December 2012 Archives

FALLS CHURCH, Va. - Even Scrooge might have eked out a curmudgeonly smile on December 6th at Waverly Rare Books, as the hammer fell on a collection of 30 leather-bound books comprising the “Works of Charles Dickens.” The 1861-63 Library Edition containing such classics as Oliver Twist, A Tale of Two Cities, and the immortal A Christmas Carol, was inscribed in blue ink on the title page of Volume I, The Pickwick Papers, in Dickens’ own hand: “To Jas. Blair…R.N./This set of my books./Charles Dickens/The New Year, 1863.” Entered in the sale with a $2,500-$4,000 estimate, it commanded $70,800 (inclusive of 18% buyer’s premium), selling to a prominent London bookseller on behalf of a client. The winning bid was more than 17 times the high estimate.

Roosevelt Memorabilia at Auction

PLEASANT VALLEY, N.Y., Dec. 20, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A rare
collection of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt memorabilia will be auctioned from the estate of a close and personal friend of the Roosevelt family, Margaret Logan Marquez. The auction will take place online by United Country -- Absolute Auctions & Realty on and ends January 6 at 8pm eastern time.
DALLAS - General George Armstrong Custer’s personally owned Army-issue Model 1865 Spencer Carbine brought $179,250 to claim top lot honors in Heritage Auctions’ $2.5+ million Political, Western Legends & Americana Signature® Auction, Dec. 11-12.
Items relating to the well-known general led the event, from an important oil painting of the Battle of Washita by Frederic Remington which sold for $179,250 to a trove of letters from an officer among the first on the scene to identify bodies following Gen. George Armstrong Custer’s crushing 1876 defeat at Little Big Horn, which sold for $89,625. 
December 18, 2012--The Library of Congress will place on display the first draft of the Emancipation Proclamation, handwritten by President Abraham Lincoln, for six weeks beginning Jan. 3, 2013, to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the proclamation’s signing.

The draft document -- which has not been on public view since 2007 -- will be on display from Jan. 3 through Feb. 18 in the ongoing exhibition "The Civil War in America," which opened Nov. 12 and runs through June 1 in the Southwest Exhibition Gallery of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E. in Washington, D.C. The exhibition is free and open to the public, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday.
New York, NY, December 14, 2012—Few artistic movements of the twentieth century are as celebrated and studied as surrealism. Many of the works of its best known practitioners—including Salvador Dalí, Max Ernst, René Magritte, Joan Miró, and Leonora Carrington—have become touchstones of modern art and some of the most familiar images of the era.

Critical to the development of surrealism was the art of drawing. For those involved in the movement, it was a vital means of expression and innovation, resulting in a rich array of graphic techniques that radically pushed conventional art historical boundaries. Yet the medium has been largely overlooked in visual arts studies and exhibitions as scholars and institutions have focused more on surrealist painting and sculpture.
COLLEGE STATION, Dec. 13, 2012 ― Cushing Memorial Library and Archives at Texas A&M University will host science fiction author George R.R. Martin, whose book series “A Song of Ice and Fire” is the basis for the hit HBO show “Game of Thrones.” The library will exhibit the works and personal memorabilia of Martin beginning in March 2013.

Fans are invited to a book-signing from 4-6 p.m. on March 22 at Cushing Memorial Library, followed by a free lecture from Martin at 6:30 p.m. at Rudder Auditorium on the Texas A&M campus.
New York, December 13, 2012 -- The Grolier Club Library is pleased to announce its tenth annual fellowship offering in the history of the book, named in honor of Grolier Club benefactor and former president William H. Helfand. Awards of up to $3,000 are available for research in the Library's areas of strength, with emphasis on the book and graphic arts, antiquarian bookselling, and the private collecting of books and prints. Fellowship awards may be used to pay for travel, housing, and other expenses. A research stay of two weeks is desired, and Helfand Fellows are expected to present a seminar or lecture at the Grolier Club, and submit a written report.
Washington, DC—The National Gallery of Art presents Ellsworth Kelly: Colored Paper Images, a series that includes 23 paper-pulp works by the seminal American artist. Drawn entirely from the Gallery's collection, the exhibition will be on view on the Ground Level of the East Building from December 16, 2012, through December 1, 2013.

