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York, PA - Fresh-to-market original comic book art spurred a fan frenzy at Hake’s March 13-14 auction and produced a $1.26 million result, with new auction records set by several prize entries. 

Predicted to finish well in the money, Rob Liefeld’s original pen-and-ink art for Page 27 of New Mutants #98, published by Marvel in February 1991, did not disappoint. It swept past its $20,000-$35,000 estimate to settle at $40,380, making it the auction’s top lot. 

“The artboard is from the issue that introduced Deadpool, the wildly popular antihero who went on to star in countless comics, video games and films,” said Hake’s president Alex Winter. “Original page art from Issue 98 is especially rare if it actually depicts Deadpool - which was the case with the page art we sold - because he appears on only seven pages in that issue.” The artwork had been held privately since shortly after the issue’s publication and had never before been offered for public sale.

Frank Quitely’s original cover art for All-Star Superman #6 (DC Comics), from a series that ran from November 2005 through October 2008, sold for $15,575 - an auction record for any original Quitely art. The poignant scene depicts Superman standing at the gravestone of his adoptive father, Jonathan Kent, with his loyal canine companion Krypto beside him. 

Next up was the 11- by 17-inch original art for Page 33 of Sandman Vol. 2, #14 (DC Vertigo, March 1990), penciled by Mike Dringenberg and inked by Malcolm Jones III. Few Sandman pages have appeared for public sale, and the $14,280 auction-record price paid for the early seven-panel page validated the timelessness and enduring popularity of the series. 

Comic books held steady, with particular interest in Golden and Silver Age issues that debuted or provided the backstories for important characters. Amazing Fantasy #15 (Marvel, August 1962, CGC 3.0 Good/VG), introducing Spider-Man, leaped to $16,955; while Detective Comics #168 (DC, February 1951, CGC 3.0 Good/VG), which tells the origin story of The Joker (“The Man Behind the Red Hood”), was on target at $10,450.

The demand for rare, early Star Wars action figures has been insatiable since Hake’s first introduced the Russell Branton collection to bidders in 2017. Since then, the company has presented additional helpings from the fabled collection in its subsequent auctions, and did so again on March 13-14. An AFA-graded 75 EX+/NM Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back - Bespin Alliance 3-pack series charged past its $10,000-$20,000 estimate to reach $24,400; while an AFA-graded 85 NM+ 3-pack Android Set made $15,705 against expectations of $5,000-$10,000. From another premier Star Wars collection, an AFA-graded 80NM Luke Skywalker 12 Back-A double-telescoping figure crushed all challengers with a closing price of $25,310.

Bases were loaded as two premier sports lots stepped up to the plate to take a swing. A fantastic panoramic photo taken prior to Game 5 of the first “Negro League World Series” of October 1924, depicting 42 players (including eight future Hall of Famers), managers and owners, retired at $23,365. Also, a treasure trove of 150 Cracker Jack collector cards produced in 1914-15 was offered, including the elusive “Shoeless” Joe Jackson card. Measuring only 2.25 by 3 inches, it set a world auction record for an example of its type (PSA Good 2 condition), knocking it out of the park at $18,345.

Historical and political Americana flew high, especially an important 1860 “For President, Abram [sic.] Lincoln - For Vice President, Hannibal Hamlin” 35-star parade flag. “This flag descended through successive generations of a Connecticut family, then went into a private collection where it remained for 50 years. We were proud to have been chosen to offer it for public sale for the first time,” said Winter. It realized $19,210. 

Political buttons were hotly pursued, including an iconic 1940 Wendell Willkie/FDR “Y’r Out At Third” baseball-theme button, $9,735; and a button showing Harry Truman’s face on an 8-ball, a reference to his being “behind the 8-ball” as he headed into the 1948 presidential race, $9,475. A top Kennedy keepsake, a “Kennedy Election Night Staff” button of a type worn by staffers to gain access to the Hyannisport family compound on election day in 1960. It came with provenance from the archive of Helen Lempart, who was an executive secretary in JFK’s inner circle. Selling price: $9,410

Hake’s is currently accepting consignments for future auctions. For more information, call 866-404-9800 (toll-free) or 717-434-1600. Email hakes@hakes.com. View the fully illustrated catalog for Hake’s March 13-14, 2019 auction online at www.hakes.com.

Lot 274-de la Cruz copy.jpgNew York -- Swann Galleries’ Tuesday, April 16 auction of Printed & Manuscript Americana features a robust selection of Mexican imprints and manuscripts, state material and items relating to the Civil War and President Lincoln. 

Mexican material forms the cornerstone of an extensive section of Latin Americana. Among the highlights are works such as Juan Navarro’s 1604 Liber in quo quatuor passions Christi Domini continentur, the first music by a New World composer printed in the Americas (Estimate: $8,000-12,000); a 1677 first edition of Mexican poetess Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz’s Villancios que se cantaron en los maitines del gloriosissimo Padre S. Pedro Nolasco, which consists of Christmas carols to be sung in honor of the thirteenth-century saint ($30,00-40,000); and Primera parte del sermonario del tiemp de todo el año, duplicado, en lengua Mexicana, 1614, by Martín de León features sermons intended to be delivered in Nahuatl throughout the year ($20,000-30,000). Manuscripts include a 1529 royal decree from King Charles V protecting the Mexican estate of Hernán Cortés while he was in Spain trying to curry favor with the court ($12,000-18,000), and a volume of manuscript essays by the popular early-twentieth-century poet Amado Nervo ($1,500-2,500).

A Texan manuscript diary by William Farrar Smith, documenting the 1849 Whiting-Smith Expedition to form a trail from San Antonio to El Paso, leads a run of material related to Texas with an estimate of $30,000 to $40,000. The dramatic diary marks Smith’s time on the historic expedition with William H.C. Whiting in which he records the difficult terrain and various encounters with Apaches, including the widely feared Chief Gómez. While Whiting’s diary from the trek was published in the early twentieth century, this unpublished record by Smith-a true Wild West saga-is more comprehensive. Also of note is a 1760 first edition of the only early work ever published in the Pakawan language of Texas by Bartholomé Garcia ($8,000-12,000).  

Additional state-specific material includes the diary of Robert C. Dickey, a prison guard at the Rhode Island State Prison in Providence, in which he writes about the prisoners under his guard and the new warden, General Nelson Viall, and the May 6, 1775 issue of the Virginia Gazette which reports first-hand accounts of the Battles of Lexington and Concord ($1,200-1,800 and $12,000-18,000, respectively).

An extensive archive of nearly 100 letters dated August 1862 to April 1865, from Corporal John P. Staples of the 115th New York Infantry to his mother, sister and brother at home in Saratoga County, NY, is featured in an assortment of material relating to the Civil War. The letters relate the movements of the regiment and include reports on the Battles of Crater and Fort Fisher ($5,000-$7,500). Benson Lossing’s Pictorial History of the Civil War of the United States of America, Philadelphia, 1866-68, is present with an estimate of $3,000 to $4,000, as well as a large group of unused patriotic postal covers and stationary featuring printed designs, including one of Major General McCleelan, circa 1861-65, offered at $1,200 to $1,800. 

Following up on the house’s recent sale of the Holzer collection, quality Lincolniana is set to be offered, including an 1865 oil portrait of Lincoln-a copy of the last rendered from life-by Matthew Henry Wilson (Estimate: $25,000-35,000), as well as two offerings of uncut tintype sheets with photographs of the 16th president which were meant to be used as badges and tokens during the 1860 election ($8,000-12,000 and $6,000-9,000, respectively).

Unpublished photos of Al Capone and his henchmen come across the block in a scrapbook compiled by a member of the Untouchables-the famed team responsible from arresting the mob boss. The scrapbook, assembled 1926-33, features eight photographs of Capone and his associates, as well as clippings of news stories reporting on prohibition-related crime, and is expected to bring $5,000 to $7,500. Additional highlights include the first published baseball sheet music, The Baseball Polka, 1858, by J.R. Blodgett, dedicated to the Flour City Base Ball Club of Rochester by the Niagara Base Ball Club of Buffalo ($1,000-1,500). 

Additional highlights can be found here.

Image: Lot 274: Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Villancicos que se cantaron en los maitines del gloriosissimo Padre S. Pedro Nolasco, first edition, Mexico, 1677. Estimate $30,000 to $40,000.

080-061 copy.jpgKestenbaum and Company’s Spring 2019 auction contains ten Hebrew incunabula and thirty-five important post-incunabula. Many are of distinguished provenance, stemming from such legendary collections as: Sassoon, Schocken, Mehlman, Gradenwitz, Adler-Wineman, Gaster, Valmadonna, Delmonico, London Beth Din, etc.

Incunabula are Lot numbers: 31, 39, 55, 57, 59, 67, 72, 73, 79, 81.

Upon instruction of the District High Court of Tel Aviv and following a break of eighteen months, we continue our series of auctions from an entity that we have designated as “A Singular Collection.” Included here are a further 25 exceptional Biblical and Rabbinic manuscripts, all of which have been thoroughly researched and expertly catalogued by our consultant, the Jerusalem-based scholar, Rabbi Dovid Kamenetsky.

This auction also contains the second (and final) disbursement of property from the late Brooklyn-based bookseller and Americana specialist, Yosef Goldman. Of particular note in this regard are the many Autograph Letters and Manuscripts from his private collection, all once again knowledgably catalogued here by our consultant, the independent researcher of American history, Shimon Steinmetz.

Elsewhere in the catalogue are Autograph Manuscripts including those by Grace Aguilar, Samson Raphael Hirsch, the Aruch LaNer (see lots 93-96); a most important Chassidic book: The Nusach Ari Siddur, Berditchev 1818 (lot 61); and significant Holocaust-era documents (lots 99-112). An offering of Holy Land travel books and maps round out the sale.

Forthcoming Auctions

Fine Judaica: Featuring Important Single Owner Properties

28th March, 2019

Fine Musical Instruments

May, 2019

For further details see: www.Kestenbaum.net

Image: The Nusach Ari Siddur, Berditchev 1818 (lot 61)

Christie's Quran copy.jpgLondon - Ahead of the auction in London on 2 May, highlights from the Art of the Islamic and Indian Worlds Including Oriental Rugs and Carpets are touring to Dubai from 19-23 March. This is a chance for discerning collectors and art enthusiasts to view the exquisite craftsmanship and diversity of works from this category. Highlights include a monumental Imperial Mamluk Qur’an, complete with the name and date of the scribe, with a hugely impressive full page dedication to Sultan Qaytbay (estimate: £500,000-800,000, illustrated above). Remarkable for its elegant script and richly gilded illumination on an extraordinarily large scale, this manuscript was commissioned for the last great Mamluk Sultan, Qaytbay (r. 1468-96) and presents a rare example of the production of opulent royal Qur’ans, characteristic of the 300 year-long reign of the Mamluk Sultans. This rare volume is fresh to the market and will be presented alongside the Pommersfelden 'polonaise' carpets, two silk and metal-thread rugs from Isfahan, which have remained together since they were first woven over 400 years ago (estimate: £600,000-800,000 and estimate: £550,000-750,000). Commissioned in the Persian court ateliers of Shah Abbas the Great (1502-1722) at the beginning of the 17th century, they entered the lavish and influential court of Augustus the Strong, Saxon Elector and future king of Poland. In 1695, they were reputedly gifted to Lothar Franz von Schönborn, Archbishop of Mainz and Arcchancellor of the Holy Roman Empire where they remained in one of the most important and illustrious German baroque collections for over three hundred years.  In astonishing condition for their age, they have never-before been seen on the open market and epitomise the very best of Safavid art.

The sale is further highlighted by an Ottoman tombak flask (Matara) from the late 15th or early 16th century (estimate: £200,000-300,000). Of superb proportions and outstanding quality, this object reflects the refined taste of the Ottoman court. Discerning collectors can appreciate the imitation stitching which runs along both sides of the upper ‘seam’, a feature deriving straight from the leather originals. A truly magnificent piece of early Ottoman metalwork, this is an opportunity to acquire a museum quality piece - there are two other known examples of this form in tombak, one resides in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the other in the British Museum. 

Also on view in Dubai is one of only four paintings made by the remarkable and defiantly individual Muhammad Murad Samarqandi. Produced in the early 17th century, Four Young Scholars in Discussion, bears the signature of Muhammad Murad Samarqandi, an enigmatic artist whose rare works were created at a time of profound change and development in the Iranian and Indian artistic worlds (estimate: £200,000-300,000). 

Planispheric astrolabes were generally used for charting astrological bodies, finding the direction of the qibla, and determining the times of prayer. The auction features a fine Safavid brass astrolabe from the 17th century Safavid Iran, a period which experienced a resurgence in astrolabe-making of the most ornate designs (estimate: £100,000-150,000). Superbly and accurately engraved, the present lot was made by Muhammad Zaman, a highly celebrated astrolabist and astronomer who flourished in Mashhad during the second half of the 17th century. Only a handful of astronomical instruments made by Muhammad Zaman have survived, making this example truly unique, and a true testament to the scientific knowledge and ability of the maker. 

Image: A Magnificent Royal Mamluk Qur’an Written for Sultan Qaytbay (r.1468-96) signed Tanam Al-Najmi Al-Maliki Al-Ashrafi, Mamluk Egypt, dated April 1489 estimate: £500,000-800,000 

 

team 2 copy.jpgNorwood, NJ - Sterling Associates is known for its eclectic auctions of fine art, furniture, lighting and other quality collectibles sourced from tri-state-area estates. An integral part of Bergen County, New Jersey’s arts community for two generations, Sterling’s online-only sales are unique in that all goods may be previewed ahead of time at the company’s physical premises in Norwood. On March 20, the Sterling team will conduct its first spring 2019 event: a diverse 212-lot auction of fine art, jewelry and estate goods, with a spotlight section devoted to a unique collection of celebrity-signed ephemera and historical photographs. Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.com. 

A most unusual auction entry is an autograph book that was part of an archive (estimate $1,200-$1,800) maintained in the 1950s by Edna May Stewart, head stewardess of the RMS Queen Mary. The book is a veritable who’s who of British and American celebrities who crossed the Atlantic on the legendary ship. They include The Duke and Duchess of Windsor, as well as movie stars and entertainers including Gregory Peck, Billie Holiday, Rita Hayworth, Alan Ladd, Diana Dors, Jayne Mansfield, and Harry Belafonte. 

Most notable among the sports personalities who signed the book are members of the beloved “Busby Babes,” a group of talented young footballers who were recruited and coached by (Sir) Alexander Matthew “Matt” Busby to become the first-string players for the legendary Manchester United Football Club from the late 1940s through 1950s.

“The Busby Babes’ autographs are rare and historically important because eight of the players were tragically killed in the 1958 ‘Munich air disaster’ on their return home from a European Cup match in Belgrade, Yugoslavia (now Serbia),” said auction house owner Stephen D’Atri. “Among the autographs in the book are those of four players who were on the ill-fated flight, two of whom did not survive. A fifth autograph is that of manager Matt Busby. The Busby Babes have never been forgotten by the Manchester club and its fans, or by football fans all across Europe. In 2018, Manchester United held a public memorial service to mark 60 years since the air disaster and to honor those who had died.

While the autograph book is a unique and very special highlight of the sale, the bulk of the 221-lot auction is devoted to categories for which Sterling Associates has a well established following, like estate art. Several bronzes are worthy of note, including a Pierre Marius Montagne (1828-1879) work titled Rastender Merkur. Standing 19 inches high, it is estimated at $1,200-$1,500. Of larger size, a Henri Godet Art Nouveau bronze titled Le Reveil de L’Aurore measures 30in high, is signed “Godet” and could likely bring $3,000-$5,000.

Christopher S. Gerlach’s (b. 1952-) realistic landscape titled Morning on Lake Lagunitas depicts an old boathouse amid lush foliage, its image mirrored on the water. An accomplished oil-on-canvas created in 1987, the northern California regional artwork measures 60 by 84 inches and is estimated at $1,000-$2,000.

Exquisite sterling silver wares from distinguished estates include a Wallace 93-piece flatware service in the revered “Grande Baroque” pattern. Ornate and substantial, this formal silver service is presented in a Guildcraft chest and carries a pre-sale estimate of $2,200-$2,400.

A rare Rare Louis Vuitton ‘Malle Fleurs’ [Floral Trunk] miniature trunk, made in the 1930s, is stamped Louis Vuitton/Made in France on its inner leather strap and also bears a serial number. Stephen D’Atri explained that diminutive trunks of this type were “modeled after the monogram canvas ‘cabin’ trunk and were presented as gifts from Louis Vuitton to loyal customers.” It measures 11 inches wide by 4 3/8 inches high by 5½ inches deep and is estimated at $8,000-$10,000.

Two antique/vintage folk art lots to watch include carved and painted animals created in the manner of Felipe Archuleta (1910-1991). A 37-inch-tall bunny, white with red accents, could hop to a winning bid of $800-$1,200, while a striking 25-inch orange, black and white painted tiger with intensely gazing eyes is similarly estimated. 

Sterling Associates’ March 20 Fine Art & Estate Auction will begin at 11 a.m. US Eastern time. Sterling Associates, Inc., is a full-service brick-and-mortar auction house. The company’s “hybrid auctions” are conducted online, just like a live auction, but without a live audience in attendance. Bidders may participate absentee, by phone or live via the Internet through LiveAuctioneers.com. All items may be previewed prior to auction day at the gallery. Also, all goods won in the auction can be picked up at Sterling Associates’ gallery, located at 537 Broadway, Norwood, NJ 07648.  

For more information on any item, or to reserve a phone line for bidding, call 201-768-1140 or email info@antiquenj.com. Online: www.antiquenj.com. View the fully illustrated catalog and sign up to bid absentee or live online at LiveAuctioneers.com.

Image: https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/69927806_queen-mary-celebrity-autograph-book. Autograph booklet and ephemera archive maintained by Edna May Stewart, head stewardess of the RMS Queen Mary, during the ship’s golden era. Stewart maintained the autograph collection - which includes the signatures of 100+ celebrities and athletes, including 1950s Manchester United football players - for her daughter Patricia Ann. Estimate: $1,200-$1,800. Courtesy of Sterling Associates Inc.

 

1948.w.3266.1 copy.jpgPhiladelphia - On April 10, 2019 Freeman’s will offer Across Continents: Property from the Collection of Ambassador & Mrs. Alexander Weddell | The Virginia House Museum — an important selection of fine art, furniture, antiquities, decorative arts, textiles and books from the private collection of United States Ambassador Alexander Wilbourne Weddell (1876-1948) and his wife Virginia Chase Steedman Weddell (1874-1948). The Collection is deaccessioned by the Virginia House Museum in Richmond, Virginia, and the proceeds of the sale will benefit future preservation, acquisitions and care of the Museum’s Collection. 

From the moment they met in 1921, until their tragic deaths on January 1st, 1948, the Weddells built on an eclectic, yet cohesive collection of artifacts that reflect the extraordinary and refined civilizations they explored through their numerous travels around the globe. The collection seems particularly imbued with the Weddells’ long fascination with Central and South America, which the couple discovered during Mr. Weddell’s shifting governmental duties. A graduate of George Washington University, Weddell worked in the diplomatic corps for many years before serving as US Ambassador to Argentina from 1933 to 1939, and to Spain from 1939 to 1942. 

The Weddells carefully chose paintings that both complemented and challenged the Jacobean interiors of Virginia House, their home in Richmond. Among numerous European gold-ground pictures and Mexican religious scenes, stands an impressive Jacobean portrait of an English nobleman from the Clarke family and his daughter (Lot 32), as well as a rare portrait of a female courtier by German artist Franz Kessler (Lot 78), dated 1620. During their time in Central and South America, the couple acquired several fine examples of the region’s many riches. Of particular note are a 17th century painting of the Death of the Virgin from the Cuzco School that the Weddells purchased in Lima, Peru in 1937 (Lot 260), and “Le Désenchanté,” a delicate wooden sculpture by Russian artist Stephen Erzia, whom the couple met and supported in Argentina in the 1930s (Lot 253). 

The Weddells furnished their home with taste, using period furniture and magnificent tapestries. Furniture highlights from the collection include a fine Spanish Baroque walnut and giltwood vargueño on stand (Lot 309), a rare Elizabethan marquetry oak court cupboard (Lot 24), an exceptional late Elizabethan/early Jacobean carved oak court cupboard (Lot 31), a very rare carved ivory and papier-mâché dressed statue of a Madonna retaining her original clothes (Lot 261), and a very early Nasrid-style marquetry and ivory-inlaid walnut chest, produced in Venice or Barcelona in the 15th century (Lot 149). The sale also includes a 16th century Brussels tapestry (Lot 72) and a 17th century Mortlake fragment from ‘The Horses’ series designed by Frans Cleyn (Lot 52). Also of note are a group of Himalayan bronze, copper alloy, and carved wood Buddhist works of art, collected by the Weddells on their travels in India and China. The earliest works date to the 15th century and include a fine figure of Buddha Akshobya with elaborate engraved robe (Lots 198 through 203), and two large Nepalese figures of bodhisattvas (Lots 190 and 191). Ottoman silver and tombak; Russian niello snuffboxes from the period of Catherine the Great; and English, French, American, and Mexican silver are also represented. 

Enamored of the erudite and genteel country life, Alexander also built a refined and extensive library of early manuscripts and reference texts in the gentlemanly tradition, mainly of travel and exploration influence, but also including first and inscribed editions from Émile Zola (Lot 480), Jonathan Swift (Lots 450, 451 & 464), Guy de Maupassant (Lot 478), Voltaire (Lot 465), Gustave Flaubert (Lot 446) and Théophile Gautier (Lot 475); and a series of Russian imperial bindings, the jewel of which is a first edition, Cologne, 1700 of Mémoires de Monsieur d’Artagnan (Lot 456). Meanwhile, Virginia enthusiastically collected a very fine collection of English and Spanish embroideries, French and Italian silks and velvets, and ecclesiastical vestments to furnish their home and upholster their antiques. The highlight of this section is a group of Spanish silk and metal thread embroidered velvets, likely convent work, from the 16th through the 18th centuries. 

Virginia House was presented by the Alexander and Virginia Weddell to the Virginia Historical Society in 1929. Following the Weddells’ tragic death, the Historical Society took ownership and management of the property and for seventy years, served as a faithful steward of the house and its diverse collections and gardens as outlined by the Weddells. In 2017, the Historical Society’s board of trustees approved a plan to increase the use of Virginia House with a focus on donor stewardship, public and private events, and interpretive programs. 

In order to best care for the site and the items bequeathed by the Weddells, the Historical Society has thoughtfully deaccessioned items that had been stored onsite for decades. The items in the present sale were deemed unrelated to the mission of the Historical Society or unnecessary for the future interpretation of the site. Proceeds from the sale will be placed in a restricted fund for the preservation of the property’s historic structures and landscape features and the acquisition and direct care of collections used to interpret the site and the Weddells. 

Exhibition 

Thursday & Friday, April 04 & 05: 10am-5pm Saturday & Sunday, April 06 & 07: 12pm-5pm Monday & Tuesday, April 08 & 09: 10am-5pm 

By appointment only on the morning of the sale 

Auction 

Wednesday, April 10, 2019: 10am 

1808 Chestnut St | Philadelphia, PA 

 

Lewin 1 .jpgA very rare 18th century publication - The Birds of Great Britain with their Eggs by William Lewin - sold in Tennants Auctioneers’ Book Sale on 15th March for £11,000 (plus buyer’s premium). Despite missing two of the seven volumes in the set, the rarity of the work attracted fierce bidding in the saleroom. Beautifully illustrated with hand-coloured plates, the book was published for the author between 1789 and 1794, and only sixty sets were produced. William Lewin (1747-1795) was an English naturalist and illustrator, and this publication was the result of twenty years’ work. Over the years, many copies have been split up into individual watercolours, making existing copies all the more sought-after.

Elsewhere in the sale, strong prices were achieved for a volume of drawings made by Joseph Green depicting his voyage from England to New South Wales, Van Dieman’s Land and Bombay in 1829. Green produced this collection of sketches, ink washes and watercolours for his cousin Samuel Farmer ‘who used to be fond of drawing’, according to the inscription. This unique and personal record sold for £2,200 (plus buyer’s premium). A collection of letters written by Prince Philip to his prep school headmaster and his son were also well-contested in the saleroom. Sold as five lots, the letters achieved a combined hammer price of £4,700.

Also of note were a scientific tract - An Essay on the Food of Plants and the Renovation of Soils -  by John Ingen-Housz, which includes the first description of photosynthesis sold for £1,300 (plus buyer’s premium), and an interesting hand-written Commercial Investigator’s Journal, possibly written by Augustus Hughes, detailing his investigations into the Porto wine trade sold for £950 (plus buyer’s premium).

Full results are available on Tennants’ website.

Image: William Lewin ‘The Birds of Great Britain and their Eggs’ - Sold for £11,000.

Lot 169-Qur'an copy.jpgNew York - Coinciding with Rare Book Week in New York City, Swann Galleries’ spring offering of Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books on March 7 brought bibliophiles from near and far, with breakneck bidding for a number of items, including incunabula and first editions on medicine-but it was illuminated manuscripts that took the spotlight in the sale. 

Of the impressive run of manuscripts, Tobias Abeloff, Early Printed Books specialist noted: “The market is strong for exceptional material, and we saw significant interest in printed and manuscript Books of Hours, with bidding driving prices over estimates. The biggest surprise of the day was the manuscript Qur’an that went for more than 10 times the high estimate.” The illuminated manuscript in Arabic with miscellaneous chapters of the Qur’an and associated prayers reached $35,000. 

The sale was led by an illuminated Prayer Book in Latin and French on vellum, France, 1530s-40s, which featured 35 miniatures in color and gold, and sold for $42,500. Additional decorated works included a mid-fifteenth-century Book of Hours in Latin on vellum, France, at $35,000; a mid-fifteenth-century Book of Hours in Dutch on vellum, Northern Netherlands, at $22,500; and Dala’ll al-Khayrat, a 1664-65 illuminated manuscript in Arabic by Muhammad Ibn Sulayman Al-Jazuli, at $5,250.

Scientific and medical publications included a first edition of George Agricola’s most important writings on geology, mineralogy and mining, and his monograph on ancient Greek and Roman weights and measures: De ortu & causis subterraneorum Lib. V bound with De mensuris & ponderibus Romanorum atque Graecorum Lib. V, Basil, 1546, 1550, which settled at $11,250. A first separate printing of the first of Wilhem Conrad Röntgen’s three papers announcing his discovery of x-rays, Eine Neue Art von Strahlen, Würzburg, 1895, was sold for $5,200. Andreas Vesalius’s 1604 Anatomia, Venice, a landmark treatise on human anatomy, brought $5,250. A 1737-38 first edition of Icon durae matris in concave [convexa] superficie visae, Amsterdam, by Frederick Ruysch with two color mezzotints by Jan Ladmiral earned $5,250.

Incunabula featured Marcus Valerius Martialis’s Epigrammata, Venice, 1485, with commentary of Domitius Calderinus, which brought $7,500, Quaestiones de duodecim quodlibet, Venice, 1476, by Saint Thomas Aquinas that earned $6,500, and Marcus Anneaus Lucanus’s Pharsalia, Venice, 1486, with commentary of Omnibonus Leonicenus garnered $5,000.

“The finest edition of Don Quixote that has ever been printed,” a first Ibarra edition of Cervantes’s El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha … Nueva Edición, corregida por la Real Academia Española, Madrid, 1780, in four volumes, exceeded its high estimate bringing $11,875. Additional highlights included a first edition of one of the scarcest early Italian chess manuals, and first book printed in Militello, Il Gioco de gli Scacchi, by Pietro Carrera for $10,625. The True Prophecies or Prognostications, London, 1672, a first complete edition in English of Michel de Nostradamus’s quatrains supposedly predicting historical events, garnered $5,750.

The next auction from Swann Galleries’ Books & Manuscripts Department will be Autographs on March 21. Visit www.swanngalleries.com or download the Swann Galleries app for catalogues, bidding and inquires. 

Image: Lot 169: Illuminated manuscript in Arabic, miscellaneous chapters of the Qur’an with associated prayers, Ottoman. Sold for $35,000.

Dallas, TX - Heritage Auctions’ April 6 Photographs Auction will feature the largest group of Ruth Bernhard photographs ever to appear at auction.

Born in Berlin in 1905, Bernhard moved to New York City in 1927, where she became a photographer. In the late 1920s, she became friends with photographer Berenice Abbott and her partner, critic Elizabeth McCausland. A few years later, she started photographing women in the nude, the art form for which she eventually would become best known. Shortly after she met photographer Edward Weston in 1935, she moved to California, where he lived, before moving back to New York four years later. After eight years she moved back to California, where she remained for the rest of her life, finally settling in San Francisco where she befriended photographers Ansel Adams, Imogen Cunningham, Minor White and Wynn Bullock.

“This is the most substantial offering of Ruth Bernard photographs ever to appear for sale,” Heritage Auctions Rare Photographs Director Nigel Russell said. “This is a unique opportunity for those who have admired her timeless female nudes or thoughtful still lifes.”

Comprising 71 lots of her elegant female nude studies and sublime still-lifes, the auction offers four complete portfolios, including The Eternal Body, 1993 ($10,000-15,000). Individual prints include Classic Torso, 1952 (estimate: $5,000-7,000), In the Box-Horizontal, San Francisco, California, 1962 (estimate: $5,000-7,000) and Spanish Dancer, 1971 (estimate: $4,000-6,000).

Bernhard’s still lifes are represented by Two Leaves, Hollywood, California, 1952 (estimate: $3,000-5,000), Eighth Street Movie Theater, Frederick Kiesler-Architect, New York, 1946 (estimate: $3,000-5,000) and Angelwing, New York, 1943 (estimate: $3,000-5,000).

Classics from Ansel Adams include Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico, 1941 (estimate: $30,000-50,000), Winter Sunrise, Sierra Nevada, From Line Pine, California, 1944 (estimate: $25,000-35,000) and seven prints from Portfolio Four What Majestic Word, which will be offered as individual lots, with estimates ranging from $5,000-7,000 to $1,500-2,500.

Helmut Newton photographs include Self-Portrait with Wife and Models (Vogue Studios), Paris, 1980 (estimate: $12,000-18,000), Kiss, Bordighera, 1982 (estimate: $7,000-10,000) and Hands, Bordighera, 1982 ($6,000-8,000).

Also featured are David Yarrow’s striking The Wolf of Main Street, 2015, even more impressive in this massive 55-3/4 x 99-1/2 inches print (estimate: $20,000-30,000) and Lee Friedlander’s graphic Nude (Madonna), 1979 ($10,000-15,000).

Contemporary photography is represented by Andrew Moore Industria, Havana, Cuba, 1998 (estimate: $6,000-$8,000); Nan Goldin Suzanne with Mona Lisa, Mexico City, 1981 (estimate: $6,000-8,000) and Wim Wenders Holy Figure, Toshodaiji Temple, Nara, Japan, 2000 (estimate: $4,000-$6,000) and three prints from Thomas Ruff’s Nudes series, each of which carries a pre-auction estimate of $1,500-2,500.

Also included are six lots by Henri Cartier-Bresson including Brussels. Belgium, 1932 (estimate: $5,000-7,000), Valence, Espagne, 1933 (estimate: $3,000-5,000) and Aquila, Abruzzi, Italy, 1955 (estimate: $3,000-5,000).

Other highlights include, but are not limited to:

·         Robert Mapplethorpe’s Lydia Cheng, 1985 (estimate: $30,000-50,000)

·         A vintage print of Edward Weston’s Dunes, Oceano, 1936 (estimate: $15,000-20,000)

·         Lawrence Schiller’s Marilyn and Me Portfolio of 12 works (estimate: $20,000-30,000)

·         Seven gelatin silver photos by Andy Warhol, including Andy Warhol on a Seaplane in Montauk, 1982 (estimate: $5,000-7,000)

·         11 lots by Marion Post Wolcott, the top two of which carry a pre-auction estimate of $2,000-3,000

o   Young Boys Waiting to be Paid Off for Picking Cotton, Marcella Plantation Store, Milestone, Mississippi, 1939

o   Negro Man Entering Movie Theater by Outside Stairway (Colored Entrance), Belzoni, Mississippi, 1939

·         Six lots by Aaron Siskind and his students documenting the work of architect Louis Sullivan, including Two Views of the Wainwright Building, St. Louis, Missouri (2 works) (estimate: $2,500-3,500)

·         Four Polaroids by Andy Warhol (three of which carry an estimate of $2,000-3,000)

“Once again, Heritage Auctions is offering a diverse selection of photographs,” Russell said, “many of which rarely appear on the market.”

On-line bidding begins Friday, March 15 on HA.com. To see images and additional information about the images, visit HA.com/5409.

51 EDWARD III AND PHILIPPA OF HAINAULT THE MARRIAGE CONTRACT BETWEEN EDWARD III AND PHILIPPA OF HAINAULT 2 copy.jpgLondon — The 1326 marriage contract between Edward III and Philippa of Hainault leads Bonhams Fine Books and Manuscripts Sale in London on Wednesday 27 March. It is estimated at £100,000-150,000.

The contract, written on one skin of vellum, was the decisive factor in a carefully laid plot to invade England, raise a rebellion and depose the reigning monarch, Edward II.

The prime mover of these events was Isabella, wife of Edward II who plotted to unseat her husband and replace him with their 13-year-old son, the future Edward III. Sent to France in 1325 to negotiate with her brother King Charles IV, Isabella - known as the She-Wolf of France - refused to return to London, established a court-in-exile and arranged for her son to join her in Paris. The marriage contract with Philippa - who was around 11 years old - had one purpose only: to raise the money and men with which to invade England and depose Edward. 

Isabella was motivated partly by revenge - she resented the king’s fondness for the company of Piers Gaveston and other young men - and partly by political considerations. Edward II was a weak king, and his reign was studded with disaster - the heavy defeat against the Scots at Bannockburn in 1314, the civil war with his barons, and the virtual surrender of power to one of his favourites, Hugh Despenser and his father.

Isabella and her lover Roger Mortimer invaded England in September 1326 with the troops provided under the terms of the marriage contract. They met little resistance, and within a few days Edward’s reign was effectively over. By January the following year, Edward had formally renounced the throne in favour of his son, with Isabella and Mortimer appointed joint regents. Weeks later Edward II was murdered in Berkeley Castle in Gloucestershire on the orders of Mortimer. Over the following two years, Isabella and Mortimer systematically abused their position to acquire estates and wealth, until Edward III asserted his authority in 1330 and had Mortimer arrested for treason and executed.

The marriage of Edward III and Philippa was happy and successful, producing 13 children and ending only with the queen’s death in 1369. Philippa was a popular figure and won admiration for persuading the king to pardon the Burghers of Calais, six civic dignitaries who had volunteered to face death in order to spare the rest of the townsfolk. Queen’s College Oxford is named in her honour.  

Historian Felix Pryor who catalogued the document for Bonhams said, “This deed is an extraordinary survival from the middle ages, and few more potent relics of English history have been offered for sale. Without it there would have been no Black Prince, nor any of his numerous siblings, the disputing claims of whose descendants were to give rise to the Wars of the Roses in the following century, curtain-raiser to the Tudors and the modern, post-feudal, age. It is also a physical embodiment of open rebellion and the invasion of England less than a month later.”

Image: Lot 51 Edward III and Philippa of Hainault marriage contract

 

Fed HA.jpgDallas, TX - Led by The Otto Penzler Collection of Mystery Fiction and a copy of The Federalist Papers in its original boards, Heritage Auctions’ Rare Books Auction realized $1,684,038 against $993,900 in pre-auction estimates, the department’s third consecutive sale to realize more than 160 percent the estimated total.

Otto Penzler Collection of Mystery Fiction

Penzler won an Edgar Award as co-author of the Encyclopedia of Mystery and Detection, founded The Mysterious Press and owns The Mysterious Bookshop in New York. His collection of mystery fiction, the first 231 lots of which were offered in this sale, is considered one of the most extensive in the world. This sale featured mostly American authors, with a focus on hard-boiled writers. The total realized for the Otto Penzler Collection was $627,213.

Among the top lots from his collection in the sale:

A rare first edition in the original first printing dust jacket of Dashiell Hammett’s Red Harvest prompted aggressive bidding before it finished at $75,000. The rare copy is in such exceptional condition that Penzler himself called it the world’s best copy.

Hammett’s The Dain Curse, the author’s second book and the final Continental Op novel, drew $27,500. It originally was published in four parts in Black Mask from November 1928 to February 1929.

A first edition of Raymond Chandler’s The Big Sleep, signed by the author on the front free endpaper, nearly doubled its pre-auction estimate when it brought $57,500.

Popularly referred to as The Federalist Papers, the auction’s top lot, by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay sparked a flurry of competitive bids before closing at $187,500, topping its pre-auction estimate by 150 percent. The two-volume set is considered by American historians to be the cornerstone of the new nation’s theory of government.

“These books are an important part of American history,” Heritage Auctions Rare Books Director James Gannon said. “Written as part of the effort to ratify the Constitution, it made the case for Federalism and sought to convince the citizens of the states. Only about 500 copies are believed to have been printed, and this one is still is in the publisher’s boards, which is exceedingly rare.”

Evoking memories of a favorite childhood book, Maurice Sendak’s "Moo-Reese" Tabletop Cow sold for $93,750. Drawn and painted in 2000 by Sendak, with help from Lynn Caponera, this 27-inch figurine was part of the “Cow Parade” in New York, Chicago and Zurich. In molded plaster decorated in pencil and water color with numerous characters from the popular children’s book Where the Wild Things Are, the figurine was sold in 2003 to support the Chicago Opera Theater.

Other top lots in the auction included, but were not limited to:

·         $42,500: [Frank Herbert, original novel]. Alejandro Jodorowsky's Dune

·         $30,000: David Roberts. The Holy Land, Syria, Idumea, Arabia, Egypt & Nubia

·         $25,000: Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird

·         $25,000: Ludwig Bemelmans’ 1961 Madeline in London: A Little Sunshine, A Little Rain

·         $22,500: J. R. R. Tolkien. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, comprising: The Fellowship of the Ring

 

Davy Crockett.jpgWestport, CT - Historically important letters handwritten and signed by U.S. President Thomas Jefferson, Confederate States President Jefferson Davis and legendary frontiersman Davy Crockett, plus a rare patent assignment document signed by Albert Einstein, will be featured in University Archives’ next online-only auction, slated for Wednesday, March 27th.

Live bidding for the 276-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, highly collectible autographed documents, manuscripts, books, photos and relics. The full catalog can be viewed online now, at www.UniversityArchives.com. Online bidding is via Invaluable.com and LiveAuctioneers.com. 

In addition to live and Internet bidding, phone and absentee bids will also be accepted. “The March auction is highlighted by rarities, things that for one reason or another are unique,” said John Reznikoff, president and owner of University Archives. “It is also a very diverse sale, and it features one of our strongest representations to date of material regarding the Founding Fathers.” 

The Thomas Jefferson one-page letter, signed “Th. Jefferson” and dated Jan. 8, 1801, when he was Vice President and President-elect, was addressed to Richard Robinson, Jefferson’s assistant overseer at Monticello, Jefferson’s estate home in Virginia. He writes about needing help in reassembling and erecting the columns for the home’s east portico and, in doing so, references the nephew of his concubine and slave, Sally Hemings. The letter should bring $35,000-$45,000.

The Jefferson Davis letter is historically significant in that it is Davis’s acceptance letter as the Provisional President of the Confederate States. Signed (“Jeffn Davis”) and dated (“April 18, 1861”), at the outbreak of the Civil War, the letter is addressed to D.F. Jamison, president of the South Carolina Convention. In it, Davis humbly promises to fulfill his duties as the president, a position he would assume in November of 1861. The letter is estimated to hit $30,000-$35,000.

Also expected to reach $30,000-$35,000 is the one-page Davy Crockett letter, signed (“David Crockett”) and dated (“5 May 1830”). It’s a fine if somewhat frantic letter, full of misspells and largely devoid of punctuation. Heading home from Washington, Crockett had reached Maysville, Kentucky when he realized he’d lost a portrait of himself after leaving Frostburg, Maryland. He enlisted the help of Michael Sprigg of Maryland, a fellow legislator in the 20th / 21st Congresses.

The Albert Einstein offering isn’t a letter but perhaps something even better: a patent assignment document signed by Einstein and touching on his Nobel Prize-winning work on the photo-electric effect. His colleague, Gustav Bucky, also signed the typewritten, two-page document. The patent was for a “Light Intensity Self-Adjusting Camera”, an automatic camera developed five years before Kodak’s Super-Six 20. The rare document should command $20,000-$24,000.

A superb George Washington document, signed as President and dated Feb. 10, 1790, in which he appoints a port collector for North Carolina, matted with a portrait of Washington, should sell for $18,000-$20,000; while a letter written and signed by John Adams regarding the 1765 Stamp Act of Congress, to Jedidiah Morse for his Annals of the American Revolution, dated Sept. 11, 1815 and housed in a custom clamshell case, is expected to change hands for $10,000-$12,000.

A sepia tone bust portrait photograph of Irish author Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), signed as “Oscar Wilde” and dated “Jany. 23 ‘82”, depicting the long-locked dramatist in an overcoat with a wide fur collar, carries an estimate of $6,000-$7,000. Also, a two-page letter beautifully handwritten in French by the Russian Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, World War I-dated in January 1915 and signed (as “Alexandra”), with mention of the French Red Cross, should bring $2,400-$2,600.

A small archive of autograph letter drafts, notes and documents pertaining to Lenny Bruce (1925-1966), revealing the business and personal side of the controversial comic, six pieces total, some inscribed and signed, has an estimate of $2,400-$2,600. Also, a check signed by baseball great Jackie Robinson (as “Jack R. Robinson”), in the amount of $6.50 and made out to the “Cinderella Ball Committee”, framed with a photo of Robinson at bat, should garner $700-$800.

Lots pertaining to renowned French scientists Pierre and Marie Curie are expected to attract keen bidder interest. They include a one-page letter written in French by Pierre Curie, signed and dated April 7, 1905, addressed to the Royal Society of Surgery and Medicine, with his photo (est. $7,000-$8,000); and a rare formal portrait photograph of Marie Curie, shown seated in a chair, signed on the mount as “M. Curie” and dated “November 8, 1929”, framed (est. $6,000-$6,500).

A single-page typed letter, signed by Walt Disney and dated Jan. 23, 1942, in which Disney discourses on what his studio can and can’t do to support the war effort in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor, has an estimate of $3,000-$3,500. Also, a five-page letter, handwritten by Vivien Leigh and dated “Dec. 10th” (presumed to be 1939), to her agent, John Gliddon, regarding her fears of having to attend the opening of Gone with the Wind in Atlanta, should sell for $1,500-$1,700.

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, March 27th Internet-only auction, please visit www.universityarchives.com. For phone bidding, please call 800-237-5692.

Image: One-page Davy Crockett letter, signed (“David Crockett”) and dated (“5 May 1830”), a fine if somewhat frantic letter, full of misspells and largely void of punctuation (est. $30,000-$35,000). 

habplbjhancilolf.jpgNew York - On Thursday, June 20, Swann Auction Galleries will hold their first Pride Sale, an exploration and celebration of the art, influence, history, and experience of the LGBTQ+ community. In the week following, the largest LGBTQ+ pride celebration his history will happen in New York City, with both WorldPride (for the first time in the United States) and events marking the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. 

The auction will be a landmark event, featuring archives, literature, autographs, art and photography, including works James Baldwin, Tom of Finland, Gertrude Stein, Alice Walker, Robert Mapplethorpe, and many more. 

“Swann is thrilled to be hosting its inaugural Pride Sale auction and proud to continue supporting the community through a fundraising effort alongside the auction,” says President of Swann Auction Galleries, Nicholas D. Lowry. “We see this as an important and unique event among the many happening this June, recognizing the historical, literary and artistic achievements of LGBTQ+ writers, artists and activists,” Lowry continued. “This auction will celebrate the community and give collectors, connoisseurs and the curious an opportunity to observe and bid on a range of material from the last two centuries, with manuscripts, autographs, literature, art, photography, posters and more.” 

