December 2014 Archives

MCBA Anniversary & Book Arts Celebration


Minnesota Center for Book Arts kicks off its yearlong 30th Anniversary celebration with three concurrent exhibitions that celebrate the art of book binding. See nearly a hundred unique works of contemporary fine binding from over 70 artists across the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom.

- InsideOUT: Contemporary Bindings of Private Press Books

- Plainly Spoken: Guild of Book Workers Midwest Chapter

- Greg Campbell Fine Binding

London—The working library of one of the most distinguished and influential garden designers of the 20th Century, the late Rosemary Verey (1918-2001), sold for £120,000 ($187,500) at auction in London, doubling the pre-sale estimate. The stunning 84 lot strong collection contained the gardening and horticultural books that drove her creative process, many of which carried her personal annotations. The sale was held at Bloomsbury Auctions on Wednesday 17th December 2014.


BOSTON, MA—An extremely rare handwritten letter by Jerry Garcia will be offered during a live auction event by Boston, MA based RR Auction this January.

The two-part letter written to a former Vogue cover model Garcia had met at an Upper West side party, in New York City in 1980. During which time the Grateful Dead were performing a series of shows between October 22 and October 31, at Radio City Music Hall.

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TOLEDO, OHIO—Plain paper in the hands of an artist can become magical, and that’s what visitors will see when Drawn, Cut & Layered: The Art of Werner Pfeiffer opens Feb. 6, 2015 at the Toledo Museum of Art.

Nearly 200 one-of-a-kind and limited edition artist books, dimensional prints, collages and experimental works on paper by Pfeiffer, including some seen in public for the first time, will be shown.

The Folio Prize Announces 2015 Nominations

London, UK, December 14, 2014—THE FOLIO PRIZE, sponsored by The Folio Society, has revealed the 80 books nominated by the Folio Prize Academy for consideration by this year's Folio Prize judges. These are the 80 works of fiction published in the UK in 2014 that, in the eyes of the 235 writers and critics who constitute the Academy, are the best of the year.  

The Folio Prize Academy's role in selecting these 80 books is integral to the prize’s innovative peer review process. As an international body of writers and critics immersed in the world of books, the Academy is uniquely positioned to identify the most outstanding writing of our time.


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania—December 12, 2014—Three extremely rare 18th-century type-metal blocks on deposit with the Library Company of Philadelphia have been identified as the instruments used to print colonial currency in Delaware and beyond. Furthermore, the blocks were the output of Benjamin Franklin's printing office and represent a technological innovation—perhaps Franklin's only real invention of a technical advance in printing—only now fully understood for the first time.

The Harry Ransom Center, a humanities research library and museum at The University of Texas at Austin, announces the appointment of Gerald W. Cloud as its Carl and Lily Pforzheimer Curator of Early Books and Manuscripts.

Cloud will be responsible for overseeing the Ransom Center’s extensive holdings of early books and manuscripts, including promoting access to, and use of, the collections and interpreting them for varied audiences. The Ransom Center’s Pforzheimer Library of English Literature is one of the cornerstones of the Center’s early books and manuscripts collections.

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NEW YORK—The 2015 edition of MASTER DRAWINGS IN NEW YORK (January 24 - January 31), promises to be the best ever.  More than thirty of the world’s leading dealers are coming to New York City to offer for sale master art works in pencil, pen and ink, chalk and charcoal, as well as oil on paper sketches and watercolours, created by iconic artists working in the 16th to 21st centuries ( Each exhibition is hosted by an expert specialist and many works on offer are newly discovered or have not been seen on the market in decades, if at all.

In addition, Margot Gordon and Crispian Riley-Smith, co-founders of MASTER DRAWINGS IN NEW YORK, are delighted to announce that John Marciari, the new head of the Department of Drawings and Prints at the Morgan Library & Museum in New York, ( will provide the introduction for the 2015 MASTER DRAWINGS IN NEW YORK brochure.


