Auctions | January 31, 2020
Courtesy of Swann Auction Galleries

Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice: A Novel, three volumes, first edition, London, 1813. Estimate $20,000 to $30,000.

New York—On Thursday, February 20 Swann Galleries will offer a sale of Fine Books & Manuscripts with a superb presentation of autographs, nineteenth and twentieth century literature, as well as art, press and illustrated books.

Nineteenth-century literature leads the sale with rare offering of first editions of all six of Jane Austen’s major novels. The works come across the block in uncommon surviving period bindings with scarce half title pages. Highlights from the offering are Austen’s first published novel, Sense and Sensibility, 1811—the rarest of the six with likely less than 1,000 first editions being printed—present at $30,000 to $40,000; Pride & Prejudice, 1813, at $20,000 to $30,000; and Emma, 1816—the only one of Austen’s novels to bear a dedication, to the Prince Regent—expected to bring $15,000 to $20,000.

Additional works from the nineteenth century include The Alif Laila, 1839-42, commonly known as The Arabian Nights’ Entertainments, here in the rare Calcutta II edition in Arabic, edited by W.H. Macnaghten. Printed in Calcutta at the Baptist Mission Press, the subscriber’s copy carries an estimate of $12,000 to $18,000. The Woman in White, London, 1860, the world’s first detective novel by Wilkie Collins is available in the first edition, first printing, complete copy at $3,000 to $4,000.

There are over 20 inscribed first editions by Graham Greene being offered, including many important association copies, beginning with his first book, Babbling April, 1925, inscribed to his first mistress, Dorothy Glover, estimated at $5,000 to $7,000. Also of note is Greene’s personal file copy of The Basement Room, 1935, signed and inscribed with his annotations throughout, at $4,000 to $6,000. Further literary works from the twentieth century feature a limited edition copy of Virginia Woolf’s Kew Gardens, 1927, signed by the author and Vanessa Bell, set to bring $5,000 to $7,500. Equally impressive is a group of William Faulkner first editions including a family presentation copy of Intruder in the Dust, 1948, inscribed by him to his first cousin Sallie Burns, at $3,500 to $5,000. Sought-after titles by Anne Frank, Joris-Karl Huysmans, Henrik Ibsen, Friedrich Nietsche and Fernando Pessoa, some of them signed, lend a Continental perspective.

Autographs from literary figures abound with a complete galley proof of Sarojini Naidu’s book The Broken Wing, signed with several holograph pages, and an autograph letter signed to writer Edmund Gosse ($6,000-9,000); a small archive of five items signed by Philip K. Dick to his psychiatrist Dr. Harry Bryan ($3,500-5,000); an autograph letter signed by Mark Twain to his publisher James R. Osgood dated May 12, 1882 ($1,500-2,500); and an ALS signed by Virginia Woolf to her brother-in-law, Clive Bell, dated 1918 ($2,000-3,000).

The selection of autographs on offer are led by partly-printed document signed by Abraham Lincoln, in which the sixteenth president issues a call for troops during America’s first national draft just days before the NYC draft riots in 1863. The document is expected to bring $15,000 to $25,000. Further autographs from American presidents include Theodore Roosevelt with a small archive of nine typed letters signed to U.S. Steel co-founder Elbert Henry Gary dated from 1906-08, in which the president discusses his recent speeches, most notably his “Muckraker” speech demonstrating the extent of his sympathy with radical reformers ($6,000-9,000). A group photograph of Presidents Regan, Ford, Carter, and Nixon inside the White House prior to leaving for Anwar Sadat’s memorial, is available dated and signed by each between the years 1984-87 ($3,000-4,000).

Remarkable figures from history include signatures of all seven members of Project Mercury—the project that put the first man into orbit—in a first edition, first printing copy of We Seven, 1962 ($5,000-7,000). A run of items signed by Diana, Princess of Wales, include a group of six autograph letters signed dating from 1996-97 to Harper’s Bazaar editor Elizabeth Tilberis, accepting invitation to the Met Gala and anticipating Christie’s announcement of the charity auction of her dresses ($6,000-9,000), as well as a signed catalogue from the charity auction ($5,000-7,500). Helen Keller is represented by a signed and inscribed photographic postcard of Keller, with her hands on Enrico Caruso’s face. Dated May 22, 1916, Keller writes of Caruso’s private performance for her in April of that year: “He poured his wonderful voice into my hand and my soul was filled with music,” ($500-750). 

The sale will also contain a selection of art, press and illustrated books, including limited-edition livres d’artiste, material from the Sackner Archive of Concrete & Visual Poetry, and inscribed works by Latin American artists.

