Screen Shot 2017-02-16 at 3.50.16 PM.pngMichaan’s is pleased to announce the sale of a prominent San Francisco Library consisting of over 14,000 hardcover books that have been accumulated over a period of fifty years by one family and kept in their Pacific Heights Estate since the 1920’s.

The collection is strong in history with great emphasis on American Presidential and Constitutional history but also a strong gathering of British and French including major collections of Napoleon, Abraham Lincoln, World War I and II.  A lovingly assembled collection of all aspects of Irish History including many 19th Century Works.  

There are over 50 sets of high quality leather-bound books.  As well as over 100 sets of cloth and lesser beauty.  

The family stopped buying books circa 1965 and one seldom sees so many vintage titles that have been aged and preserved so well.

In addition there are large quantities of books on Catholicism, Communism, Russian and California History with a strong emphasis on the history of the missions.

Do not miss the opportunity to preview and inspect this massive private collection - only once or twice in a generation does one see an accumulation of this size and content.

Image: The Savoy Cocktail Book, Original Edition, circa 1930 with Brilliant Art Deco Cover. Estimate: $200 / 300

NEW YORK — The first of Bonhams' Kennedy offerings, is a section titled the "Kennedy Years" in the Fine Books & Manuscripts sale in New York 10:30 am on March 9. From several consigners, items up for sale tell the story of JFK's days as a young senator arriving in Washington D.C. with his beautiful young bride, his rise to seize the Democratic ticket, and his presidential campaign and presidency. 

Leading the sale is the original plaster maquette from the bust of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, modeled by renowned sculptor Felix De Weldon, most known for his Marines Corps Memorial, in the mid to late 1963, estimated at $150,000-200,000. After the president was assassinated on November 22, 1963, Jackie worked closely with the sculptor to ensure the truest depiction of the fallen president. Most notably she re-shaped the mouth so the bust portrayed him smiling. Completed in 1964, the bronze cast of this bust stood nobly in the cabinet room in the North East corner of the White House, before Jackie moved it in 1979 to the new John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston.

Prominently featured in the sale, are groups of photos shot by Orlando Suero from Three Lions pictures, which offer a rare glimpse into JFK and Jackie's first year of marriage in 1954, a junior senator from Massachusetts and a political history student at Georgetown University. From a five-day shoot with the couple in and around their first home in Georgetown, the first group shows Jackie in class and around the campus of Georgetown (estimate $3,000-5,000). The second presents JFK relaxing at home discussing a senate bill with Jackie and playing a friendly game of football with brother Robert while his wife and sister-in-law watch (estimate $4,000-6,000).

Additional highlights include items from Jackie's personal assistant, Mary Gallagher, who served JFK when he was a young senator before working for his wife. Gallagher met Jackie in her bedroom at 9:30 am each morning, and liaised between her, designers, artists, and the president, whom she reported Jackie's personal expenses. Jackie's famed relationship with Paris-born designer Oleg Cassini comes to life in a collection of notes to be delivered to her exclusive couturier, estimated at $3,000-5,000, including her hand drawn sketches of dresses on White House stationary. Up for sale, jewelry and a goodbye note from Jackie at the end of Gallagher's employment reads "please accept this with memories of so many happy days", estimated at $3,000-5,000. 

The friendship of JFK and British Ambassador David Ormsby Gore is conveyed through personal possessions at Bonhams London sale of Glyn Cywarch on March 29.

Bonhams London is to sell the contents of Glyn Cywarch, the Welsh seat of Jasset Ormsby Gore, the 7th Lord Harlech. The Contents of Glyn Cywarch - the property of Lord Harlech sale will take place at Bonhams, New Bond Street, London on 29 March 2017. Some of the most fascinating objects tell the story of the close friendship between Lord Harlech's grandfather, David Ormsby Gore (5th Lord Harlech), and President Kennedy.

In 1961, David Ormsby Gore was appointed by the British Prime Minister, Harold Macmillan, as the UK's Ambassador to the United States. He served until 1965, the year after he assumed the title on the death of his father. David Ormsby Gore played a key role as adviser to Kennedy during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 and was once referred to by the President as one of the two brightest men he ever knew. Ormsby Gore and his wife Sissy formed a particularly close personal bond with President Kennedy and his wife Jackie.

Up for sale, gifts from the Kennedys to the Harlechs include:

• A copy of JFK's copy of The Poetical Works of Shelley from Jackie Kennedy to David Ormsby Gore on his birthday accompanied by a handwritten note from Jackie, estimated at £1,000-2,000.

• A copy of Inaugural Addresses of the Presidents of the United States... to John F. Kennedy 1961 given to Ormsby Gore in 1963 by Jackie Kennedy a few weeks after the President's assassination with inscription in her handwriting, estimated at £3,000-5,000.

