October 2010 Archives

PBA's Clipper Ship Cards, Strong Results

On October 21, 2010, PBA Galleries, Auctioneers, Rare Books & Manuscripts conducted a 450 lot auction of Americana, the Collection of Alex Schwed which included a large collection of Clipper Ship Sailing Cards, California Pictorial Lettersheets, Gold Rush and California ephemera and Hawaiiana. Schwed, a California collector, has in recent years devoted his energy to his important Indian basket collection and decided to part with his collection of 90 California Clipper Ship Sailing Cards which became the largest single collection to come to auction since the 1990 Siegel sale in New York.  Also in the sale was the balance of his Californiana material which included almost 50 lots of 19th Century Native American photographs, pictorial letter sheets, 1850's Gold Rush letters, early California newspapers and California maps.
A rare California Gold Quartz walking stick with a gold knob and an original piece of gold in quartz mounted on top, which was presented by San Francisco department store founder Adolphe Roos and his sister to their father and had descended in the family, brought $21,600, proving the desirability of this form of artistry unique to California where pieces of unrefined quartz with gold veins were incorporated into jewelry and objects, which became a symbol of California's wealth. The San Francisco firm of Bartlett and Sherwood claimed to be the inventors of gold quartz jewelry and first exhibited it at the New York Crystal Palace Exhibition in 1853.
The Clipper Ship Sailing cards were a sale highlight, and were issued in the 1850’s and 60’s to advertise clipper ships that were loading cargo for San Francisco and leaving ports in Boston and New York to round the horn for the West Coast. The cards were attractively printed in color and have been widely collected over the years, although issued in fairly small numbers. Most reside in a few museums, libraries and a small number of private collections. According to PBA’s Senior Auctioneer, George Fox, someone phoned in about 20 minutes before the auction began and left strong absentee bids on all 90 lots of the Clipper Cards. “At that point, we knew the auction would be a great success”. The bidding was widespread with cards going to both institutions and collectors across the country, all realizing this was a rare chance to see so many at auction at one time.  The star of the sale, the Young America, one of the most famous clippers, was a particular rare card as it advertised the reverse journey from San Francisco back to New York and was printed by Bancroft in San Francisco went to an institution at $5100, on a presale estimate of $4000/6000. The Wild Rover and Starlight, both went to private collectors for $4500 each.  The balance of the bid prices ranged from $500 up to the $4500 range, with approximately 60 of the 90 cards falling well into four figures.
A nice 1851 manuscript California Gold Rush diary from the Northern Mines District of Nevada City fetched $10,800 from a private collector, again proving that content is everything. This diary had entries for every day the man worked in the diggings, and included him viewing the fire that burned down Nevada City, and watching a fight between a Grizzly Bear and a Bull.  Twenty five lots of Gold Rush letters written from the California mines back to Eastern home fronts brought solid prices, most within the estimates, ranging from $250 to $1800. The 14 California Pictorial Letter Sheets which are actively collected, all sold well, with the rarest, the Sacramento Steam Boat Landing bringing $2040. The early newspaper section was highlighted by an 1847 issue of the California Star which was the first newspaper published in California by Sam Brannan which hammered at $1020. Largely private collectors vied for the 38 lots of Hawaiiana material, consigned from an old Oahu collection and fresh to the market. It included many pamphlets concerning the 1895 Rebellion that all sold well, although the highest price realized was for an exquisite presentation morocco binding of a book on cavalry tactics given to King Kalakaua in 1882 by French military friends he had met on his visit there in 1881, which crossed the block at $2700.
The map section was led by the very rare 1862 Philadelphia printing of the Desilver atlas with 79 maps which sold at $4800, and finally 50 lots of 19th Century Native American stereoviews, cabinet cards and photographs mostly all went to private buyers in the $300 to $800 range.
Complete auction results are available at www.pbagalleries.com and for additional information, please contact the Galleries at 415-989-2665 or pba@pbagalleries.com. Prices include 20% Buyer's Premium.
PBA Galleries of San Francisco is the only west-coast auction house specializing in books & manuscripts, maps & atlases. The company offers private and heirloom libraries at auction, providing clients with a staff of professional appraisers, online and printed catalogues, and bi-monthly auctions where participants can bid in person, by phone, fax, e-mail, and in real-time by signing up at the PBA Galleries website.

