November 2015 Archives

This season Museum visitors can delight in a selection of distinctive holiday gifts, many produced exclusively for the Philadelphia Museum of Art stores. They range from exquisite, handmade items to silver jewelry, stocking stuffers, best-selling art books, high-quality reproductions of Museum masterpieces, and the timeless gift of membership.

Some of the items celebrate current special exhibitions at the Museum. Kevin O’ Brien Studio of Philadelphia has created a handmade merino wool scarf inspired by Mr. Huling’s Rack Picture (1888), a tromp l’oeil painting by William Michael Harnett that is highlighted in Audubon to Warhol: The Art of American Still Life ($95). Colorful cufflinks decorated with John James Audubon’s Carolina Parrots are among the accessories that celebrate the exhibition ($36). The shop in the Perelman Building contains an unusual selection of textiles, offered in conjunction with Art of the Zo: Textiles from Myanmar, India, and Bangladesh . They include tunics, wrap skirts, shawls, and blankets made from silk or cotton by the Zo peoples in workshops that preserve their weaving traditions ($50-$535). Also available are clutch purses and wallets with bright motifs, and silver earrings, necklaces, and bangles ($36-$60).


I write it out in a verse -

MacDonagh and MacBride
And Connolly and Pearse
Now and in time to be,
Wherever green is worn,
Are changed, changed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born.

--William Butler Yeats, “Easter, 1916”

The University of Delaware Library announces the exhibition “A terrible beauty is born”: The Easter Rising at 100, which will be on view in the Special Collections Gallery from February 9 until June 12, 2016.


Denver, Pennsylvania, November 24, 2015—Morphy Auctions, the finest auction destination for fresh to the market collections, is pleased to announce this exciting sale to be held on December 5th-6th, 2015. The event includes many fine works from well-known artists including Burgoyne Diller, Alan Saret, Kathe Kollwitz, Sir Stanley Spencer, Harry Bertoia, James Deneen, Jamie Wyeth, Arnoldo Corrodi, and many others.  This auction also presents collectors a spectrum of exquisite artwork, pottery, documents, decorative items, coins, and jewelry at a full range of price points.  All lots from this sale are on display in Morphy's auction gallery and available for preview now.   

Buyers seeking the finest in fine art need look no further than this sales event. With over 630 lots on offer, this auction includes top-tier examples from every category, including etchings, watercolors, photos, maps, pastels, silkscreens, monoprints, screenprints, paintings, lithographs, architectural renderings, and much more.  Collectors will no doubt want to color their world with Alan Saret's color pencil on paper "Jay Lee Rose Encounter," estimated at $3,000-5,000, and Hilla Rebay's watercolor "Abstract Composition," estimated at $1,000-2,000.  Kathe Kollwitz's original etching entitled "Death and Woman," estimated at $2,000-3,000 and Jamie Wyeth's limited edition etching of a hen, estimated at $1,000-1,500, are both quite fetching.  A 1930's-era Georgia Engelhard photograph of Alfred Stieglitz, estimated at $1,000-2,000, vividly captures a moment in time more than eight decades ago.  And cartography enthusiasts will find their true north with a period 18th-19th century map of Russia by cartographer Rigobert Bonne, estimated at $200-300.


Randall House Rare Books is pleased and proud to have successfully completed negotiations for the sale of two unpublished Charlotte Bronte manuscripts to the Bronte Society in England.  The discovery of the manuscripts is called “extraordinary” by Bronte expert Dr. Juliet Barker who went on to say "It's so unusual to get unpublished manuscripts in this day and age. To find an unpublished one like this—that we had no knowledge of its existence—is extraordinary." Dr. Barker wrote the seminal history of the Bronte Family. She has further stated that there is no question about the authenticity of the material.

The manuscripts and other autograph material are in a book that belonged to Charlotte’s mother, Maria, titled “The Remains of Henry Kirke White” by Robert Southey. The boat carrying Maria’s belongings, including this book, prior to her marriage to Patrick Bronte, suffered a shipwreck but were recovered. On an inside page in the book there is a Latin inscription, in Patrick Bronte’s handwriting “the book of my dearest wife and it was saved from the waves. So then it will always be preserved.”

