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QXJtaXN0aWNlIGxvdHMuanBn copy.jpgDecember - On 12 December, Christie’s will offer eye witness accounts of the Armistice which ended ‘the war to end all wars’ (estimated - £10,000 - £15,000). The lot includes Captain Jack Marriott’s extraordinarily detailed accounts of the negotiations, alongside two autograph letters, a sheet of blotting paper used at the Armistice and a printed text of the terms of the Armistice itself. Marriott was one of only four British participants, and the notes and mementoes he kept summon up the scene with extraordinary vividness. Christie’s is pleased to offer such significant archival material on the year of the centenary of the end of World War I.

The Armistice was negotiated between a remarkably restricted group of participants, comprising seven on the Allied side and six on the German side, including translators. For the three days of negotiations, all were living and working in a pair of French military trains in a clearing of the Forest of Compiegne behind French lines. The Allied group was headed by Marshal Foch, with Admiral Wemyss the senior British representative and head of the naval delegation, to which Marriott was also attached and whose negotiations he recounts in detail.

The scene was set in a forest in northern France, ‘typical November weather’. Two railway carriage stood 200 feet apart: at precisely 9 a.m., as agreed, six men emerged from one and made their way to the other along the temporary duckboard path that had been laid over the boggy ground. 

One of those watching thought to himself that ‘I have never seen a more miserable lot of men’. They were led by Matthias Erzberger, the son of a postman from southern Germany, ‘fat and bloated looking, double chin, scrubby moustache, wears pince-nez’; beside him was Graf von Oberndorf, ‘a polished gentleman’; just behind them, Captain von Vanselow, a naval officer who ‘does not look at all like a sailor, more like a pork butcher’. 

At the door of the second carriage they were received by a French general, who bowed stiffly, alongside a 38 year-old British naval officer, Jack Marriott, who was mentally recording every detail of these events. It was Friday 8 November 1918: the German delegation had arrived in the Forest of Compiègne to sign the Armistice that would end the ‘war to end all wars’. 

There were moments of accidental comedy: Weygand, as the German delegation approached, was suddenly paralysed by a point of etiquette: how, ‘from a point of view of courtesy’, do you receive the representatives of a country with whom you have been engaged in a war of unprecedented destruction for the more than four years? Then the Allies asked the Germans for their credentials (to prove they were the legal representatives of the German government) - but Marriott wryly noted that ‘it was lucky the Germans did not retaliate’, as they had not thought to bring any themselves. 

Marriot’s account fills in some lost details of history: like the fact that the Great War was prolonged by a whole day because the German party had failed to bring a code with them by which they could send the armistice terms back to headquarters: so the papers had to be sent back across the front line by motorcar, a process which took 36 hours. Then when Captain Marriott tried to phone Buckingham Palace to inform King George V that the war was over he was almost defeated by the primitive telephone technology: ‘the line was dreadful and I must have been cut off about 30 times’. 

And then there are the human vignettes: the junior German representative taking the Armistice terms back to his government with ‘a bottle of beer in each pocket and crying his eyes out'. 

It had been immediately clear to the Allied party that the German delegates, caught between absolute military collapse on the front and starvation and revolution at home, would accept almost any terms. And so, after three days of cursory negotiations, at 5 o’clock on the morning, Maréchal Foch, Admiral Wemyss and the four German delegates signed the document which declared an end to a war which had lasted for more than four years and killed 7 million military combatants. The guns would fall silent exactly six hours later, at 11 o’clock on the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918. 

They filed out of the railway carriage, the Allied party to return ecstatic to Paris, where Foch and Wemyss ‘danced ring-a-ring-a-roses’ around the Elysée Palace with the French president Clemenceau, and the Germans to make their despondent way home to a nation in a state of starvation and social collapse. Captain Marriott took one last look round: on the table where the Armistice had been signed lay a sheet of blotting paper, the ink from the signatures still soaking into its fibres. Marriott slipped it into his file, and added it to his small collection of keepsakes from his brush with history. His memoir ends on a remarkable note of calm understatement: ‘We then had a glass of port and went for a walk in the Forest which was wonderfully soothing after our busy night’. 

This lot will be offered in the Books and Manuscripts auction on 12 December as part of Classic Week at Christie’s London. 

 

clip_image002.jpgNew York - Poster lovers from far and wide came to Swann Auction Galleries on Thursday, October 25, sale of Rare & Important Travel Posters, setting eight records with bidding driven by eager collectors both in the room and on the phones.

The top lots of the sale were Emil Cardinaux’s snowy image for a winter getaway in St. Moritz and Philip Zec’s poster for travel to Scotland by night train, each reaching $17,500.  

Numerous records were realized in the sale for both artists and individual works. W. Smithson Broadhead’s Sea Breezes and Sunshine at Lytham St. Annes, circa 1930, set a record for the artist with $8,125. Further records for sporting and leisure posters include the circa 1925 Gleneagles / The Tennis Girl by Septimus Edwin Scott advertising the Gleneagles hotel and golf resort, which reached $8,750.

Records for travel posters advertising American destinations include Adolph Treidler’s New York / The Wonder City of the World, 1927, with $13,750-double the previous record for the image-and Sascha Maurer’s Atlantic City / Pennsylvania Railroad, circa 1940, with $6,500.

Additional records were set by The Belgian Coast, 1934, by Jean Droit with $7,000. Savoy Hotel / St. Moritz, a lively dining scene by Karl Bickel brought $6,750. Farman / École de Pilotage, a circa 1920 aviation poster The Farman Aviation Works set a record for the image with $6,500 and Alexander Zhitomirsky’s Georgian Military Highway, 1939, reached $5,720. 

Beach posters by Roger Broders proved popular, led by two posters featuring sun-worshiping women: Sur la Côte d’Azur, circa 1920, sold for $8,125 and La Plage de Calvi. Corse, 1928, reached $7,500.

Nicholas Lowry, President and Director of Vintage Posters at Swann, noted of the sale, “Collectors dominated the highly curated sale, generating over half a dozen record prices for posters. Many of which haven’t been seen on the market for years. It is always heartening when exciting and rare pieces sell well.

The next auction of Vintage Posters at Swann Galleries will be held in February 2019.

Image: Lot 198: Adolph Treidler, New York / The Wonder City of the World, 1927. Sold for $13,750

 

BOOKS PRESS RELEASE_HARRY POTTER IMAGE.JPGNew York - This December 4, Christie’s Books and Manuscripts department will be presenting two sales: Albert Einstein: The God Letter, a stand-alone sale of one of the most famous manuscripts by the 20th century’s most famous thinker (estimate: $1,000,000-1,500,000); and a various owner sale of Fine Printed Books and Manuscripts Including Americana. The latter includes over 200 objects ranging from early printed books to 20th-century manuscripts. The public view will be open at Christie’s galleries in New York from Friday, 30 November to Tuesday, 4 December. Albert Einstein: The God Letter will be on view in New York additionally during 20th Century Week from 5 to 14 November.

Science, Travel & Natural History

A major highlight of the science, travel and natural history section is Joan Blaeu’s magnificent Novum ac magnum theatrum urbium Belgicae Regiae. This is an exceptionally colored and important copy—likely the dedication copy for King Philip IV of Spain—of Blaeu’s celebrated town book of the Netherlands, splendidly commemorating the Peace of Westphalia and ushering in the Dutch Golden Age (estimate: $250,000-300,000). Another highlight is Mahmud Raif Efendi’s Cedid Atlas Tercümesi, which is the first European-style atlas printed in the Islamic world. This exceedingly rare, handsome, and complete copy is estimated at $100,000-150,000 and is one of only 50 copies printed.

Continental Printed Books & Manuscripts

Leading the continental books section is a superbly colored copy, worked with a rich and vibrant palette, of the first edition of Hartmann Schedel’s Liber Chronicarum. The Nuremberg Chronicle is celebrated for its fine and numerous woodcut illustrations, to which Albrecht Dürer is believed to have contributed (Estimate: $250,000-300,000). Also offered in this section are a number of works from the press of the great Venetian printer Aldus Manutius, including first printings of important ancient authors such as Plato, Herodotus, and Lucretius.

English Printed Books & Manuscripts

This section includes the original printing blocks used for the first editions of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass—arguably the most famous books for children ever made (estimate: $20,000-30,000). The Alice books are among the most successful collaborations between author and artist, and these printing blocks reproducing John Tenniel’s original drawings defined for countless generations the appearances of Alice, the Cheshire Cat, the Mad Hatter and various other blue chips of popular culture.

Another unique offering this season is the single-owner collection: Beloved Enchanter: The Arthur Rackham Collection of Nita and Frank N. Manitzas. This collection includes 27 captivating original watercolor and ink illustrations by Arthur Rackham, the famous illustrator who created iconic images of characters like Peter Pan, Snow-White and Rose-Red. Estimates begin as low as $800 and go up to $30,000.

Printed & Manuscript Americana

The top lot of the sale is a previously unrecorded edition of the official 1823 Stone printing of the Declaration of Independence, with French provenance and in remarkable condition (estimate: $600,000- 800,000). Stone’s meticulously prepared, actual-size, engraved facsimile of America’s founding document remains the most accurate of all existing facsimiles and the only one officially authorized by Congress. The present copy was discovered in an outdoor market in France in the 1970s.

The 20th Century 

Highlights of the modern portion of the sale include the rare true first edition of the beloved children’s classic Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, signed by J.K. Rowling (estimate: $45,000-65,000); A Wild Thing Christmas, an original watercolor drawing by Maurice Sendak (estimate: $300,000-400,000); and Kurt Vonnegut’s unpublished wartime correspondence recounting the events that inspired Slaughterhouse-Five, collected in a contemporary scrapbook kept by his family (estimate: $150,000-200,000).

Image: ROWLING, J. K. (b. 1965), Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. London: Bloomsbury, 1997. Estimate: $45,000-65,000

 

32004_incredible_hulk_number_one_comic copy.jpgLos Angeles - A high-grade issue of The Incredible Hulk #1 from May 1962 will be auctioned by Huggins & Scott Auctions from November 2- November 15. Interested bidders may participate in the auction online.

This first issue is considered one of the most valuable and prestigious comics of the Silver Age. Marvel Comics published the inaugural issue of the Incredible Hulk in May 1962, which was part of an enormous resurgence of super-hero comics in the early 1960’s. This comic book earned a Universal Grade of  8.5 from the leading comic book grader CGC.

The consignor read this 56-year old Hulk Comic once as a youth and kept it in storage since 1962. Well known to be a super tough comic to find in upper grades, this high-demand pivotal issue continues to show astonishing sale price increases, reaching a Fair Market Value of $175,000 in recent years for the few known examples that have been graded at the 8.5 level. Label notations include "Off-White to White Pages, Stan Lee story, Jack Kirby and Paul Reinman art, Jack Kirby and George Roussos cover, Origin and 1st appearance of the Incredible Hulk, 1st appearance of Rick Jones, Betty Ross and General Ross."

The comic book is estimated to sell between $125,000 to $175,000.

Additional information on the comic book can be found at https://hugginsandscott.com/cgi-bin/showitem.pl?itemid=32004

Ernest Hemingway Autograph Letter With Signed Envelope 55875a_lg.jpegLos Angeles - A 1935 handwritten letter by Ernest Hemingway about a 500-pound Atlantic blue marlin caught in Bimini, which inspired his famous novel, “The Old Man and the Sea,” will be auctioned by Nate D. Sanders Auctions on November 8, 2018.

Hemingway lived on Bimini from 1935-1937 residing at the Compleat Angler Hotel. He wrote, “To Have and Have Not” and a few articles, but spent the majority of his time fishing on his boat “Pilar.” He faced the dilemma of preventing marlins from being“apple-cored” by mako sharks.

Hemingway wrote his classic novel “The Old Man the Sea” in 1951. The semi-autographical novel is about an aging Cuban fisherman and his fight with a gigantic marlin. "Old Man and the Sea" has been noted by Hemingway scholars as most likely inspired by this particular 7 May 1935 trip, including Michael Culver in his biography "Sparring in the Dark: Hemingway, Strater and The Old Man and the Sea."

Hemingway wrote the May 8, 1935 letter to Erl Roman, the Miami Herald’s fishing editor. In the note, Hemingway described the enormous marlin, the attacks by the sharks and also mentioned that he was sending photos to Roman.

The letter reads in part, “Dear Erl: Yesterday May 7 Henry H. STRATER, widely known painter of OGUNQUIT Maine, Pres. Maine Tuna Club, fishing with me on Pilar landed Blue Marlin which weighed 500 lbs on tested scales after all of meat below anal fin had been torn away by sharks when fish was brought to gaff-- Had him ready to take in when sharks hit him-- Fish 12 feet 8 1/2 inches-- Tail 48 inch spread--girth 62 in. (will send all other exact measurements when have chance to use Steel tape on him). Fish hooked off Bimini, hooked in corner of mouth, never layted, jumped 18 times clear, brought to boat in an hour such a heavy fish jumped hell out of himself. We worked him fast our system. Had him at boat when shark hit him. Strater has football knee, went out of joint, had hell with it, we wouldnt handline fish, he got him up himself, in one hour 40 minutes, we got him over the roller after Some lifting boy, all blood drained, meat gone below anal fin to tail, but fish completely intact…” 

The two-page letter comes with a black and white photo of the marlin.

Bidding for the letter begins at $30,000. 

Additional information on the letter can be found at 
https://natedsanders.com/LotDetail.aspx?inventoryid=50430

 

624_62_WEB.jpgChicago—Leslie Hindman Auctioneers’ October 31 sale of The Adventure & Exploration Library of Steve Fossett, Part I, featuring works from the fields of aeronautics, exploration, circumnavigation, and mountaineering, realized over $664,000. With strong bidding across all channels, the sale put the Fine Books and Manuscripts department on track for a record-setting year. 

The collection achieved several milestones for the Fine Books and Manuscripts department at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers. The auction was not only the first single-owner sale for the department but also its highest grossing sale for the department in firm history. Exceeding expectations, the collection had a nearly 90% sell through rate. 

Highlights include a signed copy of a rare variant of Ernest Shackleton’s Aurora Australis, the first book printed in Antarctica, which brought $87,500 against a presale estimate of $60,000-80,000. A first collected edition of Sir Francis Drake’s voyages, Sir Francis Drake Revived surpassed expectations realizing $20,000 against a presale estimate of $10,000-$15,000.

Offered at auction for the first time and also exceeding presale estimates, The Forthcoming Antarctic Expedition, Robert Falcon Scott’s rare exposition of his plans for the Terra Nova Expedition which was unknown to bibliographers, sold for $5,500. Other highlights from the sale include a rare variant with text printed on vellum of the first edition of Humboldt and Bonpland’s Vues des Cordillères, et monumens des peuples indigènes de l'Amérique, which realized $37,500, and a copy of the first edition of Leo Africanus’s A Geographical Historie of Africa, which realized $8,750 against an estimate of $4,000-6,000. 

Gretchen Hause, Director of the Fine Books and Manuscripts department, comments: “We are honored to have been entrusted with the sale of Steve Fossett’s remarkable adventure and exploration library. This important collection includes fine copies of the most important works in the field, which closely relate to his own record-setting pursuits as an adventurer. We look forward to offering the second part of this collection at auction next spring.” The sale of The Adventure & Exploration Library of Steve Fossett, Part II will be conducted on Friday, March 15 at 10am in the Chicago saleroom.

The fall season continues for the Fine Books and Manuscripts department with two November sales. On November 12, the department will offer the Fine Cartographic and Printed Americana Collection of Evelyn and Eric Newman; the season will conclude with the Fine Printed Books and Manuscripts sale on November 13. The Fine Books and Manuscripts department is currently accepting consignments for spring auctions. For more information, visit www.lesliehindman.com.

Image: DRAKE, Francis, Sir. Sir Francis Drake Revived. London: Printed for Nicholas Bourne, 1653 [i.e. 1652].

 

87.jpgFalls Church, Virgina - Waverly Rare Books, a division of Quinn’s Auction Galleries, will host a catalog auction of nearly 400 lots of science fiction, fantasy literature, comics and original comic art on Thursday, November 15. The auction will be held at Quinn’s gallery at 360 South Washington Street in Falls Church, Virginia, as well as online, with a start time of 6 p.m. ET. All forms of bidding will be available, including live via the Internet through LiveAuctioneers.

The material chosen for the auction came from several longstanding and important collections. Highlights include significant books and correspondence from the acclaimed science fiction author Clark Ashton Smith (American, 1893-1961), five original comic art storyboards by Sal Buscema (American, b. 1936-); more than 10,000 Modern Age comic books; several Golden Age and Silver Age issues; and large runs of early pulp fiction magazines.

Clark Ashton Smith was a self-educated poet, sculptor, painter and author, best known for his fantasy, horror and science fiction short stories. He was one of “the big three” writers for Weird Tales, along with Robert E. Howard and H.P. Lovecraft. Smith’s writing tone was morbid, and one fantasy critic famously said of him, “Nobody since Poe has so loved a well-rotted corpse.”

The auction will feature a four-volume set The Hill of Dionysus: A Selection by Clark, published by Independent Press in 1962, #8/15 and signed by Clyde Beck and Roy A. Squires. Estimate: $600-$800. Also, an unpublished manuscript (or draft) of Smith’s La Isla de Circe, typed in Spanish and with an English manuscript translation verso, is signed and dated “Sept. 24, 1950.” It is estimated at $200-$400.

Early pulp-fiction magazines include what may end up being the sale’s top lot: a complete run (1939-1943) of Unknown (with a title change to Unknown Worlds in 1941), with an index from 1955. Estimate: $2,000-$3,000. An eight-volume, 25-issue set of Analog: Science Fact and Science Fiction (Conde Nast, N.Y., 1963-65), features the first appearance of Dune and is expected to make $100-$200.

Sal Buscema - the younger brother of comic book artist John Buscema - is primarily known for his work at Marvel Comics, where he enjoyed a 10-year run as artist of The Incredible Hulk. Sal has received numerous accolades over the years, including the Inkpot Reward (2003) and the Hero Initiative Lifetime Achievement Award (2013). 

The five Buscema-signed original comic-art storyboards entered in the sale include Marvel Two-in-One #7, $500-$700; Thor #240, $800-$1,200); Captain America #181, $500-$700; and The Defenders #21, $500-$700. Also offered is the original cover design for Volume 93, Issue #5 of the pulp magazine Top-Notch (Nov. 1933, Street & Smith Pub.) by Gayle Porter Hoskins (American, 1887-1962). Nicely presented in a 17¼-inch by 23½-inch frame, it is estimated at $1,000-$2,000. 

The more than 10,000 Modern Age and Early Age comic books include copies of Brenda Starr, Four Color, Sparkler, Tip Top and Blondie. An anticipated star lot is the copy of Detective Comics #359 (DC Comics, 1967), graded CGC FN 6.0, which collectors will know as the issue containing the first appearance of Batgirl, as well as the first Silver Age appearance of Killer Moth. Estimate: $400-$600.

The auction also features a significant selection of Arkham House/Horror (Sauk City, Wis.) first editions, to include the following:

  • A copy of Ray Bradbury’s (American, 1920-2012) Dark Carnival (1947), one of 3,112 printed, by the writer who brought science fiction into the mainstream. $400-$600
  • A copy of A Hornbook for Witches (1950), by Leah Bodine Drake (American, 1904-1964), from a press run of just 553 copies, subsidized in part by Drake. $400-$600.
  • A copy of Dagon & Other Macabre Tales (1965), by H.P. Lovecraft (American, 1890-1937), a first edition/second printing copy, one of only 3,000 printed. $120-$220.

Stephen King fans are sure to stake their claims for a first edition hardcover copy of The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger (1982), with dust jacket, $300-$500. Also offered is a group lot consisting of six hardback copies of Prince Valiant from 1951-1960, all different titles, two of them signed by comic strip artist Hal Foster (1892-1982). The lot estimate is $200-$300.

Waverly Rare Books, a division of Quinn’s Auction Galleries, is located at 360 South Washington Street, Falls Church, Virginia. The Nov. 15 auction’s start time is 6 p.m. ET. Previews are currently under way and will continue through and including auction day until the start of the auction session. 

For additional information about any item in the Nov. 15 auction, please call 703-532-5632, extension 575; or e-mail waverly@quinnsauction.com. View the online catalog and register to bid absentee or live online, at LiveAuctioneers.com. Visit Quinn’s and Waverly’s website at: http://www.quinnsauction.com.

Image: First edition copy of Ray Bradbury’s (American, 1920-2012) Dark Carnival (1947), one of 3,112 printed. Est. $400-$600. Waverly Rare Books image

https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/66344719_ray-bradbury-dark-carnival-1947-1st-ed 

Your Song_Bernie Taupin.jpgNew York—On November 19, Bonhams Rock and Roll Memorabilia Sale will offer the Original Handwritten Lyrics written by Bernie Taupin for Elton John’s “Your Song”, the iconic song that catapulted Elton John’s career to stardom. Estimate on request.

This is the original, first and only draft of the lyrics to "Your Song", the crown jewel of the Elton John and Bernie Taupin songbook. The world-famous song was created one morning on the roof of 20 Denmark Street, in Tin Pan Alley, the epicentre of London’s music industry in the seventies, and where Elton was working as an office boy for a music publishing firm. The lyricist Bernie Taupin was waiting there for Elton, which is how the line "I sat on the roof and kicked off the moss" materialised.  After being handed the lyrics, Elton took all of 10 minutes to come up with the haunting melody that accompanies Taupin's paean to young love. 

“It's a little bit funny this feeling inside

I'm not one of those who can easily hide

I don't have much money but boy if I did

I'd buy a big house where we both could live”

"Your Song" was first released in America in October 1970 as the B-side of "Take Me to the Pilot", before its popularity provoked the record company to switch it to the A-side. Critics fell at the feet of Elton and Taupin’s hit record. At the time of its release, Derek Johnson from NME wrote, "The song itself is glowing and strangely haunting, the scoring is smooth and delicate and the performance is symptomatic of a new era in pop idols."

John Lennon compared Elton and Taupin’s talent with The Beatles, proclaiming “that's the first new thing that's happened since we (The Beatles) happened.”  

“Your Song” is Elton’s and Bernie’s first classic hit and timeless piece of piano-based pop songwriting. It remains one of the most identifiable and best-loved songs that the long-term collaborators worked on and holds an immortal position in the Grammy Hall of Fame.

Catherine Williamson, Director of Books and Manuscripts at Bonhams comments: ““Your Song” played a pivotal role in projecting both Elton John and Bernie Taupin into the limelight. It is a remarkable song that has stood the test of time and this original script highlights that its longevity is due to the mastery of the two artists.”

Short Narrative.jpgBoston, MA - Skinner is pleased to announce the November 18 auction of Fine Books & Manuscripts to be held at the Skinner Boston Gallery at 11PM. Featuring 350 lots, this rare book auction offers fresh finds from several important New England estates including printed books, documents, natural history prints and maps.

An attic discovery of the rare 1845 first edition of Poe’s Tales (Lot 224, Estimate: $60,000-80,000) in paper wrappers will be offered, along with a first edition of The Book of Mormon (Lot 264, Estimate: $45,000-55,000), and Benjamin Lincoln’s Oath of Allegiance witnessed and signed by George Washington (Lot 53, Estimate: $20,000-30,000).

Americana collectors will have a chance to bid on the 1770 London edition of A Short Narrative of the Horrid Massacre in Boston (Lot 55, Estimate: $7,000-9,000), a copy of John Ogilby’s America from 1671 illustrated with maps (Lot 201, Estimate: $10,000-15,000), and Dutton’s Atlas on the Grand Canyon (Lot 126, Estimate: $3,500-5,500).

As always, we will offer a selection of Audubon bird and quadruped prints (lots 291-309); and a number of Picasso (lots 216- 222) and Dali (Lot 114, Estimate: $2,500-3,500 and Lot 250, Estimate: $3,000-4,000) limited edition books and portfolios. Rare maps will be offered in the sale as well, including a copy of the 1761 Jeffreys New Hampshire map (Lot 335, Estimate: $2,000-3,000). Collectors of documents related to the civil rights movements of the 1960s will find a leftist, Black Panther, and gay rights publications from the period (lots 18, 84, 183, 202, and 270).

Lovers of literature can browse through a group of important modern first edition literature including Atlas Shrugged (Lot 227, Estimate: $1,000-1,500), East of Eden (Lot 259, Estimate: $300-400), To Kill a Mockingbird (Lot 182, Estimate: $3,000-4,000), The Catcher in the Rye (Lot 242, Estimate: $2,000-3,000), The Great Gatsby (Lot 136, Estimate: $400-600), and a signed first edition of The Old Man and the Sea (Lot 156, Estimate: $4,000-6,000), among others.

Previews, Catalogs & Events

Previews for the auction will be held in the Boston Gallery on November 15th from 12PM-7PM; November 16th from 12PM-5PM; November 17th from 10AM-4PM; and November 18th from 9AM-11AM. Free and open to the public, Fine Books & Manuscripts specialist Devon Eastland will be on hand to answer questions. A PDF auction catalog can be viewed and downloaded here.

Be part of Boston’s book week and preview the auction. We welcome the public to a bookbinding demonstration and discussion of restoration practices and approaches. Held during the preview at the Boston Gallery on Thursday, November 18, and accompanied with light refreshments. Please RSVP here.

Image: A Short Narrative of the Horrid Massacre in Boston, Perpetrated in the Evening of the Fifth Day of March 1770 by Soldiers of the XXIXth Regiment, 1770. (Lot 55, Estimate $7,000-9,000)

 

Dallas, Texas - In response to the ever-growing demand for high-quality prints, Heritage Auctions is expanding its Modern and Contemporary department to offer Weekly Online-Only Prints & Multiples auctions. The first sale, which closes Nov. 7, presents artwork without reserves, allowing collectors of all levels to find enticing options to create or fill out collections.

“Prints are a great medium for collectors, from beginners to experts,” said Frank Hettig, Heritage Auctions Vice Present of Modern & Contemporary Art. “The quality of prints Heritage Auctions offers is such that interest has grown at an incredible pace. The addition of weekly auctions is the logical next step, as we broaden our reach to a wider scope of collectors.”

The popularity and collectability of prints have soared to the point that the auctions went from semi-annual events to monthly sales, and now to weekly events. The department will continue to present Live Floor Auctions in the Fall and Spring seasons, presenting the market’s high end prints.

The weekly auctions start every Wednesday. The inaugural sale is open and closes Nov. 7. The auction features artworks by Keith Haring, Mr. Brainwash, Alexander Calder, Max Ernst, Shepard Fairey, Alex Katz, Red Grooms, KAWS, Robert Motherwell, Takashi Murakami, Pablo Picasso and Ken Price. At the conclusion of each auction, bidding opens for the following week’s auction.

Visit HA.com/FineArt to review the latest auctions newest and most enticing prints and multiples in each weekly sale.

19thA.jpegCoral Gables, Florida - An original copy of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution “extending the right of suffrage to women,” an Act of the Second Congress relating to trade with Indians issued by George Washington and signed by Thomas Jefferson, and a Thomas Edison patent pertaining to the light bulb are part of an auction online now and ending November 15th. 

It’s David Gindy’s One of a Kind Collectibles Rare Autographs & Manuscripts Auction, which went online Thursday, October 25th, at www.OAKauctions.com. People can register and bid there now. The online-only sale features 228 lots of autographs, books, manuscripts, historical and political items, space memorabilia, sports lots, comic and animation art and rare newspapers. 

Other expected top lots will include an exceedingly rare William Henry Harrison signature as president (he was only in office for 30 days), an Alexander Graham Bell signed image nearly three feet tall, an early William Penn land grant from 1681, a baseball single-signed by Babe Ruth, an Abraham Lincoln appointment for Navy Commander and even a dinosaur egg nest.

“It’s always an incredible feeling to hold and touch documents that changed history,” said David Gindy, president and owner of One of a Kind Collectibles. “One such document in the sale transformed the way we vote and is today considered one of the most important amendments of the 20th century - one giving women the right to vote. A very timely item this political season.”

The 19th Amendment copy is true and original. It was used to help ratify the measure, which needed a majority of the states to pass to become an official part of the U.S. Constitution. It was a cliff-hanger; 36 states were needed to ratify, and only 35 had done so before Tennessee finally voted yes right before the ratification period expired, in a special session, on August 18th, 1920. 

The incredibly rare William Henry Harrison signature as president (written as “W. H. Harrison”), is from a vellum document, with the top part of some of the letters from the printed legend “By the President” appearing beneath his name. The sheet of paper measures 2 inches wide by ¾ inch tall. The signature came from a ship’s papers, during his brief, one month as president, in 1841.

The unique signed photographic image of Alexander Graham Bell is on a mount of 32 inches by 24 inches. The photogravure shows the inventor of the telephone, looking straight at the viewer, with a piercing look. The image is signed beneath the portrait, in fountain pen, “Washington, D.C., May 18, 1921, Alexander Graham Bell.” It’s also signed by the artist who made the photo.

An important 1937 cabinet appointment, signed by Franklin D. Roosevelt and naming Harry Hines Woodring (1887-1967) as Secretary of War, is signed by FDR and comes with more than 30 official and other photos of Woodring and/or his wife, Helen, to include a Harris & Ewing photo of FDR at his desk, signed “to Helen Woodring, from her friend, Franklin D. Roosevelt.”

A six-page, printed overseas patent application from 1882, signed by inventor Thomas Edison (“Thomas Alva Edison”), relating to dynamos for electrical lamps for use in Australia, India and other countries, is countersigned by William Henry Meadowcroft. Included are two printed mechanical diagrams pasted at the upper left corner, with printed text and autograph annotations.

The important 1681 indenture in which colonial-era figure William Penn granted 5,000 acres of land in Pennsylvania to his friend Robert Turner, making Turner a “First Purchaser” in the newly chartered territory, is a large vellum document, signed by Penn and housed in a 34 inch by 35 inch frame. Turner would go on to play an important role in the design and look of Philadelphia.

A document drafted in 1792 by the Second Congress of the United States, “to regulate Trade and Intercourse with the Indian Tribes,” was approved by President Washington the following year. The resulting Act, featured in the auction, contains the printed names of Washington and Vice President John Adams and, most important, the bold, superb ink signature of Thomas Jefferson.

A pair of Abraham Lincoln lots is expected to do well. One is a signed document, from August 1861, appointing Fabius Stanley a Commander in the U.S. Navy. The document, with a vignette and green seal, is also signed by Navy Sec. Gideon Welles. Stanley helped out in the Civil War by protecting and holding Fort Taylor in Key West, Florida, with his steamer ship Wyandotte.

The other is a fine example of an iconic George Clark ambrotype portrait of Lincoln, from the 1860 presidential campaign and known as the “Cooper Union” pose. The famous 19th century photographer Matthew Brady took the photo of Lincoln, who was in New York to give a speech at Cooper Union Institute. The image was used on pinbacks that boosted Lincoln’s popularity.

Babe Ruth single signed baseballs are highly coveted by collectors, and the one in this auction, signed by Ruth in the side panel, has been authenticated by James Spence Authentication and includes a letter of authenticity with a certification number. It is believed the ball may have been signed by Ruth after his retirement in 1935, at a home run hitting contest in Michigan in 1940. 

A boldly penned autographed musical quotation signed by the French Romantic composer Louis-Hector Berlioz (1803-1869), is presented on an off-white sheet measuring 9 ¾ inches by 7 ½ inches and is signed “H. Berlioz, 1 Diciembre 1856.” On it, Berlioz has neatly penned seven bars from the ‘Love Scene’ of his magnificent and large-scale choral symphony, Romeo et Juliette.

Other items in the auction include a rare poster from the 1969 (Woodstock of the South), Buster Crabbe’s ring for winning the Gold medal at the 1932 Olympis Games, a 1920 Olympics Bronze medal, a Jim Thorpe signed book, and various letters and other items signed by JFK, Zachary Taylor, Honre De Balzac, John Steinbeck, W. B. Yeats, Robert Browning, Amelia Earhart, Orville Wright, Wilbur Wright, Charles Lindbergh, Renoir, Pissaro and Rodin; as well as coins.

One of a Kind Collectibles Auction was founded in 1994. The firm is dedicated to autographs, art, documents, philatelic, coins, currency and fine collectibles. To receive a free catalog, call 1-800-570-7273, or fill out the form that’s on the company website: www.OAKauctions.com.

One of a Kind Collectibles Auction is always accepting quality consignments for future auctions. To consign a single piece or an entire collection, you may call toll-free, 800-570-7273, or e-mail to consign@oneofakindauctions.com. The company offers quick turnaround and immediate cash options. To learn more, or to register and bid for the Nov. 15th auction, visit OAKauctions.com.

Image: Original and true copy of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution “extending the right of suffrage to women,” finally ratified after much debate and political wrangling in 1920.

clip_image001.jpgNew York - Swann Auction Galleries’ Contemporary Art sale on Thursday, November 15 offers a myriad of important and museum-quality works from key artists in the contemporary market.

The sale is led by Louise Bourgeois' remarkable artist’s book, He Disappeared Into Complete Silence, 1947. Complete with text and nine engravings, the portfolio is an early set from the first edition and is one of only 19 known complete examples, more than half of which are in institutional collections. The work marks Bourgeois’ transition from life in Paris to New York and was used by the artist as an introduction to New York's art society. The publication is expected to bring $250,000 to $350,000.

Alfonso Ossorio makes an appearance with the 1962 mixed-media assemblage, Untitled (Sidrach, Misach and Abednego). The work exemplifies what Ossorio called his “congregations,” a style for which he is known ($50,000-80,000).

Latin American art is led by Fernando de Szyszlo’s 1992 acrylic on canvas work, Mar de Lurin, which is expected to bring $20,000 to $30,000. Sculptural works include a selection of five pieces by Jesus Rafael Soto, led by Stele Bleu et Verte, 1995, valued at $10,000 to $15,000.

Additional sculpture lots feature two works by Yves Klein in the artist’s iconic hue; La Terre Bleue, 1990 (Estimate: $30,000-50,000) and Petite Venus Bleue, 1956-57 ($10,000-15,000). Also by Klein is a set of three lithographs estimated at $1,500 to $2,500.

Postwar American artists include William Copley with Lolapulco, circa 1958, painted during his time in Acapulco, and demonstrates a selection of Copley’s signature iconography ($50,000-80,000). A 1968 color lithograph from Wayne Thiebaud, Sucker, State II, a red still life of the sweet confections for which the artist is best known ($8,000-12,000), and Night Rider, an oil on canvas from 1957, an early work that dates from shortly after the artist’s student years at Sacramento State College ($30,000-50,000). Alexander Calder is available with a circa 1966 gouache, which is expected to bring $70,000 to $100,000.  

Willem de Kooning’s 1969-70 preparatory drawing for his lithograph, Washington Monument, bears the artist’s signature with the title “The Reflecting Pool.” The original work carries an estimate of $30,000 to $50,000.

Minimalism includes Sol Lewitt’s 1977 Right Triangle for $70,000 to $100,000, and a group of four etchings from 1977-78 by Donald Judd poised to sell for $8,000 to $12,000.

A robust selection of Pop Art is distinguished by Andy Warhol’s color screen prints Mao, 1972, and Brooklyn Bridge, 1983 ($30,000-50,000 and $25,000-35,000, respectively). Roy Lichtenstein is available with As I Opened Fire Poster, Triptych, 1966, estimated at $8,000 to $12,000; and Jasper Johns appears in the sale with Flag (Moratorium), 1969, created to commemorate the anti-war Moratorium Marches that occurred in the fall of 1969 ($10,000-15,000).

The complete catalogue and bidding information is available at www.swanngalleries.com.

Additional highlights can be found here.

Image: Lot 134: Louise Bourgeois, He Disappeared Into Complete Silence, portfolio with complete text and 9 engravings, 1947. Estimate $250,000 to $350,000.

U2hvdWxkZXJzIG9mIEdpYW50cy5KUEc=.jpegChristie’s auction On the Shoulders of Giants is now open for bidding until 8 November. This online auction pays tribute to four brilliant minds - Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking - whose discoveries have shaped our understanding of the universe. Lots range from a manuscript by Newton exploring his fascination with alchemy to letters by Darwin discussing natural selection and an offprint of Einstein’s great paper on general relativity. The sale concludes with a remarkable group of lots from the estate of Professor Stephen Hawking, including the original typescript of his thesis, a selection of his medals and awards, and a signed (with a thumbprint) copy of A Brief History of Time. The final lot of the sale, a wheelchair used by Hawking, is sold to benefit the Stephen Hawking Foundation and the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

This auction is inspired by the success of Christie’s Letters to a Friend auction series in 2017-18, which presented three online-only sales of Einstein autograph material, offered from a single-owner collection. These sales saw £2.75 million realised, 100% of the lots sold and record prices set across the board for Einstein autograph material. On the Shoulders of Giants seeks to bring more high-quality scientific material before the public to build upon the success in this field.

With prices ranging from £100 to £150,000, this sale offers new and established collectors an opportunity to acquire important manuscripts and personal items of these four legendary scientists.

The sale can be accessed directly here.

1314.jpgYork, PA - Hake’s Auctions - founded 51 years ago as Hake’s Americana - knows how antsy collectors can be when waiting for the gift-giving and receiving season. That’s why they always plan one of their biggest sales of the year for mid-November, so collectors can get the pick of the crop before the holiday auction frenzy takes hold. This year’s fall classic, a fully curated 2,518-lot auction to be held Nov. 13-15, follows Hake’s tried-and-true formula of giving collectors what they want: the finest-quality examples of toys, comic books and vintage collectibles of their youth, as well as premier historical and political items from long-held collections.

“This time we’ve taken a broader approach, with an outstanding cross-selection that’s accessible to everyone,” said Hake’s president, Alex Winter. “Maybe a person can’t afford a rare original artwork created for the cover of a Golden Age comic, but they’ll find plenty of affordable art in this sale that would make as an excellent starter piece or addition to an existing collection - something they can be proud of.”

The original comic art category is “very solid,” Winter said. “There’s a unique aspect to every one of the top lots, starting with Jack Kirby’s original art for Marvel’s ‘Fantastic Four’ #36.” The pencil-and-ink full page has five panels showing Medusa, the female member of the newly introduced “Frightful Four” and a character who would later be identified as one of “The Inhumans.” The artwork is estimated at $20,000-$35,000.

Another important Fantastic Four original artwork was created by John and Sal Buscema for the title’s issue #299, published February 1987. The image depicts She-Hulk punching The Thing through a brick wall and startling Spider-Man, who is perched nearby. “The Buscema brothers are longtime Marvel veterans, but it’s fairly rare to encounter cover art that combines their talents with pencil and ink,” Winter said. “It’s also rare to see those three characters together on one cover.” Estimate: $10,000-$20,000

At the moment, one of the hottest characters in comic art is The Joker’s humorous female sidekick Harley Quinn. The original Bruce Timm art for an interior page of the 1994 comic Batman Adventures: Mad Love features Quinn in six of its eight panels. “Pages like this one very seldom come to market because those who are fortunate enough to own one don’t want to sell,” said Winter. Hake’s expects the art to sell for $10,000-$20,000.

Alex Ross’ fully painted original art for DC Comics’ 2003 treasury-size, prestige-format comic featuring the Justice League of America was rendered in the artist’s distinctive photorealistic style. The montage of diagonal color panels includes scenes inside the Batcave with Batman, The Atom, Wonder Woman, Aquaman and Superman. Its matted and framed size is 12½ by 17½ inches, and the pre-sale estimate is $5,000-$10,000.

The price spread for vintage comic books starts in the hundreds and runs into the five-figure realm. “There are very nice books available at every level. Even absolute beginners can start a collection without spending a whole paycheck. For those who’ve always wanted to get into comic book collecting, this is their chance,” Winter said. 

On the other hand, the more advanced collector might want to consider Flash Comics #1 (January 1940), which tells the origin story of The Flash and also includes the first appearance of Hawkman and Shiera Saunders, later to emerge as Hawkgirl. Although CGC-graded a modest 0.5, it could still produce an auction-day surprise, Winter said. “Higher-grade examples of Flash Comics are so expensive, this might be the only way a collector could ever own a copy.” The pre-sale estimate is $20,000-$35,000. Another debut comic to watch is X-Men #1 (Sept.1963), CGC-graded 6.5, with an action-packed cover by Jack Kirby. This key Silver Age Marvel comic could hit $ 10,000-$20,000. 

A stellar lineup of movie posters is led by linen-mounted one-sheets for two 1940 Universal monster classics. Both the dramatically illustrated poster for the original release of The Mummy’s Hand and the similarly-sized poster promoting The Invisible Man Returns, featuring Vincent Price, are expected to reach individual top bids of $10,000-$20,000. A linen-mounted one-sheet for Chapter 9 (Symbol of Death) of Universal’s 1938 release of the 15-chapter serial Flash Gordon’s Trip To Mars, starring Buster Crabbe, has a $5,000-$10,000 estimate. For mystery fans, there’s a rare linen-mounted one-sheet poster from the 1934 Fox release Charlie Chan’s Courage, starring Warner Oland as the famed screen detective. This very rare poster will make its auction debut with a $5,000-$20,000 estimate. Another cinematic headliner is a fantastic Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II “Ghost Trap” film prop estimated at $50,000-$75,000.

Hake’s dominated the Star Wars market in 2017 and earlier in 2018 with multiple auctions featuring the incomparable Russell Branton collection. The November sale includes 100 Star Wars lots, 70 consigned by Branton. A 1988 Star Wars: Droids - Vlix figure on blister card, issued only in Brazil, is AFA-graded 60 EX and estimated at $35,000-$50,000. Other highlights include a full set of 62 Kenner Star Wars - Power of the Force pressed aluminum coins (copyright 1985), initially offered as a mail-away promotion. Such coins were later carded with Kenner Power of the Force action figures. The set includes both variants of the Luke Skywalker coin. Estimate: $20,000-$35,000. 

Yet another top lot is a Star Wars 3-pack Villain Set, copyright 1978 and AFA-graded 60 EX. “This is unlike any of the other three-packs we’ve had. It’s a pre-production example that even some advanced Star Wars collectors are not familiar with. The set includes Stormtrooper, Darth Vader and Death Squad Commander.” Estimate: $10,000-$20,000

No Hake’s auction would be complete without a museum-worthy selection of political and historical memorabilia. The November sale includes a number of rare campaign pinbacks, tokens and ephemera. A rare and important “Vote Kennedy Congress” button from JFK’s first political campaign would rise to the top ranks of any political collection. One of fewer than 10 examples known to Hake’s, its estimate is $20,000-$35,000.

Hake’s Americana Auction #225 has opened for bidding by phone, mail or online at hakes.com. The first session will close on November 13, 2018, while the second session will conclude on November 15. November 14 is an interim day in which bidders can peruse the catalog and prepare for further bidding. For a free catalog or additional information, call 866-404-9800 (toll-free) or 717-434-1600. Email hakes@hakes.com

Image: Flash Comics #1 (Jan. 1940), debut appearance of Flash, Hawkman, Johnny Thunder and Shiera Saunders (aka Hawkgirl), CGC-graded 0.5. Extremely rare in any condition. Est. $20,000-$35,000. Courtesy of Hake’s Americana

 

King It.jpgNew York - An exceptional auction of 19th & 20th Century Literature comes to Swann Galleries on Tuesday, November 13. The sale of nearly 300 lots includes first edition literary classics, scarcely seen dust jackets, deluxe sets and rare science fiction.