Swann's Gorey Results

New York—Collectors and dealers competed for rare illustrated books on October 14 at Swann Galleries’ auction of 19th & 20th Century Literature, and Art, Press & Illustrated Books.

Christine von der Linn, Swann’s Modern Literature and Art & Illustrated Books Specialist, said, “The livres d’artiste and the Edward Gorey material—most of which set records—were the real show- stoppers at this auction, and attracted many new buyers in the process.”

The sale featured nearly 50 Gorey lots from a private collection. Of special note were signed first limited editions of the compendium Amphigorey, with an original drawing of a cat in a striped sweater, New York, 1972, and  The Sopping Thursday, with an original drawing of a cat balancing an umbrella on its paw, and bearing an inscription to a well-known science-fiction expert, New York, 1970. They each sold for a record price of $9,600*.

Other record-setting Gorey highlights were signed limited editions of The Beastly Baby by Ogdred Weary, the first book from Gorey's Fantod Press, $1,200; Categor Y, $1,200; L'Heure Bleue, $1,680; The Lavender Leotard; or, Going a Lot to The New York City Ballet, $1,680; and All Strange Away, his collaboration with Samuel Beckett, signed by both, $5,040.

While the Gorey works were modest publications, the auction also featured the two lavishly produced works by the Polish-born artist Arthur Szyk. A signed copy of his celebrated Haggadah, printed on vellum and bound in original gilt-pictorial blue morocco by Sangorski & Sutcliffe after Szyk’s designs, first edition, London, 1939, brought $45,600; and his Statutes of Kalisz, Paris, 1932, an extremely rare limited edition facsimile of the illuminated manuscript Szyk completed in 1926-27, sold for $36,000.

Fierce bidding resulted in a record price of $13,200 for the first Dutch edition of El Lissitzky’s groundbreaking avant-garde work Suprematisch worden van twedraten in 6 konstrukties…, The Hague, 1922.

Also setting auction records were one of 100 deluxe copies of The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, a luxurious publication with 56 illustrated text pages by Elihu Vedder, signed and numbered, Cambridge, 1884, $6,240, which was a record for a copy in the original publisher’s binding; and one of only 10 signed copies of Mark Beard’s Nineteen Famous People, Twenty-Two Friends and Six Nudes, hand-colored photographs, New York, 1992, $7,200.

Other Modern art highlights were Henri Matisse’s Florilège des Amours, 126 lithographs, bound, Paris, 1948, $20,400; Fernand Léger's Cirque, the artist's master graphic work, containing 34 color lithographs and 29 black and white lithographs, Paris, 1950, $28,800; and David Hockney’s interpretation of the Grimm Brothers’ Six Fairy Tales, 39 etchings, plus a suite of 6 signed and numbered plates, signed, London, 1970, $13,200.

Private press books of note included the Roycroft Press’s The Deserted Village by Oliver Goldsmith, containing more than 30 pencil sketched vignettes by W.W. Denslow in the margins and his signature on the title page, East Aurora, 1898, $6,000, Denslow is best known for his illustrations for the Wizard of Oz series; the Doves Press English Bible, five volumes, on handmade paper, Hammersmith, 1903-05, $6,480; and the Cranach Press edition of Hamlet, with woodcut illustrations by Edward Gordon Craig, Weimar, 1930, $10,800.

Rounding out the art and illustrated books section were Goya’s Los Caprichos, 80 etchings with aquatint, bound, likely the sixth edition, Madrid, circa 1899, $18,000; Alexandre Iacovleff’s Dessins et Peintures d’Asie, 50 color engravings, heliogravures and offset lithographs, Paris, 1922, $10,200; and the Rockwell Kent-illustrated Moby Dick, or, The Whale, with 280 illustrations, Chicago, 1930, $6,480.

Highlights from the literature section were William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Lyrical Ballads, with a Few Other Poems, first edition, second issue, London, 1798, $7,800; and Ernest Hemingway’s first book, Three Stories and Ten Poems, first and only edition, Paris, 1923, $19,200; and a first limited edition of A.A. Milne’s Winnie-The-Pooh, signed by Milne and illustrator E.H. Shepard, London, 1926, $5,760.

