May 2014 Archives

DALLAS—The first part of the most comprehensive collection of Civil War autographs, photographs and related ephemera ever offered at auction, the Dr. Michael Stevens Collection, will make its debut on June 7 at Heritage in Dallas.

“The Stevens Collection encompasses nearly 5,000 photos and signed items, primarily related to the important generals of both sides of America’s Civil War,” said Tom Slater, Director of Americana Auctions at Heritage. “For example, there are more than 50 documents, letters, and photos bearing the signature of Ulysses S, Grant, the most famous Union general of the war and later America’s 18th president.”


New York—Swann Galleries’ 19th & 20th Century Literature auction on Thursday, June 19 offers a wide selection of works by 19th-century English graphic humorists, desirable modern firsts including a fine run of Rex Stout titles, scarce James Joyce editions and signed and inscribed books by Flannery O’Connor.

In fact, the sale features excellent association copies of O'Connor's only two novels Wise Blood, 1952, and The Violent Bear It Away, 1960, as well as her best known collection of short stories, A Good Man Is Hard to Find, 1955, all signed and inscribed to her former professor and family friend, George Haslam. Signed O'Connor titles seldom appear at auction, and these are estimated at ($2,000 to $3,000 to $4,000 to $6,000 each).

Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions are delighted to present the extensive Michael Max Collection of railway books, periodicals, pictures, ephemera, medals, jigsaws and other collectables, in a sale of Railwayana at their saleroom in London’s Mayfair on Thursday 12th June 2014. The Collection will be auctioned alongside railway posters and collectables from other properties.

Michael Max: “The collection is not an archive. It is more a serendipity that has given years of pleasure as it has been collected and catalogued.”

(PORTLAND, OR) today introduced the new BookSeller Android app, which makes it faster and easier than ever for professional booksellers to determine book market values, connect with buyers and sell books for the highest price. BookSeller turns Android smartphones into ISBN scanning devices and instantly displays private market values plus trade-in and buyback offers from dozens of book buyers. Available on the Google Play Store, BookSeller is free to download and does not require in-app purchases. 

To use BookSeller, users follow simple prompts to scan International Standard Book Numbers (ISBNs). BookSeller then displays the current private market value of the book, based on what it is currently selling for via online markets such as Craigslist and Ebay. The app also displays real-time trade-in and buyback offers from dozens of online vendors. If a seller sees an offer they like, the app connects them with the buyer to complete the transaction.

Papers, photographs and the effects of Captain Julius Morris Green of the Army Dental Corps, relating to his espionage activities on behalf of the British Directorate of Military Intelligence Section 9 (MI9) while a prisoner-of-war at Colditz and other camps in Germany, will be sold at Bonhams on June 18 in Knightsbridge for £4,000 to £6,000.

The archive consists of 40 autograph coded letters by Green to his parents, John and Clara Green of Dumferline, and a few to his sister Kathleen. The correspondence runs from May 1941 through to 1944, while Green was a prisoner-of-war, at many camps including Oflag IV-C (Colditz Castle), where he was imprisoned in 1944-45, Bau und Arbeits Battalion 21 (Blechhammer), Stalag VIII-B (Lamsdorf), Stalag X-B (Sandbostel), Marlag und Milag Nord (Westertimke ), and Kgf.B.A.B.20 (Heyderbreck).

BOSTON, MA—May 27, 2014—In all new "Vintage" episodes, ANTIQUES ROADSHOW looks back at some of its most memorable objects, what they are worth today and how the market has changed. Some treasures have increased in value, while others haven't fared so well. Part history lesson and part study of the antiques market, the 11-time Emmy® nominated production of WGBH Boston, will be premiering seven new "Vintage" episodes this summer as part of its 18th season.

"With our new 'Vintage' episodes, we wanted to revisit appraisals from our archive take a look at how the objects have stood up in value over the years," said ANTIQUES ROADSHOW executive producer Marsha Bemko. "Collecting categories that were desirable 15 years ago, like 'brown furniture' have gone down in value while others, such as 'fine jewelry' have gone up. Viewers can make their guesses on which items' values have soared and which have fallen."