Science fiction and imaginative literary works feature a robust selection of seldom-seen material by icons of the genre. A group of three signed and inscribed typescripts of chapters from Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 holds an estimate of $800 to $1,200. A run of titles by Philip K. Dick is led by the scarce deluxe limited edition of The Selected Letters of Philip K. Dick, with five volumes present, (Estimate: $2,000-3,000); and one of only three special deluxe issue copies of The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick, Los Angeles, 1987, with the author’s signature tipped in, estimated at $1,200 to $2,000. An unbound pre-proof copy of Stephen King’s It, 1986, representing the earliest state of the book’s production, is predicted to sell for $1,500 to $2,500.  

The top lot of the sale is from the collection of Al Hirschfeld, whose first edition of Ernest Hemingway’s Three Stories & Ten Poems, Paris, 1923, includes a correspondence from his friend, Ben Grauer. Hirschfeld, who was a veteran of movie studio publicity departments, met Hemingway in Paris in 1925 and would go on to draw the author several times. The present copy of the author’s first book is expected to bring $18,000 to $20,000.

Additional first edition works by twentieth-century American literary figures include the cover lot in the sale, the 1935 novel, Tortilla Flat by John Steinbeck. The work was the author’s first clear success and is available with the scarce dust jacket ($3,500-5,000). A completely unrestored copy, with the first issue dust jacket, of J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, 1951, is present with an estimate of $7,000 to $10,000; and Sartoris, 1929, by William Faulkner is estimated at $3,500 to $5,000.

Transcendentalist works include the signed authors edition of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, 1876, and, from 1888, a signed first collected edition of Whitman’s Poems & Prose which holds Leaves of Grass, Specimen Days, and Collect ($3,500-5,000 and $4,000-6,000, respectively). The first edition of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s May-Day and Other Pieces, 1867, is signed and inscribed by the author to his nephew ($4,000-6,000). Also available is set number 70 of the manuscript edition of The Writings, 1906, by Henry David Thoreau. With 20 volumes each in their original bindings, the set includes a manuscript sheet by Thoreau from Autumnal Tints and is predicted to bring $7,000 to $10,000.

The Sea-Wolf, 1904, by Jack London is available in the sale in the first edition, second issue, with the extraordinarily rare dust jacket. The dust jacket was previously known only by rumor; only one other copy is thought to exist ($4,000-6,000).

Toni Morrison’s debut novel The Bluest Eye, 1970, makes an appearance with a signed first edition carrying an estimate of $3,500 to $5,000.

Children’s literature features a first edition of the 1962 Newbery Medal winner A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle. The copy features the rare first state dust jacket without the Newbery sticker ($3,500-5,000). Beatrix Potter’s The Tailor of Gloucester, 1902, is present in the first edition and is of one of 500 copies. The work was the author’s second book, both written and illustrated by her, as well as her personal favorite ($2,000-3,000).

First edition literary works from the Haycraft-Queen Cornerstones reader’s list include a first printing of Edgar Allan Poe’s Tales, 1845, estimated at $15,000 to $20,000. Dracula, 1897, by Bram Stoker is available in the first issue, at $4,000 to $6,000; and a first issue of The Hounds of the Baskervilles, 1902, by Arthur Conan Doyle which features “you” for “your” on line three of page 13 ($1,200-1,800).

The complete catalogue and bidding information is available at www.swanngalleries.com.

Additional highlights can be found here.

Image: Lot 184: Stephen King, It, unbound cut galley pages representing the earliest state of book production, New York, 1986. Estimate $1,500 to $2,500.

schumann.jpgBonhams is to offer an extensive draft of Robert Schumann's 1837 piano masterpiece Fantasiestücke Opus 12 - written in the composer's own hand - at the Fine Books and Manuscripts sale in London on Tuesday 27 November. The draft, which is unknown to music scholars, is estimated at £200,000-300,000, and was taken out of Germany months before the outbreak of World War II by the distinguished German jurist Dr Moritz Sprinz.

Bonhams Books and Manuscripts specialist, Simon Roberts said, "This major discovery provides a fascinating insight into Schumann's working methods, and the creative decisions he took in completing the version of Fantasiestücke we are familiar with today. The work's publication heralded an intense burst of activity that produced in 1838 two of his greatest compositions for piano, Kinderszenen, and Kreisleriana."

The 14-page manuscript was completed in July 1837 and given by Schumann to the composer Gustav Schmidt in August the same year. It was acquired by Dr Sprinz shortly before he left Germany in February 1939.

The work in its published form is made up of eight pieces. They alternate in mood between the serious and the playful, reflecting the dual aspects of the composer's personality that he called Eusebius, representing the dreamer, and Florestan, standing for his passionate side. He had previously explored this concept extensively in Davidsbündlertänze, written earlier in 1837.

The manuscript sent to Schmidt contains six of the eight pieces from the final work and a ninth piece that was dropped at proof stage. Four pages are devoted to what became in the published work the fifth, and longest, piece - In der Nacht - and they reveal in great detail the development of the composer's initial ideas. Markings in Schumann's characteristic red crayon also show how he experimented with the order in which the pieces should be played. Although the final order appears programmatic, in fact the composer was later happy for some of the pieces to be played individually as part of a recital, even making suggestions as to which ones would be most suitable. 

Fantasiestücke, refers to a collection of writings by the influential German Romantic author, E.T.A. Hoffmann, on whose work Schumann had previously drawn for inspiration. The work came at the end of a four-month fallow period for the composer and he dedicated it to the 18 year-old Yorkshire-born Scottish pianist, Anna Robena Laidlaw with whom he had become very close during that time. Schumann wrote to Robena in August 1837, saying the pieces "belong to you - and the entire Rosenthal with its romantic associations, is present in the music." (Rosenthal is the wooded area near Leipzig where the two had taken walks together).

A year later, however, Schumann wrote to his fiancée, the acclaimed concert pianist Clara Wieck, who was on tour in Austria, suggesting that the final piece Ende vom Lied was intended to evoke a happy wedding - namely theirs. They eventually married in 1840 after a lengthy court battle with Clara's father who was bitterly opposed to the match, possibly because a large part of the family's income derived from Clara's appearance fees. 

Glenn Gould annotated Goldberg Variations Score

Bonhams Books and Manuscripts sale in New York on Wednesday December 5 features the score of Bach Goldberg Variations used by Glenn Gould during his 1981 recording of the work. It is extensively annotated in the pianist's own hand. Gould had recorded the work once before in 1955 when he was 22, and the notes show how much his interpretation had altered over the intervening years. His friend the writer Tim Page writes about the discovery of the score in the Winter edition of Bonhams Magazine. 

 

Manuscript.jpgCleveland, OH — Gray’s Auctioneers will offer an extensive number of fine works on paper, rare books and illuminated manuscripts at an auction planned for Wednesday, November 14th, online and in the firm’s gallery at 10717 Detroit Avenue in Cleveland, starting at 11 am Eastern time. Featured will be an impressive collection of fine editions from the Print Club of Cleveland, among other rare items.  

The catalog is up and online, at GraysAuctioneers.com. Bidding is also available on the two platforms Liveauctioneers.com and Invaluable.com. Telephone and absentee bids will also be accepted. For any collector of fine art, literature, or historical texts, the November auction is a celebration of these arts and more. In-person previews will be held Monday thru Friday, November 8th -14th, 10 am-5 pm, EDT.

Starting off the auction in Lot 1 is a print of St. George and the Dragon, from 1947, by Salvador Dalí (Spanish, 1904-1989).  Dalí had an extensive history with the city of Cleveland through his patrons Reynolds and Eleanor Morse.  Reynolds Morse was a highly successful local businessman who first encountered Dalí via a retrospective that was held March 21st, 1943 at the Cleveland Museum of Art.  

Morse attended with his soon-to-be wife Eleanor and the couple became diligent collectors of Dalí’s work. They even formed a friendship with the artist and his wife, Gala. St. George and the Dragon (1947) is one of Dali’s most recognizable lithographs, depicting the famous Christian legend, which Dali revisited many times, first as a painting completed in 1942, then as a sculpture completed in 1947. 

Lot 2 is a lithograph Summer Benediction (1953), by Charles Ephraim Burchfield (American, 1893-1867). A visionary artist known for his moody and hallucinatory watercolors, Burchfield graduated from the Cleveland Institute of Art under watercolor artist Henry George Keller. In 1928, Burchfield approached artist Frank Rehn to ask if he could sell his paintings through his gallery in New York City.  

The two men struck a deal and, fortunately for Burchfield, his paintings continued to sell through the Great Depression. By 1954 he was an esteemed veteran painter and was elected as a full member into the National Academy of Design.  Like many of Burchfield’s pieces, Summer Benediction depicts a hazy and mystical nature scene, almost dreamlike in tone, with a wavy contour and deft use of shading.

Lot 3 is a print entitled Approaching Storm (1938) by Thomas Hart Benton (American, 1889-1975). Benton cultivated a vivid naturalistic style known as Regionalism, depicting scenes of everyday life in a swirling and almost musical style influenced by his friend Stanton Macdonald-Wright’s synchronism.  Benton found his first big break as a muralist, for the 1933 Century of Progress Exhibition in Chicago.  

Benton went on to prestigious career as a painter, muralist, an educator, writing an autobiography titled An Artist in America in 1937.  He often courted controversy for his outspoken political beliefs, advocating for working people and including allusions to America’s race problem in his murals. He eventually alienated himself from the New York arts scene, pushing him to find his true muse in the vast expanses of rural America, as can be seen in the ominous and melancholy Approaching Storm.

Lots 4 and 5 are two pieces by Lyonel Feininger (German-American, 1871-1956): a lithograph titled Off the Coast (1951) and a woodcut titled Gelmeroda (1920).  An expressionist who was born in New York but was educated and spent most of his adult life in Germany, Feininger began his artistic career as a caricaturist and comic strip artist for The Chicago Tribune, known for his strip The Kin-Der Kids.  

Feininger eventually transitioned to fine art, joining the Berliner Sezession in 1909 and becoming associated with other leading German expressionist groups, including the Bauhaus.  Feininger’s unique expressionistic style, with its hard angles and fragmented light, brings to mind a softer futurism or cubism, finding a warmth in the midst of jagged abstractions, as seen in the two prints up for auction.

Also up for bid will be three pieces by the revolutionary French painter Henri Matisse (1869-1954).  Considered one of the true luminaries and innovators of modern art in the early twentieth century, Matisse developed a style of flat expressionistic shapes and vibrant color that came to be known as Fauvism.  He famously expanded the limits of what was possible with color and form in modern art.

Gray’s will also offer three lithographs by the equally legendary French impressionist Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919): Louis Veltat in Lot 9, La Pierre au Trois Croquis in Lot 10, and Claude Renoir, La Tête Baisée in Lot 11. Renoir befriended Claude Monet, and the two developed an artistic partnership, making similar inquiries into light and color as they became the leaders of the Impressionist movement.  

Renoir was often penniless and struggled to find financial security from his paintings but by the end of the 1870s had become successful, prolific and fashionable and is now recognized as one of the seminal figures in the development of modernist aesthetics.  Renoir painted several thousand paintings in his lifetime and is known for his luminous use of color and brushwork, and unique warmth and sensuality.

Also for sale will be four etchings by Frank Weston Benson (American, 1862-1951): The Punter, 1927, in Lot 15; Turnstones, 1928, in Lot 16; Rainbow Cove, 1927, in Lot 17; and Evening Flight, 1927 in Lot 18.  Born in Massachusetts, Benson was a contemporary of Renoir and Monet’s and derived great inspiration from them in developing his own contributions to the American school of Impressionism.  

Benson attended the Académie Julian 1883 and found near immediate success in Europe, traveling across the continent to see exhibitions of his own work and spending time painting. A master of light and color, he produced some of the most achingly beautiful landscapes and portraits of any American painter, and he was a foundational figure in America’s burgeoning art scene in the late 19th century.

Gray’s has an extensive collection of etchings this month by American artist James Abbott McNeil Whistler (1834-1903), known for his striking sense of realism and masterful technique. He developed a moody realistic style, later incorporating influences from the burgeoning Impressionist movement and Japanese painters. At age 21, Whistler left for Europe to pursue an artistic career and never returned. 

While he developed a great reputation as a painter and wit, Whistler’s temper and combative nature fractured many of his close relationships and turned many critics against him.  He was deeply defensive of his work and, while his stylistic contributions are not in doubt, his contributions to attitude and ethos have been just as influential on later artists. Gray’s is offering seventeen of Whistler’s works in the sale.

Also up for auction are a number of Illuminated Manuscripts from the collection of Otto F. Ege, dating from the 13th thru the 16th centuries.  Coming chiefly from the Middle Ages, Illuminated Manuscripts are manuscripts - typically written on vellum - that have been decorated with painted lettering or pictures, and are often even inlaid with gold or silver, from which the term “illuminated” originates.  

Illumination was a way for medieval scribes to make important texts legible to both the masses and to a ruling class that was largely illiterate in Latin, the language in which these holy texts were transcribed.  They are also the best surviving specimens of medieval painting, and the best preserved. Indeed, for many areas and time periods, they are the only surviving examples of painting.  There are 21 for sale.

This month’s auction also features a section of rare books, including a first edition printing of Charles Dickens’ beloved masterpiece A Christmas Carol in Prose, Being a Ghost Story of Christmas (1843), including original illustrations by John Leech and printing mistakes included in only the first release;  a first edition copy of L. Frank Baum’s classic allegorical fairytale The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900), with original illustrations by W.W. Denslow in Lot 145; and a 1935 limited edition printing of Edgar Alan Poe’s Tales of Mystery and Imagination with intricate illustrations by Arthur Rackham in Lot 125.

The highlight of this section is Lot 91, John James Audubon’s seven-volume Royal Octavo edition of The Birds of America, From Drawings Made in the United States and their Territories.  Consisting of 435 hand-colored, life-size prints, made from engraved plates and measuring around 39 by 26 inches, the set includes images of six now-extinct birds, including the passenger pigeon and Carolina parakeet.

The book was originally released by pay-as-you-go subscription, as a series of copperplate etchings released over time, one print at a time, every two-to-five months.  Only 120 full copies of this original set are known to survive. In December 2010, The Economist magazine estimated, adjusted for inflation, that five of the ten highest prices ever paid for printed books were paid for copies of Birds of America.    

Gray’s Auctioneers & Appraisers is Northern Ohio’s leading licensed auctioneers and appraisers of fine art, jewelry, antiques, decorative arts, rare books, and antique rugs. A boutique auction house with over two decades of experience in the art business, the experts at Gray’s now offer traditional real estate services.  The specialists at Gray’s have worked with museums, educational institutions, corporations and private collectors to achieve the full value of their collections at auction. Gray’s auctioneers are licensed, insured and bonded in favor of the State of Ohio. Learn more at www.graysauctioneers.com 

Gray’s Auctioneers & Appraisers is always accepting quality consignments for future auctions. To inquire about selling a single piece, an estate or an entire collection, you may call them at (216) 226-3300; or, you can send an e-mail to their appraisals department, at appraisals@graysauctioneers.com. 

To learn more about Gray’s Auctioneers & Appraisers and the live and internet auction planned for Wednesday, November 14th, at 11 am EDT, visit www.graysauctioneers.com. Updates are posted often.

Image: French Illuminated Manuscript, circa 15th century, from a Book of Hours, on vellum with illuminations on both sides, 6 ¾ inches tall by 4 ¾ inches wide (est. $3,000-$5,000).

Lot 71-Bancusi-lg copy.jpgNew York - Swann Auction Galleries’ Thursday, October 18 sale of Photographs & Photobooks, which boasted historical and contemporary fine art photographers alongside stand out vernacular material, earned $1.6M.

The top lot of the sale was Constantin Brâncusi’s Vu d’atelier, a circa 1928 silver print of the artist’s studio, featuring four of his iconic sculptures, including Socrates which is part of MoMA’s collection. The image brought $125,000, over an estimate of $30,0000-45,000.

Roy DeCarava was a highlight of the sale with three auction records being made for the artist. The complete Roy DeCarava, with 12 hand-printed dust-grain photogravures, including many of his iconic images of Harlem, set the record for the portfolio and the artist with $100,000; while a late 1960s-early 70s printing of Hallway, circa 1953, earned $31,250, a record for the image.

Additional contemporary works included a suite of 25 photographs by Malick Sidibé, in the artist’s custom frames, which set the record for the artist at $55,000. A complete, comprehensive three-part portfolio of 30 prints from Herman Leonard’s Images of Jazz series, with photographs of Louis Armstrong, Nat King Cole and Billie Holiday, set the record for the photographer with $30,000. Nick Brandt’s 2005 archival pigment prints, Giraffe Triptych, Maasai Mara, which showcases three giraffes in Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya, brought $15,000.

Early photography found success in the sale: The Pyramids of Dashdoor, from the East, 1858, by Francis Frith, was won for $15,000, and an album containing 200 hand-colored cartes-de-visite, featuring people of Japan and China, by Felice Beato, John Thomson and F.W. Sutton, from 1863-69, sold for $35,000.

Vernacular works continue to shine at auction. R.J. Waters’ group of three panoramas depicting San Francisco before the 1906 earthquake, as well as during and after the devasting fire that followed, garnered $21,250. 

Other notable works included a late 1950s-early 60s printing of W. Eugene Smith’s The Walk to Paradise Garden, 1948, which sold for $47,500. The silver print features the artist’s children and has been employed in multiple ad campaigns. Ansel Adams’s Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico, printed before 1977, earned $37,500.

Daile Kaplan, Vice President and Director of Photographs & Photobooks, noted of the sale, “The results saw robust prices for a range of photographs by contemporary, classical and vernacular photographers, demonstrating how the market is always changing and expanding. Great photographs by great artists are continually being discovered and newly appreciated by collectors of all stripes.”

The next auction of Photographs & Photobooks at Swann Galleries will be held in early 2019.

Additional highlights can be found here.

Image: Lot 71: Constantin Brâncusi, Vu d’atelier [The artist’s studio], silver print, circa 1928. Sold for $125,000.

356-Vonnegut.jpgNew York - Swann Auction Galleries’ Autographs sale will take place on Thursday, November 8, with a selection of rare and illuminating autographs, letters and other items from artists, authors and musicians, as well as figures from American history and beyond.

Among artist highlights is an illustrated autograph note signed, dated July 10, 1959, from Joan Miró to the MoMA Director of Exhibitions and Publications, Monroe Wheeler. Written in French, the note reads, “Returning home, and with the nostalgia of your country, I send you a friendly memory,” with a drawing by the artist of a figure surrounded by three stars in his recognizable hand. The letter is accompanied by a fancifully addressed envelope (Estimate: $6,000-9,000). Also in the sale: a signed birthday card that contains a still-life drawing by Jacob Lawrence ($2,000-3,000).    

The highlight among literary autographs in the sale is a group of letters from Kurt Vonnegut to members of his family, largely from his time enlisted in the army during WWII. Vonnegut was an American writer best known for his science-fiction infused anti-war novel Slaughterhouse-Five. The offering of 12 letters touch on various subjects covering the War, love, alcohol and art, and contain small drawings and doodles by a young Vonnegut ($4,000-6,000).  

A written acceptance to the birthday party of a friend’s daughter from Charles Dickens, written in the dialect of the character Mrs. Gamp from Martin Chuzzlewit, is estimated at $4,000 to $6,000. Additional literary figures include Mark Twain, with an autograph letter signed SL. Clemens, explaining that target of his new book is the founder of Christian Science (not its followers), offered at $3,000 to $4,000; and an undated manuscript journal entry by Henry David Thoreau recounting a meeting with Hugh Quoil, a character in Walden ($3,000-4,000).

A typed letter signed, from Igor Stravinsky to conductor Bernardino Molinari, is available for $4,000 to $6,000. The letter, written in French, explains how Rite of Spring should be performed and features three bars of music in holograph. In the letter Stravinsky explains that Molinari should “…use my Columbia record where The Rite is recorded under my direction and you will therefore be able to find the answers to a lot of your questions.”

Civil war autographs include the top lot in the sale, an 1861 letter, in uncommonly good condition, from Robert E. Lee to the colonel of the Kanawha Valley troop volunteers, aiming to boost their morale ($15,000-25,000); and a letter from a Confederate Major Inspector-General desperately requesting resources to supply livestock for the siege of Petersburg. Endorsements on the sheet, including two by President Jefferson Davis, show his request was rejected and paint a picture of the declining ability of the Confederates to prosecute the war ($2,500-3,500).

An autograph letter signed, dated December 9, 1874, from Mary Todd Lincoln is estimated at $3,500 to $5,000. Written on mourning stationary, the letter is addressed to the wife of her lawyer, expressing the former first lady’s enjoyment of the Florida sunshine, but also her disdain for the “rebel horde” (members of Florida society) that had been continuously visiting her.

Other Americana highlights include Susan B. Anthony’s message, written on her publisher’s stationary, to an unnamed editor asking for favorable review of The History of Woman Suffrage, 1881, expected to bring $2,000 to $3,000.

The complete catalogue and bidding information is available at www.swanngalleries.com.

Additional highlights can be found here.

Image: Lot 356: Kurt Vonnegut, archive of 12 letters signed, to his family, including 6 illustrated, 1930s-40s. Estimate $4,000 to $6,000.

 

Hark! Hark!.jpgGlen Allen, Virginia - You can't turn on the television or check your mail without seeing a political ad these days, but political propaganda of the past was very different - and more decorative. In the early 20th century, political viewpoints still filled the media in newspapers, magazines, and specially printed broadsides, and one of the more popular means for spreading such propaganda was in the form of maps. These "persuasive" maps were often bright, colorful works of art that caught the reader's eye and could influence opinions. An impressive selection of these political and persuasive maps will be offered at Old World Auctions in their online auction from November 1-14.

World War I witnessed an explosion of political maps intended to convince a nation's population to rally behind their country's war efforts. Three superb examples are Hark! Hark! The Dogs Do Bark! by G. W. Bacon & Company (1914), Humoristische Karte von Europa im Jahre 1914 by Karl Lehmann-Dumont (1914), and Gedrangte Fruhjahrsubersicht von Europa im Jahre 1915 by Lucas Grafe (1915). Hark! Hark!, estimated at $1,800-2,400, gives a British view at the outbreak of the war with each principal country in the conflict depicted as a Dog of War. Germany is an aggressive Dachshund, Britain is a protective bulldog, and France is a dandified poodle. Humoristische Karte and Gedrangte Fruhjahrsubersicht, estimated at $1,300-1,700 and $1,800-2,200 respectively, give a German perspective of the war, with countries symbolized by political caricatures, such as a Russian armed with a bottle of vodka and Britain personified as John Bull.

Other political maps focus on topics that are still relevant today, such as nationalism and the influx of immigrants. The February 1916 cover to Life Magazine warned readers of what might happen if the United States did not protect itself both at home and abroad against a strong German Empire. On this cover, titled My Country, 'Tis of Thee and estimated at $190-220, the United States has been renamed "New Prussia" with Germanized versions of various cities. Perhaps a modern-day version of this map would feature the U.S. as "New Russia."

A Friendship Map, estimated at $120-150, was published by the National Council of Churches in 1956 to promote tolerance of the numerous immigrant groups throughout the United States. The map advocates "That in our Freedom others may be free!" and shows the myriad industries that rely on various religious and ethnic groups to flourish - even "migrant workers" and "wet backs" are deemed friends.

In addition to these political maps, Old World Auctions' November 14 sale will feature over 700 antique maps, atlases and books spanning five centuries of history. The auction catalog will be available online beginning on October 31 at www.oldworldauctions.com. Register to bid at www.oldworldauctions.com/register

Established in 1977, Old World Auctions is the leading specialist in antique maps. The company has researched and listed over 100,000 maps and atlases in their auctions, and offers their research free to the public through their online archive. Old World Auctions offers a 100% money-back guarantee on the authenticity and condition report of every item sold and maintains an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. The company is owned and operated in Glen Allen, Virginia, by University of Virginia alumni, Eliane & Jon Dotson. 

Image Caption: Hark! Hark! The Dogs Do Bark! / Horch! Horch! Die Hunde Bellen! by G. W. Bacon & Company, 1914. Estimate $1,800-2,400.

ejdepfjlbefclkik.jpgNew York - Swann Auction Galleries’ auction of Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books on Tuesday, October 16 garnered eager interest from bibliophiles, exceeding the sale’s high estimate and earning more than 750K. In a focused offering with just under 300 lots, 95% of works found buyers, with particularly active bidding for incunabula, Philippine imprints and works on science. Tobias Abeloff, Specialist of Early Printed Books at Swann Galleries, noted of the sale, “Heavy bidding on illustrated incunabula and a scarce early Philippine navigation manual pushed prices well above their estimates.”

The top lot of the sale was a fifteenth-century edition of Reysen und Wanderschafften durch das Gelobte Land, Strassburg, 1488, by Jean de Mandeville, which sold for $106,250. The book, a seventh edition in German, translated by Otto von Diemeringen, is especially noteworthy as an account of the known world dating from the mid-fourteenth century and mentions the Holy Land, routes there from Europe, and Asia and Africa.

Additional incunables featured Giovanni Boccaccio’s De claris mulieribus, Louvain, 1487, the third edition of the first published work of female biography, as well as its first edition in Spanish, De las mujeres illustres en roma[n]ce, Zaragoza, 1494. The books reached $27,500 and $45,000, respectively. A first edition of the rule of St. Benedict establishing guidelines for monastic life, published 1490, Venice, earned $7,500.

Philippine imprints did exceptionally well with José Bueno Cabrera González’s Navegación Especulativa, y Prácica, Manila, 1734, bringing $55,000, a record for the work. Other notable Philippine works included a first edition of a history of the Franciscan mission to the Far East by Juan Francisco de San Antonio (Price Realized: $18,750); Juan de la Concepción’s Historia General de Philipinas, Manila, 1788-92 ($16,250); and a first edition of Pedro S.J. Murillo Velarde’s Historia de la provincial de la Compañia de Jesús, Manila, 1749 ($6,500).

A popular selection of scientific works was led by a first edition of James Clerk Maxwell’s classic A Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism, Oxford, 1873, which brought $7,800. A first edition of an account of Robert Hutchings Goddard’s early jet propulsion experiments, A method of Reaching Extreme Altitudes, Washington, D.C., 1919, garnered $7,500; and a first edition in English, from a limited 350 copies, of Sir Isaac Newton’s Two Treatises of the Quadrature of Curves, London, 1745, sold for $7,250.

The next auction of Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books at Swann Galleries will be held in Spring 2019. The house accepts consignments on a rolling basis: contact Tobias Abeloff, tabeloff@swanngalleries.com, with inquiries.

Image: Lot 93: Jean de Mandeville, Reysen und Wanderschafften durch das Gelobte Land, Strassburg, 1488. Sold for $106,250.

62.jpgChicago--Potter and Potter's highly anticipated fall sale did not escape the interest - or pocketbooks - of Houdiniana enthusiasts worldwide! After the hammer fell for the last time, 47 lots realized between $1,000-3,999; 12 lots made between $4,000-7,499, and four lots exceeded $7,500. Prices noted include the company's 20% buyer's premium. 

Houdini handcuffs and apparatus were heavy metal favorites in this auction. Lot #68, a pair of Providence Tool Co. handcuffs from the Houdini-Wresch Collection, made $11,400 on its $4,000-6,000 estimate. This marked, 19th century set included its original key and was accompanied by a series of letters fully documenting its provenance and chain of ownership from the Houdini family onward. Lot #69, a screw-key barrel padlock from the Houdini-Dunninger Collection, beat its low estimate more than five times over to sell at $5,520. This iron, center-recessed example included its original key and multiple provenance documents. And lot #69a, a handsomely framed barrel key from Houdini’s collection traded hands at $3,360 on its $700-900 estimate. Its presentation included a photograph of Houdini in cuffs, locks, and chains; a linen mat; and an engraved presentation plaque.  

Books and publications written by or about Harry Houdini were also best sellers at this event. Lot #1, a truly rare and incredible 1898 copy of Houdini’s own Magic Made Easy by Harry Houdini. King of Cards…Monarch of Shackles and Handcuffs sold for $9,600 on its $3,000-4,000 estimate. According to our President, Gabe Fajuri, "I never thought I'd see, let alone sell a copy of this Houdini pitchbook, published before his rise to fame, when he was truly "down and out," forced to sell the secrets behind  magic tricks to help make ends meet." Lot #5, The Famous Houdini. The Original Jail Breaker and Hand Cuff King realized $7,200 on its $900-1,200 estimate. This 1907 publication included advertisements for Houdini’s Conjuror’s Monthly on its inside front and rear covers. And lot #53, an inscribed copy of the Thrilling Episodes of John Clempert from 1909 made $720 on its $100-200 estimate. This lot included a cabinet photo of John Clempert (1878-1940) seated before four shirtless men and a snapshot of Clempert standing on a wooden platform. Clempert was an escape artist like Houdini, albeit lesser known. 

Houdini related ephemera was well represented in this sale, with a full range of posters, photographs, brochures, and promotional materials on offer. Lot #62, an eight-sheet (109” x 86”) color lithograph billboard from 1924 titled Buried Alive! Egyptian Fakirs Outdone. Master Mystifier realized $7,800. This visually stunning example pictured Houdini’s head floating above an Egyptian scene featuring the Sphinx. Lot #78, a candid, sepia-toned photograph of a Houdini underwater escape stunt sold for $3,600 - more than five times its high estimate. This c. 1910s example pictured Houdini in restraints in mid-air, diving into the water from a gazebo, surrounded by a small crowd of witnesses. And lot #251, a throw out card from magician Okito (Tobias Bamberg, 1875-1963) made $3,600 - three times its low estimate. This example, from around 1907, is the only known one of its kind. 

The results of this Houdiniana auction solidify Potter & Potter’s reputation as the best choice for buying and selling historically important archives. Lot #274, an archive of magicians’ correspondence and ephemera from the Horst Mueller Collection generated $2,640 and a whopping 39 bids. This 100+ piece collection, spanning the 1960-1990 time frame, included  a Chicago greeting card signed by Ricky Jay, Jay Marshall, and other magicians; several Alois Kassner signed letters; Stanley Jaks signed and inscribed lecture notes; letters from the Secretary of The Prince of Wales, on Buckingham Palace letterhead; and many other treasures. 

And lot #59, a group of 19 pitch books and pamphlets on escape artists from the 1900s through the 1930s realized $1,440 on its $300-400 estimate. 

This signature sale came full circle with museum-quality selections of magic related antiques and apparatus, modern and vintage automatons, and other intriguing rarities. Lot #256, badges to the Magicians’ Club London and other fraternal organizations belonging to German magician Kalanag (Helmut Schreiber, 1903-1963) made $960 on their $200-300 estimate. Kalanag’s carved figural ivory-tipped wand - lot #260 - sold for $3,840 on its $700-900 estimate. Lot #275, a Blooming Orange Tree automaton and music box made by French artist Pierre Mayer in 2005 blossomed at $9,000, three times its low estimate. And rounding things out here, lot #290 - a turned hardwood cannonball vase - made $5,760. This 19 ½” example was nearly identical in appearance to the vase illustrated in the pages of Thayer’s Magical Woodcraft catalog from 1912.  

According to Gabe Fajuri, President at Potter & Potter Auctions, “We were pleased to see strong results in all categories, especially for the choice and rare material. No magician draws a crowd like Houdini, some ninety two years after his death, and the sales of his pitch books, photographs, and posters prove that point in spades.”

Potter & Potter, founded in 2007, is a Chicago area auction house specializing in paper Americana, vintage advertising, rare books, playing cards, gambling memorabilia, posters, fine prints, vintage toys, and magicana - antiques and collectibles related to magic and magicians. The company's next sale, Freakatorium: The Collection of Johnny Fox, will be held on November 10, 2018.  For more information, please see www.potterauctions.com.  Follow us on Facebook (potterandpotterauctions), Twitter (PnPAuctions), and Instagram (potterauctions). 

Image: Buried Alive! Egyptian Fakirs Outdone. Master Mystifier. Houdini. Sold for $7,800

SEFXS0lORy5QTkc=.pngLondon - A brilliant mind whose discoveries have shaped our understanding of the universe, Stephen Hawking, who died on 14 March this year, is one of the most well regarded physicists of all time. Christie’s is honoured to present a remarkable selection of 22 lots from the legendary physicist’s estate during an online sale entitled ‘On the Shoulders of Giants’, taking place between 31 October - 8 November.

The lots featured in Christie’s online sale range from the offprints (the scientist’s own printed copies) of his most important papers, including his seminal ‘Black hole explosions’ of 1974, to a selection of his medals and awards, a copy of his best-selling ‘A Brief History of Time’ (1988) signed with a thumbprint, a bomber jacket, and the script for one of his appearances on The Simpsons. Estimates in this auction start as low as £100.  The last lot of the sale, one of Hawking’s iconic wheelchairs, will be sold to benefit the Stephen Hawking Foundation and the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

Thomas Venning, Head of the Books and Manuscripts department, Christie’s London comments: It has been a huge privilege for Christie’s to work on this selection of objects from the estate of one of the most brilliant minds of the last half-century. The lots selected for sale highlight Professor Hawking’s remarkable achievements in science alongside his unique personality and inspirational life story. The sale concludes with Professor Hawking’s wheelchair, in which he both toured the world as a successful scientific communicator, and from which his mind voyaged to the outer reaches of space-time, making it literally and figuratively one of the most-travelled wheelchairs in history. 

Lucy Hawking comments - We are very pleased to have the assistance of Christie's to help us with the important matter of managing our beloved father's archives and his unique and precious collection of personal and professional belongings, chronicling his life and work. We hope to be able to offer our father's archive to the nation through the Acceptance in Lieu* process as we feel it is a huge part of his legacy but also of the history of science in this country. We are also giving admirers of his work the chance to acquire a memento of our father's extraordinary life in the shape of a small selection of evocative and fascinating items. In addition, we will be auctioning one of our father's historic wheelchairs, the proceeds of which will be donated to the Motor Neurone Disease Association and the Stephen Hawking Foundation

A highlight of the group is Hawking’s thesis typescript, an opportunity not to be missed for collectors (estimate: £100,000-150,000). When Professor Stephen Hawking’s PhD thesis was made available online by Cambridge University in October 2017, it proved so popular that it crashed the University’s website. Christie’s is pleased to be offering one of only five original copies of his thesis alongside early editions which celebrate the scientist’s genius. 

When he wrote his thesis in October 1965, Hawking was already suffering with the early symptoms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (‘ALS’), and it was his wife Jane, whom he had married three months earlier, who typed out the 117 pages of the document, painstakingly adding the mathematical equations by hand. The thesis is signed in Hawking’s distinctively shaky handwriting, with the statement ‘This dissertation is my original work. S.W. Hawking’. Of the 22 lots featured in the sale, 12 are offprints of Hawking’s most important papers, including ‘Origin of Structure in the Universe’, ‘Spectrum of Wormholes’ and ‘Fundamental Breakdown of Physics in Gravitational Collapse’, illustrated below. The online sale ‘On the Shoulders of Giants’ will present these offprints alongside rare and important autograph letters and manuscripts by leading scientific forebears including Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin and Albert Einstein. News regarding this auction will be announced in the coming days. 

chfjkadmolbkbcko.jpgNew York-An auction of Old Master Through Modern Prints on Thursday, November 1 at Swann Galleries offers a grand selection of prints by Pablo Picasso. Rare and museum-quality prints from the fifteenth-to-twentieth centuries act as an overview of the evolution of Western printmaking and chronicle the dramatic changes of the second half of the millennium.

European works from the early twentieth century are led by a powerful selection of works by Pablo Picasso. Hailing from the artist’s Blue Period, Le Repas Frugal, 1904, presents an allegorical scene constructed from glimpses into the lives of those living in poverty (Estimate: $100,000-150,000). Flûtiste et Trois Femmes nues, 1932, is one of 100 Neoclassical-style subjects Picasso etched for Suite Vollard, valued at $8,000 to $12,000. Late color linoleum cuts include La Femme au Chapeau, 1962, which spotlights the artist’s second wife Jacqueline Roque, and Le Vieux Roi, 1963 ($80,000-120,000 and $15,000-20,000, respectively).

Additional works from the twentieth century include Les Chevaux Daliniens, 1972, a complete set of 25 color lithographs with embossing by Salvador Dalí ($15,000-20,000); René Margritte’s Trois Pommes, circa 1968 ($1,200-1,800); and Alberto Giacometti’s scarce, early etching, Sans titre, 1935 ($10,000-15,000).

Exemplary works from old masters feature Rembrandt van Rijn’s The Windmill, 1641, at $70,000 to $100,000, and Albrecht Dürer’s Melencolia I, 1514 ($60,000-90,000). Other notable lots include The Drunken Silenus, 1597-1600, by Annibale Carracci, estimated at $2,500 to $3,500, and a run of prints by Francisco José de Goya, including Las Proverbios: Additional Plates, 1824, which features the complete set of four aquatints ($5,000-8,000).

Mary Cassatt is represented in the sale with Baby’s Back, a scarce print from 1890 ($10,000-15,000); Baby’s Lullaby, circa 1887 ($6,000-9,000); and Marjorie Wearing a Dress with Puffed Sleeves, circa 1895 ($7,000-10,000). Also, from the nineteenth century come a slew of works by James Jacques Tissot. The assortment is led by Octobre, 1878, an etching based on the painting of the same name from 1877, and depicts Mrs. Kathleen Newton, the artist’s frequent model and companion, also featured in L’Été, 1878 ($15,000-20,000 and $2,000-3,000, respectively).

Latin American material includes Rufino Tamayo’s Galaxia, 1977, at $5,000 to $8,000, and an array of works by David A. Siqueiros.

A strong selection of works by American printmakers is led by East Side Interior, 1922, one of Edward Hopper’s most celebrated etchings, which displays the artist’s use of heavy chiaroscuro and strong, dark hatching ($50,000 to $80,000). George Bellows’s lithograph, Introducing the Champion, 1916, is estimated at $4,000 to $6,000. A substantial amount of prints by Thomas Hart Benton include Wreck of the Ol’ 97, 1944, which pictures the famous Southern Railway locomotive as it derails at Stillhouse Trestle near Danville, Virginia in September of 1903 ($10,000-15,000).

The complete catalogue and bidding information is available at www.swanngalleries.com

Additional highlights can be found here.

Image: Lot 332: Pablo Picasso, Le Repas Frugal, etching and drypoint, 1904. Estimate $100,000 to $150,000.

 

Bob Dylan lyrics.jpgWestport, CT - A rare, 1785 hand-colored portrait engraving of George Washington, printed for and sold by the London publisher Carington Bowles (British, 1724-1793), will be a featured lot in University Archives’ next online-only auction, slated for Wednesday, October 31st. Live bidding for the 283-lot auction is scheduled to start promptly at 10:30 am Eastern time. 

As with all University Archives auctions, this one is loaded with rare and highly collectible autographed documents, manuscripts, books, photos and relics. The full catalog can be viewed now, at www.UniversityArchives.com. Online bidding is being provided by the major platforms, Invaluable.com and LiveAuctioneers.com. Telephone and absentee bids will also be accepted.

Major categories in the sale include JFK and many other U.S. presidents, and scientific items (to include Darwin, Freud and Marie Curie). Additional highlight lots will include Bob Dylan’s handwritten and signed lyrics to The Times They Are A-Changin’; John F. Kennedy’s personally owned rosary beads; and a letter written by then-Gen. George Washington, dated Feb. 26th, 1780.

“We’re always strong in Americana, with the presidents and the Rev and Civil Wars, but this sale also has strong foreign consignments, too,” said John Reznikoff, the president and owner of University Archives. “We have many British Monarch items that are tastefully framed and were originally purchased from notable autograph dealer Kenneth Rendell. On top of that I note a very unusual WWII period huge Hirohito document which includes a decorative award that is quite a piece of art. Also, a rare Czarina Catherine (the Great) signed document and a handful of others.”

The Washington portrait engraving - an exquisite framed mezzotint measuring 12 ¾ inches by 9 ¾ inches - has an international pedigree. It was engraved from a painting by Jean-Baptiste Le Paon (French, 1738-1785), with elements of Charles Wilson Peale (American, 1741-1827) and Noel Le Mire (French, 1724-1793). And of course, it’s of a U.S. president, shown in a full-length portrait, with a slave or servant tending his horse, plus historic documents (est. $3,000-$4,000).

With a pre-sale estimate of $50,000-$60,000, Dylan’s handwritten signed lyrics to the iconic The Times They Are A-Changin’, penned on an 8 inch by 10 inch sheet, could end up as the sale’s top lot. The lyrics and signature were authenticated by Dylan’s manager. The bi-fold letter written and signed by George Washington in 1780 is addressed to Nathaniel Greene, the noted Rev-War general. In it he addresses ongoing concerns about supplies for the troops (est. $15,000-$17,000).

JFK’s personally owned rosary beads had been previously gifted, via donation, by Kennedy’s mother, Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, in 1974, to Sister Fabiola Parent of the Sinsinawa (Wisc.) Sisterhood and curator and founder of the Sinsinawa Rosary Museum (est. $20,000-$24,000). Also, a copy of the special edition of LIFE magazine from 1961, for the inauguration of JFK, one of only three known copies that were signed by Kennedy, carries an estimate of $4,000-$5,000.

A two-page letter handwritten and signed by the evolutionary theorist Charles Darwin (British, 1809-1882), dated “Jan 31”, should gavel for $6,000-$7,000. The letter is to Darwin’s lawyer, Thomas Salt, and regards the family home in Shrewsbury. Also, items pertaining to aviation pioneer Orville Wright - a check dated Aug. 11, 1917 and signed by him, an original part from his plane and a print of the Wright Brothers’ first flight - is expected to soar to $3,000-$4,000.

A large, Japanese World War II-era document, in which Emperor Hirohito of Japan confers the Imperial Order of Meiji upon Eiichi Yamamoto, with the Star of the Order of the Sacred Treasure, signed in Japanese and dated April 18, 1940, should bring $4,000-$4,500; while an outstanding studio portrait of Wild West showman “Buffalo Bill” Cody in full Western costume, with a hat and rifle, signed by him and with a charming inscription, should garner $3,500-$3,750.

With the baseball post-season in full swing, what fan wouldn’t appreciate a mini Adirondack bat signed by some of the game’s all-time greats? These include DiMaggio, Mantle, Mays, Torre, Banks, Aaron, Bench, Williams, Ford, Perez, Gibson, Clemente, Musial and Rose (est. $3,000-$4,000). Also, a Bicentennial (1776-1976) Executive Service Badge (the short-lived precursor agency of the Secret Service), brass and painted red, white and blue, should make $600-$700.

A document dated 1774, probably a military appointment, signed by Russian Empress Catherine (the Great) II (1729-1796), as “Ekaterina” in the lower right corner, printed in Russian Cyrillic lettering on parchment, is estimated at $3,000-$3,500. Also, a one-page letter written in French and signed by Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821), as “Napol”, in which he outlines a grueling marching schedule, penned at Finckenstein Palace in May 1807, should rise to $1,500-$1,600.

A letter written by Union officer David Farragut on July 16, 1862, from his flagship Hartford during the bombardment of Vicksburg, Miss., during the Civil War, on the day Farragut was promoted to Rear Admiral (unbeknownst to him) carries an estimate of $1,500-$1,700; while a newspaper account of the Boston Massacre and the resulting political tensions in its aftermath, as described in the Boston Gazette and Country Journal, July 16, 1770, should fetch $1,000-$1,200. 

As with all University Archives online auctions, this one is packed with important, scarce and collectible signed documents and other items relating to some of the most famous names in all of history. The firm has become world-renowned as a go-to source for rare material of this nature.

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, October 31st internet-only auction, please visit www.universityarchives.com.

