June 2013 Archives

NEW YORK — Aleksei Mikhailovich Remizov’s “U Lisy Bal,” (“At the Fox’s Ball”) from 1939 sold for $62,500 at Bonhams June 26 auction of Russian Literature and Works on Paper. The exquisite calligraphic poem, written in Russian, French and German, was accompanied by four eccentric ink drawings. An avant-garde take on the fables of Reynard the Fox, “U Lisy Bal” makes it easy to see why Remizov was such a polarizing figure in European literary circles.

Remizov’s 1952 original manuscript fairytale “Listotryas. No. 5” was also an auction highlight, realizing $31,250. Featuring a bizarre illustration of a “wolf-omnivore,” the distinctive manuscript, written in Remizov’s signature script, was written while the artist lived in exile in Paris. The majority of the Russian émigré literary community shunned Remizov because he wished to return to the USSR, and his works published in exile are marked by depictions of nightmarish creatures. His talents were not entirely ignored, though — Remizov managed to garner the support of several literary notables during this period, including James Joyce.

BENTONVILLE, AR — Two temporary exhibitions opening on June 29 at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art will feature different subjects and eras in American history, yet both shed light on important time periods that changed the way Americans viewed themselves and their futures. Both exhibitions will be on view through Sept. 28.

Angels & Tomboys: Girlhood in 19th-Century American Art focuses on the period following the Civil War in which artists began to emphasize the importance of children, and particularly young girls, as the symbol of hope for a nation damaged and divided by war. Exhibited concurrently, Surveying George Washington features an assortment of historical documents on loan from The Harlan R. Crow Library in Dallas, TX, including documents written by Washington himself, or by contemporaries who knew him.

NEW YORK — A Bible inscribed by Albert Einstein, in which he refers to the book as an “inexhaustible” source of wisdom and solace that deserves frequent reading, sold at Bonhams for $68,500 in the June 25 Fine Books & Manuscripts auction. Inscribed in German and signed by both Einstein and his wife Elsa in 1932, the Bible was a gift to their American friend, Harriett Hamilton. Tremendous international interest in this unique find allowed it to soar above its pre-auction estimate, achieving $68,500 after lengthy bidding. 

“We are very pleased with the price realized for the Einstein Bible in the auction. Einstein didn’t identify with organized religion as an adult, so the inscription is an extraordinary insight into his sentiments in the early 1930s,” said Christina Geiger, the Director of the Fine Books & Manuscripts Department at Bonhams New York.

Boston, MA — June, 2013 — Smith&Press has developed a research grade digital library called The Library Connection (TLC) that will be launching at the ALA Show in Chicago this week (June 28-July 1, 2013).  

The goal of TLC is threefold: Access, Legibility and Affordability. We translate works that are not available elsewhere. Highlights of TLC:

  • Provides a tool that can reach into the classroom and tap into rare books from the 14th-17th centuries
  • Topics cover History, Medicine, Philosophy, Theology, Art, Astrology, Astronomy, and Mathematics with provisions for many more
  • Eliminates problems of physical copies and fair use limitations
  • Brings costs below the price of text books

June 2013 — Philadelphia, PA — Freeman’s is pleased to announce that it will offer photographs from the art collection of global beauty products company Avon. More than 90 lots will compose a featured section in Freeman’s auction of Photographs & Photobooks including Works from the Avon Collection on Tuesday, September 10, 2013. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of ‘Works from the Avon Collection’ will benefit the Avon Foundation for Women, the company’s charitable organization dedicated to breast cancer research and ending domestic violence. Significant works by Imogen Cunningham, Louise Dahl-Wolfe, Berenice Abbott, and Cindy Sherman as well as other prominent female photographers will be included in the auction. “This collection covers a wide breadth of subject matter from landscapes to fashion photography to intimate portraiture. There is something that will appeal to everyone from the novice to the serious collector,” said Freeman’s Photographs & Photobooks department head Aimee Pflieger.

Exhibition Dates: July 8-December 1, 2013 

Exhibition Location: The Henry R. Luce Center for the Study of American Art,

The American Wing, mezzanine

The term “dead ball era” refers to the era of American baseball when the combination of cavernous ballparks, spongy baseballs, and pitcher-friendly rules resulted in games with few home runs. Strategy was important to the sport at this time, with great value placed on individual runs, stolen bases, sacrifice bunts, and other maneuvers. Beginning July 8, the exhibition Legends of the Dead Ball Era (1900-1919) in the Collection of Jefferson R. Burdick, on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, will feature nearly 600 historical trade cards of baseball greats from the time.

