January 2018 Archives

New York — LiveAuctioneers, the world’s leading online marketplace for auctions of collectibles, antiques and fine art, today announced its participation in the Codex Consortium, which supports the Codex Protocol, a decentralized title registry for the $2 trillion arts & collectibles (A&C) asset class that brings provenance onto the blockchain. LiveAuctioneers has committed to adopting Codex Protocol, its native token, and its first product, Biddable, the day the protocol is launched. In the short term, Biddable will make bidding easier for LiveAuctioneers’ audience of 12 million users, enable bidding with cryptocurrency, and bring an influx of cryptowealth to auction houses. Over the long term, Codex will create a larger and more trusted art and collectibles market that will benefit LiveAuctioneers’ auction-house partners.

As part of the Codex Consortium, LiveAuctioneers will be working closely with the Codex team and integrating the protocol into its online marketplace. Codex’s first application, Biddable, will make it possible to register for auctions instantly by leaving a cryptocurrency deposit and to pay for won items in cryptocurrency. Today, auction houses lose substantial revenue to bidders who renege on items they win. Because of this, many auction houses require extensive financial disclosures from potential bidders just to participate. With Biddable, anyone can bid easily without invasive financial disclosures.

“We are thrilled to be one of the first members of the Codex Consortium and to bring Biddable to our users. At LiveAuctioneers we pride ourselves in being the first to help auction-house partners grow sales with innovative technology solutions,” said Phil Michaelson, president of LiveAuctioneers. “While we have been recognized in the industry for our customer service, there are major frictions in the bidding experience. Registering for auctions can be hard, especially for foreign bidders and those with anonymous wealth. Meanwhile, some auction houses lose up to ten percent of their revenue to non-performing bidders, and the auction industry likely rejects over one million bidder registrations per year. LiveAuctioneers has continuously invested in providing our auction-house partners with services and technology solutions to address this problem, and Biddable is the most impressive we’ve seen. Biddable can securely and anonymously increase trust among buyers, seller and consignors, so we, our bidders, and our auction-house partners eagerly await its launch.”

With the growing amount of cryptowealth around the world, wealthy cryptoholders are seeking uncorrelated and discrete ways to store value. With Codex and Biddable, cryptoinvestors will be able to invest in assets with low correlation to other cryptocurrencies. Michaelson continued, “Auction houses look forward to welcoming the new generation of cryptowealthy as they invest in art and collectibles. With Biddable, cryptoholders will be able to use cryptocurrency to bid on and buy tens of millions of unique items worth several billion dollars in tens of thousands of auctions from thousands of auction houses. Exceptional items ranging from Corvettes to Warhols, from antique cameras to Patek Philippe watches and Viking jewelry, are available at LiveAuctioneers. As with Codex, they’ll be able to prove provenance with a title, which will preserve the value of their items without disclosing their identity. We could not be more excited about joining the Codex consortium, and our clients feel similarly.”

CEO of Codex, Mark Lurie, said, “LiveAuctioneers has always been committed to investing in and developing innovative technologies for the arts and collectibles space. They have an established international presence that brings millions of bidders and billions of dollars of collectibles to the marketplace. In contrast, the auction items available for purchase with cryptocurrency anywhere else in the world fill less than a single room. LiveAuctioneers is well positioned to understand where the market can be improved, what motivates participants, and what the major hurdles are when it comes to growing arts and collectibles as a financial asset class. Codex was created by industry players for industry players, and we aim to create a larger, better, and fairer market for collectors, intermediaries and artists alike.”

By hosting thousands of auctions in real time via the Internet, LiveAuctioneers allows unprecedented access to live sales. Codex and Biddable will extend that mission to make the auction process easier, more trustworthy and more accessible. As the Codex title registry grows, the arts and collectibles industry will be able to buy, sell, securitize, insure, and lend against the asset class more easily.

About LiveAuctioneers.com:

Founded in 2002, LiveAuctioneers.com digitally connects an audience of millions with the live-bidding action at nearly 5,000 premier auction houses and galleries in 59 countries, providing a highly curated and trusted marketplace of unique items. Privately owned and headquartered in New York City, LiveAuctioneers is the world’s preferred online source for fine and decorative art, antiques, jewelry and vintage collectibles.

About Codex:

Codex is the leading decentralized title registry for the $2 trillion arts & collectibles (“A&C”) ecosystem, which includes art, fine wine, collectible cars, antiques, decorative art, coins, watches, jewelry and more. Powered by the BidDex native token, the Codex Protocol is open source, allowing third-party players in the A&C ecosystem to build applications and utilize the title system. Codex’s landmark application, Biddable, is a title-escrow system built on the Codex Protocol, which solves long-standing challenges in auctions: non-performing bidders, lack of privacy, and bidder access. The codes Protocol and BidDex will be adopted as the only cryptocurrency by the Codex Consortium, a group of major stakeholders in the A&C space who facilitate over $6 billion in sales to millions of bidders across tens of thousands of auctions from 5,000 auction houses in more than 50 countries. To learn more about the Codex Protocol and Biddable, please visit www.codexprotocol.com.

Wolf-FIU.jpgMiami Beach, FL — For summer 2018, The Wolfsonian-Florida International University is tapping into today’s fascination with Russian propaganda through two coinciding shows focused on early 20th-century Soviet graphic design. Constructing Revolution: Soviet Propaganda Posters from Between the World Wars (April 13-August 12), organized by the Bowdoin College Museum of Art in Brunswick, Maine, and the complementary library installation Red and Black: Revolution in Soviet Propaganda Graphics (April 5-August 5) will shed light on ties between cultural life and revolutionary ideology in the decades following the 1917 Russian Revolution. Both shows explore how designers were inspired by the utopian ideals of the revolution to develop new techniques of graphic persuasion on behalf of Russia’s Communist dictatorship.

“With Constructing Revolution, the stars truly aligned,” said Tim Rodgers, Wolfsonian director. “We recognized in Bowdoin’s exhibition a rare opportunity to do what The Wolfsonian does best—present some of the finest examples of modern propaganda, reexamine objects from our own collection, and offer fresh insight into a topic currently front and center on the worldwide stage.”

Bringing more than 50 Soviet-era posters from the private collection of Svetlana and Eric Silverman together with rarely seen works held by The Wolfsonian, Constructing Revolution showcases a number of key figures in the Soviet artistic avant-garde, among them Vladimir Mayakovsky, Aleksandr Rodchenko, and Gustav Klutsis. The exhibition charts the formative decades of the USSR and provides a glimpse into this turbulent period of Russian history, when posters were employed to provide a new visual language converting Communist aspirations into readily accessible, urgent, public art. The resulting images reflect a remarkable degree of artistic experimentation, even as their content was strictly guided by the priorities of the Soviet state.

Highlights include:

  • Dmitrii Moor’s Death to World Imperialism (1919), which depicts a monstrous green dragon representing the dangers faced by the young Soviet state during the Civil War that broke out immediately following the 1917 Russian Revolution;
  • A 1920 poster of a worker holding a banner for the May Day celebration, a design first produced in stencil for dissemination to local artists;
  • Grigorii Shegal’s Down with Kitchen Slavery (1929), illustrating the Soviet state’s promise to liberate women from domestic tasks so that they could participate as workers and citizens on an equal basis to men;
  • Working Men and Women-Everyone to the Election of Soviets (1930) by Gustav Klutsis,  pioneer of the photomontage technique, which combines photographic images, text, and graphic elements into a single cohesive message; and
  • A 1930 photomontage poster by Valentina Kulagina commemorating women’s industrial labor for International Working Women’s Day.

“These works speak to the paradox of the Soviet Union during its early decades, when utopianism went hand-in-hand with manipulation,” said Jon Mogul, Wolfsonian associate director of curatorial & education. “There is an undeniable sense of excitement, optimism, and experimentation in these images, though they also convey the sanitized and one-sided version of reality that contributed to the consolidation of a brutally repressive dictatorship.”

In conjunction with the exhibition, the focused installation Red and Black will feature roughly 20 rare books, periodicals, postcards, and portfolio plates from The Wolfsonian-FIU Library that reveal the contribution of Constructivism to Soviet graphic design. A key movement in the early 20th century, Constructivism applied abstraction and the machine aesthetic to the practical design of everything from architecture to household objects—all in service of the Communist vision of building a new, classless society.

The Wolfsonian has been recognized internationally for the attention it has given to political propaganda, a subject prevalent in both its mission and its collection of modern-age material, 1850-1950. Throughout the museum’s 22-year history, dozens of exhibitions and countless programs have investigated how objects and images were shaped into tools of political persuasion in countries across the globe.

Constructing Revolution: Soviet Propaganda Posters from Between the World Wars (Apr 13-Aug 12, 2018), organized by the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, reveals how the Soviet state wielded graphic design to inspire and manipulate the public

Red and Black: Revolution in Soviet Propaganda Graphics (Apr 5-Aug 5, 2018), examines avant-garde art in books, periodicals, postcards, and portfolio plates from The Wolfsonian-FIU Library

wells fargo.jpgPBA Galleries continued their strong start in 2018 with their January 25th Americana - Travel & Exploration - World History - Cartography sale. The auction offered five hundred lots of rare and significant items of historical, cultural, and visual interest, including books, manuscripts, photographs, and ephemera, with a particularly strong gathering of cartographic material. Ranging from the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada, with much on California history, to the peaks of the Rocky Mountains, and the bayous of the Old South, the Americana section offered original material capturing the dynamic growth and culture of the New World over the centuries. Next, they traveled to the far reaches of the globe, the mysteries of the occident and orient were unveiled. Finally, the charting of the world over five centuries included maps of the East Indies, Asia, Europe, and the lands of the western hemisphere, with many scarce maps of the towns and cities of California.

The highlight of the sale was an 1875 Wells Fargo Reward Poster for “Alkali Jim” which sold for $10,200. The poster advertised a reward of $100 for the capture of “Wm Harrington, alias Wm. Waverly, alias Chas. Johnson, alias Jas. W. Clark, alias Alkali Jim” and was issued following his escape from San Quentin Prison on July 17th, 1875. Alkali Jim, along with his partners Charles Cooper and William Miner, had been convicted in 1872 for the 1871 armed robbery of a Wells, Fargo & Co. stage coach near San Andreas, California. Bidding was vigorous with phone bidders competing against those online for the single letterpress sheet.

A rare copper-engraved chart of the Straits of Singapore from 1711 led the cartography section of the sale selling for $6,600. This rare and important hand-colored map is oriented with north to the right. Its prime significance when issued was its depiction of the routes through the labyrinth of islands in the straits to Borneo and Java. Singapore and other settlements in the straights grew as a means to control the area which was secured by Britain in 1824. The imprint on this chart reads "By Iohn Thornton Hydrographer at the Sign of England Scotland and Ireland in the Minories London."

The high point of the Travel & Exploration section of the sale was a collection of approximately 92 glass lantern slides and other related photographs, postcards and a diary selling for $6.000. The glass slides, most hand-colored, provide a fascinating photographic record of a mission by the Lutheran Pastor George Bayard Young to Armenia and Turkey in 1919 to offer aid following the Armenian genocide. The disturbing images of piles of bones and poignant pictures of orphans were taken for presentations to raise relief funds in the U.S.

Books also did well in the sale.  The Manuscript Edition of The Writings of John Muir drew spirited bidding and saw the hammer fall at $5,100. Edited by William Frederic Badè and illustrated with numerous photogravure and halftone plates, the set is bound in the special deluxe half black morocco with leather edges ruled in gilt, spines lettered in gilt and with beautiful gilt-stamped floral vignettes, raised bands and matching endpapers. A manuscript leaf by Muir from Chapter 4 of The Mountains of California is mounted to front preliminary flyleaf of Volume 1 and Volumes 1-8 also contain an original gelatin silver photograph.

PBA Galleries holds sales of fine, rare and collectible books every two weeks.  For more information regarding upcoming sales, consignments, or auction results, please contact PBA Galleries at (415) 989-2665 or pba@pbagalleries.com.


vaudeville_ut_news_graphic_1.pngAustin, Texas — The Harry Ransom Center draws on its extensive performing arts holdings to tell the story of one of American theater’s most popular forms of entertainment in the exhibition “Vaudeville!”

The exhibition runs from Jan. 29 to July 15, 2018.

About 200 items selected from the thousands of photographs, playbills, business records, letters, books and other archival materials from the Ransom Center’s collections explore how this uniquely American form of entertainment helped shape the nation’s identity for more than 100 years. Its enduring legacy is seen in contemporary American popular culture in videos, film, television and comedy.

Vaudeville began in the early 1800s as a cleaned-up and family-friendly version of variety shows. Performances included comic sketches, animal tricks, magic, blackface minstrelsy, acrobatics, celebrity appearances and early film. Its impact still reverberates in modern culture and entertainment.

The exhibition tells how, with the advent of the railroad, thousands of performers toured a vast network of theaters, bringing mass entertainment to America’s small towns. The vaudeville theater circuit reflected the country’s complex race and class dynamics and gave rise to new labor movements at the turn of the 20th century.

“Vaudeville was a snapshot of America in the moment it was happening,” says Eric Colleary, Cline Curator of Theatre and Performing Arts at the Ransom Center and organizer of the exhibition. “It captured some of the best and worst of society, and the jokes, songs and formulas developed by vaudevillians over a century ago can still be found in television, film and performance today.”

The exhibition is arranged in six sections and begins in the early days of American theater, exploring pantomime, puppetry, circus museums, minstrelsy and morality. The finale explains how, by the mid-20th century, vaudeville was transformed and found new relevance in musical theater, radio, film, television — and later, even the internet.

In between, sections explore the structure and content of a performance, the life of an entertainer, and popular vaudeville performers. Featured are Harry Houdini, Fanny Brice, Eddie Cantor, Bert Williams, George M. Cohan, Burns & Allen, Tony Pastor, the Nicholas Brothers, Barbette and others.

Among the earliest items in the exhibition is a 1783 letter from the citizens of Pennsylvania fighting against the building of a new theater, and letters from President Thomas Jefferson to the painter and early museum advocate Charles Willson Peale.

"Vaudeville!" will be on view in the Ransom Center Galleries on Mondays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with extended Thursday hours until 7 p.m. On Saturdays and Sundays the galleries are open from noon to 5 p.m. The exhibition is free and open to the public. Daily docent-led tours are offered at noon, Thursdays at 6 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m.

Dallas, TX - From Dorthea Lange to Annie Leibovitz, Heritage Auctions' inaugural Online Photographs Auction of 2018 brings iconic artwork from more than 80 artists across 170 lots to collectors Feb. 28, 2018 on HA.com. The diverse offerings span intriguing contemporary signed prints to 19th century orotone images by Edward Sheriff Curtis.

Ruth Bernhard’s 1952 Classic Torso (est. $6,000-8,000) is a 9-3/4-by-7-1/2-inch gelatin silver from a series of by the photographer of nude and semi-nude women - the subject for which Bernhard is perhaps best known.

Horst P. Horst’s 1989 Tulips (est. $4,000-6,000) is a gelatin silver image measuring 16-1/4 by 14-1/8 inches with the photographer’s blindstamp in margin recto; it is signed, titled, dated and inscribed in pencil on verso by Horst, considered one of the most significant photographers of the 20th century known for his elegant, glamorous images.

Elliott Erwitt’s 1974 New York City (est. $3,500-4,500) is a gelatin silver image measuring 11-5/8 by 17-1/2 inches and is signed, titled and dated in pencil on verso. One of the top photographers of his generation, Erwitt began shooting in the 1940s and developed a reputation for humanizing celebrity portraits and his humorous subjects.

William A. Garnett’s 1975 Sand Dune #1, Palm Desert, California (est. $3,500-4,500) is a gelatin silver image measuring 7 by 9 inches, and is signed in pencil in margin recto by Garnett, and titled and dated in pencil with the artist’s stamp on verso. Garnett, who is perhaps known best for his landscape and aerial photography, earned three Guggenheim fellowships for his landscape photographs.

Ilse Bing’s 1931 Self-Portrait with Leica, Paris (est. $2,000-3,000) offers a unique perspective of Bing, with simultaneous views of her pointed directly into the lens of her camera and also a profile of her as she shoots. The German-born avant-garde and commercial photographer moved to Paris in 1930 and started using an advanced Leica camera, earning her the title “Queen of the Leica.”

Heritage's recent development of online-only photography auctions offers lots ranging in estimate between $100 and $10,000. The sales are part of a strategic plan to grow the firm's photography department by streamlining access to classic and contemporary artworks for new collectors. These quarterly auctions also have proven effective in assisting established collectors’ efforts to expand their interests and assets.

Bidding is facilitated at HA.com or through the firm's newly-released, free mobile app for Android and iOS users.

17-33 Adoration of the Magi copy.jpgLes Enluminures is celebrating its 25th year exhibiting at TEFAF Maastricht

For this prestigious event, the leading specialists in manuscripts and jewelry from the Middle Ages, Les Enluminures will inaugurate at TEFAF Maastricht the selling-exhibition “The thing of mine I have loved the best”: Meaningful Jewels. Forty-six exceptional pieces of European jewelry - pendants, reliquaries, amulets, and talismans - dating from the eighth century to the eighteenth century, will be presented in a specially commissioned, one-time-only display, which will be revealed at TEFAF. 

One of the many remarkable objects assembled by Founder and President of Les Enluminures Dr Sandra Hindman, over a period of fifteen years, is a Spanish “magic belt”. The oldest of the very few surviving examples, it includes elements from the tenth to the seventeenth centuries: Islamic textile, Arab coins, rosary beads, a rock crystal skull, a jet amulet, and a type of horse chestnut make up the belt, which would have been worn by a child to protect him or her from evil spirits.

A lavishly illustrated book by two senior scholars, Cynthia Hahn and Beatriz Chadour-Sampson, accompanies the exhibition.

Alongside this, Les Enluminures will present an array of important acquisitions. Notable highlights include two exceptional miniatures from the crucible of sixteenth century illumination, art, and design in Renaissance Paris. These two full-page miniatures come from a richly illuminated Breviary assigned to the Bellemare Group - possibly the late work of Noël Bellemare himself. 

Also on display will be the Hours of Philippote de Nanterre, a monumental illuminated manuscript with 27 miniatures by the Master of Raoul d’Ailly, a rare Amiens painter directly influenced by Flemish Primitives, and a collaborator.

Image: Bellemare Group (plausibly Noël Bellemare, active Antwerp and Paris, 1512-1546), Adoration of the Magi, France, probably Paris, c. 1540-45


Dallas, TX -- The only inaugural button referring to George Washington as the “Father of His Country" (perhaps the earliest instance of the use of the phrase) will open for bidding at $20,000 when Heritage Auctions presents Part II of the David and Janice Frent Collection of Political & Presidential Memorabilia Feb. 24. The auction offers 658 lots of extraordinary pin backs, banners, campaign flags and assorted campaign paraphernalia. 

“The record-setting debut of the Frent Collection realized a stunning $911,538 last October,” said Tom Slater, Director of Americana Auctions at Heritage, “and Part II is every bit as exciting.”

The landmark Frent collection - widely regarded as the largest and most comprehensive collection of its kind ever assembled - will span eight dedicated auctions with everything from buttons to banners dating from the founding of the republic up through recent elections.

The collection’s extraordinary Washington Inaugural Button is stamped with the words “Pater Patriæ” (Father of his Country) and is the only portrait button in the accepted canon of Washington inaugural buttons. The Frent collection specimen is superior to one recently acquired by Washington’s Mount Vernon historic site.

An outstanding example of the iconic “Ship of State” Silk Campaign Flag for Henry Clay’s 1844 campaign also opens with a $20,000 bid. Considered the most desirable Clay flag variety, the rarity has fine display presence and offers a very special opportunity for the advanced specialist in political textiles.

Several photographic campaign items will cross the block, and a stunning 1860 brooch featuring an ambrotype portrait of Abraham Lincoln known as the "Cooper Union" pose will open at $12,000. The nation's leading portrait photographer, Mathew Brady, took the image while Lincoln was in New York to give a speech at Cooper Union Institute in February 1860. “Although Lincoln photographic items produced for the 1860 election were widely distributed, almost every example of the George Clark ambrotype suffers condition problems. The marvelous Frent example is essentially in mint condition and is the finest known example to exist,” Slater said.

A dramatic 1868 Ulysses S. Grant Silk Campaign Flag will open at $7,500. Measuring 33" x 24", the example is likely one of just three others known.

Additional highlights include but are not limited to:

 ·         An Abraham Lincoln Pennsylvania Campaign Broadside from 1864

·         A Folk Art Parade Banner for Horatio Seymour, the Democratic Party nominee for president in the 1868 presidential election

 ·         An Important 1864 Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson Jugate Silk Campaign Ribbon (in near mint condition and considered the top ribbon in the Frent Collection)

·         An Exceptional 1828 Andrew Jackson New York Broadside from 1828

Bidding opens for the Feb. 24 auction of Part II of the David and Janice Frent Collection of Political & Presidential Memorabilia Feb. 5 at HA.com/ 6187. For more information, please contact Tom Slater at 214-409-1441 or TomS@ha.com.