Image: Bob Dylan’s handwritten and signed lyrics to the iconic song The Times They Are A-Changin’, penned on an 8 inch by 10 inch sheet, authenticated by Dylan’s manager (est. $50,000-$60,000).

mummy 3.jpgNew York—Sotheby’s presents the opportunity to acquire one of the rarest and most highly-coveted film posters in existence: an original 1932 film poster for the horror classic The Mummy starring Boris Karloff. A seminal example of the graphic design pioneered by Hollywood studios during their ‘Golden Age of Horror’, this stone lithograph will be offered in a single-lot, online-only auction this month. Bidding is now open and will close on Halloween, 31 October. 

The present poster last sold at Sotheby’s New York in 1997 for $453,500 - at the time marking a world auction record for a single film poster, a title it held until 2014. The Mummy reemerges at Sotheby’s this month with an estimate of $1/1.5 million, which would once again earn it record status. Sotheby’s will exhibit the work in their New York galleries from 14 - 18 October. 

Designed by Karoly Grosz, Universal’s advertising art director, the poster is an early representation of the aesthetics that continue to influence poster design to this day: vivid, painterly splashes of color, a dynamic composition, and minimal white space. Depicting Boris Karloff in the title role that cemented his place as a film icon, and Zita Johann, the subject of his mummy’s desire, the poster was exclusively created for theaters’ promotional purposes and never made available to the public. Given the ephemeral nature of posters from this era — most were pasted over or discarded after a film’s run — The Mummy poster on offer is incredibly rare: it is one of only three examples known to exist and remains in its original, unbacked state. After setting the auction record at Sotheby’s in 1997, the present example was included in the 1999 exhibition ‘The American Century: Art and Culture 1900-2000’ at the Whitney Museum of American Art. 

Among collectors, the posters for horror films of the 1930s are revered as the most desirable of all. This period, known as the ‘Golden Age of Horror,’ ushered in a new genre of cinema and approach to marketing movies. As silent movies gave way to ‘talkies’, horror films employed all the latest technological innovations to craft movies that shocked and provoked. Universal set the template for horror as we know it with a trio of films: The Mummy, Frankenstein and Dracula. These movies tapped into the fears and societal unrest between the World Wars, using Hollywood magic to transport audiences to fantastical worlds where good fought evil. Posters from this era played a key role in horror films’ impact, defining the images that would haunt audiences and loom in the cultural memory. 

Released ten years after the discovery of King Tutankhamen’s tomb, The Mummy is not only an emblem of cinematic history but a relic of popular culture from the time. The film married the vogue for all things Egyptian with the allure of the supernatural, providing a snapshot of the nation’s interests. The Mummy was unique in utilizing ambiance and aesthetics to create a sense of foreboding, rather than relying on thrill-inducing gimmicks, which makes the poster such a landmark piece of design. Undoubtedly one of the finest posters produced during this groundbreaking era in Hollywood, and the single best-preserved example to ever come to market, The Mummy is an invaluable cultural artifact.

efmgmmdehdbmghea copy.jpgNew York - An auction of Rare & Important Travel Posters at Swann Galleries on Thursday, October 25 promises thrills and worldwide destinations, abound with works highlighting transportation as well as renowned graphic artists.

The sale is led by a pair of winter vacation posters. Emil Cardinaux’s St. Moritz, 1918, portrays colorfully clad cross-country skiers and horse-drawn sleighs winding their way through the snow (Estimate: $15,000-20,000). Burkhard Mangold, a pioneer in modern Swiss poster art, is present in the sale with the 1914, Winter in Davos ($12,000-18,000). 

Brightly colored British poster maps are led by Leslie McDonald Gill’s Peter-Pan Map of Kensington Gardens, 1923, and The Country Bus Service Map, 1928, each are estimated at $3,000 to $4,000.

Posters advertising travel by land and air include a scene by Philip Zec highlighting the LMS Railway making its overnight trek to Scotland by moonlight ($12,000-18,000). Harold McCready’s Imperial Airways, 1929, delineates one of the airline’s three-engine aircrafts ($4,000-6,000). Zeppelin lots include Jupp Wiertz’s En 2 Jours vers L’Amérique du Nord!, 1936, which depicts the failed Hindenburg Zeppelin soaring over Manhattan, as well as Ottomar Anton’s Nach Südamerika in 3 Tagen!, 1936, which features the Graf Zeppelin, the sister ship of the Hindenburg, spanning the Atlantic Ocean ($8,000-12,000 and $4,000-6,000, respectively).

Ocean liner posters make a grand appearance in the sale with one of the larger offerings at Swann in recent years. Several works highlight the Cunard Line, including a majestic image of one of their four-funnel ocean liners sailing off into the sunset, circa 1920, and a circa 1925 poster by Kenneth D. Shoesmith, depicting the Aquatania being tugged out of the New York harbor ($1,500-2,000 and $7,000-10,000, respectively). Albert Sebille’s Frenchline, circa 1927, shows a bird’s-eye view of the Ile de France pulling into the harbor ($3,000-4,000).

Lots from a private collection include several posters by Chicago artist William P. Welsh advertising the Pullman Railway Company. Equipped with brilliant colors and Art Deco-styled patterns, the six Pullman posters were created between 1934 and 1935 and showcase the reduced rates, safety and comfort of the rail company.

Works that highlight leisure activities include Andrew Johnson’s North Berwick, circa 1930, which promotes Scottish golf, and Septimus Edwin Scott’s The Tennis Girl, circa 1925, advertises the Geneagles hotel and golf resort ($8,000-12,000 and $5,000-7,500, respectively).

A premier selection of work by Sascha Maurer features examples of his work for The Pennsylvania Railroad, including the cover lot of the sale, Atlantic City, circa 1940, starring a woman shielding her eyes from the bright Atlantic sun with the reflection of Atlantic City’s boardwalk in her sunglasses ($3,000-4,000).

A fleet of colorful works by Roger Broders are led by beach scenes. Antibes, circa 1928, a rare variant without the overprint, showcases two sunbathing women, and La Plage de Calvi. Corse, 1928, features a towel-clad woman standing with her face towards the sky, each are valued at $8,000 to $12,000.  

The complete catalogue with bidding information is available at www.swanngalleries.com

Additional highlights can be found here.

Image: Lot 165: Philip Zec, By Night Train to Scotland / LMS, 1932. Estimate $12,000 to $18,000.

 

Dallas - Known for his Emmy-winning roles playing curmudgeons, ranging from Lou Grant on The Mary Tyler Moore Show to Carl in the Pixar film UP, actor Ed Asner’s true character is that of a philanthropist and loving father who shared his passion for comic books with his children. Earlier this year, the legendary actor and founders Matt and Navah Asner opened The Ed Asner Family Center, to offer a host of programs, classes and therapy dedicated to promoting self-confidence in differently abled individuals. They plan to open in their new location in November.  

On Oct. 17, Heritage Auctions is hosting The Ed Asner Family Center Original Comic Art Charity Auction at HA.com/Asner. Today’s leading comic book artists, including Kevin Nowlan, Alex Ross, Jim Lee and more, have donated high-profile work for the online auction.

“The Asner family have always been comic book fans,” said Matt Asner, Ed Asner’s son and President of The Ed Asner Family Center. “We thought, ‘What can we do to raise the eyebrows of people and highlight creativity?’ We are incredibly excited about doing an original art sale. The Ed Asner Center represents unleashing creativity, and what better way of illustrating this than the world of comics?” 

Matt Asner said the core values and programming of the Center are based around creation of an environment that shows the limitless potential of children with different levels of ability, including autism, Down syndrome and developmental delays. “The arts are so important for instilling self confidence in people,” he said.

Matt Asner still remembers his father taking him to newsstands and bookstores while his father was a star on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. “I still remember the first comic book my father ever bought me,” Matt Asner said. “It was an Avengers reprint from 1970. He sees the great, creative atmosphere around comics. He gets it. He saw the creativity, the art and writing involved, and appreciated it.

“We are honored to have 70 pieces of original art from some of the brightest stars in comics in this special auction that we feel could only be done through Heritage,” Asner adds.  

Artists donated both individual work and collaborations, including:

Alex Ross; Adam Kubert, Tom Derenick, Danny Miki, Scott Hanna and Lary Stucker; Brent Anderson; Adam Hughes; Colleen Doran; Barry Crain; Dan Jurgens; Karine Charlebois; Cully Hamner; Eric Powell; Geof Darrow; Jerry Ordway; Jim Lee; Tom Raney and Scott Hanna; Jim Valentino and Steve Montano; José Luis García-López; Kelley Jones and Kevin Nowlan; John Cassaday; Mark Bagley and Andrew Hennessy; John Heebink and Aaron McClellan; Phil Hester; John Heebink and Fred Fredericks; Howard Chaykin; José Luis García-López; Lee Weeks; Karl Kesel; Denys Cowan and Bill Sienkiewicz; Michael Allred; Aaron Lopresti; Eduardo Risso; John Romita Jr.; Michael Cho; Barry Kitson; Bobby Rubio; Mike Hawthorne; Philip Tan; Steve Lieber, Mark McKenna and Robin Riggs; Mike Norton; Nicoletta Ceccoli; Ryan Sook; Ryan Stegman; Sandy Jarrell; Fernando Pasarin and Scott Hanna; Howard Porter and John Dell; Tom Everhart; Shawn Martinbrough; Adam Kubert; Sanford Greene; Sam Kieth; Jeff Parker; Tom Derenick; Mostafa Moussa; Danny Miki; Chris Samnee; Scott Hanna and Lary Stucker; Charles Schulz; Paul Pelletier and Sandra Hope; Bill Sienkiewicz; Igor Kordey and Scott Hanna; Paul Smith; Fabio Napoleoni; John Heebink and Don Hudson; Kelley Jones; Scot Eaton and Andrew Hennessy and Kevin Nowlan.

“We are very thankful for the contributions of these artists and the time and friendship of Kevin Nowlan,” Matt Asner said. “Kevin was Superman, Batman and Doctor Strange on this project. We also wish to thank Albert Moy, Spencer Beck, Animazing Gallery and Kurt Busiek for their contributions, as well.”

Select highlights include, Nowlan’s original cover art to Doctor Strange #19 (Marvel, 2017), the original cover art by Lee from Scooby Apocalypse #3 (DC, 2016) and variant cover original art by Cassaday for Captain America: Reborn #6 (Marvel, 2003), published in the popular six-issue series.

Bidding opens Oct. 3 for The Ed Asner Family Center Original Comic Art Charity Auction and concludes Oct. 17 at HA.com/Asner. The Center also offers donors several giving levels and even explains how contributions support various programming. Donations may be made at EdAsnerFamilyCenter.org.

God Letter_Einstein_for Press Release.JPGNew York - Christie’s is thrilled to announce the auction of one of the most important manuscripts by the 20th century’s most famous thinker, Albert Einstein’s God Letter (Estimate: $1,000,000 - 1,500,000) on 4 December 2018. This letter, which is addressed to philosopher Eric Gutkind, combines Einstein’s thoughts on religion, his Jewish identity, and his own search for meaning in life. Written a year before Einstein’s death in 1955, it remains the most fully articulated expression of his religious and philosophical views.

Peter Klarnet, Senior Specialist Books & Manuscripts, Christie’s remarks: “Christie’s is honored to present this important Albert Einstein letter at auction as it concerns themes that have been central to human enquiry since the dawn of human consciousness, and it is one of the definitive statements in the Religion vs Science debate.”

Einstein wrote this remarkable private letter in response to Gutkind’s book, Choose Life: The Biblical Call to Revolt. He offers his candid and unvarnished opinion that: “The word God is for me nothing but the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of venerable but still rather primitive legends. No interpretation, no matter how subtle, can (for me) change anything about this.” And despite a strong cultural affinity with the Jewish people, Einstein did not exclude Judaism from his critique: he admired and loved his people, but is clear in his belief that they were not “chosen” above others.

The letter stands as Einstein’s clearest and most important expression of his views on God, Religion, and man’s eternal search for meaning. This letter will be on public view at Pace Gallery in San Francisco on 25 October, at our San Francisco Office by appointment 29-31 October, and open to the public 1 November and in our New York galleries ahead of the auction from 30 November to 3 December. Tour details can be found on our website.

Image: Einstein, Albert (1879-1955). The God Letter. Autograph letter signed (“A. Einstein”) to Eric Gutkind, Princeton, 3 January 1954. Estimate: $1,000,000-1,500,000. To be offered in Albert Einstein. The God Letter, New York, 4 December.

 

Dallas - An oversized dye destruction print of one of the most iconic magazine cover images ever shot is expected to be among the top lots in Heritage Auctions’ Photographs Auction Oct. 12 in New York, an event that could eclipse $1 million total sales. The auction includes 430 lots from the 19th century to the 21st century, with collections of images by several photographers, including Steve McCurry, Eliot Porter and Jonathan M. Singer.

Steve McCurry’s Afghan Girl, 1984 (estimate: $30,000-50,000) captured the attention of readers worldwide when it appeared on the cover of National Geographic magazine in June 1985. The striking image captured Sharbat Gula when she was a 12-year-old Afghan girl in a refugee camp in Pakistan, her sea green eyes showing simultaneous curiosity and uncertainty - she never had been photographed before - about the camera pointed in her direction.

“This is the most recognized photograph in the history of National Geographic - I have heard it called ‘the First World’s Third World Mona Lisa,’” Heritage Auctions Photographs Director Nigel Russell said of the 36-1/2-by-24-1/2-inch image that is signed in ink lower margin recto by the photographer. “Her expression reveals an intimate glimpse into the way she is affected by the world around her.”

The auction features eight images by McCurry, including Dust Storm, Rajasthan, India, 1983 (estimate: $15,000-25,000), another oversized (37-1/8-by-24-5/8-inch) dye deconstruction print that is signed and annotated in black ink mount recto. One of three artist’s proofs from an edition of 25 + 3 APs, the image shows eight women huddled together, shielding themselves from the flying sand.

McCurry’s Ahmadi Oil Fields, Kuwait, 1991 (estimate: $15,000-25,000) is a powerful image taken during the Gulf War showing the juxtaposition of nature and the manmade world, with camels grazing while oilfields burn in the background. This 25-1/2-by-38-inch artist’s proof, from an edition of 15 + 1, is signed and annotated in ink mount recto.

Other featured works include:

·         Robert Mapplethorpe Tulips, 1979 (estimate: $10,000-15,000)

·         Erwin Blumenfeld Suzy Parker Solarized Profile with Jewelry, New York, 1946-47 (estimate: $10,000-15,000)

·         Wang Qingsong China Mansion, 2003 (estimate: $10,000-15,000)

·         Edward Steichen Still-life with Sink and Soap, 1930 (estimate: $8,000-12,000)

·         Lászlo Moholy-Nagy Light Space Modulator, 1930 (estimate: $6,000-8,000)

·         Julia Margaret Cameron Kate Keown, 1866 (estimate: $5,000-7,000)

·         Richard Avedon Mike Nichols, circa 1960 (estimate: $4,000-6,000)

·         Man Ray Serge Lifar as Sergeant in Barabau, 1925 (estimate: $4,000-6,000)

The auction includes 12 lots by Porter, a 20th-century American photographer known best for his photographs of nature, including:

·         Western Landscapes (complete with twelve photographs), 1988 (estimate: $6,000-8,000)

·         Portfolio One: The Seasons (complete with twelve photographs), 1951-1961 (estimate: $6,000-8,000)

·         There Is My Own Spirit Portfolio (10 Photographs), 1934-1963 (estimate: $5,000-7,000)

A doctor who turned his interest in photography into a career that included receipt of the Hasselblad Laureate Award and the Carl Linnaeus Silver Medal, Singer is known best for his botanical images. This auction includes eight, including:

·         Red Tower Ginger, 2008 (estimate: $1,000-2,000)

·         Orchid, from the series Botanica Magnifica, 2008 (estimate: $1,000-2,000)

·         Orange Flower Unique, 2008 (estimate: $1,000-2,000)

·         Tulips, from the series Botanica Magnifica, 2008 (estimate: $1,000-2,000)

The images by Porter and Singer come from the 104-lot collection of Jeffrey M. Kaplan, which also includes several lots of photographs from Henri Cartier-Bresson, Andre Kertesz and Camera Work photogravures. Kaplan’s “love of nature is evident in his comprehensive collection of works by Eliot Porter and the large-scale color flowers of Jonathan M. Singer,” Russell said. “His egalitarian approach to collecting meant that a Camera Work photogravure or a portrait of a Hollywood actress would hang proudly next to a Henri Cartier-Bresson or a Robert Mapplethorpe. This approach is also apparent by his collecting of works by lesser-known photographers. With Kaplan, it is the image itself that is his prime consideration.”

88424c7d-8adb-4b32-a249-eb69e36f7273.pngPhiladelphia—Freeman’s September 27 Books, Maps & Manuscripts auction, brought close to 500 lots of rare and important books, historical documents, prints, maps, and related ephemera to buyers and collectors. The sale, which was the first under new Department Head Darren Winston, totaled $342,550, with 80% of the lots sold, and 100% by value.

The day’s highlights included Lot 291, a first English edition of Common Sense by Thomas Paine, bound with his Plain Truth and several other complementary titles, which more than doubled its high estimate, selling for $28,750. Lot 58, An early 19th century complete collection of symphonies by Mozart and Beethoven soared past its presale estimate of $500-800, eventually selling after a spirited round of bidding for $12,500. The two volumes, which also included a collection of symphonies by Haydn, achieved over 15 times their estimate. An autographed letter signed by Alfred Nobel, from 1895 (Lot 392), also exceeded its presale estimate by a staggering margin, selling for $7,800 against an estimate of $500-800.

Lot 114, a first edition of Winnie-The-Pooh by A.A. Milne, signed by both the author as well as Ernest H. Shepard, the illustrator behind the darling characters in the Hundred Acre Wood, sold for $9,375, more than doubling its high estimate. A fantastic set in 24 volumes, by Charles Nodier, among others, entitled Voyages pittoresques et romantiques dans l’ancienne France, (Lot 246), is considered one of the most striking achievements in the history of printmaking, and represents one of the most monumental works of publication in France in the 19th century. It sold for $12,500. Of local interest, An Old Man’s Experience manuscript by Benjamin Franklin, sold for more than 30 times its presale estimate of $3,250, against just $100-150.

Lot 176, John Kennedy Toole’s A Confederacy of Dunces, recently featured on an episode of PBS’s The Great American Read as a Top 100 classic, sold for $6,250, setting a new auction record for a first edition of this cult classic. The book is signed by Walker Percy, who helped see the book into print and wrote its foreword. Since its publication in 1980, only 21 copies have come to auction. Of the 21, only two were signed by Percy. Lot 142, Lord of the Flies by William Golding, sold for over five times its estimate, for $3,510.

A three-volume set of John James Audubon’s, The Quadrupeds of North America, from 1856 (Lot 264) was the third edition and the last to be produced by the Audubon family, by sons Victor Gifford and John Woodhouse Audubon, who decided to issue this octavo edition of the enormous folio Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America (1845-1848), with the same text by John Bachman, during the last years of their father’s life. The lot sold for $10,000.

Freeman’s Books, Maps & Manuscripts Department is currently inviting consignments for their next auction, to be held in January. Suitable consignments will be accepted through October.

 

Lot 57-Curtis-lg.jpgNew York— On Thursday, October 18, Swann Galleries will offer the auction Artists & Amateurs: Photographs & Photobooks. A million-dollar lot leads the wide-ranging and high-value sale, which features historical and contemporary fine art photographers alongside standout vernacular material.

The sale is led by Edward S. Curtis’s The North American Indian. Complete with 20 text volumes, in original deluxe Levant binding, and corresponding portfolios, this set, #11, was among those reserved for J.P. Morgan, who later gifted it to the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. It is one of the earliest editions of Curtis’s magnum opus to be offered at public auction.

Curtis traveled extensively throughout the continental U.S. and Alaska and lived among Native peoples, which allowed him special access to document rituals and objects that inhabited this expansive region. In 1906 he secured a meeting with Morgan, who provided financial support for the monumental project. The North American Indian, 1907-30, is an unprecedented visual record, with thousands of beautiful images depicting the majesty of Native American culture. The set is expected to bring $1,000,000 to $1,500,000.

Earlier photographs documenting cultures include an album containing 200 hand-colored cartes-de-viste from Japan and China, including occupationals, military men, tattooed subjects, civic figures, criminals, aristocrats and tradeswomen, 1863-69. Artists in the album include Felice Beato, John Thomson and Frederick Sutton (estimate: $30,000-45,000).

Superlative vintage prints include Constantin Brâncusi’s Vu d’atelier, a circa 1928 silver print, featuring four of the artist’s iconic sculptures, is expected to bring $30,000 to $45,000.

From fine art and ethnography to exquisite amateur photographs: vernacular works include the album Bohemia Mid-Summer Junks, with 22 photographs of an exclusive male campground for the rich and famous, secreted in the California redwoods, and a binder containing 30 photographs of mafioso’s wives, mothers and gal pals including the infamous Bonnie (with Clyde), “Machine Gun” Kelly and a companion, and the glamorous Mrs. Al Capone ($2,000-3,000 and $1,000-1,500, respectively).

More contemporary fine art features a suite of 25 photographs by Malick Sidibé, in the artist’s custom frames and depicting the people of Bamako, Mali. Collectively the images convey the celebratory nature of “community” ($20,000-30,000).

A 1991 portfolio, with 12 Roy DeCarava’s hand-printed dust-grain photogravures, which include the artist’s iconic images of Harlem, is being offered at $50,000 to $75,000. While abstract works by Aaron Siskind are led by a suite of 50 original silver prints ($40,000-60,000). Further recent works by Zoe Leonard, Sally Mann, Marilyn Minter and Sandy Skoglund are also present in the sale.

Beyond the Curtis set, highlights among phtoobooks include contemporary Japanese artists. Highlights include Yasuhiro Ishimoto’s Aruhi Arutokor [Someday, Somewhere], Tokyo, 1958, comprised of black-and-white and color reproductions of Ishimoto’s compelling photographs of Tokyo and Chicago ($2,500-3,500); Eikoh Hosoe’s Embrace, Tokyo, 1971, boasts beautifully illustrated reproductions of Hosoe’s photos of the human body ($500-750); and Kazuo Kenmochi’s Narcotic Photographic Document, Tokyo, 1963, showcases images of Japan’s drug culture from the late 1950s to early 1960s ($800-1,200).

Also included are first editions of Richard Prince’s three books: Menthol Pictures, Menthol Wars, War Pictures, New York, 1980. The works are Prince’s first and rarest publication; they are offered together for $7,000 to $10,000.

The complete catalogue and bidding information is available at www.swanngalleries.com

Additional highlights can be found here.

Image: Lot 57: Edward S. Curtis, The North American Indian, complete with 20 volumes & 20 folios, set #11, volume one signed, 1907-30. Estimate $1,000,000 to $1,500,000.

66.jpgChicago — Potter & Potter Auctions is pleased to announce their upcoming Houdiniana sales event to be held on Saturday, October 20, 2018 starting at 10am at the company's gallery, located at 3759 N. Ravenswood Ave., Chicago, IL 60613. All items from this upcoming sale will be on display and available for preview on Thursday, October 18th and Friday, October 19th from 10:00am to 5:00pm in the Potter & Potter facility. 

True to its name, this sale offers a breathtaking array of materials and ephemera related to legendary magician Harry Houdini (1874-1926).  Although Houdini passed away more than nine decades ago, interest in his life story and legendary performances, as well as his impact on the entertainment industry, are still as strong as ever.  It’s go big or go home with lot #62, an eight-sheet (109” x 86”) color lithograph billboard from 1924 titled Buried Alive! Egyptian Fakirs Outdone. Master Mystifier. This can’t-look-away broadside advertises a sensational stunt that Houdini would never perform - an escape from a coffin buried under shovelfuls of heavy earth.  It pictures Houdini’s head floating above an Egyptian scene featuring the Sphinx.  It is estimated at $5,000-7,000.  Lot #95, a c. 1901 brochure titled Tremendous Success of Houdini is estimated at $500-750.  This four page publication from c. 1901 includes testimonials from London newspapers of various Houdini appearances at the Alahambra Theatre in 1900.  And lot #23, a pictorial newsprint brochure advertising Houdini’s performance at the Orpheum Theatre, is estimated at $250-350.  This c. 1914 rarity, titled The Justly World Famous Self-Liberator Harry Houdini, features a bust portrait of the magician on its cover.

There’s no denying Houdini’s appeal translated seamlessly across continents and cultures. Lot #22, a 1921 Spanish language cinema magazine promoting the films of Houdini is estimated at $200-300. The publication, Tras La Pantalla (After the Screen) includes halftone movie stills and drawings of Houdini. And lot #96, a 1903 Russian language color lithographed image of Houdini performing at the Yar is estimated at $250-350. It shows a caricatured Houdini on stage in locks and chains before an audience. The Yar was a Moscow restaurant that attracted elite social and political figures and featured top-tier entertainers. 

This sale’s offering of about 100 antique to modern magic book lots is bound to generate tons of interest.  Houdini scholar John Bushey specialized in Houdini pitch books and this sale includes some of the finest from his collection. Lot #1, a truly rare and incredible 1898 copy of Houdini’s own Magic Made Easy by Harry Houdini. King of Cards…Monarch of Shackles and Handcuffs is estimated at $3,000-4,000. It was published in Chicago by B. Schulman, and includes spirit photos of Houdini freed from shackles by a ghost, a merchandise catalog listing 62 props and apparatus, “Hints for Amateurs” and an ad for Prof. Harry Houdini’s “School of Magic” in New York.  Lot #208, a highly desirable first edition of S.W. Erdnase’s The Expert at the Card Table, is estimated at $6,000-9,000.   This 1902 book - considered an essential modern work on sleight of hand - is illustrated with over 100 drawings “from life” by Marshall D. Smith.  And lot #224, a rare copy of Burling Hull and Ormond McGill’s copiously illustrated The Encyclopedia of Stage Illusions is estimated at $400-600. Only 500 copies of this book were published in 1980; of these, many were suppressed due to copyright infringement.  

It’s all treats and no tricks when it comes to the apparatus available through this October Houdiniana sale.  Lot #290, a fine, turned hardwood cannonball vase is estimated at $4,000-6,000. It measures 19-1/2” high and is nearly identical in appearance to the one illustrated in the pages of Thayer’s Magical Woodcraft catalog from 1912.  Lot #327, a traveling ball vase set made at the turn of last century by Martinka, is estimated at $1,500-2,000. With this illusion, the performer lifts the lids, shows the audience red and blue balls, then replace the lids. Soon after, they again lift the lids to reveal that the red and blue balls have changed places.  And bird’s the word with lot #368, a modern vanishing bird cage made by Nielsen Magic of Las Vegas. This trick enables the performer to make a cage full of doves disappear silently, effortlessly, and smoothly with one move.  It is estimated at $1,200-1,500.

This sale’s selections of remarkable automatons should have collectors moving and grooving.  About a dozen fine examples are on offer, with several from French artist Pierre Mayer.  Lot #275, Mayer’s Blooming Orange Tree automaton and music box from 2005, is estimated at $3,000-5,000.  When the handle is turned, a small tree first grows flowers, then bears orange fruits. Finally, the orange at the top splits open to reveal a silk handkerchief pulled by two butterflies. This magnificently rendered piece is signed by the maker and is modeled after the famous automaton/magic trick of Robert-Houdin.  And lot #286, a c. 1990’s Satyr Head clockwork automaton from the Collectors’ Workshop of Middleburg, VA, is estimated at $4,000-6,000. Its design is based on 19th century models and consists of a heavily cast bronze satyr’s head with exposed works. When activated, the figure’s eyes and teeth move, the satyr’s grotesquely long tongue unfurls, and cards appear from his mouth and from between his horns. 

Potter & Potter Auctions enjoys a well-deserved reputation of being the world’s finest auction house for buying or selling magic-related archives.  For example, the company sold a Chicago Magic Roundtable 1946 scrapbook featuring signatures, brochures, business cards, photographs, letters, and newspaper clippings for $19,200 on a $2,000-3,000 estimate at its August, 2018 magic sale.  October’s auction also features outstanding magic collections. Lot #60, a group of ephemera related to escape artists from the first half of the 20th century is estimated at $800-1,200. This intriguing collection includes advertisements, signed publicity photographs, postcards, programs, letters, photographs, instructional booklets, and other ephemera, from performers including Doc Weiss, C.B. Yohe, J.H. Trudel, Murray, Nicola, Herbert Brooks, Earl Lockman, Maurice Raymond, Leon Hormori, and others. And lot #66, a small cloth autograph album signed by top talents from the 1909-1912 timeframe is estimated at $2,500-3,500. It includes inscriptions by 28 magicians, hypnotists, and ventriloquists, most notably Max Malini, Harry Houdini (signing “Harry Handcuff Houdini/The Original Handcuff King,” dated in his hand), Chung Ling Soo (signing “Sincerely Yours/Chung Ling Soo”, and adding Chinese characters), Dante (signing “Jansen”), and many others. 

This Houdini-themed comes full circle with comprehensive selections of posters, letters, props, photographs, and other antique magicana. Worth a second look is lot #61, a glass column double mystery clock after Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin. This fabulous example, estimated at $10,000-20,000 is handsomely decorated with a clear glass dial, a single arrow-shaped hand, Roman numerals, four griffins, and a pale emerald plush-covered base with gilt appliques.  In June, 2018 Potter & Potter sold a mid-nineteenth century Robert-Houdin glass column mystery clock for $36,000. Lot #149, a color lithograph, A Dream of Wealth. Chung Ling Soo, is estimated at $3,500-4,500.  This 30” x 20" linen-backed poster from 1915 features the magician producing endless quantities of coins and bank notes.  And finally, there’s no escaping lot #68, a pair of Providence Tool Co. Handcuffs from the Houdini—Wresch Collection. This marked, 19th century set of handcuffs includes its original key and is accompanied by a series of letters fully documenting its provenance and chain of ownership from the Houdini family onward.  It is estimated at $4,000-6,000.

According to Gabe Fajuri, President at Potter & Potter Auctions, “Houdini continues to inspire magicians and attract collectors - his memorabilia consistently commands high prices at auction. John Bushey was a personal friend, making this auction a bittersweet celebration of a truly passionate collector and scholar's lifelong pursuit of rare and desirable Houdini memorabilia.”

Image: Lot 66: Magicians’ Autograph Album. Estimate $2,500-$3,500 

Lot22StoryLTD.jpgMumbai — Rare photographs, albums, stereoscopic cards and photography books are among the 103 lots to be auctioned by StoryLTD on 9 - 10 October 2018. Titled Fine 19th Century Photographs of India, the online sale features the work of some of the leading early practitioners of photography in the country, including Lala Deen Dayal, Samuel Bourne, and Felice Beato, among others. This is the first dedicated auction of vintage photography to be held in India.

A signed presentation copy of an album of royal portraits (lot 22), which once belonged to the famous cricketer Maharaja Ranjitsinji, leads the sale with an estimate of INR 6.5 - 7.5 lakhs (USD 9,095 -  10,490). Comprising 70 individual carbon and platinum prints, the album comes with its original red cloth covering with elaborately bordered gilt, and illustrates the eager interest shown by Indian royalty in this new medium in the mid-19th century. 

The lots in the auction follow the evolution of the photographic medium over nearly 100 years. Photography arrived in India in 1840, soon after the Daguerreotype was made publicly available, and frequent travellers both to and from the country ensured that it kept up with international developments. The auction includes photographs created using various techniques prevalent over these years, including albumen prints, silver gelatin prints, ambrotypes, platinum prints, cyanotypes and stereoscopic cards. The wide presence of photographers in India also meant that some of its most significant moments were documented, including the 1857 mutiny, the Durbars and coronations, and the changing sociopolitical and topographical framework of the country, leading up to Independence in 1947. 

Maharajahs and rulers were among the foremost patrons of photography, often commissioning photographers to take ceremonial portraits of themselves in all their finery. Lala Deen Dayal, one of the first and most prolific Indian photographers of his time, benefited from his employment in the court of the sixth Nizam of Hyderabad, and eventually received the honorary title "Raja" for his services. Among his vast and versatile oeuvre were numerous royal portraits, 81 of which are included in this auction as a set (lot 15) estimated at INR 5 - 7 lakhs (USD 6,995 - 9,795).

Other highlights include a large collection of cased stereoscopic views of India, Europe, North America and South Africa (lot 11), with a presale estimate of INR 3.5 - 4 lakhs (USD 4,900 - 5,595). A circa 1850s hand-tinted cased ambrotype (lot 5), an invitation and panorama of the 1911 coronation Durbar in Delhi (lot 45), and a rare book by Henri Cartier Bresson titled Beautiful Jaipur (lot 93) are examples of the diverse lots on offer that would enhance the collection of any collector of photography from the period.  

The auction will take place on 9 - 10 October 2018 on storyltd.com, and is preceded by viewings at the Saffronart gallery in Mumbai from 3 - 10 October 2018 (excluding 7 October). All lots can be viewed on storyltd.com.

Auction

9 - 10 October 2018 on storyltd.com

Viewings in Mumbai

3 - 10 October 2018 (excluding 7 October 2018)

11 am - 7 pm, Monday to Saturday

Venue

Saffronart, Industry Manor, Third Floor

Appasaheb Marathe Marg

Prabhadevi, Mumbai 400025

Image: Lot 22: A photograph from the album Souvenir: The Installation of H.H. Maharajah Ranjitsinji Jam Saheb of Nawanagar, Kathiawad, 11 March 1907. Vernon & Co. Estimate: INR 6.5 - 7.5 lakhs (USD 9,095 - 10,490) Image courtesy of StoryLTD

179-Winton.jpgNew York - Swann Auction Galleries’ September 27 auction of Printed & Manuscript Americana was the highest-earning Americana auction at the house in the last six years, bringing $1.2M with 85% of lots selling. The day opened with a bustling auction room and a slew of bids for the morning session of The Harold Holzer Collection of Lincolniana and was proceeded by an equally successful afternoon session.

            Top lots from noted Abraham Lincoln scholar Harold Holzer’s collection included Portrait of the beardless Lincoln, by John C. Wolfe, which brought in $40,000; a fourth edition of the famous “Wigwam Print,” the first standalone print of Lincoln, which sold for $21,250; and a commission of William O. Stoddard as secretary to the president signed by Lincoln, 1861, which brought a record $18,750 for a printed commission signed by the president.

            The Lincolniana portion of the sale set several additional records, including one for any printing of the 16th president’s famous 1860 Cooper Union address at $5,000. Winfred Porter Truesdell’s important reference work, Engraved and Lithographed Portraits of Abraham Lincoln, 1933, brought $4,000; an Andrew Johnson impeachment trial ticket sold for $2,125; and Victor D. Brenner’s 1907 plaque, which served as the model for the Lincoln penny, was won for $4,500.

            The sale did not slow during the afternoon session: the top lot of the auction was Francis W. de Winton’s diary, containing notes on pow-wows with Indians during an official tour of western Canada, which sold for $65,000.

            Latin Americana was successful in this sale. The selection was led by Juan de la Anunciacón’s Sermonario en lengua mexicana, Mexico, 1577, a first edition book of sermons in Nahuatl, bringing in $30,000. Maturino Gilberti’s Thesora spiritual en lengua de Mechuacá, 1558, boasted $18,750; Juan de Palafox y Mendoza’s Historia real Sagrada, luz de principes, y subditos, 1643, sold for $11,250; and Juan Alonso Calderón’s Memorial historico, juridico, politico de la S. Iglesia Catedral de la Puebla, circa 1650, at $10, 625.

            Among many institutional bidders, William & Mary College won a collection of letters by Louise E. Blackmar, a Methodist missionary in India, to her stateside siblings, 1873-82. The Society of the Cincinnati’s library won a pair of letters by Charles McEvers describing unrest and British artillery fire in 1775.

            Rick Stattler, Director of Printed & Manuscript Americana at Swann Galleries, said of the sale, “This was one of the most successful sales in the history of Swann’s book department. The Holzer collection finished above the high estimate in the morning session, and the afternoon session brought $969,100, on its own merits, it would have been an exceptional Americana auction.”

            Swann Galleries’ Printed & Manuscript Americana department holds sales twice annually with an additional specialized African Americana auction held in March. Swann Galleries accepts consignment on a rolling basis.

Image: Lot 179: Francis W. de Winton, notes on pow-wows with Indians during an official tour of western Canada, 1881. Sold on September 27, 2018 for $65,000. (Pre-sale estimate: $15,000-25,000)

 

skinner picasso.jpgBoston—Skinner’s autumn auction of American & European Works of Art was a curated two-session offering of just over 350 lots of Prints, Multiples, and Photographs followed by Paintings, Sculpture, and Drawings. Both sessions saw active participation across all sales channels with over 1,000 registered bidders from the U.S., United Kingdom, Europe, and the Middle East participating online, by telephone, in the room and on partner platforms.

Robin S.R. Starr, Vice President, and department director remarks  “We saw heightened interest in artwork across medium and period, and continue to see strong results for fresh-to-the-market material from estates and private collections.  It is a global marketplace and nearly 40% by value sold to international buyers.”

The top lots of the sale were Jean-Léon Gérôme’s (French, 1824-1904) Evening Prayer, or Prayer in the East, which sold for $423,000, showcasing a work in a private family collection since it was last on the market in 1888.  A canvas by a student of Gerome, Julius LeBlanc Stewart’s (American, 1855-1919) Twilight on the Terrace, Paris sold for $135,000; and a sculpture by Louise Nevelson (American, 1899-1988) Maquette for Sky Landscape I (A) sold for $73,800. 

Prints and multiples were strong, especially for Modern and Contemporary blue-chip names like Warhol, Picasso, Turrell, and Miro.  Starr notes “Prints and are a terrific point of entry for new collectors and collector’s on limited budgets.  Buyers can acquire top artists at more reasonable prices.”

Overall, for both bidders and consignors, the auction was a success. Consignments are welcome for the January 2019 auction.

Image: Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881-1973) Le déjeuner sur l'herbe, 1964, edition of 50 (Ramié, 517) (Lot 99, Sold for $44,280)

82_Boccaccio_lg copy.jpgNew York - Swann Galleries will offer an auction of Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books on Tuesday, October 16, featuring notable works by and about women; a surprisingly deep number of Philippine imprints; and a collection of works on science.

Throughout the sale are a number of lots centered on women. Highlights include Giovanni Boccaccio’s De claris mulierbus, Louvain, 1487, the third edition of the first published work of female biography, containing lives of over 100 famous women from the biblical Eve to the fourteenth-century Queen Giovanna of Naples, and its first edition in Spanish, De las mujeres illustres en roma[n]ce, Zaragoza, 1494 (estimates: $15,000-25,000 and $20,000-30,000, respectively). L’Innocence de la tresillustre tres-chaste, et debonnaire Princesse, Madame Marie Royne d’Escosse, Reims, 1572, on Mary, Queen of Scots, was the Catholic response to the deposition and imprisonment of the Queen, establishing her as a loyal Catholic ruler, brought down by the plots and schemes of Protestant rebels ($800-1,200). Also available are The Female Spectator, 1775, by Eliza Haywood, which is considered the first periodical written for women by a woman, and a first edition of Constance: A Novel, 1785, by Laetitia-Matilda Hawkins, her first novel ($300-500 and $500-750, respectively).

Possibly the most unusual offerings in the sale are more than 30 seventeenth- and eighteenth-century books printed in the Philippines, and focusing on religion, history, current affairs and other subjects. The featured lot by José González Cabrera Bueno’s Navegación Especulativa, y Práctica, Manila, 1734, ($8,000-12,000). The book is the first navigation manual printed in the Philippines and one of the earliest significant scientific works to survive from the colonial period, when few technical works were published.

A fifteenth-century edition of Reysen und Wanderschafften durch das Gelobte Land, Strassburg, 1488, by Jean de Mandeville is being offered. The work is an account of the known world mentioning the Holy Land, routes there from Europe, and Asia and Africa ($15,000-25,000).

 Among illustrated works is Jean La Fontaine’s Fables Choisies, mises en Vers, a first edition of books 1-6, with 124 fables. It was published in Paris, 1668 and dedicated to the seven-year-old Dauphin of France ($10,000-15,000).

Scientific material includes a first edition in English of Sir Isaac Newton’s Two Treatises of the Quadrature of Curves, London, 1745, limited to 350 copies; and, A Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism, Oxford, 1873, a first edition work on electromagnetic theory of light by James Clerk Maxwell ($4,000-6,000 and $3,000-5,000, respectively). 

The complete catalogue with bidding information is available at www.swanngalleries.com

Additional highlights can be found here.

Image: Lot 82: Giovanni Boccaccio, De claris mulieribus, Louvain, 1487. Estimate $15,000 to $25,000.

Screen Shot 2018-09-27 at 8.46.02 AM.pngLondon-The 1960 Chatterley trial, the court case that heralded the transformation of the 1960s and helped to bring to birth a more liberal and permissive Britain, stands as a defining moment in British history. Marking the end of one epoch and the opening of another, it is justly regarded as the most celebrated obscenity trial in British literary history, during which D.H. Lawrence’s infamous novel, Lady Chatterley’s Lover, came under the spotlight and caused a media sensation from Land's End to John O'Groats. It was the trial that sold two million books, but one copy holds a unique place amongst all the others.

The judge’s copy, annotated for him by his wife, and housed for purposes of discretion in a damask bag with ribbon tie, is far from the only copy of the book to have been read with particular attention to the sex scenes, but as a document of the event, it is arguably the most important copy to have survived to this day. 

This autumn in London, Sotheby’s is set to offer the very book that the judge carried into court, some twenty-five years after it was acquired at auction by Christopher Cone as a present for his partner, the late Stanley J. Seeger. At the time establishing the highest price ever recorded for a paperback sold at auction, the annotated novel, together with its silk covering and hand-written list inserted within, now comes to auction with an estimate £10,000-15,000, and will be presented as part of a sale of property from their country home on 30 October.

The 1960 Chatterley trial, when Penguin Books were prosecuted for publishing the unexpurgated text of the novel, was of legal significance as it was a test case for the 1959 Obscene Publications Act. The new definition of obscenity lay behind Penguin’s decision to publish the novel, and it was also what enabled the trial to become a confrontation between a permissive and articulate liberal intelligentsia and an outmoded and philistine legal establishment. British attitudes to class, literature, censorship and the intellectual life clashed publicly as rarely before.

Before the trial Lady Dorothy Byrne (d.1969), wife of the presiding judge, the Hon. Sir Lawrence Byrne (1896-1965), read through the novel for her husband and marked up the sexually explicit passages. She is also understood to have stitched the blue-grey damask bag which provides the racy book’s demure covering, no doubt to prevent the press photographers from capturing the judge carrying a copy of the book.

On headed stationery of the Central Criminal Court, Lady Byrne compiled a list of significant passages with her comments - “love making”, “coarse” - noting the page number. These pieces of paper were loosely inserted inside the book, which itself contains her pencil markings, underlining, and occasional marginal notes. Under the new Act it was not enough to count the profanities (although the prosecution did this nevertheless: a work was to be judged obscene “if its effect... is, if taken as a whole, such as to tend to deprave and corrupt persons who are likely, having regard to all relevant circumstances, to read, see or hear” that work). This provided a key role to expert witness who could be considered qualified to judge sexually explicit passages in the context of the whole work.

Consequently, in a move that turned the trial into a spectacular piece of legal theatre, the defence called 35 eminent literary and academic figures, including E.M. Forster, Richard Hoggart, Rebecca West, and the Bishop of Woolwich, to give their opinions on Lawrence’s artistry, intentions, and treatment of sex.