• An American Sterling Silver Cigar Box given by Jackie Kennedy in 1965 to Lord and Lady Harlech engraved and inscribed to David and Sissy (Harlech), estimated at £800-1,200. 

butler_working-draft.jpgSAN MARINO, Calif.—A new exhibition opening this spring at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens examines the life and work of celebrated author Octavia E. Butler (1947-2006), the first science fiction writer to receive a prestigious MacArthur “genius” award and the first African-American woman to win widespread recognition writing in that genre. “Octavia E. Butler: Telling My Stories” opens April 8, 2017, in the West Hall of the Library and continues through Aug. 7. Butler’s literary archive resides at The Huntington.

“Octavia E. Butler: Telling My Stories” On view April 8-Aug. 7, 2017
Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens
Library, West Hall

“She was a pioneer—a master storyteller who brought her voice, the voice of a woman of color, to science fiction,” said Natalie Russell, assistant curator of literary manuscripts at The Huntington and curator of the exhibition. “Tired of stories featuring white, male heroes, she developed an alternative narrative from a very personal point of view.”

A Pasadena, Calif., native, Butler told the New York Times in a 2000 interview: "When I began writing science fiction, when I began reading, heck, I wasn't in any of this stuff I read. The only black people you found were occasional characters or characters who were so feeble-witted that they couldn't manage anything, anyway. I wrote myself in, since I'm me and I'm here and I'm writing."

Butler would have been 70 in 2017; she died an untimely death at age 58, apparently of a stroke at her home in Seattle.

“Octavia E. Butler: Telling My Stories” follows a roughly chronological thread and includes approximately 100 items that reveal the writer’s early years and influences, as well as highlight specific themes that repeatedly commanded her attention.

After Butler’s death, The Huntington became the recipient of her papers, which arrived in 2008 in two four-drawer file cabinets and 35 large cartons. “She kept nearly everything,” said Russell, “from her very first short stories, written at age 12, to book contracts and programs from speaking engagements. The body of materials includes 8,000 individual items and more than 80 boxes of additional items: extensive drafts, notes, and research materials for more than a dozen novels, numerous shorts stories and essays, as well as correspondence and other materials. By the time the collection had been processed and catalogued, more than 40 scholars were asking to get access to it. In the past two years, it has been used nearly 1,300 times—or roughly 15 times per week, said Russell, making it one of the most actively researched archives at The Huntington.

Butler was born June 22, 1947, to a maid and a shoeshine man. Her father died when she was quite young; an only child, she was raised primarily by her mother. “She discovered writing very early, in large part because, she said, it suited her shy nature, and it was permitted in her strict Baptist household,” said Russell. The exhibition will feature samples of her first stories.

But, says Russell, it was a 1954 science fiction film called Devil Girl from Mars that inspired Butler to take on science fiction. “She was convinced she could write a better story than the one unfolding on the screen,” Russell said.

Butler enrolled in every creative writing course she could find and was active in the Afro-relations club at Pasadena City College, an early indication of her interest in current events and Civil Rights issues. In the early 1970s, at a workshop for minority writers, she met the science fiction author Harlan Ellison, who introduced her to the Clarion Science Fiction Workshop, where Butler learned to hone her craft among other like-minded writers; it was then that she sold her first story. Following Clarion, she took odd jobs to support herself—even trying to establish her own laminating business, documents show; she wrote in the early morning hours before work.

But the road to success was long and slow. "In fact,” she once said, “I had five more years of rejection slips and horrible little jobs ahead of me before I sold another word.”

On display in the exhibition will be a page of motivational notes in which she writes, “I am a Bestselling Writer. I write Bestselling Books . . . . Every day in every way I am researching and writing my award winning Bestselling Books and short stories . . . . Every one of my books reaches and remains for two or more months at the top of the bestseller lists . . . So Be It! See To It.”

In 1975, she sold her first novel, Patternmaster, to Doubleday, quickly followed by Mind of My Mind and Survivor; the trio comprise part of her “Patternist” series, depicting the evolution of humanity into three distinct genetic groups. A review on display in the exhibition lauds Patternmaster for its especially well-constructed plot and progressive heroine, who is “a refreshing change of pace from the old days.”

And her following continued to grow.

By the late 1970s, Butler was able to make a living on her writing alone. She won her first Hugo award in 1985 for the short story “Speech Sounds,” followed by other awards, including a Locus and Nebula.

“Octavia E. Butler: Telling My Stories” will include examples of journal entries, photographs, and first editions of her books, including Kindred, arguably her best-known work. The book is less science fiction and more fantasy, involving an African-American woman who travels back in time to the horrors of plantation life in pre-Civil War Maryland. “I wanted to reach people emotionally in a way that history tends not to,” Butler said about the book. Published in 1979, Kindred continues to command widespread appeal and is regularly taught in high schools and at the university level, as well as chosen for community-wide reading programs and book clubs.

