Auctions | May 28, 2020
Courtesy of Potter & Potter

Louisa May Alcott's signature clipped from a letter is estimated at $100-200.

Chicago — Potter & Potter Auctions is pleased to announce this nearly 1,000 lot sale to be held on Saturday, June 20, 2020 starting at 9am CDT. Given current public health regulations, the event will be held entirely online and live streamed from the company's gallery. All bidding will take place through the company's website at Phone and absentee bids are also welcome. All items are available for in-person preview now, by appointment only.

A full range of vintage to modern coin-op machines take several of the top slots in this comprehensive sale.
•    Lot #355, a Mills 5 Cent slot machine in the likeness of Ulysses S. Grant is estimated at $2,000-3,000. Its astonishingly realistic 72" tall figure is bearded, wears a black hat, and carries a sword much like his namesake; the machine's coin-shaped platform is signed by Dick DeLong & Son.
•    Lot #361, a c. 1930s-era Watling Rol-A-Top 5 Cent twin jackpot slot machine is estimated at $2,000-3,000. This eye-catching and rare tabletop example measures 26 x 15 ½ x 15” and is detailed with a castle and checkered coat of arms on a yellow background.
•    Lot #364, a Mills 5 Cent “Melon Bell” tabletop slot machine is estimated at $1,000-1,500. True to its name, this unusual machine measures 26 x 16 x 15” and is decorated with several images of half watermelons filled with gold coins.

Music themed collectibles - including guitars, musical notations, and promotional materials - also are high notes in this auction.
•    Lot #600, an archive of c. 200 pieces of jazz, blues, ragtime, and African American sheet music from the 1900s-50s timeframe is estimated at $1,000-1,500. This fine collection features subjects, songwriters, and composers including Scott Joplin, Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong, Lena Horne, Duke Ellington, Nat King Cole, and numerous others.
•    Lot #629, a Fender Precision bass guitar from 1974 is estimated at $800-1,200. This instrument includes its original case and features a three -color sunburst, split pickup, a bolt on maple neck, and a maple fingerboard.  
•    Lot #650, a Tommy Metropolitan Opera House poster from 1970 is estimated at $200-300.  This 26 x 20"  unmounted broadside was created to advertise the final performance of The Who’s Tommy rock opera tour.  

It's all fun and games when it comes to this sale's premier offering of sports related merchandise, including a fine grouping of antique equipment and souvenirs.
•    Lot #584, a c. 1850s or possibly 1840s Lemon Peel baseball is estimated at $800-1,200. This rarity is covered with a single piece of leather tied off with four distinct lines, not connecting on the backside. Its circumference measures 7 ½”; today's standard ball measures 10 ¼” all around.
•    Lot #547, a signed 1935 World Series mini baseball bat is estimated at $400-600. It bears the signatures of Bill Rogell, Flea Clifton, Charlie Gehringer, Elden Auker, and Ray Hayworth and includes its original gilt printed sticker reading: 1935/Tigers vs. Cubs/World Series.  
•    Lot #585, a collection of antique to midcentury baseball apparatus is estimated at $300-500. The equipment includes three catcher’s gloves (Spalding, Reach, and a Wilson Rube Walker); four infielder gloves; two balls; and two metal wire and leather masks.  

Fine comic books are well represented in this sale, with several early and rare editions meriting  spotlight status.
•    Lot #288, a CGC 4.0 graded copy of Marvel Comics' The Fantastic Four #48 from 1966 is estimated at $600-800. It features the first appearance of both Silver Surfer and Galactus; the story was written by Stan Lee with the cover and art by Jack Kirby and Joe Sinnott.
•    Lot #171, a CGC 9.6 graded copy of Marvel Comics' Avengers #54 from 1968 is estimated at $500-600. This examples features the first appearance of the New Masters of Evil and a full page ad for Silver Surfer #1; the story was written by Roy Thomas with the cover by John Buscema.
•    Lot #299, a CGC 6.5 graded copy of Street & Smith's Super Magic Comics #1 from 1941 is estimated at $500-700. This is the first issue of the comic featuring Blackstone the Magician, and the only by this title.

This auction offers a full range of quality toys, games, and items originally designed as children's playthings, including an important collection of sample and prototype Steiff brand plush.
•    Lot #13, a Steiff Peter Rabbit pre-production sample of the company's 1904 replica is estimated at $80-125. This 9 ½” tall prototype, wearing a topcoat and slippers, retains its button in ear and "not for sale" ear tag as its Steiff IDs.  
•    Lot #49, an unproduced and unmarked 15" fully jointed white mohair Teddy Bear from the Steiff studios is estimated at $200-300. He comes to life with black pupil eyes, brown hand embroidered claws and facial features, and tan felt pads.   
•    Lot #10, an early prototype of the company's 1997 Steiff Club edition felt elephant on wheels is estimated at $100-200. This 8" tall example retains its sample black and white ear tag with blank verso, as well as its factory original mocked-up 1997 porcelain medallion, as its Steiff IDs.