Among the many items up for auction included are: an autograph letter signed by Harvey Milk as Acting mayor of San Francisco, March 7, 1978 (Estimate: $4,000-6,000); the iconic 1987 poster, Silence = Death, published by the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) ($800-$1,200); Peter Hujar’s silver-print portrait, David Wojnarowicz: Manhattan-Night (III), 1985 ($15,000-25,000); and Sisterhood Feels Good, 1971, a cheeky poster by Donna Gottschalk published by Times Change Press ($400-600). Literary highlights feature a first edition of James Baldwin’s Go Tell It On The Mountain, 1953, ($800-1,200); a signed extra-limited first edition of The Importance of Being Earnest, A Trivial Comedy for Serious People, 1899, by Oscar Wilde ($40,000-60,000); and a remembrance copy of Walt Whitman’s Memoranda During the War, 1875-76, inscribed by the author, “with his love,” to Pete Doyle ($50,000-75,000).

Exhibition opening in New York City June 15. Further highlights available at www.swanngalleries.com/pride

Image: Silence = Death, AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, 1987. Estimate $800 to $1,200.

blobid1_1552408590641.jpgNew York — The March 11 sale of The Medical and Scientific Library of W. Bruce Fye was led by De humani corporis fabrica (On the fabric of the human body) by the Flemish physician Andreas Vesalius, which realized $325,075. This book was a first edition of one of the most influential books in Western medicine, published in Basel in 1543. In addition, exceptional prices were achieved in the section of Johns Hopkins and its First Faculty, which was 98% sold by lot.

Bonhams Director of Books and Manuscripts in New York, Ian Ehling, commented: “We had a tremendous response from collectors throughout the exhibition and auction of Dr. Fye’s collection. We were so pleased with the results achieved for one of the most comprehensive medical and scientific libraries. We look forward to continuing this momentum with additional works from the collection with the online-only sale, which opens for bidding today.”

The sale of The Medical and Scientific Library of W. Bruce Fye continues with an additional 344 lots, which will be sold in an online-only sale starting on March 12 to 21. For more information on this online-only sale, please click here.

Image: Vesalius, Andreas. 1514-1564. De humani corporis fabrica libri septem. Basel: Johannes Oporinus, June 1543. Price realized: $325,075

bgfelafgdfhjffoa.jpgNew York - Swann Galleries will offer an auction of Printed & Manuscript African Americana on Thursday, March 28, featuring documents, letters, photographs and publications illuminating African-American history, from slavery and abolition to the civil rights movement and beyond.

A highlight of the sale is remarkable archive of 28 letters and 68 photographs from artist Charles White and Frances, his wife, to Melvin and Lorraine Williamson. The correspondences reflect the Whites’ lives in Pasadena, CA, shortly after they moved there in 1956 and continue through mid-1960. Most of the letters discuss Charles’ artwork-shipping works from ACA Galleries in New York, new work he has been creating, and an upcoming exhibition at Pacific Town Club in LA. Discussion of the Whites’ notable inner-circle includes Sidney Poitier and Lorraine Hansberry, with Charles wishing success for the duo and Hansberry’s play A Raisin in the Sun. Mentions of politics also fill the pages, with Charles noting, “…Rev. King on the cover of Times Magazine … I never felt so excited and enthusiastic about just being alive. And I think this feeling is being carried over into my work.” Photographs from the archive depict the couple’s new suburban life in Pasadena, as well as White’s studio and new works. The archive is expected to bring $4,000 to $6,000.

Also from the Melvin and Lorraine Williamson family comes Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun, the first play by an African-American woman and African-American director on Broadway, on the block at $3,000 to $4,000. The draft, signed “Lorraine’s Copy” (which Lorraine it refers to is unclear), and with manuscript notes throughout, comes from early in the script’s production-either late 1958 or early 1959-as the copyright date of 1959 has not yet been added, and permission for the title from Langston Hughes was still pending. Other literary works of note include a first edition of Phillis Wheatley’s Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral, London, 1773, with an estimate of $15,000 to $25,000, and a possibly unpublished and nearly lost radio play, The Man Who Went To War, 1944, by Langston Hughes at $2,000 to $3,000.   

The top lot is a substantial archive of 164 correspondence to John Augustine Washington III relating to Mount Vernon, other Washington family estates, the heirs of America’s Founding Father, and most often discussing the enslaved people on whom their fortune was built ($20,000-30,000). Also of note is a document signed from Newport, R.I. that records the illegal act of an American captain agreeing to bring slaves from Africa to Havana in 1806. The Slave Trade Act of 1794 banned American merchants from engaging in the international slave trade, but the law was poorly enforced, especially in Rhode Island which was the main center of the trade ($4,000-6,000).    

Material relating to David Ruggles, one of the leading abolitionists in New York, includes the First Annual Report of the New York Committee of Vigilance, New York, 1837, estimated at $3,000 to $4,000. Ruggles helped form the committee in order to aid fugitive slaves and protect the city’s free black community from kidnapping, which made the city a major hub of the Underground Railroad. Volume one, number one, of the first black periodical published in the United States, The Mirror of Liberty, July 1838, of which Ruggles was the editor, makes its auction debut at $8,000 to $12,000. 

Civil War lots feature an 1864 autograph letter signed by Penrose Edminson, a soldier in the 25th United States Colored Troops, to his mother in which he notes, “We whipped the rebles [sic] 3 times and we will whip them tonight again” ($4,000-6,000), and a late-1866 signed albumen carte-de-viste of Preston Taylor as a drummer with the 116th U.S.C.T. Taylor would go on to found the short-lived Christian Bible College in New Castle, KY, which moved to Nashville, TN in 1882. He became a leader of Nashville’s African-American community, eventually playing a major role in the founding of Tennessee State University ($2,500-3,500.) 

A unique diary of a young Seattle woman, LeEtta Sanders, captures a snapshot of her life during 1915. Sanders was a Washington native, whose life seems to have been contained within a community of middle-class and professional African-Americans. The diary contains much of what one would expect from a 21-year-old woman mentioning matters of the heart and her day-to-day life, even describing herself as “just a flirt.” The diary carries an estimate of $2,000 to $3,000. 

The sale is closed out by an archive of Sister Makinya Sibeko-Kouate dating from 1940-1975. Sibeko-Kouate brought the first Kwanzaa celebrations to the Bay Area and went on to become of the holiday’s leading populizers, traveling to numerous states and African nations. In 2015 she was named Queen Mother of Kwanzaa ($6,000-9,000).

Exhibition opening in New York City March 23. The complete catalogue and bidding information is available at www.swanngalleries.com and on the Swann Galleries app.

Additional highlights can be found here.

Image: Lot 124: An archive of letters from artist Charles White and his wife Frances, 28 letters with 65 photographs & slides, Pasadena, CA, 1956-60. Estimate $4,000 to $6,000. 

Bride of Frank.jpgDallas, Texas - An insert from the horror classic that has been called “the greatest sequel ever made” and a rare one sheet from a 1930s comedy classic will vie for top-lot honors in Heritage Auctions’ Movie Posters Auction March 23-24 in Dallas.

The Bride of Frankenstein (Universal, 1935) Insert (estimate: $50,000-100,000) casts a spotlight on the film now considered by many to be a monument of the horror genre. James Whale initially wanted no part of directing the sequel, and even after begrudgingly accepting the role, he felt Bride never could live up to the standard set by his 1931 classic, Frankenstein. So uninspired was Whale that he treated it as a farce, with elements of dark comedy … only to find that his approach was a huge hit with audiences. The film opened to rave reviews and was trumpeted as Whale’s “second masterpiece.” The offered insert is one of the most desirable posters in Universal’s now-legendary horror franchise, and one of very few copies known to remain in existence. The collage-style design features each of the main characters in a ghoulish light, which fits the film perfectly.

“What director James Whale was able to do with The Bride of Frankenstein is remarkable, as it became an enormously successful and popular film, and the images on the poster really capture the spirit of the film itself,” Heritage Auctions Vintage Posters Director Grey Smith said. “This is a must-have for any collector of horror film posters.”

A Red Headed Woman (MGM, 1932) One Sheet (estimate: $50,000-100,000) is a stunning piece around which serious collections can be built. Offered by Heritage Auctions for just the second time, this rarity represents an exceptional opportunity for collectors of pre-Code cinema. In this classic, star Jean Harlow trades in her signature platinum blonde locks for fiery red in her role as a conniving socialite. With a plot plucked from Katherine Brush’s 1931 novel of the same name, it was a hit with audiences, thanks in large part to Harlow’s stellar turn as Lil, the unrepentant gold digger with a balance of tackiness and charm. Once displayed at the Whitney Museum of American Art, this rarity can be the centerpiece of any serious collection.

One of the most popular films of all time comes to life on this The Wizard of Oz (MGM, 1939) Half Sheet (estimate: $40,000-80,000). Produced in 1939, at a cost of $2.7 million during the Depression, it only earned just over $3 million at the box office, a modest return for the era. But a television revival of the film sent its popularity soaring, and it now is one of the most collected titles in the poster hobby. This is a very rare and beautiful poster with brilliant color and images commemorating a timeless classic film.

Whale’s classic sequel appears in another format in this The Bride of Frankenstein (Universal, 1935) Window Card (estimate: $30,000-60,000), which is so rare it never has been offered by Heritage Auctions before. A sensational find for collectors, this window card features a full-color image otherwise found only on the film’s Style H three sheet, of which none is known to exist. The image is dominated by Boris Karloff in his second run as Mary Shelly’s reanimated creation and is flanked by leading lady Valerie Hobson and the bride, played by Elsa Lanchester.

Amid dire financial troubles, there was talk in the 1940s at Universal Studios of abandoning horror film making, a strategy that thankfully was not pursued when it was realized that horror films were the studio’s only films sure to turn a profit. Lon Chaney, Jr., became the studio’s new star, and is featured on this The Wolf Man (Universal, 1941) Insert (estimate: $30,000-60,000). So successful was the film that it revived the studio’s horror cycle for another decade. Spotlighting a masterpiece that co-stars Claude Rains, Bela Lugosi and Warren William, this insert is considered the best format among the film’s posters, and it unquestionably is the most rare.

Other top lots include, but are not limited to:

The Wizard of Oz (MGM, 1939) Style B Half Sheet (estimate: $25,000-50,000)

Chain Lightning Original Art by Alfredo Capitani (Warner Brothers, 1949)  (estimate: $15,000-30,000)

The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Universal, 1923) Pre-War Belgian (estimate: $12,000-24,000)

The Man Who Laughs (Universal, 1929) Autographed German Posters (estimate: $12,000-24,000)

The Maltese Falcon (Warner Brothers, 1946) First Post-War Release French Grande (estimate: $8,000-16,000)

 

llloagmaieflheaa.jpgNew York - Swann Galleries’ sale of 19th & 20th Century Prints & Drawings on March 5 earned $2.7M, with property from the Ismar Littmann Family Collection of German Expressionism & European Avant-Garde forming the cornerstone of the auction. 

Of the Littmann Family collection Todd Weyman, Prints & Drawings Director and Vice President of the house, noted, “We are very pleased with sale of property from the Littmann Family. We surpassed the total low estimate for the collection and saw active bidding for items from both American and European private collectors alike with Käthe Kollwitz, Otto Mueller, Emil Orlik and Max Pechstein being standout artists.”  

Top lots from the collection included Sommer I, 1912, by Max Pechstein, which surged past its high estimate of $15,000, bringing $81,250, a record for the work, as well as Pechstein’s Reisebilder: Italien-Sudsee, 1919, which earned $25,000. A pair of color lithographs from 1926-27 by Otto Mueller-Lagernde Zigeunerfamilie mit Ziege and Zwei Zigeunerinnen (Zigeunermutter mit Tochter)-brought top prices at $32,500 and $25,000, respectively. Emil Orlik’s oil on board, Still leben, 1914, topped its low estimate at $16,250, and a 1905 charcoal figure study by Käthe Kollwitz garnered $27,500.  

The afternoon portion of the sale did not slow, bringing the top lot of the auction: Van Gogh’s only etching, Homme à la Pipe: Portrait du Docteur Gachet, 1890, with $106,250. Salvador Dalí followed close behind with the watercolor, Don Quichotte e Sancio Panza, 1964, at $100,000, while La Conquête du Cosmos I & II, a 1974 complete set of 12 color drypoints by the artist, brought $31,200. 

Additional works by Modernist stalwarts included Roses et Mimosa, a color lithograph from 1975 by Marc Chagall at $27,500; Joan Miró’s color aquatint, Le Permissionaire, 1974, with $47,500. Picasso’s Tête sur Fond noir, sold for $25,000, a record for the 1953 lithograph. Also of note was Sonia Delaunay’s exuberant color pochoir and watercolor illustration of Blaise Cendrars’ poem La Prose du Transsibérien et de la petite Jehanne de France, 1913, which earned $87,500.

Edvard Munch was well represented in the sale with a run of lithographs: Harpyie, 1899, which depicts the denizen of the underworld over a skeleton brought $30,000, and Alfas død, 1908-09, whose composition bears similarities to Munch’s iconic Scream garnered $22,500; both were record-setting prices for the works. August Strindberg, an 1896 portrait of the Swedish poet, writer and close friend of the artist was won for $30,000.

Italian masters were present with Giorgio Morandi’s 1956 etching, Natura Morta con Cinque Oggetti, which exemplified the primary focus of the artist’s oeuvre, brought $47,500, and Femme nue, a 1915 pencil drawing by Amedeo Modigliani earned $33,800.

Additional highlights included Winslow Homer’s line-based etching of rural women, Mending the Tears, 1888, which set a record with $30,000, and Illustrations of the Book of Job, 1826, by William Blake, a complete set of 22 engravings, saw a price of $87,500.

The next auction of Prints & Drawings will be held on May 2 with Old Master Through Modern Prints. Visit www.swanngalleries.com or download the Swann Galleries app for catalogues, bidding and inquiries.

Image: Lot 258: Vincent van Gogh, Homme à la Pipe: Portrait du Docteur Gachet, etching, 1890. Sold for $106,250.

New York - Christie’s is honored to present The Collection of Drue Heinz, which encompasses a remarkable selection of fine art that will be offered throughout Christie’s New York Impressionist and Modern Evening and Day Sales in May. The collection of Drue Heinz is a reflection of her keen observation and innate eye. Heinz was married to H.J. (Jack) Heinz II - CEO of the H. J. Heinz Company - from 1953 until his death in 1987, and she made most of her acquisitions over the course of their three decades of marriage. Throughout her life, Heinz enjoyed nothing more than taking on new endeavors that advanced the work of emerging artists of all kinds. Her spirit is very much reflected within her collection, and as such, proceeds from its sale will go to support her beloved Hawthornden Literary Retreat among other charitable projects. From these and other benefactions one takes away the overall impression of an energetic collaborator who took a personal interest in undertakings that she felt were important to nourishing the human spirit. Works from the collection will also be offered across the Spring Sales of Post-War and Contemporary and Latin American Art. Further, A striking range of decorative arts will be sold in a dedicated sale taking place in London on June 4.

Jessica Fertig, Head of Evening Sale, Impressionist and Modern Art, New York, remarked: “The collection of fine art that Mrs. Heinz assembled includes the most important artists of the early modern period —Picasso, Modigliani, Giacometti, Monet, Magritte and Matisse. From Bonnard’s Une terrasse à Grasse, one of the finest and most sumptuous examples of the artist’s terrace series, or in the suspended drama of Picasso’s Course de taureaux, through to the intimate dimensions of Cézanne’s pencil study of five bathers, related to the celebrated Basel painting of the same subject, or the quietude of an exquisite Morandi still-life. In every case, the art reflects careful, informed selection. And it was displayed in the Heinz homes so that at every turn the eye would fall on something thought-provoking and beautiful.

Over the years, Drue Heinz became a great advocate for literature and writers. She also assumed the role of a thoughtful supporter and board member at a number of prestigious art museums: the Carnegie in Pittsburgh, the Royal Academy in London and the Metropolitan Museum in New York. She was known for asking difficult questions, and seizing the opportunity if a project needed funding, as well as being mindful that room should be left for other ardent supporters to contribute.

Mrs. Heinz founded Ecco Press in 1971 and served as publisher of the Paris Review from 1993 to 2008. She was responsible for funding the Monday Night Lectures in Pittsburgh, which continue to draw America’s top literary writers to the lectern and she provided sustained sponsorship of the Lincoln Center Review, which illuminated the vital function of the theatrical canon to the modern world.  The Drue Heinz Literature Prize, endowed in 1981 in collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh Press, enables the publication of short fiction and serves as an enormous source of encouragement for writers to continue their work.  It is an esteemed annual award for those who submit a collection of short stories.  The prize is monetary but the exposure of having the writer’s first collection published is invaluable.

Highlights from the Evening Sale of Impressionist and Modern Art to include: Leading the collection is Amedeo Modigliani’s Lunia Czechowska (à la robe noire), 1919 (estimate: $12-18 million)- pictured on page 1, right. Modigliani was infatuated with his subject, a young Polish émigré, who was married to a close friend of the artist’s dealer, Léopold Zborowski, and would ultimately go on to paint her likeness in ten known paintings. Czechowska was 25 when she sat for the present portrait, a canvas that Joseph Lanthemann praised for being “plein de noblesse, de beauté et de communion”. Czechowska’s fine, delicate features bespeak a discerning intelligence and a rare sensitivity, which perfectly suited the artist’s fascination with this type. Her serious demeanor and youthfully lithe, feminine figure lent themselves well to the primary influences the artist liked to incorporate and show off in his portraits—the elongated forms of the 16th century Italian Mannerists Parmigianino and Pontormo, filtered through his modernist attraction to aspects of African tribal art. 

Pierre Bonnard’s La Terrasse ou Une terrasse à Grasse, 1912 (estimate: $6-9 million) is a pageant of high-keyed color and luxuriant, Mediterranean vegetation. This idyllic scene — one of Bonnard’s earliest tours de force on the theme of the terrace — depicts the grounds of the Villa Antoinette at Grasse, some twelve miles north of Cannes, where the artist and his future wife Marthe stayed on holiday from January to May 1912. La Terrasse is one of the two largest canvases that Bonnard painted during his exceptionally productive stay at Grasse, both major decorative statements visualizing the Côte d’Azur as a modern-day Arcadia. In La Terrasse, Bonnard creates a private, enclosed world that evokes the sultry heat and languorous reverie of a Mediterranean afternoon. Marthe is now subordinate to the colorful profusion of vegetation, her motionless figure registering to the viewer within the composition only after a slight, almost imperceptible delay; her sun-dappled blue jacket and brown cloche hat seem to merge, wraithlike, with the surrounding ground of the terrace. “This dreaming feminine presence, Marthe,” Sasha Newman has written, “who so often appears in cutoff views—glimpsed on a balcony, through a door, or reflected in a mirror—is central to the underlying air of mystery in much of Bonnard’s art.” 

Henri Matisse painted Nu à la fenêtre (estimate: $7-10 million) - also known as Nu nacré (Pearly Nude) for the iridescent quality of its light—in his new studio during the first part of 1929 and sold the canvas to Bernheim-Jeune that September. The painting was reproduced shortly thereafter in two important monographs, one by Florent Fels and the other by Roger Fry, which paid tribute to the artist on the occasion of his sixtieth birthday in December 1929; it was first exhibited publicly at the Kraushaar Galleries in New York the following fall. The focal point of this luminous,canvas is the nude model, the subject par excellence of Matisse’s exemplary Nice period. “The Odalisques were the bounty of a happy nostalgia, a lovely vivid dream, and the almost ecstatic, enchanted days and nights of the Moroccan climate,” the artist recounted. “I felt an irresistible need to express that ecstasy, that divine unconcern, in corresponding colored rhythms, rhythms of sunny and lavish figures and colors”. Here, Matisse depicted a sultry brunette named Loulou, one of several ballet dancers from the Compagnie de Paris who populated the artist’s private pictorial theater in 1928-1929. The paintings that Matisse created in early 1929 represent the culmination of his work at Nice during this transformative period. 

Pablo Picasso, a lifelong aficionado of the heroism and pathos of the bullfight, executed Course de taureaux in 1900 (estimate: $4-6 million), capturing the brief, electrifying moment immediately before the bull charges into the corrida, its every nerve-ending fired with the anticipation of combat. Picasso rendered this scene, laying down pastel in vivid hues and with a material density that conjures the physicality of the impending encounter, in mid-1900, the artist was just eighteen years old, ablaze with youthful
ambition and preparing for his own dramatic entry into a new arena. The previous year, he had returned home to Barcelona after a brief stint at the prestigious but stiflingly traditional Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando in Madrid; now, ever more forceful and independent, he was just months away from his first trip to Paris, determined to prove his worth in the very center of the art world. 

The dedicated London sale of Decorative Arts on June 4: 

The contents of Mrs. Heinz’s London mews house and Manhattan townhouse will be offered in London on June 4. The London mews was purchased by Mr. & Mrs. Heinz in the late 1950s and is particularly special as it has at its core one of the most charming and untouched John Fowler interiors remaining, with a second phase of development and decoration in the 1980s by Renzo Mongiardino. He masterfully integrated a neighbouring mews property, formerly car showroom, into the home creating a theatrical ballroom, the walls of which are completely painted with vistas inspired by the Villa Falconieri in Rome. The top lot of the sale is from the London property, a massive George II giltwood pier mirror, circa 1750, in the manner of Vardy (estimate: £150,000 - 250,000), and further highlights from London include Swimming Pool by David Hockney, O.M., C.H., R.A., signed, dedicated and dated 'For Drue and Jack with love from David H. Feb/1982' (estimate: £70,000-100,000). 

The New York townhouse was an earlier Mongiardino creation dating to 1976 and was published anonymously in Architectural Digest shortly after its completion. Notable lots from New York include a Regency specimen marble bronzed and parcel-gilt centre table circa 1810 (estimate: £15,000-25,000); a pair of Chinese Export black and gilt-lacquer wardrobes the lacquer panels early 19th century and adapted from a screen (estimate: £6,000-10,000); a Victorian oak letter box, late 19th century, by W. Thornhill (estimate: £2,500-4,000); the two latter lots both depicted in the in-situ interior shot, left). The collection sale as a whole comprises Impressionist & Modern, Modern British and Contemporary works of art alongside Old Master Paintings, English and Continental furniture and objet d’art, silver, Chinese porcelain and decorative furnishings many of which were supplied either by Colefax & Fowler or Mongiardino. 

cmoijcjjgmklamak.jpgNew York - Swann Galleries’ March 21 sale of Autographs promises an assortment of hard-to-find items from world leaders, scientists, innovators and other notable figures.             

An extraordinary run of material by Diana, Princess of Wales, includes a group of six autograph letters signed to her friend, the editor of British Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, Elizabeth Tilberis. The group comes from the late 80s and early 90s and discuss a number of topics including Diana’s cover of the December 1991 issue of British Vogue, as well as Tilberis’s move to Harper’s Bazaar and the United States (Estimate: $5,000-7,000). Additional cards signed and inscribed by the late royal include a selection of Christmas cards featuring photographs of the family, estimated at $700 to $1,000 apiece. Also of note is a photograph signed by Queen Elizabeth II and Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, from 1976, and an 1884 ALS from Queen Victoria to Alfred, Lord Tennyson expressing her sorrows over the death of her son, Leopold ($1,000-2,000 and $3,000-4,000, respectively).  The sale is led by a 1776 ALS from Joseph Brant, Thayeadanegea, the leader of the Mohawk people and military, and British Loyalist. At the time of the American Revolution both the Colonies and British military were vying for Native American support: in his letter Brant explains that he had been in England meeting with King George III recounting the events that had taken place in America. The letter is expected to bring $20,000 to $30,000. 

Additional Americana highlights include a letter signed from 1793 by Alexander Hamilton as Secretary of the Treasury to the President and Directors of the Bank of the U.S. expressing that they will receive an appropriation for giving advances to the U.S. Mint, and a 1783 autograph document by Elbridge Gerry, from which the term “gerrymander” is derived, discussing the landscape of Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey for placement of the Capital ($4,000-6,000 and $3,500-5,000, respectively).  

George Washington leads the selection of presidential signatures with a signed ticket for the Mountain Road Lottery from 1768 at $5,000 to $7,500. Theodore Roosevelt is present with a number of typed letters signed: one from November 1912 expressing his hopes for the future of the Bull Moose Party shortly after being shot while giving a speech, and a group of five to his sister, Corinne Roosevelt Robinson, in one of which he expresses that he “…cannot give a position to anyone simply because he is a friend,” ($1,200-2,500 and $3,000-4,000, respectively). A partly-printed document signed by Abraham Lincoln appointing John T. Hogeboom as Appraiser of Merchandise in April of 1864 rounds out the assortment at $4,000 to $6,000. 

Scientists and inventors feature prominently in the sale, including a rare signature from Edwin Hubble, one of the most influential astronomers and the namesake for the Hubble Telescope, estimated at $1,500 to $2,500; a letter signed by Swiss mathematician Johann “The Elder” Bernoulli, in which he states that Paris seems to think him dead, is expected to bring $4,000 to $6,000; and an ink and wash portrait by Charlotte Berend-Corinth of Albert Einstein, signed by the physicist ($4,000-6,000). Nikola Tesla is on offer with a dated and signed correspondence card that bears his Art Deco monogram ($3,500-5,000), as well as an ALS from Alexander Graham Bell to Eliza Catherine Scidmore accepting an invitation to tea during his only trip to Japan ($1,000-2,000).  

Unique combinations of autographs include a 1950-56 guestbook from Lüchow’s-a popular New York City restaurant that was a meeting place for the city’s entertainers, artists, musicians and athletes. The book contains over 400 signatures from the likes of Joe DiMaggio, Al Hirschfeld, Grace Kelly, Joan Miró, Cole Porter, Eleanor Roosevelt and Barbara Streisand and carries an estimate of $8,000 to $12,000. Charles B. Driscoll’s personal copy of his book Doubloons features over 500 signatures and inscriptions from authors, artists, entertainers and others from the 1930s-40s. Notable figures include Al Capp, James Montgomery Flagg and Burne Hogarth; Albert Einstein, Aldous Huxley and Thomas Wolfe all signed on the same page ($3,500-5,000).  

Musicians, writers and artists round out the sale with autograph material from Glenn Gould, Friedrich Hölderlin, Claude Monet and Henri Toulouse-Lautrec. 

Exhibition opening in New York City March 18. The complete catalogue and bidding information is available at www.swanngalleries.com and on the Swann Galleries app.

Additional highlights can be found here.

Image: Lot 131: Author’s copy of Doubloons by Charles B. Driscoll containing over 500 drawings, signatures and sentiments in margins and elsewhere by authors, illustrators and other admirers of pirate mythology. Estimate $3,500 to $5,000.

872 and 873.jpgYork, PA - Just as superheroes have leaped off the pages of comic books to take over the motion picture industry, original comic art has confidently moved into the ranks of “legitimate” art. Hake’s has been instrumental in bringing fine comic art to the auction marketplace and will present yet another outstanding selection in its March 13-14 sale. 

“It is not at all uncommon to see original art from comic book pages or covers included in important collections,” said Alex Winter, president of Hake’s Americana. “If an artwork in one of our auctions was created for a cover that illustrates a turning point in a significant storyline or marks the first appearance of a major character, we know there will be bidding competition from traditional art collectors.”

A case in point is Rob Liefeld’s original pen-and-ink art for Page 27 of New Mutants #98, published by Marvel in February 1991. This artboard is from the issue that introduces the wildly popular antihero Deadpool, who went on to star in countless comics, video games, and blockbuster films. Original page art from issue #98 is especially rare because Deadpool appears on only seven pages. A unique artwork held privately since shortly after the issue’s publication, it makes its auction debut with a $20,000-$35,000 estimate. 

An original acrylic-on-canvas painting by legendary sci-fi/comic book artist Greg Hildebrandt depicts one of Marvel’s most infamous villains, Thanos, striding over skulls as the cosmos swirls around him. The 27.5 by 39-inch artwork was painted in 2018 for a limited-variant cover for the first issue of Infinity Wars Prime. Artist-signed at lower right and in near-mint condition, it is expected to make $10,000-$20,000.

Another major work offered in the auction is the original art for Page 33 of Sandman Vol. 2, #14 (DC Vertigo, March 1990), penciled by Mike Dringenberg and inked by Malcolm Jones III. Few Sandman pages have appeared for public sale, and this seven-panel page from early in Neil Gaiman’s iconic Sandman series is initialed and dated by Dringenberg. It has never before been offered at auction and is estimated at $5,000-$10,000.

As if that were not enough to send comic art collectors into a tailspin, Hake’s will also offer Frank Quitely’s original cover art for All-Star Superman #6 (DC Comics), from a series that ran from November 2005 through October 2008. The poignant scene depicts Superman standing at the gravestone of his adoptive father, Jonathan Kent, with his canine companion Krypto alongside him. “All Frank Quitely original art is highly sought after and rarely comes to auction, especially a piece of this caliber. Collectors won’t find a better example than this,” said Winter. Estimate: $5,000-$10,000

Premium-quality comic books are a staple in all Hake’s sales, but the March 13-14 selection is especially exciting because it features 200+ CGC-graded examples, including the first 100 issues of The Amazing Spider-Man title published from 1962 through 1971. A litany of memorable villains passes through the pages of those 100 issues, including Mysterio, Green Goblin, Kingpin, Lizard, Shocker, and more.

Four especially desirable CGC-graded Spider-Man issues lead the grouping, starting with Amazing Fantasy #15 (August 1962), which introduces The Amazing Spider-Man (Peter Parker), as well as Aunt May and Uncle Ben. With a Jack Kirby cover and Steve Ditko art to illustrate Stan Lee’s story, this CGC 3.0 (Good/VG) issue should easily reach the $10,000-$20,000 range. 

J. Jonah Jameson and The Chameleon make their first appearances in The Amazing Spider-Man #1 (March 1963), with the additional bonuses of the first Fantastic Four crossover and a recounting of the origin of Spider-Man. A key Silver Age Marvel comic CGC-graded 6.0 (Fine), this issue is estimated at $10,000-$20,000. Two other issues to watch are The Amazing Spider-Man #3 (July 1963), CGC 7.5 (VF) with the first appearance of Doctor Octopus, $5,000-$10,000; and The Amazing Spider-Man #2 (May 1963), CGC 6.5 (Fine+) with the first appearance of the Vulture and the Terrible Tinkerer, $2,000-$5,000. 

Of the memorabilia that exists from the legendary first “Negro League World Series” of October 1924, perhaps no other item is as cherished as the panoramic photo taken prior to Game 5 and showing both teams with their managers and owners. The picture includes 41 individuals including eight future Baseball Hall of Fame selectees, more than are seen in any other surviving original Negro League Baseball photograph. It is believed that the original photographic prints were distributed directly to participants of the 1924 Series. Hake’s will present one of the extremely rare 7 by 35-inch photographs in its March auction, with a $25,000-$35,000 estimate. Also for baseball fans, there are 150 Cracker Jack collector cards produced in 1914-15, including the rare “Shoeless” Joe Jackson card.

Over 100 Star Wars action figures and other collectibles will be auctioned, including 60+ examples from the peerless Russell Branton collection. Among the highlights are an AFA-graded 75 EX+/NM Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back - Bespin Alliance 3-pack series, $10,000-$20,000; a Sears exclusive AFA-graded 80 NM Star Wars Cantina Adventure Set with the elusive blue Snaggletooth figure, $5,000-$10,000; a life-size (6ft 6in) Don Post Studios Boba Fett figure, $5,000-$10,000; and a Star Wars double-telescoping Luke Skywalker figure on 12 Back-A blister card, AFA-graded 80 NM (archival case), $10,000-$20,000.

Political memorabilia, a category Hake’s first brought to the collector marketplace more than 50 years ago, will be sizzling with highlights, including a 26-star, pre-Civil War Henry Clay, T. Frelinghuysen and Joseph Markle Pennsylvania coattail campaign flag; and an important 1860 parade flag emblazoned “For President, Abram Lincoln - For Vice President, Hannibal Hamlin,” which has been in private hands for more than a half-century. Each is estimated at $20,000-$35,000. Topping the political buttons and pinbacks section are a 1940 Wendell Willkie/FDR “Out At Third” baseball-theme button, $10,000-$20,000; and a similarly estimated Truman lithographed button showing Harry Truman’s face on an 8-ball, a reference to his being behind the 8-ball as he headed into the 1948 presidential race.

Hake’s Auction #226 has opened for bidding by phone, mail or online at hakes.com. The March 13-14 auction introduces the new consecutive two-day format for bidding, as opposed to Hake’s previous method, which included a gap day in between the two sessions. For a free catalog or additional information, call 866-404-9800 (toll-free) or 717-434-1600. Email hakes@hakes.com. Online: www.hakes.com

Image: (Left) Amazing Fantasy #15 introducing The Amazing Spider-Man, August 1962, CGC 3.0 Good/VG, est. $10,000-$20,000; (right) The Amazing Spider-Man #1, March 1963, CGC 6.0 Fine, est. $10,000-$20,000. Courtesy of Hake’s Auctions

 

35.jpgChicago — Potter & Potter Auctions is pleased to announce its 600+ lot Gambling Memorabilia sale to be held on Saturday, March 30th, 2019 starting at 10am at the company's gallery, located at 3759 N. Ravenswood Ave., Chicago, IL 60613. The sale features the collection of Tom Blue, an avid enthusiast with a keen eye for the extraordinary. Blue assembled one of the most comprehensive and finely curated gambling collections in the United States over the course of several decades. All lots from this upcoming event will be on display and available for public preview on Wednesday, March 27th, Thursday, March 28th, and Friday, March 29th from 10:00am to 5:00pm in the Potter & Potter facility. All times noted are CST. 

Outstanding antique books and publications on poker, playing cards, cheating, and advantage play represent many of the top lots in this auction.  Collectors are certain to discover many titles of interest among the 300+ selections on offer. Lot #35, a first edition of SW Erdnase's The Expert at the Card Table is estimated at $6,000-9,000. This tightly bound, clean, and crisp example is illustrated with over 100 drawings “from life” by Marshall D. Smith.  According to Gabe Fajuri, President of Potter & Potter Auctions, "This is unquestionably the single most mythologized book related to gambling, cheating, and card sharping ever produced, since its initial publication in 1902 by the mysterious author "Erdnase," this treatise on the "science and art of manipulating cards" has never been out of print." Lot #151, FR Ritter's Combined Treatise on Advantage Card Playing and Draw Poker from 1905 is estimated at $6,000-9,000. This absolute rarity is heavily illustrated with halftones showing blot-out, shade, line, scroll, and other marked cards, hold-outs (including the first-known published photograph of a Jacob’s Ladder-style sleeve hold-out), false cuts, and deals. In May, 2016 Potter & Potter sold another copy of this legacy book for $12,000. Lot #39, a first edition of Gerritt Evans' How Gamblers Win from 1865 is estimated at $4,000-6,000. This exceeding rare first edition is one of the earliest American works to describe the techniques of crooked gamblers, and perhaps the first to focus heavily on cheating in poker. It is one of a mere handful of copies known, two of which are institutional holdings. And bidders are likely to look favorably upon lot #219, Abraham De Moivre's The Doctrine of Chances: or, a Method of Calculating the Probabilities of Events in Play.  This first edition from 1718 is a landmark work in the theory of probability, with many of the concepts illustrated with and applied to gambling with cards and dice. De Moivre dedicated this work to his close friend, Isaac Newton.  

Breathtaking selections of gambling accessories and devices are also well represented in this sale, with nearly two dozen temptations on offer. Lot #525, a 23" tall,  c. 1910 American made gaffed mahogany keno goose is estimated at $2,000-3,000.  This handsomely turned example features a hidden internal compartment that holds a second set of keno balls. High or low numbers can be dispensed depending upon the desired outcome of the game.  Lot #604, a c. 1931 Mills 10 cent front slot machine is estimated at $1,00-1,500.  This 14k example is in working condition and includes its original gold award tokens.  Lot #529, a c. 1900 boxed mechanical Jeu de Course horserace game is estimated at $400-600.  This professionally restored rarity is decorated with imitation French Francs, a flag ornament, and a metal horse head on its box top lid.  And its case closed with lot #530, a c. 1940 All-In-One-Game housed in its original handled chest.  Roulette, Market, Put & Take, Poker, Chuck-a-Luck, Horse Races, Bunco, and Faro are just some of the games that can be played on this versatile, tin lithographed device. It is estimated at $250-350.

This auction's ephemera, poster, and print selections are a royal flush. Headlining this category just might be lot #577, five mid-20th century gambling-themed photographs of actors and actresses. Estimated at $100-150, the celebrities included in this collection include Barbara Stanwyck, Bob Hope, Ronald Coleman, Vilma Banky, and Salvatore Baccaloni. Lot #566, David Klein's 1960s-era Las Vegas Fly TWA travel poster is estimated at $500-700. This fabulously rendered, linen backed example comes to life with a playing card queen enjoying a glass of champagne with images of Las Vegas life inside her robes. And lot #76, a collection of gambling ephemera spanning the 1890s-1940s timeframe, is estimated at $150-250. It includes advertisements for playing cards, games on paper, pamphlets on gaming, excerpts from magazines, advertisements for stores, and others. 

Rolling along, this sale offers nearly 50 lots of dice and related apparatus. Lot #470, a pair of gaffed leather “butterfly” dice cups made by Bill Gusias around 1970 is estimated at $1,200-1,800.  This as new duo consists of one straight cup and one gaffed with a secret compartment; the performer switches from one to the other by pressing on a sweet spot on the bottom of one of the cups and twisting.  Lot #443, an American made 19th century loaded dice jig is estimated at $1,000-$1,500. This device was used by crooked gamblers to drill into a die and add lead to weight the desired side. This jig was obtained by the consignor from the famed Old West gambling collection of Bill Williamson and was the actual example used to illustrate the cheating section of “The Gamblers” in Time-Life’s Old West series (1978), p. 131. And its hip to be square with lot #459, a collection of  248 mid-twentieth century crooked dice. The grouping, estimated $800-1,200, includes 23 weights, 166 tops and bottoms, 20 flats, and 39 matching fairs, all housed in a leatherette case. 

This sale also has the upper hand in the playing card category. Lot #448, an all original c. 1880 Will & Finck brass sleeve holdout is estimated at $4,000-6,000. This fine, early Jacob’s Ladder-style holdout delivers a card into the gambler’s hand when his elbow is bent, and retracts when his arm is straightened. This actual example was used to illustrate the cheating section of “The Gamblers” in Time-Life’s Old West series (1978), p. 124.  Potter & Potter sold a similar Will & Finck brass sleeve holdout in May, 2018 for $12,000.  Lot #335, a complete set of Jazaniah H. Ford “Lafayette” playing cards from c. 1824 is estimated at $3,000-5,000. This deck commemorated the 1824 return of Marquis de Lafayette  to the United States. He was invited by President James Monroe in part to celebrate the upcoming fiftieth anniversary of our nation’s founding. Ford was the first Boston-area manufacturer of playing cards, and the first to issue a deck commemorating American history.  And lot #334, a deck of Grover Cleveland campaign playing cards from 1888 is estimated at $2,000-3,000.  This presidential caliber rarity, the only one extant, depicts Cleveland as King, running mate Allen Thurman as Jack, and First Lady Frances Folsom Cleveland Preston as Queen.  

The nearly three dozen lots of antique poker chips and sets round out this comprehensive gambling sale. Lot #448, a late 19th century White Mansion mother of pearl gambling chip set from Paris is estimated at $800-1,200. The chips include 60 dark blue plastic $25 chips, 60 aqua plastic $50 chips, 60 rectangular red plastic $100 chips, 28 rectangular mother of pearl $500 chips, and 28 oval mother of pearl $1,000 chips. The plastic chips are engraved “M.W." while the mother of pearl ones are engraved “White Mansion.” Lot #493, a late 19th century German royal flush gaming set is estimated at $500-700. This collection includes 450 enameled brass chips in lavender, blue, white, and yellow encased in a handsome, dark wooden box with wooden storage pegs. And the chips will fall where they may with lot #494, c. 1900 American made royal poker set, estimated at $300-500. The set features its original wooden box and lock, 51 brass $10 chips, 99 nickel $5 chips, 47 copper $25 chips and a complete 1920s U.S. Playing Card Co. art deco “Butterfly” deck signed by artist Mollie Macmillan.   

According to Gabe Fajuri, President at Potter & Potter Auctions, "Tom Blue spent a lifetime pursuing books on gambling and associated subjects in a way perhaps no other collector has. His library features all of the classics, alongside the rarities, and many of the works are represented by what I would call "top copies" - superlative condition, signed, or otherwise unusual or fine in some way. Anyone interested in this subject should find something in the auction to make his or her head spin."

Image: Lot 35, The Expert at the Card Table. Estimate $6,000-9,000. 

Screen Shot 2019-03-04 at 10.28.20 AM.pngLondon — This month, Sotheby’s will bring to the market items from the personal collection of Friedrich August von Hayek (1899-1992). A towering economist, political philosopher and beloved of right-wing policy makers, Hayek is often regarded as one of the greatest intellectual figures of the twentieth century. From his Nobel Prize and Presidential Medal of Freedom, to his typewriter, writing desk, and personal annotated version of Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations, the dedicated online sale from 8-19 March, which is timed to coincide with the 75th anniversary this month of the publication of Hayek’s seminal publication, The Road to Serfdom, will offer an unprecedented look at the life of this extraordinary genius. 

Hayek’s explanation of the relationship between market forces and personal freedom, among his other theories, had a profound impact on the shaping of the modern world. From the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the governments of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan, Hayek’s theories influenced some of the major political moments in Western history. In more recent years, his conflicting views with rival economist John Maynard Keynes about how to conquer the Great Depression were brought into sharp focus following the economic crash of 2008.

Gabriel Heaton, Director, Sotheby’s Books and Manuscripts said: “Sotheby's is privileged to bring the Hayek collection to auction. Friedrich Von Hayek's work asks searching questions about markets, freedom, and the importance of understanding the limits of our knowledge; these question lie at the heart of his profound influence on our society, and continue to be highly relevant today. The Nobel Memorial prize, the greatest accolade granted to Hayek, is rightly at the heart of the sale but this wonderful collection also includes a number of other treasured items that give us insights into both Hayek as a the public intellectual and as a private individual.”

Born in Vienna in 1899, Hayek’s family was part of the city’s intellectual elite: his father was a doctor with a keen scholarly interest in botany; both of his grandfathers were scholars and his mother the first cousin of prominent Austrian philosopher, Ludwig Wittgenstein. The civilisation of Hayek’s childhood disintegrated with World War One and his youth was inevitably marked by service in the artillery in the brutal Mountain War on the Italian Front. In later years Hayek preferred to recall these years by telling of his hapless attempt to deliver a transport of live eels to the front, but he also acknowledged how the war profoundly shaped his outlook and his resulting theories. 

Hayek first made his name on economic issues, only expanding his intellectual horizon to expound on the wider political and philosophical implications of his free market economics in the 1940s, a turn most publicly marked by the publication of The Road to Serfdom (1944). 

He was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize for Economic Science in 1974 for his “pioneering work in the theory of money and economic fluctuations and for [...] penetrating analysis of the interdependence of economic, social and institutional phenomena.”While his contribution to the field of economics itself was exceptional, what setHayek apart was his use of the insights he gained from the study of markets to underpin a wider political philosophy that had an influence which is perhaps still unmatched by any other Economics laureate. Hayek’s Nobel Prize will be offered as the top lot of the sale with an estimate of £400,000-600,000.

Offered alongside the Nobel Prize will be further public accolades, including the Companion of Honour awarded by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 1984 (£3,000-5,000); the Presidential Medal of Freedom presented by President George H.W. Bush in 1991(£10,000-15,000), as well as a set of presentation presidential cufflinks from Ronald Reagan, with the Seal of the President on the front and a signature engraved on the reverse, alongside a signed photograph(£600-800).