For complete results of the auction, an illustrated catalogue, with prices realized on request, is available for $35 from Swann Galleries, 104 East 25th Street, New York, NY 10010, and may be viewed online at www.swanngalleries.com.

For further information, and to propose consignments to upcoming auctions of 19th & 20th Century Literature and Art, Press & Illustrated Books, please contact Christine von der Linn at (212) 254-4710 ext. 20, or via email at cvonderlinn@swanngalleries.com.

*All prices include buyer’s premium.
Rebecca Weiss
Media Relations
Swann Galleries
104 East 25th Street
New York, NY 10010
212-254-4710, ext. 23

DALLAS—The George W. Bush Presidential Center and SMU announced a special exhibition that will preview some of the historic holdings eventually to be featured at the museum of the Bush Center. The exhibit, Breaking New Ground: Presenting the George W. Bush Presidential Center, casts the vision for the Center and gives visitors a peek into its current and future activities. The exhibit, which will be held at the Meadows Museum on SMU’s campus, will describe in detail the building project which will break ground in November, and showcase ongoing initiatives at The Bush Institute and key artifacts and papers of the Bush Administration.

“Even before we break ground on the George W. Bush Presidential Center, we want to involve the public in what has already become a dynamic hub of ideas, innovation and action,” said The Honorable Mark Langdale, president of the George W. Bush Foundation. “The exhibit will enable visitors to learn what the Bush Center is offering through action-oriented initiatives at the Institute, as well as gain insight into significant moments of our nation’s past through these historic treasures.”

Visitors will be introduced to the planned features of the Bush Center through renderings, floor plans and an architectural model of the building. The building is designed to achieve LEED platinum certification and includes numerous sustainable design strategies.

Visitors will also learn about key elements of the Presidential Library, including the archives and museum, as well as the work of the Bush Institute. The exhibit will invite visitors to share their questions and comments via text and on the Center’s website.

The exhibit, which opens on Saturday, October 23, 2010, and runs through Sunday, February 6, 2011, will feature a number of prominent artifacts that capture defining moments of the George W. Bush Administration including:
    •    The bullhorn President Bush used when he visited Ground Zero on September 14, 2001
    •    The silk dress and bolero jacket designed by Oscar de la Renta and worn by Mrs. Bush at the White House dinner with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
    •    The pistol retrieved from Saddam Hussein upon his capture in Iraq A letter from Bono to President Bush regarding AIDS relief in Africa
    •    A framed print of a painting by Senator Ted Kennedy given to Mrs. Bush on September 11, 2001
    •    A bronzed football commemorating the University of Texas Longhorns 2005 National Championship win, given as a gift to President Bush
    •    A pair of woven sashes presented to President and Mrs. Bush by Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, president of the Republic of Liberia
    •    An award given to Mrs. Bush by the National Teachers Hall of Fame

“The artifacts chosen for the exhibit portray important moments in our nation’s history and provide a glimpse into life in the White House,” said Alan Lowe, director of the George W. Bush Presidential Library. “The National Archives is pleased to provide this unique opportunity to ‘preview’ the museum and archives and engage the public in an early discussion on the development of the Bush Center.”

About the George W. Bush Presidential Center:
The George W. Bush Presidential Center invites visitors to reflect on the lessons of the past, focuses attention on the problems of the present and inspires solutions for a better future. Located in Dallas on the campus of SMU, the Bush Center includes the George W. Bush Presidential Library and the action-oriented George W. Bush Institute. To view a virtual tour of the exhibit, visit www.georgewbushcenter.com. To visit the George W. Bush library online, please visit this link: http://www.georgewbushlibrary.gov/

Book Artist Werner Pfeiffer at Cornell

ITHACA, N.Y. (Oct. 12, 2010) - Cornell University Library is hosting an exhibition of provocative work by artist Werner Pfeiffer, who is celebrated for his insightful examination of the role of physical books in the modern age.