PBA Galleries conducted the auction of Fine Books from the Library of Dr. Elmer Belt on Thursday, May 22nd, 2014, in their San Francisco galleries.  Dr. Elmer Belt (1893-1980) was a renowned surgeon and noted bibliophile. An early member of Southern California's bibliophile society, the Zamorano Club, and the fifth recipient of the Sir Thomas More Medal for Book Collecting, Dr. Belt was a passionate book collector as evidenced by the offerings at the sale.

Highlights of the sale were the three lots  selling at $30,000 each:  the fine illuminated manuscript of Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s The Blessed Damozel from the calligraphic master Alberto Sangorski; the Narrative of the Surveying Voyages of the  Adventure  and Beagle in three volumes, inscribed by Robert Fitzroy, Captain of the Beagle, to the English philanthropist and astronomer John Lee; and the first edition of William Gilbert’s De Magnete which is one of the first major English scientific works based on experimental methods of research.

The 2014 Harnett Biennial of American Prints is the eleventh competitive national exhibition organized by the University of Richmond Museums.  Open to all forms of prints, the exhibition is presented as a celebration and examination of contemporary printmaking by artists throughout the United States.  The Harnett Biennial will be on view from October 28 to December 12, 2014, in the Joel and Lila Harnett Museum of Art, University Museums.

The juror of this biennial is artist Mary Fisher, Founder of Mary Fisher Clinical AIDS Research and Education (CARE) Fund at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Fisher is an American designer who has survived AIDS and cancer to become a globally recognized artist, author, advocate, and social entrepreneur. She made history in 1992 when she addressed the Republican National Convention with a speech about advocacy in the fight against HIV and AIDS. For more information on the juror, her website is

Letters, papers and photographs belonging to General Sir Miles Dempsey, one of the unsung heroes of Operation Overlord in June 1944 and of the subsequent campaign to liberate Europe, are to be sold at Bonhams Books, Atlases, Manuscripts and Photographs sale in London on June 18.  Bonhams, the third largest international fine art auction house, holds book sales in London, Oxford, New York and California. 

Sir Miles, who was the first soldier to be knighted on the field of battle since Agincourt, commanded the British Second Army at the Normandy landings and the push across Belgium and into Germany which followed. He was specifically selected for this role by Field Marshall Montgomery in recognition of the important part he had played in the invasion of Sicily earlier in 1944. His job on D Day and in the weeks that followed was to draw the Germans fire at every opportunity and to capture the town of Caen enabling the Americans to establish a bridgehead to the west and advance into Northern France.  The letters of praise from the Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe, General Eisenhower and from Montgomery as the Commander of the Allied ground forces during Operation Overlord show how successful he was at this task and how much his superiors appreciated the contribution he made then and later to the successful outcome of the war. By the end of 1944 the Second Army had swelled to half a million men making Dempsey the Commander of the largest British Army in history.

A Shakespeare First Folio that in 1623 cost the equivalent of 44 loaves of bread would, if sold today, buy up to five million loaves—enough to give every man, woman and child in the UK a slice of toast each.

This startling claim will be made by Bonhams Head of Books Matthew Haley when he speaks at the Hay Festival on Thursday 29 May. Taking as a base the copy of the First Folio bought in 1623 by Sir Edward Dering for the equivalent of £44 in today’s currency, he traces the inexorable rise in value of this most famous of rare books through 105 loaves in 1756 to 900 at the end of the 18th century to a massive two to five million loaves today.

A fine selection of original material by Dylan Thomas which has remained unseen for many years is to be offered at Bonhams Books, Maps, Manuscripts and Photographs sale in London on June 18.  It is being sold by The Trustees for the Copyrights of Dylan Thomas. This year is the centenary of the poet’s birth.

Among the items are two which have strong and emotional links to the last few weeks of the poet’s life. They include the typescript, with Thomas’s hand written last minute revisions and marked up for reading, of his final broadcast, 'A Visit to America,' which was recorded on October 5 1953 (estimate £6,000-8,000). He slipped into a coma a month later in New York on 5th November and died on the 9th.  The talk was due to be broadcast on November 22nd but was postponed because that was the day of Thomas’s funeral. It was eventually transmitted on 30 March 1954. On the surface, ‘A Visit to America’ is peppered with Thomas’s trade mark wit but it contains an under current of sardonic and, in retrospect, desperate self awareness of the poetry reading showman he had become.