When unveiled in 1977, Ellsworth Kelly's (born 1923) Colored Paper Images stood apart from the crisp angles and curves and pristine monochrome surfaces for which he was best known. Each of the Colored Paper Images features erratic edges, irregular textures, and pools and drifts of alluring color.
December 11, 2012. -  viaLibri (, the international search engine for old and rare books, has just launched a German version of its popular website.

When it started in 2006, viaLibri set itself apart from other similar sites by focusing on the more exacting needs of book collectors, librarians and bibliographic scholars. This important group of book buyers had always been frustrated by the limitations of existing websites that were built primarily as price comparison tools.   Rejecting the prevailing assumption that online book buyers were only interested in cheap books, rather than rare or valuable ones, viaLibri built a powerful metasearch engine designed specifically to meet the needs of serious bibliophiles, and not just bargain hunters.
New York—Bonhams auction of Russian Literature and Works on Paper brought spirited bidding for many of the sale’s significant lots, underscoring and celebrating the perennial interest in this area of collecting.

Most coveted was Henrietta Leon Girshman’s Carnets de Salon, which raised paddles to $230,500. Society doyenne and hostess, Girshman captured the early 20th-century artistic scene in her two-volume set of autograph albums. More than 100 inscriptions, sketches, musical passages, literary quotations and autographs tell of the creative and cultural luminaries who gathered at her and her husband’s salons at their “Red Gates” mansion in Moscow. Their gatherings of creative and cultural luminaries continued after the couple’s exile to Paris with the 1917 Russian Revolution.

Dictionaries Define Success at Bonhams

New York—Bonhams December 4 auction of the Dictionary Collection of Thomas Malin Rodgers had strong results from start to finish, realizing sales over $1.1 million. A spring-like day in New York sparked lively bidding that ricocheted between the collectors in the saleroom to bidders on the phone and live online. “The phenomenal success of this auction pays testament to Tom Rodgers’ great vision and collecting acumen. The tremendous breadth of Rodgers’ dictionary library was well-known amongst bibliophiles, but today everyone came to realize what exceptional rarities and high-spots he assembled. Unique manuscripts in particular saw nearly relentless bidding,” states Christina Geiger, Bonhams Director of Fine Books and Manuscripts for New York.

The earliest such manuscript was a Coptic glossary, written on vellum in Egypt in the 6th or 7th century, and selling for $80,500 (against a $12,000-$18,000 estimate). This small, ten-leaf manuscript is most likely intended for use by a professional scribe in the civil service.

Master Drawings New York

The highly acclaimed Master Drawings New York returns to Manhattan where dealers from around the world are holding coordinated exhibitions in art galleries located on New York’s Upper East Side. This annual event, which has attracted four new international dealers this year, enables both collectors and curators to view a broad range of master works dating from the sixteenth to the twentieth centuries. Exhibitors hail from the UK, France, Italy, Spain, Germany and the USA but, during this week, their finest drawings are all displayed within walking distance of each other, allowing connoisseurs to buy drawings across a broad range of prices, styles and centuries. There is a preview at all galleries on Friday January 25 from 4 to 8 pm enabling collectors to view the exhibitions before the opening weekend.

New York dealer Les Eluminures are exhibiting the intensely colourful Presentation in the Temple (c. 1520/30) by Netherlandish artist Simon Bening (1483/4-1561). The vibrancy of expression with which Bening depicts these biblical characters lends the work, almost 500 years old, a remarkable vitality. Fellow New Yorker Margot Gordon, who organises the event with London-based Crispian Riley-Smith, is showing a 17th -century study for the ‘Sala di Apollo’ at the Palazzo Pitti by Pietro da Cortona (1596-1669) (pictured above), which highlights the movement and dynamism of the artist’s work.
Baltimore—The Walters Art Museum presents New Eyes on America: The Genius of Richard Caton Woodville, an exhibition with richly-painted depictions of daily life created during the transformative years prior to the American Civil War. During a tragically short career, the Baltimore-born and European-trained Woodville (1825-55) engaged with issues that dominated American society, including war, intergenerational communication, and new technologies such as the telegraph and penny press. Woodville was born of a prominent Baltimore family, living blocks from the Walters, and trained in Düsseldorf, Germany, where he conducted his professional career. On view from March 10-June 2, 2013, this is the first monographic Woodville exhibition since 1967, and it travels to the Mint Museum in Charlotte, N.C. June 30-Nov. 3, 2013.

