Auctions | June 11, 2014

Edward Gorey Rarities, Modern Art Journals & Rackham Illustrated Classics Top Swann Galleries Sale


New York—On May 8, Swann Galleries conducted a two-part auction of Art, Press & Illustrated Books that featured the Edward Gorey Collection of Samuel Speigel. Speigel’s collection included some of the most elusive Gorey works and attracted attention from many new bidders.

Christine von der Linn, Swann Galleries’ Art Books Specialist, said, “The exhibition for this auction was among the best attended we’ve had, and nearly every lot found a buyer. The Gorey collection brought excited new bidders to Swann, and his posters, original artwork and ephemera became the runaway hits of the day.”

Indeed, the top Gorey lots were hand-drawn illustrations, one used in the advertisements for Amphigorey the Musical, pen and ink, 1992, $5,500*; another, XXI Shakespeare and Co, ink drawing for The New York Review Quiz Book, 1986, $4,500; as well as a poster for a performance of The Mikado at Carnegie-Mellon University’s Kresge Theatre, signed, 1983, which brought an action record price of $3,500.


Also setting a new record was a set of 30 consecutive volumes of the journal La Revue Blanche, famous for its contributions from every major contemporary artist, critic, and writer of the time, Paris, 1891-1903, at $16,250.

Additional highlights bringing five figures were Eric Gill’s masterpiece, the Golden Cockerel Press Four Gospels of the Lord Jesus Christ, 1931, number 111 of 500 copies of one of the most important fine press books produced in the 20th century, $17,500; and a bright copy of the Marc Chagall issue of the great art journal, Derrière le Miroir 66 - 68 - 68, Paris, 1954, $15,000.

A fine selection of modern art books also featured Josef Albers, Formulation: Articulation, two volumes, signed, with a separate test print, New York, 1972, $9,375; Eugène Grasset’s Les Mois: Douze Compositions, Paris, 1895, $7,168; Salvador Dalí, Dalí Illustre Casanova, signed, Paris, 1967, $6,000; and the journal Verve: Volume 9, number 35/36: The Last Works of Henri Matisse 1950-54, Paris, 1958, $6,750.

Richly illustrated works on decorative arts included John Pierpont Morgan, Catalogue of the Collection of Miniatures, compiled by C.G. Williamson, printed on Japanese vellum, London, 1906-08, $5,250; and Edgar Gorer and J.F. Blacker, Chinese Porcelain and Hard Stones, 2 volumes, London, 1911, $4,608.

A run of books illustrated and signed by the ever-popular Arthur Rackham performed well. These included J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens, London, 1906, $4,750; a first limited edition of Washington Irving’s Rip Van Winkle, with an additional ink drawing, London, 1905, $4,000; and The Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm, London, 1909, $3,500.

For complete auction results, an illustrated catalogue, with prices realized on request, is available for $35 from Swann Galleries, 104 East 25th Street, New York, NY 10010, and may be viewed online at

For further information, and to propose consignments to upcoming auctions of Art, Press & Illustrated Books, please contact Christine von der Linn at (212) 254-4710 ext. 20, or via email at

*All prices include buyer’s premium.

First image: Edward Gorey, Amphigorey the Musical, pen and ink, 1992. Sold for $5,500 (including buyer's premium).

Second image: La Revue Blanche, 30 consecutive volumes, Paris, 1891-1903. Sold for a record $16,250 (including buyer's premium).