New York, NY, May 22, 2014—In the first two decades of the sixteenth century, in the French city of  Tours, one of the greatest artists in the long history of medieval and Renaissance illumination created a series of works that represented a remarkable last flowering of the hand-written and hand-painted book.

Forgotten for centuries, the artist came to be known as the Master of Claude de France—named after two jewel-like manuscripts he painted for Queen Claude de France (1499—1524), first wife of King François I: a tiny Book of Hours and an even tinier Prayer Book. Miracles in Miniature: The Art of the Master of Claude de France, on view at the Morgan Library & Museum from May 30 through September 14, is the first time the public can see these two stunning works together since their creation almost five hundred years ago.

NEW YORK—On the heels of Christie’s Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale on May 6, at which paintings by Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir from the Estate of Huguette M. Clark fetched US$40.9 million, Christie’s is pleased to unveil further offerings from its June 18 auction of An American Dynasty: The Clark Family Treasures. With 357 lots in total, the day-long auction will feature an impressive selection of American and 19th Century Art, important musical instruments, a veritable library of rare first-edition books, Gilded Age furnishings, and numerous decorative items owned by Huguette Clark, her mother Anna, and her father Senator William A. Clark. Christie’s has been entrusted with the sale of the collection by the Honorable Ethel J. Griffin, New York County’s Public Administrator, who oversees the estate. The proceeds from the auctions will benefit the Clark Estate and its goal of establishing a charitable foundation devoted to arts and culture.


New York—Swann Galleries’ auction of Early Printed, Medical & Scientific Books on May 1 offered scarce examples of incunabula, books on anatomy by Vesalius and others, Homer’s Works in the original Greek and more.

The sale’s top-selling lot—which set a new auction record—was Quintus Curtius Rufus, Historiae Alexandri Magni, first edition of a first century A.D. account of the life and exploits of Alexander the Great, Venice, 1471 for $55,000*.


May 2014—Boxtel, The Netherlands. Which bookbinding technique to use, for which purpose? It is hard to find the answers to that question. Hexspoor summarizes them in a beautifully designed collection of twenty softcover binding techniques.


20 beautifully designed books, each with different paper types and finishing, representing as many binding methods. Each book contains a page with explanations in Dutch and English on the technique used and the advantages and disadvantages. An additional poster gives an overview of all graphic binding techniques in one-liners. The books are finished in the fairly standard PUR, cold glue and hotmelt in sewn or perfect binding, as well as the specials: Otabind, Otastar, Japanese and Swiss.


New York—Swann Galleries’ auction of American Art on Thursday, June 12 features important unique works by artists such as Will Barnet, Paul Cadmus, John La Farge, Guy Wiggins and Andrew Wyeth.

A selection of works from the collection of American painter/printmaker James D. Smillie—known for his engravings and landscape paintings—includes a recently discovered pen and ink drawing by Winslow Homer. Fresh Air, 1879, is a study from his seminal, same-titled watercolor now at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, and was drawn by Homer to be illustrated in the American Watercolor Society's 12th annual exhibition catalogue. The plein air representation of a fancifully dressed shepherdess at Houghton Farm, the upstate New York property of one of Homer's patrons, is estimated at $40,000 to $60,000.

A complete first edition set of the novels by the three Brontë sisters sold at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions’ Important Books and Manuscripts sale on Monday 19th May.

The unique collection was formed by American lawyer Thomas Lincoln Chadbourne, founder of Chadbourne & Parke. Bidders competed online and on the phone for the rare opportunity to take home the Brontë collection, which sold to a collector in the room for £111,600. [Lot 67]

OxCrimes is published in aid of Oxfam by Profile Books and features 27 of the finest crime writers from Britain and beyond. It is introduced by Ian Rankin.

In addition to the regular paperback edition (published May 2014) Oxfam and Profile have created a special signed limited edition cased hardback. This has signature plates from all 27 of the authors.*

DALLAS—Gil Elvgren’s sultry but sweet portrait titled Thinking of You (Retirement Plan) sold for $209,000 to lead a record setting selection of pin-up art in Heritage Auctions’ May 7 Illustration Art Signature® Auction in Beverly Hills. The $2.1 million auction set multiple artists records including a new high for contemporary artist Patrick Nagel, as two works sold for $161,000 each. 

“Pin-up art was strong across the board,” said Todd Hignite, Vice President of Heritage Auctions. “Illustration art in general remains extremely popular with collectors but the interest in Gil Elvgren’s work—and that of other giants—is simply outpacing all expectations.”