Beyond race, Butler explored tensions between the sexes and worked to develop strong female characters, a hallmark of her writing. “Being a woman in a male-dominated genre lent Butler’s stories a unique voice,” said Russell. “She would, for instance, depict women as resolving their problems through means other than violence—using flexibility, nurturing, and sensitivity instead.”

Butler once remarked, “Girls become women by giving life, and boys become men by taking it.” But she also challenged traditional gender identity, said Russell. Bloodchild, for example, is a story about a pregnant man, and in Wild Seed, the plot develops around two shape-shifting—and sex-changing—characters, Doro and Anyanwu. The exhibition will include notes Butler made about the two characters as she worked to develop them.

Butler sought to meticulously research the science in her fiction, traveling to the Amazon to get a firsthand look at extreme biological diversity in an effort to better incorporate biology, genetics, and medicine in her work. On display will be photographs from that research trip, as well as a small notebook of plant sketches. Climate change concerned her, as did politics, the pharmaceutical industry, and a variety of social issues, and as a result, she wove them all into her writing. “What’s striking,” said Russell, “is her ability to tease out and focus on issues that have had and likely will have currency for decades. She was amazingly prescient and given that, her stories resonate in very powerful ways today. Perhaps even more so than when they were first published.”

Related Programs

To complement “Octavia E. Butler: Telling My Stories,” The Huntington will present curator tours as well as “Octavia E. Butler Studies: Convergence of an Expanding Field,” a conference on June 23 with scholars Ayana Jamieson and Moya Bailey.

Image: Octavia E. Butler, working draft of Kindred (formerly titled To Keep thee in All Thy Ways) with handwritten notes by Butler, ca. 1977. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

 

13-Muybridge copy.jpgNew York—On Tuesday, February 14, Swann Galleries offered Icons & Images: Photographs & Photobooks, an auction featuring masterworks spanning the lifetime of the medium. The Valentine’s Day auction was well-timed, precisely 65 years to the day after Swann held the first U.S. auction dedicated to photographs, The Marshall Sale, on February 14, 1952.

The auction house, which is also celebrating its diamond anniversary this year, has continued to honor that historical pedigree with such innovations as the first auction dedicated to vernacular photography, a field that Vice President and Director of Photographs & Photobooks Daile Kaplan has helped to bring into the main stream. Tuesday’s sale offered premier examples of both vernacular and fine art photography, earning more than $1.5M in an auction that lasted nearly five hours.

The sale featured a run of lots related to the moon landing and space exploration in the second half of the twentieth century. There was heated bidding for a group of 22 large cibachrome prints from NASA missions, 1965-84, leading to a final price of $43,750*, above a high estimate of $25,000. A related archive of approximately 280 photographs of various Apollo missions, 1969-72, earned $5,460, while a set of ten contemporary assemblages depicting the moon was sold for $6,250.

Though twentieth century works commanded most of the highest prices, the top lot of the sale was a collection of 50 plates from Eadweard Muybridge’s Animal Locomotion, 1887, which sold to a private collector for $62,500. All five offered lots by Muybridge sold.

One highlight of the sale was a rare sixth-plate tintype of Edgar Allan Poe, taken after a daguerreotype captured just three weeks before this death, which more than doubled its high estimate of $15,000 to sell to a collector after competitive bidding for $37,500.

A run of nine works by Edward S. Curtis all found buyers, led by Chief of the Desert, Navajo, a 1904 orotone portrait in its original frame, which sold for $23,750. Bidding moved swiftly, especially for rare scenes such as The Rush Gatherer, a 1910 orotone also in its original frame ($20,000).

Both offered lots by Roy DeCarava sold above their estimates, with the 1956 silver print Dancers earning $40,000, above a high estimate of $25,000, and setting a new auction record for the image. Empire State Building, circa 1930, a dramatic silver print by Lewis W. Hine, sold for $37,500, above a high estimate of $18,000.

An album of approximately 265 photographs depicting the 1906 San Francisco earthquake was purchased by an institution for $13,750, more than twice its high estimate of $6,000.

The sale closed with a selection of photobooks. A maquette by Lucien Clergue for his unpublished book Picasso en Provence, featuring 150 candid, intimate and rarely seen photographs of Pablo Picasso, was purchased for $15,000. An early travelogue by Scottish photographer John Thomson, titled Illustrations of China and its People, Volumes I and II, 1873, went to a collector for $15,000. Several editions of Camera Work, the photograph magazine published by Alfred Sieglitz at the dawn of the twentieth century, were offered with a 100% sell-through rate.