Remarque - All Quiet On The Western Front.jpgNew York, NY - Who Knows The Best Book Fairs In New York City? The Shadow Show Knows! Flamingo Eventz and Lamont Cranston step out of the shadows to celebrate Rare Book Week in New York City by announcing the return of The Manhattan Vintage Book, Ephemera, & Fine Press Book Fair! Known as The Shadow Show because it is held in conjunction with the well-known New York Antiquarian Book Fair at the Park Avenue Armory, this year it will be held on Saturday March 10, 2018.

A few years ago we moved the show uptown, directly across the street from the Park Avenue Armory to The Church of St. Vincent Ferrer, 869 Lexington Avenue at 66th Street, and everyone agreed; this was the smart move! We are pleased to be returning to St. Vincent’s again this year with another exciting field of exceptional Exhibitors.

This show has grown steadily since its inception in 2009 to present some of the finest Vintage & Antiquarian Book and Ephemera Dealers in America, Canada and Europe - many of whom are members of ABAA, ILAB, ESA, PADA, MARIAB, MABA, LIABDA and other professional groups - all gathered together for one fabulous weekend to offer an incredible Vintage Book & Ephemera adventure! The inclusion of The Fine Press Book Fair in 2014 added an exciting new dimension to the show and brought it to a new level of prominence. Now, with this move to the doorstep of the Armory and the New York Antiquarian Book Fair, we bring an unprecedented opportunity and ease of enjoyment to the Vintage Book World.

As always, the fair will present an outstanding array of fine, rare & unusual old books, as well as poetry, prose, political, social, historical, children's series, maps, postcards, autographs, prints, posters, World’s Fair, and much, much more. A special feature found only at Flamingo Shows will be Antiques Appraisals by John Bruno and guest Appraisers 1-3pm at $5/item!

Exhibitor Specialties include: African American, Americana, Architecture, Art, Art Deco, Auctions, Autographs, Aviation, Baseball, Books, Bibles, Black History, Black Power, Calendars, Calling Cards, Christmas, Circus, Civil War, Cook Books, Charts, Children’s Books, Cocktails, Design, Dogs, Die Cuts, Documents, Engineering, Engraving, Ephemera, Erotica, Esoterica, Fantasy, Fashion, Fishing, Floridiana, Folklore, Folk Music, Foreign Language, Furniture, Games, Gardens & Horticulture, Graphics, Historic Documents, Horses, Hunting, Illustrated Books, Interior Design, Japan, Judaica, Letters, Logbooks, Manuscripts, Maps, Maritime, Medicine, Middle East, Military, Modernism, Music, Native American, Natural History, Nautical, Naval, New York City, New York State, New Jersey, Novelties, Olympic Games, Pacifica, Photographs, Photography, Pochoir, Polar, Pop-Ups & Moveable Books, Poetry, Postcards, Posters, Presentation Copies, Presidential Archives, Press Books, Prints, Pulitzer Prize Winners, Psychedelica, Puppetry, Puzzles, Railroad, Reference, Revolutionary War, Russia, Scholarly, Science, Science Fiction, Sports, Sporting, Technical, Theatre, Theology, Trade Cards, Trade Catalogues, Travel & Exploration, Travel Brochures, Typography, U.S. Coastal History, Vanity Fair Prints, Valentines, Voyages, Watercolors, Whaling, Wine, Yachting. These, and many other specialties, will be found at this event. Be sure to check our website, FlamingoEventz.com, and our Facebook Page, facebook.com/manhattanvintagebookfair for complete details and easily downloaded Discount Coupons.

Date/Hours: Saturday March 10, 10am-5pm.

Location: The Church of St. Vincent Ferrer, 869 Lexington Avenue at 66th Street, New York, NY 10065

Admission: Adults: $15, Youths 12-21: $7, under 12: free w/Paid Adult.

Appraisals: 2-4pm, $5/item by John Bruno and Guest Appraisers.

Directions: Check our website: FlamingoEventz.com and our Facebook Page, facebook.com/manhattanvintagebookfair for easily downloaded point-to-point maps.

Miscellaneous: There are parking garages throughout the neighborhood & subway stops nearby.

February3_03_pics.jpgIthaca, NY—National Book Auctions, located in Ithaca, NY, announces the launch of their next auction catalog.     

This catalog features rare, antique and decorative books as well as select additions of ephemera. Featured is a large private collection of deluxe leather bindings by Easton Press, Franklin Library and other publishers. A varied array of signed copies of books from many categories will also be presented alongside a number of modern firsts.              

Antique and rare books are numerous in this catalog. Among the earliest examples are the 1579 printing of Benzoni's "Der Newenn Weldt," with early Native American reports, "Reliquiae Sacrae Carolinae," produced in 1657, and Sanchez's "Disputationum de Sancto Matrimonii Sacremento," published in 1625 and complete as three volumes bound in two vellum bindings. Additional rare and antique selections include titles relating to the American West, books-on-books, Civil War, travel & exploration, history, literature, children's, chromolithographic, decorative antique sets, art history and beyond.                         

Several interesting collections will also be showcased. Highlighted is a substantial library of Easton Press and other deluxe modern leather bindings in excellent or new condition. These include signed limited editions of titles by authors such as Allen Drury, John Grisham, Susan Sontag, and many others. Another collection features author-signed copies by writers including Maurice Sendak, Kenneth Roberts, Margaret Atwood, Booth Tarkington, Sinclair Lewis, Edith Sitwell, Bob Hope, and more.       

Found throughout this catalog are interesting ephemera offerings and many group lots of desirable titles.    

National Book Auctions is a public auction service specializing in books, ephemera, and art. National Book Auctions is a targeted service offering experience and expertise unique to marketing antique and modern books and ephemera for consignors and collectors alike. The upcoming auctions will feature a wide assortment of collectible, signed, and first edition books. For more information, please contact the gallery at 607-269-0101 or email mail@nationalbookauctions.com.


78f9e48dd9f0c50d8894d7214b8af67c8d0ce106.jpegRR Auction celebrates Presidents’ Day in February 2018.  The Fine Autographs and Artifact auction will feature a selection of historical documents, manuscripts, and correspondence representing the presidents of the United States. 

Among items to be featured are autographs from every American president, including a variety of virtually unobtainable examples—an Abraham Lincoln land grant, a James A. Garfield autograph letter as president, and a Theodore Roosevelt speech.

Headlining the sale is an excessively rare land grant signed by Abraham Lincoln the day after he issued the Emancipation Proclamation. 

The one-page document partly-printed vellum signed as president, dated January 2, 1863. President Lincoln grants 120 acres of land in St. Cloud, Minnesota, to "Margaret Donnell Widow of Eli Donnell who served in the name of Eli Donnald Private Captain Harpole's Company Tennessee Militia War 1812." The document goes on to note that the plat has "been assigned by the said Margaret Donnell to George H. Marsh and by him to Emma C. Stebbins now Emma C. King in whose favor said tract has been located." 

Boldly signed at the conclusion by President Lincoln, and countersigned by Recorder of the General Land Office G. W. Granger. The printed "By Sec'y" text beside Lincoln's signature has been struck through, signifying that the president himself signed the document—a highly unusual occurrence. 

The rather mundane presidential practice of signing land grants was discontinued in 1833 during Andrew Jackson's second term, when Congress passed a law authorizing the president to appoint a special secretary to sign land patents on his behalf. 

It is therefore incredibly rare to find an authentically signed land grant from later on. Indeed, this is the only Lincoln-signed land grant we have ever encountered, and our research suggests that no other authentically signed example has appeared at auction. The vast majority of land grants issued during the Lincoln administration were signed by William O. Stoddard, who was specifically appointed for the task on July 15, 1861. 

The ultimate recipient of this parcel of land, Emma C. King, was the wife of Horatio Collins King, son of politician Horatio King, who briefly served as postmaster general at the end of the Buchanan administration. Lincoln and the elder King saw eye-to-eye on many issues, and in April 1862 President Lincoln appointed Horatio King to the three-man Emancipation Commission, which reviewed petitions for compensation by DC-area slave-owners affected by the end of slavery in the district. In September, Lincoln issued a warning that he would order the emancipation of all slaves in any state that did not end its rebellion by the new year. On January 1, 1863—the day before signing the present document—President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation into law, thereby ending slavery in the United States. 

“In addition to being an unheard of format for a Lincoln signature, this remarkable document dates to a defining moment in American history and landmark achievement of Lincoln's legacy,” said Bobby Livingston, Executive VP at RR Auction.  

Additional Presidential highlights include a hand-embroidered White House Flag used during four administrations. The rare and impressive official presidential flag was in service at the White House under Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and Ronald Reagan before being acquired by the consignor through a White House connection when the flag was officially retired and replaced for the incoming George H. W. Bush administration in January 1989. A nearly impossible to acquire White House artifact—seldom does such an exceptional example of presidential history become available.

Also featured: Olympic medals and torches; artistic autographs from the likes of Matisse, Picasso, and Renoir; literary letters by Proust, Kafka, Dickens, and Voltaire; and autographs of music icons such as the Beatles, Rolling Stones, and Woody Guthrie. 

The Fine Autographs and Artifact auction from RR Auction began on January 19 and will conclude on February  7. More details can be found online at www.rrauction.com.    

Members of the 1937 American League All-Star team, Lou Gehrig, Joe Cronin, Bill Dickey, Joe DiMaggio, Charlie Gehringer, Jimmie Foxx and Hank Greenberg gather on the field for the fifth annual All-Star Game in Washington, D.C. Gehrig hit a two-run homer off National League ace Dizzy Dean as the American League went on to win, 8-3.

A major exhibition opening in June at the Library of Congress will celebrate baseball as community, including the people, from amateur players to professionals, baseball diamonds from city lots to rural fields, and places across the globe from Mexico to Japan that have embraced the game. “Baseball Americana” will explore baseball’s gritty roots, its changing traditions and the game today. It is a story the nation’s library can uniquely tell, showcasing items that cannot be found anywhere else.

Featured artifacts will include the first handwritten and printed references to baseball in America; early rules of the game; historical baseball images, including a lithograph of prisoners of war playing baseball in captivity during the Civil War and photographs from baseball throughout the decades; familiar players from some of the great collections of early baseball cards; Branch Rickey’s scouting reports; beloved baseball movies and early flickering footage from the late 1800s; broadcasts of iconic baseball moments and rare interviews and clips of Hall of Fame players, including Babe Ruth, Jackie Robinson and others.

The exhibition is made possible by the Library of Congress Third Century Fund, the James Madison Council and Democracy Fund.

Original content developed in collaboration with ESPN will support the Library’s world-class collections. Statistical comparisons, game trends, video presentations and intriguing stories will explore the art and science of baseball, bridging the game’s storied past and exciting present.

Additional artifacts and video footage, borrowed from Major League Baseball, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York, and private collectors, have been selected to expand upon storylines developed from the Library’s baseball materials.

“Baseball has been part of our community from children playing in local ballparks to professional athletes playing in the country’s biggest stadiums - and the Library’s unique collection shows how the game and American society evolved together,” said Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden. “My childhood dream was to play shortstop before I found my calling at the Library. We’re excited to offer visitors an immersive experience, exploring baseball in the past and now. I know I am.”

The yearlong exhibition “Baseball Americana” will open in late June, just before Washington’s Nationals Park hosts Major League Baseball’s 89th All-Star Game. The exhibition will tell the story of the game’s origins, its contemporary character, how the game has stayed true to its traditions and areas where it has diverged. It will also feature ongoing conversations and connections between baseball’s rugged past and its refined present, along with showing how baseball has long forged a sense of community.

The exhibition will be organized into five sections:

  • “Origins and Early Days” will feature the development of baseball from its early forms, when Massachusetts Town Ball and the New York Game battled for supremacy, to the game we know today.
  • “Who’s Playing?” will encompass the variety of participants and the diverse array of ball clubs that ruled the sandlot, barnstormed the country or occupied magnificent stadiums. An integral piece of this story will be that of the players who have fought for the right to play as equals regardless of their race, ethnicity or gender.
  • “At the Ballpark” will examine traditions and changes in the architecture and accoutrements of baseball, fan interaction, music and media coverage.
  • “The Promise of Baseball” will explore the many ways that the sport gave poor players a path out of poverty and new immigrants access and the ability to help shape American culture, as well as the economics and business of baseball and how the game has been used for diplomacy beyond U.S. borders.
  • “The Art and Science of Baseball” considers the constant and changing views of mastering the game, building a team, getting an edge, tracking statistics and the art of winning.

“Baseball Americana” will be on view in the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C. The exhibition will be free and open to the public Monday through Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

In conjunction with the exhibition, the Library of Congress will develop a series of special programs including family activities, gallery talks, film screenings, panel discussions, educational materials and teacher workshops, docent-led tours and more.

Two books published in association with the Library of Congress will be released to coincide with the exhibition. In May, Harper Perennial will release an updated edition of “Baseball Americana: Treasures from the Library of Congress,” which includes hundreds of historical images and numerous milestones of the national pastime. In October, Smithsonian Books will release “Game Faces: Early Baseball Cards from the Library of Congress,” which showcases rare and colorful baseball cards from the Library’s Benjamin K. Edwards Collection.


New York - LiveAuctioneers today announced that Senior VP of Product and Marketing Phil Michaelson has been promoted to president. In this new role, Michaelson will continue to work from the company’s Manhattan headquarters with a broadened responsibility set, continuing to report to LiveAuctioneers Chairman and CEO Jason Finger.

Michaelson is a product and business leader with 15+ years of experience in leading high-performance teams both tactically in day-to-day operations and through strategic planning processes aimed at optimizing investments in the marketplace, leveraging human capital and data analytics. 

“Since joining LiveAuctioneers three years ago, Phil has consistently driven tremendous results across virtually every dimension of our business. Most importantly, his execution is always in a manner consistent with the values of the company,” said Finger. “Not only does he ‘just get it done,’ he always ensures initiatives are executed in a ‘smarter, better way,’ no matter what the job may be or in which of our company’s departments. No job is too big or small for him.”

Finger continued, “Phil starts with trust in his business activities, whether that means identifying features that empower our auction-house partners to better market themselves and deepen bidder relationships, or adding enhancements to help our millions of bidders worldwide to search, discover and bid more efficiently. Phil’s user-centric approach has been a major force behind our growth. Our trust metrics, items sold, revenue, and the number of bidders and auction houses using our various services have all seen a major uptick since Phil joined our management team.”

Prior to joining LiveAuctioneers, Michaelson was director of product management at 1stdibs. Concurrently, he founded and served as CEO of KeepIdeas, Inc (KeepRecipes.com). His previous positions included senior business analyst, corporate strategy and business development at Dun & Bradstreet; and senior consultant at IBM. Michaelson holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and an AB from Princeton University. His past awards and distinctions include Harvard Business School’s Arthur C. Rock Entrepreneurial Fellowship, Apple Staff Pick, and British Airways’ Face of Opportunity Award. During his first three years with LiveAuctioneers, Michaelson’s leadership and innovative ideas were instrumental to the company’s selection as a Red Herring Top 100 North America winner (2016), Crain’s Best Places to Work in New York City winner (both 2016 and 2017), and a Silver 2017 Stevie® Award winner in the Customer Service Team of the Year category.  

The new marketing and product enhancements Michaelson has guided across various channels of LiveAuctioneers have led to a 200 percent growth rate in new bidders across web and mobile channels. In addition, more sellers than ever are taking advantage of the company’s various advertising and marketing options. 

“It’s been incredibly satisfying to help entrepreneurial auctioneers and passionate collectors form meaningful relationships online. I’m delighted to continue on the journey of empowering sellers to more easily market their auctions and ensure buyers have a trusted, engaging auction experience,” Michaelson said.

View LiveAuctioneers’ 2017 Annual Report online at https://www.liveauctioneers.com/pages/2017-annual-report/ .

About LiveAuctioneers:

Founded in 2002, LiveAuctioneers digitally connects an audience of millions with the live-bidding action at almost 5,000 premier auction houses and galleries in 59 countries, providing a highly curated and trusted marketplace of unique items. Privately owned and headquartered in New York City, LiveAuctioneers is the world’s preferred online source for fine and decorative art, antiques, jewelry and vintage collectibles. A pioneer in mobile-bidding technology, LiveAuctioneers opened a new bidding pipeline in 2009 with its development of both an industry-leading app for iOS (Apple) devices and the first live-auction bidding app for Android.

Sylvia Plath's Personal Copy of The Bell Jar First Edition Signed and Dated 1962 Image No. 1 copy.jpgBooks and personal effects of two of the greatest poets of the 20th century, Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes, are to be offered for sale at Bonhams Fine Books and Manuscripts sale in London on 21 March 2018. The collection, Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes; The Property of Frieda Hughes, is being sold by the poets’ daughter, Frieda Hughes, and shines a light on her parents’ exceptionally close working relationship.

Among the highlights are:

  • Sylvia Plath’s own copy of The Bell Jar, her only novel, published under the pseudonym Victoria Lucas in January 1963, two months before her death. It is inscribed and dated "Sylvia Plath/23 Fitzroy Road/London NW1/Christmas 1962" and is estimated at £60,000-80,000. Plath and her two children, Frieda and Nicholas, had moved to London from the family home in Devon following her split from her husband, Ted Hughes.
  • Plath’s copy of the "uncorrected proof" of The Bell Jar, with her manuscript corrections, inscribed "Sylvia Plath/Court Green/North Tawton/Devonshire" on the first page, estimated at £50,000-70,000.  Plath has made approximately seventy textual corrections to this copy, including spellings and the addition of words. She signed the book with the address of her Devon home, where she worked on the proofs prior to her final break with Hughes.
  • Sylvia Plath's final typewriter - "Hermes 3000" estimated at £40,000-60,000.  It was purchased by Plath in Boston in 1959, and was used by her to write The Bell Jar in spring-summer 1961. 
  • An important pen and ink portrait of Ted Hughes by Sylvia Plath, drawn shortly after their marriage in July 1956, probably during their honeymoon. In October 1956, Plath wrote to her mother about the sketches saying, "every drawing has in my mind and heart a beautiful association of our sitting together in the hot sun, Ted reading, writing poems, or just talking with me... the sketches are very important to me...". The portrait is estimated at £20,000-30,000.
  • The dedication copy of Hughes’ first book of poetry, The Hawk in The Rain (1957) inscribed to Plath -  "Written [To Sylvia, printed] and now presented to her with all my love." Plath was instrumental in the genesis of the book, and launching of Hughes' career. In a letter to her mother Plath wrote, "I am more happy than if it was my book published! I have worked so closely on these poems of Ted's and typed them so many countless times through revision after revision that I feel ecstatic about it all." It is estimated at £10,000-15,000.
  • The first American edition of The Hawk in the Rain bearing Hughes inscription “because the book belongs to you just as surely as all my love does.” It is estimated at £8,000-12,000.
  • A first edition of Ariel, the book of Plath’s poems edited by Hughes after his wife’s death and on which her reputation rests. Frieda Hughes has written that her father had, "honoured my mother's work and her memory by publishing Ariel... He, perhaps more than anyone, recognised and acknowledged her talent as extraordinary. Without Ariel, my mother's literary genius might have gone unremarked for ever.”  It is estimated at £2,000-3,000.

Bonhams Senior Book specialist, Luke Batterham said, “This fascinating collection provides a riveting insight into the warmth and mutual support of the Hughes-Plath creative relationship, especially in the early years of their marriage.

“The deeply personal inscriptions to Plath in first editions of Hughes’ breakthrough works The Hawk in the Rain, and its successor Lupercal, show how much he appreciated and acknowledged his wife’s help.

“A tender and important pen and ink drawing of Hughes by Plath drawn shortly after their marriage while the couple were on honeymoon in Spain, was commemorated years later in Hughes’ last work Birthday Letters.

 “And, of course, Ariel, the poetry with which Plath is most closely identified, owes its existence largely to Hughes who recognised the quality of the work and arranged for its publication.

Image: The Bell Jar, FIRST EDITION, SYLVIA PLATH'S OWN COPY SIGNED AND DATED "CHRISTMAS 1962", with her Fitzroy Road address on the front free paper, light spotting to extreme edges, publisher's cloth, pictorial dust-jacket (slightly worn at extremities), 8vo, Heinemann, [1963] Estimate: £60,000-80,000. Courtesy of Bonhams. 