Pfeiffer will open the exhibition with a lecture and demonstration, “Reexamining the Book: Making Book-Objects and Artist Books,” on Wednesday, Oct. 20 at 5 p.m. in Olin Library’s Libe Café on the Cornell campus. A reception will follow from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections’ Hirshland Gallery, Level 2B, Carl A. Kroch Library.

Born in Stuttgart, Germany, in 1937, Pfeiffer has lived in the United States since 1969. His books, collages, drawings, prints, paintings, and sculptures have been shown internationally in nearly 200 group and solo exhibitions.

During the lecture, Pfeiffer will discuss his work, the censorship of books, and how the electronic environment has influenced the resurgence of the handmade book. He will also recreate one of his most well-known pieces, which he created to honor the victims of the attacks on the World Trade Center towers in New York City. The six-foot-tall, three-dimensional book “Out of the Sky” contains a sculptural component of seven woodcut segments in an urn, and Pfeiffer assembles it during his talk.

“Pfeiffer uses a mix of media to challenge us to think about books in new ways, as art forms as well as communication tools,” said Anne R. Kenney, Carl A. Kroch University Librarian.  “His work asks people to consider books as artifacts, especially in the age of digital advancement, and his ideas can serve as a springboard to the discussion of the role of the book in contemporary society.”

Both the exhibition and opening reception are made possible through the Stephen E. and Evalyn Edwards Milman Exhibition Fund, a recent gift to the Library. This is the first library exhibition fully funded solely through the Milman family’s generous endowment. The traveling exhibition, which is jointly sponsored by Cornell’s Department of Art, will run through February 2011. Previously, it appeared at Smith College, the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Toronto.

For more information, visit rmc.library.cornell.edu/wernerpfeiffer/.

About Cornell University Library

Cornell University is an Ivy League institution and New York's land-grant university. Among the top ten academic research libraries in the country, Cornell University Library reflects the university's distinctive mix of eminent scholarship and democratic ideals. The Library offers cutting-edge programs and facilities, a full spectrum of services, extensive collections that represent the depth and breadth of the university, and a deep network of digital resources. Its impact reaches beyond campus boundaries with initiatives that extend the land grant mission to a global focus. To learn more, visit <http://library.cornell.edu>.  
Contact: Gwen Glazer

Phone:  (607) 254-8390

E-mail:  gglazer@cornell.edu

Kestenbaum & Company’s Fall auction of Fine Judaica will take place on Wednesday, October 27th at 1pm at the firm’s Manhattan gallery located at 242 West 30th Street. Viewing beforehand will be held from Sunday, October 24th through Tuesday, October 26th. The extensive sale of Hebrew Printed Books, Manuscripts, Autograph Letters and Graphic Art will include American-Judaica and Rare Books from the Library of Gratz College, Elkins Park (Part II); German, Haskallah and Related Books from the Library of the Late Philosopher, Prof. Steven Schwarzschild and Exceptional Rabbinic Autograph Letters from a Private Collector.

Hebrew Incunabula are particularly coveted by discerning book collectors and this auction offers a number of them for sale. Most compelling are several leaves from the first publication of the Talmudic Tractate Kidushin, Guadalajara, circa 1480, at an estimate of $35,000-50,000. This early Spanish fragment is of the utmost rarity (lot 279). Two other incunabula of note include a 1484 copy of Yedai’ah Bedersi’s Bechinath Olam, estimate $10,000-15,000 (lot 53) and a scarce second edition (incomplete) of the Soncino Roman Machzor, 1486, at an estimate of $10,000-12,000 (lot 210A).

Additional important early Hebrew Printed Books include two works by Samson ben Isaac of Chinon -- Sepher Kerithoth, estimate $6,000-8,000 (lot 261) and  Peirush HaGet, estimate $3,000-5,000 (lot 262) both were printed in Constantinople in 1515. Good examples of Early Bibles in the sale include the first Polyglot Bible, Genoa, 1516, estimate $4,000-6,000 (lot 55) and Estienne’s splendidly printed pocket Hebrew Bible, bound in 14 volumes, Paris, 1543-46, at an estimate of $4,000-6,000 (lot 56). A later Bible of significance is a Hebrew Pentateuch from Vienna, 1815, government-authorized for use in the Courts of Law of Prague to administer the Oath to Jewish witnesses, estimate $2,500-3,500 (lot 64).

