August 2019

Rare First Edition of “Alcoholics Anonymous” Inscribed by Bill Wilson to be Auctioned

Courtesy of Nate D. Sanders

Los Angeles – An inscribed first edition, first printing of Alcoholics Anonymous by AA founder Bill Wilson will be auctioned by Nate D. Sanders Auctions on August 29, 2019.

There are only 1,900 surviving first printings of Alcoholics Anonymous. Copies signed by Bill Wilson are extraordinarily rare. Wilson signed this copy on the front pastedown to his friends Dr. and Mrs. Forrist V. Haley, in full: ''My Dear Friends / Dr & Myrle Haley / Whose devotion has meant so much to so many - / As Ever / Bill Wilson / 11/21/43''. Bidding on the book begins at $19,500.

Additional information on the book can be found at https://natedsanders.com/Bill_Wilson_Signed_First_Edition__First_Printing_o-LOT55815.aspx

Also going under the hammer are: another first edition, first printing of Alcoholics Anonymous, a Bill Wilson signed copy of Alcoholics Anonymous / The Story of How Many Thousands of Men and Women Have Recovered From Alcoholism and a Bill Wilson signed copy of AA Today.

Additional information can be found at: https://natedsanders.com/catalog.aspx?category=110

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"Golden Prospects: California Gold Rush Daguerreotypes" to Open at Nelson-Atkins

Courtesy of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri, Gift of Hallmark Cards, Inc.

Unknown maker. Gold miners with sluice, California, ca. 1852. Daguerreotype, quarter plate, 3 1/4 × 4 1/4 inches.

Kansas City, Missouri — From the moment the first cry of “Gold!” was heard at Sutter’s Mill in 1848, thousands of people made the journey to California to find their fortune. Daguerreotypists also made their way west, not in search of gold, but to capitalize on the ready market of potential customers. Golden Prospects: California Gold Rush Daguerreotypes opens at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City Sept. 6.

“The California Gold Rush was the first broadly significant event in American history to be documented in depth by photography,” said Julián Zugazagoitia, Menefee D. and Mary Louise Blackwell CEO & Director of the Nelson-Atkins. “This revealing exhibition utilizes the Nelson-Atkins deep collection of American daguerreotypes, providing an insightful look at this historic event through the eyes of the earliest photographers.”

The exhibition features more than 90 daguerreotypes (and ambrotypes) of the California gold rush.  Studios were established in the larger cities, but some adventuresome daguerreotypists traveled into the gold fields in photographically outfitted wagons. Images were taken of miners working in the gold fields using various mining technologies, large-scale riverbed and hydraulic mining operations, small gold towns, and the rapidly expanding cities of San Francisco and Sacramento. Inside, studio portraits were taken of miners.

“The California gold rush exposed many complicated issues that have continued relevance today, including immigration policy, water rights, and environmentally devastating mining practices,” said Jane Aspinwall, Associate Curator, Photography.

“California daguerreotypists were documenting essentially new territory: both the physical landscape and the region’s unprecedented mix of races and nationalities were unfamiliar.”

Gold rush daguerreotypes provide an extraordinary glimpse into the transformation of the American West: the evolution of mining technology, the diversity of nationalities and races, the growth of cities and towns, and the people who participated in these activities—while revealing a high level of technical and artistic accomplishment. The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue. An audio tour that tells the stories of the Gold Rush is easily accessed on the Smartify app. It runs at the Nelson-Atkins through Jan. 26, 2020. It then travels to the Peabody Essex Museum (4/4–7/12/20) and Yale University Art Gallery (8/28–11/29/20).

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The 2nd Annual California Young Book Collector’s Prize Launches

California — Most great collectors started when they were young, and most great collections started with a passion for a particular object or subject. When these objects are books and manuscripts, the collectors are called bibliophiles, or lovers of the book.
 
The purpose of The California Young Book Collector’s Prize is to nurture the next generation of bibliophiles. The competition is open to collectors aged 35 and under who are living in California. All collections of books, manuscripts, and ephemera are welcome, no matter their monetary value or subject. The collections will be judged on their thoroughness, the approach to their subject, and the seriousness which with the collector has catalogued his or her material.
 