PHILADELPHIA, PA—Dec. 3, 2014—The Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphia is thrilled to announce the upcoming display of newly discovered works by Oscar Wilde (1854‐1900), one of the world’s most influential and prominent cultural personalities. The materials include a notebook from around 1880, with unrecorded versions of early poems and with drawings by the inimitable Irish-born writer; a hand-corrected typescript of the play Salome; and a draft of part of his poem “The Ballad of Reading Gaol” (1898), with previously unknown variations. These will be displayed for the first time in the exhibition Everything is Going On Brilliantly: Oscar Wilde and Philadelphia, opening at the Rosenbach on January 23.

London—The working library of one of the most distinguished and influential garden designers of the 20th Century, the late Rosemary Verey (1918-2001) opens the sale of Printed Books & Manuscripts held at Bloomsbury Auctions on Wednesday 17th December 2014. The stunning 84 lot strong collection of gardening and horticultural books carry her personal annotations and offer an illustrative insight to the historical works that drove her creative process.

During her prolific career as a writer, lecturer and garden designer Rosemary Verey designed the famous garden at Barnsley House in the Cotswolds, for which her extensive library proved a vital source of inspiration and technical reference. Visitors to Barnsley house will recognise The True Lovers’ Knot from Stephen Blake’s The Compleat Gardeners Practice, Directing the exact way of Gardening, 1664, which she recreated for her own knot-garden [Lot 11].


London—The working library of one of the most distinguished and influential garden designers of the 20th Century, the late Rosemary Verey (1918-2001), opens Bloomsbury Auctions’ Printed Books and Manuscripts sale on Wednesday 17th December. Joining the stunning, 84 lot collection of horticultural and gardening books will be a small topical collection of World War One literature, travel literature and other important pieces.

To find out more about the Rosemary Verey collection, please click here.


New York—Two outstanding collections of posters form Swann Galleries’ December 17 auction, with 185 travel posters from the esteemed Julius Paul Collection and 200+ literary posters from a Southern California Museum Collection.

This is the second auction at Swann devoted to the Paul collection—our December 2013 sale saw institutional buyers competing with private collectors for the exceeding rare examples in unbelievably fine condition. The travel posters from Paul’s collection are equally rare and stunning. The majority pre-date the First World War, and hearken back to the age of nobility, before the ravages of WWI interrupted the European way of life. The posters are also largely free from crass commercialism and marketing gimmicks, reflecting a time when artists had free reign to depict a location as they saw fit. It was an era when a beautifully rendered image of a landscape was enough to encourage people to buy a train ticket.


Beverly Hills, California—(December 2,  2014)—James Bond 007, the British film character, lady lover and masculine super icon of film will be featured at the Icons & Idols: Hollywood Legends auction event at Julien’s Auctions in Beverly Hills on December 5 & 6, 2014. The Julien’s Auctions Beverly Hills gallery will feature memorabilia from the charismatic style of the James Bond character originally created by Ian Fleming in 1962. The James Bond 007 film series is the most successful film franchise in cinema history spanning 52 years in film and 62 years in print.  Eon Productions adapted Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels into 23 films.  The novels have also been adapted into popular comic strips and video games. British secret service agent, James Bond 007, has been portrayed by some of Hollywood’s most sought after actors including Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Timothy Dalton, Roger Moore, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig.  Aside from the legendary props often taking center screen in the film, the James Bond film series celebrated extravagant vehicles. Both props and cars will be highlighted in the auction.


New York—Swann Galleries continues to lead the auction market in the area of Vernacular Photography, with a second sale devoted to this material on December 11. The two-catalogue auction also offers Fine Photographs & Photobooks.

Swann’s first auction, The Vernacular Eye, held in April of this year, saw top prices for albums of cyanotypes, photographs of the Wright brothers and their early flight experiments and window displays for a men’s clothing store in Buffalo, New York.

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

Book, Art and Ephemera Auction—Basquiat, Medical, Hemingway, etc.  