New York, NY — After five days and eight sessions, Sotheby’s annual Americana Week sales concluded on Sunday with a total of $13.9 million and nearly 1,000 lots sold across two auctions. The week kicked off with the sale of Important Printed and Manuscript Americana, including Cartography, which was led by The Declaration of Independence printed by E. Russell that sold for $1.2 million. The Important Americana sale achieved $9.6 million and saw strong results across a diverse group of works, including American furniture, silver, and ceramics. 

Erik Gronning, Head of Sotheby’s Americana Department, remarked: “We are very pleased with the results from last week’s auctions, which demonstrated wonderful depth across a number of categories, with a particular emphasis on Pilgrim century, William & Mary and Classical furniture. In addition, we saw a strong appetite among collectors for exceptional objects emerging from distinguished private collections, as illustrated by results for the collection of Patricia M. Sax, the estates of Price and Isobel H. Glover and property from the Dudley and Constance Godfrey Foundation.” 

The sale of Fine Printed and Manuscript Americana, Including Cartography on 17 January was led by a magnificent printing of The Declaration of Independence by E. Russell which sold for $1.2 million. Beautifully preserved and appearing at auction for the first time, this broadside is the authorized printing for Massachusetts - a colony central to America’s struggle for independence from Great Britain. Of the Ezekiel Russell broadside copies, three are in private collections while others are in institutions including the Boston Public Library, Harvard Library, Peabody Essex Museum and American Antiquarian Society. 

An Important Federal Highly Inlaid Cherrywood and Mahogany Tall Case Clock, by Nathan Lumbard circa 1800, topped the Important Americana sale when it sold for $471,000 to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Emerging from the collection of Anne H. and Frederick Vogel III, the tall-case clock is an icon of rural New England craftsmanship in the Federal style and is the most extravagant of a group of clocks attributed to Lumbard - a cabinetmaker working in the Sturbridge and Sutton areas of Massachusetts. Lumbard's distinctive and unique inlay reveals his great skill and creative craftsmanship. The wild and whimsical decorative motifs include an anthropomorphized sun, swirling oval paterae with alternating dark and light rays, an eagle surmounted by an arch of stars (perhaps alluding to the recently adopted Great Seal of the United States), and a double-headed eagle clutching a shield on the base. Thanks to strong donor support, this masterpiece will be the first example of Lumbard's work to enter the MFA collection. 

One of the earliest and most important Wainscot chairs ever to appear at auction highlighted an exceptional group of pilgrim era furniture, selling for $375,000. The Important Mansfield-Merriam Family Wainscot Armchair circa 1640-1660 was likely owned by one of the first settlers of New Haven, Connecticut, Richard Mansfield, and has since descended through his family and the Merriam family of Meriden for over 365 years. Twenty-one other extant Wainscot chairs are included in public collections, but only two remain in private collections. The last time a chair of similar quality appeared at auction was in 1995, and it has remained the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art ever since. 

An American silver and copper "Indian" punch bowl and ladle created circa 1900-15 and attributed to metal molder and finisher Joseph Heinrich led the sale’s silver offerings when it fetched $312,500 -far surpassing its pre-sale high estimate of $175,000. Heinrich’s punch bowls featuring Indian heads and arrowheads are some of the best examples of the uniquely-American aesthetic that became popular during the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial. Many industries during this time produced objects that celebrated North American flora and fauna, as well as Native American imagery which lasted through the early 20th century. 

The exceptional ceramics on offer were led by Two Rare Chinese Export Figures of a Horse, each of which achieved $150,000 (estimates $20/30,000, respectively). Exhibiting a major genre in Chinese art, the present examples of horse portraiture adhere closely to the style of Giuseppe Castiglione (Lang Shi Ning) - an Italian Jesuit missionary who travelled to China in 1715 and later became the most well-known and prolific of European painters working at the Qing court. Known for his ability to combine European techniques and Chinese themes, Castiglione’s works have had a clear influence on the present figures. Likely included in a small group of works, the present two figures are among five extant examples. Of the other three works, one can be found in a private American collection and the other two are in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

walden.jpgPBA Galleries started 2018 off strongly with their first sale of the year on January 11th.  The sale offered over 700 lots of important literature spanning four centuries, with additional fine books in a variety of fields including finely bound books, fine press books, miniature books and the poetry collection of Larry Rafferty, featuring numerous key works by some of the most important figures in twentieth century poetry, many of them signed or inscribed by the authors.

Highlighting the sale was a first edition of Henry David Thoreau’s Walden: Or, Life in the Woods, one of the landmarks in American letters, which sold for $14,400 nearly twice the presale high estimate. This copy in the original blind-stamped brown cloth with the wood-engraved vignette on the title-page and illustrated with a map of Walden Pond is one of only 2000 copies of the first edition printed.

Prices for works by John Steinbeck were robust led by Of Mice and Men, a first issue in the original pictorial dust jacket in fine condition, which sold for $4,800 well over the presale high estimate. Other titles outperforming the estimates include Sweet Thursday, The Pearl, and Once There Was a War. The Log from the Sea of Cortez, although a second edition, was the first separate issue of the “Log’ portion of Sea of Cortez also sold for over the high estimate.

Mark Twain’s works drew much interest and spirited bidding.  A fine copy of an early state of the First American Edition of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn sold for $7,200 over twice the presale high estimate. This copy of the quintessential classic of 19th century American literature was a fine and bright copy with only minor wear to the binding, amongst the nicest PBA has seen. The First English Edition of the book also sold for above estimates.  Other early editions of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson And the Comedy Those Extraordinary Twins, Mark Twain's Sketches, New and Old, and Roughing It outperformed expectations.

The Poetry Collection of Larry Rafferty generated much interest before the sale. Bidders were attracted by the freshness of the material on offer which translated into brisk sales. Leading the way in the poetry section was a copy #1 of North Haven. In Memoriam Robert Lowell, a scarce broadside signed by Elizabeth Bishop selling for three and a half times the high estimate. The lot also included printer’s proofs and mockups. A rare, inscribed copy of Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet and a limited edition of Robert Creeley’s poem, Pictures, with lithographs by American pop artist, Jim Dine, also performed well.

Two Rudyard Kipling works, a lot containing first editions of both The Jungle Book and The Second Jungle Book, and, one of the 19th century’s great novels, Captains Courageous outsold their estimates. Other books that inspired movies, such as The Treasure of the Sierra Madre and The African Queen attracted strong bidding.

Lastly, the miniature books in the sale produced lively bidding and a very high sale rate with nearly 95% of the lots selling. Tops sellers in this section included a large collection from  Kitemaug Press featuring 72 miniatures from Frank Anderson spanning nearly 40 years and a collection of antiquarian mostly religious small volumes.

PBA Galleries holds sales of fine, rare and collectible books every two weeks.  For more information regarding upcoming sales, consignments, or auction results, please contact PBA Galleries at (415) 989-2665 or pba@pbagalleries.com.

About PBA Galleries

PBA Galleries is a San Francisco-based auction house rooted in nearly 60 years of service to the collectors’ community. Auctions are held every-other week in a variety of specialties and genres, including rare books, manuscripts, maps, Americana, and related materials. For information regarding bidding or consignment, please call 415.989.2665 or email pba@pbagalleries.com. PBA Galleries is located at 1233 Sutter Street, San Francisco, CA 94109.

60-Hine copy.jpgNew York— Swann Auction Galleries launches into 2018 with the wide-ranging auction Icons & Images: Photographs & Photobooks on Thursday, February 15. Scarce and one-of-a-kind works will be offered, incorporating the full spectrum of the medium, from nineteenth-century land surveys to fine art photographs printed this century.

The highlight of the sale is a run of 24 prints of Lewis W. Hine’s most iconic images, spanning the entirety of his career, each boasting the handstamp of Hine’s Hastings-on-Hudson studio, as well as notations in his own hand. The works were previously owned by Isador Sy Seidman, a friend of Hine, photographer and lifelong collector of photographs of New York City. An extremely rare early printing of the monumental Powerhouse Mechanic, or Mechanic at Steam Pump in Electric Power House, leads the sale at $70,000 to $100,000. It was printed circa 1921, about a year after the photograph was taken. In some cases, Hine’s notations on the verso serve as alternative titles for famous works. For example, One of many youngsters working in Carolina cotton mills is frequently listed as Sadie Pfeifer, a Cotton Mill Spinner, Lancaster, South Carolina; taken in 1908 and printed 1931, it is here estimated at $10,000 to $15,000. Additional highlights from this collection, which has never before appeared at auction, include recognizable images—some contact prints—of immigrants at Ellis Island, a group of “newsies” and various Empire State Building views.

Recurring characters in the sale are the art world’s favorite love triangle, Georgia O’Keeffe, Dorothy Norman and Alfred Stieglitz. Offered is an illuminating archive of works by both Stieglitz and Norman, with Stieglitz’s notes to the aspiring photographer written in pencil on the mats. These include “Perfection!” and “Wonderful,” but most intriguing is a snapshot by Norman with the letters “ILY” (“I Love You”) repeated hundreds of times by Stieglitz until the symbols create a hypnotic graphic texture covering the mat. The suite, led by a circa 1931 portrait of Norman by Stieglitz, carries an estimate of $10,000 to $15,000 and originally comes from the estate of Dorothy Norman. Meanwhile, photographs of O’Keeffe, Stieglitz’s wife, include the master’s own Hands of Georgia O’Keeffe, no. 26, 1919, printed late 1940s, estimated at $12,000 to $18,000, and the candid portrait by Ansel Adams of Georgia O’Keeffe and Orville Cox, 1937, printed late 1960s, with an estimate of $18,000 to $22,000. Adams is additionally represented in the sale with such icons as the famous Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico, 1941, printed before 1977 ($30,000 to $45,000).

The sale offers a notably fine selection of nineteenth-century works, including R. B. Talfor’s Photographic Views of the Red River Raft, 1873, of which only three copies are known to exist. In 113 stunning hand-colored views, the album records the second attempt by the Louisiana government to clear the “raft” of fallen trees that clogged the river ($18,000 to $22,000). Leading an edifying selection of photographs of Brazil is an album containing 19 hand-colored salted paper prints of women at work, 1861-62, carrying an estimate of $9,000 to $12,000. Additional highlights include two midcareer works by Gustave le Gray, a veritable who’s-who of Victorian cartes-de-visite and an album of architectural cyanotypes of Haiti, 1895 ($6,000 to $9,000). Rare works by Edward S. Curtis are led by the complete fifth volume of his magnum opus, The North American Indian, 1907, with 36 photogravures on vellum ($18,000 to $22,000).

Engaging portraits by twentieth-century masters include Diane Arbus’s Young Waitress at a Nudist Camp, New Jersey, 1963, printed by Neil Selkirk, with an estimate of $9,000 to $12,000, and Garry Winogrand’s Victor Riesel, 1957, one year after he was blinded in an acid attack in Manhattan ($14,000 to $18,000). Also available is a double portrait by Roy DeCarava of Dizzy Gillespie and Roy Eldridge, 1956, printed 1981, estimated between $15,000 and $25,000. Works by Nick Brandt, Michael Dweck, Robert Frank, Horst P. Horst, Sally Mann, Herb Ritts, Cindy Sherman, Robert Silvers and Bert Stern ensure a well-rounded sale.

The auction will have its share of haunting landscapes, led by Josef Sudek’s foreboding one-of-a-kind pigment print Gravestone of the Rabbi Lowe, the Old Jewish Cemetery, Prague, 1932, with an estimate of $25,000 to $35,000, as well as the silver print Landscape (lake scene), 1920s ($10,000 to $15,000). André Kertész is well-represented, most notably by the large-format modern prints, Carrefour Blois, 1930, and Chez Mondrian, 1926 ($18,000 to $22,000 and $15,000 to $25,000, respectively).

The complete catalogue and bidding information is available at www.swanngalleries.com. Additional highlights can be found here.

Image: Lot 60: Lewis W. Hine, Powerhouse Mechanic, silver print, circa 1921. Estimate $70,000 to $100,000.

"Facing the Camera" Opens January 24

Enrie_DetailShroudofTurin 2.jpgNew York - Facing the Camera will be on view at Hans P. Kraus Jr. Fine Photographs from January 24 through March 16, 2018. The exhibition presents nineteenth-century portraits by Duchenne de Boulogne, Julia Margaret Cameron, Lewis Carroll, J. B. Greene, Hill & Adamson, Nadar, and Vallou de Villeneuve, among others. Contemporary work by Adam Fuss and Vera Lutter is also included. Both are inspired by the early photographers and their work resonates with that of their forerunners.

Portraiture is the most expressive application of the photographic art form. Since the dawn of photography artists have sought ways to capture the human likeness. Once achieved, photography has since challenged the ascendancy of the painted portrait. 

The exhibition includes three rare 1862 albumen prints from glass negatives made circa 1856 by pioneering neurologist and physiologist Duchenne de Boulogne (1806-1875), the first scientist to explain that facial expressions were connected to human emotions through discrete muscle actions. The results of Duchenne’s experiments and collaboration with photographer Adrien Tournachon, illustrated in Mécanisme de la physionomie humaine, occupy a distinct place at the intersection of art and science.

John Beasley Greene’s (1832-1856) Venus de Milo on rooftop in Paris, a waxed paper negative from 1852-1853, will also be on view. It was made during Greene’s formative period as a student of Gustave Le Gray in Paris. Greene, perhaps in the company of Le Gray, carried his statuette of Venus to the roof in order to sharpen his skills in lighting and composition.

A young girl, Xie Kitchin, fixes the viewer with her direct stare in an 1873 albumen print by Lewis Carroll, best known as the author of Alice in Wonderland. Carroll once declared that the key to obtaining excellence in a photograph was simply to “take a lens and put Xie before it.” On display is the only known untrimmed print from the negative.

Facing the Camera includes a 1931 gelatin silver print of Detail of the Shroud of Turin by Giuseppe Enrie (1886-1961). Great advances in technology since earlier photographs of the Shroud enabled Enrie to photograph it close-up and life size. This print shows a richness of detail unsurpassed by later photographs. 

Vera Lutter (b. 1960) has worked with the camera obscura for many years.  Having mastered its use she exposes her photographic paper over varying lengths of time. Rather than a print of the positive image, Lutter consistently preserves the negative as her final work. On display is Lutter’s unique, Marble Torso of Eros, Metropolitan Museum, 5 November 2012, which highlights the expressive, sculpted human form.

For more than three decades, Adam Fuss (b. 1961) has created a body of work distinctive for its contemporary reinterpretation of photography’s earliest techniques. His pinhole photographs and cameraless photograms, executed with technical rigor, are often concerned with temporality, memory, regeneration, and death. Untitled silhouette, 1997, a toned silver print from a photogram, is a strikingly bold self-portrait.

Facing the Camera will be exhibited from January 24 through March 16, 2018 at Hans P. Kraus Jr. Fine Photographs in New York City.

Image: Giuseppe Enrie (Italian, 1886-1961), Detail of the Shroud of Turin, 1931, Gelatin silver print, 29.5 x 23.4 cm

225.pngFalls Church, VA - On Thursday, January 25, the Waverly Rare Books & Prints division of Quinn’s Auction Galleries will present the first on two sales devoted to prints reflecting the natural world in its many forms, with Part II to follow in May. The January sale selection consists of the best of several small private collections, including that of Virginian Jim Willis. The Willis collection contains highly significant antique prints of a remarkable and sweeping range. Many are beautifully framed.   

Animals, birds, botanicals, fish, amphibians and reptiles of all kinds are richly represented in the 375-lot sale, with all forms of bidding available including live online through LiveAuctioneers. In total, there are more than 2,700 auction items grouped into logical affinity lots.

More than 60 plates from Alessandri and Scattaglia's Descrizioni degli Animali: Secondo Volume de Quadrupedi, Venice, 1772, are among the highlights, as are 144 plates from The Birds of America, Amsterdam Edition; Amsterdam and New York: Johnson Reprint Corporation and Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, 1971-1972. 

“The Amsterdam Edition is one of the most faithful and collectible facsimile editions of Audubon’s original Elephant Folio,” noted Catherine Payling, director of Waverly Rare Books.

There are also more than 250 plates from several of John Gould's majestic and wide-ranging ornithological titles, including Hummingbirds, The Birds of Great Britain, Europe, Australia, New Guinea and, above all, The Birds of Asia. Individually framed birds include the kakapo, triton cockatoo, black-mantled goshawk and black falcon.

Among the more than 35 plates by Maria Sybilla Merian (1647-1717) are examples of Banane from Metamorphosis insectorum Surinamensium, Amsterdam, 1715; Red Ginger Plant and Cayman with Snake, same title, 1719; Water Scorpion, Frogs & Water Beetle, Lantern Moth & Pomegranate Flower, and Jasmine & Snake from Dissertatio de Generatione et Metamorphasibus Insectorum Surinamensium, The Hague: Gosse, 1726. 

Additionally, there are 16 botanical plates by Basilius Besler (1561-1629), including Dracontium Maius and Sedum Arborescens (1613, 1640), and more than 60 plates by Johann Wilhelm Weinmann from Phytanthoza iconographia, 1737, which contained some of the first produced plates to feature color printing (mezzotint). 

Sixteen citrus plates by Giovanni Battista Ferrari come from Hesperides, sive, De Malorum Aureorum cultura etusa Libri Quatuor, circa 1646; while 84 fish studies by Marcus Elieser Bloch are from Ichtyologie, ou Histoire Naturelle, Generale et Particuliere des Poissons [Ichthyology or natural history, general and particular fish]. Berlin: 1785-1797. Some of the plates are heightened in silver and gold. 

Other important prints in the sale include works by Mark Catesby, Albertus Seba, Moses Harris, George Edwards, Prideaux John Selby, Jacques Barraband, Redoute, Emanuel Sweerts, Elias Fries, Georg Knorr, Johann Christoph Volckamer, Elizabeth Blackwell, Abraham Munting and Jan and Caspar Commelin.  

The Jan. 25 auction will commence at 6 p.m. Eastern Time. For additional information on any item in the auction, call 703-532-5632, ext. 575; or email info@quinnsauction.com. Quinn’s is located at 360 S. Washington St., Falls Church, VA 22046. Online: www.quinnsauction.com. View the catalogue and bid absentee or live via the Internet at http://www.LiveAuctioneers.com.

Image: Lot 225: John Gould (British, 1804-1881), Henry C. Richter (British, 1821-1902), and William Hart (1830-1908), one of a group of 10 hand-colored lithographs from The Birds of Great Britain, London, 1862-73, 14.5 x 21.5in. Est. $800-$1,000

SM_Texaco Station_ Togo_ 1958.jpgTodd Webb (1905-2000), best known for his photographs of New York, Paris, Georgia O'Keeffe and the American West, is one of the most significant photographers of the 20th century earning him a place in an elite circle of practitioners that include: Alfred Stieglitz, Harry Callahan, Berenice Abbott, Walker Evans, Gordon Parks, Lisette Model, Helen Levitt and Ansel Adams.

While Webb was very well known during the 1940s through the 1960s, he would later drop below the radar for the rest of his life through his death in 2000. The Todd Webb Archive, under the direction of Betsy Evans Hunt, is bringing Webb's remarkable oeuvre back into the spotlight again, presenting his bodies of work from the United States, Europe, and Africa.

In the summer of 2017, the Museum of the City of New York, in collaboration with the Todd Webb Archive, mounted a solo exhibition of vintage prints, "A City Seen: Todd Webb's Postwar New York, 1945-1960," which was one of the museum's most attended exhibitions of the season. This was followed in the fall with the publication of the stunning monograph, I See A City: Todd Webb's New York, written by Sean Corcoran and Daniel Okrent and edited by Betsy Evans Hunt (Thames & Hudson, November 2017). The book and show have garnered critical acclaim worldwide.   

Building upon the resurgence of interest in Todd Webb, the Todd Webb Archive will have rare, never-before-seen vintage prints by the photographer on sale for the first time at the Todd Webb Archive booth at AIPAD (Association of International Photography Art Dealers) at Pier 94, New York from April 5-8, 2018.

Works for Sale at AIPAD

  • Africa 1958: This newly discovered color work was made by Webb in Tanganigka (now known as Tanzania), Rhodesia (now known as Zimbabwe), Sudan, Somalia, Ghana, Togo, and Kenya for five months commencing in April 1958. Commissioned by the United Nations, the vibrant photographs document people in their communities with a focus on workers and local industries. The series is distinctive for being in color and the only known photographic documentation of its kind during this period.
  • New York Post-World War II: This series presents Webb's intimate and wonderfully rich exploration of the everyday life and architecture of New York in the years following World War II. In his review of the book in The New York Times Book Review, Luc Sante writes: "I See A City: Todd Webb's New York shows an upbeat, down-market post-World War II Manhattan, filled with sidewalk vendors and one-story sheds and hand-painted signs ... His pictures present a vividly comestible pedestrian-eye view, one that invites you to walk into that pawnshop, take a seat on that streetcar." 

