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4-Asimov copy.jpgNew York—Science fiction ruled on May 15 at Swann Galleries’ auction of 19th & 20th Century Literature. Selections from the Estate of Stanley Simon, featuring 84 rare and first editions of cornerstones of the genre, boasted a 98% sell-through rate. All of the offered titles by Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Philip K. Dick and Stephen King sold, with many achieving auction records.

Leading the pack was a signed first edition of Dick’s dystopian novel The Man in the High Castle, 1962, which was purchased by a collector for $10,400, above a high estimate of $6,000, a record for the work. Another record was achieved by a signed first edition of Ubik, 1969, at $5,500, while the auction debut of the rare galley proofs for Valis, 1981, reached $5,000.

Simon had acquired several uncorrected proofs of important works, none of which had previously appeared at auction. While not strictly science-fiction, material by Stephen King outperformed in this category. The highlight was the presentation copy of an uncorrected proof of The Stand, 1978, which sold to a collector for $9,100. Also available were one of apparently 28 copies of proofs of King’s The Shining, 1977, inscribed, which sold for five times its high estimate for $6,250, and the complete six-volume set of uncorrected proofs of King’s The Green Mile, 1996, exceeded its $1,200 high estimate to sell for $5,200.

Another highlight from the Simon estate was the complete Foundation trilogy, 1951-53, by Isaac Asimov. Together, the three signed first editions achieved an auction record of $9,750. Also by Asimov, a signed first edition of I, Robot, 1950, reached $6,250, above a high estimate of $3,500. Important editions of Ray Bradbury’s magnum opus Fahrenheit 451, 1953, were led by the limited author’s edition personally inscribed to Simon ($7,500). The popular asbestos-bound edition reached $5,200. All six editions offered were purchased.

Specialist John D. Larson noted, “Sci-fi has always had a multi-generational appeal; pop culture's appetite for literary-based films of this genre continues unabated.” He added, “Material from both the nineteenth & twentieth centuries performed equally well, with a robust 86% sell-through rate overall.”

Further highlights from the auction included the first edition of Ernest Hemingway’s first work, Three Stories & Ten Poems, 1923, which sold to a collector for $23,750. The first editions of Emily Dickinson’s first three books of Poems, 1890-96, reached $13,750.

The next auction of Books at Swann Galleries will be Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books on October 16, 2018. The house is currently accepting quality consignments for autumn auctions.

Image: Lot 4: Isaac Asimov, Foundation trilogy, first editions, signed, New York, 1951-53. From the Estate of Stanley Simon. Sold May 15, 2018 for $9,750, a record for the work. (Pre-sale estimate: $4,500 to $6,000)

183-Schulz copy.jpgNew York — Swann Galleries will offer an auction of Illustration Art on Tuesday, June 5, with more than 250 original works of art including comics, pin-ups and covers for books and magazines.

Setting the auction apart is a selection of classic original comic strips, led by the original nine-panel Sunday Peanuts strip, Do you like Beethoven?, 1970, by Charles Schulz, featuring Schroeder, Lucy and Freida, inscribed to the conductor of the Kansas City Philharmonic’s 1978 Beethoven Festival, with an estimate of $20,000 to $30,000. Other Schulz works include a 1992 eight-panel strip featuring Snoopy and Charlie Brown ($15,000 to $25,000), and three panels of Snoopy scheming for his dinner, 1989, estimated at $8,000 to $12,000. Also available is an extremely rare early four-panel strip for Blondie, depicting Blondie and Dagwood before they were married, done in India ink and blue pencil by creator Chic Young ($800 to $1,200).

Ever a literary sale, Swann’s Illustration auction does not disappoint with a strong New Yorker section. Penguin Convention is a 1977 watercolor by Charles Addams that eschews his usual morbid humor for a charming vista of thousands of identical penguins, each with their own nametag ($15,000 to $25,000). Cover work by Abe Birnbaum and Theodore Haupt for the famed publication will also be available. Prescient cartoons by Tom Toro, published as recently as 2018, follow strong prices for the artist’s work in previous auctions at Swann, evidence that the market for contemporary cartoons is alive and kicking.

A run of important works by the great American satirist Rick Meyerowitz from the artist’s personal collection will be offered at auction for the first time. The highlight is a final watercolor sketch for his and Maira Kalman’s famous cover for The New Yorker, New Yorkistan, the acknowledged first comic relief for the city after September 11, 2001, and #14 on the American Society of Magazine Editors’ list of top covers in the last 40 years. As a late iteration of the map, most of the invented names are already in place, including “Khkhzkz” and “Khandibar,” with only a few minor edits written in ($10,000 to $15,000). Further highlights by Meyerowitz include the original watercolors for the posters for the classic films Animal House, 1978, and the international release of Blazing Saddles, 1974 ($3,000 to $4,000 and $4,000 to $6,000, respectively).

Joining the roster for the first time are works from the heyday of MAD Magazine from the estate of Howard Kaminsky. Cover illustrations starring the publication’s mascot, Alfred E. Neuman, include Norman Mingo’s iconic watercolor The Token MAD, 1973, and an alternate design for The Sound of MAD, 1980, by George Woodbridge ($4,000 to $6,000 and $1,500 to $2,500, respectively).

The auction is populated by the protagonists of classic children’s stories brought to life by their indelible illustrations, including Russell H. Tandy’s evocative cover for Carolyn Keene’s The Secret in the Old Attic, a Nancy Drew book. The entire scene, including the lettering, is painted by hand in watercolor and gouache; the estimate is $15,000 to $25,000. A watercolor study by Jessie Willcox Smith of a toddler about to pet a sleeping cat, for Angela M. Keyes’s The Five Senses, 1911, carries an estimate of $12,000 to $18,000.

The selection of watercolors by Ludwig Bemelmans is led by an alternate design for an advertisement for Walker’s DeLuxe whiskey, valued between $10,000 and $15,000, as well as works for his travelogues.

An ever-popular selection of pin-ups includes the charming oil paintings With Love…, 1931, by Enoch Bolles, and Woman with her Doll, 1962, by Fritz Willis ($7,000 to $10,000 and $6,000 to $9,000, respectively). Following success in December 2017 with works by John Falter, the house will offer two preliminary oil studies by the artist for What Pay Does a Navy WAVE Get?, 1944, promoting a recruitment campaign aimed at women, with an estimate of $3,000 to $5,000.

Aubrey Beardsley is represented by the unusually large ink ornamental device Three Lilies Swaying Left, 1893, for Le Morte d’Arthur, as well as Shelter, 1892, a figurative ink drawing for Bon-Mots of Sydney Smith and Richard Brinsley Sheridan of an infant under an umbrella ($6,000 to $9,000 and $8,000 to $12,000, respectively). Works by his contemporary, Arthur Rackham, include a heart-wrenching scene of Danäe and the Infant Perseus, 1922, for Nathaniel Hawthorne’s A Wonder Book, with an estimate of $10,000 to $15,000.

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

Additional highlights can be found here.

Image: Lot 183: Charles Schulz, Do you like Beethoven?, ink and graphite, signed and inscribed, for Peanuts, 1970. Estimate $20,000 to $30,000.

HA Herge copy.jpgDallas, TX - An extraordinary, 12-panel page of Original Tintin Art by Belgian cartoonist Hergé may sell for as much as $720,000 in Heritage Auctions’ first European Comic Art Auction June 2. The sale offers nearly 300 lots, including vintage artworks by giants of Franco-Belgian comics such as Peyo, François Schuiten and Jean-Claude Mézières.

The auction will be held at Heritage’s headquarters in Dallas, Texas, and simulcast to Heritage Auctions Europe in IJsselstein, the Netherlands. Highlights will be on preview in Paris, Brussels and IJsselstein.

“Our team at Heritage Auctions Europe has procured an offering of exceptional depth and breadth,” said Jim Halperin, Co-founder of Heritage Auctions. “This is just the start of what we expect will be regular auctions devoted to this growing and powerful category.”

On offer are several pieces of original art by Georges Remi (known by the pen name “Hergé”), who is considered one of the most popular European comic artists of the 20th century. A page of rarely seen pencil art that documents Remi’s creative process accompanies the aforementioned original art for page 58 of the story “The Red Sea Sharks,” from Journal Tintin published in 1958.

Additional artworks by Remi include a full-color, original illustration for Red Rackham's Treasure: The Crypt of Marlinspike Hall (est. $54,000), featuring Tintin, his trusty pup Snowy and friend Captain Haddock. A related original illustration published on the front page of the newspaper Le Soir (est. $30,000) announces the publication of Red Rackham's Treasure in 1943. An iconic Original Art Panel from Tintin: The Temple of the Sun, published in 1947, depicts Tintin and Captain Haddock on an adventure in the heart of the Andes (est. $22,000). 

From Peyo, the creator of the internationally famous Smurfs, comes the Original Cover Art for Spirou #1447, which is drawn Peyo himself and features 10 characters in a single illustration (est. $48,000).

A page of Original Art from Corto Maltese by legendary Italian comic book creator Hugo Pratt (est. $43,000) is expected to spark spirited bidding. Corto Maltese is perhaps Pratt’s greatest contribution to European comics and the page, from the 1978 story “And Other Romeos and Other Juliets,” is an iconic representation of the artist’s signature black and white illustrations. 

An important painting by François Schuiten, titled Paris in the Twentieth Century (est. $36,000), was created by the co-author of The Obscure Cities for the cover of Jules Verne's “forgotten” novel published in 1994.

The Original Cover Art by Jean-Claude Mézières for Valerian Vol. 19 (Dargaud, 2004) is considered one of the finest examples of Mézières talent, who along with writer Pierre Christin is credited for creating the blueprint for French science fiction comics.

A powerful original painting by Spanish artist Luis Royo titled Isolde and Tristan Circuits (Norma, 2005) (est. $22,000) is a highly sought after illustration which was published in the art book Subversive Beauty.

“Classic American comic art has always been popular throughout Europe and this auction includes stellar examples from many of the legends of comic book and newspaper features, from Will Eisner to George Herriman and Alex Raymond to Frank Miller,” Halperin said.

Additional highlights include:

·         Corto Maltese in Siberia Preliminary Original Art (Casterman, 1982) by Pratt (est. $16,000)

·         The Original Art for Page 25 from The Black Incal (Humanoïdes Associés, 1991) by French artist Jean Giraud, who garnered worldwide acclaim predominantly under the pseudonym Moebius and Gir, (est. $19,200)

·         French artist Yves Chaland's Original Art from Freddy Lombard Vol.4 (1988), page 34 for the story titled "Vacation in Budapest" (est. $13,000)

·         Original Art from French artist Jacques Tardi’s Adèle Blanc-Sec Vol.2 (Casterman, 1976), (est. $12,000)

Heritage Auctions’ inaugural European Comic Art Auction is June 2 in Dallas, Texas, and will be simulcast to Heritage Auctions Europe Office in IJsselstein, the Netherlands. Bidding is now open at HA.com/7188.

Christies.JPGNew York—Christie’s announces the spring various owner sale of Fine Printed Books & Manuscripts Including Americana encompassing over 200 lots of autograph manuscripts, cartography, literature, illustrated books and historical artifacts. The sale will take place on June 14, 2018 at Christie’s New York, immediately following the dedicated sale of the exceptional “Duke of Portland” complete first folio edition of John James Audubon’s The Birds of America (1827-1838) (estimate: $8,000,000-12,000,000).

Fittingly, the first section of the various owners’ auction is led by the first edition of Audubon’s folio Quadrupeds of North America, 1845-46-48, an homage to the American frontier, and the most ambitious of all color-plate books to be wholly produced in the United States (estimate: $200,000-300,000), followed by a choice selection of further works illustrating American animals and landscape by Alexander Wilson, Karl Bodmer, Henry Warre and others.

Highlighting travel and cartography and also the top lot of the sale is a fine Portolan Atlas by Grazioso Benincasa (c.1400-1482), Venice, 1468 (estimate: $1,200,000-1,800,000), an outstanding work by one of the finest pre-Columbian cartographers. It presents the earliest known separate map of the island of Ireland and is a rare witness to the late 15th-century race to the Indies, charting the Golden Age of Exploration. Other highlights from this section include Willem Blaeu (1571-1683) and Joan Blaeu (1596-1673), Theatrum orbis terrarum, sive atlas novus, 1640-45, a handsome world atlas from the golden age of Dutch cartography (estimate: $80,000-120,000); and a Silver Terrestrial Globe after Johann Oterschaden (fl. 1600-1603), a rare, beautifully engraved, miniature silver globe from the early 17th century (estimate: $50,000-80,000).

Leading Americana is an extremely rare copy of the W.J. Stone engraving of the Declaration of Independence, one of only six known proof copies on paper, 4 July 1823, commissioned by Secretary of State John Quincy Adams (estimate: $200,000-300,000). Other highlights include The “Bible of the Revolution,” a first edition of the first complete Bible in English printed in America (estimate: $55,000-80,000); and a selection of autograph manuscripts and letters by Thomas Paine (1737-1809), George Washington (1732-1799), Robert E. Lee (1807-1870), and Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865). Additionally, featured is a selection of correspondence from the Wright Brothers and Lindbergh Papers of Aviation Journalist, Earl Findley, split across multiple lots.

Other sale highlights include the first issue of Shakespeare’s Second Folio, which contains Milton’s first appearance in print—a tall and fresh copy in an early binding (estimate: $150,000-200,000); and an autograph manuscript by Charles Darwin (1809-1992) from his radical treatise on human evolution (estimate: $70,000-90,000).

Closing the sale are emblems of milestones in 20th-century history, featuring the first Olympic Gold Medal awarded for Basketball, to George Louis Redlein (1885-1968), St. Louis, 1904 (estimate: $100,000-200,000); Paul McCartney’s 1970 affidavit initiating his lawsuit to break up the Beatles, with John Lennon's handwritten annotations throughout (estimate: $100,000-150,000); and an autograph manuscript by John Fitzgerald Kennedy (1917-1963), referred to as a “demonstration draft” of his inaugural address (estimate: $50,000-75,000).

On the same day, the Books & Manuscripts department will also present one of the most sought-after books of natural history ever created: the exceptional “Duke of Portland” complete first folio-edition of John James Audubon’s The Birds of America (1827-1838) (estimate: $8,000,000-12,000,000). Full information on this lot can be found here.

Frazetta Death Dealer copy.jpgDallas, TX - Chicago’s largest public auction dedicated to vintage comic books and original comic art fetched $12,201,974  - setting the world record for the most valuable sale of its kind.

The top lot claimed its own record when artist Frank Frazetta’s Original Art titled Death Dealer 6, 1990 - first published as the cover for Verotik’s 1996 Death Dealer #2 comic book - more than doubled the all-time auction record for any piece of comic art when it sold for $1.79 million. 

“As the live session opened, the Frazetta painting had a bid of $600,000, but within moments it had come down to two collectors, bidding by phone, who waged a pitched battle for this very desirable painting,” said Barry Sandoval, Director of Comics Operations at Heritage.

The sale surpassed the previous record for the world’s most valuable comic book auction by more than $1.8 million, a record also set by Heritage Auctions in July 2012 at $10,389,821. The three-day, 1,684-lot auction held May 10-12 offered examples of the world’s rarest comic books, including a copy of Action Comics #1 (DC, 1938), CGC VG 4.0, which sold for $573,600. Featuring the first appearance of Superman, the copy was sold by a longtime American comic book collector who paid $50,000 for the copy 15 years ago.

In addition to the copy of Action Comics #1, key books in high-grade condition broke the six-figure barrier. An issue of Batman #1 (DC, 1940), CGC FN- 5.5, never before offered for sale, sold for $227,050. Justice League of America #1 (DC, 1960), CGC NM+ 9.6, ended at $215,100, and a copy of Whiz Comics #2 (#1) (Fawcett Publications, 1940), CGC FN 6.0, the first appearance of Captain Marvel, sold for $173,275. One of the most sough-after issues of all time, Superman #1 (DC, 1939), CGC GD 2.0, brought $167,300 and 25 bids pushed the auction price of Action Comics #7 (DC, 1938) CGC VG/FN 5.0, known for being the second Superman cover ever, to $161,325. 

The auction’s offering of original comic art included John Romita Sr. The Amazing Spider-Man #61 Cover Original Art (Marvel, 1968), which sold for $167,300. Continuing collector’s streak for paying high-flying auction prices for art by Robert Crumb, his original art for a “Head Comix” 1-Page Story from Yarrowstalks #2 (Yarrowstalks, 1967) sold for $143,400.

Artist Dave Cockrum’s bombastic Original Cover Art to X-Men #102 (Marvel, 1976) sold for $131,450 and a magnificent splash-page of Original Art by Jack Kirby and George Roussos from Fantastic Four #25 (Marvel, 1964) sold for $113,525.

Additional top highlights: 

·         The Original Art by Jack Kirby and Paul Reinman used for page 3 of X-Men #1 (Marvel, 1963), sold for $89,625

·         Bill Watterson’s Original Art for a Calvin and Hobbes Daily Comic Strip dated 1-21-86 (Universal Press Syndicate, 1986), sold for $67,725

·         A single page of art from the comic book featuring the first appearance of popular character Deadpool: Rob Liefeld’s New Mutants #98 Story Page 15 Original Art (offered just a week before the film “Deadpool 2” hits theaters), sold for $51,385

·         Bidders set another world record when the Original Art for a The Far Side Daily Comic Strip, by cartoonist Gary Larson, sold for $31,070, making it the most expensive Far Side strip ever sold at auction.

Ruralia copy.jpgForum Auctions is delighted to announce the forthcoming auction of The Rothamsted Collection, comprising the rare book collection of the Lawes Agricultural Library. The Collection was assembled during the inter-war years by Sir John Russell, a former Director of Rothamsted Research, which is the longest-running scientific research station of its type in the world and home to the world’s oldest continuously running scientific experiment (currently in its 175th year). The collection includes some important medieval manuscripts and a comprehensive range of printed books from 1471-1840 on the subject of agriculture in its broadest sense. In total there are over 3,000 volumes, with a selection of highlights detailed below.

The Augsburg-printed 1471 edition of Crescentiis’ Ruralia Commoda is the landmark first ever printed book on agriculture (Est.£60,000-80,000) - originally written in about 1300 by Pietro Crescentio, a Bolognese lawyer, it covers viticulture, horticulture, husbandry, hunting and fishing. Amongst the many incunabula are a further six editions of the same work in various languages.  The 16th and 17th centuries are profusely represented by both Continental and English books, many with distinguished provenances including multiple editions of works by Markham, Tusser, Fitzherbert, Hartlib and Leigh.

There are many further exceptional rarities such as Monardes’ Joyfull Newes out of the New-found Worlde, 1580 (Est.£10,000-15,000) - one of the earliest books to describe the cultivation of rhubarb, ginger and quinine, as well as having extensive references to tobacco and nicotine; many works on bees, economics, social history, architecture and landscape gardening, veterinary science, early herbals and no fewer than 8 editions of Tull’s Horse-hoeing husbandry. Many of the great early printers are also represented - including several examples of Estienne and Aldus Manutius, plus a myriad of more obscure English provincially-printed works. Preceding the printed books are significant manuscripts by Walter of Henley (14th century on estate management) (Est.£10,000-15,000) and Palladius from the 15th century.

The auction will be held on 10th July at The Westbury Hotel on Mayfair’s Conduit Street where Forum holds its bi-monthly fine sales. Viewing of the collection commences during the Antiquarian Booksellers Association (ABA) annual fair (May 24th - 26th), which is coincidentally being held in Battersea Park, a stone’s throw from Forum’s offices. The auction promises to be one of 2018’s landmark bibliophile sales and is tipped to raise in excess of £1,000,000.

Image: Ruralia commoda, [Speier, Peter Drach, c.1490-1495]. The first illustrated edition with over 300 woodcuts, a few of which are coloured by a contemporary hand. Est. £20,000-30,000.

Ben Franklin HA copy.jpgDallas, TX - Nine works by Norman Rockwell and new auction records for seven artists drove Heritage Auctions’ May 4 American Art Auction in Dallas, Texas to $4,571,987.50 versus pre-sale estimates of $3,503,200-$5,237,800 (includes estimates of the unsold lots). The auction sold 96 percent by value and 91 percent by lot.

“Norman Rockwell is among the most beloved and important American artists of all time,” Heritage Auctions Director of American Art Aviva Lehmann said. “Art lovers of all levels and types can relate to the people in his paintings, which is why an auction like this one was such a success.”

Once in the private collection of late actor Debbie Reynolds, Norman Rockwell Ben Franklin's Sesquicentennial, The Saturday Evening Post cover, May 29, 1926 sold for $762,500. One of Rockwell’s most patriotic images, it was commissioned in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence and is Rockwell’s only cover lot featuring a Founding Father.

Another lot from the famed illustrator that drew major interest from collectors was Norman Rockwell The Census Taker, The Saturday Evening Post cover study, 1940, which brought $372,500. While the painting offers a humorous view of a mother trying to wrangle six children while answering questions, The Census Taker also documented a serious and important event in American History: the 1940 U.S. Census. That census occurred April 1, only weeks before the April 27 debut of this Post cover.

Numerous bidders pursued Joseph Christian Leyendecker Living Mannequin, The Saturday Evening Post cover, March 5, 1932 until it drew $312,500 - more than double its pre-auction low estimate. Originally from the estate of Harry Glass, of Long Island, New York, the painting from Illustration’s Golden Age originally sold at the 1943 U.S. War Bond at the United States Treasury-Saturday Evening Post War Bond Show, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Competitive bidding helped John S. Jameson Grazing Sheep at Headwaters of a Stream, 1862 crush its pre-auction estimate when it realized $250,000, a new auction record for the artist. The influence of the Hudson River School on the young prodigy - Jameson died at just 22 years old after being captured while fighting in the Civil War - is evident in this landscape and exploration into theatrical light and weather effects.

Rockwell’s Before the Shot, The Saturday Evening Post cover study, 1958 went for $187,500. A preparatory study for an illustration that graced the March 15, 1958 cover of The Saturday Evening Post and of the artist's most iconic and most popular images, it was exhibited alongside the final painting at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge.

Rockwell broke from his stance of shielding his political views in Norman Rockwell The Day I Painted Ike (All through that grind of turning on different moods, he never lost patience. At the end-by golly, it was time to go fishing.), The Saturday Evening Post interior illustration, 1952, which sold for $150,000. The artist’s admiration for the 34th U.S. president was so unwavering that Ben Hibbs, then the editor of the Saturday Evening Post, wrote to Rockwell saying, “If Ike is elected, as I think he will be, no small share of the credit should go to Norman Rockwell.”

Other lots that established new auction records:

·         W.P. Wilson Mr. Trunk and his Advisors - His Friends, Old Mr. Parrot and Mr. Starling, 1862: $13,750

·         Henry Schnakenberg Summer in the Park (Central Park, Bethesda Fountain): $13,750

·         Belle Goldschlager Baranceanu Road Near Mount Wilson, California: $11,250

·         Max Arthur Cohn Belmore Cafeteria, 1937: $6,875

·         Andrée Ruellan Docks at Roundabout, 1947: $6,250

·         Nathalie Newking Baigneuses et chevreau, 1924: $4,875

Other top lots included, but were not limited to:

·         Norman Rockwell Stealing Socks, Interwoven Stocking advertisement, 1928: $143,750

·         LeRoy Neiman Paris - Cafe Deux Magots, 1961: $81,250

·         Marguerite Thompson Zorach, Mother and Child, 1919: $75,000

·         Milton Avery Churning Bay, 1945: $65,625

·         Blanche Lazzell Black Fish and Untitled (double-sided work), 1920: $50,000

·         Norman Rockwell Man with Rod and Reel, probable advertisement study, circa 1940: $50,000

424-Matisse copy.jpgNew York—With highlights spanning six centuries, Swann Galleries’ auction of Old Master Through Modern Prints on May 8 offered works by the greatest innovators in the field. The sale totaled more than $2M.

Leading the auction was a gift from Henri Matisse to one of his favorite models, Nadia Sednaoui. The evocative aquatint Grand Masque, 1948, a stylized portrait of the young woman, is signed and inscribed to her by the artist. It sold for $87,500, a record for the work. Another auction record was set for the artist’s 1938 linoleum cut Diane, at $20,000.

Tête de femme, de profil, 1905, an early drypoint by Pablo Picasso at just 24 years old, reached $75,000. The portrait topped an extravagant selection of works by the master in a variety of media. The jaunty terre-de-faïence dish Goat’s Head in Profile, 1952, and color linoleum cut Le Vieux Roi, 1963, each exceeded their high estimates to sell for $21,250.

Additional twentieth-century highlights included Marc Chagall’s color lithograph L’Âme du Cirque, 1980, which nearly doubled its high estimate to sell for $42,500, a record for the work. Also by Chagall, Carmen, 1967, an after-print in vibrant hues, reached $62,500.   

The etching and drypoint portrait of Jan Uytenbogaert, Preacher of the Remonstrants, 1635, by Rembrandt van Rijn, previously in the collector of the German art director Rudolph Busch, nearly doubled its high estimate to sell for $57,500. A rich selection of early self portraits by the master was led by Self Portrait in a Cap, Laughing, 1630, and Self Portrait in a Fur Cap: Bust, 1630 ($27,500 and $35,000, respectively).

Two elegant etchings by James A.M. Whistler performed well, led by Rue de la Rochefoucault, 1890, which was purchased by a collector for $30,000, a record for the work. Another highlight was The Two Doorways, 1879-80, an intimate vista of Venice ($25,000).

Vice President and Director of Prints & Drawings Todd Weyman noted that “85% of lots by Albrecht Dürer sold, showing resiliency in the old master prints market that Swann has come to dominate.” The visionary’s engraving St. Eustace, circa 1501, led the selection of fine prints at $37,500.

The next fine art auction at Swann Galleries will be Contemporary Art on May 22, 2018. The house is currently accepting quality consignments for autumn auctions.

Additional highlights can be found here.

Image: Lot 424: Henri Matisse, Grand Masque, aquatint, inscribed to model Nadia Sednaoui, 1948. Sold May 8, 2018 for $87,500, a record for the work. (Pre-sale estimate: $50,000 to $80,000)

3103T_webcover-e1524059976989.jpgThe spring rare books and manuscripts auction at Skinner will feature more than 700 lots of printed books, historic manuscripts, maps, and prints, including Audubons.

A featured section of NASA photographs and memorabilia from the collection of Dutch television director Rudolf Spoor takes center stage (300 lots), with an item unprecedented in space collecting: a NASA safety helmet signed by 26 American astronauts and six rocket scientists and missions control specialists. Spoor’s collection demonstrates his access to the program as a journalist in lot after lot. As an example, Grumman provided him with a scale model of the Lunar Module (LM) for use in live television broadcasts. No film cameras were mounted on the Apollo 11 spacecrafts to capture the descent of the Lunar Module, so Spoor and crew mounted the LM model to a stick, built a lunar landscape diorama, and slowly lowered the model to the miniature surface below, as cameras rolled.  Spoor also managed to obtained a paw print of Miss Baker, one of two monkeys to fly into space before manned space travel, and the only one to survive, along with a sample of her fur and a number of photographs. Flown heat shield fragments, hundreds of important photographs, including signed photographs from Mercury 7 and Apollo missions, will be included, along with mission patches, first day covers, and more.

The American Revolution is never forgotten in New England, and Skinner is pleased to offer the first appearance of Benjamin Franklin’s Join or Die political cartoon with the severed snake image representing the states, now more often remembered as “Don’t Tread on Me!” Franklin’s editorial was issued in criticism of the disjointed American response to the French and Indian War, but kept its currency throughout the Revolutionary period, into the Civil War, and is still available as a bumper sticker on websites in 2018! Bid on the original at Skinner.

Early editions of the works of Beatrix Potter, Jane Austen, and Laura Ingalls Wilder will be offered in the sale as well, in addition to letters written and signed by Wilder and Harper Lee, and an original illustration for Little Women annotated on the verso by Louisa May Alcott.

Several 19th century railroad posters will be offered in the sale, along with a selection of railroad memorabilia, broadsides, ephemera, and drawings. We are also pleased to offer other original manuscripts and drawings, including diagrams of clockworks down in Massachusetts in the mid-18th century, and a remarkable sketchbook from the early 19th century with views of Boston, New York City, and Philadelphia. Each city went through a number of transformations in this period. The waterside views afforded in these images, the depictions of the skylines of the past, document a moment in the formation of the metropolitan east coast.

