February 2014 Archives

Two books are believed to have set record auction prices yesterday at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions’ sale of the Library of a Gentleman. One of these was Jacob Christian Schaeffer’s early work on fungi that sold for £24,180. Overall, the single owner collection of natural history books was eagerly received by bidders, with 92% of the 234 lots selling for a total of £400,470.

Rupert Powell, Deputy Chairman of Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions said: “Schaeffer’s work on the fungi is one of the most exceptional; the record breaking price it achieved in the saleroom yesterday reflected the sale as a whole and Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions’ position in the currently buoyant market. We are thrilled with the result.”

Evelyn Waugh’s annotated proof copy of a special limited edition of his 1932 novel Black Mischief, including an original hand drawn illustration by the author, is to be sold at Bonhams sale of Books, Maps, Manuscripts and Historical Photographs in London on 19 March.

Estimated at £8,000-10,000, it is part of a fine collection of signed and dedicated first editions of Waugh’s works given by the writer to his lifelong friends—David and Tamara Talbot Rice. The pen and ink drawing, depicting a gramophone and a copy of The Times, was used as the tailpiece to the novel which was the first to be produced in two ‘first editions’, one for general sale and one special edition of 250.  This was a practice Waugh adopted for all his subsequent works.

NEW ORLEANS (Feb. 27, 2013)—On Saturday, March 15, New Orleans Auction Galleries will offer an important collection of 16th century Persian manuscripts and volumes of verse from the Divan of Hafiz (lots 65-70) in its extensive two-day estates auction.

The collection includes five volumes and a group of four framed documents by Sufi poet and mystic, Hafiz (1320-1390). The books contain miniature paintings, as well as verse. Four have leather bindings, while the fifth boasts an impressive polychrome lacquer cover adorned with a spray of flowers.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.—The antique and art market roared in full force for the January 25th Case auction with several key milestones shattered. This included a record 3,200 registered bidders (in person, telephone, absentee, and online)—making it one of the most active auctions in the world for the month of January. The auction pre-sale estimate high of $1.1 M was exceeded as well, with an over 97% sell through rate. More encouraging were the consistently strong prices realized across all categories and price points. 

Fine art was a leading category with every major work selling within or above the auction estimates. A large-scale oil landscape by Hudson River School artist William Louis Sonntag, accompanied by a copy of a letter from the artist to its original owner, competed to $40,590. The painting was formerly exhibited at the Knoxville Museum of Art and its predecessor, the Dulin Art Gallery.

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New York—Bidders competed actively for illustrations from beloved children’s classics, comic strips and well-known dust jacket artwork in Swann Galleries’ January 23 auction of 20th Century Illustration.

Christine von der Linn, Swann Galleries’ Art & Illustrated Books specialist, and John Larson, Swann Galleries’ 19th & 20th Century Literature specialist, said, “We were very pleased with the enthusiastic response from the participants in this sale. A flurry of telephone and internet activity joined the salesroom audience making for a fun and lively auction.”

The last remaining archive of material relating to the work of Christy Brown, the Irish writer and painter whose life inspired the Oscar winning film, My left Foot, is to be sold at Bonhams sale of Books, Maps, Manuscripts and Historical Photographs in London on 19 March. It is estimated at £30,000-40,000.

Christy Brown (1932-1981) is one of Ireland’s most enduring literary figures.  Born with cerebral palsy into a family of 23 children of whom only 13 survived, he overcame astonishing odds to become an internationally recognized writer who in his life and work constantly questioned and re-interpreted the standard image of an artist.

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Kestenbaum & Company will conduct an auction of Fine Judaica on Wednesday, March 12th at 3:00 pm. The sale will be held at the company’s gallery located in New York City. The auction of more than 470 will feature Part II of Rare Books & Manuscripts selected from the Library of the late Hayim Lieberman, personal secretary and librarian of the last two Lubavitch Rebbes. Also included is a selection of correspondences to the late Rabbi Joseph Rosen (1867-1953) of Swislocz and Passaic, NJ. Educated in the great Lithuanian yeshivas of the 19th century, Rabbi Rosen was considered “one of the most learned Talmudic scholars of this age” and a “treasure house of Jewish lore and wisdom.”

The Spring Long Island Vintage Paper Show

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GARDEN CITY, NY, APRIL 12 & 13, 2014—Flamingo Eventz is proud to announce that the Spring installment of the Long Island Vintage Paper Show will return to Garden City! This is the Original—and still the Only—Vintage Paper, Book & Advertising Show on Long Island! Here you can shop where the pros shop, where you’ll find truly affordable prices, knowledgeable dealers, and the very best in Vintage Works on Paper!