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NEW YORK—Writers made a good showing at Swann Galleries’ May 23 auction of Autographs, with an Autograph Letter Signed by Emily Dickinson bringing the sale’s top price at $28,800*. The cryptic missive was written circa 1881 to an unnamed recipient and includes a reference to the Biblical story of Jacob and Esau.

Other featured autographs from writers were an Oscar Wilde signed cabinet card photograph, $7,800; an Autograph Letter Signed by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, declining to contribute to a journal, circa 1838-46, $6,480; and a Mark Twain, Autograph Letter Signed to James Redpath, attesting to a Congressman Thomas Fitch being a fascinating speaker, able to “hold any audience willing prisoners for two hours…” Buffalo, 1870, $6,000. There was also an Autograph Letter Signed by philosopher David Hume to his translator, correcting the French edition of his History of England, Paris, November 1763, $12,000.

(Baltimore, MD — June 25, 2013) The Baltimore Summer Antiques Show will once again feature the highly anticipated Antiquarian Book Fair when it returns to the Baltimore Convention Center the weekend prior to Labor Day, August 22-25, 2013. Produced by the Palm Beach Show Group, the Baltimore Summer Antiques Show is Maryland’s largest antiques event and the largest indoor antiques show in the country.

The Antiquarian Book Fair is a featured highlight of the event, presenting more than 70 dealers showcasing rare books, first editions, autographs, fine manuscripts, prints, and unusual bibliographical material.

New York, NY, June 25 — The rare first newspaper printing of the Declaration of Independence sold at auction today in New York City at Robert A. Siegel Galleries’ (www.siegelauctions.com) 50th annual Rarities of the World sale for a record $632,500. According to Seth Kaller, who represented the seller at auction, “this is the largest sum ever paid for any historic newspaper.” The Declaration sold was printed in Benjamin Towne’s Saturday July 6, 1776 issue of The Pennsylvania Evening Post.  It is the first newspaper printing of the Declaration, and its second printing in any form.

It was purchased by David Rubenstein, co-founder of the Carlyle Group, a global private equity firm.

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AUSTIN, Texas — "Literature and Sport," an exhibition at the Harry Ransom Center, showcases the literature of sport through fiction, essays, poetry and plays. The exhibition runs from June 11 to Aug. 4, 2013, at the Ransom Center, a humanities research library and museum at The University of Texas at Austin.

Featuring more than 150 items drawn entirely from the Ransom Center's collections, the exhibition is organized by sport and highlights some of the finest examples of literary writing about baseball, football, boxing, tennis, cricket, bullfighting and other sports. Writers as diverse as Ernest Hemingway, Willa Cather, Don DeLillo, Norman Mailer, Marianne Moore, Joyce Carol Oates and David Foster Wallace have written about sport. But their works are no mere play-by-play accounts of a ball game or tennis match or prizefight. The competition, spectacle, personal struggle and exaggerated personalities so characteristic of sport offer writers the perfect backdrop upon which to look deeply into human nature and create literature that transcends sport itself.

One of the most important twentieth century computer papers, written by the mathematical genius Alan Turing, has sold for £205,250 at Bonhams Books, Maps, Manuscripts and Photographs sale in London this week.  

In the paper, ‘On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem', Turing introduced the concept of a computing device that would replicate the mathematical reasoning abilities and thought processes of the human brain.  This led to the development of Turing Machines and Universal Turing Machines which are acknowledged as the forerunners of the modern computer.  Turing is often described as the father of computer science and artificial intelligence.

Glenn Horowitz Bookseller is pleased to present Matthew Brannon: Midlife Crisis Intermission, a site-specific solo exhibition of artworks never before shown in the U.S., opening Saturday June 29, and on view through July 27, 2013. A reception for the artist will be held on June 29, 2013.

Matthew Brannon is best known for his rich letterpress prints of high-end cultural trappings arranged in simple but elegant tableaux. In them, Brannon plays with the moment between representation and association, employing mid-century advertising and design language (pre-digital techniques, vintage colors and typefaces) to entice viewers, and his own poetic wit to disarm them.

Over 1,000 people visited the London International Antiquarian Book Fair on the first day, with a record-breaking queue when the Fair opened its doors at 3pm on Thursday June 13, 2013 at the National Exhibition Hall at Olympia, West London. This resulted in an 18% increase in visitor numbers on the first day compared to the 2012 Fair and this trend continued with visitor numbers up on both of the following two days.