The winner of the competition will be awarded:

    •    A gift certificate of $500 to spend at the 2020 California International Antiquarian Book Fair
    •    An exhibition of the winner’s collection to be presented in a showcase at the book fair
    •    A stipend of $250 towards exhibition expenses (to help cover travel costs, showcase labels, and insurance)
    •    A year’s membership to the Book Club of California
    •    A year’s membership to the Bibliographical Society of America
    •    A year’s subscription to The Book Collector
    •    A year’s subscription to Fine Books & Collections

The deadline for receipt of submissions is December 1st, 2019, and the winner will be notified by January 6th, 2020. The exhibit will be at the 53rd California International Antiquarian Book Fair held in Pasadena, CA, from February 7-9, 2020. The winner will be responsible for insuring his or her collection and for setting-up their exhibition on February 6th and taking it down on the evening of February 9th. The showcase will be for exhibition only; no parts of the collection can be offered for sale during the fair. Because this year’s book fair will be held in Pasadena, the jury will be comprised of the executive committee of the Southern California Chapter of the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America.
 
To participate, please submit the following materials as a pdf file:
 
·       Your age and contact information, including mailing address, telephone number, and email.
·       A list of no more than twenty entries from the catalogue of your collection.
·       A statement of no more than 1000 words concerning your collection. This should include a summary of your collection; your reason for forming the collection; a description of one or two of your most prized items (supported by photographs); and a description of a few desiderata, those works that you lack, but hope to find one day to add to your collection. All items in the collection must be owned by you, the collector.
 
Past first prize winners are not eligible, however, all past applicants and second and third place winners may apply.

Sponsored by the Southern & Northern California Chapters of the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America.
 
Submissions must be received by December 1, 2019. Please submit materials as a PDF file to Jen Johnson, Chair of the Southern California Chapter of the ABAA, at jen@johnsonrarebooks.com.

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Britain’s Largest Antiquarian Book Fair Returns to York this September

Courtesy of the York Book Fair

A six-volume 1886 Jane Austen set will be on offer at the York Book Fair for £1,850 at the London Rare Books stand.

York, England — York’s annual showcase of books, maps, ephemera and prints from sellers across the UK and beyond, will be taking place on Friday 13th and Saturday 14th September at the Knavesmire Suite, York Racecourse. Alongside the customarily impressive array of items available for sale, this year’s event is also embracing the arts with a large-scale mobile installation inspired by some of the breath-taking books on offer. Winner of ‘Best in Show’ at last year’s art& Art Show, York-based artist Lu Mason has been working on the installation for the last few months and has drawn her inspiration from John James Audubon’s huge illustrated book “Birds of America.”

Organisers of this celebrated annual event, the Provincial Booksellers Fairs Association are delighted to be bringing a new twist to the already brilliant event whilst also supporting the region’s burgeoning creative scene.

Lu Mason is an artist whose work will be recognised by many within the city. Her mobile art- works have brought colour and informative installations to empty shop buildings as part of 2018’s Bloom! festival, have adorned the windows of many of the city’s independent businesses and have been exhibited at The City Screen, Blossom Street Gallery, Lotte Inch Gallery and more. She is a much loved fixture in York’s popular Open Studios weekends and is admired for her enthusiastic contribution to the city’s art scene, delivering workshops and pop-up installations always with a considered and timely message at their heart.

Talking about the commission, Lu Mason said:

“James Audubon’s book “Birds of America”, published between 1827 and 1838, in Edinburgh and London, is the inspiration for this piece. Each bird and each piece of foliage is my interpretation of the illustrations in the book. There are literally hundreds of beautiful illustrations which make up this publication. I hope to convey in my piece the vastness of Audubon’s endeavour here, I hope the sheer quantity of the birds I have cut out will go some way towards representing the years of work Audubon put into compiling this collection.”

Lu Mason’s impressive art work will be made of cut paper, fishing line and bamboo. The installation will comprise 7 carousels, each of which will move slowly, guided by the air currents. Each carousel will have approximately 15 shapes hanging from it; these shapes will be birds and tumbling foliage.
A facsimile of Audubon’s book will be exhibited, for sale by Red-Books, at the fair, alongside more specialist items on the same theme. Sellers such as Patrick Marrin will be offering exquisite contemporary images on the theme. Marrin’s Bookshop will have for sale, images from Illustrations of Ornithology, by the celebrated ornithologist and botanist, John Prideaux Selby – often considered to be the English Audubon.

Co-organiser and York-based bookseller Janette Ray said:

“The book fair at York is a high-spot in the book selling calendar and reaches out to a wide audience so we are pleased to be able to provide both a platform for booksellers to display their best books alongside supporting Yorkshires artistic pool of talent.”