Highlights among the Passover Hagadoth in the sale include a copy of the second Amsterdam Hagadah with a large folding map of the Holy Land, 1712, estimate $4,000-6,000 (lot 141); a most unusual Hagadah printed in English by the London Times newspaper on August 17th, 1840 in relation to the Blood Libel raised against the Jews during the “Damascus Affair”, estimate $5,000-7,000 (lot 143) and the Toulouse Hagadah, produced from memory by Jews imprisoned in French internment camps during the Second World War, estimate $5,000-7,000 (lot 154).

Other notable volumes include two Chassidic books related to the Chabad movement, both  written by Shneur Zalman of Liadi- - Likutei Amarim (second edition), Zolkiew, 1799, estimate $8,000-10,000 (lot 80) and  Likutei Torah (first edition), Zhitomir, 1848 and 1851, estimate $3,000-5,000 (lot 83). Liturgical books include a Machzor according to the custom of Catalonia, printed in Salonika, 1526, estimate $2,000-3,000 (lot 211) and a Machzor, Amschel Mayer Rothschild’s personal copy, Roedelheim, 1800, at an estimate of $2,000-3,000 (lot 258).

Early medical and scientific books are represented by first editions of Tobias Cohn’s Ma’aseh Tuvia from Venice 1707,  estimate $2,500-3,500 (lot 88) and Joseph Solomon Delmedigo’s Sepher Ma’ayan Ganim, Amsterdam, 1629, at an estimate of $2,000-3,000 (lot 98).

Among books relating to Germany and the early Haskallah movement, of particular interest is Johann Jakob Schudt’s Jüdischer Merckwürdigkeiten which chronicles the life of the Jews of Frankfurt, 1714, estimate $1,500-2,500 (lot 126) and the first German edition of the Mishnah, 1760-63, at an estimate of $700-1,000 (lot 236).

The American Judaica section of the sale features unique selections such as a handwritten Hebrew Marriage Certificate dated July 1861 from Peoria, Illinois, estimate $12,000-18,000 (lot 21). Also prominent within the Americana section are a number of “firsts”: Isaac Leeser’s Hebrew-English Pentateuch, the Yuly copy bound in five volumes, Philadelphia, 1845-6; the first such translation  published in America, estimate $7,000-9,000 (lot 12); Judah Monis’ Grammar of the Hebrew Tongue, the first Hebrew Grammar published in the New World, Boston, 1735, estimate $10,000-15,000 (lot 7); a volume of The Jew, edited by Solomon Henry Jackson, distinguished for being the first Jewish Periodical in America, New York, 1823-4, estimate $5,000-7,000 (lot 11); and The American Magazine for June 1758, containing a Rabbinic sermon in English, the very first such text published in America, estimate $5,000-7,000 (lot 8).

Books relating to Israel and Zionism include two significant editions of Theodor Herzl’s important manifesto, Der Judenstaat: The first Hebrew edition, Warsaw, 1896, estimate $2,000-3,000 (lot 285) and the first edition to be printed in America, New York, 1904, at an estimate of $2,000-3,000 (lot 286). Further offerings include an early and fascinating Palestine Telephone Directory from 1938, estimate $1,000-1,500 (lot 188) and the first edition of Charles Forster’s study of Hebrew inscriptions found in the Sinai Desert and published with albumen photographs, London, 1862, at an estimate of $800-1,200 (lot 186).

Other books of note include the first edition of Baruch de Spinoza’s highly influential philosophical work Opera Posthuma, Amsterdam, 1677, estimate $6,000-9,000 (lot 278); Bernard Picart’s illustrated Histoire Générale des Cérémonies, Moeurs, et Coutumes Religieuses de tous les Peuples du Monde, complete in seven volumes, Paris, 1741, estimate $3,000-5,000 (lot 306) and a Hebrew translation of William Shakespeare’s Othello, which was the first appearance of any of Shakespeare’s plays in the Hebrew language, Vienna, 1874, at an estimate of $600-900 (lot 267).

