March 2014 Archives

NEW YORK (March 31, 2014)—Bonhams' sale Treasures from The Caren Archive on April 7 will feature a rare and exceedingly important early newspaper printing of the Declaration of Independence as published in The New England Chronicle (Powars and Willis) on July 18, 1776 (est. $50,000-70,000).

The 4-page newspaper tied with Gill’s Continental Journal as the first Boston appearance of the Declaration of Independence. One can easily imagine the excitement among the city’s residents as they absorbed the enormity of the news contained therein.


NEW YORK—Beatrice Welles, the daughter of the late great director Orson Welles—auteur of Citizen Kane, commonly considered the greatest film ever made—is making a trove of material related to her famous father, never before offered to the public, available for auction as part of Heritage Auctions’ Entertainment Signature® Auction.

In all, there are more than 70 lots of Orson Welles-related ephemera, film memorabilia, clothing and personal accoutrements, including script pages and black and white film stills from Citizen Kane, scripts and still photos from The Magnificent Ambersons, a pair of personal scrapbooks relating to War of the Worlds, Welles’ 'Bell & Howard 240' 16mm Movie Camera, circa 1957, mainly used by Welles to film home movies while living in Spain in the 1950s, his personally-owned and used Smith-Corona 2200 electric typewriter, circa 1970s, his personal humidor, circa 1960s, gifted to him from director Michael Winner, who worked with Welles on the 1967 film Swinging London, documents from Welles’ famous Mercury Theatre, and a host of other material related  to Welles’ legendary career.

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 a fine selection of artwork and signed prints featuring artists such as Charles Shulz, Maurice Sendak and Rufino Tamayo. Additionally, this catalog includes an array of signed books and ephemera as well as decorative and limited antique multi-volume sets.

Paris—The Book & Manuscript department is pleased to announce the sale of two previously unknown correspondences of Simone de Beauvoir (1908-1986); one addressed to her mother Françoise (comprising 353 letters), the second to her sister Hélène (“Poupette”) (92 letters). These remarkable and unseen series offer a new perspective on de Beauvoir’s relationship with her family.

The long letters of Simone de Beauvoir to her “dear little mother”, written between 1918 and 1957 lift the veil on almost forty years of her life, from her years as “well-behaved little girl” to her life as an activist philosopher, emancipated from her bourgeois upbringing.


New York—On Thursday, April 17, Swann Galleries will hold their first ever auction of vernacular photography, titled The Vernacular Eye: Photographic Albums, Snapshots & Objects. This genre of photography often encompasses pictures by lesser-known or amateur makers, including itinerant photographers, studio practitioners and press photographers—many of whom worked outside the scope of fine art practice.

There are evocative snapshots by hobbyists, accomplished commercial portraiture and product imagery, iconic news pictures, intimate occupational photographs (including tintypes), humorous travel or souvenir images (as well as albums), and fun family photo albums. In addition, three-dimensional decorative or functional photo objects, sometimes described as “pop photographica,” make an appearance.

(Amherst, MA—March 26, 2014) Louise Fitzhugh’s beloved classic Harriet the Spy celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. To honor this momentous occasion, The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, Massachusetts has created Harriet the Spy Turns Fifty, an exhibition of the book’s original art. The exhibition premiered at The Forbes Galleries in New York on March 7 and will run until May 3, 2014. It will then be on view at The Carle from May 20 through November 30, 2014. Support for the exhibition has been generously provided by Random House Children’s Books. Random House will release a special 50th anniversary edition of Harriet the Spy on February 25.

“When Louise Fitzhugh introduced Harriet, she opened unlimited possibilities for generations of young readers,” says Chief Curator Nick Clark. “That we’re now celebrating the book’s fiftieth anniversary is a true testament to its enduring power.”

A wonderful selection of books on offer at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions’ monthly Bibliophile sale includes works by the great Romantic writers William Wordsworth and Lord Byron, as well as a small but perfectly formed section of books on flora. The sale will be held on Thursday 10th April in their Godalming saleroom.