New York, NY, May 21, 2014—The Morgan Library & Museum announced today that its large collection of etchings by Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn (1606-1669)—considered the finest in North America—has been fully digitized and will now be available online beginning May 22.

The completion of the project is a significant development for scholars, students, and members of the general public interested in the work of one of the greatest of all artists. Until now, the Morgan Rembrandt collection has been available on a select basis onsite at the museum’s New York headquarters, and some of the works have been published in various museum catalogs. The digitization effort allows access to the collection from anywhere in the world and includes a zoom feature to study individual works in detail. Rembrandt used the process of etching to test concepts and themes, and the digitized works offer the opportunity to explore up-close his use of line, shading, and subject matter. The almost five hundred images can be viewed on the Morgan’s website (

“All ornithologists are not artists. Many artists are not successful businessmen. In the field of natural history the accomplishments of this man in his 76 years of life from 1804 to 1881 are truly monumental. No other ornithologist has ever exceeded (or will ever exceed) the number of Gould’s bird discoveries and the magnitude and splendour of his folio publications” (Gordon Sauer, John Gould The Bird Man).

A complete set of John Gould’s magnificent and important bird books is a rare and exquisite collection that has not been offered privately for many years.  Described as ‘exceptional and pristine’, this collection of 12 folio works in 44 volumes containing over 3,000 fine hand coloured lithographs all in contemporary gilt bindings will be on display at Shapero Rare Books, 32 St George Street, London and exhibited at Masterpiece London from 26 June through 2 July 2014.

New York—May 20, 2013—The centenary celebration of Dylan Thomas’s birth (born Swansea: October 27, 1914; died New York City: November 9, 1953)—Dylan Thomas 100—continues in Wales with news of additional multi-disciplinary events being added to the festival’s creative mix. 

An inspiration for poet-musicians like Bob Dylan and John Lennon and actors like Richard Burton, Dylan Thomas was a bona-fide rock-star before there was such a thing—sometimes playing to crowds of 1,000—especially in the USA.  Welsh actor Matthew Rhys (The Americans; Brothers and Sisters) who has channeled the poet (in the film Edge of Love) hopes you'll join the festivities, “We've been celebrating Dylan Thomas in Wales for decades now. Come to Wales this year and celebrate his centenary.”

DALLAS—The original artwork featuring the first ever appearance of Wolverine, by artists Herb Trimpe and Jack Abel, on the final page of The Incredible Hulk #180 (1974), arguably the most important debut of a comic book character in the last 40 years, tied a record for any page of American comic art and set a world record price for any page of interior comic art, by far, when it brought $657,250 (including 19.5% Buyer’s Premium) on May 16, 2014, at Heritage Auctions in Dallas. 

It was sold to East Coast collector Thomas Fish, a sports card dealer.


New York—Swann Galleries’ April 29 auction of Old Master Through Modern Prints saw robust results, with several new auction records set and strong prices for works by Rembrandt van Rijn and Albrecht Dürer, reflecting enduring interest in prints by the Old Masters.

The sale’s top lot was a brilliant, richly inked impression of Rembrandt van Rijn’s Christ Healing the Sick (The Hundred Guilder Print), etching, engraving and drypoint, with abundant burr, circa 1643-49, which brought $81,250*.


New York—The three top lots in Swann Galleries' April 24 auction of Modernist Posters each set new auction records in a sale marked by incredible results for esoteric images.

Nicholas D. Lowry, Swann President and Posters Specialist, said, “What normally would have been a two-hour auction took almost three hours, as spirited bidding from the crowded salesroom combined with buoyant online activity helped propel this auction to great success. The sale was marked by incredible results for some very esoteric images, and there is no doubt that the poster market is vibrant, and, at times, exhilarating too!”

The words to one of Robert Burns’ best loved songs—Ye Banks and Braes O’Bonnie Doon—written in his own hand are to be sold at Bonhams Books, Atlases, Manuscripts and Photographs sale in London on June 18. The poem is estimated at £30,000-40,000. Bonhams, the third largest international fine art auction house, holds book sales in London, Oxford, New York and California.