Prominent among the Modern Art and Literary Books is a rare complete set of the short-lived journal Albatros, which had enormous impact upon the modernist Yiddish literary scene in Poland, estimate $1,500-2,500 (lot 139) and Marc Chagall’s illustrations for the Yiddish language art journal Chaliastra, Paris, 1924 at an estimate of $800-1,200 (lot 294). Many illustrated books are featured in the auction including those by: Meir Gur-Arye, E. M. Lilien, Moritz Oppenheim, Ze’ev Raban, Reuven Rubin, Issachar ber Ryback, Raphael Soyer, Joseph Tchaikov, Anna Ticho and Wilhelm Wachtel.

Leading the offerings in the Manuscripts Section of the sale is a large Prayerbook according to the meditations of Rabbi Isaac Luria, 1732-38, at an estimate of $20,000-25,000 (lot 352). The auction catalogue cover lot, a striking Family Tree from Vilna, begun in 1901, is extraordinary for its elaborate and most original artistry. The pre-sale estimate is $15,000-20,000 (lot 349). Additional highlights are Moreh Tzedek an extensive manuscript penned in the 18th century by the Sha’agath Aryeh’s first cousin, estimate $10,000-12,000 (lot 362), a collection of Hebrew medieval manuscript fragments, estimate $5,000-7,000 (lot 357) and a Pinkas from the legendary Churvah Synagogue, Jerusalem, 1889-96, at an estimate of $5,000-7,000 (lot 351).

The Autograph Letters section of the sale is particularly impressive and is sure to garner buyers’ attention. Consigned from a single Private Collection, on offer are written communications by some of the most important and influential Rabbinic authorities of the 19th and 20th centuries. Included are letters penned by Israel Abu-Hatze’ira (the Babi Sali), Abraham Mordechai Alter (the Grand Rabbi of Gur), Moshe Yitzchak Gewirtzman (Reb Itzikel), Shlomo Goldman (Reb Shloimkeh Zeviller), Samson Raphael Hirsch, Abraham Isaiah Karelitz (the Chazon Ish), Moses Sofer (the Chatham Sofer) and Yoel Teitelbaum (the Satmar Rebbe) among others. Of special note are letters by Yisrael Meir Kagan of Radin (the Chofetz Chaim), estimate $15,000-20,000 (lot 332), Menachem Mendel of Shklov, estimate $25,000-35,000 (lot 337) and Reb Chaim Soloveitchik, estimate $12,000-18,000 (lot 342), a most surprising letter written to Chief Rabbi Kook.

A petite section of Graphic Art rounds out the sale. It includes a particularly striking gouache from the Book of Esther by Saul Raskin, estimate $3,000-4,000 (lot 363).

For  further  information  relating  to  bidding  or  any  other  queries,  please  contact Jackie  Insel at  212-366-1197.

New Book on Puffin Picture Books

Just published -- Drawn Direct to the Plate: Noel Carrington and the Puffin Picture Books by Joe Pearson

ISBN 978 0 9558395 3 5
Publication: October 2010 paperback
216 pages/380 photographs £20.00

Joe Pearson’s long-awaited study of Noel Carrington and the Puffin Picture Books provides a comprehensive survey of the books in this series. It places the series in the context of its lithographic precursors, principally Russian and French children’s books, and others published by Country Life. The book also covers many of the Puffin Picture Books’ wartime rivals, such as Transatlantic Arts and Bantam Picture Books, as well as other works by many of the Puffin illustrators. Baby Puffins, Puffin Cut-out Books and Carrington’s later Harlequin Books are also covered in detail. The book ends with a section on Carrington and the Art of Lithography and an extended selection of Carrington’s own writings.

The book is a handsome production, in landscape format, 19.5 • 26 cms, with 216 pages and 380 illustrations, the great majority of which are in colour. It is available from the Penguin Collectors Society, either online (penguincollectorssociety.org) or by post from Martin Yates, 11 Quay House, Broad Street, Portsmouth, PO1 2GL. at a cost of £20, inclusive of UK postage.

For further information contact Tim Graham (tgmgraham@mac.com) or Steve Hare (steve.hare@btinternet.com).
[ITHACA, NY] National Book Auctions, located in Ithaca, NY, hosted an auction on October 3, 2010 at their Finger Lakes Region gallery. The 400+ lot auction featured an assortment of historic Massachusetts-related books, Charles Dickens first editions and a John F. Kennedy-signed program alongside numerous collectible books and ephemera.