Exhibition opening in New York City on February 15. The complete catalogue and bidding information is available at and on the Swann Galleries App.

Book Fairs | January 31, 2020
Courtesy of the Southern and Northern California Chapters of the ABAA

A first edition of Le Guide Culinaire inscribed by Escoffier.

California — The 2020 winner of the prize is Nolin Deloison Baum of Oakland, California. His collection of culinary high spots is centered around Georges Auguste Escoffier.
“I have collected books since I learned to read. After getting my BA, I went to culinary school in Paris and eventually became a professional cook. Fluent in French, it was natural that I also study, and, of course, collect, the historical texts that were significant of my profession,” the 30-year-old Baum said in his winning statement.
Sponsored by the Southern and Northern California Chapters of the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America, The California Young Book Collector’s Prize 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.
Among the prized books in his collection is Le Guide Culinaire, Aide-Mémoire de Cuisine Pratique Bibliothèque Professionnel (1903). Escoffier inscribed this first edition of Le Guide Culinaire to his coauthor, “To my very dear friend and devoted collaborator E. Fétu. In recognition of my eternal gratitude.” It is also inscribed by the other primary collaborator in this book’s creation, Phileas Gilbert.
Baum says that thanks to his œuvre, Escoffier was known as “the king of cooks and the cook of kings,” but without Émile Fétu’s tireless editing and recipe-testing, this masterpiece might never have been. It is the single most influential tome ever written on French cuisine, modernizing Carême’s Grande Cuisine and codifying the five French mother sauces. It would undergo three revisions in French, and it was translated into many other languages. It remains in print, and is used as an essential cuisine manual today.
The book Baum is hoping to add to his collection is a first edition of Escoffier’s last book, Ma Cuisine, with its rare dust jacket. Another scarce item that has alluded him is a supplement from the 1911 Hearst Newspaper The American called The Thanksgiving Cook Book by A. Escoffier the Greatest of French Chefs. “None of the dishes he wrote about were reminiscent of the sort of food one would expect to eat for Thanksgiving,” Baum said. “Instead he offered traditional French recipes for game, offal, and other things that most Americans would not have found terribly appealing. I have no doubt that his flagrant misunderstanding of Thanksgiving resulted in most copies of this book being quickly discarded. A copy is out there in someone’s attic, and I hope that I’ll find it someday.”
A selection of Nolin’s collection will be on display at the 53rd Annual California International Antiquarian Book Fair.
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.
As the winner of the competition he was also awarded:
    •    A gift certificate of $500 to spend at the 2020 California International Antiquarian 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 magazine
Submission details for future prizes are available at
Thousands of book lovers, booksellers, and scholars will converge in Southern California for the 53rd California International Antiquarian Book Fair over the weekend of February 7-9, 2020. One of the nation’s largest exhibitions and sales of rare books, the 2020 California Book Fair celebrates the 100th anniversary of Women’s Suffrage with a special exhibit -- Votes for Women -- documenting women’s effort to secure political equality. Materials will be on display from the special collection libraries of The Claremont Colleges; University of Southern California; California State University; Dominguez Hills; and the Los Angeles Public Library.

News | January 30, 2020
Credit: Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

Abolitionist, journalist, and author Frederick Douglass. Photo by George Francis Schreiber, April 26, 1870.

Washington, D.C. -- Newspapers edited by Frederick Douglass, who escaped slavery in 1838 and became a voice for abolitionists as a journalist, orator, and author, have been digitized and are now available online from the Library of Congress.

The collection is comprised of 568 issues of three weekly newspaper titles dating between 1847 and 1874: The North Star in Rochester, New York, Frederick Douglass’ Paper in Rochester, New York, and New National Era in Washington, D.C. The collection is online at:

Douglass was born Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey in February 1818 and was enslaved, working on a plantation in Talbot County, Maryland. After escaping slavery in 1838, Douglass went on to become a leading voice for the abolitionist movement through his oratory, his autobiographical slave narratives, and his newspapers.

The North Star, Douglass’ first anti-slavery paper, was named as such for the star Polaris, which helped guide slaves to freedom in the North. Douglass merged this paper with the Liberty Party Paper in June of 1851, creating Frederick Douglass’ Paper. Douglass added a monthly supplement to this paper, Douglass’ Monthly, before ending the weekly edition altogether to focus on the impending Civil War and, after the war began, on recruitment and acceptance of black troops. The New National Era came about during the Reconstruction era but was relatively short-lived and handed over to Douglass’ sons, Lewis and Frederick Jr.

Douglass held a strong belief in the significance of the African American press on the issue of abolition and assumed a leadership role in journalism, despite the struggles of earlier black newspapers. He covered issues focused on ending slavery, empowering African Americans and improving the equality of African Americans, as well as supporting women’s rights.

