Auctions | February 28, 2020
Courtesy of PBA Galleries

The only known complete set of Yellowstone albertypes taken by William Henry Jackson, circa 1874, which influenced the US Congress to designate Yellowstone the first national park in the world. Estimate: $20,000-30,000.

Berkeley, CA — A notable collection spanning photography's first 100 years will be auctioned by PBA Galleries in Berkeley, California on Thursday, March 5, 2020, commencing at 11 a.m. Pacific Standard Time.

The collection was amassed by Dr. Robert Enteen while living in Paris and other major European cities.  It includes an estimated 10,000 photographs, photo-books, and ephemera. The earliest items date from 1839, the dawn of photography, to 1939, spanning the medium’s first century. Photography originated in France and England, but the technology spread quickly throughout the globe. The collection includes original works by numerous luminaries, including:  Fox Talbot, Charles Negré, Charles Marville, Edouard Baldus, Matthew Brady, Timothy O´Sullivan, William Henry Jackson, Eadweard Muybridge, Edward Curtis, Félix Nadar, Félix Bonfils, Francis Frith, Fratelli Alinari, Julia Margaret Cameron, Alvin Langdon Coburn, Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Steichen, Eugene Atget, Man Ray, André Kertesz, Kimbei Kusakabe, Lewis Hine, Karl Blossfeldt, and others.

The Journal of the French Academy of Sciences announced the new medium in 1839.  This announcement is among the many high points in the collection, which also includes paper negatives; one of only four known examples of the earliest paper photograph of Charles Darwin (1854); an album of over 100 photographs of a tsarist estate in Russia c. 1895; an extremely rare first edition, first issue of Man Ray´s first book of photos; and the only known complete set of Yellowstone Albertypes taken by William Henry Jackson, which influenced the US Congress to designate Yellowstone the first national park in the world.

According to the collection´s owner, Robert Enteen, “The photographs in this museum-quality collection are notable not only because there are many exquisite images, but also because they have historical significance. One can see transitions in photographic technology, materials, and styles, as well as the medium’s enormous influence in medicine and science, the arts, politics, education, travel and ethnology, history, architecture, religion, and other fields of human endeavor.

Dr. Enteen, originally from NewYork City, has been collecting antiques, rare books and prints for over 50 years. His photography collection began at a flea market in Paris in 2013, when he acquired a large group of early photographs by Adolphe Braun. Subsequently, he added to his growing collection in Italy, Spain, Germany, Turkey, and the United Kingdom. He has intensively studied the field of early photography, which helped him curate this comprehensive collection.

Bruce MacMakin, Executive Vice President of PBA Galleries, notes that, “The Enteen Collection is among the largest private collections of early photography ever placed in auction. It includes European, American, Asian and African works by most of the great photographers. In my experience, it comes closest to an American version of Sotheby’s celebrated Paris auction of the Thérèse and André Jammes collection.”

PBA Galleries, which has been a leading San Francisco auctioneer and appraiser, has been in business for over 60 years. They are currently located in Berkeley, CA. The auction catalogue can be viewed at:

Auctions | February 28, 2020
Courtesy of Bonhams

Isaac Newton, autograph manuscript in English, exploring the nature of God c.1710. Estimate: $100,000-150,000

