February 2011 Archives

[ITHACA, NY] National Book Auctions, located in Ithaca, NY will features a fine assortment of important books, ephemera and collectibles, including a number of important first edition volumes, an impressive gathering of hand-made MacKenzie-Childs pottery and a selection of original artwork at their Sunday, March 20 auction.  Also offered is an assortment of antique and vintage literature and other writings spanning the 19th and 20th centuries.  Of particular note is a sizeable collection of antique titles relating to bee-keeping and an original, antique handwritten letter from Susan B. Anthony, written in 1889 and discussing women's suffrage.
Featured in this auction is the 1814 first English edition of “Travels to the Source of the Missouri River and Across the American Continent to the Pacific Ocean,” which provides a detailed account of Lewis and Clark’s expedition across the unexplored Louisiana Territory, derived from the journals of the explorers.  The volume retains the original six engraved maps, including the large fold-out which many credit for launching the modern era of map collecting.  This work details various Native American tribes encountered on the expedition to what is now Yellowstone National Park, present-day Texas and beyond.
A selection of first editions will be offered, including an important author-signed first edition of the classic “To Kill A Mockingbird”.  Among the other first edition titles is a number of Pulitzer Prize winners, including the 1923 work "The Able McLaughlins" by Wilson, "Confederate of Dunces" by Toole (1980) and the 1952 classic, "Old Man and the Sea" by Hemingway.
An impressive collection of MacKenzie-Childs hand-painted, American-made ceramics and glassware is included in this catalog.  This fine, collectible group features an assortment of dinnerware, lamps and other ceramic pieces including large serving platters, lamps, vases, plates, bowls and numerous other items.  Each of these gorgeous, hand-designed pieces shows the beautiful distinctive designs and presentation of lively yet subdued colors for which MacKenzie-Childs is celebrated by collectors.
This auction also offers a fine collection of original oil paintings and engravings.  Three original oil paintings by the Dutch artist Thierry Poncelet are highlighted, each portraying his signature ancestral dog portraits.  Here, West Highland White Terriers are featured.  Also included is a large collection of original engravings, many from the pages of late Nineteenth Century "Harper's Weekly" magazines, featuring the work of Winslow Homer and Frederic Remington with Civil War, Native American and other themes.
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. For more information, please contact David Hall at 607-269-0101 or email mail@nationalbookauctions.com.

Le Carre Archives to Bodleian Libraries

John le Carré, one of the world’s most celebrated authors, has offered his literary archive to Oxford’s Bodleian Library with the intention that it should become its permanent home.

Le Carré said, ‘I am delighted to be able to do this. Oxford was Smiley’s spiritual home, as it is mine. And while I have the greatest respect for American universities, the Bodleian is where I shall most happily rest.’

Richard Ovenden, Keeper of Special Collections and Associate Director of the Bodleian Libraries said ‘We are enormously grateful that John le Carré has made his archive available to the Bodleian. It is compelling primary evidence of a major cultural contribution to a literary genre and will offer scholars important insights into his work. We hope the collection will also be appreciated more widely, through exhibitions, seminars and conferences as well as through digitization initiatives.’

'John le Carré’s writing is not just a key to understanding the history of the Cold War; it is itself a vital and influential part of that history. To have this archive in the Bodleian is a major enrichment of Oxford’s unique collection of primary sources for the study of contemporary history,' said Timothy Garton Ash, Professor of European Studies, University of Oxford.

To mark the arrival of the archive, the Bodleian is displaying a small selection of le Carré’s working papers for members of the public to see on World Book Day, Thursday 3 March. This will include sections from the various handwritten and typed drafts of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy which show how the novel evolved in the process of composition from its early working title, ‘The Reluctant Autumn of George Smiley’, to the final published text. The display will also include private photographs of le Carré with Alec Guinness, who memorably starred in the 1979 BBC series, as well as manuscripts of two of le Carré’s own favourite novels, The Tailor of Panama and The Constant Gardener.