From modest beginnings with just 20 exhibitors at the White Swan Inn in York in 1974, the York Book Fair has grown into the largest, and many say friendliest, rare, antiquarian & out- of-print book fair in the U.K and Europe. Held over two days, around 220 of this country's leading booksellers offer for sale an awe-inspiring diversity of books, as well as maps & prints, ranging in price from just a few pounds up to tens of thousands of pounds. There will also be a range of trade stands selling marbled papers, binding materials. Providers of services to the book trade including software and packaging material suppliers will also be present.

Anyone interested in books and reading is encouraged to come along to this brilliant event. This is not just a Fair for dealers or traders, but is open to everyone young and old, and is a great place to start collecting. With over 100,000 books for sale, where else can you look at, touch, enjoy, and even purchase so many rarities under one roof. If you are already a collector then it is a great opportunity to meet new dealers in your area.

Adding to the creative focus, music from York’s much loved “Two Bobs” will also serenade people as the fair opens to the public on Friday 13th September at midday.

The Fair venue is easy to reach, with unlimited free parking, and also a free shuttle bus running from the Railway Station to the Racecourse every 20 minutes. Entrance to the event is £2 on the door and tickets can be re-used all weekend. Advance FREE tickets can be downloaded from www.yorkbookfair.com

The York National Book Fair is organised by the Provincial Booksellers Fairs Association and is sponsored this year by Biblio Inc. – the major independent online platform serving independent booksellers and customers alike.

 

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“Creatures in Photographs” Opens September 17 at Hans P. Kraus Jr. Gallery

Courtesy of Hans P. Kraus Jr. Fine Photographs

Peter Nissen (German), Circus animals from Carl Hagenbeck's Zoological Circus, circa 1891. Albumen print, 17.2 x 23.0 cm

New York — Animals have appeared in art for millennia as subjects of wonder, symbols of human triumphs and victims of man’s rapacity. An exhibition of animals in photography from 1845 to 2009 will be exhibited by Hans P. Kraus Jr. Fine Photographs from September 17 through November 15, 2019. The exhibition, By Hoof, Paw, Wing or Fin, explores some of the ways in which photographers have represented animals over the course of the medium’s history and features an array of animal life, from birds, butterflies, and fish to lions, hippos, and elephants, in the work of Hill & Adamson, Alois Auer, Giacomo Caneva, J. D. Llewelyn, Martin Munkacsi, Edward Steichen, Adam Fuss, and others.
 
Almost immediately after the introduction of photography in 1839, artists were documenting their homes, travels, and favorite leisure activities. Early practitioners were as interested in chemistry and optics as they were in the aesthetics of their images. They soon saw photography to be a powerful tool for scientific observation. Nineteenth-century scientists utilized the new medium to advance knowledge and unlock the secrets of nature. The popularity of animal photographs later in the 19th century grew with the rise of the public zoological garden in large cities across Europe. These early zoos offered people opportunities to view rare and wild animals close up for the first time.
 
The earliest photograph in the show is an 1845 salt print from a calotype negative by the Scottish team of D. O. Hill & Robert Adamson (1802-1870 & 1821-1848) depicting the Newhaven fishwives Jeanie Wilson and Annie Linton, “twa bonnie lasses,” contemplating their selection of fish for sale.
 
The albumen print of Reclining goat in Rome, circle of Giacomo Caneva, 1850s, illustrates a threshold between the old and new in mid-19th-century Rome. The goat’s resting place on the steps defies our idealistic vision of it wandering freely in its natural setting.
 
Oxen in snow, a quarter plate daguerreotype made through a window by an unknown American photographer in the 1850s, depicts a team yoked to a cart. A cocker spaniel eyes the photographer in Jake’s dog, Dash, a half-plate tintype from 1879. The dog’s pose together with his name plainly evident in the plate make this a fine example of the tintype process.
 
Zoos made it possible to photograph unusual and exotic animals in captivity for the first time. But it is Jumbo the elephant, here featured in Edward Bierstadt’s 1882 artotype, who is the stuff of legend. Born in Sudan, exhibited in zoos in Germany, Paris, and London, Jumbo was purchased by P.T. Barnum in 1882 and brought to the U.S. where he was shown widely, enhancing Barnum’s fame.
 