Once again, prominent exhibitors from across the United States will gather to present an outstanding array of the finest rare and unusual old books, maps, prints, ephemera, advertising, and much, much more! Plus, we have appraisals by John Bruno—star of the hit PBS series Market Warriors—on Sunday from 1-3pm.

NEW YORK—Bonhams sale Treasures from The Caren Archive on April 7 will include an exceedingly rare color poster advertisement for an early professional baseball game between the Boston Unions and the Philadelphia Keystones (est. $15,000-25,000). The April 30, 1884 game was played near present day Copley Square in Boston’s Back Bay. 

Both teams were members of the Union Association, one of the earliest—and most short-lived—professional baseball leagues to emerge. Very few associated posters survive and the present item will be especially prized owing to the stunning color lithography of the team uniforms.

Syracuse, NY—The Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries has acquired the estate archive of Irish writer Padraic Colum.

Born in County Longford in 1881, Colum attended University College Dublin. In Dublin, he joined the Irish Republican Army, gaelicized his name, and began writing poetry and plays. His award-winning one act play The Saxon Shillin’ attracted the attention of William Butler Yeats, who invited him to join the newly established Abbey Theater. By 1905, Colum had become a central figure in the burgeoning Irish Literary Renaissance―a movement that included Lady Gregory, Æ, and James Joyce. In 1911, he married Mary Gunnind Maguire (“Molly”). The Colums moved to the United States in 1912. There, Padraic shifted his attention from Ireland’s turbulent present to its mythical past. Children’s books, such as The King of Ireland’s Son (1916), earned him critical acclaim and financial security. Later, the Colums renewed their friendship with Joyce, having known him from his formative Dublin years through his later Paris exile period, and co-wrote with Molly Our Friend James Joyce (1958). In the sixties, following the death of his beloved Molly, Colum returned to drama, penning a series of “Noh” (a form of Japanese musical drama) that sought to connect Ireland’s past and present. He died in 1972 in Enfield, Connecticut.

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NEW YORK, NY—APRIL 5 & 6, 2014: Who Knows The Best Book Fairs In New York City? The Shadow Show Knows! Flamingo Eventz and Lamont Cranston step out of the shadows to celebrate Rare Book Week in New York City by announcing the return of The Manhattan Vintage Book & Ephemera Fair! And this year we’re very proud to announce the addition of The Fine Press Book Fair! Known as The Shadow Show because it is held in conjunction with the well-known New York Antiquarian Book Fair at the Park Avenue Armory, this year it will be held on Saturday & Sunday, April 5 & 6, 2014. This exceptional show has grown steadily since its inception in 2009 to present some of the finest Vintage & Antiquarian Book and Ephemera Dealers in America, Canada and Europe—many of whom are members of ABAA, ILAB, ESA, PADA, MARIAB, MABA, LIABDA and other professional groups—all gathered together for one fabulous weekend to offer an incredible Vintage Book & Ephemera adventure! With the addition of The Fine Press Book Fair this year we have doubled the size of the show and brought it to a new level of prominence in the Vintage Book & Ephemera world!

A witchcraft case in which the accuser becomes the accused is up for sale in Law Books: Property of the Los Angeles Law Library, on March 5th in Bonhams Knightsbridge salerooms. The sale of this collection of important European legal books could achieve over £600,000.

A book describing the case, “The Tryal of Richard Hathaway, Upon An Information For being a Cheat and Imposter, For endeavouring to take away The Life of Sarah Morduck, for being a Witch,” published following the 1702 trial, is estimated at £300-400.

The A. Dean Larsen Book Collecting Conference for 2014, which will be held March 13-14, is reaching out to a new generation of collectors. The conference will feature sessions on collecting Victorian peepshows and panoramas. There will be a session looking at the work of the author Orson Scott Card, from the short story Ender’s Game through its retelling in novel form and the recent motion picture. And as always there will be a number of sessions on collecting Mormon materials. Rachel Wadham, author of This Is My Life: A Guide to Realist Fiction for Teens, will present a seminar on contemporary Mormon children’s fiction, while Gregory Seppi will present a seminar on the print culture of Mormonism.

New this year will be a special speaker, Father Eric Hollas, OSB, who will talk about the Saint John’s Bible. Hollas is one of the key people behind the Saint John’s Bible project, a hand-written and hand-illustrated illuminated Bible. The L. Tom Perry Special Collections will have their heritage editions of the Bible on display at one of the sessions along with other devotional works including medieval texts.