Unique material related to the American Civil War will be offered in the documents section of the sale, including a signed photograph of Abraham Lincoln presented to General John A. Dix; an autograph letter signed by Confederate General James Longstreet, asking for a pension based on an injury he sustained in the Mexican-American War (with the caveat that the request be kept confidential); a portrait of Robert E. Lee signed by photographer Matthew Brady, and a signed photograph of American President General Ulysses S. Grant.

Norman’s Chart of the Lower Mississippi, estimated at $50,000-70,000, a very early 5-foot map of the river, complete with plantations and views of the ports of New Orleans and Baton Rouge, very rare on the market, would be key in any major American map collection.

For lovers of relativity and wax museums, we are also pleased to offer a wax sculpture of Alfred Einstein’s head by sculptor Katherine Stubergh (sometimes called the Madame Tussaud of America) signed on the back of the neck by Einstein himself.

The spring book sale closes on June 8th, followed closely by an important collection of early English books to be offered in Boston on July 20th.

76-Ray.jpgNew York—Swann Galleries’ auction of Graphic Design on May 3 offered vintage posters that defined the styles of the twentieth century. In a highly-curated selection of just over 250 lots, the highlight was Man Ray’s iconic poster for the London Underground, which reached a record $149,000.

Done in the surrealist master’s iconic “rayographic” style, the asymmetrical poster equated the reliability with the nascent tube system with the timeless regularity of the solar system. It was the world’s most expensive travel poster from June of 2007, when it sold for $100,906 at Christie’s, until 2012, when a poster by A.M. Cassandre sold at Swann Galleries for $162,500. The work was originally part of a pair of identical posters, with its complement reading London Transport. The two posters are not known to have appeared together at auction.

Additional auction records for stunning Secessionist masterpieces included Alfred Röller’s XIV Ausstellung / Secession / Klinger Beethoven, 1902, for $57,200, and Frommes Kalendar, 1899, by Koloman Moser, at $25,000. Both works were purchased by institutions. A record was also achieved by Bon Appétit!, 1961, an advertisement for eggs by Niklaus Stoecklin in his hyperrealist New Objectivity style, at $8,450.

A masterwork of printing designed by Charles Loupot in 1940 for the Lion Noir shoe polish company, in which a glossy black lion prepares to pounce from a matte black background, was purchased by a collector for $35,000.

Nicholas D. Lowry, President and Principle Auctioneer of Swann Galleries and Director of Vintage Posters department, was pleased with the sale: “This was our the best auction of Graphic Design since 2007 and the third-best since we began the category in 2001. The highlight was, of course, Man Ray’s London Underground poster reaching $149,000, a record price that places the image in the firmament of most sought-after graphic design of the twentieth century. The number of institutional buyers among the top lots proves that this exciting corner of the poster-collecting market will continue to grow for years to come.”          

The next auction of Vintage Posters at Swann Galleries will be held on August 1, 2018. The house is currently accepting quality consignments for autumn auctions.

Additional highlights can be found here.

Image: Lot 76: Man Ray, [London Transport] - Keeps London Going, 1938. Sold May 3, 2018 for $149,000, a record for the work. (Pre-sale estimate: $80,000 to $120,000)

 

568_260_Gershwin, George, Autopgraphed musical manuscript signed twice, to Hyman Sandow, 17 August 1928_WEB.jpgThe May 1 Fine Books and Manuscripts auction at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers included a collection of over 400 manuscripts from the collection of Robert L. McKay, many of which were among the top performing lots in the sale. The sale had strong bidding activity in the room, over the phones and online, and realized over $531,000, with a number of highlights exceeding presale estimates.

The top lots from the Robert L. McKay collection include a fine autographed musical manuscript signed by George Gershwin to his friend and music journalist Hyman Sandow, which sold for $27,500 against a presale estimate of $6,000 to 8,000. An autographed letter from Albert Einstein to American journalist and diplomat Herman Bernstein sold for $25,000 against a presale estimate of $3,000 to 5,000.  A George Washington autograph letter signed to Samuel M. Fox regarding the collection of a debt and written from Mt. Vernon sold for $16,250 against a presale estimate of $8,000 to 12,000.

Additional highlights from the collection include an autographed letter signed by Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky to Czech composer Eduard Frantsevich Nápravnik, which sold for $12,500 against a presale estimate of $8,000 to 12,000; an autograph letter signed by Benjamin Franklin to his great-nephew sold for $11,250 against a presale estimate of $8,000 to 12,000; and Joseph Stalin's annotated copy of Leon Trotsky's The Problems of the Civil War, which sold for $16,250 against a presale estimate of $4,000 to 6,000. Competitive bidding on the phones drove the final price for an autograph manuscript signed by Salvador Dali with twelve original pen sketches to $10,625 against a presale estimate of $600 to 800.

In addition to the McKay collection of manuscripts, the sale included a rare copy of Conradus de Halberstadt’s Concordantiae bibliorum, printed by Mentelin in Strassburg before 1474. It sold for $27,500 with a presale estimate or $10,000 to 15,000 after active international bidding.

Following a Chicago reception, Francis Wahlgren, took the gavel. This was his first auction following the announcement of his new role as exclusive consultant.

The Fine Books and Manuscripts department is currently accepting consignments for fall auctions and on November 12 will offer The Fine Cartographic and Printed Americana Collection of Evelyn and Erin Newman. Visit lesliehindman.com for additional information.

357_3.jpgChicago, IL — Potter and Potter Auctions' signature early spring sale was a feast for the eyes, attracting interest and buyers from all over the world.  When the last hammer fell, 27 lots realized between $1,000-1,999; 14 lots realized between $2,000-$9,999; and two lots broke the five-figure mark - in a really big way!  Prices noted include the company's 20% buyer's premium. 

It's hard to escape the fact that breathtaking Harry Houdini archives represented the top lots in this sale. Lot #357, a mostly 1922-1925 era, two volume spiritualism scrapbook signed, kept, and annotated by Harry Houdini was estimated at $30,000-40,000 and realized $66,000 - more than twice its low estimate. The first book included newspaper and news-magazine clippings from the US and abroad pertaining to spiritualism and related subjects.  The second book was almost entirely devoted to coverage of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s belief in spiritualism and the supernatural. Lot #360, Elliot Sanford’s Houdini manuscripts and archive was estimated at $10,000-15,000 and realized $48,000. This collection chronicled Sanford's year with the Houdini family in intimate detail and was full of unpublished data and first person accounts.  

Magic related ephemera were well represented in this auction, with several fine letters, photographs, and collections of note.  Lot #372, a 1923 photograph of Houdini and fellow magician A.M. Wilson was estimated at $300-500 and realized $2,280. Lot #583, a group 13 of magician's business cards from 1928-1980 was estimated at $50-100 and made $330. Lot #448, an autographed signed letter dated 1878 from Dobler the Wizard on his engraved and illustrated letterhead was estimated at $400-600 realized $1,800.  And lot #520, a 1914 Martinka & Co. autographed signed letter to Howard Thurston about a possible employment opportunity for a fellow magician was estimated at $100-200 and sold for $1,020.

Magic apparatus and tricks were key categories at this event.  Lot #207, Muhammad Ali's false thumb tip was estimated at $200-300 but changed hands at $1,800. This custom painted metal thumb tip was formerly property of the magic-loving boxing legend. And lot #316, Orrin’s Streamlined Uplift from 1949 rose to $660 on a $200-300 estimate.  

This sale offered a comprehensive collection of magic books, with over 200 lots on offer. Lot #159, a handsome first edition of Edward Sachs' Sleight of Hand from 1877, was estimated at $1,000-1,500 and realized an astonishing $6,480 - more than quadrupling its high estimate!  And lot #59, Circle Without End: The Magic Circle 1905 - 2005, edited by Edwin Dawes and Michael Bailey, was estimated at $100-200 and realized $540. This example, number 22 of 25 produced, was signed by the editors, made from full top-grain brown leather, and profusely illustrated. 

This Magic Memorabilia sale rounded things out with carefully curated selections of photos, advertisements, costumes, and other rarities.  Lot #387, The Jail Breaker and Dexterous Handcuff King Houdini poster, was estimated at $3,000-5,000 and realized $7,200. This mesmerizing, two color broadside was linen backed and measured 35" x 11". Lot #651, a linen backed Il Mago Delle Meraviglie poster from 1949, also caught the eye of many bidders. It was decorated with a myriad of magical acts within the shape of a large owl.  Estimated at $300-500, it made $1,680.  Things were positive with lot #358, seven glass photo negatives owned by Houdini.  Estimated at $2,000-3,000, this group - which included images of the Atlantic City Orpheum Theater, restraints, and Hardeen broadsides - realized $5,280. And it was a clothes call with lot #602, a wine-colored brocade jacket and white silk shirt worn by Dutch magician Tommy Wonder. Estimated at $1,500-2,000, the lot realized $6,480.

According to Gabe Fajuri, President at Potter & Potter Auctions, "Houdini continues to outperform estimates, and the tantalizing idea of unpublished and unknown material related to his life and career clearly drove prices well beyond our expectations. I was also pleased with the diversity of the sale - and how collectibles in a variety of categories really made the auction a "something for everyone" offering. Our next magic sale, scheduled for June 16th, features our second offering from the collection of David Baldwin. It promises to be a strong auction, and will feature automatons, Robert-Houdin mystery clocks, vintage apparatus, and more. Please join us online, or in person, for what promises to be a spectacular event."

Potter and 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 on their April 28, 2018 Magic Sale and Potter & Potter Auctions, please see www.potterauctions.com

Image: Two Volume Spiritualism Scrapbook Kept and Annotated by Houdini. Sold for $66,000.

May5_01_pics.jpgIthaca, NY—National Book Auctions, located just outside Ithaca, NY, announces the launch of their next auction catalog.  

This catalog features rare, antique and decorative books as well as select additions of ephemera. Featured are prized first printings of titles such as "Uncle Tom's Cabin" and "To Kill a Mockingbird." A selection of fine bindings will be offered, including antique fancy leather bindings and rare selections from the Folio Society.               

Antique and rare books are numerous in this catalog. Among the earliest examples are the 1532 printing of Alamanni's "Opere Toscane di Luigi Alamanni," Chetham's "The Angler's Vade Mecum," produced in 1689 with plates, and the 1646 printing of Corning' "De Sanguinis Generatione, et Motu Naturali." We're also pleased to offer in this catalog an "A" binding of "Uncle Tom's Cabin," and two desirable copies of "To Kill a Mockingbird" - one a first printing and the other an author-signed early printing. First printings and signed, limited editions of works by Robert Frost will also be sold. Additional rare and antique selections relate to travel & exploration, circus history, pulp, books-on-books, Civil War, theology, polar exploration, children's, decorative antique sets, art history and beyond.                        

Several interesting collections will also be showcased. Highlighted is a fine and diverse selection of antique bindings including important extra illustrated copies of Cotton and Mather's "The Compleat Angler" and Sargent's "Life of Major John Andre," produced in 1861 and housed in four volumes to accommodate the additional original correspondence and documents, engravings, etc.. Another collection is highlighted by three volumes from The Folio Society's elaborate presentation of works by Shakespeare, including "Macbeth," "Hamlet," and "King Lear." Also of interest are holdings from the personal library of one of the civil rights' movement's "Big Four," James Farmer. One of these books is inscribed by another of the foursome, Roy Wilkins, to Farmer, noting him as the "Leader of the Freedom Bus Riders" and inscribed in the Jackson, Mississippi jail.       

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

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

 

 

proust-2.jpgParis--It is always a remarkable event when the archives of the great writer appear on the market. On 24 May at Sotheby’s in Paris, there will be a sale of the collection of Marie-Claude Mante, Marcel Proust's great-niece and daughter of the writer's only niece, Suzy. 

After the library of Stéphane Mallarmé* and the collection of Proust's great-great niece, Patricia Mante-Proust*, this sale is a literary red-letter day, once again inviting literature lovers and bibliophiles to see Proust's work in a new light through 70 lots of literary manuscripts, letters and books with envois.

Guardian of the Proustian temple

The adored niece of her writer uncle, whom she saw as a "kind of magician", Suzy Proust (1903-1986) fell heir to a huge literary heritage on her father's death. A cultivated woman and music lover, and a keen reader of La Recherche, she worked throughout her life to perpetuate the memory of the man she affectionately called "Uncle Marcel". 

She retained the main part of his manuscripts, and encouraged the publication of his work and correspondence, though sometimes hiding passages referring to his homosexuality. Though the guardian of the temple, she willingly allowed publishers and researchers to study it, fostering the discovery and publication of whole sections of Proust's early writings, like Jean Santeuil and Contre Sainte-Beuve. 

She wanted her uncle's work to be accessible to as many people as possible, and generously lent the family's collections of books, manuscripts and photographs to numerous exhibitions throughout the world. In the early 1960s, she sold many exceptional manuscripts she inherited to the Bibliothèque nationale, and instructed Gallimard to publish À la recherche du temps perdu in paperback. 

On her death in 1986, her three children shared the documents she had not sold to the Bibliothèque nationale and others, including her uncle's letters and books, which then appeared on the market.

A literary adventure

Marie-Claude Mante's collection casts fresh light on the work of Marcel Proust as a writer and translator.

One of the most eagerly awaited lots is a large collection of 138 letters from Gaston Gallimard to Marcel Proust (lot 183, estimate: €100,000-150,000). These letters from one of the most prominent 20th century publishers to one of the greatest figures in French literature give us an almost daily picture of Gallimard's editorial strategy and the publication of the Recherche for a decade. Proust carefully kept his letters from Gaston Gallimard, which reveal him in his everyday work as a publisher, and show how keen he was to satisfy Proust.

A rough draft of Swann. The collection also contains a rare draft of a passage from Du côté de chez Swann. This is one of the last rough versions of the novel still in private hands; the rest is now in the Bibliothèque nationale de France. Entitled "Les Sources du Loir à Illiers (lot 160, estimate: €30,000-50,000), this manuscript foreshadows one of the finest passages in Swann: the walk taken on fine days by the young hero of the Recherche on the Guermantes Way, along the Loir as it becomes the Vivonne, whenever he does not take Swann's Way in cloudier weather.

Another fine group is devoted to the translation of Ruskin's Sesame and Lilies. In a rough draft of one of his famous footnotes (lot 153, estimate: €10,000-15,000), Proust explains the purpose of these notes, and describes his disagreements with Ruskin.

A decidedly iconoclastic translator, he also pastiches the author in a first edition of his translation of Sesame and Lilies, which he dedicated to Jean Sardou (lot 154, estimate: €7,000-10,000). He plays around for three pages writing an "excerpt from Ruskin" to his friend, where he imagines a commentary by Ruskin on a Turner painting, the chief subject being Jean Sardou himself. Hitherto unpublished, this pastiche is one of the discoveries in this catalogue.

Two remarkable unpublished proofs, one entirely handwritten, for À l’ombre des jeunes filles en fleurs, provide fascinating information that sheds light on the novel. With impulsively penned crossings-out and corrections, this galley shows the author writing on the spur of the moment, and all his successive changes of mind. In 1914, after the publication of Du côté de chez Swann in 1913, Grasset had begun that of À l’ombre des jeunes filles en fleurs, but this was delayed by the war. Proust used the time to correct his text in the printed proofs, revising and adding to it considerably. À l’ombre des jeunes filles en fleurs was awarded the Prix Goncourt, and Proust soon suggested publishing a deluxe edition of the novel, perhaps for financial reasons (lots 181 and 182; estimates: €15,000-20,000 and €10,000-15,000).

Between love and friendship

In his correspondence, a group of 10 letters stands out, written by Proust to his first great love, Reynaldo Hahn, a popular composer at Paris salons. Their relationship rapidly took on a passionate note, and Proust even included him as a character in Jean Santeuil. "I want you to be here all the time, "he wrote to Hahn in an autograph letter of late March 1896, "but as a god in disguise, whom no mortal would recognise." (lot 142, estimate: €7,000 -10,000).

In an amusing pen drawing, Marcel Proust also drew a portrait of Reynaldo Hahn (lot 156, estimate: €7,000-10,000). The composer is also present through a copy of Plaisirs et Les Jours, which he dedicated to Pierre Loti (lot 144, estimate: €8,000-12,000).

Letters from Reynaldo Hahn to Proust are very rare: nine of those kept by Proust are presented in this collection (lot 141, estimate: €10,000-15,000).

In 1908, Marcel Proust met a young writer in Cabourg, Max Daireaux, who became one of his loyal friends. The collection includes a group of 10 signed autograph letters (lot 165, estimate: €20,000-30,000) in which he writes a lot of pleasant banter, dotted with advice for the man thirteen years his younger. An autograph letter of 1913 (lot 175, estimate: €5,000-8,000) shows a meticulous Proust asking his friend, a qualified civil engineer, to confirm the scientific accuracy of certain descriptions while he was revising the proofs of Swann.

Friendship and admiration are also evident in the 17 books dedicated to Proust by Robert de Montesquiou, Maurice Maeterlinck, Léon Daudet and, more surprisingly, writers of the younger generation: the Surrealists André Breton and Philippe Soupault dedicated their Champs Magnétiques to him (lot 186, estimate: €10,000-15,000) and Blaise Cendrars Du monde entier (lot 184, estimate: €3,000-5,000).

The collection ends with the first-time appearance of a moving drawing by Jean-Bernard Eschemann of Marcel Proust on his deathbed (lot 196, estimate: €1,000-1,500). Numerous artists, including Man Ray, came to pay their respects to the dead author, bearing witness to his contemporaries' admiration for him right to the end. 

Designed as a reference work, the richly documented and illustrated catalogue, with a preface by Jean-Yves Tadié, presents all the lots in chronological order, and is a genuine biography of the writer.

Livres et Manuscrits

Auction: 24 May 2018 

Preview: 18, 21, 22 & 23 May

 

pastedGraphic.pngAn extraordinary pairing of letters from J. R. R. Tolkien to Mary Fairburn, an artist who sent him paintings of several scenes from Lord of the Rings will be auctioned by Boston-based RR Auction. 

Among the two letters is a one-page typed letter from Tolkien on his personal letterhead, dated May 24, 1968, in part: “I think the samples of illustrations you sent me are splendid. They are better pictures in themselves and also show far more attention to the text than any that have yet been submitted to me. My publishers and I decided long ago not to have The Lord of the Rings illustrated, largely for the reasons which I myself dealt with in my lecture ‘On Fairy Stories,’ now included in Tree and Leaf. I should not think of employing Pauline Baynes because, thought she can be quite good at certain points, she cannot rise to anything more noble or awe-inspiring. See, for instance, her ridiculous picture of the dragon…After seeing your specimens I am beginning to change my mind, and I think that an illustrated edition might be a good thing.” 

Also included is a two-page handwritten letter by Tolkien, on personal letterhead, dated October 10, 1968, in part: “I had no idea that your situation was so desperate—and I marvel at your courage in still practising your art. I don’t think your ill fortune (in the matter of the illustrations) is really bound up with mine. It is mainly due to the present situation in the book world. Allen and Unwin have found that ‘The Lord of the Rings’ in any form is now so expensive that any attempt to produce it in a special or more sumptuous form is a failure. It is also subsidiarily due to the fact that the effective partner, Mr. Rayner Unwin, has been abroad on business…I have not been able to get him to come and see the specimens of your work. 

I am reluctantly sending back the pictures I have received. I suppose the 3 drawings that I have not yet seen are also included in your debt? I would beg you to let me see them (they sound most interesting especially The Old Forest). By odd chance Mr. Unwin has just rung me up on business, and I had an opportunity of speaking about you. He was not so decisive as I had expected, & was evidently ready to ‘consider’ an illustrated edition — but he was also clear that black and white illustrations would be much more likely to prove publishable. My experience is that the process of ‘considering’…takes time…I am, of course, a very ’successful’ writer—astonishingly and belatedly, and publishers like to trumpet such things abroad.” He goes on to offer Fairburn a gift of £50, and adds a postscript at the top, signed “J. R. R. T.,” in full: “I can only hope that the ancient proverb (attributed to King Alfred): ‘When the bale is at the highest, then the boot (betterment) is ever highest’ may prove in your case true.” Accompanied by the original mailing envelope addressed in Tolkien’s hand. 

Also includes one of Fairburn’s original Lord of the Rings sketches, showing the castle at Minas Tirith, accomplished in pencil on a white 11.5 x 16.5 sheet. Signed in the lower right corner in pencil, “Fairburn.” 

After having seen various illustrated editions of The Hobbit produced—most not to his liking—Tolkien was understandably weary of would-be illustrators. Just one year before receiving Fairburn’s paintings, Tolkien wrote to his publisher Rayner Unwin, ‘As far as an English edition goes, I myself am not at all anxious for The Lord of the Rings to be illustrated by anybody whether a genius or not.’ There were a handful of artists whose Lord of the Rings-inspired work he did appreciate, but he made a clear distinction between what he liked on artistic merit versus what he believed was fit to accompany text. In the 1947 essay ‘On Fairy Stories’ mentioned in the typed letter, Tolkien explains: ‘However good in themselves, illustrations do little good to fairy-stories. The radical distinction between all art (including drama) that offers a visible presentation and true literature is that…literature works from mind to mind and is thus more progenitive. It is at once more universal and more poignantly particular.’ 

Based on all of Tolkien’s comments and correspondence, this was a strong conviction. However, he was so struck by Fairburn’s work that he did again begin discussions with his publisher about an illustrated edition.

Although that never came to fruition, Fairburn’s illustrations finally saw publication as the basis of HarperCollins’s official Tolkien calendar for 2015.

Several other Tolkien related lots are featured including a unique pairing of Tolkien letters discussing allegories, critics, and characters: "I was particularly pleased that you find allegorical interpretation of The Lord of the Rings unnecessary; it was simply meant to be a history as it appears.”

Among other items to be featured is a James Joyce and Henri Matisse sought-after limited edition jointly signed copy of Ulysses. 

One year after the decade-long ban on publishing Ulysses in the United States was lifted, George Macy of the Limited Edition Club commissioned Henri Matisse to illustrate a deluxe edition of Joyce's masterpiece. While Joyce was excited to have such a prominent artist illustrate his work, he and Macy were somewhat disappointed to find that Matisse did not read the book and based his artwork entirely on Homer's ancient epic The Odyssey. The resulting book, featuring six original soft-ground etchings by Matisse and twenty reproductions of his preliminary drawings, was published in a limited edition of 1500, with all signed by the artist but just the first 250 copies also signed by Joyce.

Also featured is a 1963 1st Edition "Where the Wild Things Are.” First edition, first printing. NY: Harper & Row, 1963. Hardcover with first-issue dust jacket. Wonderfully signed and inscribed on the half-title page in black felt tip, "For Jonathan Ward, Maurice Sendak, Sept. 71," incorporating a fantastic original sketch of Carol, saying, "Hi!" Book condition: VG/VG, with a tiny tear to the dust jacket, minor toning to the spine, wear at spine ends, and a clipped lower corner of the front inner flap. 

This extraordinary book boasts all identifying points for the first edition, including: "Library of Congress catalog card number: 63-21253" on title page; dust jacket price of $3.50; no mention of the Caldecott award; codes 40-80 and 1163 at bottom of front inner flap; three-paragraph blurb about the book on front inner flap; and three-paragraph blurb about the author on the rear inner flap. Bound in the publisher's pictorial white boards and gray cloth, illustrated with Sendak's wraparound drawing of a wild thing, his habitat, and Max's boat, lettered in black. 

The Fine Autographs and Artifacts auction from RR Auction began on April 20 and will conclude on May 9.  More details can be found online at www.rrauction.com.

 

London--Christie’s is pleased with the results achieved for the palimpsest of a Qur’an copied onto a Christian text, realising £596,790 during the Art of the Islamic and Indian Worlds Including Oriental Rugs and Carpets auction, which is still ongoing. As Lot 1 of the sale, this remarkable manuscript dates to the earliest period of Islam. The leaves from these folios derive from an earlier Coptic manuscript containing passages from the Book of Deuteronomy, which is part of the Torah and the Christian Old Testament. It was very probably produced in Egypt, home to the Coptic community, at the time of the Arab conquest. This appears to be the only recorded example of a Qur’an written above a Christian text, and the importance of this manuscript resonates with the historical reality of religious communities in the Near East and as such is an invaluable survival from the earliest centuries of Islam. Christie’s is honoured to have offered it at auction in London.

This remarkable discovery was made with the help of French scholar Dr. Eléonore Cellard, as the folios are in fact a palimpsest, a manuscript from which the first writing has been effaced so that the vellum could be reused. Beneath the Arabic script an original Coptic text may clearly be seen. The Art of the Islamic and Indian Worlds Including Oriental Rugs and Carpets sale continues.

Dr. Eléonore Cellard, Postdoctoral fellowship at Collège de France, Paris: “This is a very important discovery for the history of the Qur’an and early Islam. We have here a witness of cultural interactions between different religious communities.” 

Eleonore Cellard is attached to the College de France, a leading academic institution based in Paris. She works under the supervision of Prof Déroche, the leading expert in the field of early Islamic scripts and early Islamic codicology. 

Qur’anic palimpsests are extremely rare and only a handful are known:

1. Two leaves from a 7th century Hijazi Qur’an, sold at Christie’s, London, 8 April 2008, lot 20 (sold £2,484,500) and 01 May 2001, lot 12 (sold for £163,250). The Qur’anic text is copied above an earlier version of the Qur’an.

2. The late 7th/early 8th century Mingana-Lewis Palimpsest (MS Or.1287) at the Cambridge University Library. The Hijazi script has been erased and the leaves were used for a 9th/10th century codex of Christian Arabic homilies produced in Palestine. The palimpsest was acquired by Agnes Smith Lewis in Suez in 1895.

3. A leaf from a 7th century Hijazi Qur’an in San’a (Masahif San’a, exhibition catalogue, Kuwait, 1983, cat.4, p.59). The surviving Qur’anic text is copied above an earlier version of the Qur’an. 

4. The present folios, dating from the 8th century. 

 

108-Ubik copy.jpgNew York—Cornerstones of science fiction from the Estate of Stanley Simon form the backbone of Swann Galleries’ May 15 auction of 19th & 20th Century Literature.

Stanley Simon was a passionate, dedicated, life-long collector of sci-fi, thriller and fantasy first editions as well as photography from the Golden Age of Hollywood. Offered at Swann are almost 100 first editions, nearly all of them signed. Of particular note is a signed first edition of Philip K. Dick’s Ubik, 1969, with an estimate of $4,000 to $6,000, and the galley proof of Valis, 1987 ($4,000 to $6,000), neither of which are known to have appeared at auction before.

Also from Simon’s collection comes a significant run of Stephen King’s masterpieces, including the deluxe limited edition of The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger, 1982, signed by King and illustrator Michael Whelan, and a signed and inscribed first edition of his first novel, Carrie, 1974 ($2,500 to $3,500 and $1,200 to $1,800, respectively). Also available is the deluxe limited edition in zippered black leather of Skeleton Crew, 1985, previously in the collection of the illustrator, J.K. Potter, in which he wrote, “This, my own contributors copy, is for Stanley Simon.” The estimate is $2,000 to $3,000. Making their auction debuts are the galley proof of The Shining, 1977, signed and inscribed ($800 to $1,200), and the uncorrected proof of The Stand, 1990, inscribed to Stanley, carrying an estimate of $700 to $1,000.

Additional highlights from the Stanley Simon Estate include the first edition of Delos W. Lovelace’s novelization of King Kong, 1932, inscribed by creator Marcel Delgado and actress Fay Wray, who wrote, “Dear Stanley - With memories of King Kong both for you and Fay Wray.” The association copy carries an estimate of $4,500 to $6,000. Also available is the complete Foundation trilogy, 1951-53, by Isaac Asimov. Each of the three novels, the winner of The Hugo Award for best all-time series, is a first edition signed by the author, still in its original dust jacket ($4,500 to $6,000). Important editions of Ray Bradbury’s magnum opus Fahrenheit 451, 1953, are led by the limited author’s edition personally inscribed to Simon ($6,000 to $9,000).

Leading the auction is the first edition of Ernest Hemingway’s first book, Three Stories & Ten Poems, 1923, printed by Maurice Darantière, who also printed James Joyce's Ulysses, a first English edition of which will also be offered ($20,000 to $30,000 and $2,500 to $3,500, respectively).

Also available is the first auction appearance of a copy in the third issue jacket, notable for its orange lettering, of the true first edition of Anne Frank’s diary, Het Achterhuis, 1947, with an estimate of $7,000 to $10,000.