A portfolio of Peter Nissen’s albumen prints, circa 1891, of animals in training and performing at Carl Hagenbeck’s Zoological Circus is also on display. Hagenbeck , an internationally renowned animal dealer and trainer based in Hamburg, supplied exotic animals to zoos and private menageries in Europe and the United States. To produce some of the photographs for this album Nissen added details of animals, even other animals, to negatives by hand and sometimes fused multiple negatives together to make his prints, hybrids of the real and the surreal. Nissen was known to sometimes retouch his work, removing bars, chains, and any evidence of mistreatment of the animals. Hagenbeck prepared portfolios such as this for presentation to his loyal customers.
 
In the mid-19th century, painters revisited the work of 17th- and 18th-century masters of still life. This revival enhanced the popularity of photographs modeled on the conventions of still-life painting. On display is Hugh Welch Diamond’s Still life with hare, 1856, and Still life with parrot, fruit and goblet, 1860s, by Ferdinand Küss. Also included is a glorious autochrome by the Lumière Brothers studio, Still life with fish, circa 1907, an artful arrangement of seafood and kitchenware. Autochromes were made by a process invented and patented in 1904 by Louis Lumière (1864-1948), the younger of the two brothers who figured prominently in the invention of the motion picture.
 
By the end of the first decade of the 20th century, Pictorialism’s emphasis on a selective soft focus was giving way to sharp photographs that reexamined familiar subjects in radically new ways. Edward Steichen (1879-1973) abandoned Pictorialism in favor of a more direct form of photography with clearly defined detail. His 1921 toned gelatin silver print Grasshopper and wheat stalk is a fine realization of Steichen’s new aesthetic.
 
Though best known for revolutionizing fashion photography with a naturalistic and energetic style, Martin Munkacsi (1896-1963) spent his early years photographing street life, sports, entertainers, and politics in Germany and Hungary in the late 1920s and ‘30s. His circa 1929 gelatin silver print of a roaring hippopotamus places the beast’s gaping jaws in full focus as if to swallow the viewer whole.

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Records Shattered in Crain Science Fiction Collection Auction at Heritage Auctions

The original art for James Allen St. John's At the Earth's Core dust jacket sold for $112,500.

Dallas – Multiple auction records were shattered in The Glynn and Suzanne Crain Science Fiction Collection Auction at Heritage Auctions Aug. 13-14 in Dallas, Texas. The White Glove auction totaled $2,407,620, exceeding the pre-auction estimate by more than $1 million, and boasted a sparkling 100% sell-through rate by value and by lots sold.

“We knew beforehand that some of the lots were very rare, or even unique items that were traded privately before making their auction debut in this sale,” Heritage Auctions Vice President Todd Hignite said. “To post a sell-through rate of 100% is spectacular, and only reinforces what we already knew: that the Crain collection is one of the finest ever brought to auction. We saw scores of new bidders, confirming our belief that this great material has huge appeal outside of the traditional collecting circles.”

Among the world auction records set:

More than 30 collectors made bids for James Allen St. John At the Earth's Core book dust jacket, 1922 to drive its final price to $112,500, breaking the record for St. John and claiming top-lot honors in the sale. The image once was published on the hard cover dust jacket of the first edition of At The Earth’s Core, by Edgar Rice Burroughs (A.C. McClurg & Co., 1922), and is cited as a significant reason for St. John’s impact on the visual language of fantasy illustration.

Frank R. Paul The Moon Conquerors, Science Wonder Quarterly cover, Winter 1930 nearly tripled its pre-auction estimate when it sold for $87,500, thanks to bids from 28 eager collectors. The water-and-gouache-on-board painting is signed by Paul and broke set the record for works by the artist, who had three lots in the sale.

Michael Whelan Foundation's Edge paperback cover, 1983 more than quadrupled its high pre-auction estimate when it closed at $68,750, also setting a new auction record for the artist, thanks to bids from 40 eager collectors. The painting was published as the paperback cover of Isaac Asimov's Foundation's Edge (Del Rey Books, 1983), which is considered a central building block for science fiction in general. Its appearance as the cover of such an important science fiction novel and the stunning detail have earned this painting a reputation as one of Whelan's finest ever to be offered at auction.

Additional auction records were set for these artists:

Lawrence Sterne Stevens Hand from the Void, Super Science Stories cover, January 1951 was another popular lot, drawing more than two dozen bidders, who drove the final price to $65,625

Nearly two dozen collectors made bids for Paul Lehr Infinite Worlds: the Fantastic Visions of Science Fiction Art book cover, 1997 until it closed at $38,750, nearly eight times its pre-auction estimate.

