Humboldt's Magnum Opus Exceeds Expectations at National Book Auctions

1007.jpgThe July 15, 2017 sale at National Book Auctions (NBA) featured a broad range of rare and collectible books and ephemera.

Figuring prominently were titles relating to the opening of the American West as well as emblem books dating back to the early 17th century. Another standout offering was an early edition of Alexander von Humboldt's magnum opus "Voyage aux Regions Equinoxiales du Nouveau Continent." This highly decorative set with calf-backed, marbled, and gilt-stamped boards fetched $1,125 against a high estimate of $400. This pleasing result reflects the recent resurgence of interest in von Humboldt thanks to Andrea Wulf's 2016 bestseller "The Invention of Nature," which credits the German geographer with "forever chang[ing] the way we see the natural world."

Noteworthy ephemera lots included a very early issue of Detective Comics featuring Batman and Robin, which was discovered among personal papers during a complete estate clean-out conducted by NBA's full-service sister company Worth Auctions. Also showcased were an envelope franked by James A. Garfield; an original drawing by Rube Goldberg inscribed to the famous conservationist Horace Marden Albright; and a suite of vintage gravure prints by such iconic early 20th century photographers as Imogen Cunningham and Charles Sheeler.

Further complementary material will be featured in NBA's upcoming sale on July 29, 2017. NBA's cataloged live sales take place in the Galleries at Worth Asset Brokerage in Freeville, New York (just six miles north of Cornell University) and are simulcast to a global bidding audience via Invaluable. For more information about bidding or consigning, mail@nationalbookauctions.com or call 607-269-0101.

Image: Voyage aux Regions Equinoxiales du Nouveau Continent.

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