the Arrell Gibson Lifetime Achievement Award from the Oklahoma Center for the Book. Harjo has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Witter Bynner Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Her collection “How We Become Human: New and Selected Poems 1975-2001” (W.W. Norton, 2002) was selected by the National Endowment for the Arts for its Big Read program. Her recent honors include the Jackson Prize from Poets & Writers (2019), the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize from the Poetry Foundation (2017) and the Wallace Stevens Award from the Academy of American Poets (2015). In 2019, she was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.

Harjo has taught at UCLA and was until recently a professor and chair of excellence at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She has returned to her hometown where she holds a Tulsa Artist Fellowship.

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