Organised by the ABA (Antiquarian Booksellers' Association), the three-day fair, which is now in its 56th year, is the third largest English-speaking Antiquarian Book Fair in the world, and attracted a record 186* exhibitors from 22 countries. Sales were steady throughout the fair, and exhibitors across the board were happy with their sales figures achieved, which were only slightly down from last year's record numbers with £3.35 million of total sales this year.

New York, New York — Beginning July 15th on Harrisburg, Pennsylvania’s lovely City Island, Guernsey’s will be holding an unreserved seven-day auction (July 15 - 21) of the legendary Harrisburg Collection including 8,000 artifacts from the Old West, Early Wars, American Indian Era, Rare Documents and Antique Firearms.  The proceeds from this event will be used to aid the financially-ailing state capitol.  

Beginning in the 1980’s the then Mayor of Harrisburg, Stephen R. Reed, had a vision of a city filled with museums. He reasoned that not only would such a place be culturally stimulating, but it would also bring a massive number of tourists to a city that even then was experiencing financial woes. Although there are varying opinions as to the manner in which the Mayor executed his plan, the fact remains that he spent many millions of dollars of public money to acquire historic artifacts to fill the museums he expected would be built.

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Fashion Special, edition 18 of the contemporary fashion, art and design periodical, Visionare, which comes in a monogrammed Louis Vuitton portfolio and sold its entire 2,500 print run in less than three weeks is to be sold at Bonhams Books, Maps, Manuscripts and Photographs sale in Knightsbridge London on 19 June.  It is part of a collection of 53 issues of Visionaire, for sale as one lot, estimated at £15,000-20,000.

IOBA awards two scholarships annually to support the professional development of its member booksellers, without regard to their level of accomplishment or the length of their time in the book trade.  IOBA believes that every well-educated, well-informed, and ethical bookseller is a credit to the trade and the organization and considers these scholarships to be an investment in the future of bookselling.  One scholarship is given for the Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar (CABS) (http://www.bookseminars.com/) in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and one open scholarship is given and can be used at CABS, the London Book School (http://www.ies.sas.ac.uk/london-rare-books-school), the California Rare Book School (http://www.calrbs.org/), or the Rare Book School at the University of Virginia (http://www.rarebookschool.org/).

The 24th Annual Antiquarian Book fair will be held again at the John Dewey Academy, (Searles Castle), 389 Main Street, Gt. Barringtoon, MA (Rt. 7), on Saturday, July 27, 2013.

This show is called "the sleeper in the Berkshires." The dealers come from all over the United States and Canada.  There will be many repeat dealers as the Venue is great, and the dealers do very well, as Gt. Barrington is in the heart of the Berkshires, with visitors having second homes and look forward to this event.  Tanglewood is the main attraction in Lenox, and the quality of the people attending are upper class, and are not afraid to spend money on their collections.  The public loves this town as there are many fabulous restaurants, great shops, etc.

AUSTIN, Texas — The Harry Ransom Center, a humanities research library and museum at The University of Texas at Austin, acquired the archive of American poet Peter Orlovsky (1933-2010), an important figure in the Beat Generation.

Orlovsky was fellow poet Allen Ginsberg’s companion for more than 40 years, and his papers reflect significant aspects of their relationship. Orlovsky’s collection comprises manuscripts, journals and notebooks, correspondence, tape recordings, photographs and other personal documents, including unpublished poetry and prose works.

The Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America (ABAA) is asking Congress to do its part to facilitate the spread of literacy and guarantee free speech by ensuring the U.S. Postal Service remains solvent and that special Media Mail rates stay in place.

The financially struggling U.S. Postal Service ended the second quarter of its 2013 fiscal year with a net loss of $1.9 billion and mounting debt. Efforts to eliminate Saturday delivery of mail were blocked earlier this year. But many fear plans to reduce debt could lead to higher postal prices, further reductions in service and the elimination of the reduced Media Mail rate many booksellers rely upon. Media Mail facilitates the spread of literacy and free speech by enabling the shipping of educational, literary and other written and electronic forms of communication at preferential rates.