Among the prints on sale is the iconic Sixth Avenue panel -- a panorama of one block, Sixth Avenue, 1958 between 43rd and  44th streets, assembled from eight separate frames.

Other bodies of work by Todd Webb:

Paris: 1948-1952

Guggenheim Fellowship -- Walk across America: 1955-1956

American West: 1955-1970

Georgia O'Keeffe Abiquiu and Ghost Ranch: 1955-1980

Portraits of Artists, including Berenice Abbott, Harry Callahan, Gordon Parks, Lisette Model and Man Ray.

Over a period of more than fifty years, Todd Webb produced a unique body of work which attained an important place in the annals of American photographic history. Webb's humanistic approach to documentary photography infuses his images with a sense of intimacy and a curiosity in the relationship between history, place, and people. His life was like his photographs; at first they seem very simple, without obvious tricks or manipulation, but on closer examination, they are increasingly complex and marvelously subtle.

The primary goal of the Todd Webb Archive, located in Portland, Maine, is to educate the public about Webb and his oeuvre. The archive is making vintage work available for the first time while also offering a limited edition of large scale posthumous prints. Since Todd Webb's death in 2000, his estate (known as the Todd Webb Archive) has been managed by collector/dealer Betsy Evans Hunt who has represented Webb since 1991. Hunt first met Webb and his wife Lucille in 1989 when they visited her photography gallery in downtown Portland. The Webbs formed a close and enduring friendship with Hunt with whom they shared a similar aesthetic sensibility. Prior to moving to Portland, Hunt held various positions in the field of fine art photography, among them as Robert Mapplethorpe's first studio manager. Hunt is currently working with various museums on Todd Webb exhibitions and accompanying publications, as well as with commercial venues. The Todd Webb Archive is open by appointment. 

For more information, visit: www.toddwebbarchive.com

Image: Texaco Station, Togo (West Africa), 1958 / copyright: The Todd Webb Archive


chris killip_w.jpgNew Haven, CT—The Yale Center for British Art has expanded its collection of photographs through a generous gift of 125 works from the London-based collectors Claire and James Hyman. The gift includes prints by famed British photographers Bill Brandt (1904-1983), Tony Ray-Jones (1941-1972), and Martin Parr (b. 1952), and it introduces works by Bert Hardy (1913-1995), Roger Mayne (1929-2014), Fay Godwin (1931-2005), John Blakemore (b. 1936), Colin Jones (b. 1936), Anna Fox (b. 1961), and many others who are not yet represented in the Center’s steadily growing collection. A selection reflecting the range of British photographers and approaches to the medium represented in this gift will be on display at the Center beginning on Tuesday, January 16, mounted by Assistant Curator of Photography Chitra Ramalingam. This arrangement will be on view in the second-floor galleries through March 29, 2018. 

“Claire and I hope that by making this donation at such a seminal moment it will help provide a platform for the Center’s ambitions to develop its engagement with British photography,” said Dr. James Hyman. “This gift marks the continuation of a special relationship with Yale University that began in 2001, when the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies for British Art, London, in association with Yale University Press, published my doctorate The Battle for Realism: Figurative Art in Britain during the Cold War (1945-60).” 

Highlights from the Hymans’ gift to the Center include British landscapes, from the layered intimacy of a riverbank in Blakemore’s Lathkill Dale, Derbyshire (1979) to the bleak, ruptured majesty of Godwin’s Meall Mor, Glencoe (1989). Several photographers whose work is included in the gift, such as Hardy, Brandt, Jones, and Jane Bown (1925-2014) worked for illustrated magazines, such as the mid-century Picture Post or the Observer, the long-lived illustrated Sunday magazine, which fostered both social documentary and graphic innovation in British photography. Prints from two Picture Post photo-essays by Hardy trace the everyday realities of wartime and postwar Britain: A Trawler in War-time, March 1942, captures fishermen trawling in the North Sea under brutal conditions, while Life in the Elephant depicts citizens of south London during the winter of 1948. Jones recorded life in postwar industrial landscapes, foregrounding British steel-working and coal-mining towns in the 1970s. Fox’s photographs document the unsettling customs and rituals of British life in a small, picturesque village in Hampshire.

“We are delighted to make this gift to the Center as part of our commitment to promoting British photography internationally,” said Dr. Claire Hyman. “The donation includes British photographs that span the last century by many of the most important figures from Bill Brandt to Anna Fox. We are especially excited to make the gift at such an important time in the Center’s engagement with photography!”

The Hymans’ largesse builds on a precedent set by the Center’s founder, Paul Mellon (Yale College, Class of 1929), whose own extraordinary gift to Yale included early and rare examples of books and albums with photographic illustrations. Among the most notable are a copy of William Henry Fox Talbot’s photographically illustrated book Sun Pictures in Scotland (1845), depicting sites from the life and work of Sir Walter Scott; Relics of Old London (1875-1886), a portfolio of carbon prints by several late Victorian photographers memorializing historical London buildings in danger of demolition; and the William Field scrapbook (1895), an extraordinary album compiled by a commercial photographer to record the collective memory of his family and its relationship to the distant past. The newly acquired prints complement the Center’s rich collection of historic photographs and drawings made with optical devices, such as the camera obscura and camera lucida, which both played a key role in the genesis of photography.

“We are deeply grateful to the Hymans for advancing the Center’s collection of modern and contemporary British photographs. Their magnificent gift includes works by many notable practitioners new to the institution’s holdings,” said the Center’s director, Amy Meyers. “Their generosity comes at an opportune moment, since we have begun to develop our collection of photographs both actively and strategically to represent the wide breath of the medium, as well as its historical and social significance to British culture.” 

In addition, Ramalingam noted, “the Center wishes to build its photography collection in innovative ways that reflect not only the multifaceted nature of photography as a practice but also the complexity of Britishness at this moment in history. The photographs included in the Hymans’ gift compel us to examine both these questions, as the Center launches research projects and exhibitions that deepen our understanding of the material, aesthetic, and social history of photography.”

Currently, the Center houses more than six thousand photographs, including works in books and albums, and cartes de visite. Over the last decade, the institution has made a firm commitment to expand the breadth and depth of its holdings in this area, with works that range from early photographic experiments to contemporary innovations with the medium: from a cameraless salt print by William Henry Fox Talbot (1800-1877) to a digital print by Yinka Shonibare MBE (RA) (b. 1962). 

Image: Christopher Killip, Helen and her Hula-hoop, Seacoal Camp, Lynemouth, Northumberland (detail), 1984, gelatin silver print, Yale Center for British Art, Gift of the Hyman Collection, London (Claire and James Hyman) © Christopher Killip 2018


Warhol.JPGFranklin, MA — A mid-1980s gouache on paper rendering of the iconic Apple Macintosh logo attributed to pop art legend Andy Warhol (1928-1987), and an oil on canvas composition signed by the French painter of modern art Auguste Herbin (1882-1960), are expected top lots in Woodshed Art Auctions’ internet-only fine art sale Thursday, February 1st, at 5:30 pm Eastern.

The Private Art Collections & Estates Discoveries Auction contains 142 lots of modestly priced artworks from consignors in Europe, England, Canada, South America and the U.S., featuring original paintings and drawings by and attributed to prominent names in 19th and 20th century art. Styles span Realism, Impressionism, Surrealism, Expressionism, Neo Expressionism and Pop.

The Warhol painting is a playful and vibrant interpretation of the Macintosh Apple logo, and it’s possibly a study for an advertising commission, although that can’t be corroborated. The work measures eight inches square (16 ½ inches square in the frame) and is signed front and back and verso, marked with reference numbers. It’s been assigned a modest estimate of $20,000-$30,000.

The Herbin attribution measures 21 ½ inches by 17 ½ inches framed and is signed lower right and on the reverse, with a date of 1954. Herbin is best known for his Cubist and abstract works consisting of colorful geometric figures. The painting up for bid should bring $50,000-$80,000.

The rest of the catalog features artists such as Stuart Davis, Jane Peterson, Titian Ramsay Peale, Montgomery Livingston, George Cochran Lambdin, Maurice Braun, Franz Kline, Arthur Dove, Girogio de Chirico, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Auguste Rodin. All lots can be viewed now, at www.woodshedartauctions.com. People can register and bid on the site, too (a new feature). They can also bid on lots via the popular online bidding platform www.LiveAuctioneers.com.

“This month’s selections reflect a wide range of tastes among our consignors,” said Bruce Wood of Woodshed Art Auctions. “Some conservative landscape and marine paintings arrived from New England estates, Surrealist drawings came from South America and Modern abstractions emerged from European collections. The catalog overall presents a lively visual conversation.”

An abstract composition, gouache and graphite on paper attributed to Stuart Davis (Am., 1892-1964), signed in graphite under the 18 inch by 25 ¼ inch unframed image, is expected to rise to $40,000-$60,000. Also, an oil on canvas mounted onto board, signed by Jane Peterson (Am., 1876-1965) and titled Boats in Gloucester Harbor, in a frame, should realize $25,000-$35,000.

A watercolor on paper with graphite indications attributed to Titian Ramsay Peale (Am., 1799-1885), titled Callosamia Promethea, signed lower right, unframed, has an estimate of $10,000-$15,000; while an oil on canvas by Montgomery Livingston (Am., 1816-1855), titled Mount Desert Island, Maine, signed and titled in pencil and in a new frame, should hit $6,000-$8,000.

An oil on canvas titled Still Life with Roses by George Cochran Lambdin (Am., 1830-1896), signed lower left and housed in a 31 inch by 24 ½ inch frame, is estimated at $6,000-$8,000. Also, an oil on canvas board landscape by Hungarian-American artist Maurice Braun (1877-1941), possibly of Old Lyme, Conn., signed lower left, framed, should make $15,000-$20,000.

An abstract watercolor painting on heavy weight paper attributed to Arthur Dove (Am., 1880-1946), circa 1940, signed along the lower edge, 5 inches by 7 inches unframed, has an estimate of $8,000-$12,000; while an abstract composition acrylic on paper attributed to Franz Kline (Am., 1910-1962), signed, 13 ¾ inches by 11 inches unframed, should garner $10,000-$15,000.

A portrait of an entertainer attributed to Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (Fr., 1864-1901), possibly Miss Dolly from Le Star in the Port of Le Harvre, France, signed and unframed, is expected to realize $30,000-$50,000; and an unframed mixed media drawing of a cow on paper, done in the manner of Andy Warhol, signed in pencil front and back, has an estimate of $40,000-$60,000.

The auction’s top lot may not end up being a painting at all but a bronze cast sculpture signed by the renowned French artist Auguste Rodin (1840-1917), depicting a hand holding a female torso, 5 ½ inches tall (est. $80,000-$100,000). Also being offered is a watercolor on paper attributed to Giorgio de Chirico (It., 1888-1978) titled Testa de Cavallo (Horse Head) (est. $15,000-$20,000).                                                                 

Woodshed Art Auctions is a family-owned art gallery specializing in oil painting restoration and live and online art auctions, celebrating its 50th anniversary. The firm is always accepting quality artworks for future auctions. To inquire about consigning a single piece or an entire collection, you may call Bruce Wood at 508-533-6277; or, e-mail him at bruce@woodshedartauctions.com

For more information about Woodshed Art Auctions and the February 1st Private Art Collections & Estates Discoveries Auction, please visit www.woodshedartauctions.com.

Image: Mid-1980s gouache on paper rendering of the iconic Apple Macintosh logo attributed to pop art icon Andy Warhol (Am., 1928-1987) (est. $20,000-$30,000).

Screen Shot 2018-01-17 at 9.48.49 AM.pngOn February 20th 2018, Sotheby’s Milan will offer up for sale the library of Sergio Rossetti, a Milanese collector, connoisseur and bibliophile. He dedicated the vast majority of his studies and his collecting to the city of Rome. 

His library illustrates all the aspects of art, archeology, architecture and costume in the Italian capital from the early 15th century to the 19th century.

The collection also features the great classic works on Roman architecture, from Fontana to Borromini and Palladio. 

The library includes a large number of well-preserved items, such as Carlo Fontana’s Templum Vaticanum et ipsius origo.., Rome, 1694. Thanks to its precise iconography and detailed descriptions it is considered the most accurate and exhaustive work about the Vatican Basilica and its construction (79 tables engraved by Alessandro Specchi from Fontana’s drawings), est. €10.000-15.000. In addition, two books by Francesco Borromini, Rome, 1720-1725, Opera cavata dai suoi originali (both of them feature the architect’s portrait) est. €5.000-7.000, and Andrea Pozzo’s Perspectiva pictorum et architectorum..,1693, enriched with some magnificent engravings, among them the plate with the vault of the Church of Sant’Ignazio in Rome, est. €2.000-3.000. 

The sale also includes the first edition of Obeliscus Pamphilius, hoc est, interpretatio nova.., 1650, executed by the great erudite jesuit Athanasius Kircher, in which he presents his theories about the translation of hieroglyphics; the book is accompanied by several illustrations concerning Egyptian mythology. Besides, this work was commissioned by Pope Innocenzo X in order to carry out the restoration of the obelisk by Bernini: it was placed soon after in the middle of Piazza Navona, opposite Palazzo Pamphili, est. €3.000-4.000.

The renowed seventeenth-century printer and engraver Giacomo Lauro produced Antiquae Urbis splendor, hoc est, praecipua eiusdem templa, amphitheatra, theatra, circi, naumachiae.., followed by plates and texts, 1637, here a magnificent morocco binding with the arms of Urban VIII Barberini, est. €4.000-6.000.

In the works dedicated to Roman maps, it is worth mentioning Giovanni Battista Nolli, Nuova pianta di Roma, 1748, Rome, with an engraved plate depicting the city of Rome in its entirety; this first edition is rare, est. €4.000-6.000.

Seventeenth-century Rome is magnificently illustrated through the engraved plates of the well-known Palazzi di Roma de’ più celebri architetti..,by Pietro Ferrerio (1655-1670), and Nuovi disegni delle architetture e piante dei palazzi di Roma de’ più celebri architetti.., by Giovanni Battista Falda, est. €3.000-4.000.

Valuable books by the noted engraver and architect of the 18th century Giovanni Battista Piranesi will be offered to auction; among them, the renowed Della magnificenza ed architettura de’ Romani.., 1761, (est. €5.000-7.000), first edition, Antichità romane de’ tempi della Repubblica e de’ grandi imperatori..,1748, (est. €4.000-6.000), enriched with detailed plates, and the first edition of the impressive and rare work on Campo Marzio: Il Campo Marzio dell’antica Roma, Rome, 1762, est. €10.000-15.000.

The library also features one of the most relevant works about eighteenth-century civil engineering, illustrated in great detail across 54 plates: the Castelli e ponti con alcune ingegnose pratiche del trasporto dell’obelisco Vaticano…by Nicola Zabaglia, Roma, 1743, est. €2.500-3.000.

Next, the first editions of five books of views of Rome by Giuseppe Vasi Delle Magnificenze di Roma antica e moderna, Rome, 1747-1761, est. €8.000-12.000.

The library of Sergio Rossetti is rich in curiosities about Rome and includes, moreover, the most complete series of Italian and foreign guides to Rome from the 16th century to the 19th century. 


Wolf Image.jpgMiami Beach, FL— The Wolfsonian-Florida International University today announced a significant gift of more than 650 items from Palm Beach philanthropist Jean S. Sharf and her late husband, collector and scholar Frederic A. Sharf. A longtime trustee and benefactor of museums across the U.S., Fred Sharf initiated the donation in early fall 2017, just a few months before his death in late November. His final gift to The Wolfsonian is the culmination of nearly two decades of institutional support and features rare, under-studied material from the late 19th century through the Second World War relating to aviation, national fairs, the rise of the modern Japanese empire, and colonialism in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.

“Fred Sharf dedicated his life to ensuring that the items he collected were made available to the community,” said Francis Luca, Wolfsonian chief librarian. “He actively and prolifically published in order to share his knowledge, and sought out permanent homes for his finds in public museums and gallery spaces. We are honored that the Sharfs have chosen The Wolfsonian as a permanent repository for a large part of their private library, knowing that the extraordinary artifacts Fred amassed over a lifetime would ‘not collect dust on the shelves,’ but rather be preserved, displayed, and made accessible for generations to come.”

Significant highlights of the Sharfs’ gift are:

  • Japan and Her Exhibits, a rare catalog from the 1915 San Francisco Panama Pacific International Exposition containing over 400 pages of information, photographs, and advertisements on Japanese industries, art, and attractions;
  • An original photograph album (1919-26) documenting a British traveler’s seven-year trip around the world, with an elaborate mother-of-pearl inlay cover design of a bird with outstretched wings;
  • A 5-ft framed tapestry (1927) commemorating Charles Lindbergh’s historic transatlantic flight from New York to Paris, and his single-engine monoplane Spirit of St. Louis;
  • Early aviation magazines, including issues of The American Aviator (1929) and Flight (1932);
  • Our Wonderful Women by Cecil Hunt, a Second World War-era book published in London to commend women’s contributions in the war effort as nurses, members of the WAAF (Women’s Auxiliary Air Force), and ATS (Auxiliary Territorial Service); and
  • 1950s British fair publications, featuring colorful cover artwork and ads for products such as chocolate, shampoo, and diamond rings.

The Sharfs’ relationship with The Wolfsonian dates back to 1999, when they began contributing toward exhibitions and publications. From 2001 to 2006 Fred Sharf served on the museum’s advisory board, and in 2010 the couple’s focus homed in on the collection and initiatives of The Wolfsonian-FIU Library, where they have underwritten an associate librarian position dedicated to accessioning, cataloging, and preparing their extensive donations for digitization and display. Rochelle T. Pienn, holding this role since its inception in 2011, has since processed thousands of items gifted by the Sharfs.

“A rare combination of historian, art collector, and humanist, Fred Sharf had a keen understanding of what was both beautiful and meaningful,” said Pienn. “Whether donating period books from the Russo-Japanese War or original British colonial photograph albums, Fred understood the importance of relating artifacts of the past for the purpose of new scholarship. He was invigorated by the study and exhibition of these materials here on Miami Beach.”

The Sharf Collection held by The Wolfsonian-FIU Library contains over 5,000 rare photograph albums and other unique materials providing first-person perspectives of historical events and places across the globe. Major periods and moments covered by the collection are: the building of the Panama Canal; British colonial initiatives in India and Burma; and wars and uprisings ranging from the Boxer Rebellion (1898-1901), Spanish-American War (1898), Second South African War (1899-1902), Philippine American War (1899-1902), and Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905) to various Japanese military conflicts in Manchuria, China. Other materials also housed at The Wolfsonian include architectural drawings and illustrations. 

“The Sharfs’ latest gift is a keystone donation,” said Wolfsonian director Tim Rodgers. “We’re saddened that Fred’s many years of fruitful collaborations with the Wolfsonian team have been cut short, but look forward to celebrating his legacy in the true spirit of the Sharfs—with endless curiosity, the heart of a scholar, and a passion for the overlooked and unsung.”

The Wolfsonian is planning an installation of lacquered photograph albums from the Sharf Collection for 2019, and will continue to research and display material from the collection in other upcoming projects. Past installations that have heavily drawn on Sharf materials or were supported by the Sharfs include Styled for the Road: The Art of Automobile Design, 1908-1948 (2009), Visions of Victory: Picturing the Spanish-American War (2012), Wonders Never Cease: The 100th Anniversary of the Panama Canal (2014), and An Artist on the Eastern Front, Feliks Topolski, 1941 (2015), among many others.


trouvelot_comet_600.jpgSan Marino, CA - A rare set of exquisite lithographs, depicting the pastel drawings of planets, comets, eclipses and other celestial wonders by artist/astronomer Étienne Léopold Trouvelot (1827-1895), takes center stage in late April when The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical mounts the new exhibition “Radiant Beauty: E.L. Trouvelot’s Astronomical Drawings” in the Library’s West Hall. The exhibition is on view April 28-July 30.

The set of 15 chromolithographs was the crowning achievement of Trouvelot’s career, said curator Krystle Satrum, assistant curator of the Jay T. Last Collection at The Huntington. “He was both an extraordinarily talented artist and a scientist, producing more than 7,000 astronomical illustrations and some 50 scientific articles during his working life.”

In vivid color and meticulous detail, the works depict a range of astronomical phenomena. “The high quality of both the artwork and the scientific observation demonstrates his uncanny capacity to combine art and science in such a way as to make substantial contributions to both fields,” Satrum said. 

Trouvelot’s artistic talent and eye landed him a position at the Harvard College Observatory, where he produced highly detailed drawings of his observations, many of which were published in the Annals of the Astronomical Observatory of Harvard College. In 1875, he was invited to the U.S. Naval Observatory to use their 26-inch refracting telescope, at the time, the world’s largest. He then went public, exhibiting several astronomical pastels at the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. With the success of that exhibit, Trouvelot sought to publish a portfolio of his best drawings. He teamed up with New York publishers Charles Scribner’s Sons, selecting 15 drawings to be made into chromolithographs, which were finally published in 1882.