Highlights of the collection include:
    •    An explanation of the title of The North Star to act as “the star of hope” in its first issue published Dec. 3, 1847;
    •    A first-hand account written by Douglass of the Woman’s Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, New York published in The North Star, July 28, 1848;
    •    A letter from Gerrit Smith, a wealthy abolitionist and Liberty Party supporter, published in the first issue of the Frederick Douglass’ Paper on June 26, 1851.
    •    An “Address to the Voters of the United States,” featured on the front page of Frederick Douglass’ Paper, July 31, 1851.
    •    Countless articles denouncing bigotry and violence against African Americans published in the New National Era from 1870-1874.

In June of 1872, a fire devastated Douglass’ Rochester, New York home. While his wife Anna and family members survived the fire, 16 volumes containing The North Star, Frederick Douglass’ Paper, and Douglass’ Monthly were lost in the fire. While no complete collection of Douglass’ newspapers is available, the Library of Congress preserves a large collection of his weekly newspapers, now available online.

Auctions | January 30, 2020
Courtesy of Hindman Auctions

A first edition of Darwin's On the Origin of Species sold for $564,500 on November 5, 2019.

Chicago — Hindman set new company and industry high-water marks in 2019. The year, which included over 90 auctions and $69 million in sales, began with the acquisition of Cowan’s, another widely respected auction firm based in Ohio that has focused on fine and historic collections for over 3 decades. Through this acquisition Hindman has further expanded their expertise into nearly all significant collecting categories.

Hindman’s large network of departments broke 11 auction records in 2019, a record for the firm.  With a long tradition of success offering works by Chicago Imagists, the Post War and Contemporary Art Department broke 8 records in the last half of the year, achieving outstanding results for artists Jim Nutt, Gladys Nilsson, Art Green, Ray Yoshida, Karl Wirsum, Miyoko Ito, Roger Brown, and Barbara Rossi, concluding the year with sales in excess of $15 million.  Of particular note is Jim Nutt’s Plume, which realized $516,500 against a presale estimate of $200,000- $400,000. Additionally, Miyoko Ito’s Sea Chest, which realized $143,750 against a presale estimate of $20,000-–$30,000 and held an auction record for approximately one minute only to be broken by the next lot in the sale, Ito’s Sea Changes. Sea Changes realized $212,500 against a presale estimate of $15,000–$25,000 and is now the top selling lot at auction for the artist.

Several departments and regions saw extraordinary growth in 2019 further solidifying their position in the market. The Fine Books and Manuscripts Department ended 2019 with sales totaling over $5.5 million, an achievement unparalleled since the establishment of the firm in 1982.  Highlights from the year include Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species, which set a world auction record for a first edition of Darwin’s landmark work. Realizing $564,500, the superb Garden Copy, previously owned by American philanthropist Paul Mellon (1907–1999), sold for more than double the presale estimate of $120,000– $180,000 as a part of Property from a Midwest Collector, an exceptional single owner auction that featured landmark works in the fields of science and technology, mathematics, literature, Americana and the social sciences and realized over $1.9 million.

The Couture and Luxury Accessories Department handled a number of important collections including selections from the collection of Olivia de Havilland, The Geoffrey Beene Archive and the final collection of Ebony Fashion Fair ever to be offered at auction.  The top lot from the collection of Ebony Fashion Fair, a Chloé by Karl Lagerfeld 'Shower' dress from 1983, shattered its presale estimate of $2,000-$3000, realizing $32,500. The design set a world auction record for a dress sold by the famed designer, but is now the top selling garment at Hindman.

A Global auction record was also achieved in the Denver November auction, where abstract impressionist Vance Kirkland’s Explosions on 20 Billion Years Ago, realized $67,500, surpassing its presale estimate of $7,000 - $9,000 and becoming the top selling work by the artist ever offered at auction. The Denver office, which host sales of Arts of the American West, saw its most successful year ever at Hindman, ending the year with over $6.5 million in sales and a greatly expanded saleroom and offices in a new location in Denver’s hip RiNo District.

Looking forward into 2020, Hindman will continue its expansion, with new locations, new departments and an exciting and extensive sale calendar. Respected Hindman colleagues, Katie Guilbault and Maura Ross will be expanding Hindman’s presence into Southern California and the greater D.C. area, respectively. Additionally, several new departments have been added to Hindman’s growing roster with James Smith at the helm in Sports Memorabilia and taking up the Americana and Folk Art mantel is Benjamin Fisher, a veteran Hindman alum who returned this year after a stint with an important east coast firm.

January 30, 2020
Courtesy of Sotheby's

A John Hancock letter announcing the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, 6 July 1776, sold for $1,040,000.