John le Carré is the nom de plume of David John Moore Cornwell. His writing career spans 50 years and 22 novels which have been translated into 36 languages and adapted for film, TV and radio. He is renowned for his intricate espionage and political fiction, and for the creation of one of modern literature’s most subtle and carefully crafted protagonists, George Smiley. Le Carré’s evocative accounts of the cold war era in novels such as Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (1974) and The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1963) were drawn in part from his own experiences working for MI5 and MI6. He has also pointed to the enduring influence upon him of his time as an undergraduate at Oxford. The complex and brilliantly drawn character of Smiley owes something to the Rev. Vivian Green who was Rector of Lincoln College, where le Carré read Modern Languages and graduated with a First Class Honours degree. Previously, Green had been Chaplain at Sherborne School while le Carré was a pupil. More recent novels such as The Constant Gardener and The Mission Song have left behind the complexities of the cold war in favour of more pressing global issues of our times. In le Carré’s words, “The almost unimaginable poverty of Nairobi’s slums, depicted in The Constant Gardener, provoked the formation of a registered British charity by the producers and crew working on the film adaptation. The Constant Gardener Trust continues to provide precious educational resources in the remote Turkana area of northern Kenya, where parts of the novel were set.” Le Carré’s most recent novel, Our Kind of Traitor, published in September 2010, features a young Oxford academic who becomes embroiled in a murky Establishment intelligence plot.

Le Carré’s archive, which fills a space the size of a Cornish barn, comprises multiple versions of his works, showing the evolution of his thought, his handling of plot and development of character, and his intensive editorial approach. Approximately 85 archive boxes were delivered to the Bodleian in late summer 2010 with additional materials still to be received, including a wealth of correspondence relating to his literary career. It is expected that other personal and family papers, photographs, correspondence and documents of great importance to future literary historians and biographers will be made available to researchers in the fullness of time. The Bodleian has the facilities to preserve and ultimately make available any of the more recent ‘born digital’ material in the archive, an area of increasing importance to scholars and librarians.

The World Book Day Display, Tinker Tailor Writer Spy, will include:

1. Tinker Tailor Solider Spy manuscript section
Le Carré’s seventh novel published in 1974. Manuscript draft on pink paper. The draft is undated and untitled but is an early version of the beginning of Chapter 2 in which Smiley is introduced to the reader as ‘small, podgy …one of those gentle, reluctant worker-bees who throng London’s suburban railway system’. The bee metaphor was eventually excised from the published text, but in this draft many of Smiley’s familiar characteristics are already present and more are added as le Carré amends and elaborates his first thoughts so that a fuller picture of the spymaster begins to emerge: [left margin] ‘His legs were short, his gait anything but agile, his dress sober’. Two slightly later drafts (with the bee comparison retained) are titled ‘The Reluctant Autumn of George Smiley’, the second version with the subtitle ‘being the first story of THE QUEST FOR KARLA’. Only the latest drafts are titled ‘Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy’ and begin with a description of Thursgood School, and not Smiley.

2. The Russia House manuscript section
Le Carré’s twelfth novel, published in 1989. This manuscript section of the novel, dated 2 July 1987, is written with le Carré’s favourite rollerball pen. Dated four days later, a much altered typescript demonstrates le Carré’s typical working method of drafting and redrafting his text, then stapling manuscript amendments to a main typewritten sheet or (as in the Tinker Tailor manuscripts) stapling several pages together.

For more information, see http://www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/news/2010-feb-24.