It is estimated that some 300 portfolios were published, but only a handful of complete sets still exist. Initially the portfolios were sold to astronomy libraries and observatories as reference tools that astronomers could use to compare with their own observations. However, as early 20th century advances in photographic technology allowed for more accurate and detailed depictions of the stars, planets, and phenomena, these prints were discarded or sold to collectors. The Huntington’s set was acquired by Jay T. Last as part of his collection of graphic arts and social history, then donated to The Huntington. 

Trouvelot’s legacy is not without controversy, said Satrum. Born in Aisne, France, he fled to the United States in 1855 with his wife and two children following Napoleon’s coup three years earlier, settling in Medford, Massachusetts. While supporting his family as an artist, he spent much of his free time studying insects, working to see if better silk-producing caterpillars could thrive in the United States. During a trip back to France in the late 1860s, he collected live specimens of the gypsy moth, bringing them home to Medford. “Unfortunately, after hatching, some of them escaped his backyard, infesting the nearby woods, then quickly spread throughout New England and Canada, destroying millions of hardwood trees,” she said. Though large-scale efforts to eradicate it were underway by 1890, they proved unsuccessful; the gypsy moth continues to be a scourge of U.S. and Canadian forests today, causing millions of dollars’ worth of damage annually. “This episode also seems to have soured Trouvelot’s passion for entomology, for by 1870, he had turned to astronomy,” Satrum said.

The West Hall is adjacent to the astronomy section of “Beautiful Science: Ideas that Changed the World” The Huntington’s permanent exhibition on the history of science, featuring rare books and manuscripts by the likes of Ptolemy, Galileo, Newton, and Einstein, among others.

Image: E. L. Trouvelot (1827-1895), The Great Comet of 1881, 1881, color lithograph, 32 3/4 × 25 3/4 in. Jay T. Last Collection, The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

Hours_Spitz_Bourdich_c1500_Tours_f27r_Annunciation copy.jpgDr. Jörn Günther Rare Books AG returns to TEFAF Maastricht (10-18 March 2018) with an exceptional collection of museum-quality, Medieval and Renaissance illuminated manuscripts, miniatures, and early printed books. 

This year’s highlights focus on the masterful artistry displayed in one-of-a-kind secular and sacred works of art from the 15th and 16th centuries. The first outstanding manuscript in the TEFAF Maastricht 2018 line-up is an exceptionally fine Book of Hours that shows the exquisite refinement and sophistication of a great artist. This elegant prayer book is attributed to the Master of Petrarch’s Triumphs, a distinctive master whose earlier work is localized in Tours. 

The manuscript’s delicate grisaille and touches of jewel-toned colours emanate a degree of translucency and purity. This devotional work includes 38 small miniatures with gold and red frames, as well as 4 full-page miniatures surrounded by borders of gilt scrolls containing the repeated motto “Parce Michi Domine”, meaning “Spare me, O Lord”, which may possibly indicate a yet unidentified patron’s device. While rooted in spiritual aspiration, this opulent manuscript nonetheless provides the owner with a luxury object that expresses his or her social status.

Another impressive manuscript highlight that Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books is bringing to Maastricht is a superb copy of Livy’s History of Rome, translated into French as Les Décades. This text is the first translation of any major classical author into French, originally commissioned by the French King John II the Good. This 15th-century manuscript is outstanding in size and in historical importance. The history measures 450 x 318 mm and includes 87 large miniatures, making it the most profusely illustrated of all known copies of Livy. Equally spectacular is the extremely fine 16th-century binding à la fanfare.

This manuscript’s engaging illustrations offer everything that the Middle Ages are supposed to be: battles, jousts, knights, armour, castles, trumpeters, kings, maidens, and banquets in a profusion of colour and chivalric splendour. The makers of this manuscript are not only named, but there is also a self-portrait of the artist, a portrait of the scribe, and a portrait of their patron.

Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books will also show an extremely rare early printed book: Albrecht Dürer’s Apocalypse - which is considered to be the first book in history that was both created and published by an artist. The copy at hand is the second Latin edition and the first with the title woodcut depicting the apparition of the Virgin with Child to St. John. It includes the complete series of 16 monumental woodcuts.

The publication of the Apocalypse was a revelation of Dürer’s artistic genius: never before had a single artist executed a project of such scope with total mastery over every aspect. Dürer utterly transformed the appearance of the illustrated printed book and of woodcuts. His large, complex images in realistic settings, full of life and movement, feature a descriptive power evident in the present series. Revolutionary in its time in both technique and breadth of concept, Dürer’s woodcut style graphically manifests the potency of St. John’s visions, capturing minute detail, rich texture, profound physical vigour, and his mastery of light and darkness.

His interpretation of the events before Doomsday was a great popular success. With editions in Latin and German, the book became accessible to the widest possible audience. However, today, this outstanding work is rarely seen in commerce.

Image: Book of Hours, use of Rome. Manuscript on vellum, illuminated by the Master of Petrarch’s Triumphs. France, Tours, c. 1490-1500. Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books AG. Price: 1,600,000 EUR.



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

This catalog features rare, antique and decorative books as well as select additions of ephemera. Featured is private collection of special and limited editions, along with many volumes signed by authors, illustrators and other contributors. A varied array of antique, vintage and recent children's books are also in this auction, with many signed copies.

Antique and rare books are numerous in this catalog. Among the earliest examples are the 1575 printing of Crispi's "In Hippocratis Aphorismorum Lib I Commentaria," bound in vellum, Ballonii's "Medici Parisiensis Celeberrimi," produced in 1640 and bound in vellum, and the 1699 printing of Gavanto's "Thersaurus Sacrorum Rituum," also in vellum. Author-signed volumes in this auction include names such as Robert Frost, Edward Rickenbacker, Rockwell Kent, Maurice Sendak, Stephen King, Peter Straub, Carl Sandburg, Eudora Welty, Philip Roth and many others. Additional rare and antique selections include titles relating to books-on-books, Civil War, travel & exploration, science fiction, mysteries, children's, Victorian gilt bindings, the American West, theology, decorative antique sets, art history and beyond.                       

Several compelling collections will also be showcased. Highlighted is a singular private library of rare limited and special editions, including many important autographed editions. Other lots present desirable vintage and antique examples such as the 1829 first edition of "The Memoir, Correspondence and Miscellanies from the Papers of Thomas Jefferson," the 1922 first American edition of Einstein's "The Meaning of Relativity," and a first state in the original dust jacket of Robert Heinlein's "Assignment in Eternity."     

Found throughout this catalog are interesting ephemera and group lot book offerings.    

National Book Auctions is a public auction service specializing in books, ephemera, and art. National Book Auctions is a targeted service offering experience and expertise unique to marketing antique and modern books and ephemera for consignors and collectors alike. The upcoming auctions will feature a wide assortment of collectible, signed, and first edition books. For more information, please contact the gallery at 607-269-0101 or email mail@nationalbookauctions.com.


Dallas, TX- Thanks to two stellar signature animation art auctions and another exceptional event at Knott’s Berry Farm amusement park in Buena Park, California, Heritage Auctions’ Animation Art Department had its best year ever, with total sales for the year of $3,919,080 - breaking the department’s previous record by 38 percent.

“It was an exciting year for Animation Art at Heritage Auctions,” Heritage Animation Art Director Jim Lentz said. “The year began with the historic ‘75 Years of America’s First Theme Park - Knott’s Berry Farm Auction’ held right at the historic park, which drew a record turnout. That was followed by two Animation Art Signature sales, the ‘Art of Fantasia’ auction in July and the ‘Animation Birthday Celebration’ auction, each of which set new records, thanks to artwork from the hands of such artists as Mary Blair, Eyvind Earle, Chuck Jones and Tim Burton, to name a few.”

The top Animation Art lot sold through Heritage Auctions in 2017 was Carl Barks “Family Portrait” Uncle Scrooge and Disney Ducks Painting #73-15 with Handwritten Letter (Walt Disney, 1973), which was pursued by numerous bidders before ultimately hammering at $68,712.50. From the hand of legendary Disney Duck artist Carl Barks, the image features Donald Duck surrounded by Uncle Scrooge McDuck, Grandma McDuck, Daisy Duck, Gladstone Gander and, in front, Donald’s nephews: Huey, Dewey and Louie.

An iconic image from one of the most beloved animated films of all time, the “Night on Bald Mountain” Concept Painting from Fantasia by Kay Nielsen (Walt Disney, 1940) realized $59,750. The work of Nielsen, a Danish illustrator, was utilized heavily in the famed “Night on Bald Mountain” scene. This rare Nielsen original concept/story painting, features the Chernabog with bats, skeletons and flames surrounding Bald Mountain and is signed in the upper right corner by Nielsen.

Another legendary Disney image is depicted in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Old Hag and Snow White Production Cel Courvoisier Setup (Walt Disney, 1937), which soared past its pre-auction estimate before ultimately selling for $33,460. The extraordinary hand-inked and hand-painted image of the Old Hag offering the Poison Apple to Snow White captures a key scene from this landmark animated movie. This original Courvoisier cel setup, on a custom background for presentation purposes, came originally from the “Ray Bradbury Collection.”

From one of Walt Disney’s favorite artists, Mary Blair “It's a Small World” Disneyland Painting (Walt Disney, 1964) nearly tripled its pre-auction estimate before bringing in $27,485. This original gouache-on-paper painting, measuring 14 by 18 inches, was done for the “Small World” exhibit in the Fantasyland section of Disneyland. This exact piece was held by Walt Disney and shown on the Wonderful World of Color episode called “Disneyland Around the Seasons” in what turned out to be one of Disney’s last appearances on the show.

One of the most legendary comics of all time is featured in A Charlie Brown Christmas Charlie Brown and Christmas Tree Production Cel (Bill Melendez, 1965) which more than quadrupled its pre-auction estimate when it crossed the block at $21,510. Written by Charles Schulz, the strip shows Charlie Brown as he defends his choice of the famous tiny Christmas tree” by claiming “I think it needs me!” This hand-inked, hand-painted production cel is on a photo print background for presentation purposes.

Other top Animation Art lots included, but were not limited to:

·         "The Band Concert" Good Housekeeping Illustrations by Tom Wood (Walt Disney, 1935): $20,315

·         Sleeping Beauty Eyvind Earle Master Hand-Painted Production Background with Production Cel Setup (Walt Disney, 1959): $19,120

·         Rocky and His Friends Production Cel Setup and Key Master Background (Jay Ward, 1960): $16,730

·         Mickey Mouse Early Publicity Artwork Signed by Walt Disney (Walt Disney, c. early 1930s): $11,950

·         Tim Burton The Black Cauldron Character Design Concept Art Group of 4 (Walt Disney, 1977): $11,651

·         DC and Marvel Underoos Illustration by Alex Toth (DC/Marvel/Fruit of the Loom, c. 1977-81): $6,572.50

Knott’s Berry Farm

Heritage Auctions helped celebrate the 75th anniversary of Knott’s Berry Farm’s Ghost Town attraction with a public auction in March that realized nearly $790,000 for 228 lots.

The top lot at the event was a Henry H. Cross “Baldwin Wagon Train Under Attack” Ghost Town Painting (1898), which sold for more than 40 times its pre-auction estimate when it drew a winning bid of $71,700. The painting was purchased by Walter Knott and displayed in Ghost Town in the early 1940s, and was spotlighted in the first issue of the Knott’s Berry Farm newspaper: the Ghost Town News. Cross was called “the greatest painter of Indians portraiture of all times” by Buffalo Bill Cody, worked as an artist for P.T. Barnum’s circus and was known for his portraits of Kit Carson, Wild Bill Hickock, Sitting Bull and Sioux chief Red Cloud.

One of the most visible attractions at Knott’s Berry Farm was the 1940 Jennie K Locomotive, which realized $40,630. Built in Pittsburgh, this H.K. Porter locomotive originally was owned by the Acme Brick Company in Malvern, Arkansas before ultimately being sold to Cedar Point Theme Parks.

A 1904 Caille Brothers Double Slot Machine (c. 1904) drew frenzied bidding before finishing at $38,240. When local tax authorities imposed a tax on each slot machine, the manufacturers and venue owners reacted by doubling and tripling the machines in a single cabinet in order to pay taxes once for multiple machines. This Big-Six Eclipse Twin oak double slot machine was re-purposed by Knott's Berry Farm to become a double-token machine with a vending fee of 25 cents.

Other top lots from the Knott’s Berry Farm auction included, but were not limited to:

·         Walter Knott's Model T Ford (1919/20): $37,045

·         Seagrave-Type Fire Engine (c. 1940s): $31,070

·         Ford Custom Two Bucket Seat Hot Rod Roadster (1927/59): $21,510

Heritage Auctions is the largest fine art and collectibles auction house founded in the United States, and the world’s largest collectibles auctioneer. Heritage maintains offices in New York, Dallas, Beverly Hills, San Francisco, Chicago, Palm Beach, London, Paris, Geneva, Amsterdam and Hong Kong.

The Internet’s most popular auction-house website, HA.com, has over one million registered bidder-members, and searchable free archives of four million past auction records with prices realized, descriptions and enlargeable photos.

Stock certificate.jpgReno, NV - Holabird Western Americana Collections, LLC is on the cusp of presenting its first big auction of the New Year - a two-day affair slated for the weekend of January 20th and 21st, featuring nearly 1,500 lots in many collecting categories. The auction will be held online and in Holabird’s gallery, at 3555 Airway Drive in Reno, starting at 8 am Pacific time both days.

Online bidding will be provided by the platforms iCollector.com, Invaluable.com, eBay Live and Auctionzip.com. Phone and absentee bids will also be accepted. A virtual catalog of the sale in its entirety, showing all lots, is up and online, at www.fhwac.com. Viewers can “flip” through each page and do keyword searches, too. They can also register and bid with a click of a button.

The Saturday, January 20th session will showcase mining and minerals, art, foreign items, Native Americana and general Americana. The Sunday, January 21st auction will feature cowboy, firearms and weaponry, militaria, gaming and tokens, numismatics (coins), tokens, bottles, saloon, railroadiana, Wells Fargo, World’s Fair and Expositions, bargains and dealer specials.

Nearly half of all lots on Day 1, January 20th (377 of the 723 lots being offered) are general Americana. One item is a strong candidate for top lot of the auction overall. It’s a choice pocket watch with a gold-in-quartz chain, made by the Illinois Watch Company in 1899 (by then its corporate offices had moved to San Francisco), engraved to John J. Kelly (est. $6,500-$10,000).

From the same category will come a rare silver chalice made in the 1870s or 1880s in historic Virginia City, Nevada and stamped on the bottom by the maker (M. M. Frederick), 6 ½ inches tall (est. $2,000-$5,000); and a one-sheet original poster from the 1940 Western movie Triple Justice, starring George O’Brien and Vivian Vale, 27 inches by 41 inches (est. $500-$1,000).

A star of the mining category is a 1908 stock certificate for the Great Cariboo Gold Company of British, Columbia in Canada, in the amount of 84 shares, issued to Annie E. Price (1833-1910), possibly Benjamin Price’s daughter from the U.K. (est. $500-$1,000). The 15 inch by 13 ¾ inch certificate is signed by J. Houghton as president and shows eight gorgeous gold nugget vignettes.

Minerals will feature a Triassic reptile fossil discovered embedded into black shale in Guizhou, China and measuring 6 inches by 11 inches (est. $600-$1,000). The 200 million-year-old reptile, known as Keichousaurus hui, was first discovered as a species in 1958, and has only been found in China. It was a “prey species” dinosaur, meaning it became food for a lot of other creatures.

Native Americana will be led by a beautiful white buckskin Pow Wow dress, with orange, green, yellow and black beads and fringing on both sides. The Northern Plains dress should hammer for $1,200-$3,000. A choice foreign lot is the set of four intricate hand puppets, made by the noted puppet “maestro” Katherina Bekleshova of Russia, probably in the 1940s (est. $2,000-$4,000). The politically-themed puppets are about two feet each in length and are in excellent condition. 

On to Day 2, where bottles (always a hit with collectors) will feature a very rare aqua mint hutch style Elko Bottling Works (Elko, Nev.) soda bottle, circa 1899-1901, with strong embossing and one of just a few known (est. $1,000-$1,500); and an Owl Pharmacy Co. (Seven Troughs, Nev.) bottle, one of the top Western medicines, circa 1909-1914, purple in color (est. $1,200-$1,500).

Numismatics will showcase a pair of three-coin commemorative coin sets honoring Israeli leader and 1994 Nobel Peace Prize winner Yitzhak Rabin, being sold as one lot. Each set consists of two silver coins and one gold coin of 22 carats (16.96 grams). The coin was designed by Aharon Shevo, with Rabin’s portrait engraved by Tidhar Dagan. The lot is estimated at $2,000-$6,000.

Paper currency will be highlighted by a scarce 1882 Watkins red-on-blue $10 advertising note, made famous more recently as a Ford car promotion in 2008. The original note was made in Laramie, Wyoming which, in 1882, was essentially the center of northern cowboy country. The note - advertising “Dry Goods, Groceries, Hats, Caps, Boots, Shoes” - should hit $1,500-$3,000.

Fans of gaming collectibles won’t be disappointed. Nearly 20 lots will come up for bid, led by a War Eagle 25-cent slot machine from around the 1930s, all-original, with the original wood sides and base. The machine, one of the classic “one-armed bandits” and still popular with collectors, has had a professional repainting and appears to be working, but has no key (est. $1,500-$3,000).

Color catalogs are available on request, by calling toll-free, 1-844-492-2766, or 775-851-1859. Also, anyone owning a collection that might fit into an upcoming Holabird Western Americana Collections, LLC auction is encouraged to get in touch. The firm travels extensively throughout the U.S., to pick up collections. Last year it went to Boston and New York, among other places.

Holabird Western Americana is always seeking quality bottle, advertising, Americana and coin consignments for future auctions. To consign a single piece or a collection, you may call Fred Holabird at 775-851-1859 or 844-492-2766; or, you can e-mail him at fredholabird@gmail.com. To learn more about Holabird Western Americana's Jan. 20th-21st auction, visit www.fhwac.com

Image: 1908 stock certificate for the Great Cariboo Gold Company of British, Columbia in Canada, for 84 shares, issued to Annie E. Price (est. $500-$1,000).

PBA Tyler.jpgPBA Galleries is pleased to offer the Tyler-Goodwyn Family Archive, an archive of President John Tyler descendants containing approximately 265 letters, documents, writings, and other items, including manuscripts, typed material, partially printed forms, and more, plus silver cups and spoons, an engraved gold watch, and other family memorabilia c.1832-1980. The archive will be offered on Sunday, February 11th in an early morning sale in Pasadena, California to coincide with the 51st California International Antiquarian Book Fair.

An important archive of papers and other items passed down by the descendants of President John Tyler through his eldest son Robert Tyler, who married Priscilla Cooper, and whose daughter Priscilla C. Tyler married Albert T. Goodwyn. The Tylers and the Goodwyns were old Southern families, from South Carolina, Virginia, and Alabama, long involved in the political, economic and social life of the South, and were owners of slaves and plantations. One of the earliest letters is from John Tyler in 1834, to his then 18-year old son Robert, when the elder Tyler was a senator from Virginia, discussing primarily matters of politics and state. The archive includes letters, deeds, wills, bills of sale, and other records detailing numerous transactions in slaves, and in large holdings of land. These latter include the sell-off of land after the Civil War, and re-acquiring assets in the succeeding decades. There are also three letters written by Albert T. Goodwyn while he was a prisoner of the Union forces during the Civil War, held on Johnson’s Island, in Lake Erie off the north shore of Ohio. Following the Civil War, business practices of necessity changed, but large land-owners and slave-holders such as the Goodwyns were able to adapt, and the documents reveal the share-cropping practices that kept the freed slaves in virtual if not actual bondage. There are also a number of papers relating to the curious ownership of a bridge by the Goodwyn family, acquired in the early 20th century. During this period members of the Goodwyn family became more involved in politics, and various papers and speeches reveal the efforts of the Democratic Party in the south to keep power firmly in the hands of white men. Some of the family were of a literary bent, though more whimsical than serious in nature, and there are several stories and essays by Robert Tyler Goodwyn, some treating in “humorous” fashion the relationships between the white patricians of the south and African Americans. There are, finally, artifacts of the family, including a gold pocket watch from the American Waltham Watch Company, with initials and dates of three family members, beginning in 1852. Provenance: Descended in the family.