A small selection of botanical works includes some rare and beautifully preserved books. A copy of Studies of Flowers from Nature (1818) by Miss J. Smith is an attractive volume of 20 hand-coloured aquatint plates, each in two states (hand-coloured and uncoloured). It was issued in order to educate the leisured classes in the art of flower and watercolour painting from nature.

The Little School.jpg

(Boston, MA, March 26, 2014)—“This is a show about books and manuscripts that are visually appealing,” says Stanley Cushing, the Boston Athenæum’s Anne C. and David J. Bromer Curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts, of his exhibition “Collecting for the Boston Athenæum in the 21st Century: Rare Books and Manuscripts” (April 24 through August 9, 2014 in the Norma Jean Calderwood Gallery). “The focus is not on the text but on a beautiful image, illustration, or binding—a strong visual piece rather than something to read.”

NANTUCKET, MA—The Nantucket Book Festival is pleased to announce the stellar line-up of authors featured at this year’s third annual event, which is quickly becoming the way to kick off summer. For three days, booklovers gather in various Nantucket venues that allow unprecedented access to notable authors and facilitate casual interactions for all involved.

Among the selected authors for the Festival, June 20-22, 2014, are Alice Hoffman, Ben Fountain, Jodi Picoult, Evan Osnos, Ben Mezrich, Lisa Scottoline, and emerging authors Cynthia Bond and Tom Rachman.  Literary genres represented at the Festival include fiction, biography, inspiration, graphic novels, poetry, essays, and children’s and young adult literature.

LONDON, 24 March 2014—On 17 March 2014, the Expert Committee at the Royal Philatelic Society London - the oldest and most distinguished society of stamp scholars in the world - convened a special meeting with the singular purpose of re-authenticating the unique British Guiana One-Cent Magenta. Sotheby’s will offer the stamp in a dedicated auction in New York on 17 June, with a pre-sale estimate of $10/20 million*.

After close examination by each of the Committee’s six noted experts, including spectrometer analysis, the Committee has once again certified the British Guiana as genuine. The last time the Royal examined and certified the world’s most famous stamp was in 1935, marking a new generation of experts that have confirmed its place at the apex of the philatelic world.

Oxford, 25 March 2014—Joanna Trollope, one of the most-read British authors, has bequeathed her literary archive to Oxford’s Bodleian Libraries.

Joanna Trollope said, ‘The Bodleian is the ideal home for my archive; I couldn't be more honoured.  My association with Oxford goes back a long way and continues to this day. Not only was I an Oxford scholar, but so was my father. Moreover, my own daughters were at Oxford colleges and my young grandchildren are educated in the city too.  So, it could not be more satisfactory.’

The Hans Christian Andersen Award Jury of the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) has named:

Nahoko Uehashi from Japan winner of the 2014 Hans Christian Andersen Author Award

Roger Mello from Brazil winner of the 2014 Hans Christian Andersen Illustrator Award.

The Hans Christian Andersen Award #IBBYHCA, the most prestigious in international children’s literature, has been awarded biennially to authors since 1956 and to illustrators since 1966 by the International Board on Books for Young People. It is given to an author and an illustrator whose complete works are judged to have made lasting contributions to children's literature. The Andersen medals and diplomas will be presented to the winners at the 34th International IBBY Congress in Mexico City, Wednesday, 10 September 2014.

A selection of 339 ecclesiastical books from the collection of clergyman and controversialist Joseph Mendham sold on Thursday 20th March through Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions. A ‘white glove’ auction for the London based saleroom saw every lot sell for a total of £357,392.

Rupert Powell, Deputy Chairman of Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions said: “We are extremely pleased with the results from this outstanding auction. They confirm the strength of Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions position in the bibliographic market, in even the most highly specialised areas.”