The song was written in 1792 and first published in Johnson’s Scots Musical Museum of that year. Many of the songs collected by Burns were traditional verses which he adapted, the best known of which are Auld Lang Syne and A Red, Red Rose. Ye Banks and Braes O’Bonnie Doon, however, is entirely original although there is an earlier version by the poet set to a different tune.


NEW YORK—On Tuesday, June 10, Swann Galleries will conduct and auction of African-American Fine Art titled: The Shape of Things to Come. The sale focuses on the rapid changes in both the art world and the nation—socially and politically—during the 1960s and 1970s.

African-American artists quickly adapted to the times in the era of the Civil Rights and Black Nationalism, and this 160-lot auction boasts a strong selection of works from those pivotal decades. Many of these artists are now being re-examined and prized by institutions and collectors, and have been included in recent major museum exhibitions.


AUSTIN, Texas—The Harry Ransom Center, a humanities research library and museum at The University of Texas at Austin, has acquired the archive of writer Ian McEwan (b. 1948), one of the most distinguished novelists of his generation.

The archive documents McEwan’s career and includes early material from his childhood and adolescence, as well as his earliest abandoned stories dating from the late-1960s and early 1970s. The archive includes drafts of all of McEwan’s later published works including his critically acclaimed novels “Amsterdam” and “Atonement” up through “On Chesil Beach” and “Solar.”

NEW HAVEN—This spring, the Yale Center for British Art presents “Of Green Leaf, Bird, and Flower”: Artists’ Books and the Natural World, an exhibition examining the intersections of artistic and scientific interest in the natural world from the sixteenth century to the present. On view from May 15 through August 10, 2014, the exhibition explores depictions of Britain’s countryside and its native plant and animal life through more than two hundred objects drawn primarily from the Center’s collections, ranging from centuries-old manuscripts to contemporary artists’ books.

The exhibition highlights the scientific pursuits in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries that resulted in the collecting and cataloging of the natural world. Also explored are the aesthetically oriented activities of self-taught naturalists during the Victorian era, particularly those of women who collected and drew specimens of butterflies, ferns, grasses, feathers, seaweed, and shells, and assembled them into albums and commonplace books.


New York—On Tuesday, June 3 Swann Galleries will conduct an auction of Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books—the first sale catalogued by new Maps specialist Alex Clausen—which features exceedingly rare cartographic material and decorative plates.

Among maps of Japan is a masterpiece of urban cartography: an impressive early 17th-century manuscript map of Kyoto as the imperial capital, mounted on a six-panel screen. Screen maps from the early Edo period are very rare, and this maps contains a plethora of detail about Kyoto and its surroundings, showing the city as it looked centuries before 1600 and features the large Heian Palace Complex at its northern end—which was destroyed by fire in 1227 AD. The number and width of each street is noted and a key differentiates buildings used by the imperial household, magistrates, Shinto and Buddhist clergy, military retainers and commoners. Measuring approximately five and a half by 12 and a half feet fully extended, the map has a pre-sale estimate of $60,000 to $90,000.

New York—Bonhams, the third largest international fine art auction house, will be taking a closer look at the recent past in its upcoming Fine Books & Manuscripts auction, The Story of the 20th Century, to be held on June 4 in New York. The auction examines the last century from several angles, including history & politics, art & literature and science & technology, closing with a private collection of materials related to the history of computing.

One important highlight of the History & Politics section is an extensive photographic archive from John David Zumbrun, a westerner operating a photography studio in Beijing from 1908-1929. Zumbrun's photographs document all walks of life in China at the time, giving viewers a perspective on a cultural period still largely unknown to this day (estimate $300,000-500,000). A three-minute black and white silent movie of Leon Trotsky in Mexico reveals a curious glimpse of his life after exile from Russia and is expected to fetch between $35,000-45,000. Lastly, an extremely rare prototype version of Chairman Mao's "Little Red Book" has an estimate between $20,000-30,000.

A specially printed copy of The Importance of Being Earnest inscribed by Oscar Wilde to Major James Nelson, the Governor of Reading Gaol during the writer’s term of imprisonment there is to be sold at Bonhams Books, Atlases, Manuscripts and Photographs sale in London on June 18. It is estimated at £40,000-60,000.  Bonhams, the third largest international fine art auction house, holds book sales in London, Oxford, New York and California.