DALLAS—A stash of rare movie posters discovered under a linoleum floor in York County, Pennsylvania, sold for a combined $219,000 in Heritage Auctions’ Vintage Poster Auction Nov. 21-22 in Dallas. The $2+ million auction offered seldom seen rarities from Hollywood’s golden age of film and poster art, with collectors eyeing never-before-seen posters hidden away for more than 60 years. Owner Robert Basta said the trove will fund his retirement nest egg.

“You always hear about these stories and I never believed it would happen to our family,” Basta said following the auction. “We are beyond thrilled with the results—we feel truly blessed.” 

The stash was discovered when Robert’s sons Bob and Dylan removed a dated linoleum floor during a renovation project at the home. The discovery uncovered the only-known surviving examples of five rare posters, making them true pieces of Hollywood history, said Grey Smith, Director of Vintage Posters at Heritage.


BENTONVILLE, AR—Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art announces its 2016 temporary exhibitions: Samuel F. B. Morse’s Gallery of the Louvre and the Art of Invention; The Open Road: Photography and the American Road Trip; American Made: Treasures from the American Folk Art Museum; and The Art of Dance: 1830-1960. 

“The 2016 temporary exhibitions offer a broad and unique set of lenses through which to view American art,” said Margi Conrads, Crystal Bridges Director of Curatorial Affairs. “Visitors can rediscover telegraph inventor Samuel Morse as an artist; experience the museum’s first-ever photography exhibition by joining internationally renowned photographers on their American road trips; enjoy more than 100 artworks from the collection of the American Folk Art Museum; and be inspired by the first major traveling exhibition connecting visual art and American dance.”


FALLS CHURCH, Va.—First-edition copies of books by Lewis Carroll and F. Scott Fitzgerald; rare NASA photographs dating to the early years of the U.S. space program, centuries-old maps and engraved views; Civil War lithographs and even an endearing Norman Rockwell color lithograph of Santa Claus will be auctioned by Waverly’s on Thursday, December 3.

The 461-lot sale will take place at Waverly’s gallery at 360 South Washington St., Falls Church, Va., starting at 6 p.m. Eastern time. Those who cannot attend in person may bid absentee, by phone or live online via or Items may be previewed Nov. 29 (noon to 4 p.m.), Nov. 30 (10-5:30), Dec. 1-2 (10-7) and on auction day (10-6).


For the fourth holiday season, the independent bookshops and antiquarian booksellers of Brooklyn will fill Park Slope's historic Old Stone House with rare, vintage, and out-of-print books. Get to know your local booksellers, jump-start your holiday shopping, and be surprised by books you didn’t even know you wanted! 

This year’s literary guest, acclaimed graphic novelist and Brooklyn chronicler Adrian Tomine, will be signing copies of his latest collection, Killing and Dying, “a deft, deadpan masterpiece,” from 12:00 to 1:00 PM.

Western Manuscripts Return to Ely House

LONDON, Dover Street—Following the success of their inaugural medieval manuscripts and miniatures sale at Bloomsbury Auctions, Dr Timothy Bolton and Camilla Previté return to Ely House with their second auction spanning some four millennia of human history. Western Manuscripts, will be held at Ely House, 37 Dover Street on Wednesday 9th December 2015 and will include 125 lots.

A section on medieval line drawing features nine lots illustrating the history of this art-form, at the head of which is an eleventh-century full-page drawing of Christ supported by angels, which is probably Norman and from the decades immediately following the Norman Conquest of England [Lot 47, est. £25,000-35,000.]

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NEW YORK, N.Y.—Barnebys, the online search and valuation tool for artworks, antiques and collectibles that has taken Europe by storm, will officially launch in the United States with an office in New York City, soon after the turn of the year. Already, representatives from the company are in Manhattan, gearing up for the launch.

From their other offices in Stockholm and London, Barnebys has already revolutionized the auctioneering landscape, but not as an online-bidding platform in an already crowded space. Rather, it is an auction house aggregator. The company’s free, one-stop service allows potential bidders immediate access to items they desire at a host of major international auction houses as well as regional houses and specialist collections around the world, regardless of where and when the sale happens.


WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.—Nestled between the sleek midcentury Italian furniture and cool contemporary artworks selected for Palm Beach Modern’s November 22, 2015 auction, a sci-fi gem is lurking. Entered as Lot 677, it’s a rare, super-creepy three-sheet Realart poster promoting the 1942 film “The Ghost of Frankenstein.” 

Realart posters rarely come to market, as very few examples have survived over the years. The present owner, a comic book collector and dealer since the age of nine, purchased the poster as a young man 27 years ago.

“He bought it from a woman whose father owned a movie theater. Apparently the poster was discovered in her father’s barn,” said Palm Beach Modern’s auctioneer, Rico Baca. “The consignor said he just had to have it after seeing the eerie green image of Frankenstein’s face, which dominates the poster.” Handled with care over the decades, the 72 by 37½-inch poster is estimated in the auction catalog at $6,000-$10,000.

Boston, MA—On Friday, the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center’s newest exhibition, We Are One: Mapping America’s Road from Revolution to Independence welcomed its 100,000th visitor since opening in May at the Boston Public Library. The exhibition is the most successful in the Map Center’s history, and has been visited by individuals from 46 states and 51 countries. We Are One closes its doors on November 29 before moving to Colonial Williamsburg in 2016. 

“This exhibition has succeeded beyond our wildest expectations,” said Jan Spitz, executive director of the Leventhal Map Center. “Tourists, visitors, scholars and regular Bostonians have flocked here over the last six months, and I think that’s a testament to the rarity and incredible historical value of the items in the collection.”


DALLAS—A trove of a 17 rare movie posters discovered under a linoleum floor in southern Pennsylvania may be worth more than $140,000 when they cross the block at public auction Nov. 21-22 in Dallas. The find holds lost pieces of Hollywood history - including five, never-before-seen posters such as Clark Gable’s first starring role and the Style D one sheet for Tarzan The Ape Man, which is expected to sell for more than $40,000 at Heritage Auctions.

The stash was discovered last summer by Bob and Dylan Basta while renovating a back room in their father’s newly-purchased home. When Bob and Dylan removed a dated linoleum floor they discovered layers of newspapers from the 1940s and 14 movie posters from obscure films they had never heard of well as the well-known Tarzan. They quickly called their father, Robert, to report the discovery.

The Yale University Library, which recently celebrated its 314th anniversary, is collaborating with Preservica to preserve nearly one petabyte* (PB) of digital content.  

The Yale Library comprises 15 libraries and houses more than 15 million volumes and information in all media, ranging from ancient papyri to early printed books to electronic databases. Renowned globally for the size and rarity of much of its archive, it is highly regarded as an archival repository for many major 20th century American leaders. It is also home to The Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies which contains approximately 4400 videotaped interviews. These have been digitized for preservation and access purposes, due to the degradation of their original media, and will be ingested into Preservica. is an online auction site dedicated to the sale of rare and out-of print books, maps & prints, documents, letters, ephemera and vintage photography.

All pricing is done in US$. No buyer’s premium is charged.


Lot 17

F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Last Tycoon

An Unfinished Novel, together with The Great Gatsby,
and Selected Short Stories


DALLAS—Maxfield Parrish’s classic Jason and His Teacher, published as a 1909 frontspiece by Collier's magazine, sold for more than $1 million Nov. 16 in Heritage Auctions’ fall American Fine Art Auction in New York. The $4.2 million auction set several world records, including the most valuable painting ever sold by artist Stevan Dohanos. His 1950 Saturday Evening Post cover Menemsha, Massachusetts, Post Office soared to $167,000, against a $40,000 estimate.

“Our last three American Fine Art auctions have been powerhouses—a trifecta of stellar results,” said Aviva Lehmann, Director of American Art. “Our team works diligently all year long to curate an irresistible selection of art and our latest world records shows clients like what they see at Heritage.”


New York— On Tuesday, December 15, Swann Galleries’ will offer African-American Fine Art, featuring a newly re-discovered Norman Lewis painting, an important early-career modernist painting by Romare Bearden, and what is believed to be the first painting by Elizabeth Catlett to come to auction.