NEW YORK, March 2014—The Museum of Modern Art announces Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs, the largest and most extensive presentation of Matisse's cut-outs ever mounted, on view from October 25, 2014, through February 8, 2015. This groundbreaking reassessment of the final chapter of the artist's career includes approximately 100 cut-outs—drawn from public and private collections around the globe—along with a selection of related drawings, illustrated books, stained glass, and textiles, as well as the post-conservation debut of MoMA's own The Swimming Pool (1952). Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs is organized by The Museum of Modern Art in collaboration with Tate Modern, London. It is organized at MoMA by Karl Buchberg, Senior Conservator, Department of Conservation, and Jodi Hauptman, Senior Curator, Department of Drawings and Prints, with Samantha Friedman, Assistant Curator, Department of Drawings and Prints. Prior to its presentation at MoMA the exhibition is on view at Tate Modern from April 17 through September 7, 2014.

NEW YORK—One of the finest known signed copies of the first edition of Ray Bradbury’s seminal 1953 masterpiece, and most famous work Fahrenheit 451 in the original asbestos binding, no less—to ensure that the book would survive burning—is expected to bring more than $17,500, anchoring the deep selection of fine literature and Americana in Heritage Auctions’ April 2 Rare Books Signature® Auction.

“Bradbury’s 1953 futuristic parable of a world without books is as relevant and readable as ever,” said James Gannon, Director of Rare Books at Heritage.” We’ve sold several copies of the first edition of this book, as collectors are always looking for it, but this superb copy is the finest we’ve yet encountered.”

As the third and final part of Peter Jackson’s epic film adaptation of J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit reaches the final stages of production, Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions offer Tolkien fans the world over the opportunity to buy a first edition of the original book, The Hobbit, or, There and Back Again (1937), at their sale of Modern Literature in London on Friday 11th April. 

Published in September 1937 the book tells the story of Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit, and acts as a precursor to Tolkien’s famous The Lord of The Rings (1954-1955) trilogy.  The continuing popularity of the book, and the recent adaptation to film, make copies of this work coveted collectors' items, this copy is estimated to sell for £15,000 - 20,000. [Lot 139]


New York—On Tuesday, April 8, Swann Galleries will conduct an auction devoted to Printed & Manuscript Americana that offers a wide range of material, from Thomas Jefferson’s Act Establishing a Mint to an archive related to the Bird Man of Alcatraz.

The item with the highest pres-sale estimate is An Act Establishing a Mint, and Regulating the Coins of the United States, a five-page document signed by Thomas Jefferson, as Secretary of State, Philadelphia, 2 April 1792. This first printing of the coinage act defined the American currency system and established the dollar as legal tender. (Pre-sale estimate: $50,000 to $75,000).

Philadelphia, PA—March 18, 2014—Freeman’s April 10 auction of Rare Books & Manuscripts features an outstanding collection of autographs from the collection of Moe Septee, founder of the Philly Pops Orchestra. Janice Joplin, Rudolph Nureyev, Stephen Sondheim, Leonard Bernstein, Maria Callas, Jacqueline du Pré, George Balanchine are just a few of the rock n’ roll, musical theatre, opera, classical music and dance luminaries represented in this unique and personal collection.

Moe Septee was not just the founder of the Philly Pops, but is also credited with breathing new life into Philadelphia’s theatre community. In addition to staging showcase Broadway productions and a number of operas and musicals, he also promoted summer pop and rock concerts in Asbury Park, NJ between 1961 and 1972, engaging and supporting ground-breaking rock performances of the period, including the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Janis Joplin.  Septee died in Philadelphia at the age of 71 in 1997.  Freeman’s is proud to offer his collection of hundreds of autographed photos, each warmly inscribed by some of the most glamorous of performers and composers of the 20th century.

A collection of TE Lawrence’s letters and books and 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, made a total of £192,000 at Bonhams sale of Books, Maps, Manuscripts and Historical Photographs in London yesterday (19 March).

The Newcombe archive was the star item making £104,500 against an estimate of £20,000-30,000.  It consisted 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.