This auction's materials and ephemera with connections to popular performers and authors of yesteryear are certain to have a lasting impression on collectors.
•    Lot #853, Louisa May Alcott's signature clipped from a letter is estimated at $100-200. It is signed, Yours truly/L.M. Alcott and has 10 broken lines of writing in her hand on the reverse.
•    Lot #766, a photo of Harry Houdini and Anna Eva Fay taken in Melrose, MA in 1924 is estimated at $200-400. The image features the magician and the famed theatrical medium gazing into a reflective sphere.
•    Lot #826, a deck of Ricky Jay's Cards As Weapons promotional playing cards from 1977 is estimated at $300-400. These were produced to promote Jay’s cult classic book; this example is sealed in its original box, with a sample card showing the back design affixed to its box.

Jewelry, Disneyana, premiums, magic and gambling apparatus, books, and other once-in-a-lifetime antiques and collectibles round out this important summer sale.
•    Lot #648, a lithograph titled U.S.A. Surpasses All the Genocide Records! from c. 1966/68 is estimated at $2,000-3,000. This red and blue print was designed by George Maciunas (1931–1978) in collaboration with John Lennon and Yoko Ono as an advertisement for the John Lennon-Yoko Ono Gallery.
•    Lot #337, the original lead-off comic strip art for Mickey’s Christmas Carol from 1982 is estimated at $800-1,200. This ink over graphite on studio board piece from the Walt Disney Production/King Features Syndicate is the very first page installment of Disney’s twist on A Christmas Carol newspaper comic strip.
•    Lot #902, a Cartier tank watch with an Amal Guessous band and bracelet is estimated at $2,000-3,000. The pair were custom made for entrepreneur and community activist Mark Thomas of Chicago's The Alley.
•    Lot #351, a collection of two dozen scripts from the American science fiction TV series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993-1999), and Star Trek: Voyager (1995-2001) is estimated at $300-500. Each has pink, blue, or black pictorial covers and is bound with brass binder pins.

According to Gabe Fajuri, President at Potter & Potter Auctions, "The phrase 'something for everyone' gets tossed around all too frequently, but in this case, it rings entirely true. We've never conducted such a diverse sale before, which makes the auction doubly exciting, as we expect to hear from many more collectors than usual. The auction truly represents a bit of each category we're known for."

Recent Publications | May 27, 2020
Courtesy of the Folio Society

London — Gustave Flaubert’s masterpiece Madame Bovary is The Folio Society’s stunning new limited edition. Illustrated with sensual oil paintings by Nushka, and beautifully bound in Douppion silk, this exquisite edition mirrors the perfection of the writing inside. Limited to just 750 copies, each has been signed by the introducer, the translator and the artist.

The story follows Emma, a rural doctor’s wife, who yearns to escape the banality of her life. A masterpiece in realism, the novel, subtitled Provincial Morals, was controversial when it was first serialised in 1856, and lead to Flaubert standing trial for obscenity. More than 150 years on, Madame Bovary’s depiction of desire, disaffection and love is as poignant now as it was then.

Originally painted in oils, Nushka’s subtle, sensual compositions are infused with a blend of American and European influences. Nushka staged the scenes she chose to paint for this edition using live models, props and costumes. The result is artwork that is subtly abstracted, intimate and evocative.

The acclaimed translation selected for this edition is by Adam Thorpe, and only uses syntax, vocabulary and expressions that were in general use up until the 1850s, when Madame Bovary was first published. This approach immerses readers in the ambiance of 19th-century France.

Completing the edition is an exclusive new introduction specially commissioned from Norwegian novelist Karl Ove Knausgård. In it, he explains not only why Madame Bovary is ‘the perfect novel’, but also why ‘the novelist of today continues to write in Flaubert’s shadow’.

Product information
The edition is limited to 750 hand-numbered copies signed by the translator, the introducer and the artist. UK £245.00 US$350.00 Can $470.00 Aus $540.00 *prices subject to change

Auctions | May 26, 2020
Courtesy of RR Auction

A signed first edition of F. Scott Fitzgerald's Tender Is the Night, first printing, in first printing dust jacket (estimate: $20,000+).

Boston — With over 1,100 lots up for bidding, RR Auction's June Fine Autographs and Artifacts sale is set to be a record-breaker.

Top lots include first edition books signed by F. Scott Fitzgerald, letters by George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, contracts signed by Mickey Mantle and Lou Gehrig, and a wide variety of entertainment autographs including Marylin Monroe, Walt Disney, and the Beatles.