The sale will also present a selection of personal objects belonging to the late economist, which reveal more about his life and influences. Offered will be Hayek’s writing desk (£4,000-6,000) as well as his portable typewriter. Still in working condition, the early Smith Corona Model ‘S’ typewriter (£1,000-1,500), is dated to c. 1933/34 and was most likely bought during his tenure at the London School of Economics — a pivotal period in Hayek’s life which saw the beginnings of his well-known dispute with British economist, John Maynard Keynes, and the publication of The Road to Serfdom. 

Further highlights include Hayek’s personal underlined and annotated copy of Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations (£3,000-5,000), as well as volumes of his works from his library (£1,500-2,000), old passports and personal photo albums (£3,000-5,000). The collection also includes Margaret Thatcher’s signed speech on Hayek, delivered in October 2003, on the receipt of the International Prize of the Friedrich August von Hayek Foundation. 

Hayek’s theories still resonate today with his book, Denationalisation of Money (1976), often credited with laying down the theoretical foundations for cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, that we see today. The sale will also include four Gold Standard Corporation Medallions featuring a profile of Hayek with "Denationalization of Money" on one side and "For Integrity there is no substitute" on the other, produced in 1979. 

Dates for the diary: New York exhibition (highlights only): 8 -10 March

London exhibition: 15 -18 March 

Event: The Legacy of F.A. Hayek, on the 75th anniversary of The Road to Serfdom: 17 March, 2pmSotheby’s Lower Grosvenor Gallery, Aeolian Hall, Bloomfield Place.Speakers to include:Philip Booth (Institute of Economic Affairs), Eamonn Butler (Adam Smith Institute) and Kwasi Kwarteng (MP for Spelthorne). To register interest, email: paige.thompson@sothebys.com

vcsPRAsset_3568579_82662_7e6a1038-3953-4664-aacf-2f1cea5e34d5_0 copy.jpgLondon - In anticipation of the Antiquarian Book Fair in New York, Christie’s is pleased to showcase highlights from Beyond the Horizon: The Mopelia Collection of Fine Atlases and Travel Books. This is an opportunity for explorers, sailors, distinguished collectors and all those who love global navigation, to view and acquire some of the most valuable maps and atlases of all time. Rare and in great condition, the collection contains nearly 200 lots of important travel books covering all corners of the globe with a strong emphasis on all matters maritime. Highlights include Orbis Terrarum Nova et Accurata Tabula, a striking map of the world surrounded by allegorical scenes of the four seasons, illustrated above, and Johannes van Keulen's De Groote Nieuwe Vermeerder-de Zee-Atlas ofte Water-Werelt. Published in Amsterdam in 1688, the latter is a handsomely engraved and beautifully hand-coloured example with the frontispiece and maps highlighted in gold, perhaps one of the greatest 17th-century Dutch sea-atlases to come to the market in recent years.

A global tour of the Mopelia Collection will begin in New York from 4-7 March, to be exhibited alongside Luca Pacioli’s Summa de Arithmetica (see separate press release here). Highlights will then be on view in Paris and London to coincide with international fairs for maps and atlases before being offered at auction in London on 5 June.

Further highlights include a striking map of the world surrounded by allegorical scenes of the four seasons, entitled Orbis Terrarum Nova et Accurata Tabula by Gerard Valk (1652-1726) and Leonard Valk (1675-1746) and a hand- coloured copy of Hendrick Doncker’s constantly evolving sea-atlas De Zee-Atlas of Water-Waerelt. 

Julian Wilson, Senior Specialist, Books & Manuscripts, London comments, “The Mopelia Collection’s geographical reach is truly global, with atlases and sea-charts covering the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia, as well as polar exploration in the Arctic. It has wonderful works with fascinating associations, including a copy of Blaeu’s Flambeau de la Navigation (Amsterdam, 1620) that was owned not only by the famous French astronomer Peiresc, known for his work on longitude, but also later by the great circumnavigator Freycinet. In addition, there are the great 18th-century works by Cook, Vancouver and La Perouse, as well as a collection of 4000 natural history watercolours. For breadth, scope and quality, the Mopelia Collection is of the finest such collections to appear at auction.” 

 

lfjifemghjnmebih.jpgNew York - Photographs: Art & Visual Culture on February 21 at Swann Galleries, a curated sale celebrating photographs as physical objects, saw success across the board with contemporary, twentieth-century and vernacular photography taking the spotlight. 

Malick Sidibé led the sale with a grouping of 38 silver prints presented in custom frames by the artist, 1964-2001. The images highlighted the breadth West African Culture and sold for $87,500, a new record for the artist, breaking the previous top price for the Sidibé ($55,000, Swann October 2018). Additional fine art photography of note included Roy DeCarava’s Dancers (Harlem), 1955, printed 1982, a masterpiece of light and shadow that earned $52,500, a record for a single image by the artist; a suite of 18 silver prints from Flor Garduño’s Witness of Time series with a record $23,750; Leg-Paul H., 1979, by Peter Hujar brought $22,500; and Fan Ho’s Cleaning, 1950, reached $21,250. 

Engaging vernacular albums exploring the people and industrial landscape of nineteenth-century India came across the block with great fanfare. An album of 105 images of scenes in Bombay, Delhi and Agra from the 1870s set a record with $30,000, and Shivshanker Narayen made his auction debut with an album of 80 photographs including six panoramas of civic engineering projects throughout the country which garnered $23,750.

A run of works by Ansel Adams proved successful, including a limited first edition of his first book-Taos Pueblo, 1930. The scarce publication, featuring 12 silver bromide prints from the photographer when he was just 28, and text by nature writer Mary Hunter Austin  brought $32,500. Adam’s Winter Sunrise, Sierra Nevada from Lone Pine, California, 1944, printed early 1960s, a black and white silver print of the mountains, garnered $25,000.

Early- and mid-twentieth-century photography included an archive of 49 vintage photographs by Dorothy Norman & Alfred Stieglitz (47 of which are by Norman), setting a record for the artists with $18,200. Also of note were poignant silver prints documenting the Great Depression by Dorothea Lange: White Angel Breadline, 1933, printed 1960s, ($12,500), and Street demonstration, San Francisco, 1934-38, printed circa 1970, ($17,500); as well as Robert Frank’s Yom Kippur, East River, New York City, 1955, printed 1970, which sold for $15,000. Shop, Le Bacares, Pyrénées, Orientales, France (with black cat), 1951, printed 1960s, by Paul Strand garnered $12,500. 

Daile Kaplan, Director of Photographs & Photobooks and Vice President, expressed her pleasure with the sale and the market’s expanding tastes, “The excitement associated with photographs and how they continue to immeasurably enrich our lives was writ large in Swann’s auction dedicated to photography and visual culture, which set several records for fine art and vernacular photographs. Today there’s a broad appreciation for the range of photographic expression, which reflects historical and contemporary, fine art and vernacular, and local and global expressions. I was delighted to see competitive bidding for nineteenth-century Indian photography, and new collectors bidding on sub-genres of vernacular photographs-35mm color slides, women's work and fashion, and quirky examples of Americana.”

The next auction of Photographs & Photobooks will be held on April 18 with Classic & Contemporary Photographs. Visit www.swanngalleries.com or download the Swann Galleries app for catalogues, bidding and inquiries.

Image: Lot 229 Malick Sidibé, 38 silver prints highlighting West African Culture, in custom frames, 1964-2001. Sold for $87,500, a record for the artist.

Frazetta Buck.jpgDallas, TX - Original comic cover art by legendary artist Frank Frazetta soared beyond its pre-auction estimate, claiming top-lot honors and leading Heritage Auctions’ Comics & Comic Art auction to $9,432,650 Feb. 21-23 in Dallas. The auction boasted sell-through rates of 99.5 percent by value and 99.6 percent by lots sold through the world’s largest comics auctioneer.

Frank Frazetta Famous Funnies #209 Cover Original Art (Eastern Color, 1953) drew bids from two dozen hopeful collectors before it closed at $552,000, surpassing its pre-auction estimate of $300,000 by 84 percent. One of just eight Famous Funnies covers the famed artist ever did, it features Buck Rogers and his trusty Sonic Ray Gun, and Wilma Deering, Rogers' equally smart and assertive adventurer, facing certain peril by space goons blocking the only exit from a cave. The image is considered one of the most jaw-droopingly beautiful and graceful full-figure images of a woman ever to grace a comic book cover. The image justified and cemented Frazetta's legendary status as one of the greatest artists of the female form of all time.

“The results of this auction are a reflection of not just the exceptional quality of lots we offer, but also the clients’ base of knowledge,” Heritage Auctions Vice President Todd Hignite said. “That the exceptional lots inspired so many to bid aggressively came as no surprise, and that surge of bidding goes a long way toward explaining these results.”

Similarly competitive bidding also drove Superman #1 (DC, 1939) CGC VG+ 4.5 Cream to off-white pages beyond its estimate before it sold for $336,000. An exceptionally popular issue, it is the first in one of the most popular titles in comic history; this copy is a rarity in exceptionally high demand because it is one of few known copies that has not undergone any restoration. This issue marked the first time a character created for comic books was given his own title.

Unique in the fact that it was both penciled AND inked by Steve Ditko, Strange Tales #117 Splash Page 1 Doctor Strange Original Art (Marvel, 1964) more than doubled its $100,000 pre-auction estimate when it finished at $228,000. Like several of the other top lots, it was heavily pursued, with 33 collectors submitting bids. The issue features Doctor Strange and his own Astral Projection, adding to the demand among collectors.

More than 30 collectors made a play for Dave Gibbons Watchmen #1 Cover Original Art (DC, 1986) before it finally brought $228,000. The cover of the first Watchmen issue remains one of the most recognizable images in the series, in part because the drip of blood on the smiley face button is reminiscent of the hands of a clock striking 12; “time running out” was a recurring theme throughout the series.

An extraordinary copy of the second-most valuable Silver Age issue, The Incredible Hulk #1 (Marvel, 1962) CGC VF/NM 9.0 Off-white to white pages sparked more than 20 bids before it realized $216,000. An absolute rarity in this grade, this issue features the origin and first appearance of the Hulk and supporting characters Rick Jones, Betty Ross and Thunderbolt Ross, with art and cover by Jack Kirby.

Other top lots included, but were not limited to:

Journey Into Mystery #83 (Marvel, 1962) CGC NM 9.4 Off-white to white pages: $144,000
Robert Crumb Help! #24 "Fred the Teen-Age Girl Pigeon" Complete 2-Page Story Original Art (Warren Publishing, 1965): $120,000
Amazing Fantasy #15 (Marvel, 1962) CGC VF- 7.5 Off-white pages: $120,000
John Romita Sr. Amazing Spider-Man Annual #7 Cover Original Art (Marvel, 1970): $87,000
Steve Ditko Strange Tales #117 Story Page 3 Doctor Strange Original Art (Marvel, 1964): $78,000
Pokémon First Edition Base Set Sealed Booster Box (Wizards of the Coast, 1999): $78,000

460.jpgChicago—Potter and Potter Auctions' highly anticipated midwinter sale delivered outstanding temptations as well as sales results.  After a long and exciting day, 80 lots realized $1,000-5,000, 16 lots made $5,001-$9,999, and four lots broke the $10,000 mark!  Prices noted include the company's 20% buyer's premium.

Early 20th magic apparatus caught the eye and imagination of global buyers. One of the top lots in this category - as well as the sale - was #56, Carter the Great’s c. 1910 carved gold leaf wooden table. This item was the centerpiece for many of the magician’s tricks in his illusion show.  It was accompanied by photograph of Carter and Evelyn Maxwell beside the table and a letter of provenance from Carter biographer Mike Caveney. Estimated at $6,000-8,000, it made $10,200.  Lot #16, Harry Blackstone's c. 1930 production screen illusion was estimated at $1,500-2,600 and sold for $8,400. This self-contained trick was made up of a large four-fold black screen with decorative panels accented with flowers and birds; a girl can be produced or vanished from the folds of the screen. And lot #122, a pair of framed Harry Houdini owned Bean Giant handcuffs more than doubled their low estimate to change hands at $9,600.  

Midcentury and contemporary magicana was also well represented in this sale. Collectors were game over lot #159, a handsomely detailed c. 1952 club sized checker cabinet by Okito.  This apparatus enabled the magical transposition of a stack of checkers and a glass full of rice. Estimated at $8,000-12,000, it sold for $13,200. Lot #201, Virgil’s c. 1950 Weird Execution on Mars Space Gun made by Petrie & Lewis topped its high estimate more than five time over to land at $10,800.  In performance, a ribbon fired from this specially modified rifle pierced through the midsection of an assistant’s body without harming her, with a bullet lodging in the target behind her.  Lot #141, Billy McComb’s Whiskey Egg Bag from 1965 significantly beat its $150-250 estimate, selling for $1,440.  This grouping included a cloth bag, three small glasses, a golf ball, and a photograph of the Irish magician using the bag. And lot #54, a c. 2005 jumbo Okito Card Restoration by Dale Pfiester  made $9,000 - six times its low estimate.  This as new apparatus was based on the Willmann/Okito card restorations built in the first quarter of the twentieth century.

This sale dazzled enthusiasts with nearly 100 lots of vintage magic props and materials by legacy manufacturers Thayer and Owen. Lot #296, a 1930s-1940s collection of 130 original cloth “negatives” used to create the famous master blueprints sold through the company's catalogs was estimated at $5,000-7,000 and sold for $13,200. The illusions explained and diagrammed include many of the firm's most famous tricks, including the Mummy Case, Buzz Saw, and Morritt Cage. The devil was in the details with lot #264, a c. 1928 Thayer Satanic Genii Tube. This early, all wooden model with art deco butterfly stencils was estimated at $500-750 and soared to $2,280. And lot #251, a c. 1930s flap die box, was estimated at $200-300 and made $1,020. This round, mahogany box allowed a magician to control the  numbers on the two dice inside even when the box is shaken.  This example, the only one known with this feature, was possibly a prototype or a custom-ordered item. It was most likely turned by Floyd Thayer himself, given the quality of the workmanship. It was owned at one time by The Great Virgil.

Now let's focus on a few noteworthy ephemera highlights from this sale.  Magician related images and autographs were headliners here.  Lot #369, a full-length, framed and inscribed image of  Alexander (Claude Alexander Conlin) - The Man Who Knows - in costume sold for $2,400 on its $500-750 estimate. Lot #445, a 1948 hand colored, half portrait of Okito (Tobias Bamberg) inscribed and signed to Litzka Raymond made $2,040, over four times its high estimate.  Lot #390, an autographed Confucius quotation in the hand of Chung Ling Soo (William Ellsworth Robinson) realized $2,640 on its $500-700 estimate. Lot #395, a 1930s-40s signed real photo postcard of Arnold De Biere delivered $840 on its presale estimate of $150-250. And lot #460, Howard Thurston's c. 1920 stage and trap plot blueprint secured $900.  

Potter & Potter's midwinter magic event came full circle with world class selections of books, posters and broadsides, and other important magic related rarities.  Lot #475, a c. 1908 framed Chung Ling Soo broadside titled From the Land of the Peacock made $8,400 on its $4,000-6,000 estimate.  It was stunningly decorated with a bust portrait of the magician, a Chinese lantern, and a peacock, all surrounded by Chinese trappings and a black border.  Lot #360, a 1929, inscribed and signed first edition Howard Thurston's My Life of Magic was estimated at $400-600 and sold for $1,920.  Lot #5, an as new, c. 2010 bird themed automaton called Le Petit Automate by artist Mike Michaels was estimated at $2,600-3,500 but came to nest at $8,400. And its case closed with lot #497, a leather travel trunk that belonged to Doug Henning. Estimated at $400-600, it took off to $5,280. This well-worn treasure retained its original Eastern Airlines luggage tags bearing Henning’s name and his address in an unknown hand.  

According to Gabe Fajuri, President at Potter & Potter Auctions, "This is a sign of good things to come when we look down the calendar at the next three sales from Jim's amazing collection. There are plenty more surprises in store, and I expect each successive sale to be just as balanced and exciting as this, the first. We were pleased to see spirited bidding in every category in the sale."

Image: Thayer Master Blueprints. Realized $13,200


Dallas, TX - A collection of 50 extraordinary photographs by Norman Seeff of some of the most important figures in pop culture, entertainment and sports is being offered in Heritage Auctions’ Vintage Photographs by Norman Seeff Online Auction March 13.

Online bidding, which is presented in conjunction with the Norman Seeff Archive and Artsy, beginsFeb. 26 on HA.com, and the images will be available for viewing at Heritage Auctions’ Beverly Hills gallery (9478 West Olympic, First Floor, Beverly Hills, Calif., 90212) from Feb. 29 through March 8.

Among the iconic personalities featured in the auction: artist Andy Warhol, actors John Belushi, Dennis Hopper, Jodie Foster and Steve Martin, musicians James Taylor, Ray Charles, Whitney Houston and the Rolling Stones, and athletes like former boxer Ken Norton and former New York Jets quarterback Joe Namath.

“Heritage Auctions is very excited to have our first single-owner online photographs auction in cooperation with the Norman Seeff Archive and Artsy,” Heritage Auctions Photographs Director Nigel Russell said. “The online format gives us the flexibility to host this collection of amazing portraits of 20th century music and entertainment icons.”

For 50 years, Seeff has been the man behind some of the recognizable images of the 20th century. The lots offered  are comprised of these music and pop culture icons encompassing some of Seeff’s most memorable sessions, including works featured on album covers and their outtakes, such as Stage Fright by The Band, Frank Zappa’s Strictly Commercial, Carly Simon’s “Playing Possum” and The Rolling Stones, Exile on Main Street.

“I never fixate on a shot,” Seeff said. “It’s always about a spontaneous unfolding experience. I discovered early on that if I aimed for a particular outcome or goal, the emotional authenticity was lost. Every shot is a one-time moment and then the next one happens spontaneously, so I end up with hundreds of shots that document a chronological sequence of events to when I am able to say ‘we’ve got it, we’re done.’”

The vintage gelatin silver prints, most of which are black-and-white prints, have estimates ranging from $2,000-5,000. Each work is unique and comes directly from Seeff’s archive.

Seeff moved from his native South Africa to New York City in 1968. His photos of people on the streets of Manhattan were discovered by art director and graphic designer Bob Cato, who became a mentor to Seeff and gave him his first major assignment: to produce images for The Band’s 1969 Stage Fright album. The results were so successful that he earned immediate recognition and launched his career as a “rock photographer.”

He relocated in 1971 to Los Angeles, where he became creative director at United Artists Records and soon opened an independent studio on the Sunset Strip, where he created many of his most remarkable images. It wasn’t until the late 1990s, when an assistant went to retrieve film assets from Seeff’s  studio in Studio City, that his archive of gelatin silver prints - overlooked for years due to Seeff’s abounding roster of projects - were rediscovered.

WW Leaves of Grass 1 copy.jpgNew York — Walt Whitman’s astonishing copy of Leaves of Grass highlights Bonhams sale of Extraordinary Books and Manuscripts on March 12 (estimate: $200,000-300,000). This is the first editition, first issue, and signed by Whitman in block letters on the title page, as it was presented by Whitman to William Linton. Leaves of Grass is the only work of modern literature included in Printing and the Mind of Man--the landmark catalogue of the most influential printed works in history--where it is justly called “America's second Declaration of Independence.”

Very few signed copies of the first edition exist, and this copy, attested to as Whitman's personal cloth-bound copy and called his “working copy” by one of the great collectors of the 20th century is unique among them, not only for its provenance and block-lettered signature, but also for being in the first-state of the binding. The provenance is remarkable: given from Whitman to William James Linton, the noted English artist who engraved Whitman’s portrait for the 1876 edition of Leaves, to Frederick W. Skiff, the great bibiliophile and Americana expert, who then sold this copy and in 1942 to Estelle Doheny, the greatest female book collector of the 20th century.  
 
Additional highlights include:
    •    Sir Isaac Newton’s copy of John Greaves Pyramidographia, which was published in London 1646 (estimate: $50,000-70,000). This was an important book on measurement from the Library of Isaac Newton - used by Newton in his investigations of gravity.
    •    The first Western typographical printing of the I-Ching in any language printed in Stuttgart and Tubingen: J.G. Cotta, 1834-1839 (estimate: $40,000-60,000). This is a pristine, uncut copy of a Chinese classic - a cornerstone of both Taoism and Confucianism.
    •    A fascinating archive of artwork and letters from Harper Lee (1926-2016), with an inscribed first edition of To Kill a Mockingbird (estimate: $20,000-30,000). The archive includes rare caricutures by the famed author, the first Harper Lee artwork offered at auction - a rare glimpe of the writer pre-Mockingbird, and traverses the years to a searing letter on the monetization of Mockingbird in Monroeville, 1993.

Image: Whitman, Walt. 1819-1892. Leaves of Grass. Brooklyn: [Printed for the author], 1855. Estimate: $200,000-300,000


Los Angeles - John Lennon’s fascination with aliens and UFOs has been well documented throughout his life. As a member of one of the most famous bands of all time, The Beatles, Lennon often talked about his belief in alien life and even wrote about it. From his earlier years with wife Cynthia to his sighting in New York over the East River in 1974, the Beatles member continued to be mesmerized with life in space, even as much as to site visitations from aliens when he was with Yoko Ono.  On March 30, 2019, Kruse GWS Auctions will offer an extraordinary collection of John Lennon’s personal drawings and Sci-Fi magazines, long collected by an old friend who shared his passion.
 
On July 6, 1957, a fellow Liverpoolian befriended Lennon when he was performing as part of the Quarrymen, the group that eventually evolved into The Beatles. The band appeared in Woolten Village in Liverpool.
 
The young man shared a fascination with space and would strike up a conversation with John who was looking through a UFO magazine. From there on, the friendship would continue on for decades and John and the gentleman exchanged letters, drawings, opinions, and magazines about UFOs, space and all things extraterrestrial.  During this time, John Lennon would send his new friend drawings and some of his personal science fiction books and magazines, all of which was kept throughout the gentlemen’s life and even after Lennon moved to the U.S.  The drawings and magazines to be auctioned for the very first time are now being offered by the man’s stepson who has also chronicled the story of the unlikely friendship.
 
There are four drawings done in crayon and pencil and date to the 1950s and early 1960s. The drawings along with the collection of personal sci-fi books and magazines represent a passion of a member of the world’s most famous band - The Beatles.
 
Two of the pieces being offered are in red crayon, early examples of his characteristic line drawings. One appears to be someone smoking a marijuana joint, while the back side features a character possessing an excessively large nose and sad face.  The other captures two inversed smiling faces, a kind of yin and yang, staring at each other. The other two drawings are done in pencil and apparently drew inspiration from his first wife, Cynthia. In one drawing a UFO is seen flying above her head and the the word “Cyn” on it and John’s initials ‘JL’ incorporated into the illustration.
 
The second pencil drawing again captures Cynthia, and this time, displays John's full initials of 'JWL’ (John Winston Lennon).  Lennon’s personal Sci-Fi magazine collection includes Science Fiction Analog and New Worlds Science Fiction. Each drawing will be accompanied by a copy of the letter received from the stepson describing the two’s lifelong friendship.
 
As the flying saucer drawing and science fiction collection attest, Lennon had long been obsessed with aliens and outer space fantasies. His fixation on ET visits and claims of alien abduction culminated in his most infamous sighting, when he saw a UFO from his balcony fly over the East River on August 23, 1974.
 
In 1974, John and his lover May Pang (during his separation from Yoko) were living in an apartment overlooking New York’s East River, when John saw what he described as a UFO.  Lennon went on to describe it along with its path and May Pang has been noted as saying John screamed out the window “wait - take me with you.”
 
The drawings will be offered in museum quality glass and frames and sold individually, and the sci-fi collection will be sold in one lot. The crayon drawings measure 4.5" x 3" and 4" x 3.25" and the pencil pieces are 8.5" x 6" and 5.5" x 3.5."
 
To register or for more info, please visit: www.gwsauctions.com

British Counter Terrorism Palestine Booklet 56521a_lg.jpegLos Angeles - Three scarce British pamphlets ranging from 1936 to 1946 will be auctioned by Nate D. Sanders Auctions on June 28, 2018.

British Air Force Booklet

In 1936, the British Air Force published a booklet entitled, “Notes on Tactical Lessons of the Palestine Rebellion.”  The booklet was published in Jerusalem and was marked secret. It was a response to the 1936 Arab Revolt due to the perceived response by the British government to the early insurgency. The 18-page booklet gives tactical directives to British pilots in response to the uprising, described as ''armed bands and saboteurs in hill country and rural districts, directed against the civil organization, armed forces, Jewish interests and road, rail and telegraph communications.'' Air tactics are presented including how to locate and hit the enemy with machine gun and bomb attacks. The last section of the booklet outlines various attacks by Arab groups in Palestine during the summer of 1936.

Bidding begins at $1,750.

Additional Information can be found at https://natedsanders.com/British_Air_Force_Booklet_Written_in_Response_to_t-LOT51492.aspx

White Paper of 1939 Booklet

The booklet being auctioned is an original printing of the White Paper of 1939- Britain’s controversial policy towards Palestine from 1939 until the United Nations took over in 1948. The 12-page booklet was “Presented by the Secretary of State for the Colonies to Parliament.” The Palestine Statement of Policy was heavily influenced not only by the three-year-long Arab revolt in Palestine but more recently by the failed London Conference between Arabs and Jews in March 1939. Within the White Paper, the intention of creating ''a national home for the Jewish people'' is stated, with an independent Palestine to be established within ten years governed jointly by Arabs and Jews. Jewish immigration is also delineated, limited to 75,000 over five years, with subsequent numbers dependent upon Arab consent. The policy, officially adopted by the British government on May 23, 1939, was almost immediately rejected by both Arab and Jewish groups.

Bidding begins at $3,000.

Additional information can be found at https://natedsanders.com/__White_Paper_of_1939______Original_Printing_of_th-LOT51494.aspx

Rare 1946 British Counter-Terrorism Pamphlet for Palestine 

This pamphlet was published by the British ''Headquarters, Chief Engineer, Palestine and Transjordan'' in December 1946 and was entitled, “Palestine Pamphlet / Terrorist Methods With Mines and Booby Traps.” The 38-page booklet is both an instruction manual on how to detonate various types of mines and booby traps, and also a history of terrorist activity in 1946 undertaken by Jewish groups. Plates of multiple attacks are included, such as the partially destroyed King David Hotel in July 1946, and the demolished building in the David Quarter, Jerusalem, bombed in November 1946. Of that attack, the booklet reads, ''This incident is included for its illustration of the extreme methods which Jewish Terrorists may employ when planning deliberate murder.'' All seven plates are present, including the frontispiece showing a British soldier ''Disarming a Jewish Wooden Box Mine.''

Bidding begins at $2,800.

Additional information on the booklet can be found at 
https://natedsanders.com/Rare_British_Counter_Terrorism_Pamphlet_for_Palest-LOT51493.aspx

IMG_0386 copy.jpgTennants Auctioneers’ Book Sale on 15th March sees the sale of two Scientific works that set the stage for important breakthroughs in the understanding of the physical world. 

The first is an authorial gift copy of an extremely rare essay containing the first description of photosynthesis. Written by John Ingen-Housz FRS, An Essay on the Food of Plants and the Renovation of Soils was printed in 1796 in the Appendix to Outlines of the Fifteenth Chapter of the Proposed General Report From the Board of Agriculture on the Subject of Manures. This essay is one of the great "misplaced chapters" in the history of science. John Ingen-Housz was a brilliant 18th-century chemist, biologist and physiologist, but his most enduring contribution to science was in the discovery of the mechanism of photosynthesis. The origin of carbon in plants was not yet fully understood, the then-current theory being that it was taken from the soil by the roots. Ingen-Housz showed carbon dioxide in the air was responsible. There are two other known editions of this work, the first a German translation, is dismissed by Ingen-Housz biographer Dr Julius Wiesner as "considerably flawed", whilst Dr Bay's private reprint of 1933 omits all Ingen-Housz's marginal notes. Whilst there are some few copies of the work in institution libraries, only one has been traced at auction. Estimate: £800-1,000 plus buyer’s premium. 

Secondly is a first edition of A New System of Chemical Philosophy, written by John Dalton and published in three volumes in the early 19th century. Dalton's major contribution to the study of science was an insistence on the significance of relative atomic weights. Dalton believed that all matter was composed of indestructible and indivisible atoms of various weights, each weight corresponding to one of the chemical elements, and that these atoms remained unchanged during chemical processes. This led to his creation of the first periodic table and created the first scientific theory of the atom, based on experimentation. Dalton's work was not without flaws, in part owing to the quality of this tools, but it shaped scientific thinking and laid the groundwork for Mendelev's table. Estimate: £3,000-4,000 plus buyer’s premium. 

Also on offer in the sale is a fascinating insight into the abuses of the Porto Wine Trade in 1829 by a Commercial Investigator. The author of this intriguing work is unknown, but he was sent by a ‘Mr Lancaster’ to investigate fraud committed against him by the Porto wine trade. This journal is principally a record of the agent's findings, with digressions for sight-seeing and a letter home to his family. By this time the British monopoly, symbolised by the British Factory building, had been broken by the Portugese regulatory powers granted to the Douro Wine Company. The long and detailed breakdown of the operations of the farmers, Douro Wine Company and the English Factory covers the erratic approval process, the dubious storage mechanisms and the mixing of bad wine with good (the 1818 and 1825 vintages being especially poor) which led to the buyer not being sure about the vintage they were buying. The agent describes the splitting of the production into three: home consumption, lucrative export to Brazil, and the remaining third for the British market - all at different prices. There are several pages of probing questions and the answers he received and more on wine-growing districts and the controllers of the Company. The whole has an air of cloak and dagger - he writes about sending letters via a local agent who can get them without interception by the packet agent and about being advised not to go into the farming country because of the danger - but still has time to record the sights and experiences of travel. By the end, he is clearly seeking an exit, writing about his fatigue, before recounting a harrowing triple hanging he saw from his window. Estimate: £150-250 plus buyer’s premium. 

A charming surprise is hidden at the end of a rather unassuming 19th century scrapbook. Mostly containing hand-written poetry, coloured drawings, sketches and the like - the last page contains a marvel of papercraft. A painted roundel of a cottage is in reality a metamorphic novelty - a concertina-cut pull up that reveals a paper cut-out of a mouse on a black and white floor. Estimate: £200-300 plus buyer’s premium. 

A fully illustrated catalogue for the Books, Maps & Ephemera Sale will be available on our website, www.tennants.co.uk leading up to the sale, alternatively, please contact the salerooms for further details. 

Image:  A papercraft roundel of a house and a mouse

pacioli press release image.JPGNew York - Christie’s is thrilled to announce the auction of Luca Pacioli’s Summa de arithmetica as a single-lot auction titled Summa de Arithmetica: The Birth of Modern Business directly preceding the Fine Books & Printed Manuscripts sale on 12 June 2019 at Christie’s New York (estimate: $1,000,000-1,500,000). Pacioli’s book, published in 1494, codified the mathematical foundations of our modern and technological world. It includes mathematics, computing, and is the first published description of double-entry book-keeping. Pacioli was among the earliest to recognize the study of economics as a liberal art and this work is the first practical how-to book on succeeding in business. The Summa de arithmetica will be toured to London from 21-27 February, New York from 7-10 March, San Francisco in April and Hong Kong in May ahead of the auction on 12 June in New York.

In writing the Summa de arithmetica, Pacioli sought to include all the mathematical knowledge available at the close of the 15th century, which saw the European adoption of Hindu-Arabic mathematics and its synthesis with rediscovered ancient Greek knowledge. Pacioli was also collaborator and friend of the famed artist and inventor Leonardo da Vinci. The two shared a home in Milan for five years where they worked together on mathematics and perspective for several productive years   that included Leonardo’s creation of The Last Supper, until both were forced to flee following the French invasion.

Christina Geiger, Head of Books & Manuscripts, New York states “Pacioli’s achievement is one of the great untold stories of the Renaissance. As Leonardo and others made revolutionary strides in art, and Machiavelli did for politics, so too did Pacioli for business. From double-entry bookkeeping to probability theory and computing, the mathematical principles of the most vital features of contemporary finance are all present in the Summa de arithmetica.

Pacioli’s Summa represents the pinnacle of mathematical knowledge in the Renaissance, when the forgotten wisdom of the past was brought up-to-date with Islamic and Indian science—all in service of human life and flourishing. Pacioli’s work is an icon not just of Renaissance learning, but of the history of human knowledge.

Image: Luca PACIOLI (1447-1517). Somma di arithmetica, geometria, proporzioni e proporzionalità. Venice: Paganinus de Paganinis, November 1494. Estimate: $1,000,000 - 1,500,000

 

Lot 57-Carrera copy.jpgNew York -- Early manuscripts, incunabula and post-incunabula lead Swann Galleries’ sale of Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books on March 7.  

Illuminated manuscripts make an impression with a Prayer Book in Latin and French on vellum, France, 1530s-40s, featuring 20 large and 15 smaller miniature illustrations in color and gold. The prayer book was possibly executed for a Benedictine abbess shown in one of the miniatures, and leads the sale with an estimate of $20,000 to $30,000. Additional decorated works include a mid-fifteenth-century Book of Hours in Latin on vellum, France, with full floral borders surrounding each of 12 miniatures, and a mid-fifteenth-century Book of Hours in Dutch on vellum, Northern Netherlands, (Estimate: $15,000-20,000 and $8,00-12,000, respectively). 

Science and medical publications include first editions of George Agricola’s most important writings on geology, mineralogy and mining, and his monograph on ancient Greek and Roman weights and measures: De ortu & causis subterraneorum Lib. V bound with De mensuris & ponderibus Romanorum atque Graecorum Lib. V, Basel, 1546, 1550, ($6,000-9,000); as well as a first edition of Frederick Ruysch’s Icon durae matris in concave [convexa] superficie visae, Amsterdam, 1737-38, with two color mezzotints by Jan Ladmiral of the outermost membrane of a human brain.

Incunabula is led by a handsome wide-margined copy of Lectura super V libris Decretalium, Basil, 1477, by Nicolaus Panormitanus de Tudeschis, part five of six of the commentary on the Decretals of Gregory IX which contains the portions on marriage and criminal procedure ($4,000-6,000). Saint Thomas Aquinas’ Quaestiones de duodecim quodlibet, Venice, 1476, and a first edition of Arbor vitae crucifixae Jesu Christi, Venice, 1485, by Ubertinus de Casali ensure a stand out section ($3,000-4,000 and $3,000-5,000, respectively).

Additional highlights include a first Ibarra edition of Cervantes’s El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha … Nueva Edición, corregida por la Real Academia Española, Madrid, 1780, in four volumes. The work has been called “The finest edition of Don Quixote that has ever been printed,” and carries an estimate of $8,000 to $12,000. Il Gioco de gli Scacchi, Militello, 1617, by Pietro Carrera, a first edition of one of the scarcest early Italian chess manuals, and the first book printed in Militello, is expected to bring $4,000 to $6,000; Michel de Nostradamus’s The True Prophecies or Prognostications, first complete edition in English, London, 1672, comes across the block at $2,500 to $3,500; and a first edition of Medices legatus de exsilio, Venice, 1522, by Petrus Alcyonius, recounting two imaginary dialogues between Giovanni and Giulio de’ Medici in 1512 on the subject of exile. The two were later exiled from Florence along with their nephew Lorenzo ($2,000-3,000). 

Exhibition opening in New York City March 2. The complete catalogue and bidding information is available at www.swanngalleries.com and on the Swann Galleries App.

Additional highlights can be found here.

Image: Lot 57: Pietro Carrera, Il Gioco de gli Scacchi, first edition, Militello, 1617. Estimate $4,000 to $6,000.

EINSTEIN GOD LETTER IN ENGLISH copy.jpgNew York -- Bonhams announces the seventh installment collector Eric C. Caren's voluminous collection of How History Unfolds on Paper, an online-only sale from March 6-14, with an exhibition in the New York galleries March 7-11. The collection begins in the 17th century and covers 4 centuries of American and world history, focusing primarily on letters, documents, and printed media. 

Highlighting the sale is an Albert Einstein letter written to a young U.S. Naval Officer near the end of World War II (estimate: $100,000-200,000). The young man had written to Einstein relaying a conversation he'd had with a Jesuit priest who claimed he had convinced the scientist to believe in a "supreme intellect which governs the universe."  Rather than his usual cagey response, Einstein admits that he has always been an atheist, but that the world is indeed wondrous: "We have to admire in humility the beautiful harmony of the structure of the world--as far as we can grasp it.  And that is all."  The letter includes its original envelope, and copies of the original outgoing correspondence.

From America's pre-Revolutionary War period, two highlights include examples of patriot Paul Revere's artwork: a first issue of his famous engraving of Boston Harbor, published in a 1770 Boston almanac (estimate: $15,000-25,000); and a rare variant of his even more famous engraving of the Boston Massacre showing British soldiers firing on American colonists (estimate: $8,000-12,000).

An important Revolutionary War highlight is the military commission appointing Benjamin Lincoln as Major General of the Army of the United States, signed by John Hancock as President of the Continental Congress (estimate: $60,000-90,000). Issued in February 1777, the appointment was signed at Baltimore during the brief window of time that city served as the nation's capital.  Interestingly, this appointment as Major General (one of 5 suggested by George Washington), provoked jealousy and outrage in Benedict Arnold, who was not one of the 5 promoted, and who nursed a grudge which likely led him to betray his country a short while later.

Further highlights include reportage of Alexander Hamilton's duel with Aaron Burr, providing both an account of the tragic event and printing the correspondence exchanged between the two in the run up. Most devastatingly for Burr, the paper prints Hamilton's message to his family, in which he announces his intention to throw away his shot (and make Burr look the villain) (estimate: $3,000-5000); two remarkable broadsides from the War of 1812: a Baltimore paper's first hand account of the bombardment of Fort McHenry (estimate: $8,000-12,000), and a rare, early printing of the full lyrics of the "Star Spangled Banner" (estimate: $8,000-12,000).

The sale also offers several items of Mormon interest, including a fine copy of the 1830 first edition of the Book of Mormon (estimate: $40,000-60,000), and an 1844 letter from an early church member relaying a first-hand account of Joseph Smith's last words to his flock before his death at the hands of a mob (estimate: $10,000-15,000).

From the realm of sports, the collection offers the earliest known newspaper coverage of Babe Ruth (estimate: $6,000-9,000). In an April 4, 1914 issue of the Baltimore News, as the Babe's first professional season with the Orioles got underway, the newspaper emphasized the young player's prowess as a pitcher, not a batter, reporting that the "St. Mary's schoolboy is going to do plenty of twirling."  Not long after this story appeared, Ruth was traded to the Red Sox, who would infamously trade him to the Yankees after only 2 years.

Image: Einstein "God Letter" in English. Einstein, Albert. 1879-1955. Estimate: $100,000-200,000

Lot 20-Hallo.jpgNew York-Swann Galleries’ February 7 sale of Vintage Posters saw numerous firsts and records. Nicholas D. Lowry, Swann President, noted, “Lively bidding for ski posters and Art Nouveau images set the pace for an enthusiastic auction where eager bidders drove prices high for rare examples. Collectors dominated the activity.”

The sale was led by Alphonse Mucha’s Documents Décoratifs, 1902, a complete portfolio with 72 plates displaying examples of jewelry, furniture and silverware, as well as illustrations of how to draw women and flowers. The portfolio, which prominently displayed Mucha’s stylistic expertise, reached $18,750. Other notable works by the artist included Rêverie, 1897, which sold for $8,125; Biscuits Lefèvre - Utile, 1897, The Seasons, 1896, a group of four decorative panels on fabric, and The Times of the Day / Éveil du Matin, 1899, each earning $7,500.

Additional Art Nouveau posters included records for La Garonne, 1898, a whimsical image by Arthur Foäche, at $5,460, and The Studio, 1899, by Frank Brangwyn, with $5,000. Louis J. Rhead’s colorful image, Le Journal de la Beauté, 1897, originally commissioned by La Plume, sold for $6,750.

Firsts at auction included a 1927 advertisement for the Stockholm premier of Josephine Baker’s La Sirène des Tropiques, which featured Baker in her “pearl and feather” costume, and brought $9,750; Gli Avvisi Delle Officine G. Ricordi E C., a complete portfolio with 70 plates, by G. Ricordi celebrating the rise of the poster in Italy, was won for $7,500; and Walter L. Greene’s circa 1924 oil painting for the cover of The GE Monogram garnered $6,500.

Posters promoting travel to popular ski destinations proved successful, with Emil Cardinaux’s Palace Hotel St. Moritz, 1922, depicting an alpine round of golf and picnic, brought $5,500, and Jungfrau Bahn / Berneroberland, Schweiz, a 1919 German advertisement showing a group of skiers overlooking Aletsch Glacier in the Alps, earned $5,000. A Chamonix - Mont Blanc, 1927, by Alo (Charles Hallo), a lively image of a mid-air skier, set a record with $5,000.

The next auction of Vintage Posters at Swann Galleries will be held on May 23 with Graphic Design. Visit www.swanngalleries.com or download the Swann Galleries app for catalogues, bidding and inquiries.

Additional highlights can be found here.

Image: Lot 20: Alo, Charles Hallo, A Chamonix - Mont Blanc, 1927. Sold for $5,000, a record for the work.

Federalist Heritage copy.jpgDallas, Texas - A rare copy of The Federalist: A Collection of Essays, Written in Favour of the New Constitution and an extraordinary collection of more than 230 mystery fiction books from the owner of the world’s oldest and largest premiere mystery specialist bookstore, headline Heritage Auctions’ Rare Books Auction March 6 in New York.

Popularly referred to as The Federalist Papers, the two-volume set is considered by American historians as the cornerstone of the new nation’s theory of government. The essays are attributed to founding fathers Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay.

The Federalist Papers were written as part of an effort to get the New York delegation to ratify the Constitution - it made the case for Federalism and sought to convince the citizens of the states,” Heritage Auctions Rare Books Director James Gannon said. “Probably around 500 copies were printed, and this example is particularly rare because it’s still in the publisher’s boards. You just don’t find them like this.”

A Maurice Sendak “Moo-Reese” Tabletop Cow (estimate $75,000+) was drawn and painted in 2000 by Sendak, with help from Lynn Caponera. As a part of the “Cow Parade” in New York, Chicago and Zurich, Sendak was invited to decorate a full-sized cow, but chose instead to use this one, which measures 27 inches long. The molded plaster figure, decorated in pencil and water color with multiple characters from the popular children’s book Where the Wild Things Are, was sold at a 2003 fundraiser to support the Chicago Opera Theater.

Otto Penzler won an Edgar Award as co-author of the Encyclopedia of Mystery and Detection, founded The Mysterious Press and owns The Mysterious Bookshop in New York. His collection of mystery fiction is considered among the most extensive in the world.

“Otto Penzler is among the most important book collectors anywhere, and is a fixture in the mystery books community,” Gannon said. “He has spent a lifetime assembling an incredible collection, and his decision to bring them to auction represents a rare opportunity for serious book collectors to acquire some incredible volumes.”

Among the top lots from the Penzler collection:

·         A rare first edition in the original first printing dustjacket of Dashiell Hammett’s Red Harvest (estimate: $60,000+) prompted Penzler himself to call it the world’s best copy

·         Raymond Chandler’s 1939 The Big Sleep (estimate: $30,000+) is a first edition signed by Chandler on the front free endpaper with the note “With kindest regards.” Donald A. Yates’ copy, in an exceptional dust jacket, features his own signature in ink.

·         Dashiell Hammett The Maltese Falcon (estimate: $30,000+) is a first edition and perhaps the highspot of the hard-boiled canon. The first book to feature Sam Spade, it was adapted for the screen four times; the third and best-known version, which was shot in 1941, starred Humphrey Bogart and Mary Astor, and was directed by John Huston.