Nineteenth-century highlights include a set of the first editions of Emily Dickinson’s first three books of poetry, 1890-96, together estimated at $10,000 to $15,000. Highlights by the father of the macabre, Edgar Allan Poe, include the seldom-seen first separate American edition of The Raven, circa 1870, with 18 wood-engraved illustrations, estimated at $1,000 to $1,500, and the first printing of The Murders in the Rue Morgue, 1841. Hailed as the first detective story, it was published in the April edition of Graham’s Magazine ($1,000 to $1,500). Also available is the first edition in fragile wrappers of Christabel: Kubla Khan, A Vision; The Pains of Sleep, 1816, by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, with an estimate of $5,000 to $7,500.

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

Image: Lot 108: Philip K. Dick, Ubik, first edition, signed, Garden City, 1969. Estimate $4,000 to $6,000.

Dallas, TX - Patrick Nagel’s Nude on Back with Black Stockings, 1983 soared beyond pre-auction estimates, selling for $106,250, and two new artist records were set in Heritage Auctions’ Illustration Art Auction April 24 in Dallas.

The acrylic on canvas, which is signed and dated by the artist, was the top lot in the event that brought in a total of $1,429,429.25 for the sale of 449 lots. The price paid for the auction’s top lot is the 10th-best ever paid for a Nagel work at Heritage Auctions, which now has sold 12 works by the artist for six-figure returns.

“Patrick Nagel’s artwork has been extremely popular with collectors for decades, and the prices for his works have really taken off in recent years because of the increasing demand,” Heritage Auctions Senior Vice President for Fine & Decorative Arts Ed Jaster said. “More and more collectors are turning to Heritage Auctions for hard-to-find artwork from the beak of popular culture, and Patrick Nagel’s artwork is one of the major reasons behind that trend.”

Alberto Vargas Martini Time, 1935 nearly tripled its low pre-auction estimate when competitive bidding drove its result to $87,500, the fifth-highest amount paid through Heritage Auctions for a Vargas painting. The auction included 11 Vargas works - four originals and seven prints; each of the four originals yielded at least $15,000.

Margaret Brundage’s A Rival from the Grave, Weird Tales magazine cover, January 1936, which came from the estate of John McLaughlin, sparked a flurry of bids before finishing at $71,875, a new auction record for the artist. The cover scene for Seabury Quinn’s A Rival from the Grave is perhaps the most well-known image from the artist, whose iconic Weird Tales covers are extremely rare.

The second work in the auction from Nagel, Joanna, brought $68,750. The image of former actress Joanna Cassidy is one of the most popular by the artist who was known for balancing erotic, evocative images with unwavering respect for women.

Multiple collectors bid on Gil Elvgren Perfection, 1948 until it realized $57,500. Considered one of the most important pin-up artists of the 20th century, Elvgren combined his pin-up painting with images for advertising images, preferring the “girl next door” type over traditional models. This painting also was reproduced as figure 163 in Gil Elvgren All His Glamorous American Pin-Ups, by Charles G. Martignette and Louis K. Meisel (Taschen, 1999).

Nearly two dozen bidders drove Boris Vallejo Mysterious Rider, The New St. Marks Baths advertisement, 1978 to a final price of $40,000, which topped the high pre-auction estimate by 700 percent and established a new record for any Vallejo work sold at auction. This image was famously used in 1980s advertisements for The New St. Marks Baths, in St. Marks Place in New York City.

Other top lots included, but were not limited to:

·       Alberto Vargas Nude with Phone (Jeanne Dean), 1946: $27,500

·       Gil Elvgren Girl on Bicycle, NAPA Auto Parts advertisement, circa 1975: $25,848.75

·       American Artist Kelly's Heroes, movie poster, 1970: $25,000

·       Drew Struzan Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, poster study, 1989: $25,000

 

Federalist PBA.jpgPBA Galleries is pleased to offer an exceptional, complete copy of the 1788 first edition of The Federalist in our May 31st Americana auction. The Federalist is the single most important book published in North America with this copy being an exceptionally clean copy, a rare example printed on thick superfine royal writing paper.

The first edition of the seminal work on American political theory and a cornerstone of American constitutional governance, called by Wright Howes “the most famous and influential American political work.” Only 500 copies of the first edition were printed, and the present copy is one of the exceptionally rare examples printed on thick superfine royal writing paper. These copies were advertised by the publisher M’Lean in contemporary periodicals as the more deluxe version of this seminal document: “A few Copies will be printed on superfine royal writing paper, price ten shillings.” The importance of the Federalist to the early development of the great political experiment that was the United States cannot be overstated. The work comprised 85 political essays, all but the last 8 of which were first published in newspapers in New York, in an effort to convince New York to approve the Federalist Constitution. Alexander Hamilton wrote 51 of the essays, James Madison 14, and John Jay 5; the authorship of 15 of the essays is in dispute between Hamilton and Madison. They were all published under the pseudonym “Publius.” The first thirty-six numbers of The Federalist were here published in book form in March 1788, with the remaining forty-nine, together with the text of the Constitution, in May of that year. Upon its publication George Washington noted to Alexander Hamilton that the work “will merit the Notice of Posterity; because in it are candidly and ably discussed the principles of freedom and the topics of government, which will always be interesting to mankind” (George Washington, letter to Hamilton, Aug. 28, 1788). The present copy has an early and bold ink ownership signature at the top of p.[1] of each volume, “Lawr. Stuart” or possibly “James Stuart”; the very top of each of the signatures was slightly shaved when the volumes were bound, likely prior to 1820 or so. Church 1230; Evans 21127; Grolier, 100 American, 19; Howes H114; Printing and the Mind of Man 234; Sabin 23979; Streeter 1049. Provenance: Helen A. [Doolittle] and George R. Sanders.

With some rubbing to covers and spines, corners a bit worn, joints scuffed and tender; only a few instances of minor foxing within, overall very clean and fine internally, the stitching quite tight. It has been in the same private collection for at least the last fifty years. The estimate is set at $80,000-$120,000.

You can view the complete entry and multiple images online at http://www.pbagalleries.com/content/2018/04/12/first-complete-edition-of-the-federalist-papers-in-book-form/

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

MS5BdWR1Ym9uLldpbnRlckhhd2suSlBH.jpegNew York - On June 14, 2018, collectors will have a rare chance to own one of the most sought-after books of natural history ever created: a full-size, complete first edition of John James Audubon’s The Birds of America (1827-1838).  Christie’s New York will offer in a special sale the exceptional “Duke of Portland” set of these 435 lushly hand-colored engravings (estimate: $8,000,000-12,000,000), among the most superlative copies in private hands of the finest color-plate book ever produced. Prior to the dedicated sale, the book will tour to Christie’s Los Angeles (April 26-28) and to Christie’s London (May 19-24), where it will be presented for public exhibition. Proceeds from this sale will benefit the Knobloch Family Foundation and its mission to preserve plants, animals and natural habitats through the protection and conservation of land and ecosystems, and to support the advancement of methods for valuing shared natural resources.

Audubon’s greatest triumph, The Birds of America, is considered one of the world’s most preeminent natural history documents and visually arresting works of art. Issued in 87 fascicles of five sheets each, the double-elephant-folio edition contains 435 hand-colored prints featuring 1,037 life-size birds, representing 500 species reflecting his determination to depict all the known species found in North America. This luxurious edition is the most spectacular color folio print series ever produced and is acknowledged as the finest work of colored engraving with aquatint in existence. The towering format of this work, a four-volume set of double-elephant folios over 3 feet in height, was dictated by Audubon’s insistence on life-size illustrations—from the flamingo down to the hummingbird—even if the former had to curve its neck in an elegant arabesque (pictured above right). His adherence to scale and lifelike depictions was grounded in his profound connection with the natural world which was inseparable from his work.

The set was acquired by William Henry Cavendish Cavendish-Scott-Bentinck, the fourth Duke of Portland (1768-1854), at some point after 1838, and has been maintained in excellent condition, with fresh, vibrant colors. Bibliographers calculate that the entire first edition numbered just 200 completed copies produced over an eleven-year period, of which 161 copies were created for paid subscribers.  At present, only 120 complete sets are known to exist in the world, 107 in institutions and 13 in private hands.

Carl W. Knobloch, Jr. purchased this volume at Christie’s New York in 2012. He has spent a lifetime preserving nature founding the Knobloch Family Foundation to continue that mission. When building his collection, Carl turned for advice to Gudmund Vigtel who for many years was the distinguished Director of the High Museum of Art in Atlanta. It is fitting that this remarkable book is now being sold to benefit conservation of the natural environment - a precious resource so dear to both Audubon and Carl.

A Masterpiece of Ornithological Art 

John James Audubon was born on April 26, 1785 on a sugar plantation in Haiti, as the illegitimate son of Jean Audubon, a French sea captain and agent for a Nantes mercantile firm, and his mistress Jeanne Rabine, a twenty-seven-year-old chambermaid who died within months of giving birth. John James and his half-sister spent their early years with their father in France. It was here, during long countryside rambles that the young Audubon collected bird specimens to be stuffed and drawn, and began his lifelong fascination with birds. Before the age of 12, Audubon escaped a slave revolt in Haiti, and survived France Reign of Terror, spending months in a dungeon with his family. At age 18 his father sent him to America to avoid conscription into Napoleon’s imperial army. John James settled in Philadelphia, where he met Lucy Bakewell, the daughter of a prosperous neighbor. They married in 1808 and moved to Kentucky. 

The largely unspoiled wilderness of Kentucky provided Audubon with access to a broader range of birds to hunt and draw. Without any artistic training to speak of, Audubon developed a new method of mounting dead birds on wires as an aid to delineation. In 1810, Audubon briefly met Alexander Wilson, the distinguished ornithologist, who had published the first two volumes of the artist-author’s pioneering work American Ornithology. Although the idea of publication first entered his mind on this occasion, it was not until 1820, that Audubon came into his full powers as a brilliant painter of birds and master of design. 

In the spring of 1824, Audubon tried to find a publisher for his work in New York, and Philadelphia, the nation's intellectual and publishing epicenter at the time, yet there he was met with closed doors and animosity. In May 1826 he landed in England, where he quickly found the support and appreciation that was so lacking back home. It was in London where Audubon established a reputation and secured his entry into the scientific community among its leading scholars of the time including von Humboldt, Walter Scott, John Murray, Thomas Lawrence, Humphry Davy, and a young Charles Darwin. Before the American Civil War, Audubon was one of only two Americans ever elected to the Royal Society of London, the leading scientific institution of its time - the other was Benjamin Franklin. To create the greatest illustrated book on birds, Audubon worked with William Home Lizars, known at the time as “the best engraver in the city," Robert Havell of London, a senior member of the well-known family of artists, and his son Robert Jr., an accomplished engraver in his own right who at the time worked for Colnaghi. 

In 1830, no longer a provincial curiosity, Audubon was received at the White House by President Andrew Jackson, and the House of Representatives subscribed to The Birds of America. That Audubon could complete his monumental project by subscription, with no institutional backing or noble benefactor, was a staggering achievement. To this day, The Birds of America is considered the most spectacular color folio print series ever produced and one of the world's preeminent natural history documents. 

The Portland Family 

The Portland family descended from Hans Willem Bentinck (1649-1709), one of William of Orange’s closest allies during and after his ascent to the English throne in 1688. In recognition of his friendship and support, Bentinck was created the 1st Earl of Portland; his eldest son Henry succeeded him as Earl and was created 1st Duke of Portland in 1716. Bentinck’s grandson married Lady Margaret Cavendish Holles Harley, the greatest heiress of her day, in 1734, herself a collector of natural curiosities and an eminent scientist. Their son, William Bentinck, the 3rd Duke, was twice Prime Minister in 1783 and 1807-09. William John Cavendish-Scott-Bentick, 5th Duke of Portland (1800-1879), was a notable eccentric who preferred his own company and excavated an extensive network of tunnels and rooms under the estate, including an underground library and ballroom. William John Cavendish-Bentick, 6th Duke of Portland (1857-1943), inherited the estate from his cousin in 1879. The 6th Duke was rather more sociable than his reclusive predecessor: he carried the imperial state crown during the coronation ceremony of King George VI. Earlier, in 1913, he hosted Archduke Franz Ferdinand during his visit to England, and took him shooting on the estate. During that visit, Portland records in his memoirs that “Franz could have been killed (a year before Sarajevo) when someone in the party dropped a gun and both barrels discharged.” 

TOURING EXHIBITIONS 

  • Los Angeles | April 26-28 | Christie’s Los Angeles Gallery | 336 North Camden Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210 
  • London | May 19-24 | Christie’s London | 8 King Street, London WC2E 8HN, UK 

PUBLIC EXHIBITION | 20 Rockefeller Center | New York 

    • June 9, 11-13, 10am - 5pm 
    • June 10, 10am - 2pm 

BOOKS & MANUSCRIPTS AUCTIONS | 20 Rockefeller Center | New York 

  • June 14, 2pm | The Portland Audubon 
  • June 14, immediately following | Fine Printed Books & Manuscripts 

Image: AUDUBON, John James (1785-1851). The Birds of America; from Original Drawings. London: Published by the Author, 1827-1838. The exceptional Duke of Portland set of Audubon's masterpiece - among the finest copies in private hands of the finest color-plate book ever produced.  Featured above: The Winter Hawk (plate 71). Estimate: $8,000,000-12,000,000

BF HA copy.jpgDallas, TX - A painting by one of the most popular American artists of all time, and formerly owned by a famous Hollywood actress is expected to be the top lot at Heritage Auctions’ American Art Auction May 4 in Dallas, Texas.

Once in the private collection of late actress Debbie Reynolds, Norman Rockwell Ben Franklin's Sesquicentennial, The Saturday Evening Post cover, May 29, 1926 (est. $800,000-1,200,000) was commissioned in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence and is Rockwell’s only cover illustration featuring a Founding Father.

“Norman Rockwell is one of the most beloved American artists who ever lived,” said Aviva Lehmann, Director of American Art. “Collectors of American art are drawn in great number to his works, as they immediately increase the strength and impact of any collection. The offerings in this auction span decades and many aspects of Rockwell’s career, allowing collectors at all levels to get involved.”

Another Rockwell expected to spark significant interest is Norman Rockwell The Census Taker, The Saturday Evening Post cover study, 1940 (est. $250,000-350,000). While amusing, The Census Taker also documented a serious and important event in American History, the 1940 U.S. Census, which occurred April 1, only weeks before the April 27 debut of this Post cover. 

Norman Rockwell Stealing Socks, Interwoven Stocking advertisement, 1928 (est. $200,000-300,000) serves as a primary example of Rockwell's skillful ability to present an enduring and heartwarming image that continues to resonate with the public even decades after its creation. Stealing Socks served as an advertisement for Interwoven Stocking that first appeared in The Saturday Evening Post on Feb. 11, 1928.

Rockwell’s Before the Shot, The Saturday Evening Post cover study, 1958 (est. $150,000-250,000) is a preparatory study for an illustration that graced the March 15, 1958 cover of The Saturday Evening Post. The scene takes place in the interior of Stockbridge (Massachusetts) physician Dr. Donald Campbell's office. Dr. Campbell was the model for the doctor, but while the little boy (Terry Locke) posed, Rockwell's favored model Louis Lamone served as the doctor's stand-in. One of the artist's most iconic and most popular images, the present study was exhibited alongside the final painting at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge.

Rockwell rarely expressed his own political opinions, but Norman Rockwell The Day I Painted Ike (All through that grind of turning on different moods, he never lost patience. At the end-by golly, it was time to go fishing.), The Saturday Evening Post interior illustration, 1952 (est. $120,000-180,000) depicts the 34th president of the United States, of whom Rockwell was an unabashed fan; he even referred to himself as an “Eisenhower worshipper.” So intense was Rockwell’s admiration for Eisenhower that Ben Hibbs, then editor of the Saturday Evening Post, wrote to Rockwell saying, "If Ike is elected, as I think he will be, no small share of the credit should go to Norman Rockwell."

Golden Age Illustration is extremely well represented in the auction, including six works by Joseph Christian Leyendecker. Living Mannequin, The Saturday Evening Post cover, March 5, 1932 (est. $120,000-180,000), comes from the Estate of Harry Glass, of Long Island, New York. The painting originally sold at the 1943 U.S. War Bond at the United States Treasury-Saturday Evening Post War Bond Show, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

The auction also includes two important works by artists of the Hudson River School:

John S. Jameson Grazing Sheep at Headwaters of a Stream, 1862 (est. $40,000-60,000) casts a spotlight on Jameson’s enormous talent, and also raises the question of what he could have accomplished had he not lost his life at the age of 22 after being captured while fighting in the Civil War. The influence of the Hudson River School on the young prodigy is evident in the expansive landscape and exploration into theatrical light and weather effects. Depicting lush green fields with a rocky stream in the foreground, Jameson populates his scenery with cattle, a figure in red that creates a focal point to draw the eye in, and provides the viewer with a glimpse of the mountainous view beyond.

Joseph Rusling Meeker Lake Pontchartrain, Louisiana, 1880 (est. $20,000-30,000) was discovered recently in Concord, Massachusetts and is inscribed by the artist “Lake Pontchartrain, La.” Above his monogram signature. The large scale and specified location suggest it might have been executed as an exhibition entry, perhaps at the New Orleans World’s Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exhibition in 1884.

Other lots expected to generate multiple bids from collectors include:

·         Milton Avery Young Artist, circa 1938 (est. $80,000-120,000)

·         Newell Convers Wyeth He Sat There until the Sun Went Down, The Little Shepherd of Kingdom Come interior illustration, 1931 (est. $60,000-80,000)

·         Frederick Cark Frieseke Girl with a Basket of Ribbons, painted by 1915 ($60,000-80,000)

·         Walter Launt Palmer Oaks in Winter (Snow in November), 1906 (est. $50,000-70,000)

·         Theodore Earl Butler Lilly Butler (Artist's Daughter, Step-Granddaughter of Claude Monet), 1896 (est. $30,000-50,000)

·         Theodore Earl Butler Bethesda Fountain, Central Park, New York, 1915 (est. $15,000-25,000)

·         From the personal collection of actor Bruce Willis: Daniel Ralph Celentano Hanging Out The Wash (est. $10,000-15,000)

A Distinguished Southern California Collection includes 53 lots of American Modernism, including:

·         Marguerite Thompson Zorach Mother and Child, 1919 (est. $60,000-80,000)

·         Marguerite Thompson Zorach Dancers and Mother & Child (double-sided work) (est. $15,000-25,000)

·         Peter Hurd Corrienda a California, circa 1960 (est. $12,000-18,000)

·         Henry Schnakenberg Summer in the Park (Central Park, Bethesda Fountain) (est. $12,000-18,000)

Stephen Hawking Signed Book 54977_lg.jpegLos Angeles - A book signed by Stephen Hawking in 1973 will be auctioned by Nate D. Sanders Auctions on April 26, 2018. 

The late physicist signed the book, ''The Archaeology of the Industrial Revolution'' in 1973 shortly before he was unable to write his name due to ALS. The book was signed by several members of the Theoretical Astronomy at Cambridge University to commemorate an employee leaving his job as a computer operator.

Hawking was a researcher at the Institute of Theoretical Astronomy at Cambridge from 1968-1973. It was at the Institute in 1973, he published his first important book, ''The Large Scale Structure of Space-Time.''

Hawking died on March 14, 2018.

Bidding for the book begins at $28,000.

Additional information on the pen can be found at 
http://natedsanders.com/Stephen_Hawking_Signed_Book_From_1973____One_of_th-LOT48985.aspx

 

Dallas, TX - Nude with Blue Hair - a monumental work combining the talent of artist Roy Lichtenstein and the printmaking expertise of John Hutcheson - sold for $540,400 in Heritage Auctions’ Modern & Contemporary Art - Prints & Multiples Auction April 17 in Dallas. The sale was 97 percent sold by value and achieved $2,406,000, well above the overall presale estimate.

“The Lichtenstein was a printer’s proof from the collection of John Hutcheson, a Master Printer who worked with hundreds of well-known artists such as Frank Stella, David Hockney, and Helen Frankethaler,” Holly Sherratt, Heritage Auctions' Director of Modern & Contemporary Art, San Francisco, said. “The sale price is one of the highest prices ever for the work.”  

The 154 lots on offer featured a group of 11 artworks by Andy Warhol, which claimed four of the auction’s top 10 lots. Grevy's Zebra, from Endangered Species, 1983, brought $75,000 and Liz, 1964, a portrait of Elizabeth Taylor from an edition of approximately 300, sold for $55,000 - more than twice its estimate. Warhol’s Untitled, from Flowers Portfolio, 1970, sold for $52,500 and $1, 1982, signed, numbered and published by the artist, realized $42,500.

Marquee lots included artist David Hockney’s Amaryllis in Vase, from Moving Focus, 1984, which sold for $75,000 and Lichtenstein’s Forms in Space, 1985, the artist’s iconic interpretation of the American flag created especially to benefit the Institute of Contemporary Art, which ended at $53,750.

Cheese Mold Standard with Olive, 1969, by Ed Ruscha, reached $50,000. Two additional prints from Hutcheson’s private collection came from his personal relationships with artists Frank Stella and Joan Mitchell. Stella’s Pumpkin Moonshine, from Polar Coordinates II (variant), 1979, sold for $50,000 and Mitchell’s Sunflowers I (diptych), 1992, realized $42,500.

A ceramic vase titled Vase deux anses hautes, created by Pablo Picasso in 1952 from an edition of 400, sold for $40,000. 

Additional highlights include:

·         Warhol’s Turtle, 1985, published to coincide with the 1985 film Turtle Diary written by Harold Pinter, brought $37,500

·         Figure au visage coupé assise dans un intérieur, 1929, an etching by Henri Matisse, sold for three times its estimate to end at $37,500 

·         Target with Four Faces, 1979, by Jasper Johns, sold for $33,500

·         The Witch, from Warhol’s celebrated Myths series executed in 1981, sold for $32,500

 

Screen Shot 2018-04-23 at 9.20.12 AM.pngNew York—This June Sotheby’s will present a handwritten working manuscript of “Born to Run,” the Bruce Springsteen smash that became an essential American anthem. The 1975 hit catapulted ‘The Boss’ to mega-stardom and remains a beloved classic, having been ranked as the singer’s greatest song by Rolling Stone Magazine in 2013, used by the artist as the title of his 2016 autobiography, and featured as the finale to the current sell-out show ‘Springsteen on Broadway.’ Written entirely in Springsteen’s hand, this early version charts the beginnings of the breakout hit. It is estimated to fetch $200/300,000 and will be offered in the Books and Manuscripts Online auction with bidding open from 18 - 28 June and public viewing available.

After his first two albums ‘Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J.’ and ‘The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle’received critical acclaim but modest commercial success, the 26-year old Bruce Springsteen found his career hinging on the success of his next single. Aiming for musical perfection and Spector-level grandeur, Springsteen spent six months writing and finalizing “Born to Run”, which clocks in at four and a half minutes long. “Born to Run” was a breakout smash, and became Springsteen’s first worldwide release.

The majority of the lines in this version of the song are apparently unpublished and unrecorded but the present manuscript does include a nearly perfected chorus. Captured here, perhaps for the first time, is the most powerful of any Springsteen lyric:

“This town’ll rip the (out your) bones from your back / it’s a suicide trap (rap) (it’s a trap to catch the young) your dead unless / you get out (we got to) while your young so (come on! / with) take my hand cause tramps / like us baby we were born to run.” 

Thirty eight years later, “Born To Run” remains a beloved classic. In 2013, after nearly four decades of performing the career-defining hit, Rolling Stone Magazine ranked “Born to Run” Springsteen's greatest song, and Springsteen himself as number 1 on their 2013 list of the “50 Greatest Live Acts Right Now”. 

The one-man show ‘Springsteen On Broadway’ was initially planned as a eight week residency at the Walter Kerr Theater in New York. However, after opening in October 2017 exceptional demand meant Springsteen On Broadway has been extended twice, most recently through December 2018. Fittingly, the news was reported by the Guardian with the headline: ‘Bruce Springsteen on Broadway: born to run ... and run.’ 

 

Shel Silverstein.jpgWestport, CT - A Betamax cassette with Apple Computer’s first (and now-famous) TV commercial that aired during Super Bowl XVIII in 1984, a large photo of Albert Einstein signed, dated and inscribed by the legendary physicist, and an archive of material pertaining to author, musician and creative powerhouse Shel Silverstein will all come up for bid on Tuesday, May 8th.

They’re just a few of the 255 lots of rare and highly collectible autographed documents, photos, manuscripts, books and relics being offered by University Archives, based in Westport, in an online-only auction that will open for live bidding starting at 10:30 am Eastern time. People can register and bid now, at www.UniversityArchives.com or the internet platform Invaluable.com.

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 important names in all of history. These will include JFK and Jackie Kennedy, MLK, Winston Churchill, Fidel Castro, Abraham Lincoln, Greta Garbo, Houdini, Andrew Jackson, Barack Obama and Marilyn Monroe.

The Betamax cassette with both Super Bowl ads from 1984 - the 30-second and 60-second spots - is a dub from a 1983 edit. It’s signed by Brent Thomas, the ads’ art director (the director was Ridley Scott). The ads were a dark, post-apocalyptic coming out for the first Apple computer, but were green-lighted by Apple’s genius-founder, Steve Jobs. They were a bit much, however, for a few Apple board members, who hated them. The cassette has an estimate of $10,000-$15,000.

The outstanding Albert Einstein signed black and white photo (“to Mr. K.H. Browne, A. Einstein 48”) measures 7 ½ inches by 9 inches (with mat). It depicts the Nobel Prize-winning theorist in a classic and pensive pose and is in fine condition (est. $7,000-$8,000). A companion lot - a typed document, signed by Einstein and dated April 19, 1950 - is expected to realize even more (est. $8,000-$10,000). It’s from publisher Didier, requesting permission to use material from a speech Einstein gave on Eleanor Roosevelt’s TV show regarding the hydrogen bomb, for a book project.

The remarkable archive depicting Shel Silverstein’s life and career as a multi-faceted artist (est. $60,000-$70,000) is filled with over 500 pages of manuscripts, typed and printed materials, poems, lyrics, sheet music, business and fan letters to Silverstein, contracts, royalty statements, two books and two record albums (circa 1962-1980). Silverstein was a creative force - writing everything from A Boy Named Sue (for Johnny Cash) to the children’s book The Giving Tree.

Collectors can’t seem to get enough of Kennedy memorabilia. Sometimes Jackie is more sought after than JFK. This sale has several outstanding items from the former First Lady, to include:

  • The wool maternity dress worn by Jackie two months before delivering JFK Jr. and her husband winning the presidency. The dress has “Lord & Taylor Fifth Avenue” and “Ma Mere” tags. The lot includes two photos of her wearing the dress (est. $10,000-$12,000).
  • Jackie’s owned and worn exquisite large gold, emerald and pearl pin, which she later gifted to her personal secretary, Mary Gallagher, as a Christmas present in 1960. The lot includes Jackie’s handwritten holiday well-wish to Ms. Gallagher (est. $6,000-$8,000).
  • Jackie’s two-page handwritten letter to her mother from 1951, when she and sister Lee were toddling around Europe (the trip was Lee’s high school graduation present; Jackie was the chaperone). Included is a copy of their book about the trip (est. $3,000-$3,500).

Don’t fret, JFK collectors, there’s something for you in the auction, like his personally owned large beige-colored canvas duffel bag, later used by Jackie and daughter Caroline. The martyred president’s initials are monogrammed on the bag. Another tag reads “Mrs. A. Onassis” (est. $9,000-$11,000). Also, a chess set purchased for Kennedy’s assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, by his mother when Oswald was still a teen living in New Orleans, should gavel for $20,000-$24,000. 

An undated handwritten six-page letter penned by Martin Luther King, Jr., around February 1959 in India, where he was researching Ghandi’s methods of nonviolent resistance, is expected to bring $25,000-$30,000. The letter is written on Residency Guest House letterhead in Bangalore. Also, a Barack Obama handwritten letter, one of his first as president, in which he thanks his relatives in Kenya after they attended his 2009 inauguration, should hammer for $8,000-$10,000.

A rare Peter Force copperplate engraving on thin rice paper of the Declaration of Independence from 1848, 26 inches by 29 inches, with remarkably exact renditions of the signers’ hands, one of perhaps 500 produced, should hit $16,000-$20,000. Also, a single page manuscript document signed by Spain’s King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella while Columbus was “sailing the ocean blue” (and, dated Sept. 15, 1492, a month before he landed), should sell for $15,000-$20,000. 