Literature highlights include; a signed first edition of F. Scott Fitzgerald's masterpiece, Tender Is the Night, first printing, in first printing dust jacket. Hardcover bound in navy blue cloth with spine lettered in gilt, with pictorial first printing dust jacket including critical blurbs by Eliot, Mencken and Rosenfeld, 408 pages. Signed on the first free end page in fountain pen, "F. Scott Fitzgerald." Affixed on inside back paste-down is a "Hochschild Kohn & Co., Baltimore" label, which was Maryland's largest department store in 1934. Fitzgerald was living in Baltimore at the time Tender Is the Night was published— first printing just 7,600 copies—and may have held a book signing event or distributed signed books through the Hochschild Kohn store. (Estimate: $20,000+)

The sale also includes a first edition of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Beautiful and Damned, First edition, first printing, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1922. Hardcover bound in green cloth, lettered in gilt and blind, with first printing pictorial dust jacket, 449 pages. Signed on a free end page in fountain pen, "F. Scott Fitzgerald." Fitzgerald's second novel, The Beautiful and Damned is a classic Jazz Age tale of elite American society, generally considered to be based on his own relationship with his wife Zelda. Following his best-selling debut novel This Side of Paradise, Scribner's prepared an initial print run of 20,000 copies, and mounted a publicity campaign. It sold well enough to put 50,000 copies into print with later runs. As a highly desirable first edition of the work boasting a large signature, complete with its uncommon in first printing dust jacket, this is an extraordinary piece. (Estimate: $20,000+)

A Charles L. Dodgson four-page handwritten letter signed "Charles L. Dodgson, alias 'Lewis Carroll'," bordered sheets, November 13, 1874. Written from Christ Church, Oxford, a letter to an Australian man whose children are enjoying Dodgson's books, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There, in part: "It is too much to hope that you have an 'Alice' among your children." (Estimate: $12,000+)

Walt Whitman signed book: Complete Poems & Prose of Walt Whitman. First edition, unnumbered but limited to 600 copies printed for the author's use. Philadelphia: Ferguson Bros., 1888. Original hardcover binding with paper spine label, 898 pages. Signed at the foot of the "Leaves of Grass" title page in extremely bold ink, "Walt Whitman." A scarce edition that includes "Leaves Grass," "Specimen Days," and "November Boughs." An exceptionally desirable, boldly signed edition of Whitman's complete works. (Estimate: $5,000+)

Samuel L. Clemens signed book: The Love Letters of Mark Twain. First edition, limited issue, numbered 110/155. NY: Harper & Brothers, 1949. Hardcover with dust jacket and slipcase, 374 pages. Signed on the colophon in ink, "S. L. Clemens, Mark Twain." Printed above is a notice: "These signatures of Mark Twain have been in the possession of Harper & Brothers for fifty years. There are no more." An exemplary edition released long after the great American author's death, boasting Twain's sought-after double signature. (Estimate: $3,000+)

The Fine Autographs and Artifacts auction from RR Auction began on May 22 and will conclude on June 10 at 7:00 PM ET. For more information, go to

News | May 26, 2020
Courtesy of Rare Book School

Charlottesville, VA — Rare Book School has selected an inaugural cohort of 15 fellows to join the Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship for Diversity, Inclusion & Cultural Heritage (RBS-Mellon CH Fellowship). Fellows will participate in a three-year program that includes an orientation, Rare Book School coursework, community symposia, and other activities relating to multicultural collections and trainings.
This program builds on the success of earlier RBS fellowship initiatives, including the Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship of Scholars in Critical Bibliography, the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)-RBS Fellowships for Early-Career Librarians, and the RBS-RBMS Diversity Fellowship Program. The RBS-Mellon CH Fellowship has been formed to: develop skills for documenting and interpreting visual and textual materials in special collections and archives; raise awareness within professional communities about the significance of inclusive, multicultural collections, including their promotion, development, and stewardship; build connections with diverse communities and publics through strategic programming, outreach, and advocacy; advance careers by establishing new pathways and skills for professional growth.
The 15 RBS-Mellon CH Fellows were chosen from a highly competitive field of more than 60 applicants by a selection committee comprising leading cultural heritage professionals. The selected fellows work closely with a broad spectrum of multicultural collections, ranging from Cuban heritage collections and Black diaspora archives, to Los Angeles community-centered archives to HBCU library collections, and from post-custodial human rights archives representing Latin America and Africa, to digital collections of cultural heritage items from tribal archives, libraries, and museums. Geographically, the fellows represent states across the country from coast to coast (and Hawaii).
“We very much look forward to welcoming this remarkably accomplished group of Cultural Heritage Fellows to Rare Book School, where we hope they will find much to learn and we know they will have much to contribute,” said RBS Executive Director Michael F. Suarez, S.J. “We are profoundly thankful to The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for their support of the diversity initiative and its mission.”
Congratulations to all!
    •    Dorothy Judith Berry, Digital Collections Program Manager, Houghton Library, Harvard University
    •    Christina M. Bleyer, Director of Special Collections & Archives, Trinity College
    •    Ellen-Rae Cachola, Evening Supervisor & Archives Manager, Public Services, University of Hawaii Law Library, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
    •    Azalea Camacho, Archivist & Special Collections Librarian, California State University, Los Angeles
    •    Dale J. Correa, Middle Eastern Studies Librarian & History Coordinator, The University of Texas Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin
    •    Clinton R. Fluker, Assistant Director for Engagement & Scholarship, Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library
    •    DeLisa A. Minor Harris, Special Collections Librarian, John Hope and Aurelia E. Franklin Library, Fisk University
    •    Amanda T. Moreno, Archivist, Cuban Heritage Collection, University of Miami Libraries
    •    Bridgett Kathryn Pride, Reference Librarian, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York Public Library
    •    T-Kay Sangwand, Librarian for Digital Collection Development, Digital Library Program, University of California, Los Angeles
    •    Jessica Tai, Resident Processing Archivist, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University
    •    Krystal Tribbett, Curator for Orange County Regional History, Special Collections & Archives, Orange County and Southeast Asian Archive Center, University of California, Irvine
    •    Anastasia Tucker, Education and Outreach Archivist, Center for Digital Scholarship and Curation, Washington State University
    •    Margarita Vargas-Betancourt, Associate Librarian and Latin American & Caribbean Special Collections Librarian, Department of Special & Area Studies Collections, University of Florida
    •    Rachel E. Winston, Black Diaspora Archivist, The University of Texas at Austin