·         Dashiell Hammett The Dain Curse (estimate: $25,000+) is another first edition that is difficult to locate in a nice jacket, especially one that is unrestored. The author’s second book and the final Continental Op novel, it originally was published in four parts in Black Mask from November 1928 to February 1929.

·         A first edition association copy, inscribed for literature professor Donald A. Yates, Raymond Chandler Farewell, My Lovely (estimate: $20,000+) is the author’s follow-up to The Big Sleep. It is the second title featuring Philip Marlowe but the first to reach the big screen, when it was released in 1944 as “Murder, My Sweet.”

·         Hammett’s $106,000 Blood Money is an original paperback first edition (estimate: $20,000+) that combines “The Big Knockover” and “$106,000 Blood Money” into a single novel. This association copy is inscribed by Hammett to Lillian Hellman: “To Lillian - on the occasion / of one of her birthdays / Dashiell (nothing is too good for the ‘ little woman) Hammett / June 20, 1943” in a note written just five days after publication.

·         Edgar A[llan]. Poe. Tales (estimate: $12,000+) is a first edition, first printing. A remarkably clean copy, it includes bookplates of Edwin Marion Cox (identified in the holdings of Penn Libraries) and Michael Sadleir, an English author and noted book collector known for his 19th-century British Fiction collection at UCLA and his Gothic Romance collection at the University of Virginia.

Other top lots include, but are not limited to:

·         David Roberts The Holy Land, Syria, Idumea, Arabia, Egypt & Nubia (estimate: $30,000+)

·         Ludwig Bemelmans’ Madeline in London: A Little Sunshine, A Little Rain (estimate: $20,000+)

·         Harper Lee. To Kill a Mockingbird. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott Company, [1960] (estimate: $15,000)

·         J. R. R. Tolkien. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, comprising: The Fellowship of the Ring (estimate: $12,000)

·         Lewis Carroll. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. London: Macmillan, 1874 (estimate: $7,500)

Heritage Auctions’ Rare Books Auction Featuring The Otto Penzler Collection of Mystery Fiction, Part One will take place March 6 in New York.+

Philadelphia - Declared by the National Register of Historic Places to be “a noteworthy representative of a peculiar residential building type prevalent in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century period of American architecture,” Virginia House was the permanent residence of American diplomat Alexander Weddell (1876-1948) and his wife Virginia Chase Steedman Weddell (1874-1948). Their 16th century English manor was originally constructed as “Hawk’s Nest” by Thomas Hawkins (aka Fisher) in Warwick, England out of materials salvaged from the Warwick Priory; it was saved from demolition by the Weddells, who ultimately deconstructed and shipped the predominantly Tudor house overseas to Virginia where it was reassembled and modified in the late 1920s.

An amalgam of architectural styles, the house is also furnished eclectically, enhanced by furniture, textiles and decorative arts hailing from different geographical regions that were acquired during the Weddells’ personal and professional travels. Relatively unchanged since the Weddells’ untimely death in 1948, the house remains a time capsule -- a glimpse back to an era when affluent Americans adopted a Eurocentric aesthetic for their homes, grounds and gardens. Perhaps moreso though, the house’s furnishings are imbued with personal meaning, remaining as souvenirs of the couple’s stays in foreign and exotic regions such as India, Mexico City, Argentina, and Spain, as dictated by Mr. Weddell’s shifting ambassadorial duties.

In 1907, Weddell secured appointment as secretary to the minister to Denmark, beginning a successful career in Foreign Service punctuated by appointments to Zanzibar, Sicily, Beirut, Athens, Cairo. Later in Calcutta, Weddell met his future wife, Virginia Atkinson Chase, who was at the time on a round-the-world tour with her friends. Bonding over their mutual love of travel, history, art and collecting, the couple began a whirlwind romance that culminated in their marriage in 1923. Weddell opted to retire from the Foreign Service in 1928 after a four year stint in Mexico City, he was called out of retirement in 1933 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who appointed him Ambassador to Argentina and then to Spain. Weddell retired permanently in 1942, and the couple then returned to Virginia and to their permanent home, Virginia House, which Alexander fondly named after his beloved wife.Through the Weddells’ remarkable travels they lovingly assembled a cohesive and impressive collection of English, Spanish, Ottoman, and Latin American furniture, decorative arts, and paintings, as well as silver, Southeast Asian bronzes, Gothic and Renaissance sculpture, Brussels and Mortlake tapestries, carpets, and textiles. Enamored of the erudite and genteel English country life, Alexander built a refined and extensive library of early manuscripts and reference texts in the gentlemanly tradition, while Virginia developed a very fine collection of English and Spanish embroideries, French and Italian silks and velvets, and ecclesiastical vestments to furnish their home and upholster their antiques. Furniture highlights from the collection include a fine Spanish Baroque walnut and giltwood vargueño on stand, a rare Elizabethan marquetry oak court cupboard, an exceptional late Elizabethan/early Jacobean carved oak court cupboard, and a very early Ottoman inlaid walnut chest circa 1400. Of special note are a group of Himalayan bronze, copper alloy, and carved wood Buddhist works of art, collected by the Weddells on their travels in India and China. The earliest works date to the 15th century and include a fine figure of Buddha with elaborate engraved robe, and two large Nepalese figures of bodhisattvas. Ottoman silver and tombak; Russian niello snuffboxes from the period of Catherine the Great; and English, French, American, and Mexican silver are also represented.

The Weddells carefully chose paintings that complemented the Jacobean interiors of their home, and foremost among them are an impressive Jacobean portrait of an English nobleman and his child, thought to be Sir Francis Clarke and his daughter Dorothy; a period portrait of Sir Henry Norris, Baron of Rycote; as well as a rare portrait of a female courtier by German artist Franz Kessler, executed in 1620. During their time in South America, the couple also brought home several fine examples of the Spanish Colonial School. Of particular note is a 17th century painting done in the style of the Cusco School that the Weddells purchased in Lima, Peru in 1937. The work depicts the Death of the Virgin, surrounded by numerous mourning saints dressed in richly decorated gold brocaded robes.

In 1929, Virginia House was presented by the Weddells to the Virginia Historical Society, where Alexander served as President, under an agreed lifetime tenancy. Following the Weddells’ tragic and unexpected deaths in a train accident on New Year’s Day 1948, the Historical Society took ownership and management of the property, serving as faithful stewards of the house and collection for seventy years. Virginia House has remained open to the public as a historic house museum, and in 2017 the Historical Society’s board of trustees approved a plan to increase the use of Virginia House with a focus on donor stewardship, public and private events, and interpretive programs. The Historical Society has partnered with Freeman’s to assist in the thoughtful deaccessioning of items unrelated to the mission of the Virginia Museum of History and Culture, the Historical Society’s primary accessioning institution. Proceeds from the sale will be placed in a restricted fund for the preservation of the property’s historic structures and landscape features and the acquisition and direct care of collections used to interpret the site and the extraordinary story of Alexander and Virginia Weddell.

Exhibition: 

Thursday & Friday, April 04 & 05: 10am-5pm

Saturday & Sunday, April 06 & 07: 12pm-5pm

Monday & Tuesday, April 08 & 09: 10am-5pm

By appointment only on the morning of the sale

Auction:

Wednesday, April 10, 2019: 10 am

138.jpgFalls Church, Virginia - A letter written by Abraham Lincoln in the early days of the Civil War, a document from 1793 signed by Washington and Jefferson; and a rare first-edition copy of Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852) are a few of the highlight lots in a February 28 auction to be hosted by the Waverly Rare Books division of Quinn’s Auction Galleries. Start time is 6 p.m. Eastern, and all forms of bidding will be available, including absentee, phone and live LiveAuctioneers.

The one-page Lincoln letter, framed and handwritten on Executive Mansion stationery, was penned on June 10, 1861, just two months after the firing on Fort Sumter. Lincoln writes to Captain John Adolphus Dahlgren (1809-1870), asking about the possible government purchase of a new gun. He signs it, “Yours truly, A. Lincoln.” The letter should command $6,000-$8,000.

The 1793 document, signed by George Washington as President and Thomas Jefferson as Secretary of State, regards the appointment of Thomas Benbury to “Inspector of the Revenue for Survey Number Two in the District of North Carolina,” just a week before Benbury’s death. Affixed with the Seal of the United States and nicely framed, the document has an estimate of $5,000-$7,000.

The first-edition, first-printing copy of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s classic book Uncle Tom’s Cabin (or, Life Among the Lowly), is expected to reach $3,000-$5,000. Published in 1852 by John P. Jewett & Co. (Cleveland, Ohio), the book includes several anomalies (example: it says “cathecism” rather than “catechism”). It has a modern, tan leather binding, with the book’s title on the spine.

Also among books pertaining to Black Americana and slavery, a first-edition copy of Frederick Douglass’s My Bondage and My Freedom (Miller, Orton & Mulligan, 1855), should knock down $800-$1,200. With an introduction by Dr. James McCune Smith, the book shows the ownership inscription of Mrs. Mary Huntington (Mexico, N.Y.) and is dated 1855.

Items pertaining to the Kennedys seem to hold endless fascination for collectors. A 1961 inaugural-edition hardback copy of John F. Kennedy’s best-selling book Profiles in Courage (Harper & Brothers, N.Y.), with dust jacket, carries a pre-sale estimate of $400-$600. The book is inscribed: “For Betty Osborn - with every good wish,” possibly written by JFK’s secretary.

Jackie Kennedy memorabilia often has more value than items directly connected to JFK, as is the case with her black lace mantilla (or head scarf), which is expected to realize $1,000-$2,000. The 60-inch by 23-inch mantilla is from the collection of Mary B. Gallagher, Jackie’s personal secretary, secretary to John F. Kennedy when he was a U.S. Senator, and the author of My Life with Jacqueline Kennedy. 

A pair of Confederate Civil War diaries is being offered as one lot, with an estimate of $1,000-$2,000. One, from 1862, is presumed to be that of Private John Carpenter, who writes with clarity and immediacy about the battles of Fredericksburg, Antietam and Pickett’s Brigade. The other one, from 1865, is from Private H.H. Ewbank and contains notes about the post-war period.

A first-edition copy of The Gospel According to Saint John, one of 2,000 copies printed by the British and Foreign Bible Society (London, 1804), with text in English and Mohawk on facing pages, should fetch $800-$1,200. According to the book, “The translator was a young educated Mohawk named Teyoninhokarawen, commonly called John Norton.” 

A Ronald Reagan briefing sheet, signed by Reagan and dated August 11, 1988, is expected to make $200-$400. The matted sheet measures 24 inches by 18 inches and reads, “START: Are we better off with a START agreement?” Below that Reagan inscribes, “Yes. Ronald Reagan.” From the Reagan Foundation’s diary entry: “A fruitful meeting with the Joint Chiefs of Staff.”

One lot containing more than 40 photographs from the Secret Service archives carries a pre-sale estimate of $200-$400. The photos are of historical luminaries including Presidents Jimmy Carter, Calvin Coolidge, Dwight Eisenhower, Woodrow Wilson, Herbert Hoover, John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft and Harry Truman.

The Feb. 28, 2019 Presidential & Americana Auction will be held at Quinn’s gallery, 360 S. Washington St., Falls Church, Virginia. Bid live at the gallery, by phone, absentee, or live via the Internet through LiveAuctioneers. For preview hours, please consult the company’s website, www.quinnsauction.com. The gallery is closed on Sundays.

For additional information about any item, 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 online at: http://www.quinnsauction.com

Image: Lot 138, First-edition, first-printing copy of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin (or, Life Among the Lowly), published in 1852 by John P. Jewett & Co. (Cleveland, Ohio), est. $3,000-$5,000

gclmmjkibimagdod.jpgNew York-Swann Galleries’ March 5 auction boasts property from the Ismar Littmann Family Collection, a 160-lot offering of German Expressionism and European Avant-Garde. The afternoon session of 19th & 20th Century Prints & Drawings features an array of works from notable Modern, nineteenth-century and American artists.

Compiled in a separate catalogue, the Littmann offering celebrates a singular collector. Ismar Littmann began collecting in the 1910s, and his habits and tastes were individual and contemporary to the time-a parallel to the independent spirit of the Breslau art scene. The personal relationships he held with the artists, particularly Otto Mueller, had a deep influence on him and resulted in a collection with depth and insight, consisting of not only works of art, but correspondence between the collector and artists. By the end of the 1920s Littmann had acquired more than 6,000 works. The Nazis’ rise to power put a strain on the collector’s livelihood as well as art patronage, and much of the collection was lost or destroyed. Littmann’s combined financial and personal losses, as well as the overwhelming persecution of his faith and culture, led him to commit suicide in September of 1934. Littmann’s eldest son was able to immigrate to the United States with a portion of the family collection that same year. These works, along with additional pieces sent later, have since remained with the family. Swann Galleries is very pleased and honored to have been trusted with the historic offering.  

Notable lots include Otto Mueller’s color lithographs from 1926-27, Zwei Zigeunerinnen (Zigeunermutter mit Tochter) and Lagernde Zigeunerfamilie mit Ziege which are expected to bring $25,000 to $35,000 and $30,000 to $50,000, respectively. Max Pechstein’s portfolio of 50 lithographs, Reisebilder: Italien-Sudsee, 1919, depicting scenes from Italy and Germany (Estimate: $25,000-35,000), as well as the watercolor Russisches Ballet, 1912, and a woodcut, Sommer I, 1912, are among the highlights ($15,000-20,000 and $10,000-15,000, respectively). Further works include Allee im Tiergarten, Berlin, circa 1920, a color pastel depiction of an urban landscape by Lesser Ury, and a Nicolas Ghika oil on canvas, Intérieur avec chevalet d’artiste, circa 1920s, that portrays the artist’s studio. Both are estimated at $50,000 to $80,000. 

The afternoon session following the Littmann Collection offers a broad selection of high-end prints and drawings. The top lot is Edvard Munch’s Kyss IV, 1902-a first-state woodblock print based on the artist’s oil painting of the same title. Only six other impressions of Kyss IV have come to auction in the past 30 years ($150,000-250,000). Additional works by Modern masters include Sonia Delaunay’s color pochoir and watercolor illustration of Blaise Cendrars’ poem La Prose du Transsibérien et de la petite Jehanne de France, 1913, which explored the frustrated yet wonderous experience of living through a period of ever-accelerating modernity ($70,000-100,000); Natura Morta con Cinque Oggetti, 1956, a still-life etching by Giorgio Morandi ($30,000-50,000); and Joan Miró’s  La Permissionaire, 1974, ($40,000-60,000).

Nineteenth-century stalwarts include artist-friends (and rivals) Paul Gaugin and Vincent van Gogh, with remarkable works on paper: Noa Noa, 1893-94, a superb color woodcut by Gaugin, is estimated at $40,000 to $60,000, and Van Gogh’s Homme à la Pipe: Portrait du Docteur Gachet, 1890, the artist’s only known etching, comes across the block at $80,000 to $120,000. William Blake’s Illustrations of the Book of Job, 1826, complete with 22 engravings, is expected to bring $30,000 to $50,000.   

Highlights from the American section include Winslow Homer’s Mending the Tears, 1888­-a line-based etching of rural women darning a fishing net ($10,000-15,000). Martin Lewis’s quintessential New York drypoint Rain on Murray Hill, 1928, displays the artist’s mastery of depicting nocturnal and atmospheric conditions ($15,000-20,000). Works by Thomas Hart Benton, Childe Hassam, and Joseph Pennell ensure a standout selection.   

Exhibition opening in New York City February 28. The complete catalogue and bidding information is available at www.swanngalleries.com and on the Swann Galleries’ App.

Additional highlights can be found here.

Image: Lot 112: Otto Mueller, Lagernde Zigeunerfamilie mit Ziege, color lithograph, 1926-27. From the Ismar Littmann Family Collection. Estimate $30,000 to $50,000.

c7422b9221bbfb9a0251551046cec0ba83162d46.jpegBoston—A James Joyce signed vintage photograph sold for $25,826 according to Boston-based RR Auction. 

The exceedingly rare glossy close-up photo of Joyce wearing his polka-dot bow tie and round spectacles, neatly signed in fountain pen, "James Joyce." Reverse bears an "Atelier Ruth Asch" credit stamp.

This magnificent portrait is believed to have been produced in 1929 by Ruth Asch, likely at the request of the publisher Rhein-Verlag; one of the images in her series of Joyce portraits would be used to advertise the original German edition of Ulysses in 1930. 

An absolutely spectacular 'fadograph' that perfectly captures the revered Irish author, whose innovative prose forever revolutionized the written word.

Additional highlights from the sale include, but are not limited by:

Pierre-Auguste Renoir Ledger sold for $37,462.

Lyndon B. Johnson signed letter as President to Speaker of the House sold for $19,133.

George Washington signed three-language ship's papers from 1794 sold for $14,948.

Woodrow Wilson Twice-signed official typed transcript of proceedings relating to the Treaty of Versailles sold for $11,952.

The Fine Autographs and Artifacts Auction from RR Auction began on January 18 and concluded on February 6.  For information, visit the RR Auction web site at www.rrauction.com

230.jpgChicago — True to its title, this sale featured a spellbinding selection of traditional, foreign, limited edition, and art books.  Lot #298, a c. 1895 edition of Paul de Musset's The Last Abbe more than tripled its low estimate, making $1,875. This gloriously detailed and illustrated livre d'artiste was published in Parish by Societe des Beaux Arts and was copy “H” of 20 copies of the Edition de Deux Mondes. Lot #230, a first edition of Charles Bukowski's South of No North was estimated at $1,500-2,000 and traded hands at $2,280. It was published by the Black Sparrow Press in Los Angeles in 1973 and was number 5 of 50 hand bound copies. This important lot included an original signed painting by the controversial author. And lot #528, sixteen 1920s-30s titles from the Wizard of Oz Series by L. Frank Baum and Ruth Plumly Thompson sold for $1,188 on its $500-750 estimate.  This fine grouping included color plates and illustrations by W.W. Denslow and John R. Neill as well as several early and collectable editions.

Comic books featuring some of the 20th century's most popular superheroes also had strong results at this auction.  Lot #697, a CGC graded and encapsulated Marvel Comics X-Men No. 1 was estimated at $1,500-3,000 and realized $3,500. This 1963 edition, by Stan Lee with artwork by Jack Kirby, featured the debut appearance and origin of the X-Men (Professor X, Cyclops, Iceman, Angel, Beast, and Marvel Girl) and Magneto. And lot #647, a Marvel Comics Incredible Hulk No. 181 from 1974 was estimated at $1,800-2,400 but tipped the scales at $2,880. This CGC graded rarity came to life through Len Wein's story and Herb Trimpe and Jack Abel's illustrations, and included the first full appearance of Wolverine as well as an appearance from Wendigo.  

Finally, the Chicago themed artifacts and antiques on offer through this event generated national attention. Standing tall amongst all others was lot #38, a labeled wooden column from the Marshall Field & Company building. This attractive Neo-Classical sculpted column, from the legendary department store in downtown Chicago, measured 73-1/2" high and featured a recessed top to accommodate a flower pot or other seasonal ornament. It realized $1,920 on its $300-500 estimate. 

According to Gabe Fajuri, President at Potter & Potter Auctions, "We were thrilled to have a gallery filled with fine art, and more importantly, artifacts and art related to the history of the city in which we live and work. There's something special about offering relics related to the buildings, builders, and important historical events of the place in which you live and work. Many bidders from Chicago felt the same way, and said so on auction day - by bidding and buying, or attending the auction."

Image: Lot 230, South of No North, sold for $2,280.

Alexander Hamilton.jpegWestport, CT - A signed copy of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s first book, authored before he became President, a newly discovered handwritten and signed letter by Alexander Hamilton, and a typewritten letter by J. Robert Oppenheimer regarding the development of the atomic bomb are expected top lots in University Archives’ next online-only auction on Wednesday, February 27th. 

Live bidding for the 266-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, highly collectible autographed documents, manuscripts, books, photos and relics. The full catalog can be viewed online now, at www.UniversityArchives.com. Online bidding is via Invaluable.com and LiveAuctioneers.com. 

“Our last auction was the best one yet, with over 3,000 registered bidders from over 50 countries and well over an 80 percent sell-through, which is unheard of in our industry,” said John Reznikoff, president and owner of University Archives. “People come back because they know that we have the finest material available anywhere and yet there are still great deals to be had.”

Mr. Reznikoff added, “This sale promises to outperform the last one, as it includes some stellar consignments, many of which have not seen the light of day for years. The Hamilton letter, and a Ben Franklin letter, for example, have been off the market for over 140 years. The virgin FDR signed book is part of a collection, 24 strong, with incredible provenance. It’s also market fresh.”

The FDR book, titled Wither Bound (Houghton Mifflin, Boston and New York, 1926) is an important presentation copy, signed and inscribed to Missy LeHand (“M.A.L.”), Roosevelt’s private secretary for 21 years, including while he was President. The book, based on a lecture at Milton Academy on the Alumni War Memorial Foundation in 1926, should bring $4,000-$4,500.

The newly discovered two-page Hamilton letter, apparently unpublished, was dated March 20, 1791 and boldly signed with a flourish, “A Hamilton”. In it, he forwards George Washington’s appointment to Edward Carrington as supervisor of the eventual Capitol city of Washington. It also discusses other salient issues, to include the Compromise of 1790 (est. $30,000-$35,000).

The typewritten letter from J. Robert Oppenheimer to Leslie Groves, who headed the top-secret Manhattan Project toward the end of World War II, resulting in the development of the very first nuclear weapon, is part of a significant atomic bomb-related archive originally from the Groves family. It’s likely the finest known letter of Oppenheimer in private hands and should make $10,000-$12,000. There are about 20 other Groves related items from an archive that came from his family. Included is Harry Truman talking about the bomb.

A remarkable collection of autographs from all 39 signers at the U.S. Constitutional Convention - to include Washington, Hamilton, Franklin and Madison - gathered before, during and after the signing of the U.S. Constitution (circa 1752-1835), all generally very good, is estimated at $60,000-$70,000.

An important 1781 letter signed by George Washington, as then Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army, written in the hand of his aide Tench Tilghman, to the German Major General Baron de Riedesel, regarding the sensitive matter of prisoner exchanges, carries an estimate of $35,000-$40,000. The letter mentions Alexander Hamilton and British General John Burgoyne.

A substantial archive of nearly 50 Civil War-era theater playbills (circa 1861-1864), mostly from theaters in Boston but also to include New York City, is expected to garner $30,000-$35,000. What makes the collection significant is that nine of the playbills advertise Lincoln assassin John Wilkes Booth, plus three others with Booth associations. Most show wear typical of their age.

Also expected to change hands for $30,000-$35,000 is a two-page letter signed by Benjamin Franklin (as “B. Franklin”) that was last on the market 140 years ago. Addressed to his nephew Jonathan and ending with “I am ever your affectionate uncle”, the letter, dated Dec. 22, 1779, discusses funds to outfit the 10,000 troops under the command of General Marquis de Lafeyette.

An autographed letter, written and signed by Abraham Lincoln (as “A. Lincoln”) on Executive Mansion stationery and dated May 24, 1864, while the Civil War was still raging, is expected to finish at $13,000-$15,000. The letter is written to Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, instructing him to promote a New Jersey colonel - “the one having best testimonials” - to brigadier general.

A rare manuscript page from the Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard C. Feynman (b. 1941), written at the dawn of the computer age, in which he illustrates how a computer program can approximate a solution to a differential equation using first-order and second-order Runga-Kutta methods (developed around 1900 by two German mathematicians) should hit $9,000-$10,000.

A four-page letter written and inscribed by then-teenager Jacqueline Lee Bouvier (later Jackie Kennedy) to her childhood best friend Rosamund Lee during the spring of 1943, is estimated to sell for $3,500-$4,000. The letter, signed “Love, Jackie XXX”, is accompanied by a photo of her playing baseball and an original pencil horse drawing by her. It was written from McLean, Va.

Other noteworthy lots include a 1920s-era baseball signed by Babe Ruth, Connie Mack and Gabby Street, in special presentation from the early sports syndicator Christy Walsh (est. $3,000-$3,500); and a formal document from 1932 signed by Japanese Emperor Hirohito (Showa), with calligraphic script, unfolding to 18 inches by 13 inches, in very good shape (est. $2,400-$2,800).

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, February 27th internet-only auction, please visit www.universityarchives.com.

Image: Newly discovered handwritten and signed letter by Alexander Hamilton, apparently unpublished, dated March 20, 1791 and boldly signed with a flourish, “A Hamilton” (est. $30,000-$35,000).

1. BRITISH ANTARCTIC EXPEDITION Sledge copy.jpgLondon -- A sledge from the first expedition to the Antarctic led by Ernest Shackleton sold for £143,750 in the Bonhams Travel and Exploration Sale today. The sale made a total of £875,525.

Estimated at between £60,000-100,000, the sledge was the subject of fierce competition from bidders in the room, on the phone and on the internet.

The sledge was used on the 1907-9 British Antarctic (Nimrod) Expedition by Eric Marshall - one of the four men, with Shackleton, Jameson Adams, and Frank Wild, to undertake the sledge march to the South Pole. Although they had to abandon the attempt, they reached within 100 geographical miles of the Pole - at the time, the furthest south ever travelled.

Eric Marshall’s sledge flag which had been estimated at £30,000-50,00 sold for £75,000.   

Bonhams Head of Books and Manuscripts Matthew Haley said: “This was a fantastic result for a rare survivor of one of the great journeys of Polar exploration.” 

A detailed account of the expedition and the sledge’s crucial role in it can be found here: https://www.google.com/search?q=Bonhams+Magazine+Shackleton&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8

Other highlights included: 

  • Views of Trinidad by Michel Cazabon, sold for £60,000 (est £3,000-5,000)
  • The Tomb of Esther and Mordechai, Hamadan, Iran, with the Alvand range of the Zagros Mountains in the distance by Charles-Théodore Frère, sold for £47,500 (est: £20,000-30,000)
  • Edward Roper (British, 1830-1909), The Goldfields of Australia, Ararat, sold for £32,500 (est £6,000-8,000)
  • Diary written by Stephen B. Church, Signalman aboard the H.M.S. Perseus that sold for £32,500 (est £2,000-3,000)

Lot 122-Delaunay.jpgNew York — Swann Galleries opened the 2019 season with Fine Illustrated Books & Graphics on January 29, boasting numerous auction records and several new buyers. 

Leading the sale was Cirque de l’Étoile Filante, 1938, by Georges Rouault. The publication, depicting circus performers in 17 color aquatints by Rouault and 82 wood engravings by George Aubert, in characteristic Fauvist style, sold for $35,000. Rouault’s final work, Passion, 1939, also found success, selling for $21,250. Additional livres d’artiste included Klänge, 1912-13, Wassily Kandinsky’s masterpiece of expressionism and one of the earliest artist’s books to contain nonrepresentational art, which reached $31,200; and a first English translation of Marcel Duchamp’s The Bride Stripped bare by Her Bachelors, Even, 1960, a typographic version by Richard Hamilton, brought $1,500, a record for the signed trade edition.

An array of Art Deco material was led by a run of works by George Barbier and François-Louis Schmied: Personnages de Comédie, 1922, ($9,375), Vies Imaginaires, 1929, one of 120 copies created for members of the French bibliophile group, Le Livre Contemporain ($8,750), and Les Chansons de Bilitis, 1922, ($8,125). Solo works by Schmied featured Le Cantique des Cantiques, 1925, which brought $12,500. Sonia Delaunay’s Ses Peintures, Ses Objects, Ses Tissues Simultanés, Ses Modes, 1925, a tour de force of Simultaneous Contrast design theory, set a record for the work with $13,750, and 20 color pochoir plates of butterflies by Emile-Alain Seguy, 1925, realized $9,100.

Alphonse Mucha’s Ilsée, Princesse de Tripoli, 1897, brought a record price for a copy of the publication in its original folder at $13,000. A rich Art Nouveau section continued with Eugène Grasset’s La Plante et ses applications Ornementales, 1895, 72 richly colored and intricately designed plates that brought $7,250.

Works from the Cheloniidae Press found buyers with The Birds and Beasts of Shakespeare, 1990, which brought $6,500, a record for the work; and the artist’s proof copy of Tortoises, 1983, featured sculptural leather binding evoking a turtle shell and garnered $5,750.

Additional highlights include Strickland’s Lithographic Drawing of the Ancient Painted Ceiling in the Nave of Peterborough Cathedral, returning to auction after over 30 years ($1,500), and Richard Diebenkorn’s etchings for Poems by W.B. Yeats ($11,050). Records were set by Diptera: A Book of Flies & Other Insects, 1983, by Leonard Baskin with $9,750; Die Buecher der Chronika der drei Schwestern, 1900, by Heinrich Lefler and Josef Urban with $2,250; and Wiener Mode 1914, a portfolio of fashion designs by Viennese publication Werkstätte, with $2,375.  

Christine von der Linn, Senior Specialist, noted that “collectors enthusiastically received this smaller, thoughtfully curated fine books auction. What struck me most was the global participation in this sale, and the growing number of bidders on our recently launched Swann Galleries app, which reflects how people are becoming increasingly comfortable with this type of digital platform and appreciate the convenience it offers.”

The next auction of Books at Swann Galleries will be held on March 7 with Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books. Visit www.swanngalleries.com or download the Swann Galleries App for catalogues, bidding and inquiries. 

Additional highlights can be found here.

Image: Lot 122: Sonia Delaunay, Ses Peintures, Ses Objects, Ses Tissues Simultanés, Ses Modes, with 20 pochoir plates, Paris, 1925. Sold for $21,250.

Three early and signed editions of North of Boston by Robert Frost.jpgThomaston, Maine — On Friday, March 1, an exceptional selection of rare books, graphic arts, and important documents will be sold at Thomaston Place Auction Galleries.

The 89 lots of important first edition, signed, and fore-edge painted books in the sale are from a collection of 19th and 20th century literature assembled in the 1960s through 1980s by an international investment banker.  

The books will include 21 lots of first, limited and/or signed edition titles by Robert Frost, such as: three editions (first and signed limited, and first American printing) of his 1914 work “North of Boston”; four editions (signed, limited and firsts) of “New Hampshire”; and two editions (first edition-first printing and later) of “Mountain Interval”.

Also, from the rare book group will be: a 1935 limited deluxe edition of Edgar Allan Poe’s “Tales of Mystery & Imagination”, illustrated and signed by Arthur Rackham; a first edition copy of “Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain with fore-edge painting depicting two scenes in the book; and a second edition two volume set of “The Complete Angler” by Izaak Walton and Charles Cotton, (London, Nattali and Bond, 1860), each volume with fore-edge painting and in fine calf binding by George Bayntun.

A first edition copy of John Thomas James’ “Journal of a Tour in Germany, Sweden, Russia, Poland, During the Years 1813 and 1814” (London, John Murray, 1816) will be sold.  This was one of only 12 copies of this title issued with 18 fine engraved India proof plates of scenic views of Germany, Sweden, Russia and Poland, a vignette title page, and tailpiece plan of Moscow.

The auction will present a group of important photographic images, such as:  “Pingpank Barber Shop” by Berenice Abbott (NY/ME, 1898-1991); “JFK in the Oval Office” by George Tames (DC, 1919-1994); and “Qunia’ika, Mohave”, a 1903 large format photogravure from “The North American Indian” by Edward Sheriff Curtis (WI/CA, 1868-1952).

There will also be a variety of art prints, including: “I’m Busy for the Rest of My Life”, a signed archival inkjet print by Peter Tunney (NY, 1961- ); a 1959 signed linocut by Pablo Picasso  (Spain/France, 1881-1973) titled “Picador et Torero”;  a Fernand Leger (CT/CA/France, 1881-1955) 1924 limited edition signed and numbered serigraph “Composition Abstraite”; and “Love 2000”, a composition printed on self-adhesive vinyl for exterior display by Robert Indiana (ME, 1928-2018).

The collection of ephemera will include two King Louis XV signed military documents, two letters signed by Napoleon; two lots of Admiral Byrd/Antarctic Expedition related documents; and an 1850-1870s autograph book containing signatures of U.S. Grant, his cabinet and other significant individuals from that time.

This sale will represent the first day of a three-session auction event.  On Saturday and Sunday, March 2 and 3, a glorious inventory of fine art, early American furniture, Chinese antiquities, rare watches and jewelry, estate silver, decorative arts, and oriental carpets will be sold.

The auction will begin at 11:00 a.m. EST each day.  A complete, full color catalog, with detailed descriptions and photographs, is available, and all lots can be viewed at Thomaston Place Auction Galleries’ website, www.thomastonauction.com.  

In addition to live bidding in the auction hall, Thomaston Place accepts bids via absentee, telephone, and on the internet.  Please call 1-207-354-8141 for more information, or to reserve seats in the auction hall.  

The gallery will be open for previews Monday, February 25th through Thursday, February 28th (between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. each day) and from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday morning before the auction begins.  

Thomaston Place Auction Galleries is Maine’s premier international auction company located on U.S. Route 1 in Thomaston.  Thomaston Place is a leader in discovering Maine’s antique and fine art treasures by offering Free Appraisals each Tuesday at the gallery, creating fundraiser events for civic and charitable organizations, and providing house call appraisal services.  Their expertise in researching and marketing antiques and fine art has earned Thomaston Place the respect of buyers, collectors and experts worldwide.

Image: Three early and signed editions of “North of Boston” by Robert Frost

Federalist Boards.jpgDallas, TX - An important piece of American history will be offered when a rare copy of The Federalist: A Collection of Essays, Written in Favour of the New Constitution still in its original publisher’s boards crosses the block in Heritage Auctions’ Rare Books Auction March 6 in New York.

“The Federalist Papers were written as part of an effort to get the New York delegation to ratify the Constitution - it made the case for Federalism and sought to convince the citizens of the states,” Heritage Auctions Rare Books Director James Gannon said. “Probably around 500 copies were printed, and this example is particularly rare because it’s still in the publisher’s boards. You just don’t find them like this.”

The board bindings were meant to be temporary, and purchasers of books in the 18th century would have their binders trim the edges and then rebind the book in calf, so a copy in this configuration is an undeniable rarity.

The books, with a pre-auction estimate of $75,000+, originally were published in New York newspapers under the pseudonym, “Publius,” and without the authors’ names in this first collected edition. But the real names of the authors - Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay - are hand-written on the title page.

The lot is in two volumes, published two months apart: March 22 and May 28, 1788. According to Printing and the Mind of Man, “The eighty-five essays, under the pseudonym 'Publius,' were designed as political propaganda, not as a treatise of political philosophy. In spite of this The Federalist survives as one of the new nation's most important contributions to the theory of government.”

Frazetta Famous FUnnies.jpgDallas, TX - One of just eight Famous Funnies covers by the legendary Frank Frazetta and an unrestored Superman rarity are expected to headline Heritage Auctions’ Comics & Comic Art auction Feb. 21-23 in Dallas, Texas.

“Heritage has enjoyed a streak of several exceptionally successful comics auctions in recent years, and we anticipate that collectors will find similarly irresistible materials in this auction, as well,” Heritage Auctions Vice President Lon Allen said. “This sale features extraordinary lots at the top of the auction - the Frank Frazetta Famous Funnies cover is the first we have offered in 15 years - and includes highly intriguing options for collectors at all levels.”

Frank Frazetta Famous Funnies #209 Cover Original Art (Eastern Color, 1953) is one of just eight covers for the title by the hugely popular artist. With a pre-auction estimate of $300,000+, this is one of the most coveted Frazetta covers for any comic. The image is a prime example of why the artist is revered for his ability to draw women, and of the 1950s-esque “retro” style that is so popular among many collectors. An image like this is extraordinarily rare - the last time Heritage offered a Frazetta Famous Funnies cover was 15 years ago - which understandably fuels the demand among collectors.

Superman #1 (DC, 1939) CGC VG+ 4.5 Cream to off-white pages (estimate: $300,000+) is an exceptionally popular issue, the first in one of the most popular titles in comic history. Considering the issue is nearly 80 years old, nearly all known copies are restored, but the allure to collectors for this copy is due in part to the fact that this one is not. Superman #1 hit the newsstands after his debut in Action Comics #1, boosting the Man of Steel’s popularity to new levels. This issue marked the first time a character created for comic books was given his own title. Roughly a million copies were printed in 1939, but very few are known to have survived at this grade or higher, making it a must-have issue among serious collectors. The issue is ranked No. 3 on Overstreet’s “Top 100 Golden Age Comics” list.

The Incredible Hulk #1 (Marvel, 1962) CGC VF/NM 9.0 Off-white to white pages (estimate: $200,000+) is an exceptional copy of the second-most valuable Silver Age issue. Copies with such a high grade are nearly impossible to find, and this issue with the origin and first appearance of the Hulk is inarguably a highlight in the auction. The issue also features the first appearances of supporting characters Rick Jones, Betty Ross and Thunderbolt Ross, and features art and cover by Jack Kirby.

One of the most dramatic images in the auction is Dave Gibbons Watchmen #1 Cover Original Art (DC, 1986) (estimate: $200,000+). Among the most influential and iconic comic series of the 1980s, Watchmen by Gibbons and Alan Moore had a lasting impact on the industry. The cover of the first issue remains one of the most recognizable images in the series, with the drip of blood on the smiley face button reminiscent of the hands of a clock striking 12 as “time running out” was a recurring theme throughout the series.

Another bold, dramatic image is found on the cover of Journey Into Mystery #83 (Marvel, 1962) CGC NM 9.4 Off-white to white pages (estimate: $200,000+), featuring the origin and first appearance of Thor, who is billed on the cover as “The Most Exciting Super-Hero of All Time!!” This copy carries one of the highest grades known to exist, and is the highest-graded issue offered by Heritage in three years. No. 6 on Overstreet’s “Top 50 Silver Age Comics” list, this issue is considered one of the four most legendary “origin” issues of the early Marvel Age. The cover is by Jack Kirby, who collaborated with Steve Ditko on the issue’s art.

Other top lots include, but are not limited to:

·         Amazing Fantasy #15 (Marvel, 1962) CGC VF- 7.5 Off-white pages: $140,000-up

·         Steve Ditko Strange Tales #117 Splash Page 1 Doctor Strange Original Art (Marvel, 1964): $100,000-up

·         Robert Crumb Help! #24 “Fred the Teen-Age Girl Pigeon” Complete Two-Page Story Original Art (Warren Publishing, 1965): $75,000-up

·         Jack Kirby and Sol Brodsky Fantastic Four #3 Story Page 7 Original Art (Marvel, 1962): $75,000-up

·         Jack Kirby and Dick Ayers Avengers #1 Story Page 4 Hulk and Loki Original Art (Marvel, 1963): $75,000-up

Dr. Seuss Letters Sell for $8,529

Los Angeles - Three letters and two pages of illustrations by Dr. Seuss sold tonight for $8,529 at Nate D. Sanders Auctions. The letters and illustrations were directed to fellow author and long-time friend Mike McClintock.

The letters were written in 1957, which was a blockbuster year for Seuss (Theodor Geisel) as both The Cat in the Hat and How the Grinch Stole Christmas were published that year. Dr. Seuss enthusiastically wrote about the success of his new books and addressed the marketing potential of toys and games based on his characters. The lot comes from the estate of McClintock, who wrote the 1958 children’s book, A Fly Went By.

The first letter in the lot is dated May 19, 1957 and is written on Seuss’ personal stationery. It reads in part, “...you picked me off Madison Ave. with a manuscript that I was about to burn in my incinerator, because nobody would buy it. And you not only told me how to put Mulberry Street together properly...(as you did later with the 500 Hats)...I definitely am going into the by-product field this year. Because the CAT will reach 100,000 very shortly, and the print order on HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS will in the first edition be over 50,000. And the Sat. Eve. Post will talk about this shortly in a profile that I wish to hell that you had written, / ANYHOW, if you want to talk toys and games, I'd rather talk to you than anyone I know…”

In the second letter, Seuss analyzes McClintock’s manuscript for A Fly Went By and also wrote “Cat Reading Game is a swell idea!'' 

Seuss’ last letter was written on December 5, 1957, in which he elaborates on game opportunities for The Cat in the Hat. It reads in part, “…The Hat Cat is doing a thousand a day. Latest printing brings print up to 200,000 in nine months...Which brings me to our toy-making-policy-planning... I believe that by fall...when my 'HAT-CAT COMES BACK' comes out, we'll have the biggest character that has ever come out of childrens' trade books...So, I think we're idiots if we don't think non-educationally, and start off on an opportunistic line......with a Cat-in-the-Hat Doll, Toy, put-together plastic, rag, fuzzy or whatever. But fast! / I'm riding a wave right now that may never again roll so high. So I think we oughta and gotta start in a different way than we planned. And get a Cat Character out as soon as we can. And THEN follow up with the game and the blocks and all the other things we want to do that make sense…”

The lot also includes two pages of several illustrations by Seuss.

Bidding for the lot begins at $3,500.

Additional information on the letter can be found at 
https://natedsanders.com/Fantastic_Dr__Seuss_Lot_of_3_Letters_Signed___Illu-LOT51334.aspx

 

9966db6bf97a169d7905be1c5bca814b6d08b12d.jpegIn honor of Washington's Birthday, RR Auction's February Fine Autograph and Artifact Auction includes a remarkable assortment of nearly 200 presidential autographs with online bidding through February 6, 2019.

The sale is highlighted by an excessively rare William Henry Harrison document signed as president.  The rare one-page document signed "W. H. Harrison,” dated August 28, 1841. 

The right half of a four-language ship's paper issued to "Theodore Wimpenney, master or commander of the Ship called the Margaret…lying at present in the port of Newport (RI), bound for Pacific Ocean and laden with provisions, Tackle & stores for a voyage in the whale fishery." 

Crisply signed at the conclusion by President Harrison and countersigned by Secretary of State Daniel Webster. Archivally double-matted and framed behind UV-protective acrylic.

This is a highly unusual piece, as by the time it was issued, President Harrison was dead. Four-language ship's passports were customarily left blank and signed in advance by the president before being sent out to American ports, where they were filled out and issued as needed. This section comprises the English and Dutch segments of the typical four-language document, with the French and Spanish areas absent. This document would have been signed by Harrison some time during his 31-day presidency, sent to a port, and then ultimately issued almost five months after his death. 

"Given his historically short tenure in office, Harrison's autograph as president is of the utmost rarity, and this is a boldly engrossed, supremely desirable example," said Bobby Livingston, Executive VP at RR Auction. 

Among other presidential material is a rare autographed letter from President Johnson to Speaker McCormack, a key supporter of the 'Great Society.’

Autograph letters and notes by Johnson are extremely scarce in general, with his letters as president standing among the rarest presidential autographs—this is just the second Johnson signed letter as president on standard White House stationery that we have ever offered. That it is to Speaker of the House John McCormack is equally notable. During his own time in the House and Senate, Johnson had emerged as one of the most capable legislators of his time, utilizing his domineering personality to persuade other politicians in his favor.

The sale also contains a significant selection of free franks among them; a Revolutionary War-era free frank from General Washington, another from President Lincoln  to Mary Todd's New York hatmaker, and a President Jefferson free frank to his Philadelphia bookseller.  

Other top lots include an extraordinary signed portrait of James Joyce, Pierre-Auguste Renoir's personal ledger, an Einstein letter on a childhood game, and Warren Buffett's personal set of golf clubs.

The Fine Autographs and Artifacts Auction Featuring Presidents from RR Auction will conclude on February 6.  For information, visit the RR Auction web site at www.rrauction.com

 

Lot 228-Maier copy.jpgNew York — An upcoming sale of Photographs: Art & Visual Culture, February 21 at Swann Galleries, celebrates photographs as objects. Daile Kaplan, the house’s Director of Photographs & Photobooks, explains the theme in an introduction to the catalogue, “Seeing photographs as physical objects, as works meant to be carefully held in one’s hands, is key.” The auction features an array of material typifying this appreciation for the tangible: archives and albums that record visual culture of bygone eras, photobooks and vernacular photography, all presented in dialogue with modern and contemporary market favorites.