Swann Galleries Vice President and Director of Photographs & Photobooks Daile Kaplan said, “Our Valentine's Day auction was a sweet success, with an impressive roster of new buyers actively bidding.  The relationship between science and art told a fascinating story, given the success of the Muybridge and NASA sets. Overall, the sale featured a selection of fine art and vernacular photographs that offered choice opportunities to better understand photography's growing role in visual culture."

The next photographs sale at Swann Galleries will be held April 20, 2017. For more information, contact Daile Kaplan at dkaplan@swanngalleries.com.

Image: Lot 13 Eadweard Muybridge, 50 plates from Animal Locomotion, collotypes, 1887. Sold February 14, 2017 for $62,500. (Pre-sale estimate: $30,000 to $45,000)

399845v_0001.jpgNew York, NY, February 15, 2017 — The Morgan Library & Museum announced today the acquisition of three major drawings by David Hockney, Martin Puryear, and Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot. Each is a valuable addition to a drawings collection at the Morgan that is considered one of the greatest in the world.

“We are delighted to announce the acquisition of these outstanding works,” said Colin B. Bailey, director of the museum. “The Hockney is a superb and iconic example of his precise, delicate style of the 1960s and depicts one of his muses, fabric designer Celia Birtwell. The Martin Puryear comes on the heels of the successful exhibition of his drawings we held in 2015, while the Corot is characteristic of the artist’s best portrait drawings of the 1830s. We are deeply grateful to the donors whose generous support made these acquisitions possible."

David Hockney (British, b. 1937) Celia, Paris, 1969, pen and ink on paper. The Morgan Library & Museum. Purchased as the gift of the Katherine J. Rayner Fund of the Anne Cox Chambers Foundation

One of the most popular British artists of the twentieth century, David Hockney has been a versatile and prolific painter since the 1960s. It is his talent as a draughtsman, however, that is at the core of his reputation, especially the drawings from life that he began making in the late 1960s. Celia, Paris is a superb example of such a drawing. Frequently reproduced in the literature on Hockney, it is particularly important on two counts: first, as an early and very refined example of the precise, delicate line drawing—indebted to Ingres and Picasso— that Hockney developed in the late 1960s, notably in portraits of friends and family; and second, as a portrait of Celia Birtwell, a British fabric designer who was Hockney’s most constant muse from 1968 on. (Celia and her husband, fashion designer Ossie Clark, are the subject of one of Hockney’s most famous paintings, Mr. and Mrs. Clark and Percy of 1970-71, in the Tate’s collection). Hockney depicted Celia in many colored pencil drawings in the early1970s. The present drawing, in which Celia’s relaxed pose conveys the intimacy between artist and sitter, is one of his earliest of her. 

Martin Puryear (American, b. 1941), Drawing for Untitled, 1990, black Conté crayon, with smudging, on ivory paper. The Morgan Library & Museum, Purchased with funds provided by Agnes Gund, The Ronald & Jo Carole Lauder Foundation, and Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin M. Rosen. 

American sculptor Martin Puryear is known for the elegance and refinement of his abstract, hand-made constructions, primarily in wood.  Drawing has always been essential to his practice, as the exhibition, Martin Puryear: Multiple Dimensions, shown at the Morgan in 2015, demonstrated. Drawing for Untitled—which was included in the exhibition—depicts a classic image in Martin Puryear’s repertoire, harking back to the heads he drew while in Sierra Leone in the 1960s and anticipating sculptures such as VesselFace Down, and the Getty’s That Profile of the late 1990s and 2000s. The sense of touch suggested by the blurry contours, smudges, and fingerprints on the sheet, conjures up Puryear’s hands-on approach to his sculpture as well as his prints and drawings. This  is the first work by Martin Puryear to enter the Morgan, where it joins many drawings by sculptors from the Renaissance to the present.  

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot (French, 1796-1875), Seated Camaldolese Monk, 1834, graphite on paper. The Morgan Library & Museum. Gift of Jill Newhouse.                                                   

This finely observed, precisely rendered study of a seated monk in profile is characteristic of Corot’s best portrait drawings of the 1830s, and most probably dates from Corot’s second trip to Italy.  This was a relatively short, six-month trip in which the artist focused on picturesque sites, views and figures that would serve him in composing Salon paintings, and included Corot’s only visit to Tuscany and Florence.  The sitter’s white habit, leather belt (as opposed to a cord) and long beard confirm the inscription which identifies him as a member of the Camaldolese branch of the Benedictines.  An ascetic order founded by San Romualdo in 1046, their name derives from their 11th century hermitage in the Camaldoli mountains, located in the Casentino valley in Tuscany.  The setting of the hilltop convent and the magnificent views surrounding it would have been attractive to Corot, who may have spent the night there, as the hermitage offered free lodging to male visitors during this period. 