More information about the Andrew W. Mellon Diversity, Inclusion & Cultural Heritage fellowship is available at:

Auctions | May 26, 2020
Courtesy of University Archives

The relationship between Mrs. Kennedy and Oleg Cassini, her White House-era “Secretary of Style”, is explored through this studio ledger with fabric samples, 17 pages (est. $4,500-$5,500).

Westport, CT – An online-only auction dedicated entirely to Kennedy memorabilia, entitled Collecting Camelot: John & Jackie Kennedy Family Auction, will be held Wednesday, June 10th, by University Archives, at 10:30 am Eastern time. The auction is up and online now, on several bidding platforms, including University Archives’ revamped website,

“University Archives pays tribute to America’s Royalty, the Kennedy family, with a spectacular themed sale consisting of more than 130 lots carefully selected from many different consignors,” said John Reznikoff, the president and owner of University Archives. “Kennedy collectors everywhere should mark their calendars for June 10th.”

The full catalog is already up and online for bidding and viewing, at the new University Archives website, as well as on the popular online platforms, and Visitors will see that the collection of unique historical documents, autographed letters, photographs, mementoes, and relics represents three major areas for Kennedy collectors.

“First, the sale will explore the personal lives of John, Jacqueline, Robert, John Jr., Joseph Sr., and other members of the Kennedy family,” Mr. Reznikoff said. “Second, we are celebrating the political legacy of the Kennedy dynasty, from JFK’s days as a junior senator from Massachusetts to the White House, and to his younger brother’s later bid for the presidency. Finally, our sale is particularly strong in documenting Kennedy’s assassination in Dallas on November 22, 1963.”

Sale highlights include JFK’s personally owned rosary beads, previously gifted via donation by Jack’s mother, Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, to Sister Fabiola Parent of the Sinsinawa Sisterhood in Wisconsin. “Sister Fab” collected rosaries from around the world for her Sinsinawa Rosary Museum. Rose sent her the 18-inch-long rosary beads as a gift, in 1974. This was after Sister Fab had fashioned a rosary out of rose petals that she gave to Rose as a gift (est. $15,000-$17,000).

One item certain to attract much attention, and a strong candidate for top lot of the auction, is the American flag attributed and documented to have been flying over the right front bumper of the presidential limousine in the Dallas motorcade (est. $50,000-$60,000). Impeccable provenance is supplied by George Hickey III, the son of Secret Service Agent George Hickey, Jr., providing a clear chain of custody from Nov. 1963 to today. Other items from Mr. Hickey are also included.

More than ten percent of the sale overall – 15 lots total – deal with Kennedy’s assassination. Among them is the iconic photograph of LBJ’s swearing-in ceremony aboard Air Force One, signed by the new president (Lyndon Johnson), the photographer (Cecil Stoughton), and the Air Force One pilot (James Swindal) (est. $3,000-$4,000). Stoughton wrote, "I took this famous photograph / 22 Nov. 1963 / Cecil A Stoughton / W.H. Photographer". The auction contains over ten of Mr. Stoughton’s personally owned (and in some cases annotated) photographic prints.

Seven lots pertaining to Lee Harvey Oswald provide great insight into JFK’s assassin. These include eyewitness accounts from emergency room physicians, arresting police officers and Dallas homicide detectives, as well as items from Oswald’s childhood from his brother Robert. A three-page handwritten letter signed by Oswald and penned from Russia to his brother in September 1961 reported that authorities are “giving me some trouble about the visas” (est. $12,000-$14,000).