Edmund Emshwiller Starship Soldier, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction cover, November 1959 also soared past its pre-auction estimate, by more than 500%, before finishing at $37,500. Robert Heinlein’s Starship Soldier would be published later as the highly acclaimed novel Starship Troopers.

The auction included several books that achieved impressively strong results, including:

J.K. Rowling The Harry Potter Books: $26,250
Bram Stoker Dracula: $13,750
Other top lots in the sale included, but were not limited to:
Attributed to Robert Emil Schulz The World Jones Made paperback cover, 1956: $52,500
John Conrad Berkey Run to the Stars paperback cover, 1986: $42,500
Frank R. Paul Castaways on Deimos, Wonder Stories magazine cover, August 1933: $40,000
Hugh Joseph Ward Chaos and Back, Spicy Adventure Stories cover, July 1941: $40,000
Earle K. Bergey Shadow Over Mars, Startling Stories cover, Fall 1944: $40,000

“The marketing plan was fantastic,” Glynn Crain said, “and the results exceeded my wildest dreams!”

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Maurice Car Collection Brings Works by Iconic Artists, Scientists to Heritage Auctions

An autograph manuscript in Latin by Sir Isaac Newton is estimated to sell for $50,000+.

Dallas – An array of extraordinary rare documents is headed to the auction block when Heritage Auctions presents The Maurice Car Collection of Arts and Sciences, Featuring Rare Books & Manuscripts Sept. 4 in New York.

Car (1908-68) was an engineer who was a dedicated collector of the arts, sciences and humanities. The lots presented in the sale represent his focus on highpoints and seminal works of key participants in the three academic disciplines. Even after he and his family moved in 1940 to Washington, D.C., he remained an active participant in Parisian and international auctions.

His background in science bolstered his interest in obtaining items with substantive content spanning centuries of discovery in astronomy, mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology and archaeology.

The 243-lot collection includes work by some of the most famous names in science, including Sir Isaac Newton, Louis Pasteur, Marie Curie, Albert Einstein and Sigmund Freud; top artists whose work is represented include poet Tristan Tzara, poet Raymond Radiguet and, author/filmmaker Jean Cocteau, as well as artists Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse and Paul Cézanne.

“This is an extremely impressive collection,” Heritage Auctions Rare Books Director James Gannon said. “It has documents from some renowned scientists, and a great collection of fine art papers, which focus on Cubism, Surrealism and Dada, with materials from some historically great artists like Claude Monet, Henri Matisse and Paul Gauguin.”

Handwritten in Latin by one of the most influential scientists in history, Sir Isaac Newton’s Autograph Manuscript, Notes on Physics and Solid Geometry, with Two Diagrams (estimate: $50,000+) contains notes on physics and solid geometry. The document is on two quarto pages with Newton’s notes in dark brown ink. Two diagrams with parabolas and ellipses also appear on the verso. The notes, which appear to have been written at two different times, are taken from a work on physics and discuss the weight and movement of water.

Tristan Tzara’s Autograph Manuscripts on Dada (estimate: $20,000) are in an album of 20 manuscripts, both hand-written and typed, bound in a custom Paul Bonet fine-art binding, relating to Tzara’s activities in the Dada movement of the European avant-garde in the early 20th century. It is believed Tzara personally would have gathered the assembled manuscripts, which he wrote, and given them to Bonet to place in the binding.

"Le diable au corps" is a typed manuscript by Raymond Radiguet with holograph corrections (estimate: $15,000+) in a significant archive of 122 leaves, paginated 1-123 (with pages 6 and 7 on the same leaf) refers to Radiguet’s first novel. The typescript is followed by 17 numbered leaves of typescript with the title Fin du texte Diable au corps. The volume includes holograph corrections throughout by the artist. Radiguet, known as Enfant Terrible, only published two novels, which were noted for their explicit themes  and unique style and tone.

Pablo Picasso’s Honoré de Balzac Le Chef D’Oevre Inconnu (estimate: $10,000+) is a limited and extra-illustrated edition based on the 1831 first edition. No. 182 of 240 copies printed on paper by Rives, it was printed Nov. 12, 1931, by Aimé Jourde and Louis Fort in Paris, and includes 13 etchings, 67 wood engravings (cut by George Aubert after Picasso drawings) and an extra suite of 12 etchings by Picasso. A reflection on art, the work originally was issued in August 1831 as a short story in the L’Artiste newspaper with the title "Maître Frenhofer" (Master Frenhofer).