June 10, 2013, NYC, NY — The rare first newspaper printing of the Declaration of Independence will be auctioned in New York City at Robert A. Siegel Galleries’ (www.siegelauctions.com) 50th annual Rarities of the World sale on June 25. It is being offered in collaboration with Seth Kaller (www.sethkaller.com), a leading expert in the acquisition, authentication and appraisal of American historic documents and artifacts. The Declaration being sold was printed in Benjamin Towne’s Saturday July 6, 1776 issue of The Pennsylvania Evening Post. It is the first newspaper printing of the Declaration, and its second printing in any form. According to Mr. Kaller, it is also the first publication of the Declaration to closely follow Thomas Jefferson’s style. 

This newspaper publication of the Declaration was preceded only by the official broadside (a single page with text on one side) published by John Dunlap on July 5. (Towne beat Dunlap's own newspaper, The Pennsylvania Packet, by two days).  Says Kaller, “We discovered something significant while researching the first two Declaration publications. Our evidence about the differences is spelled out in the catalog. The most intriguing upshot of showing that the Post follows Thomas Jefferson's style, while the Dunlap follows John Adams's style, is that this may mean that there were two different July 4, 1776 original manuscripts of the Declaration."

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New York—Swann Galleries’ May 16 auction of Contemporary Art offered an exciting selection of unique works and multiples by well-known artists working in the late 20th century through the present day.

The sale’s top lot was a late 1960s Untitled painting of a horse by Maqbool Fida Husain, the modernist Indian painter. A grand and powerful piece, the painting exhibited the finest qualities of Husain’s celebrated horses: sweeping, bold brushstrokes, a chiseled white horse with rich black contours brilliantly set against a muted background. It brought $144,000* in its auction debut.

Washington, D.C. — June 10, 2013 — This November, the National Archives will significantly expand its permanent exhibitions with the opening of the new David M. Rubenstein Gallery and Visitor Orientation Plaza. The project has been made possible thanks to a generous gift of $13.5 million from philanthropist David M. Rubenstein to the Foundation for the National Archives, an independent nonprofit that supports the mission and public programs of the National Archives.

The new permanent exhibition in the Rubenstein Gallery, Records of Rights, will use original documents, photographs, facsimiles, videos, and interactive exhibits to explore how Americans have worked to realize the ideals of freedom enshrined in our nation’s founding documents, and how they debated issues such as citizenship, free speech, voting rights, and equal opportunity. Exploring many stories—and showcasing the drive for civil rights for African Americans, women, and immigrantsthe new exhibition chronicles the past and current generations whose efforts to secure equality under the law have shaped the country we live in today.

NEW YORK — Bonhams will offer a Bible inscribed and signed by Albert Einstein in which he refers to the book as a source of “inexhaustible wisdom” (est. $1,500-2,500). Featured in the June 25 Fine Books & Manuscripts auction at the Madison Avenue salesroom, the Bible was also signed by Einstein’s wife, Elsa, in 1932, as a gift to their American friend, Harriet Hamilton. 

The inscription, in which Einstein advises that the Bible is a source of wisdom and consolation that deserves frequent reading, is written in German on the book’s front free endpaper. The comforting, humanist sentiment is rather a surprise: while he resisted being labeled an atheist during his lifetime, Einstein is better known for other views; in a letter to the philosopher Eric Gutkind in 1954, he referred to the Bible as a collection of primitive legends — an opinion likely shaped by the horrors of the Holocaust.

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New York—On Monday, May 13 Swann Galleries held an auction devoted to Modernist Posters that featured Art Deco masterpieces by A.M. Cassandre, art posters by Tadanori Yokoo, and much more. The sale established new record prices for several images and artists.

Nicholas D. Lowry, Swann President and Posters Specialist, said, “We were very pleased to set records for artists and posters, which in some cases shattered previous auction results. Of particular note were artist records for Tadanori Yokoo and Louis C. Kalff, and the highest auction price for Kurt Schwitters and Theo van Doesburg’s Kleine Dada Soireé achieved since 1991. It was a robust sale in which rare and exceptional images proved to be very much in demand.”

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New York—Bidders competed for fine examples of Modern Art books, exquisitely illustrated volumes and scarce graphic design and typography titles at Swann Galleries’ May 9 auction of Art, Press & Illustrated Books.

Christine von der Linn, Swann’s Art Book specialist said, “We were thrilled at the response to the exhibition and participation in the sale. The interest in graphic arts and the appreciation of masters of design, both American and foreign, has consistently grown and continues to gain more followers. We are pleased Swann could present this desirable material, including several unique and never-before-seen items, to eager collectors.”