Militaria and Polar Exploration at Auction

[ITHACA, NY] National Book Auctions, located in Ithaca, NY, will feature at their Sunday, February 27 auction an assortment of military-related material, scholarly art reference books, polar exploration titles, and a number of other notable books, including several botany-related titles.
Featured in this auction is an eclectic collection of militaria, including antique and vintage uniforms, books, ephemera and other memorabilia.  Among items in this collection are original WWI and WWII army and air force jackets, pants, helmets, and other gear, as well as authentic patches and insignia.  Complementing this collection are several important military-related books, featuring an 1862 first edition of the “History of the United States Naval Academy” and an 1825 report on the court martial of Commodore David Porter, and a variety of antique titles concerning the Civil War.  Ephemera in this group includes original correspondence to and from soldiers during World War II and photographs of German Nazi soldiers and Japanese soldiers, among other items.
The art reference titles feature works such as the first printing of the vintage work “The New Industrial Parks Near Irvine, California,” an influential work on landscape photography.  Other important works include a six-volume set on the paintings of Rembrandt with over 2,000 plates of the painter’s work, a 1931 first edition German catalog of artwork in the Berlin Museum, and “Les Marques De Collections De Dessins & D'Estampes,” an important 1921 French work identifying collector's marks used by museum and private collectors.
The polar exploration titles in this auction chronicle the history of nineteenth and early twentieth century journeys to the North & South poles.  The works in this collection detail the expeditions of A. W. Greely through items such as the 1884 pamphlet “The Greely Arctic Expedition,”  by Peary, an 1898 first edition of “Northward Over the ‘Great Ice’,” and Ejnar Mikkelsen’s 1913 first English edition of “Lost in the Arctic”.  Also included are numerous books by classic exploration authors, such as Fridtjof Nansen, Vilhjalmur Stefansson and Peter Freuchen.
Other notable books include a fine assortment of gardening and botany titles.  Featured is a first edition, gorgeously bound 1877 printing of the “Hand Book of Practical Landscape Gardening,” Thomas Meehan’s 1878-79 work on the “Native Flowers and Ferns of the United States,” and several volumes of U.P. Hedrick’s “Fruits of New York” series in fine condition with the prized color plates.
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. For more information, please contact David Hall at 607-269-0101 or email mail@nationalbookauctions.com.


Iberian Judaica Auction

Iberian Judaica from the distinguished collections of the late Alfonso Cassuto of Lisbon, Portugal highlights Kestenbaum & Company's February 24 auction of fine Judaica

Kestenbaum & Company’s sale of Fine Judaica to be held on Thursday, February 24, at 3:00pm will mark the company’s Fiftieth Auction since its establishment in 1996. With an exclusive commitment to the field of Fine Judaica, Kestenbaum has over the past fifteen years offered some 17,000 lots comprising an immense quantity of Judaic properties. Highlighting this Jubilee auction, will be the historic Cassuto Collection of Iberian-related Books and Manuscripts, alongside which, this extensive sale will feature Rare Hebrew Printed Books, Manuscripts, Autograph Letters, Graphic & Ceremonial Art.

The foundation of the Alfonso Cassuto Collection was laid by Mr. Cassuto’s great-grandfather Jehuda de Mordehai Cassuto who in 1835 acquired a sizeable library assembled in the seventeenth century by the Namias Family of Hamburg.

Subsequent generations of the family greatly expanded the library and Alfonso in particular immersed himself enthusiastically in the books and the library’s further development.  The present collection was consigned to Kestenbaum & Company by Alfonso’s son, the distinguished composer and conductor Álvaro Leon Cassuto, Artistic Director of the Lisbon Metropolitan Orchestra.