Paul Gauguin. Autograph Manuscript. "On Ugliness:..." (estimate: $10,000+) includes four pages in French from a manuscript by Gauguin about contemporary art, including Odilon Redon. The two French post-Impressionists were contemporaries. In this rambling, stream-of-consciousness manuscript, Gauguin shares his positive thoughts about Redon, and shares his thoughts about other artists of the period.

Other top lots include, but are not limited to:

Marie Laurencin. Manuscript Sketchbook and Autograph Letter Signed (estimate: $10,000+)

Ezra Pound Archive of Letters (estimate: $10,000)

Raymond Radiguet Album of print and manuscript poems (estimate: $10,000+)

Jean Cocteau’s Three-Part Manuscript and the Limited Numbered Edition of L' Ode à Picasso (estimate: $10,000+)

Henri Matisse Autograph Manuscript Signed (estimate: $10,000+)

To see images and learn more about all of the lots in the auction, visit ha.com/6218.

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Folio Society Publishes “Marvel: The Golden Age 1939–1949”

Courtesy of the Folio Society

London — In celebration of the 80th anniversary of Marvel Comics #1, Folio has joined legendary Marvel editor Roy Thomas to form a super-powered team-up of their own. Marvel: The Golden Age 1939–1949 presents five specially curated comic books, including a painstakingly produced facsimile of the comic that started it all back in 1939. This is the first title in an ongoing collaboration between The Folio Society and Marvel.

Scanned from original vintage material from the Marvel archives, each comic showcases key characters and creators from this seminal era: Captain America to the Human Torch; Stan Lee to Jack Kirby. A dazzling hardback volume with lettering by Ian Jepson comes presented inside a handmade clamshell case which features original artwork by modern Marvel artist Marco D’Alfonso, who has also created an exclusive print that is only available with this edition.

“We were delighted when Marvel asked us to collaborate on such an exciting project. We are thrilled with what we have created and are sure every Marvel fan will love this magnificent edition as much as we do.” --Tom Walker, publishing director, the Folio Society

Product information
Main volume: Bound in screen printed and metallic foil blocked cloth with lettering by Ian Jepson. Set in Miller Text with Benton as display. 272 pages printed 4-colour throughout. Endpapers printed in metallic ink with a design by Marco D’Alfonso. Ribbon marker. Coloured page edges. 131⁄4 ̋ x 91⁄4 ̋.
Solander box: Bound and lined in printed and gold laminated paper with a design by Marco D’Alfonso.
Facsimile Comic: 64 pages with 4-page cover. 10 ̋ x 7 ̋. Exclusive Print: Illustration by Marco D'Alfonso printed 4-colour
on Natural Evolution White 280gsm paper. 10 ̋ x 7 ̋
UK £150.00 US $225.00 Can $295.00 Aus $295.00

"Apocalypse Now" Archive up for Auction on 40th Anniversary of Film's Release

Courtesy of RR Auction

Archive of documents from the turbulent making of Francis Ford Coppola’s 1979 Vietnam epic film, Apocalypse Now, headed to auction.

Boston -- Forty documents from the turbulent making of Francis Ford Coppola’s 1979 Vietnam epic film, Apocalypse Now, will be auctioned by Boston-based RR Auction.

'My film is not a movie. My film is not about Vietnam. It IS Vietnam. It’s what it was really like—it was crazy. And the way we made it was very much like the way the Americans were in Vietnam. We were in the jungle, there were too many of us, we had access to too much money, too much equipment, and little by little we went insane.'—Francis Ford Coppola, Cannes, 1979.

On March 20, 1976, director Francis Ford Coppola and dozens of cast and crew descended into the Philippine jungle, into madness, into their Vietnam. The film opens sans credits, the whirling of Huey helicopters in a hellfire landscape interspersed with the whirring of a ceiling fan in the hotel room of Captain Benjamin L. Willard, played by Martin Sheen. He lies contemplatively, cursed by memories, as The Doors' 'The End' plays in the background. A handgun, an empty glass of cognac, a smoldering cigarette. Willard rises, peers through the blinds, and exclaims: 'Saigon…sh*t. I'm still only in Saigon. Every time, I think I'm gonna wake up back in the jungle.'

Coppola foregoes Hollywood's standard opening formula by eschewing both title cards and credits (this is not a movie), resulting in immediate immersion for the viewer (it IS Vietnam). His artistic vision is mirrored in this comprehensive archive of 40 documents, which range in date from 1976 to 1979, and predominately consist of one-page screen credit release waivers signed in 1977; these forms, submitted to Coppola Cinema Seven, waive all rights "to receive credit on the screen for…services rendered in connection with the film entitled 'Apocalypse Now,'" with the understanding that director Francis Ford Coppola intends "to provide credit on a printed program rather than on the screen in certain showings of the Film"; an example of this program is included.