Items documenting JFK’s political ascendancy are sure to interest serious presidential collectors. Two photographs from Kennedy’s early career are particularly striking (each est. $2,000-$2,400). The first is a Jacques Lowe portrait personally dedicated to a constituent, signed in part “from her friend, John Kennedy. U.S.S. Mass.” The second is an extreme close-up of a young Kennedy, circa 1953, signed and inscribed in part, “Best of Luck, John Kennedy U.S Senator – Mass.”

A letter dated Nov. 30, 1962 on White House stationery, signed by Kennedy (and possibly typed by him) regarding the National Cultural Center, which would be renamed the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts to commemorate the slain president, should sell for $1,500-$1,700.  Scarce Kennedy campaign ephemera, including a handout promoting a speech JFK was to deliver at the University of Maryland on May 14, 1960, signed by Kennedy and picturing him below the phrase “See and Hear”, has an estimate of $800-$900.

Lots pertaining to Mrs. Kennedy’s passion for clothing and clothes design are particularly well-represented. The relationship between the First Lady and Oleg Cassini, her White House-era “Secretary of Style”, is explored through original sketches, studio ledgers with fabric samples (one of them 17 pages, est. $4,500-$5,500), correspondence, annotated fashion magazine pages, and Cassini-owned replicas of original Jackie designs, from the estate of Oleg Cassini (11 lots).

An exquisite brooch from jewelry designer Marcel Boucher, owned by Jackie and later gifted to Kennedy family secretary Mary Barelli Gallagher as a Christmas present in 1960, accompanied by Jackie’s handwritten note, should fetch $3,000-$4,000; and a letter written and signed by Mrs. Kennedy to Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., thanking him for his personally dedicated copy of the book A Thousand Days, signed both on the letter and envelope, has a pre-sale estimate of $1,500-$1,700.

An elegant dinner menu from President Kennedy’s 45th birthday held at the Four Seasons Restaurant in New York City in 1962 should reach $1,000-$1,200. The night was memorable as, later that evening, Marilyn Monroe serenaded JFK with her sultry rendition of “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” in front of 15,000 people at Madison Square Garden.

Contemporary American artist Robert Mars attempted to capture the esprit of Camelot when he produced a series of original artwork and hand-embellished artist proofs commemorating the Kennedys. Five of these are in the sale, offered as single lots. Many items in the auction – ranging from Jack’s swim trunks, Jackie’s photographic equipment and John-John’s baby gifts - reflect the human side of the Kennedy family. There’s something for every Kennedy lover in this sale.

University Archives has become world-renowned as a go-to source for rare items of this kind. It is actively seeking quality material for future auctions, presenting a rare opportunity for sellers. Anyone who has a single item or a collection that may be a fit for a future University Archives auction may call John Reznikoff at 203-454-0111, or email him at

University Archives was founded in 1979, as a division of University Stamp Company, by John Reznikoff, who started collecting stamps and coins in 1968, while in the third grade. Industry-wide, Reznikoff is considered the leading authenticity expert for manuscripts and documents. He consults with law enforcement, dealers, auction houses and both major authentication companies.
For more information about University Archives and the Wednesday, June 10th online-only auction Kennedy-themed auction entitled Collecting Camelot: John & Jackie Kennedy Family Auction, please visit For phone bidding, please call 203-454-0111.

Auctions | May 22, 2020
Courtesy of

Eliza Fenwick’s The Life of Carlo, the Famous Dog (1804), of which only three other copies are recorded, heads to auction.

Lakeville, CT — In light of the global situation,’s second U.S. sale will focus on connections of all kinds — celebrating what unites us at a time when physical contact can be dangerous, when ideologies can seem irreconcilable. The sale, which will run from May 28th through June 4th, includes over 200 lots of interrelated rare books, manuscripts, artwork, prints and ephemera.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, circumstances have forced both auction houses and book fair promoters to rethink their modus operandi, forcing the bulk of sales to now be conducted online., with over ten years experience as an online selling and buying platform, is uniquely positioned for this quick but necessary realignment. A hybrid experience that is part book fair, part auction, each sale offers both buyers and sellers the opportunity to connect directly with each other and the opportunity to create longterm relationships. Facilitating this level of open communication places Antiquarian Auctions in a league of its own among other online auctions.

