New York - An exceptional auction of 19th & 20th Century Literature comes to Swann Galleries on Tuesday, November 13. The sale of nearly 300 lots includes first edition literary classics, scarcely seen dust jackets, deluxe sets and rare science fiction.
Science fiction and imaginative literary works feature a robust selection of seldom-seen material by icons of the genre. A group of three signed and inscribed typescripts of chapters from Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 holds an estimate of $800 to $1,200. A run of titles by Philip K. Dick is led by the scarce deluxe limited edition of The Selected Letters of Philip K. Dick, with five volumes present, (Estimate: $2,000-3,000); and one of only three special deluxe issue copies of The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick, Los Angeles, 1987, with the author’s signature tipped in, estimated at $1,200 to $2,000. An unbound pre-proof copy of Stephen King’s It, 1986, representing the earliest state of the book’s production, is predicted to sell for $1,500 to $2,500.
The top lot of the sale is from the collection of Al Hirschfeld, whose first edition of Ernest Hemingway’s Three Stories & Ten Poems, Paris, 1923, includes a correspondence from his friend, Ben Grauer. Hirschfeld, who was a veteran of movie studio publicity departments, met Hemingway in Paris in 1925 and would go on to draw the author several times. The present copy of the author’s first book is expected to bring $18,000 to $20,000.
Additional first edition works by twentieth-century American literary figures include the cover lot in the sale, the 1935 novel, Tortilla Flat by John Steinbeck. The work was the author’s first clear success and is available with the scarce dust jacket ($3,500-5,000). A completely unrestored copy, with the first issue dust jacket, of J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, 1951, is present with an estimate of $7,000 to $10,000; and Sartoris, 1929, by William Faulkner is estimated at $3,500 to $5,000.
Transcendentalist works include the signed authors edition of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, 1876, and, from 1888, a signed first collected edition of Whitman’s Poems & Prose which holds Leaves of Grass, Specimen Days, and Collect ($3,500-5,000 and $4,000-6,000, respectively). The first edition of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s May-Day and Other Pieces, 1867, is signed and inscribed by the author to his nephew ($4,000-6,000). Also available is set number 70 of the manuscript edition of The Writings, 1906, by Henry David Thoreau. With 20 volumes each in their original bindings, the set includes a manuscript sheet by Thoreau from Autumnal Tints and is predicted to bring $7,000 to $10,000.
The Sea-Wolf, 1904, by Jack London is available in the sale in the first edition, second issue, with the extraordinarily rare dust jacket. The dust jacket was previously known only by rumor; only one other copy is thought to exist ($4,000-6,000).
Toni Morrison’s debut novel The Bluest Eye, 1970, makes an appearance with a signed first edition carrying an estimate of $3,500 to $5,000.
Children’s literature features a first edition of the 1962 Newbery Medal winner A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle. The copy features the rare first state dust jacket without the Newbery sticker ($3,500-5,000). Beatrix Potter’s The Tailor of Gloucester, 1902, is present in the first edition and is of one of 500 copies. The work was the author’s second book, both written and illustrated by her, as well as her personal favorite ($2,000-3,000).
First edition literary works from the Haycraft-Queen Cornerstones reader’s list include a first printing of Edgar Allan Poe’s Tales, 1845, estimated at $15,000 to $20,000. Dracula, 1897, by Bram Stoker is available in the first issue, at $4,000 to $6,000; and a first issue of The Hounds of the Baskervilles, 1902, by Arthur Conan Doyle which features “you” for “your” on line three of page 13 ($1,200-1,800).
The complete catalogue and bidding information is available at www.swanngalleries.com.
Additional highlights can be found here.
Image: Lot 184: Stephen King, It, unbound cut galley pages representing the earliest state of book production, New York, 1986. Estimate $1,500 to $2,500.