A standout selection of cartes-postales from prominent artists and collectives is led by six printed postcards of Italian Futurist Anton Giulio Bragaglia’s iconic photographs from 1911-13. The photographs are offered in a small archive alongside business cards, a 1932 typed letter to Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, and a Teatro Delle Arti ticket, estimated at $30,000 to $45,000. 

André Kertész’s 1927 portrait of photographer Edwin Rosskam, a vintage silver print on carte-postale paper, is available at $7,000 to $10,000. Notable exhibition postcards include a suite of 33 from the 1913 Armory Show, illustrating iconic works (Estimate: $4,000-6,000); and from the Société Anonyme, a collection of nine real photo postcards of works by Katherine Dreier, Marcel Duchamp and Man Ray, who together founded the society to promote contemporary art to American audiences. They produced more than 80 exhibitions between 1920 and 1940. This scarce group, dating from 1920-30, carries an estimate of $25,000 to $35,000. 

A fine selection of nineteenth-century photography includes the unique copper plate for Horse Capture, Atsina, 1908, by Edward S. Curtis. The plate, one of the original matrices for the large-format photogravures that comprised the portfolios of The North American Indian, is presented in a custom frame, elevating an already beautiful utilitarian object to the sublime ($60,000-90,000). 

Engaging works exemplifying the visual culture of their time include a NASA archive with 351 prints documenting missions over four decades ($6,000-9,000). Images from the 1960s include a chromogenic print of John F. Kennedy in his motorcade minutes before his assassination ($2,000-3,000), and a binder of 26 vintage photographs and five halftone prints of The Beatles and Yoko Ono ($700-1,000). Industrial lots from across the globe complete the vernacular selection.

Among fine art is a personal album compiled and sequenced by Vivian Maier. The album, consisting of 22 never-before-seen color photographs shot with a Rolleiflex in Maier’s inimitable visual style, documents her 1959 trip to Europe and Asia ($10,000-15,000). The auction debut is the first known auction appearance of vintage color work by Maier.

A run of works by Ansel Adams is led by a limited first edition of his first book-Taos Pueblo, 1930. The scarce publication, containing 12 silver bromide prints made by the photographer when he was just 28, is expected to bring $30,000 to $45,000. Iconic silver prints by Adams include Winter Sunrise, Sierra Nevada from Lone Pine, California, 1944, printed early 1960s, ($15,000-20,000), Monolith, the Face of Half Dome, 1927, printed 1959, ($7,000-10,000), and Mt. Williamson, from Manzanar, Owens Valley, California, 1944, printed early 1950s, ($5,000-7,500).

The auction will have its share of contemporary artists, headlined by Malick Sidibé’s installation of 38 exuberant silver prints housed in custom frames. The grouping, which highlights elements of West African culture from 1946-2001, is estimated at $30,000 to $45,000. Tina Barney’s The Hands, from the series The Europeans, 2002-04 is available at $12,000 to $18,000. Works by Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Roy Decarava, Peter Hujar, Graciela Iturbide, Mary Ellen Mark and James Welling ensure a stand-out section.    

Exhibition opening in New York City February 14. The complete catalogue and bidding information is available at www.swanngalleries.com and on the Swann Galleries app. 

Additional highlights can be found here.

Image: Lot 228: Vivian Maier, a personal album of Maier’s trip to Europe & Asia compiled and sequenced by the artist, 22 Kodacolor prints, 1949. Estimate $10,000 to $15,000.

Dallas, Texas - Sales of vintage comic books and comic art soared to a world record $58,544,323 in 2018 at Heritage Auctions. The auctioneers’ Comics & Comic Art Department recorded the highest sales totals in the 17-year history of the department, representing the non-stop trend of high demand for original comic book artwork, rare comic books and animation art.

Numerous records fell in 2018, further strengthening Heritage Auction’s grip on the title of the top comics and comic art auctioneer in the world. Last year’s sales represent a 32 percent increase over the department’s previous record, which was set in 2017. Sell-through rates exceeded 99% by value and by number of lots.

“Our results in 2018 exceeded our loftiest expectations,” Heritage Auctions Co-Founder Jim Halperin said. “Part of the gratification when reflecting on 2018 is the variety of our success: we were able to realize exceptional prices on individual comic books and original art, but were fortunate that the results were not top-heavy. We also established new records for the most valuable Comics auction and most valuable Animation Art auction ever held, and set a new record with our weekly auctions three times during the year.”

Among the records that fell in 2018:

·         Frank Frazetta's Original Art titled Death Dealer 6, 1990, published first as the cover for Verotik’s 1996 Death Dealer #2 comic book, brought $1,792,500 at Heritage’s Comics & Comic Art Auction May 10-12 in Chicago. That price nearly tripled the most ever paid at auction for a piece of U.S.-published comic book art.

·         Meanwhile, that auction’s total of $12,201,974 in realized sales also set a new world record for any individual comics auction.

·         Original art by John Romita, Sr., and Frank Giacoia for the Amazing Spider-Man #100 cover drew bids from three dozen collectors before bringing $478,000, eclipsing pre-auction estimates by nearly 20 percent and establishing a new world record for the most expensive Marvel Comics Silver or Bronze Age cover ever sold at a public auction. 

·         A new record for artwork by famed Disney artist Mary Blair was established when her Cinderella Magic Coach Concept Painting (Walt Disney, 1950) drew $60,000 in Heritage’s Animation Art auction June 16-17 in Dallas.

·         A little over a month later, competitive bidding drove the final price for original art and a copy of Kaja Foglio's Magic: The Gathering: Arabian Nights "Shahrazad" Card (Wizards of the West Coast, 1993) to $72,000 in the July 22 Sunday Internet Comics, Animation & Art Auction, a record for any Heritage Weekly Comics auction lot.

Animation Art auctions were extremely strong in 2018. Heritage’s Dec. 8-9 Animation Art auction brought in $1,956,926, making it the most successful Animation Art auction in the history of the company. The sale showed the growing global love of animation art, and was highlighted by numerous record sales, including Disney, Hanna Barbera and Warner Brothers.

Savvy collectors realized there was ample value to be had in Heritage’s weekly Sunday Internet Comics, Animation & Art auctions. The weekly evening sales, now frequently including lots that can produce five-figure prices, established a new record for total sales three different times during the year, including in the firm’s Aug. 5 sale that yielded a record $466,512.20. The 936-lot auction’s top lot was Amazing Fantasy #15 (Marvel, 1962) CGC VG- 3.5 Cream to off-white pages, which brought $20,400.

“The days of Heritage Auctions’ weekly auctions offering lower-value lots exclusively are over,” Halperin said. “We average about 800 lots per week, and it no longer is a rarity for some lots to crack the five-figure plateau. Our collectors know the value that exists in many of the offered materials, some of which are fresh-to-the-market personal collections. So while there always are outstanding deals to be had for collectors of all levels, our weekly auctions now include many exceptional items, which routinely set new price records.”

343.jpgChicago — Potter & Potter Auctions is pleased to announce their Rawlins Magic Collection I Auction to be held on Saturday, February 23rd, 2019 starting at 10am at the company's gallery, located at 3759 N. Ravenswood Ave., Chicago, IL 60613. Jim Rawlins was a devoted student of magic and its history who spent nearly three decades building his impressive, important, and diverse collection. All items from this upcoming sale will be on display and available for public preview on Wednesday, February 20th, Thursday, February 21st, and Friday, February 22nd from 10:00am to 5:00pm in the Potter & Potter facility. 

Pre-1925 magic apparatus are important headliners in this sales event and represent many of the top lots on offer.  Of royal stature is lot #125, Joseffy’s Expanding Queen from c. 1906. This complicated, Rube Goldberg-like apparatus is comprised of lazy-tongs and a spring-loaded mechanism, and includes its original hand-painted silk card. Estimated at $8,000-12,000, this rarity is framed and accompanied by a series of photographs showing the steps required to reset the device. Lot #56, Carter the Great’s center table, used as the centerpiece for many of Charles Carter's tricks in his illusion show, is estimated at $6,000-8,000.  This c. 1910, heavy carved gold leaf wooden table has cabriole legs and a folding rear servante. This lot comes with a photograph of Carter and Evelyn Maxwell beside the table and a letter of provenance from Carter biographer Mike Caveney. And lot #109, a c. 1920 cage transposition owned and used by Fu Manchu is estimated at $4,000-6,000. This complex trick, likely made by Carl Willmann, allows a gleaming metal cage to vanish from under a handkerchief, only to visibly reappear in a skeleton-frame stand in the blink of an eye.

Midcentury magic tricks and tools also take center stage in this can't miss, mid-winter auction.  Lot #159, a handsomely decorated, c. 1952 club sized checker cabinet by Okito is estimated at $8,000-12,000. This apparatus enables the magical transposition of a stack of checkers and a glass full of rice. It's a superb example of Okito’s masterful craftsmanship and appealing, timeless aesthetic. Lot #15, a c. 1935 carousel birdcage production from New Haven, CT's Petrie and Lewis is estimated at $4,000-6,000. This complex and visually stunning trick includes a small, square table, a tall spinning brass stand, and four sold brass bird cages. This rarity is only one of five examples produced. And lot #14, a set of five c. 1940 nesting wooden boxes owned and used by magician McDonald Birch is estimated at $1,500-2,500. In this signature trick, a watch vanishes on command, only to reappear in the smallest of the boxes. The lot includes a signed and inscribed 8' x 10” photograph of Birch and his wife Mabel Sperry, as well as a signed photo of the couple performing with the boxes. 

Collectors interested in magic props by Thayer and Owen will delight in nearly 100 temptations from this this legacy manufacturer. Lot #296, a 1930s-1940s collection of 130 original cloth “negatives” used to create the famous master blueprints sold through the company's catalogs is estimated at $5,000-7,000. The illusions explained and diagrammed include many of the firm's most famous, including the Mummy Case, Buzz Saw, Morritt Cage, The Girl in the Drum, Zenith Water Fountain, New Flyto, Lester Lake Guillotine, and others. All are housed in the original cardboard tubes as kept in the Thayer workshops, with nearly all bearing typed labels describing their contents.  Lot #267, a c. 1955 set of seven, locked hardwood chests fitted with brass hardware, is estimated at $1,500-2,000. This set, one of only two seven-box sets constructed by Carl Owen and part of his own personal collection, was passed from Owens to his friend and business partner John Daniel. And lot #251, a c. 1930s flap die box, is estimated at $200-300. This round, mahogany box allows a magician to control the  numbers on the two dice inside even when the box is shaken.  This example, the only one known with this feature, is possibly a prototype or a custom-ordered item. It was most likely turned by Floyd Thayer himself, as the quality of the workman ship is extremely fine; it was also owned at one time by The Great Virgil. 

Potter's Rawlins Magic Collection I Auction offers wall to wall selections of important magic related posters, prints, and broadsides.  Lot #479, a c. 1909 small format window card for the Great Lafayette (Sigmund Neuberger) is estimated at $5,000-7,000. This 10" x 7” example features a full length portrait of the performer in a Louis XIV-style costume with a fan or hat in one outstretched hand. Lot #487, a Thurston the Great Magician Do The Spirits Come Back framed and matted litho from c. 1910 is estimated at $5,000-7,000. This paranormal poster is eerily illustrated with green smoke, ghosts, and apparitions floating up from a skull in the magician’s hand. And bird's the word with lot #475, a c. 1908 framed Chung Ling Soo (William Ellsworth Robinson) From the Land of the Peacock broadside. It is estimated at $4,000-6,000 and is decorated with a bust portrait of the magician, a Chinese lantern, and a peacock, all surrounded by Chinese trappings and a black border. 

There's no need to paper over this sale's remarkable selections of magic-centric books, catalogs, publications, and ephemera. Lot #343, a 1908 first edition of Harry Houdini's The Unmasking of Robert-Houdin, published in New York by The Publishers Printing Company, is estimated at $1,500-2,000. It includes an inscription from Houdini reading, “To my old friend R.M. Scott with compliments and best wishes from the author, Harry Houdini 1908. May the perusal of my book conjure up pleasant memories of the dim past. HH.” Lot #360, a 1929 first edition of My Life of Magic by Howard Thurston, is estimated at $400-600.  This book was published in Philadelphia by Dorrance & Company and is inscribed and signed by Thurston, “For my old friend “Tommy” Downs who has traveled the same road & speaks the same magic language. The road that is [illegible] much travelled. See you in Eternity Tommy. Affectionately Howard Thurston June 3/30.” Lot #415, a c. 1910 Harry Houdini translucent window decal is estimated at $2,500-3,500. This example, one of only a handful extant, retains its original printed instructions to verso describing the method for wetting the print and applying it to a glass window.  And lot #373, a 1927 souvenir program from the second gathering of the International Brotherhood of Magicians is estimated at $400-600. It has lithographed string-bound wrappers designed by Merle Fleming; its final three pages are filled with dozens of autographs of magicians in attendance, including T. Nelson Downs, Harry Blackstone, Floyd Thayer, Rajah Raboid, Harlan Tarbell, S.S. Henry, Robert Nelson, and many others.

This sale rounds out with museum-quality offerings of stage costumes, magic sets, automatons, and magical-themed treasures that span traditional categories.  Lot #494, Robert Heller’s c. 1870 top hat and leather carrying case is estimated at $5,000-7,000. This important artifact, from one of magic's great Victorian practitioners, is accompanied by documentation from descendants of Heller tracing ownership of the hat through the family. Lot #136, a c. 1985 Zdenkakey wound automata of a levitating doll, is estimated at $1,500-2,000. As the automaton performs, “Edelweiss” plays on a concealed Swiss Reuge music box.  Lot #495, Doug Henning's c. 1985 floor length purple robe decorated with purple, blue, yellow, and silver stars and moons is estimated at $1,000-1,500. And its case closed with lot #311, a c. 1908 rare and early Mysto Magic Set, estimated at $600-800. This set includes many popular and well-made small props, all housed in a wooden crate stenciled with the word “magic" and decorated with a fan of four cards pasted to the top. 

According to Gabe Fajuri, President at Potter & Potter Auctions, "Jim Rawlins was truly dedicated to building and developing a special collection of historically important magic memorabilia. I've seen how - in the nearly twenty years we've known each other - how he sought out the best of the best for himself, and especially how he focused on historically significant association items. He also managed to build a diverse collection that, while certainly strongest in the apparatus field, includes significant objects in all areas of the hobby: posters, ephemera, books, and costumes. Jim's refined taste and "eye" for the rare and unusual will be showcased in each of the four sales we have planned over the next two years, and I couldn't be happier to be the one bringing his collection to market." 

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. Bids for these extraordinary offerings can be made in person at the sale, placed directly on the company's website, or by phone by arrangement. Please see www.potterauctions.com. for more information. Follow us on Facebook (potterandpotterauctions), Twitter (PnPAuctions), and Instagram (potterauctions). 

Image: Lot 343, The Unmasking of Robert Houdin, estimate $1,500-2,000

Harriet Beecher Stowe Autograph Letter Signed 56439a_lg.jpegLos Angeles - A rare 1852 handwritten letter signed by renowned abolitionist Harriet Beecher Stowe will be auctioned by Nate D. Sanders Auctions on January 31, 2019.

Stowe, the author of the landmark novel “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” was a famous abolitionist who supported the Underground Railroad. She and her husband Calvin Ellis Stowe temporarily hosted runaway slaves in their Cincinnati home and traveled extensively through New England.  Stowe’s breakthrough 1851 novel depicted slavery’s cruelty and was influential in turning the north against the practice. President Abraham Lincoln was reported to have said to Stowe in 1862, “'so you are the little woman who wrote the book that started this great war.'' 
  
The letter being auctioned is a response to a correspondence Stowe received from an unnamed man who sent her an article about slavery’s negative impact on the country. Stowe’s letter written while she was in Andover, Massachusetts is dated October 27, 1852 and reads in part, “…I am obliged to you for sending me the 'text to my subject' enclosed in your letter. It will be a very good one. Any one that stirs up this subject of southern law as a defence of slavery emphatically wakes up the wrong passenger. Nothing more is needed than to awaken the attention of the public to an expose of the slave law system. If they desire law on this subject, they shall have it…”  The letter continues with a request from Stowe to send her other advertisements which would help her in her crusade against slavery.  

Bidding for the letter begins at $21,000.

Additional information on the letter can be found at 
https://natedsanders.com/Superb_Harriet_Beecher_Stowe_Autograph_Letter_Sign-LOT51305.aspx

Screen Shot 2019-01-29 at 10.06.29 AM.pngNew York—A first edition of one of the most influential books in Western medicine, De humani corporis fabrica (On the fabric of the human body) by the Flemish physician Andreas Vesalius, is the highlight of Bonhams sale of the Medical and Scientific Library of W. Bruce Fye in New York on Monday, March 11. It is estimated at $300,000-500,000. 

Vesalius (1514-1564) was only 28, and a Professor at Padua University, when he published De humani corporis fabrica. It transformed the science of anatomy and the way it was taught, by applying the critical methods used by humanists. 

Specifically, Vesalius:

  • provided a fuller and more detailed description of the human anatomy than any of his predecessors
  • corrected errors in the traditional anatomy teaching of Galen (the 2nd century Greek physician regarded as the father of medicine, and a major influence on Vesalius)
  • asserted that the dissection of cadavers should be performed by physicians themselves

The book was published in Basel in 1543, with more than 600 pages of text and beautifully detailed engravings by artists from the workshop of Titian. It was originally owned by Vesalius’s great friend, the German physician Achilles Gasser. 

Bonhams Director of Books and Manuscripts in New York, Ian Ehling, said: “De humani corporis fabrica is the cornerstone of the science of anatomy, and changed the way we looked at the world. The book itself, with its blend of scientific exposition, art and typography, is a pleasure to look at and hold, and the association with Achilles Gasser makes it even more desirable. I expect great interest from collectors and institutions.”

The sale of the Medical and Scientific Library of W. Bruce Fye comprises about 400 lots divided into four sections: Classics of Medicine; Johns Hopkins and the First Faculty; Early Medical Photography and Books and Manuscripts by important cardiologists. A further 400 lots will be sold in an online sale starting on March 12.

Highlights from the collection include:

  • A letter signed by William Harvey (1578-1657), the royal physician to Charles I (estimate: $25,000-35,000)
  • A very rare autograph manuscript of William Osler (1849-1919), a commentary on the remarkable knowledge of tuberculosis and its contagiousness (estimate: $6,000-8,000)
  • First edition of Wilhelm Konrad Röntgen's (1845-1923) first original communication of the discovery of the x-ray (estimate: $6,000-8,000)
  • An autograph letter signed by Edward Jenner (1749-1823) to an unidentified correspondent expressing pleasure for a patient's seeking a second opinion (estimate: $3,000-5,000)

vcsPRAsset_3568579_79012_959f49a9-65a2-4869-9341-5967db45e1c8_0.jpgParis — On February 20, Christie’s will present the Marc Litzler Collection, in collaboration with Bertrand Meaudre of Librairie Lardanchet. Composed of 248 lots, the Collection is notable for the quality and rarity of its illustrated editions and art books which comprise the majority of the sale.  On public view and to be auctioned prior to the traditional book fairs in Spring, this sale will mark the opening of the bibliophilic season.The Marc Litzler Collection features what is considered to be the first “Painter’s book”, L’Apocalypse, executed by the artist Albercht Dürer, the result of two years of work and published in 1498. This publication includes a series of 15 xylographies, while the dual text columns were written and printed in Koberger’s workshop. Dürer breaks with the traditional medieval representations of the 15th century with a new and personal vision influenced by his trip to Italy to study the novel works of the Renaissance, featuring more dramatic subjects portrayed through wood engravings, and partly inspired by Schongauer’s etchings.  L’Apocalypse is estimated at €150,000 - €200,000.

In contrast, the Marc Litzler Collection also features the groundbreaking Jazz by Matisse (1869-1954).  Marking Matisse’s transition to a new form of medium, according to Jean Leymarie the publication is comparable to “an album of chromatic and rhythmic improvisation…with a lively and violent aura”. Made of 20 stenciled colour plates "from Henri Matisse's collages and cutouts" and a signed text, it takes the form of a succession of Matisse’s reflections and thoughts.  Originally a gift from the editor Albert Skira to his wife Rosabianca for her birthday, this is offered with an estimate of €200.000 - €300.000.

Book lovers will also have the possibility to acquire the mythical object-book La Prose du transibérien et la petite Jehanne by Blaise Cendrars, illustrated by Sonia Delaunay (1885-1979). 

This copy comes from André Lefèvre’s library, one of the most important modern art collectors of the 20th century. Maintained in a notable condition, the copy is provided with a painted cover by Sonia Delaunay, and the stenciled announcement banner that became even rarer than the Prose itself. The estimate is set at €150,000 - €200,000.

The Marc Litzler Collection demonstrates a fascination for binding.  In addition to a predilection for Henri Creuzevault, the collector often mentions Les Cent vues du Mont Fuji, a masterpiece of the Japanese Print master, Hokusai, as one of his favorite books. Comprising three volumes, the copy was gently bound in the “Japanese style” by Jean de Gonet who used, for the flat parts, shagreen’s soft and tinted skin, and is estimated at €50,000 - €70,000. 

The bookbinding realised by Georges Leroux on Georges Bataille’s Madame Edwarda, is adorned with arabesques implying feminine shapes and luscious lips.  It is illustrated by Jean Fautrier and enriched with original drawings from the same artist who found inspiration from the erotic book he decorated (estimate: €12,000 - €18,000).

 A notable bestiary is another highlight.  Among the several illustrated copies of Histoires naturelles - Bonnard in 1904, Benjamin Rabier in 1918, Auguste Roubille in 1928 - the one by Lautrec is regarded as the most original.  His admiration for animals, which he talked about with all the confidence of a specialist, enabled Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901) to produce this exceptional example comprising 22 lithographs, enriched by an exceptional Pierre Legrain bookbinding.  Estimated at €40,000 - €60,000, this example also features an Edouard Degaine (1887-1967) wildlife lacquer on the first flat, one of the few contributions by this artist featured in book form. 

Another bestiary, Apollinaire’s Bestiaire ou cortège d’Orphée (1911), in which the poet’s texts interact with the 39 woodcuts by Raoul Dufy, was finely bound by Jean de Gonet and is estimated from €25,000 - €35,000.  The Second Livre de la jungle (1919) by Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936), illustrated by Paul Jouve (1878-1973), is estimated at €35,000 - €45,000 euros, and this edition marks the beginning of the partnership between Paul Jouve and François-Louis Schmied (1873-1941).

In addition to the 130 colour compositions by Paul Jouve interpreted on wood by Shmied, the owner of this copy further enriched it with seven original gouaches by Jouve.

Among the plurality of the subjects which inspired M. Litzler, we must pay special attention to those books illustrated by Georges Barbier, a significant fashion illustrator, as well as books displaying Paul Poiret’s creations. 

Auction :  20 February 2019 at 2 pm

Viewings : From 15 to 20 February from 10 am to 6 pm except on Sunday from 2pm to 6 pm and Wednesday 20 from 10 am to noon

Christie’s : 9 avenue Matignon, 75008 Paris

Walt Kelly and Dr. Seuss Lot 56569A_lg.jpegLos Angeles - Three letters and two pages of illustrations by Dr. Seuss will be auctioned by Nate D. Sanders Auctions on January 31, 2019. The letters and illustrations were directed to fellow author and long-time friend Mike McClintock.

The letters were written in 1957, which was a blockbuster year for Seuss (Theodor Geisel) as both The Cat in the Hat and How the Grinch Stole Christmas were published that year. Dr. Seuss enthusiastically wrote about the success of his new books and addressed the marketing potential of toys and games based on his characters. The lot comes from the estate of McClintock, who wrote the 1958 children’s book, A Fly Went By.

The first letter in the lot is dated May 19, 1957 and is written on Seuss’ personal stationery. It reads in part, “...you picked me off Madison Ave. with a manuscript that I was about to burn in my incinerator, because nobody would buy it. And you not only told me how to put Mulberry Street together properly...(as you did later with the 500 Hats)...I definitely am going into the by-product field this year. Because the CAT will reach 100,000 very shortly, and the print order on HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS will in the first edition be over 50,000. And the Sat. Eve. Post will talk about this shortly in a profile that I wish to hell that you had written, / ANYHOW, if you want to talk toys and games, I'd rather talk to you than anyone I know…”

In the second letter, Seuss analyzes McClintock’s manuscript for A Fly Went By and also wrote “Cat Reading Game is a swell idea!'' 

Seuss’ last letter was written on December 5, 1957, in which he elaborates on game opportunities for The Cat in the Hat. It reads in part, “…The Hat Cat is doing a thousand a day. Latest printing brings print up to 200,000 in nine months...Which brings me to our toy-making-policy-planning... I believe that by fall...when my 'HAT-CAT COMES BACK' comes out, we'll have the biggest character that has ever come out of childrens' trade books...So, I think we're idiots if we don't think non-educationally, and start off on an opportunistic line......with a Cat-in-the-Hat Doll, Toy, put-together plastic, rag, fuzzy or whatever. But fast! / I'm riding a wave right now that may never again roll so high. So I think we oughta and gotta start in a different way than we planned. And get a Cat Character out as soon as we can. And THEN follow up with the game and the blocks and all the other things we want to do that make sense…”

The lot also includes two pages of several illustrations by Seuss.

Bidding for the lot begins at $3,500.

Additional information on the letter can be found at 
https://natedsanders.com/Fantastic_Dr__Seuss_Lot_of_3_Letters_Signed___Illu-LOT51334.aspx

Screen Shot 2019-01-25 at 3.56.09 PM.pngNew York - Sotheby’s 2019 Americana Week auctions concluded yesterday in New York with an outstanding total of $21.3 million - our highest Americana Week series total since 2007*. Led by a printing of the celebrated William J. Stone reproduction of the Declaration of Independence that achieved $975,000, over 1,250 lots spanning more than five centuries of American history were sold over the course of five auctions. 

The week began last Thursday with the first session of Important Americana, which offered a diverse array of silver, Chinese export ceramics and prints. The following day, on 18 January, more than 280 exquisite pieces of furniture and decorative objects from the collection of Nelson & Happy Rockefeller realized an impressive $3.3 million, led by a superb ensemble of Chinese export porcelain. Over the weekend, Sotheby’s presented the Collection of Anne H. and Frederick Vogel III - one of the finest assemblages of early Americana and early English pottery, which brought $4.2 million, with an outstanding 94.4% of lots sold. On Sunday, the important American folk art collection of visionary collector, David Teiger, achieved $2.5 million with proceeds to benefit Teiger Foundation — soon to be one of the world’s largest Contemporary Art foundations. The day continued with our second session of Important Americana, which totaled $6.8 million and was topped by a notable selection of fine furniture from distinguished private collections and institutions. Our success across all categories was sealed yesterday, with our dedicated offering of Fine Manuscript & Printed Americana achieving $4.5 million, led by exceptional historical documents that bear witness to the full sweep of American history. 

Erik Gronning, Head of Sotheby’s Americana Department, commented: “We are pleased with the results of our 2019 Americana Week thus far - our horses galloped, eagles soared, shaker shook, ceramics shone and furniture shined through its original old surface. As the results show, both seasoned and new clients responded very favorably to our continued curated presentation of Americana across all categories as exceptionally made and historically important works of art.” 

FINE MANUSCRIPT AND PRINTED AMERICANA Auction Total $4.5 Million 

Yesterday’s Fine Manuscript and Printed Americana sale offered an impressive span of historical documents and artifacts chronicling the history of the United States from the colonial period through World War II. 

The Americana Week series was led by the only known privately held copy of the celebrated William J. Stone facsimile of the Declaration of Independence for which provenance can be traced back to a direct ancestor who received it in 1824. The historical printing sold for $975,000 (estimate $600/800,000), acquired by Mr. David Rubenstein to be loaned to a Washington, D.C. institution. As the original Declaration became increasingly fragile, then-Secretary of State John Quincy Adams commissioned William J. Stone to engrave a facsimile on a copper plate in 1820. The present printing is marked by its exceptional provenance - it has descended through the family of its original recipient in 1824, Thomas Emory (1782-1842) of Maryland, through to the present owner. Adams may have presented this Stone Declaration to Emory in order to help win Maryland in the hotly- disputed presidential election of 1824. Earlier in the sale, probably the finest copy extant of the first book-form printing of the Declaration of Independence sold for $471,000 (estimate $300/500,000). Done by patriot printer Robert Bell on 8 July 1776, the present copy had descended through the family of a French officer serving in the American Revolution. 

A broadside printing by John Dunlap of the official proclamation of the Treaty of Paris, signed by the President and Secretary of the Continental Congress, was another star of the auction series, selling for $855,000 (estimate $800,000/1.2 million). The broadside carries the complete, official text of the articles of peace signed at Paris that brought the Revolutionary War to an end, signed in type by David Hartley for Great Britain and by John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and John Jay for the United States. Additional highlights across yesterday’s sale included a first edition, second state, original hand-colored copy of Paul Revere’s famous Boston Massacre print from 1770, an icon of the American Revolution that brought $362,500 (estimate $150/200,000), as well as a collection of personal items owned by the Marquis de Lafayette that descended through the family of his granddaughter to the present owners. The group featured a portrait of Lafayette at age 15, sold for $81,250 (estimate $25/35,000), as well as Lafayette’s mourning ring worn in memory of his “adopted father” George Washington, which brought $50,000 (estimate $25/35,000). 

 

Yellow Submarine.jpgNew York -- A wide selection of important and timeless prints from heralded artists such as Steven Frykholm, Keith Haring, E. McKnight Kauffer, Alphonse Mucha, Edward Penfield, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Andy Warhol and many others will be in Poster Auctions International’s Auction #77, scheduled for Sunday, February 24th.

The Rare Posters Auction will be held online at posterauctions.com, and in PAI’s gallery, at 26 West 17th Street in New York City. The auction will begin promptly at 11 am EST. 

“From beloved masterpieces to rarely seen iterations, this auction is bursting with 435 lots,” said Jack Rennert, president of Poster Auctions International, Inc. “These include lithographs, maquettes, oil paintings, and rare books, with estimates ranging from $1,000 to $150,000. The offerings are suited to the newly inclined and seasoned collector alike.”

Notable in the catalog are full, rare collections, such as Steven Frykholm’s Herman Miller Picnic: 20 Posters - a delightful mid-century modern foray expected to command $14,000-$17,000; the lively Collection of 37 Polish Circus Posters (est. $5,000-$6,000); and Alphonse Mucha’s renowned four prints from The Seasons (est. $60,000-$70,000).

Sixteen additional Mucha works will be presented, including Bières de la Meuse (est. $25,000-$30,000), Job (est. $20,000-$25,000), a small format La Plume portion of the Plume et Primevère set accompanied by a hand-signed dedication (est. $12,000-$15,000); and the complete two-sheet of the rare Moravian Teacher’s Choir (est. $12,000-$15,000).

Also up for bid will be posters from Henry de Toulouse-Lautrec, to include classics like Aristide Bruant Dans Son Cabaret (est. $60,000-$70,000); and a hand-signed, dedicated Jane Avril (est. $100,000-$120,000). Rarities include a variation of Débauche, printed on silk in an edition of three, the only one known to be hand-signed (est. $50,000-$60,000).

Fans of Modernism will be treated to the dizzying and instantly recognizable drawings of Keith Haring, with works such as Keith Haring at FUN Gallery (est. $1,000-$1,200); The Montreaux Jazz Festival (est. $1,200-$1,500); and Absolut Vodka (est. $1,700-$2,000).

The Haring selections will be appropriately offered alongside Andy Warhol’s Bank/RCA Color Scanner (est. $1,200-$1,500) and their collaborative Rain Dance (est. $1,000-$1,200), with Roy Lichtenstein, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Yoko Ono. The experimental art scene of downtown New York City will feel very much alive at PAI’s Auction #77.

Sold will be rare posters for The Beatles’ films All This and World War II (est. $3,000-$4,000) and The Concert for Bangladesh (est. $1,500-$2,000), featuring hand-signed autographs by members of The Beatles, as well as Bob Dylan, Leon Russell, Elton John, Tina Turner, Rod Stewart and Peter Gabriel. Also certain to delight Beatles fans will be an Italian announcement for Yellow Submarine, which is expected to hit $1,700-$2,000.

E. McKnight Kauffer’s sensational use of line and color can be found in his elegant images for American Airlines (est. $1,000-$1,500), and his ambitious Underground / Power for the London Underground, which has a pre-sale estimate of $12,000-$15,000.

Further domestic delights will include Edward Penfield’ Save Wheat and The Girl on the Land (each est. $1,200-$1,500); as well as five posters for Harper’s (each est. $800-$1,500); and rare prints of Buffalo Bill in performance and film (range: $1,200-$6,000).

Rounding out just some of the auction’s anticipated highlights are works by Cappiello and Chéret, classics of early transportation, propaganda posters from around the world, and a wide selection of the best and most interesting Art Nouveau and Art Deco posters.

Pubic viewings will be held daily, from February 8th thru 23rd. For more information, visit www.posterauctions.com or www.rennertsgallery.com. Or, you may call the gallery at (212) 787-4000. The 180-page, full-color catalog is available for $40. Call to order one.

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: Two-sheet Italian poster promoting The Beatles’ 1969 animated film Yellow Submarine, unsigned and by an anonymous artist, 52 1/2 inches by 76 7/8 inches (est. $1,700-$2,000).

chagall copy.jpgFalls Church, Virginia - An auction of fine-quality modern prints, posters and works on paper ranging from the late 19th century to present day is planned for Thursday, January 24, by the Waverly Rare Books division of Quinn’s Auction Galleries. More than 250 lots carry estimates of $200 or less, making them accessible to new collectors as well as those who are more seasoned in their buying. In addition to live bidding at the company’s northern Virginia gallery, Waverly is pleased to accept bids through all remote methods, including by phone, absentee or live via the Internet through LiveAuctioneers. 

An impressive lineup of artists is represented in the sale, including David Hockney, Alfredo Castaneda, Tsuguharu Foujita, James Montgomery Flagg, Pablo Picasso, Joan Miro, Sol LeWitt, Marc Chagall, Marino Marini, Raphael Soyer, Jacques Villon, Clay Huffman, Salvador Dali, Charles Bragg and many others.

A serigraph in colors of the first silkscreen print by Mexican artist Alfredo Castañeda (1938-2011), titled Demostracion (Demonstration), carries an estimate of $2,000-$3,000. It is #46 out of an edition of 50 and is signed and dated 1974 in pencil. Presented in a 24- by 32-inch frame, the work comes with a certificate of authenticity and its original bill of sale. 

Bearing one of the most recognizable images in all of American art, James Montgomery Flagg’s (1870-1960) iconic 1917 World War I offset lithograph poster titled I Want You, measures 40¾ inches by 31 inches in the frame (the sheet is 30 inches by 40 inches). Produced by Leslie Judge (New York), this poster of Uncle Sam encouraging enlistments to wartime military service should realize $5,000-$7,000 at auction.

An etching by Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881-1973) from the artist's edition of 310 titled Vollard Suite #53: Les Repos du Sculpteur devant le Petit Torse (1933) is signed in pencil and rendered on Montval laid paper with the Vollard watermark. Framed, it measures 15½ inches by 10¾ inches. The pre-sale estimate is set at $6,000-$9,000.

A single limited-edition porcelain plate by Sol LeWitt (American, 1928-2007), untitled and made especially for the Bonnefanten Museum in Maastricht, the Netherlands, will cross the auction block with an $800-$1,200 estimate. Measuring 11½ inches in diameter, the vibrantly hued plate is #439 from an edition of 500. It is artist-signed in glaze on verso. Sol LeWitt was a talented multimedia artist linked to various movements, including conceptual art and minimalism. He rose to fame in the 1960s, with hundreds of museums and galleries hosting solo exhibitions of his work since 1965.

A lithograph in colors on Arches paper by the renowned French-Russian artist Marc Chagall (1887-1985), titled David (1973), is estimated to garner $2,000-$4,000. It is signed in pencil at lower right and editioned (131/150) at lower left. Produced by Editions des Musees Nationaux in Paris, the lithograph’s sheet size is 12 inches by 9¾ inches; the frame measures 27¾ inches by 25 inches.

British artist David Hockney (b. 1937-) is one of the most highly valued of all living artists. His original creations sell well into the millions. A color offset lithograph of Hockney’s The Prisoner (For Amnesty International) from 1977, signed in pencil at lower right and editioned  at lower left, should easily achieve $1,000-$2,000. The litho is edition #75 of 100 and comes in a 29¼-inch by 24-inch frame.

A rare artist’s proof lithograph in colors by Tsuguharu Foujita (French-Japanese, 1886-1968), titled La Reve (The Dream) from 1947, is expected to bring $4,000-$6,000. Signed in pencil at lower right and uniquely editioned “I.I” at lower left, the artwork measures 27¼ inches by 34¾ inches in the frame. It is signed H.C. (hors de commerce), indicating it was the artist's personal choice as best of the series and therefore was not to be made available for sale. Typically, artworks signed "H.C." are selected for use as the display example at exhibitions and/or to be presented as a gift to the publisher or retained for the artist's personal collection.

Waverly Rare Books is located at 360 South Washington St., Falls Church, VA 22046. The January 24 auction will commence at 6 p.m. Eastern time. Preview daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., now through auction day. Refreshments will be served at the preview party to be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, January 19. For additional information about any item in the sale, 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. Quinn’s and Waverly are always accepting consignments for future auctions. Visit Quinn’s and Waverly online at http://www.quinnsauction.com

Image: Lithograph in colors on Arches paper by Marc Chagall (French/Russian, 1887-1985), titled David (1973), signed in pencil lower right, est. $2,000-$4,000. https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/68363272_marc-chagall-david-1973 

Lot 291-Les Maîtres.jpgNew York--Swann Galleries will offer a sale of Vintage Posters on Thursday, February 7. The auction comes packed with memorable Art Nouveau images and rare advertisements, alongside seasonal ski and winter resort posters. 

Ski and winter posters are well represented with Walther Koch’s 1908 Art Deco inspired poster for the World Allround Speed Skating Championships in Davos, Switzerland (Estimate: $4,000-6,000). The German version of Emil Cardinaux’s advertisement for skiing in Switzerland from 1919 depicts a snowy scene of skiers as they overlook the Aletsch Glacier ($3,000-4,000). Advertisements for North American winter destinations include Roger Couillard’s Visit Canada / Travel Canadian Pacific, circa 1955, ($1,000-1,500), and Willian Willmarth’s Sun Valley Idaho / Summer Holiday, 1939 ($2,000-3,000). 

Also available are posters advertising travel to popular destinations of the time such as Vichy, 1911, by Louis Tauzin ($3,000-4,000) and Southport, circa 1935 by Fortunino Matania ($5,000-7,500); additionally, images promoting travel by ocean liner, rail and plane form a robust section of the sale. 

Among the rarities offered in the sale a 1927 poster for the Stockholm premiere of Josephine Baker’s silent film La Sirène des Tropiques stands out. The image is rendered after a photograph taken by Lucien Walery which had appeared in a program for the Folies Bergère and depicts the star in her recognizable “pearl and feather” costume. The poster comes across the block estimated at $12,000 to $18,000.  

Italian and French poster designer Leonetto Cappiello is present with a run of lots including “Borea” / Calze per Uomo, 1923, an amusing poster for men’s socks, and Lait Gallia, 1931, a first at auction for the image, each estimated at $4,000 to $6,000, and Contratto, 1922, which is expected to bring $3,000 $4,000. 

Nicholas D. Lowry, Director of Vintage Posters, noted of the auction, "In many ways, it is books and portfolios that steal the show in our sale. Those offered are among the rarest and most desirable editions in the poster world. The publications fall into the Art Nouveau category which is as strong a category as it has been in many years and includes masterworks by Alphonse Mucha, prominent and talented artists of the era, as well as the books.” 

The sale is led by Les Maîtres de L’Affiche, a breathtaking group of five complete volumes-a total of 256 plates-of reproductions of the most notable posters from Europe and America as selected by the famed critic Roger Marx. Published from 1896-1900, each plate is a full-color lithograph bound in special bindings by Paul Berthon and carries an estimate of $40,000 to $60,000. Additional portfolios include a rare standout work by Alphonse Mucha, Documents Décoratifs, 1902, complete with 72 plates displaying examples of jewelry, furniture and silverware, as well as illustrating how to draw women and flowers each demonstrating Mucha’s stylistic expertise ($15,000-20,000), and L’Estampe Moderne, 1897-99, a complete volume of 100 plates designed by favorite artists of the day ($15,000-20,000).  

Works by Mucha stand out in of a run of ethereal Art Nouveau images. Highlights include two offerings of the artist’s allegorical rendering of The Seasons, both from 1896 ($8,000-12,000 and $20,000-30,000, respectively), and the artist’s advertisements for Job cigarettes are present with versions from 1896 and 1898 ($10,000-15,000 and $6,000-9,000, respectively). The Italian poster, Biscottini E. Amaretti Desler, circa 1900, by Osvaldo Ballerio, makes its auction debut at $4,000 to $6,000. [La Vitrioleuse], 1894, by Eugène Grasset is the artist’s most accomplished example of Japonisme. Initially printed for L’Estampe Originale, the lithograph depicts an unusual subject matter for Art Nouveau: woman filled with vitriol holding a cup of poison, however, the work remains an outstanding example of the genre ($2,000-3,000).

A selection of political and wartime advertisements, as well as artist and exhibition posters with the likes of Jean Cocteau, Miró and Picasso, and Pop artists Robert Indiana and Roy Lichtenstein will round out the sale.

Exhibition opening in New York City February 2. The complete catalogue and bidding information is available at www.swanngalleries.com.

Image: Lot 291: Les Maîtres L’Affiche, various artists, group of five complete volumes, 1896-1900. Estimate $40,000 to $60,000.

20.jpgChicago—Potter & Potter Auctions is pleased to announce its nearly 800 lot Fine Books and Manuscripts sale to be held on Saturday, February 2nd, 2019 starting at 10am at the company's gallery, located at 3759 N. Ravenswood Ave., Chicago, IL 60613. All lots from this upcoming sale from are on display and available for public preview on Wednesday, January 30th, Thursday, January 31st, and Friday, February 1st from 10:00am to 5:00pm in the Potter & Potter facility. Everyone is also welcome to attend a special gallery celebration with hors d'oeuvres and beverages on Thursday, January 31 from 6:00pm to 7:30pm.  All times noted are CST. 

This event features over 200 lots of materials honoring a century and a half of Chicago's remarkable history. Chicago has been making headlines since its incorporation as a town in 1833 and as a city in 1837.  As such, presidential-caliber antiques related to this key city in the Land of Lincoln are well represented in this sale. Lot #153, a collection of John Dillinger materials, including his death mask, hair from his moustache, and a letter from Melvin Purvis, is estimated at $6,000-9,000.  Dillinger, an infamous Depression-era gangster, was responsible for over two dozen bank robberies and multiple other crimes.  On July 22, 1934, he was captured, shot, and killed by FBI agents - including Purvis - at the Biograph Theatre near Lincoln Park in Chicago. This fascinating grouping of Dillinger materials is from the collection of noted crime collector Michael Webb (1950—2009). Lot #172, a 20th century handmade model of Fort Dearborn said to have been displayed at the 1933 World’s Fair, is estimated at $900-1,300. Fort Dearborn's history and that of the city are deeply intertwined and include the war of 1812 and the great Chicago Fire of 1871. This skillfully rendered mixed-media model is mounted on an oak base with glass sides and features a painted canvas background. It measures 10" x 22" x 22” and is accompanied with an inlaid Fort Dearborn marquetry sign.  And lot #33, a mid-century yellow enameled Diversey Avenue street sign is estimated at $300-500.  Diversey Avenue is now a major east-west Chicago roadway; it was named after 19th century brewer, philanthropist, and alderman Michael Diversey. 