New York — An important handwritten Isaac Newton manuscript exploring the nature of God and creation is one of the highlights of Bonhams Fine Books and Manuscripts Sale on 6 March in New York. It has an estimate of US$100,000-150,000. Extensively reworked, underlined and amended, this manuscript advances our understanding of the theophysical underpinnings of Newton’s Principia – one of the most important works in the history of science – in which he expressed his theory of universal gravitation.
Darren Sutherland, Senior Specialist of Books and Manuscripts in New York commented: “This is the most significant Newton manuscript on theology to be offered at auction during the past 50 years – a spectacular example of Newton's penetrating genius at work. Illuminating Newton's personal view of God and His Word, this manuscript advances our understanding of the theophysical underpinnings of the Principia. Newton deemed his theological studies to be "a duty of the greatest moment" and the manuscript shows Newton at his most “dutiful”. With nearly all of Newton's manuscripts now permanently in institutions, the present manuscript is one of the most important remaining in private hands.”
Working at the highest level of metaphysics, and looking to the Gospel of John, the manuscript sees Newton contemplate the Divine Word at the core of Creation, inquiring both into its pre-existence and into its immanence ("incarnation"). Newton begins by analyzing the views of Christ held by the earliest Christian sects (based on Epiphanius's Against Heresies, 4th-century) and seeks to connect them to the Kabbalistic doctrines of the Sephirot and of the Adam Kadmon ("Transcendent Man"). Affirming in the concluding paragraph that "this state of the primitive Church explains to us the true meaning of the beginning of the gospel of John," Newton proceeds to articulate his understanding of "In the beginning was the Word..." – explicitly asserting his definition of God.
Written contemporaneously with his "General Scholium" that was added to the Principia in 1713, the manuscript casts valuable light on the conceptual foundations of Newton's physics. With the Scholium articulating a theophysical theory of the universe, the present manuscript offers Newton's direct testimony on the New Testament text that was most central to his theophysical theory of the Creation, John 1:1-5, and consciously echoes Genesis 1:1-5 ("Let there be light..."). Highlighting the two lines of the Creation ontologically, John 1:1-5 crucially links Newton's physics to his metaphysics, pointing to the very essence of Nature.

Auctions | February 27, 2020
Courtesy of Sotheby’s

Making its auction debut at Sotheby’s in New York this June is a 1794 land indenture for the use and benefit of New York City’s African Free School. The document is estimated to achieve $250,000-350,000.

New York – Sotheby’s announces today that the Books & Manuscripts department will offer the 1794 land indenture for the use and benefit of New York City’s African Free School—founded by Founding Fathers Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and others—marking the establishment of the first such school in America.

Making its auction debut at Sotheby’s 24 June Books & Manuscripts sale in New York, the document is estimated to achieve $250/350,000.

The indenture will be on public view at Sotheby’s New York galleries today through 29 February, coinciding with the final week of Black History Month and showcase this integral piece of American civil rights history to the public.

Richard Austin, Head of Sotheby’s Books & Manuscripts Department in New York, commented: “We are thrilled to offer such a unique and historically important document in our upcoming June sale. The African Free School was an amazing symbol of the liberal democratic principles espoused by the country’s framers, and was a truly progressive institution at the time. To highlight the unprecedented achievement of the school and display the document in our galleries during Black History Month is an honor and we hope it will inspire others to reflect on the course of American history and social equality.”

Established by the New York Manumission Society—which was formed in 1785 by some of New York's most elite and influential citizens, including John Jay and Alexander Hamilton—the African Free School was created with the aim, as they perceived it, of educating black children so that they might take their place as equals to white American citizens. As the present indenture states, the school was formed “for the humane and charitable purpose of Educating negro Children to the end that they may become good and useful Citizens of the State.” The mission of the Manumission Society in forming the school was to validate the tenet set forth in the Declaration of Independence just a few years before that "all men are created equal." The Society also felt that education was an essential element in creating a populace capable of sustaining and furthering a democracy.

In addition to Hamilton and Jay, the New York Manumission Society counted luminaries as George Clinton, John Murray, Melancton Smith, and James Duane among its founding members. At a time when slavery was integral to the economic expansion in New York and America, these Founding Fathers and others began their mission of abolishing slavery in the state of New York by protesting the relatively common practice of kidnapping black New Yorkers—slaves and free men and women alike—in order to sell them into servitude elsewhere. The Society also provided legal assistance to free and enslaved blacks who were being abused, and in 1785 successfully lobbied for a law prohibiting the sale of imported slaves in the state of New York—before the state passed a gradual emancipation law in 1799. Slavery was officially abolished in New York State on July 4, 1827.

The African Free School was instituted on 2 November 1787, but was not built until 22 July 1794. Upon the land documented in the present indenture, a single-room schoolhouse was erected in lower Manhattan that would house around forty students, the majority of whom were the children of slaves. The members of the Manumission Society raised funds—or, in many instances, provided the funds themselves—for teachers' salaries, supplies, and, eventually, for the creation of new buildings required to house the growing student population. In 1809, the trustees of the school hired Charles Andrews, and under his ardent leadership the school experienced significant expansion, with enrollment reaching 700 students by the end of his tenure.