The Collection of Iberian-Judaica features theological, historical and liturgical texts as well as books and manuscripts relating to the Inquisition, literature, science and medicine. Important lots within the collection include a handsome manuscript by Isaac Orobio de Castro, Prevenciones Divinas contra la vana ydolatria de las gentes, Amsterdam, circa 1700, estimate $25,000-30,000 (lot 332) and three highly significant works bound in one volume by the celebrated mathematician and cartographer, Pedro Nunes, including his De Arte Atque Ratione Navigandi, 1573, at an estimate of $20,000-25,000 (lot 331). Further highlights include Isaac da Fonseca Aboab’s Parafrasis Comentado Sobre el Pentateuco with the rare frontispiece portrait, Amsterdam, 1681, estimate $5,000-7,000 (lot 264); Flor de Apolo, a sumptuous edition of collected poetry by one of the most celebrated seventeenth century Marrano poets, Miguel de Barrios, Brussels, 1665, estimate $6,000-8,000 (lot 280); Joseph Penso de la Vega’s Rumbos Peligrosos, Antwerp, 1683, estimate $4,000-6,000 (lot 286) and Luis de Granada’s Introduction del Symbolo de la Fe, Salamanca, 1584-85, estimate $4,000-6,000 (lot 290). Also featured are medical texts by noted Marrano physicians such as Elijah Montalto (lot 322), Amatus Lusitanus (lot 317) and Rodrigo de Castro (lot 320).

Elsewhere in the 420-plus lot auction is a broad range of categories including Incunabula, Liturgy, Chassidic and Kabbalistic texts, Bibles, Passover Hagadahs, American and Anglo Judaic imprints, Anti-Semitic and Holocaust-related materials. Illustrated Books in the auction feature works by Max Liebermann, El Lissitzky, Reuven Rubin and Issachar Ber Ryback. Other sections include a significant collection of Autograph Letters, Graphic Art, a single-owner collection of Fine Photography and Ceremonial Art.

Incunabula in the auction include Joseph Albo’s classic text of Jewish philosophy-Sepher Ha’Ikarim, Soncino, 1485, estimate $25,000-35,000 (lot 7); a wide-margined copy of David ben Joseph Abudraham’s commentary to the prayers, the second book printed in Lisbon, 1489, estimate $20,000-30,000 (lot 265) and Alphonso de Spina’s Fortalitium Fidei, Nürnberg, 1485, estimate $ 6,000-9,000 (lot 340). An important post-incunable is a crisp set of Daniel Bomberg’s Biblia Rabbinica, presented here in four volumes in a fine, uniform contemporary binding, Venice, 1524-5, at an estimate of $50,000-70,000 (lot 53).

Among the Chassidic Books, the rarest is undoubtedly an extraordinarily fine copy of Schneur Zalman of Liadi’s Sepher Likutei Amarim, the fundamental exposition of Chabad Chassidic philosophy, Slavuta, 1796, at a pre-auction estimate of $100,000-120,000 (lot 71). Other notable Chassidic texts in the sale include a scarce copy of Schneur Zalman of Liadi’s first edition of the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim), Kopyst, 1816, estimate $8,000-10,000 (lot 74) and the first anthology of the teachings of the Ba’al Shem Tov, Kether Shem Tov, two parts bound in one, Zolkiew, 1794, at an estimate of $7,000-10,000 (lot 70).

A sizeable selection of Passover Hagadahs includes many fine examples such as Arthur Szyk’s opulently illlustrated Hagadah printed entirely on vellum (one of 125 numbered copies), London 1939-40, estimate $30,000-40,000 (lot 132); a beautifully designed Hagadah by Albert Daniel Rutherston rarely seen at auction (one of 100 copies printed on handmade paper), London, 1930, estimate $7,000-9,000 (lot 131); a copy of the celebrated Amsterdam Hagadah, 1695, estimate $4,000-6,000 (lot 123) and a deluxe, large-paper-copy of Jakob Steinhardt’s artistic Hagadah, Berlin, 1921, at an estimate of $3,000-5,000 (lot 129).