Letters, manuscripts and documents signed by former U.S. Presidents are always in high demand. University Archives specializes in the category, as the following lots will attest:

  • A one-page autographed letter signed by Abraham Lincoln (as “A. Lincoln”), dated Nov. 1, 1859, shortly before his Cooper-Union speech and written to H. H. Fell, a prominent Illinois attorney. The letter, in overall fine condition, has an estimate of $8,000-$10,000.
  • A letter written and signed by Andrew Jackson (three pages on two conjoined sheets), dated Feb. 3, 1823, to Richard K. Call, Esq., Jackson’s Aide during the Battle of New Orleans in Jan. 1815 and now a Pensacola lawyer, in good condition (est. $7,000-$8,000).
  • A two-page letter written in Feb. 1850 by Millard Fillmore (as Vice President) to Zachary Taylor (as President), regarding Taylor’s Mexican War service, as detailed in a letter to James Buchanan and referencing James K. Polk, signed by Fillmore (est. $6,000-$7,000).

A two-page movie studio contract boldly signed in Jan. 1950 by Marilyn Monroe, for her early role as the character “Polly” in the film The Fireball, co-starring Mickey Rooney and Pat O’Brien, carries an estimate of $5,000-$7,000. The document had the movie’s working title as Dark Challenge. Also, a letter written by Greta Garbo in 1960 to Hollywood hairstylist Sidney Guilaroff, in which she invites him to visit her in Switzerland, should rise to $1,000-$1,200.

A Winston Churchill archive - inclusive of his personally annotated proof for his monumental biography, Marlborough: His Life and Times (published in four parts, 1933-1938), plus a typed signed letter to C.C. Wood, chief copy editor at George G. Harrap & Co., Ltd., has an estimate of $5,000-$6,000. Also, a four-page letter penned entirely in Fidel Castro’s hand on Sept. 14, 1958, just months before his “Movement” and overthrow of Batista, should command $4,000-$5,000.

A two-page document from Aug. 1918, signed three times by Harry Houdini, a contract between Houdini and a publishing company regarding a book written by one of Houdini’s idols, Angelo Lewis (aka Professor Hoffman), titled Latest Magic, Being Original Conjuring Tricks, should fetch $5,000-$6,000. Also, an archive of autograph drafts of letters and notes that reveal the business and personal side of controversial comedian Lenny Bruce, should make $4,000-$5,000.

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 Tuesday, May 8th online auction, please visit www.universityarchives.com.

Image: Remarkable archive depicting Shel Silverstein’s life and career as a multi-faceted artist, filled with over 500 pages of manuscripts, poems, lyrics, sheet music, more (est. $60,000-$70,000).  

118-Rembrandt.jpgNew York — Swann Galleries’ offering of Old Master Through Modern Prints on Tuesday, May 8 forms a comprehensive survey of Western art history and the development of the modern style. More than 500 rare and superlative multiples are expected to garner nearly $4M.  

Leading the auction is a drypoint executed by Pablo Picasso at just 24 years old. Tête de femme, de profil, 1905, dates to the artist’s Rose (or Circus) Period. Works from this era are mostly candid representations of the lives and private moments of acrobats and gypsies near his home in Montmartre. Early proof impressions such as the current work, typically signed by the artist, are exceedingly scarce; the print is valued at $80,000 to $120,000. Picasso is represented in the sale with expressive works across a variety of printmaking techniques, as well as ceramics.

A gift from Henri Matisse to a favorite model, Nadia Sednaoui, will also be available. The evocative Grand Masque, 1948, is a stylized portrait of the young woman, who had been introduced to the artist by his son-in-law who saw her in the street. Signed and inscribed, the scarce aquatint is expected to sell between $50,000 and $80,000.

The offering is distinguished by a rich selection of works from the eighteenth- and nineteenth centuries by artists popular with wealthy Europeans on their Grand Tours. The complete Le Antichitá Romane, 1756-84, by Giovanni B. Piranesi required eight years of study and established his reputation as an authority of Roman archaeology and architecture. Spanning four volumes and 220 engravings, the set documents, in exacting detail, ancient Roman art and architecture ($40,000 to $60,000). Stunning vistas of Venice, real and imagined, by Antonio da Canal, better known as Il Canaletto, were another favorite of the Grand Tourers. The Portico with the Lantern, circa 1740, blends vernacular architecture with classical motifs, as does the unusual combined sheet House with the Inscription and the House with the Peristyle (Imaginary View of Venice), circa 1740 ($6,000 to $9,000 and $4,000 to $6,000, respectively).

Nearly a century later, Francisco de Goya focused on lithographs depicting the pastimes of his native Spain. Dibersion de España, 1825, a tense scene from the scarce portfolio The Bulls of Bordeaux, was completed when Goya was 85 years old; it is estimated at $60,000 to $90,000. Equally dramatic is Eugène Delacroix’s 1829-30 portrait of a Tigre Royal about to pounce ($30,000 to $40,000).

St. Eustace, circa 1501, is an important early engraving by Albrecht Dürer of the saint in a menagerie. The work offered was previously in the collection of Pierre Mariette family of influential collectors, dated “1666” in the margin—the year it was acquired by the family. The early printing, before damage to the saint’s arm, carries an estimate of $30,000 to $50,000. Additional works by the master include The Virgin and Child with Distaff and an Angel, circa 1615, and St. George on Foot, circa 1502 ($25,000 to $35,000 and $12,000 to $18,000, respectively).

Four of Rembrandt van Rijn’s eight obtainable early self-portraits make for an unparalleled overview of the master’s career. His circa 1630 ventures into printmaking display a markedly different style than that exhibited just ten years later. The rarest of the four, Self Portrait in a Cap, Laughing, carries an estimate of $30,000 to $50,000. Similarly intimate is Self Portrait Open Mouthed, as if Shouting: Bust, with an estimate of $20,000 to $30,000. The dignified and staid Self Portrait with Curly Hair and White Collar: Bust and Self Portrait in a Fur Cap: Bust are each valued between $20,000 and $30,000.

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

Image: Lot 118: Rembrandt van Rijn, Self Portrait in a Cap, Laughing, etching, 1630. Estimate $30,000 to $50,000.

Boston, MA—An archive of signed drawings, diagrams, charts, and letters by Dr. Wernher von Braun sold for $98,644 according to Boston-based RR Auction.

The archive concerning his pioneering ‘Man Will Conquer Space Soon’ series is comprised of a total of 26 items that include; 17 drawings and schematics, two orbital diagrams, four calculations and graph plots, and three autographed letters. All relate to four of the Collier’s articles: ‘Crossing the Last Frontier,’ ‘Man on the Moon: The Journey,’ ‘Man on the Moon: The Exploration,’ and ‘Baby Space Station,’ which appeared in in the magazine between 1952 and 1954. Also includes the four issues of Collier’s magazine associated with the items in the archive. 

Von Braun prepared the original drawings in this archive as reference materials for magazine artists Chesley Bonestell, Fred Freeman, and Rolf Klep, and most are evident as the direct inspiration for the illustrations that grace the pages of Collier’s in the ‘Man Will Conquer Space Soon!’ series.  Von Braun’s skillful drawings are filled with engineering detail to provide the magazine illustrators with scientifically accurate renderings of the spaceships of the future.

In its introduction to the series, Collier’s makes clear: ‘What you will read here is not science fiction.’ Von Braun’s vision was not only fantastic, but scientifically viable—his copious scientific notes and calculations are proof. 

The Collier’s series drew widespread attention to von Braun’s vision of manned spaceflight—after the success of the first issue, he appeared on TV and radio shows around the nation to discuss the subject. He was soon recruited by Walt Disney, and served as a technical advisor for three TV films about space exploration between 1955 and 1957. These broadcasts brought the idea of the space program into American living rooms nationwide. 

“It’s an amazing archive that capture’s Von Braun’s vision that was not only fantastic but scientifically viable—his detailed scientific notes and calculations are proof,” said Bobby Livingston, Executive VP at RR Auction. "I’m not surprised that the archive was able to achieve such an impressive figure with so much renewed interest in the American space program. 

Highlights from the sale include, but are not limited by:

Buzz Aldrin's Apollo 11 Lunar Surface-Flown Double Star Chart sold for $50,618. 

Dave Scott's Apollo 15 Lunar Surface-Flown Combined Lunar Roving Vehicle 'Photo' and 'Contour' Maps sold for $49,889. 

Collection of 109 Shuttle Robbins medallions sold for $49,000. 

Gene Cernan's Apollo 17 Lunar Surface-Used Rover Map sold for $45,353. 

Apollo 1 fully signed crew photograph sold for $34,549. 

Dave Scott’s Lunar Surface-Used Lunar Module Malfunction Procedures Manual sold for $30,202.  

The Space and Aviation Auction from RR Auction began on April 12 and concluded on April 19. For information, visit the RR Auction web site at www.rrauction.com.

995110.jpgPhiladelphia, PA - A true renaissance man, Jeffrey M. Kaplan’s life and experiences have led him to pursue many areas of collecting, rather than limiting himself to a specific genre or medium. As a result, he has assembled an extensive and eclectic collection that spans centuries and continents, including European prints, Chinese ceramics, 20th century design, and American modernist works on paper. In April of 2017, Freeman’s offered close to 500 items from his collection in a single-owner sale appropriately titled “1,000 Years of Collecting.” The auction was held in two sessions, and sold 99% by dollar and 96% by lot, totaling over $1.2 million in sales.

On May 8, as part of our spring Modern & Contemporary Art auction, Freeman’s will present an additional selection of artwork from a collecting category Mr. Kaplan amassed with great passion: British photography, of the 1950s and 1960s.The artists featured here are some of Britain’s most well-recognized photographers and their work has come to define the visual culture of the 20th century, both in the United Kingdom and beyond. Their photographs, which have graced the pages of iconic publications such as The Sunday Times, British Vogue, Queen, and Harper’s Bazaar, showcase their quintessential interpretation of fashion, celebrity, and landscape through the British lens.

Terence O’Neill was born in London in 1938. He quickly found his niche in the world of fashion and celebrity that so dominated the English capital in the 1960s. O’Neill photographed many famous subjects, most of whom he knew personally, such as pop legends like The Beatles, Elton John and The Rolling Stones, as well as film icons Audrey Hepburn and Brigitte Bardot. O’Neill is best known for the spontaneous, casual and candid nature of his photography, which he achieved with a 35mm camera that required less distance and a higher degree of intimacy between him and his subjects. O’Neill is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society, and his work is included in the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery. (Lots 86, 88, 89, 97, 99, 101, 102, 110, 111)

Born in the Hampstead neighborhood of London in 1904, Sir Cecil Walter Hardy Beaton was a renowned photographer, as well as an award-winning theater, costume and interior designer. Beaton began working as a photographer for British Vogue in 1927, and was later appointed by Queen Elizabeth II to the Ministry of Information, where he served as a war photographer during WWII. He frequently photographed the Queen and other members of the Royal Family, and it is his portraits of celebrities and the aristocracy for which he is best known.  Beaton received Knighthood in 1972. (Lots 83-85, 87, 90)

Terence Donovan was born in the East End of London in 1936, and first experimented with photography at the age of 11 when he enrolled in the London School of Photo-Engraving. Along with photographer Brian Duffy (Lot 124), Donovan was instrumental in documenting the cultural and fashion movement which occurred in London in the 1960s, known as ‘Swinging London.’ His close associations with prominent actors, musicians, and royalty elevated Donovan to a celebrity status of his own. Donovan was known for the irreverent and sensual quality of his photographs, which were regularly featured in publications such as Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. Often choosing to capture his models in offbeat locations, such as the war-ravaged streets of London, or in industrial settings, against steelworks and iron bridges, his gritty black-and-white style sometimes resembled reportage more than fashion photography. This new visual language was unlike anything that came before and eventually earned him the highest distinction of Fellow in the Royal Photographic Society.  (Lots 91-93, 96, 98)

Brian Duffy was born in London in 1933 into an Irish family. Despite a childhood marred by the upheaval and uncertainty of WWII, coupled with a resistance to formal schooling, Duffy entered Saint Martin’s School of Art in 1950 to study painting. Upon graduating, he worked briefly as an assistant to a fashion designer before transitioning to photography, and later as a studio assistant to other established artists. Duffy was hired by British Vogue in 1957, and, along with photographer Terry Donovan, photographed the fashions and celebrities of the ‘Swinging Sixties’ in London. (Lot 95)

Anthony Armstrong-Jones was born in 1930 into the aristocracy, the son of a barrister and the Countess of Rosse. An established fashion photographer and portraitist, he served as the art adviser for The Sunday Times Magazine, and his work was regularly featured in Vogue and the Daily Telegraph. In 1957, he photographed the official portraits for both Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh for their Canadian tour. It was through his marriage just three years later to the Queen’s sister, Princess Margaret, that he was granted the title Earl of Snowdon, which he would use professionally for the rest of his career, despite the couple’s divorce in 1978. (Lots 106-109, 112)

Patrick Anson, known professionally by the name of his inherited earldom, Lichfield, was born in 1939. After serving in the British Army for three years beginning in 1959, Lichfield started his career as a photographer’s assistant before establishing his own reputation independently. He championed digital photography, adopting the medium quickly and pioneering its eventual acceptance as the professional standard. Known for his portraits of high society,  Lichfield’s aristocratic upbringing—his mother was Princess Anne of Denmark—afforded  him access to the British Royal Family. He was the official photographer at the wedding of Prince Charles and Diana Spencer in 1981. (Lots 94, 100, 103)

Born in London in 1912, Edwin Smith was a prominent photographer and artist. Beginning in 1935, he was a freelance photographer for Vogue, yet his interests ultimately lay outside the glamorous realm of fashion and celebrity. The son of a stonemason and an architect by training, he was more fascinated by the English landscape and craftsmanship of its architecture. Lured out of the capital city into the countryside, Smith toured the nation photographing small mining communities, cathedrals and abbeys, farm yards, docks and follies. (Lot 113)

Expedition photographer Herbert Ponting was born in Wiltshire, England, in 1870. He was already an established photographer, having traveled extensively throughout Asia and Europe as a professional photojournalist, when he embarked on a three-year expedition to Antarctica. In 1911, he joined the Terra Nova to Cape Evans, Ross Island, where he took glass-plate photographs and short movies—called cinematopgrahs, at the time—of the barren, hostile tundra. Ponting’s work captures the southernmost tip of the globe during what is considered to be the “Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration.” (Lot 114)

Image: Herbert George Ponting (British, 1871-1935), “Grotto in Berg, Terra Nova in the Distance”, $2,000-3,000

Action C copy.jpgDallas, TX - The book considered by many to be the “Holy Grail” of comics collecting is expected to compete for top-lot honors at Auctions’ Comics & Comic Art Auction May 10-12 in Chicago in what could be the most lucrative comics auction ever held.

“This auction has a chance to be among the largest comics auctions of all time, if not the largest,” Heritage Auctions Comics Director of Operations Barry Sandoval said. “It will be in a vibrant city that is easy to reach from just about anywhere, and we have an extremely strong collection of valuable comic books that will draw the attention and interest of comics collectors from just about everywhere.”

Action Comics #1 (DC, 1938) CGC VG 4.0 Cream to off-white pages (est. $650,000+) is among the most coveted comic books in the hobby. The issue generates major interest regardless of its condition, and this is one of the highest-graded copies ever offered by Heritage Auctions. Ernst Gerber's The Photo-Journal Guide to Comic Books rated it "scarce,” and CGC's census lists just 40 unrestored copies. The first appearance of Superman launched the Golden Age of Comics, and every superhero that followed is in debt to the character created by writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster (artist). The issue also sits atop Overstreet's “Top 100 Golden Age Comics” list.

Another highlight will be Frank Frazetta Death Dealer 6 Painting Original Art (1990) (est. $600,000+). Serious collectors covet Frazetta paintings, 12 of which have realized six-figure returns in previous Heritage auctions. One - At The Earth’s Core - sold for a record $1,075,500. Five of the top 20 prices paid in HA’s Comics & Comic Art history have been for Frazetta paintings. The axe-wielding Death Dealer might be Frazetta’s most well-known character, and this image was used as the cover of Death Dealer #6, which was published in 2008 by Image Comics.

Whiz Comics #2 (#1) (Fawcett Publications, 1940) CGC FN 6.0 Off-white to white pages (est. $250,000+) is the finest copy Heritage Auctions has offered of the key comic that provided the origin and first appearance of Captain Marvel. CGC has certified just 22 “Universal” label copies of this issue. In the early days of comics collecting, this issue and Action Comics #1 were considered to have similar value. This issue, with cover and story art by C.C. Beck, is ranked No. 13 on Overstreet’s list of “Top 100 Golden Age Comics.” Many consider it likely that it will enjoy a boost in value from the upcoming Shazam! movie that is scheduled to be released in early 2019.

John Romita Sr. Amazing Spider-Man #61 Cover Original Art (Marvel, 1968) (est. $200,000+) is a prized issue among serious collectors, in part because offers the first cover appearance of Peter Parker’s girlfriend, Gwen Stacy, and her father, Captain George Stacy. It features a story by Stan Lee and with artwork by iconic artist John Romita, Sr., whose original artwork for Spider-Man #100 sold in February for $478,000. During Romita’s run, Spider-Man evolved into Marvel’s corporate mascot. This lot is signed by the artist in the lower right margin.

One of the most desirable Silver Age DCs ever offered by Heritage Auctions, Justice League of America #1 (DC, 1960) CGC NM+ 9.6 Off-white pages (est. $200,000+) is the highest-graded copy known. It is a stunning copy in pristine condition rarely found for comic books in their sixth decade of existence. CGC has certified more than 1,100 copies of the issue to date, with less than 3 percent earning a grade even as high as VF 8.0. This classic includes appearances by Batman, Wonder Woman, Superman, Aquaman, Flash, Green Lantern and the Martian Manhunter.

A fresh-to-market copy of Batman #1 (DC, 1940) CGC FN- 5.5 Cream to off-white pages (est. $200,000) is making its debut in this auction. It is an issue with a pedigree of significant auction success: two other copies proved enormously popular this year when a FN/VF 7.0 copy sold for $334,600 and a CGC VG- 3.5 copy went for $143,400 in Heritage’s February 2018 auction. Overstreet ranks this issue, the cover of which was done by Bob Kane and Jerry Robinson, as one of the five most valuable comics in the hobby, thanks in part to the debut appearances of both The Joker and Catwoman.

The auction also includes a strong collection of early issues of Playboy magazine, all but one of which is from the Premier Playboy Collection, the finest collection ever offered through Heritage Auctions. The collection includes every issue in the first two years of the magazine’s publication, with many of the copies in the highest grade in CGC’s census, all with white pages. Some of the top Playboy lots include:

·         Playboy #1 Signed by Hugh Hefner (HMH Publishing, 1953) CGC Qualified VF/NM 9.0 White pages (est. $35,000+)

·         Playboy #2 (HMH Publishing, 1954) CGC NM- 9.2 White pages (est. $5,000+)

·         Playboy #3 (HMH Publishing, 1954) CGC NM+ 9.6 White pages (est. $4,000+)

·         Playboy V2#2 (HMH Publishing, 1955) CGC NM/MT 9.8 White pages (est. $4,000+)

Other top lots include, but are not limited to:

·         Batman #1 (DC, 1940) CGC VG 4.0 Cream to off-white pages (est. $150,000+)

·         Action Comics #7 (DC, 1938) CGC VG/FN 5.0 Off-white to white pages (est. $105,000)

·         Superman #1 (DC, 1939) CGC GD 2.0 Cream to off-white pages: (est. $100,000+)

·         Robert Crumb Yarrowstalks #2 "Head Comix" Complete 1-Page Story Original Art (Yarrowstalks, 1967) (est. $100,000+)

·         Charles Schulz Peanuts Sunday Comic Strip Snoopy as World War I Flying Ace with Woodstock Original Art dated 2-18-96 (United Feature Syndicate, 1996) (est. $100,000+)

568_57_Carey, Henry Charles and Isaac Lea A Complete Historical, Chronological, and Geographical American Atlas. Philadelphia- Carey & Lea, 1822_WEB.jpgThe highlight of Leslie Hindman Auctioneers' May 1st sale of Fine Printed Books and Manuscripts, to be held in the firm's Chicago saleroom with live bidding available online, is the selection of nearly 400 manuscripts from the private collection of Robert L. McKay. 

The collection will be offered as a session within the sale, lots 172-451, and contains signed letters and manuscripts from notable authors and writers, artists, musicians, politicians, entertainers, and scientists, among many others. Highlights include: a Claude Monet 1902 autograph letter signed to art critic Gustave Geoffroy (presale estimate: 4,000 - 6,000); an autograph musical manuscript titled Themes from an American in Paris presented by George Gershwin to friend and early supporter Hyman Sandow (presale estimate: $6,000 - 8,000); and an autograph letter signed from Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky to Eduardo Frantsevich Nápravnîk (presale estimate: $8,000 - 12,000).

Also included in the collection are numerous letters and manuscripts from historic American figures. An autograph letter signed from George Washington written at Mount Vernon will be offered with a presale estimate of $8,000 - 12,000. Other examples include a one-page autograph letter signed from Benjamin Franklin to his great-nephew Jonathan Williams Jr. in 1773 estimated at $8,000 - 12,000; an autograph letter signed by Thomas Jefferson as President estimated at $6,000 - 8,000; an autograph letter signed from the Marquis de Lafayette to James Monroe estimated at $4,000-6,000; and a Robert E. Lee autograph letter signed estimated at $5,000 - $7,000.

The May sale also includes sessions of livres d’artiste and artists’ books, sporting books, maps and atlases, fine printed books, and printed and manuscript Americana.  

Highlights from these sessions include a first edition of Thomas Williamson and Samuel Howitt’s Oriental Field Sports published in 1807 (presale estimate: $10,000 - 15,000); and a rare copy of Conradus de Halberstadt’s Concordantiae bilbliorum, printed by Mentelin in Strassburg before 1474 (estimate: $10,000 -15,000). Also included are a copy of John James Audubon’s Purple Heron ($10,000 - $15,000); Karl Bodmer’s Herd of Bison (estimate: $1,000-2,000); Isaac and Lea’s A Complete Historical, Chronological, and Geographical American Atlas, 1822 ($3,000 - 5,000); and a copy of Sir Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe in original rose silk-covered boards ($2,000-3,000).

The Fine Books and Manuscripts preview opens Friday, April 27 in the Chicago saleroom of Leslie Hindman Auctioneers. The catalogue is currently available online. The department is now accepting consignments for its November auction. Visit lesliehindman.com for additional information.

Image: Carey, Henry Charles and Isaac Lea. A Complete Historical, Chronological, and Geographical American Atlas. Presale estimate: $3,000 to 5,000.

Sub-Mariner.jpgCranston, RI - Nearly 350 lots of toys, comic books and comic art will be sold to the highest bidder in an auction planned for Saturday, April 28th, by Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers, in partnership with Altered Reality Entertainment and Travis Landry. The sale will be held online and in the Bruneau & Co. gallery, located at 63 Fourth Avenue in Cranston, at 11 am Eastern.

The auction will open with 87 lots of vintage Star Wars items, featuring a selection from the collection of David Montauck in Brooklyn, N.Y. The group is highlighted by a 1985 Power of The Force AT-AT Driver, graded AFA 85 and packaged with a Warlock coin -  a hard cardback to find, as it only saw limited release in Australia (est. $5,500-$7,500).

“It’s like being a child again back in 1978, going to Almac’s with my mother to pick out my Star Wars figure for the week,” said Kevin Bruneau, the president and auctioneer of Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers. “The 1985 Power of the Force AT-AT Driver is sure to be the strongest with the force, but that’s only one of several gems from the Montauck collection certain to get attention.”

One such gem is the 1977 Star Wars Luke Skywalker theater display, exceedingly rare and with an estimate of $2,500-$3,500. Luke stands a towering 8 feet 3 inches tall, striking an iconic pose from the style C one-sheet. The display is constructed of cut plywood, with a laminated image, and originated in Europe - most likely England or Italy. Montauck found it in a theater trash bin.

Other Star Wars highlights will include a 1978 Star Wars Power Passers Duel at Death Star Race Set, graded CAS 85, and Droids Series Tig Fromm, graded CAS 70+. The Montauk collection will also feature an additional 17 Power of the Force graded figures.

The second portion of the catalog will offer an eclectic mix of vintage American toys, led by a CAS high-grade set of ten 1988 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The set will be sold in single lots and all are early production variants. Also sold will be a 1964 GI Joe Action Pilot Dress Uniform set and a Knickerbocker Humpty Dumpty dart gun set, circa 1950s. 

The GI Joe Action Pilot Dress Uniform set is from the collection of a previous Hasbro employee in Central Falls, R.I. The individually carded set includes the 7804 dress jacket, 7805 dress pants and 7806 dress shirt. Each piece of equipment is factory sealed in its original cellophane, with a GI Joe helmet form sticker. The set should bring $600-$900.

The third portion of the catalog will offer over 220 lots of Golden, Silver, Bronze, and Modern Age comics and original artwork. “It’s like Christmas in spring,” said Travis Landry, a Bruneau & Co. specialist and auctioneer who is also a partner in the sale. “This auction is certain to draw collectors out of the woodwork with a great selection of comics and comic art.”

Landry added, “I’m most excited to see the original artwork for page 16 of Avengers #69, the first appearance of the Grand Master, cross the block. To think that page is the actual physical piece of paper on which Sal Buscema and Sam Grainger worked their artistic and creative magic gives me the chills. It’s a true piece of Marvel and all comic history.”

The page 16 artwork was executed around 1969 and carries a pre-sale estimate of $8,000-$12,000. It introduced the Grand Master character to the Marvel universe, later portrayed in an ironically hysterical way by Jeff Goldblum in the movie Thor: Ragnarok. The page is one of four from a collection out of Rumford, R.I. It is a rare piece of Marvel history.

Another piece of rare and highly collectible cover art is lot 165: Volume 2, Issue 2, pages 20 and 21 of DC Comics Justice League, drawn by the illustrators Jim Lee and Scott Williams and signed by both. The action-packed double splash features Batman, Flash, Green Lantern and Superman, facing an onslaught of parademons (est. $8,000-$12,000).

The Golden Age comics will be led by a copy of Timely Comics Sub-Mariner, issue #24 (Winter, 1947), graded CBCS 8.0 (est. $2,500-$4,000). The comic book features just the third appearance of Namora, and a bondage cover. Only one known copy is graded higher, at 8.5. This example, with white pages and an 8.0 grade, is sure to attract interest.

Other comic books in the auction include the following:

  • Marvel Comics Strange Tales #110 (July 1963), CGC 4.5, the first appearance of Doctor Strange, Ancient One, Nightmare and Wong (est. $1,200-$1,800).
  • Marvel Comics Uncanny X-Men #145 (May 1981), CBCS 9.9, the newsstand edition and featuring a Doctor Doom cover and appearance (est. $1,200-$1,800).
  • DC Comics Superman #46 (May-June 1947), CBCS 9.0, featuring the first appearance of Superboy in a title and a Mr. Mxyzptlk cameo (est. $1,000-$1,500).
  • Marvel Comics Amazing Spider-Man #129 (Feb. 1974), CBCS 7.0, featuring the first appearance of the Punisher and the Jackal, overall VG (est. $700-$1,000).
  • DC Comics Batman #44, CBCS 8.5; Timely Comics Young Allies #9, CBCS 6.5.

Internet bidding will be available through Bidlive.Bruneauandco.com, the Bruneau app, eBay, Invaluable.com, LiveAuctioneers.com, ePaiLIVE (Asia), and Auctionzip.com.

Download the Bruneau app on Google play and iTunes. Phone and absentee (left) bids will also be accepted. Previews will be held on Thursday, April 26th, from 9-5; on Friday, April 27th, from 12 noon until 9 pm; and on Saturday, April 28th, the date of auction, when doors open at 8 am.

Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers has announced a new schedule for 2018. There will be no pre-sale with the estate auctions, as before. They will usually be on the first Saturday of each month and will start at 11 am Eastern. Monday night auctions will be held the third Monday of every month.

To learn more about Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers and the Saturday, April 28th auction, visit www.bruneauandco.com. To contact Bruneau & Co. via e-mail, use info@bruneauandco.com

Image: Copy of Timely Comics Sub-Mariner, issue #24 (Winter, 1947), graded CBCS 8.0, featuring the third appearance of Namora, and a bondage cover (est. $2,500-$4,000).

April22_02_pics.jpgIthaca, NY—Worth Auctions, located in Dryden, NY, announces the launch of their next auction catalog.    

This catalog features a variety of collectibles, antiques and artwork. Antique newspapers and original vellum indentures dating from the 17th century will be sold among other interesting offerings. Also presented is our next session from a large private collection of antique clocks and selections from a substantial amassing of circus memorabilia.           

The clock collection centers around torsion, anniversary models and cuckoo designs. Examples date back to the 1800's and include important names such as Aaron D. Crane, Hauck, Bowler & Burdick, Anton Harder, Schlenker & Posner, John Wanamaker and others. This session is one of several we will conduct over the coming months as we bring this impressive private collection to market.   