New York — Yesterday in New York, Sotheby’s annual Americana Week auctions concluded with a strong total of $20.1 million, surpassing the series' high estimate of $18.5 million – and with more than 1,620 lots sold across five auctions and six days.

Below is an overview of the highlights that led to these outstanding results:

Fine Manuscript & Printed Americana
Auction Total: $3.2 Million
The week closed with a selection of exceptional historical materials from our sale of Fine Manuscript and Printed Americana, led by a manuscript letter signed by John Hancock, announcing the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, 6 July 1776 which achieved $1 million – surpassing its $800,000 high estimate and achieving the highest price of the week. The text of the Declaration of Independence was first printed on the evening of 4 July 1776, by John Dunlap, with finished copies delivered to Congress the morning of 5 July. The number of copies printed is unknown, but were likely printed in substantial numbers – between 500 and 1,000 copies. The first copies of the Declaration were ordered by Congress to be “sent to the several Assemblies, Conventions & Committees or Councils of Safety and to the several Commanding Officers of the Continental troops.” One of those printings of Dunlap’s broadside would have been accompanied by the present extraordinary letter, signed by John Hancock as President of Congress.

Several lots achieved multiples of their estimates, including a copy of The New-England Primer, an exceptionally rare edition of the most enduring of all American children's books which soared to $62,500 – more than 15 times its $4,000 high estimate; an autograph manuscript fragment from George Washington’s undelivered first Inaugural Address which reached $137,500 – more than four times its $30,000 high estimate; and a book of maps executed by Emily Draper, a remarkable example of cartographic schoolgirl art, which achieved $50,000 – ten times its $5,000 high estimate.

Important Americana
Auction Total: $4.1 Million
The selection of American paintings on offer throughout the series was led by Ammi Phillips’s Portrait of a Seated Child in a Pink Dress with a Spaniel and Coral Teething Ring that achieved $250,000. Painted circa 1835, the child depicted in the present work is perhaps one of the youngest in the artist’s entire ‘Red Dress’ group, while the spaniel, featured in many of Phillips’ portraits, has been thought to be the artist’s own dog, trained to amuse the child during the mundane sitting process.

Further highlights include a Bust Portrait of a Young Black Gentleman painted circa 1840 by William Matthew Prior, which far surpassed its $12,000 high estimate to bring $112,500. The presence of African-American sitters in Prior’s work is expansive in comparison to other artists of his time, though his depictions of black sitters are still extremely rare, constituting less than one percent of Prior’s oeuvre. The present work is rendered in Prior’s flat style – identical to the way in which he had portrayed white men— and in some cases, the artist would sign his portraits of African-Americans both as an artistic statement and expression of his moral values.

Among the standout pieces of Chinese Export porcelain was a Chinese Export ‘Rockefeller’ Pattern Part Dinner Service that realized $150,000 – more than triple its $50,000 high estimate. This elaborately decorated group was originally part of a much larger service, with each individual piece painted in the center with a different scene depicting Chinese figures. Previously known as 'Palace ware', though with no particular connection to the Chinese Imperial Palace, the term was largely replaced by 'Rockefeller Pattern' in the 20th century due to several members of the famed American family owning examples from the service, including John D. Rockefeller Jr. and his sons, Nelson A. Rockefeller and David Rockefeller.

A number of John James Audubon’s prints from The Birds of America achieved top prices on Sunday, led by his depiction of an American White Pelican (PLATE CCCXI) that fetched $137,500 (estimate $90/120,000).

Auction Total: $2.2 Million
Amassed over the course of several decades by a passionate collector and philanthropist, this dedicated sale was distinguished by an exceptional group of important weathervanes, as well as exemplary folk art and painted furniture. Full proceeds from the auction will benefit a new initiative for folk and self-taught art at the historic institution.

The sale was led by a Molded Sheet-Cooper and Zinc Fire Pumper and Double-Horse Weathervane, Cushing & White, Waltham, Massachusetts, Circa 1870 that nearly tripled its high estimate $150,000 in selling for $437,500. Cushing & White made a number of these steam fire engine vanes for New England fire houses, several of which still belong to the houses for which they were built. A nearly identical weathervane can be found in the collection of the Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan, and another vane of this type resides in the collection of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.

Auction Total: $3 Million
Arriving in this country in the 1960s with only a few dollars in his pocket, Arun Singh has gone on to become one of the nation's leading cardiac surgeons. Arun and Barbara first met when he was a resident in New York and she was a nurse – Barbara introduced Arun to life beyond the hospital, including museums such as The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, where their shared interest in Americana grew to the collection offered on Saturday.