The book also provided an inadvertent answer to the prosecution’s splendidly condescending question in its preliminary address, the absurdity of which raised a laugh amongst the jurors:

“...[W]ould you approve of your young sons, young daughters - because girls can read as well as boys - reading this book? Is it a book that you would have lying around in your own house? Is it a book that you would even wish your wife or your servants to read?”

The jury took just three hours to return their Not Guilty verdict. Mr Justice Byrne’s summing up had been fair but his private views were almost certainly glimpsed in his refusal to award costs, leaving the defendants with a substantial legal bill. Nevertheless, it was a great victory for Penguin -the publisher’s print-run of 200,000 sold out within a day, and sales reached 2 million in two years; a triumph for their avowed mission to make literature accessible to all. It is very likely that the jurors were influenced by the fact that the novel was being published by an imprint that was held in great public affection. In effect, the trial and the book paved the way for the freedom of the written word.

 

102.jpgNew York -- A collection of over 50 rare, original propaganda posters will be auctioned on Sunday, October 28th, by Poster Auctions International, Inc. (PAI), as part of the firm’s Rare Poster Auction #76. The collection includes World Wars I and II, the inter-war period, the beginnings of the Cold War, the Cuban Revolution and more. 

The sale overall will feature 475 lots, to include lithographs, maquettes, oil paintings and illustrations, plus rare books, with item estimates ranging from $500 to $350,000 - a wide range catering to all level of collector, from the beginner to the seasoned veteran. 

The sale will be held online, at posterauctions.com, and in the gallery, at 11 am Eastern. The PAI gallery is located at 26 West 17th Street in New York City, in lower Manhattan.

Artists in the catalog will be instantly recognizable to anyone familiar with the genre - iconic giants such as Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, A. M. Cassandre, Alphonse Mucha, Keith Haring, Andy Warhol, H. R. Hopps, James Montgomery Flagg, Howard Chandler Christy, Jules Cheret, Leonetto Cappiello, El Lissitzky, Theophile Steinlen and Yokoo. Most of the posters and maquettes will be from the Belle Epoque and Art Deco periods.enri H 

“The propaganda poster collection is of great importance,” said Jack Rennert, president of Poster Auctions International, Inc. “The issues we’re dealing with today, as a society, are little different from those of a century ago - conflicts over gender roles, economic inequality, rapid political change, ethnic violence and anti-Semitism among them.” 

Mr. Rennert added, “They are all inflamed by ‘fake news,’ incendiary memes, troll hordes and bots - the direct legacy of propaganda messaging pioneered a century ago. The public appreciates history, such as it does, in terms of battles, elections, social movements, and world leaders. The historical role of media is less of a consideration.” 

In part, he said, that’s because it’s transitory, of the moment, meant primarily for impact in the instant of eyeballing. “That constitutes a fundamental gap in our cultural memory, and in the historical record,” he said. “It’s why original poster art is so important and why this collection is of the utmost interest, not just to “affichomaniacs,” as poster enthusiasts are called, but also to anyone working at the intersection of media, culture and society.”

The propaganda collection includes multiple famous works by James Montgomery Flagg (e.g. I Want You for U.S. Army) and Howard Chandler Christy (e.g. Gee! I Wish I Were a Man), the two most prominent American posterists of the First World War. The entire collection, though, delves far beyond that. When browsing the catalog, bidders will see:

• the dialogue between the competing socialist parties of post-WWI Europe;

• the sparking and inflaming of anti-Semitic sentiment during the inter-war period;

• the various modes of American propaganda;

• post-WWI humanitarian outreach;

• propaganda in Vichy France; and

• exceptionally rare work by Fidel Castro’s chief propaganda artist.

Highlights from the auction overall include Toulouse-Lautrec’s first poster, the 1891 Moulin Rouge/La Goulue, which established the artist’s worldwide fame (est. $300,000-$350,000); plus numerous other famous and rare Lautrecs, including Le Jockey (est. $40,000-$50,000); P. Sescau / Photographe ($60,000-$70,000) and L’Anglais au Moulin Rouge, rarely seen at auction (est. $100,000-$120,000).   

From A. M. Cassandre will come four separate prints of his world-famous Art Deco triumph, Normandie - all from the opulent oceanliner’s inaugural cruise year of 1935, with slightly different text variants. It’s the first time all four 1935 lithographs have been offered simultaneously (est. $10,000-$18,000).

Thirty posters, decorative panels, maquettes and other material by Alphonse Mucha will come up for bid, including special printings of the 1897 and 1900 The Seasons set (est. $10,000-$40,000); and the finest specimen of the 1897 Monaco-Monte-Carlo PAI has ever seen (est. $17,000-$20,000). Also sold will be an especially superb lithograph of Bernhardt’s Lorenzaccio (est. $14,000-$17,000).

Twenty-three posters, rare books and unique items from the Russian Avant-Garde - including Lissitzky’s Beat the Whites with the Red Wedge (est. $3,500-$4,000) and Victory Over the Sun: Anxious People (est. $17,000-$20,000) - will conveniently coincide with a major exhibition on the period now at New York’s Jewish Museum.

Eighteen works by Chéret, including three variants of Palais de Glace (est. $1,000-$5,000) and three original studies: two in pastel, and one oil painting (est. $10,000-$20,000) will come under the gavel; while 27 posters and maquettes by Cappiello, including famous works such as the Maurin Quina (est. $2,000-$2,5000) and Parapluie-Revel (est. $3,000-$10,000) plus magnificent rarities like the 1927 Sizaire (est. $8,000-$10,000) will also be on offer.

Steinlen’s iconic Chat Noir (est. $6,000-$8,000) and the rare Motocycles Comiot (est. $20,000-$25,000) will be in the sale, as will extremely unusual items, such as an 18th-century, pre-French Revolution poster for the French Guard ($2,000-$2,500); and posters by Haring (est. $1,000-$2,000), Warhol (est. $30,000-$35,000) and Yokoo (est. $1,000-$2,000).

Also in the auction are rare and important propaganda posters from World War I to the Cuban Revolution, to include multiple lithographs by Flagg, Christy, Biró, and Rivadulla (Destroy this Mad Brute, Des Libérateurs, aka The Red Poster, and others); and a rarely seen 1925 maquette for singer-dancer Josephine Baker, by Colin (est. $10,000-$12,000).

For more information, please visit http://www.rennertsgallery.com/ and http://www.rennertsgallery.com/propaganda-lxxvi-rare-posters/

Jack Rennert, president of Rennert’s Gallery / PAI, is the world’s foremost authority on rare original poster art and is the author of over a dozen books on the subject, including the catalogue raisonée for the ‘father’ of modern French poster art, Leonetto Cappiello.

Image: Lot 102. Destroy This Mad Brute, 1917 H. R. Hopps (est. $7,000-$9,000)

NYC-Focused Collection Shines at Swann

lblodimccdehpfdp.jpgNew York - Swann Auction Galleries opened the fall season with a marathon sale of 19th & 20th Century Prints & Drawings, earning more than $2.4M. The September 20 auction offered 600 examples of fine and museum-quality works to a flurry of online and phone bidders.

The top lot of the sale was a brown and black linoleum cut by Pablo Picasso titled Grand nu Dansant, 1962, which sold for $70,000, an auction record for the print. Two other works by Picasso were top lots, including the etching Taureau ailé contemplé par Quatre Enfants, 1934, which sold for $35,000, and a second color linoleum cut, titled Mère, Danseur et Musicien, 1959-60, which sold for $30,000. Additionally, La Folie, 1958, a lithograph after the artist, sold for $11,250, more than double the original estimate.

Other notable lots included Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s The Embrace, a pencil drawing which sold for $27,500, and a Henri Matisse drypoint titled Mile Landsberg au viage rond, 1914, selling for $20,000.                    

Todd Weyman, Director of Prints & Drawings at Swann Galleries, noted of the auction, “collectors clearly have an appetite for American printmakers, as Architectural Splendor was a standout.”

The entire Architectural Splendor collection, which featured iconic views of New York, more than doubled its total estimate of $40,000, bringing over $80,000. The auction’s cover lot of John Taylor Arms’ etching, Downtown, New York, 1921, and John Marin’s etching of Downtown, The El, 1921 each doubled their original estimates selling for $9,375 and $8,750, respectively. Joseph Pennell’s Brooklyn Bridge at Night, 1922, exceeded expectations selling for $7,250 after being originally estimated at $1,800.

Several works by Edmund Blampied surpassed their predicted sales range: Chrysanthemums, 1930, which sold for $5,750; Anemones, 1930, which sold for five times its original estimate with a price realized of $10,625; and, Bar Scene, 1924, selling for $30,000.  

The next auction of Prints & Drawings at Swann Galleries, Old Master Through Modern Prints, is scheduled for November 1, 2018. Swann Galleries holds at least seven prints & drawings auctions each year and is currently accepting quality consignments for auctions in 2019.

Image: Lot 308: John Taylor Arms, Downtown, New York, aquatint and etching, 1921. Sold September 20, 2018 for $9,275.

Nagel again.jpgDallas, Texas - Five works by Patrick Nagel are expected to be among the most heavily pursued offerings in Heritage Auctions’ Illustration Art auction Oct. 12 in Dallas.

Nagel is known for his unique interpretation of women, often depicted with black hair and red lips juxtaposed against white skin, painted in a style that descended from Art Deco. His works regularly appeared in a number of publications - he frequently contributed images to Playboy - and on album covers, the best known of which was Duran Duran’s Rio album.

“Patrick Nagel was one of those artists whose style was so unique, so distinct, that his works are recognized instantly by collectors everywhere,” Heritage Auctions Senior Vice President for Fine & Decorative Arts Ed Jaster said. “He remains one of the primary reasons why Heritage has been so firmly established as the premier auction house for hard-to-find artworks, especially when it comes to popular culture.”

The top lot in the group could be Nagel’s 48-by-40-inch acrylic-on-canvas Untitled, 1984 (estimate: $60,000-80,000), which is signed in the lower left by the artist. Part of the widespread appeal in the painting is the fact that it graces the cover of Nagel: The Art of Patrick Nagel, which is the only book the artist wrote about his own artwork.

A 1983 Untitled work (estimate: $40,000-60,000) is another in Nagel’s signature style, with a dark-haired woman with bright white skin, full red lips and dramatic eyebrows. The 27-by-36-inch image is done in acrylic on canvas, and is signed and dated in the lower left.

Nagel eschews his signature style of a close-up portrait-style image in The Leopard Trainer, Playboy Illustration (estimate: $30,000-50,000), although he retains an erotic edge by leaving the trainer’s jacket open. The 23-by-17 acrylic-and-pencil-on-paper, which is signed in the lower left, was reproduced on page 54 of Nagel: The Art of Patrick Nagel.

The artist included an animal theme again in Aries (estimate: $15,000-25,000), a 20-by-9-inch acrylic-and-pencil-on-paper image of a woman, her gown slightly agape, standing behind a ram, which is the symbol for the astrological sign of the same name.

The only Nagel artwork in the auction that is not a painting is Carol, 1984 (estimate: $2,000-3,000). This bronze with polychrome shows a woman wearing an off-the-shoulder dress and a matching hat inspired by World War II-era military design, and stands 20-1/2 inches high.

 

Hunter self portrait.jpegLos Angeles - An extraordinary collection of 182 letters by Gonzo journalist Hunter S.Thompson will be auctioned by Nate D. Sanders Auctions on September 27, 2018.

The letters begin in 1955 when a 17-year-old Thompson wrote to his Louisville, Kentucky childhood friend Paul Semonin, who was attending Yale University.  All but two of the letters in the collection were written to Semonin. The other two items include a telegram from Thompson to author Tom Wolfe and a letter to an unnamed friend.

Thompson’s letters to Semonin span from 1955-1974 and are highly personal, providing a clear look at Thompson’s view of the world. Nearly every sentence in the letters features Thompson’s hallmark Gonzo journalistic style including riveting details about his experience at Slates Hot Springs in Big Sur as well as his time embedded (including the brutal beatings he suffered) with the Hell’s Angels.

Among the highlights of the archive is Thompson’s famous letter written the day of President Kennedy’s assassination. Twenty-five of the letters being auctioned were published in Thompson’s collection, The Proud Highway: The Saga of a Desperate Southern Gentleman 1955-1967. One hundred and twenty six letters were typed and include handwritten notes; all are signed. Many other letters document Thompson’s travels while writing The Rum Diary.    

The archive includes letters Thompson wrote while visiting or residing in Colombia, Ecuador, Brazil, Mexico, Aruba, Puerto Rico, New York, California, Colorado and Kentucky, among others.

Commenting on his writer career in a 1965 letter, Thompson penned, “I am not going to be either the Fitzgerald or the Hemingway of this generation…I am going to be the Thompson of this generation…"

In describing the archive, auction owner Nate Sanders commented, “This is a rare, personal, first-hand depiction of Hunter S. Thompson’s life. It is clear in reading these letters that Thompson believed it was imperative to document the turmoil of the 1960’s and share his perspective with his best friend from childhood.” 

Bidding for the archive begins at $110,000.

Additional information on the archive can be found at 
https://natedsanders.com/LotDetail.aspx?inventoryid=50187

 

VM1962K05868-09-MC.jpgNew York - The color work of street photographer Vivian Maier will be the subject of a new exhibition at Howard Greenberg Gallery from November 14, 2018 through January 5, 2019. Many of the photographs are on view for the first time, deepening the understanding of Maier’s oeuvre and her keenness to record and present her interpretation of the world around her. Dating from the 1950s to the 1980s, Vivian Maier: The Color Work captures the street life of Chicago and New York, and includes a number of her enigmatic self-portraits. An opening reception will be held on November 14 from 6-8 p.m.

The exhibition coincides with the publicaton of Vivian Maier: The Color Work (Harper Design | HarperCollins, November 2018), the first book devoted to her color images. With a foreword by renowned photographer Joel Meyerowitz and text by Colin Westerbeck, a former curator of photography at the Art Institute of Chicago, the book was created in partnership with Howard Greenberg Gallery. 

“Maier was an early poet of color photography,” writes Joel Meyerowitz in the foreword to the book. “You can see in her photographs that she was a quick study of human behavior, of the unfolding moment, the flash of a gesture, or the mood of a facial expression—brief events that turned the quotidian life of the street into a revelation for her.”

Since 2010, Maier’s photographs have been exhibited in museums and galleries worldwide. The 2013 documentary film, Finding Vivian Maier, co-directed by historian John Maloof (who discovered her work at an auction in Chicago in 2007), was nominated for an Academy Award. 

Vivian Maier (1926-2009) was born in New York City, spent much of her youth in France, worked for 40 years as a nanny mostly in Chicago, and photographed consistently over five decades. When she died, Maier left behind more than 150,000 photographic images—prints, negatives, transparencies, and rolls of undeveloped film—though few had ever heard about or seen her work. Maier’s color work was made during her last 30 years. After retiring her signature Rolleiflex, she began working with a 35-millimeter camera and produced roughly 40,000 Ektachrome color slides. 

“Maier was a self-invented polymath of a photographer,” writes Colin Westerbeck in the book. “The one advantage Maier gained from keeping her photography to herself was an exemption from contradiction and condescension. She didn’t have to worry about either the orthodoxy or the approval of her peers.”

Image: Image Caption: Vivian Maier, Chicago, 1962 © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Bonhams Evans.jpgNew York − On October 2, Bonhams sale of Photographs will offer over 130 works featuring major names including Irving Penn, Walker Evans, Robert Frank, Diane Arbus, Robert Mapplethorpe, Allen Ginsberg, Nan Goldin, and Ernst Haas. This sale will also introduce two works by Griffith (Griff) J. Davis (1923-1993), a pioneering African American photographer, journalist, filmmaker and U.S. Foreign Service Officer.

Laura Paterson, Director of Photographs, comments: "Griff Davis left a legacy of 55,000 photographs, as well as large quantities of documents and memorabilia from his long and illustrious career as a photojournalist and influential civil servant, yet astonishingly he remains relatively unknown. Bonhams is extremely honored to have this opportunity to introduce two compelling images from Davis' innovative and sophisticated body of work to a wider audience of photography curators and collectors."

In the 1940s, Davis became a reporter for Atlanta Daily World, the oldest continually published African American newspaper in the country and served as a Buffalo Soldier and army photographer in the 92nd Infantry Division in Italy. After the war, Davis returned to Morehouse College, where he studied alongside Martin Luther King, Jr. and formed a lifelong friendship with Visiting Professor Langston Hughes. Hughes recommended Davis to John H. Johnson, founder and publisher of Ebony and he became the magazine's first Roving Editor. Davis was also the only African American student accepted into Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism's class of 1949. After graduation, Davis made three trips to Liberia as a freelance journalist for Black Star Agency before launching his two-decade long career there as US Foreign Service Officer. The U.S. government had established its first full African embassy in Liberia and Davis was charged with documenting the nation's culture, development and lifestyle. The resulting pictorials appeared in a variety of prominent publications, such as Life, Ebony, Fortune and Der Spiegel. He was also awarded a one-man show, Liberia 1952 at The American Museum of Natural History in New York.

Additional highlights include the Collection of Kaspar Fleischmann, noted photography expert, collector, gallerist and philanthropist. This selection includes examples of the finest work produced in the history of photography by its doyens Ansel Adams, Walker Evans, Robert Frank, Gustave Le Gray, Ernst Haas and László Moholy-Nagy. Fleischmann himself was a pioneer collector of photography in Switzerland through his former gallery Zur Stockeregg, founded in Zurich in 1979. He is now a noted benefactor of several museums, including the Kunsthaus Zurich and the Fotomuseum Winterthur. The sale also includes the Collection of renowned Swiss psychoanalyst Carl László. Born in Hungary, László was the only member of his family to survive the Holocaust. He built a new life in Switzerland where, in addition to his clinical practice, he pursued his keen interest in the arts, co-founding Art Basel and working as an art dealer, writer and magazine editor. This collection includes works by renowned photographers such as Richard Avedon and Robert Mapplethorpe, Allen Ginsberg, and Gerard Malanga.

Image: Lot 36, Walker Evans. “Demolition Site, New York.” 

 

afoegipchcekpnmi.jpgNew York—African-American Fine Art sales at Swann Galleries offer the opportunity to see marketplace history happen, and the October 4 auction is no exception, with a significant selection of works by Elizabeth Catlett, Eldzier Cortor and Hughie Lee-Smith, among others.  

A timely run of works by Charles White features the significant and powerful Nobody Knows My Name #1, 1965, a mid-career drawing that was exhibited extensively in the late 1960s (Estimate: $100,000 to $150,000). The title was likely inspired by James Baldwin’s Nobody Knows My Name: More Notes of a Native Son, 1961-White’s composition shows a young African-American man’s head in a swirling, atmospheric space, a deeply symbolic response to the height of the Civil Rights movement. Prints by White include the linoleum cuts Young Farmer (Young Worker), 1953, and Solid as a Rock (My God is Rock), 1958 ($12,000-18,000 and $20,000-30,000, respectively).

Sculptures by Elizabeth Catlett represent the beginning and end of the artist’s prolific career. Catlett’s carved Untitled (Head of a Man), circa 1943, is one of only two stone works on record from her significant 1940s period, and the earliest sculpture by the artist known to come to auction ($200,000-300,000). El Abrazo, carving in Guatemalan red mahogany of two figures embracing, is Catlett’s last sculpture: it was started by the artist in 2010 and posthumously completed by her son, David Mora Catlett, in 2017 ($150,000-250,000).

A beautiful mid-career painting by Eldzier Cortor-the most significant work by the artist to come to auction-will be offered. Sea of Time, 1945, is a haunting depiction of a female nude with rich symbolism and surreal elements, inspired by Gullah and African traditions. The oil on canvas is estimated at $200,000 to $300,000.

Other midcentury compositions include the earliest painting by Beauford Delaney to come to auction. The 1940 oil on canvas is a self-portrait of the artist in a studio-like setting with a young woman thought to be “Jessie,” a model and mutual friend of Delaney and James Baldwin ($200,000-300,000). Hughie Lee-Smith’s best-known and most widely published work, Man With Balloons, oil on canvas, 1960, will also be in the sale. A meditation on the isolation of modernity, Lee-Smith considered it an important painting: it carries an estimate of $150,000 to $250,000.

A riotous, recently rediscovered 1965 oil and charcoal on canvas by Al Loving, Variations on a Square­, gives insight into the artist’s earliest work. The artist notes, in a letter included, that it was completed for his thesis show and was one his last oil paintings, remarking on it as a “forerunner to the geometric abstractions that started my career in NY” ($80,000-120,000).

A 1983 self-portrait by Robert Colescott: Down in the Dumps: So Long Sweetheart shows the heartbroken artist seated among an overwhelming, teeming pile of debris, his head in his hands, paintbrushes at his side ($35,000-50,000). Other works from that decade include a 1980 welded steel sculpture by Melvin Edwards, Lusaka ($30,000-40,000); Sam Gilliam’s Blood Legacy, acrylic, gel medium and canvas collage, 1983 ($80,000-120,000) and Spiral artist Emma Amos’s Arched Swimmer, acrylic with glitter and fabric on canvas, circa 1987 ($10,000-15,000).

Contemporary art from the Dr. Robert H. Derden Collection brings pieces by significant, current artists to the sale, with an emphasis on photographic works. Featured lots include Rashid Johnson’s Jonathan with Hands, a Van Dyke Brown photo-emulsion print, 1997 ($7,000-10,000); Alison Saar’s Dreamer, mixed media, 1988 ($3,000-5,000); Carrie Mae Weems’s Untitled (Woman and daughter with makeup), from the Kitchen Table Series ($3,000-5,000); and a monumental photogravure with screenprint by Lorna Simpson, Counting, 1991 ($4,000-6,000).

The complete catalogue with bidding information is available at www.swanngalleries.com.

Additional highlights can be found here.

Image: Lot 78: Charles White, Nobody Knows My Name #1, charcoal and crayon on illustration board, 1965. Estimate $100,000 to $150,000.

Lot 55 Shackleton, Ernest_Aurora Australis copy.jpgNew York− On September 25, Bonhams sale of Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana will offer a large range of over 300 lots, which is highlighted by significant works from George Washington, Mark Twain, and Ernest Shackleton — some of the most important figures in US history, literature, and exploration. Highlighting the sale is Aurora Australis, 1908, the first edition of the first book published and printed in Antarctica by Ernest Shackleton (1874-1922) (estimate: $70,000-100,000).

The book was printed during the Nimrod expedition of 1908-1909 to keep his men occupied during the dark winter months in the Cape Royds hut. Shackleton brought with him a small printing press, paper and type (donated by J. Causton & Sons Ltd) and asked for written stories, poems, or humorous short essays from his men. The printing and publishing was co-ordinated by Ernest Joyce and Frank Wild, both of whom had undertaken short printing courses prior to their departure. George Marston provided illustrations, and Bernard Day made the bindings from the crates used for provisions. The ink was heated by candles, and much of the printing was done when the other men were sleeping to minimize vibration. Shackleton wrote the introduction and preface to the text, and contributions were made by 10 other members of the crew. A total of 80 bound copies of Aurora Australis were brought back from Antarctica in 1909.

Additional highlights include the fascinating and famous proceedings of George Washington’s court martial of Charles Lee for Cowardice at the Battle of Monmouth, Proceedings of a General Court Martial…for the Trial of Major General Lee. July 4th, 1778, Philadelphia, one of only 100 copies of original edition for congress (estimate: $25,000-35,0000); an important letter by Mark Twain on the art of writing, October 21, 1881, one of the most profound articulations of the writer's art ever offered at auction (estimate: $30,000-50,000); and the first map in an atlas entirely devoted to America, 1513, by Claudius Ptolemaeus, c.100-c.170 (estimate: $250,000-350,000). 

Notandissimi1.pngPublished for the first time in Venice in 1555, it was a precious asset owned by the first founding families of modern Cosmetic Industry. The Vidals, one of those families, whose famous brand was acquired by Henkel, still possess one of the five known Italian copies which is exposed in the History of Cosmetics Museum in Venice. 

Another famous Italian copy was owned by one of the most controversial Italian cultural and political figures of the XXth century, Gabriele d'Annunzio, who had great influence in the world of fashion and was a great expert in scents and cosmetics.

The essay reveals and illustrates the first mechanical methods of production of scents, cosmetics and makeup.

In 2013, Chanel exposed the Saint Genevieve Copy at its expo "N°5 Culture Chanel" in Paris, at the Palais de Tokyo. 

This Rare Book will be exposed to the public at Drouot in Paris in the morning of September 27 and will be sold at 14.00 pm. 

For further information visit
www.drouot.com/lot/publicShow?id=9193465 

Heritage Descourtilz.jpgDallas, TX - An extremely rare first edition considered one of the most significant books of photographs of 19th-century China and a copy of perhaps the rarest book about birds in the Americas sold for $100,000 each to lead Heritage Auctions’ Rare Books & Maps auction Sept. 13 in Dallas, Texas. The final total for the event was $1,093,325, or 164 percent of the pre-sale estimate.

John Thomson’s 1873 Foochow and the River Min. A Series of Photographs quadrupled its pre-auction estimate to reach its $100,000 return. The collection of powerful autotype carbon photographic prints from Foochow (now Fuzhou) chronicled the trip by the Scottish photographer, geographer and traveler up the River Min. His subsequent work with photographing street people in London secured his legacy and served as part of the foundation for photojournalism. This is one of perhaps as few as eight copies still known to exist from a run of just 46 copies that were produced for subscribers.

Jean Théodore Descourtilz’s Oiseaux brillans du Brésil topped its $20,000 pre-auction estimate by an even wider margin en route to the $100,000 plateau. From the library of Louis-Philippe, duc d'Orléans, the volume contains 60 fine hand-colored lithograph plates and is so scarce the former director of the United Nations Library in New York once questioned whether any copies remained. Two other copies of the volume by one of the world's most famous painters of birds reside in institutional holdings - one in the Teyler Museum in Haarlem, The Netherlands, and the other in the National History Museum in London.

“The top two lots are exceptionally rare books - in the case of Oiseaux brillans du Brésil, this complete copy is believed to be the fifth copy known and boasts all 60 hand-colored lithographs of birds, where the last copy only had 59 prints present,” Heritage Auctions Rare Books Director James Gannon said. “It’s no surprise that the demand among serious collectors was so high, as each is the kind of book around which elite collections can be built.”

Multiple bids drove the final price of The Federalist: A Collection of Essays. Written in Favour of the New Constitution, as Agreed Upon by the Federal Convention, September 17, 1787 by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay to $87,500, more than double its reserve. This reissue of the first collected edition of the “Federalist Papers” is a two-volume rarity without a single previous auction record in ABPC or Rare Book Hub.

Tsuguharu Foujita’s A Book of Cats - Being Twenty Drawings. Poems in Prose by Michael Joseph sparked a flurry of competitive bidding before closing at $22,500. A first edition signed by the artist that is No. 28 in a limited run of 500 copies, this volume contains 20 engraved plates inserted throughout (included in pagination), each rubber-stamped “Made in France” on the bottom corner of each recto, as issued.

The auction included the largest collection of maps ever offered through Heritage Auctions, many of which fared exceptionally well, including:

·         John Speed. A New and Accurat Map of the World. Drawne according to ye truest Descriptions latest Discoveries & best Observations yt have beene made by English or Strangers: $17,500

·         Hartmann Schedel Secunda etas mundi [Nuremberg: 1493]: $12,500

·         Herman Moll A New and Correct Map of the World, Laid Down [London]: Bowles, 1709 (circa 1730): $8,750

·         Abraham Ortelius. Islandia. [Antwerp: circa 1585]: $8,125

Other top lots included, but are not limited to:

·         David Roberts. Egypt & Nubia, From Drawings Made on the Spot...: $21,250

·         John [Jack] Kerouac. The Town and the City: $21,250

·         John James Audubon. The Birds of America. From Drawings Made in the United States and their Territories $19,375

·         Joseph Smith. The Book of Mormon: $17,500

Screen Shot 2018-09-13 at 10.58.16 AM.pngNew York-Sotheby’s is thrilled to announce that the Nobel Prize, papers and personal research library of the brilliant, inspiring, and much-beloved theoretical physicist Richard P. Feynman will headline our second annual History of Science & Technology auction in New York on 30 November 2018 - in the year of the centenary of his birth. The group is led by the Nobel Prize - including its associated presentation materials - that Feynman shared in 1965 with Julian Schwinger and Shin’ichiro Tomonaga “for their fundamental work in quantum electrodynamics.” The offering also features a remarkable and enlightening collection of manuscripts spanning the full length of Feynman’s career - the only known collection of manuscripts by Feynman to exist outside of the archive at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), where he taught for nearly four decades. 

Select highlights will be on public view at Sotheby’s London from 14 - 16 September before the full auction exhibition opens in New York on 25 November. 

Cassandra Hatton, Vice President & Senior Specialist in Sotheby’s Books & Manuscripts Department, commented: "A towering intellect, an inspiring teacher, a masterful storyteller, and a lover of fun with a relentless curiosity. His lessons about life have inspired countless people around the world (including myself) to find what fascinates us and to pursue it relentlessly; to always question authority and to think for ourselves; to ignore others' expectations of who we ought to be; and to embrace doubt and failure as important steps in the pursuit of understanding. One of the keenest intellects to have ever graced us with their presence, he peered into the quantum realm, and had the passion to help us learn how to see the world around us. I am thrilled and incredibly honored to have been entrusted with the sale of these incredibly rare and important items from the rockstar of physics, who has long been one of my personal heroes."

RICHARD P. FEYNMAN

Richard Phillips Feynman (1918-1988) was one of the most brilliant and beloved theoretical physicists of the 20th century. He studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he obtained his B.Sc. in 1939, and went on to obtain his Ph.D from Princeton in 1942. He was a research assistant at Princeton from 1940-41 and went to Los Alamos to work on the development of the Atom Bomb with the Manhattan Project from 1942-45, where he soon distinguished himself as one of the most brilliant and original thinkers of his time. He then spent several crucial years as Professor of Theoretical Physics at Cornell University from 1945-1950, before becoming professor of Theoretical Physics at Caltech, where he spent the remainder of his career. 

Feynman is considered by many to be the father of nanotechnology for two prizes he offered in a 1959 talk entitled, “There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom,” where he prompted thinking on a very small scale. Between 1961-63 Feynman gave a series of lectures on introductory physics for freshmen and the following year, sophomores, at Caltech. The series was edited and published as “The Feynman Lectures of Physics,” which is thought to be the most popular physics book ever written. 

In 1965 he won the Nobel Prize in Physics, sharing it with Julian Schwinger and Shin’ichiro Tomonaga for his work remaking the theory of quantum electrodynamics, by introducing his “Feynman diagrams.” He was one of only 13 people to have been awarded the Albert Einstein Award - other recipients include Stephen Hawking, Kurt Gödel, John Wheeler, and Julian Schwinger. His collection of reminiscences and personal anecdotes, “Surely You’re Joking Mr. Feynman,” was published in 1985 and became a runaway bestseller. In 1986, Feynman was again in the public eye, this time working on the commission investigating the explosion of the Challenger space shuttle. He died in 1988 after a long battle with abdominal cancer.

1965 NOBEL PRIZE & PAPERS

The November auction will be led by Feynman’s 1965 Nobel Prize in Physics (estimate $800,000/1.2 million). Feynman shared the prize with fellow physicists Julian Schwinger and Shin’ichiro Tomonaga, “for their fundamental work in quantum electrodynamics, with deep-ploughing consequences for the physics of elementary particles.” Feynman’s invention of ‘Feynman diagrams’ - pictorial representations of particle interactions - in particular revolutionized the field. 

Feynman Manuscripts

The trove of manuscripts on offer spans the full length of Feynman’s career, from his early work on the Manhattan Project to his long tenure at Caltech, and addresses topics such as the Atom Bomb, Quantum Electrodynamics, Computing, Organic Chemistry, Nanotechnology, Mathematics and Physics. The archive also includes books from his personal research library — many annotated — as well as his tambourine. Individual and themed groups of manuscripts will be offered across a number of lots.

Outside of the Feynman Nobel Prize and archive, the History of Science & Technology auction will include books & manuscripts, scientific & technological instruments, original artwork, and other artifacts spanning from the 16th through the 21st centuries in categories ranging from physics, mathematics and cryptography, to medicine, biology, computing and astronomy. 

A private collection of magnificent 15th-19th century books & scientific instruments will offer early astronomical treatises and celestial atlases - many hand-colored - and spectacular planetary models, including armillary spheres, orreries, and planetary models. The breathtaking work of Neuroscientist-turned artist Dr. Gregg Dunn and paper sculptor Rogan Brown will also be represented, in what will be an auction debut for both of these highly talented and totally original artists.

 

blobid5_1536657439124.dat.pngThe personal notebooks and sketchbooks of world-renowned double Oscar®-winning British costume designer, John Mollo, the concept artist behind the international Star Wars franchise, are to be offered at Bonhams in a stand-alone 62-lot sale, Designing an Empire: The John Mollo Archive, in London on Tuesday 11 December 2018.

The archive contains a wealth of drawings, notes and designs which illustrate the artistic development behind the creation of some of the best-known and best-loved costumes in cinematic history, and that gave John Mollo iconic status in Hollywood.

John Mollo knew his destiny from an early age. As a child of six he visited the cinema for the first time and was dazzled by the costumes.  As he once said, “I came out of the cinema knowing that was what I wanted to do when I grew up.”

It was in 1975, after enjoying success as an advisor on historical military dress for films such as The Charge of the Light Brigade, that John Mollo was commissioned by George Lucas to create uniforms and ensembles for Star Wars. At the time, he was unfamiliar with the sci-fi genre and considered the film ‘a sort of space western,’ adding that ‘one of the heroes is a dustbin.’ Lucas urged Mollo to avoid the stereotypical space-age look of earlier science fiction productions and instead to focus his designs on the pivotal concept of light versus darkness - ‘I just want to see light versus dark,’ he said. 

With just three months to go before shooting begun, Mollo went to London film costumiers Bermans and Nathans to get some ideas. “For Darth Vader I had to go to three departments: the ecclesiastical department for a robe, the modern department for a motorcycle suit and the military department for a (Second World War) German helmet and gas mask. We cobbled it all together and there was Darth Vader.”

Lucas also tasked him with convincing the reluctant Sir Alex Guinness to play the part of Obi-Wan Kenobi. Mollo recalled it wasn’t until he showed him the monastic brown cloak and cowl design that he believed Guinness was truly convinced. 

John Mollo’s son, Tom Mollo said: “This collection is a very personal insight into my father’s creative process. As these wonderful sketches demonstrate, he was a man of boundless imagination, but he never forgot the practical side of costume design - that actors had to be able to move and breathe and speak their lines. We can see him wrestling with these issues in his designs and, of course, producing the wonderful solutions that gave life to the characters and have made them recognised and loved the world over. My father once said with typical understatement, ‘I think on the whole I did a good job.” History has surely proved him right.”

Highlights include:

  • A sketchbook, dating from April 1975 to July 1976, showing some of the first hand-drawn costume designs for pivotal characters in Star Wars including Darth Vader, Chewbacca and the stormtroopers. The book also served as Mollo’s personal production and development diary, containing pages of costume budgets, production notes and meeting notes with the Director/ Writer George Lucas. A section also holds costume sketches from Stanley Kubrick’s renowned 1975 film Barry Lyndon. The book is estimated at £100,000-150,000.
  • A sketchbook of designs from The Empire Strikes back, Alien and Zulu Dawn, estimated at £80,000-120,000. The book covers the period 1978-1979, predominantly including the production of Irvin Kershner’s Star Wars sequel, The Empire Strikes Back. Other sections of the book show work for Ridley Scott’s Alien and Douglas Hickox’s Zulu Dawn. The volume also includes Oscar® Nomination and invite cards for the 1978 Academy Awards® Ceremony at which John Mollo won an Oscar® for best Costume Design in Star Wars.

Katherine Schofield, Head of Entertainment Memorabilia, says, “John Mollo created costumes that elevated characters to cult cinematic status and this highly important archive of his notes and sketches demonstrates how brilliantly the designer merged fantasy and practicality. These sketchbooks are a unique part of cinema history - in my experience nothing like this has been seen before at auction - and will have immense appeal to collectors.”

Image: John Mollo’s sketch for a Stormtrooper from Star Wars©Lucasfilm Ltd / John Mollo

edgkkillimodadkm.jpgNew York—Swann Galleries’ September 27 auction boasts the Harold Holzer Collection of Lincolniana, a 176-lot offering of the noted Abraham Lincoln scholar’s lifelong passion. The sale’s general Printed & Manuscript Americana catalogue features Revolutionary, Civil War and frontier material, with diaries, archives and important publications.

Compiled in a separate catalogue, the Holzer collection explores America’s fascination with depictions of the 16th president, highlighting the breadth of representations of Lincoln. Notable lots include an 1860 painting of the president, still beardless, by John C. Wolfe, and a plaster bust by Sarah Fisher Ames (estimates: $12,000-18,000 and $6,000-9,000, respectively). Among the many nineteenth-century prints is a fourth edition of the scarce “Wigwam Print,” produced for the May 1860 Republican Convention in Chicago. Any edition of the engraving-which was the first standalone print of Lincoln-is a rarity: only four, including the present example, are known to exist.

Other items of note include Victor D. Brenner’s 1907 bronze relief plaque, which became the model for Lincoln’s portrait on the penny ($1,500-2,500). Satirical anti-Lincoln cartoons such as Miscegenation or the Millennium of Abolitionism ($5,000-7,500) will be offered, and autographs include a commission signed by Lincoln for his personal secretary William O. Stoddard in July 1861 ($7,000-10,000).

The afternoon session of Printed & Manuscript Americana boasts an array of manuscript material relating to life on the frontier, including the diary of Francis W. de Winton, who accompanied Canadian Governor General John Campbell on a grand tour of the Northwest Territories in 1881. The unpublished diary includes historically significant notes on meetings with First Nations leaders ($15,000-25,000). Other frontier accounts include a California Gold Rush diary from 1849; the extensive family papers of the Kniskerns, early Palatine German settlers in Schoharie County, NY; and the 1880s correspondence of Henry Hubman, an Iowa medical student turned Infantryman in Montana, who eventually deserted (estimated at $8,000-12,000 apiece).                                  

Revolutionary material includes the 9 August 1775 issue of the Massachusetts Spy, featuring the “Rules and Articles for the Better Government of the Troops,” the first set of regulations governing rebel troops passed by the Continental Congress, and an edition of Thomas Paine’s The American Crisis published in Fishkill, NY by Samuel Loudon, “23 December 1776” ($6,000-9,000 and $25,000-35,000, respectively).

A third-edition Book of Mormon, printed in Nauvoo, IL, 1840, is set to bring $8,000 to $12,000. Other LDS highlights include a daguerreotype of a young man believed to be Frederick Granger Williams Smith, the son of Joseph Smith. The late 1850s image is hand-tinted, and the subject holds a book that appears to be a Book of Mormon. It comes with an extensive account of provenance and is consigned by a descendant of Hyrum Smith, brother of Joseph ($10,000-15,000).

The auction concludes with a large section of Latin Americana, with a series of featured firsts, including: the first novel set in Spanish America, Francisco Loubayssin de Lamarca’s Historia tragicomica de Don Henrique de Castro, a probable first edition, 1617, and the only copy of any edition known to appear at auction ($15,000-25,000); a first edition of the first book of sermons in Nahuatl, 1577, which has not been traced at auction since 1869 ($30,000-40,000); and a first edition of the first full-length book printed in Puebla, Juan de Palafox y Mendoza’s Historia real Sagrada, 1643 ($8,000-12,000).

The complete catalogue with bidding information is available at www.swanngalleries.com.

Additional highlights can be found here.

ImageLot 199: Issue of the Massachusetts Spy featuring “Rules and Articles for the Better Government of the Troops,” Worcester, 1775. Estimate $6,000 to $9,000.

 

Lot 79.jpgWestport, CT- A superb John Hancock signed manuscript from 1783 in remarkable condition, plus items pertaining to other signers of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, Judaica, JFK and family, Rev War, U.S. presidents, Napoleon and other foreign leaders, Bruce Lee and more will be in University Archives’ online-only auction, slated for Wednesday, September 26th. 

Live bidding will begin at 10:30 am Eastern time. In all, 288 lots will be offered in a sale packed with rare and highly collectible autographed documents, manuscripts, books and relics. The full catalog can be viewed now, at www.UniversityArchives.com. Internet bidding will be provided by Invaluable.com and LiveAuctioneers.com. Telephone and absentee bids will also be accepted.

“As we enter the new auction season we’re very proud of our current offering, most of which has never been on the market before or not in a long time,” said John Reznikoff, president and owner of University Archives. “We’re very happy with our range of material. Where else can one buy a book signed by Jefferson, a Napoleon at war letter, a Malcolm X letter on a postcard and a Bruce Lee signed certificate? We service an international clientele, with bidders in over 50 countries.”

The signed Hancock manuscript, with an estimate of $4,000-$5,000, is a superb document, one in which Hancock, during Revolutionary War times, signs with a bold version of one of the most recognizable and famous signatures in history. Mr. Reznikoff observed, “This is exactly how Hancock signed the Declaration of Independence. He wanted to make sure King George III would not miss his imprint.”

Another famous Declaration signer, Thomas Jefferson, is represented with a book from his personal library written by Maximilien de Bethune, which Jefferson recommended for historical and legal reading and one he personally signed (est. $16,000-$18,000); and a Congressional Act signed by Jefferson and dated Aug. 10, 1790, authorizing Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton to finish construction on a lighthouse project in Portland, Me. (est. $12,000-$14,000).

George Washington didn’t sign the Declaration, but he’s still hugely popular with collectors. A Rhode Island lighthouse keeper’s provisional contract from 1790, signed by Washington and William Ellery (who did sign the Declaration), should hit $12,000-$14,000; while a handwritten letter to Ellery from the ever popular Alexander Hamilton regarding duties and tariffs, while Hamilton was the Secretary of the Treasury and negotiating the Compromise of 1790, should make $5,000-$5,500.

Abraham Lincoln is represented with six lots, including a letter handwritten by Martin L. Bishop to his friend and esteemed legal counsel dated Nov. 16, 1858, in which Lincoln replies with his handwritten advice on the third and final page regarding Bishop’s patent ownership and pending lawsuits. The letter is estimated to sell for $8,000-$10,000.

Collectors can never get enough of JFK and Marilyn Monroe. This auction features two original first-generation glossy photos from Kennedy’s after-party bash at the Krim residence, hours after Monroe sang “Happy Birthday Mr. President” to him at Madison Square Garden. One shows Diahann Carroll singing at a piano, with various guests looking on, including Monroe (est. $800-$900); the other shows JFK talking to singer Maria Callas and Adlai Stevenson (est. $3,000-$3,500).

A rare letter written by Kennedy in May 1944 to his friend from Harvard Richard Flood, while both were still in the Navy and months after the destruction of JFK’s boat the PT109, in which Kennedy makes a never before seen anti-Semitic remark, has an estimate of $8,000-$9,000. Also, a one-page letter written from prison in December 1999 by the late crime boss John Gotti, to Barbara De Cicco, in which he tells her to “have a Christmas martini for me,” should fetch $1,000-$1,200.

