Fine Books, Early Maps, Photographs at Waverly’s Sept. 8 Auction
FALLS CHURCH, Va. - The blue-chip contents of Waverly Rare Books’ Sept. 8 auction could easily be mistaken for a connoisseur’s library - collectively, they are that well refined. However, the 401-lot sale represents carefully chosen consignments from many advanced collectors and includes not only scarce and exceptional books, but also maps, autographs and manuscripts.
There are fine bindings, first editions, signed space and astronaut items; early printings, illustrated and plate books; religious and sci/tech books; and a number of lots devoted to American literature. The extensive cartographic section features Civil War maps and atlases, including maps of Virginia, New England, New York, the American West, and Europe. Additionally, the sale offers highly desirable historic and modern photographs including examples by Ansel Adams, Carleton E. Watkins, and William Christenberry. For collectors of children's literature, there are several important artworks to consider, including signed watercolors and drawings by Tasha Tudor.
“We have some really spectacular items in this sale,” said Monika Schiavo, Director of Waverly Rare Books. “The preview is expected to be quite active because there are so many unusual items that collectors will enjoy taking their time to examine. There are several books in the auction that just don’t come along very often.” For those who cannot attend the preview or auction in person, Schiavo suggests browsing through the online catalog and bidding absentee or live via the Internet.
A remarkable artistic accomplishment, Lot 15 is an 1870 double fore-edge book titled The Natural History of Man; Being An Account of the Manners and Customs of the Uncivilized Races of Men. The left half of the book’s fore-edge displays the color image of a Native American chief on horseback. When the book edge is manipulated in the opposite direction, a view is rendered of the chief standing in front of a tepee. This remarkable book is estimated at $1,500-$2,000.
Lot 124, a 1794 edition of Jedidiah Morse’s The American Geography; Or, a View of the Present Situation of the United States of America, includes three maps that show how the nation looked while still in its infancey. One of them, which has partial outline color, depicts the central US west of the Appalachians. The auction estimate is $2,400-$3,500. Another highlight is Lot 131, a heavily illustrated 1909 Plan of Chicago Prepared Under the Direction of The Commercial Club During the Years 1906, 1907 and 1908. Estimate: $1,000-$1,500.
An extremely rare, signed and limited-edition copy of the second and last edition of Artistas de America de Espana 2 by the South American art critic and author Ernesto Heine contains four original works of art. The artists represented are Jorge Damiani, Oscar Garcia Reino, Eduardo MacEntyre, and Bruno Widmann. Three of the works, which are on board laid to a heavy paper backing, are artist-signed. Estimate: $2,000-$4,000.
L. Frank Baum preferred for his name to be associated with children’s books, and rightly so, as he was the author of the timeless classic The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. As a result, the 1908 novel The Last Egyptian: A Romance of the Nile, was published without the author’s name. However, a first edition, third printing of the book, which is entered in Waverly’s auction with a $900-$1,500 estimate, is signed and inscribed: This little story, written in Egypt to see if I could do a novel, is presented to Capt. W.R. Wharton / on my birthday / L. Frank Baum / May 15, 1912. The estimate is set at $900-$1,500.
An excellent selection of autographed material is led by Lot 90, a framed presentation of cut signatures of George Washington and Edmund Randolph. A delegate to both the Continental Congress and the Constitutional Convention, Randolph later served as US Attorney General, then Secretary of State. The lot carries a pre-sale estimate of $1,500-$2,500.
Vintage photographs appeal to collectors of all ages, as there are price points to please every budget. For the more advanced photo enthusiast, Waverly suggests a beautiful signed silver gelatin print by Ansel Adams (American, 1902-1984). Adams’ work titled Port Angeles is an exceedingly rare image taken circa 1948 on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula. Measuring 15¼ by 17¼ inches (sight) and in near-fine condition, Lot 238 will cross the auction block with a $2,000-$3,000 estimate.
Lot 246, a William Christenberry (American, b. 1936-) signed color photograph of a brick wall showing part of a faded Coca-Cola sign and “5¢” beneath it, is titled 5¢, Demopolis, Alabama, 1978. Printed in 1993, the photograph was purchased by the owner [an artist and private collector] directly from Christenberry, who pencil-signed it and wrote its title on verso. Estimate: $1,000-$1,500.
Waverly Rare Books is a division of Quinn’s Auction Galleries. Their Thursday, Sept. 8, 2016 auction will begin at 6 p.m. Eastern Time. Previews will be held at the company’s, gallery located at 360 S. Washington Street, Falls Church, Va., on Sept. 1 and 2 from 10-5; Sept. 3 from 10-2; Sept. 6 from 10-7; and on Sept. 7 and 8 from 10-6.
Waverly’s is always accepting quality consignments for future auctions. To discuss consignment of a single item, an estate or a collection, call 703-532-5632 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. View the online catalog and bid absentee or live via the Internet at www.LiveAuctioneers.com or www.Invaluable.com. Visit Quinn’s online at www.quinnsauction.com.
Image: Jedidiah Morse, The American Geography; Or, a View of the Present Situation of the United States of American, 1794, est. $2,400-$3,500. Courtesy of Waverly Rare Books.