Offerings in their second sale continue to uphold the mantra: “The one constant will be our unwavering commitment to the uncommon and unusual”. The uncommon include Ann Taylor’s My Mother (1807) “a notable rarity” according to Princeton; Eliza Fenwick’s The Life of Carlo, the Famous Dog (1804) three other copies recorded; a de luxe issue of Roald Dahl’s Gremlins, third recorded copy, in addition this copy is signed by General Eisenhower (!); Charles Muss’s ill-fated Thirty-Three Original Designs from Gay’s Fables (c.1824) almost unknown: one copy in the U.S, two in the U.K.; E.T. Bennett’s The Gardens and Menagerie of the Zoological Society Delineated (1831), printed on India paper – only two other copies traced. This sale also regularly goes beyond unusual and ventures into unique: a further selection of artwork from the great Robert Andrew Parker, much of it done for The New Yorker; a savagely beautiful caricature by Ralph Steadman of art historian Lord Clarke, a large scale work which used to belong to Auberon Waugh of Private Eye fame; Samuel Prout’s Sketches at Home and Abroad (1844), a unique copy given to Prout by his publisher, with the plates on India paper; Jean Cocteau does a sketch of The Saint for the character’s creator Leslie Charteris; a large scale photo of Cape Cod by Joel Meyerowitz from Norman Mailer’s estate (1986). The beauty of some items was reason enough to warrant their inclusion in the sale: a Portuguese Embroidered Binding from 1815; Primrose Harley Roper’s watercolor study of Peonies; a mid-19th century memorial album with an oval miniature portrait of Madame Henriette Kann; early photographs of Roman Antiquities sold by Joseph Spithover. All pockets and many interests are catered for: from  $100 to many $1000s; from Moscow to Mexico; from the 17th to the 21st century. was founded in South Africa in 2010 by rare book dealer Paul Mills, this 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 brings an expert curatorial eye and unique sensibility to each auction.

Auctions | May 21, 2020
Courtesy of Lyon & Turnbull

A first edition, first impression, hardback copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, inscribed and signed by J.K. Rowling in September 1997.

Edinburgh, Scotland — Hardly needing an introduction, J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books have become a modern classic of children’s literature. For twenty-three years, children and adults alike have become enthralled by the magical world of the boy wizard.

Lyon & Turnbull are delighted to present a first edition, first impression, hardback copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, inscribed and signed by J.K. Rowling in September 1997 – less than three months after the book’s publication in June of that year. This book is a true rarity. Only 500 copies were produced in first edition, first impression hardback, with around 300 of these being given to libraries and schools. This would leave a maximum of 200 copies of the book in possible circulation in fine, non ex-library condition; though the actual number is likely to be far lower. A handful of first edition, first impression books were then inscribed by J.K. Rowling for friends, acquaintances and family members. This copy is one such work, inscribed: “6-9-97 / For James, Kate and Laura, with best wishes, J.K. Rowling”.

At auction, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone has reached high acclaim. Since 2016, signed copies of the first edition have risen in value from £46,000 to $130,000 in 2018. The high collector’s value of a first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone reflects J.K. Rowling’s vast commercial success, named by Forbes as 2019’s highest-paid author. The reason for the cultural phenomenon that is Harry Potter is simple: Rowling has created a literary world which allows for absolute absorption and escapism, whilst simultaneously tackling some thought-provoking issues. Similarities can easily be drawn between the persecution of muggle-borns [magical children born to non-magical parents] in the Harry Potter series and the persecution of ethnic minorities on a national-level throughout history. Comparisons have even been drawn between the Ministry of Magic’s approach to the threat of the book’s main antagonist, Lord Voldemort, and the British Government’s policy of appeasement with Nazi Germany in the 1930s. Combine the demand for this engaging narrative with the rarity of a first edition, first impression and the result is a very valuable book!

The Rare Books, Manuscripts, Maps & Photographs auction on 17 June presents a wonderful opportunity to welcome the book back to Edinburgh – widely regarded as the “home of Harry Potter.” The boy wizard was dreamt up by Rowling on a delayed rail service between Manchester and London’s King’s Cross Station, however Rowling has said: “…Edinburgh is very much home for me and is the place where Harry evolved over seven books and many, many hours of writing in its cafés.” Many similarities have also been drawn between Edinburgh’s imposing independent schools and the wizarding school, Hogwarts. In the past, Rowling has said that she imagines Hogwarts to be in Scotland: a claim corroborated by the Harry Potter films, where the school train, the Hogwarts Express, is seen diving over the iconic Glenfinnan Viaduct in the Scottish Highlands.

A story that has captured the hearts of generations around the world, the rarity of this iconic book makes this first edition, first impression extremely desirable. With the continued interest and constant evolution of the Harry Potter franchise, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone represents the humble beginning of a truly magical journey.

Estimate: £80,000 - 120,000 + fees

Other auction highlights include:

Ian Fleming’s Casino Royale. London: Jonathan Cape, 1953. First edition, first impression with first state dust-jacket without the Sunday Times review overprinted on the front flap, 8vo, original black cloth with red heart vignette to upper cover, dust-jacket not price-clipped with one very small neat repair to jacket verso and a few extremely minor signs of wear, one or two very light internal marks [Gilbert A1a - 1.1]

