January 7, 2013

“Peanuts” and Fine Press to Highlight Bonhams February Auction

San Francisco-Bonhams looks forward to presenting its sale of Fine Books & Manuscripts, February 17 in San Francisco, timed to coincide with the 46th Annual California International Antiquarian Book Fair at the Concourse Exhibition Center, February 15-17 (not affiliated with Bonhams).

The auction's highlights kick off with a rare example of a Charles Schulz annual Peanuts football strip. The 8-panel Sunday strip, from October 16, 1983, features Charlie Brown overcoming the compulsion to try and kick a football Lucy holds for him, only to encounter several other members of the gang tempting him with footballs of their own, estimated at $18,000-25,000.
The auction will continue with an item of local historical note: a sterling silver, double-sided, engraved menu card made by the Comstock Lode for Nevada Senator and San Francisco notable William Sharon for an honorarium at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco in 1876, estimated at $10,000-15,000. Senator Sharon was honored with a grand dinner to celebrate his success in helping to save the Bank of California after a disastrous crash in mining stock prices brought a run on the bank.

Those interested in historical keepsakes from beyond San Francisco need look no further than signed historical documents on offer, including an autographed letter from Thomas Jefferson, estimated at $10,000-15,000; a nine-lined note penned by Abraham Lincoln, estimated at $6,000-9,000; a document signed by George Washington, estimated at $6,000-8,000; and a collection of 30 documents by signers of the Declaration, estimated at $5,000-7,000.

Signed artist memorabilia is also on offer, such as an autographed letter from Claude Monet to Camille Pissarro, estimated at $4,000-6,000, and a triple-issue art journal Derrière le miroir: Paris, by Marc Chagall, featuring his Paris-themed works exhibited at Maeght in 1954, estimated at $8,000-12,000. Admirers of fashion design may be delighted to see an archive of drawings with fabric swatches from the House of Dior, estimated at $4,000-6,000.

A collection of fine press by Ashendene, Doves, Essex House, Grabhorn and Kelmscott Presses will also be highlighted. Ashendene Press examples will include Le Morte Darthur by Thomas Malory, estimated at $4,000-6,000; The Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser, estimated at $1,200-1,800; and The History of the Valorous and Wittie Knight-Errant Don-Quixote of the Mancha by Miguel De Cervantes Saavedra, estimated at $2,000-3,000, among others. Kelmscott Press titles will include The Story of Sigurd the Volsung and the Fall of the Niblungs by William Morris, estimated at $5,000-7,000, and The History of Reynard the Foxe by William Caxton, estimated at $2,500-3,500.

Property not before offered by Bonhams from The Dictionary Collection of Thomas Malin Rodgers will also be available, including Mammotrectus super Bibliam by Joannes Marchesinus, printed by Nicolaus Jenson and estimated at $3,000-5,000, and a first edition of Henri Estienne's Greek dictionary, Thesaurus Graecae linguae, estimated at $3,000-5,000. The current offerings will follow the $1.1-million results achieved at the first auction from this collection, held December 4, 2012 at Bonhams in New York.

Also of note in the sale will be a 1645 edition of Theatrum orbis terrarum sive Atlas novus, featuring large, skillfully hand-colored maps by Willem Janszoon Blaeu and Johannes Blaeu, estimated at $10,000-15,000, and two plate volumes from the 23-volume series Description de l'Egypte, featuring the first comprehensive description of ancient and modern Egypt by the commission of scholars and artists that accompanied Napoleon's expedition in Egypt in 1798-1801, estimated at $8,000-12,000.

There will also be material from a California institution, including a late 15th/early 16th century Book of Hours, estimated at $7,000-9,000; the first edition of the Gospels in Arabic, estimated at $8,000-12,000; and an Antiphonal manuscript, estimated at $5,000-7,000.

For more information about the sale, please visit www.bonhams.com/departments/BOK/. An illustrated catalogue for the sale will be available online in the preceding weeks, for review and purchase at www.bonhams.com.  

Auction preview: February 15-17 in San Francisco
Auction: February 17 in San Francisco