By 1835, the African Free School model proved so successful that a total of seven schools were established throughout the city, which were then absorbed into the New York City public school system. By that time, the African Free School of New York had educated thousands of children, many of whom went on to become prominent abolitionists, artists, and entrepreneurs.

Exhibit | February 27, 2020
Courtesy of the Grolier Club

The first place winner in the OPEN category was Rahel Scheufele’s binding.

New York — A Design Binding is a singularly-considered and beautifully executed book covering—a unique work of art that both evokes the content of the book, and reveals the passion, design sense, and skill of the binder. By applying technique in order to uncover the essence of a book, the binder transforms the book through artistic interpretation.  

OPEN SET, on public view at the Grolier Club through April 25, 2020, is an exhibition based on a competition, the title reflecting the two categories in which binders may compete—the OPEN category, in which the artist chooses which book to bind, and the SET category, in which all participants bind the same book.

The exhibition features a juried collection of 100 recently-created book covers submitted by artists from around the world, a definitive statement on excellence in fine binding today. The show is made up of winners of the OPEN SET 2020 binding competition, a triennial event sponsored by the American Academy of Bookbinding, whose purpose is to encourage both new binders and professionals globally. The design bindings on display were juried by the renowned American binders Monique Lallier, Mark Esser and Patricia Owen.  

The Set Category book—the text of a letter by William Blake entitled Happy Abstract—was conceived and printed by fine press printer Russell Maret. “Blake’s letter seemed a perfect fit for the project. It is a short text that is full of evocative visual prompts. allowing me to lay the book out with only one line of text per page. The text begins high up on the page and progressively works its way one line lower down the page with each spread, until ending just at the bottom,” explains Mr. Maret.

The submissions shown in this category are unique and each cover is different, though all of the textblocks are the same. “It is not often that binders are presented with the opportunity to express their artistic interpretations throughout the pages of the book; as you see in this exhibition, they were encouraged to do so with exceptional results,” notes Lang Ingalls, exhibition coordinator.

The Open Category titles submitted were chosen by the binders themselves. There are books on display in French, German, Spanish and English, a variety that echoes the number of foreign entries in the show. The sizes of the books range from miniature (less than 3 inches tall) to just above quarto, or about 12 inches tall. The idiosyncratic offerings in this category include unusual patterns of gilding, as well as unique structures and materials.

A book’s cover is, in essence, an invitation to explore its content. “OPEN SET demonstrates the ways in which a binder’s invitation can be recognizable or abstracted, visually unsettling or charming—in artistic terms, calculated to spark conversation, comment, and curiosity,” observes Ms. Ingalls.

Lang Ingalls, Exhibition Coordinator, will lead walk-throughs of OPEN SET 2020. Open to the public; no reservations required.

  • Tuesday, March 3, 2020, 1:00 PM
  • Wednesday, March 4, 2020, 1:00 PM
  • Tuesday, April 21, 2020, 1:00 PM
  • Tuesday, April 22, 2020, 1:00 PM
  • Tuesday, April 24, 2020, 1:00 PM
Auctions | February 27, 2020
Courtesy of Swann Auction Galleries

The Bay Psalm Book, Cambridge, printed for Hezekiah Usher of Boston, circa 1648-65. Estimate $50,000-75,000.

New York — American history from the sixteenth to twentieth centuries features in Swann Galleries’ sale of Printed & Manuscript Americana on Tuesday, March 10.

A very early edition of The Bay Psalm Book leads the sale. The 1640 Bay Psalm Book was the first book printed in British North America, a new translation of the Psalms done by colonists Richard Mather, John Eliot, and Thomas Weld, with an introduction attributed to Mather or John Cotton. The text went through several editions, all extremely scarce today. The present edition is bound after a 1648 Cambridge Bible and was printed for Hezekiah Usher of Boston, circa 1648-65, and carries an estimate of $50,000 to $75,000. Additional religious texts of note include a first edition of the Book of Mormon, Palmyra, NY, 1830. Released days before the official establishment of the church on April 6, 1830, the first edition is the only edition listing Joseph Smith as the “author and proprietor” rather than as the translator. The missionary tract is expected to bring $40,000 to $60,000.