An Exceptional Chippendale Carved Cherrywood Bonnet-Top High Chest of Drawers, Colchester, Connecticut, Circa 1775 led the impressive selection of outstanding New England furniture on offer, achieving $200,000. Retaining its original finial and brasses, this sophisticated high chest displays many details that follow the work of Calvin Willey (1769-post 1831), the cabinetmaker who was trained in Colchester, Connecticut and moved to Lenox, Massachusetts by 1791.

An exemplary Rare and Impressive Panoramic View of Macao, Attributed to Sunqua, Qing Dynasty, Circa 1850 was among the standout China Trade paintings on offer in Saturday’s sale, more than doubling its $50,000 high estimate to bring $112,500. Sunqua (active 1830-70) painted with a distinctive style that has earned him the reputation of one of the most important Chinese painters for the European market of the 19th century, and the present work demonstrates the master’s later style. A virtually identical painting can be found in the collection of the Peabody Essex Museum.

Auction Total: $7.6 Million
Sotheby’s two-day auction Mario Buatta: Prince of Interiors came to a close late Friday night in New York, achieving an outstanding total of $7.6 million – more than 2.5 times its high estimate, and with an exceptional 99% of all 922 lots sold. The blockbuster sale was dedicated to the extensive personal collection of legendary interior designer Mario Buatta, featuring furniture, fine art and decorative objects from his Upper East Side apartment and Gothic-revival house in Thompson, Connecticut.

News | January 30, 2020
Courtesy of LiveAuctioneers

LiveAuctioneers as viewed via mobile phone and desktop computer.

New York – LiveAuctioneers, the world’s leading online marketplace for exceptional fine art, antiques and vintage collectibles, has released its 2019 Annual Report confirming not only another year of record results that outperformed competitors, but also a continued year-over-year pattern of growth that remains unrivaled in the industry.
Phil Michaelson, CEO of LiveAuctioneers, commented: “LiveAuctioneers empowers auction-house partners to realize the highest hammer prices on arts and collectibles with the least amount of pre-auction and post-auction effort. In 2019, LiveAuctioneers delivered the winners on more than 800,000 lots as well as the valuable underbidders on millions more lots. Our industry-leading mobile apps -- with personalized algorithms and nearly 5 of 5 stars on the App Store -- attracted 76% more traffic than any other live-bidding platform. Additionally, as compared to 2018, there was 40% growth in the adoption of LiveAuctioneers Payments solutions, which help auctioneers collect funds faster from winners, thus simplifying operations. Between the industry’s premier online-only timed auction technology, highly rated bidding apps, award-winning client support team, free consignment-sourcing solutions, and unparalleled marketing services, there’s a powerful synergy at work for our auction-house partners, 24 hours a day.”
The number of new visitors to LiveAuctioneers exceeded 18.5 million, and the number of items sold through the company’s platform grew by 31%, nearly twice the rate of growth seen by other providers in the market. Also, mobile bidding continued its nonstop upward run, with a 31% increase in the number of bids placed via LiveAuctioneers’ mobile apps, a further testament to the commitment LiveAuctioneers made to app technology in 2009 with the introduction of an app for iOS (Apple) devices and the first live-auction bidding app for Android.
In 2019, LiveAuctioneers continued to deliver unparalleled value to its auction-house partners, as these new statistics confirm:

●    47% lift in bids placed in LiveAuctioneers’ timed auctions
●    91,251,420 personalized notifications sent to bidders
●    9,541 consignors funneled to auction-house partners free of charge
●    76% growth in bids placed in auctions with live streaming
●    21% growth in auction registrations through LiveAuctioneers-supported white label sites
LiveAuctioneers continued to win important awards last year, being named for the fourth consecutive year as “One of the Best Places to Work in New York City” in an annual competition conducted by Crain’s New York Business. Also in 2019, LiveAuctioneers’ Client Support team won a prestigious Stevie® Award in the category “Support Department of the Year.”
“In 2020, more auction house partners will have the opportunity to grow their sales with new services like Online-Only Timed Auctions, LiveAuctioneers Payments, Custom Auction Websites, and more. I’m delighted that Jared Green, former VP of Heritage Auctions, joined LiveAuctioneers in late 2019 to help us bring these exciting new services to clients,” Michaelson said.  
Click to view LiveAuctioneers’ Annual Report containing additional information about the company’s growth and highlights of the past year

Auctions | January 30, 2020
Courtesy of Cowan's/Hindman Auctions

One of the highlights of the auction is the last known studio portrait of Harriet Tubman taken in her hometown of Auburn, NY in 1892. The estimate is $10,000-15,000.