The exhibition includes Woodville’s 16 known paintings, several of which have never been on view, as well as prints, illustrated books and other related works of art to place his career in historical context. The Walters has the largest holding of his works. Woodville left behind no written archives; however, his work was highly acclaimed and widely disseminated through premium prints sent to thousands of subscribers to the American Art-Union, a national art membership organization. His crisp, linear works on popular subjects played an important role in the extraordinary increase in visual imagery available to a broad American audience during his lifetime.
DALLAS - A stunning, near perfect 1933 Style B three sheet movie poster for the RKO classic King Kong realized $388,375 in Heritage Auctions’ Nov. 29 Vintage Movie Poster Signature® Auction, shattering the house record for a price realized for a movie poster in a Heritage event. All prices include Buyer’s Premium.
“The stellar price realized for this King Kong poster was fully more than four-and-a-half times the pre-auction estimate of $80,000+,” said Grey Smith, Director of Vintage Movie Posters at Heritage. “It’s simply an astounding piece of art that transcends its category and subject matter, which just happens to be one of the greatest films ever made.”
NEW YORK, 5 December 2012 - Sotheby’s New York auction of Fine Books & Manuscripts on 14 December 2012 will be highlighted by the largest and most significant group of correspondence and drawings by Charles Schulz - celebrated creator, author and artist of the Peanuts cartoons - ever to be offered at auction. The archive documents Schulz’s romantic pursuit of a young woman named Tracey Claudius from 1970-71, and affords unprecedented access to the creative process and private life of one of the most influential icons of 20th-century American culture. The extensive archive of autograph letters and drawings is estimated at $250/350,000*, and will be on view in Sotheby’s York Avenue galleries beginning 8 December.

On 16 March 1970, 25-year-old Tracey Claudius accompanied a friend on an interview with Charles Schulz. Schulz, who was 48 and almost between his two marriages - he was growing distant from his first wife, and they would divorce in 1972 - was immediately smitten. Within a few weeks, the two had gone ice-skating, met at a book store in San Francisco, and shared dinner at the Fairmont Hotel. Claudius was as excited by the nascent friendship as Schulz, and the two quickly developed a warm and playful relationship.

Beatlemania at Heritage Auctions

DALLAS - Fans of the Fab Four will find much to cheer when they get a look at the 100 lot trove of Beatles and Beatles-related autographs, albums, memorabilia, awards and more featured in Heritage Auctions’ Dec. 14  Entertainment & Music Memorabilia Signature® Auction, led by a rare circa 1963 complete set of autographs (estimate: $5,000+) and a John Lennon “Bag One” leather case and  original Erotic #2 lithograph #181/300 (1970), one of John's controversial set of 14 issued in 1970 (estimate: $7,000+).
A Beatles Yesterday And Today very rare First State “Butcher Cover” LP (Capitol T2553, 1966) is estimated at $4,000+ and a Beatles “The White Album” LP (Apple 101, 1968)with a very low number, A0000023, once belonging to Paul McCartney's 1960s girlfriend, Jane Asher, should bring more than $2,500.
The Folio Society announces the publication of Birds Drawn For John Gould by Edward Lear.

Edward Lear had an eye for landscapes and an ear for rhyme, but it was neither as a travel painter nor as a poet that he first displayed his prolific talent. Between 1832 - when he was just 20 - and 1838, Lear created 80 bird portraits for the naturalist and entrepreneur John Gould. For many, they are the world’s finest ornithological illustrations.
LOS ANGELES—For hundreds of years, medieval manuscripts have been bought and sold, gifted and stolen, preserved and rearranged, loved and forgotten, hidden and displayed, cut into pieces, hung on walls, and glued into albums. They have survived wars, fires, floods, religious conflict, political tumult, the invention of printing, and changes in taste.  They have at times been valued for their beauty, for their spiritual significance, or simply for the strength of their parchment pages. Featuring works from the Getty Museum’s permanent collection, the Getty Research Institute, Hearst Castle, and other outside loans, Untold Stories: Collecting and Transforming Medieval Manuscripts, on view February 26-May 12, 2013 at the J. Paul Getty Museum, Getty Center includes medieval books, leaves, and cuttings with a variety of rich stories to be told.