In the year that marks the First World War Centenary, over 100 sheets of German WWI aerial reconnaissance photographs sold for £1,220 ($2,000) at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions Bibliophile sale in Surrey. 

Aerial photography was first developed by famous French Photographer and balloonist Nadar in the mid-19thcentury and made dramatic advances during the First World War. It was the German Forces, however, not the French, who recognised the capabilities of aerial photography by developing the first aerial camera in 1913.

NEW YORK, NY—This spring, the New-York Historical Society will continue its acclaimed series of exhibitions celebrating John James Audubon’s legendary original watercolors. Audubon’s Aviary: Parts Unknown (Part II of The Complete Flock) will offer an unprecedented opportunity to explore the evolution of Audubon’s watercolors in the order in which they were engraved. The second in a series of three exhibitions, New-York Historical will showcase these masterpieces from its collection of Audubon’s watercolor models for the sumptuous double-elephant-folio print edition of The Birds of America (1827-38). New-York Historical holds all 435 watercolor models for its 435 plates, engraved by Robert Havell Jr., plus an additional 39 avian watercolors by Audubon. 

Parts Unknown will consider Audubon as an established artist-naturalist, a world citizen, and a celebrity in an expanding nation—no longer the young Frenchman who created the “early birds” displayed in the first installment. This once-in-a-lifetime exhibition follows Audubon into uncharted territories—geographic, artistic, and scientific—as he encountered and mapped new species and grappled with the disappearing illusion of America’s infinite wilderness, which galvanized his awareness about the necessity of conserving species and habitats. At this time Audubon presciently wrote, “Nature herself is perishing … not only of her aboriginal men but of every thing and animal which has life and attracts the cupidity of men. When her fish and game and birds are gone, she will be left alone like an old worn-out field.”

An archive of previously unseen papers about the 1917 Arab Revolt written by Lawrence of Arabia’s superior officer and close friend, Lieutenant-Colonel Stewart Francis Newcombe, is to be sold at Bonhams sale of Books, Maps, Manuscripts and Historical Photographs in London on 19 March. It is estimated at £20,000-30,000.

The archive consists of three Army Field Service Correspondence Books—issued to British Army Officers to record their activities, enemy positions and deployments, etc.—and a wealth of loose papers including letters to Lawrence and other fellow officers.

As the Sochi Winter Olympic Games focuses world attention on the future of Russia, Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions offer the opportunity to explore the country’s vivid history with a 19th century French book on Russian customs in their Thursday 6th March 2014 sale of Printed Books and Manuscripts.

Les Peuples de la Russie is a celebrated work on the customs and costumes of the peoples of the Russian empire including Tartars, Caucasians and Mongols. This first edition, by Charles Rechberg and George Bernhard Deppin, was printed in Paris in 1813 and beautifully illustrated with 47 hand-coloured plates as well as nine original illustrations. It is estimated to sell for £6,000-8,000. [Lot 191]

A scarce first edition book recounting a significant moment in the anti-slavery movement is being offered as part of the Law Books: Property of LA Law Library sale, on March 5th in Bonhams Knightsbridge salerooms. The sale of this collection of important European legal books could achieve over £600,000.

“An Argument in the Case of James Sommersett, a Negro Lately Determined by the Court of King's Bench. Wherein it is Attempted to Demonstrate the Present Unlawfulness of Domestic Slavery in England”, published in 1772, is estimated at £400-£600. The case covered in the book centred on James Sommersett, an African sold into slavery in Virginia, who on his arrival in England with his "owner" moved to have himself declared "free."

Rare Book Week Comes to New York City

February 19, 2014, Chapel Hill, NC—Antiquarian book dealers, collectors, and the intellectually curious will gather in New York City for Rare Book Week, April 1-8, 2014. Coordinated by Fine Books & Collections magazine, Rare Book Week is the largest gathering of its kind anywhere in the world.

Rare Book Week is headlined by the 54th annual New York Antiquarian Book Fair, which runs April 3-6, but is preceded by several rare book and manuscript auctions, including those at Christie’s, Heritage Auctions, Sotheby’s, and Swann Galleries. Several more auction houses, including Bonhams and Doyle New York, will offer collections to round out Rare Book Week after the fair weekend. Rare Book Week also includes The Manhattan Vintage Book & Ephemera Fair, known as the “Shadow Show,” and The Professional Autograph Dealer Association (PADA) Show.