The sale’s top lot was Fernand Crommelynck, Le Cocu Magnifique, with 12 original hors-texte engravings after Pablo Picasso, signed by both Crommelynck and Picasso, Paris, 1968, at $12,000*.

New York, NY, June 7, 2013—The Morgan Library & Museum announced today the appointment of Peggy Fogelman to the new position of Director of Collections. She will assume her responsibilities in September.

Ms. Fogelman has some twenty years of curatorial and senior management experience at museums across the United States, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Peabody Essex Museum in Massachusetts, and the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles. She was most recently Frederick P. and Sandra P. Rose Chairman of Education at the Metropolitan Museum.

LOS ANGELES—JUNE 6, 2013—Profiles in History, run by Joe Maddalena, is proud to announce the auction of 75,000 original camera negatives and transparencies from the Milton H. Greene Estate. Over 3,700 unpublished Marilyn Monroe images highlight the auction. All images are to be sold with copyright and will go up for auction on July 27. Along with other eminent photographers such as Richard Avedon, Cecil Beaton, Irving Penn, and Norman Parkinson, Milton Greene is credited for bringing fashion photography into the realm of fine art. His archive contains iconic fashion and glamour photography that sought to reveal a deeper beauty, from the heart, and also show his subjects in natural settings to elicit unforced intimacy. The majority of Greene’s work in the 1950s and 60s appeared in national publications including nearly 100 covers for Life and Look as well as Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, Town & Country and Vogue. His photography won him international honors, medals and awards from institutions and organizations such as the American Institute of Graphic Arts and the Art Director’s Club of New York.

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New York—Swann Galleries’ May 1 auction of Old Master through Modern Prints saw strong prices for etchings by Rembrandt, prints by Matisse and Picasso, and set a new print record for George Bellows at $168,000*.

Todd Weyman, Swann Galleries Vice President and Director of Prints & Drawings, said, “We are very pleased to set a new auction record for George Bellows’s classic boxing scene, A Stag at Sharkey’s. This is the second world record for a Bellows fight scene recently at Swann, as we sold Dempsey and Firpo for $108,000 in April 2012, and it is also the top price for any print by Bellows at auction.”

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NEW YORK—Bidders competed heartily at Swann Galleries’ auction of Fine Photographs & Photobooks on April 18, resulting in strong prices for images and sets that represented fine art as well as vernacular photography.

Daile Kaplan, Swann Vice President and Director of Photographs & Photobooks, said, “Documentary photographs of 19th-century China are increasingly sought after by Asian, European and American collectors and continue to realize robust prices. Blue-chip works also sold well amid competitive bidding.”

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FALLS CHURCH, Va. — On June 20th, Waverly Rare Books will auction an extraordinary photographic rarity — an Author’s Edition folio version of Eadweard Muybridge’s (British, 1830-1904) Animal Locomotion: An Electro-Photographic Investigation of Consecutive Phases of Animal Movements.

Initially published in 1887 as an 11-volume set, Animal Locomotion contained a total of 781 plates. Thirty-seven sets were produced and subsequently purchased by major art institutions, museums and libraries in New York, Boston and Philadelphia.

PARIS—Les Enluminures of Paris, New York and Chicago will be showing a number of important Medieval manuscripts and illuminations at MASTERPIECE LONDON at The Royal Hospital, Chelsea, between June 26th and July 3rd.

Dr. Sandra Hindman, owner and founder of the 22-year-old LES ENLUMINURES gallery, specialists in Medieval and Renaissance illuminated manuscripts, texts and finger rings, says, “Masterpiece London has in just four years become the ‘must see’ event for antiques and art connoisseurs and the people who advise them. Its genius is in mixing museum-quality antiques and fine and decorative art with luxury brands whose cache attracts affluent buyers across several generations and from countries near and far.

New York, NY, June 5, 2013—The Morgan Library & Museum is currently displaying its sixteenth-century original Van Damme Hours to mark the occasion of the manuscript’s facsimile publication by Munich’s Faksimile Verlag. On view through October 6, 2013, the tiny (2.2 x 2.9 inch) Book of Hours is the creation of scribe Antonius van Damme and illuminator Simon Bening.

The Van Damme Hours has a storied provenance, having passed through no less than ten hands before entering the Morgan’s collection in 1924. Although the identity of the man who commissioned the work is unknown, the compelling history of the manuscript’s first known owner, John Strange (1732-1799), is well documented, as is the manuscript’s subsequent owners. Strange, a British dilettante whose eclectic interests included everything from sea sponges to Venetian paintings, supplied the manuscript with its distinctive detachable silver filigree binding. The binding is displayed alongside the manuscript at the Morgan, and replicated as part of the deluxe edition of the facsimile.