The Autograph Letters section of the sale boasts an impressive selection of written correspondences by prominent Rabbinic thinkers and Chassidic leaders. Included are letters by the Chofetz Chaim and members of the Halberstam Family. Also on offer is correspondence from the Schneerson Family including letters written from Latvia in 1927 shortly after the family’s expulsion from the Soviet Union. Far and away, the most prominent lot to be auctioned in this section is an immensely rare autograph letter written by the paramount Chassidic leader, Reb Nosson of Breslov. The letter was written by Reb Nosson in 1842 to a close disciple, Reb Meir Mirkis of Teplik, who was ailing at the time, and the missive has remained with the Mirkis family for nearly two centuries. This letter is of singular importance as it contains, at its heart, one of the central philosophies of Breslov Chassiduth: “Joy is the remedy for all sicknesses.” The pre-auction estimate is $40,000-60,000 (lot 237). Another star lot in this section is a group of childhood photographs and autograph letters written by Oskar Schindler, the renowned rescuer of Holocaust-era Jews. The letters were written to Schindler’s first cousin Emily Tyrolt. The pre-sale estimate is $5,000-7,000 (lot 245).

Highlights among the manuscripts include an important autographed pedagogic work by Yitzchak Aryeh Zekel Leib Wormser, the Ba’al Shem of Michelstadt (1768-1847), estimate $15,000-20,000 (lot 255); a bizarre and rather fascinating Kabbalistic manuscript of folk remedies, Eastern Europe, eighteenth century, estimate $1,000-1,500 (lot 257) and a rare illuminated Marriage Contract from the ancient community of Mountain Jews in the region of Azerbaijan, 1867, estimate $1,500-2,500 (lot 353).

The Graphic Art section features paintings by Artur Markowicz, Saul Raskin and Otto Eichinger among others. Of particular interest is a Hebrew Map of the World by Benedictus Arias Montanus, Antwerp, 1571, at an estimate of $700-1,000 (lot 354). A single-owner consignment of Fine Photography notably includes the works of Roman Vishniac (lots 371-373).

The sale concludes with an attractive selection of Ceremonial Art. Fine examples include a seventeenth century Italian Bronze Chanukah Lamp, estimate $15,000-18,000 (lot 380), a pair of Continental silver and silver filigree Torah Finials, circa 1800, estimate $5,000-7,000 (lot 399) and an exceptional Italian embroidered Synagogue textile, dated 1698, at an estimate of $5,000-7,000 (lot 397). Also noteworthy is a varied collection of materials from the Bezalel School of Art (Lots 405-22).

This Jubilee Auction is particularly exciting and we look forward to welcoming a broad range of new clients likely to be drawn to the attractions found in the celebrated Cassuto Collection.

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

LOC's Book Festival Set for September

February 7, 2011 -- National Book Festival to be Two-Day Event, Sept. 24-25

The 11th annual National Book Festival, organized and sponsored by the Library of Congress, will become a two-day event this year. The festival will be held on the National Mall between 9th and 14th Streets on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2011, from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and on Sunday, Sept. 25 from 1 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., rain or shine. The event is free and open to the public.

Several festival-related events will take place in the weeks preceding the beloved yearly festival, which celebrates the joys of books and reading. More information will be posted as planning for the festival continues at the festival’s website, www.loc.gov/bookfest.

"Fans of the National Book Festival have urged us to make it a weekend-long event for many years," said Librarian of Congress James H. Billington.

"Last September, during our wonderful 10th-anniversary celebration, we crossed the threshold of a million festival-goers over the life of the festival - and we look forward to welcoming millions more festival-goers of all ages for many years to come," Billington said. Some 150,000 book fans attended the festival of 2010.

The 2011 National Book Festival will feature award-winning authors, poets and illustrators in several pavilions dedicated to categories of literature. Festival-goers can meet and hear firsthand from their favorite authors, get books signed, have photos taken with mascots and storybook characters and participate in a variety of learning activities.

The Pavilion of the States will represent reading- and library-promotion programs and literary events in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. trusts and territories.

The popular Let’s Read America Pavilion will offer reading activities that are fun for the whole family. The Library of Congress Pavilion will showcase the cultural treasures to be found in the Library’s vast online collections and offer information about popular Library programs.

The 2011 National Book Festival will be made possible through the support of David Rubenstein, co-chairman of the National Book Festival Board and many other generous supporters.