Estimate: £20,000 - 30,000 + fees

Robert Burns. Autograph Letter Signed to Captain Francis Grose, Ellisland, 1 Dec. 1790, 2 pages, 4to, (190 x 121mm), bifolium, docket (traces of paste where pasted into an album), about sending the manuscript for Tam O'Shanter. Opening with a graceful excuse for a hurried letter ('I am not, God knows, vain of my composition, & if you like intellectual food more substantial than the whipt syllabub of epistolary compliment'), Burns refers to the enclosure which originally accompanied the letter of 'one of the Aloway Kirk stories, done in Scots verse. Should you think it worthy a place in your Scots Antiquities, it will lengthen not a little the altitude of my Muse's pride.' He request's Grose's discretion in reproducing his work, noting that 'Authors have too often very little to say in the disposal of this world's affairs, but it would be very hard if they should not be absolute in their own works'. Grose's 'draft of Kilwinning is finished, but not come to hand. I shall send it you the minute it reaches me'

Note: The 'Scots verse' referred to is none other than Burns's great mock-heroic narrative poem, Tam o'Shanter: a Tale, composed to accompany the entry for Alloway Kirk in the second volume of The Antiquities of Scotland, published by Grose in 1791. Burns's 'kind funny friend', Francis Grose (d.1791) - immortalised by the poet in On the late Captain Grose's Peregrinations through Scotland - was an early recorder of ruins and archaeological remains north of the border; the extent of the collaboration between the two is apparent from the reference to Kilwinning Abbey, which features in the same volume. Composed towards the end of Burns's tenure at Ellisland farm - a a creatively fertile period during which he also produced Auld Lang Syne - and marked by Burns's deft use of Hudibrastic verse and idiosyncratic mixing of Scots and English, Tam o'Shanter is often considered to be his finest poetic creation. A Biography of Robert Burns (1993), p.463

Estimate: £9,000 - 12,000 + fees

Guillaume Delisle’s Atlas Nouveau. Contenant toutes les parties du Monde. Ou sont exactement Remarquées les Empires, Monarchies, Royaumes, Etats, Republiques &c., Amsterdam: Jean Covens & Corneille Mortier, [c.1745]. Folio, (530 x 330mm.), title printed in red and black with engraved vignette, additional engraved title ("Atlas Novum. Atlas Nouveau..."), [vi]. 32, [2 ("liste des cartes")], and 107 double-page or folding maps, hand-coloured in outline, text and maps mounted on original guards throughout (some guards neatly strengthened), finely rebound in period style half calf,marbled sides, spine gilt, raised bands, red morocco lettering piece, occasional light spot, small stain to Saint Domingue map, most maps with light discolouration at centre fold (where attached to guard)

Note: A handsomely rebound, very good copy of a later Dutch edition of a French atlas. Delisle's map Carte de la Louisiane et du Cours du Mississipi, originally published in 1718, was the first printed map to show Texas. The present map shows New Orleans - "Nouvelle Orleans".

Estimate: £8,000 - 12,000 + fees

News | May 21, 2020
Courtesy of Biblio

Asheville, NC — In its ongoing commitment to support independent bookshops, is partnering with to create new avenues of revenue and growth for our booksellers. The partnership is a natural fit, as both organizations provide a solid online marketplace for independent booksellers, many of whom are pivoting to selling online to mitigate the effects of the Coronavirus quarantine temporarily closing their stores.

“At Bookshop, we wanted to give our customers an option to buy new and used books from third-party sellers if we didn’t have the book in stock,” said Andy Hunter, CEO of Bookshop. “Thanks to Biblio, we can offer a great selection of purchasing options that are sourced from independent bookstores, which helps us fulfill our mission to benefit local, indie stores, and offer a great selection to our customers at the same time. All profits from this partnership will go straight to our bookstore partners.”

Brendan Sherar, the CEO and founder of Biblio agrees. “We are delighted at this opportunity to work with Bookshop. Together we are committed to the vitality of bookshops in our communities, and we are excited to be a part of this next chapter in independent bookselling with Bookshop as they create a viable alternative to Amazon for bookstores and book lovers.”

Customers using will now see search results for used books from booksellers on if no new copies are available. This cooperative effort ensures that a book ends up in the customer’s hands, keeps both new and used bookstores in business, and generates revenue for both Biblio and Bookshop’s community of booksellers. has been an independent marketplace where booksellers around the globe list their used, rare, and out-of-print books for sale since 2003, and has expanded into new areas with,, and To learn more, visit is an online bookselling platform and affiliate network with a mission to financially support independent bookstores and literary culture. For more about Bookshop, please see


Book Fairs | May 20, 2020
Courtesy of Paul Foster Rare Books

Signed, presentation copy of My Early Life by Sir Winston Churchill.

London — The Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association (ABA) is pleased to announce the launch of the organisation’s first digital fair “Firsts London Online” on 5th June, coinciding with the fair’s original opening date. The digital fair will replace the cancelled annual rare book fair which was due to take place in London from 5th-7th June 2020.