The copy, numbered 13 out of a presentation edition of 100, is inscribed “To Major Nelson: from the author. A trivial recognition of a great and noble kindness. Feb, 99.”  Elsewhere, Wilde was to describe Nelson as: “The most Christlike man I ever met.”

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 ephemera and collectibles. Highlighted is a fine selection of Civil War and American West writings, along with our second session from an impressive collection of antique bound magazine compilations.

New York—Bonhams, the third largest international fine art auction house, will present a historic sale of rare and important material related to World War II on June 5 at its Madison Avenue salesroom. Timed to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the 1944 Normandy Landings, or “D-Day,” the sale features 350 lots, including important manuscripts, famous photographs, crucial wartime technology, authentic weaponry, personal mementos and battlefield souvenirs. Taken together, the offerings paint a vivid picture of the 20th century war that forever changed the course of human history. 

The sale, presented in two sessions, will address WWII in its entirety by tackling both the geographic and political complexities. The morning session will focus on the European Theater and North African campaigns. Extraordinary relics will be offered from the period’s most important places and events, including Dunkirk, the Battle of Britain, the war of the Atlantic, the Italian campaigns, the Russian front, D-Day and the resistance in Holland and France. Highlights include a German Army Enigma enciphering machine (est. $50,000-80,000) and several lots of memorabilia related to the British Flying Ace Douglas Bader (estimates from $5,000-20,000). Among a broad selection of D-Day material are an important D-Day flown flag from an American LST-493, one of a handful of surviving flags flown from D-Day ships (est. $12,000-18,000), and a series of the hourly bulletins of D-Day action from “The Dow Jones Hourly News Digest” (est. $12,000-18,000).


NEW YORK—Interest was high and bidding was strong for photographs and albums created by non-fine art practitioners at Swann Galleries’ April 17 auction, The Vernacular Eye: Photographic Albums, Snapshots & Objects. Sold alongside fine works by Ansel Adams, William Eggleston and Aaron Siskind, collections of cyanotypes, crime photographs and images of bygone stores and locales attracted a lot of attention.

Daile Kaplan, Swann Vice President and Director of Photographs & Photobooks, said, “The success of this auction demonstrates the breadth of the photo market and growing interest in the relationship between fine art photos and the vernacular medium.”

FALLS CHURCH, Va.—Waverly Rare Books will auction nearly 375 lots of antique and rare maps, atlases, books, photographs and autographed items on Thursday, May 15 at the firm’s northern Virginia gallery. Waverly’ Catalog Auction #261 will start at 6 p.m. Eastern time, with Internet live bidding available through 

“This auction has a very strong map category, with three top lots—one topographical map and two atlases—estimated in the low thousands,” said Monika Schiavo, director of Waverly Rare Books. “There is also a very strong bindings section containing many good-looking books that collectors may be able to snap up at attractive prices. The photography section is solid, as well.”


New York—Swann Galleries’ April 8 auction of Printed & Manuscript Americana saw active bidding and set several auction records for material related to the Civil War, the Morman church, early expeditions of the Americas, and examples of Latin Americana.

Swann Americana Specialist, Rick Stattler, said, “The top lot, a 1792 printed copy of An Act Establishing a Mint, and Regulating the Coins of the United States, signed by Thomas Jefferson as Secretary of State, set an auction record for one of Jefferson’s signed acts at $118,750.”

We are delighted to announce the roll-out of Southern New England Antiquarian Booksellers (SNEAB), with 146 members from Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. We have organized to promote our mutual interest in selling antiquarian books, issuing an annual directory, now available, maintaining a website,, sponsoring book and ephemera fairs, and gathering for quarterly meetings at member shops, libraries, or museums, to conduct business and socialize.

SNEAB is an outgrowth of Massachusetts and Rhode Island Antiquarian Booksellers (MARIAB), which was organized in 1976. We discussed the possibility of including Connecticut with Bill and Debby Goring of Nutmeg Books in Torrington, who published an annual directory, and with other sellers from Connecticut, and got a nod of approval. We then moved to adopt new by-laws, which expanded membership and revised our name; we gathered and approved applications from Connecticut; we have now produced our first directory as Southern New England Antiquarian Booksellers, and updated our website.

London—A lost song by Mendelssohn has come to light in America, having been re-discovered amongst the papers of the current owner’s grandfather, a musician. Entitled Das Menschen Herz ist ein Schacht or The heart of man is like a mine, the song is estimated to sell for £15,000-25,000 in a sale of Valuable Manuscripts and Printed Books at Christie’s in London on 21 May 2014.