Image: Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot (French, 1796-1875), Seated Camaldolese Monk, 1834, graphite on paper. The Morgan Library & Museum. Gift of Jill Newhouse.         

A diverse range of fine art and antiques was featured at Worth Auctions' February 12, 2017 sale in Freeville, New York. A cadre of devoted collectors were undeterred by a lake effect snowstorm, and further enthusiastic bidding activity took place on three online bidding platforms: Invaluable, LiveAuctioners, and eBay.

Among the fine art offerings were numerous natural history plates by John James Audubon and John Gould, signed lithographs by twentieth-century black-and-white masters Stow Wengenroth and John McClellan, and plein air paintings by William R. Davis. A quintet of canvases by the versatile painter George Rhoads exceeded their high estimates, with one sunset image bringing $2,000 and setting an auction record for the artist. A suite of complete issues of the deluxe French periodical "Derriere le Miroir" fetched $4,000.

In the antiques department, a pleasing group of artifacts collected along the Sepik River in Papua New Guinea brought $1,100; a collection of vintage dolls sold for $1,900.00; and a set of Capodimonte porcelain figurines realized $2,000. A handsomely restored Ithaca Calendar Clock fetched $875. An Austrian gold and opal bracelet sold for $900.00.

The cataloging staff at Worth Auctions is already busy preparing for its March sales, which will showcase rare and desirable Civil War firearms and edged weapons, fine and costume jewelry, modern and contemporary art, and more.

For more information about bidding or consigning, contact evan@worthauctions.com.

[2] copy.jpgNEW YORK —Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s 1835-1837 notebook containing drafts for every poem featured in her first significant collection of poetry The Seraphim and Other Poems (1838) leads Bonhams’ Fine Books & Manuscripts sale (10:30 am on March 9). Revealing her journey from Romantic poet to Progressive political voice, the notebook is estimated at $400,000-600,000.

Barrett Browning was a prominent English poet of the Victorian era whose liberal stances on slavery and child labor resonated with readers throughout Britain and the United States.

This significant collection of drafts includes extensive additions, deletions, and emendations, reflecting her search and discovery of the incipient strength of her developing voice. Often referring to the Greek tragedies, this first collection of poems, speaks to her early Christian sentiments which she described as “not the deep persuasion of the mild Christian but the wild visions of an enthusiast.”

Born in Coxoe Hall, Durham, England in 1806, Barrett taught herself Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, while still a young girl, read Mary Wollstonecraft's A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, and later paired her love for the classics with activities at the Bible and Missionary Societies of her church. 

In her later works, Barrett reveals her long held political beliefs, speaking against slavery—her father owned a slave-run plantation in Jamaica—, child labor, and the paternal bidding to control women. Also up for auction, is an autographed manuscript and working draft of Poems Before Congress, estimated at $180,000-250,000. In the last and most controversial of Barrett Browning’s published works, seven of the poems discuss local politics and call for the independence of Italy, where she was a longtime resident. The eighth poem, "A Curse for a Nation," is an attack on American slavery, was largely seen as anti-British. A rarity in her time as an outspoken female political poet, Barrett Browning prefaces this collection: "What I have written has simply been written because I love truth and justice quand meme 'more than Plato' and Plato's country.”

Other highlights include:

  • An autographed manuscript and draft of her revised translation the Aeschylus play Prometheus Bound, which was included in her lauded 1850 book Poems, is estimated at $200,000-300,000.
  • An early autographed Barret Browning manuscript from early English poets, including Geoffrey Chaucer, Edmund Spencer, John Fletcher, estimated at $40,000-60,000.

Bonhams’ Business Development Director of the Books & Manuscripts, Tom Lamb, said, “Rarely seen on the market, these Barrett Browning notebooks and manuscripts would be an excellent addition to any literary collection. Her layered edits and re-edits reveal nuances of her working methods and influences, and further illuminate her dexterity as a shining female voice of early 19th century Europe.”

Image: Elizabeth Barrett Browning 1806-1861 autograph manuscript, a working draft of Poems Before Congress is estimated at $180,000-250,000

73-Gutenberg-leaf copy.jpgNew York— On Thursday, March 9, Swann Galleries will hold an auction of Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books, featuring a premier selection of early English material.