Fans of Bruce Lee will have several lots to consider, including a superb and highly ornate printed document dated Jan. 30, 1968, signed by Lee and promoting his close friend Herb Jackson to the First Rank of the Jun Fan Gung Fu Institute; and a rare photo of Lee, signed and with a personal inscription to Herb Jackson, “To a dear friend of the family, Herb, Peace, Love, Brotherhood, Bruce,” with a Chinese character below his name. Both lots have estimates of $20,000-$24,000.

A vellum hand-illuminated manuscript signed by Czar Alexander II of Russia, undated and written in Cyrillic (seven pages on four sheets), in which Alexander grants Adam Ilyn Galonen, a medical officer in the Russian Navy, a coat of arms, should reach $5,000-$7,000. Also, a one-page war letter written in French by Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821) on March 11, 1807, from Germany during the Polish Campaign, War of the 4th Coalition, should garner $1,200-$1,500.

A letter written and signed by “Malcolm X” on the message side of a picture postcard of New York City, dated Oct. 22, 1958 and addressed to Gloria Owens in Cleveland Ohio, in which he says, “Happy you were able to hear The Messenger” (meaning Elijah Muhammad) is expected to finish at $3,500-$4,000; while a first edition presentation copy of Alex Haley’s literary triumph Roots (Doubleday, 1976), signed and inscribed by Haley to “Cora”, should rise to $400-$500.

An original first-generation photo of two lifeboats from the RMS Titanic, taken during the rescue mission by a passenger aboard the rescue vessel RMS Carpathia, showing passengers in lifeboat #6 (containing “the Unsinkable Molly Brown”), is expected to command $2,000-$2,400. Also, a check for $500 from 1961, signed by baseball great Jackie Robinson and Marion Logan, with the money earmarked to help harassed white families in New Orleans who had defied segregationist picket lines to send their children to newly integrated schools, has an estimate of $1,200-$1,400.

As with all University Archives online auctions, this one is packed with important, scarce and collectible signed documents and other items relating to some of the most famous names in all of history. The firm has become world-renowned as a go-to source for rare material of this nature.

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, September 26th online auction, please visit www.universityarchives.com.

Image: Superb John Hancock signed manuscript from 1783 in remarkable condition, with a bold version of one of the most recognizable and famous signatures in history (est. $4,000-$5,000).

13613074-75c4-4b4e-9605-fc50139fe4cf.pngPhiladelphia, PA - Freeman’s autumn Books, Maps & Manuscripts auction will be held Thursday, September 27 at our Philadelphia headquarters. With close to 500 lots of rare and important books, historical documents, prints, maps, and related ephemera, this auction offers buyers a range of collecting areas and price points, and aims to attract both seasoned collectors as well as those just starting out.

One highlight of the sale is a three-volume set by John James Audubon, The Quadrupeds of North America, from 1856 (Lot 264, estimate: $8,000-12,000). The present lot is the third edition and the last to be produced by the Audubon family, by sons Victor Gifford and John Woodhouse Audubon, who decided to issue this octavo edition of the enormous folio Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America (1845-1848), with the same text by John Bachman, during the last years of their father’s life. This octavo edition, so much more approachable in size and price than the imperial folio work, brought a level of commercial and artistic success for the two brothers and saw them keeping their father’s legacy alive. Additionally, a fine cut signature of John James Audubon is tipped into the first volume.

Additional highlights include some important American history publications. A first English edition of Common Sense by Thomas Paine, bound with his Plain Truth and several other complementary titles (Lot 291, estimate: $8,000-12,000). A document signed by Theodore Roosevelt, appointing William C. Howell to the position of Postmaster of Blairstown, New Jersey, is part of a lot of three signed Presidential documents including a second document signed by Roosevelt as well as one signed by William Howard Taft (Lot 398, estimate: $250-400). A presentation copy of Theodore Roosevelt’s Rough Riders (Lot 396, estimate: $3,000-5,000), warmly inscribed by Roosevelt to Anna “Nannie” Cabot Mills Davis Lodge, wife of Henry Cabot Lodge, a U.S. Congressional Representative, Senator from Massachusetts, and historian: “Dear Nannie, I send this book to you because, next to my own family, it was of you and yours that I thought most while I was before Santiago. Ever your friend Theodore Roosevelt May 18th 1899.” Inscribed barely ten months after the Spanish surrendered at Santiago. A fantastic association.

Of similar historic importance is a photo album depicting the Spanish-American War, 1898 (Lot 400, estimate: $1,500-2,500). The oblong folio album contains 96 original silver print photographs mounted on 22 leaves of cardboard stock, and 22 large-format silver prints. Images include U.S. naval vessels and their guns, troop landings, cavalry and infantry operations, armed troops firing from a trench, U.S. military field camps, a wounded combatant being evacuated on a stretcher, barbed wire fortifications, Cuban civilians, and other related images.

An engraved, hand-colored 1608 Ortelius World Map, floated in a gilt frame (Lot 435, estimate: $3,000-5,000) and a 1676 map of Virginia and Maryland by John Speed, engraved and hand-colored (Lot 406, estimate: $3,000-5,000) are just two of the more than 50 fine examples of maps included in the sale.

Books by American authors will also feature prominently in the auction. Eighteen works by William Faulkner, including first editions of “Light in August” (Lot 130, estimate: $1,500-2,000) and “Sartoris” (Lot 140, estimate: $1,500-2,000) will be offered, as well as near-fine first edition copies of Truman Capote’s “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” (Lot 125, estimate $500-800), and “The Old Man and the Sea” by Ernest Hemingway (Lot 145, estimate: $800-1,200). A 1936 first edition of “Gone With the Wind” by Margaret Mitchell (Lot 158, estimate: $3,000-5,000) and a numbered and signed copy of “Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury (Lot 70, estimate: $300-500, one of two books in this lot), will also be offered. A first edition of Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird,” (Lot 151, estimate: $1,500-2,500), an icon of 20th century literature and pop culture, and a first edition copy of John Steinbeck’s “Grapes of Wrath” (Lot 171, estimate: $500-800) round out the assortment. Each of these books have withstood the test of time in the field of modern American literature, as evidenced by their continuing popularity since their respective publications.

The auction will be the department’s first since the appointment of Darren Winston as Head of Books, Maps & Manuscripts as well as representative for the New York, Connecticut, and Western Massachusetts areas. Mr. Winston began his career as a vintage bookseller in 1995. He spent 14 years selling at book fairs and flea markets, as well as privately, before opening his eponymous bookshop in 2009. Located in Sharon, Connecticut, Darren Winston, Bookseller offered vintage books, prints, and fine art, and hosted over 50 in-store events including book signings and art shows in its nine-year run.

20_1.jpgFalls Church, VA - A large and significant group of early printed books and other material spanning the 1400s through 1700s is set to headline Waverly’s Thursday, Sept. 13 Rare Books & Prints Auction featuring Natural World Fine Prints: Part II. In addition to traditional gallery bidding, absentee, phone and live online bidding will be available to those who cannot attend in person. Start time is 6 p.m. Eastern.

Star items in the 381-lot auction include rare and important books by Durandus, Bartholomaeus Anglicus and George Simon Winter, plus prints by Albrecht Durer, Rembrandt van Rijn, Jacob van Ruisdael, Lucas van Leyden and others. Many of the books came to Waverly from the personal library of distinguished theologian Dr. Thomas C. Oden, with two other books having noteworthy provenance from the libraries of English poet Robert Southey and Scottish biographer/author James Boswell. Additional categories in the sale include Black Americana, autographs, fine bindings and illustrated works. 

The book portion will be followed by Part II of a previously introduced series titled “Natural World Fine Prints.” Those items, totaling 170 lots, richly capture the beauty of exotic birds, botanicals, fish, reptiles, amphibians, and many other types of animals. Among the prints are examples by Basilius Besler, John Gould, Innocente Alessandri, Comte de Buffon, Elizabeth Blackwell, Emanual Sweerts and Johann Christoph Volckhamer - all known and respected names in the world of antiquarian prints.  

In the Black Americana section, Lot 19 is a highlight. It is composed of the books Up from Slavery, an Autobiography of Booker T. Washington (1st book edition, 1901), signed by Washington; and My Bondage and My Freedom by Frederick Douglass (1st edition, 1855) with ownership inscription (est. $1,000-$1,500). Lot 20, a commencement address Frederick Douglass delivered at Western Reserve College in July 1854, is titled The Claims of the Negro… and is estimated at $2,000-$3,000.

An archive of printed material and manuscript papers belonging to Charles E. Francis, author of The Tuskegee Airmen - The Story of the Negro in the U.S. Air Force, first published in 1955, has an estimate of $2,000-$3,000. The lot is not the actual book, but rather a trove of handwritten and typed pages about the book and the airmen. Also, a signed copy of Portrait of Dylan Thomas (1949) by Thomas’ old friend Mervyn Levy (Welsh, 1915-1996) is expected to make $600-$900.

Fifteenth-century books include a 1492 copy of Proprietatibus Rerum, an early encyclopedia and one of the most popular folios of its time, by Bartholomaeus Anglicus (circa 1203-1272) and published in Nuremberg, Germany. It is estimated at $1,000-$2,000. A 1486 copy of Rationale Divinorum, an essential authority for the history of Western liturgy by the judge, diplomat, bishop, and governor in the church state Guillaume Durandus (1230-1296), is entered with a $3,500-$5,500 estimate.

A 1498 German edition woodcut by Albrecht Durer (German, 1471-1528) titled The Opening of the Fifth and Sixth Seals, from The Apocalypse, with the sheet measuring 15½ inches by 11¼ inches, is expected to change hands for $2,000-$4,000. Also, an etching with drypoint by the Dutch master Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669) titled Three Oriental Figures (1641), from New Hollstein’s second (and final) state, 13 inches by 12 inches framed, should bring $3,000-$5,000.

A chromolithograph plate of a bird titled Crested Grebe was drawn from nature by John James Audubon (American, 1785-1851) and produced in 1860 by Julius Bien (Plate 389 No. 6-4). It measures 31 inches by 42 inches framed, and its estimate range is $1,500-$2,000. A hand-colored plate titled Lantern Fly & Pomegranate Flower (1726) by Maria Sibylla Merian (German, 1647-1717), on an 18½-inch by 13-inch sheet and in very good condition, should reach $800-$1,200.

One volume of Scottish biographer/author James Boswell’s copy of Chrysal: Or The Adventures of a Guinea, boldly inscribed on the first free endpaper by Boswell and dated 1765, carries a pre-sale estimate of $1,000-$2,000. Also, a notable 18th-century compilation of Welsh civil and ecclesiastical law (1730), with a title in Latin, was published in London and has a title page with ownership inscription of the English poet Robert Southey. Its auction estimate is $800-$1,000.

A first-edition copy of The Grandeur of the Gorges (1926), a compilation of 50 photographic studies of China’s great waterway, the Yangtze Kiang, tipped in, with descriptive notes and including 12 hand-colored prints, is expected to knock down $1,500-$2,500. Compiled by Donald Mennie and published in China, the volume retains its original embroidered silk binding.

Auction previews are presently under way at Waverly Rare Books’ gallery in northern Virginia, and will continue through auction day. Consult the company’s website for hours.

Waverly Rare Books, a division of Quinn’s Auction Galleries, is always accepting quality consignments for future auctions. To consign a single item, an estate or a collection, please call 703-532-5632, ext. 575; or email waverly@quinnsauction.com. View the online catalog and register to bid absentee or live online at www.LiveAuctioneers.com or www.Invaluable.com

To learn more about the Thursday, September 13 auction, visit http://www.quinnsauction.com.

Image: Lot 20: Copy of a commencement address delivered by Frederick Douglass in July 1854 at Western Reserve College, titled The Claims of the Negro… at Western Reserve College. Est. $2,000-$3,000. Courtesy of Waverly Rare Books.

cocnbacajjlbinoj.jpgNew York—Swann Galleries’ season-opening auction of 19th & 20th Century Prints & Drawings on September 20 brings to market original works by blue-chip artists and scarce prints by Regionalists, German Expressionists, Modernists and more.

The cover lot for the auction, Downtown, New York, by John Taylor Arms, comes from a private collection of iconic New York City views (estimate $2,000-3,000). A showcase of architectural splendor, the run features early twentieth-century etchings of the Brooklyn Bridge, the Flatiron Building, elevated trains and waterways. Among unusual examples is Kerr Eby’s scarce view of the Singer Building, circa 1930, which was razed in the late 1960s. The etching shows the now-forgotten building swathed in fog ($1,200-1,800). Other artists in the collection are Armin Landeck, John Marin, Joseph Pennell and John Sloan.

Further American works include several luminous color woodcuts: Blanche Lazzell’s Tulips, 1920 ($15,000-20,000); Edna Boies Hopkins Cineraria (Anemones; Purple Zinnias), 1915-17 ($10,000-15,000); and Bror J. O. Nordfeldt’s Three Travelers Crossing a Bridge in the Snow, 1906 ($2,000-3,000). Grant Wood’s lithograph Sultry Night, 1939, stands out among Regionalist prints ($15,000-20,000). 

Several watercolors by Thomas Rowlandson are led by James Christie’s Auction Rooms, circa 1810, a variant of a similar work held by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The image of a packed salesroom replete with periwigs and tricorn caps is estimated at $10,000 to $15,000. Other nineteenth-century highlights include Honoré Daumier’s Les Gens de Justice, with 38 lithographs, 1848, the master caricaturist’s satirization of corrupt lawyers and judges ($30,000-50,000). A run of scarce prints and drawings by Camille Pissarro features Maison avec Palmiers, watercolor and pencil, circa 1852-54 ($15,000-20,000).

European originals include the delicate Jeune Fille Accroupie by Aristide Maillol, and a chalk drawing of a tall, fashionable woman in profile by Gustav Klimt ($1,000-1,500 and $20,000-30,000, respectively). A run of antiquity-inspired works by Georges Braque is led by the 1925 brush-and-ink Portrait d’une femme ($20,000-30,000). A colorful watercolor by Man Ray, Sans titre (Trois Arbres), 1913, reflects the artist’s early work likely inspired by the inaugural Armory Show in New York that same year ($15,000-20,000). 

A strong selection of German Expressionist works includes Lyonel Feininger’s Dorfkirche, watercolor, pen and ink, 1954 ($12,000-18,000) and scarce prints by Käthe Kollwitz, Max Beckmann, and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner.

The top lot of the sale is Pablo Picasso’s Grand nu Dansant, color linoleum cut, 1962 ($40,000-60,000). Edvard Munch’s 1899 color woodcut of a curvy, smiling sex worker in a dim interior relates to his painting Rose and Amelie, in the Oslo Munch museum ($30,000-50,000). Highlights among fine prints by Marc Chagall are Les Adolescents, 1975, and Femme du Peintre, 1971 ($25,000-35,000 and $30,000-50,000, respectively).

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

Image: Lot 308: John Taylor Arms, Downtown, New York, aquatint and etching, 1921. Estimate $2,000-3,000.

4efb8270-1f23-4c31-8c07-efc3721801ef.jpgBoston, MA — On Friday, September 21, Skinner presents an outstanding two-session auction of Prints, Multiples & Photographs and Paintings & Sculpture with over 350 lots spanning Old Masters through contemporary offerings. Robin S. R. Starr, Vice President and Director of American & European Works of Art, notes, "We're excited about the depth and breadth of the works in the September auction, from a rediscovered Gérôme masterpiece to a considerable number of fresh to the market works from private collections, including of the composer, lyricist, author, playwright, recording artist, and performer, Dory Previn." 

Paintings & Sculpture

The marquee lot of the sale is by Jean-Léon Gérôme. This newly rediscovered orientalist painting called Evening Prayer (Lot 266, Estimate: $400,000-600,000) has been described as a "perfected" version of one of Gérôme's most evocative compositions, showing Muslim men at prayer on a Cairo rooftop. With all of the technical hallmarks and intellectual nuances of his art, it has recently been confirmed as an original work by his hand, and returned to the artist's oeuvre. It has not appeared at auction since it was sold at the Christie, Manson and Woods, London, Modern Pictures auction on May 5, 1888. 

Other notable 19th-century works include Twilight on the Terrace by Julius Leblanc Stewart (Lot 219, Estimate: $150,000-250,000).  From a private collection, this major painting by expatriate artist Julius Stewart, dated 1877, shows elegant figures at leisure on a terrace with a twilight view of Paris in the distance. The three women wear handsomely painted dresses of satin and lace, and exotic details such as the colorful parrots and Japanese parasol add to the opulence of the scene. Stewart studied for a time with Jean-Léon Gérôme and accompanied him on a trip to Egypt in 1874. Starr notes, "The rediscovered Gérôme is such a rare and wonderful find; and to be able to present it with Stewart’s work - also previously hidden away in private hands - gives us a fascinating glimpse into the relationship between master and student.”

A highlight among the offerings of Modern & Contemporary works is by Louise Nevelson, a leading figure in 20th-century American sculpture. Nevelson is represented by a maquette for the monumental sculpture Sky Landscape I (Lot 373, Estimate: $50,000-70,000). The 30-inch tall welded steel piece displays the elegance of Nevelson's smooth opaque black surfaces and the balanced fusion of her geometric angles and anthropomorphic curves. The monumental version of Sky Landscape I is currently on view at the Seattle Art Museum's Olympic Sculpture Park.

Other featured works include:

Prints & Multiples

Features work from the old masters to the 21st century, and is especially strong in 20th-century works. Leading the group is Andy Warhol’s Portraits of the Artists (Lot 108, Estimate: $25,000-35,000); a group of 100 colorful screen printed polystyrene boxes depicting a veritable who’s who of New York’s 1960s art scene. The auction features two groups of prints - one by Joan Miró and the other by Rockwell Kent. Both show the broad ranges and talents of these two artists. The collection of Miró prints includes lithographs and intaglios from small, intimate compositions like the plate from the Ubu Roi suite (Lot 75, Estimate: $2,500-3,500) and large-scale iconic images with heavy carborundum like Le matador (Lot 77, Estimate $25,000-35,000) and La fronde (Lot 76, Estimate: $20,000-30,000). The Kent works likewise feature a variety of media, and include Starlight (Lot 24, Estimate $2,500-3,500) and Forest Pool (Lot 21, Estimate $1,500-2,500), two of his most highly coveted wood engravings.

Other featured works include:

Photographs

A range of 20th-century and contemporary works by such masters as Ansel Adams, Lewis Baltz, Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Nan Goldin, Kenneth Josephson, Daido Moriyama, and others are on offer. Highlights include:

Previews, Gallery Events, and Catalogs

Previews for the auction will be in our Boston Gallery on Wednesday, September 19: 12pm-5pm and Thursday, September 20: 12pm-8pm.  Free and open to the public, department specialists will be available to answer questions about the material and participating at auction. Join us for an EVENT... The fully illustrated print catalog may be purchased on the Skinner website or by phone order at 508-970-3234.

Image: Andy Warhol (American, 1928-1987) Portraits of the Artists (Lot 108, Estimate: $35,000-35,000)

Sanders-D Duck.jpegLos Angeles - A signed hand-drawn Walt Disney sketch of Donald Duck was auctioned tonight by Nate D. Sanders Auctions for $11,949.

In the early 1930’s, Disney created Donald Duck to be Mickey Mouse’s companion. Disney signed his name at the bottom of his pencil drawing of the beloved duck character. The sketch measures 5.5 by 8.5 inches. 

Nate D. Sanders auction manager Michael Kirk remarked, “It's rare to find a Donald Duck illustration hand drawn and signed by Walt Disney himself. Disney famously delegated almost all animation work to his team of talented animators, making this piece very unique and collectible."  

Additional information on the Sketch can be found at 
https://natedsanders.com/Walt_Disney_Hand_Drawn_Sketch_of_Donald_Duck__Sign-LOT50054.aspx

About Nate D. Sanders Auctions

An industry leader in documents and autographs, Nate D. Sanders Auctions has conducted auctions in Los Angeles since 1990 and now holds major auctions on a monthly basis. Owner Nate Sanders is recognized for his knowledge of sports, historical and Hollywood memorabilia. To learn more visit natedsanders.com

166 .jpgChicago -- Potter and Potter's signature summer magic auction caught the attention of collectors worldwide and delivered exceptional results. After a long day of spirited bidding, 29 lots realized between $1,000-1,999; 29 lots made between $2,000-$9,999; and six lots broke the five-figure mark. Prices noted include the company's 20% buyer's premium. 

Rarities associated with legendary people or places in the magic community took the top spots in this sale. Lot #282, a 1916 three sheet color litho featuring Howard Thurston as Thurston the Great rose to $22,800. This spectacularly illustrated poster featured Thurston, assisted by imps, levitating an assistant, with Kellar’s endorsement quoted in the lower margin. Lot #455, Bob Swadling’s Magic Kettle more than doubled its low estimate and changed hands at $21,600. This mechanically complex vessel was used by Paul Daniels on British TV in 1979. This kettle is one of the items that was sold to help defray the costs of Sebastian Midtvaage's care. And lot #166, Chicago Magic Roundtable 1946 scrapbook - featuring the autographs of about 500 magicians as well as brochures, business cards, signed photographs, letters, promotional materials, and clippings from the club - made an astonishing $19,200 on its original $2,000-3,000 estimate. This treasure-trove generated 43 bids, the most of any lot in this sale. 

The results of this auction confirm Potter & Potter’s solid reputation as the first choice for buying and selling fine magic-related archives and collections. Lot #209, a Servais LeRoy & Co. illusion instruction archive from 1912 almost doubled its low estimate to make $11,400. This collection included typed and manuscript instructions and advertisements for illusions, gimmicks, pocket, and parlor tricks sold and manufactured by this short-lived but important London-based magic company. Buyers were also focused on lot #255, a collection of more than 200 photographs of magicians from the 1940's through the 1990's including Doug Henning, Ali Bongo, Paul Daniels, Lance Burton, Jack Gwynne, Blackstone Jr, and others. This comprehensive grouping was estimated at $400-800 and sold for $3,000. And lot #173, a Loring Campbell scrapbook, owned and kept by the lyceum and Chautauqua magician, turned the page for $720 on its $50-100 estimate. 

Ephemera related to the great Dutch magician Okito (1875-1963) clearly captured the imagination of bidders at this event. Okito was the stage name of Tobias Bamberg, a sixth-generation magician who performed his Asian themed act entirely in pantomime. Lot #221, a 1929 photo postcard of a costumed Okito signed and inscribed to his best customer and friend Victor Barbour, sold for $2,400 - four times its high estimate!  A number of letters from Okito to Barbour also delivered strong results in this sale. Of note is lot #222, a letter from Okito to Barbour dated April 29, 1920 addressing a variety of personal and professional topics, and lot #233, three Okito letters to Barbour spanning the 1918-1924 time frame. Each of these lots was estimated at $400-600 and sold for $2,160. 

This event's offering of over 150 rare and important magic books, with titles from the 1600's onward, was truly breathtaking. Surprise best sellers in this category include lot #70, Professor Hoffmann’s signed copy of Robert-Houdin and Jean Eugène’s Les Tricheries Des Grecs Devoilees, published by J. Hetzel in Paris in 1863.  Estimated at $300-500, it made $2,750. And lot #120, a manuscript copy of Tetragramaton, published by the author Tony Andruzzi (Tom Palmer) in Chicago in the 1970’s sold for $4,080 on its $1,200-1,800 estimate.  This absolutely exquisite book doubled as a piece of art, and was detailed with pebbled black hardcovers, brass studs, a color lenticular illustration of a wizard, border decorations, and original illustrations.

This spotlight sale rounded out with top-tier offerings of magic related ephemera, stage worn costumes, apparatus, artwork, and other rarities. Lot #366, a c. 1940’s deco style Devil’s mailbox made by the F.G. Thayer & Co. burned through its $250-300 estimate to realize $3,600.  Lot #328, an early 20th century French wind up bisque-headed child conjuror performed well, making $4,250 on her $300-500 estimate.  Lot #187, a 1924 typed, signed letter from Ottokar Fischer to Dr. Samuel Cox Hooker on dramatic, three color letterhead made $2,640 - more than ten times its high estimate! And wrapping things up here, lot #177 - two 1920’s-era costume robes from the Carter Illusion Show - brought $1,440 on their $250-350 estimate. 

According to Gabe Fajuri, President at Potter & Potter Auctions, “It's gratifying to see strong demand for the rare and unusual magic memorabilia we featured in this sale. As is often the case, the unique or truly scarce and attractive items we offer performed exceptionally well. This bodes well for the future - both short-term and long-term - as we have some spectacular and historically significant magic memorabilia on deck for the coming year." 

Potter & Potter, founded in 2007, is a Chicago area auction house specializing in paper Americana, vintage advertising, rare books, playing cards, gambling memorabilia, posters, fine prints, vintage toys, and magicana - antiques and collectibles related to magic and magicians. The company's next sale, its annual Coin-Op & Advertising Auction, will be held on September 29, 2018.  For more information, please see www.potterauctions.com.  Follow us on Facebook (potterandpotterauctions), Twitter (PnPAuctions), and Instagram (potterauctions). 

Image: Chicago Magic Roundtable 1946 Scrapbook, sold for $19,200.

Dallas, TX - A rare Polk & Dallas: Highly Significant Large 1844 Campaign Flag Banner sold for $81,250 and a Pocket Watch Owned by One of the Passengers on the R.M.S. Titanic drew $57,500, to lead Heritage Auctions’ Americana & Political auction Aug. 25-26 in Dallas, Texas. Sales from the event totaled $1,459,448.

“This auction featured items that really captured the fascination of collectors of all levels,” Heritage Auctions Americana Auctions Director Tom Slater said. “The 1844 campaign flag and the watch from the Titanic are lots that tell important stories, and will be key pieces in their new owners’ collections.”

Polk campaign items, especially display pieces, are rare, and the Polk & Dallas flag is one of the largest political flags ever made, measuring 49-1/2 by 30-1/2 inches, or 57 by 38 inches with the frame. This flag is one of perhaps six known. It formerly resided in the legendary U.I. “Chick” Harris Collection, and achieved the highest price of any object when that collection was sold in a series of eight auctions nearly 20 years ago. Intended for horizontal display, it still has the original fabric loops for suspension across the top, and fine stitching around the perimeter.

The pocket watch was salvaged from Sinai Kantor, a Russian immigrant who was one of victims when the Titanic collided with an iceberg April 15, 1912. Kantor’s belongings, including the watch, were returned to his widow, Miriam, who was spared when “women and children first” protocol earned her a seat on the final lifeboat to reach the rescue ship R.M.S. Carpathia.

Numerous bidders pursued Revolutionary War: “Liberty Triumphant or the Downfall of Oppression” Prohibitively Rare Copper Engraved Cartoon Celebrating the Boston Tea Party until it brought $37,500. The rare political cartoon was published after Dec. 23, 1773 and before April 1774, mere months after the Sons of Liberty, disguised as Mohawk Indians, took to Boston Harbor and destroyed more than 92,000 pounds of tea. Just six copies of the copper engraved cartoon are known to exist in institutional holdings.

One of the premier political banners surviving from the era, Henry Clay: A Spectacular Hand-Painted Banner from the 1844 Campaign drew multiple bids before closing at $35,000, nearly double its pre-auction estimate. Reflecting the Nativist and Protectionist viewpoint of many of Clay’s supporters, the banner features a portrait of Clay over text that reads: “AMERICA THOU ART OUR COUNTRY AND THEE WILL WE SUPPORT / We are labourers and would not that our children’s bread should be cast to the dogs of foreign nations.”

William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody’s Wild West Show: “He-Nu-Kaw” Richly Colored Lithographed Poster Depicting “The Handsomest Indian Maiden in the World” led a group of 84 lots related to the legendary American scout, bison hunter and showman when multiple bidders drove its final price to $32,500 - more than six times its pre-auction estimate. A rare and early poster issued around 1878 to promote Cody’s New York stage play, this example is one of only a handful known to remain in existence, according to former longtime Buffalo Bill Historical Center curator Paul Fees. Printed by Cleveland, Ohio-based lithographers W.J. Morgan & Co., this example comes from the collection of the late, renowned collector Edward C. Gillette of Kansas City. Gillette amassed one of the finest collections of items related to Buffalo Bill, many of which appeared in the Aug. 25 Heritage Auctions sale.

Other top lots included but were not limited to:

·       George Washington: Portrait Dated 1791 After Gilbert Stuart: $27,500

·       Dwight D. Eisenhower & John F. Kennedy: Official White House Presidential Flag: $27,500

·       Mexican-American War: South Carolina Palmetto Regiment Gold Medal with Ribbon: $27,500

·       Cox & Roosevelt: The “Holy Grail” Jugate Button for These 1920 Running Mates: $22,500

·       Lyndon B. Johnson: Signed Iconic Air Force One Swearing-In Photograph: $21,250

55036a_lg.jpegLos Angeles - A signed hand-drawn Walt Disney sketch of Donald Duck will be auctioned by Nate D. Sanders Auctions on August 30, 2018.

In the early 1930’s, Disney created Donald Duck to be Mickey Mouse’s companion. Disney signed his name at the bottom of his pencil drawing of the beloved duck character. The sketch measures 5.5 by 8.5 inches.

Nate D. Sanders auction manager Michael Kirk remarked, “It's rare to find a Donald Duck illustration hand drawn and signed by Walt Disney himself. Disney famously delegated almost all animation work to his team of talented animators, making this piece very unique and collectible."  

Bidding for the drawing begins at $7,900.

Additional information on the manuscript can be found at 
https://natedsanders.com/Walt_Disney_Hand_Drawn_Sketch_of_Donald_Duck__Sign-LOT50054.aspx

 

blobid6_1535450110996.pngA reflective and tender letter written by Nelson Mandela from his prison cell on Robben Island to the daughter of his friend and fellow anti-apartheid activist, Michael Harmel is to be offered at Bonhams South African Sale in London on 14 September.  It is estimated at £50,000-100,000.

The letter, which has never been published, is addressed to Barbara Lamb and sends condolences on the death of her father Michel Harmel, news of which had only recently reached Mandela. At the time - October 1974 - the future South African President (Prisoner 466/64) was ten years into a life sentence, following his conviction for sabotage at the Rivonia Trial in 1964. 

Mandela first met Harmel at a Communist Party meeting in the 1940s, and he writes movingly about his initial failure as a young college graduate to appreciate the older man’s gifts: “I was convinced that he did not deserve the honour of being placed amongst the elite. It was some years later that I came to accept his simplicity as a virtue on which one could model his own life...". 

Over time their friendship grew. Harmel’s wife Ray - a seamstress and ardent supporter of the anti-apartheid movement - made Winnie Mandela’s wedding dress at Nelson’s request and the famous post-wedding photograph of the newly married couple was taken at the Harmel’s house. 

Elsewhere in the letter Mandela reflects, “He was one of those men who fully understood the meaning of their life as part of mankind generally & as individuals. His peep into the future very often coincided with one's most intimate hopes & dreams. May he rest in peace for 'his work on earth is done'.”

The conditions under which Mandela lived when the letter was written were brutal. Although by 1974 he had progressed from a Grade D to a Grade A prisoner, and was able to maintain more contact with the outside world, he was still sleeping every night on a stone floor, breaking stones in the yard every day during the week, and was confined to his cell 23 hours a day at the weekends.

Despite the hardships and the sad circumstances that prompted him to write, Mandela maintains a sense of perspective and humour. Looking forward to his freedom he promises to take his European ‘sisters’ - close friends who had supported him in the days of struggle - to a feast and then to invite them to join in Umngqungpo, the Xhosa dance performed by elder women to celebrate girls who are coming of age.

The letter closes with a characteristically thoughtful interweaving of the personal and the philosophical. “It has been said that faith is like an oak tree, it grows steadily but, once established, it endures for centuries. Ever ridden a horse in your life, or seen a horse race? Hope is the horse on which you ride & travel to your destination, to reach the winning post. My only fortune in life is to have friends who taught me these things, amongst whom was your beloved Pa. Fondest regards & sincere good wishes to all. Sincerely, Nelson".

Bonhams Director of the South African Sale Giles Peppiatt said, “When Nelson Mandela wrote this letter he had endured 10 years of appalling treatment with no prospect of release, yet he retained his humanity, his sense of humour and his faith in the future. He writes with almost conversational grace and ease. It is a wonderful letter.”  

UG9ydHJhaXRfRWRtb25kRGVCZWxhbXkuSlBH.jpegNew York—This fall, as part of the ongoing dialogue over AI and art, Christie’s will become the first major auction house to offer a work of art created by an algorithm, which will be included in the Prints & Multiples auction in New York October 23-25. The work is titled Portrait of Edmond de Belamy (estimate: $7,000-10,000), created by artificial intelligence and conceived by the Paris-based collective Obvious.

The portrait depicts a gentleman, possibly French and — to judge by his dark frockcoat and plain white collar — a man of the church. The work appears unfinished: the facial features are somewhat indistinct and there are blank areas of canvas. The portrait, however, is not the product of a human mind. It is one of a group of 11 unique portraits of the fictional Belamy family conceived by Obvious, a Paris-based collective consisting of Hugo Caselles-Dupré, Pierre Fautrel and Gauthier Vernier.

Hugo Caselles-Dupré, representative of Obvious, describes the process: “This new technology allows us to experiment on the notion of creativity for a machine, and the parallel with the role of the artist in the creation process. The approach invites the observer to consider and evaluate the similarities and distinctions between the mechanics within the human brain, such as the creative process, and the ones of an algorithm. We wish to emphasize the parallel between the input parameters used for training an algorithm, and the expertise and influences that craft the style of an artist. Most of all, we want the viewer to focus on the creative process: an algorithm usually functions by replicating human behavior, but it learns by using a path of its own.”

Richard Lloyd, International Head of Prints & Multiples, comments: “Christie’s continually stays attuned to changes in the art market and how technology can impact the creation and consumption of art. AI has already been incorporated as a tool by contemporary artists and as this technology further develops, we are excited to participate in these continued conversations. To best engage in the dialogue, we are offering a public platform to exhibit an artwork that has entirely been realized by an algorithm.”

In July 2018, Christie’s London staged a symposium on the profound implications of blockchain for artists and collectors. The inaugural technology conference will be an annual event, and AI will very likely be one of the next topics explored. This October, when the Portrait of Edmond de Belamy goes under the hammer in the Prints & Multiples sale it will signal the arrival of AI art on the world auction stage. Proceeds from the sale of this lot will be used to further the collective’s research into training its algorithm and to finance the computation power needed to produce this type of artwork.

About the process:

Obvious is engaged in exploring the interface between art and artificial intelligence, using a method known as a ‘generative adversarial network’ or the acronym GAN. This series is referred to as “La Famille de Belamy,” was named as a tribute to the inventor of GANs, Ian Goodfellow (“Goodfellow” is roughly translated to “Bel ami” in French). Created by an algorithm composed of two parts, The Generator and the Discriminator, the system was fed a data set of 15,000 portraits. The Generator made new images based on the set and the Discriminator reviewed all outputs until it deemed the result imperceptible whether done from a human-hand or attributed to the algorithm. The work included in the October sale is Edmond de Belamy, the ‘youngest’ documented member of the family or the ‘newest’ born creation of the algorithm. For additional information visit the Christie’s online feature: Is artificial intelligence set to become art’s next medium?

Image: Generative Adversarial Network print, on canvas, 2018, 70x70 cm (60x60 cm unframed) signed with GAN model loss function in ink by the publisher, from a series of eleven unique images, published by Obvious Art, Paris, with original gilded wood frame. Estimate: $7,000-10,000

Heritage Map copy.jpgDallas, TX - America’s rarest, rabble-rousing poke-in-the-eye to British Parliament - a seldom-seen political cartoon celebrating the 1773 Boston Tea Party - is expected to sell for more than $20,000 after surfacing in Heritage Auctions’ Aug. 25 Americana auction. It was published mere months after the Sons of Liberty, disguised as Mohawk Indians, took to Boston Harbor and destroyed more than 92,000 pounds of tea. Just six copies of the copper engraved cartoon are known in institutional holdings.

Titled: “Liberty Triumphant or the Downfall of Oppression,” the illustration shows the response of New Englanders to the British Tea Tax, enacted in 1773, drawn over a map of the northern and middle colonies. Probably published in Philadelphia or New York, the cartoon is attributed to Henry Dawkins, an engraver who was arrested in 1776 on suspicion of counterfeiting continental and provincial currency, which resulted in a $1,500 fine. 

“Revolutionary era cartoons are in exceedingly high demand, and this is an extremely rare print,” Heritage Auctions Americana Director Tom Slater said. “This is a very important cartoon that addresses one of the most successful acts of civil protest in the history of our country. We are aware of just six other copies, all of which are in institutional holdings, making the demand for this one even higher among serious collectors.”

The Boston-based Sons of Liberty, a secret society formed to protect the rights of the colonists and to fight taxation by the British government, targeted the Tea Act of 1773, which allowed the British India Company to sidestep some tax liability while selling tea from China in American colonies, thereby effectively undercutting local tea merchants. Protestors, some of whom were disguised as Native Americans, destroyed an entire shipment of tea on December 16, 1773, forcing the closing of Boston Harbor.

Published after December 23, 1773 and before April 1774, the image is decidedly busy, filled with captions and quote balloons from nearly all of the 30 characters. The left side of the cartoon shows British politicians and merchants with the devil, and American colonists - seven of whom are dressed as Native Americans representing those at the Boston Tea Party - on the right. 

Captions at the bottom of the cartoon serve as a key to explain the people and symbolic figures portrayed in it. Most of those on the left are representatives of the East India Company; those in the lower right are colonial merchants who opposed the Tea Party but deemed it better to acquiesce, since the deed was done. On the far right side of the cartoon is a British ship like those the protesters wanted to redirect back to England, prevented from discharging its cargo of tea.

The December 16, 1773 Boston Tea Party was the most dramatic act of civil disobedience to the Tea Act passed the previous spring. Mass protests in Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Charleston effectively prevented the unloading of cargo, leading to the passage of the “Intolerable Acts” and the forced closing of Boston harbor.

TUFSR0FSRVQtQk9VUktF4oCTV0hJVEUtKDE5MDTigJMxOTcxKS0tRm9ydC1QZWNrLURhbSwtTW9udGFuYSwtMTkzNi5qcGc=.jpegNew York -  Christie's announces the sale of An American Journey: The Diann G and Thomas A Mann Collection of Photographic Masterworks. On public view in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York - the sale will take place at Christie’s Rockefeller Center the evening of October 4, followed by a morning session on October 5. The collection includes rare examples of works by major figures of the Photo-Secession—Edward Steichen, Gertrude Kasebier, Clarence White, and the quintessential patron and practitioner of American art photography, Alfred Stieglitz—along with numerous masterworks in early American Modernism by Edward Weston and Paul Strand.

Alfred Stieglitz was immensely influential in establishing and tirelessly promoting photography as an art form in the United States. He edited and published magazines, promoted photographers through exhibitions at his galleries, and produced his own rich body of creative photographic work. The photogravure printing process was his well-known favored method, and he promoted the technique as an original means of photographic printmaking. The Mann Collection contains his three most iconic works from the Photo-Secessionist period, printed as oversized photogravures; each example is signed and mounted including: The Terminal, New York, 1892; The Hand of Man, 1902; The Steerage, 1907.

The Mann collection also features works by socially conscious photographers associated with the Farm Security Administration which documented America during the Great Depression era, including Dorothea Lange, Margaret Bourke-White, Arthur Rothstein and Walker Evans. Additionally, of particular note are two outstanding 19th century works, including El Capitan, Yosemite, 1878-1881 by Carleton Watkins, and a superb example of White House Ruins in Canyon de Chelley by Timothy O'Sullivan, from 1873. 

An American Journey forms a comprehensive visual record of a rich period of production before World War I, through the explosive and radical period between the two great wars, and into the heady post-War period. Assembled by an assiduous couple who were moved by the power of photography, and recognized how severely photographic masterworks were undervalued. The Manns were true connoisseurs before photography collecting took off and had been fully accepted as a legitimate art form.

Image: Margaret Bourke-White (1904-1971), Fort Peck Dam, Montana, 1936. Gelatin silver print. Estimate: $100,000-150,000

Frazetta venus.jpgDallas, TX - Frenetic bidding drove the final price for Frank Frazetta’s Escape on Venus Painting Original Art (1972) to $660,000 to claim top-lot honors in Heritage Auctions' Comics & Comic Art Auction Aug. 2-4 in Dallas, Texas, which brought in a total of $6,670,739.

The price realized by Escape on Venus was the third-highest ever through Heritage Auctions for a Frazetta painting. Death Dealer 6 Painting Original Art (1990) brought a record $1,792,500 in May 2018, and Frank Frazetta At The Earth's Core Paperback Cover Painting Original Art (1974), sold for $1,075,500 in August 2016.

Used as the cover image for the 1974 re-issue of the Edgar Rice Burroughs novel of the same name, Escape on Venus was created in 1972 and released as a print later in the decade.

“The result for this painting continues a trend of Frazetta paintings that have enjoyed enormous success in our auctions,” Heritage Auctions Senior Vice President Ed Jaster said. “Frank Frazetta was known for painting strong, sensuous women in fantastic environments. Escape on Venus is a prime example of his ability to paint in a way that directs the focus of those viewing his paintings to a specific place. In this painting, the trees and plants around the borders of the painting are done in subtle, muted tones, sending the focus back to the tiger and the woman in the center of the image.”

The Incredible Hulk #1 (Marvel, 1962) CGC VF/NM 9.0 Off-white to white pages also drew bids from nearly 30 collectors, before ultimately selling for $264,000. Ranked second on Overstreet’s list of the Top 50 Silver Age Comics, this issue is the only one in which the Hulk appears grey, and carries a grade higher than all but two copies ever offered by Heritage Auctions.

The cover of Gene Colan and Bill Everett Iron Man and Sub-Mariner #1 Cover Original Art (Marvel, 1968) proclaims it to be a “Special Once-In-A-Lifetime” issue, and the $240,000 - a figure nearly 2-1/2 times the pre-auction estimate - showed evidence that the statement was more than mere hyperbolic hype designed to sell the issue. The title characters teamed up in this issue after each had paired up with others: Namor the Sub-Mariner with the Hulk in Tales to Astonish, and Iron Man with Captain America in Tales of Suspense.

John Romita Sr. Amazing Spider-Man #55 Cover Doctor Octopus Original Art (Marvel, 1967) was another extremely popular lot, drawing bids from 18 collectors before realizing $105,000. This stunning cover shows an extreme close-up image of supervillain Doctor Octopus, who is engaged in a battle with Spider-Man, who can be seen in the reflection of Doc Ock’s glasses over a banner trumpeting “DOC OCK WINS!”

Jack Kirby and Chic Stone Tales of Suspense #60 Splash Page 1 Captain America Original Art (Marvel, 1964) was among the most coveted items in the auction, inspiring bids from 31 collectors before closing at $96,000, nearly double the pre-auction estimate. Just the second solo Captain America story since the 1950s, the issue features an extraordinary image of Captain America beneath a starburst balloon announcing “THE ARMY OF ASSASSINS STRIKES!” The issue is written by Stan Lee, with art by Jack Kirby, and is inked by Chic Stone and lettered by Art Simek.

The 1958 cult-classic film The Blob! was inspired by scenes like the one on the cover of Wally Wood Weird Science #22 Cover Original Art (EC, 1953), which yielded $90,000. Promising “Incredible Science-Fiction Stories,” the original art by Wally Wood features Wood’s “Old English” font signature in the lower left corner. The image, measuring 13-1/2 by 19-1/2 inches, is done in ink over graphite on EC Bristol board.