This sale is peppered with highlights and discoveries, headlined by Norman Lewis’s Untitled, a previously unrecorded 1958 large, earth-toned oil painting from the artist’s late 1950s body of abstraction. With this large canvas Lewis continued to explore “ritual” calligraphic figures while moving further toward color field painting. The preview for this auction will be the first time the painting has been publicly displayed, coinciding perfectly with the first comprehensive museum retrospective of Norman Lewis’s work which opened this month at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts Museum in Philadelphia. The painting is estimated at $250,000 to $350,000. Several other works by Lewis are included in the sale, including a 1943 lithograph, Madam ($5,000 to $7,000), from his period teaching at the new George Washington Carver School alongside Elizabeth Catlett and Charles White.

NOVEMBER 16, 2015—The New York Public Library has acquired the archive of The New York Review of Books, the nation’s premier intellectual forum offering authoritative debates and reports on culture, economics, and politics. Founded in 1963 by Robert B. Silvers and Barbara Epstein, The Review is a magazine where the most interesting and qualified minds discuss current books and issues in depth for a general audience. 

The Library’s Board of Trustees approved the acquisition at its meeting today, bringing about 3,000 linear feet of manuscript material from the publication to the Library’s Manuscripts and Archives Division. The papers - acquired with a generous donation from husband and wife Roger Alcaly and Helen Bodian - are a significant addition to the Library’s collections, already rich with materials documenting the political, cultural and intellectual history of New York City.

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BOXBOROUGH, MA—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!

Scheduled for Saturday January 23, 2016 at the well-known Holiday Inn in Boxborough, MA, Exhibitors from across the Northeast and Canada will gather to present an outstanding array of fine, rare & unusual old books, maps, postcards, autographs, prints, posters, advertising, and much, much more. Plus, we have appraisals by well-known appraiser John Bruno, star of the PBS series Market Warriors, and guest appraisers from 12-2pm. Interested parties—both dealers & customers—should contact Flamingo Eventz at 603.509.2639 /

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New York— On Tuesday, December 8, Swann Galleries will offer The Mapping of America: 85 Important Maps & Atlases alongside the auction of Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books.

The auction begins with a separate catalogue dedicated to an 85-lot offering of premium maps: a tour through the mapping of North America, beginning with early European conceptions of the continent and following the expansion of the nation all the way through the settling of the Wild West. The tour begins with lot 1, Sebastian Muenster’s Tavola dell’isole nuove, Basel, 1558, the earliest map to depict the entirety of America and name the Pacific Ocean (estimate $3,000 to $5,000). Some of these early maps seem barely recognizable to modern eyes and contain famous errors, such as the long-lasting cartographic fallacy of mapping California as an island. One example in the sale predates the famed Brigg’s map thought to be the earliest representation of California as an island, a map inset in the title page to Johann Theodor de Bry and Michiel Colijn’s Zwolffter Theil der Newen Welt, Frankfurt, 1623 ($1,000 to $1,500).

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

This catalog presents rare, antique and decorative books as well as select additions of ephemera, artwork and collectibles.  Prominent in this sale is a selection of early botanical titles featuring fine plates.  An array of early engravings and lithographs is accompanied by a group of incunabula.


NEW YORK, NOVEMBER 2015—On 22 December, Sotheby’s New York will auction 12 extraordinary items from The Valmadonna Trust Library—the most important private library of Hebrew books and manuscripts in the world.

The auction follows the Library’s wildly popular exhibition at Sotheby’s in February 2009, which presented all 11,000 items on public view together for the first time, and drew thousands of excited visitors, including many scholars and collectors. The group of items on offer in December will include the legendary Valmadonna copy of the Bomberg Talmud, as well as the magnificent Hebrew Bible produced in England in 1189, the only dated Hebrew manuscript preceding King Edward I’s 1290 edict expelling the Jews (estimates $5/7 million and $2/4 million, respectively). This remarkable selection will be on view in New York from 16-21 December, alongside highlights from Sotheby’s Important Judaica auction.


Jackson Hole, Wyo.—November 2015—WRJ Design, a Jackson Hole-based firm known for creating stunning interiors as well as for remarkable exhibitions of legendary personal collections, is designing an auction preview for Sotheby’s New York focused on the rarified English book and art-filled estate of late financier Robert S Pirie. Described by Sotheby’s as “the finest collection of 16th- and 17th-century English literature in private hands,” the Pirie materials include significant works by Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe, Ben Jonson and John Donne among others. The WRJ-designed exhibition is set to open at Sotheby’s on Nov. 27, 2015, with the auction to follow Dec. 2-5. The estate, including roughly 1,500 books, is expected to fetch more than $15 million.