BENTONVILLE, AR — The halls of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art were especially busy this spring, as visitors from near and far came to view American Chronicles: The Art of Norman Rockwell, a traveling exhibition organized by the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, MA. When the exhibition concluded on May 27 after its 11-week duration, more than 121,000 people had visited the museum to view it.

According to data from the Rockwell Museum, this attendance figure tops visitation numbers from the 12 previous exhibition locations—including cities such as Sacramento, CA; Detroit, MI; Raleigh, NC; and Orlando, FL.

NEW YORK — Bonhams will present a fascinating auction of Russian Literature & Works on Paper at the Madison Avenue salesroom on June 26.  Building on the success of the inaugural Russian Literature auction in December 2012, Bonhams will offer Russian books, manuscripts, periodicals, posters, artwork and photography ranging from the early 19th to the mid 20th century. Movements from the intellectualism of Silver Age literature to the groundbreaking aesthetics of Constructivism will be represented.  

The auction’s top lot is the first authorized edition, signed by the author, of the complete works of pre-revolutionary master Gavrila Romanovich Derzhavin, published in St Petersburg between 1808-1816 (est, $60,000-80,000). A classicist, Derzhavin was perhaps the greatest Russian poet until Pushkin, and his work inspired many later poets such as Nikoli Nekrasov and Maria Tsvetaeva.

Highlights of an important collection of books on ornithology assembled over many years by the well known Sussex doctor and war hero, Dr Nowell Peach, is to be sold at Bonhams Books, Maps, Manuscripts and Photographs sale in Knightsbridge London on 19 June. The 45 volumes, which are being sold individually, have a combined estimated value of £43,300-62,600. 

Nowell Peach, who died in 2012 at the age of 98, was training to be a surgeon when World War II broke out. He joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve and after service in Malaya was taken prisoner by the Japanese on Sumatra in 1942.  There, and in subsequent camps, he used his medical knowledge and ingenuity to devise walking aids for prisoners with beriberi and to recycle the small stock of barium to provide x rays for soldiers with gastric ulceration.

NEW YORK — Bonhams will feature the heralded Arctic Library of Dr William Priester in the auction titled Northwest America & the Arctic to be held June 25. The collection includes a treasure trove of material concerning the search for Sir John Franklin’s lost expedition — famed Arctic explorer Sir John Franklin set out to traverse the last unnavigated section of the Northwest Passage in 1845, but his ships became icebound in the Victoria Straight and Franklin and his crew of 128 men vanished. Pressed by Lady Franklin, in 1848 the Admiralty began an extensive search for the crew, one of the largest rescue operations in history and almost certainly the one with the most far-reaching results in terms of cartographic discovery. 

Organized into 110 lots, Dr. Priester’s library of over 1000 volumes contains many key Franklin search accounts, most of which are illustrated with maps, lithographs, engravings, or photographs. One exceptional assemblage on offer is the “Arctic Blue Books,” a six-volume compilation of British Parliamentary papers related to Arctic exploration (est. $40,000-60,000). This grouping includes significant details regarding the Franklin expedition and subsequent search efforts. The most complete set to come to auction to date, these blue books were created to inform authorities, and are considered the single most important primary source for Arctic studies.

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On 10 July 2013, Sotheby's London will write a new chapter in literary history, when it offers one of the most important 20th century working manuscripts remaining in private hands—Samuel Beckett's first novel, "Murphy".

Irish-born Beckett, “the last modernist”, was the author of a body of work steeped in the western literary tradition but with its own highly distinctive voice. Handwritten in six exercise books between August 1935 and June 1936, in Dublin and London whilst Beckett was undergoing psychoanalysis, the manuscript, initially entitled "Sasha Murphy" is heavily revised throughout—the hundreds of cancellations and revisions providing an eloquent witness to Beckett's struggle to give form to his artistic vision. The notebooks are also full of lively doodles hinting at the author's preoccupations during this period, including recognisable portraits of James Joyce, Beckett himself, and Charlie Chaplin (later an influence on the tramps in Waiting for Godot), as well as astrological symbols and musical notations. The centrepiece in Sotheby’s sale of English Literature, History, Children’s Books and Illustrations, the manuscript is estimated to realise £800,000-£1.2 million.

Auction Guide