Latin Americana features a strong showing of Mexican material. Highlights from the selection include a broadside announcement of the fall of the Alamo issued in Mexico City shortly after the Texan defenders of the Alamo were defeated on March 6, 1836, estimated at $40,000 to $60,000. A compilation of the Mexico’s early printed treaties with European and American nations is available at $20,000 to $30,000. Manuscript material features a royal decree authorizing passage for Hernán Cortés from Spain through the Caribbean on his return to Mexico, at $10,000 to $15,000. A run of material from the Mexican Inquisition features a 1664 broadside forbidding three books, including one on wine ($6,000-9,000); a 1797 printed decree with an annotated list of 29 prohibited or restricted books ($6,000-9,000); and manuscript pages from the testimony and proceedings during the case against Fr. José Brunón de Vértiz dating to 1649–59 ($5,000-7,500).

William Sydney Porter, best known as the author O. Henry, is present with a small archive of drawings made to illustrate a lost mining memoir, prior to his fame as an author. The 27 drawings, with manuscript captions throughout, are expected to bring $30,000 to $40,000. Additional items from the nineteenth century includes an albumen cabinet card of Lucy Parsons, a labor organizer who was considered “more dangerous than a thousand rioters,” ($800-1,200).

A diploma from the Princeton class of 1783, whose commencement was attended by Washington and the Continental Congress ($10,000-15,000), a first printing of Francis Scott Key’s "Star Spangled Banner" printed by A. Bacon & Co. in Philadelphia circa 1814-16 ($8,000-12,000), and an 1863 color-printed illustrated broadside recruiting soldiers to the Sprague Light Artillery ($5,000-7,500) round out the sale.

Exhibition opening in New York City March 5. The complete catalogue and bidding information is available at and on the Swann Galleries App.

Auctions | February 26, 2020
Courtesy of Bonhams

Raleigh’s signed copy of Italian sixteenth-century poet Torquato Tasso’s Rime et Prose (Poetry and Prose) Part III will be offered at Bonhams in London on March 11 with an estimate of £30,000-50,000.

London — In the public imagination, Sir Walter Raleigh is the swashbuckling adventurer who colonised North America and introduced tobacco and the potato to England. He is perhaps less widely known as a fine poet and a scholar who built a substantial library of manuscripts and several hundred printed books. Only six of the books were known to have survived until the recent discovery of Raleigh’s signed copy of Italian 16th century poet Torquato Tasso’s Rime et Prose (Poetry and Prose) Part III. It is to be offered at Bonhams Fine Books and Manuscripts sale in London on Wednesday 11 March with an estimate of £30,000-50,000.

Torquato Tasso (1544-1595) was regarded as the foremost Italian poet of the 16th century whose works were widely read throughout Europe. He was attached to the court of the Este family in Ferrara, the most brilliant court in Italy of the time. Raleigh also owned copies of Tasso’s Rime et Prose Parts I and II, both of which also survive. (Raleigh’s copy of Rime et Prose Part II was sold at Bonhams in 1997).

Bonhams Senior Valuer of Books and Manuscripts Simon Roberts said, “The lives of Raleigh and Tasso share many intriguing parallels. Both were significant figures at court who fell from grace and spent several years in prison. Indeed, Tasso wrote the third part of his Rime et Prose while in gaol and it may well have been among the books Raleigh had with him when James I imprisoned him in the Tower of London for treason in 1603.”

Sir Walter Raleigh (1552/4-1618) was a key figure in Elizabethan England as a courtier, spy and explorer. He played an important in the colonisation of North America. A favourite of Elizabeth I, he was mistrusted by her successor James I and imprisoned him for several years. Released in order to lead an expedition to find the fabled city of El Dorado, he was executed for piracy on his return.

Auctions | February 26, 2020
Courtesy of Cowan's/Hindman Auctions

Harriet Tubman cabinet card by H.S. Squyer, Auburn, New York, sold for $51,250.

Chicago — Part one of a planned two-part sale of one of the best private collections of African Americana to come to market in recent memory sold at Cowan’s, a Hindman Company, on February 20, 2020 for a combined $612,691. The Road West: The Steve Turner Collection of African Americana illustrated the history of African Americans and their role in settling the western frontier in the 19th and early 20th century.