“We are recreating the spirit and aesthetic of the Pirie collection and interiors,” says Rush Jenkins, CEO and owner of WRJ Design with COO Klaus Baer, of the upcoming Sotheby’s show. The WRJ team’s expertise will go toward highlighting Pirie’s extraordinary books, which include the first collected edition of Shakespeare’s poems from 1640, one of the rarest editions of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, and Charles I’s personal copy of the King James Bible. “Working with Sotheby’s to design an exhibit that captures the passion of Mr. Pirie combined with the intellectual writings of these great historical authors is an honor and pleasure,” adds Jenkins.

The Estate of Francis Bacon has announced the publication of Francis Bacon: Catalogue Raisonné, presenting the entire oeuvre of the artist’s work for the first time. Due for global publication on 28th April 2016—the anniversary of Francis Bacon’s death—the impeccably produced limited edition will contain over 900 illustrations in five, cloth-bound hardcover volumes.

Edited by Martin Harrison, FSA, the pre-eminent expert on Bacon’s work, alongside research assistant, Dr Rebecca Daniels, this ambitious and painstaking project has been ten years in the making. Much needed, it replaces Rothenstein/Alley’s Francis Bacon 1964 catalogue, the only previous catalogue raisonné of the artist’s work, which comprised just 37% of Bacon’s ultimate oeuvre and 27 paintings illustrated in colour.

New Haven, Conn.—The Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Yale University has acquired “an extraordinary treasure trove” of medieval and Renaissance books and manuscript fragments that once belonged to scholar and rare-book dealer Otto Frederick Ege, who made a controversial practice of dismantling manuscripts and selling the pages individually. 

The acquisition adds dozens of manuscript fragments and more than 50 complete manuscripts to the Beinecke Library’s rich collection of medieval books.


London, 15 November 2015—A deluxe illustrated edition of J.K. Rowling's “Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone” containing inscriptions from the author (“The Book that changed my life.│J.K. Rowling”), and the illustrator ("Mine too! Thank you Jo. | Jim Kay"), with an original drawing by Jim Kay of a baby dragon, will be offered for sale at Sotheby’s London on 17th December 2015.

This is the first printed copy of the deluxe full-colour illustrated edition of “Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone” published by Bloomsbury on 5th November 2015.* An advance copy, it was hand-bound in Italy, and is the only book to contain the inscriptions and unique dragon illustration.

Amherst, MA (November 12, 2015)—The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art is pleased to announce four new members to its Board of Trustees: Kate Geis, William Gorth, Chris Loker, and John Mendelson. All four members join a diverse board of professionals who oversee The Carle’s strategic and fundraising goals while striving to raise awareness and support of museum programs. Each new member brings diverse talents and new perspectives to the Museum.

The Carle, now almost 13, is a national resource for picture books, offering unparalleled artistic, cultural, and educational resources. “We are delighted to welcome these four new members who will support and guide the museum as we embark on an exciting new phase of growth, including partnerships with major museums around the country,” said Chairman of the Board, Christopher B. Milne. “Their experience and connections will be a great help to us as we continue to build our endowment and raise awareness of this important institution,” said Milne.

Minnesota Center for Book Arts announces 2015 Winter Book From the Center: On Community and the Practice of Making, featuring writing from members of MCBA’s artist community.

Publication Party: Saturday, December 12, 2015; 6-9pm      

Please join the board and staff of MCBA in celebrating the publication of From the Center: On Community and the Practice of Making, the 25th in MCBA's Winter Book series celebrating the handmade book.

Saturday, December 12, 2015; 6-9pm

6:00 pm: Public reception

MCBA’s Studios and Gallery


New York—Swann Galleries’ October 15 auction of Icons & Images: Fine & Vernacular Photographs brought over $1.4 million and saw particular success for female photographers and documentary photographers.