The papers are housed in plastic sleeve in six binders, arranged chronologically in fourteen different subject categories, or sections. You can view the full catalogue entry here with further details https://www.pbagalleries.com/view-auctions/catalog/id/0/lot/143654/

Section One - Photographs

Ten photographic images, some from paintings, portraits of family members, 

Section Two - John Tyler

Letter to son Robert Tyler regarding negotiations with France and their promised payment of $5,000,000 to the U.S. government for violations of trade agreements.

Section Three -Slavery

Twelve manuscript letters, documents, bills of sale, etc., relating to slavery. 1838-c.1850.

Section Four - Civil War

Five items relating to the American Civil War, including three letters from Albert T. Goodwyn to family members when he was a prisoner-of-war at Johnson’s Island, Ohio, in 1864

Section Five - CSA Veterans

Fourteen items relating to Confederate veterans and veteran organizations. 1903-1935.

Section Six - Land

Forty-three documents, deeds, quit claims, and other items relating to land and land transactions. 1832-1939.

Section Seven - Business and Finance

Forty-five document, letters, insurance forms, contracts and other items relating to finance and business, including some involving sharecropping. 1867-1966

Section Eight - Bridge

Twenty-five letters and documents relating to the Montgomery Toll Bridge Company. 1915-1934.

Section Nine - Politics

Sixteen documents, speeches, and other items relating to politics, including voter suppression in the 1930’s and 1940’s. 1892-1942.

Section Ten - Literary and Education

Thirty essays, stories, school tests, diplomas, and other fictional and factual writings, a number of them relating to race relations. 1867-1942.

Section Eleven - Family Letters

Twenty letters between members of the Tyler-Goodwyn extended family. 1834-1928.

Section Twelve - Genealogy and Family History

Thirty items relating to the genealogy of the Tyler-Goodwyn extended family, including family trees, memoirs, obituaries, newspaper articles, etc. 1884-1988.

Section Thirteen - Wills

Thirteen wills and related testaments of members of the Tyler-Goodwyn extended family. 1900-1951.

Section Fourteen - Miscellaneous

Thirteen items of miscellaneous nature, including several relating to the 1918 military service of Robert Tyler Goodwyn, Jr. 1891-1962.

Overall the archive is in very good condition, with normal wear associated with age, use, and storage, some of the earlier papers with neat archival tape repairs.

The archived is estimated at $20,000-30,000.

PBA Galleries holds sales of fine, rare and collectible books every two weeks.  For more information regarding upcoming sales, consignments, or auction results, please contact PBA Galleries at (415) 989-2665 or pba@pbagalleries.com.

13_72dpi.jpgAustin, TX — The Harry Ransom Center, a humanities research library and museum at The University of Texas at Austin, has acquired the archive of American playwright Arthur Miller (1915-2005). Obtained from the Arthur Miller Trust, the archive spans Miller’s career.

During his lifetime the Ransom Center had a close association with Miller, who first donated a group of early play manuscripts and working notebooks to the Center in the early 1960s. This acquisition greatly extends that collection and tells the full story of Miller’s life and work, the production history of his major plays and the international reception that made Miller one of the most significant playwrights of the 20th century.

“Arthur Miller is one of our country’s finest playwrights, one who gave dramatic form to themes that are central to our still-evolving American story,” says Ransom Center Director Stephen Enniss. “For years to come, all primary source research into this major American playwright’s life and work will begin here.”

Beginning with Miller’s first play “No Villain” (1936), written when Miller was at the University of Michigan, to “Finishing the Picture” (2004), produced just months before his death, the archive provides a comprehensive record of Miller’s creative works. Present are drafts of “All My Sons” (1947), “Death of a Salesman” (1949), “The Crucible” (1953), “A View from the Bridge” (1955), “After the Fall” (1964), “Incident at Vichy” (1964), “The Price” (1968), “The Creation of the World and Other Business” (1972) and “The Ride Down Mt. Morgan” (1991), as well as screenplays, short stories and other writings.

Miller is one of our country’s most lauded playwrights. Over a distinguished career his plays have earned numerous honors, including a Pulitzer Prize for “Death of a Salesman” when Miller was only 33 years old; three Tony Awards and another for Lifetime Achievement; Kennedy Center Honors; the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award; the Theater Guild National Award; an honorary Molière Award; the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters; and the American Academy of Arts and Letters Gold Medal for Drama.

“With the acquisition of the Arthur Miller archive by the Harry Ransom Center, UT continues to be a leader in the arts and humanities,” said Gregory L. Fenves, president of The University of Texas at Austin. “Miller’s works are timeless, and his original manuscripts, journals and correspondence will be studied and enjoyed for generations to come.”  

The archive contains multiple versions of Miller’s scripts, many re-edited throughout his career for new productions. Supplementing the scripts are extensive materials related to productions of Miller’s plays, including contracts, set designs, marketing materials, reviews and awards. Drafts of Miller’s speeches and essays demonstrate his life-long engagement with the social and political issues of his time.

“We are pleased to have found a fitting home for Dad’s voluminous notes and papers at the Harry Ransom Center, where they will be added to the rest of his earlier works already in place there,” said Robert A. Miller. “The Center is well known for its collection of many of the finest writers in America and beyond, and we look forward to partnering with them as we explore how best to present his works and life in ways that can reflect his seemingly boundless curiosity and insight coupled with his unique observations and reflections on the 20th century world as he saw it, both intimate and global.”

Throughout his life, Miller recorded ideas, drafts, bits of dialogue and notes related to his work in journals, interspersing them with diary-like reflections on his personal life. More than 50 of these journals span from the 1940s to the 2000s.

Substantial correspondence in the archive reflects Miller’s association with significant colleagues from the literary and theatrical worlds including Edward Albee, Saul Bellow, Harold Clurman, Norman Mailer, Cynthia Ozick, Harold Pinter and John Steinbeck. Some relates to Miller’s investigation by the House Un-American Activities Committee. Also included is family correspondence.

“It’s rare to see a writer document his process in such a rich and complete way,” said Eric Colleary, the Ransom Center’s Cline Curator of Theatre and Performing Arts. “Given the scope and scale of Miller’s archive, researchers and artists can look forward to significant new insights into one of America’s greatest playwrights and public intellectuals.”

Many other collections at the Ransom Center contain primary source materials related to Miller, including the papers of Stella Adler, Boris Aronson, Mel Gussow, PEN and the archive of Eli Wallach and Anne Jackson. The Ransom Center’s PEN International collection includes hundreds of Miller’s letters demonstrating his commitment to freedom of expression around the world and documenting his service as president of PEN International from 1965 to 1969.

Included in the archive is a vast collection of photographs, many by such notable photographers as Eve Arnold, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Bruce Davidson, Fred Fehl, Arnold Newman, and Miller’s third wife Inge Morath. Some are portraits of Miller and others document productions of his plays. There are also family photographs and snapshots.

The Ransom Center has one of the largest collections of playwright archives in the world. Miller’s archive will reside alongside those of American dramatists including Lillian Hellman, Adrienne Kennedy, David Mamet, Terrence McNally, Elmer Rice, Sam Shepard and Tennessee Williams; and British and Irish playwrights Samuel Beckett, David Hare, John Osborne, George Bernard Shaw and Tom Stoppard.

The acquired materials will be cataloged within two years. The collection will then be accessible to researchers, students and the public.

The acquisition is being funded by a combination of private gifts and university funds. No state general revenue or tuition funds are being used. The Ransom Center is seeking additional private support for the Miller archive. 

Image: Typescript draft page for "The Price," ca. 1967. Arthur Miller Papers, Harry Ransom Center.

mary-q-scots-elizabeth-i-to-ralph-sadler-3-dec-1584 copy.jpgThe British Library is pleased to announce the donation to its American Trust of 43 historically important letters, written by Queen Elizabeth I and senior courtiers, relating to the imprisonment of Mary, Queen of Scots. 

Many of the letters were written to Sir Ralph Sadler, who was entrusted with the custody of Mary, Queen of Scots, at Tutbury Castle in Staffordshire, between 1584-85, just a few years before her execution for treason in 1587. They include four letters signed by Elizabeth I, and many others in the hands of her Chief Minister, Lord Burghley, and her Secretary of State, Sir Francis Walsingham. 

The collection, which is of significant historical importance, has been on loan to the Library for a number of years. The letters have been gifted by industrialist and philanthropist Mark Pigott KBE to the American Trust for the British Library and will enhance the Library’s extensive collections of original correspondence of the Tudor monarchs.

Roly Keating, chief executive of the British Library said, “The British Library is delighted to announce the gift of this important collection of letters, relating directly to one of the most dramatic episodes in English and Scottish history. The words of figures such as Elizabeth I, Burghley and Walsingham are a vital part of our shared heritage. The Library and all scholars and students of UK history are grateful to Mr. Pigott and to the American Trust for their vital ongoing support.”  Keating added, “Mark Pigott has generously supported the British Library and its collections for many years, including sponsorship of our magnificent PACCAR Gallery and exhibitions on our Royal Manuscripts collection and Henry VIII. He has also generously contributed to the enhancement of education and outreach programmes and we are very grateful for his continued commitment and friendship.”

Mark Pigott KBE shared, “The British Library has provided luminescent insights into centuries of history through their collections and we are pleased to add to their superb repository of manuscripts. The Tudor period was an eventful time for the nation, politically and culturally, and these letters offer a unique window onto that world both for researchers today and for future generations”

David Redden, President of the ATBL, said: “The American Trust for the British Library acknowledges with enormous gratitude the spectacular gift by Mark Pigott of the Sadler archive. The archive has been placed at once on deposit with the British Library where it will dramatically expand our insight into the world of the Tudors and the extraordinary story of Mary, Queen of Scots.” 

The Library plans to digitise the letters next year, along with other Tudor documents, and they will be made available for all on the Digitised Manuscripts website. 

Image: Letter from Elizabeth I to Ralph Sadler, 3 December 1584.

outcasts5_20171218190231992_low.jpgLos Angeles, CA - Medieval manuscripts preserve stories of faith, romance, and knowledge, but their luxurious illuminations can sometimes reveal hidden prejudices as well. Outcasts: Prejudice & Persecution in the Medieval World, on view January 30—April 8, 2018 at the J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, presents individual case studies that examine the way art, like language, was used to articulate a rhetoric of exclusion. Whether for reasons of race, class, gender, religious identity or sexual difference, medieval society was far more diverse than is commonly understood, but diversity did not necessarily ensure tolerance. Drawn from the Getty’s permanent collection of illuminated manuscripts, this exhibition explores the obstacles faced by those who were perceived as “others.” For today’s viewer, the vivid images and pervasive subtexts in illuminated manuscripts can serve as stark reminders of the power of rhetoric and the danger of prejudice.

“With their focus on religious subjects and tales of chivalry, it’s easy to forget that the pages of illuminated manuscripts frequently depicted social biases,” says Timothy Potts, director of the J. Paul Getty Museum. “Frequently, these works were a reflection of social norms and reinforced prejudices that were prevalent in society. In some cases these references may be subtle, in other cases not. In either case it is important to understand these works of art as also being social and historical documents that illuminate both the medieval past and the biases and prejudices that we still grapple with today.”

The exhibition begins with an illumination of the Crucifixion in the Getty’s Stammheim Missal, a masterpiece of Romanesque painting. The image is usually understood as a celebration of Christian belief, in which the sacrifice of Christ paved the way for the salvation of humanity, but this exhibition highlights the institutionalized anti-Semitism underlying Christian rhetoric about the old law and the new. Ecclesia, the personification of the Christian Church, is seen at Christ’s right, while the Jewish Synagoga appears on his left. Synagoga points at Christ, glaring, while holding a banderole (representing Old Testament law) that proclaims “cursed be he who hangs on the tree.” Below, two personifications echo and amplify the antithetical positions of these figures. In a roundel below Ecclesia, the fair-skinned Life gazes calmly across the composition at Death, who resembles contemporary (twelfth-century) caricatures of Jews with hooked noses and swarthy complexions.

“As repositories of history and memory, museums reveal much about our shared past, but all too often the stories told from luxury art objects focus on the elite,” explains Kristen Collins, curator of manuscripts and co-curator of the exhibition. “Typically created for the privileged classes, manuscripts can nevertheless provide glimpses of the marginalized and powerless and reflect their tenuous places in society.”

Some medieval writers and artists altered historical content to align with the prevailing morals of the day. Among Alexander the Great’s lovers was the young man Hephaiston and the eunuch Bagoas, but in one medieval manuscript Bagoas was recast as a beautiful woman called Bagoe in order (as the text says) to “avoid a bad example.” Even as a woman, however, Bagoe is still transgressive. In a fifteenth-century Flemish illumination, Bagoe wears luxurious flowing garments like those of the spear-carrying Amazon women in the background, who were renowned for their military prowess and heightened sexual drive. The literary and artistic interpretation of Bagoas/ Bagoe reveals the predominant prejudice against same-sex attraction and, by aligning her with the Amazons, the pervasive wariness toward powerful women.

Cis-gender women and Muslims often fared no better in the medieval world. The Merovingian queen Brunhilde, a powerful heroic figure who led armies and ruled over kingdoms, fell victim to the misogyny of later medieval authors who cast her as the archetypal “nasty woman.” In Giovanni Boccaccio’s story of The Death of Brunhilde, Queen of France (1413-15) he described Brunhilde as ruthless and vengeful, characterizations that were also applied to Saracens, a pejorative medieval term for Muslims. This parallel may explain the turbaned figures in the margins of this manuscript. In medieval art, the “Saracen” became a catch-all category of people to be feared.

Color conveyed a range of meanings in medieval art. Blackness not only signified race and ethnicity, but also symbolized the absence of light, and thus, God. Demons were often rendered in shades of black or dark browns and grays. In Initial Q: David Before Saul (after 1205), color appears to have been used in both ways. In a jealous rage, King Saul draws a sword on the young David. King Saul’s melancholic temperament is conveyed not only through his actions but also by the dark-skinned demon who resembles caricatured representations of Africans, Jews, and Muslims found elsewhere in the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries, a period of extreme intolerance and violence.

According to Bryan C. Keene, assistant curator of manuscripts and co-curator of the exhibition, “This exhibition strives to make connections between the Middle Ages and the contemporary world, specifically in the way rhetoric is used to construct society’s ‘out groups.’ Attitudes toward Jews and Muslims, the poor, those perceived as sexual or gender deviants, and the foreign peoples beyond European borders can be discerned through caricature and polemical imagery, as well as through marks of erasure and censorship.”

In an attempt to respond to possible concerns from audiences, the exhibition curators also reached out through the Getty blog and Tumblr, inviting members of the public to comment on the exhibition text as it was being drafted. That ongoing conversation can be found on the Getty Iris.

Outcasts: Prejudice & Persecution in the Medieval World is curated by Kristen Collins, curator in the Manuscripts Department and Bryan C. Keene, assistant curator in the Manuscripts Department. The exhibition is on view at the J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center from January 30 -April 8, 2018. Related programming includes “Sexuality, Sanctity, and Censorship: A Conversation with Artist Ron Athey,” a discussion about sexuality, gender identity, and censorship in relation to the exhibition and, “Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia in the Middle Ages and Today” a panel discussion featuring Sara Lipton, Hussein Fancy, and Jihad Turk.

Image: The Crucifixion, probably 1170s. Tempera colors, gold leaf, silver leaf, and ink on parchment. Leaf: 28.2 × 18.9 cm (11 1/8 × 7 7/16 in.). Credit: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, Ms. 64, fol. 86

Kerouac Cassady copy.jpgDallas, TX - Sales of Rare Books & Historical Manuscripts at Heritage Auctions recorded its best year in the category’s 12-year history with total 2017 sales reaching $3,762,722 million.

“We were very pleased with the stellar performance of our rare books auctions in 2017,” Heritage Auctions Rare Books Director James Gannon said, “and we attribute much of our success to great ‘fresh-to-market’ collections and Heritage’s unmatched marketing reach and Internet presence.”

J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone realized the highest sale price of any book sold by Heritage during 2017. Numerous bidders pushed it all the way to $81,250 - more than quadrupling its pre-auction estimate - and establishing a new world record for unsigned copies. Written in 1996, the book earned Rowling a tiny advance from Bloomsbury, which published just 500 copies in the initial run 20 years ago, with 300 copies earmarked for English libraries.

A T.S. Eliot collection comprised of 40 lots passed down through the Eliot family to T.S. Eliot’s great-niece, the last living relative to have a personal relationship with the author, sold for more than $215,000. The headliner was one of four first-edition presentation copies printed in vellum of Ara Vos Prec, which was inscribed by the author to his mother and realized $57,500.

Another collection that surpassed expectations was The KoKo Collection of Mystery and Detective Literature, encompassing 237 lots, which sold for $475,000 on $299,000 in pre-auction estimates. The top lot in the collection was an attractive copy of Dashiell Hammett’s 1929 Red Harvest, which went for $50,625. Strong prices realized for high spots from Poe, Fleming, Chandler, Doyle and Christie rounded out the consignment.

The highest price for any individual lot in the department was the $206,250 brought in by The Joan Anderson Letter, written by Neal Cassady in 1950 and originally sent to Jack Kerouac. A significant artifact in the history of Beat Literature, the letter proved hugely influential on Kerouac, who called it “the greatest piece of writing I ever saw.” Cassady, in his own right, was a major figure in the Beat Generation of the 1950s and the psychedelic and counter-culture movements of the 1960s. He later admitted that he wrote the 18-page document, with roughly 16,000 words and handwritten additions, deletions and edits, while high on speed. The letter, which described Cassady’s history with women, including women - hence the moniker “The Joan Anderson Letter - and other subjects, was thought to be lost for decades and still never has been published, except for a short fragment which appeared in 1964, after its influence and place in literary lore were already established.

The department had the good fortune to offer another Jack Kerouac item, his Original Typescript of The Dharma Bums, typed from the original scroll, realized $137,500. The 200-page draft Kerouac submitted to his publisher, Viking Press, in January 1958, includes hand-written corrections that made it into the final novel.

Other top lots included, but were not limited to:

·         An Aitken New Testament (1781), the first English-language New Testament printed in America: $75,000

·         A John James Audubon. [Robert Havell, engraver]. Original Copper Printing Plate: $62,500

·         A collection of 28 Early American Imprints, including the First Federal Budget: $47,500

·         A pair of Hermes 3000 Typewriters used by Larry McMurtry to write Lonesome Dove: $37,500

“By combining thorough and honest catalog descriptions with visual-minded presentation and exceptional marketing reach, we feel we have found a market-expanding formula at Heritage,” Gannon said. “We have set ourselves on a winning path to even more success in the future and are excited about what 2018 has to bring.”

Heritage Auctions is the largest fine art and collectibles auction house founded in the United States, and the world’s largest collectibles auctioneer. Heritage maintains offices in New York, Dallas, Beverly Hills, San Francisco, Chicago, Palm Beach, London, Paris, Geneva, Amsterdam and Hong Kong.

The Internet’s most popular auction-house website, HA.com, has over one million registered bidder-members, and searchable free archives of four million past auction records with prices realized, descriptions and enlargeable photos.

Dallas, TX - Numerous records set by Heritage Auctions' Comics & Comic Art category in 2017 include total sales of $44.3 million  - the highest ever in the 16-year history of the category and a new standard for the second year in a row. Gross sales surpassed 2016’s total sales of $42.95 million.

In addition, the department's Weekly Internet Auctions cracked the $10 million plateau for the first time, bringing in a total of $10.8 million, an average of nearly $208,000 per week for the world's leading comics and comic art auctioneer.

Departmental revenue records were not the only ones set in 2017. Robert Crumb R. Crumb's Fritz the Cat Cover Original Art (Ballantine, 1969) set a new world record for the most valuable piece of American comic art when it sold for $717,000 - nearly tripling its high pre-auction estimate - while Joshua Middleton NYX #3 Cover and Concept Art X-23 First Appearance Original Art (Marvel, 2004) established a new mark for the most valuable piece of 21st-century comic art when it hammered at $71,700.

“The last year has been the best in the history of our department,” Heritage Auctions Comics and Comic Art Operations Director Barry Sandoval said. “We were able to offer a number Robert Crumb items in which collectors saw premium value, and our weekly internet auctions underscored the quantity of in-demand lots our consignors consistently sell through Heritage Auctions.”

Animation Art

The top animation art piece from 2017 was the iconic Kay Nielsen Concept Painting for the "Night on Bald Mountain" scene in Fantasia (Walt Disney, 1940), which sold for $59,750.

Weekly Auctions

The weekly auctions have been a major boon to the department. The final total for the year of $10.8 represented a jump of 5 percent over the previous mark, which was established in 2016.