Massachusetts history books led the auction with over 250 lots featuring nearly every township and city in the state. These unique volumes brought new bidders to the auction gallery from the “Bay State” and the collections and single books fetched over $8,000 hammer price (plus buyer’s premium) combined.

Charles Dickens was also featured in the four-hour auction across multiple volumes, many first editions and realized a hammer price of $1,075 (plus buyer’s premium) including one three-volume set of an 1838 printing of “Oliver Twist.”

A 1961 program from a Carl Hayden Golden Anniversary Dinner signed by John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson sold for $800 (plus buyer’s premium). This program featured original signatures of President John F. Kennedy, Vice-President Lyndon B. Johnson and Senator Carl Hayden and also featured photos of Kennedy, Johnson and Hayden, along with remarks from Kennedy and Johnson on Hayden's political career and a brief biography on Hayden.

National Book Auctions is a public auction service specializing in books, ephemera, and art. National Book Auctions is a targeted service offering experience and expertise unique to marketing antique and modern books and ephemera for consignors and collectors alike. The auction gallery has a planned auction on October 24th and two planned auctions in November, with the first of two scheduled for November 7th. For more information, please contact David Hall at 607-269-0101 or email mail@nationalbookauctions.com.
A 16th Century bible published during the rule of Queen Elizabeth I is set to come under the hammer at Staffordshire auction house Cuttlestones’ Friday 8th October Collectors’ sale. The leather-bound volume, entitled ‘The Holy Byble, the Newe Testament’, is a fine example of a family bible of the era and is of exceptional quality.

Printed on high quality paper stock with beautifully designed text, the bible carries little wear despite its considerable age. It is finished with patterned gilt edging and marbled end papers, retaining a number of satin page markers.

The volume dates to a period when only very high status families would have the means to afford their own copy of the bible; while this example contains no reference to the identity of its original owners, a later plate bears the inscription ‘Henry Walker, Sheffield’.

A prolific publisher

Printed in 1585 this bible was produced at the height of its publisher’s fame, during his role as royal printer. Christopher Barker was an early entrepreneur - born in 1529 to a privileged family he took an active interest in the printing industry and, in 1576, secured the most valuable patent of the time; the right to print the Geneva version of the bible in England. This was closely followed by the 1577 purchase of an extensive patent which included the Old and New Testament in English, with or without notes, of any translation.

The patent also afforded the office of royal printer and the rights to print all statutes, books, bills, Acts of Parliament, proclamations, injunctions, all service books to be used in churches and all other volumes ordered to be printed by the Queen or Parliament; making him the most powerful printer of the Elizabethan era. On Christopher’s death in 1599 his son, Robert, followed him into the family trade.

Further information on the Elizabethan bible, along with a host of other exciting lots in the 8th October Collectors’ sale, will be available from the online catalogue from Friday, 1st October - visit www.cuttlestones.co.uk or call 01785 714905 for further details. Meanwhile, for those unable to attend the sale, commission, telephone and online bidding via www.the-saleroom.co.uk are available.


Bloomsbury Auctions is delighted to offer the renowned Richard Harris Collection of American and British colour plate books on Natural History. The $3-4million collection which was formed over 40 years ago is fresh to the market and is a two part sale bestriding the Atlantic. The first auction will be held in Bloomsbury’s New York saleroom off Rockefeller Plaza on 13th October while the second will be held on 3rd November in Bloomsbury House in central London.

In an unprecedented move, Bloomsbury Auctions aims to encourage and revitalize the market in these days of financial uncertainty, by reducing the buyer’s premium to 10%, a level not seen since the 1980s.

Richard Harris is a man who enjoys visual images and this, his primary collection, was inspired by the beauty and strength of the imagery in the Natural History, Architecture and View Books that he discovered on his travels in England and Holland in the 1970s and 80s. This is an individual’s private collection, lovingly put together, the main criteria being beauty, impact and excellence. It includes many extraordinary, rare works in his chosen fields of interest, from flowers, shells, fruit, birds, fish and exotic plants to American Indians and Chinese imagery.