The highlight of the sale was Sally Mann’s silver print Candy Cigarette, 1989, which sold for $215,000*. The iconic image of Mann’s daughter Jesse wasn’t the only work by a female photographer to perform well in the sale: Morroccan photographer Lalla Essaydi’s oversized chromogenic print Converging Territories #10, 2003, realized $22,500; while Dorothea Lange’s emotional 1936 silver print Migrant Mother, printed 1970s, brought $20,000. Two works by Margaret Bourke-White sold among the top lots: The Liberation of Buchenwald, silver print, 1945, printed 1966-72, which sold for $15,000; and Molten Steel, Otis Steel Company, silver print, 1928-29, which brought $11,875. Contemporary artist Vera Lutter’s Pepsi Cola, Long Island City: IV A, May 20th, 1998, a camera obscura silver print, 1998, brought $11,250.


DALLAS—The only known surviving April 14, 1912 first class dinner menu from the R.M.S. Titanic, saved the very night the ‘unsinkable ship’ slipped beneath the waves of the North Atlantic Ocean, sold for $118,750 in Heritage Auctions $1.1+ millionAmericana & Political Grand Format Auction Nov. 7 in Dallas. The Nov. 7 auction offered a host of rare and one-of-a-kind items including the license plates used on the Presidential limousine carrying President John F. Kennedy when he was assassinated on Nov. 22, 1963 in Dallas, which sold for $100,000.

“We pride ourselves on preserving unique items which played a crucial role in the history of our country and the world and this auction was no exception,” said Tom Slater, Director of Americana Auctions at Heritage. “These objects tell the story of the human experience and the rare trove of Titanic objects and the Kennedy limo plates are among the most evocative ever offered at Heritage.”


LOS ANGELES—From February 12 - 14, 2016, thousands of book lovers, rare book dealers, and scholars will converge at the Pasadena Convention Center for the 49th California International Antiquarian Book Fair. Recognized as one of the world's largest and most prestigious exhibitions of antiquarian books, the Book Fair gives visitors the opportunity to see, learn about and purchase the finest in rare and valuable books, manuscripts, autographs, graphics, photographs and more. The 2016 edition of the Book Fair will also include a special exhibit marking the 150th anniversary of the publication of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland.

Featuring the collections and rare treasures of 200 booksellers from the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America and the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers, the Book Fair will present volumes from five centuries of printing, as well as original manuscripts that predate Gutenberg. Books will cover every imaginable area of interest—from the history of travel and exploration, early science and medicine to classic literature, modern first editions, children's and illustrated books, and the arts. Items range in price from a few dollars to more than six figures.

Winnie the Pooh, Wine Waiter, at Bonhams

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A charming sketch by Winnie the Pooh illustrator E. H. Shepard, dashed off as a farewell gift to the steward who had served at his table on a voyage to Australia over Christmas and New Year 1967/68, is included in Bonhams Fine Books and Manuscripts sale in London on 11 November.  It is estimated at £8,000-12,000. 

The sketch, marked table 32 and signed by Shepard’s fellow diners, shows Winnie the Pooh carrying a gigantic bottle of wine and Piglet loaded down with dishes trotting around behind.  Shepard drew it on the back of the menu for the Landfall Dinner marking the arrival of the SS Arcadia in Sydney on 14 January 1968 at the end of the voyage.

The Brick Row Book Shop Centenary

SAN FRANCISCO—On the eve of its centenary, the Brick Row Book Shop of San Francisco is the primary contender for oldest bookstore in the United States. The elegantly appointed shop in Union Square was first established in New Haven in December 1915, with additional branches springing up in Princeton and New York City after initial commercial success. The Independent called Brick Row “one of the most original and inviting antiquarian bookshops in America.” Early clients included William Faulkner and F. Scott Fitzgerald, who wrote to his friend Edmund Wilson in 1922, “I have Ulysses from the Brick Row Book Shop…there is something about middle-class Ireland that depresses me inordinately.”  