Also on offer are a number of important antique reference publications documenting the geography, roads, infrastructure, and buildings of the Chicago area during the last quarter of the 19th century. Lot #3, Atlas of the Village of Hyde Park is estimated at $250-350.  Published by Rhoades, Dobson, and Rascher in the 1870s, this 23" x 25" time capsule includes an index map showing the area from 130th Street to 39th Street, and from State Street to Lake Michigan. Rare in any state of completeness, the atlas is listed on the title page by the publisher at the handsome sum of $100 - the equivalent of nearly $2,000 in 2019 dollars. And lot #131, Edwards’ Thirteenth Annual Directory of the City of Chicago, 1870—71 is estimated at $300-500. According to its front page, this scarce tome includes a full listing of the areas "Inhabitants, Institutions, Incorporated Companies, and Manufacturing Establishments." One can only imagine how different subsequent editions would read, given the monstrous hit every aspect of the city took with the 1871 Chicago fire. 

Now let's focus on this auction's offering of collectible posters capturing stunning Chicago images.  Lot #20, a 1929 color litho poster from Chicago/ New York Central Lines featuring some of the city's highlight buildings of the "roaring 20s" is estimated at $2,600-3,500. It is by commercial artist Leslie Ragan (1897—1972), who is known - among other things - for his fantastic rendering of clouds. And lot #19, a c. 1950s Chicago via Braniff Airways color silkscreen poster by Don Marvine is estimated at $800-1,200. It features a a trio of travelers, including a cowboy, under the neon lights in downtown Chicago at night, each apparently hailing taxis. 

Impressive selections of livre d'artiste works add an international dimension to this Midwest sale. These items fall at the intersection of illustration, books, and limited editions and are often housed in boxes or folders that are works of art in themselves. Lot #297, a group of twelve erotic pochoir plates after watercolors by Gerda Wegener is estimated at &1,800-2,600. This cloth-backed portfolio from 1925 is printed in gilt and is one of 350 copies.  Lot #290, Les Aventures du Roi Pausole featuring seventeen erotic illustrations by Brunelleschi colored in pochoir is estimated at $1,200-1,500.   It is number 56 of 450 and is presented in a navy morocco over midnight blue calf binding with gold-veined marbled endpapers. And lot #264, Oscar Wilde's Ballade de la Geole de Reading with artwork by Andre Dignimont is estimated at $1,500-2,600. This rarity from 1942 is number one of three deluxe artist's copies.  It is signed by Dignimont on the limitation page, housed in a slipcased chemise with files of original and proof artwork, and includes more than 40 original drawings.

First edition and other important traditional bound books are also page turners at this can't miss auction.  Lot #244, a first American edition of Aldous Huxley's Brave New World is estimated at $2,600-3,500.  Published in 1932 by Doubleday, Doran & Company, this is number 64 of 250 specially-printed and bound copies, and is signed and numbered by the author. It includes its near fine original slipcase - which often lacking or damaged - all handsomely enclosed in a quarter leather slipcase and box.  And lot #230, a first edition of Charles Bukowski's South of No North published by the Black Sparrow Press in Los Angeles is estimated at $1,500-2,000. This book from 1973 is number 5 of 50 hand bound copies and includes an original signed painting by the author. 

Potter & Potter Auctions enjoys a worldwide reputation of presenting the most eye-catching archives of all sorts, and this event will only confirm that leadership position. Lot #520, a Christine Jorgensen (1926-1989) archive from the 1940s-50s is estimated at $600-900.  Entertainer Jorgensen was an American transgender woman, and the first who became widely known for having undergone sex reassignment surgery in Sweden in 1951. This collection includes sixteen original photographs featuring Christine as well as an oversized, illustrated advertising program headlined, “America’s No. 1 Box-Office Attraction.” Lot #71, an archive of photographs, documents, and ephemera from Chicago Fire Marshal Charles Seyferlich is estimated at $400-600.  These materials span the 1890s—1910s time frame and include a bound memorial album, a lithographed memorial resolution issued and signed by the Chicago Board of Underwriters, 49 snapshots of intense scenes of firefighting at the Stockyard Fire, Seyferlich’s business card as Fire Marshal, postcards, news clippings, and other materials. And lot #165, a collection of 1933—34 Chicago World’s Fair souvenirs and ephemera is estimated at $200-300. Highlights of this most eclectic archive include a glass and rubber Firestone Tires ashtray, an engraved Oneida spoons depicting Fort Dearborn, a tin Sky Ride ashtray, a box of eight sealed souvenir matchbooks, a boxed souvenir jumbo “Key to the Chicago World’s Fair”, and three sealed “souvenir views” photo-card sets. 

This sale offers many distinctive ephemeral items, including photos, postcards, blueprints, and "everyday" goods that bring the past to life.  Lot #512, a cabinet photo of actor Richard Mansfield as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde from c. 1887 is estimated at $1,000-1,500. Lot #151, a collection of eight Chicago Police Department Daily Bulletin "Wanted Flyers" from 1961 is estimated at $50-100. These are ominously illustrated with photos of wanted criminals and missing persons, including men wanted for bogus checks, bond forfeiture, armed robbery, deceptive practices, burglary, and other crimes.  Lot #8, architect Frank Lloyd Wright's signed, original 36" x 46” floor plan for the Louis Frederick House from 1956/57 is estimated at $6,000-8,000. This 2,550-square-foot home, located in Barrington, IL, was one of Wright's last projects and most recently sold for $795,000 in 2016, a mere three days after its listing. And it’s easy to get carried away over lot #409, an all-original Andy Warhol Campbell’s Soup shopping bag from 1966. This first printing, color silkscreen depicts a Campbell’s Tomato Soup can on a wove Guild Paper Products shopping bag and is estimated at $800-1,200.

This auction comes full circle with carefully curated offerings of prints and drawings, photos, atlases, antiques, and other rarities, including early and collectible comic books. Lot #647, a Marvel Comics Incredible Hulk number 181 from 1974 is estimated at $1,800-2,400. This monster of an edition features the first full appearance of Wolverine as well as an appearance from Wendigo. 

According to Gabe Fajuri, President at Potter & Potter Auctions, "As a proud "Windy City" business, we are thrilled to be offering this fine collection of Chicago materials.  Despite their regional theme, they should have enormous universal appeal given our city's prominent role on the global stage. Looking over these items, it is so interesting to me to see how much the city has evolved and changed - and not - over time. The sale's other key categories, including important books, ephemera, and livre d'artiste, also offer spectacular temptations."

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. For more information, please see www.potterauctions.com.  Follow us on Facebook (potterandpotterauctions), Twitter (PnPAuctions), and Instagram (potterauctions). 

Image: Lot 20. Chicago-NY Central Line. Estimate $2,600-3,500

 

Screen Shot 2019-01-14 at 8.50.39 AM.pngPhiladelphia—Kicking off Freeman’s 2019 auction season is the January 31 sale of Books, Maps & Manuscripts. The inaugural auction features over 400 lots of rare and important books, historical documents, photography, prints, posters and ephemera.

Anchoring the sale is the She’arit Haple’atah Archive (Lot 163, estimate: $100,000-150,000). Approximately 200 titles—in 240 volumes—comprise this collection which were printed for, and relate to, Jewish Displaced Persons living in camps in Eastern Europe between 1945 and 1949; they were called the She’arit Haple’atah, or “the surviving remnant.” 

After their liberation from the Nazis in the spring of 1945, hundreds of thousands of Jews lived in camps—often former concentration camps or German army camps—that were run by the Allied authorities. The mission of Displaced Persons camps was to repatriate people to their home countries, but they also fulfilled a practical need for temporary shelters which provided food, clothing, medicine and transportation. 

She’arit Haple’atah literature is extremely rare. The vastness of this particular collection provides invaluable insight into Jewish life in Europe in the post-World War II period. This type of literature was only intended for distribution in the camps—it was not available for sale—so many people did not have access to it outside of the camps. The materials printed were quickly and inexpensively produced, and when survivors left the camps they often left these materials behind, which were then destroyed when the camps were razed; hence the rarity and fragility of the surviving items. 

“This transformative but all-too-hidden chapter of Jewish history was obscured first by the enormity of the Holocaust and then by the shining promise of the emerging state of Israel,” Books, Maps & Manuscripts Vice President and Senior Specialist, David Bloom said.

Other highlights of the January 31 auction include a first edition of Spanish architectural works, “Monumentos Arquitectónicos de España” (Lot 83, estimate: $10,000-15,000). The lot features 253 lithographic and engraved plates, and was initiated with the support of the Spanish Ministry of Public Works in the early 19th century in order to record the architectural heritage of Spain’s various provinces. The lot comes from the library of Philadelphia banker and developer Clarence H. Clark, Sr. 

Parisian opulence of the 19th century is also represented in the sale with “Le Nouvel Opéra de Paris” (Lot 84, estimate: $10,000-15,000). The lot highlights across eight volumes the jewel-box Paris Opera House, designed by the French architect Charles Garnier and built over a 14-year period during the Second Empire under Napoleon III. This rare and complete set documents the lavish facades, interiors, vestibule and statuary of the opera house in full-page chromolithographs, engravings and photographs. 

Pop artist Andy Warhol another feature of the sale, represented across various media. Highlights include: Holy Cats is a first and only edition of 20 offset lithographs by Warhol with lettering and an inscription by his mother, Julia Warhola (Lot 301, estimate: $3,000-5,000). A group of the first 34 issues of Warhol’s Interview magazine (1969-1972), the self-proclaimed “Crystal Ball of Pop,” (Lot 302, estimate: $800-1,200) are also a veritable time capsule of cool. 

The auction includes a varied assortment of counter-culture material including an original color lithograph poster from the original Woodstock (Lot 276, estimate: $800-1,200), a now iconic image representing far more than the three-day festival, as well as the first published issue of Penthouse magazine, from 1965 (Lot 282, estimate: $200-300). A rare collection of 32 pre-war issues of Paris Magazine, spanning 1933-1939 (Lot 338, estimate: $800-1,200), with its sophisticated design and a better sense of humor than the “girlie” magazines being produced in the States at the same time, is an extraordinary find. There are posters from the 1960s-1980s (Lots 267-275), an FBI Wanted poster for Patty Hearst and her Symbionese cohorts (Lot 264, estimate $100-150), a psychedelic coloring book by Timothy Leary among others (Lot 265, estimate $300-500) and more.

There are nearly 60 lots of photography by the likes of Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Steichen, Margaret Bourke-White and O. Winston Link. Of note, the sale will include half a dozen photographs by pioneering female photographer Berenice Abbott, whose large-format depictions of New York were inspired by French city photographer Eugène Atget. Abbott’s work provides an historical record of the changing Manhattan of the late 1920s. “Pier 13, North River, Manhattan” (Lot 308, estimate: $5,000-8,000) and “Pennsylvania Station Interior #1” (Lot 307, estimate: $2,000-3,000) are among the highlights. 

Close to one dozen lots of books, representing 37 volumes in total, relating to Court Tennis come from the Library of William J. Clothier II, tennis champion and grandson of the co-founder of the Philadelphia department store, Strawbridge & Clothier. Court Tennis is an indoor racquet sport and a precursor to the modern game of tennis. The game was considered “the sport of kings” for its roots in several European monarchies from the 15th century onward. “The Annals of Tennis” by Julian Marshall, published in 1878 (Lot 235, estimate: $1,000-1,500) is of particular note.

Those interested in our nation’s history will enjoy the opportunity to own a copy of “Journals of Congress. Containing the Proceedings in the Year, 1776. Volume II,” Philadelphia, 1777, first edition, first issue, untrimmed and in its original boards. It contains a very early printing of the Declaration of Independence (Lot 111, estimate: $6,000-9,000). Many presidential letters and autographs will be on offer as well (Lots 129-161).

Doyle Map.jpgNew York - Following the recent success of the online sales of property from the collection of Arnold “Jake” Johnson (1930-2017), Doyle is pleased to offer an impressive array of Americana from the same collection. The current sale comprises over 300 lots of books and maps and is offered as a timed online-only auction on Doyle.com. Bidding will close on Tuesday, January 29, 2019 beginning at 12pm EST. The public is invited to view the books at Doyle from 10am-5pm on Friday, January 25 and Monday, January 28. Doyle is located at 175 East 87th Street in Manhattan.

The auction is particularly rich in a certain aspect of American history: pioneer narratives of the American West. Dozens of lots narrate an author’s true (but often exaggerated) experiences crossing the Plains on the Oregon Trail, settling rugged terrain of Texas and Oklahoma, exploring the rivers of Canada and the Rockies, risking all for the riches of the Colorado, California and Alaska Gold Rushes, as well as the travelogues of many Englishman and foreigners as they adventured in the country. Many works deal directly with the negotiations, wars, and encounters with the American Indian as the country surged West. Also offered in the sale is a selection of Adirondack literature and a wide range of traditional Americana.

Featured among the selection of maps in the sale are two maps of the American West at the time of William H. Emory’s 1857 survey to finalize the US-Mexican boundary (est. $400-600) and Emory’s report in three volumes.

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 includes 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. This remarkable and extensive collection, numbering in the thousands of volumes, is being offered an ongoing series of live and online auctions.

TIMED ONLINE-ONLY AUCTION
Bidding in the timed online-only auction will open on Monday, January 19 and close on Tuesday, January 29 beginning at Noon EST. 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 one additional minute.

SPECIAL EXHIBITION
All of the books will be on public exhibition at Doyle on Friday, January 25 from 10am-5pm and Monday, January 28 from 10am-5pm. Doyle is located at 175 East 87th Street in Manhattan.

PAYMENT
Payment can be made by cash, check, credit card or wire transfer. The final purchase price will include the successful hammer price plus the Buyer’s Premium of 25% and any applicable sales tax.

SHIPPING
Doyle can facilitate shipping using a third-party shipper. For details please contact client.accounts@Doyle.com

Image: EMORY, WILLIAM H. Report on the United States and Mexican Boundary Survey, Made Under the Direction of the Secretary of the Interior ... Volume I. Estimate: $400 - $600

 

Shackleton (945x1024).jpgAn important private library of polar exploration, travel and local history books exceeded expectations when it was auctioned by Tennants Auctioneers on 10th January, attracting both book collectors and Polar enthusiasts alike. Bidders joined the sale from North America, Canada, Australia, India and Europe, and one buyer travelled all the way from Canada for the sale. The library achieved a total hammer price of £220,000, and an impressive 96% sold rate testifies to the level of interest seen in this unique collection. 

Including many rare and important volumes, the Roger Casson Collection was put together over many years by the late Roger Casson, an architect from North East England. It was notable for the outstanding condition of much of the collection. The focus of the library was Polar Exploration in the 19th and early 20th century, which accounted for over 200 lots in the sale. Of particular note were a good collection of works recounting the ill-fated final expedition made by Sir John Franklin in 1845 to find the North-West Passage, and the numerous search missions that followed the disappearance of his ships and their crew. 

One of the most valuable lots in the sale, selling for £14,000 (plus buyer’s premium), was a limited-edition copy of The Heart of the Antarctic, Being the Story of the British Antarctic Expedition 1907-1909 by Ernest H. Shackleton. Published by Heinemann in 1909, the two-volume set, which included two panoramas and three folding maps, is one of only three hundred sets that were produced bound in vellum. Also included in the lot was the accompanying The Antarctic Book, Winter Quarters, 1907-1909, which contained sixteen signatures of the Shore Party from the famous expedition. 

Antarctic Days, Sketches of the homely side of Polar life by two of Shackleton’s men…and introduced by Sir Ernest Shackleton by James Murray and George Marston (1913), a limited edition signed by Murray, Marston and Shackleton, also generated a buzz in the saleroom when it sold for £8,000 (plus buyer’s premium) against an estimate of £3,000-5,000. In demand too was a manuscript by Cdr. Frank Wild - a seven-page autograph account describing his experiences in the Antarctic - written in 1917 for Miss Kathleen M. Blocksidge of Surrey. Wild describes icebergs, food supplies and eating seal and penguin, of which he wrote: ‘the penguins are really nice, the legs taste like mutton and the breast very like hare’. The lot sold for £7,500 (plus buyer’s premium) against an estimate of £1,000-2,000. 

The sale resulted in a total hammer price of £220,120 for 344 lots, with a 96% sold rate. 

Full results are available on our website. www.tennants.co.uk

Image: Ernest H. Shackleton The Heart of the Antarctic, Being the Story of the British Antarctic Expedition 1907-1909, and The Antarctic Book, Winter Quarters, 1907-1909 with signatures of the Shore Party: Sold for £14,000

Bob Dylan.jpegWestport, CT - Bob Dylan’s signed, handwritten lyrics to his iconic song Like a Rolling Stone, items relating to the recently deceased former President George H.W. Bush, plus rare and highly collectible items pertaining to Washington, Lincoln and other luminaries will be featured in University Archives’ next major online-only auction, scheduled for Wednesday, January 23rd.

Live bidding for the 260-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, highly collectible autographed documents, manuscripts, books, photos and relics. The full catalog can be viewed online now, at www.UniversityArchives.com. Online bidding is via Invaluable.com and LiveAuctioneers.com. 

Major categories will include Civil War and Revolutionary War collectibles, space and aviation (including letters written and signed by deceased moonwalkers Neil Armstrong and Jim Irwin), science (including lots signed by Sigmund Freud, Charles Darwin and Samuel F.B. Morse), World War II items, and U.S. Presidents memorabilia, for which University Archives is famous.

“This might not be our largest sale ever, but in terms of value and quality it could very well be our best,” said John Reznikoff, president and owner of University Archives. “There are more than a few items in this sale that are simply ‘the finest known’, ‘the best’ or ‘the rarest’. And after 40 years in the business, when we make such lofty claims they’re uttered authoritatively.”

Dylan’s signed, handwritten lyrics to Like a Rolling Stone - voted the #1 rock song of all time by Rolling Stone magazine in 2004 - was consigned by the same person who sold Dylan’s signed lyrics to The Times They Are A-Changin’ in University Archives’ recent auction (they realized $137,500). Like a Rolling Stone is arguably the superior collectible and has a pre-sale estimate of $50,000-$60,000. Also sold will be a copy of the Dylan album Blonde on Blonde, signed by him.

The George H.W. Bush lots include a three-page letter typed on White House stationery in 1991, signed by Bush and written to journalist Richard Cramer, in which he explains his rationale for launching Operation Desert Storm and calls Saddam Hussein the “Picture of Evil” (est. $8,000-$9,000); and Bush’s own Timex watch presented by him to incumbent Republican Congressman Bill Young in 1990, along with a hand-signed note to Young and his wife (est. $5,000-$6,000).

Collectors can’t get enough of George Washington. Lots pertaining to the first President include a letter signed by Washington in 1780 (with the main body penned by military secretary Robert Hanson Harrison), in which he writes of the harsh winter in Morristown, N.J. (est. $15,000-$16,000); and a signed document from 1785, endorsing Thomas Tillotson, a medical surgeon in the Revolutionary War, for membership in The Society of Cincinnati (est. $12,000-$14,000).

A unique Lincoln Memorial dedication program signed by four U.S. Presidents and more than 30 Lincoln scholars, artists and other important attendees is bound to attract keen bidder interest. The handsome, oversized presentation album is hand-signed by former President William H. Taft, Warren G. Harding (the sitting president at the time), and future presidents Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover. Measuring 10 ¾ inches by 13 inches, the book should bring $6,000-$7,000.

Space and science - two burgeoning genres of collectible - will be well-represented in the sale. A letter handwritten and signed by Neil Armstrong on NASA letterhead, addressed to a “Mr. Glass” in which Armstrong mentions his seven X-15 flights, should soar to $7,000-$8,000; while an original two-page scientific manuscript, inscribed overall by French physicist Antoine Henri Becquerel (1852-1908), the discoverer of radioactivity, is expected to finish at $3,000-$3,250.

A highly important document from 1919, typewritten in Russian and boldly signed by Joseph Stalin (1878-1953) and others (including Czar Nicholas’s executioner, Felix Dzerzhinsky (1877-1926), on cream letterhead, should bring $12,000-$14,000; while a glossy black and white photo signed by Douglas MacArthur, showing the World War II general landing at Leyte Island in the Philippines in Oct. 1944, one of the finest examples known, has an estimate of $3,000-$3,250.

In one of the early real-life examples of “fake news”, a photo of President Harry S. Truman holding up a copy of a newspaper that carried the false headline “Dewey Defeats Truman” from the 1948 presidential election, signed by Truman, has an estimate of $6,000-$7,000. Also, a letter typed on White House stationery in 1974 and signed by President Richard Nixon, in which he thanks a supporter for “urging me not to resign the Presidency,” should garner $4,000-$5,000.

Rounding out just a couple more highlights from the catalog, one of the finest known signed images of Bruce Lee, pictured as “Kato” from The Green Hornet in a program guide for the National Karate Championship of 1967, inscribed to a fan, is expected to hit $15,000-$17,000; while a document twice-signed in 1791 by John Marshall, while Secretary of State under John Adams, selling four shares in The Bank of the United States, should command $4,000-$5,000.

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, January 23rd internet-only auction, please visit www.universityarchives.com.

Image: Bob Dylan’s signed, handwritten lyrics to his iconic song Like a Rolling Stone, voted the #1 rock ‘n’ roll song of all time by Rolling Stone magazine readers in 2004 (est. $50,000-$60,000).

Swann Baskin.jpgNew York-Swann Galleries opens their winter season with a boutique sale of Fine Illustrated Books & Graphics on Tuesday, January 29. Coinciding with Bibliography Week in New York City, the auction offers fine books, design and contemporary volumes with work from collections of notable bibliophiles, as well as twentieth-century livres d’artiste and Art Deco masterworks. 

The collection of Richard Lee Callaway forms the cornerstone of the fine printing and private press section of the sale. Callaway was a longtime friend and admirer of artist Alan James Robinson. Through their relationship Callaway became involved in The Press of the Sea Turtle-an incarnation of the Cheloniidae Press-and collaborated with Robinson on numerous publications as his representative on the West Coast. Highlights include Cheloniidae’s first book, Poe’s The Raven, 1980, a publisher’s proof copy for the artist with deluxe binding and featuring seven original pencil drawings, 12 titled and signed proofs, an artist’s proof and a signed prospectus (Estimate: $2,500-3,500), as well as the artist proof copy of a special deluxe edition of Robinson’s Cheloniidae: Sea Turtles, 1987, which includes one of only four bronze cover sculptures, signed and inscribed by Callaway ($3,000-5,000).

Grabhorn Press’s 1930 edition of Whitman’s Leaves of Grass comes to auction from the collection of bibliophile Irving Robbins, Jr. The work features 37 woodcuts by Valenti Angelo and is specially signed by the artist, as well as Edwin and Robert Grabhorn ($2,500-3,500). From Leonard Baskin’s Gehenna Press comes a sumptuous and rich double-suite set of Diptera: A Book of Flies & Other Insects, 1983, number eight of 15 dedicated and inscribed by Baskin and Gray Parrot to Eliot Stanley of the Baxter Society ($6,000-9,000). 

A robust selection of livres d’artiste features publications from German Expressionists as well as an assortment of Modern artists. Wassily Kandinsky’s Klänge, 1913, is a masterly array of his modernist woodcuts alongside poetry and music. This copy, numbered 216 of 300, is presented in original bindings, and carries an estimate of $30,000 to $40,000. An unusually bright limited first edition of Umbra Vitae, 1924, by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, a masterpiece of expressionist book design, is available at $6,000 to $9,000. Georges Rouault makes a splash in the sale with Cirque de l’Étoile Filante, 1938, with 17 color aquatints and 82 engravings, the book is expected to bring $30,000 to $40,000; and the artist’s last work, Passion, 1939, estimated at $15,000 to $25,000. A first edition of Joan Miró’s first illustrated book, Il était une petite pie, 1928, rounds out the selection ($2,000-3,000).

Collaborations between George Barbier and François-Louis Schmied stand out in a run of Art Deco masterworks. One of the best examples of Barbier’s early work, Les Chansons de Bilities, 1922, is available signed by the artist, at $5,000 to $7,500. Vies Imaginaries, 1929, with 60 Barbier illustrations, and designed by Schmied, is a collection of 22 semi-biographical short stories created specially for members of the French bibliophile group Le Livre Contemporain, expected to bring $10,000-15,000. Solo works by Schmied include Le Cantique des Cantiques, 1925, considered the artist’s most elaborate book, featuring 80 pages of lavish wood-engraved illustrations ($10,000-15,000). Sonia Delaunay’s 1925 tour de force of Simultaneous Contrast design theory, Ses Peintures, Ses Objets…, is estimated at $6,000 to $9,000.

Other rarities include Frank Lloyd Wright’s Wasmuth Portfolio, 1910, the deluxe edition offered in its original leather-bound portfolio, of which fewer than 10 copies are thought to have survived ($8,000-12,000); one of only 40 sets of the desirable suite of signed etchings by Richard Diebenkorn for Arion Press’s Poems of W.B. Yeats, 1990, ($12,000-18,000); and Eugène Grasset’s La Plante et ses applications Ornementales, 1895, with 72 richly colored and intricately designed Art Nouveau plates ($6,000-9,000). 

Exhibition opening in New York City January 25. The complete catalogue and bidding information is available at www.swanngalleries.com.  

Additional highlights can be found here.

Image: Lot 20: Leonard Baskin, Diptera: A Book of Flies & Other Insects, with 66 etchings, Gehenna Press, 1983. Estimate $6,000 to $9,000.

Douglass.jpgDallas—Heritage Auctions will present its first sale dedicated exclusively to African Americana on Jan. 15: “Say It Loud,” The John Silverstein Collection of African American Social History. The auction includes a thoughtful and carefully curated selection of items that tell the sweeping story of the trials and triumphs of black life in America.

The Silverstein Collection “is the most comprehensive and voluminous collection of photographs and related materials of its kind ever to be offered for sale at public auction in North America,” writes Cheryl Finley, an Associate Professor Art History at Cornell University. “It is distinguished by its historical breadth, spanning the 19th century daguerreotype to the early 21st century digital prints, and its attention to black life in America through the lens of social political activism, especially of the 1960s and 1970s.”

The collection as a whole provides a panoramic overview of the black experience, ranging from slavery to emancipation and reconstruction, the decades-long struggle for equal rights, and the aspirations and achievements and of African Americans in politics, the military, the arts, literature, film, sports and much more.

A lifelong collector, Silverstein formed the collection over a 10-year period. His pursuit of the artifacts and objects being offered for sale combined his deep interest in history with his belief that social justice is the most relevant theme of our historic moment. “The result,” says Finley, “is a treasure trove ripe with rare and iconic photographs, albums, posters, books and documents that tell the story of why African American social and cultural history is so vital, especially today.”

As nationally prominent collector, dealer and appraiser Wyatt Houston Day has written:

“The Social History of the African American diaspora is rich, nuanced and complex. In its deepest and enduring roots, it is a chronicle of suffering and loss; one of righteous anger, defiance and a continuing struggle for justice. It is also a story of hope, aspiration and compassion.” The collection weaves a story told in equal detail by the instantly recognizable faces of Frederick Douglass, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Muhammad Ali, as it is by the unknown and unnamed personages who posed in photographers’ studios in their desire to have their everyday lives documented.

The sale includes more than 380 lots, many of which are rare or of unusual scarcity, and many appearing at auction for the first time.

Of note among the 19th century photographs is an unprecedented appearance at auction of a group of four small-format photographs, known as “cartes de visite” (CDV), portraying the great orator and abolitionist, Frederick Douglass. Particularly significant among these is the photo of Douglass taken by the Cincinnati-based African American photographer, James Pressley Ball, one of only a small handful of black photographers active anywhere in 19th-century America.

Another 19th century standout is a CDV of the brutally scarred back of Private Gordon, an illustration of which was published in a July 1863 article about Gordon in Harper’s Weekly, the most widely read journal during the Civil War. The image of Gordon's mutilated back provided Northerners with evidence of the brutal treatment of slaves and inspired many free blacks to enlist in the Union Army.

A highlight of the 20th century photographic section of the sale is the lifetime James Van Der Zee portfolio of 18 signed and editioned photos published in 1974. Included in this group is Van Der Zee’s most famous photo, Couple In Raccoon Coats.

An important photograph also on the auction block is a large-format example of Ernest Withers’ best-know image, “I Am A Man”, depicting the Memphis Sanitation Workers Strike of 1968. Martin Luther King, Jr. was in Memphis at the time of his assassination in support of the striking workers.

A major component of the collection is on the Civil Rights and Social Protest movements of the 1960s and 70s. Included in the sale is a massive accumulation of more than 450 press photographs, divided up into several lots, covering the major Civil Rights, School Integration, Race Riots and other Black Activist events of the era.

Perhaps the most familiar civil rights era photo, captured at the time by Associated Press photographer Bill Hudson, is of the German shepherd dog attacking teen-aged Walter Gadsen in Birmingham, Alabama on May 3, 1963. The publication of this photo the next day on the front page of The New York Times stirred national outrage and did much to sway public opinion on the Civil Rights movement.

Of tragic prominence among the many other well-documented images in this press photo archive is a select group of four photographs, taken by Joseph Louw, of the moments leading up to and after the assassin’s bullet hit Martin Luther King, Jr. on April 3, 1968 as he stood on the balcony of the Lorraine Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee.

Individual photographs depicting black life by such acclaimed 20th century photographers, both black and white, as P.J. Polk, Ernest Withers, Robert Sengstacke and Robert Haggins; Kamoinge Workshop photographers Anthony Barboza, Mikki Ferrell and Shawn Walker; Jazz Photographers William Gottlieb, Herman Leonard, Ted Williams, Chuck Stewart, and many others, are also included in the sale.

“Without a doubt,” Finley says, “the most remarkable aspect of the Silverstein Collection is in its unparalleled emphasis on the activities, leaders and artistic production of the Black Panthers.”

A true rarity in this group, and only the second example ever to be offered at auction, is the first poster to use an image of a stalking black panther with text reading “Move On Over Or We’ll Move On Over You”. The poster was created for the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) circa 1966 to promote the voter registration campaign in Lowndes County, Alabama. When the Black Panther Party of Self-Defense was officially founded in Oakland, California, the next year it, adopted the animal as its symbol.

Of equal, if not greater scarcity, and possibly the only known example, is a group of 14 black and white crime scene photographs, taken by the Chicago Tribune, along with another four color photos, of the apartment where Black Panther leader Fred Hampton was murdered on Dec. 4, 1969 in his bed by the Chicago police. These are gruesome images and not for the faint of heart, but of utmost social significance.

Also of note in this section are the more than 100 copies of The Black Panther newspaper; the largest representation of posters designed by Emory Douglas ever to be offered in a single sale; and the finest collection of posters and other ephemera representing the trial of Angela Davis and the national and global campaign to win her freedom.

And, of course, also included in the sale is the best known Black Panther poster of all from 1968, showing Black Panthers Minister of Defense Huey Newton seated on a wicker throne with a rifle in one hand and a spear in the other.

Additional highlights of the sale include:

·         A selection of more than 25 “all-colored-cast” movie posters, including the most difficult to find in the collecting field, the one-sheet poster for The Bull Dogger, a silent western made in 1921 starring cowboy actor Bill Pickett 

·         Flip Schulke’s dazzling 1961 image (printed later) of Ali Underwater

·         One the most iconic images in sports history, Neil Leifer’s color photograph of Team USA members Tommie Smith and John Carlos’ defiant black power salute on the medal stand at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City

·         SNCC and CORE (Congress of Racial Equality) posters from the mid-1960s with photos by Danny Lyon and Bob Adelman that were used to generate awareness of the Voter Registration movement in the deep South 

·         A circa 1940s-50s enameled metal box-office sign for Negro League baseball

·         A painted metal sign for the Booker T. Motel in Humboldt, Tenn., advertising accommodations for African American travelers in the 1940s and ‘50s deep South. This is the kind of hotel that the Don Shirley character in the current film, The Green Book, would have had to stay in

“Say it Loud” The John Silverstein Collection of African American Social History is presented in two sessions Tuesday, Jan. 15. A grand format floor session begins at 11 a.m. Central time and an internet-only session starts at 4 p.m. Central time on HA.com.

William Page.JPGA collection of watercolour sketches by English artist William Page (1794-1872) sold for £8,500 (plus buyer’s premium) in Tennants Auctioneers’ Books, Maps and Manuscripts Sales on 19th December. Page, who attended the Royal Academy Schools in the early 19th Century, travelled widely across Europe and the Ottoman Empire, capturing the landscape and architecture of the places he visited in his atmospheric watercolours. Page also depicted figures in their national costume, examples of which were included in the lot. There were forty-two watercolours and fourteen ink and wash drawings in the lot, which drew heated bidding to soar above the £1,500-2,500 estimate. 

A second collection of 19th Century travel sketches depicting the Far East, this time by an unknown amateur hand, also sparked interest to sell at £4,000 (plus b.p.). Executed by a traveller aboard the East India Company ship ‘The Inglis’, it was one image in particular that elevated this lot from just a charming travelogue; a sketch of the first ordained Chinese Protestant minister - Liang Fa (1789-1855). Shown seated with his wife and grandson, Liang Fa had a far-reaching influence. Born into a poor family in the Guangdong Province, Liang Fa became the second Chinese convert, baptised by Protestant missionary Robert Morrison in 1814. Amongst a steadily growing congregation, Liang Fa became the first Chinese fully ordained Minister in 1827, and soon published his own tract ‘Good Words to Admonish the Age’ - which would have extraordinary consequences. Amongst its readers was Hong Xiuquan, a Christian convert who went on to found the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom in Southern China in direct opposition to the Imperial State, and who claimed to be Christ’s younger brother. Hong Xiuquan and his followers rose up and attempted to overthrow the Qing Dynasty in what became the Taiping Rebellion - fourteen years of civil war which resulted in an estimated death toll of 20-30 million civilians and soldiers. 

Another item of note in the sale was a copy of Humphry Repton’s Designs for the Pavilion at Brighton. The volume contains his plans and designs for a redevelopment of the pavilion as a Mughal pleasure palace. Repton's genius was in marketing. He produced 'little red-books' to show landowners, and thus prospective customers, views of proposed projects. He would illustrate the current view on a flap, which could be lifted to reveal the proposed design - an easy way to show a client before and after comparisons of their houses. Repton was commissioned by the future George IV but the Prince ran out of money. It was partially realised by John Nash in 1814. The volume was sold for £4,200 (plus b.p.). 

The sale resulted in a total hammer price of £72,800 for 232 lots, with a 79% sold rate. 

We are currently accepting lots for the next sale of Books, Maps, Prints & Manuscripts on 15th March 2019, please contact us on 01969 623780 or enquiry@tennants-ltd.co.uk for details.

Full results are available on our website. www.tennants.co.uk

Image: William Page - Watercolour of a Woman in National Costume, detail from Sketchbook: Sold for £8,500

 

Lot 342-Currier & Ives.jpgNew York -- Swann Galleries closed out their fall season with a marathon sale of Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books on Thursday, December 13. The auction saw a sell-through rate of 89%, five records, and steady interest across categories.

The runaway top lot of the sale was Across the Continent, 1868, a Currier & Ives print depicting the changing landscape of the mid nineteenth-century American frontier upon the completion of the Transcontinental Railroads. Significant for its subject matter and memorable provenance, the work came across the block, by descent, from the noteworthy collection of Thomas Winthrop Streeter who was gifted the lithograph on his 80th birthday by his children. Across the Continent reached $62,500-a record for the print. 

Maps and atlases represented a generous portion of the sale with several lots taking top spots and setting records. Maps included Samuel de Champlain’s scarce 1664 record of his later discoveries in Canada with $22,500, and John Overton’s New and Most Exact Map of America from 1671 with $11,875. Additional cartographic material featured a chart of the middle Atlantic Coast including New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina by Joseph Frederick Wallet Des Barres ($13,750); Joan Vingboons’ Caarte van Westindien, circa 1700, a large engraved chart of Florida, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean ($10,625); and a 1676 New and Accurate Map of the World by John Speed ($9,375). Atlases included George Woolworth Colton’s Atlas of America on the physical and political geography of North and South America and the West India Islands, which set a record with $11,250, and a first edition of a rare atlas of Spanish-controlled harbors in North America, Central America and the Caribbean, which earned $11,700. 

Perhaps in response to the political climate, satirical color plate books performed well: Caricaturana, 1836-38, Honoré Daumier’s collaboration with Charles Philipon, taking aim at French society sold for $18,750; and The Caricature Magazine, circa 1806, by George Moutard Woodward, which satirized various elements of nineteenth-century British social and political themes, garnered $16,250. Later in the sale, individual Gillray prints saw a 100% sell-through rate.

Additional highlights from color plate books included John James Audubon’s The Birds of America, 1859, which featured seven volumes and 500 tinted and hand-colored lithograph plates. The publication was offered together with Audubon’s The Quadrupeds of North America and reached $16,250. Michele Rene d’Auberteuil’s eighteenth-century weekly Parisian theatre journals, Costume et Annales des Grands Theatres de Paris, set a record with $11,875. Also from the selection was Thomas Say’s American Conchology, 1830, and a well-illustrated manuscript ciphering book from the eighteenth century by William Greene ($8,750 and $8,125, respectfully).

A run of Japanese material was led by a color woodblock map of Uraga and Edo Bay relating to Commodore Matthew Perry and His Black Ships at $15,600. Additional Perry material included a manuscript report on the arrival of the commodore, featuring two large portraits of Perry and Commander Henry A. Adams, which was sold for $6,500. A panoramic color woodblock map of the roadways, waterways, cities, towns and topography of the entire island chain of Japan; and a large Edo-period woodblock Japanese atlas and encyclopedia were won for $8,450 apiece.   

Caleb Kiffer, Specialist of Maps & Atlases, noted of the sale, “In many ways this sale showed a great confidence in the antique map market with more interest than has been seen and strong prices to back that up. It was also encouraging to witness a surge in the middle-market items. The highlight of the sale, Currier & Ives' Across the Continent was an exceptional result. It is a beautiful, historic image, but it was the fact that it was such a meaningful piece of Thomas Winthrop Streeter's personal collection that propelled it into record territory.”

The next auction of Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books at Swann Galleries will be on June 6, 2019. The house is currently accepting quality consignments.

Additional highlights can be found here.

Image: Lot 342: Currier & Ives, Across the Continent / Westward the Course of Empire Takes Its Way, formerly in the collection of Thomas Winthrop Streeter, New York, 1868. Sold for $62,500, a record for the print.

sothbook.jpgNew York — Sotheby’s December auctions of Books & Manuscripts concluded on Monday, with nearly 700 works sold across six live and online-only sales for a total of $6.1 million. From a newly-discovered manuscript of poems by John Donne, to the ‘dissolution of contract’ that formally ended the Beatles, below is a selection of highlights from the two online-only auctions at the center of this sales series. 

Richard Austin, Head of Sotheby’s Books & Manuscripts Department in New York, commented: “Building off the success of our online-only auction of Books & Manuscripts this June, whose $3.3 million total achieved the highest result for an online-only sale at Sotheby’s in any category, we are very pleased with the results of our December auctions both live and online. In particular, we were excited to see more than half of all sold lots in our online-only sales exceeding their high estimates. From classical music manuscripts to pop music history, rare first editions to newly-discovered autographed letters, we saw many strong prices across the diversity of our field.” 

NEWLY DISCOVERED MANUSCRIPT OF POEMS BY JOHN DONNE 

A previously unrecorded handwritten manuscript by 16th-century British poet, John Donne, which was recently discovered by a Sotheby’s specialist at Melford Hall in Suffolk, sold for $595,315 - marking Sotheby’s highest-ever price achieved in an online-only auction. Described by Sotheby’s book specialists as ‘one of the supreme literary achievements of the English language’, the manuscript is one of the largest contemporary collections of Donne’s poems. 

A contemporary of William Shakespeare, Donne was born into a Catholic household, and experimented with careers first as a soldier-adventurer, and then as secretary to the Lord Keeper in Elizabeth I’s court, a position from which he was promptly sacked, and briefly imprisoned, for eloping with his employer’s niece. His rakish life provided ample material for the poems in this collection - songs and sonnets, erotic elegies and satires. Converting to the Church of England, Donne rose to become Dean of St Pauls in the 1620s with the support of King James I. His extraordinary body of lyrics, full of frank eroticism, theatrical arrogance and jarring rhythms, were considered unlikely output from one of England’s leading priests. 

THE FIRST BOOK TO DESCRIBE A STOCK EXCHANGE 

Sold to benefit the Rare Book Acquisition Fund of the Library of the Jewish Theological Seminary, a rare first edition of Joseph Penso de la Vega’s Confusion de Confusiones written in 1688 achieved $375,000 (estimate $200/300,000). Likely one of less than ten surviving copies, Confusion de Confusiones represents the first book ever to describe a stock exchange. It gives a detailed explanation of the Amsterdam stock exchange, and outlines practices such as puts, calls, pools and manipulations, which remain relevant in today’s exchanges. Despite its great accuracy and keen insights, Confusion was relatively unknown until German economist Richard Ehrenberg published an influential essay in the 1892 Jahrbücher für Nationalökonomie und Statistik, “Die Amsterdame Aktienspekulation un 17. Jarhhundert.” The historical significance of the work was further enhanced by translations into German and Dutch in 1919 and 1939, and in 1957 an abridged translation in English by Hermann Kellenbenz brought the text even wider recognition. 

SHAKESPEARE’S COMEDIES, HISTORIES AND TRAGEDIES 

Published according to the true Originall Copies, Shakespeare’s Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies brought $300,000 - double its high estimate of $150,000. The present edition was printed by Thomas Cotes, who had taken over Isaac Jaggard’s shop in 1627, for publishers Robert Allot, John Smethwick, William Aspley, Richard Hawkins, and Richard Meighen - each of whom had rights in one or more of the plays. 

THE DISSOLUTION OF THE BEATLES 

Marking the end of a global phenomenon, Apple Corps Limited Dissolution of Contract, Signed by All Four Beatles fetched $118,750, more than double its high estimate. While The Beatles had creatively parted ways in 1969, they had reached an accord to formally dissolve by 1974 following years of litigation, and the documents were meant to be signed on 19 December at a meeting at the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan. McCartney and Harrison were there in person, while Starr, having already signed the document, was on the telephone. Although Lennon lived a short distance from the Plaza, he left his former band mates waiting, purportedly giving the excuse: “the stars aren’t right” (in reality his absence was due to lingering concerns over taxation). 

On 29 December, a lawyer met a vacationing John with the amended contract in Disney World. The moment was captured by John’s partner May Pang, who remarked that Lennon “looked wistfully out the window” before signing underneath his band mates’ signatures. 

A RARE LETTER FROM THE FATHER OF MODERN GENETICS 

A remarkable letter written in German from Gregor Mendel to his parents mentioning Friedrich Franz reached $300,000, more than 20x its high estimate of $15,000, with 45 bids placed. Given the tone of the letter, it is assumed that it dates to the 1840s, when Mendel, upon the recommendation of his physics teacher Friedrich Franz, entered the Augustinian St. Thomas's Abbey in Brno. Mendel had not planned to be a monk, but the Augustinian's valued science, research, and education. Mendel was one of Franz's favorite students, and the two men eventually became good friends and often debated a number of topics including the origin of the solar system and of life as such, Goethe's philosophy, and the purpose of human life. Mendel passed away in complete obscurity, and as a result manuscripts relating to his life very rarely appear at auction, and no other autograph letters by Mendel are known to have appeared auction. 

Image: A rare first edition of the first book to describe a stock exchange, Confusion de Confusiones achieves $375,000. Courtesy Sotheby's.

eedfemeejcaehclf.jpgNew York­-Swann Galleries’ auction of Illustration Art on December 6 saw a bustling auction room as well as live bidding from the newly launched Swann Galleries app. Original works from children’s literature and Peanuts comic strips from Charles M. Schulz were among highlights. Of the sale, Illustration Art Specialist Christine von der Linn noted, “We had a strong turnout and set records for six illustrators. The breadth and quality of the material enabled us to further the appreciation and enjoyment of this specific category of art.”