“We were delighted to offer this important collection, and gratified at the response from both private and institutional collectors,” said Wes Cowan, Vice Chairman of Hindman Auctions. “The ephemeral material in the Turner collection is important, direct evidence of the struggles and triumphs of African Americans on their post-Civil War march to full citizenship.”

Steve Turner is perhaps most widely known for his eponymous Los Angeles-based contemporary art gallery but he has spent his entire life assembling an unrivaled historical record of the American west.

“I thoroughly enjoyed building this collection over the last twenty-five years and I am gratified that other collectors and institutions found the material significant enough to acquire,” said Turner. “I'm looking forward to the second sale of equally important material later this year.”

The enthusiasm for the collection was apparent from the start as the first lot, one of the last studio photographs of Harriet Tubman (ca 1822-1913), soared past its estimate of $10,000 selling for $51,250.

“I’m privileged to have had the opportunity to research and work so closely with all of these objects, perhaps none so much as the beautiful cabinet card of Harriet Tubman,” said Danielle Linn, Cowan’s senior specialist. “She’s a personal hero of mine and I’m glad so many realized just how remarkable this image of her is. The image quality is incredible, especially considering the age, and the size gives you an amazingly detailed look at one of the most famous women in American history.”

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. Bidders were clearly aware of the rarity of the image as nine phone bidders battled with a floor bidder and an internet bidder for several minutes before selling to a private collector for $51,250.

Only three lots later, the salesroom was once again abuzz as a unique piece of history of another American icon came to the block. A walking stick given to Frederick Douglass (1818-1895) by an African-American militia in Charleston, SC in 1888 was estimated to sell for between $3,000 and $5,000 but had received significant attention prior to the auction. Nine absentee bids left prior to the auction forced the lot to open at $6,500. Four phone bidders, several online bidders, and a floor bidder took over from there pushing the lot to more than six times its high estimate before selling for $37,500 to an institutional buyer.

Overall, the strongest category of the day was photography, which achieved eight of the ten highest prices of the auction. Outside of the Tubman portrait, the highlight of the category was a rare carte de visite of African American Medal of Honor recipient Christian Abraham Fleetwood (1840-1914). Fleetwood was one of just 18 African Americans to win America’s highest honor during the Civil War despite nearly 200,000 taking up arms. The lot also included three photographs of white officers from the US Colored Infantry and sold for $33,750.

Other photography highlights included a 10th Cavalry Indian scouts boudoir card, circa 1885, that sold for $20,000; a J.A. Palmer Wilde Woman of Aiken cabinet card for $18,750; a John C.H. Grabill cabinet card of a Buffalo Soldier wearing a buffalo coat for $16,250; a carte de visite of Edmonia Lewis for $15,000; an unpublished carte de visite of Frederick Douglass taken in 1864 for $12,500; and a cabinet card of famed lawman US Marshal Bass Reeves for $12,500.

The top lot of the auction was an 1887 oil on canvas by Grafton Tyler Brown (1841-1918) entitled Mitchell's Point, Looking Down the Columbia. 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 including this breathtaking Oregon river landscape. The painting sold for $59,375 to a private collector.

The collection also featured a group of first and early edition 19th and early 20th century books by African American authors. The top lot of the category was a rare first edition of 1881’s What Mrs. Fisher Knows About Old Southern Cooking, the second cookbook written by an African American to ever be published, which sold for $7,500.

Other fine book highlights included a 1907 first edition of The Home-Seeker's Guide for African-American homesteaders in Indian Territory that sold for $6,875; a 1917 first edition of The Ideal Bartender, the first published book on bartending written by an African American, for $4,375; and a 1910 first edition of Out of the Ditch, a slave narrative of J. Vance Lewis, for $3,750.

Miscellaneous highlights from the auction included an 1864 California imprint of President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation that sold for $12,500; a scarce illustrated invitation to an 1895 Montana hanging for $5,625; an 1898 unpublished typescript detailing African Americans fighting in the Spanish-American War for $5,313; and an archive of Southern California Black Panther Party broadsides, handbills, newsletters, and other ephemera for $4,688.

The auction was held at Hindman’s Chicago salesroom on Thursday, February 20, 2020. For complete auction results detailed images of every lot, visit Part II of the collection is expected to be offered in late 2020.