The top lot of the sale is a leaf from the Gutenberg Bible, Mainz, 1455, with the text of Ecclesiasticus 16:14-18:29, estimated at $40,000 to $60,000. Further doctrinal material includes the fourth edition of the first volume of Petrus Berchorius's Liber Bibliae moralis, Cologne, 1477, a thirteenth century encyclopedia of the Bible and the natural world ($10,000 to $15,000) and the first edition in English of Hans Holbein’s The Images of the Old Testament, 1549, featuring 94 woodcuts by the artist and valued at $10,000 to $15,000. A 1560 first edition of the Geneva Bible, the predominant bible in Elizabethan England, is expected to bring $10,000 to $15,000. The 1674 third edition of Baruch Spinoza’s Tractatus Theologico-Politicus, which includes the 1666 Philosophia S. Scripturae interpres by Spinoza’s friend and editor Lodewijk Meijer, a controversial work arguing for the philosophical interpretation of scripture, estimated at $2,000 to $3,000, also makes an appearance.

Early English books featured in this sale include Antonio de Guevara's manual of statecraft The Dial of Princes, 1568 ($3,000 to $5,000); the first English edition of Niccolò Machiavelli's The Florentine Historie, 1595 ($3,000 to $5,000); Michel de Montaigne's The Essayes, the precursor of the modern essay form, 1603 ($8,000 to $12,000); and Sir Philip Sidney's influential prose romance The Countess of Pembrokes Arcadia, 1598 ($3,000 to $5,000). Also available is the third edition of the English translation by Sir Thomas North of Plutarch’s The Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romaines, London, 1603, from Jacques Amyot’s French version of the original Greek, as well as the first edition of Samuel Johnson’s 1755 Dictionary of the English Language, ($1,500 to $2,000 and $6,000 to $9,000, respectively).

From the travel section comes An Embassy from the East-India Company of the United Provinces, to the Grand Tartar Cham, Emperour of China, 1673, written by Jan Nieuhoff et al and originally published as part of John Ogilby’s series of travel atlases ($4,000 to $6,000). Several tomes recount exploration into the Middle East, including the first edition of Jean de la Roque’s Voyage de l’Arabie Heureuse, 1716-22, with three engraved folding plates of coffee plants, valued at $1,500 to $2,500.

A thirteenth-century noted ferial psalter and hymnal in Latin, with Western and Low German Saints’ Days ($3,000 to $5,000) is one of several rare manuscripts in the sale. Also available is a collection of 15 prayers composed by Charles V of Spain with engraved illustrations of gospel scenes, written in Spanish in Brussels in 1676; this volume, in an embellished red cloth binding, is expected to fetch $3,000 to $5,000.

Further highlights include the Italian translation by Leonardo Cernoti of Claudius Ptolemaeus's Geografia, Venice, 1598-97, with notes by the astronomer Giovanni Antonio Magini. This edition includes a double-hemisphere world map after Rumold Mercator, as well as 63 half-page maps; it is valued between $3,000 and $5,000. The second edition of Christophorus Georgius de Honestis’s Expositio super Antidotario Mesue, printed in Bologna in 1488, is also present. This late fourteenth-century commentary is based on the Antidotarium ascribed to the Baghdad court physician Mesuë the Younger, a popular pharmacopeia based on Muslim knowledge ($3,000 to $5,000).

In addition to a first edition of Paradise Lost by John Milton, 1668 ($6,000 to $9,000), there is also an extensive selection of philosophical works by important figures of the Enlightenment, including René Descartes, John Evelyn, Thomas Hobbes, David Hume, John Locke and François-Marie Arouet de Voltaire.

In the medical section is an archive of letters from Harvey Cushing to the great-niece of Elisha Bartlett, regarding the collection of Bartlett material he assembled with her help, estimated at $5,000 to $10,000.  A sizable offering of seventeenth- to early twentieth-century works from the philosophy library of Professor Jan Ludwig features first editions by David Hume and Immanuel Kant, including Kant’s Critik der reinen Vernunft, printed in Riga in 1781 ($8,000 to $12,000).

The auction will be held Thursday, March 9, beginning at 10:30 a.m. The auction preview will be open to the public Saturday, March 4 from noon to 5 p.m.; Monday, March 6 through Wednesday, March 8, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

An illustrated auction catalogue is available for $35 from Swann Galleries, Inc., 104 East 25th Street, New York, NY 10010, or online at www.swanngalleries.com.

For further information or to make advance arrangements to bid by telephone during the auction, please contact Early Printed Books Specialist Tobias Abeloff at 212-254-4710, extension 18 or tabeloff@swanngalleries.com.

Image: Lot 73 Single leaf from a paper copy of the Gutenberg Bible, Mainz, 1455, in a copy of Newton's A Noble Fragment. Estimate $40,000 to $60,000.