Illustrations from children’s literature saw outstanding results, boasting five of the six records: Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar with $20,000; H.A. Rey’s color pencil work for Cecily G and the 9 Monkeys, 1939-the first book to introduce Curious George-earned $17,500; a watercolor and ink alternate version of the title page for Angelina Ballerina by Helen Craig saw $5,460; and Leonard Weisgard’s double-page illustration for The Golden Christmas Tree brought $5,000. Two archives from Helen Stone found buyers: a rich collection of production material from Tell Me, Mr. Owl, 1957, which included sketches, studies and thoughtfully composed finished drawings garnered $3,500, a record for the artist; and the 50-page mockup of Watch Honeybees with Me, 1964, with numerous illustration, was collected by an institution for $688. Also present was Jerry Pinkney’s special holiday watercolor for a 2009 cover of School Library Journal, which realized $7,000.

The runaway top lot of the sale was a pen and ink drawing of the Marx Brothers by famed cartoonist Al Hirschfeld. The illustration for the cover of Why a Duck?, 1971, which features Chico, Harpo and Groucho in classic Hirschfeld style, barreled through its high estimate of $7,500 selling for $26,000 after a bidding war.Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the Peanuts gang took the spotlight with five original Peanuts comic strips by Charles M. Schulz earning top spots in the sale. The Years are Going by Fast, 1979, which put Schroeder, his piano and Lucy’s fussbudget personality on display; along with Everyone Needs to Have Hope, 1971, with Snoopy atop his doghouse, were sold to collectors. Eventually, That Could Wear Out My Nose, 1971, Woodstock is Searching for His Identity, 1972-each featuring Snoopy and Woodstock; and Neighborhood Dog of the Year, 1973, with Linus and his ever-present security blanket, were won by an institution. Each of the five strips brought $12,500. 

Additional cartoons included an original 11-panel Doonesbury strip, Is Rufus Ready for his Lesson? by Garry Trudeau. The comic was dedicated and inscribed to the influential psychologist, educator and civil rights activist Kenneth B. Clark ($5,750).

Illustrations from The New Yorker performed well, with a cartoon by Charles Addams of a couple passing a giant bird house which sold for $16,250, and a 1926 New Yorker cover by James Daugherty-the earliest cover for the publication offered at Swann to date-realized $3,750.

Other notable lots included: a previously unknown work by Rockwell Kent, To All Fascists for the League of the American Writers ($6,500); and Mary Mayo’s illustration for a General Mills Wheaties advertisement ($3,000, a record for the artist). Scottish illustrator Sir William Russell Flint found success with a watercolor and gouache scene from Homer’s Odyssey of Penelope weaving her shroud selling for $22,500. 

The next auction of Illustration Art at Swann Galleries will be on June 4, 2019. The house is currently accepting quality consignments.

Additional highlights can be found here.

Image: Lot 233: Al Hirschfeld, The Marx Brothers, illustration for the cover of Why a Duck?, pen and ink, 1971. Sold for $26,000. (Pre-sale estimate: $5,000-7,500).

Shackleton Landing Party (1024x692).jpgAn important private library of polar exploration, travel and local history books, including many rare and important volumes, is to be auctioned at Tennants Auctioneers in North Yorkshire on 10th January in a single-owner sale. 

The library was put together over many years by the late Roger Casson, an architect from North East England, and is notable for the outstanding condition of much of the collection. The focus of the library is Polar Exploration in the 19th and early 20th century, which accounts for over 200 lots in the sale. Of particular note are a good collection of works recounting the ill-fated final expedition made by Sir John Franklin in 1845 to find the North-West Passage, and the numerous search missions that followed the disappearance of his ships and their crew. 

One of the most valuable lots in the sale is a limited edition of The Heart of the Antarctic, Being the Story of the British Antarctic Expedition 1907-1909 by Ernest H. Shackleton. Published by Heinemann in 1909, the two-volume set, which includes two panoramas and three folding maps, in one of only three hundred sets bound in vellum. Also included in the lot, which is offered with an estimate of £7,000-10,000 (plus buyer’s premium), is the accompanying The Antarctic Book, Winter Quarters, 1907-1909, which contains sixteen signatures of the Shore Party from the famous expedition. 

Other highlights include a copy of the three-volume The South Polar Times, published by Smith, Elder between 1907-1914, of which a numbered limited edition of 250 were produced, and in this case includes two of the very rare dust wrappers (Estimate: £4,000-8,000 plus b.p.). Also of note is a copy of James Murray and George Marston’s Antarctic Days, Sketches of the homely side of Polar life by two of Shackleton’s Men (Andrew Melrose, 1913). The limited deluxe edition is signed by Murray, Marston and Shackleton, and is being offered with an estimate of £3,000-5,000 (plus b.p.).

The sale will also include numerous books on other travel, including early voyages, and exploration of the Middle East, the history of the North East and architecture. 

A fully illustrated catalogue for the sale will be available on our website, www.tennants.co.uk, two weeks before the sale, alternatively, please contact the salerooms for further details. 

Image: The Antarctic Book, Winter Quarters, 1907-1909 with signatures of the Shore Party: Estimate - £7,000-10,000

DS Gunners copy.jpgLondon--A sketchbook showing the original hand-drawn costume designs for key characters in Star Wars - including Darth Vader, Chewbacca and the Stormtroopers - sold for an impressive £125,000 at Bonhams, New Bond Street, on Tuesday 11 December 2018.

The sketchbook was part of the 73-lot sale: Designing an Empire: The John Mollo Archive, and in the collection belonging to the family of John Mollo, the double Oscar®-winning costume designer for Star Wars, Gandhi, Alien and Chaplin.

Katherine Schofield, Head of Bonhams Entertainment Memorabilia department, said, “John Mollo’s personal sketchbook provides a unique insight into the creation of the Star Wars universe. We are delighted that his historic work has been celebrated with bidders from around the globe eager to own this piece of cinematic history.” 

The story began in 1975, when Mollo was commissioned by George Lucas to work on the Star Wars series. 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. 

The sketches include mechanical diagrams exploring how Darth Vader’s helmet would allow the actor to breathe, the first drawing of Chewbacca’s legendary suit and detailed sketches revealing every detail of the stormtroopers’ costumes. It was these, and other, designs that give John Mollo iconic status in Hollywood.

Other highlights of the sale included:

  • Napoleon: A fine collection of costume designs by John Mollo from Stanley Kubrick’s unfinished production, 1970, sold for £14,375
  • Star Wars Episode IV - A New Hope: pre-production line drawing of Princess Leia in her white hooded gown sold for £10,625

Bonhams Entertainment Memorabilia sale also took place on Tuesday 11 December  with 161 lots on offer.

Highlights from the sale included:

  • Ken (K.K) Downing/ Judas Priest: A Gibson Flying V guitar, 1967, sold for an astonishing £150,000 (Estimate £15,000-18,000), a world record result for a ‘lead heavy metal guitar’
  • The HeliosCentric Helios console: constructed in 1996 through an amalgamation of part of the Island Records Basing Street Studio 2 Helios Console (1970-1974) sold for £112,500.
  • Ken (K.K) Downing/ Judas Priest: A Gibson Flying V Medallion Guitar, 1971 sold for £81,250 (Estimate £12,000-14,000).
  • Ian Fleming/ James Bond: A second draft treatment carbon copy for ‘James Bond of the Secret Service’ from Ian Flemings office, October 1959 sold for £35,000.

Frederick Law Olmsted Central Park Letter Signed 56429a_lg.jpegLos Angeles - A handwritten letter from renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted to a Central Park volunteer will be auctioned by Nate D. Sanders Auctions on December 13, 2018.  

Olmsted is known as the father of American landscape architecture. He was most famous for co-designing Central Park, which opened in 1858.

The letter was written while Olmsted was Superintendent of Central Park and was managing the construction of the open space he designed. The letter requests volunteer participation from a local musician to help draw the public to the city’s most famous green space. In the letter, Olmstead describes his social perception, tremendous commitment to egalitarian ideals and how these beliefs translate to his obligation to provide managed open space for passive recreation and enjoyment.

Olmsted famously advocated “common green space” must always be available to everyone, and was to be defended against private encroachment. These principles are now considered fundamental to the idea of a "public park," but was considered groundbreaking thinking in 1858. Olmsted's tenure as New York City’s park’s commissioner and later as an architect for public green spaces throughout the United States was a long well-documented struggle to preserve these ideas.

Auction owner Nate Sanders said, “This letter is incredibly timely and it is being auctioned in the midst of today’s national conversation regarding the value of open space and parks. The letter provides a beautiful example of Olmsted’s advocacy and is very prescient, as the importance of open federal lands are being debated in Congress.”

Olmsted’s 1859 letter was composed on Central Park stationery and was embossed “Office of the Arch’t in Chief / CENTRAL PARK / 5th Avenue and 79th St.” It reads in full, “It is proposed to provide by subscription a band of music upon the finished portion of the park for a few hours during one or two afternoons a week, for the purpose of increasing its immediate value to those who cannot leave the city. It is believed that after this year the Commissioners of the Park will be able to furnish the means for this purpose without drawing upon their construction fund, but their arrangements cannot be completed at present without the aid of voluntary contributions from citizens who will be influenced by motives of kindness toward those who have no means to go into the country for relief from the heat and turmoil of the city. [Signed] Fred. Law Olmsted. / Superintendent.”  

Bidding for Olmsted’s letter begins at $35,000. 

Additional information on Olmsted’s letter can be found at 
https://natedsanders.com/LotDetail.aspx?inventoryid=51270

9886 Lot 74.jpgNew York - Sotheby’s Geek Week auctions concluded Friday in New York with a total of $7.4 million, featuring sales dedicated to Space Exploration and The History of Science & Technology.

Cassandra Hatton, Vice President & Senior Specialist in Sotheby’s Books & Manuscripts Department commented: “It was so exciting to see such enthusiasm for our first ever ‘Geek Week’ auctions. I am incredibly honored to have been entrusted with the sale of the Nobel Prize, papers, and books of Richard P. Feynman, one of my personal heroes, and I am thrilled with the outstanding results. The depth of bidding and impressive prices achieved are a clear indicator that Feynman’s work and legacy continue to resonate with collectors today, and in particular, the prices achieved for the manuscripts would indicate that Feynman’s scientific work is more precious than gold. It was also especially exciting to become one of only two people, along with Sotheby’s former Vice-Chairman David Redden, to have sold the only known documented samples of the moon available for private ownership.”

Below is a look at some of the highlights that drove these results.

THE HISTORY OF SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Auction Total: $4.9 Million 

Sotheby’s second annual History of Science & Technology auction was led by the Nobel Prize, papers and books of the brilliant, inspiring, and much-beloved theoretical physicist Richard P. Feynman, which were offered across 42 lots. Spanning the full length of his career - from his early days at Los Alamos and Cornell through his final days at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), and covering topics such as the atom bomb, QED, Nanotechnology and Computing - the remarkable and enlightening collection of papers are the only known archive of Feynman manuscripts to exist outside of the archive at Caltech, where he taught for nearly 4 decades.

In the year of the centenary of Feynman’s birth, his 1965 Nobel Prize in Physics achieved $975,000. The prize was awarded to Feynman along 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.” The three physicists independently developed different ingenious methods to reconcile the electromagnetic field theory of the 19th century with the quantum mechanics theory of the 20th. Feynman’s method involved his invention of the revolutionary ‘Feynman Diagram’ - innovative pictorial representations that provided a clear visual explanation of every possible interaction between electrons and photons. 

Leading the collection of Feynman manuscripts was a group of papers showing his derivations of the Schrödinger Equation via the Feynman path integral. Illuminating the equivalence of these distinct but complementary formulations of quantum mechanics, the papers fetched $399,000.

Another top lot of the collection was an autographed draft for Feynman’s famous lecture "There's Plenty of Room at the Bottom; An Invitation to Enter a New Field of Physics." Widely credited with sparking the field of Nanotechnology, the draft sold for $387,000. In his address Feynman imagined "that we could arrange atoms one by one, just as we want them," and in this spirit he posed two challenges that would lead to the development of the field of Nanotechnology, offering $1,000 dollars each to whomever could 1) construct a tiny motor, and 2) to whomever could fit the entire Encyclopedia Britannica on the head of a pin.

SPACE EXPLORATION

Auction Total: 2.5 Million 

Held just a month before the 50th anniversary of Apollo 8 - the first mission to orbit the moon - Sotheby’s second-annual Space Exploration sale was led by the only known lunar samples with clear and documented provenance to be available for private ownership - three moon rocks returned to earth from the unmanned Soviet Luna-16 Mission in 1970, which sold for $855,000. That price nearly doubles the amount achieved when the samples were offered at auction in Sotheby’s iconic Russian Space History sale in 1993. 

The present lunar samples have remained in the same private American collection since Sotheby’s iconic Russian Space History auction in 1993, when they sold for $442,500 - marking the first time that a piece of another world had ever been offered for sale to the public. The samples were consigned to the 1993 sale by Mme. Nina Ivanovna Koroleva, widow of Sergei Pavlovich Korolev - the former “Chief Designer” and director of the Soviet space program and had been presented to her as a gift on behalf of the USSR in recognition of her late husband’s incalculable contributions to the program.

Another highlight of the auction was the exceptionally rare full Gemini Spacesuit - the only known complete American spacesuit to come to market, which fetched $162,500. Built specifically for conducting spacewalks the present suit features gloves that were made for Pete Conrad, the 3rd man to land on the moon, and boots that were made for Frank Borman, one of the first men to ever orbit the moon.

Image: Lot 74. Feynman, Richard P. “Two Objectives. (1) To Point out the Peculiar Point. (2) To Formulate a Me in a Definite Number of Assumptions (Non-Relativistic Schröd),” ca 1946-51. Autograph Manuscript. Sold for $399,000. Property from the family of Richard P. Feynman. Courtesy Sotheby’s. 

50e1cccab8438dc767c7ed043464920e25f428ef.jpegBoston—A Charles Dickens handwritten signed quotation from “A Christmas Carol” sold for $23,597 according to Boston-based RR Auction

Immensely desirable quotation on an off-white stationery sheet, which reads, in full: "And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God bless us every one!' Charles Dickens, Knebworth, Tuesday Eighteenth June, 1861." 

Housed with a handsome engraving of Dickens inside a red leather presentation folder, with attractive gilt text and design to cover and interior boards.

Boasting bold handwriting and a crisp, neat signature, this handwritten quote captures the final line of Dickens’s classic 1843 novella A Christmas Carol. 

"This is only the third autographed signed quotation we have offered from the great Victorian scribe, and the very first from what is perhaps his most enduring and celebrated work," said Bobby Livingston, Executive VP at RR Auction. 

Also up for auction was an Al Capone signed Christmas and New Year's card that sold for $13,581.  

The front of the card featuring a serene artistic portrait of the Virgin Mary cradling baby Jesus in a meadow, that is signed and inscribed inside, "Your Dear Friend, Al Capone, Regards to Frank & Joe.”

Capone grew up in a Catholic family, and had attended a strict Catholic school until the age of 14—after that, he seems to have had little to do with the church. Still, Capone was known to be especially charitable at Christmas, delivering boxes of candy, fruit baskets, turkeys, and gifts to students and teachers at local schools, in addition to dressing up as Santa Claus for family and friends. The notorious gangster's autograph is scarce in any format, and this outstanding personal Christmas card offers a unique glimpse into his softer side.

Additional highlights from the sale include, but are not limited by:

Rare Beatles-signed 1963 PYX program with classic Hoffman cover sold for $17,762.

Beatles limited edition set of six oversized color 'outtake' photographic prints for the cover of the Abbey Road album sold for $14,826.

Robert E. Lee handwritten letter from May 11, 1861 sold for $13,021.

Pearl Harbor archive including items recovered from the USS Arizona after Pearl Harbor attack sold for $12,154.

Original handwritten score for the 1971 classic Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory sold for $10,003.

The Fine Autographs and Artifacts auction from RR Auction began on November 16 and concluded on December 5. More details can be found online at www.rrauction.com

 

vcsPRAsset_3568579_76629_949a39f0-bbba-40f4-ae55-b6acd8a06be8_0.jpgNew York - Christie’s December 13 sale of Fine Printed Books and Manuscripts realized a total of $5,425,625 achieving 75% by lot and 81% by value. Selling in a stand-alone sale ahead of the various owner auction, Albert Einstein: The God Letter realized a total of $2,892,500 and set a world auction record for an Einstein letter after a four-minute bidding battle between two clients on the phones. The bid was won by Books and Manuscripts Senior Specialist, Christina Geiger. Other great results in the Fine Printed Books & Manuscripts sale were achieved for a collection of original printing blocks for the first editions of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland which realized $81,250 against an estimate of $20,000-30,000, Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection which realized $162,500 and the rare true first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone which achieved a world auction record for Harry Potter and more than doubled its high estimate realizing $162,500.

Quote from Sven Becker, Head of Books & Manuscripts: “Collectors worldwide competed very strongly, in the room, over the phone and online, for this finely curated auction which comprised masterpieces and fresh-to market property across a wide range of subjects: from Copernicus to Harry Potter by way of Darwin, Washington and countless other signposts of written culture. The New York Books Department is thrilled to close this year with such a strong auction, as market leaders for fine books and manuscripts.”

Image: Einstein, Albert (1879-1955), Autograph letterto Eric Gutkind, Princeton, 3 January 1954. In German. Price Realized: $2,892,500 

638.jpgChicago — Potter and Potter's December 1st Vintage Travel Poster Sale was first class all the way, attracting eyeballs and bids from around the globe. After the hammer fell for the last time, 94 lots realized between $500-999; 39 lots made between $1,000-2,999; and six lots broke the $3,000 barrier. Prices noted include the company's 20% buyer's premium.

Travel posters for Disney destinations held the keys to the kingdom at this sale. Lot #634, a Stanley Walter Galli United Air Lines Disneyland example was the top lot in the sale, selling for $6,000 on its $500-700 estimate.  This 1950s era piece, which generated 31 bids, was charmingly illustrated with a ferry full of families riding through a swamp safari. Lot #640, a 1983 Fly Eastern Walt Disney World poster soared to $1,320.  It featured a welcoming Mickey Mouse pointing out all the resort highlights at Walt Disney World.  A lucky bidder will soon feather their nest with lot #638, a United Air Lines Presents Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room poster from 1968.  This color offset litho depicted Jose the Macaw - one of the four masters of ceremonies and the main Tiki Bird at the attraction - and made $4,320. And lot #636, a 1960s-era Los Angeles Disneyland Go Greyhound poster took the wheel at $2,880.

Posters representing India as a destination were also hot ticket items in this sale. Lot #391, a 1950s era See India Mysore Madras example produced by Associated Printers made $3,120 on its $400-600 estimate.  It featured the Nandi Statue, which is situated outside Mysore in the Chamundi Hills, and the devotees that travel to make offerings and pray.  Lot #388, an India Car Festival At Puri poster produced by the M/S Bombay Fine Art Offset & Litho Works in 1957 raced its way to $3,120.  Millions of devotees gather to drag the chariot and be blessed at this annual event.  Also making a big impression was lot #400, a Taj Mahal Visit India Bangalore/Madras poster from the 1950s. This offset litho was issued by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting of the Government of India and traded hands at $2,880. And lot #393, a poster illustrated with an Indian woman with intricate face jewelry hiking in the mountains with two chickens under her arm, and lot #389, a poster featuring a colorful illustration emblematic of the culture in Udaipur, added a touch of foreign intrigue to the sale.  Each was produced in the 1950s and realized $2,640. 

Travel posters illustrated by David Klein (1918 - 2005) also took off at this auction event.  Klein was talented artist best known for his work with TWA and Howard Hughes in the 1950s and 1960s.  Lot #23, a c. 1958 Fly TWA San Francisco example featuring a vibrant mid-century view of the Golden Gate Bridge, spanned its $800-1,200 estimate to make $3,120. Lot #17, a New York World's Fair Fly TWA Jets from 1961 sold for $2,640.  This example, which simply explodes with its fireworks themed illustration, is considered one of the rarest of all New York World's Fair posters. And lot #8, a Fly TWA Hollywood poster featuring a Lockheed Constellation plane flying over the Hollywood bowl, with searchlights streaking the night sky, was also a breakout star in this sale.  This c.1955 masterpiece more than doubled its high estimate, selling for $3,120. 

According to Gabe Fajuri, President at Potter & Potter Auctions, "We saw strong interest in mid-century designs in this sale, which is no surprise considering current collecting trends in all fields. Chicago-related posters also did quite well, and we're happy to offer more in this genre early next year, so collectors should take note." 

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, an online only magic sale, will be held on December 15, 2018. For more information, please see www.potterauctions.com.  Follow us on Facebook (potterandpotterauctions), Twitter (PnPAuctions), and Instagram (potterauctions). 

Image: United Air Lines Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room. Disneyland. Sold for $4,320

flnfambnikkfclkl.jpgNew York - Swann Galleries’ auction of Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books on Thursday, December 13 offers an impressive group of Japanese maps, East Coast cartography, American atlases and important non-cartographical works. 

A robust selection of Japanese cartography, representing both the East and the rest of the world, sets this maps auction apart. A color woodblock map of Uraga and Edo Bay relating to Commodore Matthew Perry and his Black Ships leads the assortment and is offered with a complete bound volume of 18 miniature kawaraban (early Japanese newspapers with woodblock illustrations). The archive shows the course of Commodore Perry’s Black Ship squadron and illustrates the opening of Japan’s trade with America in 1854. It is expected to bring $7,000 to $10,000.

Additional Japanese cartography includes an extensive panoramic diagram of the roadways, waterways, cities and topography of the entire island chain of Japan, and a large woodblock plan of Kyoto (Estimate: $2,500-3,500 and $1,200-1,800, respectively). A run of sugoroku­-Japanese game boards-feature in the sale: an unusual and rare world map manga gameboard takes its player around a variety of international sites and was published for young women in 1934, and Eisen Tomioka’s Shina Seibatsu Sogoroku, a Sino-Japanese War propaganda game, each at $700 to $1,000. 

Cornelis De Jode’s rare world map, Hemispheriu ab Aequinoctiali Linea, leads the sale. The second of two that appeared in De Jode’s Speculum Orbis Terrarum, 1593, the map features a two-paged double-hemispheric view of the world and carries an estimate of $20,000 to $30,000. Other world maps include John Speed’s A New and Accurate Map of the World, 1676. The double-page, double-hemispheric decorative world map is hand colored in full and expected to sell for $6,000 to $9,000.

A selection of maps relating to the North America’s East Coast include a 1780 chart of the middle Atlantic Coast including New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina by Joseph Frederick Wallet Des Barres. The sea chart is monumental at nearly six feet tall and is valued at $18,000 to $22,000. A panoramic excursion view of Rhode Island’s Narragansett Bay and Block Island, housed in a charming device that allows you to slowly scroll through the area as if you are on a paddle steamer, is estimated at $6,000 to $9,000; William Faden’s The Province of New Jersey, 1778, features The Jerseys divided into East and West, at $6,000 to $9,000; and Otto Sibeth’s large map of Central Park in New York City, showing the park in detail and noting species of plants, is expected to bring $1,500 to $2,500. A New American Atlas Containing Maps of the Several States of the North American Union, 1825, by Henry Schenck Tanner is valued at $12,000 to $18,000. Tanner’s atlas received contemporary praise for its clarity, attractiveness and attention to American detail. Additional atlases include the 1827 North American volume of Philippe Vandermaelen’s monumental world atlas, Atlas Universel de Georaphie Physique. The work is distinct for being the first to utilize lithography as the method of production and features newly emerging areas of the American West in a larger scale than had previously been seen ($6,000-9,000). 

A highlight of color plate books is John James Audubon’s The Birds of America, 1859, with seven volumes and 500 tinted and hand-colored lithograph plates. The work is offered together with Audubon’s The Quadrupeds of North America, all in matching octavo bindings at $20,000 to $30,000. Art Nouveau artist Anton Seder is available with Das Trier in der Decorativen Kunst, 1896-1903, a rare portfolio featuring dragons, lizards, lobsters, birds and other exotic, fanciful and beguiling beasties ($2,000-3,000).

Of the historical prints and drawings available in the sale of note is Across the Continent, 1868, from Currier & Ives which demonstrated the changing landscape of the mid-nineteenth century American frontier upon the completion of the Transcontinental Railroads. The present example comes by descent from the collection of renowned Americana collector Thomas Winthrop Streeter ($7,000-10,000). English artist and illustrator Edward Lear makes an appearance with an assortment of watercolor illustrations of Castello di Melfi in Basilicata and Castello di Lagopesole, each valued at $3,000 to $5,000. 

Ephemera features an enormous album of wide-ranging postcards from Frank Crowe, a musician who in his youth stole away to join the circus. The nearly 2,500 postcards come from the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries and showcase Crowe’s adventures touring Europe and America with Barnum and Bailey, King and Franklin, and other circuses ($700-1,000).

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

Additional highlights can be found here.

Image: Lot 110: Color woodblock map of Uraga and Edo Bay showing the course of Commodore Perry’s Black Ship squadron, Japan, circa 1854. Estimate $7,000 to $10,000.

Skinner Tales.jpgBoston - An attic discovery of the rare 1845 first edition of Poe’s Tales (Lot 224, Estimate: $60,000-80,000) in paper wrappers surpassed all expectations to sell for $315,000 after fierce competition from internet and telephone bidders. Based on the context of the discovery of this copy of Poe's Tales, the original owner presumably bought this and other similar contemporaneous books to be read for amusement in the 1840s. Once read, the Poe and its companions were bundled and stored away in a trunk in the attic until they were found during an in-home auction evaluation by Skinner specialists. In the rare book trade, it was thought that all copies of Poe's Tales in wrappers were known. 

Department director, Devon Eastland notes that the annual November Fine Books & Manuscripts Auction is timed to coincide with the long-running Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair, a venue that guarantees that serious American and international collectors and dealers are in Boston and able to view sale material in person. She notes “Bidders appreciated that the copy of Poe’s Tales was a previously unknown copy fresh to the market, having been in a private collection for some time which garnered excitement in the market.”

The 350 lot auction included works from New England estates;  printed books, documents, literary first editions, natural history prints, and maps. Books & Manuscripts are offered twice-yearly at Skinner and consignments are being accepted for spring 2019 auction.

Image: Poe, Edgar Allan (1809-1849) Tales, First Edition, in Paper Wrappers, New York: Wiley & Putnam, 1845 (sold for: $315,000 on November 18, 2018)

 

MM HA.jpgDallas, Texas - Among the highlights in Heritage Auctions’ Animation Art auction Dec. 8-9 in Beverly Hills, California, will be a trove of memorabilia celebrating the 90th birthday of Mickey Mouse and the one of the largest collections of artwork by Mary Blair ever offered, many of which come directly from the Mary Blair Family Trust.

Mickey Mouse Celebrates 90th

The industry that is Disney, evolving to printed and animated comics, television shows, movies, theme parks and endless merchandising opportunities first took off because of the enormous popularity of Mickey Mouse. In honor of his 90th birthday, the auction includes 66 lots relating to the comic icon, including what is believed to be the single largest collection of artwork from his earliest films, including Steam Boat Willie (estimate: $10,000+), Plane Crazy (estimate: $5,000+), Barn Dance (estimate: $1,000+) and The Opry House (estimate: $1,000+), as well as from timeless classics like Fantasia.

The selection, the best Heritage Auctions has ever brought to market, also includes rare lots from his greatest roles, including The Sorcerer’s Apprentice in Fantasia (estimate: $2,500+) and his roles in Two-Gun Mickey (estimate: $7,500+), The Brave Little Tailor (estimate: $2,500+) and The Mickey Mouse Club. The range of Mickey Mouse artwork spans his first roles at the studio through original artwork from his most recently video game, Epic Mickey. The selection includes animation drawings, production cels, layout drawings, original paintings, bronze statues and even the coveted Walt Disney Studio Mousecar Award (estimate: $5,000+).

The 66 lots of Mickey Mouse artwork in the auction include, but are not limited to:

A Steamboat Willie Mickey Mouse and Pete Animation Drawing Original Art (Walt Disney, 1928) comes from the historic cartoon that premiered Nov. 18, 1928, at the Colony Theater. The short was directed by Disney, who also provided Mickey’s voice. With artwork by Disney Legend inductee Ub Iwerks, this image (estimate: $10,000+) is considered a Holy Grail-caliber piece of Disney art, partly because animation drawings with both characters are extremely rare. The image comes from the scene in which Pete grabs Mickey and throws him into the bin to peel potatoes.

A Mickey Mouse Early Publicity Artwork Signed by Walt Disney (Walt Disney, c. early 1930s) is a salute to the mouse who Disney famously said “started it all.” This early studio original publicity illustration of Mickey in his early 1930s design includes his classic “pie slice” eyes and double brow. In ink and gouache on lightweight board, the image shows Mickey in his standard fan-card waving pose in artwork that has a Les Clark feel to it. The lot even includes a bold ink inscription and verified signature that reads, “Best Regards to Erie St. Claire Walt Disney.” The hand-signed signature is in the style Disney used in the 1920s and 1930s. This is one of the earliest Disney-signed pieces of original Mickey Mouse art ever seen at Heritage Auctions.

With a pre-auction estimate of $5,000+, Steamboat Willie Mickey Mouse Animation Drawing Original Art (Walt Disney, 1928) is an outstanding and extremely rare 12-field, 2-peghole animation drawing of Mickey Mouse from his first widely released cartoon. After Pete kicks Mickey, who falls down the stairs, Mickey is met by a laughing parrot; Mickey responds by throwing a pail of water over the parrot’s head. This Disney-directed short, in which most of the animation was done by Iwerks, was ranked No. 13 in Jerry Beck’s  book: The 50 Greatest Cartoons.

Another lot carrying the same $5,000+ pre-auction estimate, Plane Crazy Minnie Mouse and Mickey Mouse Animation Drawing Original Art (Walt Disney, 1928-29) comes from the silent film that was shown first to a test audience May 15, 1928; it also was shown on the very first Disneyland television show in 1954. This rare 12-field, 2-peghole ode to Charles Lindbergh is considered a milestone in Disney Studio and Mickey Mouse history.

The art of Mary Blair, Walt Disney’s favorite artist

Blair was a 20th-century artist renowned for her Disney artwork, which was so highly regarded that it earned her a 1991 induction into the Disney Legends group and established her as Walt Disney’s favorite artist. Some of her artwork in the auction comes from the Mary Blair Family Trust. Blair, whose artwork include concept art for films like Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, Song of the South and Cinderella, is notorious for her 90-foot-high mural that remains a focal point of Disney’s Contemporary Resort at Walt Disney World in Florida. The offered Contemporary Resort Hotel Tile Display Prototype (Walt Disney, 1971) carries a pre-auction estimate of $50,000+.

“The significance of this auction can not be overstated, when it comes to the appeal to serious collectors of animation art,” Heritage Auctions Animation Art Director Jim Lentz said. “This sale includes work from one of the most popular Disney artists of all time, and perhaps the most popular comic character ever created. This auction really does have something that will appeal to collectors of all levels.”

The It’s a Small World, After All attraction at Disneyland opened April 22, 1964 at the New York World’s Fair, with the proceeds from the more than 10 million tickets sold going to UNICEF. Offered here is Blair artwork for two of the attraction’s most popular rides. An “It’s a Small World” Park Ride Penguin Prop (Walt Disney, 1964), which some consider the “Holy Grail” of Blair props, was refurbished and given to the Blair family when the ride was closed briefly for renovation in 2008. The prop (estimate: $25,000) later was given to the Mary Blair Family Trust by Marty Sklar and exhibited around the world. Carrying the same pre-auction estimate is an “It’s a Small World” Disneyland Ride "Blue Hair Boy" Statue (Walt Disney, 1964), which now can be seen in Disney theme parks in Orlando, Florida, Paris, Tokyo and Hong Kong. Removed during the 2008 renovation that closed the ride from January to November, it was refurbished and given to the Mary Blair Family Trust by Sklar, and has been a part of Mary Blair exhibitions around the world, and can be seen in John Canemaker’s Magic, Color, Flair: The World of Mary Blair.

Also carrying a $25,000 pre-auction estimate is Cinderella Coach and Castle Concept Painting by Mary Blair (Walt Disney, 1950). “Goodness me, it’s getting late. Hurry up dear, the ball can't wait!” says the Fairy Godmother to Cinderella as she enters the coach and takes off for the castle. One of the most impressive known Blair Cinderella pieces, this large original painting of Cinderella in her coach, racing up to the castle, has it all: the coach, the white horses and the full moon in a cloudy sky, all rendered in gouache on illustration board.

The auction includes one of the largest Peanuts/Charlie Brown animation art collections ever offered, in which some of the projected highlights include:

·         Peanuts - It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown Sally and Linus Production Cel Setup (Bill Melendez, 1966): estimate: $5,000+

·         Peanuts - The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show “Happy Dance” Snoopy and Charlie Brown Production Cel Sequence of 7 with Pan Master Background (Bill Melendez, 1983): estimate: $2,500+

·         Peanuts - It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown Lucy Van Pelt, Violet Gray, and Charlie Brown Production Cel (Bill Melendez, 1974): estimate: $2,500+

·         Peanuts - It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown Charlie Brown and Lucy Van Pelt Production Cel (Bill Melendez, 1964/70s): estimate: $2,500+

The auction features animation art of countless favorite stories and characters. Other top lots include, but are not limited to:

·         Slue Foot Sue's Golden Horseshoe Concept Art by Sam McKim (Walt Disney, 1955) $25,000+

·         Haunted Mansion Stretching Room Disneyland Painting Original Art (Walt Disney, 1969) $25,000+

·         Cinderella Coach and Castle Concept Painting by Mary Blair (Walt Disney, 1950) $25,000+

·         Lady and the Tramp Background Color Key/Concept Painting by Eyvind Earle (Walt Disney, 1955) $25,000+

·         Cinderella Production Cel Setup on Master Background (Walt Disney, 1950) $20,000+

·         Mary Blair The Lady in Red Painting Original Art (c. 1930s) $20,000+

blobid3_1543269749105.pngNew York − On December 5, Bonhams Fine Books and Manuscripts sale includes The World of Hilary Knight featuring his original Plaza Hotel portrait of Eloise, (estimate: $100,000-150,000), a portrait that captures the irrepressible spirit of one of the most influential children's book characters in history.

Toting a history as lively as its inspiration, this portrait was painted as a birthday gift by Hilary Knight for Eloise co-creator Kay Thompson in 1956, on the eve of Kay's appearance on Edward R. Murrow's Person to Person on CBS, where she proudly displayed the painting to guest host Jerry Lewis. Shortly thereafter, she loaned the work to the Plaza Hotel where it hung ceremoniously in the lobby as an homage to their most famous (imaginary) resident. However, on the night of a Junior League Ball at the Plaza, November 1960, it disappeared. As Mr. Knight tells the story, "Kay called me, 'Drunken debutantes did it!' And soon it was all over the news, in the columns, and Walter Cronkite confirmed it on the evening news." The famed portrait of Eloise had been stolen. Despite the press and the hubbub, the portrait failed to reappear. Some years later, Mr. Knight received a call: "The painting had been found in a dumpster, frameless." Once identified as the missing artwork, it was returned to Mr. Knight, who had already replaced the Plaza portrait with a new one: an oil painting that still hangs there today. Mr. Knight rolled up the original and put it in his closet, forgetting about it for the next 50 years, until it was revived for an Eloise exhibition at the New York Historical Society 2017. It is now being offered at auction for the first time.

Image: Hilary Knight's original Plaza Hotel portrait of Eloise. Tempera on board. Estimate: $100,000-150,000

Casa HA.jpgDallas, Texas - A Casablanca (Warner Brothers, 1942) Insert nearly doubled its pre-auction high estimate when numerous bidders drove its final price to $102,000, claiming top-lot honors in Heritage Auctions’ Movie Posters Auction in Dallas. The total value of the auction, which boasted sell-through rates of 97 percent by value and 96 percent by lot, was $1,602,103.

The 14-by-36-inch high-demand poster was widely anticipated prior to the Nov. 17-18 auction. Part of the appeal to collectors is the fact that this poster features all of the film’s main characters, including the leads played by Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman and Paul Henreid. The film went on to become one of the most important films in Hollywood history, developing an enormous base of fans and collecting several Oscars along the way, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Screenplay.

“This is regarded as perhaps the best-looking of all formats of domestic paper produced for the film, which is among the most popular and important in Hollywood history,” Heritage Auctions Movie Posters Director Grey Smith said. “Casablanca belongs in any serious movie poster collection, and this poster can be the centerpiece.”

An extremely rare, highly sought-after Thunderball (United Artists, 1965) full-bleed British quad more than doubled its low estimate when it sold for $24,000. Multiple collectors made bids for the poster with artwork by Frank McCarthy and Robert McGinnis. This country-of-origin British paper, in advance quad crown style, captures Sean Connery in his fourth - some say his best - performance as James Bond. Only a small number of copies remain uncut. This poster was advertised in the British pressbook as the Quad Crown poster, intended to be cut by theater owners into double crown posters (no double crown posters were distributed for the promotion of the film).

A Breakfast at Tiffany’s (Paramount, 1961) Italian 4 - Fogli drew bids from more than a dozen collectors before nearly tripling its low estimate at $22,800. The 55-by-78-1/2-inch poster, offered for the first time through Heritage Auctions, features a beautiful portrait of Audrey Hepburn by Ercole Brini, who was widely considered one of the best artists in the business.

A Superman Cartoon (Paramount, 1941) Stock One Sheet also drew numerous bids before closing at $20,400. The 27-by-41-inch poster was created by Paramount with a blank imprint area in which the name of any of 17 individual Superman cartoon shorts could be written or printed.

A dozen collectors made bids on a Creature from the Black Lagoon (Universal International, 1954) Six Sheet with artwork by Reynold Brown until it drew a final price of $19,200. The horror classic stars Richard Carlson, Julia Adams and Richard Denning as a group of paleontologists who travel to the Amazon and find the famed Black Lagoon and its most unusual occupant. The film was one of the era’s finest and inspired two sequels, and this poster in its large format may be in the best condition of its kind.

Other top lots included, but were not limited to:

·         The Empire Strikes Back (20th Century Fox, 1980). British Royal Charity World Premier Double Crown, with Ralph McQuarrie Artwork: $15,600

·         World War II Propaganda (Ministry of Information, 1939) Full-Bleed British Crown “Keep Calm and Carry On”: $15,600

·         World War I Propaganda (Boston Public Safety Committee, 1915). Recruitment Poster "Enlist," Fred Spear Artwork: $14,400

·         This Gun for Hire (Paramount, 1942) One Sheet: $14,400

·         Frankenstein (Universal, R-1947) One Sheet: $13,200

Escher.pngM.C. Escher continues to be one of Europe’s most popular graphic artists. His woodcuts, in which he gradually transforms one figure into another by constantly repeating the same figure with infinitesimally small changes, are universally known. Geometric figures become birds, birds become fish, bees become honeycombs and a black figure on white becomes white on black by this same principle. 

Perhaps his most sought after work is Regelmatige vlakverdeling [in English, this translates as “Regular Division of the Plane”], published by Stichting De Roos in 1958. We are very pleased to be including a copy of this work in our forthcoming Catawiki Books (Stichting De Roos) auction which goes live on November 30th (and ends on December 9th at 7pm CET).

The sentence reproduced on this page, (at the beginning of the publication) translates ‘There is an element of the minstrel in every graphic artist.’ This theme continues on the next page of the book: ‘in each print he makes from one particular woodblock, copperplate or lithographic stone, he always sings and repeats the same song’. This second part of the sentence touches on a very striking aspect in Escher's work: repetition. It is not surprising that he chose this sentence for the opening of his book: it is a reflection of this technique.

This work is in three main parts. There is the text portion, which include Escher's personal outpourings about his 'addiction' to the regular division and contains an explanation of the depicted woodcuts (45 pages). Then there are the black and white illustrations printed from the blocks (a series of six prints, 33 x 24 cm.) Finally, the same six prints are produced in Red (almost a burnt Ochre).

About the Publishing house

The ‘Stichting De Roos’ publishing house was established in June 1945 - one month after the liberation of the Netherlands. During the Second World War quite a large number of clandestine fine editions had been published, and it was this love of the book that the founders wanted to keep alive. In their first prospectus they explained their mission ‘to make books and printed matter solely for the pure and therefore altruistic love of typography and art, in all conceivable forms in which they may be combined’.  The Stichting (or foundation)  has a maximum of 175 members, and for many years has had a waiting list for prospective members. Every year three or four works are published, for members only. The best known and most sought-after publication from ‘Stichting De Roos’ is Regelmatige vlakverdeling. The copy offered here is # 81 of a Limited Edition of 175 examples.

The philosophy of the tiles

The tiles are everything for Escher. He explains his philosophy a little more in R. Roelofs 'Not the Tiles, but the Joints: A Little Bridge Between M.C. Escher and Leonardo da Vinci'. In: 'M.C. Escher's Legacy', (2003). Here he says that the tiles should fit tightly together on all sides, so that there is no space between them. In other words, the joint, the grout, the layer of mortar used by bricklayers to cement each stone to an adjacent stone, separates them in practice, but can theoretically be reduced to nothing. Mathematicians would call these joints “edges of the tiling; edges are never considered to have any width." 

This distinctive style and philosophy is explained further on the Koninklijke Bibliotheek (National Library of the Netherlands) website. “As he wanted to be an architect, M.C. Escher (1898-1972) started his training at the School for Architecture and Decorative Arts in Haarlem. However, one of his teachers, the graphic artist Jessurun de Mesquita, discovered his talent for drawing and encouraged him to change to the department of graphic art. One can still see his interest in architecture in his oeuvre, not only when he is working with planes, but also in his experiments with mathematical figures and perspective. It enables him to combine different styles in one work, styles that would seem incompatible, but that are made into a logical whole by his expert and imaginative constructions.”

Museum Meermanno

The Museum Meermanno has owned the archive of ‘Stichting De Roos’ since 2003. This rich archive includes, among other things, membership records, minutes, production material, and the ‘project files’ of the publications that were produced in editions of 175 copies. The project file of Regelmatige vlakverdeling reveals that Escher had initially been asked to illustrate a book by Belcampo. However, Escher preferred a text of his own, about his major specialism. ‘It might become’, he wrote in 1956 to Karel Asselbergs, a member of the board, ‘a most curious publication; or something, anyway, (said in all modesty) that no other graphic artist on the entire globe would be able to furnish you with. It doesn’t sound very modest, but what can I do about it? That’s just the way it is.’

The Museum Meermanno not only owns the first copy (No. 1) of this sought-after book, but also the proof sheets and the wood blocks Escher made for the book. 

The photographs of this fabulous work are all taken from the copy offered in the Stichting De Roos auction at Catawiki  - M.C. Escher, Regelmatige Vlakverdeling, 1958, estimated at €8.000-10.000. 

blobid2_1542797696704.jpgWorks by Evelyn Waugh, inscribed to his friend and fellow writer Patrick Balfour, are to be offered at Bonhams Fine Books and Manuscripts sale in London on Tuesday 27 November.

Highlights include:

  • An author’s presentation copy of Waugh’s autobiography A Little Learning published in 1964. The book is accompanied by two postcards from the author acknowledging errors in the text that Balfour had identified. Estimate: £1,500-2,000.
  • A first edition, large paper copy printed on handmade paper and specially bound of The Ordeal of Gilbert Pinfold, Waugh’s 1957 lightly fictionalised account of his experience of persecution mania caused by the chloral he took for his chronic insomnia. Estimate: £1,000-1,500.
  • A first edition author’s presentation copy of Men at Arms, the first of the three novels that make up the Sword of Honour trilogy. The inscription reads, “I say, why not send the copy you bought to ‘a friend in the forces’ instead of exchanging it. There are too many houses which lack one.” This may be a witty reference to Waugh’s concerns that the mixed reviews for the novel might affect sales.  Estimate: £800-1,200.