New York—Serious map collectors and geography buffs alike will find something to pique their interest in a special sale of rare maps from the dealer Kenneth Nebenzahl, Inc., at Christie’s New York on April 1. After more than 55 years in the business as a leading scholar and dealer in the fields of Americana, travel, exploration and cartography, Kenneth Nebenzahl is looking forward to traveling just for the pleasure of it.

The 180-lot sale is led by an extremely fine first edition 15th-century hand-colored Ptolemaic map (pictured above, estimate $180,000-$240,000). Executed in 1482 in Ulm, Germany, just a decade before Columbus’ famous voyage, the map is the first Ptolemaic world map to be printed outside of Italy, the first made from a fine woodcut, and the first signed by the artist (Johannes Schnitzer of Armsheim). Significantly, this map is also the first to show Greenland and Scandinavia in a Ptolemaic world view. Featuring vibrant rich hues in a contemporary hand, it is highly sought-after because of its decorative quality, striking typography and fine woodcut borders and initials.


NEW YORK—On Thursday, February 27 Swann Galleries auctioned more than 180 photographic images and books from The Library of Bill Diodato, along with 90 Fine Photographs from other consigners, in a sale that brought in nearly $1 million.

Daile Kaplan, Vice President and Director of Photographs & Photobooks, said, “The fine-art photography market continues to expand and reach a global network of active buyers, and the success of the Bill Diodato Library underscores the strength of the photobook marketplace.”


The British Library has acquired two rare manuscripts, preventing them from leaving the UK. The Catholicon Anglicum, a 15th-century English-Latin dictionary, and a printed traictise owned and annotated by John Ponet both became subject to a temporary export bar following a recommendation from the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest, which is administered by Arts Council England.


NEW YORK—Several of the top lots in Swann Galleries’ February 25 auction of Vintage Posters were dazzling Art Nouveau beauties by Alphonse Mucha—a few of which set new auction records. The highest selling lot in the sale was a set of four elaborate decorative panels by Mucha depicting the Times of the Day from 1899, which brought $50,000.

Record-setting works by Mucha were single panels from that Times of the Day set, with Eveil du Matin, the Morning panel bringing $35,840 and Reverie du Soir, the Evening panel, $23,750; as well as a single sheet with Three Seasons, 1898, $10,625. Also among the Mucha highlights were his Documents Decoratifs portfolio with 72 plates, 1902, $27,500; two variants of Job, one from 1896 for $22,500, the other from 1898, $11,250; and The Seasons, set of four decorative panels, 1896, $18,750.

BENTONVILLE, Ark.—Works by Pablo Picasso, Paul Gauguin, and Henri Matisse will debut at  Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art on March 15, as the museum hosts  The William S. Paley Collection: A Taste for Modernism. The temporary exhibition, organized by The Museum of Modern Art in New York, features more than 60 works of art and includes paintings, drawings, and sculpture. The exhibition will be on view through July 7; Crystal Bridges is the only venue in the central United States to host the exhibition, and will be the last stop on the collection’s tour before the works return to MoMA. Admission is $8 for adults. Admission to all temporary exhibitions is free for Museum Members and for youth ages 18 and under.

Highlights of this exhibition include works by Paul Gauguin, André Derain, Henri Matisse, Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas, and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, most created between 1880 and 1940, at the height of French Modernism, as well as Picasso's Boy Leading a Horse—all selections from the extraordinary private collection of William S. Paley, the late founder and guiding spirit of CBS.  Paley was the charismatic entrepreneur who virtually invented the Columbia Broadcasting System. He was also an unusually active trustee at The Museum of Modern Art, joining its board in 1937, only eight years after the museum’s inception, and rising through its ranks to become president and then chairman. Paley began buying art in the mid-1930s and he continued to do so into the early ‘70s. Upon his death in 1990 at the age of 86, Paley willed his entire collection to the museum.


New York—On February 13, Swann Galleries conducted an auction devoted to works by African-American artists active in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Titled Shadows Uplifted, the auction featured paintings, sculptures, drawings and fine prints by artists who emerged from the shadows of academic and genre painting and defined a new visual culture during the Harlem Renaissance and WPA eras.