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The world’s largest known collection of Art Deco bookends is to be sold at Bonhams in London. The vast collection of 180 pairs will be offered over two sales, the first being the 2nd April Decorative Arts sale at Bonhams, New Bond Street. Classic Art Deco designs in bronze, glass, iron and marble are sculpted into animal form—elephants, pelicans and swallows—as well as nude maidens. Estimates range from £200 to £3,500.

Mark Oliver, Director of Bonhams Decorative Arts Department comments: “The vendor lives in Europe and had a passion for books and book ends, devoting 40 years to acquiring every Art Deco bookend he could find. Now downsizing, he has no room for the thousands of books and hundreds of bookends. We believe that this is the most extensive collection ever put together.”

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SOUTHAMPTON, Pa.—On Friday, Feb. 28, the suburban Philadelphia auction house Stephenson’s will present a 202-lot boutique auction featuring the personal library of revered comic book pioneer M.C. “Max” Gaines (1894-1947) and a single-owner collection of well-authenticated professional sports memorabilia. 

Co-publisher of All-American Publications and founder of EC Comics, Max Gaines was the patriarch of a publishing dynasty. He devised the first four-color, saddle-stitched newsprint pamphlet—a precursor to the color-comics format that became the standard for the American comic book industry. All-American Publications—later acquired by DC Comics—introduced such enduring comic-book heroes as Green Lantern, Wonder Woman and Hawkman.

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New York—On Thursday, March 6, Swann Galleries will conduct a large and diverse auction of 19th & 20th Century Prints & Drawings that offers exceptional 19th- and 20th-century works of art by American and European masters.

The sale opens with more than 200 19th-century prints, highlights of which include an extremely scarce lifetime impression of Rodolphe Bresdin’s Le Bon Samaritaine, lithograph on chine appliqué, 1861 (estimate: $25,000 to $35,000); a run of works by James A.M. Whistler featuring Venice scenes such as The Balcony, etching and drypoint, 1879-80 ($15,000 to $20,000) and figural works including Nude Model, Reclining, lithograph, 1893 ($10,000 to $15,000); several prints by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, among them Les Deux Baigneuses, etching, 1895 ($18,000 to $22,000); Camille Pissarro’s Le Pont de Pierre, à Rouen, etching and drypoint, 1887 ($15,000 to $20,000);  and two woodcuts by Paul Gauguin, Mahna no Varua Ino, 1893-94 and Femme Cueillant des Fruits et Oviri, 1896-97 ($20,000 to $30,000 each).

Los Angeles—At the Bonhams auction of Fine Books & Manuscripts on February 10 in Los Angeles, an extremely rare and complete copy of William Hamilton and Pierre François Hugues d'Hancarville's Collection of Etruscan, Greek, and Roman Antiquities sold for $106,250, surpassing its $75,000-100,000 estimate.

The first edition copy contains lavishly-illustrated plates of Hamilton's collection of ancient vases, which he acquired and expanded after being introduced to the Porcinari family in Naples by art specialist and dealer Pierre François Hugues d'Hancarville. Hamilton then sold the collection to the British Museum in 1772, but before shipping the items to England, he decided to catalog and illustrate the collection. The purpose for this project was to document the historic development of ancient art and antiquity and give contemporary designers an accurate guide for reproducing ancient vases. Hamilton and Hugues's book is a leading influential work on neo-classical design and taste.

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NEW YORK—On February 27, Swann Galleries will offer a two-part sale of Fine Photographs with a separate catalogue devoted to The Library of Bill Diodato, which comprises more than 250 lots of photobooks and fine art photographs by some of the most important artists of the last century, including Richard Avedon, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Claude Cahun, Sally Mann, Irving Penn, Ed Ruscha, Andy Warhol and others.

Diodato, an internationally renowned photographer, started collecting photobooks in 1990 as a way to educate himself about the aesthetics of photography. He quickly became enchanted with the idea of how beautifully the book presented an artist’s body of work. Soon, Diodato found himself building a comprehensive, 20th-century photo literature collection, which he complemented with remarkable fine art photographs by master photographers and artists in his library, several of which are also featured in the auction.

NEW YORK—Bonhams Fine Books & Manuscripts sale on April 7, Treasures from The Caren Archive, will feature a reward poster issued in the aftermath of the first daylight bank robbery in U.S. history, an audacious raid made doubly significant by its being the first heist accredited to legendary bandit Jesse James (est. $8,000-12,000).   