Other top lots included, but were not limited to:

·         Jack Kirby and Paul Reinman X-Men #1 Story Page 5 Original Art (Marvel, 1963): $72,000

·         Detective Comics #35 Larson Pedigree (DC, 1940) CGC Conserved NM- 9.2 White pages: $66,000

·         Bernie Wrightson Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley's Frankenstein Unused Illustration Original Art (c. 1975): $60,000

·         Barry Smith Conan the Barbarian #5 Cover Original Art (Marvel, 1971): $60,000

The auction also featured a collection of 23 Star Wars action figures, which sold for a total of $201,180. The collection included, but was not limited to:

·         Bib Fortuna (Red Cape) Loose Action Figure /TW Prototype (Kenner, 1983) Condition: AFA 85 NM+: $31,200

·         Luke Skywalker 12 Back-C w/Yellow Hair Action Figure (Kenner, 1978) AFA 95 MT: $28,800

·         Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi First Shot Prototype Action Figure with Yellow Saber (Kenner, 1977) AFA 70 EX+: $20,400

·         Princess Leia Organa 12 Back-B Action Figure (Kenner, 1978) AFA 95 MT: $19,200

·         Luke Skywalker w/Telescoping Lightsaber 12 Back-C Action Figure (Kenner, 1978) AFA 85 NM+: $15,600

511-Sutro-Baths copy.jpgNew York—A mammoth auction of Vintage Posters on August 1 set at least six auction records, including a new high price for Sutro Baths. The text-free variant of the 1896 poster, promoting a former San Francisco landmark, brought $23,400. The exhibition for Swann Galleries’ annual summer auction was overflowing, taking both exhibition floors at the house’s Flatiron district premises.

Alphonse Mucha’s Times of the Day was the top lot of the auction, selling to an institution for $40,000. Other Mucha works received significant attention from collectors: Bières de la Meuse, 1897, sold for $17,500 over an $8-12,000 presale estimate, and Salon des Cent, 1896, brought $10,000. The sale set a record price for Peter Behren’s Der Kuss, 1898, a color woodcut published by Pan magazine, at $5,000. Other Art Nouveau highlights included Marcello Dudovich’s 1908 design for the Italian department store Mele ($6,500).

The auction offered an unusually broad selection of food and drink posters, with sections devoted to Leonetto Cappiello and Luciano Achille Mauzan. The former's Carnaval / Vinho do Porto, 1911, brought $18,750. Manuel Orazi’s Ligue Vinicole de France, 1901, an elegant image positioning wine as the wholesome answer to the modern world’s ills, brought a record $10,625. Ludwig Hohlwein’s Kathreiner Weine, 1913, was purchased by an institution for $4,750. As a firm counterargument to the virtues of a perfectly aged bottle of wine, a group of 20 small-format posters issued by the American Temperance Society sold for $2,125.

Wartime propaganda, for which these sales are known, included both marketplace mainstays and surprises. Among top lots were perhaps the two most iconic posters in the world: James Montgomery Flagg’s I Want You brought $10,000, while the anonymously designed Keep Calm and Carry On, a 1939 image from Great Britain’s propaganda efforts in WWII, sold for $12,500. Soviet Constructivist images performed well, with posters by Gustav Klutsis and Nikolai Andreevich Dolgorukov among the top lots ($9,375 and $6,750, respectively). Two posters designed by Arthur Szyk in the 1940s for the war effort, encouraging American soldiers to “Fool the Axis - Use Prophylaxis,” sold for $4,750 and $4,000, new auction records over estimates of just $800 to $1,200 apiece. 

Nicholas Lowry, Swann Galleries’ President and Director of Vintage Posters, noted that “the results were representative of the kind of poster passion that has driven the success of these auctions over the last two decades. As is usual in our August sales, WWI and WWII propaganda and Art Nouveau performed well, but unexpected highlights also indicate a buoyant market for psychedelic, protest, artist and exhibition posters.”

The next auction of Vintage Posters at Swann Galleries, Rare & Important Travel Posters, is scheduled for October 25, 2018. Swann Galleries holds at least five poster auctions each year and is currently accepting quality consignments for auctions in 2019.

Image: Lot 511, Sutro Baths, designer unknown, 1896. Sold for $23,400.

556  .jpgChicago - Potter and Potter Auctions' midsummer event was a bibliophile's dream, drawing attention and buyers from every corner of the globe! When the hammer fell for the last time, 25 lots realized between $1,000-1,999; 15 lots made between $2,000-$9,999; and three lots scored $12,000 or more! Prices noted include the company's 20% buyer's premium. 

The three top lots in this auction all represented periods of great transition in world history. Lot #556, Emil Orlik's Aus Japan from 1904, was estimated at $10,000-15,000 and realized $18,000. Orlik was one of the first Western artists welcomed to Japan in 1900; he traveled to this traditionally secretive country to learn its print making techniques. His documentation of everyday Japanese life remains an important body of work today.  Lot #369, an engraving of the United States Declaration of Independence realized $16,800. This example was from volume I of Peter Force’s 1837-1853 series of books, American Archives. It is suspected that only 500 copies of the Force declaration were printed, making this Potter & Potter offering quite revolutionary in its own way. And lot #383, a 1917 US Army recruitment poster titled Destroy This Mad Brute/Enlist illustrated by H.R. Hopps, marched its way to $12,000. Its visceral call to enlist, which prominently features a monster primate, Lady Liberty, blood, and a cudgel in its design, blatantly expressed many American's deep-held fears of a German invasion.

This sale presented an a to z selection of important and rare books, with about 350 lots on offer. Lot #234, Edward Tracy Turnerell's two volume Russia on the Borders of Asia. Kazan, The Ancient Capital of the Tartar Khans trekked to $2,880 on its $200-400 estimate.  This first edition set was published in 1854 by London's Richard Bentley. Lot #38, a first edition of Kahlil Gibran's Jesus The Son of Man made $2,160 - more than seven times its low estimate! This example was inscribed by the author and published in 1928 by Alfred A. Knopf, New York.  And lot #26, a first edition of Philip K. Dick's 1962 The Man in the High Castle traded hands at $660. 

Fine, novel, and humorous photographs provided another focal point to this comprehensive sale. Everything worked out in the end with lot #469, a c. 1940s Louis Armstrong signed “Swiss Kriss” laxatives print advertising photo. Estimated at $400-800, it sold for $1,320. Lot #464, an inscribed and signed 1920-era publicity photo of boxer Jack Johnson pulled no punches, generating a whopping 19 bid and realizing $3,120.  And lot #424, a pair of 1908 photo albums of Cincinnati building construction projects from the Ailing Construction Co. climbed to $1,320. 

Museum-quality ephemera spanning three centuries also captured the imagination of collectors at this sale. Lot #411, a 1860-era Missouri Civil War recruitment broadside, battled its way to $1,440.  This bold letterpress recruitment poster offered handsome bounties to veterans and recruits alike to serve in Col. Sigel’s third volunteer infantry regiment. Lot #457, a 1928 Babe Ruth “Vote for Al Smith” real photo postcard made $900 on its $200-300 estimate.  This glossy original treasure pictured Ruth in bowler hat and cigar, with a flyer pinned to his lapel endorsing Al Smith for president.  And lot #567, a Tate Gallery Exhibition Booklet from 1971 with Andy Warhol’s “Marilyn Monroe" on the front and signed by the artist realized $2,640.

This memorable sale came full circle with carefully curated selections of posters, illustrations, artwork, and other temptations. It was a clothes encounter with lot #31, a group of three pre-production costume design drawings for the character Dick Diver from the 1962 film Tender is the Night.  They were illustrated by Academy Award winning costume designer Marjorie Best and realized $1,440.  Lot #444, a binder of 1920-era German notgeld, or regional currency, rang up $1,440.  This collection included over 450 different uncirculated monies.  And lot #384, a 1918 poster featuring a kneeling Boy Scout and a flag draped Lady Liberty sold for $900 - more than double its high estimate.  It was illustrated by Joseph Leyendecker and promoted the purchase of USA Bonds through the Third Liberty Loan Campaign.  

According to Gabe Fajuri, President at Potter & Potter Auctions, "Our book and manuscript sales continue offering diverse material, and the results of this auction show strong interest across all categories. The results show that demand for quality material is strong, and we are already looking forward to a full calendar of similar auctions in 2019." 

Potter & Potter, founded in 2007, is a Chicago area auction house specializing in paper Americana, vintage advertising, rare books, playing cards, gambling memorabilia, posters, fine prints, vintage toys, and magicana - antiques and collectibles related to magic and magicians. The company's next sale, its annual Summer Magic Auction, will be held on August 28, 2018.  For more information, please see www.potterauctions.com.  

Image: Aus Japan. Sold for $18,000 .

Lincoln shirt fragment.jpegWestport, CT - Important, historical items signed by Albert Einstein, Abraham Lincoln and Marilyn Monroe are just part of the incredible selection of autographed documents, books, manuscripts and relics set to come up for bid in University Archives’ next online-only auction, slated for Wednesday, August 22nd, at 10:30 am Eastern time. In all, 298 lots will be offered.

Other names in the auction include such diverse luminaries as Napoleon Bonaparte, Catherine the Great, Ty Cobb, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Woody Guthrie, Ernest Hemingway, Bruce Lee, J. D. Salinger, Joseph Stalin and Orville Wright. The full catalog with all lots can be viewed online now, at www.University Archives.com. Internet bidding will be provided by Invaluable.com.

“The historical market is showing great signs of strength, in many cases outpacing our strong economy,” said John Reznikoff, the president of University Archives. “It’s not often that we see such select items in the current seller’s market. We are particularly proud of the size and breadth of this sale but mostly the quality. Also worthy of noting is that the majority of items in this sale are offered for the first time or the first time in decades. Many of the items that have appeared before are offered at levels below their original sales price, offering some terrific opportunities.”

There are several Einstein lots in the sale, including a single page typed, signed scientific letter (in English) on Kepler and Quantum Law, the precursors to his special and general theory of relativity, dated Nov. 3, 1942 (est. $10,000-$12,000); and a rare and astounding life-size wax mold of Einstein’s head, commissioned by him personally and created by Katherine Stubergh (the wax sculptress of the stars), with human hair and signed by him (est. $15,000-$20,000).

Lincoln also makes multiple appearances in the auction. Lots include a one-page letter written and signed by Lincoln in 1863, a few months after issuing the Emancipation Proclamation, with association to freed slaves who fought with Gen. Ulysses S. Grant (est. $50,000-$60,000); and an actual fragment of Lincoln’s blood-stained shirt from the night of his assassination, with superb provenance, plus a copy of the book Obsequies of Abraham Lincoln (est. $25,000-$30,000).

Marilyn Monroe remains an enduring source of fascination to collectors. Several items signed by the screen goddess will come up for bid, to include the finest known photo signed by Monroe when she officially transformed from Norma Jean Baker to Marilyn Monroe. Taken circa 1947 and showing the starlet in a swimsuit pose, the 8 inch by 10 inch black and white photo is signed and inscribed with, “My very best wishes, Marilyn Monroe”. It should bring $20,000-$24,000.

From the same era, J. D. Salinger is another figure with lasting appeal for collectors. The famously reclusive author of The Catcher in the Rye is represented in the sale by a single-page letter, written and signed (“Love, Jerry”) entirely in Salinger’s hand, and addressed to Joyce Miller, a longtime friend, confidante and possible lover (no one is really sure). The letter, from May 1950, is jubilant, playful and suggestive. The envelope is included (est. $9,000-$10,000). 

The five lots dedicated to George Washington include an autograph manuscript, dated June 20, 1771, unsigned but penned by Washington on a single page as a survey and plot drawing that mark off reportedly violent Indian lands in the Ohio Valley (est. $20,000-$25,000); and a letter written and signed by Washington in January 1785, in which he introduces an Italian nobleman (the Count Castiglioni) to Governor William Moultrie of South Carolina (est. $14,000-$16,000).

A one-page letter written in French by Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821), signed by him, should command $2,000-$2,400. The letter, dated May 22, 1807 and written from what is now Poland, is regarding the surrender of Gdansk and the capture of the H.M.S. Dauntless. Also, a document from summer 1786 in which the Russian Empress Catherine II (Catherine the Great) promotes a Dutch engineer to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, has a pre-auction estimate of $3,000-$3,500.

A single-page letter written circa 1922 and signed by the author F. Scott Fitzgerald, to journalist Marguerite Marshall, in response to her interview of him following the publication of his novel, The Beautiful and the Damned, should garner $5,000-$6,000. Also, a two-page typed letter, signed by literary giant Ernest Hemingway, to the writer Peter Viertel, dated Aug. 8, 1948, where he discourses on writing, fishing, hunting, marriage and religion, is estimated at $4,000-$4,500.

A rare reproduction photo print signed by former Russian leader Joseph Stalin, one of only three known and accompanied by great association and provenance, should hit $15,000-$20,000. The photo, boldly signed by Stalin in Cyrillic (“J Stalin”), is from 1930 and shows two other men. Also, a single-page letter handwritten and signed by Clarence Anglin, an escapee from Alcatraz prison, to his mother, dated Feb. 19, 1950, with provenance, has an estimate of $2,500-$3,000.

It doesn’t get any more diverse than Bruce Lee and Ty Cobb. An 11-page letter hand-penned and signed by Cobb, dated “8/29/59”, in which he makes predictions as to which teams will reach that year’s World Series, with envelope, should fetch $4,000-$5,000; while Bruce Lee’s iconic wood-handled rubber tube jump rope that the martial arts legend used for footwork training, is expected to breeze to $3,500-$4,000. The jump rope was gifted to Lee by a friend.

Woody Guthrie’s two-page handwritten lyrics for a song he never recorded, titled Why, penned at the Brooklyn State Hospital in May 1956, where he was being treated for Huntington’s Disease, signed three times by the singer, should go for $5,000,$6,000; and an original piece of aviation pioneer Orville Wright’s plane, with a photo of the famous Wright Brothers’ first flight and a check signed by Orville, all in a matted display presentation, should make $3,000-$4,000.

As with all University Archives online auctions, this one is packed with important, scarce and collectible signed documents and other items relating to some of the most famous names in all of history. The firm has become world-renowned as a go-to source for rare material of this nature.

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, June 20th online auction, please visit www.universityarchives.com.

Image: Actual fragment of Abraham Lincoln’s blood-stained shirt from the night of his assassination, with provenance, plus a copy of the book Obsequies of Abraham Lincoln (est. $25,000-$30,000).

4c4e37782d826b1215e62545091369fec7e91b95.jpegBoston - Charles De Gaulle's handwritten Bastille Day speech will be auctioned by Boston-based RR Auciton. 

The one-page manuscript in French by Charles de Gaulle, signed within the heading, "Gen. de Gaulle," one page, July 14, 1941. A speech headed (translated): "Communique of Gen. de Gaulle to the Troops, 14.7.1941." In full (translated): "To the soldiers, to the sailors, to the airmen, to the people of France. July 14 is for us the anniversary of faith and national hope. Faith because never, despite the tears of France, we have no longer firmly believed in her and in her destiny. Hope because we see on the horizon all the data of Victory. Soldiers, sailors, airmen, Frenchmen, my dear companions, be firm, pure and faithful; because at the end of our troubles, there is the greatest glory in the world: that of men who have not yielded." In fine condition. 

General de Gaulle gave this rousing message during a Bastille Day ceremony at Marchand Stadium in Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo (then the capital of French Equatorial Africa), during which he awarded three soldiers with the Cross of Liberation. 

During this period, de Gaulle was leading the Free France movement, a government-in-exile that continued to fight against the Axis powers after the fall of France. A superb wartime message from the exiled French leader.

“It’s a superb wartime message from the exiled French leader,” said Bobby Livingston, Executive VP at RR Auction. 

Highlights among the more than 80 World War II related lots include: 

Charles de Gaulle letter "from warlord to warlord," de Gaulle writes to FDR: "General de Gaulle, he has only one goal, to defeat the enemy wherever he is.”

George S. Patton matte-finish photo in uniform, along with a typed letter. The superb pairing of two WWII-era items signed by Patton to General R. B. Lord, Chief of Staff of S.O.S 'Service of Supply' and Communications, Headquartered in Paris.

Original hand-painted wooden sign removed from the headquarters of the 600th Bomb Squadron (398th Bombardment Group, Eighth Air Force) in Nuthampstead, Hertfordshire, England.

Remarkable grouping of World War II military apparel belonging to Staff Sergeant William C. King, a B-24 aerial gunner with the 576th Bomb Squadron in Wendling, England.

Iconic World War II-era Irvin Royal Air Force fleece-lined leather flight jacket, the standard issue flying jacket used by British air crews during wartime.

The Fine Autographs and Artifacts auction featuring World War II from RR Auction will conclude on Aug 8.  More details can be found online at www.rrauction.com.  

 

16.jpgChicago — Potter & Potter Auctions is pleased to announce their 467 lot Summer Magic Auction to be held on Saturday, August 25th, 2018 starting at 10am at the company's gallery, located at 3759 N. Ravenswood Ave., Chicago, IL 60613. The sale includes 13 lots from the Bob Swadling collection that will be sold to help cover the healthcare costs of Sebastian Midtvaage, a young magician recovering from brain cancer. All items from this upcoming sale will be on display and available for public preview on Thursday, August 23rd and Friday, August 24th from 10:00am to 5:00pm in the Potter & Potter facility. 

This event's offering of books related to all things magic spans an astonishing five centuries, with titles from the 1600's onward.  Lot #9, a near fine, first edition of Isaak de Caus' New and Rare Inventions of Water-Works from 1659 is estimated at $10,000-15,000. This important volume features 26 copper engraved plates, woodcut text illustrations, and the engraved bookplate and ownership signature of Sir John Cope. Its contents promise to "Shew the earliest waies to raise water higher than the spring. By which invention the perpetual motion is proposed many hard labours performed and varieties of motions and sounds produced."  Lot 16, a fine, crisp copy of Thomas Richardson's c. 1830 The Whole Art of Legerdemain; or, The Conjurer Unmasked includes a gloriously hand-colored engraved folding frontispiece depicting a conjuror flanked by a demon and a coiled snake.  It is estimated at $2,500-3,500.  And not escaping the spotlight is lot 98, a copy of Harry Houdini's 1920 Miracle Mongers and Their Methods.  This example, published by E.P. Dutton & Co. in New York, is inscribed and signed by Houdini, “To Edward J. Rice/The man Germain hypnotized?/Good Luck/Houdini/”My Brain is the key that sets me free”/Oct 28/25”.  It is estimated at $1,200-1,600.

Books specifically about witchcraft also cast their spell over this magic sale.  Two absolute rarities include lot 28, Reginald Scot's The Discoverie of Witchcraft from 1665 and lot 27, William Pinchbeck's Witchcraft: or, the Art of Fortune-Telling Unveiled from 1805.  They are estimated at $6,000-9,000 and $5,000-7,000 respectively.  Pinchbeck's work is reputed to be only the third conjuring book published in the United States.

This sale presents robust selections of modern and vintage magic apparatus, with some examples carrying impressive provenance.  Lot 455, Bob Swadling’s Magic Kettle, is estimated at $10,000-15,000.  This mechanically complex vessel enables the magician to pour four different beverages at the request of the audience. It was designed and constructed by Bob Swadling and used by Paul Daniels on British TV in 1979. Daniels performed for decades on British TV and was one of the nation’s best-recognized stars of the time. This kettle is one of the items that will be sold to help defray the costs of Sebastian Midtvaage's cancer treatments.  Lot 425, a pair of John McKinven custom made maple passe-passe lidded vases, is estimated at $2,500-3,500. Each of these finely tuned vases operates as an independent giant Morison pill box and measures approximately twice the height of a standard McKinven-made pill box.  

Vintage highlights include lot 330, an all original, late nineteenth century French conjuring set with eighteen turned boxwood props, and lot 341, a c. 1925 Conradi card and watch pistol. The conjuring set includes eleven instruction sheets folded in a narrow side compartment; the pistol is realistically rendered with a Bakelite-like grip and an engraved stock. These visually stunning and fully functional antique are estimated at $1,600-2,400 and $1,00-1,500 respectively.  

Potter & Potter has established itself as the worldwide leader in representing the best magic-related archives at auction.  Recent successes include a two-volume spiritualism scrapbook signed, kept, and annotated by Harry Houdini; it was estimated at $30,000-40,000 and realized $66,000 in April, 2018.  Following in this tradition, this sale also offers several choice, one-in-a-lifetime archival offerings. Lot 209, a Servais LeRoy & Co. illusion instruction archive from 1912, is estimated at $4,000-6,000. This collection includes typed and manuscript instructions and advertisements for illusions, gimmicks, pocket, and parlor tricks sold and manufactured by this short-lived but important London-based magic company.  Lot 166, a Chicago Magic Roundtable 1946 cloth covered scrapbook containing signatures and club related ephemera, is estimated at $2,000-3,000. This volume features the autographs of about 500 magicians as well as brochures, business cards, signed photographs, letters, promotional materials, and clippings.  The Roundtable was informal luncheon club that met at the same restaurant day after day, year after year; attendees were invited to socialize, dine, and perform for each other and guests.  And it’s easy to picture collectors getting excited over lot 255, a collection of more than 200 photographs of magicians from the 1940's through the 1990's. These images - some signed - include portraits, studio poses, and action shots of top tier talent including Doug Henning, Ali Bongo, Paul Daniels, Lance Burton, Jack Gwynne, Blackstone Jr, and many others. This comprehensive grouping is estimated at $400-800.  

Prints, drawings, and posters are another eye-catching collectible category in this sale. These visual treats are also perfect for adding a distinctive, decorative highlight to an important personal or professional interior space. Lot 282, a 1916 three sheet, linen backed color litho featuring Howard Thurston as Thurston the Great is estimated at $15,000-25,000.  This rarity features Thurston, assisted by imps, levitating an assistant, with Kellar’s endorsement quoted in the lower margin.   Lot 315, a hand-colored, cartoon-style aquatint by James Gillray titled The Theatrical Bubble is estimated at $400-600.  It dates from 1810 and depicts Sheridan as Punchinello blowing soap bubbles. And lot 321, a portfolio of hundreds of mid-nineteenth to early 20th century conjuring prints and illustrations from the collection of Bob Read is estimated at $300-500.  These items were collection from publications including Le Pêle-Mêle; Pasouino; La Vie Parisienne; La Caricature; Lo Spirito Folletto; Gil Blas; and others.  

This sale rounds out with world-class offerings of autographs, props, cards, automata, and other magical-themed treasures.  Lot 198, a letter on personal stationery from Harry Houdini to Ellis Stanyon dated Dec. 21, 1923 is estimated at $1,000-1,500.  It reads, “Just a line to wish you Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Regards/Sincerely yours,/Houdini”.  Lot 431, four sealed decks of cards commemorating Dai Vernon’s 88th birthday, housed in the original custom display case decorated with Vernon’s silhouette, is estimated at $200-300.  The cards were produced by Congress Playing Cards in June, 1982; two packs reproduce the famous Hal Phyfe photo of Vernon.  Lot 258, two c.1930's era film reels featuring The Great Raymond and Litzka is estimated at $200-400.  The first film shows the couple in various candid everyday scenarios and the second one is a theatrical film trailer for upcoming live performances by Raymond.  And finally, tongues will be a-wag over lot 439, a 2003 ventriloquist’s cane with provenance to the Watertown, Massachusetts Magic Art Studio. It features a plaster dummy head with oversized green glass pupil eyes. The eyes and mouth can be moved in very lifelike ways through invisibly placed hand controls.    

According to Gabe Fajuri, President at Potter & Potter Auctions, "It's hard to pick a highlight in this auction. Though we have had many magic auctions in our decade-long history, each new offering includes items I consider true prizes. In this sale, the LeRoy archive and associated material strikes me as truly historic and important, and a few of the books are genuine rarities. For show-stoppers, the Thurston three-sheets certainly fit the bill." 

Image: The Whole Art of Legerdemain; or, The Conjurer Unmasked. Estimate $2,500-3,500.

Los Angeles -The original May 9, 1754 “Pennsylvania Gazette” newspaper featuring Benjamin Franklin’s famous “JOIN, or DIE” cartoon sold last night for $50,000 at Nate D. Sanders Auctions.

''JOIN, or DIE'' featuring a severed rattlesnake is widely considered the most influential political cartoon in American history. This edition of the “Pennsylvania Gazette” being auctioned is the first printing of the “JOIN, or DIE” cartoon. It is the only known copy besides the one held in the Library of Congress’ permanent collection.     

Franklin was exasperated by the colonists' failure to join forces with the French against westward expansion in the Seven Years’ War.  Franklin created the rattlesnake cartoon, sliced into eight pieces symbolizing the American colonies, to dramatically enforce the effective message: join together as one cohesive body, or die. Franklin also published an editorial in the “Pennsylvania Gazette,” urging the colonists to work together, reading in part, ''...The Confidence of the French in this Undertaking seems well-grounded on the present disunited State of the British Colonies ... while our Enemies have the very great Advantage of being under one Direction, with one  Council, and one Purse ...'' 

The symbol of the dis-united rattlesnake would echo over twenty years later to inspire the colonists to unite against the British.  In 1774, Paul Revere added the ''JOIN, or DIE'' cartoon to the nameplate of his paper, the ''Massachusetts Spy.'' In 1775, the Continental Marines used a coiled rattlesnake “Don’t Tread on Me'' flag as their motto. The phrase likely influenced John Stark, the New Hampshire Revolutionary War General whose toast was, ''Live free or die: Death is not the worst of evils.'' Stark’s phrase inspired New Hampshire's motto and suggests that personal liberty is one of the highest human values and a founding principle of the United States. 

Franklin's choice of a rattlesnake is perplexing for several reasons: as the timber rattlesnake was found throughout the colonies but not in England. Franklin argued in a 1751 editorial that the colonists should ship rattlesnakes to England in exchange for the criminals that England was sending to America. Franklin seemed to embrace the rattlesnake as a metaphor and would argue its virtues during the American Revolution. 

Bidding on the newspaper began at $40,000. 

Additional information on the newspaper can be found at 
https://natedsanders.com/__JOIN__or_DIE___Newspaper_From_Benjamin_Franklin_-LOT49832.aspx

 

Join or Die Newspaper 55404a_lg.jpegLos Angeles—The original May 9, 1754 “Pennsylvania Gazette” newspaper featuring Benjamin Franklin’s famous “JOIN, or DIE” cartoon will be auctioned by Nate D. Sanders Auctions on July 26, 2018.

''JOIN, or DIE'' featuring a severed rattlesnake is widely considered the most influential political cartoon in American history. This edition of the “Pennsylvania Gazette” being auctioned is the first printing of the “JOIN, or DIE” cartoon. It is the only known copy besides the one held in the Library of Congress’ permanent collection.     

Franklin was exasperated by the colonists' failure to join forces with the French against westward expansion in the Seven Years’ War.  Franklin created the rattlesnake cartoon, sliced into eight pieces symbolizing the American colonies, to dramatically enforce the effective message: join together as one cohesive body, or die. Franklin also published an editorial in the “Pennsylvania Gazette,” urging the colonists to work together, reading in part, ''...The Confidence of the French in this Undertaking seems well-grounded on the present disunited State of the British Colonies ... while our Enemies have the very great Advantage of being under one Direction, with one  Council, and one Purse ...'' 

The symbol of the dis-united rattlesnake would echo over twenty years later to inspire the colonists to unite against the British.  In 1774, Paul Revere added the ''JOIN, or DIE'' cartoon to the nameplate of his paper, the ''Massachusetts Spy.'' In 1775, the Continental Marines used a coiled rattlesnake “Don’t Tread on Me'' flag as their motto. The phrase likely influenced John Stark, the New Hampshire Revolutionary War General whose toast was, ''Live free or die: Death is not the worst of evils.'' Stark’s phrase inspired New Hampshire's motto and suggests that personal liberty is one of the highest human values and a founding principle of the United States. 

Franklin's choice of a rattlesnake is perplexing for several reasons: as the timber rattlesnake was found throughout the colonies but not in England. Franklin argued in a 1751 editorial that the colonists should ship rattlesnakes to England in exchange for the criminals that England was sending to America. Franklin seemed to embrace the rattlesnake as a metaphor and would argue its virtues during the American Revolution.

Bidding on the newspaper begins at $40,000.

Additional information on the newspaper can be found at 
https://natedsanders.com/__JOIN__or_DIE___Newspaper_From_Benjamin_Franklin_-LOT49832.aspx

Original NASA -Red Number- Color Photograph Image credit Heritage Auctions copy.jpgDallas, TX - The vast personal collection of Neil Armstrong, who as the first man to walk on the moon changed the course of human history, will be presented in a series of auctions beginning November 1-2, 2018 by Heritage Auctions. The Armstrong Family Collection will offer never-before-seen artifacts from his momentous lunar landing to private mementos - including pieces of a wing and propeller from the 1903 Wright Brothers flight that Armstrong took with him to the moon, a gold pin from Gemini VIII, Armstrong’s first mission, and historic correspondence about the planning that went into the moon mission.  The auctions will coincide with the 50th anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 mission. 

“There will be flown items, autographed items and items of historical significance,” son Mark Armstrong said. “There will be items that make you think, items that make you laugh and items that make you scratch your head.” 

On July 20, 1969, a global audience glued to their TVs, as Armstrong stepped onto the lunar surface with his now legendary words: “That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” The event marked a new era for humanity, and established the United States’ technological dominance and influence as a superpower.

“He was never about himself, so I would expect that he didn’t give much thought about how he would be remembered,” son Rick Armstrong said. “With that being said, I think he would be pleased to be remembered as being part of a program that demonstrated amazing things can be achieved when people come together to dedicate themselves towards a common goal.” 

The Armstrong Family Collection is an extraordinary archive, chronicling the life and career of one of the most historic figures of the 20th century through the lens of the objects he loved, collected, and preserved for decades. Heritage Auctions has scheduled three auctions for the collection, the first time these personal items have been offered for sale: November 1-2, 2018; May 9-10, 2019; and November 2019.

Among the highlights of the 2,000+ items in the Armstrong Family Collection:

  • Apollo 11 Robbins Medallions, including an extremely rare gold example, which were flown on the famous lunar landing mission. Minted by the Robbins Company, of Attleboro, Massachusetts, the sterling silver medallions were paid for by the crews and available for purchase only by NASA astronauts.
  • Material from the Wright Brothers Flyer, the plane that accomplished the first successful manned flight in 1903. Armstrong carried fragments of the wing and propeller on Apollo 11.
  • A Purdue University Centennial, 1869-1969, Silk Flag, flown on Apollo 11 and carried by Armstrong to the moon. Purdue was Armstrong’s beloved alma mater.
  • Important Correspondence, including a truly unique and historical document underscoring the planning behind the landmark event. In a letter, a NASA public affairs official states to the Apollo program manager that he felt it should be left up to the astronauts to decide what to say when they walk on the surface of the moon.
  • A gold pin flown on Gemini VIII, Armstrong’s first spaceflight. A damaged thruster almost cost Armstrong and his fellow crewmember their lives, but Armstrong expertly guided the spacecraft safely back to earth.
  • Armstrong’s Boy Scouts Cap. Armstrong became an Eagle Scout—the organization’s highest rank—at the age of 17. 

To prepare the collection for auction, the Armstrong family is collaborating with Collectibles Authentication Guaranty, a firm tasked with preserving and documenting the collection’s authenticity and provenance. The firm, a member of the Certified Collectibles Group, is working in conjunction with Heritage Auctions to ensure every item from the collection is photographed and cataloged so that, if needed, they can be referenced later for research or any other purpose. 

“Neil Armstrong’s bravery and skill defines what it means to be an American hero,” said Todd Imhof, executive vice president at Heritage Auctions. “We are privileged to be working closely with the Armstrong family to honor Neil’s lifetime legacy with items reflective of all his achievements, not just his famous lunar landing. These are some of the most iconic historical items ever to be sold.”

The Armstrong Family Collection debuts at auction November 1-2, 2018 at Heritage Auctions.

Image: Neil Armstrong: Original NASA Color Photograph. Credit: Heritage Auctions

141_1.jpgFalls Church, VA - Quinn's Auction Galleries and its subsidiary Waverly Rare Books & Prints will host a July 26 Fine Art Prints, Posters, and Works on Paper sale at the company’s Falls Church, Virginia gallery. The 458-lot evening auction will commence at 6 p.m. Eastern time, with absentee and Internet live bidding available through LiveAuctioneers or Invaluable.

Works included in the auction range from the late 19th century to present day, with special attention paid to new collectors. “There are more than 200 lots with estimates of $400 or less,” said Catherine Payling, director of Waverly Rare Books & Prints. “Each is a carefully chosen, excellent-quality artwork that any collector would be proud to own and enjoy.”

Leading the selection is Marc Chagall’s (French/Russian, 1887-1985) color lithograph on Arches paper titled Avenue de la Victoire, Nice. It measures 24½ by 18 1/8 inches (sight), is artist-signed in pencil and numbered 59/150 from the 1967 Charles Sorlier edition “Nice and the Cote d’Azur.” This very rare lithograph is expected to bring an auction price of $10,000-$15,000.

A most unusual addition to the sale is an Andy Warhol (American, 1928-1987) cancelled silkscreen mesh from the circa-1962-1967 “Marilyn” serigraph series. The extremely rare artwork-in-negative comes with the original box that was used to transport it from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, to Warhol’s manager, Fred Hughes, at the artist’s Manhattan studio residence. From Mr. Hughes, the silkscreen mesh passed to the consignor, who worked at the Warhol Foundation. Estimate: $3,000-$5,000

A circa-1951/55 etching and aquatint by Aaron Douglas (American, 1899-1979) titled Three Trees (Vineyard Haven) depicts a gentle waterside setting at a Martha’s Vineyard (Mass.) community long favored by African-American artists who vacationed there. The atmospheric work captures the trio of trees swaying in the wind amid distinctive island vegetation. Measuring 6¼ by 10 inches (full sheet), it will be offered at auction at Quinn’s for only the second time in 60+ years. Estimate: $4,000-$6,000.

There are two monotypes in the sale by Washington, D.C.-area favorite Sam Gilliam (b. 1933-). A Fog in the Hollow, 1974, is signed and dated in pencil and measures 32½ by 45 inches, framed. Peter’s Tweeter, a 1974 serigraph and string in colors on rag paper is also pencil-signed and dated by the artist, measuring 28¾ by 39 inches, framed. The works will be auctioned consecutively, each with a $3,000-$5,000 estimate. 

One of the greatest of all nature photographers, Ansel Adams (American, 1902-1984) is represented in the auction by a 1947 gelatin silver print titled Fresh Snow, Yosemite Valley, California. An un-editioned press photograph, it was used in promotional material for “Ansel Adams and the West,” a Museum of Modern Art (NYC) exhibition that ran in September and October of 1979. It comes with the original press release and advance fact sheet from the show and is estimated at $3,000-$5,000.

More modestly estimated but no less desirable, a devilish 1906 Leonetto Cappiello (French, 1875-1942) lithographed poster advertising the absinthe aperitif “Maurin Quina” was printed by P. Vercasson, Rue de Lancry, Paris, and is reasonably estimated at $800-$1,200. Another fine choice for new to intermediate collectors, or those who simply want an artistic splash of color for their walls, is Graham Sutherland’s (British, 1903-1980) vibrant travel poster designed in 1964 for the Cote d’Azur Alpes Maritimes Affiche. Originally aimed at the German market, its imagery and message promote travel to France’s Cote d’Azur. Estimate: $300-$500.

The sale includes original drawings, watercolors and mixed-media pieces by many other artists favored by collectors but too numerous to mention, including Dali, Toulouse-Lautrec, Whistler, and Rockwell Kent. Additionally, there are more than a dozen 20th-century self-portraits by such artists as Knaths, Martin Lewis, Isaac Friedlander and Prentiss Taylor.

Quinn’s Thursday, July 26, 2018 Modern Prints, Poster & Works on Paper gallery auction will commence at 6 p.m. Eastern Time. All remote forms of bidding will also be available, including absentee, phone and live via the Internet through LiveAuctioneers.com or Invaluable.com. For additional information on any item in the auction, call 703-532-5632, ext. 575; or email waverly@quinnsauction.com. Quinn’s is located at 360 S. Washington St., Falls Church, VA 22046. Online: www.quinnsauction.com.

Image: 141 - Rockwell Kent (American, 1882-1971), The Drifter, 1933, wood engraving, ed. 250, pencil-signed. Estimate: $1,500-$2,000. Courtesy of Quinn’s Auction Galleries

 

AntiquarianAuctions.com is an online auction site dedicated to the sale of rare and out-of print books, maps & prints, documents, letters, ephemera and vintage photography.

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

1529939538vesuvius.jpgLot 1 della Croce (Vincenzo Alsario) Vesuvius Ardens Sive Exercitatio Medico-Physica Motum & Incendium Vesuvii Montis in Campania XVI Mensis Decembris, Anni MDCXXXI Published: Js. Jenkins, London, (1814-1815) 

Estimate: $1,500/2,000  

Scarce work of 1632 about Vesuvio mountain by the physician from Genoa Vincenzo Alsario della Croce (b. 1570). He was teacher of medicine in Rome for more than 20 years, and the first one describing epilepsy. Physician of the Popes Gregorio XV and Urbano VIII, Alsario was expelled from Rome for his bad character "bisbetico, litigioso, millantatore soverchio e poco prudente" 

Lot 2 Couch (Jonathan) A History of the Fishes of the British Isles Published: London, 1862-5

Estimate: $1,600/2,000 

Couch was born in 1789 in Polperro in Cornwall and died there in 1870, having spent his life being interested in more or less everything,from potatoes to pilchards, although he was by profession a doctor. A History of the Fishes of the British Islands made a valuable contribution not only to science, but to the art of angling and it was relied on as a reference work for many decades after his death. The value of Couch's contribution lay not so much in his classification and descriptions of the species, but in his paintings, which were so accurate that they were relied for reference by later biologists, even when Couch's written identification was wrong. 

Lot 183 Blaeu (Willem) Africae nova descriptio [A new description of Africa]

Published: Amsterdam, 1634/5
Estimate: $1,600/2,000 

This landmark carte-a-figure map was published in 1634/5 and made by one of the Dutch master mapmakers. The map is in the uncommon 2nd state: Blaeuw (or Blaeu) signed the map using the name Guiljelemo (William) Blaeuw, having changed his surname in 1617 from Guil. Janssonio (i.e. Janssonius), which also was the surname of his arch- rival, Johannes Janssonius. 

Lot 241 Burton (Richard Francis) Zanzibar Published: London, 1872 Estimate: $1,500/2,000 

Zanzibar served as a base for the great journeys of exploration into Africa of the nineteenth century. Burton and John Hanning Speke set off from Zanzibar in 1857 on their expedition to the Great Lakes, also with the hope of discovering the source of the River Nile. One of the most important books of early travel & exploration into East Africa. 

Lot 309 Lewis (Sinclair) The Trail of the Hawk (Inscribed First Edition) Published: Harper & Brotthers, New York, 1915

Estimate: $2,200/2,500 

The fairly scarce first edition of this early and rather unsuccessful novel by Sinclair Lewis, the first US writer to win the Nobel Prize. This was his third book and the second under his own name. From the library of Dennis Wheatley, with his ex libris (by Frank C. Pape) on the front pastedown. With a wonderful full page inscription on the front free endpaper: "To Laurence Gomme, the only man living who can make one actually buy those strange exotic luxuries, books! With Mr. Wrenn's keen gratitude, & mine, Sinclair Lewis. Aug 31, 1915”.

Lot 317 Waugh (Evelyn) Robbery Under Law Published: Chapman & Hall, London, 1939 Estimate: $600/800 

A near fine copy in the original fresh blue cloth with bright gilt lettering on the spine. Internally very clean and unmarked with mild offsetting to the endpapers and two small inoffensive abrasions on each of the front and rear pastedowns. In an about very good dustwrapper which is price- clipped and has some edge chipping, most noticeably an 8mm. deep piece missing at the top of the rear flap. 

Lot 318 Bernard (Émile) & Dubois (Urbain François) La Cuisine classique, études pratiques, raisonnées et démonstratives de l'école Française appliquée au service de la Russie.

Published: Paris, 1856 

Estimate: $600/900 

Fine copy of the authorised first edition of one of the greatest treatises of modern era cooking: this work is considered to have been “the finest expression of the Golden Age of the French grande cuisine” (Britannica), and it chronicles “a progressive step up from the style of French cookery based on the work of [Marie Antonin] Careme” (OldCookBooks.com). 

Urbain Dubois and Émile Bernard were arguably the best known chefs of the 19th century. Dubois ran the palace kitchen of the King and Queen of Prussia, and is “credited with introducing the custom of having servants wait table” (Feret, 42). Bernard was one of France’s most talented pastry chefs, as well as Napoleon III’s personal chef. La Cuisine Classique is regarded as the most important of the six culinary works from Dubois’ hand. 

Lot 321 [Wharton (Edith) Editor] The Book of the Homeless (Le Livre des Sans-Foyer)

Published: Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, 1916 Estimate: $2,500/2,500 

Unique unbound, uncut and unopened copy of the limited edition: "Of this book, in edition to the regular edition, there have been printed and numbered one hundred and seventy-five copies deluxe, of larger format [all signed by Updike]. Numbers 1-50 on French hand-made paper ... Numbers 51-175 on Van Gelder paper." This copy on Van Gelder paper is numbered 65. 

AntiquarianAuctions.com is an online auction site dedicated to the sale of rare and out-of print books, maps & prints, documents, letters, ephemera and vintage photography. 

Dealers and collectors worldwide have been selling and bidding on the site since 2010. Only established booksellers who are members of major national trade associations such as ABA, ABAA, PBFA or SABDA or are of good standing in the trade are permitted to sell on the site. 

Auctions are held every five weeks and run on the model of a timed auction for one week. 

All pricing is done in US$. No buyer’s premium is charged. Next auction: Auction #69: 30 August - 6 September 2018 

 

1276515.jpgNew York - Doyle is pleased to auction an extensive collection of angling books assembled by Arnold “Jake” Johnson (1930-2017) of Bozeman, Montana. Comprising over three hundred books, this remarkable collection will be offered in a timed online-only auction on Doyle.com. Bidding will commence on Friday, July 13. Bidding will close on Tuesday, July 24 beginning at Noon EDT. The public is invited to the exhibition at Doyle on Friday, July 20 and Monday, July 23.

The collection offers a wide range of material, from rare works dating to the 18th century to finely produced recent publications. Fishing for trout, salmon and fly-fishing are well represented, as are deep sea and sport-fishing. Featured are copies of important titles with inscriptions or fine provenance, including books from the libraries of Dean Sage, Edward Sands Litchfield, Samuel B. Webb, C.R. Morphy, Bibliotheca Piscatoria Lynniana, and Robert Hoe. Also noteworthy are volumes signed by Zane Grey and other major anglers and artists. The sale offers books in a range of price points and presents an exciting opportunity to add to an established collection, form the foundation of a new collection, or find a unique gift for an angling enthusiast.

A true bibliophile, Johnson was an inveterate collector of rare items related to angling, travel, expeditions in India and Africa, English sporting and color-plate, 19th century big game hunting, and Western Americana. His collection comprises hundreds of rare books, hand-written accounts of hunting expeditions, striking examples of 19th century photographic travel albums, and elusive bibliographies and facsimiles of major works. The collection will offered in an ongoing series of live and online auctions.

Bidders may begin placing bids on Friday, July 13 on Doyle.com. The sale will close on Tuesday, July 24 beginning at Noon EDT. Lots will close sequentially, one lot per minute, with a soft close. Should any bids be placed in the final minute, bidding will remain open on that lot for an additional 3 minutes.

