Christie's Announces Highlights from the Eric C. Caren Collection

crossing_the_delaware_and_the_battle_of_trenton_great_news_from_new-yo_d6082779g.jpgNew York—Christie’s announces the sale of the Eric C. Caren Collection: How History Unfolds on Paper at 2pm on Thursday, 15 June 2017 as a single-owner selection beginning the Books & Manuscripts auction, at Rockefeller Plaza. The 109 lots of the Caren Collection comprise broadsides, manuscripts, newspapers and pamphlets from the 16th-20th centuries and are expected to realize in excess of $1,000,000.

Eric Caren is a well-known figure at the vanguard of collecting historical paper. He started at age 11, carrying home armfuls of old newspapers from a local abandoned house. Decades later he sold his first collection of rare newspapers to form the nucleus of The Newseum on Pennsylvania Avenue. Caren is the author of 12 books on media history, including co-author of The Civil War (Smithsonian Headliner Series, 2004). He has handled literally millions of examples of “how history unfolds on paper” and considers the examples being sold on June 15 some of the best of the best of what he has collected over many decades.

The Caren Collection is remarkable for the high degree of rarity from item to item. Like the broadside pictured above, many lots are either the only examples known, unique manuscript items, or the only examples known to have appeared at public sale. These leaflets, handbills and personal letters were made to convey the news of the moment; that they survive for posterity at all is extraordinary.

Christina Geiger, Senior Specialist in Books and Manuscripts, states, “To hold them in your hands gives a true thrill. One feels a visceral connection to the important news stories of the past and to the men and women who lived through them.”

Further highlights include: a manuscript deposition which led to the execution of a Salem witch, 1692 (estimate $50,000-80,000); a letter written from Little Big Horn by a participant describing how he discovered Custer’s body and blaming the massacre on Custer (estimate $40,000-60,000); a front-page newspaper printing of Thomas Paine’s “These are the Times that Try Men’s Souls” American Crisis #1 (estimate $25,000-35,000); the earliest newspaper announcing the surrender of Cornwallis and end of the Revolutionary War under a huge banner headline “Laus Deo!” (estimate $15,000-25,000); and the breakthrough 1974 article with the invention of the internet, signed and inscribed by both inventors (estimate $12,000-18,000).

Image: The only known copy of this “Great News” broadside announcing Washington’s Crossing of the Delaware and signal victory at Trenton. Salem, MA: E. Russell, January 7, 1777. Estimate: $40,000-60,000


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