Screen Shot 2017-02-13 at 8.38.25 AM.pngThe Van Gogh Museum is devoting itself this spring to Prints in Paris 1900: From Elite to the Street - a major exhibition of work from its own fin-de-siècle print collection, which is one of the finest of its kind in the world. Over 250 prints of the highest quality, including colourful works by Bonnard, Chéret, Steinlen and Toulouse-Lautrec will be on show, among them world-famous posters like Le Chat Noir and Le Moulin Rouge. The prints will be shown alongside paintings, historical photographs, furniture for collectors and decorative objects, and will take visitors on a sensual journey through the cosmopolitan life of the French fin-de-siècle (1890-1905). The exhibition has been designed by Maarten Spruyt.

The Van Gogh Museum manages one of the finest collections of fin-de-siècle printmaking in the world. As a centre of knowledge and expertise, the museum has been collecting prints intensively for sixteen years and has also carried out five years of in-depth research so that it can now present its print collection in magnificent fashion. Prints that, because of their sensitivity to light, are kept in storage and only displayed sporadically and on a small scale can now be seen in all their glory and in large numbers in the museum’s exhibition wing.

The most beautiful of all the graphic work produced by artists like Henri de Toulouse- Lautrec (1864-1901), Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947), Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen (1859-1923), Edgar Degas (1834-1917) and Jules Chéret (1836-1832) will be on show at the exhibition, which will feature the finest print series and the rarest impressions. Over 250 prints will be shown alongside paintings, historical photographs, furniture for collectors and decorative objects. There are little jewels like the dark lithographs of Odilon Redon (1840-1916), evoking nightmarish fantasies, and the still series of woodcuts by Félix Vallotton (1865-1925), showing musicians playing in shadowy interiors.

The overarching story of the world of printmaking in Paris - from elite (the private collector) to the street (the mass of the people) - has never previously been told in an exhibition. Prints in Paris 1900 takes visitors on a journey beginning with prints from fashionable art circles, which were kept and viewed in the intimacy of richly decorated interiors. They will see the imposing Bibliothèque - rarely loaned for exhibitions - designed by François-Rupert Carabin (1890, Musée d’Orsay), an exuberantly decorated bookcase several metres tall with carvings of nude women, in which costly books and prints were stored by a private collector.

We then enter an entirely different world - that of popular prints for the masses. Here we find the fleeting impressions of the visual spectacle of modern life in the public sphere, full of colour, light and pleasure. Artistic posters, sheet music and magazine illustrations with their bright colours, large letters and powerful silhouettes, vie for attention. The highlight is Steinlen’s poster The Street, which, with an area of no less than 7.5 m2, is a genuine ‘fresco for the masses’. The prints also tempt visitors into the magical world of Parisian nightlife.

We then see how the elite took public printmaking and pulled it back into their interiors, where posters were now also hung on the walls as decorations. The exhibition concludes by showing a variety of printing techniques, with the original lithography press of the printer Auguste Clot (1858-1936) as the main attraction. A selection of trial proofs and videos explains the techniques of etching, woodcuts and lithography.

Parisian fin-de-siècle

The fin-de-siècle (1890-1905) was the heyday of French printmaking. It was the time where avant-garde art blended with everyday life in cosmopolitan Paris. Artists no longer put their talent to work exclusively on the creation of ‘high’ art, but also threw themselves into what were considered ‘lower’ art forms, such as decorative designs, prints, posters and magazine illustrations, with the common theme of modern cosmopolitan life in Paris. Artists experimented intensively with different print techniques and decorated the whole of Paris with their provocative artworks.

Catalogue

The exhibition Prints in Paris 1900: From Elite to the Street is accompanied by a richly illustrated, large-format catalogue written by curator Fleur Roos Rosa de Carvalho and based on years of intensive research into the worlds of printmaking during the French fin-de-siècle: the closed circles of decadent print collectors, the sparkling poster art of the street and magazines on news-stands, and large prints as colourful decoration for the interiors of the beau monde. 194 pages, hardcover. Publisher: Mercatorfonds, Brussels. The book is available in Dutch, English, French and German editions, and will be distributed worldwide.

Prints in Paris 1900: From Elite to the Street

3 March - 11 June 2017

10 February 2017 - The Bodleian Libraries have launched an innovative web-based resource that brings together the complete works of British photographic pioneer William Henry Fox Talbot, available to the public at foxtalbot.bodleian.ox.ac.uk. For the first time ever, users can discover and search through annotated digitized images of Talbot’s photographs gathered from collections around the world. The fascinating images show the emergence and development of photography while capturing moments of early Victorian life.  

SirWalterScottsMonument-BL+-+300dpi copy.jpgThis comprehensive online Talbot Catalogue Raisonné is an important new resource for scholars, educators, curators, conservators, photographers and historians in many fields, as well as anyone interested in photography. Catalogues raisonné encompass the entire corpus of an artist’s work and while they are common in art history, nothing of this scale has been attempted for photography - it is a record of both the invention of an art and of the art of invention. 