EXHIBITION
All of the books will be on public exhibition at Doyle on Friday, July 20 from 9am-12pm and Monday, July 23 from 10am-4pm. Doyle is located at 175 East 87th Street in Manhattan.

Image: Lot 132: HALFORD, FREDERIC M. Dry Fly Entomology, a brief description of the leading types of natural insects serving as food. Estimate: $700 - $1,000 

 

a4007bc46d7ceb5e1bb3c53c45d29272415d07c8.jpegBoston, MA -  A handwritten letter from  Bob Dylan to an old Greenwich Village friend will be auctioned by Boston-based RR Auction. 

The one-page letter postmarked July 26, 1975. Letter to musician Debbie Green Andersen, in part: "Usually I write songs and put it all there so I don't write too many letters. Are you still in New York? I am. If you are, I am making a record starting Monday. You can sing on it if you want. Columbia Studios. 50th and Madison. Studio E. If not maybe next time."

The recipient, Debbie Green (1940-2017), was a talented folk musician who taught Joan Baez the guitar and later toured and recorded with her husband, singer-songwriter Eric Andersen, as part of the Greenwich Village folk scene during the 1960s. 

The couple moved to California in 1970, had a child, and then separated. In early 1975, after a dinner with Eric Kaz in the Village, Green made an impromptu vocal performance at The Bitter End in what turned out to be a surprise audition for Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue concert tour. When Green returned to her Mill Valley home for the summer, she found this letter from Dylan, who, impressed by her performance, inquired if she wanted to sing on his forthcoming Columbia Records album Desire. 

In spite of the flattering offer, Green had to refuse: ‘I couldn’t have gone on tour for that long anyway. Sari was in school and I was a mom.’ The recording of Desire pushed ahead, as did Dylan’s historic Rolling Thunder Revue tour, which played a total of 57 shows from October 30, 1975 to May 25, 1976, and was highlighted by a benefit concert for imprisoned boxer Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter on December 8th in Madison Square Garden.

Additional featured lots include: 

Beatles fully signed 1963 Parlophone mono first pressing of “Please Please Me.” 

Paul McCartney handwritten lyrics for “Through Our Love.”

Elvis Presley’s gold and diamond ring. 

Jim Morrison handwritten poem, discovered in the famed “127 Fascination.”

Guns N’ Roses: Slash’s 1992 AMA for Favorite Heavy Metal Artist. 

Prince handwritten lyrics for the unreleased song “Go,” in purple ink.

Prince’s personally owned and worn purple shirt, circa “Purple Rain” era.

The Marvels of Modern Music from RR Auction will begin on July 12 and conclude on July 19. More details can be found online at www.rrauction.com.  

 

Screen Shot 2018-07-13 at 7.56.05 AM.pngBoston, MA - Skinner, Inc. is hosting a live auction of Early English Books: A Single Owner Sale on July 20 in Boston. Interested bidders are invited to preview items and meet with specialists in person on July 18, 19, and 20 or anytime online.

Skinner’s specially scheduled July book auction features a single-owner collection from California that includes high spots of English literature, culture, religion, and history from before 1700. Early English books have been prized by book collectors since the 19th century, and this important collection, formed over decades of careful selection from the best dealers and auction houses worldwide represents a unique opportunity to acquire early books that are rarely available for sale.

A Shakespeare Fourth Folio from 1685 is a highlight of the sale, along with first edition works by Erasmus, Thomas More, Francis Bacon, John Milton, John Donne, Thomas Hobbes, Robert Boyle, Galileo, and others. Topics most don’t associate with the period are also represented; including works on hunting, falconry, cider-making, child-rearing, swimming, surveying, money exchange, and practical mathematics.

Bidders will find works related to the upheaval among the British monarchy from this period, including King Henry VIII’s re-writing of religious doctrine, and other material from the Reformation, works related to Queen Elizabeth during the turbulent time after Henry VIII’s death, and others concerned with the execution of Charles I.

The collector, a retired physician accumulated a number of early books of folk and herbal remedies that give insight to English medical practice dating back to the mid 1500’s.

Andrea Mays, author of The Millionaire and the Bard, will also be on hand at Skinner’s Boston gallery on the evening of July 19th to give a talk about Henry Folger’s obsession with collecting the works of Shakespeare and anything else he could obtain with an Elizabethan connection. The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C. is his permanent monument. 

Skinner Boston is honored to have the opportunity to share this collection with its clients in New England this summer, and to celebrate culture and history with this selection of rare and important books.

Previews and Bidding

Previews for the Early English Books: A Single Owner Sale auction will be in our Boston, MA gallery on Wednesday, July 18 from 12PM to 5PM, Thursday, July 19, from 12PM to 7PM and Friday, July 20, from 9AM to 12PM. Free and open to the public, department director, Devon Eastland will be available to answer questions about the material and participating at auction. The fully illustrated print catalog may be purchased Skinner website or by phone order at 508-970-3234.

About Skinner

Skinner attracts top consignments and commands record-breaking prices in the international auction marketplace. With renowned expertise and extraordinary service, Skinner is the place for buyers, sellers and the passionately curious. Skinner appraisers are familiar faces on PBS’s 15-time Emmy Award-nominated ANTIQUES ROADSHOW. Visit us in Boston, Marlborough, New York or Miami, or online at https://www.skinnerinc.com.

Image: Shakespeare, William (1564-1616) Mr. William Shakespear's Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies. Published according to the true Original Copies, London, 1685 (Lot 161, Estimate $65,000-80,000)

 

Heritage ST copy.jpgDallas, TX - A Star Trek poster by illustrator Bob Peak is expected to compete for top-lot honors in Heritage Auctions’ Movie Posters Auction July 28-29 in Dallas.

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home by Bob Peak (Paramount, 1987) (est. $40,000-80,000) is the largest and arguably the most detailed of all Star Trek posters designed by Peak. A renowned commercial artist whose greatest acclaim comes from his developments in the design of modern movie posters, Peak’s artwork has appeared on the cover of numerous magazines, including Time, TV Guide and Sports Illustrated. The brilliant color used for the evening sky of San Francisco offers stark contrast to the Klingon Bird of Prey flying just over the Golden Gate Bridge. The 40-by-57-1/2-inch poster is done on illustration board mounted on foamcore, is signed by Peak and comes with a gold frame.

“Bob Peak was a popular and important movie poster artist who produced a number of posters for various Star Trek films, and this is as dramatic as any of them,” Heritage Auctions Vintage Posters Director Grey Smith said. “His subtle portraits of several of the film’s primary characters offer an extraordinary balance to the bold images of the sunset and the Bird of Prey. This poster is a large and striking image that would be a significant addition to any collection.”

Science fiction fans also will be drawn to The War of the Worlds (Paramount, 1953). Half Sheet (22" X 28") Style B (est. $20,000-40,000), a rare Style B half sheet that is one of the most iconic and elusive images in the genre. Featuring Martian warship imagery not included in many other posters for the original release of George Pal’s powerful adaptation of H.G. Wells’ science fiction novel.

Offered with the same $15,000-30,000 estimate are a pair of posters highlighting films featuring classic superheroes: a six sheet from The New Adventures of Batman and Robin (Columbia, 1949) and a Superman Cartoon Stock (Paramount, 1941) one sheet.

The Batman and Robin six sheet spotlights the second serial in which Robert Lowery and John Duncan play the leading roles. This series, spread over 15 chapters, pits the Caped Crusader and Boy Wonder against the Wizard, a villain with a device that can control all motor-driven vehicles remotely. This is a rare poster, the first in this format ever offered through Heritage Auctions.

The Superman one sheet celebrates the decision by Paramount to create a series of cartoons, despite outside interest in making Superman into a Hollywood serial. Under the leadership of Max and Dave Fleischer, Paramount created 17 cartoons, which are widely considered some of the best work to emerge from Paramount’s cartoon division. Paramount did not issue individual one sheets for the series, opting instead to create this stock one sheet with a blank imprint area where the individual cartoon titles could be written or printed.

A massive (91-1/4-by-62-1/2-inch) full-bleed horizontal French double grande poster for From Here to Eternity carries the same $15,000-30,000 estimate. Featuring artwork by Rene Peron, this auction marks the first time Heritage Auctions is offering this rare poster for the Academy Award-winning masterpiece in this large format. Peron’s artwork captures one of the most famous scenes in film history: the passionate clench on the beach between co-stars Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr.

Widely considered to be among the greatest film posters of all time, a Things to Come (United Artists, 1936) one sheet (est. $15,000-30,000) was inspired by another science fiction film based on another H.G. Wells-inspired screenplay. The film is based on his 1933 novel The Shape of Things to Come and his 1931 non-fiction The Work, Wealth and Happiness of Mankind. Among the always-rare posters for this early sci-fi epic, this one stands out in part because of the 1930s deco-designed version of the future.

A 27-by-41-inch one sheet from The Lady Eve (Paramount, 1941) highlights the transition of stars Henry Fonda and Barbara Stanwyck from Academy Award-nominated dramatic actors into comedy. Based on the story Two Bad Hats, Preston Sturges’ adaptation ultimately led to an Oscar nomination for Best Writing: Original Story for author Monckton Hoffe. Despite minor restoration, this poster is sure to appeal to collectors of comedy posters.

A set of four Help! (United Artists, 1965) door panels (est. $10,000-20,000) was created for the Beatles’ second feature film and is among the rarest of promotional items for the Fab Four. Despite being displayed in the press book, door panels rarely were ordered by theater owners, because so few theaters had adequate space to display them. Even for those that did have the space, the panels were expensive: a full set cost $7.50, while a one sheet cost just $0.15. Sets like this were made even more hard to come by because many sets that were ordered for the film’s initial showing were broken up and given away, one at a time, to fans. In addition, Help! is the only Beatles film for which door panel sets were produced.

Other top lots include, but are not limited to:

·         The Jaws of Death by Unknown (Cannon, 1976) Original Acrylic Poster Artwork (est. $12,000-24,000)

·         The Wolf Man (Universal, 1941) Half Sheet (est. $10,000-20,000)

·         Creature from the Black Lagoon (Universal International, 1954) One Sheet (est. $10,000-20,000)

The Star Trek IV poster projected to lead the 927-lot auction is just one of four posters in the sale of posters designed by Peak, a collection that also includes:

·         Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan by Bob Peak (Paramount, 1982) Original Mixed Media Concept Artwork: est. $6,000-12,000

·         Rocky III by Bob Peak (United Artists, 1982) Original Mixed-Media Concept Poster Artwork: est. $5,000-10,000

·         My Fair Lady (Warner Brothers, 1964) Italian Photobustas: est. $800-1,600

Frazetta 5 copy.jpgDallas, TX - History has a chance to repeat itself when Frank Frazetta Escape on Venus Painting Original Art (1972) (est. $500,000+) is expected to claim top-lot honors at Heritage Auctions’ Comics & Comic Art Auction Aug. 2-4 in Dallas, Texas.

If that ends up happening, the events will mirror those that took place at the firm’s comics auction in Chicago, which was held in May. Another Frazetta painting, Death Dealer 6, sold for nearly $1.8 million to boost the total return from that auction to just over $12 million. Each was a world record.

“Any time world records fall, that’s a tough act to follow,” Heritage Auctions Senior Vice President Ed Jaster said. “On the other hand, Frank Frazetta’s paintings are enormously popular, and is one of many exceptional lots in this auction, which has options sure to entice collectors of all levels.”

Created in 1972, Escape on Venus was used as the cover of the 1974 re-issue of the Edgar Rice Burroughs novel of the same name, and also was released as a print later in the 1970s. Known for his ability to depict sensuous, strong women in fantastic environments, Frazetta loved to challenge himself, which often meant varying his technique and palette. This technique is part of the explanation for his ability to help observers direct their focus where he wanted. In this case, the brightly colored tiger, with its piercing yellow-green eyes, and the knife-wielding woman draped in jewels draw the viewer’s attention, while the trees and plants around the borders of the painting are done in more subtle, muted earth tones, which only increases the focus on the woman and tiger in the middle of the image.

A copy of Incredible Hulk #1 (Marvel, 1962) CGC VF/NM 9.0 Off-white to white pages (est. $300,000+) is such a prized Marvel key in this grade that Heritage Auctions has offered only two in a higher grade. Ranked #2 on Overstreet’s list of the Top 50 Silver Age Comics, this issue includes the origin and first appearance of the Hulk. The first issue in the original series is the only one in which the title character appeared in grey, before ultimately turning green in what is widely accepted as a continuation of the process that made Dr. David Banner turn into the Hulk. Other characters also abandoned their original grey looks: Iron Man upgraded his armor from grey to gold, while one of the original X-Men, The Beast, evolved from his original grey look to a blue and black hue.

The “Special Once-In-A-Lifetime” proclamation on the cover of Gene Colan and Bill Everett Iron Man and Sub-Mariner #1 Cover Original Art (Marvel, 1968) (est. $100,000+) is no exaggeration. Iron Man and Namor the Sub-Mariner appeared together after each had shared a title with other characters: Namor had teamed with the Hulk in Tales to Astonish, and the Hulk kept that numbering, while Iron Man had paired up with Captain America in Tales of Suspense in a series from which Captain America kept the numbering. The end result of the dual splits was Namor and Iron Man joining forces for this single-issue series, after which they split broke out into their own individual titles, so each enjoyed multiple #1 issues - one shared and one individual.

John Romita Sr. Amazing Spider-Man #55 Cover Doctor Octopus Original Art (Marvel, 1967) (est. $100,000+) offers the genesis of one of the most striking comic covers anywhere. This stunning image shows an extreme close-up image of supervillain Doctor Octopus, who is engaged in a battle with Spider-Man, who can be seen in the reflection of Doc Ock’s glasses. The image, positioned over a banner blaring “DOC OCK WINS!” is done by legendary artist John Romita, Sr., in twice-up scale in ink over graphite on Bristol board, cut and affixed to the larger Bristol board for a total image area of 13-1/4 by 20-1/4 inches.

Other top lots include, but are not limited to:

·         Detective Comics #35 Larson Pedigree (DC, 1940) CGC Conserved NM- 9.2 White pages (est. $75,000+)

·         Brian Bolland Batman: The Killing Joke Story Page 1 Original Art (DC, 1988) (est. $75,000)

·         Jack Kirby and Paul Reinman X-Men #1 Story Page 5 Original Art (Marvel, 1963) (est. $75,000)

·         Jack Kirby and Dick Ayers Tales of Suspense #75 Splash Page 1 Captain America Original Art (Marvel, 1966) (est. $75,000)

·         Wally Wood Weird Science #22 Cover Original Art (EC, 1953) (est. $75,000)

·         Dave Gibbons Watchmen #7 Nite Owl's Hovercraft Cover Original Art (DC, 1987) (est. $60,000)

365-Cappiello copy.jpgNew York—Swann Galleries’ auction of Vintage Posters on August 1 brings to market the largest selection of food and drink advertisements the house has ever offered, along with premier examples of Art Nouveau, wartime propaganda and resort posters.

Leading the sale is Alphonse Mucha’s exquisite quartet, Times of the Day, 1899. Four allegorical women in diaphanous gowns represent Morning Awakening, Daytime Dash, Evening Reverie and Nightly Rest. The set carries an estimate of $40,000 to $60,000. Also available are the iconic Bières de la Meuse, 1897, and Salon des Cent, 1896 (each $8,000 to $12,000). Mucha’s extremely rare poster promoting the exhibition of works from his magnum opus, The Slav Epic, at the Brooklyn Museum in 1920, makes its second appearance at auction. Printed in only two colors, this unusual work is valued between $10,000 and $15,000.

Bacchanalian advertisements for wine, food and liquor from a singular collection are led by scarce work by Leonetto Cappiello: Carnaval / Vinho do Porto, 1911. The image has been seen at auction only once before, when this exact poster was offered in 2005 and acquired by the consignor. It is estimated at $20,000 to $30,000. Another rare poster by the artist is Fêtes du Congrès International des Étudiants, 1907, showing a female Bacchus squeezing grapes into her companion’s goblet ($8,000 to $12,000). More than 20 of Cappiello’s most famous posters will be offered, along with another 20 works by Luciano Achille Mauzan, including his cheerful Cirio / Extracto de Tomates, 1930, with an estimate of $3,000 to $4,000. Scrumptious highlights by Adolphe Mouron Cassandre, Ludwig Hohlwein, Georges Lepape, Manuel Orazi and J. Spring will also be available.

A sobering counterpoint to the festivities is a collection of 20 posters from the American Temperance Society, circa 1950s, with such taglines as Alcohol Destroys Feminine Loveliness and Alcoholic Beverages of Any Kind Do Not Mix with Football. The group is expected to sell for $2,000 to $3,000.

British and American propaganda from both World Wars includes James Montgomery Flagg’s iconic I Want You for U.S. Army, 1917, and Wake Up, America! / Civilization Calls, 1917 ($7,000 to $10,000 and $3,000 to $4,000, respectively). Britain’s iconic Keep Calm and Carry On, 1939, in excellent condition ($12,000 to $18,000) takes the opposite approach to This is the Enemy, Karl Koehler’s searing portrait of Nazi inhumanity, that won the National War Poster Competition of 1942 and is valued at $3,000 to $4,000.

A fine etching by Jean Dupas makes a rare appearance in a posters auction. The work is a detail from his 1928 painting, L’Enlèvement d’Europe, though this 1931 printing is sometimes called Le Taureau Noir. Showing two women with enormous bushels of flowers riding a bull, it carries an estimate of $3,000 to $4,000.

The complete catalogue with bidding information is available at www.swanngalleries.com.

Additional highlights can be found here.

Image: Lot 365: Leonetto Cappiello, Carnaval / Vinho do Porto, 1911. Estimate $20,000 to $30,000.

2f4858467e4c7a99061de570fee1600d5f05cfb9.jpegBoston, MA - A rare handwritten letter by German theologist, monk and religious reformer Martin Luther will be auctioned by Boston-based RR Auction. 

The one-page letter in German, signed “Martinus Luther D,” circa September 1, 1543. An extensive, uncommonly well-preserved letter to Georg Buchholzer, Provost of St. Nikolai in Berlin, regarding the latter’s altercation with the Brandenburgian court preacher Johann Agricola from Eisleben (also known as ‘Magister Eisleben’) about the treatment of the local Jews. Prince Elector Joachim II, who in 1539 had introduced the Reformation to Brandenburg and whose tolerant politics toward Jews enraged the population, had long desired a reconciliation between Luther and his former disciple Agricola, and he must have suspected that Provost Buchholzer was poisoning Luther’s mind against his court preacher. Buchholzer therefore wrote to Luther requesting an interpretation of some Biblical verses by which Agricola justified his pro-Jewish stance, and in his answer Luther insists that Buchholzer has done well to preach against the Jews and shall continue to do so, ignoring the habitual liar Agricola. 

In part (translated): “Grace and Peace. My dear Provost! I must be brief with writing, for the sake of my weak head. You are aware that you have no previous association with me, nor I with you, other than that you recently wrote to me asking for an explanation regarding several statements. And even if you were to write me many things about M. Eisleben, how could I believe you alone? For whoever says that you or anyone in Berlin or in all of Brandenburg is inciting me against Eisleben, if he says so unwittingly, may God forgive him, but if he says it knowingly, then he is a roguish liar, as well as M. Eisleben himself has lied frequently, here in Wittenberg. M. Eisleben needs nobody to incite me against him; he himself is much better at that, much better than anyone whom he might suspect of such dealing. He knows that full well….In my opinion, he will give up his life before he gives up his lying.—You have preached against the Jews and fought serious battles over that with the Margrave….And you were quite right to do so. Stand fast and persevere! The words against you which you quoted to me, allegedly protecting the Jews, I will not hope to be true, nor shall I believe that M. Eisleben ever will preach or ever has preached such. I do not yet consider him so deeply fallen. May God prevent him!…For then M. Eisleben would not be the Elector’s preacher, but a true devil, letting his sayings be so shamefully misused to the damnation of all those who associate with Jews. For these Jews are not Jews, but devils incarnate who curse our Lord, who abuse His mother as a whore and Him as Hebel Vorik and a bastard, this is known for certain. And anyone who is capable of eating or drinking or associating with such a foul mouth is a Christian as well as the devil is a saint….You may show this letter to whomever you wish. I do not know, nor do I care, who wrote the other three letters from Wittenberg to Berlin. You will undoubtedly confess this to be the first letter you ever received from me. For your name and person were previously unknown to me.” 

The letter bears several corrections in Luther’s own hand. The date of receipt is noted by Buchholzer at the foot of the reverse: “Received by me in Berlin on Wednesday after St Egyd [5 September] anno etc. 43.” 

Accompanied by a handsome custom-made quarter leather clamshell case. 

Luther had apparently forgotten that several years previously, in late 1539, he had answered a letter of Buchholzer’s inquiring about Catholic rites still in use in Reformed Brandenburg. More notably, although Luther is writing to a fellow scholar, this letter is written in German so that the recipient may show it “to whomever he wishes”—that is to say, to the Elector himself, thus providing Buchholzer with a writ of protection against any suspicion which Joachim may harbor against him. The Hebrew words invoked by Luther, “Hebel Vorik” [vanity and emptiness], are taken from Isaiah 30:7. They were part of a Jewish prayer in which Jews thanked God for having made them different from those peoples who worshipped “Hebel Vorik,” though Luther construed the words as a code for Jesus Christ. Luther’s anti-Judaism had not always been this radical—as a young man he had spoken out judiciously against the traditional defamation of Jews and against all forms of forcible conversion, but he soon grew increasingly bitter, and by 1543 his attitude was one of undisguised loathing. His most notorious antisemitic pamphlet, ‘On the Jews and Their Lies,’ was published only months before the present letter was written. With the same rhetorical skill with which he had previously ridiculed the papacy he now invoked a grotesque abhorrence of Judaism. As an embodiment of his sentiments in his later years, demonstrating how precisely the antisemitic church politics and discourse of the 1540s matched Luther’s instructions, this letter has been quoted or paraphrased by several important biographies of the Reformer.

Less than two years later, in a letter dated March 9, 1545, Luther would write to Elector Joachim II directly, warning him against the ‘tricks’ of the Jews, in whom he is said to have too much confidence, adding that he is ‘glad that the Provost [Buchholzer] is so severe on those Jews, which is a proof of his loyalty to your Grace; and I encourage him to continue in the path he has chosen.’ 

“Although we think of Martin Luther as a reformer, this letter reminds us of his unrepentant anti-semitism,” said Bobby Livingston, Executive VP at RR Auction. 

Luther died on February 18, 1546, after years of struggling with illness. 

The Fine Autographs and Artifacts auction from RR Auction began on June 29 and will conclude on July 11.  More details can be found online at www.rrauction.com.

Lady from Shanghai.jpgCleveland, OH - The art and design of classic, vintage, original movie posters will take center stage at Gray’s Auctioneers & Appraisers on Wednesday, July 11th, as over 100 original movie posters and banners will come up for bid online and in Gray’s showrooms at 10717 Detroit Avenue in Cleveland. The posters are all out of an important single-owner collection from Ohio.

Certain to attract bidder attention will be lot 327, an iconic movie poster from the inimitable 1947 Orson Welles classic film, The Lady from Shanghai, starring Rita Hayworth. Like all the best movie poster designs, this one distills the essence of the moving image into a single frame, combining text, design, photography and advertising into a unique and unforgettable work of art. 

Another lot to watch is #290, a rare linen-backed movie banner for the early talkie The Saturday Night Kid (Paramount Pictures, 1929), starring Clara Bow, nicknamed “The It Girl” and the actress who came to personify the Roaring 20s and was its leading sex symbol. The Lady from Shanghai and The Saturday Night Kid are both graded B+ and carry estimates of $6,000-$8,000.

In all, more than 400 quality lots will come under the gavel, starting at 11 am Eastern time. “This delightful summer auction is filled with fine art, vintage movie posters, furniture and decorations consigned by collectors and estates from Cleveland and the surrounding area,” said Serena Harragin, CEO of Gray’s Auctioneers & Appraisers. Live online bidding is available now at Graysauctioneers.com.

Fans of silver will have much to consider, beginning with the two Wallace sterling silver Grand Baroque flatware services for 12 (lots 38 and 39), both produced in the 20th century and having identical estimates of $2,000-$4,000. The approximate troy weights are 131.53 oz. and 144.3 oz.

An exceptional German silver tea and coffee service by J.D. Schlessinger Sohne, Hanau (circa 1900-1920), comprising a kettle with a burner on a stand, coffee pot, teapot, creamer, sugar bowl and a waste bowl, all set on a matching oval tray with cherub handles and monogrammed, should realize $8,000-$10,000. All the pieces boast footed shaped ovoid bodies with acanthus reserves.

A charming set of four German rococo style .800 silver and gilt pepper shakers and salt cellars (circa 1900), possibly by J.D. Schlessigner, Hanau and having cherub supports and foliate designs, should breeze to $3,000-$5,000; while a Russian silver and cut glass 18-piece men’s grooming set (circa 1886), weighing 46.80 ozt., fully hallmarked, should make $2,000-$4,000.

A pair of horse racing-themed oil on canvas paintings by William Garrett van Zandt (Am., 1857-1942), both from the collection of Oliver and Joyce Murphy, are lots 11 and 12 and are estimated at $3,000-$5,000 each. One is titled Checkerberry (1913), 17 inches by 20 inches; the other Miss Harris M (1918), 18 inches by 25 inches. Both of the paintings have been artist signed and dated.

Other fine art star lots will include an oil on canvas by Louis Aston Knight (Fr., 1873-1948), titled La Chaumiere de Diane, Beaumont-le-Roger, Normandy, signed, measuring 42 inches by 55 inches framed (est. $8,000-$10,000); and an oil on canvas by Antoine Blanchard (Fr., 1910-1988), titled View of the Arc de Triomphe, signed, 15 inches by 30 inches (est. $5,000-$7,000).

Two artworks share the same $2,000-$4,000 pre-sale estimate. One is an unsigned figural oil on canvas done in the manner of John Singleton Copley (Am., 1737-1815), titled Gentleman and Lady with Children in a Courtyard. The other is a Floral Still Life oil on canvas painted in the manner of Jean-Baptiste Monnoyer (Fr., 1636-1699), unsigned, with inpainting and craquelure. 

Lot 27a is a fantastical untitled welded steel sculpture by an unknown artist, somewhat akin to a tree that has been twisted and curled around itself to a point of sublime abstraction. It’s nature rendered into the mechanical.  The 20th century creation, standing 64 inches tall by 58 inches wide and 28 inches deep, makes a strong artistic statement and is estimated to bring $400-$600.

Another astounding sculptural creation, this one lot 28 by Susie Frazier Mueller (b. 1970), has an enormous guitar sitting on a tubular steel stand as its focal point and is titled Imagine Harmony with Nature (Guitar Mania for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame). The 2002 work, 10 feet 9 inches tall and made using slate roofing tiles, tree branches and mixed media, should hit $2,000-$4,000.

Gray’s Auctioneers are open for in-person previews at the Cleveland showrooms July 5th-11th, from 10am -5pm Eastern; and Saturday, July 6th, from 12 noon ‘til 4 pm. The fully illustrated catalog is now online at GraysAuctioneers.com. Telephone and absentee bids are also accepted.

Gray’s Auctioneers are northern Ohio’s leading licensed auctioneers and appraisers of fine art, antiques, decorative arts, rare books, fine jewelry and antique rugs. The boutique auction house has over two decades of experience in the art business. Experts at Gray’s offer traditional real estate services and specialists there have worked with museums, educational institutions, corporations and private collectors to achieve the full value of collections at auction. 

Gray’s Auctioneers & Appraisers is always accepting quality consignments for future auctions. To inquire about selling a single piece, an estate or a collection, you may call them at (216) 226-3300; or, you can send an e-mail to Serena Harragin, CEO, at sharragin@graysauctioneers.com

To learn more about Gray’s Auctioneers & Appraisers and the live and internet auction planned for Wednesday, July 11th, at 11 am, visit www.graysauctioneers.com. Updates are posted often.

Image: Lady from Shanghai: Iconic movie poster from the inimitable 1947 Orson Welles classic film, The Lady from Shanghai, starring Rita Hayworth (est. $6,000-$8,000).

kiowa copy.jpgDallas, TX - A Kiowa warrior’s book of drawings documenting his captivity by the U.S. Army in 1875 sold for $396,500 in Heritage Auctions’ June 26 Ethnographic Art Auction, pushing the sale to more than $1 million.

The bound book of 33 images is a stunning discovery of the earliest recorded drawings by Etahdleuh Doanmoe, one of 71 tribal members imprisoned in an effort to force Western assimilation and crush resistance to reservations. The auction also offered Self Portrait, Etahdleuh Doanmoe, Kiowa, circa 1878  - the only known self-portrait by Etahdleuh in his full war panoply - which sold for $27,500, and Kiowa Ledger Drawing, circa 1878, also by Etahdleuh Doanmoe, which sold for $25,000.

“Etahdleuh is considered a master artist in a genre called ledger art, which is an extension of traditional paintings done on buffalo robes,” said Delia Sullivan, Senior Specialist of Ethnographic Art at Heritage. “The group was an exceptionally historic find.”

An imposing, hand-painted panel recording a scene from the Blackfoot War by a chief known as Big Spring, sold for $23,750. Measuring 103 inches wide, the war record panel is one of many painted by elderly Blackfoot warriors for display in the hotels at Glacier National Park.

Dated to the 1880s, an ornate Sioux Girl’s Beaded Hide Dress with Belt, ended at $10,625 and a fascinating Sioux Buffalo Hide Bow Case and Quiver, accompanied by three arrows and a sinew backed bow, closed for $10,000.

Among the highlights of the auction’s selection of tribal art, included a 36-inch long coil of Solomon Islands Feather Money from Tevau, Santa Cruze, which sold for $18,750. The currency was fashioned from wood, fiber and feathers from the scarlet honeyeater, whose red feathers were an insignia of rank and divinity in Polynesia.

A Gold Necklace dated to 200 to 400 AD from Calima, Colombia, brought $10,000 and a separate Gold Necklace from the same era, sold for $8,000. An Olmec Jade Scepter, from 1,000 to 500 BC, sold for $7,500. 

Additional highlights include:

·         Night Guard, circa 1985, a bronze by Apache artist Allan Houser, sold for $11,875.

·         A Sioux Beaded Hide Bowcase and Quiver with Recurved Bow and Arrows, circa 1880, brought $6,875

·         An Olmec Jade Blood-letter tool, from about 1,000 - 500 BC sold for $5,750.

hefner.jpgChicago — Potter & Potter Auctions is excited to present this extraordinary archive as part of the company's 619 lot Fine Books and Manuscripts Sale to be held on Saturday, July 28th, 2018. American entrepreneur Hugh Hefner (1926-2017) is best known as the original "Playboy" and the editor of the magazine of the same name. His over the top antics and personal and professional choices made international headlines for over half a century. He met Jane Borson Sellers at Steinmetz High School in Chicago in the early 1940s and maintained a close relationship with her over the course of his life. Sellers' collections of Hefner letters, drawings, cards, photos, and clippings capture the extraordinary nature of Hugh's lifestyle and career in touching, personal, and intimate ways. 

This sale offers a dozen Hugh Hefner lots with materials dating from the early 1940s thorough 2017.  All eyes will be on lot #445, an archive of correspondence between Hefner and Sellers. This collection includes over 60 typed signed letters and autograph letters, dating from Hefner’s last year of high school in Chicago to his two-year service in the Army; snapshots of Hefner and other members of his high school gang; high school yearbook clippings; and a photo of Hefner’s 1949 wedding to Millie Williams.  Many of the letters are embellished with original ink cartoon drawings by Hefner. The whole collection is neatly and chronologically organized in a binder, as organized by Borson, with her typed summary of the letters.  The preface of the archive is a note from "Hef" on Playboy letterhead dated May 31, 2002, which states: “As I understand it, the contents of personal correspondence is the legal property of the person who wrote the letters, but you have my permission to do whatever you like with them. They are yours with my love—for all the dreams and memories we’ve shared.” This once-in-a-lifetime offering is estimated at $10,000-20,000.

Hefner was a talented amateur cartoonist and considered becoming one professionally.  He appreciated fine cartoon artwork, and his publication always featured cartoons by the most famous cartoonists of the era. Several of his original early cartoons are included in this sale and reveal a rather funny and playful side of the future Playboy.  Lot #449, an original Hefner High School Cartoon entitled “My Typical Day at Steinmetz,” is estimated at $1,000-2,000.  This two page ink and watercolor cartoon from 1943 includes a labeled, hand-drawn diagram titled “Dissection of Soft Shell Clam,” reflecting the curriculum of Hefner's zoology class that day.  

Another headliner in the Hefner collection is lot #452, Hugh Hefner's 1944 signed high school senior class sepia print photograph.  This handsome headshot measures 8-3/8 x 6-1/8 and is inscribed, “To one of the sweetest, swellest gals I know-/Hef.” Of course, the “gal” here is Jane Borson Sellers.  It is estimated at $1,500-3,000.

According to Gabe Fajuri, President at Potter & Potter Auctions, "This archive reveals the private, personal, pre-Playboy side of Hugh Hefner - something very few, if any of his millions of fans got a glimpse of. Hefner lived on a grand scale, and was constantly in the spotlight, yet the letters he exchanged with his high school classmate show he was not just larger-than-life - he could also be down to earth. Offering historically significant, unique material of this nature is a true thrill." 

Image: Archive of Early Hefner Correspondence. Estimate $10,000-20,000

June30_01_pics.jpgIthaca, NY — National Book Auctions, located just outside 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 are themed private libraries including titles relating to horse racing and art history. A selection of fine bindings will be offered, including antique fancy leather bindings and rare selections from the Folio Society and Easton Press.                   

Antique and rare books are numerous in this catalog. Among the earliest examples are the 1788 printing of Carey's "The American Museum or Repository of Ancient and Modern Fugitive Pieces," and Longus' "Les Amours Pastorales de Daphnis et Chloe," produced in 1779 with engraved plates. Also offered are first printings of important modern titles such as J.M. Barrie's "Peter and Wendy," "Giant" by Edna Ferber, Hemingway's "Men without Women" and others. Additional rare and antique selections relate to travel & exploration, books-on-books, theology, children's, decorative antique sets, art history, special printings by the Folio Society and Easton Press, and beyond.                         

Several interesting collections will also be showcased. Highlighted is a substantial private collection of titles chronicling the history of horse racing. Topics covered include breeding, history, the Preakness, Belmont and Kentucky Derby, and beyond. Another large collection includes an exhaustive art history reference library that belonged to a scholar who specialized in the work of Mary Cassatt. Two other private collections center on railroad history, including logging by railroad, and ornithological reference with titles examining the history of bird illustration.        

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.

 

131-Hayes copy.jpgNew York—On June 21, the auction of Revolutionary & Presidential Americana from the Collection of William Wheeler III at Swann Galleries saw a 91% sell-through rate for important autographs, letters and documents from some of the biggest players in American history. Wheeler, a manufacturing consultant from a long line of New Englanders, devoted much of his adult life to acquiring illuminating pieces of Americana from the Revolutionary War and nearly every president.

Wheeler harbored a special fascination with the life and deeds of Andrew Jackson, which led to a run of 34 significant letters and documents signed by the president, 88% of which found buyers. Highlights included a retained copy of a letter to be published by editor Thomas Eastin, providing his own account of the altercations that would lead to his killing Charles Dickinson in a duel. One of two known complete drafts, it reached $7,000. An 1833 autograph letter signed as president to his adoptive son, Andrew Jackson, Jr., a request that he go to their plantation (the Hermitage) in response to reports of grieving and ailing slaves, sold for $9,375.

The 1876 presidential election between Rutherford B. Hayes and Samuel Tilden was overshadowed in South Carolina by the gubernatorial contest on the same ticket. An archive of 153 items relating to the election, which resulted in riots, lynch-mobs and a contested victory for the governorship, topped the sale at $23,400.

Also available was an autograph letter signed by Patrick Henry to Colonel William Fleming requesting that the militia in Montgomery County, Virginia, be prepared in the case of an attack by Native Americans in 1778. The letter more than doubled its high estimate, selling after breakneck bidding to a collector for $16,250. Additional Revolutionary highlights included a brief autograph letter signed to Ira Allen, the brother of Ethan Allen, from Thomas Paine, concerning a missed connection at the subversive Caffe Boston in Paris in the 1790s ($10,000), and a pay order signed by 15 members of the Massachusetts House of Representatives “to defray [the] costs” of express rider Jonathan Park on his urgent ride to Philadelphia in May 1776 ($13,750).

In addition to fresh perspectives on monumental events, the auction provided an endearing human side to some of history’s most well-known players. A fine example is a heartfelt letter from Charles Pinckney to Tobias Lear, George Washington’s secretary, upon learning of the first president’s death in 1799. He wrote, “I shall not attempt to express my feelings on this occasion: language cannot describe them. In him I have lost a friend & father. Say everything proper for me to Mrs. Washington & Mrs. Lewis. I cannot console them; but I can weep with them." This rare missive was purchased by an institution for $16,250, above a high estimate of $10,000.

Specialist Marco Tomaschett was especially pleased with the institutional attention to the auction, saying, “Museums and archives recognized the historical significance of the personal correspondence featured in this sale, especially the letter from Pinckney acknowledging the death of Washington.”

The next auction of Americana at Swann Galleries, featuring The Harold Holzer Collection of Lincolniana, is scheduled for September 27, 2018. The next auction of Autographs at Swann Galleries will be on November 8, 2018. The house is currently accepting quality consignments for autumn auctions.

Image: Lot 131: Rutherford B. Hayes, archive related to the 1876 election in South Carolina. Sold June 21, 2018 for $23,400. (Pre-sale estimate $5,000 to $7,500)

 

Sylvia Plath Pulitzer Prize in Poetry 54980b_lg.jpegLos Angeles - The Pulitzer Prize in Poetry awarded to Sylvia Plath posthumously in 1982, will be auctioned by Nate D. Sanders Auctions on June 28, 2018.

Plath was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry for “The Collected Poems,” which was edited by her English poet husband, Ted Hughes. Hughes was presented the Pulitzer Prize on behalf of his late wife. The certificate was inherited by Plath and Hughes’ daughter Frieda Hughes.

Plath lived a short, but productive life. She was born in Boston in 1932 and studied at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts as well as Newnham College at the University of Cambridge. She received critical acclaim for popularizing “confessional poetry” in the 1950’s. Plath’s best-known works were the Bell Jar, The Colossus and Ariel. Sylvia Plath committed suicide in 1963.

The certificate was signed by Pulitzer President Michael Sovern and is stamped with the gold Pulitzer seal.  

Bidding begins at $40,000.

Additional information on the model can be found at 
https://natedsanders.com/Sylvia_Plath_s_Pulitzer_Prize_in_Poetry-LOT49694.aspx

Plath’s Driver’s License.

Also going under the hammer is Sylvia Plath’s 1958 driver license. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts license was issued on October 27, 1958. Plath signed her name twice as “Sylvia P. Hughes.” Bidding begins at $8,000.

Additional information on Plath’s driver’s license can be found at https://natedsanders.com/Sylvia_Plath_Twice_Signed_Driver_s_License_From_19-LOT49695.aspx

  

1584-003.jpgYork, PA - So far this year in the world of pop culture, only Avengers: Infinity War has been able to rival the excitement level generated by Hake’s record-setting March auction. Led by a fresh-to-the-market issue of Detective Comics #27 that sold for a staggering $569,000, the sale took in $2.35 million and emphatically validated the demand for Golden and Silver Age comics and original comic art. Once again it’s time for collectors to fasten their seat belts, as Hake’s rolls out a blockbuster July 10-12 online-auction event brimming with rare memorabilia from hundreds of popular categories.

The insatiable demand for original comic art and the prices such works are realizing at auction indicate the gap is closing between comic and mainstream fine art. An excellent case study may be in the making with the original art for two Frank Frazetta covers entered in Hake’s July auction. Frazetta, who died in 2010, was best known for his fantasy and horror art, but his gift was not confined to those genres. The two auction lots represent the color covers for issues #2 and #4 of Blazing Combat, a comic/magazine published from October 1965 to July 1966. The publication featured war stories in both contemporary and period settings, but its run was short, lasting only four issues. Each of the Frazetta cover artworks from this obscure publication is offered with a $75,000-$100,000 estimate. “If someone were to acquire both of the artworks, they would own fifty percent of the title’s run,” said Alex Winter, president of Hake’s Americana. “That’s very desirable and almost unheard of in comic-art collecting.”

The Ron Lim original pen-and-ink art for page 9 of Silver Surfer, Vol. 3 #36, published by Marvel in April 1990, delivers a double dip of mutant superhuman and Titanian Eternal, Thanos. One panel of the 11 1/8 by 17-inch storyboard shows Thanos with his Star Gem, while another depicts a raging battle scene with Thanos going toe to toe with Thor in the center of the action. This significant page, which offered a portent of things to come in The Avengers’ universe, is estimated at $5,000-$10,000. 

Another important artwork is Alex Ross’s original color page created in 1994 for Marvels, a four-issue comic series that examines the Marvel universe, its superheroes and supervillains from the perspective of an “everyman” character. The gouache-over-pencil art from issue #4, page 41 consists of six panels with images of various Marvel characters. Estimate: $10,000-$20,000. Also at the top of the art category is Greg Hildebrandt 2017 acrylic-on-canvas painting of Wonder Woman in Golden Age attire. Created as a tribute to Wonder Woman’s 75th anniversary, it could hit $10,000-$20,000.

An outstanding lineup of 1,300 comic books from the Golden through Modern Age will be auctioned, and of those, 450 are CGC certified. Many are first issues or represent the first appearance of a key character, as is the case with Detective Comics #38, which introduces Batman’s sidekick Robin the Boy Wonder. Published by DC in April 1940, this comic - which is CGC-graded 5.5 Fine - explains Robin’s origin and features the likable new character in boldly colorful cover art by Bob Kane and Jerry Robinson. “This comic, which is completely fresh to the market, is part of a recently discovered Golden Age comic book collection whose original owner purchased the comics new off the rack in the 1930s and ’40s,” said Winter. Compared to the aforementioned Detective Comics #27 that Hakes sold for well over half a million dollars, there are only around a dozen more known copies of Detective Comics #38, per the CGC worldwide census. “It could far surpass its auction estimate of $50,000-$75,000,” Winter said.

Hake’s also will be offering another helping of impossibly rare action figures from the renowned Russell Branton Star Wars collection. Highlights include: a 1977 Kenner Star Wars Darth Vader action figure, AFA-graded 95 Mint and encapsulated on 12 Back-A blister card, $20,000-$35,000; an AFA-graded 80 Near-Mint Luke Skywalker in 12 Back-C blister card with original Double-Telescoping Lightsaber, $10,000-$20,000; and an Anakin Skywalker prototype for Kenner’s 1985 Star Wars: The Power Of The Force toy line, marketed after it was offered as a Return Of The Jedi mail-in offer, $20,000-$35,000. In March, Part two of Branton’s collection beat the overall high estimate by 40 percent, inspiring Hake’s to conduct podcasts focusing on the July selection.

Movie and concert posters have attracted a legion of loyal fans to Hake’s sales. This time the auction house has amassed over 200 choice examples from all eras and genres. The movie section includes some key sci-fi pieces, such as a one-sheet for the 1951 film Man From Planet X, $2,000-$5,000; and a lobby card set for MGM’s 1956 classic Forbidden Planet, $2,000-$5,000. Concert posters are led by a boxing-style window card for “The Biggest Show of Stars for 1960,” starring Frankie Avalon, $10,000-$20,000; a 1964 Sam Cooke poster, $2,000-$5,000; and an important 1966 Frank Zappa Mothers of Invention poster from the band’s first New York City appearance, $2,000-$5,000.

