Auctions | April 20, 2018

Over 280 Important Manuscripts Offered at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers’ May 1 Auction

568_57_Carey, Henry Charles and Isaac Lea A Complete Historical, Chronological, and Geographical American Atlas. Philadelphia- Carey & Lea, 1822_WEB.jpgThe highlight of Leslie Hindman Auctioneers' May 1st sale of Fine Printed Books and Manuscripts, to be held in the firm's Chicago saleroom with live bidding available online, is the selection of nearly 400 manuscripts from the private collection of Robert L. McKay. 

The collection will be offered as a session within the sale, lots 172-451, and contains signed letters and manuscripts from notable authors and writers, artists, musicians, politicians, entertainers, and scientists, among many others. Highlights include: a Claude Monet 1902 autograph letter signed to art critic Gustave Geoffroy (presale estimate: 4,000 - 6,000); an autograph musical manuscript titled Themes from an American in Paris presented by George Gershwin to friend and early supporter Hyman Sandow (presale estimate: $6,000 - 8,000); and an autograph letter signed from Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky to Eduardo Frantsevich Nápravnîk (presale estimate: $8,000 - 12,000).

Also included in the collection are numerous letters and manuscripts from historic American figures. An autograph letter signed from George Washington written at Mount Vernon will be offered with a presale estimate of $8,000 - 12,000. Other examples include a one-page autograph letter signed from Benjamin Franklin to his great-nephew Jonathan Williams Jr. in 1773 estimated at $8,000 - 12,000; an autograph letter signed by Thomas Jefferson as President estimated at $6,000 - 8,000; an autograph letter signed from the Marquis de Lafayette to James Monroe estimated at $4,000-6,000; and a Robert E. Lee autograph letter signed estimated at $5,000 - $7,000.

The May sale also includes sessions of livres d’artiste and artists’ books, sporting books, maps and atlases, fine printed books, and printed and manuscript Americana.  

Highlights from these sessions include a first edition of Thomas Williamson and Samuel Howitt’s Oriental Field Sports published in 1807 (presale estimate: $10,000 - 15,000); and a rare copy of Conradus de Halberstadt’s Concordantiae bilbliorum, printed by Mentelin in Strassburg before 1474 (estimate: $10,000 -15,000). Also included are a copy of John James Audubon’s Purple Heron ($10,000 - $15,000); Karl Bodmer’s Herd of Bison (estimate: $1,000-2,000); Isaac and Lea’s A Complete Historical, Chronological, and Geographical American Atlas, 1822 ($3,000 - 5,000); and a copy of Sir Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe in original rose silk-covered boards ($2,000-3,000).

The Fine Books and Manuscripts preview opens Friday, April 27 in the Chicago saleroom of Leslie Hindman Auctioneers. The catalogue is currently available online. The department is now accepting consignments for its November auction. Visit for additional information.

Image: Carey, Henry Charles and Isaac Lea. A Complete Historical, Chronological, and Geographical American Atlas. Presale estimate: $3,000 to 5,000.