This catalog features rare, antique and decorative books as well as select additions of ephemera, artwork and collectibles.  The art pieces are led by original works that are signed, Basquiat and Lebasque, alongside antique woodblock prints and original paintings from Japan.   Highlighted are private collections including author-signed modern literature, antique medical, and collectible children's books. The ephemera lots offer a fine collection of antique Americana and railroad subject matter.

Rochester, NH—January 1, 2015: Who says this is the time to tighten our belts! In a bold move that completely bucks the current trend, Flamingo Eventz, LLC is proud to announce that they are making some major changes to their Schedule and expanding nationally in this curious economy of ours! 

According to Company President, Tina Bruno: “We’re starting our 21st year in show promotion and are entering a new phase of the business—promotion of Vintage Poster, Print & Photography Fairs. This is the natural evolution of our shows which have gone from antiques & collectibles to vintage books & paper to ephemera. Friends of ours have been promoting highly successful International Vintage Poster Fairs for a number of years and, to steal a line from one of my favorite movies…’They made us an offer we couldn’t refuse.’

Boxborough Paper Town Show on January 24

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BOXBOROUGH, MA—JANUARY 24, 2015: Flamingo Eventz is pleased to announce the return of the popular Boxborough Paper Town—The Vintage Paper, Books & Advertising Collectibles Show. This is the original Boxborough Paper Show where you’ll find all things Paper—from classic Ephemera to Books, Board Games, Postcards, Advertising, Classic Vinyl, and more! A long time favorite of both dealers and customers, we continue to make changes and improvements to ensure continued growth and success. We’re bigger, better, more diverse, and with lots of new dealers…this is the paper show to attend for the rare, unusual and hard-to-find treasure!

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NEW YORK, NY—JANUARY 16 & 17, 2015: Great Caesar’s Ghost—look up in the sky! Flamingo Eventz, AAB Productions, and Perry White proudly announce the return of Metropolis! Vintage Books & Ephemera—the Winter Vintage Book & Ephemera Fair—to New York City! A long-time favorite of both Exhibitors and Customers, we have revamped, modernized, improved, revitalized, and returned it! Held on Friday & Saturday, January 16 & 17, 2015, this is the kick-off event to Bibliography Week in New York—a week-long celebration of Book History. This exceptional show presents some of the finest Vintage Book & Ephemera Dealers in America & Canada gathered together for one fabulous weekend, and offers an incredible book & ephemera related adventure!


SAN MARINO, Calif.—In commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the passage of the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens will illuminate the complexities of ending slavery with an exhibition drawn from its renowned collections of American historical manuscripts and prints. “The U.S. Constitution and the End of American Slavery” will be on view in the West Hall of the Library from Jan. 24-April 20, 2015.

On Monday 8th December, Sotheby’s will host "First Editions: Redrawn," an auction of annotated first editions from some of the world’s greatest-living illustrators to raise money for House of Illustration. Thirty-four much-loved illustrators-and some authors-have annotated and re-drawn timeless classics, giving a unique insight into the creative process involved.

Each illustrator has carefully selected and returned to their chosen books, providing additional illustrations, comments on existing drawings or even personal insights about the motivation behind characters.

New York—On December 4, Christie’s New York will conduct the sale of the 1962 Nobel Prize gold medal awarded to Dr. James D. Watson, one of the world’s greatest living scientists, for his ground-breaking discovery in 1953, alongside Dr. Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins, of the structure of DNA: the double helix. Their discovery gave birth to the new science of molecular biology and revolutionized modern medicine. A Nobel Prize medal has never before been offered for sale by a living recipient. A portion of the proceeds will be donated by Dr. Watson to continue his philanthropic legacy of supporting scientific research, academic institutions, and other charitable causes. This medal represents the turning point of 20th century medicine. It is estimated at $2.5 to $3.5 million.

No single person has done more to make DNA central to modern life than Dr. Watson, who wrote the first textbook of the new science, the innovative and highly influential Molecular Biology of the Gene (1965), followed by his memoir of the discovery, The Double Helix (1968)—one of the best-selling popular science books of all time.

Auction Guide