The top lot in the sale was William H. Johnson’s On a John Brown Flight, a circa 1942-45 color pochoir and screenprint, which brought $81,250*—a record for any print by the artist at auction. Also setting records were Joseph Delaney’s Harlem, Sunday Morning, oil on board, 1942, which achieved an artist record price of $40,000 and Dox Thrash’s Wandering Boy, watercolor, circa 1940s, a record for a watercolor by this artist known for his prints, at $13,750.

Sotheby’s is delighted to announce the auction of this important collection of John Lennon autograph drawings and manuscripts produced by the artist for his critically acclaimed books: In His Own Write (1964) and A Spaniard in the Works (1965). Including 89 lots ranging from $500 to $70,000, this is the largest private collection of John Lennon’s work ever to come to market. The sale coincides with two important landmarks for Lennon: the 50th anniversary of the publication of In His Own Write; and the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ landmark first appearance in America on the Ed Sullivan show, which launched them into the pop stratosphere.

These remarkable drawings and manuscripts come from the collection of legendary publisher Tom Maschler, who as Literary Director of Jonathan Cape in the 1960s, was responsible for bringing both In His Own Write and A Spaniard in the Works to fruition. This phenomenal collection of works from Lennon’s own hand, often complete with deletions and amendments, represents the raw material from which Tom Maschler honed the two critically-acclaimed Lennon books. Given to Maschler by the artist himself, this material has been treasured by Lennon’s publisher for the last 50 years.

Maastricht, 16 March 2014—TEFAF Maastricht, the world's most prestigious art and antiques fair, opened on Friday 14th March to record interest and strong sales in all sections. This followed on from the most successful Private View in the Fair's history, which alone attracted over 10,000 private and institutional collectors from around the world, eager to find new treasures to add to their collections.

Sales in the antiques section, the largest and most eclectic in the Fair, were plentiful. To name a few: The Metropolitan Museum New York purchased an extraodinary parcel-gilt ostrich ewer by Marx Weinold with its basin by Johann Mittnacht I, Augsberg, c. 1690 from J. Kugel Antiquaires, Paris (stand 200) while Daniel Crouch Rare Books, London (stand 703) was delighted to sell an important pair of 17th-century globes by Willem Blaeu, which through the generosity of a private collector, will go on view in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.

Six authors and six illustrators have been selected from 58 candidates submitted by 33 national sections of IBBY for the 2014 Hans Christian Andersen Award.  The award, launched in 1958, is considered the most prestigious in international children’s literature.  It is given biennially by the International Board on Books for Young People to an author and illustrator whose complete works have made lasting contributions to children's literature. The winners will be announced Monday, March 24 at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair.

Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions’ Thursday 13th March Bibliophile sale saw a group of 59 tinted lithographs of France, Italy and Sicily sell for £2,108 alongside antiquarian books and manuscripts covering subjects from architecture to zoology.

The fascinating lithographs, from the late 19th century, [Lot 101] were succeeded by a series of views of China produced by Irish born writer Rev. George Newenham Wright. The plates, engraved by English architect and artist Thomas Allom, included scenes depicting Chinese workers ‘loading tea-junks at Tseen-tang’ and ‘China Opium Smokers’ amongst others. The four volumes bound in two sold for £854. [Lot 100]

IOBA Expands Its International Presence

March 14 2014—by Gabe Konrád—The Independent Online Booksellers Association (IOBA) has taken another step in cementing its status as an international booksellers’ trade organization with the election of William Knox, the Malaysian-based founder of The Penang Bookshelf, as its president.

Knox’s path to becoming a bookseller was long and varied, including a career as a lawyer and a peace worker during the Sri Lankan civil war, but he has made himself right at home specializing in fiction and non-fiction about an from Malaysia and other parts of Asia. The ethical responsibilities of the IOBA is what drew Knox to the organization, and with his election he vows to keep IOBA grounded in its ethical principals while exploring ways to make the association more valuable to its member booksellers. “I would like to build on what IOBA has already achieved in internationalizing its membership,” said Knox in a recent statement, “and to improve the education of that membership.”