The story of The Brick Row Book Shop—which flourished continuously in five American cities before settling in San Francisco—is also the story of its owners, a series of slightly eccentric, ferociously well-read (and sometimes ferocious) gentlemen.  The first was Edmond Byrne Hackett, a schoolmate of James Joyce who later introduced Joyce to his American editor. Hackett worked at Doubleday before becoming the first director of the Yale University Press.  An irascible man from a good family (his brother was one of the first literary editors of The New Republic) Hackett opened his New Haven shop during a moment of Jazz Age excess after the first World War; an early Publishers Weekly account lauded Hackett’s “original strategy of reaching the young men of Yale, Columbia, and Princeton.”  As his successor, the equally memorable Franklin Gilliam revealed, Hackett “was asked to leave one of those places…because of his technique of getting the youngsters to buy expensive books and then suing the parents for payment.” But Hackett was also a genuine man of letters, using his position to publish original books, including a 1922 collection of Herman Melville writings that helped to pique interest in the mostly forgotten author.


Poignant letters—never before made public—to Antarctic hero Dr Edward Wilson, who froze to death with Captain Scott on their doomed return from the South Pole in 1912, are to be sold at the sale of selected contents of Hooton Pagnell Hall at Bonhams Knightsbridge, London on Tuesday 1 December 2015.

The letters form a fascinating link between Hooton Pagnell Hall—one of Yorkshire’s finest houses—and the Antarctic expeditions of Captain Scott and Ernest Shackleton.


New York—On Tuesday, November 24, Swann Galleries’ Books & Manuscripts department will offer Art, Press & Illustrated Books.

The sale is headlined by Marcel Schwob’s Vies Imaginaires. Illustrated by George Barbier, the book was designed by François-Louis Schmied ($20,000 to $30,000). This is Barbier’s personal copy, one of 120 books printed for members of Le Livre Contemporarian, with a bound-in menu signed by Barbier and 39 other members in attendance at the society’s annual dinner in 1929. Also featured is a Kelmscott Press printing of The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer now newly imprinted, one of only 425 copies, Hammersmith, 1896 (estimate $45,000 to $60,000). The most famous book of the modern private press movement, the intricately illuminated text took years to create, and features woodcuts by Edward Burne-Jones.

NEW YORK, 2 November 2015—On 17 December, Sotheby’s will offer at auction an outstanding collection of images from Robert Frank’s The Americans, one of the most influential books of photography ever published. Collectors Ruth and Jake Bloom assembled this extraordinary group of iconic photographs over more than two decades, collecting 77 of the 83 pictures reproduced in the book. This seminal series of images, so compelling on the printed page, gains a new resonance when seen as photographic prints. The sale this December will represent the first time such an extensive collection of photographs from The Americans has appeared at public auction. “The exhibition will be on view in Paris from 9 to 13 November, in San Francisco on 1 December, in Los Angeles on 3 December, and in New York beginning on 12 December.”

Christopher Mahoney, Head of Sotheby’s Photographs Department, said: “It is truly a unique opportunity to offer this remarkable collection at auction, particularly as it is one of the most comprehensive groupings of The Americans known to be in private hands. The series is one of the great accomplishments in the canon of post-war photography, and seeing these photographs together is a powerful experience and a testament to Ruth and Jake’s status as visionary collectors.”

Sotheby’s London will offer the first complete edition of the most luxurious atlas in the history of printed maps: Joannes Blaeu’s Atlas Major. The largest and most expensive book when published in the 17th-century, the Atlas Major remains the most magnificent work of its kind ever produced. Published in 1662, this first edition of the legendary atlas is one of the true master pieces of the Dutch Golden Age. Estimated at £240,000-320,000, the Atlas Major leads Sotheby’s auction of Travel Atlases, Maps and Natural History in London on 17 November 2015.

The Atlas Major covers the entirety of known world in the 17th-Century, with particular emphasis on Europe, but with separate volumes dedicated to America and China. At the time of its production, the atlas’s cartography, geographical scope and craftsmanship were unprecedented. Comprising 11 large folio volumes, containing 594 engraved maps, plans, and views, all finely coloured by hand in exquisite detail, and nearly 3,000 pages of text, this massive atlas took a team of printers and binders craftsmen many months to produce.

DALLAS—The only known Style D one sheet for MGM’s 1932 classic Tarzan the Ape Man, notable for accurately depicting star Johnny Weissmuller as he actually appears in the film, is estimated to sell for $40,000 to $80,000 in Heritage Auctions next Vintage Movie Poster Auction, but with no recent sales that range is just a guess. Offering more than 1,000 vintage posters and movie-related memorabilia, the auction holds an extensive collection of animation-themed posters, rare pre-war paper and an extraordinary selection of seldom-seen three-sheets.