On February 13, 1866 a dozen outlaws on horseback rode into Liberty Missouri, robbed the town’s bank, killed an innocent bystander, and rode away with $60,000. Jesse James and his brother Frank were among the raid’s architects (although an injured Jesse did not ride with the gang that day).

A fine selection of books from the library of a south-coast Gentleman will be offered in Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions' sale on Thursday 27th February. Displaying the owner's passion for natural history, the collection includes an extremely rare and complete hand-coloured florilegium of Abraham Munting’s posthumously published Naauwkeurige Beschryving der Aargewassen.

Naauwkeurige Beschryving der Aargewassen broke botanical publication stereotypes when it was first produced in 1696 for its portrayal of ‘larger than life’ plants in classical, idyllic or mountainous landscapes. This was a radical change from the traditional, isolated image of the plant.

An unpublished letter from J.R.R. Tolkien to his publishers about the difficulties of completing The Return of the King, the third and final part of The Lord of the Rings, is to be offered at Bonhams sale of Books, Maps, Manuscripts and Historical Photographs in London on 19 March. It is estimated at £6,000-8,000.

The letter, dated 12 May 1955, was addressed to Rayner Unwin, at the publishing company, Unwins. At the age of 10, Rayner had famously persuaded his father, Stanley, to publish The Hobbit and years later, after he joined the family firm, to publish The Lord of the Rings.

Robinson Street Books has acquired the William B. Provine (emeritus professor of the history of biology in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Cornell University), (duplicate) collection of offprints. Spanning 300 years of important scientific discovery it contains important works by Theodor Boveri, Walther Flemming, Thomas Huxley, Julian Huxley, Sewall Wright, Francis Crick, James Watson and other evolutionists, geneticists, and evolutionary biologists. Many of the offprints are signed by their authors, and have marginalia from the recipients. 

Important items from the collection have been recently placed with the American Philosophical Society, University of Edinburgh Library, and several other important institution and private History of Science collections.

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New York—Swann Galleries' annual February auction of Vintage Posters—held this year on Tuesday, February 25—offers a diverse selection of images, from exquisite Art Nouveau designs by Alphonse Mucha to avant-garde artist exhibition posters.

In this Olympic year, there are more than 35 posters promoting skiing and winter resort activities, including Witold Gordon’s design for III Olympic Winter Games / Lake Placid, 1932 (estimate: $3,000 to $4,000), and other American highlights such as Sascha Maurer’s Let’s Go Skiing!, 1936 ($2,000 to $3,000), the iconic This Winter / Sun Valley ($1,500 to $2,000) and a run of Dartmouth Winter Carnival posters including one by Dwight Clark Shepler, featuring a figure skater.

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A rare contemporary portrait of the explorer Sir Francis Drake, the first dollar earned by Thomas Edison’s trailblazing electric company, and a mug shot of the outlaw Butch Cassidy issued by the famed Pinkerton Detective Agency are just some items on offer in Treasures from The Caren Archive: How History Unfolds on Paper, selling at Bonhams New York on April 7th.

The Caren Archive is a vast and culturally significant collection which encompasses rare newspapers, broadsides, photographs, books, and manuscripts dating from the 16th century to the 1960s.

National Book Auctions February Catalogue

ITHACA, NY—National Book Auctions, located in Ithaca, NY, announces the launch of their next auction catalog.  

This catalog features rare, antique and decorative books as well as select additions of art, ephemera, and collectibles. Highlighted is another session from the estate of Norman Kane, including several single-author collections. Additionally, this catalog includes an array of modern first editions as well as select offerings of prints and artwork such as an original oil-on-canvas painting by Charles Wilson Knapp.

New Haven, Conn.—The Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Yale University has acquired two “Tyndale Bibles”—the first printed English translations of biblical texts—which are among the rarest and most influential works in the English language.

The acquisition consists of two volumes: William Tyndale’s translation of the Pentateuch—the first five books of the Old Testament—published in 1534, and his translation of the New Testament published in 1536. Fewer than a dozen of each is known to exist worldwide. There are only two copies of the Pentateuch on record in North America.

Gauguin: Metamorphoses at MoMA

Gauguin: Metamorphoses is the first major monographic exhibition on Paul Gauguin (French, 1848-1903) ever presented at MoMA, and the first major exhibition to focus particularly on the artist’s rare and extraordinary prints and transfer drawings and their relationship to his paintings and his sculptures. Approximately 160 works, including some 130 works on paper and a critical selection of some 30 related paintings and sculptures, will be on view from March 8 through June 8, 2014, in The International Council of The Museum of Modern Art Special Exhibition Gallery. Featuring loans from many different collections—national and international, public and private—the exhibition offers an extraordinary opportunity to see these works brought together. Many have rarely if ever been shown in the United States. Gauguin: Metamorphoses is organized by Starr Figura, The Phyllis Ann and Walter Borten Associate Curator, with Lotte Johnson, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Drawings and Prints, The Museum of Modern Art.