The primary documents that deviate from this waiver format are signed by Marlon Brando and George Lucas: the four Brando documents (with a combined total of five Brando signatures) discuss and consent to various matters related to his screen credits (e.g. "Martin Sheen's name may appear above the title, in third position, after my name and that of Robert Duvall" and "In connection with 'Apocalypse Now,' I agree that the 'Directed By' and 'Produced By' credits to Francis Coppola may be combined and appear above mine, so long as my credit still appears on a separate card on screen"), while the George Lucas document is an employment agreement for his "consulting and editing services." Lucas had originally been slated to direct the picture, but his passion project—Star Wars—drew him away early on. Harrison Ford played the role of 'Colonel Lucas' in a nod to the departed director, and he, too, would be swept into the Star Wars saga—by the time Ford signed the present document (October 31, 1977), Star Wars had been in theaters for five months and made him a superstar overnight.

The highlights of this archive are the documents signed by the principal actors/filmmakers: Marlon Brando (four documents, with one twice-signed), Martin Sheen, Robert Duvall, Dennis Hopper, Harrison Ford, Laurence Fishburne, Sam Bottoms, Frederic Forrest (adding: "provided you use my good side in the scene where my head is cut off, with Marty"), Albert Hall, George Lucas (also signed by Coppola), Francis Ford Coppola (a TLS about permission to use the Playboy Bunny logo), and screenwriter John Milius; and by the musicians who provided the memorable soundtrack: one signed by John Densmore and Robby Krieger of The Doors, one signed by Ray Manzarek of The Doors, and one signed by Flash Cadillac & The Continental Kids (Warren Knight, Sam McFadin, Linn Phillips III, Kris Moe, Dwight Bement, and Paul Wheatbread).

In addition to the principal signers, the archive includes documents signed by background players and uncredited bit parts: Joseph Sheen, Herb Rice, Charlie Robinson, Ben Piazza, Colleen Camp, Linda Carpenter, Mark Jenkins, Glenn Walken, Damien Leake, Ken Wolger, Jack Thibeau, William Upton, Tony Cummings, Frank Villard, David Olivier, Christian Marquand, Chrystel Le Pelletier, and Aurore Clément; and producers and crew assistants: Gray Frederickson, Fred Roos, Jerry Ziesmer, and Joe Lowry.

Like the nightmare that was the Vietnam War, the production of Apocalypse Now went sideways nearly as soon as it started. It was originally scheduled for 16 weeks of shooting beginning in March 1976, a timeline that spiraled out of control: borrowed helicopters were recalled by the Philippine military to fight rebels; tropical disease wreaked havoc; payroll was stolen; and monsoon rains destroyed sets and equipment. Marlon Brando arrived in September, overweight and unprepared, having learned none of his lines. He refused to work with wild-and-crazy Dennis Hopper, forcing their scene together to be filmed on alternate nights. Fed up with Brando's antics, Coppola ultimately turned over the filming of his scenes to Assistant Director Jerry Ziesmer (who is represented in these documents, and who uttered one of the film's most memorable lines—'Terminate, with extreme prejudice'—after Coppola failed for months to find a suitable actor).

Year's end brought the fun 'Hau Phat U.S.O. Bunny Show' sequence, shot on December 3, 1976, that delivered Playboy Playmates Cyndi Wood, Linda Carpenter, and Colleen Camp to the set (Carpenter and Camp are included in this archive, as well as Coppola's letter expressing concern about the use of Playboy's famous logo, which appears throughout the scene). Trouble returned in early 1977, when the 36-year-old Martin Sheen collapsed from a serious, near-fatal heart attack. During Sheen's six weeks of recovery, his look-alike, sound-alike younger brother, Joe Estevez—present in this archive as "Joseph Sheen"—filled in on set; Estevez would also provide the necessary voiceovers during post. Filming finally wrapped on May 21, 1977, after a combined 238 days of tumultuous shooting over a two-year span. Coppola addressed the crew at day's end: 'I've never seen so many people so happy to be unemployed.'