Other premier auction items include a fresh-to-the-hobby original 1913 photo-postcard depicting the multi-racial All-National Baseball Club, $10,000-$20,000; and a boxed Donald Duck Rocket tin-litho friction toy of unknown French manufacturer. One of only two such examples encountered by Hake’s in 51 years, it is estimated at $2,000-$5,000.

For the political memorabilia connoisseur, Hake’s offers an extraordinary rarity - a 1916 campaign button with American patriotic imagery around a portrait of Republican presidential candidate and Supreme Court Justice Charles Evans Hughes. While Hughes was unsuccessful in his run against the incumbent Woodrow Wilson, the only known example of his ”Give Me Hughes” campaign button is a landslide winner with collectors and commands a $10,000-$20,000 estimate. 

Hake’s Americana Auction #224 has opened for bidding by phone, mail or online at hakes.com. The first session will close on July 10, 2018, while the second session will conclude on July 12. July 11 is an interim day in which bidders can peruse the catalog and prepare for further bidding. To request a free printed catalog or for additional information on any item in the sale, call toll-free: 866-404-9800 or 717-434-1600. Email: hakes@hakes.com

Image: 1584: Frank Frazetta (American, 1928-2010) original art for cover of Blazing Combat #2, Jan. 1966, 23 x 23.75in. (framed), Frazetta family endorsement. Est. $75,000-$100,000. Courtesy of Hake’s Americana

 

75c6a5b578d417f90f99878c5709e9dc26757f84.jpegBoston -  Victor Niederhoffer is more than a well-known hedge fund manager, champion squash player, bestselling author and statistician. He is also a world-class collector. 

RR Auction is pleased to present more than 100 rare and significant letters from his vast collection beginning June 22 - June 28. Niederhoffer only selects content-rich and historically vivid correspondences, and these offerings are the best examples of the diverse writers featured, from the arenas of politics, science, sports, literature and more. From Werner Heisenberg to Thomas Jefferson to Charles Darwin, each intimate letter sheds a rare light on their personal day-to-day lives. In Victor’s own words:

“Books and letters have always been an important part of my family life. My father was a policeman in the book publishing area of east New York. In those days, they didn’t sell their overstock - they dumped them in the East River. They hired policemen to do the unloading. My father was paid 50 cents an hour to dump them in the river; instead, he saved them. Our house of about 750 feet, plus wife and two children, had his book collection. The whole house and basement were lined with books.” 

“Letters were always a traditional highlight of our family. The parents, the adults have always written letters supporting their children. My grandfather sent one to the coach of the Brooklyn College team when his son was taken out of the football game; I wrote my first letter when my daughter was taken out of a third grade talent contest.” [You can read about both of these, and the uproar they caused, in the Niederhoffer memoir, "The Education of a Speculator," pg. 115-116.]

“When I learned that books and letters were available, I started collecting at 25. Very eclectic interests. The publishers and sellers have told me that often people collect one or two fields; what’s unique about me is that I collect in every field. Each week, the sellers would come to my office. If I’d had a good week in the market, I’d use my entire winnings. I bought them from key sellers in the area, and from auctions.”

“I collected for about 20 years, buying most in the 1970s. I kept them in archival volumes and often looked at them with great longing and nostalgia. I gained a lot of happiness looking through them and sharing with my family.”   

“The letters form a real tapestry of history. Nothing was bought just to fill a hole. They all show a tremendous vitality and the key events of their time."

“What’s amazing is that all the writers were very salient; e.g., presidents Grant or Monroe or Jackson, you never think of them as great intellectuals. Reagan, Teddy Roosevelt… they always wrote great, poignant letters. I prefer letters to historic documents, because by the time they come to the president, they’re antiseptic and for posterity. Letters explain how people were really feeling. It gives you a feeling of what the normal day-to-day life was.”

A highlight of the collection is a Ronald Reagan heartfelt and heartbreaking letter to his daughter. Written during a particularly trying period, this emotional letter captures Reagan reflecting on his family’s history as well as on his own mortality.

The one-page letter on both sides of his personal letterhead signed “Love, Dad,” and is dated December 24,1989. Letter to his estranged daughter, Patti Davis, in full: "Alright I’ll quit bothering you but I had more in mind than arguing politics. The line in the song says it all; 'The days dwindle down to a precious few.' On Feb. 6th I’ll be 80 years old. Your mother and I are hard put to understand the separation between us and our first born. It didn’t just happen with your growing up and leaving home. I can recall your mother coming home in tears after driving you to school. She couldn’t understand your complete silence even to the point of your not saying 'goodbye.' Was it having to share with a newborn brother? I remember a loving daughter who never let us leave the house without waving goodbye from the window. We have some snapshots that reveal a difference in a little girl. We ask ourselves, 'what did we do wrong?' We were once a loving family. Well as I said earlier 'I’ll stop bothering you' but I don’t understand the separation of our family. I recall a little girl sitting on my lap and asking me to marry her. Her mother across the room behind her signaled me to say 'yes.' So I did and explained we’d have to wait til she was a little older."  Accompanied by the original mailing envelope, addressed in Reagan's own hand and bearing a pre-printed free frank. Also includes a handsome leatherbound presentation folder. (Estimate: $20,000+)

“It’s a moving letter from father to daughter in the hopes of reconciliation, which would come at last in the mid-1990s following the news of his diagnosis with Alzheimer’s,” said Bobby Livingston, Executive VP at RR Auction.

Additional highlights include:

General Washington Revolutionary War-dated letter resupplying his troops prior to the 1779 Sullivan Expedition. (Estimate: $20,000+)

Thomas Jefferson letter successfully reducing taxes on American cargo with the aid of the Marquis de Lafayette. (Estimate: $25,000+)

Werner Heisenberg on the atom bomb and the Nazi government: "I was never in doubt about the fact that the German regime consisted in its most official positions of fools and scoundrels.” (Estimate: $30,000+)

Charles Darwin replies to a German physician: "Such cases certainly occur in non-Jewish families.” (Estimate: $7,500+)

Louis Pasteur writes a page of "Notes on the Cell Structure of the Silk Worm.” (Estimate: $15,000+)

“I’m pleased that these letters are going to contribute to awareness of the greatness and impact of these people. I hope the recipients enjoy them and will share them with their colleagues and families, the same way I have,”  said Niederhoffer. 

The Significant Letter Collection of Victor Niederhoffer will be auctioned beginning June 22 and will conclude June 28. More details can be found online at www.rrauction.com

Polyglot copy.jpgLondon - Christie’s is pleased to offer discerning collectors the opportunity to view and acquire the Plantin Polyglot Bible during its summer auction of Books and Manuscripts on 11 July in London (estimate: £400,000 - £600,000). Produced by the Plantin Printing workshop in Antwerp almost 450 years ago for King Philip II, this monument of biblical scholarship is now returning from where it originated and will be on public view at the Plantin Museum on 21 and 22 June*. 

Also known as the Biblia Regia, this is considered the greatest achievements of the Plantin printing press. Printed in its original languages and the Latin Vulgate, this polyglot Bible features beautiful and exotic types and exemplifies an epitome of typographical design. 

King Philip II of Spain had originally commissioned 13 copies on vellum for his personal use, and only 11 of these sets survive today. Sent to him by Plantin in 1572, it remained in royal ownership until c.1788 when Charles III gave it to his son, which then followed on by descent to the present owner. This is the only copy in private hands as all other copies are owned by institutions. Seven are located in Spain, while the others reside in London, Turin and the Vatican. 

Meg Ford, International Director Books and Manuscripts comments - “The Renaissance press of Christopher Plantin set out to produce the finest Bible in all Christendom, and Christie’s is exceptionally pleased to bring back for the first time in almost 450 years, a deluxe vellum copy of this masterpiece to its place of origin and the very presses that printed it. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for collectors and bibliophiles to view the deluxe Biblia Regia at the Plantin Museum on 21 and 22 June and Christie’s look forward to offering this set with royal provenance in its auction in London on 11 July.” 

Museum Director Iris Kockelbergh says - “The return of the Biblia Regia in its original home is an emotional moment. Seeing this masterpiece on paper is extremely moving and the version on parchment, on show now, surpasses this experience. We look forward to welcoming local and international viewers on 21 and 22 June to the Plantin Museum, a Unesco World Heritage site, where they can explore the world of the influential Plantin and Moretus family. 

Senior Curator Dirk Imhof, Plantin Museum, Comments - “Language can scarcely do justice to its extraordinary beauty and perfection of condition” a quote of Thomas Dibdin when he saw a version of the Biblia regia on parchment, The Bibliographical Decameron, Londen, 1817 

*The Plantin Polyglot Bible will be on view at the Plantin Museum on 21 June from 10.00am to 17.00pm and on 22 June from 10.00am to 12.00pm. 

 

255.jpgChicago, IL — Potter & Potter's recent magic sale offered collectors a phenomenal selection of automatons, apparatus, ephemera, Houdiniana, broadsides, and mystery clocks, many from the David Baldwin Magic Collection. David M. Baldwin (1928 - 2014) had a lifelong passion for magic and a remarkable eye for the extraordinary; Potter and Potter also sold highlights from this collection in October, 2016.  After the hammer fell for the last time, 33 lots made $1,000-1,999; 26 lots sold for $2,000-$9,999; and six lots lapped the five-figure mark!  Prices noted include the company's 20% buyer's premium. 

A trio of Baldwin's outstanding antique mystery clocks took the top spots in this sale. Lot #28, a lavishly decorated Robert-Houdin glass column mystery clock, made $36,000. It told time via a single arrow-shaped hand, which was set against a gilt-brass framed glass dial with Roman numerals.  Coming in second was lot #30, a two handled Robert-Houdin square dial mystery clock which sold for $24,000. This gilt-framed example featured a beveled dial with Roman and Arabic numerals and a dotted minute track, a marble platform, and two decorative swans.  And things were on the move with lot #32, a c. 1860 French magician automaton mantel clock. This breathtaking timepiece featured a magician who on the hour - or at will - turned his head and produced and transposed objects from his table.  It surpassed its high estimate to realize $21,600.  

Old and newer magic apparatus, with many fine examples from legacy manufacturers, was another spellbinding category in this sale.   Lot #1, c. 1890 European card bouquet, formerly owned by the proprietors of the Petrie-Lewis (P&L) magic company of New Haven, CT, made $11,400 on its $6,000-8,000 estimate.  This mechanically complex device was believed to be the only known example of this effect.  Lot #12, a German c. 1900 spirit bell and clock dial combination made by Carl Willmann more than doubled its low estimate to ring in $10,800. Lot #170, a modern Pillar of the Magi by John Gaughan & Associates modeled on an Otto Maurer design climbed to $10,200 on its $3,000-5,000 estimate.  Lot #197, a surprise Fabergé-Style Egg from Pywacked Magic in Germany beat its high estimate four times over to make $4,560. And lot #67, a c. 1930's American wooden “Sure Shot” dice box changed hands at $900 on its $100-200 estimate. 

Merchandise - including props, ephemera, and personal items -  associated with the legendary magician The Great Raymond (Maurice Francois Raymond, 1877-1948) proved quite popular with collectors. Lot #255, an important scrapbook of Raymond’s early escape act clippings and ephemera from the 1906-08 timeframe sold for $9,000 on its $1,000-2,000 estimate.  This archive included some of the earliest and perhaps only extant material from this period of Raymond’s career.  Lot #263, another archive of Raymond materials consisting of 1930's era clippings and playbills, made the cut at $2,160. Lot #246, a collection of professional correspondence and letters to The Great Raymond delivered $3,600 on its $200-400 estimate.    And lot #277, Raymond's fine English alligator wallet carried the day at $1,800.  This handsome accessory was detailed with a central “R” medallion and sterling silver corners bearing Birmingham hallmarks. 

This sale came full circle with museum-quality selections of books, posters, photos, and other magic rarities.  Lot #231, an archive of Del Ray (Raymond Petrosky, c. 1927-2003) photographs and ephemera, and a draft biography by Spooner soared to $4,560 on its $150-250 estimate. The collection included Del Ray’s gilt metal Lifetime Membership card in the Academy of Magical Arts.  And lot #316, a pair of 1922 Houdini Shelton Pool stunt news photos picturing the escape artist outside and within the coffin sold for $1,800 on their $250-350 estimate. These glossy silver prints had their news service hand-stamps and annotations on verso. 

According to Gabe Fajuri, President at Potter & Potter Auctions, "The sale marked another strong showing for items from David Baldwin's collection. We were particularly pleased with the results for the Okito-made props, and Del Ray-owned items. Houdini proved to be a hit, too. All in all, it was a very good day for magic collecting and magic collectors alike." 

Potter & Potter, founded in 2007, is a Chicago area auction house specializing in paper Americana, vintage advertising, rare books, playing cards, gambling memorabilia, posters, fine prints, vintage toys, and magicana - antiques and collectibles related to magic and magicians. The company's next sale, featuring fine books and manuscripts, will be held on July 28, 2018. For more information, please see www.potterauctions.com

Image: Earliest Archive of Raymond Ephemera. Realized $9,000

New York, NY — What do The Jackson 5’s (and Michael Jackson’s) first recording contract, the Larry Richards “A Cinema Apart” Collection, Rosa Parks’ family home and her handwritten thoughts on the day she first met Dr. Martin Luther King, and Alex Haley’s manuscript for the Malcolm X biography (which includes many of Mr. X’s personal notes) have in common? They will be among the hundreds of extraordinary items being brought to the block by Guernsey’s, the New York City-based auction house, on July 25th and 26th at the historic General Scott Mansion on the corner of Park Avenue and 93rd Street, in New York City. Largely focusing on the Civil Rights Movement, African American movies, and music, this auction will include items that are of huge cultural and historical importance.

The Gregory Reed Collection is an archive of Civil Rights documents, rare books, and African-American musical ephemera, all from the offices of the prominent African-American lawyer who counted Rosa Parks among his clients. In an extraordinary two-page document, Mrs. Parks describes the occasion she first encountered Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Astonished that so young a man could speak so eloquently, she writes “I knew I would never forget him.” It was only months later that this giant of a little woman refused to give up her bus seat. Jail and death threats soon followed, causing Mrs. Parks to flee northward to Detroit where, along with her husband and extensive family, she found shelter in a small, 23’ x 23’ two-story wood home. Now, six decades later, that very structure (which is easily disassembled, and the buyer should know that there will be ample support available to assist in the easy assembly of the house) has been the subject of an international tour extensively covered by the media. The BBC and CNN reported on the story as did the New York Times, which ran three separate articles about the historic home. Most recently exhibited as part of a symposium with the Rhode Island School of Design, this truly historic Rosa Parks family home is in the auction with much of the proceeds directly supporting the Rosa McCauley Parks Heritage Foundation.

In 1992, the estate sale of the then late author Alex Haley was conducted. Internationally renowned for his historic novel, Roots, the top lot in the auction proved to be Haley’s original 257-page manuscript for the Autobiography of Malcolm X (as told to Alex Haley), with many handwritten notes and edits from both Malcolm X and the author. Separately sold in the event were the “lost chapters” - portions of the book thought too controversial to be published. Attorney Reed was the successful bidder back then; now, more than a quarter century later, these extraordinary documents will be offered again.

Comprised of hundreds of rare film posters, window and lobby cards, actor-worn clothing and more, the unique Cinema Apart Collection, assembled by the late Larry Richards, traces the course of African American cinema throughout the 20th century, and represents an important part of American and of cinematic history. In earlier times, films starring African American actors, or ‘all-black casts’ were made specifically for black audiences. These movies were not generally mainstream, and for a time their cultural significance not realized. Titles included Bronze Venus, Smiling Hate, Rhythm in a Riff, Congorilla, Two- Gun Man from Harlem, Voodoo Devil Drums, Midnight Menace, Porgy and Bess. Featuring names such as Paul Robeson, Lena Horne, Sammy Davis Jr., Eartha Kitt, Dorothy Dandridge, and Sidney Poitier, A Cinema Apart’s significance was recognized when a portion of it was selected for inclusion in the collection of the Smithsonian Museum. 

In the 1960’s, emerging, wannabe record labels were almost too numerous to count. One of the upstarts, out of Gary, Indiana, was Steeltown Records, headed by William Adams. At a performance in a junior high school gym, Adams was riveted by five young men (boys, really). From this unheralded performance sprang The Jackson 5 and the then nine-year old Michael Jackson. On November 21, 1967, a contract between Steeltown and the Jackson Five was worked out and signed by Joe Jackson on behalf of his sons. Agreeing to “employ Steeltown, Inc.,” a career began that changed the world. Consigned directly by Mr. Adams, that remarkable contract is in this auction!

Long considered one of Jazz’ greatest piano players, Art Tatum died at age 47. Now, more than sixty years later, his estate has honored Guernsey’s by the inclusion in this event of many of Art’s most enduring treasures. Included among these is his stunning Steinway Grand piano, and a vintage Bulova wrist watch inscribed to the pianist and given to him by none other than Frank Sinatra.

The vast majority of the approximately 700 items in this auction are being offered without minimum reserve. The Gregory Reed Collection is being sold by court order. More information on this important event can be found at www.guernseys.com.  Online bidding will take place at liveauctioneers.com and invaluable.com.

Screen Shot 2018-06-19 at 9.04.06 AM.pngThis July, Christie’s will present Quentin Blake: A Retrospective; Forty Years of Alternative Versions, a series of illustrations offered directly from the personal collection of one of Britain's best-loved illustrators. As part of Christie’s Classic Week, a selection of 30 illustrations by Quentin Blake will be presented in the Valuable Books and Manuscripts auction on 11 July, alongside a dedicated online sale of 148 illustrations open for bidding from 3 to 12 July. The works from this sale are being sold to benefit House of Illustration, Roald Dahl's Marvellous Children's Charity and Survival International. Quentin Blake: A Retrospective; Forty Years of Alternative Versions will be on view and open to the public from 7 to 10 July at Christie’s London. Estimates range from £200 to £10,000. 

The collection comprises works from the past 40 years of Quentin Blake’s career, showcasing some of the most celebrated literary characters of today, which have captured the imagination of generations of children including Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Twits, and James and the Giant Peach to David Walliams’s Mr Stink. Alongside these cherished children’s stories, the sale presents collectors the opportunity to acquire works from various other projects that Blake has worked on including editions illustrated for The Folio Society and artwork for J Sheekey Restaurant, along with illustrations for various public spaces, such as St George’s Hospital, Tooting and the Maternity Unit at Angers University Hospital in France. 

Highlights include works for The Enormous Crocodile, Roald Dahl’s first book to be illustrated by Blake, and preliminary drawings showing the genesis of one of Roald Dahl’s best-loved creations, the Big Friendly Giant. These illustrations will be presented alongside further children’s favorites, including Fantastic Mr Fox, Billy and the Minpins and perhaps two of the most fearsome and wicked of Roald Dahl’s characters The Twits. In 2016, Blake completed a series of works for the Roald Dahl Centenary Portraits project, celebrating 100 years since the author’s birth: Charlie, Willie Wonka and Grandpa Joe, Matilda, and Sophie and the BFG are among the famous Roald Dahl characters depicted in a series of ten portraits by Blake, who asks the viewers to imagine the characters have been invited to sit for their portrait, thus truly bringing these well-known characters to life. Further works in the sale include drawings of Blake’s marvellous portrayal of Beatrix Potter’s protagonist for her long-lost work from 1914, The Tale of Kitty-in-Boots. The story was rediscovered in the archives of the Victoria and Albert Museum in 2015 and Blake’s illustrations of Kitty and her adventures have helped establish the story as a firm favourite within children’s literature. 

Alternative aspects of Blake’s work will be explored, including a group of pencil drawings from his exhibition Arrows of Love, depicting women avoiding or embracing Cupid’s arrow. These rarely-seen nudes reveal Blake’s personal reflections on the joy, folly and sorrow of love. Further illustrations presented in the sale include his work for the Atlantic Bar at J Sheekey restaurant in London, portraying J Sheekey’s chefs, sommeliers and patrons swimming among shoals of fish and sea-creatures. The under-the-sea theme is a particular favourite of Blake’s and is continued in the auction with drawings from the Jerwood Gallery's exhibition in 2015 'Life under Water: A Hastings Celebration', capturing the vibrancy of this historic seaside town. Blake’s work for The Folio Society presents a unique aspect of his oeuvre and the sale will include various examples from The Golden Ass by Apuleius, in which Blake captures the comic spirit of the text, along with the complexity of tone. Further works from the Folio Society will be presented, such as Victor Hugo’s 1829 novel Notre Dame de Paris and Russell Hoban’s genre-defying masterpiece Riddley Walker. 

Quentin Blake is one of today’s most recognised illustrators, known for his collaboration with writers such as Russell Hoban, Joan Aiken, Michael Rosen, John Yeoman and, most famously, Roald Dahl. He has also illustrated classic books and created much-loved characters of his own, including Mister Magnolia and Mrs Armitage. His books have won numerous prizes and awards, including the Whitbread Award, the Kate Greenaway Medal, the Emil/Kurt Maschler Award and the international Bologna Ragazzi Prize. He won the 2002 Hans Christian Andersen Award for Illustration, the highest international recognition given to creators of children's books. In 1999 he was appointed the first UK Children’s Laureate and in 2005 was created CBE. This was followed in 2013 by a knighthood for 'services to illustration' in the New Year's Honours. In 2014 Blake was admitted to the Legion d'Honneur.

vcsPRAsset_531423_107822_40f21660-fa68-4fe3-9e5f-af3ac90a8b2b_0.jpgLos Angeles, California - Van Eaton Galleries, one of the world’s premier animation artwork and collectibles galleries located in Sherman Oaks, California, has announced an extraordinary auction event highlighted by never-before published photographs of Walt Disney’s personal life, as well as a 1953 construction plot plan that Walt Disney drew on to show the boundary for Disneyland. The “A Brief History of the Walt Disney Studios” auction will take place on July 7, 2018 at Van Eaton Galleries located at 13613 Ventura Blvd in Sherman Oaks, California. The auction includes some of the most closely-related artifacts to the life of Walt Disney that have ever been offered for public sale.

Rare highlights include a complete set of exceptional personal photographs of Walt Disney and the Rancheros Visitadores social club. The photo archives depict Walt Disney riding on horseback and camping during one of the Rancheros Visitadores’ yearly excursions through the Santa Ynez Valley. This set includes several never-before-published photos of Walt Disney who took part in the excursions in the late 1930s and into the 1940s.

The photos clearly show a down-to-earth and very casual side of Walt Disney that few have ever seen (Estimate: $6,000-$8,000). Additionally, Van Eaton Galleries will offer a Walt Disney personally-signed Rancheros Visitadores Camp Site sign. This incredibly detailed hand-painted sign was for Walt’s camp site, “Camp Cine Q”.

The sign features the signatures of several of the club’s members including American artist Victor Clyde Forsythe who also created a sketch next to his signature. It also features Walt Disney’s signature accompanied by his personal drawing of Mickey Mouse. Original drawings of Mickey Mouse by Walt are among some of the most sought after Disney artifacts and are rarely seen (Estimate: $12,000-$15,000).

“The ‘A Brief History of the Walt Disney Studios’ auction doesn’t just tell the story of the Studio, but it tells the story of Walt and his team of talented artists and individuals who helped build the company,” says Mike Van Eaton, Co-Owner of Van Eaton Galleries. “We consider this one of the rarest opportunities we have had to show the world a side of Walt Disney that few have ever seen, through personal photographs and personally-signed or hand-drawn items. Many of these items have never come to auction before and are among the only such examples of these items that we have ever seen. To say we are excited about this auction is an understatement. Anyone who recognizes the incredible value of such items from Walt’s personal life will understand how significant this auction is.”  

A plot plan for Disneyland is among one of the rarest and most historically important items to be offered. In August of 1953, shortly after acquiring land in Anaheim, Walt Disney took a grease pencil and drew a triangle on this plot plan to represent where he wanted the Disneyland trains to run, thus creating the boundaries for the park and the beginnings of Disneyland as we know it. This original drawing by Walt represents the earliest known appearance of the shape of Disneyland and its location in Anaheim, and also represents Walt Disney’s personal involvement and input in every aspect of the creation of his park. (Estimate: $100,000-$200,000).

Walt Disney loved railroads so much that he had one built in his backyard. Van Eaton Galleries will offer a piece of Railroad Track from Walt Disney’s own backyard railroad (Estimate: $50,000-$60,000) as well as an extremely rare Walt Disney signed “Laugh-O-Gram” stock certificate from Walt’s early animation studio (Estimate: $8,000-$10,000). 

Nearly 600 items will be offered in the “A Brief History of the Walt Disney Studios” auction that range from furniture from the 1940’s Walt Disney Studio in Burbank, original Disneyland props, animation art from Disney cartoons and films from the 1920s through the 1980s, and much more. Other highlights include a Mickey Mouse Writing Tablet Salesman Sample (Estimate: $3,000-$5,000); a 1934 Colson Mickey Mouse Tricycle (Estimate:  $1,000-$2,000); a Disneyland “Snow White’s Scary Adventures” Tree Prop (Estimate: $5,000-$7,000); a Disneyland Donald Duck Walkaround Character Head (Estimate: $2,000-$3,000); A Disneyland Pluto Walk Around Character Head (Estimate: $2,000-$3,000); a Disneyland “Indiana Jones Adventure” Wait Time Sign (Estimate: $4,000-$6,000) and a Walt Disney “Mousecar” Award (Estimate: $2,000-$3,000)                  

BRIEF HISTORY OF THE WALT DISNEY STUDIOS” EXHIBITION AND AUCTION LOCATION

Van Eaton Galleries                                                                                                       

13613 Ventura Blvd

Sherman Oaks, California 91423

(818) 788-2357

LIVE AND ONLINE AUCTION:
11am July 7, 2018

At Van Eaton Galleries 13613 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, Ca 91423

Register at www.vegalleries.com/disneyauction
Online at www.vegalleries.com/bidnow

The “A Brief History of the Walt Disney Studios” Collection Exclusive Catalogs may be purchased at www.vegalleries.com/disneyauction

Winter Hawk copy.jpgNew York - Christie’s New York Books and Manuscripts sales total $12,853,250, across the two auctions that took place on June 14, 2018. The dedicated single-lot sale for John James Audubon’s The Birds of America (1827-1838) realized $9,650,000, establishing the second-highest price at auction for a full folio-set, with proceeds to benefit the Knobloch Family Foundation.

Other notable results included Audubon’s folio Quadrupeds of North America, 1845-46-48, which realized $348,500; the first issue of Shakespeare’s Second Folio, which sold for $175,000; an autograph manuscript by Charles Darwin (1809-1992) from his radical treatise on human evolution, which realized $112,500; and an autograph manuscript and letter by Thomas Paine (1737-1809), which sold for over three times the low estimate for $93,750

Additionally, strong results were achieved for 20th-Century lots including the first Olympic Gold Medal awarded for Basketball, to George Louis Redlein (1885-1968), St. Louis, 1904 which sold for $125,000; and Paul McCartney's 1970 affidavit initiating his lawsuit to break up the Beatles, with John Lennon's handwritten annotations throughout, which realized $125,000.

Image: The exceptional Duke of Portland set of Audubon's masterpiece. AUDUBON, John James (1785-1851). The Birds of America; from Original Drawings. London: Published by the Author, 1827-1838. PRICE REALIZED: $9,650,000 

 

New York—On June 13, the sale of Bonhams and TCM Present ... A Celebration of Robert Osborne was 100% sold, which included rare one-sheet posters and movie memorabilia from the estate of the beloved Turner Classic Movies host. The top lot of the collection was Bette Davis’ personal Sarah Siddons award, which realized $25,000 against an estimate of $10,000-15,000. A two-week online-only sale of additional lots from the estate starts June 14 and continues until June 28. TCM will donate its proceeds from the sale to The Film Foundation while proceeds from the sale of the posters will benefit the Gingold Theatrical Group.

Dr. Catherine Williamson, director of Entertainment Memorabilia at Bonhams, commented: “The affection for Robert Osborne was evidently clear at the auction. Bids poured out from every corner of the crowded room, as well as on the phone and online. The biggest surprise of the collection was the Stork Club ash tray, which sold for $23,750 against an estimate of $200-300. Fans realized the rarity of this relic from the classic New York night club.”

In addition to the Osborne estate, the June auction also featured classic Hollywood memorabilia from other sources and highlights included:  

  • A Frank Sinatra painting that hung at the Friars Club of Beverly Hills, oil on illustration board, which was the top lot of the sale and realized $31,250.
  • A Tom Hanks Army dress uniform from Forrest Gump Paramount, 1994, which realized $25,000
  • A Katharine Hepburn watercolor painting of the American Shakespeare Theatre, watercolor and ink on paper, which realized $23,750.

Belton, Missouri - The legend of Bonnie and Clyde may have to be rewritten or at least revised with the discovery of a trove of more than 40 previously unknown photographs of the notorious 1930s-era outlaws and various other family members that will be sold in an online-only auction ending Wednesday, July 11th, by Mayo Auction & Realty. There is no live bidding in the gallery. 

Mayo Auction & Realty is no stranger to Bonnie and Clyde. Several years ago the firm auctioned a gun found in the infamous “death car” that police riddled with bullets the day the couple was killed, then later sold another gun owned by the pair. “We’ve become the go-to auction company for market fresh Bonnie and Clyde collectibles,” said Robert Mayo of Mayo Auction & Realty. 

The catalog, with all lots, is online now for viewing and bidding, at www.AuctionbyMayo.com. A preview, where all the photographs can be seen by the public, will be held on Monday, July 9th, from 4-6 pm Central time, in the Mayo Auction & Realty gallery at 16513 Cornerstone Drive in Belton, Missouri. Belton is located just south of Kansas City, a short distance off Interstate 49.

The photos will come as a revelation to those who have only seen the widely published shots of the couple in full gangster mode, Bonnie with a cigarette dangling from her mouth and Clyde toting a machine gun. These show a softer, more human side to the pair: Bonnie all dressed up and wearing makeup in a studio glam shot, and Clyde looking dapper in a crisp three-piece suit.

The photos - small black and whites from the ‘20s and ‘30s - have a history as colorful and well-documented as Bonnie and Clyde’s meteoric rise to the top of the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list. The group was purchased at a drive-in theater flea market in Texas, around 30 years ago, along with a Texas newspaper account of the couple’s murder dated the day they were killed.

The buyer was Bob Andrews of Oklahoma, who has held on to the photos all this time and is now ready to part with them. “This guy was selling what he claimed to be authentic photographs of Bonnie and Clyde that he said had been found hidden in the back of an old console radio, in an album and with the newspaper from the day after the couple’s murder by police,” he said.

Andrews said he didn’t believe the man and walked away. “But it kept gnawing at me and finally my wife said, ‘Oh, just go back and buy them.’ So I did.” Andrews said the man didn’t know anything else about the photos, just that they’d been kept hidden in the back of the radio and had changed hands several times. Only recently did Andrews decide to step forward with the photos.

But are they real? Yes, according to Marc Geyer, an auctioneer, appraiser and historian out of Mesa, Arizona, who worked on authenticating the photographs, indicating that he spent weeks researching and comparing the photos to other known images of the families. “In my opinion, I believe these photographs to be authentic,” Geyer said. “I believe the photo subjects to be Bonnie Parker, Clyde and Buck (Clyde’s brother) Barrow and various other family members and acquaintances. Their journey to this auction is the mystery.”

He has a theory, though. “Through my research, I find it is a strong possibility that these photos belonged to Emma Parker - Bonnie’s mother - and that when she died in 1944, the radio may have ended up with Bonnie’s sister, Billie Jean. When Billie Jean died in 1993, I believe that old radio was sold along with the rest of her estate. The photos were then discovered by the buyer.”

Assuming they are real, following is a list of some of the more historically significant ones:

  • Photos of Bonnie, Clyde and Billie Jean on the docks in Galveston, Texas. The ship in the photo (identified as the Edgemoor, accompanied by a pilot boat, the Mariner) was one that loaded lumber in Galveston. Men are seen in the background loading lumber.
  • A glamour shot of Bonnie, taken at Kelly Studio in Denison, Texas. This is a never-before-seen photo, but it was known that Bonnie and sister Billie Jean enjoyed playing dress-up and sitting for the photographer. Still, it doesn’t square with her gun moll image. 
  • Clyde dressed up in his Sunday best, too. Evidently, vanity wasn’t limited just to Bonnie. Clyde could have modeled for GQ (if there was a GQ in the ‘30s). The shot of him in a three-piece suit, hand propped on the door of a sedan, makes him look downright dapper.
  • A photo of the marker sign at the North Dakota-Montana state line. Again, like with Galveston, it was never previously reported that Bonnie and Clyde ever visited or spent time in either state. It’s assumed the photo was taken on a (possibly necessary) road trip. 
  • Bonnie holding one of her sister Billie Jean’s children. Bonnie never had children of her own, but she enjoyed doting on her younger sister’s kids, and especially took a shine to Billie Jean’s son, Buddy. 
  • Clyde in a photo next to anything but a Ford. Clyde Barrow was a Ford man all the way - wouldn’t drive or steal anything but. However, in one photo he’s shown next to what appears to be a 1926 Chrysler Imperial model E-80 with Illinois license plates from 1929.
  • Bonnie as a young girl, at around age 10. Photos of the outlaw as a child are extremely rare, and this one shows her with three other family members outside their Texas home: here sister Billie Jean, her mother’s late husband’s sister Ada, and a man written as “Ed”.
  • A photo of W.D. Jones, the young protégé and possible love interest. Little is known about Mr. Jones, except that he got caught up in Bonnie, Clyde, Buck and Blanche’s (Buck’s wife) shenanigans as a young man and was rumored to be Billie Jean’s lover.
  • Photos of the infamous “billy goat car”. The billy goat car was so-named because it had a goat-like hood ornament. In one classic photo, Bonnie is shown wearing the ornament on her head and smiling. Cars are in many of the photos - essential for quick getaways.
  • Any photos showing Clyde and Buck together. As career criminals, when one was being sent to prison, the other was just getting out. They were only out together on and before Nov. 29, 1929, when Buck was shot and arrested in Denton, Tex., and after March 1933.

Bonnie once wrote a letter to Clyde while he was in jail, dated Feb. 23, 1930, in which she pours out her lovesick heart: “I’ve got a Majestic Radiola and they drive me crazy with the music. All I’ve heard today is Lonesome Railroad Blues and I Sing All My Love Songs to You. It nearly drives me mad.” Could that be the very radio that contained these photos? We will never know.

One thing is certain, though. The legend of Bonnie and Clyde will only get larger and stronger with the sale of these 40-plus never-before-seen and historically significant photos. Whoever buys them - whether it’s a serious collector, a museum or corporate interest - they will be the custodians of a slice of American history that’s deep in legend and lore - and ready for revision.

Pablo Picasso.jpgCranston, Rhode Island - A pair of outstanding Rhode Island collections - one of gorgeous Tiffany pieces pulled from a home in Providence and the other the modern prints collection of Lucille Comes out of Warwick, all purchased from Multiple Impressions in New York - will be just part of Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers’ next big sale, planned for Saturday, June 23rd, at 10 am Eastern.

The auction will be held online as well as in Bruneau’s gallery, located at 63 Fourth Avenue in Cranston. Internet bidding will be available via Invaluable.com, LiveAuctioneers.com, ePaiLIVE (in Asia), Bidsquare.com, Bidlive.Bruneauandco.com, the Bruneau app, Auctionzip.com and eBay. Phone and absentee bids will also be accepted. Doors will open at 8 am on auction day.

“This sale will not disappoint,” Kevin Bruneau announced proudly. “As owner of the company I take pride in seeing such a comprehensive catalog come to be. Whether you collect Asian art, period furniture, modern prints or more, there is definitely something for you in the catalog.”

Travis Landry, a Bruneau & Co. specialist and auctioneer, added, “You name it, this sale has it. From Tiffany Studios to ancient Roman glass, American Fauvism and even a 1962 Rolls-Royce, there’s something for every collector. I can’t wait to see who takes home the Tiffany table lamp.”

He was referring to the circa 1905 Tiffany Studios (N.Y.) table lamp having a poppy shade consisting of variegated blue, green, red, purple and yellow Favrile glass with reticulated bronze overlay, supported by a twisted vine base. The 20 ¼ inch shade is impressed “Tiffany Studios 1537” and the base is impressed “Tiffany Studios 443”. The lamp should bring $30,000-$50,000.

Also from Tiffany Studios in New York is a beautiful circa 1910 paperweight Favrile glass vase, 10 inches tall (est. $15,000-$20,000). The piece is prolate form, with a thick rolled rim decorated with a freeform bleeding heart pattern in hues of red and purple throughout the iridescent amber Favrile glass. A lovely faint blue swirl pattern is cast over the entirety of the paperweight’s body.  

The Rolls-Royce is lot #1 and a strong contender for top lot of the auction, with an estimate of $30,000-$50,000. It’s a 1962 Silver Cloud II Standard Saloon, one of only 2,417 built between 1959-1962. The velvet green over sand left-hand drive car has a 380 cubic inch V-8 engine and is in remarkable condition. It once resided in the Yankee Candle Car Museum in Massachusetts.

A Fauvist landscape painting by the Swedish-born American artist Birger Sandzen (1871-1954), depicting Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, with two sloped trees amongst rockery on the edge of a river, with mountains in the background, carries an estimate of $20,000-$30,000. The work is signed lower right “Birger Sandzen” and comes in a 21 ¾ inch by 18 ½ inch frame.

In March, Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers made headlines in the trade papers when a gigantic 19th century Chinese archaic poem scroll painting - 24 feet wide by 29 inches tall - sailed past its estimate of $800-$1,200 to command $72,500. From the same estate, two more massive Chinese scrolls will be offered in the June auction, each one with a pre-sale estimate of $10,000-$20,000.

The first is a 26-foot-wide ink and watercolor depiction of three cliffside landscape scenes of robed scholars by the Chinese artist and poet Gai Qi (Chinese, 1773-1828). The Qing dynasty scroll is a masterpiece and museum-quality, signed throughout with calligraphy red seal chop marks. Gai Qi painted in Shanghai and was associated with Fei Dangxu (Chinese, 1801-1850).

The second is a Ming dynasty scroll painting by the Chinese artist Zhimian Zhou (1550-1610), a monumental ink and watercolor scroll depicting a panoramic landscape with birds perched amongst bamboo, foliage, pink flowers and rockery. Measuring 17 feet 4 inches long and 10 ½ inches high, it is museum quality, signed throughout with calligraphy and red seal chop marks.

The centerpiece of Lucille Comes’ modern prints collection is a portfolio of work by Joan Miro (Sp./Fr., 1893-1983), titled El Inocente (est. $4,000-$6,000).  Included are three etchings and an aquatint in color on Arches paper. Each work is signed and numbered (165 of 170). The portfolio is published by Robert Lydie Doutrou (Paris, 1974) with accompanying text by Xavier Domingo.

Also from Ms. Comes’ collection is Pablo Picasso’s Suite 347 No. 106 (Bloch 1586, Baer 1602), etching #47 of 50, signed by Picasso lower right and numbered lower left, with the date within the plate. Framed, the etching measures 22 ½ inches by 24 ¾ inches. It’s accompanied by the original receipt, dated Feb. 20, 1982 from Multiple Impressions. The estimate is $3,000-$5,000.

A circa 1880 room-size Persian Sultanaban rug, 16 feet 1 inch by 11 feet 10 inches, having a central field with burnt sienna ground with ivory and blue floral decoration surrounded by multiple bands of geometric and floral borders, is expected to change hands for $8,000-$12,000.

Also, an early 17th century Northwest European allegorical hand-woven Renaissance tapestry after The Nativity by Peter Paul Reubens (1577-1640), measuring 8 feet 1 inch by 7 feet 3 inches and most certainly from that period, exhibiting routine wear from age, should hit $2,000-$3,000.

Download the Bruneau app on Google play and iTunes. Phone and absentee (left) bids will also be accepted. Previews will be held on Thursday, June 21st, from 9-5; on Friday, June 22nd, from 12 noon until 9 pm; and on Saturday, June 23rd, the date of auction, when the doors open at 8 am.

Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers has announced a new schedule for 2018. There will be no pre-sale with the estate auctions, as before. They will usually be on the first Saturday of each month and will start at 11 am Eastern. Monday night auctions will be held the third Monday of every month.

To learn more about Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers and the auction on Saturday, June 23rd, visit www.bruneauandco.com. To contact Bruneau & Co. via e-mail, use info@bruneauandco.com

Image: Pablo Picasso’s Suite 347 No. 106 (Bloch 1586, Baer 1602), etching #47 of 50, signed by Picasso himself lower right and numbered lower left, with the date within the plate (est. $3,000-$5,000).

odnkkpcagocjmljb.jpgNew York—Swann Galleries’ auction of Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books on June 7 brought to market landmarks from the history of cartography and ornithology. The nearly 400 lots traced important developments in science and natural history, especially in North America.

Leading the auction was the hand-colored elephant plate of Fish Hawk from John James Audubon’s Birds of America, 1830, at $68,750. Audubon works, as well as those generally related to birds, performed well overall, achieving three of the top five highest prices in the sale. Another highlight was the first octavo edition of a complete subscriber’s copy of Birds of America, 1840-44, which was purchased by a collector for $22,500.

By delightful coincidence, all three of the most important “Beaver Maps” were in the sale and performed well. Nicolas de Fer’s L’Amerique Divisee Selon Letendue de ses Principales Parties, 1713, colloquially known as the “Original Beaver Map,” was the first major map to include an engraved cartouche of beavers in the wilderness. It was purchased by a collector for $30,000. The beaver motif was emulated and popularized later by Herman Moll in his circa 1735 atlas, The World Described, on the spread depicting New England, which came to be known as “The Beaver Map” for its ubiquity ($22,500). Finally, “The Dutch Beaver Derivative,” the moniker given to Henri Chatelain’s 1719 long Carte Tres Curieuse de la Mer du Sud..., reached $9,375.

Important post-Revolutionary American maps included the first 1827 issue of Herman Boye’s Map of the State of Virginia Reduced to come to auction in more than 50 years ($27,500). The first official map to delineate the exact boundaries of Pennsylvania, by Reading Howell, 1792, reached $5,980.

True to form, unusual plans of Manhattan sparked interest among buyers. A seven-part map compiled by Charles Kinnaird and issued by the Department of Docks in 1873 shows the original shoreline of the island, overlaid with proposed infrastructure including piers and bulwarks. Only five institutional copies are known to exist; it was purchased by a collector for $8,750. Another highlight was Egbert Viele’s “Water Map,” or Topographical Atlas of the City of New York, 1874, depicting the waterways of Manhattan before its development ($9,100).

Specialist Caleb Kiffer was delighted with the auction: “Yesterday's successful auction gave me a lot of confidence in the market. Top material performed very well with the mid-range market remaining strong as ever. The collectors were bidding with strength and it pleases me to see Swann keeping the door open to the private audience, as well as the trade, for high-quality collectible material. A few items, such as Boye’s Virginia and Audubon’s Fish Hawk have not hit the market in some time and it's encouraging to see the continued positive interest in great material like this.”

The next auction of Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books at Swann Galleries will be held on December 13, 2018. The house is currently accepting quality consignments.

Image: Lot 54: Nicolas de Fer, L’Amerique Divisee Selon Letendue…, wall map, Paris, 1713. Sold June 7, 2018 for $30,000. (Pre-sale estimate: $20,000 to $30,000)

 

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