News | February 26, 2020
© Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford

Man Ray Photographies 1920-1934 (1934). A modernist/surrealist photobook, spiral-bound with text in French and English. Man Ray’s first monograph.

Oxford, England – A major collection of rare photobooks has been given to the Bodleian Libraries, building on the Libraries’ world-class collection of photographic works and books. The donation includes works from some of the most renowned photographers from the 20th century, including Man Ray and Robert Capa, Henri Cartier-Bresson and Diane Arbus.  
The collection of more than 2,300 printed photobooks published between 1887 and 2016 includes monographs, serials, exhibition catalogues, as well as artist and private press books. It features a huge variety of subjects and photographers, with particular strength in photobooks from France and Germany.
A collection of this size and breadth is particularly rare and its size makes this one of the largest donations to the Bodleian Libraries so far this century, and builds on its growing photographic resources; the Libraries already hold one of the earliest photobooks, The Pencil of Nature, produced by William Henry Fox Talbot between 1844-46.

A small selection of photobooks – by Brassai, Man Ray, Krull, and Cartier-Bresson – will feature in a one-day display in the Weston Library on 13 March 2020. See:

Photobooks are books designed to share the photographic work of individual photographers, groups, studios or collectives, sometimes with accompanying text, sometimes purely based on images. Images are often presented in a sequence to communicate a narrative, and innovative printing techniques are often used to reproduce the photographic image. Collaborations with writers and poets sometimes feature as part of the approach to making photobooks, but they could also reflect on the role of photography in advertising, propaganda, industry and public life. Many titles are produced in very small editions and are therefore very rare. Photobooks are vulnerable to light and damage caused by handling so photobooks in good condition are highly collectable.

The photobooks were given to the Bodleian Libraries by Sir Charles Chadwyck-Healey through the generosity of the Arts Council England’s Cultural Gifts Scheme. Chadwyck-Healey, founder of both the Chadwyck-Healey publishing group and Environmental Risk Information and Imaging Services, is also an Honorary Fellow of Trinity College, Oxford.

Richard Ovenden, Bodley’s Librarian said, “The Chadwyck-Healey collection of photobooks is a major acquisition for the Bodleian, immeasurably enriching our holdings through adding highly significant materials from European, Russian, Japanese and American photographers. This collection has great strengths including French Surrealist and avant-garde photography, the scarce work of the Russian constructivists, and the major American photographic movements. Photography is an area of growing scholarly importance, and it is vital that a great research library like the Bodleian is able to document in depth this crucial means of communicating visual ideas in the modern world.”

The photobooks donated to the Bodleian Libraries include:

·        Man Ray Photographies 1920-1934 (1934) – An extremely rare modernist/surrealist photobook, spiral-bound with text in French and English. Man Ray’s first monograph, it begins with a portrait drawing of Man Ray by Pablo Picasso and consists of 104 photographs of still lifes, rooms, landscapes, cityscapes, and flowers.

·        Henri Cartier-Bresson’s The Decisive Moment (1952), considered one of the most influential photobooks of all time. Both the US and French edition (Images à la Sauvette) are included in the collection, both with presentation inscriptions from the photographer, and in the famous dust wrapper designed by Matisse.  

·        Robert Capa’s Slightly out of Focus (1947), which features iconic images of the D-Day landings at Normandy, taken by the Hungarian-born photojournalist and co-founder of the famous Magnum photographic agency.

·        Paris vu par André Kertész (Day of Paris) (1945) which features a superb collection of photographs of everyday life in Paris. Kertész was considered a key figure in photojournalism and Day of Paris is his most sought-after title.

·        Bill Brandt’s The English at Home (1936), a hugely influential collection of 63 photographs capturing domestic life in challenging juxtapositions, revealing class inequality of the time.

·        Brassai, Paris de nuit (1933), a collaboration between the Hungarian photographer Brassai and the French writer Paul Morand, this is one of the first books of photographs taken at night. The images, with their iconic design (full-bleed images), revolutionised the way photo-books looked. One of very few copies in UK libraries.

·        Metal (1928) by photojournalist Germaine Krull, a contemporary of Man Ray, features a series of 64 collotypes depicting industrial structures and one of the pioneering works of modernist photography. This is one of the few copies available in public collections in the UK.