The Library of Congress, the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution, is the world’s preeminent reservoir of knowledge, providing unparalleled collections and integrated resources to Congress and the American people. Many of the Library’s rich resources and treasures may be accessed through the Library’s website, www.loc.gov, and via interactive exhibitions on myLOC.gov.
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Mickey Mouse Coming to Heritage

Mickey Mouse animation cel, world’s most valuable, readies for sale at Heritage Auctions
From the Kerby Confer Collection, to be auctioned as part of Heritage’s Feb. 24-25 Comics & Comic Art auction
DALLAS, TX - The most valuable animation cel in the world, and one of the most important Mickey Mouse collectibles in existence - The Band Concert Production Cel Animation Art, Walt Disney, 1935 - will be part of Heritage Auctions Feb. 24-25 Signature® Comics and Comic Art Auction. It is estimated at $100,000+. It is thought to be the only production setup in existence from the first Mickey cartoon that features Mickey and the entire band.
“This cel is, in many ways, the ultimate Mickey Mouse item a collector could ever hope to acquire,” said Barry Sandoval, Director of Operations of the Comics category at Heritage. “The Band Concert was the very first theatrical Mickey Mouse cartoon in color, and has long been cherished by Disney fans worldwide.”
The cel comes to Heritage via the Kerby Confer Collection, one of the finest groupings of key Disney related art ever assembled. Confer, a well-known Maryland radio executive, has long been known as one of the most serious collectors of original Disney material. Confer acquired the cel in 2001.
The Band Concert itself is an intensely funny short cartoon, crammed with colorful gags involving Mickey's ragtag orchestra - who never stop playing, no matter what is happening around them - and the efforts of soft drink salesman Donald Duck to subvert the program by playing "Turkey in the Straw" on his piccolo. The film culminates with an intense windstorm, just as the band plays "The William Tell Overture”.
“This is a charming and beautiful cel,” said Sandoval. “It shows Mickey and company at the beginning of the cartoon, greeting their audience.” We’re extremely proud to be offering what is widely considered to be the most important piece of animation history in existence, with no reserve.”
Heritage Auctions, headed by Steve Ivy, Jim Halperin and Greg Rohan, is the world’s third largest auction house, with annual sales more than $600 million, and 500,000+ online bidder members. For more information about Heritage Auctions, and to join and gain access to a complete record of prices realized, along with full-color, enlargeable photos of each lot, please visit HA.com.
Want to get the up-to-the-minute updates and breaking news stories about Heritage Auctions? Get them as they happen at: www.Twitter.com/HeritageAuction; Facebook: www.HA.com/Facebook.To view a compete archive of Heritage press releases go to: HA.com/PR. To link to this press release on your blog or Website: HA.com/PR-1975.

For more information:
Noah Fleisher, Public Relations Director
214-409-1143; NoahF@HA.com
New York—Swann Galleries’ online auction of signed performing arts memorabilia ran from January 10 through February 1. It was the first auction in Swann’s 70-year history that was online only, with no live bidding or previewing, and no printed catalogue. Just under 375 lots were offered, and 76 percent found buyers.

The sale comprised material collected by a New England enthusiast in the first half of the 20th century. Most items were offered with estimates of $50 to $100, and several examples far exceeded expectations. A 1945 playbill for the original Broadway production of The Glass Menagerie, signed on the cover by Laurette Taylor, Eddie Dowling, Julie Haydon and Anthony Ross brought $1,806*, making it the sale's top lot.

Other highly desirable theater playbills for original productions of well known plays were Death of a Salesman, signed on the cast page by Arthur Miller and every member of the cast including Lee J. Cobb, Mildred Dunnock, Cameron Mitchell and Arthur Kennedy, February 1949, $1,506; a pair of playbills for Carousel, one signed and inscribed by each member of the cast, the other signed by the producers and writers, Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein, 28 November 1945, $966 for both; and The Iceman Cometh, signed, inscribed and dated on the front cover by Eugene O'Neill, December 1946, $792.