“Our average weekly auction has more than $200,000 worth of material, all sold without any reserves or minimum bids,” Sandoval said. “In addition to the Disney animation drawings and comic art we sell week in and week out, we’re proud to have a steady flow of key comics. In weekly auctions this year alone we have sold 22 Amazing Fantasy #15s, 26 Amazing Spider-Man #1s, 33 Incredible Hulk #181s and 27 New Mutants #98s … and there are plenty more in the pipeline.”

The top lot sold during a 2017 weekly auction was Amazing Fantasy #15 (Marvel, 1962) CGC VG/FN 5.0 Off-white to white pages, which realized $35,850

The most lucrative comic art lot sold in a 2017 weekly auction was John Buscema and Jim Mooney Amazing Spider-Man #76 The Lizard Original Art (Marvel, 1969), which brought $11,950.

Disney lots enjoyed significant success at the 2017 weekly auctions. Among the top offerings was Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Grumpy Animation Drawing (Walt Disney, 1937), which sold for $1,434.

A significant contributor to the Comics Department’s 2017 success was the Ethan Roberts collection of comic art, a compilation of more than 1,000 lots that have yielded sales totaling more than $2 million … so far. Among the top lots Roberts sold through Heritage Auctions in 2017:

·         Alex Raymond Flash Gordon Original Art dated 10-27-35 (King Features Syndicate, 1935): $131,450

·         Alex Raymond Flash Gordon with Jungle Jim Topper Sunday Comic Strip Original Art dated 11-12-39 Group of 2 (King Features Syndicate, 1939): $95,6000

·         Steve Ditko Amazing Spider-Man #34 Story Page 16 Original Art (Marvel, 1966): $71,700

·         Bernie Wrightson Swamp Thing #6 Cover Original Art (DC, 1973): $58,555

Heritage Auctions is the largest fine art and collectibles auction house founded in the United States, and the world’s largest collectibles auctioneer. Heritage maintains offices in New York, Dallas, Beverly Hills, San Francisco, Chicago, Palm Beach, London, Paris, Geneva, Amsterdam and Hong Kong.

The Internet’s most popular auction-house website, HA.com, has over one million registered bidder-members, and searchable free archives of four million past auction records with prices realized, descriptions and enlargeable photos.

capricorn-detail-from-liturgical-calendar.jpgNew York, NY — Before the appearance of the clock in the West around the year 1300, medieval ideas about time were simultaneously simple and complex. Time was both finite for routine daily activities and unending for the afterlife; the day was divided into a fixed set of hours, whereas the year was made up of two overlapping systems of annual holy feasts. Perhaps unexpectedly, many of these concepts continue to influence the way we understand time, seasons, and holidays into the twenty-first century. 

Drawing upon the Morgan’s rich collection of illuminated manuscripts, Now and Forever: The Art of Medieval Time explores how people in the Middle Ages told time, conceptualized
history, and conceived of the afterlife. It brings together more than fifty-five calendars, Bibles, chronicles, histories, and a sixty-foot genealogical scroll. They include depictions of monthly labors, the marking of holy days and periods, and fantastical illustrations of the hereafter. The exhibition opens January 26 and continues through April 29. 

“Artists of the medieval period could render the most common of daily activities with transcendent beauty, while also creating a strange, often frightening, afterlife,” said Colin B. Bailey, director of the Morgan Library & Museum. “Their work mirrored the era’s intricate mix of temporal, spiritual, and ancient methods for recording the passage of time. The elaborate prayer books, calendars, and other items in the exhibition provide a rich visual history of a world at once familiar and foreign, from the seasonal work of farmers that would not look unusual in today’s almanacs, to apocalyptic visions of eternity that make Hollywood’s futuristic films appear tame.” 

The Exhibition 

The show is divided into five sections focusing on the medieval calendar, liturgical time, historical time, the hereafter (“time after time”), and the San Zeno Astrolabe. 

I. The Medieval Calendar 

Medieval calendars told time in two ways: through the ancient Roman calendar that Julius Caesar had reformed in 45 B.C. and by the feast (usually a saint’s day) celebrated on the day. They appear odd to modern eyes because they lack our sequential numbering; all medieval calendars were perpetual. But they also contained much useful data. Golden Numbers tracking the year’s new moons and Dominical Letters (A through G) tracking Sundays were both used to determine the date of Easter. Calendars also noted each month’s unlucky days and added astronomical information such as the beginning of the summer’s Dog Days. 

In the Calendar of Ravenna, each month was gorgeously illustrated by its zodiacal sign—the constellation with its composite stars. Not simply aesthetically pleasing, this calendar also tracked the positions of the sun and the moon. 

In addition to the signs of the zodiac, calendars often depicted the labors of each month—for instance, August was dedicated to reaping wheat. By the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, this sole secular element within prayer books was given more focus. In fact, illuminator Simon Bening painted the labors on the folios of the Da Costa Hours as large full-page illustrations. 

II. Liturgical Time 

During this period, Europeans used the canonical hours to tell daily time. The medieval day was marked by eight hours, which the Church sanctified with prayer. The day began in the middle of the night (matins and lauds) and proceeded through the course of the day (beginning at sunrise with prime). The day ended in the evening (compline). The prayers became synonymous with the particular times they were recited. Books of Hours enabled laypeople to imitate the clergy and pray throughout the course of the day. A jewel-like Book of Hours illuminated by French Renaissance artist Jean Fouquet will be open to the Visitation, a scene marking the nighttime hour of lauds

Two overlapping systems were used to structure the year: the temporale and the sanctorale. The temporale consisted largely of feasts celebrating events from the life of Christ. Some feasts had fixed dates, like Christmas; others were movable, like Easter. Feasts of the sanctorale were generally saints’ days, commemorating the days upon which the saints died and entered heaven. 

Remnants of medieval timekeeping survive today. The medieval vigil, the commencement of an important feast on the evening before, has become today’s eve, such as Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve. In The Berthold Sacramentary, a miniature marks Palm Sunday, when the inhabitants of Jerusalem laid cloaks and palms in Christ’s path as he entered the city. Distributing blessed palms on Palm Sunday is a medieval practice that continues to this day. Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and St. Patrick’s Day all come from the medieval way of keeping time as well. 

III. Historical Time 

In the Middle Ages, the Bible was both the word of God and the early history of man. It was believed that the Hebrew Bible (the Christians’ Old Testament) chronicled actual ancient events, even if they had occurred long ago. The New Testament related the life and death of Christ and mentioned at times historic figures with known dates. In the sixth century, a new system of dating events was devised: years were described as A.D. or Anno Domini (In the Year of Our Lord), based on the presumed birthdate of Christ. 

According to medieval tradition, ancient Troy marked the start of European civil history. When the city fell, the defeated but heroic Trojans sailed off and founded such major European cities as Rome, Paris, and London. The medieval belief that Troy itself was founded by descendants of Noah provided a seamless link between the people and events chronicled in the Bible and the Trojans, the forebears for all of Europe. 

An anonymous compiler covered the six thousand years of history that began with Adam and Eve and concluded with fifteenth-century France as the world’s superpower in a sixty-foot scroll, the centerpiece of the exhibition. With sixty-six miniatures, it is the most fully illustrated copy of this universal chronicle known to exist. Outlining the history of the world from Creation to the reign of King Louis XI of France, it depicts five lines of descent: 1) the popes; 2) the Holy Roman Emperors; and 3) the kings of France, England, and the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem. 

IV. Time after Time 

Obsessed with the “Four Last Things” (death, judgment, heaven, and hell), people in the Middle Ages believed that time on earth was but a fleeting moment compared to the endlessness of the hereafter. Of those lucky enough to merit heaven, only martyrs or the truly holy might get there immediately after death. The rest detoured through purgatory, a place of temporary punishment, which could mean, however, thousands of years. 

Punishment in hell was imagined to be painful and fiery. In The Hours of Catherine of Cleves, the entrance of hell was depicted as a gaping lion’s mouth opening its batlike lips tipped with talons. Through it, demons cast damned souls. Meanwhile, burning towers heat cauldrons into which mutilated bodies are pitched. 

The Apocalypse dominated the imagination of what the end
of time held in store for humanity. Illustrators of medieval
manuscripts portrayed the Beast of the Apocalypse as having seven heads with ten horns and the body of a leopard with bear’s feet, which would make war on the faithful on earth. A False Prophet would order the people of the earth to worship this beast--and also cause great wonders, such as drawing fire from heaven. 

V. San Zeno Astrolabe 

For hundreds of years, an astrolabe hung in the Benedictine abbey of San Zeno in Verona. This extraordinary movable calendar is the only object of its type to survive from the Middle Ages—and is the only loan to the show. For every day of the year, the astrolabe’s three dials were rotated by hand to give a wide-ranging set of information: the date in Arabic numerals, the date according to the ancient Roman calendar, the feast to be celebrated, the zodiacal constellation, the hours of darkness and light, and the age of the moon. In doing so, it helped monks organize their devotional lives. 


Now and Forever is accompanied by the book, The Medieval Calendar: Locating Time in the Middle Ages, which examines vigils, octaves, Egyptian Days, and other fascinating mysteries of medieval calendars. It is lushly illustrated with over sixty color plates. 

Author: Roger Weick 

Publisher: The Morgan Library & Museum and Scala Arts Publishers, 2017, 98 pages.

Image: Liturgical calendar for Ravenna, Italy, Milan (?), 1386, illustrated by a follower of Giovannino de’ Grassi, The Morgan Library & Museum, MS M.355, fol. 8v (detail), purchased by Pierpont Morgan, 1909. Photography by Graham Haber, 2017. 


Lot 205.jpgWestport, CT - Former United States presidents and their wives will take center stage in University Archives’ online-only auction of autographs, books and relics slated for Wednesday, January 17th, at 10:30 am Eastern time. Bidders can view all lots now, at the University Archives website, at www.UniversityArchives.com. Online bidding is being facilitated by Invaluable.com.

The sale is packed with 218 lots of important, scarce and collectible signed documents and other items relating to some of the most important names in all of history. The top lot could well end up being from First Lady Martha Washington, whose handwritten and signed letter from 1794, regarding a meeting of “The President” and James Madison, should finish at $25,000-$30,000. This letter was previously auctioned at Christie’s in 1989, in the prestigious Doheny collection.

Speaking of the Madisons, a document signed by James Madison in 1809, as President, issuing a patent to a Mr. Atkinson Farra for his “double-bored pendulum pump,” is expected to hit $2,000-$4,000; and a fabric swatch from a gown worn and owned by First Lady Dolley Madison (1768-1849), with impeccable provenance, and a print of her 1804 portrait, should bring $1,000-$1,200.

JFK items are a huge hit with collectors. A letter typed and signed on U.S. Senate letterhead by Kennedy in 1957, regarding a discrimination issue dating to World War II, has an estimate of $1,000-$2,000; while a piece of car roof Plexiglas, of the type used in the Lincoln Continental bubble-top at the time of his assassination, tested with a bullet hole, should fetch $1,200-$1,400.

Not to be outdone, Jackie Kennedy is also represented in the sale, with two lots having estimates of $3,000-$4,000 each. One is her personally owned and worn white gloves (her favorite fashion accessory), with important provenance; and her personally owned and worn navy blue leather belt, embellished with gold buckles and detailing at the front, consigned by her former secretary.

What’s more valuable, an Abraham Lincoln related pen or a George Washington actually used pencil? Answer: the pencil. The mechanical pencil personally owned by Washington, beautifully framed and with his portrait print, should garner $10,000-$12,000; while an original wooden pen made from the wood of a tree Lincoln himself planted carries a pre-sale estimate of $800-$1,000.

Keeping in the same vein, an early 1800s miniature wood carving of an axe, 7 inches long, made from an elm tree growing in the area where then-Gen. Washington encamped his army on their march, culminating in the crossing of the Delaware River in Dec. 1776, should make $600-$700. Also, a superb land grant on vellum, signed and dated (June 11, 1787) by Benjamin Franklin, an unusually well-preserved example with strong contrasting ink, has an estimate of $8,000-$9,000.

Several documents signed by Lincoln have strong appeal, such as an early legal brief written entirely in his hand circa 1841 or 1842, when he was still an Illinois lawyer (est. $4,500-$5,000); and a boldy signed prisoner discharge note from 1863, in which then-President Lincoln offers a pardon to any man who swears, without coercion, allegiance to the Union (est. $4,000-$5,000).

Thomas Jefferson items will feature a lengthy letter written and signed by the third president, during the War of 1812, relating to his beloved Shadwell, one of four farms owned by him (est. $8,000-$9,000; and a scarce Naval appointment dated Nov. 1805, with gorgeous engravings, in which Jefferson appoints commander Hugh Campbell as a Navy Captain (est. $6,000-$7,000). There is also a letter by Jefferson that has scientific, in fact “lunar”, content (est. $5000-$6000).

A rare, partly printed document signed “James A. Garfield” as president, dated April 29, 1881, in which he appoints Francis W. Seeley postmaster for Lake City, Minn., has a reasonable estimate of $9,000-$10,000. Also, a military commission dated May 2, 1907, signed by Pres. Theodore Roosevelt and countersigned by William Taft as Secretary of War, should fetch $1,000-$1,200.

A letter typed and signed by Harry Truman in May 1961, one of only a few known in which he ruminates on his decision to drop the atomic bomb on Japan as an expedient means to end World War II, has an estimate of $4,000-$5,000. Also, three individual card place settings on heavy card stock for Pres. Dwight Eisenhower and Russia’s Nikita Khrushchev, for an official dinner, should rise to $1,000-$3,000.

A designer porcelain enameled pillbox with a Japanese garden scene, gifted and inscribed to Mrs. Nancy Reagan by Tina Sinatra, Frank Sinatra’s daughter from his first marriage, carries an estimate of $1,500-$2,000; while a collection of eight Dictaphone recordings made by then-Vice Pres. Richard Nixon, more than 18 minutes, with handwritten notes, should reach $1,000-$1,200. 

A one-page letter, written in May 1831 and signed by then-Pres. Andrew Jackson, to Acting Sec. of the Navy John Boyle, in which he discusses the scandalous Petticoat Affair of 1829-1831, is expected to coast to $1,200-$1,400; and a military document from 1797, signed by future Pres. William H. Harrison, when he was Lt. Commander at Ft. Washington, should hit $1,800-$2,000.

Not all lots in the sale are president-related. Charles Lindbergh’s grandfather’s watch, ostensibly gifted to the pioneer aviator (and, remarkably, still working), maker unknown, has an estimate of $1,600-$1,800. Also, an aluminum combination spoon-and-fork, recovered from the site of the World War II P.O.W. camp dramatized in the film The Great Escape, should bring $800-$900.

A rare silver Masonic skull and crossbones shield from the 19th century, with a black velvet front and a black linen back, 14 inches by 14 inches, with significant weight in silver, is expected to realize $1,000-$1,200. Also, a seven-relic, first class Multireliquary housed in a hand-fashioned iron theca and sealed with red wax on the reverse, assembled in 1883, should garner $600-$700.

A group of eight Civil War reunion medals and ribbons, from the Grand Army of the Republic and the 7th Connecticut Regiment, has an assigned estimate of $400-$500. Also, a relic from the church where Pocahontas was baptized - a flat wooden disk from The Old Williamsburg Church (the second oldest church in America), recovered in the early 1880s - should sell for $300-$400.

University Archives was founded in 1979, as a division of University Stamp Company, by John Reznikoff, who started collecting stamps and coins in 1968, while in the third grade. Industry-wide, Reznikoff is considered the leading authenticity expert for manuscripts and documents. He consults with law enforcement, dealers, auction houses and both major authentication companies.

For more information about University Archives and the Wednesday, January 17th auction, please visit www.universityarchives.com.

Image: Lot 205: Letter handwritten and signed by First Lady Martha Washington in 1794, regarding a meeting of “The President” and James Madison (est. $25,000-$30,000).

americas-greatest-library_486x578.pngA new book from Library of Congress Historian John Y. Cole, “America’s Greatest Library: An Illustrated History of the Library of Congress,” tells the story of the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and how it came to be the world’s largest library.

Librarian of Congress Carla D. Hayden calls the Library “a place where you can touch history and imagine your future,” and the story of its creation and evolution comes alive in this rich chronology. The book is the first authoritative history of the Library published in nearly 20 years.

“America’s Greatest Library,” which will be published Jan. 9 by D Giles Limited in association with the Library of Congress, highlights the personalities and events that created and sustained the institution over its 217-year history, starting at a time when Washington had no other libraries or cultural institutions. Packed with fascinating stories, compelling images and little-known nuggets of information, the narrative traces the growth of the collections with the development of the nation’s capital through a combination of concise milestones, brief essays and vivid photographs and illustrations.

The book features important acquisitions and episodes, including:

  • The November 1963 late-night search in the stacks— by flashlight—by Lincoln specialists working at the behest of first lady Jacqueline Kennedy, seeking guidance on appropriate funeral arrangements for an assassinated president
  • The Brady-Handy photographic collection, containing more than 3,000 negatives made by Civil War photographer Mathew B. Brady and his nephew Levin C. Handy
  • The earliest surviving copyrighted motion picture, Thomas Edison’s 1894 “Kinetoscopic Record of a Sneeze”
  • The 175,000 photographs from the Farm Security Administration archive, including Dorothea Lange’s iconic “Migrant Mother”
  • The 1944 world premiere of the ballet “Appalachian Spring,” choreographed by Martha Graham with music by Aaron Copland
  • The 303 glass-plate negatives documenting the earliest flights of Orville and Wilbur Wright
  • Rare sacred texts, including the Washington Haggadah, an illuminated Hebrew manuscript, and two 15th-century Bibles, the Giant Bible of Mainz and one of only three perfect vellum copies of the Gutenberg Bible
  • A variety of musical instruments and scores, including five stringed instruments made by Antonio Stradivari, the 1,600-item Dayton C. Miller flute collection, and the original score of Gershwin’s “Porgy and Bess.”
  • The 1815 purchase of Thomas Jefferson’s personal library after the British burned the Capitol and Jefferson’s concept of a universal library that would form the foundation of the Library’s comprehensive collection

For more than 50 years, beginning in 1966 when Cole joined the Library’s staff as an administrative intern, librarian and historian, he has sought to increase public understanding of the key role of the Library of Congress in American government, scholarship and culture. He was the founding director of the Library’s Center for the Book from 1977 to 2016, when he was named to a new position as the Library’s first official historian.

“America’s Greatest Library,” a 256-page softcover book with 250 illustrations, is available for $19.95 in the Library of Congress Shop, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C., 20540-4985. Credit card orders are taken at (888) 682-3557 or loc.gov/shop/. Hardcover and e-book versions are available through book retailers.

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States—and extensive materials from around the world—both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov; access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov; and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.


264 Durer and Books.jpgSt. Petersburg, FL - Few would argue that the Florida Gulf Coast is an agreeable place to be in January. Aside from the sunshine and beaches that are free to all comers, the Tampa Bay area boasts a thriving art community and one of the nation’s most highly regarded auction houses: Myers Fine Art (MFA). To mark the company’s 30th year at the same landmark Art Deco gallery in St. Petersburg, Myers’ co-owners Mike Myers and Mary Dowd have announced a January 21 auction that reflects a full year of scrupulous assessment and curation of European and Asian fine art and antiques. All of the goods set aside for the 30th anniversary auction were sourced from upscale estates in Florida, the Hamptons, and various New England regions known for their gracious, historic homes.

“We have always taken the same curated approach as Sotheby’s and Christie’s. We don’t conduct general auctions, only specialty auctions,” Dowd explained. “If we hold an Americana sale, for example, customers who deal exclusively in Americana will still fly in to bid in person. They know that our 600-lot sale will contain 600 lots of exactly the type and quality of goods they are seeking. We make sure that is the case.”

For their initial sale of 2018, Myers will present a superb selection of 16th to early 20th-century European paintings, heavy antique silver, exquisite European and Chinese porcelain, jade and hardstone carvings, antique scrolls, woodblock prints, carved furniture, fine jewelry, and many items with interesting provenance.

The connoisseurship for which Myers and Dowd are so well known is amply validated in the selection of artworks chosen for the auction. A star lot is an oil-on-panel scene of Village Kermesse by Dutch genre painter Joost Cornelisz Droochsloot (1586-1666). The artwork depicts in quintessential Droochsloot style a festive gathering in a village street, with townsfolk of all ages represented. The lively 37 by 50.5-inch (framed) painting retains an old paper label on verso, possibly from an auction or gallery, bearing both French and German writing that describes the subject matter. Estimate; $20,000-$40,000. 

Many other desirable European paintings will cross the auction block. An intriguing 19th-century oil-on-canvas allegorical painting of Lucrezia Borgia, 40.8 inches square, is estimated at $1,000-$2,000, while a very fine 17th- or early 18th-century Continental oil-on-canvas portrait of a knight is expected to make $3,000-$5,000. Several well-executed Italian and French religious carvings and santos will be offered. A highly detailed Italian polychrome carving of the Madonna and Child measures 51 inches high and is inscribed on the base Aves Maria Laureto. It appears to be well over 150 years old, possibly much older. Estimate: $2,000-$3,000.