The exhibition is the product of a collaboration between outside scholar and former Getty graduate intern Abby Kornfeld; the Getty Museum’s Kristen Collins, associate curator of manuscripts; and Nancy Turner, manuscripts conservator. The show offers a fascinating historical overview alongside a display of some of the Getty’s most treasured manuscripts. Each piece in the exhibition has its own ‘life story,’ whether it journeyed through the mountains of Peru or graced the courts of kings. Some manuscripts escaped unscathed, while others were damaged and painstakingly conserved.
Rare Book School announces its 2013 course schedule. Join us this summer as we celebrate 20 years at the University of Virginia, and 30 years in operation!
In 2013, RBS will offer courses at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville (June-August), the Lillian Goldman Law Library, Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Library, and Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University in New Haven (June), the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia (July) and at the Smithsonian Institution and Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC (October-November).
DALLAS - A rare autographed Marilyn Monroe calendar featuring the young model stretched out in her “New Wrinkle” pose is expected to bring $8,000+ in Heritage’s Dec. 14 Entertainment & Music Memorabilia Entertainment Signature® Auction. The 1952 calendar is one of the few Monroe ever signed and in this instance personalized to Mary Karger, sister of Fred Karger who was a director of music at Columbia Pictures in addition to being Monroe’s vocal coach and one-time love interest.

“This auction has something from every era of American entertainment, with an emphasis on personally-owned-or-worn memorabilia,” said Margaret Barrett, director of Entertainment & Music Memorabilia. “These items were near and dear to entertainer’s hearts and are instantly recognizable as belonging to Elvis, Cher, and even Prince.”

LOS ANGELES- DEC 3, 2012- Profiles in History, run by Joe Maddalena, is proud to announce that the personal correspondence, manuscripts and first edition books from the brilliant scientists that shaped and formed our understanding of the universe will be included in their December 18th auction, The Property of a Distinguished American Private Collector. Part I of  The Property of a Distinguished American Private Collector will include 300 of the most important items in the collection. The entire collection has over 3,000 items and will be sold over the next two years.

DALLAS - A work of profound national pride and historical importance, Edward S. Curtis’ The North American Indian is expected to bring $900,000+ when it makes its auction debut Dec. 11 at Heritage’s Political, Western Legends & Americana Memorabilia Signature® Auction.
This complete 20-Volume Set represents nearly three decades of work, and more than 1,500 rarely-seen hand printed photographs of Native Americans of the Western United States and Alaska. 
December 2, 2012 (Philadelphia, Pa) - Discovery and exploration are prevalent themes of Hudson River school artists and of today's auction, Fine American & European Paintings & Sculpture, at Freeman's. The top lot, Asher B. Durand's (1796-1886) ethereal painting simply titled "Landscape" (illustrated above), generated significant interest since its publication in Freeman's catalogue and was chased by bidders on the phone and in the room. Its final price of $386,500 is an auction record for Durand, one of the notable Hudson River School artists. "Today's results demonstrate that the demise of the 19th-century American art market has been greatly exaggerated. The combination of quality and fresh to the market works are in high demand. This Durand has been in a private collection of a prominent New York family for decades and they are thrilled with the results, " shared Freeman's Vice Chairman and auctioneer Alasdair Nichol. Works by American painters Edwin Lord Weeks, George William Sotter and Edmund William Greacen also performed well. 
New York, NY - For more than a century, stunningly graphic posters have been created to promote extraordinary performances by the world's great magicians. Though extremely rare by comparison to posters created to promote motion pictures or warn of war, there have been a sufficient number of magic posters produced over the decades to allow wonderful collections to be assembled. On Sunday, December 9th, Guernsey's will be auctioning one of the finest of these collections when it sells the Kanter Magic Poster Collection at New York City's Arader Galleries at Madison Avenue and 78th Street.
Auction Guide