Chicago — Cowan’s, a Hindman Company, is pleased to offer Part I of The Road West: The Steve Turner Collection of African Americana at Hindman's Chicago salesroom on February 20, 2020. Part I of this remarkable collection features over 300 lots illustrating the history of African Americans and their role in settling the western frontier in the 19th and early 20th century.

“This important collection helps document the tragedies and triumphs of the too often forgotten African Americans who transcended racial stereotypes to redefine the American Dream in the west,“ said Wes Cowan, Vice Chairman of Hindman Auctions. “It is the result of the dogged, determined vision of Steve Turner, whom I’ve known for many years. We’re thrilled to bring this material to market.”

Steve Turner is perhaps most widely known for his Los Angeles-based contemporary art gallery but he has spent his entire life assembling an unrivaled historical record of the American west. His focus on African Americana began with a single photo at an antique show in 1996.

“When I went to pay for the image, I asked the dealer to offer me similar material whenever he came across it,” recalled Turner. “His reply has stuck with me: ‘Forget about it. Images of African Americans are as rare as hen’s teeth.’ I would find over the next two decades that he was unfortunately right, but with hard work, good luck, and a few dollars, I was able to put together a collection that will hopefully shine a brighter light on the lives of these pioneers.”

The Turner Collection tells the story of achievement, participation, and pursuit of the American dream by these western pioneers. Photographs, manuscripts, and other relics depict the everyday lives of artists, attorneys, barbers, boxers, cowboys, musicians, soldiers, and more.

Among these pioneers, none are more famous than the Buffalo Soldiers. Part I of the Turner Collection features an extraordinary group of images of the famed Buffalo Soldiers, including a full-length portrait of a soldier wearing a buffalo coat. The rare cabinet card should sell for between $8,000 and $10,000.

The story of African Americans in the west is best understood within the context of the great leaders who inspired those who made the journey west. One of the highlights of the auction is the last known studio portrait of Harriet Tubman (1848-1905) taken in her hometown of Auburn, NY in 1892. Despite her fame, there are remarkably few photographs of Tubman, who retired from public life immediately following the Civil War. Just six studio portraits of her are known to exist and of those, this photo is the largest, giving viewers the clearest and most detailed look at her determined gaze. The image is expected to sell for $10,000 to $15,000.

The walking stick of Frederick Douglass (1818-1895) is another lot expected to bring a great deal of attention from collectors. During the last decade of his life, Douglass traveled frequently to give speeches all across the country. In early 1888, Douglass embarked on a speaking tour of South Carolina and Georgia. While in Charleston, South Carolina, he was honored by an African American militia unit calling themselves the Douglass Light Infantry who serenaded him at their armory and presented him with this walking stick. The stick is decorated on the collar with strawberries, symbolizing righteousness and spiritual merit in Christian art and should bring $3,000 to $5,000.

The top lot of the auction is expected to be an oil on canvas by Grafton Tyler Brown (1841 – 1918) entitled Mitchell’s Point, Looking Down The Columbia River. Born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania in 1841, Brown moved to California in 1858 where he became California’s first African American city view artist and lithographer. As a prolific and talented topographic artist and lithographer, he created images that showcased the natural beauty and essential character of the developing frontier. This painting depicts a breathtaking Oregon river landscape as a group of Wisham Native Americans make camp along the shore. The painting is estimated to bring $30,000 to $50,000.

Other lots of note include a California imprint of President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation estimated to sell for $10,000 to $15,000; the second cookbook ever published by an African American, What Mrs. Fisher Knows About Old Southern Cooking, for $6,000 to $8,000; an archive of a Buffalo Soldier in the 10th Cavalry for $5,000 to $7,000; and a very scarce 1922 first edition of Events of the Tulsa Disaster, for $4,000 to $6,000.

Though the bulk of the collection focuses on the period of westward expansion between the Civil War and World War II, some post-war subjects were simply too important not to be included. The auction will feature posters, photographs, and other ephemera from the Civil Rights Movement and the Black Panthers.

The auction will be held at Hindman’s Chicago salesroom at 1338 West Lake Street beginning at 10:00 am CT. The collection will be available for preview at multiple locations before it comes to the auction block. The collection begins its tour at Hindman’s Atlanta location on February 6 and 7 before moving on to Cowan’s Auctions in Cincinnati on February 13 and 14. The collection will also be available for preview in Chicago on February 19 and prior to the beginning of the auction on February 20. For more details, visit

Exhibit | January 29, 2020
Courtesy of Harry Ransom Center

One of author Gabriel García Márquez's passports.