The vintage and antique circus repository includes souvenirs, programs, posters, original photographs, signage, antique postcards, cast metal toys, ephemera and much more. Major names such as Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey figure prominently, alongside an extensive array of lesser-known troupes.       

Further lots in the catalog present a varied array of antiques and collectibles. Particularly interesting are several original vellum indentures drafted in the 1600's and bearing original signatures, seals and other historically interesting elements. Also included are an original painting by Salvatore Grippi, a sizeable stamp collection and antique newspapers dating back to the 17th century, including content on colonial America, revolutionary America, the Lincoln Assassination, slavery-related entries, the sinking of the Titanic and much more.

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

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

 

151.jpgChicago — Potter and Potter Auctions is pleased to announce this upcoming sale to be held on Saturday, May 19th, 2018 starting at 10am at the company's gallery, located at 3759 N. Ravenswood Ave., Chicago, IL 60613.  All lots are on display and available for public preview on Wednesday, May 16th, through Friday, May 18th from 10:00am to 5:00pm in their facility. 

This sale's astonishing selection of gaming and cheating related publications reflects Potter and Potter's well-deserved reputation for global leadership in gambling memorabilia. Of special note are 70+ outstanding lots of books on poker on offer.

The top lot in this sale is #151, Alfred Trumble's Faro Exposed; or The Gambler and his Prey. Being a Complete Explanation of the Famous Game, its Origin and Development, and how its Skins are Worked.  Estimated at $20,000-30,000, this 1882 publication is the rarest of all books dealing with the subject of advantage play. It provides a candid explanation of the origin, nature, rules, and history of Faro, arguably the most popular card game of the Old West. Its text and visually stunning wood-engraved plates detail the methods (both mechanical and sleight-of-hand) by which unsuspecting “suckers” and their money could be parted.

And just how extraordinary is this book? The copy deposited in the Library of Congress was destroyed in the process of converting the text to microfilm, and in the intervening years, only two other examples of the text have been located in institutions, one of which is incomplete. This example is the only copy known to be in private hands.

Lot #162, a collection of seven late 19th century poker magazines, should draw attention from poker enthusiasts worldwide. Estimated at $25,000-35,000, this group includes all six Poker Chips Magazines ever published from June to November, 1896 and the July, 1897 issue of The White Elephant, its successor periodical.  All were published by Frank Tousey, famous for chapbooks and street literature, and featured “stories of the great American game.” This is first complete file of Poker Chips to come to auction, and is one of but a handful extant.

And last but not least, lot #126, F.R. Ritter's Advantage Card Playing and Draw Poker, is the real-deal.  Estimated at $6,000-8,000, this book from 1905 features the first photograph of a Jacob's Ladder-style holdout ever printed, Ritter’s 20 rules for playing poker, as well as dozens of images of cards marked with "blockout" work.

Will & Finck was a well-known San Francisco firm that began manufacturing and selling cutlery in 1864, but grew its offering to include Faro equipment in 1871. The company survived the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and remained in business through the early 1930's.  Professional gamblers the world over spoke of the firm in almost reverent terms and they treasured their Will & Finck card holdouts and gaffed dealing boxes. 

Will & Finck's cheating devices, game accessories, and company ephemera are of enormous interest to gambling collectors today.  Lot #232, a c. 1880 hand carved, highly detailed and hand colored rosewood case-keeper in suit of clubs with ivory beads, is estimated at $3,000-5,000. This rarity features an unusual maker’s cartouche showing an arm and gold scale.  Lot #249, a c. 1880 Jacob's Ladder style brass sleeve holdout mounted on a porcelain display hand, is estimated at $3,000-5,000. Will & Finck holdouts were reportedly favored by professional sharpers due to their compact construction, size and smooth operation.  Lot #262, a marked, c. 1880 ivory handled brass card trimmer in its original felt lined, wooden packing crate, is estimated at $3,000-4,000. This small sized version is quite rare and was most likely used by a Faro dealer who traveled from town to town.  And lot #207, a Will & Finck gambling catalog from 1894 in its original mailing envelope, is estimated at $2,500-3,500. This lot also includes related company ephemera like receipts, inserts, and letters. This is the only known original Will & Finck gambling supply catalog in private hands. 

Game accessories and devices are key categories in this sale, with about 100 lots of case keepers, dealing boxes, markers, apparatus, and other items on offer. Lot #496, a beautiful, hand painted c. 1890 Diana layout, is estimated at $5,000-7,000. This very rare example is one of only a handful known. The game of Diana had a short lifespan, because of the very long odds against the player. Lot #495, a c. 1890 jumbo gambling wheel, is estimated at $4,000-6,000.  This fantastically decorated wheel is decorated with a dizzying array of reverse glass painted horseheads, American flags, horseshoes, birds, and women’s heads. The wheel was reportedly meant for use used in a casino in Havasu, AZ but the establishment was never opened, so the wheel was later purchased out of storage.  And lot #542, a c. 1890 American string game, is estimated at $4,000-6,000. This unique, previously unknown device is made from 52 playing cards attached to spring loaded wooden blocks; a string is attached to each block. It's not known how prizes were awarded, but Potter & Potter experts surmise that a shelf at the back of the operator’s booth held the prizes each card represented. 

This sale's selection of cards, chips, and dice is a Royal Flush.  These smaller scaled items are enormously collectible, and can be displayed in tight spaces.  Lot #352, a c. 1868 double deck of boxed, beautifully illustrated French Jacquemin Gringonneur playing cards is estimated at $4,000-6,000. Lot #300, a boxed deck of playing cards printed for the 1888 American presidential race between Cleveland and Harrison, is estimated at $2,000-3,000. Lot #386, a c. 1880 American “One Hundred” scrimshawed ivory poker chip is estimated at $1,500-2,500. This jackpot sized rarity does not appear in Seymour's Antique Gambling Chips reference books. Lot #404, a trio of scrimshawed ivory poker chips with a dog on one side and a chicken on verso is estimated at $800-1,200.  And luck be a lady with lot #434, three c. 1890 ivory ball dice, estimated at $1,200-2,000. 

This sale comes full circle with fantastic assortments of collectibles, advertisements, and other coin-op rarities.  Lot #498, a c. 1930 scarce gaffed “Bee Hive” game in its original case is estimated at $2,000-4,000. This item was advertised as a great device to run with jewelry at fairs, picnics, or other places. It was deemed a great machine for 10 cent play that never failed to make big money. And lot #539, an original, working, c. 1894 U.S. Novelty Co. 5 Cent clockwork trade stimulator with a playing card dial is estimated at $3,000-5,000. 

According to Gabe Fajuri, President at Potter & Potter Auctions, "We conduct a specialty gambling auction every year, and this is - without a doubt - our finest offering to date.  This sale features exceptional items from Bob Rosenberger's lifetime collection. Bob is one of the acknowledged authorities on the subject of gambling history. He had an amazing eye for gambling memorabilia and crossover categories including  poker chips, the old west, cheating, magic, gambling, poker, coin-op, California history, knife making, and vintage playing cards.  Bob's collection is rich in material related to the famed firm of Will & Finck of San Francisco. To offer the only Will & Finck catalog in private hands is a real thrill - nearly as much as the opportunity to sell the only copy of the legendary book Faro Exposed, also the only copy in private hands."

Potter and 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 on this sale and Potter & Potter Auctions, please see www.potterauctions.com. If you can't make the auction in person, bids for these extraordinary offerings can be placed directly on the company's website, by phone by arrangement, or via an absentee bid form, which can be accessed by clicking here.

Image: Lot 151: Faro Exposed; or The Gambler and his Prey. Being a Complete Explanation of the Famous Game, its Origin and Development, and how its Skins are Worked. Estimate $20,000-30,000. Courtesy of Potter & Potter

New York—Swann Galleries’ auction of Printed & Manuscript Americana on April 12 was the department’s highest-grossing sale in four years, continuing an upward trajectory as each offering of Americana and African Americana becomes more curated. Highlights of the sale included historic bibles and a broad selection of unique and manuscript material.

Religious texts constituted many of the highlights of the sale, including an unusually well-preserved first-edition Book of Mormon, which topped the auction at $77,500, going to a collector. Additional highlights included a first edition of the Aitken Bible, the first complete Bible printed in English in the United States, which brought $47,500 despite missing 6 text leaves, and a rare Pony Express Bible that was purchased by a collector for $20,000.

Swann is known for offering exceptional Mormon material. In addition to the top lot of the sale, highlights included an 1844 extra broadside issued by the Nauvoo Neighbor, containing the first official report of the murder of Mormon leaders Joseph and Hyrum Smith. It was purchased for $37,500 in its first auction appearance since 1966.

Many of the other highlights were unique or making their first appearances at auction in several decades. The first edition, first state of Thomas Paine’s American Crisis brought $50,000 in its first auction appearance since 1955. An ornately framed cypress sprig cut by Lafayette from Washington’s tomb—the only known example of this tender keepsake—brought $13,750. Cecil Stoughton’s 16 albums of John F. Kennedy photographs brought $15,000, and his shot of Kennedy with Marilyn Monroe (the only known photograph of the two together) brought $10,625.

Institutions were active throughout the auction. Historic Deerfield acquired a volume of Iroquois religious tracts by the noted Mohawk missionary Eleazer Williams, while an account book of the noted physician George Huntington was purchased by his alma mater, Columbia University. 

A volume of sixteenth-century records from the silver mine at Taxco, Mexico, brought $30,000, leading a rich selection of Latin Americana. Many items far exceeded their high estimates, most notably manuscript material in the Chinantec and Nahuatl languages. Printed highlights included a 1620 decree by the Mexican Inquisition prohibiting the use of peyote, which sold for $25,000, above a high estimate of $9,000.

The $1M auction continues Swann Galleries’ upward trajectory in the field of Americana. Coming just two weeks after the house’s successful sale of Printed & Manuscript African Americana, “the market shows no signs of slowing down,” said Rick Stattler, Director of Americana at Swann. He added, “This was the strongest Americana auction we’ve had in four years. We saw strong results in every section of the sale, and participation from a remarkable breadth of buyers.”

The next auction of Americana at Swann Galleries will be Revolutionary & Presidential Americana from the Collection of William Wheeler III on June 21, 2018. The house is currently accepting quality consignments for autumn auctions.

 

AntiquarianAuctions.com is an online auction site dedicated to the sale of rare and out-of print books, maps & prints, documents, letters, ephemera and vintage photography. All pricing is done in US$. No buyer’s premium is charged. 

Nongoal.jpgLot 1: South African Police The Nongqai 1907-1913 (Five volume set) Published: Pretoria, 1907-1913. Estimate: $3,000/3,500 

The Nongqai was published over a span of 54 years. Although the oldest magazine in South Africa was the African Journal, published in February 1824, the Nongqai counts among the earliest magazines in South Africa Since its inception the SAP magazine underwent several changes of name, i.e. Nongqai, Justitia, SARP, (SAP), and ultimately Servamus. 

Lot 7: VOC. Council of Policy Letter of Burghership (Vrybrief). Dated 10 November 1739 (Signed by Hendrik Swellengrebel) Estimate: $1,500/2,000 

The document grants Johannes Nille from Nyburg, his freedom. He arrived in the Cape on the ship Noordwadd, in 1736 and was paid 14 guilders a month, employed by the DEIC. He was released from Company employment and given the status of burgher by the signing of this document at the Castle of Good Hope on 10 November 1739. 

Lot 199: McClean (William) and others. Fine Boer War Autograph Correspondence, 1900 - 1901. Estimate: $1,000/1,500 

An autograph Boer War correspondence/archive from Lieutenant William N. McClean, mainly to his father, the well-known Astronomer Frank McClean and including a few to Sir David Gill, Her Majesty’s Astronomer at the Cape. 

Lot 165: “Bob” Remarkable Manuscript Diary of the Siege of Mafeking. Published: Mafeking, 1899 - 1900 Estimate: $2,000/2,500 

A remarkable circa 15 thousand word diary/journal of the Siege and Relief of Mafeking written by a British soldier identified only as "Bob". Contained in 4 small notebooks measuring 16 x 10cms. and comprising 143 closely and neatly written pages in the form of letters to his parents in England. 

Lot 220: Milbert (J.G.), Deltil (JJ) & Zuber (J.). Papier peint "West Point in New York" on a three-fold screen. Published: France, [19th-century]. Estimate: $3,000/5,000 

Papier peint landscape scene of "West Point in New York", backed onto canvas and mounted on a three-fold screen. The set offered an idealized view of the United States under the leadership of Andrew Jackson, as conceived by its designer, Jean-Julien Deltil. He probably never visited the Americas, but did draw from a reliable eye-witness: the set was based on the views made on the spot by Jacques- Gérard Milbert. 

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

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

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

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

Next auction: Auction #67: 7 - 14 June 2018 

Contact:
Antiquarian Auctions: Paul Mills P.O. Box 186 7848 Constantia, Cape Town South Africa E-mail: support@antiquarianauctions.com Tel: +27 21 794 0600 

85-Midolle copy.jpgNew York—Swann Galleries’ Thursday, April 26 auction of Fine Illustrated Books & Graphics will offer books, magazines, portfolios, editions and unique works, with material that changed the trajectory of design and influenced book arts in the last two centuries.

Luminous works by Gustav Klimt lead the auction with the limited edition tours-de-force Das Werk, 1918, and Eine Nachlese, 1931. With text by Hermann Bahr and Peter Altenberg, Das Work is the only monograph published during Klimt’s lifetime. The present copy, numbered 103 of 300, retains 49 of the original 50 plates, including the ten printed in color and heightened in gold and silver, carries an estimate of $25,000 to $35,000. The lavish portfolio Eine Nachlese boasts 30 plates, 15 in color, compiled by Max Eisler. The tome features several important works by Klimt, including some which were destroyed by wartime fires. Rarely seen complete, it is here estimated at $15,000 to $25,000.

Works by fine artists of the twentieth century will include volumes by Jean Arp, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Salvador Dalí and David Hockney. One of 55 copies on vellum of Pablo Picasso’s idiosyncratic bestiary, Eaux-Fortes originales pour des textes de Buffon, 1942, with text by Georges Louis Marie Leclerc Buffon, is estimated at $20,000 to $30,000. Fernand Léger’s Cirque, 1950, is an unusual interpretation of the artist’s book: rather than use reproductions of existing works, he conceived and developed the theme and prints especially for the project ($20,000 to $30,000).

Fine presses are well represented in the auction, with a section devoted to works produced by the Ashendene, Cheloniidae, Doves and Kelmscott Press houses, as well as the Limited Editions Club. Both the second issue of the first book published by the Kelmscott Press, The Story of the Glittering Pain, 1894, with elaborate decorations by William Morris, and The Defence of Guenevere, 1892, published and decorated by the same and bound in vellum, carry an estimate of $2,500 to $3,500. An original woodblock carving by Eric Gill for the Golden Cockerel Press edition of The Canterbury Tales of a “naked man dead” dangling from a vine, 1929, was featured no fewer than ten times throughout the volumes ($2,000 to $3,000).

Of note is a never-before-offered trade catalogue of brightly colored wallpaper samples by Jacques-Émile Ruhlmann, the legendary Art Deco interior designer. Bound in original oblong leather folio, it is the most extensive array of Ruhlmann’s wallpaper designs known. The 47 pochoir sheets of 19 patterns reveal the effect of variant colorways on his designs ($15,000 to $25,000). Additional wallpaper sample books will also be available.

Design cornerstones can be found throughout the offerings: an early nineteenth-century piece de resistance of color printing and typography, Jean Midolle’s Spécimen des Écritures Moderns Romaines fleuronées, Gothiques nouvelles, Fractures, Françaises, Anglaises, Italienne et Allemande, 1834-35, influenced printers and designers for years to come ($3,000 to $4,000). The Russian avant-garde journal Zhurnalist, by El Lissitzky, helped to define the look of the Soviet regime; the first six issues of this extremely scarce periodical carry an estimate of $2,000 to $3,000.

An archive of material from a late office of Marcel Breuer’s architectural firm offers edifying insight into the architect’s vision. The largest section pertains to the monolithic building on Manhattan’s Upper East Side—previously the Whitney Museum of American Art and currently the Met Breuer. The files include early photographs of construction and finished buildings, floorplans and sketches for many of his iconic structures, including the Bobst Library at New York University and Yale University's Becton Engineering and Applied Science Center. Records span the 1960s and ‘70s, when Breuer was partnered with Hamilton Smith ($3,500 to $5,000).

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

Image: Lot 85: Jean Midolle, Spécimen des Écritures Modernes Romaines fleuronées, Gothiques nouvelles, Fractures, Françaises, Anglaise, Italienne et Allemande, with 39 plates, Strasbourg, 1834-35. Estimate $3,000 to $4,000.

b56349e1056cf65b90174fa0267a2b638ba43ba9.pngBoston, MA—An amazing archive of signed drawings, diagrams, charts, and letters by Dr. Wernher von Braun concerning his pioneering ‘Man Will Conquer Space Soon’ series will be auctioned by Boston-based RR Auction.

The archive is comprised of a total of 26 items that include; 17 drawings and schematics, two orbital diagrams, four calculations and graph plots, and three autographed letters. All relate to four of the Collier’s articles: ‘Crossing the Last Frontier,’ ‘Man on the Moon: The Journey,’ ‘Man on the Moon: The Exploration,’ and ‘Baby Space Station,’ which appeared in in the magazine between 1952 and 1954. Also includes the four issues of Collier’s magazine associated with the items in the archive. 

Von Braun prepared the original drawings in this archive as reference materials for magazine artists Chesley Bonestell, Fred Freeman, and Rolf Klep, and most are evident as the direct inspiration for the illustrations that grace the pages of Collier’s in the ‘Man Will Conquer Space Soon!’ series. 

Von Braun’s skillful drawings are filled with engineering detail to provide the Collier’s illustrators with scientifically accurate renderings of the spaceships of the future.

In its introduction to the series, Collier’s makes clear: ‘What you will read here is not science fiction.’ Von Braun’s vision was not only fantastic, but scientifically viable—his copious scientific notes and calculations are proof. 

A few highlights from the archive: 

Detailed signed drawings for the three-stage rocket described in ‘Crossing the Last Frontier,’ including its nose section and exhaust system. Von Braun would later serve as the chief architect of the Saturn V, the rocket that brought man to the moon, which used a similar three-stage design. 

A fantastic sketch of the “Round trip ship” destined to bring man to the moon, which served to inspire Chesley Bonestell’s cover artwork for ‘Man on the Moon: The Journey.’ 

A page of von Braun’s calculations for propellant volumes necessary for “landing on the moon.” 

A crude sketch of a tracked “Moon Transport” vehicle, as described in ‘Man on the Moon: The Exploration.’ 

Comprehensive diagrams and schematics for the solar power plant of the ‘Baby Space Station’ and its ground support trailers. 

A lengthy autograph letter about the land-based ‘Headquarters’ for the ‘Baby Space Station,’ describing the layout and equipment inside. 

The Collier’s series drew widespread attention to von Braun’s vision of manned spaceflight—after the success of the first issue, he appeared on TV and radio shows around the nation to discuss the subject. He was soon recruited by Walt Disney, and served as a technical advisor for three TV films about space exploration between 1955 and 1957. These broadcasts brought the idea of the space program into American living rooms nationwide. 

For the first time, Americans had a vision of space travel not out of Buck Rogers, but grounded in scientific reality as envisioned by the central figure of the coming Space Age.

Among other items to be featured: 

Tom Stafford's Apollo 10 Lunar Orbit Flown American Flag.

Buzz Aldrin's Apollo 11 Lunar Surface-Flown Double Star Chart.

Gene Cernan's Apollo 17 Lunar Surface-Used Rover Map.

Space Shuttle External Tank Nose Cone Assembly complete with aerospike. 

The Space and Aviation Auction from RR Auction began on April 12 and will conclude on April 19. For information, visit the RR Auction web site at www.rrauction.com.

Image: A fantastic sketch of the “Round trip ship” destined to bring man to the moon, which served to inspire Chesley Bonestell’s cover artwork for ‘Man on the Moon: The Journey.’ Courtesy RR Auction

JFK Cuba.pngBoston - John F. Kennedy's personal 'victory map' of Cuba used during the Cuban Missile Crisis sold for $138,798 according to Boston-based RR Auction.

The map in two sheets that feature eight types of sticker symbols applied to the surface, representing Soviet MiG fighter jets, Komar-class missile boats, IL-28 bombers, SS-4 missiles, SSM-Cruise missiles and nuclear storage sites. 

The intelligence represented by this map was supplied by U-2 spy planes, confirming President Kennedy's worst fears of an increasing Soviet military presence just one hundred miles away from the American coast. 

The map is marked "Secret" in the lower left and upper right corners. A two-page key, dated October 27, 1962, summarizes the Soviet military buildup in Cuba, listing sites, enumerating number of launchers and missiles, and completion status.

Accompanied by a detailed letter of provenance, in part: "This ‘victory map’ was given to me about twenty years ago by Robert McNamara, the secretary of defense during the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962. During a meeting at his office, McNamara described for me the pressure President John Kennedy was under from the Joint Chiefs of Staff to order an attack on Soviet targets in Cuba. McNamara said the president pored over this map before deciding to delay the attack.When Kennedy presented the map to McNamara, he called it the ‘victory map.’ During my meeting with McNamara, he said this was the only time he ever heard Kennedy say anything that sounded like gloating about how the crisis ended.” 

In the annals of the Cold War, no event is more talked about and debated than the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 16, 1962 to October 28, 1962. It is considered the closest the world has ever come to nuclear war. 

"This amazing map dates to a critically important day of the crisis—a day that saw an American pilot shot down over Cuba. Had Kennedy given the order to attack, this map shows the nine Soviet targets that American fighters would have bombed," said Bobby Livingston, Executive VP at RR Auction.  

“It’s a remarkable, museum-quality Kennedy piece— the current political tension between the United States and Russia may have played a role in elevating interest, and helping the map achieve such an impressive figure.”  The winning bid came from a collector in Los Angeles with a deep appreciation for American History who wishes to remain anonymous.

Highlights from the sale include, but are not limited by:

George Washington Revolutionary War-dated letter from West Point in 1778 sold for $36,546. 

Thomas Jefferson signed letter from Monticello in 1820 sold for $28,843. 

Benjamin Franklin twice-signed handwritten letter home from England while fighting the 1765 Stamp Act sold for $14,822. 

Giuseppe Verdi musical quotation from “La traviata” sold for $10,000. 

The Fine Autographs and Artifacts auction from RR Auction began on March 16 and concluded on April 11.  More details can be found online at www.rrauction.com.

Heritage Casa.jpgDallas, TX - A rare post-war French release double grande poster from Casablanca soared to $143,400, helping Heritage Auctions’ Movie Posters Auction reach $1,958,775 in total sales.

A film that was made with the hope of creating a successful war drama only to evolve into a beloved classic is represented beautifully in this Casablanca (Warner Brothers, 1947) First Post-War French Release Double Grande, which drew multiple bids before ultimately selling for $143,400. This poster is extraordinarily rare, one of just two known to exist anywhere, and features artwork believed to have been done by Hervé Morvan, the popular 20th-century poster artist.

“This auction contained a variety of desirable posters for collectors of all tastes,” Heritage Auctions Vintage Posters Director Grey Smith said. “The Casablanca poster is a beautiful poster that drew the attention of our most serious collectors.”

One of the most actively pursued lots in the auction was Superman (Columbia, 1948) Six Sheet, which realized $35,850. The first comic book superhero made it to the big screen in a live-action format 10 years after he first was introduced in Action Comics #1. This poster also is exceptionally rare - one of just two of this large format known to exist.

The poster from The Lady Eve (Paramount, 1941) One Sheet is exceedingly rare, which helped spark demand from multiple bidders before it eventually brought $33,460. This classic Preston Sturges comedy is considered one of his best.

Believed to be the only known copy in existence, Morocco (Paramount, 1931) French Horizontal Double Grande validated its rarity when it passed its high pre-auction estimate on its way to a final sale price of $31,070. This extraordinary French stone lithograph from Josef von Sternberg’s classic drama bears a magnificent image for a magnificent film. Roger Soubie’s depiction of the sultry Marlene Dietrich is considered one of the best illustrations ever painted of the star.

Offered for the first time through Heritage Auctions, Adventures of Captain Marvel (Republic, 1941). One Sheet Chapter 1—“Curse of the Scorpion” is another that sparked significant competition among bidders before ultimately yielding $31,070. This poster is one of only a small handful still known to exist from what many consider to be one of the greatest serials produced.

Other top lots included, but were not limited to:

·       Casablanca (Warner Brothers, R-1949) Insert: $28,680

·       King Kong (RKO, 1933). Swedish Oversized Poster: $26,290

·       Star Wars by Michelangelo Papuzza (20th Century Fox, 1977). Original Mixed Media Concept Artwork: $26,290

·       Sunnyside (First National, 1919) Six Sheet: $24,258.50

·       Creature from the Black Lagoon (Universal International, 1954) One Sheet: $23,900

·       Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Warner Brothers, 2004) Lenticular One Sheet: $17,925

76-Ray.jpgNew York—Swann Galleries will offer an auction of Graphic Design on Thursday, May 3, celebrating innovation in the field, with an array of vintage posters, along with a coterie of fine graphically-oriented objets d’art including original maquettes, an Hermès scarf and playing cards.

Leading the selection is an extremely rare panel from Man Ray’s iconic campaign for the London Underground, - Keeps London Going, evoking the artist’s signature Rayographic style. The indelible image equates the solar system with the functionality of the London subway system; it was the world’s most expensive travel poster from June of 2007, when it sold for $100,906 at Christie’s, until 2012, when a poster by A.M. Cassandre sold at Swann Galleries for $159,900. In this auction, it carries an estimate of $80,000 to $120,000.

Another masterwork of urban transportation design is Massimo Vignelli’s iconic map of the New York City subway system, the descendant of which is still in use today. The neat, organized lines of what in reality was a veritable labyrinth of overlapping train systems signaled a new age in graphic design, in which geographic accuracy was subordinate to visual appeal. Offered in the auction is the revised edition of the original 1972 version, printed in 1978 ($1,000 to $1,500).

A wealth of early Secessionist works will be available, many of them in the strikingly tall vertical format common in Viennese posters at the time. Of special interest is Alfred Röller’s tri-color graphic masterpiece for XIV Ausstellung / Secession / Klinger Beethoven, 1902, which also served as the frontispiece for the exhibition catalogue, estimated at $30,000 to $40,000. Another fine example is Oskar Kokoschka’s Kunstschau, 1908, done in a whimsical fairytale style, and valued between $20,000 and $30,000. The cover lot for the sale is Frommes Kalendar, 1899, by Koloman Moser, depicting a woman holding an hourglass and an ouroboros, symbolizing the waning of the century and the circle of life ($20,000 to $30,000).

Charles Loupot is well represented in the sale with a large selection of works spanning his career. Leading the pack is a dramatic tour-de-force of printing: the 1949 advertisement for Lion Noir / Cirage - Crème, a shoe-polish company, depicting a lion in glossy black against a matte background ($30,000 to $40,000). Another highlight is Cailler / Chocolat au Lait, 1921, and the minimalistic ad for Voisin Automobiles, 1923 (each $15,000 to $20,000). Also by Loupot is a pair of pochoir prints depicting high Art Deco fashion on models against a complementary misty background. Together they carry an estimate of $2,500 to $3,500.

The auction will feature a large selection of advertisements for automobiles, perhaps as a consequence of the manufacturers’ wish to seem forward-thinking. Among several early highlights are Ludwig Hohlwein’s rose-tinted poster for Mercedes in 1914, and the azure version of Roger Pèrot’s masterpiece, Delahaye, 1932 ($20,000 to $30,000 and $8,000 to $12,000, respectively).

Adolphe Mouron Cassandre was commissioned by Hermès to design fashionable accessories in his signature style. The resulting collaboration is represented in the auction by a fine silk scarf reminiscent of the architectural mazes of M.C. Escher, 1951, and a set of playing cards with two decks in vivid color (each $700 to $1,000).

Based on the recently released map of the London Underground by Henry Beck, Laszló Moholy-Nagy’s poster for Imperial Airways / Map of Empire & European Air Routes, 1936, reimagines the world as an interconnected, eminently navigable network for travel ($3,000 to $4,000).