Other playwright autographs of note included a program for a production of Our Town at the Amherst [Massachusetts] Drama Festival signed by Thornton Wilder on the first cast page, August 1940, and a playbill for The Glass Menagerie, inscribed and signed on the cover by Tennessee Williams, November 1945, $468 each.

In addition to playbills from theatrical productions like these, the sale also featured Sarah Bernhardt’s signature and date on the cover of a playbill for a one-week appearance at a theater in Boston, November 1916, $636; Paul Robeson’s signature on the front page of a “Tribute to Russia” benefit program, Springfield, Mass, 20 June 1943, $546; and autographed photos of Ignaz Friedman, Polish piano virtuoso and composer, $606; a photograph signed and inscribed, “Tres Sympathiquement,” by signer Edith Piaf, $546; a costumed Enrico Caruso as Rhadames in Aida, $534; and a signed and inscribed portrait of Austrian-born violinist Fritz Kreisler, November, 1919, $492.

Complete auction results can be viewed on the Swann Galleries website: www.swanngalleries.com. For further information, please contact George Lowry at (212) 254-4710, extension 15, or via e-mail at glowry@swanngalleries.com.

*Prices include buyer’s premium.

Buell Map at the LOC

January 31, 2011 -- Rare Revolutionary War-Era Map is David Rubenstein Gift to Library of Congress. Abel Buell Map First to Show “Stars and Stripes.”

David M. Rubenstein, co-founder and managing director of The Carlyle Group, has given the Library of Congress stewardship of the first map printed in North America, depicting the boundaries of the new American nation and showing the "Stars and Stripes" for the first time. The map, which was printed in early 1784 and is considered the best preserved of those few copies in existence, had been in the custody of the New Jersey Historical Society since 1862 and was sold at Christie’s in Manhattan on Dec. 3, 2010. The map will be displayed at the Library of Congress in the early spring and will be available for public viewing for five years.

Abel Buell’s map "A New and Correct Map of the United States of North America Layd Down from the Latest Observations and Best Authorities Agreeable to the Peace of 1783" is the first to be copyrighted in the United States and was published only six months after the Treaty of Paris signing (Sept. 3, 1783) ended the Revolutionary War. This map is the single most important American cartographic document missing from the collection of the Library of Congress, according to John Hébert, chief of the Library’s Geography and Map Division.

Maps and atlases have been an important part of the collections of the Library of Congress since its beginning in 1800, when a joint congressional committee purchased three maps and an atlas from a London dealer. From this modest beginning the Library’s cartographic holdings have grown during the past two centuries to more than 5.2 million maps, 80,000 atlases, 6,000 reference works, numerous globes, and a large amount of cartographic materials in other formats, including electronic. Abel Buell’s "A New and Correct Map" will join "America’s birth certificate"—Martin Waldseemüller’s monumental 1507 world map—as a welcomed and complementary addition to the Library’s rich map collection.

A civic-minded Washingtonian, David Rubenstein has long been a supporter of the Library of Congress. He is a member of the Library’s private-sector advisory group, the James Madison Council, and in 2010 he gave the Library $5 million in support of the National Book Festival.

"It is a great privilege for the Library of Congress to display this map, which will be on loan from Mr. Rubenstein for the next five years," said Librarian of Congress James H. Billington. "The cartographic curators have pointed to this map as the most important document not held in the national collections."

"The Library of Congress, under Jim Billington’s leadership, is widely recognized as the finest library in the world, and I am pleased to make the Buell Map available for all to see at the Library’s extraordinary facilities," Rubenstein said.

The Library’s Associate Librarian for Library Services, Deanna Marcum, called the Buell map "a centerpiece in the map history of the New World."

Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution. The Library seeks to advance the knowledge and creativity of the American people through its collections, programs and services. Many of the Library’s rich resources can be accessed through its website at www.loc.gov and via interactive exhibitions on a personalized website at myLOC.gov.
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Auction Guide