·         Other photobooks by Diane Arbus, Philippe Halsman, Edward Weston, Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Robert Frank and August Sander.
Over 600 of the photobooks in the collection have been catalogued already and are available for library readers to access in The remaining photobooks will be catalogued over the next year for completion in March 2021.

Auctions | February 25, 2020
Courtesy of Hake’s Auctions

R. Hem (French), cartoon poster depicting trailblazing American animation artist Winsor McCay and promoting the 1911 short titled ‘Little Nemo.’ Rare, artist-signed example of what was possibly the first-ever cartoon poster. Estimate $10,000-$20,000

York, PA – Monsters, Beatles, superheroes and U.S. presidents might sound like strange bedfellows, but their paths will intersect compatibly on March 11-12 at Hake’s first auction of the new decade. More than 2,000 lots of prime pop culture memorabilia will be offered over the two days, encompassing hundreds of popular collecting categories.

Auction fireworks could erupt when early original comic art by the legendary Winsor McCay (American, circa 1866/71-1934) crosses the auction block. McCay’s 1903 mixed-media Sunday color page titled “Why the Parrot Learned to Talk” features mischievous characters known as “The Jungle Imps,” who starred in a Cincinnati Enquirer comic strip from January through November 1903. “Winsor McCay, who became famous for his Little Nemo comic strip and Gertie the Dinosaur animated cartoons, created the art for the Enquirer’s entire run of 43 Jungle Imps stories,” said Hake’s Auctions president Alex Winter. “McCay’s Imps art is ten times as rare as his later Nemo art. Knowledgeable collectors will jump at the chance to own the original art for a published Imps Sunday strip.” Estimate: $35,000-$50,000

Winsor McCay’s talent was admired on both sides of the Atlantic by his fellow cartoonists, including the renowned French poster artist R. Hem. In 1911, Hem created a vibrant poster to promote the short “Little Nemo,” with a French heading that translates to “Winsor McCay – The Latest in Cartoons.” It colorfully depicts McCay at his desk, surrounded by paints, brushes, drawings of his famous characters, and an inset depiction that pertains directly to the cartoon short. An extremely rare example of this poster – thought by some to be the first cartoon poster ever created – is entered in Hake’s auction with a $10,000-$20,000 estimate.

More than 1,600 comic books will be offered, including 300+ issues that are certified (mostly CGC). There are many key issues, first appearances, Pedigree copies, and books from Signature Series. Leading the group, a Sept./Oct. 1956 issue of Showcase #4 in 8.0 VF condition is historically important because it contains the origin story and first appearance of the Silver Age “Flash,” one of several superheroes DC reinvented in the post-WWII era. “According to the CGC census, there are only 494 certified copies of this issue worldwide, and only 12 have a higher grade than the one in our sale. It’s a gem, and we think collectors will be fighting for it,” Winter said. Estimate: $75,000-$100,000

High-end treasures await Star Wars fans, as well. An outstanding example of original comic book art, Page 27 for Marvel Comics’ August 1977 Star Wars #2 brings together many franchise favorites in a pivotal scene, including Luke Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi and C-3PO. Drawn by Howard Chaykin and inked by Steve Leialoha, the artwork carries a $10,000-$20,000 estimate.

With a history of one blockbuster result after another for ultra-rare Star Wars action figures, Hake’s has still more surprises in store, starting with a double-telescoping Darth Vader 12 Back-A, AFA graded 75 Ex+/NM. “What sets this very early example apart from any other Vader we have sold is that the card is unpunched and, significantly, it comes packaged with a white cardboard stand beneath the figure’s feet. Only a prototype could pre-date this one,” said Winter. Accompanied by a notarized CIB LOA, its auction estimate is $75,000-$100,000.

From the same now-legendary Minnesota collection that produced the Darth Vader comes a Jawa 12 Back-A action figure graded AFA 60 EX in an unpunched blister card. The vinyl cape indicates it is the earliest iteration of the figure. Unquestionably a significant piece within the rarefied niche of pre-production and early production figures, it comes with a CIB LOA. Estimate: $20,000-$35,000

An unheard-of opportunity presents itself in the form of six original oil-on-canvas paintings created as the box art for Remco’s 1980-81 series of Universal 9-inch monster action figures. The subjects are: Frankenstein, Dracula, the Mummy, Wolfman, the Phantom of the Opera, and the Creature from the Black Lagoon. The consignor acquired the paintings directly from sources at Remco. Each of the artworks measures 17½ by 20 5/8 inches and is estimated at $5,000-$10,000.