Evelyn Waugh (1903-1966) and Patrick Balfour (1904-1976) first met at Oxford in the early 1920s, and later in that decade were members of the social set known as The Bright Young Things, satirised in Waugh’s 1930 novel Vile Bodies.  In the book, Balfour serves as a model for Lord Balcairn -  the gossip columnist on the fictitious Daily Excess, whose column, written under the name Mr Chatterbox, is taken over by the central character, Adam Fenwick-Symes. In real life, Balfour -  who was heir to the Barony of Kinross - wrote a gossip column for the Evening Standard, and was one of a number of aristocratic young men employed by mass circulation newspapers to recount the exploits of their friends and relations. Waugh often teasingly referred to Balfour as ‘Mr Gossip’.

The two men got to know each other well as war correspondents in Abyssinia (part of present day Ethiopia) during the Second Italian-Abyssinian war of 1935-36. The war provided much of the material for Scoop, Waugh’s satire of the newspaper industry, published in 1938.

Waugh also drew on aspects of Balfour’s life for the character of Lord Kilbannock in the Sword of Honour Trilogy set over the course of the Second World War. In the novels, Ian Kilbannock is a former journalist, working for the military as a press liaison officer. He plays a recurring, and increasingly significant role, in the development of the plot. Balfour himself, who became Lord Kinross on the death of his father in 1939, worked as Director of the Publicity Department in the British Embassy in Cairo in the latter stages of the war, having previously served in naval intelligence.  

Other books in the collection include:

  • Presentation copies of the revised editions of Black Mischief, 1962 and Scoop, 1964. Estimate: £1,000-2,000.
  • A large paper copy of Helena, printed on handmade paper and specially bound for presentation by the author. Waugh’s favourite among his novels, and his only work of historical fiction, the book was poorly received by the critics. It is accompanied by a small collection of letters, including one from Waugh’s wife Laura in response to a letter of sympathy written by Kinross after Evelyn’s death in 1966 - “...it makes such a difference hearing from people who really knew and understood Evelyn….How right you are in saying he would have enjoyed  criticizing his own obituaries and writing his own… ” 

Bonhams Head of Fine Books, Matthew Haley, said: “In his fiction, Waugh often drew on aspects of his friends and acquaintances, and the events of his own life. He was too great a writer, though, to offer straight pen portraits, and while the allusions to Patrick Balfour in Sword of Honour are clear, they are artfully woven into the narrative and suffused with the affection Waugh felt for an old and cherished friend.”

Image: Waugh’s inscription to the first edition author’s presentation copy of Men at Arms. Estimate: £800-1,200

Alexander Hamilton.jpgWestport, CT - Items pertaining to Napoleon Bonaparte, Albert Einstein, JFK, George Patton, Abraham Lincoln and dozens of other luminaries throughout world history and popular culture can be purchased in time for holiday delivery during University Archives’ internet-only auction already up and online. Live bidding will begin Wednesday, Dec. 5th at 10:30 am Eastern.

As with all University Archives auctions, this one is packed with rare and highly collectible autographed documents, manuscripts, books, photos and relics. The full catalog showing all 284 lots can be viewed now, at www.UniversityArchives.com. Online bidding is being provided by Invaluable.com and LiveAuctioneers.com. Telephone and absentee bids will also be accepted.

“If payment is prompt, bidders can receive a truly unique gift item delivered in time for the holidays,” said John Reznikoff, the president and owner of University Archives. “This is our largest auction to date, in terms of value, and there are many rarities to be had. Who wouldn’t like to own a large and powerful bust of Napoleon, or a two-page letter hand-signed by him?”

The Napoleon lots are expected to do well in the international arena, where University Archives has been gaining a strong foothold in recent auctions. “We’re enjoying continued strength as the leader in Americana, with a rapidly expanding offering of foreign personages, which often sell to our international clientele,” Reznikoff said. “We have registered bidders in over 50 countries.”

The two-page letter, written in French in a clerical hand and signed by Napoleon (as “Napol” at the top of the second page, verso), was penned in Germany on March 29, 1807. The letter is addressed to Napoleon’s Minister of War, Henri Jacques Guillaume Clarke, chastising the Prince of Isenburg for disobeying orders and calling him “ridiculous.” It should sell for $2,000-$2,400.

The Napoleon bust after an 1885 model by Italian sculptor Renzo Colombo (1856-1885) is 21 ¾ inches tall and is in excellent condition, with the original patina. It depicts the French Emperor as dignified and serious, with firmly set brow and intense eyes. Colombo executed numerous casts of Napoleon, and this example stands as one of his finest. It carries an estimate of $3,000-$4,000.

A 1909 metal casting of an 1860 “life mask” of Abraham Lincoln by Leonard Wells Volk (Am., 1828-1895), with the casting executed by Caproni Casts in Boston, should reach $7,000-$8,000. Also, a letter written in 1782 by George Washington, as Commander in Chief of the Continental Army, to New York Gov. George Clinton, expressing outrage over Native American and loyalist attacks on the New York frontier, four pages, signed, is expected to finish at $18,000-$20,000.

A single-page letter written and signed by Thomas Jefferson as President, dated Oct. 29, 1803, in which he invites the French Ambassador Louis-Andre Pichon to dinner, right after completion of the Louisiana Purchase, has an estimate of $9,000-$10,000; while a one-page letter written and signed by Alexander Hamilton on Jan. 31, 1799, to George W. Kirkland of Philadelphia, in which he supports Kirkland’s idea of Army recruiting at Tioga Point, should hit $5,000-$7,000.

A scarce engraving on rice paper of the Declaration of Independence, printed in 1848 by Peter Force, boasting remarkably exact renditions of the signers’ hands and perhaps one of as few as 500 copies issued, should command $6,000-$7,000; while a bi-fold manuscript document from 1779 signed by George Taylor (1716-1781), among the rarest of the Declaration signers since he only served for seven months in the Continental Congress, has an estimate of $18,000-$20,000. 

A letter from 1947 written in German and signed by Albert Einstein, expressing appreciation for a 75th birthday present from a Mrs. Damann that prompted him to recall and sketch a childhood dexterity game called “Pigs into the Sty”, should reach $12,000-$14,000. Also, a letter penned extensively on all four sides by Charles Darwin, dated Feb. 9, 1861, in which he reflects on social and religious adversity while revising Origin of the Species, should rise to $6,000-$7,000.

An unframed 8 inch by 10 inch photograph of Babe Ruth, signed by the Bambino himself (“to my pal, Cyril, Sincerely, Babe Ruth”), depicting Ruth in street clothes, with a cigar in one hand, with a letter of authenticity from PSA/DNA, should breeze to $4,500-$5,000. Also, a huge black and white photo of Muhammed Ali, shown glowering over Sonny Liston, signed by Ali using a blue Sharpie and double matted in a 35 inch by 29 ½ inch frame, has an estimate of $800-$1,000.

A copy of the book Poems (N.Y., 1844) by Clement C. Moore, author of the classic Christmas poem A Visit From St. Nicholas (“Twas the night before Christmas….”), inscribed by Moore to Janet Drake de Kay (“with the respect of the author, Mar. 1846”) should garner $6,000-$8,000; while a partially printed document from 1793, signed by the poet (and legendary drinker) Robert Burns, in which he signs a permit to grab a cask of rum, is expected to gavel for $4,000-$5,000.

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, December 5th internet-only auction, please visit www.universityarchives.com.

Image: One-page letter written and signed by Alexander Hamilton in 1799, to George W. Kirkland of Philadelphia, supporting Kirkland’s idea of Army recruiting at Tioga Point (est. $5,000-$7,000).

 

752293.jpgNew York-Book collectors from far and wide partook in Swann Galleries’ auction of 19th & 20th Century Literature on Tuesday, November 13. The sale saw demand for genre works and classics alike with an 88% sell-through rate. Specialist John D. Larson noted that “the strong prices achieved across the spectrum of the sale was impressive, with canonical titles by Poe, Hemingway and Wilde leading the way. In addition, the more recent material, particularly the sc-fi variety, went from strength-to-strength with auction records set by Asimov, Philip K. Dick and Heinlein, proving once again the sky is no limit.” Topping the sale was a first edition of Oscar Wilde’s Lady Windermere’s Fan. A Play About a Good Woman, 1893. The presentation copy signed and inscribed by Wilde to Elisabeth Marbury-a leading play agent in New York who handled all of the author’s plays in America-was sold for $27,500 to a collector after breakneck bidding.

A first edition of Ernest Hemingway’s first book Three Stories & Ten Poems, 1923, from the collection of cartoonist Al Hirschfeld, saw success with a price of $18,750. The first American edition of All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque commanded $9,375 over its high estimate of $6,000. The 1929 book included the author’s signature and an inscription to the daughter of Carl Laemmle-the founder of Universal Studios.

Top prices earned by Transcendentalist authors include Henry David Thoreau’s 1845 Walden; or, Life in the Woods, which garnered $11,250. The author’s 1906 manuscript edition of The Writings, which featured a handwritten selection from Autumnal Tints, brought $8,750. Walt Whitman was present with a signed author’s edition of Leaves of Grass, 1876; and a signed first collected edition of Whitman’s Poems & Prose, 1888; which sold for $7,500 and $5,250, respectively. Additional works by Transcendentalists included the first edition, presentation copy, of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s May-Day and Other Pieces, 1867, which realized $3,750. The publication featured the author’s signature and an inscription to his nephew. Other notable publications from the late nineteenth century included the first edition, first printing of Edgar Allan Poe’s Tales, 1845, which produced $15,000. 

Appearing for the first time in its extraordinarily rare dust jacket was Jack London’s The Sea-Wolf, 1904. The first edition, second issue, brought $6,250. Other early twentieth-century literature included the first edition of Gaston Leroux’s Le Fantôme de l’Opéra, 1910. The scarce example garnered $5,250. The 1912 autographed edition of Thomas Hardy’s The Writings, complete with 20 volumes, was won for $5,000.

Records for works signed and inscribed by Philip K. Dick to his last romantic partner, Joan Simpson, included a 1970 first edition of Our Friends From Frolix 8, and a 1970 first hardcover edition of Galactic Pot-Healer. The works earned $5,000 and $4,750, respectively. Also by Philip K. Dick: the original 1952 typescript for Martians Come In Clouds, won for $9,375. The early story was published in a 1954 issue of Fantastic Universe

Additional science fiction and genre works included a pre-proof copy of Stephen King’s It, 1986. The unique example represents the book’s earliest state of production and brought $4,000.

Other records were set by Isaac Asimov, with a signed and inscribed first edition of The Caves of Steel, 1954, which earned $7,500, while a signed first edition of The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, 1966, by Robert A. Heinlein, reached $5,250.

Swann Galleries is currently accepting quality consignments for auctions in 2019. Visit www.swanngalleries.com for catalogues, bidding and inquiries. 

Additional highlights can be found here.

Image: Lot 279, Oscar Wilde, Lady Windermere’s Fan. A Play About a Good Woman, first edition, presentation copy, signed and inscribed, London, 1893. Sold for $27,500. 

743151.jpgNew York--Swann Galleries’ auction of Autographs on Thursday, November 8 saw major interest in notable authors and innovators, as well as American heros in a variety of fields including athletes and presidents. 

Kurt Vonnegut-an American writer best known for his science-fiction infused anti-war novel Slaughterhouse-Five-was a standout of the sale with a group of letters written to members of his family, largely from his time enlisted in the army during WWII. The offering of 12 letters, on various subjects including the war, love, alcohol and art also contain small drawings and doodles by the young Vonnegut, reached $12,500 over a high estimate of $6,000. Vonnegut also drew interest with a signed and inscribed unpublished story from the 1940s, which sold for $4,500. 

Of the Vonnegut offering Marco Tomaschett, Autographs Specialist, noted: “Vonnegut's letters are themselves tiny literary achievements. They sparkle with humor and keen observation, some with parts taking the form of a dialogue between his recipient and a fictional interlocutor; others serving as a sketchpad for clever insignias or flags that make a sarcastic commentary on the text running alongside. Vonnegut's letters are a joy to read, and that the group Swann offered realized as high a price as it did is a testament to the fact that there are still those who appreciate the joy of reading.”

Additional literary figures included a Ralph Waldo Emerson photograph signed, which brought $4,750. An autograph manuscript from Elizabeth Barett Browning, that featured a selection from her essay Walter Savage Landor, with holograph corrections, sold for $6,500 over a high estimate of $1,000. Ernest Hemingway’s autograph letter signed to Marlene Dietrich, thanking her for a number of things (including her patience) earned $4,680. And, a typed letter signed from Margaret Mitchell to a fan, mentioning her characters from Gone with the Wind as if they were actual people brought $5,980.  

Innovators proved to be popular with collectors with an ALS by Louis Jacques Mandé Daguerre discussing his newly created portable camera, which grossed $12,350, and a photograph signed and inscribed by Orville Wright. The silver print shows the first flight of the Wright Flyer on December 17, 1903 with Wilbur running alongside the plane and Orville piloting ($6,750). Artist Joan Miró’s illustrated autograph note signed to MoMA Director of Exhibitions and Publications, Monroe Wheeler reached $6,250.

American icons saw success with a print depicting the moon landing, signed and inscribed by Neil Armstrong, which garnered $5,250; and a Babe Ruth photograph signed and inscribed by the baseball player earned $8,125. 

Correspondents from American Presidents and First Ladies featured an Abigail Adams autograph letter offering marriage advice to her son that reached $5,460. An ALS from Thomas Jefferson as Secretary of State reached $9,375. Abraham Lincoln was present with an autograph endorsement signed, as well as Mary Todd Lincoln with an ALS on mourning stationary ($6,240 and $5,750, respectively). Modern U.S. Presidents featured John F. Kennedy with a sketch of his PT-109 on “United States Senate” stationary, which brought $5,200. 

Swann Galleries is currently accepting quality consignments for auctions in 2019. Visit www.swanngalleries.com for catalogues, bidding and inquiries. 

Additional highlights can be found here.

Image: Lot 356: Kurt Vonnegut, archive of 12 letters signed to his family, including 6 illustrated, 1930s-40s. Sold for $12,500. 

Los Angeles—A high-grade issue of The Incredible Hulk #1 from May 1962 sold for $167,280 on Friday at Huggins & Scott Auctions

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.

The popularity of the Incredible Hulk comic series led to Marvel Studio producing a superhero film The Incredible Hulk in 2008. The film starred Edward Norton as Bruce Banner/Hulk. Mark Ruffalo replaced Norton as the Hulk in the 2012 film The Avengers. Ruffalo reprised the Hulk role in Avengers: Age of Ultron and Avengers: Infinity War.

The comic book was 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

Master.jpgDallas, Texas - The Belgium-based Boon Foundation for Narrative Graphic Arts cast the $600,000 winning bid to add the original art for the eight-page story Master Race (EC 1955) to its collection of artworks from comic strips and graphic novels.

Heritage Auctions offered the original art for the first time since its publication in 1955 at a public auction of vintage comic books and comic art held Thursday, Nov. 15, in Dallas, Texas.

“These eight pages date from 1955 and were the first major representation of the Holocaust in the history of graphic narrative,” said Daniel Spindler, a representative of the Boon Foundation. “Master Race is one of the world masterworks of graphic narrative.” 

Created in Belgium in June 2018 by Philippe Boon, the Boon Foundation for Narrative Graphic Arts houses several thousand works, in particular strip comics and graphic novels. This collection of artifacts, illustrations and original pages stands at the heart of a vast cultural project dedicated to the narrative graphic arts. A permanent venue will be opened shortly to the public in Brussels, and travelling exhibitions will be organized. 

“The foundation’s mission statement to ‘share, enthrall and preserve’ matches Heritage Auctions’ mission perfectly,” said Jim Halperin, Co-Founder of Heritage Auctions. “We’re thrilled that this artwork, for one of the most critically acclaimed comic stories of all time, will tour the world on public display.” 

Frequently called the Citizen Kane of comic books, Master Race is a powerful look at the effects of Nazi concentration camp atrocities upon those who survived them, while retaining EC Comics’ signature "twisted" ending. EC Comics co-editor Bill Gaines and writer Al Feldstein developed the important Holocaust story, but critics point to Bernie Krigstein’s storytelling artwork that perfected the piece and influenced the comic genre for more than 60 years.

Master Race was the cover feature for Impact #1, one of EC's "New Direction” wave of books, which was released in 1955. Krigstein's jaw-dropping formal invention of mirroring previous panels and layouts from one page to another became an iconic template for both mainstream and underground cartoonists for many decades to come.

ajdpdnpkjfonpkdg.jpgNew York - Swann Galleries continues their auction season with Illustration Art on Thursday, December 6. The sale boasts an array of original works rife with nostalgia including children’s literature, American illustration and works from as early as 1817.

Ludwig Bemelmans leads a stellar assortment of illustrations from beloved children’s books with Madeline, Miss Clavel and the 11 schoolgirls. The heroine and her friends make an appearance in two illustrations from Madeline in London, 1961, the author’s final Madeline publication. After Everybody had been Fed features Miss Clavel and the girls dancing around Pepito’s birthday cake, and Everyone was in his Bed, shows the headmistress wishing her students a good night. The works demonstrate Bemelmans’ editorial process-the final publication featured different captions for illustrations-each are estimated at $30,000 to $40,000.                                  

Other children’s literature illustrations include Jerry Pinkney’s vibrant drawing for the cover of School Library Journal, published in December 2009. The special holiday watercolor features his characters from The Lion & The Mouse catching snowflakes on their tongues (Estimate: $7,000-10,000). Four of Maria Louise Kirk’s well-known illustrations for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, 1904, depict Alice in her rarely seen yellow dress ($5,000-7,500). Maurice Sendak is present with a preliminary sketch and final illustration for Little Bear’s New Friend, which appeared in a 2001 edition of Nick Jr. Magazine ($30,000-40,000). Also available is Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar and H.A. Rey’s 1939 color pencil work for Cecily G. and the 9 Monkeys-the first book to introduce Curious George ($8,000-12,000 and $10,000-15,000, respectively).

The sale is led by a Norman Rockwell study for the cover of the March 18, 1939 edition of The Saturday Evening Post. The study features James K. Van Brunt, a friend of the artist and one of his favorite models, as a serious yet slightly unkempt alchemist. By the time the image was created Van Brunt had passed and Rockwell was using photo references to execute the cover ($70,000-100,000). Also by Rockwell is The Maternity Waiting Room, an early color study for the illustration published in a 1946 issue of The Saturday Evening Post ($20,000-30,000).

Charlie Brown and Snoopy take the spotlight in this auction with Swann’s largest offering of Peanuts cartoons to date. The assortment of original comic strips by Charles M. Schulz include The Years are Going By Fast, featuring Schroder and Lucy ($8,000-12,000), as well as four additional comic strips and one charcoal drawing, each featuring everyone’s favorite beagle. Additional cartoons include an original 11-panel Doonesbury strip by Garry Trudeau featuring his character Rufus Jackson. Created in the early 1970s the, strip is dedicated and inscribed to the influential psychologist, educator and civil rights activist Kenneth B. Clark ($6,000-9,000).

Early twentieth-century originals include Sir William Russell Flint’s 1924 gouache and watercolor piece for Homer’s Odyssey, which shows a detailed image of Penelope weaving her shroud, is expected to bring $10,000 to $15,000. Illustration 34 from Simón Bolivar and His Time: 51 Miniatures by Arthur Szyk, created circa 1929, but published in 1952, displays a sympathetic portrait of the liberator ($8,000-12,000). A late-1930s manuscript broadside with a message “To all Fascists:” by Rockwell Kent for the League of American Writers, protesting the Spanish Civil War and signed by dozens of members, is estimated at $3,000 to $4,000.

Skaters on the Ice by James Daugherty is the earliest New Yorker cover the house has offered, published in January 1926 and estimated at $4,000 to $6,000. A Charles Addams cartoon of a couple walking past an alarmingly large bird house is expected to bring $6,000 to $9,000. Other highlights from the iconic magazine include a 1964 cover by Peter Arno, cover illustrations from Heidi Goennel and cartoons from Charles Barsotti.           

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

Additional highlights can be found here.

Image: Lot 4: Ludwig Bemelmans, After Everybody had been Fed, illustration for Madeline in London, gouache, watercolor and ink, 1961. Estimate $30,000 to $40,000.

Potter 80.jpgChicago — Potter & Potter Auctions is pleased to announce its 750 lot Vintage Travel Poster Sale to be held on Saturday, December 1, 2018 starting at 10am at the company's gallery, located at 3759 N. Ravenswood Ave., Chicago, IL 60613. All lots from this upcoming sale from are on display and available for public preview on Wednesday, November 28th, Thursday, November 29th, and Friday, November 30th from 10:00am to 5:00pm in the Potter & Potter facility. 

This travel poster event offers a grand tour of European cities, with two examples taking top spots in the sale. Lot #166, a 1951 Venezia poster by Frenchman Adolphe Mouron (1901-1968) features a tranquil vista on a Venetian canal with a man in renaissance dress operating a gondola whose image is inversely reflected in the water.  It was printed in Milan by Calcografia & Cartevalori and is estimated at $2,000-3,000. And lot #355, a c. 1935 Swedish American Line poster, is illustrated with an imposing ocean liner, likely the MS Kungsholm. This impressive, Art Deco style example is estimated at $2,000-3,000 and was printed by the Swedish firm Icasons.  

Other European destinations are also well represented in this sale.  A top dog here is lot #80, a British travel poster featuring an English bulldog on a blue background with a jet above.  This c. 1960 poster for Qantas was designed by Australian Harry Rogers (1929-2012.)  Lot #309, a Berliner Allee cityscape of Dusseldorf, Germany from the perspective of a table on a patio, is a breath of fresh air indeed. It was designed by H. Gutschow in 1955.  And lot #290, an Air France color lithograph with vignettes of various sites, landmarks, and characters of Europe, was designed in 1960 by Frenchman Jean Carlu (1900—1997.) All three are conservatively estimated at $250-350 each. 

It is possible to go great distances without leaving home via the marvelous Russian and Far East posters available through this event.  Bidder battles are certain to break out over lot #214, a 1939 Georgian Military Highway poster by Russian artist Alexander Zhitomirsky (1907-1993.) This stunning example, published in the USSR by Intourist, pictures a blue sedan racing through the mountains on the highway and is estimated at $1,500-2,500. It's also back to the USSR with lot #431, a Pan Am poster vividly illustrated with the St. Petersburg Church of the Savior Blood turrets. This example is from 1970 and is estimated at $500-700.   And lot #298, a Discover Japan Fly JAL 1950s-era color lithograph of a  kite in the form of a samurai on a teal background is certain to take flight, given its charming and period presentation.  It is estimated at $250-350.

Posters representing southern destinations lend a touch of southern comfort (and hospitality) to this auction.  Lot #288, a c. 1955 poster from the Mexican National Tourism Council, is illustrated with a photograph of a large Mexican fruit display complete with a man and woman topper in traditional dress. This "Paradise of Tropical Fruits" is estimated at $150-250.  It's impossible not to make eye contact with Lot #300, a Pan American poster for Tahiti featuring a beautiful woman with a suggestive gaze.  This looker from the 1970s is estimated at $300-500.  And lot #540, a c. 1950 Habana, Cuba poster from Artes Graficas promotes the city's twinkling lights, landmark buildings, and main thoroughfares. It is estimated at $1,400-1,600.

This sale proves you don't have to leave the USA to view world-class landmarks and events.  Lot #14, a Fly TWA to Las Vegas poster from 1968 combines the daytime and nighttime view of the desert oasis with sun, sand, gambling, and glamour.  Lot #15, a small format version of the iconic Fly TWA to New York poster from 1960, is estimated at $800-1,200.  Both these Las Vegas and New York posters were illustrated by David Klein (1918 - 2005), a talented artist best known for his work with TWA and Howard Hughes in the 1950s and 1960s. Also on track in this category is lot #565, a Gustav W. Krollman (1888-1962) Mission Range poster for Northern Pacific Railways.  This example from 1930 pictures a train speeding through Montana. This handsome and period poster is estimated at $1,200-1,800

This sale comes rounds out with can't look away selections of posters featuring sports, events, adventure, and other exotic destination themes. Lot #236, a rare and original 1946  Air France travel poster for West Africa by Vincent Guerra is estimated at $1,500-2,000.  It comes to life with an abstracted, patterned image of African elephants among their native terrain, with a jet flying overhead.  You can go anywhere with lot #152, a classic modernist travel poster from American Airlines advertising the concept of travel rather than a specific destination. This inspiring example was designed by Edward Mcknight Kauffer in 1948 and is estimated at $1,500-2,000. And last to take a pole position in this summary is lot #102, a Dorothy Waugh (1896-1996) poster promoting winter sports for the US Parks Service.  This Art Deco style piece, showing a pair of skiers silhouetted in snowy white against a blue and green background, is estimated at $1,400-2,000.

According to Gabe Fajuri, President at Potter & Potter Auctions, "We're pleased to offer such a diverse selection of posters, in such wonderful condition, and all from a single owner collection. Any enthusiast with an interest in modern master poster designers should find something appealing at this sales event. These striking images should also catch the eye of designers, decorators, and anyone looking for first-class examples of mid-century modern decorative art."

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, an online only Winter Magic Auction, will be held on December 15, 2018. The auction will be conducted exclusively on Potter & Potter's online bidding platform. The online catalog will be posted approximately two weeks before the date of the sale. For more information, please see www.potterauctions.com.  Follow us on Facebook (potterandpotterauctions), Twitter (PnPAuctions), and Instagram (potterauctions). 

Image: Lot 80. Britain Qantas. Estimate $250-350

Goldberg V.jpgNew York - On December 5, Bonhams Books and Manuscripts sale will offer Glenn Gould's extensively annotated copy of his recording for the second "Goldberg Variations," one of the most significant and well-known interpretations in classical music (estimate: $100,000-150,000). This annotated complete score and accompanying notes offer profound insight into the landmark recording. Gould manuscripts are very rare in the marketplace, with no substantial Gould manuscript ever having been sold at auction.

Darren Sutherland, Books and Manuscripts Specialist, commented: "It's very exciting to offer this extensively annotated Glenn Gould score from his 1981 recording of the Goldberg Variations. The vast majority of Gould material is held institutionally, and never reaches the private market."

Pianist Glenn Gould (1932-1982) of Canada, rocketed to stardom in 1955 with his recording of his interpretation of Johann Sebastian Bach's Aria mit verschiedenen Veränderungen (Aria with Diverse Variations), popularly known as the Goldberg Variations. The work comprises a set of 30 contrapuntal variations, beginning and ending with an aria. The piece had long been considered, when considered at all, as too esoteric and demanding to be part of the standard piano repertoire, with very few pianists even attempting it. Glenn Gould's innovative 1955 recording changed all of that. He had first played the Goldberg Variations in concert in 1954, and the composition became a staple of his performances. But it was his 1955 recording that launched his career as an international figure, fast becoming one of the world's best-known piano recordings. In 1964, at the pinnacle of his performing career, Gould retired from performing at the age of 30. Increasingly dissatisfied with his 1955 original, Gould made a new recording of the Goldberg Variations in 1981, this time with years of experience behind him. It was released a week before he died in 1982, winning a Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Solo Performance, and it now stands as the coda to Gould's outstanding career.

These pages offer an important window into Gould's famous final recording, as he notes in minutiae the timings of various takes and levels, while sometimes emphasizing pauses, microphone placements, etc. The four additional manuscript pages likewise contain notes on the recordings, referencing the score and providing additional commentary and instruction, such as at Var. XVII: "↓ at Bar 5 could be just a wee shade less"; or "Var 20 ... Bar 8; look once again for another last beat, 9 as we know tends to rush"; or simply "Var XVIII Perf-" [Perfect]. Gould the pianist had lived closely with this piece of music for 25 years and was unlikely to need notes for playing—the present manuscript contains minute detail of his assembly of the recording.

 

UnVzc2lhbiBCb29rcy5qcGc=.jpegLondon--On 28 November, Christie’s will present the single owner auction Russian Literary First Editions and Manuscripts: Highlights from the R. Eden Martin Collection, which features 228 lots of fine Russian books and manuscripts, primarily from Russia's Golden Age and Silver Age of literature (the early 19th and early 20th centuries respectively). Built over the past two decades by the American Chicago lawyer R. Eden Martin, this is one of the last great private collections of Russian literature in America. The collection is highlighted by a presentation copy of the first edition of Kamen (1913), which was inscribed by Mandel'shtam for his early mentor, the poet Viacheslav Ivanov (estimate: £60,000-90,000). Further highlights include a first edition of Gogol's rare first masterpiece Vechera na khutore bliz dikan'ki (1831-32) (estimate: £50,000-70,000) and the first part of Pushkin's Evgenii Onegin (1825) in its original paper cover - a book so rare that even the great collector Smirnov-Sokol'skii did not have it on his shelves (estimate: £25,000-35,000).

Sven Becker, Specialist, Books & Manuscripts, Christie's: “The auction of this remarkable collection is the most important sale of Russian literature to take place outside of Russia since the Diaghilev-Lifar auction, more than 40 years ago, and one of the last opportunities to acquire genuine rarities in this field”. 

R. Eden Martin: “It seems to me that the case for collecting rare editions of great Russian books is not scholarly - and it is not different than the case for collecting early editions of American literature, or early maps, or stamps, or even antique sports cars. The case is based on taste - pleasure rather than utility. The great books are inherently interesting. Seeing, handling, turning the pages of a first edition of Pushkin or Dostoevsky or Akhmatova is compellingly - even magnetically - engaging. Books are the life-blood of our cultural heritage. Reading of course is fundamental, and one doesn’t need a first edition to read. But seeing or possessing the first appearance of a great story or poem is to touch the new-born infant at the earliest stage of its cultural life. And if the author owned the book, or gave it to a friend with a written presentation on the title page, we get a glimpse of the author’s own life as well. Great books embody superb craftsmanship of the mind working with life and language. They’ve formed and shaped our culture, just as mind-bending new technologies have transformed the ways we live, work and travel. A first edition of Pushkin’s Ruslan and Liudmila has a fascination about it as great as one of the Wright brothers' early airplanes, or the first Apple 1 assembled circuit boards”. 

 

Amaz Fantasy.jpgLos Angeles—Julien’s Auctions, the world-record breaking auction house, has announced that a rare collection of comic book legend and pioneer Stan Lee is part of their highly anticipated event Icons & Idols: Hollywood taking place on November 16 and 17, 2018 at The Standard Oil Building in Beverly Hills and live online at www.juliensauctions.com.

The collection of nearly 20 items includes important artifacts from the universe of Stan Lee, the writer, editor and publisher behind some of the most iconic Marvel Comics characters, Spider-Man, Iron Man, the Incredible Hulk, Black Panther, and Fantastic Four among others. Consigned months ago by an anonymous collector, highlights heading to the auction block feature numerous original comic books signed and written by Stan Lee including a copy of Amazing Fantasy #15 (Marvel Comics Group, August 1962) featuring the first appearance of Marvel’s most famous character, Spider-Man and Spider-Man’s origin (estimate: $30,000-50,000); a custom bound one-of-a-kind hardcover book that includes the first 10 issues of The Amazing Spider-Man, Strange Tales Annual #2, and Amazing Fantasy #15 (Marvel Comics Group, 1962-1964) that is believed to have been previously owned by Michael H. Price, a writer and friend of Stan Lee (estimate: $20,000-$30,000); a Stan Lee written and signed copy of The Amazing Spider-Man #1 (Marvel Comics Group, March 1963) that features the retelling of Spider-Man’s origin (originally published in Amazing Fantasy #15) and also featured the first appearance of J. Jonah Jameson and the Chameleon as well as the first cross-over with the Fantastic Four (estimate: $2,000-$4,000) and a Lee signed copy of The Amazing Spider-Man #42 that features the first full appearance of Mary Jane Watson (estimate: $800-$1,200); a signed copy of Rise of The Black Panther Variant Edition #1 (Marvel Comics Group, March 2018) signed with black marker on the top cover by Stan Lee written by Ta-Nehisi Coates (estimate: $2,000-$3,000); a Stan Lee signed copy of Star Wars #97 (Marvel Comics Group, July 1985) story by Jo Duffy and artwork by Cynthia Martin (estimate: $800-$1,200) as well as a custom fiberglass life size mannequin of Spider Man designed to hang from the ceiling (estimate: $1,000-$2,000), sketches and more.

“We were saddened to hear of Mr. Lee’s passing this morning as we opened our pre-sale Exhibition,” said Darren Julien, President/Chief Executive Officer of Julien’s Auctions. “At Julien’s we have always been in awe of Stan Lee’s contributions to comic book art and feel fortunate to have this Collection as part of our November 17th Icons & Idols: Hollywood event on view this week at our Beverly Hills gallery.  Fans of Mr. Lee are most certainly welcome to visit this free event. ”

Lee, whose legendary career in comic books began in 1939 and spawned Marvel Comics’ most classic and enduring superheroes, died today at the age of 95. The Stan Lee collection was previously announced as part of a spectacular two day auction featuring some of Hollywood’s most iconic pieces including a selection of never-before-seen, personal property of one of Hollywood’s greatest screen legends, Marilyn Monroe, most notably her 1956 Black Raven Thunderbird, Roy Rogers’ “Nelly Belle” Willys-Overland 1964 jeep, a rare photography collection of silent film star Harold Lloyd, handwritten letters and ephemera connected to HRH Princess Diana and costumes and wardrobe from Batman & Robin (Warner Bros., 1997),  Forrest Gump (Paramount, 1994), The Big Lebowski (Polygram/Working Title, 1998) and more.

JULIEN’S AUCTIONS PUBLIC EXHIBITION AND AUCTION LOCATION

Julien’s Auctions

The Standard Oil Building Beverly Hills

257 N. Canon Drive

Beverly Hills, CA 90210 

PUBLIC EXHIBITION 

Monday, November 12th-Friday, November 16th 

11:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. PST

Free to the public 

JULIEN’S AUCTIONS LIVE AND ONLINE AUCTION 

Icons & Idols: Hollywood

Friday, November 16, 2018 

Session I: 10:00 a.m. PDT

Session II: 1:00 p.m. PDT 

Saturday, November 16, 2018 

Session III: 10:00 a.m. PDT

Session IV: 1:00 p.m. PDT

For more information please email - info@juliensauctions.com or call 310-836-1818.

 

lot 94.jpgChicago—Potter and Potter's Freakatorium: The Collection of Johnny Fox auction caught the attention of enthusiasts from every corner of the globe and delivered exceptional results - surpassing its high pre-sale estimate by more than 50%!  After the hammer fell for the last time, 74 lots realized between $1,000-2,499; 36 lots made between $2,500-6,999; and nine lots broke the $7,000 barrier. Prices noted include the company's 20% buyer's premium.

Getting right to the point, lot #94, a collection of two c. 1970 silver prints of sword swallower Lady Sandra Reed was the top lot in the sale.  Estimated at $1,000-1,500, they realized $28,800.  The photos are attributed to photographer Diane Arbus (1923-1971) and included one shot of the performer kneeling and the second with a sword raised in preparation for the attempt.  The prints were believed to be unique, and were accompanied by a note of provenance by Reed.  Research shows that this is a record price for the most expensive sideshow item sold at public auction.  Other ephemera highlights from the sale included lot #198, an 1880s Wild West Beacon Park season program listing William Cody as Buffalo Bill and Dr. W.F. Carver as an evil spirit in a wild west show, and lot #428, an American Circus broadside from 1846 advertising various equine acts. Each was estimated at $200-300 and made $2,640 - almost 9 times their high estimate! 

Big top and sideshow banners also headlined this auction both in size and sales. Lot #15, c. 1945 Freaks. Alive. canvas sideshow banner was estimated at $3,000-5,000 and realized $11,400. This enormous masterpiece featured sideshow attractions such as the alligator skin lady, a conehead, and a sword swallower.  Lot #12, a Magic. Alive. sideshow banner painted with a half-length portrait of a magician in white tie and tails producing cards, birds, and bats soared to $7,800. Both of these were painted by the Snap Wyatt studios in the 1940s.  And lot #35, a c. 2000 Frierson Studios miniature sideshow banner featuring a two headed calf generated 30 bids and $2,125. 

Circus posters were well represented in this off the wall sale, with those picturing elephants really capturing the eye - and wallets - of collectors.  Lot #338, a c. 1882 linen backed color litho depicting Jumbo giving kids rides on his back was estimated at $3,000-5,000 and delivered $10,200.  Lot #338, a Barnum and Bailey Greatest Show on Earth color litho from 1913 illustrated with an elephant baseball team was a home run at $7,800.  And lot #340, a John B. Doris’ Great Inter-Ocean Museum, Menagerie & Circus color lithograph from c. 1883 featuring a flamingo, elephant, lion, hawk, and alligator made $7,800. 

Fox’s Freakatorium displayed over 1,000 oddities within a 500 square foot venue. These included items related to circus sideshows, historical objets d'art, stage illusions, photographs, and tabloid style ephemera.  Lot #245, a brass “Champion Strong Woman of the World “ trophy belt presented to Minerva (Josephine Blatt., c. 1869-1923) by The Police Gazette in 1893 New York was estimated at $3,000-5,000 and flexed its muscles at $7,800. Lot #495, a 19th century glass sided gothic revival cast iron terrarium/aquarium generated 31 bids and $2,500.  Lot #516, a German, mid-sixteenth century casket style strongbox with an intricate locking mechanism traded hands at $4,560. Collectors said yes to lot #283, a collection of 28 different sideshow giants’ souvenir rings. Estimated at $400-600, this happy handful sold for $3,840. And there’s no bones about it - Freakatorium items featuring human or animal body elements were also quite popular.  Lot #295, an early 20th century South American shrunken head made $7,500, and lot #603, a c. 1920s bone sculpture of a Chinese garden blossomed at $1,440. 

Finally, It is interesting to note that bidders gave a high five to items with provenance to Tom Thumb. Lot #247, a boot reportedly owned by Thumb, sold for $5,040.  Lot #249, Thumb’s Victorian-era walking stick with an ornate gold-filled handle made $4,560. Lot #247, his dark brown satin and dotted waistcoat buttoned things up at $3,840.  And it was lights out for lot #251, a Tom and Lavinia Thumb-owned overnight trunk and its contents. This treasure trove included Thumb clothing, accessories, memorabilia, and ephemera.  It sold for $18,000 on its $1,500-2,000 estimate. 

According to Gabe Fajuri, President at Potter & Potter Auctions, “The stars aligned for this sale. The combination of a great story, great (and rare) material, and a loud and constant buzz online and in the collecting communities that this auction was of interest to set us up to hit a real home run. Bidding was fast and furious, coming from private collectors, Johnny Fox's personal friends, public institutions, and lovers of the unusual 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 hundreds of important vintage travel posters, will be held on December 1, 2018. For more information, please see www.potterauctions.com.  Follow us on Facebook (potterandpotterauctions), Twitter (PnPAuctions), and Instagram (potterauctions). 

Image: Lot 94, Diane Arbus. Albino Sword Swallower Photos. Sold for $28,800

MasterRaceComic.jpgDallas, Texas - The original art for the comic story that changed how comics told stories will make history on Thursday when the original art for the complete 8-page story “Master Race is offered at auction for the first time.

The 1955 EC Comic masterpiece, which writer and illustrator Neil Gaiman calls “one of the most important stories in the history of comics and the history of the art of comics,” will be offered in its entirety in Heritage Auctions’ Nov. 15-17 Comics & Comic Art Auction in Dallas and on HA.com. The artwork for Master Race crosses the auction block the afternoon of Nov. 15.

EC Comics co-editor Bill Gaines and writer Al Feldstein developed the important Holocaust story, but critics point to Bernie Krigstein’s storytelling artwork that perfected the piece and influenced the comic genre for more than 60 years.

“It’s been called the most critically acclaimed comic story of all time,” said Todd Hignite, Vice President at Heritage Auctions. “It's been the subject of numerous studies in books on the history of comics, as well as a hugely influential analysis by John Benson, David Kasakove and Art Spiegelman.”

Frequently called the Citizen Kane of comic books, Master Race is a powerful look at the effects of Nazi concentration camp atrocities upon those who survived them, while retaining EC Comics’ traditional "twisted" ending.

Krigstein's jaw-dropping formal invention of mirroring previous panels and layouts from one page to another became an iconic template for both mainstream and underground cartoonists for many decades to come. The format is said to have influenced Dave Gibbons’ genre-shattering Watchmen in 1986 and many other illustrated contributions to American literature.

The story was the cover feature for Impact #1, one of EC's “New Direction” wave of books, released in 1955. So important is this story, that when Gaines sold much of EC's original artwork during the 1980s, it was the only artwork sold directly instead of at auction. An astute collector made Gaines “an offer he couldn't refuse” ... well over market-based value on what other EC art had been selling for at the time. The set is signed as “B. Krigstein” in the first panel.

“This is a true ‘auction first’ in comic history,” Hignite said. “Krigstein's tour-de-force demonstrates everything he dreamed the comic language was and is capable of as an art form.”

The original art for the complete, 8-page story “Master Race, illustrated by Krigstein for Impact #1 (EC, 1955), will be auctioned this Thursday afternoon, Nov. 15, in Heritage Auctions’ Nov. 15-17 Comics & Comic Art Auction in Dallas and on HA.com.

try diary.jpgLondon—On 12 December, as part of Classic Week, Christie’s auction of Books and Manuscripts will offer two extraordinary sledging journals of the Norwegian polar explorer Tryggve Gran, who accompanied Robert Falcon Scott on the Terra Nova Expedition of 1910 - 1913. The journals have passed by direct descent from Tryggve Gran; their appearance at auction represents a remarkable opportunity to acquire an authentic piece of Polar history, offering an insight into the trials and tribulations of the British Antarctic Expedition here. Featuring two separate journals, one in English and one in Norwegian (estimate: £120,000 - £180,000, illustrated above), these accounts offer additional material, covering his astonishingly prescient dream on the night of 14 December 1911 of Amundsen’s triumph, as well as the search for Scott’s polar party and tragic discovery of the tent.

The young Norwegian Tryggve Gran was recruited by Scott as a skiing expert for the Terra Nova Expedition on the recommendation of the explorer and humanitarian Fridtjof Nansen. He would go on to play a valuable role in the second geological expedition (November 1911-February 1912), which collected data in the Granite Harbour region. 

A particularly emotional entry in his diary takes place on 12 November 1912, when Gran discovered the tent with the frozen bodies of Scott, Wilson and Bowers: ‘It has happened - we have found what we sought - horrible, ugly fate - Only 11 miles from One Ton Depot - The Owner, Wilson & Birdie. All gastsly [sic]. I will never forget it so long I live - a horrible nightmare could not have shown more horror than this “Campo Santo”. In a tent - snowcovered til up above the door we found the three boddies [sic]. The Owner in the middle, half out of his bagg [sic]. Birdie on his right and Uncle Bill on left laying headway to the door. The frost had made the skin yellow & transparent & I’ve never seen anything worse in my life. The Owner seems to have struggled hard in the moment of death, while the two others seem to have gone off in a kind of sleep’. 

The English journal also includes Gran’s reading of Scott’s last diary entries and the fruitless search for Oates: ‘The Owner writes in his diary: There is no more hope and so God look after our people...’ (12 November 1912) 

Gran retrieved their personal effects and records, and used his own pair of skis to fashion a cross, raised above the snow cairn built to cover the bodies of the ill-fated polar party, before returning to camp on Scott’s skis, reasoning that at least his expedition leader’s skis would finish their journey. In December 1912, before leaving Antarctica, Gran he made an ascent of Mount Erebus with Raymond Priestley and Frederick Hooper, and was lucky to escape with his life after an unexpected eruption set off an avalanche of the surrounding pumice stone. Gran went on to receive the Polar Medal for his endeavours in Antarctica. 

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

 

Auction Guide