“This auction holds numerous finds suitable for the advanced collector,” said Grey Smith, director of Vintage Posters at Heritage. “I was floored when I saw the only known Style D one sheet poster for 1932’s Tarzan the Ape Man, as well as an impressive one sheet of Mickey’s Mellerdrammer from 1933.”

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Two fascinating letters from James Bond author, Ian Fleming, to a doctor who wrote to him about his most famous fictional creation are being sold at Bonhams Fine Books and Manuscripts sale in London on 11 November. They are estimated at £3,000-4,000 each. 

The letters were published for the first time recently in The Man with the Golden Typewriter, an anthology of Fleming’s correspondence compiled by his nephew, Fergus Fleming. They were addressed to Dr G.R.G.D. Gibson, an Aston Martin enthusiast who initially contacted the novelist with an enquiry about Bond’s car.

The extremely rare and the highly important held sway at PBA Galleries’ auction of Rare Cartography, Exploration & Voyages: The Warren Heckrotte Collection, Part I - Exploration & Early Approaches, held on October 29, 2015. The select, 202-lot offering concentrated on the exploration and mapping of the Americas, with particular attention paid to the west and northwest coasts of North America, extending north to Alaska and the Bering Strait. Warren Heckrotte began collecting in the 1960s, and his superb and extensive collection of maps, books, and atlases contained many scarce items that had not been on the market in several decades, some of which only a handful of copies are known to exist. The sale drew a small but active cadre of floor bidders attending, and scores of participants by telephone and real-time bidding over the internet. 

The result was PBA Galleries’ best-ever auction, with a total of $1,549,816 in sales, and three lots topping the $100,000 figure, with only five minor lots going unsold. The first of the six-figure lots was John Green’s Remarks in Support of the New Chart of North and South America; in Six Sheets, 1753, the text accompanied by the rare six-sheet map, bound together in period full red calf tooled in gilt with the arms of a Portuguese marquis. The Remarks and highly influential map, which was the first to assign the name Bering to the strait between Asia and North America, was bid to $131,500, well over the $20,000-$30,000 estimate. Like a number of the rarities in the auction, the Green chart with the Remarks comes to the market so seldom that it is hard to predict what the results might be - in fact this very copy last sold at auction for $2,175 back in 1980.

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The Boston Athenæum is proud to present the upcoming exhibition, Collecting for the Boston Athenæum in the 21st Century: Maps, Charts, & Plans, opening to the public in the Norma Jean Calderwood Gallery on Tuesday, November 3, and on view through Sunday, February 28. A free and public reception celebrating the opening of the exhibition will be held on Monday, November 2, 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Boston Athenæum at 101⁄2 Beacon Street, Boston, MA 02108.

Curated by John Lannon, Associate Director and Curator of Maps, Collecting for the Boston Athenæum in the 21st Century: Maps, Charts, & Plans brings together an exquisite selection of materials from the institution’s rich cartographic collection. The third in a series, the exhibition celebrates the Athenæum’s robust acquisitions program and showcases more than 50 objects that have been added to the collection since the year 2000. Visitors will discover works from the 16th to the 21st centuries, including a chart of Casco Bay by J.F.W. DesBarres; a rare French edition of a classic map of the Americas by Petrus Bertius, published in the mid-17th century; and a beautiful example of one of the earliest charts to focus on the New England coastline by J. van Keulen.

DALLAS—Andy Warhol's Endangered Species, 1983, set a new world record for a numbered edition when it sold for $725,000 in Heritage Auctions’ New York debut of Modern & Contemporary Art. The Oct. 28 auction—the first of two such sales planned this season—garnered more than $3.8+ million on just 21 lots. The firm’s second Modern & Contemporary Art offering takes place Nov. 14 in Dallas

“New York’s Modern & Contemporary Art community gave Heritage Auctions a warm, warm welcome,” said Leon Benrimon, Heritage’s New York Director of Modern & Contemporary Art. “We put together a strong selection—unique artworks you couldn’t find anywhere else—and it’s clear collectors respected the selection and the overall character of what Heritage can bring to market.”

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