Collectors of Beatles memorabilia still feel the same excitement the legendary Fab Four ignited when they first set the music world on fire nearly 60 years ago. The auction offers several coveted Beatles items, including a 1962 band-signed Parlophone Records photocard. The card is one of only two known examples of its type with all four bandmates’ signatures on the front. Accompanied by a Hake’s COA and LOA from Beatles autograph expert Frank Caiazzo, it is estimated at $10,000-$20,000.

Flying high over Hake’s parade of early political memorabilia, an Abraham Lincoln and Hannibal Hamlin 1860 campaign flag is so rare – one of only two known – that it was not even listed in the respected reference Threads of History, as its existence had not yet been established. Arguably, the historical importance of this extraordinary 33-star pre-Civil War flag is inestimable. At auction, it is expected to make $20,000-$35,000.

As always, a tempting selection of posters is available. Towering above the movie subcategory is a linen-mounted one-sheet poster for the original 1958 release of the sci-fi classic Attack of the 50Ft. Woman. Estimate: $5,000-$10,000. Among the signs from music venues and outdoor concerts is an original psychedelic poster promoting the 1968 Monterey International Pop Festival, where Jimi Hendrix electrified the audience at his first major US appearance. Estimate: $1,000-$2,000

Hake’s March 11-12, 2020 auction is now open for bidding. For a free catalog or additional information, call 866-404-9800 (toll-free) or 717-434-1600. Email [email protected] Online:

Auctions | February 25, 2020
Courtesy of Swann Auction Galleries

A collector purchased a first edition of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice for $100,000 at Swann Galleries.

New York—Swann Galleries saw a successful sale of Fine Books & Manuscripts on Thursday, February 20 with literature and autographs bringing strong numbers.

Jane Austen led the sale with competitive bidding driving prices well above their high estimate for first editions of all of her major works. Ultimately, they were swept by a collector bidding on the Swann Galleries App. The novels came across the block in exceedingly rare period binding with half-title pages. Pride and Prejudice, 1813, headed off the offering bringing in $100,000. The rarest of the group, Sense and Sensibility, 1811, with likely only 1,000 or fewer first editions being produced, earned $81,250. Emma, 1816, the only Austen novel to bear a dedication, to the Prince Regent, sold for $27,500. Mansfield Park, 1814, and Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, 1818, rounded out the run at $20,000 and $11,875, respectively. “Most any Jane Austen first edition appearance is noteworthy, but to have all six of her major novels, each one complete and in period binding, helped make this a wildly successful and memorable sale,” noted John Larson, the house’s literature specialist.

Further literature of note included The Catcher in the Rye, 1951, by J.D. Salinger. The first edition, in the first-issue dust jacket, sold for $35,000, a record-tying number. The Calcutta II edition in Arabic of The Alif Laila, 1839–42, commonly known as The Arabian Nights’ Entertainments, brought $12,500. A limited edition of Kew Gardens, 1927, signed by Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell, garnered $8,125. A first edition of Graham Greene’s personal file copy of The Basement Room, 1935, with annotations without, earned a record for the volume of short stories at $11,250.

An 1863 partly-printed document signed by Abraham Lincoln lead an exceptional offering of autographs. The document, issuing a call for troops during America’s first national draft, just days before the NYC draft riots, saw $18,750. Additional political figures included Emilio Aguinaldo with two items signed, including a letter written from Baliuag days before Americans captured it during the Philippine-American War in 1899 ($18,750). Mohandas K. Gandhi was present with a 1926 endorsed check correcting another’s misspelling of his name ($12,350). Also of note was a small archive of five items signed by Philip K. Dick to his psychiatrist dating to 1973 ($9,375).

Art, press and illustrated highlights featured a complete sell-through of D.A. Levy titles with The North American Books of the Dead Part 1 and 2, 1965, earning a record for the volume at $7,800. 

The next auction of Books & Manuscripts at Swann Galleries will be Printed & Manuscript Americana on March 10. Visit or download the Swann Galleries App for more information.