NEW YORK—Bonhams sale Treasures from The Caren Archive on April 7 will feature one of the most significant $1 bills in American corporate history. The banknote was the first earned by the Edison Electric Light Company (a forerunner of GE) from the sale of electricity (est. $8,000-12,000).  

Ansonia Brass Co. was the first customer to settle their account with Edison and the present bill is inscribed: "This bill is one from a total amount of $50.40 which was the first bill collected for the sale of Edison Electric Light in first Central Station District, New York City. Jan. 18 / 1883.” The note is signed by Edison’s Chief Engineer, Thomas L. Clarke.


Boston, MA—RR Auction is proud to present a collection from the estate of Roy Eldridge that will be featured in its upcoming online music themed auction in March.

Featured is an extraordinary collection of Eldridge's papers, instruments, sheet music, records, photographs, posters, a large trunk, and other personal effects, chronicling his career as one of the most influential swing musicians of his era.

An extraordinary cry of despair by the Irish writer Christy Brown, in a letter written days before his death in 1981, forms part of an archive of material by and about the author to be sold at Bonhams sale of Books, Maps, Manuscripts and Historical Photographs in London on 19 March. The archive includes previously unseen sketches, paintings and unpublished poems as well as a large cache of private letters and writings. It is estimated at £30,000-40,000.

Christy Brown (1931-1981) is one of Ireland’s most enduring literary figures. He became an international celebrity with the publication of his best selling autobiography, My Left Foot, in 1954 and his work gained new recognition when a film of the book was released in 1989.  Daniel Day Lewis won the first of his three Academy Awards for Best Actor for his portrayal of the writer.


NEW YORK—On Thursday, March 27 Swann Galleries will offer a rich assortment of historical material related to the African experience in the Americas in their 19th annual auction of Printed & Manuscript African Americana. This extraordinary sale, catalogued as it is each year by Wyatt Houston Day, features items dating back to the 18th century through the modern civil rights era, and highlights the contributions of black artists, writers, musicians, educators, statesmen, athletes and more.

A selection of ecclesiastical books from the collection of clergyman and controversialist, Joseph Mendham, will be sold by Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions’ on Thursday 20th March 2014.

Born in London, Joseph Mendham was educated at St. Edmund Hall, Oxford, graduating BA in 1792, and MA in 1795. It was here that he was heavily influenced by evangelicalism under its vice-principal, Isaac Crouch. In 1793 he was ordained deacon and priest the following year, but resigned his curacy in 1826 to use his private income and devote his time to book collecting, and authorship of various works on Reformation and post-Reformation controversies. Mendham collected a wide variety of material by 16th-17th century Catholic and Protestant writers much of which he used in his writings as a strong advocate on the protestant side. In 1836 Mendham was appointed perpetual curate of Hill, near Sutton Coldfield but soon retired due to ill health.


On Wednesday, April 9, 2014 at 10am, Doyle New York will auction a rare and important Nebuchadnezzar II Babylonian cuneiform cylinder. The clay cylinder describes the rebuilding of the temple of Shamash in Sippar (modern Tell Abu Habbah in Iraq) by Nebuchadnezzar II and dates to the Neo-Babylonian Period, circa 604-562 BC. At 8.25 inches in length, it is the largest example to come to market in recent times and is estimated at $300,000-500,000. The current cylinder was sold privately in 1953.

243 Tad and Abraham Lincoln.jpg

FALLS CHURCH, Va.—A pair of cartes de visite (or photographic “visiting cards”) showing Abraham Lincoln and his son Tad, other Civil War-era cartes de visite of soldiers (including Ulysses S. Grant), and stereoview cards from prominent early photographers will be auctioned on Thursday, March 20, by Waverly Rare Books at the firm’s gallery in northern Virginia. Internet live bidding for the auction will be available through

Waverly’s 312-lot Catalog Auction #260 is packed with rare and historical items. Headlining the event are photographs from the collection of the late Walter Stolwein, a local amateur photographer, avid collector of photographs and photography equipment; and a member of both the Silver Spring Camera Club and the Chesapeake Antiquarian Photographic Society.