Influential works from the second half of the twentieth century include signed exhibition posters by Keith Haring and Roy Lichtenstein, as well as Günther Kieser’s concert poster for The Doors and The Canned Heat, 1968 ($3,000 to $4,000). Also of note is an original oil painting by Stanley Mouse, designer of The Grateful Dead’s iconic skull and roses motif, of, naturally, a skull crowned with roses. The estimate is $3,000 to $4,000.

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

Additional highlights can be found here.

Image: Lot 76: Man Ray, [London Transport] - Keeps London Going, 1938. Estimate $80,000 to $120,000.

360.jpgChicago, IL— Potter and Potter Auctions is pleased to announce this upcoming sale to be held on Saturday, April 28th, 2018 starting at 10am CDT at the company's gallery, located at 3759 N. Ravenswood Ave., Chicago, IL 60613.  All lots are on display and available for public preview on Thursday, April 26th and Friday, April 27th from 10:00am to 5:00pm in their facility. 

This auction's selections of magic ephemera are simply spellbinding, with archives and research materials in the spotlight. 

The top lot in this sale is #357, a mostly 1922-1925 era, two volume spiritualism scrapbook signed, kept, and annotated by Harry Houdini (1874-1926).  Estimated at $30,000-40,000, the first book includes newspaper and news-magazine clippings from the US and abroad pertaining to spiritualism and related subjects.  The second book is almost entirely devoted to coverage of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s belief in spiritualism and the supernatural. These scrapbooks offer fascinating, firsthand, and personal insights into the project of “spirit debunking” to which Houdini turned in the final chapter of his life and career.  

Lot #360, Elliot Sanford’s Houdini manuscripts and archive, is another astonishing find for magic historians. Estimated at $10,000-15,000, it includes books, clippings, and ephemera, as well as over 100 pages of manuscripts that chronical Sanford's year with the Houdini family in tantalizing detail.  Full of unpublished data and anecdotes, the information revealed within this collection is a book just waiting to be written - and its contents easily may realign early twentieth century magic history.  

Lot #596, a magic trick archive from "Cardician" Ed Marlo (1913-1991), is estimated at $5,000-8,000.  The contents dates from the 1950s to 1980s and include photos and manuscripts detailing Marlo’s magic effects. Many of the manuscripts include corrections, annotations, illustrations, and comments from Marlo in the margins.  Our experts note, "This is overall an irreplaceable and significant archive of the great “behind the scenes” card wizard of the twentieth century, one of the true titans of the genre whose output was virtually unmatched."  

Magic apparatus is another key category in this sale, with over 150 lots of props, tricks, cases, and trunks taking center stage.  Lot #260, an Owen Magic Supreme 1966 Eclipse Vanishing and Appearing Lamp, is estimated at $4,000-5,000. This illusion involves an illuminated lamp disappearing from a table and quickly reappearing on a hand-held tray.  Lot #208, a c. 1950's Rabbit Tray from stage magician and illusionist Harry Blackstone (1885-1965), is estimated at $1,000-1,500.  One of Blackstone's signature tricks was changing a box of candy into a live rabbit; this wooden framed, canvassed compartment helped make that happen.  And it’s all hands on deck for this sale's offering of cards and card apparatus, with 10 fine lots available.  Lot #225, an unopened pack of Silver Peau Doux playing cards from 1934 is estimated at $250-360. These bridge-size fanning cards, marked Chicago Walgreen Co., were purchased by master magician Cardini (1895-1973) for use in his famous act.  

Collectors are bound to be thrilled with this sale's over 200 lots of magic books on offer.  Lot #141, The Vernon Chronicles: The Lost Inner Secrets, Volumes I - IV, is estimated at $3,000-5,000.  Only 14 copies of this privately offered, numbered, and signed quartet were produced in the 1987- 1992 timeframe.  Each book in this majestic set is detailed with half morocco over marbled boards, raised bands, a tooled spine, and 14-karat gold stamping, and is housed in a matching cloth slipcase. Lot #159, a first edition of Edward Sachs' Sleight of Hand from 1877, is estimated at $1,000-1,500. This early, handsome, and important early 204 page book has gilt edges and is stamped ornamentally in silver, gilt, and black.  And two books with Houdini connections are certain to cast a spell over enthusiasts.  The first, lot #361, is a Houdini-signed 1913 copy of Knotting & Splicing Ropes and Cordage, estimated at $1,200-1,800.  This edition, edited by Paul Hasluck and published in London, contains occasional underlining, annotation, and ink drawing in the text, probably by multiple hands.  And the second, lot #380, is Houdini's own Houdini’s Paper Magic, estimated at $1,800-2,600.  Published in 1922, this example has been inscribed and signed by Houdini.

This Magic Memorabilia sale closes the loop with fantastic assortments of photos, advertisements, costumes, and other rarities.  Perhaps the pinnacle of the 130 posters and artwork on offer is lot #387, The Jail Breaker and Dexerous Handcuff King Houdini poster, estimated at $3,000-5,000.  This eye-catching, two color broadside is linen backed and measures 35" x 11". A presidential caliber highlight is lot #369, a spirit photo of Houdini with Abraham Lincoln’s ghost, estimated at $500-750.  Lot #602, a wine-colored brocade jacket and white silk shirt worn by Dutch magician Tommy Wonder (1953-2006) is estimated at $1,500-2,000. And how about gifting an emerging young magician in your life with lot #350, a c. 1930 A.C. Gilbert Magic Exhibition Set No. 2005, estimated at $200-300?  Its fantastically illustrated box cover proudly promotes it as, "A fascinating collection of the tricks, sleight of hand, illusions etc. of world famous magicians with illustrated book of instructions. A set for boys and grown-ups, too." 

According to Gabe Fajuri, President at Potter & Potter Auctions, "We are delighted to offer magic enthusiasts these exceptional and well curated lot selections.  The Sanford and Marlo archives are once in a lifetime offerings, and it is thrilling to consider what secrets they may hold. They would be particularly appealing to historians, museums, and academic research organizations worldwide. Sach's Sleight of Hand book is also one of my favorites from this sale. The only other edition I know of is in my personal collection. I recommend it for both its content and stunning presentation."

Potter and 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 on this sale and Potter & Potter Auctions, please see www.potterauctions.com. If you can't make the auction in person, bids for these extraordinary offerings can be placed directly on the company's website, by phone by arrangement, or via an absentee bid form, which can be accessed by clicking here.

Image: Lot 360 Elliot Sanford’s Houdini Manuscripts and Archive. Estimate $10,000-15,000. 

Return of copy.jpgDallas, Texas—A hand-written manuscript by one of the most popular and successful mystery writers of all time will be up for sale in Heritage Auctions’ Manuscripts Auction April 18 in Dallas, Texas. 

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle penned The Adventure of the Dancing Men in 1903 for publication in The Strand Magazine. Doyle’s first two novellas featuring Sherlock Holmes were published more than a decade earlier to positive reviews, but it was not until the appearance of his short stories in The Strand Magazine that Doyle’s popularity and fame surged.  

According to Randall Stock, a member of The Baker Street Irregulars, Doyle got the idea for the dancing men cipher in May 1903. Stock says, “While staying at the Hill House Hotel in Norfolk (England), Doyle signed a young woman’s autograph book. The book also contained drawings on another page by two children: Gilbert John Cubitt and Edith Alice Cubitt had signed it using decorated letters and a stick-figure sketch involving music.” Combining elements used by the children and influenced by Edgar Allan Poe’s The Gold Bug, Doyle crafted the dancing men cipher. He used the children’s surname, “Cubitt,” for the client in the story. 

The significance of the Dancing Men manuscript (est. $500,000+) cannot be overstated. This is an actual working manuscript that shows Doyle’s complete process in weaving a story. Emendations run throughout, and Doyle is careful to cross out words and make additions in such a way that both the original text and revisions are visible.

Provenance of the manuscript can be traced back to Doyle, when he donated the bound manuscript to an auction for the benefit of the Red Cross in 1918. The current owner and consignor was gifted the manuscript by her father, a noted book dealer in Texas.

Like most Sherlock Holmes stories, The Adventure of the Dancing Men is told from the perspective of Watson, who tells the tale through first-person narration. The plot centers around a series of messages containing the stick figures that arrive at the home of Hilton Cubitt and his American wife, Elsie Patrick. While Holmes endeavors to decipher the code and determine the source of the notes, both Cubitt and Patrick are shot — Cubitt fatally (making this one of just two stories in which a client dies after seeking Holmes’ help). Holmes is able to identify Patrick’s former fiancé as the killer by sending back notes using the stick figures.

“The Dancing Men manuscript was last offered at auction more than 90 years ago,” says Sandra Palomino, director of historical manuscripts at Heritage Auctions. “We had the privilege of appraising the manuscript back in 2012,” Palomino says, “and we are thrilled to be selected to bring it to auction. Although other Doyle manuscripts have appeared in recent years, The Adventure of the Dancing Men is a highpoint in the Doyle canon.”

The manuscript will be on display at Heritage Auctions’ New York offices located at 445 Park Avenue from April 9 through April 12.

Other top lots in the auction include, but are not limited to:

·       John Adams Letter Signed (est. $32,000+)

·       George Washington Autograph Letter Signed (est. $15,000+)

·       William J. Stone for Peter Force: The Declaration of Independence (est. $15,000+)

·       Dian Fossey Archive of Letters and Photographs (est. $15,000+)

·       Union Navy Archive of Letters of George S. Paul, Naval Engineer (est. $12,000+)

·       George Washington Letter Signed as Commander-in Chief of the Continental Army (est. $12,000+)

Bidding begins March 30 on HA.com.

Los Angeles — Profiles in History is proud to announce highlights from their upcoming Animation & Disneyana Auction on May 5th in Los Angeles.

This amazing remote controlled iconic droid was built for use in the Disney parks in 2004, using actual screen used R2-D2s from the original Star Wars trilogy as reference. Precise measurements, and an abundance of photographs were used to create one of the most accurate R2-D2s ever! 

From 2004 until its retirement in 2014, this R2-D2 was used throughout Walt Disney World. In the summer of of 2011, this droid made daily appearances at Disneyland's Tomorrowland.  This droid was also part of the Star Wars Celebration of 2010 with George Lucas and John Stewart. One of the most exciting events for the little droid was with the NASA space program when, on behalf of LucasFilm, R2 presented Luke Skywalker’s screen used Light Saber to an astronaut, so it could fly on the Space Shuttle Discovery.

This R2-D2 is fully functional, makes 53 different sounds from the original Star Wars trilogy, and features working fiber optic lights. After being seen by millions of fans, and a decade in the parks, he’s ready to find a new home. It is estimated to sell for $100,000 - $200,000.

Concept design drawings for Epcot’s World Showcase, estimated to sell for $2,000 - $3,000. Concept design drawings and other material for an unrealized Disney World Thames River Attraction, estimated to sell for $3,000 - $5,000.

Concept design drawing for an an unrealized Discovery Bay attraction at Disneyland, estimated to sell for $1,500 - $2,500. All of these are by famed Disney innovator Harper Goff, who in 1993 was posthumously named a Disney Legend. Harper Goff art never comes up for auction, so this is a rare opportunity.

Walt Disney's signed Last Will and Testament. It's 23-pages in length, titled, “Last Will and Testament of / Walter E. Disney,” dated June 9, 1951, Burbank. Boldly signed by “Walter E. Disney”.  It is estimated to sell for $20,000 - $40,000.

Rare Disney Parks Attraction props including a vehicle from the theme park attraction of Mr. Toads Wild Ride for $15,000 - $25,000, an animatronic Pirate head from Pirates of the Caribbean for $2,000 - $4,000, an animatronic figure of "Henry" from Disneyland's Country Bear Jamboree for $4,000 - $7,000, an animatronic “Mickey Mouse” from Mickey and the Beanstalk from Disneyland Main Street for $4,000 - $7,000 and an animatronic  “Pluto” from Disneyland Main Street for $3,000 - $5,000.

A wide variety of Disney animation art including key set ups from the Cinderella Ballroom scene for $15,000 - $25,000 and the Lady and the Tramp"Bella Nolte" scene for $35,000 - $40,000.  Other animation includes Keith Haring Sesame Street art for $1,500 - $2,500.  Also included are rare one of a kind drawings and comic strip art by legends Dr. Seuss and Charles Schulz.  

For more information visit:

www.profilesinhistory.com

www.facebook.com/ProfilesInHistory/

Twitter: @pihauctions

Instagram: @profilesinhistory

 

Unknown.jpegLos Angeles, California - Van Eaton Galleries, one of the world’s premier animation artwork and collectibles galleries, has announced “The Life and Career of Disney Legend Rolly Crump” an Exhibition and Auction to be held Saturday, April 28, 2018 beginning at 11:00 a.m. PDT at Van Eaton Galleries located at 13613 Ventura Blvd in Sherman Oaks, California. 

One of Walt Disney’s early Imagineers, Rolly Crump is known as a “true” original. He joined The Walt Disney Studios in 1952 where he quickly became one of the most multi-talented artists on Walt’s team. In 1959, he joined show design at WED Enterprises, later known as Walt Disney Imagineering. It was there that he became one of Walt’s key designers for some of Disney’s groundbreaking new attractions and entertainment, including the Haunted Mansion, the Enchanted Tiki Room and the Adventureland Bazaar.

Rolly also served as a key designer on the Disney attractions featured at the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair, including It’s a Small World and the Tower of the Four Winds. When the It’s a Small World attraction moved to Disneyland in 1966, Rolly designed the larger-than-life animated clock at its entrance, which sends the children of the world on a parade each quarter-hour.

Rolly would go on to contribute to the initial design of the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in Florida, where he would improve upon such popular attractions as Peter Pan’s Flight, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, and Snow White’s Scary Adventures for the new Florida Park. Rolly aided in the master planning of EPCOT Center, and would serve as project designer for The Land and Wonders of Life pavilions prior to the 1981 opening.

He departed from Disney in 1981 to lead design on a proposed Cousteau Ocean Center Park in Norfolk, Virginia, and to launch his own firm, the Mariposa Design Group. Rolly would develop an array of themed projects around the world, including work for Barnum and Bailey’s Circus World, Knott’s Berry Farm, and the Golden Nugget Casino.

In 1992, Rolly returned to Imagineering as executive designer, redesigning and refurbishing The Land and Innoventions at EPCOT Center. Rolly “retired” from The Walt Disney Company in 1996, but continued to work on a number of creative projects. He released his autobiography; It’s Kind of a Cute Story, in 2012.

Crump had a special relationship with Walt Disney, often sharing ideas and stories that would ultimately create an attraction or character at the park. Rolly has stated, “Walt had the ability to reach inside of you and bring out a part of you within, a part that even you were unaware existed. Walt’s character and how he ran the Studio brought out the best in me. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without Walt.”

In addition to artifacts from his work at the Disney Studios, the exhibition and auction also includes a selection of Crump’s original artwork and designs which highlight the sense of humor and imagination that made him an invaluable asset to Walt Disney and The Disneyland Parks.

Among the highlights to be offered at “The Life and Career of Disney Legend Rolly Crump” Exhibition and Auction at Van Eaton Galleries are rarities including Rolly’s original model for the It’s a Small World clock (Estimate: $60,000-$80,000); several original designs for Rolly’s popular “Doper Posters” of the 1950s including the first doper poster Rolly made featuring an Indian advertising marijuana (Estimate: $3,000-$5,000); Rolly’s original models for the It’s a Small World façade (Estimate: $15,000-$20,000); a Fountain Shield from the Enchanted Tiki Room which was originally sculpted by Rolly Crump (Estimate: $3,000-$4,000); Rolly’s original concept designs for the Tiki Room Preshow Garden Gods (Estimate: $2,000-$4,000 each); Rolly’s original designs for the Museum of the Weird portion of the Haunted Mansion (Estimate: $4,000-$6,000 each); An original doll of a toy soldier used in It’s a Small World at the 1964 New York World’s Fair (Estimate: $8,000-$10,000); an original Mary Blair concept painting for the It’s a Small World façade (Estimate: $12,000-$15,000); an original Mary Blair ink concept drawing for the It’s a Small World clock (Estimate: $10,000-$15,000); An original devil prop from the opening of Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride (Estimate: $1,500-$2,500); A Ticket from the Grand Opening of Disneyland (Estimate: $3,000-$5,000), A Costumed Character Head from Babes in Toyland (Estimate: $800-$1,000); Several of Rolly Crump’s original hand painted “Push Down” toys (Estimate: $400-$600 each); an original Haunted Mansion Attraction poster (Estimate: $7,000-$9,000); Rolly Crump’s original Master Plan drawing for EPCOT Center (Estimate: $1,500-$2,500); and an original “Enchanted Tiki Room” Tangaroa Baby Prop (Estimate: $3,000-$4,000). There are over 400 lots in the auction which also includes original paintings and sculptures from Rolly’s career.

“When you think of the imaginative spirit of Walt Disney you can’t help but also think of Rolly Crump,” said Mike Van Eaton, Co-Owner of Van Eaton Galleries. “Together they made Disney history and created some of the most famous Disney attractions of all time. Now in his late 80’s Rolly is still as spirited and creative as he was in the early 1950s when his career was just beginning. We are so honored to be able to present this massive collection highlighting his career and personal life. For us and Rolly, it’s all about the ‘magic’!”

“The Life and Career of Disney Legend Rolly Crump” Auction will take place on Saturday, April 28, 2018 beginning at 11:00 PDT. The auction will take place live on-site at Van Eaton Galleries at 13613 Ventura Blvd in Sherman Oaks, California.  Bidders can also bid online and by phone.  To register go to www.vegalleries.com/rollycrump An Exclusive Media Preview will take place on April 9th, 2018 beginning at 9:00 a.m. PDT and a free Public Exhibition will run from April 10th to April 27th, beginning at 10:00 a.m. PDT daily until 6:00 p.m. PDT Tuesday-Saturday and Sunday 12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. PDT. The gallery is closed on Mondays. 

“The Life and Career of Disney Legend Rolly Crump” Auction Location

Van Eaton Galleries

13613 Venture Blvd

Sherman Oaks, California

“The Life and Career of Disney Legend Rolly Crump” Public Exhibition

Beginning Tuesday, April 10, 2018 - Friday, April 27, 2018

Closed Mondays

Tuesday to Saturday, 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. PDT

Sunday, 12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. PDT

To register go to www.vegalleries.com/rollycrump

To order a Rolly Crump Auction Catalog go to www.vegalleries.com/rollycrump

A link to the online catalog can be seen here: vegalleries.com/rollycrump

For more information on Van Eaton Galleries go to www.vegalleries.com

Image: Courtesy Van Eaton Galleries                                              

Sutra Close Up copy.jpgHong Kong - Today at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong, a new auction record was established for two sets of Buddhist Sutra Manuscripts from the Ming Dynasty. The most important Buddhist manuscript ever to have appeared at auction, the Imperial Wisdom Sutras sold for HK$238,807,500 / US$30,428,852. This outstanding historical relic is a legacy of the Golden Age of the Ming dynasty, made by imperial order of the Ming Emperor Xuande in the first part of the 15th century. Preserved in pristine condition, the set of Sutras is the only surviving example outside of the National Palace Museum, Taipei. Originally recorded in a Kyoto aristocratic collection in 1917, they remained out of sight until the ground-breaking Ming exhibition at the British Museum in 2014. Buddhist Sutras are canonical scriptures that render the teachings of the Buddha, which were taken over from India and copied. Their copying and propagation was considered a meritorious practice, and when such deeds were performed by an emperor, the resulting works were inevitably of the highest standard in terms of the materials used and the artists and craftsmen employed. Full details here. 

A magnificent enamelled pink-ground ‘falangcai’ bowl, without question the finest example of its type and the only example of its design ever recorded, also achieved the exceptional price of HK$238,807,500 / US$30,428,852. Unseen on the market for over 30 years, the bowl is unique, though it has a ‘brother’ in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, which is painted with different flowers but using the exact same colour ground. Full details here. 

Making its auction debut after a hundred years, a highly important rediscovered handscroll, Ten Auspicious Landscapes of Taishan, the greatest masterpiece of the renowned imperial court painter Qian Weicheng drew over 100 separate bids during a 40 minute bidding battle, pushing the final sale price to HK$146,794,000 / US$18,704,491. Presented in ten sections, the scroll depicts ten spectacular views of Mount Tiantai in Zhejiang province and is also inscribed with ten poems written by the Qianlong Emperor. Full details here 

*The previous world auction record was held by “Anonymous (Ming Dynasty) COLLECTION OF BUDDHIST SUTRAS”, which was sold for HK$14,026,000 at Sotheby’s New York’s Fine Classical Chinese Patingins & Calligraphy Sale on 19 Mach 2015. 

 

Paradisea rubra le paradis rouge copy.jpgBonhams is to offer one of the finest collections of ornithological books in private hands - Wassenaar Zoo: a Dutch Private Library - in London on 30 May 2018. The library comprises more than 2,400 volumes.

The collection, which also contains zoological works on cats, monkeys, fish, chameleons, elephants, and other animals, was assembled during the 1950s to complement the work of Wassenaar Zoo, which has since closed.

Highlights of the collection include:

  • A near-complete run of John Gould’s magnificent folios, from his first major work A Century of Birds… from the Himalaya Mountains for which his wife Elizabeth supplied the drawings to the Birds of Asia and Birds of New Guinea that were completed after his death. The pinnacle of Gould’s work is his seven-volume Birds of Australia (1840-1869), the result of his own tour of the continent during which he named 300 new species of birds. This is also included in the sale and is estimated at £100,000-150,000.
  • Five major works by Daniel Giraud Elliot, one of the most important American ornithologists and naturalists of the nineteenth century and a founder of the American Museum of Natural History in 1869.
  • Histoire naturelle des oiseaux de paradis (1806) and several other studies by the French explorer, zoological collector, and noted ornithologist François Levaillant.

Bonhams Head of Fine Books and Manuscripts, Matthew Haley said: “It is rare to find such a comprehensive library of books on ornithology. All the best-regarded names of this very special art form are included, and there are also sumptuous works on zoology. These scientific landmarks were arguably the natural history documentaries of their day, and show that people have been fascinated by wildlife for centuries.”

Image: Jean Baptiste Audebert & Louis Pierre Vieillot, Oiseaux dorés ou à reflets métalliques, 1800-02. First Edition. Desray, Paris. Estimate: £10,000-15,000. Courtesy of Bonhams

 

47-CDV.jpgNew York—Institutional purchases dominated the buying field at Swann Galleries’ auction of Printed & Manuscript African Americana on March 29. The top lots of the auction were almost entirely manuscripts, archives, early photographs or otherwise unique material. A large percentage—four of the top five, and 13 of the top 20—will be joining public collections.

The auction was led by an album of cartes-de-visite featuring abolitionists and African-Americans from the Boston area. The most popular lot during the preview week, it was something like a "little sister" to the album handled by Swann in 2017 that contained a previously unrecorded photograph of Harriet Tubman. It was purchased by an institution for $47,500, above a high estimate of $9,000.

An archive of six letters by Frederick Douglass, which had remained in a family collection since their receipt, led a significant selection of material related to the abolitionist. The correspondence, addressed to his friend Ebenezer Bassett, concerned race relations, Haiti and politics; it provides fascinating new insights into the mindset of one of the greatest Americans toward the end of his life ($42,500). The only known complete copy of Farewell Song of Frederick Douglass, on Quitting England for America—the Land of his Birth, a songbook by Julia and T. Powis Griffiths, flew past its high estimate of $7,500 to reach $37,500. Another Douglass highlight was a signed cabinet card with his photograph, taken by George Kendall Warren. The image was used as the frontispiece for his third autobiography; it was purchased by an institution for $30,000, double its high estimate, and a record for a signed photograph of Douglass.

Additional records were set throughout the sale. A rare variant printing of the famous Plan of an African Ship’s Lowe Deck, with Negroes, in the Proportion of Not Quite One to a Ton, 1789, a powerful image from the early abolitionist movement, brought $16,250—a record for any of the dozens of versions issued. The classic freedman's education narrative Mary S. Peake, the Colored Teacher at Fortress Monroe, circa 1863, by Lewis C. Lockwood, set a record at $3,750, while the first edition of Zora Neale Hurston's Mules and Men, 1935, reached a record $4,250.

An archive of photographs from Café Society, the first important integrated nightclub in America, includes candid images of Lucille Ball, Rita Hayworth and Frank Sinatra, along with shots of performances by the Andrews Sisters and Josh White, Count Basie and various jazz ensembles. The nearly 300 photographs were found among the papers of the club’s promoter, Ivan Black, after it was unceremoniously closed in 1948. The archive was purchased for $20,000, above a high estimate of $3,000.

Specialist Rick Stattler noted that "after 22 years of fine catalogues put out by my predecessor Wyatt Houston Day, it was a challenge to do credit to this sale. Fortunately, the market for this important material shows no signs of slowing down. While results were strong overall, it was the most rare and unique material in this sale that brought out stiff competition, particularly from the institutional buyers."

The next auction of Americana at Swann Galleries will be Printed & Manuscript Americana on April 12, 2018. The house is currently accepting quality consignments for autumn auctions. 

Image: Lot 47: Carte-de-visite album with 83 images of prominent African Americans and abolitionists, circa 1860s. Sold March 29, 2018 for $47,500. (Pre-sale estimate: $6,000 to $9,000)

10-LeGray copy.jpgNew York—On Thursday, April 19, Swann Galleries will offer the auction The Knowing Eye: Photographs & Photobooks, with selections that tackle themes of reflection and examination in medium.

The sale is led by unique prints of iconic masterworks. An early printing of Ansel Adams’s Winter in Yosemite (Pine Forest in Snow), circa 1932, inscribed to Carl Wheat, carries an estimate of $40,000 to $60,000. Another exercise in depth in black and white is a vintage and apparently unique print, atypical of his usual presentation style, of Alfred Eisenstaedt’s Premier at La Scala, Milan, circa 1933, also estimated at $40,000 to $60,000.

A suite of five photographs by Dorothea Lange during her commission by the WRA document the forced relocation of Japanese Americans to internment camps in 1942. The images were censored when it became obvious that Lange’s sympathies lay with the subjects of the project rather than the government. The photographs were subsequently censored. These images have never previously appeared at auction; they are here offered together for $30,000 to $45,000.

An early daguerreotype portrait by Gustave Le Gray also makes its auction debut. The charming image of an unknown woman, circa 1847-48, is one of few works in this medium by the. Still in its original paper mat and bearing a red seal, the piece is valued between $4,000 and $6,000.

The only known extant print of River Rouge Plant, Detroit (with Ford signage on freight car), 1947, by Walker Evans is featured on the cover of the catalogue for the sale. The image was taken as part of a commission for Fortune magazine to document the state of Ford; a negative is held in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, but no other print can be traced ($15,000 to $25,000).

Immersive vernacular albums from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries paint vivid pictures of bygone lives. Highlights include a strikingly modern album, 1926-27, advertising available billboards throughout the city of Portland, OR, with advertising space highlighted by hand in bright orange ($8,000 to $12,000), and an archive of more than 1,500 silver prints relating to the NASA missions Mercury, Gemini and Apollo ($9,000 to $12,000). Lovingly compiled personal albums show dolls from the 1950s, a British feminist march, My Tour in Europe and exploits at a women’s college. One person’s fixation with the name “Lincoln” is expected to garner $1,500 to $2,500. An increasingly popular selection of salesmen’s sample books includes examples for headstones, neon lights, baby carriages, snacks and Masonic jewelry.

Important eponymous portfolios by Inge Morath, Robert Rauschenberg and Garry Winogrand will also be offered.

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

Image: Lot 10: Gustave Le Gray, Portrait of a young woman, daguerreotype, circa 1847-48. Estimate $4,000 to $6,000.

Dallas, TX - An iconic image from American pop artist Roy Lichtenstein is projected to bring as much as $500,000 in Heritage Auctions’ Modern & Contemporary Art - Prints & Multiples Auction April 17 in Dallas.

Heritage will offer Lichtenstein’s 1994 Nude with Blue Hair, from Nudes (est. $300,000-500,000) as part of a series of images that used 1960s comic book caricatures rather than live image for inspiration.

“Heritage is honored to offer this monumental work by Roy Lichtenstein,” Heritage Auctions Modern & Contemporary Art Director Holly Sherratt said. “Hutcheson was a Master Printer in all of the traditional printing techniques, including etching, woodcut, lithography, silkscreen and papermaking. During the 1980s, John Hutcheson ran his own workshop in the New York City area and developed personal relationships with hundreds of artists. His prints appear in private and museum collections including The Whitney Museum of American Art, MoMA and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Tyler Collection Archives in Australia, Japan, Singapore and Minneapolis.”