A signed memo by the then Home Secretary, Winston Churchill, about his handling of the Welsh miners’ strike in November 1910 is to be sold at Bonhams sale of Books, Maps, Manuscripts and Historical Photographs in London on 19 March. It is estimated at £1,000-1,500.

The memo was sent to A. G. Gardiner the editor of The Daily News and scribbled in pencil on a note from the newspaper’s Cardiff correspondent stating that he has it on good authority that the Home Secretary [i.e. Churchill] "has sent an order to Pembroke Dock Arsenal to get ready several thousand rounds of ball ammunition for the use of the troops drafted into South Wales". In response, Churchill wrote: "My dear Gardiner,/ Give no credence to such rubbish. I do not anticipate any shooting & have taken some responsibility to that end—which Liberal newspapers should recognise/ Yours vy trly/ WS Churchill." Although the memo is not dated it is almost certain that it was written during the evening of 9 November.

New York, NY, February 4, 2014—For a small but influential group of European and American artists engaged with the art of the book, the medium of the woodcut became an inspiration for stylistically diverse and provocative works in the decades surrounding the turn of the twentieth century. What many viewed as the detrimental and alienating effects of new illustration and printing technologies became a catalyst for artists to reinvent the book in creative expressions that elevated it to a work of art, and signaled the era’s meditative moments on the past and future of illustrated books and their makers. From the sublime Kelmscott Chaucer to the proto-graphic novels of Frans Masereel, woodcut illustration was integral to some of the most exquisite and innovative books of the modern age. These publications continue to delight the senses while prompting thoughtful explorations of the potential form and function of the printed book: how we read images and look at texts according to the hands that craft them.

DALLAS—The earliest Superman cover art known to exist—Fred Guardineer’s thrilling visage of the Man of Steel from Action Comics #15—may bring $200,000+ in Heritage Auctions’ Feb. 20-22 Vintage Comics Signature® Auction in New York. The rare work joins nearly 1,200 lots, including two Silver Age milestones: Amazing Fantasy #15—the first appearance of Spider-Man—in 9.0 grade by CGC, and the original cover art to Tales of Suspense #84 by Jack Kirby and Frank Giacoia.

“Guardineer’s cover is the earliest Superman cover art in existence,” said Ed Jaster, Senior Vice President at Heritage. “It is a blockbuster piece of early American comic art history and a fitting companion to the landmark finds in this auction.”

NEW YORK—Bonhams April 7 Fine Books & Manuscripts sale Treasures from The Caren Archive will feature an autographed personal letter written by Titanic survivor and first class passenger Emily Ryerson in which she recounts her deck-side conversation with White Star Line Chairman J Bruce Ismay as it took place just hours before the ship’s fatal collision with an iceberg (est. $10,000-$15,000).   

The letter, dated April 18, 1913, offers first-hand documentary evidence that Ismay approved of Titanic’s speeding up through iceberg waters. Ryerson would later give similar testimony in her legal deposition to the Titanic inquiry. The “bombshell” as revealed in the present letter is something that Ryerson did not subsequently share with the official inquiry, namely that it had been her distinct impression at the time of her conversation with Ismay that the decision to increase the ship’s speed had been his to make: “Mr. Ismay’s manner was that of one in authority & the owner of the ship & that what he said was law.”

The library of acclaimed British stage and film director, writer, and actor Patrick Garland will be sold as part of Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions’ Bibliophile sale including works on natural history, children's and illustrated, English and Continental literature and modern first editions, on Thursday 13th February.

A prominent figure in the British arts scene, Garland was best known as a theatre director. As Artistic Director for the Chichester Festival Theatre from 1981-1985 and 1990-1994, he directed more than 20 productions, and he is the only theatre director to have had four plays running at the same time in London’s West End. He was also the driving force behind the Chichester Festival Theatre where he served as Artistic Director for many years and directed over 30 productions. In later life he turned his talents to film directing and won widespread praise for his 1971 television film, The Snow Goose, which earned a Golden Globe for "Best Movie Made for TV" and was also nominated for a BAFTA and an Emmy.

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