Results of Swann Galleries’ Printed and Manuscript Americana

New York—Swann Galleries’ October 2 auction of Printed & Manuscript Americana was one of the largest and most successful Americana auctions Swann has held, bringing in more than $840,000­­­-well above the high estimate, and almost twice the low estimate. In all, 93 percent of the lots were sold.

The top-priced item in the sale was Isaac Plumb’s Civil War archive, which sold for $55,200, the most any Civil War archive has brought at Swann. Another highlight was an archive from Commodore George Washington Storer of the Brazilian Squadron fighting the Atlantic slave trade, which brought $24,000. Both lots were purchased by a New Jersey book dealer.
At the heart of the sale were 100 lots from the collection of the late James M. Ransom, whose main interests were the American Revolution and iron mining in New York and New Jersey. All but three of the Ransom lots sold, bringing a collective $196,000, led by an account journal of the Continental Army’s supply depot which was sold to an institution for $19,200.

Many other important lots went to institutional buyers, including a business archive from Joseph Pulitzer’s St. Louis Post-Dispatch, which was sold to University of Texas's Dolph Briscoe Center for American History for $3,840.

Collectors bidding on their own account acquired a folio set of McKenney & Hall’s History of the Indian Tribes, $38,400, and an extremely scarce first printing of the 1777 New York constitution which had not appeared at auction since 1944, $18,000.

Auction records were set for several books, including John Myers’ Life, Voyages and Travels, $24,000; Camille Dry’s Pictorial St. Louis, $9,600; William Gordon’s History of the Rise, Progress, and Establishment of the . . . United States, $3,120; William Russell’s History of America, $3,600; the 1767 Psalms of David­, the first book of music printed from type in America­, $6,240; and Thomas Falkner’s Description of Patagonia, $4,320.

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

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

*All prices include buyer’s premium.
Auction Guide