Nude with Blue Hair epitomizes the incredible talent of Lichtenstein, as well as the technical expertise of Hutcheson, who contributed to Lichtenstein’s vision using complex stencils and state of the art printing methods. The Nudes series exemplifies Lichtenstein’s signature comic book style: the artist adhered to a strict color palette of primary colors heavily outlined in black, while also branching out by contrasting geometrical shapes and lines against the curves of the subject’s body. Lichtenstein employed unconventional shading with his benday dot technique, a process that mimics commercial comic book printing with dynamic dots that create optical illusions. This lot offers the rare opportunity to own one of the most significant works by Lichtenstein from the collection of the printer whose work with artists such as Frank Stella, Helen Frankenthaler and David Hockney helped influence art history.

Other top lots from the Hutcheson collection include, but are not limited to:

·       Frank Stella Pumpkin Moonshine, from Polar Coordinates II (variant), 1979 (est. $50,000-70,000)

·       Joan Mitchell Sunflowers I (diptych), 1992 (est. $10,000-15,000)

·       Frank Stella La Penna di Hu, from Italian Folktales, 1988 (est. $10,000-15,000)

·       David Hockney Twelve Fifteen, 1991 (est. $8,000-12,000)

·       Robert Motherwell Elegy Study I, 1989 (est. $8,000-12,000)

·       Robert Motherwell Black Cathedral, 1991 (est. $8,000-12,000)

·       Helen Frankenthaler Madame de Pompadour, 1985-90 (est. $4,000-6,000)

·       Helen Frankenthaler Divertimento, 1983 (est. $3,000-5,000)

·       Sam Gilliam Fire, Nile, and Composition (three works), 1972 (est. $2,000-3,000)

The 165-lot auction also includes works from various owners that are sure to draw significant interest.  The sale features 11 lots by Andy Warhol, including several listed below:

·       Andy Warhol Grevy's Zebra, from Endangered Species, 1983 (est. $60,000-80,000)

·       Andy Warhol $ 1, 1982 (est. $30,000-50,000),

·       Andy Warhol Untitled, from Flowers Portfolio, 1970 (est. $25,000-35,000)

·       Andy Warhol The Witch, from Myths, 1981 (est. $25,000-35,000)

·       Andy Warhol Liz, 1964 (est. $20,000-30,000)

Other top lots include, but are not limited to:

·       David Hockney Amaryllis in Vase, from Moving Focus, 1984 (est. $50,000-70,000)

·       Ed Ruscha Cheese Mold Standard with Olive, 1969 (est. $40,000-60,000)

·       Roy Lichtenstein Forms in Space, 1985 (est. $40,000-60,000)

·       Pablo Picasso Vase deux anses hautes, 1952 (est. $25,000-35,000)

Missile Map.jpegBoston, MA -  Ernest Hemingway letters written by the American novelist, short story writer, and journalist will be auctioned by Boston-based RR Auction. 

The group of four letters from Hemingway to his close friend Guy Hickok, comprising one signed letter, two partial autograph letters, and a one-page typed signed letter. 

The longest is a nine-page letter, signed “Ernest,” dated May 7, [1931], was written aboard the S.S. Volendam of the Holland-America Line. In part: “When my kidney was being weird had to give up drinking for about 6 weeks but now can drink and have drunk for ever since a year ago last February—I may have made a certain amt. of dough which has all been give away, loaned or spent but I am a son of a bitch if I have become respectable and no later than last winter was forced to sleep all night on the front porch—not being a good size for Pauline to carry up stairs—and on going to church the next morning was supposed to be healed…just because I had bumped into the holy water fount, that I saw the car was standing with the top down and the 3/4 empty bottle very visible (it had been invisible in the dark) in front of the church with the French nameplate to identify it! Don’t want to claim to be a drunk like you but have not become respectable Gros—The reason I didn't write you about the book is because it is hard enough to write it without writing about it. But listen if you will come down to Madrid you can read it typed…besides which we could see who can drink and who not and see the bullfights—The dope is this…will go to Madrid and work like a bastard on this book until finished—Have 280 some pages done—most to be written over and 1/3 or more to be added—I think you’ll like the damn book.” 

He goes on to discuss his travel plans and the repayment of a loan, before discussing an arm injury suffered in Montana: “I couldn't write then because my arm was still paralyzed. Have only been able to write since 3 weeks. It will be absolutely all right if keep after it. Anyway can shoot, fish and write with it now, but can't sock anybody.” Here, he sketches a diagram of his arm’s range of motion. Hemingway also provides a sketch of his new home in Key West, pointing out his favorite features, including a “flat roof, see all over town and sea.” 

The second, a one page letter in pencil, unsigned, one page both sides, June 18, [1935], in part: “Listen stupid when you get in a money jam why in hell don’t let me know?…God dammit I was always suspicious of that Syndicate job…Gingrich of Esquire is coming here July 3-6 to fish and I will talk to him about your staff.” 

The third, a one page letter that is undated, in part: “Address here is E. Hemingway, c/o Captain George D. Kreidt, 1437 S.W. 5th Street, Miami, he brings mail on pilot boat once a week. Just got Mary’s letter last night. Don’t be afraid to cash this check as have 438 in bank by latest statement. Also 1000 coming in on July 1.” 

The fourth, is a one-page typed letter signed in pencil, “Hemingstein,” undated, in part: “It was swell to hear from you and thanks the hell of a lot for sending me the 100 bucks. I appreciate it like hell and know how damned hard it is to get money together in chunks as big as that. It came in damned handy because have been writing on this novel since last March First and during that time make no dough. Had seventy four bucks in my bank account when got your hundred.” At the conclusion, Hemingway jots down his Cuban address: “Address, Hotel Ambos Mundos, Havana—Cuba.” 

Also includes three letters in another hand (apparently dictated by Hemingway) as well as one unsigned typed letter, frequently referencing loans between the two. 

A young Ernest Hemingway first met the recipient of these letters, Guy Hickok (addressed here as “Gros”) in the early 1920s when they were both acting as foreign correspondents for North American newspapers in Paris. 

Hemingway, working for the Toronto Star, began what would become an enduring friendship with the good-natured Hickok, who was on assignment for the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Hickok even provided the inspiration for Hemingway's short story ‘Che Ti Dice La Patria?’ (collected in Men Without Women, 1927). 

“The correspondence is congenial, unrestrained, and mildly profane, and lends tremendous insight into Hemingway’s life and work,” said Bobby Livingston, Executive VP at RR Auction. 

Among other items to be featured: John F. Kennedy's personal 'victory map' of Cuba used during the Cuban Missile Crisis. The map, in two sheets that feature eight types of sticker symbols applied to the surface, representing Soviet MiG fighter jets, Komar-class missile boats, IL-28 bombers, SS-4 missiles, SSM-Cruise missiles and nuclear storage sites. 

The intelligence represented by this map was supplied by U-2 spy planes, confirming President Kennedy's worst fears of an increasing Soviet military presence just one hundred miles away from the American coast. The map is marked "Secret" in the lower left and upper right corners. A two-page key paperclipped to the upper right corner, headed "MRBM-IRBM Status of Cuban Missiles," dated October 27, 1962, summarizes the Soviet military buildup, listing sites, enumerating number of launchers and missiles, and completion status. In fine condition, with tape stains to edges. 

Accompanied by a detailed letter of provenance, in full: "This ‘victory map’ was given to me about twenty years ago by Robert McNamara, the secretary of defense during the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962. During a meeting at his office, McNamara described for me the pressure President John Kennedy was under from the Joint Chiefs of Staff to order an attack on Soviet targets in Cuba. McNamara said the president pored over this map before deciding to delay the attack.  

The map shows the position of every Soviet missile, bomber and fighter jet and nuclear storage facility in Cuba as of noon on Saturday, October 27, 1962. This was the most dangerous moment of the Cuban Missile Crisis. October 27 was the day the crisis came within hours, even minutes, of triggering a war between the United States and Soviet Union. That morning, a Soviet anti-air missile shot down a U-2 spy plane on a photo reconnaissance mission over Cuba. Many years later, the Cubans claimed Fidel Castro himself pushed the button to fire the missile. 

Later that afternoon, two U.S. destroyers dropped depth charges on a Soviet submarine. At last minute, the Soviet captain surfaced his submarine, his other option being to launch his missiles against the U.S. mainland. When the sun set that evening, McNamara wondered if he'd be alive to see the following Saturday's sunset. Kennedy's ExCom meet three times on this Saturday. The Joint Chiefs of Staff pushed for an air strike against the Soviet missile sites and other targets. Had Kennedy given the order, this map shows the nine Soviet targets U.S. warplanes would have bombed. But overnight, everything changed. 

Relying on a letter from Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev to President Kennedy, Attorney General Robert Kennedy and Soviet ambassador Anatoly Dobrynin hammered out a deal. The Soviets agreed to withdraw their missiles and other offensive weapons in return for the U.S. pledging not to invade Cuba. The U.S. secretly promised to remove obsolete missiles from Turkey. The nine targets on the map became the weapons the U.S. forced out of Cuba. 

When Kennedy presented the map to McNamara, he called it the ‘victory map.’ During my meeting with McNamara, he said this was the only time he ever heard Kennedy say anything that sounded like gloating about how the crisis ended." 

In the annals of the Cold War, no event is more talked about and debated than the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 16, 1962 to October 28, 1962. It is considered the closest the world has ever come to nuclear war. 

This amazing map dates to the penultimate day of the crisis—October 27th, a day that saw an American pilot shot down over Cuba. Had Kennedy given the order to attack, this map shows the nine Soviet targets that American fighters would have bombed. 

Finally, a deal was brokered between Kennedy and Khrushchev (through Robert Kennedy and Anatoly Dobrynin) in which the Soviets would dismantle their missiles and installations in Cuba, in exchange for US removal of missiles from Turkey and a pledge to never invade Cuba. 

“It’s a truly remarkable, museum-quality Kennedy piece,” said Bobby Livingston, Executive VP at RR Auction. 

Also featured is the personal diary of Maud Shaw, the official White House nanny during the Kennedy administration. The diary details the development of Caroline and John Kennedy as infants and toddlers between the years 1957 and 1962. The diary, contains 22 handwritten pages, covers the emergence of teeth, first steps, first words, illnesses, and a detailed record of their nutritional intake. 

The Fine Autographs and Artifacts auction from RR Auction began on March 16 and will conclude on April 11.  More details can be found online at www.rrauction.com.

Image: Lot # 175 - John F. Kennedy's 'victory map' used during the Cuban Missile Crisis

 

Lot 65.jpgWestport, CT—An extensive archive of material pertaining to the 1976 hijacking of Air France flight 139 from Tel-Aviv, Israel to Paris - a news story so important it was the inspiration for five movies, including the one currently in theaters titled 7 Days in Entebbe - is up for bid in University Archives’ online-only auction slated for Tuesday, April 10th at 10:30 am Eastern time.

Bidders can view all 254 lots now, and register to bid, at www.UniversityArchives.com. Online bidding is being facilitated by Invaluable.com. The auction is packed with important, scarce and collectible signed documents and other items relating to some of the most important names in all of history. Several archives are in the spotlight due to their rarity, importance and high estimates.

The Entebbe archive comprises thousands of pages in Hebrew, English and French relating to lawsuits filed against Air France. Included are 36 airline tickets, copies of lawsuits, newspaper articles, affidavits and letters (originals and photocopies), plus documents relating to the 1972 Lod Airport massacre that involved terrorists who arrived at the Tel-Aviv airport via Air France.

On June 27, 1976, Air France flight 139 left from Tel-Aviv for Paris with a stopover in Athens. Soon after takeoff from Athens, four terrorists commandeered the flight, diverting it to Libya for refueling. They flew to Entebbe Airport in Uganda where, on June 28th, Ugandan President Idi Amin welcomed them. A list of demands was received on June 29th, calling for the release of 53 convicted terrorists held in Israel and other countries. The incident was a huge worldwide story. 

The hijackers released some of the passengers who did not appear to be Israeli or Jewish and threatened to kill the rest if their demands were not met by July 1st. As a delaying tactic, Israel agreed to negotiate. In the early morning hours of July 4, 1976, an Israeli force of up to 200 soldiers landed at Entebbe and rescued most of the hostages. The terrorists were killed, as were three hostages and one Israeli soldier, the leader of the rescue force, Lt. Col. Yonatan Netanyahu. 

An elderly British passenger, Mrs. Dora Bloch, had been sent to a hospital before the raid; her body was later found. Mrs. Bloch’s airline ticket is included in the archive, the overall condition of which is mostly fine and is worthy of further research. The other four movies that dramatized Operation Entebbe were the American TV films Victory at Entebbe (1976) and Raid on Entebbe (1977); the Israeli movie Operation Thunderbolt (1977); and The Last King of Scotland (2006). 

The rest of the auction is packed with rare and collectible autographed documents, manuscripts, books, photographs and relics. A strong candidate for top lot is a Mohawk Indian land deed dated March 1726, depicting the land marked with hatchets on trees, signed by Hendrick Theyanoguin (“the brave old Hendrick”), a Mohawk leader and member of the Bear Clan. The deed is signed by eight other Mohawk leaders. Included are photos and red wax seals (est. $25,000-$30,000).

Two Rev War-era lots have identical estimates of $12,000-$14,000. One is a book consisting of transcribed letters, including eyewitness accounts from Valley Forge, White Plains, Rhode Island and elsewhere, with an emphasis on military hospitals, carried by Continental Army infantryman Minne Voorhees. The other is a 1785 partly engraved document signed on parchment by George Washington, as “President of the Society of Cincinnati”, housed in a period gilt patriotic frame.

Thomas Jefferson lots include a letter written and signed by the third President from his home in Monticello, dated Sept. 28, 1821, in which he waxes poetic on book collecting and scientific knowledge outside our borders (est. $25,000-$30,000); and a partially printed grant document signed by both Jefferson (as President) and James Madison (as Secretary of State), dated May 6, 1805, awarded to proselytize Indians with a unique hand-drawn plot plan (est. $4,500-$5,500).

A Civil War-era letter written and signed by Brevet Maj. Gen. Robert Anderson, to the Rev. Dr. John McVickar of Cresson Springs, Pa., regarding the re-raising of the American flag at Fort Sumter, dated July 22, 1861, should bring $10,000-$12,000; and a carte de visite photo of Robert E. Lee (1807-1870), signed by the Confederate general (“R.E. Lee”), depicting him in a suit and tie, circa 1866-1870, taken at the studio of Boude & Miley (Va.), is estimated at $3,500-$4,000.

An archive of 14 letters (47 pages total) written and signed by Amos B. Eaton, a West Point graduate who served in the U.S. Army for nearly 50 years, to his wife Elizabeth, from 1832 to 1837, regarding the Black Hawk War and containing pro-Indian content, is expected to realize $8,000-$10,000. Also, an order and envelope from 1865, addressed to Elizabeth Custer, the wife of Gen. George A. Custer, regarding his reassignment to Texas, should command $1,000-$1,200.

A lovely single page manuscript document written and signed by Marie Antoinette, dated May 6, 1785, addressed to the Treasurer General of the Royale, concerning funds “for maintenance and food for several of our officers during the year,” has a pre-sale estimate of $8,000-$10,000; and a charming letter written by U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Marshall, to his wife Mary, dated March 11, 1829, reporting that “business seem to agree with me,” should make $4,000-$5,000.

A letter written and signed by President Abraham Lincoln to the Austrian Emperor Archduke Franz Joseph - a link connecting one later slain world leader to another - with the U.S. seal attached to the envelope, dated Feb. 18, 1864, has an estimate of $7,000-$8,000. Also, Lincoln’s perfect signature on an ornate document, penned just weeks after he issued the Emancipation Proclamation, also signed by Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, should garner $6,000-$7,000.

A bi-fold letter boldly signed by Charles Darwin, dated Nov. 29, 1870, right before his book The Descent of Man, composed to his publisher on behalf of a request by the wife of fellow scientist George Cupples, seeking an application for a government pension, is expected to fetch $7,000-$8,000. Also, an archive of correspondence between the anthropologist and archaeologist Louis Leakey and Birute Galdikas, about orangutan research in Indonesia, should make $3,000-$4,000.

A document signed by President James A. Garfield on Feb. 18, 1881 regarding the appointment of the great-grandson of Moses Austin to replace his father as postmaster of Benham, Texas, rare because Garfield only served as President for four months due to his assassination, should rise to $7,000-$8,000. Also, a first-edition hardcover copy of Big Game Hunting in the Rockies and on the Great Plains (N.Y., 1899) by Theodore Roosevelt, signed by him, should hit $3,500-$4,000.

A rare Schutz-Pass (protective ‘pass’ functioning as a Swedish passport during World War II, in Hungarian, dated Aug. 19, 1944 and initialed by Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, to protect Paul Aschner from wearing the infamous yellow star, is estimated at $7,000-$8,000. Also, Harry Truman’s personally owned St. Christopher medal charm, presented to him on his 65th birthday, engraved on the reverse with “H S T May 8, 1949”, carries a pre-sale estimate of $5,000-$6,000.

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 Tuesday, April 10th online auction, please visit www.universityarchives.com.

Lot 65: Extensive archive of material pertaining to the 1976 hijacking of Air France flight 139 from Tel-Aviv, Israel to Paris, then diverted to Entebbe (est. $10,000-$12,000).

4-Jefferson copy.jpgNew York—Swann Galleries’ auction of Autographs on March 22 offered a selection of letters, photographs and works by some of history’s greatest game-changers, with communications by founding fathers, letters from artists and writers, and autographs by notable scientists all performing well.

            A selection of correspondence sent by preeminent figures during the Revolutionary War led the sale. An important Letter Signed by Thomas Jefferson to Major-General Nathanael Greene in February 1781, reporting that he has ordered over 1,000 riflemen to join him, exceeded its high estimate to sell for $35,000. A 1778 letter from Commander in Chief George Washington to General James Clinton preparing for the Sullivan-Clinton campaign against the Iroquois reached $25,000.

            Long before the war, a charming letter by John Hancock in 1761 to his brother promises to bring his sister a monkey and requesting a cage of birds be sent to him in London. It was purchased by a collector for $16,200. War was also far from the mind of Benedict Arnold in his 1772 letter providing instructions to the captain of one of his merchant ships ($5,500).

            Autographs by artists of all stripes performed well, with an archive of 28 items by Jean Dubuffet going to an institution for $6,750. Letters by Jacob Lawrence and Hale Woodruff each achieved the highest price for his autograph at auction ($1,625 and $2,750, respectively). The first autograph by dancer Vaslav Nijinksy ever offered by Swann reached $6,480.

            Walt Whitman’s final poem, A Thought of Columbus, transcribed from his deathbed by a secretary in 1892 and featuring his holograph notations and corrections was purchased by a collector for $20,000. An important letter by Charles Dickens to Lord Robert Grosvenor, 1838, that provides insight into the author’s process, reached $8,750.

            Correspondence by scientists also performed well, amiable contents hinting at the humanity behind the genius. One of the earliest recorded uses of the term “bug” to describe a technological mishap, a term coined by Thomas Edison, appears in an 1878 letter to Western Union President William Orton, which sold for $12,500.

            The next auction of Autographs at Swann Galleries will be Revolutionary & Presidential Americana from the Collection of William Wheeler III on June 21, 2018. The house is currently accepting quality consignments for autumn auctions.

Lot 4: Thomas Jefferson, Letter Signed, to Major-General Nathanael Greene, Richmond, February 1781. Sold March 22, 2018 for $35,000. Courtesy of Swann Auction Galleries.

Dallas, TX - American artist Patrick Nagel’s Joanna (est. $60,000-80,000) is expected to vie for top-lot honors at Heritage Auctions’ Illustration Art Auction April 24 in Dallas.

“The work of Patrick Nagel is extremely popular with collectors,” Heritage Auctions Senior Vice President for Fine & Decorative Arts Ed Jaster said. “He is a major reason why Heritage remains the No. 1 house for hard-to-source artworks from the peak of popular culture."

A 25-by-27-inch acrylic on canvas, and signed in the lower right corner by the artist, Joanna is offered just six months after his Bold sold for a record $200,000. This image of former actress Joanna Cassidy, is one of the most popular by the artist who was known for balancing erotic, evocative images with unwavering respect for women. Nagel was one of the country’s most successful artists before he died in 1984, when he was just 38 years old.

Joanna is not the only work by Nagel expected to spark major interest among collectors. Another highlight by the artist is his 1983 Nude on Back with Black Stockings (est. $50,000-70,000). The 27-by-47-inch acrylic on canvas is signed and dated in the lower right corner. The image marries Nagel’s erotic flair with his signature classic graphic work that is reminiscent of eras gone by.

Gil Elvgren’s 1967 Ruffled Feathers (est. $45,000-60,000) is a 30-by-24-inch oil on canvas from one of the most important pin-up artists of the 20th century. An artist who combined his pin-up painting with images for advertising and illustration, Elvgren preferred the girl-next-door type over traditional models. This painting also was reproduced as Figure 519 in Gil Elvgren - All His Glamorous American Pin-Ups by Charles G. Martignette and Louis K. Meisel.

Margaret Brundage A Rival from the Grave, Weird Tales magazine cover, January 1936 (est. $30,000-50,000), in pastel and mixed media on board, originally comes from the estate of John McLaughlin. The cover scene for Seabury Quinn’s A Rival from the Grave is perhaps the most well-known image by Brundage, whose iconic Weird Tales covers are exceedingly rare.

The 416-lot auction also includes a series of images by images by Peruvian pin-up artist Alberto Vargas whose paintings have been featured in publications like Esquire and Playboy to movie posters such as the 1933 Sin of Nora Moran and album covers for artists ranging from Bernadette Peters (Bernadette Peters, 1980, and Now Playing, 1981) to The Cars (Candy-O, 1979). The Vargas lot with the highest pre-auction estimate is Alberto Vargas Martini Time (est. $30,000-50,000) is a watercolor and pencil on paper that measures 27 by 20 inches.

Other Vargas lots in the auction include:

·       Alberto Vargas Nude with Phone (Jeanne Dean) (est. $20,000-30,000)

·       Alberto Vargas Nude with Shoe (Jeanne Dean) (est. $20,000-30,000)

·       Alberto Vargas Marlene Dietrich (est. $20,000-30,000)

·       Alberto Vargas Nude (est. $15,000-25,000)

·       Alberto Vargas Soft Beauty, 1927 (est. $8,000-12,000)

Other top lots in the sale include, but are not limited to:

·       LeRoy Neiman Art Paul, 1961 (est. $15,000-25,000)

·       Gil Elvgren’s 1975 Girl on Bicycle, NAPA Auto Parts advertisement (est. $10,000-15,000)

·       Hugh Joseph Ward Somebody Stole My Gal, Private Detective pulp magazine cover, April 1944 (est. $8,000-12,000)

·       Greg Hildebrandt’s Fill Her Up (est. $8,000-12,000)

 The Bell Jar First Edition Signed and Dated 1962 copy.jpgSylvia Plath’s own signed, pre-publication copy of The Bell Jar was top lot at the Bonhams Fine Books and Manuscripts Sale today, 21 March, realised £87,500. The sale, which included the Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes collection, achieved a total of £1,572,325 with an impressive 87% sold by lot and 90% sold by value.

The book is inscribed and dated "Sylvia Plath/23 Fitzroy Road/London NW1/Christmas 1962". A second copy of the novel - an uncorrected proof - sold for £75,000. The typewriter on which she wrote The Bell Jar, her only published novel, sold for £32,500.

Works by Ted Hughes also performed well in the sale. The first American edition of The Hawk in the Rain bearing his inscription to Plath “because the book belongs to you just as surely as all my love does,” sold for £28,750 after having been estimated at £10,000 - 15,000 and a first edition of Lupercal, an author’s presentation copy also inscribed by Hughes to Plath realized £15,625.

Further highlights of the collection included:

  • Sylvia Plath’s Roget’s thesaurus, with upwards of 1000 words underlined (£13,750)
  • A first edition of Sylvia Plath’s Ariel, a presentation copy from Ted Hughes to his Parents, inscribed ‘To Mam & Dad with love Ted.’ (£11,250)
  • Autograph manuscripts of 23 bird poems in one volume, A Bundle of Birds, inscribed by Hughes 'to Olwyn' (£11,875)

Bonhams Head of Fine Books and Manuscripts, Matthew Haley, commented: 'This collection provides a unique insight into the depth of the Hughes-Plath creative relationship, especially in the early years of their marriage. The high prices achieved for lots such as Plath's personal copy of The Bell Jar and the books bearing intimate inscriptions between the pair are testament to the longstanding impact that both writers had on the world of literature.'

Swann Paine.jpgNew York—Swann Galleries’ Thursday, April 12, auction of Printed & Manuscript Americana illustrates the many facets of American history, from the records of a sixteenth-century Mexican silver mine, to the diary of a Colorado sheep herder in the Wild West, to photos of JFK.

The fifth known surviving example of the first edition of Thomas Paine’s American Crisis, recently rediscovered in Utah, leads the auction with an estimate of $50,000 to $75,000. The rousing pamphlet, which begins “These are the times that try men’s souls,” is credited with galvanizing the American forces and turning the tide of the Revolutionary War. This will be the first time the first state has been offered at auction since 1955. The book was likely brought to Utah by Mormons in the nineteenth century.

Mormons are additionally represented in the auction with scarce and unusual records of their plight. A first edition of the Nauvoo Neighbor Extra containing the first account of the 1844 murder of Joseph and Hyrum Smith will be the first to appear at auction since 1966. The broadside, valued at $50,000 to $75,000, has been called “the first official Mormon statement on the tragedy.” A first edition Book of Mormon, 1830, and a $1 banknote issued by the Kirtland Safety Society Anti-Banking Co., 1837, will also be offered ($40,000 to $60,000 and $2,500 to $3,500, respectively). 

The sale features an extensive section of Latin Americana, including 13 examples of fine Mexican incunables (pre-1600 and printed in the New World) and a wealth of printed and manuscript material in Nahuatl, the Aztec language. Exemplifying the selection of Nahuatl material is a sammelband of two rare second-edition Mexican imprints showing parallel text in Spanish and Nahuatl of Alonso de Molina’s Confessionario mayor, en la lengua mexicana y castellana, 1578, and Confessionario breve, en la lengua mexicana y castellana, 1577, only seen once at auction since 1966 ($20,000 to $30,000). Also by Molina is Aquí comiença un vocabulario en la lengua Castellana y Mexicana, 1555 ($10,000 to $15,000).

The selection of Mexican incunabula includes Alonso de la Vera Cruz’s Dialectica resolutio cum textu Aristotelis, 1554, is the first printing of Aristotle—or any classical author—in the western hemisphere ($40,000 to $60,000). Another highlight is the first edition of Bartholomé de Ledesma’s De septem novae legis sacramentis summarium, 1566, explaining seven sacraments for use in the Mexican church, with several decorative elements, estimated at $50,000 to $75,000.

Both the first and unauthorized editions of Alexander Hamilton’s Observations on Certain Documents. . ., in which he admits to having an affair, will be offered. The first, published in 1797, was largely suppressed by his family; the unauthorized second edition was published three years later by political opponents ($12,000 to $18,000 and $10,000 to $15,000, respectively).

A scarce Pony Express Bible, supplied by the Russell, Majors & Waddell freight firm, provides unusual insight into the lives of the riders. An inscription reads, in part: “This book was presented to our company and was carried with us across the plains of Nebraska to Fort Laramie during the summer of 1859.” The inscription demonstrates that a single Bible was issued to a group of riders for their shared use-and that they valued the gift enough to draw lots for it when their joint service ended ($7,000 to $10,000).

Revealing manuscript material includes the diary of Charles Carr, a Colorado sheep herder living large on the plains of the Wild West from 1871-76 ($5,000 to $7,500), and an 1864-65 archive of drawings and letters by Thomas Belknap, a Union marine on the USS Octorara describing his activities and wishes, including a close encounter with a torpedo boat, which carries an estimate of $6,000 to $9,000. Other manuscript records include a bound record for a  Mexican silver mine, 1567-77; a pigeon racing enthusiast’s papers, 1921-45, and the account book of physician George Huntington, 1874-77. 

An unusual highlight neither printed nor manuscript is a cypress branch cut by General Lafayette at George Washington’s tomb in the 1820s, attractively framed shortly thereafter and with remarkable provenance tracing through Lafayette’s great-great grandson, with an estimate of $5,000 to $7,500.

Sixteen binders of photographs of John F. Kennedy from the estate of his official photographer Cecil Stoughton carry an estimate of $5,000 to $7,000. Also by Stoughton, the only known photograph of the President and Marilyn Monroe, valued at $2,500 to $3,500.

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

Image: Lot 19: Thomas Paine, The American Crisis, Parts I & II, first separate edition, first state, Philadelphia, 1776-77. Estimate $50,000 to $75,000.