Post-production met with similar delays, due to setbacks in creating the stereo soundtrack (which would include 'The End' by The Doors and Flash Cadillac's cover of 'Suzie Q') and re-working the film while editing the material. After fits and starts, Apocalypse Now finally debuted—as a 'work in progress'—at the Cannes Film Festival in May 1979, where it was awarded the prestigious Palme d'Or. Laurence Fishburne was just 14 years old when production started, and had lied about his age to secure the role of 17-year-old Tyrone 'Mr. Clean' Miller (when he signed the present document in September 1977, he was still just 16); by the time the film premiered in American theaters in August 1979, Fishburne was 18 and could have joined the Army himself.

Coppola revisited his masterpiece with the revised and extended version, Apocalypse Now Redux, released in 2001. The significant re-edit added 49 minutes to the original's runtime, among them a long French plantation sequence in which five of the signers in this archive—Villard, Olivier, Marquand, Le Pelletier, and Clément—appear on screen, who are not seen in the original 1979 version.

In addition to its eight Academy Award nominations (winning Oscars for 'Best Cinematography' and 'Best Sound'), Apocalypse Now's cinematic legacy has been enhanced by the Emmy-winning 1991 documentary Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse, which chronicled the 'magic and madness' of its production. It now takes a place among the top films of all-time, and was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being 'culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.'

“As a one-of-a-kind, extensive archive of documents signed by the prominent and obscure figures involved with the legendarily difficult making of Apocalypse Now, this is a truly remarkable lot,” said Bobby Livingston, Executive VP at RR Auction.

The Pop Culture Auction featuring Woodstock will conclude on Thursday, August 15. For more information, go to www.rrauction.com.

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Record Prices and Market Debuts at Swann's Summer Sale of Vintage Posters

Courtesy of Swann Auction Galleries

William Sanger's Vote American Labor Party / Roosevelt and Lehman, 1936. Sold for $7,250, a record for the artist and an auction debut for the poster.

New York -- Swann Galleries’ summer sale of Vintage Posters on Wednesday, August 7 was a lively event with active bidding across all platforms. “Many of the auction's niche collecting categories saw heated competition for trophy pieces, including sections on propaganda, sports and auto racing, as well as beach and summer resort posters,” noted Nicholas D. Lowry, Vintage Posters Director and house President. The sale saw six record prices and brought a number of posters to market for the first time.

The house’s most extensive selection of automobile posters to date saw competitive bidding from car aficionados. Highlights included a 1970 ad for Porsche prominently featuring actor Steve McQueen, which earned a record $7,000 over a high estimate of $1,200; and Ludwig Hohlwein’s 1914 Mercedes poster in German, which brought $10,000.

Sergio Trujillo Magnenat’s advertisements for the first Bolivarian Games in 1938 proved to be successful in his market debut, with all of the four works on offer finding buyers. His designs promoting track-and-field events—javelin, and discus—earned $4,160 apiece, while the designs for tennis and polo were won for $4,000 and $2,470, respectively.

War and political propaganda included William Sanger’s 1936 campaign poster for Roosevelt and Lehman, a first at auction for the image and a record for the artist at $7,250. James Montgomery Flagg was present with his iconic 1917 image featuring Uncle Sam, I Want You for U.S. Army, and his circa 1918 call to join the marines featuring a soldier riding a leopard ($4,940 and $5,500, respectively). Howard Chandler Christy’s Aviation / Fly with the U.S. Marines, 1920, rounded out the selection at $6,750.

The sale was led by Alphonse Mucha’s The Seasons, four decorative panels on silk, 1900, at $14,300. Also by Mucha was Lance Parfum Rodo, 1896, an early work by the artist denoted by the muse’s hairstyle which would become much more ornamental and flowing in later works ($6,750). Further Art Nouveau highlights included Adrien Barrère’s circa 1909 movie poster, Cinéma Pathé / Tous y Mènent Leurs Enfants!, at $8,750, and Francisco Tamagno’s 1909 Terrot & Co. cycle advertisement, which brought a record for the image at $4,160.

Beach and summer resort highlights featured record prices for Boris Artzybasheff’s Bermuda by Clipper / Pan American World Airways, 1949, at $5,750, and Alfred Lambart’s Newquay on the Cornish Coast, 1937, at $4,000.

Further records included Günther Kieser’s 1968 concert poster for The Doors and the Canned Heat at $5,250 and Erik Nitsche’s USS Nautilus / General Dynamics, 1955, at $5,000.

The next auction from the Vintage Posters department will be Rare & Important Travel Posters on November 14. Visit swanngalleries.com or download the Swann Galleries App for catalogues, bidding and inquiries.

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