Auctions | October 7, 2011

Swann's Eric C. Caren Results and Sum

New York—Swann Galleries’ Thursday, September 15 auction of the Eric C. Caren Collection containing printed, manuscript and photographic documentation of great events from American history and beyond, including posters, pamphlets, books, maps, newspapers, and broadsides from the 16th through 20th centuries. There was much interest from collectors, dealers and institutions, and as a result, the sale grossed $657,888, comfortably within the estimate range.

Rick Stattler, Swann’s Americana specialist said, “Swann kicked off its fall season in grand style with the first installment of Caren Collection. Many of our regular customers commented on the unusual breadth of the lots in this sale.”

The top lot was King Charles II’s 1674 authorization for Edmund Andros to take possession of New York from the Dutch, sometimes called “The Birth Certificate of New York.” It sold to Seth Kaller, Inc. of White Plains, NY, a leading Americana dealer, for $120,000. He also won several other important lots, including a Thomas Edison archive ($14,400) and a rare official printing of James Madison’s Virginia Resolution ($11,400).

At least two significant auction records were set. An illustrated Philadelphia broadside titled “Remarks on the Slave Trade,” brought $14,400—a record for any of the many engravings of the famous slave ship Brooks; and a well-preserved copy of The Arraignment, Tryal, and Condemnation of Captain William Kidd, for Murther and Piracy, 1701, which brought a record $7,200.

Among the books in the auction, a 1677 Boston first edition of Hubbard’s Narrative of the Troubles with the Indians brought $24,000, and a first English edition of Exquemelin’s Bucaniers of America brought $11,400—both going to collectors.

The first printed baseball scorecard—from a game played in Philadelphia in 1866—sold to a collector for $36,000, against an estimate of $5,000 to $7,500. It was helped by an article in the sports section of the Philadelphia Inquirer that ran the day before the auction.

The University of Virginia purchased a runaway slave poster by John W. Tyler offering a $200 Reward for the apprehension of Ludwell, Warrenton, VA, 1854, for $7,800.

Newspapers were another strength of the sale, which will not be a surprise to anyone who has followed Eric Caren’s career. Nine single issues of newspapers brought at least $3,000 each, led by a 1765 issue of the Boston Post-Boy regarding protests against the Stamp Act, which sold to a dealer for $19,200.

Other ephemera highlights included an original mechanical plan of the Lusitania’s steam piping by its builders, which may shed some light on the ship’s rapid sinking, ink drawing on tracing vellum, Clydebank, 25 Nov 1907, $15,600.

Among the many photographs in the sale, the top lot was a group of five cabinet card photographs of the Dalton Gang (four of them in their coffins), which sold to a dealer for $8,400. A collector took the top poster in the sale, an early Buffalo Bill piece that brought $6,720.

For complete results, an illustrated catalogue (with prices realized on request) is available for $35 from Swann Galleries, Inc., 104 East 25th Street, New York, NY 10010. Catalogue and prices are also available online at

For further information, and to propose consignments to upcoming Americana auctions, please contact Rick Stattler by telephone at (212) 254-4710, extension 27, or email:

*All prices include buyer’s premium.