Austin, TX — Selections from the archive of internationally renowned and Nobel Prize-winning author Gabriel García Márquez (1927–2014) will be on view for the first time during an exhibition opening Feb. 1 at the Harry Ransom Center at The University of Texas at Austin. The exhibition then will open in the fall at the Museo de Arte Moderno in Mexico City.

The bilingual exhibition, Gabriel García Márquez: The Making of a Global Writer, examines how the Colombian author who won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1982 became an international success soon after the publication of his 1967 novel, One Hundred Years of Solitude (Cien años de soledad). Now translated into more than 45 languages, the book has worldwide sales approaching 50 million copies.

“García Márquez is a ‘global’ writer because his stories continue to enter the lives of millions of readers worldwide every year,” curator Álvaro Santana-Acuña of Whitman College, said. “Generation after generation, readers find in his works, characters, situations, events, feelings, memories… that are meaningful to them. His writing has attracted all kinds of readers, including Oprah Winfrey, former President Bill Clinton, Colombian pop star Shakira, Henry Louis Gates, James Patterson and many others.”

Born in Colombia, García Márquez began his career as a journalist in the 1940s, reporting from Bogotá and Cartagena and later serving as a foreign correspondent in Europe and Cuba. In 1961, he moved to Mexico City. He is the author of numerous novels, including Chronicle of a Death Foretold (1981) and Love in the Time of Cholera (1985), in addition to novellas, short story collections and screenplays.

The global phenomenon of One Hundred Years of Solitude is central to the exhibition curated by Santana-Acuña, who explores this topic in his forthcoming book, Ascent to Glory: How One Hundred Years of Solitude Was Written and Became a Global Classic (Columbia University Press, 2020).

“What makes this García Márquez novel so famous is the fact that not only does it have millions of fans around the world, but also many critics,” Santana-Acuña said. “Classics are classics because they are the preferred target of critics, too; and One Hundred Years of Solitude continues to receive both praise and criticism.”

Throughout his life, García Márquez’s family, friends and politics played a pivotal role in shaping his writing. The exhibition will highlight the author’s transformation into a literary legend and will feature manuscripts, photographs, videos and correspondence demonstrating the impact of his personal life on his most important works. Pulling largely from the Gabriel García Márquez Papers at the Ransom Center, the exhibition will give visitors the opportunity to see documents never shown publicly before and to learn more about the life of one of the most influential people of the 20th century.

“As this exhibition demonstrates, Gabriel García Márquez made the local universal and, in doing so, became a citizen of a republic of letters larger than his native Colombia, larger than his adopted home of Mexico, and larger even than all of the Americas, north and south,” Ransom Center Director Stephen Enniss said. “My colleagues and I are delighted to share the story of the making of One Hundred Years of Solitude, which is also the story of the making of Gabriel García Márquez.”

The author’s personal archive was acquired by the Ransom Center in 2014 and includes original manuscript material, predominantly in Spanish, for 10 books, from One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967) to Love in the Time of Cholera (1985) to Memories of My Melancholy Whores (2004); more than 2,000 pieces of correspondence; drafts of his 1982 Nobel Prize acceptance speech; more than 40 photograph albums documenting all aspects of his life over nearly nine decades; the typewriters and computers on which he wrote some of his most beloved works; and scrapbooks meticulously documenting his career via news clippings from Latin America and around the world.

The García Márquez Papers are among those of other Nobel laureates represented in the Ransom Center’s collections, such as Samuel Beckett, J. M. Coetzee, T. S. Eliot, Ernest Hemingway, Doris Lessing, George Bernard Shaw, Isaac Bashevis Singer, John Steinbeck and W. B. Yeats.

Even the most knowledgeable readers will be surprised by this exhibition, Santana-Acuña, said. This is an exhibition that tells the story of how he brought these wonderful stories to us. The influence of writers like William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, Virginia Woolf, Julio Cortázar, and James Joyce on García Márquez’s work will be evident, as the manuscripts of some of their famous works are also on view along with his works.

Visitors will learn personal details about his friendship with former Cuban leader Fidel Castro and other political leaders. A glimpse into the author’s creative process through multiple versions of his novels will bring visitors behind the scenes and beyond the finished novel.

Since the García Márquez archive opened for research in 2015, it has become one of the Ransom Center’s most frequently circulated collections. In 2017, the Center published more than 27,000 images of manuscripts and photographs from the collection, creating the Gabriel García Márquez online archive with the support of a Digitizing Hidden Special Collections and Archives grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources through the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Gabriel García Márquez: The Making of a Global Writer will be on view through July 19. Galleries are open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays, with extended hours until 7 p.m. on Thursdays, and noon to 5 p.m. on weekends. Docent tours will be held every day at noon, with additional evening and weekend tours, and Spanish-language tours will be offered Saturdays at 1 p.m. Admission and tours are free.

