FALLS CHURCH, Va.—First-edition copies of books by Lewis Carroll and F. Scott Fitzgerald; rare NASA photographs dating to the early years of the U.S. space program, centuries-old maps and engraved views; Civil War lithographs and even an endearing Norman Rockwell color lithograph of Santa Claus will be auctioned by Waverly’s on Thursday, December 3.
The 461-lot sale will take place at Waverly’s gallery at 360 South Washington St., Falls Church, Va., starting at 6 p.m. Eastern time. Those who cannot attend in person may bid absentee, by phone or live online via LiveAuctioneers.com or Invaluable.com. Items may be previewed Nov. 29 (noon to 4 p.m.), Nov. 30 (10-5:30), Dec. 1-2 (10-7) and on auction day (10-6).
Nine lots of signed NASA photos boast provenance from a man who did publicity for the U.S. space missions in Houston in the 1960s and ’70s. One is a signed and inscribed color photograph of the three Apollo 11 astronauts who piloted the first manned moon mission: Neil Armstrong, Mike Collins and Buzz Aldrin. The 13¾inch by 10¾-inch photo should bring $3,000-$5,000.
Another is an official NASA color photograph of the astronaut group known as “The New Nine” - the second group of astronauts selected by NASA, on Sept. 17, 1962. Signatures include Neil Armstrong, Elliott See, James Lovell, James McDivitt, Charles Conrad, Thomas Stafford, John Young, Edward White and Frank Borman. That photo is expected to make $1,500-$2,000.
A first-edition copy of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel Tender is the Night (Charles Scribner & Sons, 1934), with a first-state dust jacket and in overall very good condition, carries a pre-sale estimate of $2,000-$3,000. Blurbs by Fitzgerald contemporaries T. S. Eliot, H. L. Mencken and Paul Rosenfeld appear on the front flap. The book shows only marginal page tears and creasing.
A 224-page first-edition copy of Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass, And What Alice Found There (MacMillan & Co., London, 1872) is a first issue, with “wade” shown for “wabe” in the first verse of Jabberwocky on page 21. The book has red crushed Levant leather at the spine and corners and tiny stamped gilt figures. It is expected to reach $400-$700.
A strong candidate for top lot of the auction is a double-page woodcut map of North and South America by Sebastian Munster (circa 1558-1559). First cut in 1540, this map was the first to show North and South America as connected continents and not groups of islands. In near-fine condition and measuring 10¾ inches by 14¾ inches, the woodcut should garner $3,000-$5,000.
Another fascinating entry is a Dutch economics book published circa 1720-1740 and filled with caricatures and 74 plates regarding the Great South Sea Bubble - an early form of insider trading. The subject is a British joint-stock company that secured a monopoly on trade with South America and used bribes and oversold shares until panic selling of worthless certificates ended its run. The book should bring $2,500-$4,500.
An offset color lithograph of Santa Claus shown poring over a globe by the iconic American artist and illustrator Norman Rockwell is a proof print of the image that was used as cover art for the Dec. 4, 1926 issue of The Saturday Evening Post. In near-fine condition, the matted artwork measures 21 inches by 15¾ inches. The estimate is a modest $100-$150.
One lot consisting of three signed books by Beat Generation poets, including a copy of Allen Ginsberg’s Howl and Other Poems, in which he inscribes on the title page, “For Margaret King, Happy Birthday! May 83, Allen Ginsberg.” Alongside his signature is an ink sketch of a flower and a sun. The other books are by Philip Whalen and Michael McClure, and as a lot they should fetch $300-$500.
A lot of four Civil War-era color lithographs by Charles Magnus, matted under glass, depict hospitals in Washington, D.C.: Finley U.S. General Hospital, Cliffburne Hospital, Lincoln Hospital and Soldier’s Rest. Also included is a wood engraving from Harper’s Weekly that provides a bird’s-eye view of Washington, D.C. and its vicinity. Estimate: $300-$500.
A double-page engraving consisting of Eastern and Western hemisphere maps, with eight insets and produced in Augsburg, Germany sometime between the 1720s and the 1740s, carries a pre-sale estimate of $200-$300. Windheads fill the empty space in the left and right portions of the mounted, hand-colored engraving, which measures 19¼ inches by 22¼ inches.
A double-page engraved view of America and the New World by Arnoldus Montanus, produced either in London or Amsterdam in 1671 (two versions were created), should sell for $300-$500. The piece is historically significant, as in the near background slaves are shown hauling a boat with a rope, along with cattle and sheep; the mouth of the Paraiba River, and Castle Margareta.
Waverly Rare Books is a division of Quinn’s Auction Galleries. For additional information on any item in Waverly’s Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015 auction, call 703-532-5632. All forms of bidding will be available, including absentee or live online through LiveAuctioneers.com or Invaluable.com. Visit the company’s website at www.quinnsauction.com.