The Library of Congress will celebrate the March 27 opening of its exhibition "A Thousand Years of the Persian Book" with a day-long program that includes a lecture and a panel discussion on Persian manuscripts and the tradition of manuscript-making in Persian-speaking lands.

The program, "Illustrating the Persian Book: The Happy Marriage of Literacy and Visual Narrative" will start at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, March 27, in the Northeast Pavilion on the second level of the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. N.E., Washington, D.C. Free and open to the public, the event will end at 3 p.m. Tickets are not needed.

SAN FRANCISCO (March 10, 2014)—After a 17-month comprehensive conservation project, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco are pleased to re-open the Salon Doré from the Hôtel de La Trémoille at the Legion of Honor on April 5, 2014. Developed by Martin Chapman, curator in charge of European decorative arts and sculpture, this complete refurbishment of one of the finest existing examples of 18th century French interior design emphasizes the original use of the room, and sets a new standard for the presentation of museum period rooms. 

“The Salon Doré will be the only pre-Revolutionary Parisian salon in the United States displayed with its full complement of furnishings. Returning the room to its original glory and revealing its initial purpose, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco present the Salon Doré as an example of how a period room can engage a 21st century audience,” said Colin B. Bailey, director of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.


New York—On Thursday, April 3, coinciding with the New York Antiquarian Book Fair, Swann Galleries will auction Astronomy & Science Books from the Library of Martin C. Gutzwiller, the Swiss-American physicist best known for his work on chaotic systems in classical and quantum mechanics. Educated at ETH Zurich and the University of Kansas, where he received his doctorate, Gutzwiller worked for many years as a researcher at IBM and has taught at ETH Zurich, Columbia, and Yale. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1992, and received the Dannie Heineman Prize for Mathematical Physics in 1993 and the Max Planck Medal in 2003. Gutzwiller’s collection documents the transition from Ptolemaic to Copernican astronomy in the early modern era, the historical development of celestial mechanic and related advances in physics and mathematics.

Mystère de la jpg

An exquisite illuminated play text from the fifteenth century has been acquired for the nation and allocated to the British Library by HM Government in lieu of Inheritance Tax under the Acceptance in Lieu (AIL) Scheme, which is administered by Arts Council England on behalf of the Department for Culture Media and Sport. The acquisition was supported by generous grants from the Art Fund, the Friends of the British Library, International Partners in memory of Melvin R. Seiden and from the Breslauer Bequest, as well as donations from other anonymous donors.

The manuscript was commissioned in around 1465 by Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy (1396-1467), who was one of the greatest book collectors and art patrons of his time. It contains the only surviving complete text for the play, the Mystère de la Vengeance, by Eustache Marcadé. The play, written in French, was intended for performance over four days and was a development of the traditional Christian ‘Mystery’ play. Duke Philip may have attended one of the performances in Burgundy in 1463 and this manuscript might be a luxurious and extravagant record of that event. The manuscript which is in exceptionally fine condition contains 20 superb large miniatures by Loyset Liédet.

Yesterday’s World Book Day saw Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions sell an extremely rare copy of Christiaan Huygens’ Horologium, 1658, for £54,560 in a sale of Printed Books and Manuscripts, held at their London saleroom.

Rupert Powell, Deputy Chairman of Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions said: “It is a fitting celebration for this exceedingly rare work to achieve such a spectacular price on World Book Day. It has whet our appetites for the Fine Clocks, Barometers, Scientific Instruments & Horological Books sale next week, which along with an array of horological books also features one of the most important early English longcase clocks to come on to the market in the last ten years.”