William Henry Fox Talbot (1800-1877), among the greatest polymaths of the Victorian age, is regarded as the British ‘father of photography’. He created some of the first photographs ever made. He also recognised that negatives, with their ability to make multiple prints on paper, would define the central path of photography right through to the digital age. During his career Talbot and his collaborators created more than 4,500 unique or distinct images; approximately 25,000 of his original negatives and multiple prints from them are known to survive worldwide and are held across a range of international institutions and private collections. These are now brought together for the first time in one place - the Talbot Catalogue Raisonné. 

‘There has been nothing like this before in the history of photography,’ said Professor Larry J Schaaf, Project Director for the Talbot Catalogue Raisonné and Visiting Professor of Art at the University of Oxford. ‘This catalogue raisonné of Talbot's work will help unlock the enormous artistic, documentary and technical information embodied in these images and allow researchers to find out even more about these works.’ Working closely with the Talbot family, Schaaf has been researching Talbot for more than four decades and has examined nearly all of Talbot’s originals held in collections worldwide.  

Talbot was a scientist who then became an artist. Unlike the case with most of his peers, much of his archive survives; in addition to the 25,000 photographs there are more than 10,000 letters, hundreds of notebooks and many related physical objects. In the early 1980s, before digital projects in the humanities were common, Professor Schaaf developed the pioneering databases of Talbot's work on which the new online catalogue is based. 

The Bodleian Libraries have spent the last two years translating these images into a modern online form. The catalogue integrates the holdings of more than 100 international public and private collections including items from the British Library, the National Media Museum, New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, the J. Paul Getty Museum and the Smithsonian Institution, as well as smaller but significant holdings in Russia, Estonia, South Africa, Canada, France and others worldwide.

Launching with more than 1,000 images, these will be added to weekly until the entire 25,000 negatives and prints known worldwide have been published. They include: 

  • • Beautiful early cityscapes of Oxford, London and Paris and others, 
  • • Numerous images taken on and around the grounds of Lacock Abbey, Talbot’s family home in Wiltshire,  
  • • Some of Talbot’s best known images such as ‘The Open Door’ and ‘The Haystack’,
  • • Photographs by Talbot’s close circle of family and colleagues, with whom he collaborated - Nicolaas Henneman, Calvert R Jones, George Bridges and Henry Collen, along with Talbot’s wife Constance and his mother Lady Elisabeth Feilding.

In this new catalogue raisonné, images of prints and negatives are accompanied by notes, annotations and essays, with links to relevant publications and websites. Users can search images by photographer, title, collection, provenance, date, genre, geographic location and keywords then tag, save or compare images and create, annotate and store their own collections or search results, all free of charge. Since many of these primordial images survive in a faded state, they can be enhanced for study onscreen by simple tools that magnify the images and adjust the contrast and density. Negatives lacking a print will be accompanied by a digital positive. 

Importantly users can view surviving negatives alongside the prints that were made from them, making this the first online catalogue to make the connection between corresponding Talbot prints/images no matter where in the world the original print is held. This is critical since each negative and print was made by hand and each is unique. For example, users to the site can see an image of a negative held in the Smithsonian alongside salt prints made from it that are held in the J. Paul Getty Museum, the British Library and other private collections. 

The images are accompanied by extensive cross-referencing to other sources, such as Talbot’s notebooks held in the British Library and the 10,000 Talbot letters available online at foxtalbot.dmu.ac.uk, a project at De Montfort University also directed by Professor Schaaf. In 2014, the Bodleian acquired the personal archive of Talbot, which includes original manuscripts, correspondence, family diaries and scientific instruments. The archive is also rich in physical objects depicted in Talbot’s photographs, for example the actual glassware depicted in his famous ‘Articles of Glass’ published in The Pencil of Nature.

Richard Ovenden, Bodley’s Librarian said ‘The Talbot Catalogue Raisonné exemplifies the important role of the Bodleian Libraries and cultural institutions in creating digital resources that allow unprecedented virtual access to collections. This project also demonstrates the value of working in partnership, bringing together items now dispersed from across numerous collections. We are extremely grateful to the many institutions who contributed to this exciting new research tool, without whom this project would not have been possible.’

The Talbot Catalogue Raisonné has been developed with the support of the William Talbott Hillman Foundation, The Polonsky Foundation, the Charina Endowment Fund as well as numerous private donors.

Image: This photo of the Scott Monument, a monument to the Scottish author Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832) and the largest monument to a writer in the world, was taken in mid-October 1844. Talbot travelled north to look for subjects for his second book of photography, Sun Pictures in Scotland. Talbot took several shots of the monument under construction. Salted paper print. Credit: The British Library. 

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