Auctions | January 28, 2020

Lakeville, CT —, South Africa’s leading online auction house announces the launch of its U.S. affiliate with an auction of carefully curated rare books, manuscripts, prints and ephemera. The sale will run from March 19 - March 26, 2020.
Founded in 2010 by rare book dealer Paul Mills, the U.S. affiliate, based in Litchfield County, CT is helmed by Adam Langlands, formerly of Christie’s London. With over 40 years of experience in the rare book trade, Mr. Langlands will bring an expert eye and unique sensibility to each auction.

In a crowded online marketplace, is a unique platform that enables sellers and buyers to build relationships by connecting directly with each other. This approach has been the winning formula for in South Africa. Langlands emphasizes that this feature was one of the main reasons he wanted to establish in the U.S., “We consider our online sales a hybrid—part book fair, part auction—that benefits everyone using the site”.

This first sale celebrates the U.S. launch with a focus on rare and unusual American books, ephemera and art, offering items that will be of interest to the seasoned collector as well as to the first-time buyer.  Auction highlights include: a manuscript letter from Governor George Clinton to his brother giving an eye-witness account of  the partial destruction of Kingston by the British (1777); an original ink and watercolor drawing from Walt Disney Studios, “Mickey Mouse Jitter Bug" (1930); a letter written by Lee Harvey Oswald to the Secretary General of the Communist Party USA (in early 1963); a large scale photo of Cape Cod by Joel Meyerowitz from Norman Mailer’s estate (1986);  a rare early work printed in Boston (1743); a set of poetry books by Edith Sitwell inscribed by her and presented by her to the Queen Mother (1959); the first book to be granted U.S. copyright protection (1785); a first US edition of Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary (1818); a first English edition of Noah Webster’s Dictionary (1841); a group of illustrated books, very limited editions, and all from the personal collection of the award-winning artist (Robert Andrew Parker).

With 5-6 auctions scheduled each year, subsequent sales will include items that encompass a broader range of material.  “The one constant will be our unwavering commitment to the uncommon and unusual.”

Exhibit | January 24, 2020
Photography by Rudi Wolff. Artwork © Barbara Wolff

The Barley of Beth-Lechem.The Joanna S. Rose Illuminated Book of Ruth, in Hebrew and EnglishUnited States, New York, and Israel, Jerusalem, 2015-17 Commissioned by Joanna S. Rose, written by Izzy Pludwinski, designed and illuminated by Barbara Wolff. MS M.1210, fol. 9r Gift of Joanna S. Rose, 2018 The Morgan Library & Museum

New York – The Morgan Library & Museum is pleased to present The Book of Ruth: Medieval to Modern, opening February 14 and running through June 14, 2020. The exhibition celebrates the gift made in 2018 by Joanna S. Rose of The Joanna S. Rose Illuminated Book of Ruth to the Morgan. The accordion-fold vellum manuscript, measuring nine inches tall and an astonishing eighteen feet long, was designed and illuminated by New York artist Barbara Wolff, who worked on the project for two years (2015–17). The Rose Book of Ruth is presented in conversation with twelve manuscripts, drawn from the Morgan’s holdings, that unfold the Christian traditions for illustrating the story of Ruth during the Middle Ages. Through the juxtaposition of the modern manuscript with these ancient works, which date from the twelfth to the fifteenth century and include three leaves from the Morgan’s famed Crusader Bible, the exhibition brings into focus the techniques of medieval illuminators that inspired Wolff, as well as her inventive approach to iconography.

Famine and flight, emigration and immigration, and the concept of foreignness are among the issues touched upon by the anonymous author of the Bible’s book of Ruth, the book’s titular character was a great-grandmother of King David and, in the Christian tradition, an ancestor of Jesus Christ. Most biblical narratives concern kings, priests, and warriors—the lives of men. In the book of Ruth, however, women’s voices speak to us from the world of the early Iron Age in the Middle East. They tell of lives spent in close contact with the natural world, dependent on the gifts of sun, rain, and dew, “each in its season.” In that ancient setting, women sustained the family, the tribe, and the community. The book of Ruth speaks of courage and devotion. Ruth and her daughter-in-law Naomi craft the means of their survival, and their strength helps build the foundation of the House of David. Though each chapter has a distinct character, visual language, and ethical message, together they blend into a pastoral narrative set during the springtime in gathering of the grain.

This exhibition is organized by Roger S. Wieck, the Morgan’s Melvin R. Seiden Curator and Department Head of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscript. Wieck says, “I think visitors will be amazed at the inspiration that artists – both medieval and modern – have found in the suspenseful and touching story told in The Book of Ruth.”