The World Digital Library (, a collaborative international project led by the Library of Congress, now includes more than 10,000 manuscripts, maps and atlases, books, prints and photographs, films, sound recordings, and other cultural treasures. The 10,000-item milestone was reached earlier today with the addition of a set of priceless manuscripts from the Walters Art Museum of Baltimore, Maryland, a WDL partner since 2010.

The latest contributions include an early 16th-century Gospel manuscript from Ethiopia, written in Amharic and in Geez, the ancient liturgical language of Ethiopia (; a manuscript containing a richly illuminated Ottonian Gospel book fragment believed to have been made at the monastery of Corvey in western Germany during the mid-to-late 10th century (; and a menologion, or church calendar, in Greek, created in Byzantium circa 1025-1041 (


Magna Carta, the great charter of rights and liberties, stands at the heart of English and American law and has influenced the legal systems of many other democratic nations. One of the earliest statements of limited government and a point of departure for centuries of debate on individual rights, Magna Carta has become the world’s most enduring symbol of the rule of law.

The Library of Congress will celebrate the 800th anniversary of the first issue of Magna Carta with a 10-week exhibition "Magna Carta: Muse and Mentor," opening Thursday, Nov. 6, and running through Monday, Jan. 19, 2015. The exhibition—to be located in the South Gallery, second level of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C.—will be free and open to the public from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

DALLAS—The only known copy of an almost 7-foot-tall movie poster for the 1947 reissue of Dracula could sell for $40,000 when it crosses the block March 22-23 in Heritage Auctions’ Vintage Movie Poster Signature® Auction in Dallas. The fearsome three sheet poster showing a lecherous Bela Lugosi ready to strike his next victim highlights more than 1,200 unique lots of movie monsters, stunning heroines, and a cache of rare silent movie posters discovered above an Ohio garage.

“This auction has mystery, intrigue, and hidden treasure—and we’re not talking about the movies!” said Grey Smith, Director of Movie Posters at Heritage. “Many of the posters offered are appearing at auction for the first time and some were just recently discovered in an attic above a garage in Ohio.”

WESTCHESTER, NY—(Mar. 3, 2014) The most important archive of historical paper to be offered in over a century will be offered en bloc by Eric Caren by private treaty sale. The Caren Collection is comprised of more than 200,000 items that document most every major U.S. and international historical and cultural event dating back to pre-revolutionary times through the 20th century. Additionally almost every major genre and historical personality is present in this collection, which is worthy of the finest museums and libraries in the country. Most of the material contained within collection is not at Smithsonian Institution, Library of Congress or New York Public Library in original format.

The prospectus for the sale of this large collection will appear in Bonhams auction catalog for "Treasures from The Caren Archive," scheduled for April 7th in New York.

Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions’ 13th March Bibliophile sale includes a fine and diverse selection of bibliophilic material including a copy of Hortus Gramineus Woburnensis (1826) by George Sinclair, botanist and gardener to the 6th Duke of Bedford at Woburn Abbey from around 1807 until 1825.

Sinclair produced several catalogues of plants at Woburn Abbey where he planted the garden with 242 plots containing various soils, and sowing different combinations of grasses and herbs. This early ecological experiment was carried out in order to benefit practical agriculture and is referred to by Darwin in his On the Origin of Species by Natural Selection (1859).


A photograph depicting Sir Winston Churchill descending the gangplank of HMS Victory, during a January 1941 tour of the bomb-damaged Portsmouth docks, is offered in the Books, Manuscripts, and Photographs sale on March 19th in Bonhams Knightsbridge salerooms.

The vintage gelatin silver print, estimate £3,000-4,000, was signed by Churchill for Captain W.T. Horton, the official War Office photographer who had taken the shot.  It shows Churchill against the background of the looming ship, followed closely by Sir William Milbourne James, Commander-in-Chief Portsmouth, the pair watched by sailors standing at the railings and peering through the gun ports. The signature in blue ink of “Winston S. Churchill/1941” is in the bottom left-hand corner of the photo.

Auction Guide