An eyewitness to America’s glamorous Gilded Age, a pair of 19th-century (or earlier) German Black Forest elk-antler chandeliers formerly illuminated the Grill Room at the prestigious Yale Club in New York City. Each of the chain-suspended 16-light chandeliers has at its center a large, hand-carved wood figure of a mermaid holding a crown, coat of arms and goblet. A photo appearing in Volume 25 of the 1915 Yale Alumni Weekly shows one of the chandeliers in situ at the club, with text noting that all Grill Room furnishings and decorations had been the gift of William P. Eno, Yale class of 1882. Offered as a pair, the chandeliers are estimated at $5,000-$10,000. 

Also of special note are two palatial Louis XV French crystal chandeliers that previously graced the Presidential Suite and Lady Mendl Suite, respectively, of New York’s Plaza Hotel. Deaccessioned prior to the hotel’s 2005 closure for renovation, the elegant fixtures will now be auctioned consecutively, each with an estimate of $1,500-$2,500.

An abundance of particularly fine sterling silver will be available, including a massive William Bateman II 1828 English tray weighing 209ozt, estimated at $3,000-$5,000. Additionally, there will be an extensive array of Continental porcelain including Sevres urns and KPM productions; and English earthenware, led by several large, significant pieces of George Jones majolica and a Moorcroft silver-overlaid tea set.

Approximately 40% of the sale is devoted to Asian treasures. The selection includes carved Chinese furniture, Chinese porcelain, including plaques; jade and hardstone carvings, lacquerware, bronzes, cloisonné, woodblock prints, vibrant antique rugs (all from estates), and 25 scrolls, possibly 18th century. A pair of striking Japanese Meiji period dragon-motif cloisonné enamel vases is estimated at $1,000-$2,000. 

A Chinese 18th/19th-century hand-embroidered double silk panel depicts foo lions amongst exotic blue clouds and foliage, with workmanship that reveals tiny embroidered stitches including the “forbidden” stitch. Measuring 22.25 by 11 inches, it has a gold-thread border and is signed in Chinese characters on verso. With direct descent from the Shanghai estate of Dr. J. Ward Hall (1849-1908), personal dentist to the Chinese Imperial Family, the important textile is expected to reach $1,000-$1,500 at auction.

Antiquarian books and maps are expected to attract strong interest from both the trade and private collectors. Two 16th-century Albrecht Durer engravings are included within a rare, one-of-a-kind portfolio-book collection of 16th/17th-century original prints collected by German scholar Leonhart Wurfbain (1581-1654). Estimate: $2,000-$3,000. Other prized lots include Abraham Ortelius’ comprehensive1624 map folio Paregon Atlas of the Ancient World, est. $2,000-$3,000; and Jacques Majorelle’s Les Kasbahs De l’Atlas artist book, Paris, 1930, which includes 30 beautiful boards of paintings and drawings Majorelle created between 1920 and 1929. Estimate: $20,000-$30,000

The sale also features fine jewelry, 19th/20th-century furniture, enameled art glass, and coveted Jumeau dolls, plus many unique or unusual objects that are in a class of their own. The letter category includes the architectural grille from Josephine Baker’s estate in France, $600-$800; a 19th-century Faberge gold and diamond parasol handle originally presented by Czar Nicholas II and with continuous ownership by the original recipient’s family, $3,000-$5,000; and Villeroy & Boch Blue Onion serving pieces from Sotheby’s 1996 auction of Property from the Estate of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

Myers Fine Art’s Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018 auction will commence at 11 a.m. Eastern Time Preview 10-6 on Saturday, Jan. 20, and 9-11 a.m. on auction day. The gallery is located at 1600 4th St. North, St. Petersburg, FL 33704. All forms of bidding are available, including live online through LiveAuctioneers, Invaluable and eBayLive. Tel. 727-823-3249, e-mail auctions@myersfineart.com. Online: www.myersfineart.com.

Image: One of two Albrecht Durer 16th-century engravings included within a rare, one-of-a-kind portfolio-book collection of 16th/17th-century original prints collected by German scholar Leonhart Wurfbain (1581-1654). Portfolio est. $2,000-$3,000. Shown here with Abraham Ortelius’ 1624 map folio Paregon Atlas of the Ancient World, est. $2,000-$3,000; and Jacques Majorelle’s Les Kasbahs De l’Atlas artist book, Paris, 1930, est. $20,000-$30,000

Train Getty.JPGLos Angeles - The early history of paper photography in the United States is a formative but rarely studied aspect of the medium’s evolution. While Americans were at first slow to adopt Europe’s negative-positive photographic practices, the country’s territorial expansion and Civil War increased demand for images that were easy to reproduce and distribute. The exhibition Paper Promises: Early American Photography, on view February 27 - May 27, 2018 at the J. Paul Getty Museum, Getty Center, features rare 19th-century paper negatives and paper photographs from this important era of American experimentation, including portraits of some of the country’s most notable political and cultural figures, as well as searing images from the Civil War. 

            “In the mid-nineteenth century, photographs did much more than merely document the development of the nation; increasingly they became central to debates about the U.S. and its place in the world,” explains Timothy Potts, director of the J. Paul Getty Museum. “The photographs on view in this exhibition offer a rare insight into the forces and movements that shaped the country’s character at a formative stage of its development.”

Photographic Pioneers

            Today, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat create a thirst for casual selfies, views of our surroundings, and documentation of the most mundane aspects of daily life. Yet reproducible photography was not initially popular in the United States. In the earliest years of the medium Europeans quickly adopted techniques that enabled multiple photographs to be printed from negatives, but Americans initially preferred singular formats intended for intimate viewing, such as those produced directly on metal or glass.

            A few intrepid American photographers experimented with negative-positive techniques in the 1850s. The earliest photographs they produced used papers sensitized with silver salts that resulted in matte images well suited to register a range of textures. Paper Promises showcases dozens of rarely exhibited salted paper prints.

            To secure the widest possible market for photographs that could be printed in multiple, entrepreneurial photographers made salted paper prints for a variety of purposes: scientific investigation, celebrity portraiture, tourism, historic preservation, corporate and self-promotion, and firsthand documentation of newsworthy events. Their ambition to develop a technique suited to the quickened pace of modern life is apparent in a salted paper print made around 1860 by an unknown photographer, in which a group of men and women gather excitedly aboard the front of a train. The railroad was a potent symbol of progress, and it was anticipated that photography, like locomotives, might connect Americans to places and people far away.

            In the 1850s, however, alarmist reports that photographic negatives were being used to counterfeit currency caused widespread anxiety. At the time, banks printed their own money and thousands of different paper bills were in circulation. Around forty percent of the bills that passed through American hands were counterfeit, so banknotes began to be thought of as little more than flimsy “paper promises.” The exhibition features photographic counterfeits from the era, revealing a previously unstudied aspect of initial American resistance to photographic reproducibility. Though “paper promises” was originally a derisive phrase, the promise of paper photography soon swept the nation.

            Also included in the exhibition are examples of other pioneering photographic techniques, including daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, albumen silver prints, a panotype, and an ivorytype.


            As the use of negatives to produce photographs in multiple sizes and shapes began to catch on, photography studios rushed to secure famous sitters in the hope of gaining wide distribution for popular images. The exhibition demonstrates how celebrities of the era grew savvy about circulating carefully crafted images of themselves. For example, an 1860 portrait of abolitionist Frederick Douglass by an unknown photographer emphasizes the gravitas of the fiery orator and prolific writer. Douglass sat for portraits throughout his life, countering racialized stereotypes by circulating dignified images of himself.

            Family photographs also became increasingly cherished as the medium gained in popularity. At a time when life expectancy was short and child mortality common, photographic portraits were thought of as especially precious souvenirs. The exhibition features several intimate portraits of families and children, some of which were carefully hand-tinted to further strengthen the sense of personal connection.

            Universities capitalized on the ability to produce images in multiple and compiled volumes of students and staff into what is today the familiar yearbook format. An example from about 1852 by John Adams Whipple (American, 1822-1891) was commissioned by Harvard - a proto-Facebook more than 150 years before Mark Zuckerberg’s start.

The West and the War

            As disputes over state and federal sovereignty as well as American Indian rights intensified, photographers sought how best to portray the people and places most frequently in the news. Photographs of several treaty negotiations will be on view, such as images of the first Japanese delegation to the United States, and an 1858 portrait by Alexander Gardner (American, born Scotland, 1821-1882) of a delegation of Upper Sioux who traveled to Washington, D.C., for treaty talks.  While most of the delegates pictured wore contemporary clothing, Gardner kept costumes on hand to outfit visitors in “traditional” attire, in keeping with East Coast ideas about Native dress. Photographs of American Indian sitters proliferated as their autonomy became a highly contested matter of public debate.

            In the territorial struggles of the 1860s, families torn apart by the Civil War sought personal mementos that could be easily shared and saved, and paper photographs served that purpose well. Soldiers had their portraits made upon enlistment, and civilians clamored for images of the battlefield. Images of slaves and of Abraham Lincoln were increasingly wielded as tools for political change, and the exhibition will spotlight several examples. Freedom’s Banner. Charley, A Slave Boy from New Orleans (1864) by Charles Paxson (American, died 1880) is one of many small-scale images carefully composed and widely circulated to encourage empathy with the plight of enslaved families. The photographs were sold to support education for freed slaves and to sustain support of the abolitionist cause. 

            “As we struggle to adapt to today’s digital revolution, with its capacity for unchecked manipulation and proliferation of images, it’s valuable to look to an earlier era in which ideas about photography and its role in society were similarly exerting profound effects,” says Mazie Harris, assistant curator of photographs at the J. Paul Getty Museum and curator of the exhibition. “Because early paper photographs became an integral part of everyday life, not many survive. So this is a unique opportunity to see rare images from a tumultuous period of American history.” 

            Paper Promises: Early American Photography is on view February 27, 2018 - May 27, 2018 at the J. Paul Getty Museum, Getty Center. The exhibition is curated by Mazie Harris, assistant curator of photographs at the J. Paul Getty Museum. A book of the same name and authored by Dr. Harris, with contributions from scholars of American history and photography, will be released by Getty Publications in February 2018.

Image: Locomotive on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, near Oakland, Maryland, about 1860. Salted paper print. Image: 16.2 × 16 cm (6 3/8 × 6 5/16 in.). Lent by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Purchase, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Gift, through Joyce and Robert Menschel, 1991 (1991.1151). Image: www.metmuseum.org


The Library of Congress has acquired the archive of Pulitzer Prize-winning humorist, commentator and playwright Art Buchwald, best known for his long career as a political satirist, poking fun at the famous and powerful for The Washington Post and in a column syndicated in 500 newspapers worldwide. Buchwald was often considered “the Wit of Washington.”

The archive of approximately 100,000 items includes his columns, plays, screenplays, books, unpublished pieces, correspondence and business records from his personal life and extensive career as a writer and public speaker. His novel “The Bollo Caper” was adapted as a television movie, and his stage comedy “Sheep on the Runway” had a run on Broadway.

Buchwald’s papers document his relationships with a large network of friends and acquaintances. These include journalists Ben Bradlee and Mike Wallace and novelist William Styron, part of Buchwald’s social set at Martha’s Vineyard. There are letters, photographs and exchanges with political figures, entertainers and celebrities, including the Kennedy and Shriver families, Lauren Bacall, Bob Hope, Carol Burnett, Christopher Reeve, Dinah Shore, Carly Simon and others, as well as a brief exchange with Donald Trump.

Beyond the glamour of Buchwald’s life, the archive recounts his difficult childhood in an orphanage and foster homes, his suffering from depression, health struggles later in life, and his activism on mental health awareness, disability rights and end-of-life care. The collection includes the prosthetic leg Buchwald used after his limb was amputated due to a stroke and circulatory problems. Buchwald died in 2007 after chronicling his battle with kidney failure.

“The collection tells the story of my father’s life as a writer and satirist, from his birth certificate to his death certificate,” said Joel Buchwald, the writer’s son, and his wife Tamara Buchwald. “We love the idea that his papers are going to stay in Washington, D.C., where so much of his career took place, and more specifically the Library of Congress, which holds many related research collections. He would be thrilled knowing that his archive will be available to the public in such a memorable institution.” 

The Buchwald collection contains materials from the writer’s legal battle with Paramount Pictures over the idea for the 1988 hit film “Coming to America” starring Eddie Murphy. Paramount made a contract for rights to Buchwald’s similar story “King for a Day” years earlier but dropped its option to make such a movie before releasing “Coming to America” without crediting Buchwald. A judge ruled the studio had stolen Buchwald’s idea and awarded $900,000 to Buchwald and a partner.

At the start of his career in the 1940s, Buchwald dropped out of school, joined the Marines and served in World War II. Later he would buy a one-way ticket to Europe and drew an audience for his dispatches as an American in Paris in his columns “Paris After Dark,” “Mostly About People” and “Europe’s Lighter Side” for the New York Herald Tribune. After returning to the U.S., he would go on to tackle issues ranging from the Vietnam War and anti-Communism to the environment and disability rights. In 1982, Buchwald won journalism’s top honor, the Pulitzer, for outstanding commentary.

“I don’t know how well I’ve done while I was here,” Buchwald wrote in his final column published after his death, “but I’d like to think some of my printed works will persevere - at least for three years.”

The Library will preserve the Buchwald collection, which will be made available to researchers and the public after archivists process and organize the materials. The Library also holds the papers of other journalists, writers and entertainers, including Bob Hope, Groucho Marx, Katharine Graham, David Broder, Mary McGrory, Jules Feiffer and Herbert Block.

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States—and extensive materials from around the world—both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov; access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov; and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.


Dallas, TX - Setting two world records and tallying more than $10 million in sales of rare and vintage posters maintained Heritage Auctions’ dominance in the vintage poster field in 2017. The year marked a 27 percent increase in total sales over 2016.

The firm set a world record for the most valuable movie poster ever sold at auction when one of just two surviving copies of the style A poster for the 1931 horror classic Dracula (Universal, 1931) sold for $525,800 in November. The sale came on the heels of another world record set in July 2017 when the only known surviving Italian issue movie poster from 1946 for Casablanca (Warner Brothers, 1946) sold for $478,000. The sale matched Heritage’s world record price from November 2014 for an only-known 1927 copy of the poster for London After Midnight (MGM, 1927)

“We’ve had an incredible year matching stellar rarities with motivated collectors,” said Grey Smith, Director of Vintage Poster Auctions at Heritage. “It’s always exciting to set a world record in this field, but to set two such records in a row is just a thrilling career accomplishment.”

The year’s top 25 posters celebrated tremendous finds from landmark cinema classics. A Style A teaser for The Invisible Man (Universal, 1933) soared to $274,850 - more than four times its pre-auction estimate. The studio produced few teasers for their horror greats and this haunting poster features art by Karoly Grosz, a legendary designer of the 1930s. 

Fresh to Market Draws Advanced Collectors

High on collectors’ lists, the first post-war release French Grande poster for Casablanca (Warner Brothers, 1947) brought $239,000 and a 1953 re-release, Italian four fogli from the film, featuring artwork by Luigi Martinati, sold for $107,550. 

A special offering, the only-known Australian pre-war daybill for the genre-defining Metropolis (UFA-Cinema Art Ltd., 1928) sold for $215,100. The daybill is the only copy known to exist and is among the rarest in the business. Artist Bernie Bragg, once a draftsman and combat artist during World War I, brings Fritz Lang's famous Robotrix, now a timeless icon of science fiction, to life by capturing the essential elements of the film's dynamic cinematography. 

Among rare paper from horror classics, one of only three copies known to exist of the one sheet for Supernatural (Paramount, 1933) sold for $107,550 and a one sheet for Frankenstein (Universal, 1931) sold for $107,550.

In a surprise auction appearance, Albert Kallis’ original poster artwork for Invasion of the Saucer-Men (American International, 1957) ended at $107,550. The artwork actually inspired the creation of the movie and further solidified a cornerstone of the public's collective consciousness of “little green men” from outer space.

Additional 2017 highlights include:

$107,550: Casablanca (United Artists, R-1962), Italian 2 - Fogli, Silvano "Nano" Campeggi Artwork

$95,600: The Phantom of the Opera (Universal, 1925), one sheet, style L

$83,650: The Lady Eve (Paramount, 1941), one sheet

$71,700: The Wizard of Oz (MGM, 1939), half sheet, style A

Heritage Auctions is the largest fine art and collectibles auction house founded in the United States, and the world’s largest collectibles auctioneer. Heritage maintains offices in New York, Dallas, Beverly Hills, San Francisco, Chicago, Palm Beach, London, Paris, Geneva, Amsterdam and Hong Kong.

The Internet’s most popular auction-house website, HA.com, has over one million registered bidder-members and searchable free archives of four million past auction records with prices realized, descriptions and enlargeable photos.

January7_01_pics.jpgIthaca, NY—Worth Auctions, located in Dryden, NY, announces the launch of their next auction catalog.  

This catalog features a broad variety of items. Featured is an array of artwork and works on paper, including our second session from the estate of Salvatore Grippi. Among the varied types of items are antique maps, mixed media artwork, rare lithographs and prints, ephemera, antique photographs and much more.           

Featured in this sale are a number of rare early works by the important New York School artist Salvatore Grippi (1921-2017), who worked and exhibited alongside the likes of de Kooning, Nevelson, and Baziotes during the heydey of Abstract Expressionism. In 1968, Grippi established the art department at Ithaca College, where he taught until 1991. In 2011, he was honored with a solo retrospective at Cornell University's Johnson Museum of Art, marking the last time until now that a substantial body of his work has been on public view in his hometown. The sale showcases several large canvases, a variety of works on paper. Additional paintings, rare prints and posters, both antique and modern, have been cataloged and present the works of noted artists.                     

The broad range of collectibles and estate items promises something for everyone.  Highlighting this catalog is a number of mixed ephemera lots and antique maps.  Collectibles include an antique magic lantern projector with slides, tobacciana, African masks, antique postcards, a Victrola with records, and much more.      

Further complementary material will be offered in future sessions throughout the spring of 2018.  

Worth Auctions is a public auction service specializing in estate work and collections.  The company conducts fully cataloged auctions with global bidding activity over three platforms. The upcoming auctions will feature a wide assortment of items, from pencils to airplanes. For more information, please contact the gallery at 607-330-0358 or email mail@worthauctions.com.


January6_01_pics.jpgIthaca, NY—National Book Auctions, located in Ithaca, NY, announces the launch of their next auction catalog.  

This catalog features rare, antique and decorative books as well as select additions of ephemera. Featured is fine selection of rare Robert Frost titles, including many signed copies. A varied array of early printings dating back to the 16th century will be offered, along with a host of ephemera lots, including a vintage and antique private collection related to immigration.              

Antique and rare books are numerous in this catalog. Among the earliest examples are the 1596 printing of Castalione's "Oratio in Funere F Petri Nicolai Mutii Bergomatis," Bucci's "Ad Sixtum V Pont Max Oratio," produced in 1586 and retaining the original woodcut, and the 1592 printing of de Sossa's "Ad Clementem VIII Pont Max." Author-signed works in this auction include names such as Ray Bradbury, John Masefield, Edward Everett Hale, Robert Benchley, and Robert G. Ingersoll. Additional rare and antique selections include titles relating to Native American Indians, books-on-books, Civil War, travel & exploration, children's, Victorian gilt bindings, the American West, theology, decorative antique sets, art history and beyond.                       

Several compelling collections will also be showcased. Highlighted is a singular private library of rare Robert Frost printings, including signed copies of "In the Clearing," "A Further Range - Book Six," "Steeple Bush" and others. Other groupings present desirable vintage and antique examples such as a 1952 first state of Steinbeck's "East of Eden," in the original dustjacket, the 1883 first edition of Joel Chandler Harris' "Nights with Uncle Remus - Myths and Legends of the Old Plantation," and an author-signed copy of the 1850 printing of Rundall's "Memorials of the Empire of Japon[sic]."       

Found throughout this catalog are interesting ephemera offerings. Of particular note is an impressive collection of antique pamphlets and articles dating back to the early 1800's and covering areas such as early Americana, American colleges, Alaska, and others. Another group features a number of lots containing early-to-mid-20th century writings, much of it concerning immigrants and written in native languages.    

National Book Auctions is a public auction service specializing in books, ephemera, and art. National Book Auctions is a targeted service offering experience and expertise unique to marketing antique and modern books and ephemera for consignors and collectors alike. The upcoming auctions will feature a wide assortment of collectible, signed, and first edition books. For more information, please contact the gallery at 607-269-0101 or email mail@nationalbookauctions.com.


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