The existence of the song, which comprises 29 bars for an alto voice and piano in A flat major, was known to scholars at it had been sold at auction in 1862 and again in 1872 but it was never published, and the whereabouts of the manuscript has since been something of a musical mystery. It is not known how it came to be in America.

DALLAS—An Apollo 13 Flown and Apollo 14 Lunar Module Flown Complete Lunar Bible, copy number 14-10, “The Masonic Library Exhibit Copy”—with Certificate of Authenticity Signed by Apollo 14 Lunar Module Pilot Ed Mitchell and Apollo Prayer League Representative James W. Stout—is expected to bring more than $60,000 when it crosses the block as part of Heritage Auctions’ May 14, 2014 Space Exploration Auction.

The 1.5" x 1.5" complete Microform Bible is one of only 12 Astronaut Flight-Certified Bibles of its kind, resting within a hand-made reliquary containing over one-half troy pound (6.6 troy ounces) of 22 Karat gold beset with symbolic gemstones. The handmade binding within which the solid gold reliquary rests is by Don Etherington, parchment consultant to the National Archives for the "Declaration of Independence" and "U.S. Constitution."

In the week following the 198th birthday of Charlotte Brontë, a complete first edition set of the novels by the three Brontë Sisters will be offered for sale for the first time in a sale of Important Books and Manuscripts, held by Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions on Monday 19 May at their saleroom in London’s Mayfair.

Published under the sisters’ pseudonyms, the complete set includes one on the most famous novels in the English language, Wuthering Heights, by Emily Brontë. The other works comprise Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Brontë, 1847; Agnes Grey, by Anne Brontë, 1847; The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, by Anne Brontë, 1848; Shirley, by Charlotte Brontë, 1849; Villette by Charlotte Brontë, 1853; The Professor, by Charlotte Brontë, 1857; The Brontë Family with special reference to Patrick Branwell Brontë, 1886.

Librarian of Congress James H. Billington today announced that David M. Rubenstein, co-founder and co-CEO of the Carlyle Group, one of the world’s largest private-equity firms, has agreed to serve as the chairman of the private-sector advisory group to the Library, the James Madison Council.

Rubenstein will succeed outgoing Chairman H.F. (Gerry) Lenfest, a Philadelphia philanthropist, when Lenfest steps down in October 2014.

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.

Philadelphia, PA—Freeman's May 4 auction of Modern & Contemporary Art featured diverse offerings from important 20th century artists. With many works coming from private collections, strong prices were realized throughout the sale.

"We were pleased to achieve a sale total of more than $1.2 million, with 87% of lots sold," said Department Head Anne Henry.

On the occasion of Russian Art Week (30 May6 June 2014) Shapero Rare Books will explore how Europeans have perceived Russia, including its peoples, dress and traditions, through a focused exhibition of exceptional visual records and foreign accounts from the 17th to 19th century.

At the start of the early modern period Russians remained a mysterious ‘other’ to their western neighbors—whilst they looked like Europeans, their appearance and costumes in particular marked them as remote and distinctive. Progressively though, Russia became more widely understood through cultural exchange, warfare and travel, especially political and scientific expeditions. Whilst Russian high society sought to become westernised, its general population upheld their traditions, which attracted foreigner’s attentions and was increasingly documented. From exotic distractions to scientific ethnology, the exhibition will track this documentation through a fine selection of valuable illustrated books, watercolours and photographs.

PBA Galleries is pleased to offer the Library of Dr. Elmer Belt in Sale 533 to be held on Thursday, May 22nd, 2014.  Dr. Elmer Belt (1893-1980) was a renowned surgeon and noted bibliophile. An early member of Southern California's bibliophile society, the Zamorano Club, and the fifth recipient of the Sir Thomas More Medal for Book Collecting, Dr. Belt was a passionate book collector. The fruits of this passion can still be evidenced today in the Elmer Belt Florence Nightingale Collection and The Elmer Belt Library of Vinciana (a special collection of books and materials concerning Leonardo da Vinci and the Italian Renaissance), both donated to UCLA, and the Upton Sinclair Collection: From the Library of Dr. and Mrs. Elmer Belt which was donated to Occidental College.