Hosted on the event’s dedicated website, the online fair will be launched to the public at 2PM GMT on Friday 5th June 2020 and will feature items from top international dealers including Sophia Rare Books (Denmark), Antiquariat Dasa Pahor GbR (Germany), Imperial Fine Books Inc (USA), Bruce Marshall (UK) and Charlotte Du Rietz Rare Books (Sweden) to name a few. Each exhibitor has been invited to showcase up to 12 highlights from what would have been their exhibited stock at the annual fair in London. This smaller showcase of items has encouraged the dealers to upload many of their most interesting and significant pieces, creating a remarkable and diverse selection from around the world.

Some key highlights include:

  • First edition of Rene Descartes’ first and most famous work Discours de la methode pour bien conduire la raison, & chercher la verité dans les sciences [1637] by exhibitor Sophia Rare Books
  • An album of annotated watercolours by amateur ornithologist Thomas Howitt, drawn after Alexander Wilson’s American Ornithology [1823] by exhibitor Antiquariat Michael Kühn
  • One of only five pages of The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club manuscript by Charles Dickens remaining in private hands [c. April 1837] by exhibitor Peter Harrington
  • Manuscript of Discourse by Sir William Petty made before the Royal Society on 26th November 1674 to persuade for the scientific use of mathematics to human affairs by exhibitor Nigel Phillips Rare Books
  • Signed first edition in four volumes of Sir Winston Churchill’s My Early Life – Thoughts and Adventures – Great Contemporaries [1947] by exhibitor Paul Foster Books

The ‘Exhibitor’s Highlights” section will be launched at 2PM GMT on Friday 5th June and will feature contact details for each individual exhibitor. Items will be searchable by category, dealer, and keyword with each item featuring a brief description, condition, and price. Viewers and customers will be able to contact dealers directly and enquire on particular items. Speaking on the launch of the digital event, Fair Chairman Pom Harrington says: “Fairs remain an important fixture in the world of fine collectables and art, and virtual fairs are being embraced by dealers and customers alike. We are delighted to be able to host Firsts London in a digital format this year and provide our exhibitors and colleagues a platform to showcase their items. The ABA already had a great asset in the Firsts London website, which enabled this new venture to move ahead fairly seamlessly. We thank our exhibitors for fully supporting the digital fair format and are confident it will be a success.”

Details on Firsts London Online:

Friday 5th June: Live at 2PM GMT


Items will be available for viewing until 11th June.

Auctions | May 20, 2020
Courtesy of Swann Galleries

17th Year Afro-American’s Travel Guide, printed pamphlet, Travel Bureau, Afro-American Newspapers, 1957, sold to an institution for $27,500. 

New York — Swann Galleries’ Thursday, May 7 sale of Printed & Manuscript African Americana was held live online and was conducted remotely. “This was a strong auction regardless of the circumstances. The sale concluded with 90% of lots finding buyers, a record in this category at Swann, and a total of $744,112, well above high estimate. Institutions generally make a good showing in these African Americana auctions, but they did exceptionally well in this sale, picking up the top four lots, and a total of 11 of the top 20,” noted Rick Stattler, the house’s Americana specialist.

Leading the sale was an annotated 1848 letterpress broadside advertising for a reward for three young women who had escaped from slavery. The announcement was won by an institution for $37,500, a record for a broadside of the same nature. Also from the slavery and abolition era came the only pamphlet edition of The Proclamation of Emancipation, seventh printed edition, 1862, which sold for $11,875.

Posters were one of the most popular categories in the sale. Civil Rights-era posters included March for Freedom Now!, 1960, printed for a protest at the 1960 Republican Convention, which brought $17,500; Come Let Us Build a New World Together, circa 1963, utilizing a photograph by Danny Lyon featuring congressman John Lewis, then a 22-year-old Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee organizer, was won for $7,250, a record for the poster; and I Am a Man, Memphis, 1968, a dorm room version of the original protest poster used in the days before Dr. King’s assassination, brought a record for the poster at $6,500. Sun Ra in “Space is the Place,” circa 1974, a movie poster for the Afrofuturist science fiction film featuring the experimental Jazz musician Sun Ra, garnered a record for the image at $6,500.

The pamphlet 17th Year Afro-American’s Travel Guide, 1957, a competitor of the famous Negro Motorist’s Green Book, went to an institution for $27,500 over a $1,200 high-estimate after rigorous back-and-forth bidding. A 1950s metal sign denoting a colored waiting room from Alabama, brought a record the category at $15,000.

Additional items of note included E. Simms Campbell’s A Night-Club Map of Harlem, featured in the inaugural issue of Manhattan: A Weekly for Wakeful New Yorkers, 1933, which brought $27,500; papers of the comedian Napsey Russel, which included a personal letter from Martin Luther King, brought $17,500; and 44 issues of The Black Panther Community News Service brought $6,500, a record for copies of the publication.

"We are grateful for the confidence placed in us by our consignors, and for the patience of our community of collectors as we completely redesigned how we conduct our auctions. The results are nothing short of phenomenal, and a testament to Swann's resilient and creative team,” concluded Stattler of the sale.

Additional highlights can be found here.

For the house’s most up-to-date auction schedule please visit