The first sale in New York concentrates on the heart of collection, the cream of the Natural History and American colour plate books. Audubon’s masterly work The Quadrupeds of America, 1845-54 will set pulses racing and this copy was specially bound in four volumes rather than three for an early French subscriber and is expected to fetch $400,000-600,000. Unseen on the market for over 40 years is a full set of the eight principal works by Daniel Elliot (seven on birds, one on big cats) covering amongst others, Grouse, Pheasants, American Birds, Hornbills and which is estimated to fetch $200,000-300,000.

A cornerstone of any major collection of ornithological books must be John Gould’s seven volume work The Birds of Asia, 1850-1883; the Harris copy has the added attraction of having belonged to King Leopold of Belgium and it carries an estimate of $70,000-100,000; while his monumental A Monograph of the Trochilidae, or Family of Humming-Birds, 6 vol., 1849-87, is expected to fetch $80,000-120,000. Another masterpiece in the collection is Edward Lear’s first book, his monograph on parrots entitled Illustrations of the Family of Psittacidae, or Parrots, 1830-32, the first ornithological folio work to be published with lithographic plates, (estimate $50,000-80,000). Botanical works include a copy of Redoute’s 8 volume magnum opus Les Liliacees, 1802-16 which is expected to fetch $100,000-150,000; and Brookshaw’s Pomona Britannica, the most important work devoted to English fruit, published in 1812, which has an estimate of $70,000-100,000.

Admirers of books on fish need look no further than one of the finest copies of Bloch’s Ichthyologie, ou Histoire Naturelle…des Poissons, 1785-1797 to be offered for sale; this complete copy of the six volume work once belonged to the Duchesse de Berry and is estimated at $40,000-60,000. The roll call of rare Natural History books continues with works by Edwards, Selby, Audebert, Duhamel du Monceau, Hill, Levaillant, Martyn, Nozemann, Seba, Roscoe, Van Spaendonk and many more. Most of the great English titles in this collection have come from the famous English Country House auctions of the 1970s such as Chatsworth, Arbury, Crofton Park, Easton Neston, and Thurland Castle… a fruitful period for collecting books.

Whilst the Natural History field was Richard Harris’s first love, his collection of books on American Indians is equally impressive. A copy in the rare original parts (virtually unknown at auction) of the seminal History of the Indian Tribes of North America, 1836-1844 by McKenney and Hall is included at $50,000-80,000, as is a 3 volume bound set originally owned by a subscriber from Wilmington Delaware and in an early signed Delaware binding (est. $40,000-60,000) plus the 3 volume small format edition of 1855 at $7,000-10,000. Harris’s copy of Catlin’s North American Indian Portfolio, 1844, estimated at $30,000-50,000, includes an unusual proposal leaf announcing his ambitious plan to issue three other portfolios.

Travel books and atlases are other wonderful facets of the Richard Harris Collection. The elaborately hand-coloured grand copy of Tooneel der Staden, 1649 by Willem and Johannes Blaeu, showing decorative town plans of Holland at the height of its power, was obviously commissioned by a noble client and is expected to fetch between $40,000-60,000. One of the most impressive and all-embracing books on Egypt is Description de L’Egypte, Napoleon’s great survey of the country he wished to control. This handsome set of the second edition bound in 37 volumes is estimated to bring $20,000-30,000. Other awe-inspiring works included in this section are by Piranesi, Humboldt, Newcastle, Helman and Homann.

When the sale of 171 lots in New York is over, the focus moves to London on 3rd November. Bloomsbury Auctions London then offers over 400 lots, continuing with Natural History, spanning a large collection of books on butterflies, birds, flowers and periodicals as well as fine European plate books on decoration and architecture, maps of Britain and France, town plans of London and Paris, view books and also travels in Europe and the Middle East.

The Harris collection is a feast for the eye, with something for every book and print lover and Bloomsbury Auctions is proud to be presenting the sale internationally to a wide audience and, with the reduced buyer’s premium, offering everyone the chance to acquire and enjoy some of the greatest examples of the beauty of book-illustration art from the 17th to the 19th century.


Auction Guide