The volumes being offered by PBA Galleries have remained in the Belt family since the Doctor's death in 1980 and reflect his wide range of interests. From the first significant scientific work printed in England to the fine printing of the Kelmscott, Ashendene, and Grabhorn Presses, to the works of Sir Winston Churchill and William Faulkner, Dr. Belt's refined collecting taste is evident throughout. Also to be included are a small group of California paintings from Dr. Belt's home.


New York—On April 3, Swann Galleries offered 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, at auction.

Gutzwiller, who, sadly, passed away in March, built a collection that documented the transition from Ptolemaic to Copernican astronomy in the early modern era and the historical development of celestial mechanic and related advances in physics and mathematics.

Banneker's Almanac.jpeg

NEW YORK—On March 27, Swann Galleries conducted their annual auction devoted to Printed & Manuscript African Americana, which attracted many institutional bidders and saw record results for rare books and other publications.

Wyatt Houston Day, Swann’s African Americana specialist said, “We were very pleased to see so many of the top lots purchased by institutions, including a number of research-oriented lots. Among record-setting books were a Banneker Almanac, a rebound copy of Harriet Jacobs’s Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl and an inscribed copy of Anna Julia Cooper's A Voice from the South.

On 24 June Sotheby’s will stage Presley to Punk: A Rock & Roll History—a sale of rock and pop music material that will showcase important manuscripts and objects as pieces of 20th century cultural history. The auction will be led by Bob Dylan’s original hand-written lyrics for the 1965 epic Like A Rolling Stone—the most significant popular music manuscript ever to appear at auction and the song that transformed Dylan from a folk singer to a rock icon.

Since ushering in a new musical era in the 1960s, Like A Rolling Stone has proved overwhelmingly popular, topping Rolling Stone Magazine’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. In this near complete four-page working draft the distinctive often repeated ‘how does it feel’ lyric is clearly visible alongside unused lines, stray thoughts on American cultural imagery, and interesting doodles. Further Dylan lyrics to be offered include the original working manuscript comprising the final lyrics for A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall (est. $400/600,000) while the sale will also include significant pieces relating to The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, and Joni Mitchell.

A superb copy of Jane Austen's fourth novel Emma, valued at £15,000-20,000, will be sold by Lyon & Turnbull on the 7th May 2014. The book is inscribed "Lady M. Dalrymple, Oxenford Castle", in volume one and "Oxenford Castle" is inscribed in volume three.

Simon Vickers, Book Specialist at Lyon & Turnbull, said “2000 copies of the work were printed, and 1250 were sold within the first year. This copy is remarkable for the fact that it is in the original boards issued with the volumes, rather than having been rebound by an owner as was customary at the time. It is an excellent copy of a wonderfully subtle and entertaining work.”

BOSTON, MA—May 1, 2014Skinner, Inc. announces a Fine Books & Manuscripts auction on May 31st featuring early American documents, rare books, manuscripts, natural history prints, and antique maps. Department director Devon Gray notes, “New England culture treasures books, history, and education; Massachusetts is home to Harvard University, the Antiquarian Society, and the Boston Public Library. Skinner is in a unique position to present important American documents at auction.”

Important Documents

The auction kicks off with over 50 lots of important documents, featuring interesting items from early American history. An early copy of the Declaration of Independence (Lot 14, Estimated from $18,000 to $20,000), also known as the Force Declaration, is a folio broadside printed thanks to the foresight of John Quincy Adams. In 1820, fearing for the preservation of the original Declaration of Independence, Adams commissioned the engraver William J. Stone to create a full-size facsimile. After an initial print run, Peter Force purchased the plate. Skinner sold a Force Declaration for $22,800 in November 2013. Another important moment in American history is captured in a printed version of Thomas Jefferson’s inaugural speech (Lot 28, Estimate $4,000 to $6,000).

DALLAS—Milton Avery’s From the Studio, 1954, a tour-de-force from the artist’s most sophisticated and modern period, could sell for $800,000+ in Heritage Auctions’ American Art Including Western, California, & Golden Age Illustration auction May 10 in Dallas.

The genre-bridging auction celebrates the finest American artists of the last 200 years with works by Norman Rockwell, Andrew Wyeth, Sanford Robinson Gifford, Leroy Neiman and Millard Sheets, among others.

Auction Guide