Fine Bindings, Russian Children's Books, and Lincolnalia Among Top Lots at Leslie Hindman

437_97A_Tseppelin_CMYK copy.jpgAmong top lots at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers’ May 5 Fine Books and Manuscripts auction were fine bindings by Weitz-Coleman, a Soviet Russian children's book collection and Lincolnalia. The auction offered an Art of the Book session in addition to traditional books, manuscripts, maps, memorabilia, coins and autographs.

The Art of the Book session included a collection of Soviet Constructivist children¹s books, previously archived by the University of Chicago library. The booklets were mass-produced after the Russian Revolution as part of a five-year national publishing project developed under Stalin's rule. Distributed for use at home and school, and depicting propaganda for making a collective society, a new man and a new ideology, the collection blends radical socialism with experimental media.

One example pertaining to war and the army, Grazhdanskaia voina (The Civil War), OGIZ (Leningrad): Molodaia gvardiia, 1931, sold for $3,000 against a presale estimate of $100-200. A group of transportation related books, Tseppelin (Zeppelin), OGIZ (Moscow): Molodaia Gvardiia, 1931, sold for $2,750 against a presale estimate of $100-200. The entire collection of 38 children's books brought $32,075 with two unsold and 44% of the collection selling to overseas collectors live-bidding online.

Of particular interest is a collection of fine bindings by Herbert Weitz of Weitz-Coleman. Aesop's Fables, London: William Heinemann, 1912, stamped NYC 1992 by Weitz-Coleman, sold for $3,000 against a presale estimate of $1,000-2,000. Rip Van Winkle, New York: Doubleday, Page and Company, 1905, stamped NYC 1992 by Weitz-Coleman, sold for $1,500 against a presale estimate of $800-1,200. Tales of Mystery and Imagination , London: George G. Harrap, 1935, stamped NYC 1992 by Weitz-Coleman, sold for $2,500 with a presale estimate of $800-1,200.Gulliver's Travels, London: J.M. Dent and Company, 1909, stamped NYC 1992 by Weitz-Coleman, sold for $2,500 against a presale estimate of $800-1,200.

From the Americana category, and the top selling lot in the sale, was a rare three-volume biography of Abraham Lincoln. The biography has been supplemented with over 100 autographed letters, documents and photographs from the President himself, his family and his contemporaries, including a particularly nasty letter from Mary Todd Lincoln that scolds a certain Mrs. Harris for sending a lesser gift than she had expected for the Lincoln's first New Years Eve at the White House. The set was previously owned by Frank Lowden, the 25th Governor of the state of Illinois (in office. 1917-1921). It sold for $26,250 against a presale estimate of $10,000-15,000.

Additional highlights include a 1st US edition of Moby-Dick or The Whale, which sold for $13,750 against a presale estimate of $10,000 ­-15,000. From the Art of the Book session, Prosper Merimee¹s Carmen, illustrated by Pablo Picasso, 1949, sold for $8,750, a collection of 15 deluxe issues of Derriere Le Miroir, 1964-1977, sold for $8,750 and Apollinaire's Si je mourais la-bas , 1962, illustrated by Georges Braque, sold for $7,500.

Additional results can be found online at lesliehindman.com.

Image: (KONDRATOV, FEDOR) KASSIL, LEV ABRAMOVICH. Tseppelin. Moscow, 1931. With 3 others on transportation (4 total) Estimate: $100 to $200. Sold for: $2,750.

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