177.jpgFalls Church, VA - Rare books, manuscripts, maps, autographs, prints, photographs and ephemera spanning several centuries are up for bid in a catalog auction slated for this Thursday, March 22, by the Waverly Rare Books division of Quinn’s Auction Galleries. Bidding will be available by phone, online and in person at Quinn’s gallery at 360 South Washington Street in Falls Church, starting at 6 p.m. Eastern time.

Interested collectors can view all 413 lots in the online catalog now, and bid absentee or live via the Internet through LiveAuctioneers.com. Expected top lots include a letter written by Alexander Hamilton, a book depicting artworks by Louis C. Tiffany and hand-signed by Tiffany, a double-page map of Chesapeake, Va. (circa 1630-1663), and a painting by Sir Alexander Allen.

The letter by Hamilton, from 1794, is a handwritten and signed military request for wagons during the Whiskey Rebellion, a violent uprising that occurred mainly in western Pennsylvania in response to a federal tax on whiskey production. The letter has an estimate of $6,000-$9,000. The money will go toward restoration work being performed on the Hill House Museum in Pennsylvania.

A professional appraiser has authenticated the letter, as well as Hamilton’s signature. A spokesman for the Portsmouth Historical Association, involved in the restoration effort, said he hoped the letter would bring $11,000 or more, although around $100,000 is required to complete the entire project. The Hill House Museum has been a historical fixture near Portsmouth’s waterfront since the 1800s.

As important as it is, the Hamilton letter is not even the sale’s top-estimated item. That honor goes to a two-volume set of books being sold as one lot, titled Bucaniers of America, est. $7,500-$10,000. The unabridged first edition provides an account in English of the pirates and buccaneers of the New World. It includes engraved plates, folding maps and illustrations within the text. They were printed in London, England, in 1684.

The book titled The Art Work of Louis C. Tiffany, signed by Tiffany himself, was printed in 1914 and carries a pre-sale estimate of $2,000-$4,000. It is one of only 502 issued, and one of 492 that were printed on Japon vellum (numbered 354). The book boasts 21 tipped-in color plates and 42 photogravures with lettered tissue guards. The book was published by Doubleday, New York.

The pencil, pen, gray ink and watercolor painting by British artist Sir Alexander Allan (1764-1820), depicting a Sepoy (native) military train crossing a river ford, probably the 13th Madras Native Infantry attachment used in the Mysore Campaign, should fetch $1,000-$2,000. The work was painted around the 1790s and measures 20¾ inches by 16¼ inches, including the frame.

Baby boomers may recall Roald Dahl’s children’s book from 1961 titled James and the Giant Peach (Alfred A. Knopf, N.Y.). A first issue copy of the book is in the auction and carries a pre-sale estimate of $300-$500. The dust jacket reveals the book’s original cost at the time as $3.95. 

A 19th-century colonial-era English School oil-on-canvas painting of an Indian or Middle Eastern man in a red-orange turban and blue jacket, wearing slippers and holding a pipe, should realize $200-$300. The undated and unsigned painting measures 23 inches by 29 inches in the frame.

An archive of letters and documents pertaining to Laszlo Biro, mostly on carbon paper, related to Biro’s effort to patent what eventually became the first commercially successful ballpoint pen, is estimated at $100-$200. The early 1940s trove features over 60 leaves, four photos and two pens.

The brilliantly rendered double-page map of Chesapeake, Va., and its surroundings (oriented to the west) is titled Nova Virginiae Tabula (circa 1630-1663) and could reach a winning bid of $800-$1,200. The map was based on Capt. John Smith’s map of Virginia, with continuations along the coastline. The plate was originally engraved by Jodocus Hondius, Jr., and was revised by Bleau circa 1629. 

A two-volume set of books chronicling Capt. James Cook’s voyages to the South Pole and elsewhere around the world, printed in London in 1777 for W. Strahan and T. Cadell, is expected to garner $4,500-$6,500. The books, describing Cook’s exploits aboard His Majesty’s ships the Resolution and Adventure (1772-1775), have 50 engraved plates, 13 maps and six folding charts.

A rare and fragile copy of the book 7 Manifestes Dada by Tristan Tzara (1896-1963), signed and inscribed by Tzara in Oct. 1924 to Jacques Riviere (a major force in French intellectual life after World War I), is expected to sell for $2,000-$4,000. The book, in a custom blue half leather and cloth clamshell case, is in very good condition. It was printed in Paris by Editions du Diorama.

Previews are presently underway, at Waverly Rare Books’ gallery in northern Virginia, and will continue through auction day, Thursday, March 22, from 10 a.m. until 6 pm Eastern time. 

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

For additional information, visit www.quinnsauction.com

Image: The Art Work of Louis C. Tiffany, signed by Tiffany himself, printed in 1914, one of only 502 issued and one of 492 that were printed on Japon vellum, numbered 354. Est. $2,000-$4,000. Waverly Rare Books image.

Bond Thunder copy.jpgDallas, TX - One of the rarest James Bond movie posters ever made - an advance British quad for Thunderball - may sell for $10,000 among a large collection of Bond-related paper and screen-used movie props in Heritage Auctions’ April 7-8 Movie Poster Auction. The sale offers almost every Bond quad poster produced up until today, said Grey Smith, Director of Posters at Heritage. 

“Theater owners were actually instructed to cut the advance quads for Thunderball into four sections,” Smith said. “This makes the example in our auction one of only a small number of copies left uncut.”

Each measuring 30 inches by 40 inches, quad posters are produced exclusively for British theaters and moviegoers. In creating the quad from Dr. No (United Artists, 1962) - the very first James Bond movie -  artist Mitchell Hooks and designer David Chasman capture actor Sean Connery’s debonair spy in mid-wink against a bright yellow background (est. $6,000-12,000).

A scarce, country-of-origin quad for From Russia with Love (United Artists, 1964) depicts what is arguably the best and most iconic image from the film thanks to artwork by Renato Fratini and Eric Pulford (est. $5,000-10,000). Featuring a gold-dipped Shirley Eaton superimposed over Bond (Sean Connery), the Style A quad for Goldfinger (United Artists, 1964) is perhaps one of the most desirable posters from the franchise’s 26 movies, Smith said (est. $5,000-10,000). 

British quads for later Bond films include Die Another Day (MGM, 2002), Quantum of Solace (MGM, 2008) and Skyfall (MGM, 2012).

The auction’s selection of classic Bond posters from the American market includes:

·         An extraordinary six sheet for Goldfinger (United Artists, 1964) - measuring a massive 78-1/4 inches by 80-3/4 inches, no American movie poster for a James Bond film is more rare than this piece of large-format paper (est. $12,000-24,000)

·         A six sheet for Thunderball (United Artists, 1965), the fourth Bond film (est. $2,000-4,000)

·         An astounding 24 sheet for Goldfinger, perhaps the best poster available on what most consider to be the seminal James Bond film ($2,000-4,000)

The auction’s extensive Bond offerings features two, screen-used “nacre” style poker plaques seen in the franchise reboot Casino Royale (MGM, 2006). A pearlescent red plaque in the denomination of $500,000 (est. $2,000-4,000) and a $1 million blue plaque (est. $2,000-4,000) were made uniquely for the poker scenes in which 007 beats Le Chiffre (played by actor Mads Mikkelsen), culminating in one final pot of $115 million. Just 125 poker plaques of each color were commissioned by EON Productions from Bourgogne et Grasset, the French casino chip manufacturers founded in 1923.

Heritage Auctions’ April 7-8 Movie Poster Auction also features the only-remaining Belgian poster for The Mummy (Universal, 1933), estimated to sell for $60,0000, a beastly, 47-inch-tall Swedish poster for King Kong (RKO, 1933), estimated at $25,000 and an elusive Argentinean poster from the iconic vampire film London After Midnight (MGM, 1927), which may bring $30,000.

145-Hopper copy.jpgNew York—Swann Galleries’ auction of 19th & 20th Century Prints & Drawings on March 13 offered an especially grand selection of original works by some of the greatest artists of the last 200 years. Works by Martin Lewis and Diego Rivera achieved new auction records, and many of the top lots were won by collectors.

            Leading the sale was an important early etching by Edward Hopper. House by a River, 1919, was one of the artist’s first forays into the themes of modern isolation that would define his oeuvre. The house depicted still stands in Nyack, NY, just a short walk from the artist’s birthplace. It was purchased by a collector for $100,000.

            Pablo Picasso was well represented in the sale by a fine selection of prints and ceramics. These were led by the masterful lithograph La Colombe, 1949, at $67,500. Another lithograph, Téte de jeune femme, 1947, reached a record $50,000. A partially glazed terre de faïence pitcher titled Flower Women, 1948, was purchased by a collector for $27,000. 

            Setting the sale apart was a selection of original drawings: a charming pencil sketch on blue paper by Claude Monet, at just 16 years old, of a cottage in Gainneville sold to a collector for $30,000. An elegant pencil drawing by Amadeo Modigliani, Femme nue, trois quarts, debout, circa 1915, reached $50,000, while Francis Picabia’s Sans Titre (Transparence), circa 1930s, sold for $40,000, above a high estimate of $15,000. A drawing in crayon by Picasso, Profil d’Homme Vert, 1956, exceeded its high estimate to sell for $17,500.

            Works by Diego Rivera led a robust section of Latin American art, featuring each of his three most important lithographs. The 1932 El sueño (La noche de los pobres) sold for a record $40,000. Zapata, 1932, and Frutos de la Escuela, 1932, also performed well ($32,500 and $27,500, respectively). A charming ink and wash painting of a Niña sentada doubled its high estimate to sell for $30,000 to a collector.

            New York Nocturne, circa 1930, an extremely rare charcoal drawing by Martin Lewis, more than tripled its high estimate to sell for $47,500 to a collector. The iconic drypoint Bedford Street Gang, 1935, sold for $25,000, a record for the work. Swann currently holds the record for any work by the artist.

            The important Benton Spruance lithograph Riders of the Apocalypse, 1943, warning of the destructive tendencies of modern man, was purchased by a collector for $27,500.

            Todd Weyman, Vice President of Swann and Director of Prints & Drawings, said of the sale, “The market for nineteenth- and twentieth-century works continues to expand, as it appeals to both seasoned collectors and those who are newly entering the market. Works by American artists continue to impress, with outstanding results for Hopper, Lewis and Spruance. The growth of the Latin American market has been exceptional, with record-setting prices for Rivera, and promising results for artists new to Swann, like Oscar Niemeyer and Romeo Tabuena.”

            The next auction of Prints & Drawings at Swann Galleries will be Old Master Through Modern Prints on May 8, 2018. The house is currently accepting quality consignments for autumn auctions.

Image: Lot 145: Edward Hopper, House by a River, etching, 1919. Sold March 13, 2018 for $100,000.

 

voice of truth.jpgPBA Galleries will offer The Voice of Truth by Mormon founder Joseph Smith and two early letters written by civil rights leader Martin Luther King on Thursday, March 22nd. In addition, the Americana, Travel & Exploration, World History and Cartography sale will include over 400 lots of rare and collectible material, with printed books, original letters, diaries and other manuscript items, photographs, ephemera, maps, views and more. There will be key pieces on the history of the United States and the Americas, revealing the political, economic, social and cultural evolution of the New World. Travels to the far reaches of the world are also present; from the frozen lands of Antarctica to the torrid deserts and jungles of Africa. And the accumulation of geographic and cartographic knowledge over the centuries is demonstrated by a selection of maps from the 16th through 20th centuries.

The exceedingly rare The Voice of Truth contains correspondence between Joseph Smith, the founder of the Church of Latter Day Saints, and General James Arlington Bennett, John C. Calhoun, and Henry Clay as well as an appeal to the Green Mountain Boys of Vermont. In these letters, Smith seeks retribution for the 1838 Missouri Mormon War to no avail. This first edition, printed by John Taylor in Nauvoo, Illinois, also contains Smith’s final sermon, the King Follett discourse from April 7, 1844, less than three months before his death. The discourse is notable in its controversial suggestion that God was once a mortal and that mortals can become gods (Estimate: $30,000-$50,000).

The two early letters from Martin Luther King date from his time at Boston University where he studied in the University’s School of Theology. The first letter, typewritten in Atlanta, asks Dean Charles Alter for his assistance in locating living accommodations near campus. The second letter is a handwritten petition on a Boston University form and requests additional class hours towards his graduate degree which he received in 1955. These are rare and unique glimpses into the education of the great Civil Rights leader (Estimate: $20,000-$30,000).

Highlights from the travel section of the sale include Pen Sketches of Los Angeles, 1896, with sketches and photographs of the growing metropolis, a superb historical record of the economic and industrial history of Los Angeles (Estimate: $3,000-$5,000); a bound volume of 18th & 19th century engravings of Italy, including the rare "Téâtro prospetico fabriche più considerabili della città di Padova" which features topography, public buildings, streets, squares and other areas of interest of Padua, and, of which, only two copies are recorded (Estimate: $2,000-$3,000); and a superb album of albumen photographs of Egypt, with Cairo street scenes, pyramids, temples & the sphinx, Aswan & the Nile, plus some of Greek ruins many of which are captioned by hand (Estimate: $2,000-$3,000).

The world map, Typus Orbis Terrarum by Abraham Ortelius, was the first world map included in his famed atlas, beginning in 1570 and continuing through sixteen editions. It a simplified one-sheet reduction of the large world map by Gerard Mercator which appeared the year before (Estimate: $6,000-$9,000). Also featured in the sale is Sebastien Münster’s influential woodcut map of the Americas, 1545, which was crucial in establishing the name “America” to the newly discovered continents (Estimate: $4,000-$6,000) and the rare two-volume Philadelphia edition of Alexander Mackenzie’s Voyages from Montreal… to the Frozen and Pacific Oceans, with three important maps (Estimate: $2,000-$3,000).

The sale will begin at 11:00 am Pacific Time and the public may preview the auction Monday, March 19th, 1-5pm, Tuesday and Wednesday, March 20th and 21st, 9am-5pm and on Thursday, March 22nd, 9-11am at PBA Galleries in San Francisco. For more information, please contact the galleries at (415) 989-2665 or pba@pbagalleries.com.

Screen Shot 2018-03-14 at 12.56.08 PM.pngLondon-Christie’s will present Einstein and Family: Letters and Portraits, an online sale open for bidding from 2 to 9 May 2018.

Albert Einstein’s younger sister, Maja Winteler-Einstein (1881-1951), is our main witness to Einstein’s childhood and youth. His confidante in adulthood, she fled Europe in 1939 to join her brother in Princeton, and lived out her last years with him after a stroke prevented her return. Drawn from Maja’s archive, and that of her husband, Paul Winteler, the letters,  postcards and photographs in this sale, many unpublished, shed new light on the extraordinary life and complex character of the 20th century’s most famous scientist. 

The collection includes a remarkable group of documents from Einstein’s early years, including a previously unseen photograph of the future scientist as a five-year-old (illustrated right, estimate: £4,000-6,000) and the only surviving letter from Einstein to his father (estimate: £2,500-3,500).

Further insights into Einstein’s life reveal the difficult relations with his first wife, his delight in the natural wonders of America and delves into his hobbies of sailing, playing the violin and reading his favourite books. 

The sale will also present a letter written to Maja by Einstein and his second wife, Elsa, immediately after they learned of the Nazi confiscation of their property in Germany (estimate: £1,200-1,800). Further documents within the sale showcase Einstein’s confidence in the value of science in an uncertain time of Nazi oppression, including a letter stating ‘The only unshakeable things are the stars and mathematics’ (estimate: £4,000-6,000).

The letters and photographs will be on view to the public at Christie’s London from 18 to 20 April, before the online sale opens for bidding from 2 to 9 May 2018. Estimates range from £500 to £15,000.

Image: Albert Einstein (1879-1955) Portrait photograph, Munich, [c.1884], by Joseph Albert (1825-1886). Estimate: £4,000-6,000.

230-Sidney-lg copy.jpgNew York—On March 8, Swann Galleries held an auction of Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books, coinciding with the opening of Rare Book Week in New York City. With 94% of offered lots sold, the sale exceeded its high estimate by more than $200,000, indicating a healthy market for early printed material.

            The paramount performance of the auction was due in large part to an Elizabethan literary critique with a complicated publication history: Sir Philip Sidney’s influential treatise The Defence of Poesie first appeared in 1595 in two editions set from different manuscripts. Two parties fought for the right to publish it: William Ponsonby was granted the publication rights first, but Henry Olney managed to publish an unauthorized first edition as An Apologie for Poetrie. Ponsonby published the authorized edition as The Defence of Poesie. In the same year, he also took over unsold copies of Olney's version and replaced the title page with his own. Offered in the sale was one of the extremely rare crossovers of the Olney copy with the title page replaced, making it a remainder issue of the unauthorized first edition. Very few copies of this hybrid edition are known to be in institutional collections. Widespread interest drove the bidding past the conservative pre-sale high estimate of $9,000. It ultimately sold to an institution for $149,000, a record for the work.

            Early Spanish books pervaded each category of the auction. Among these, the earliest surviving manual of chess, Luis de Lucena’s Arte de Ajedres, circa 1496-97, which introduced a new mode of play still in use today, quadrupled its high estimate of $15,000 to sell to a collector for $68,750, a record for the work.

            A remarkable selection of medieval guides to astronomy performed well overall. Highlights included Julián Gutiérrez’s De computatione dierum criticarum, 1495, which provides insights into the most astrologically auspicious days affecting the progression of an illness. A copy of the only edition was purchased by an institution for $30,000. The first illustrated edition of Poeticon Astronomicon, 1482, by Caius Julius Hyginus, contains the earliest printed depictions of the constellations, and sold for $17,500.

            Manuscripts were led by Pedro de Gracia Dei’s Blasón General y Nobleza del Universo, a circa 1500 copy of a substantial portion of his 1489 Coria original edition of the same name. The Spanish book, containing 41 drawings in color based on the printed version, tripled its estimate to sell for $23,750. An early sixteenth-century Flemish illuminated Book of Hours in Latin on vellum, with six full-page borders filled with flowers, birds, animals and insects in colors on a gold leaf background, reached $15,000.

            The next auction of Books at Swann Galleries will be Fine Illustrated Books & Graphics on April 26, 2018. The house is currently accepting quality consignments for autumn auctions.

Image: Lot 230: Sir Philip Sidney, The Defence of Poesie, unauthorized first edition, London, 1595. Sold March 8, 2018 for $149,000, a record for the work.

gmhgbmgoofcoogjk.jpgNew York—Swann Galleries’ auction of Printed & Manuscript African Americana on Thursday, March 29 sheds light on some of the darker moments in American history and provides crucial context for cultural sea changes, from abolition to the Civil Rights Movement.

Setting the auction apart is a selection of documents concerning named individuals who are too often lost to history. First-person accounts of enslaved people rarely appear on the market because literacy was uncommon in the community. An archive of 1842-45 letters revealing multiple perspectives regarding a single incident includes a letter by Gabriel Johnson, a man enslaved at Mount Vernon, declaring that he would not be whipped by anyone but his own master. It is addressed to John Augustine Washington and is believed to be the only extant letter written from the infamous Bruin’s Slave Jail in Alexandria, VA, and was dictated to Henry P. Hill ($12,000 to $18,000). An 1854 letter by Moses Walker to his mother, enslaved on another plantation, describes his living conditions and the recent birth—and death—of his child; it carries an estimate of $12,000 to $18,000.Also available is an archive of letters, 1791-1800, by members of the Washington Abolition Society concerning the kidnapping of a freed man named John Davis, who was forcibly brought from his adopted home in Pennsylvania to a plantation in Virginia. The case led to the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1793 ($10,000 to $15,000). The first letter by David Ruggles to come to auction urges the establishment of a Committee of Vigilance in Syracuse, NY to aid fugitives on the Underground Railroad. The organization would contribute to central New York’s role as a major hub on the path to freedom. The 1838 manuscript letter carries an estimate of $6,000 to $9,000.

200 years after his birth, a rich selection of material relating to Frederick Douglass is a testament to his legacy. Six letters by the abolitionist to his friend Ebenezer Bassett during his 1890-91 tenure as consul-general to Haiti, concerning race relations and his fatigue, among other things, are together expected to bring $10,000 to $15,000. Another highlight is a signed cabinet card featuring the photograph used as the frontispiece of his third autobiography, circa 1879 ($10,000 to $15,000). The only known complete copy of the Farewell Song of Frederick Douglass, on Quitting England for America, 1847, by Julia and T. Powis Griffiths, makes its first appearance at auction, with an estimate of $5,000 to $7,500. Also available is an 1848 issue of The North Star ($8,000 to $12,000) and various letters.

Unusual offerings include a pair of patriotic slippers said to be made by legendary seamstress Elizabeth Keckley in 1865 for cabinet member Gideon Welles, carrying an estimate of $10,000 to $15,000.

An autograph letter signed by Malcolm X in 1950 bears one of the earliest examples of his usage of that moniker. Written to Elijah Mohammed of the Nation of Island, the missive reveals his early enthusiasm and curiosity for Islam ($20,000 to $30,000).

Material from the Civil Rights Movement includes a previously unknown poster for an appearance by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Paris while on a fundraising tour for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1966, estimated at $2,500 to $3,500. As the fiftieth anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination on April 4, 1968 approaches, two Memphis Sanitation Worker’s strike placards reading Honor King: End Racism! remain relevant.

A possibly unique album of aerial photographs of the historic march on Montgomery, taken by the Imagery Interpretation Section of the 11th Air Assault Division, the army unit tasked with protecting the marchers, shows final preparations in place the day before the march in addition to images of the marchers ($3,000 to $4,000).

New findings clarify information behind iconic portraits of Black Panther co-founder Huey P. Newton. A poster of the famous image of Newton in a wicker peacock chair is estimated at $4,000 to $6,000—the first signed and inscribed copy ever to come to auction. The date commonly given to the piece, captioned The Racist Dog Policemen Must Withdraw Immediately from our Communities, is 1967 or ‘68; however, another photograph ($500 to $750) of Newton taken in 1967 shows the image behind him, pushing the date of the better-known poster back to 1966-67.

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

Image: Lot 112: The Racist Dog Policemen Must Withdraw Immediately from our Communities, poster of Huey Newton, signed and inscribed, circa 1967. Estimate $4,000 to $6,000.

March17_01_pics.jpgIthaca, NY—National Book Auctions, located in Ithaca, NY, announces the launch of their next auction catalog.    

This catalog features rare, antique and decorative books as well as select additions of ephemera. Featured is a private collection of rare books by celebrated illustrator, J. J. Lankes, along with original engravings and artwork by Lankes. A varied array of first editions will be offered, along with a sizeable collection of original, vintage technical titles published by NASA.                

Antique and rare books are numerous in this catalog. Among the earliest examples are the 1556 printing of Castigione's "Il Libro del Cortegiano," bound in vellum and featuring woodcut initials, Nifo's 1560 treatise on etiquette, "Il Cortigiano del Sessa," and Tacitus' "Annalium et Historiarum," produced in 1576. Additional rare and antique selections relate to travel & exploration, books-on-books, Civil War, theology, polar exploration, children's, decorative antique sets, Easton Press & Derrydale Press bindings, art history and beyond.                        

Several interesting collections will also be showcased. Highlighted is a fine and diverse selection of first editions by authors such as Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway, Charles Dickens, Vita Sackville-West, Rudyard Kipling, Robert Heinlein, Virginia Woolf, Philip Roth and others. Decorative antique sets present the works of notables including Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, Charles Darwin, Sir Walter Scott, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Edgar Allen Poe. Other collections in include NASA publishings relating to extra-terrestrial life, rocket technology, the Mercury and Apollo programs and more, and a nautical history and reference private library.        

Found throughout this catalog are interesting ephemera offerings and many group lots of desirable titles. Featured among the ephemera lots are original engravings and plates by illustrator, J. J. Lankes. Other ephemera lots include early manuscript leaves, a robust antique scrapbook from Goucher College in Baltimore, original 1970's Star Wars trading cards, and more.    

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

Seacrest GG copy.jpgDallas, TX - A private collection of rare, first editions offered in Heritage Auctions’ March 7 Rare Books Auction in New York pushed the sale total to more than $2.1 million, nearly doubling the sale’s estimate. The James C. Seacrest Collection, assembled over decades by a Nebraska publisher and philanthropist, sold for a combined $918,196 and claimed nine of the auction’s 10 most expensive lots.

The Seacrest Collection’s Signed and Inscribed Copy of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby sold for $162,500 - a house record for a 1925 first edition. A signed and dated First Edition, Second Issue, of The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, by Charles Dickens, ended at $45,000 and a 1685 compilation of Mr. William Shakespear's Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies also brought $45,000. All proceeds from the Seacrest Collection will be donated to charity, according to a family representative.

“We attracted many new clients in the market for top-quality first editions - particularly those signed or inscribed by literature’s most respected authors,” said James Gannon, Director of Rare Books at Heritage. “The auction price for the inscribed copy of The Great Gatsby now ranks among the highest ever paid for an inscribed first edition.” 

The auction’s biggest sleeper was Seacrest’s copy of Vladimir Nabokov's 1955 First Edition of Lolita, which soared to $32,500 - more than eight times its pre-auction estimate. A scarce, Presentation Copy of The Catcher in the Rye, featuring a rare inscription by reclusive author J. D. Salinger, sold for $27,500.

An extensive offering of signed modern editions included Gone with the Wind, signed by author Margaret Mitchell, which ended at $21,250 and an 1874 first edition of Friedrich Nietzsche's [Untimely Meditations, Part II], which sold for $22,500. A rather extraordinary two-volume first edition of Count Lyof N. Tolstoi’s War and Peace, inscribed by the author and auctioned along with two autographed letters signed by Tolstoy's secretary, one of which states he was successful in getting an inscription from Tolstoy in English, sold for $22,500.

Additional highlights include: 

·         An inscribed, 1939 first edition of Alcoholics Anonymous, by Bill Wilson, sold for $30,000

·         A first edition of Casino Royale, by Ian Fleming, sold for $23,750

·         An 1845 first edition first printing copy of Tales by Edgar Allan Poe, considered by critics as the first important book of detective fiction, sold for $21,250

·         Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, an 1891 first edition signed by the author, sold for $20,000

RR Marx.jpgAn extremely rare letter written by Karl Marx sold for $53,509 according to Boston-based RR Auction. 

The one-page letter written by Marx from 41 Maitland Park Road in London, dated October 1, 1879, to Collet Dobson Collet. In full: “On my return from the seaside I found your letter d’d 23 September. You will much oblige me by being so kind as to forward me some of the copies of the ‘Revelations,’ as I have none left.” 

The sheet is bright, the writing dark, precise, and easily legible in spite of Marx’s distinctive tiny hand, according to the auction house. 

Marx was a close friend of the Collet family, which included pioneering feminist activist Sophia Dobson Collet, social reformer Clara Collet, and the recipient of this letter, Collet Dobson Collet, the editor of The Free Press: A Diplomatic Review, to which Marx contributed a number of articles. 

The men became good friends and soon held weekly meetings at each other's houses to recite Shakespeare. 

The assembled group, which was formally coined as the Dogberry Club, included Marx's daughter Eleanor and Collet's daughter Clara, as well as Edward Rose, Dollie Radford, Sir Henry Juta, and Frederic Engels. 

The publication to which Marx evidently alludes, ‘Revelations of the Diplomatic History of the 18th Century,’ was originally serialized in the Free Press from August 1856 to April 1857.

"Marx letters are extraordinarily rare and virtually nonexistent outside of institutions—in almost forty years of business, this is the only one we have ever encountered." said Bobby Livingston, Executive VP at RR Auction. 

Highlights from the sale include, but are not limited by:

Mahatma Gandhi signed photograph sold for $41,806.

Leo Tolstoy letter written in 1903 offering editorial advice sold for $21,450.

Claud Monet letter describing the intensity of his artistic process sold for $21,128.

John F. Kennedy signed copy of As We Remember Joe, privately printed. Cambridge, Massachusetts: University Press, 1945 sold for $15,926.

Wolfgang Pauli letter written in 1949 to an eminent American physicist sold for $14,700.

Jean-Paul Sartre portion of a handwritten draft for his autobiographical work Les Motes sold $12,105.

The Fine Autographs and Artifacts auction from RR Auction began on February 17 and concluded on March 7. More details can be found online at www.rrauction.com.

AA mss.jpgLos Angeles—Profiles in History is proud to announce its historic auction will commence. The original typed working manuscript for The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous is back on the auction block. It will be going under the hammer on May 5th in Los Angeles.

A lawsuit commenced by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. (A.A.W.S.) prevented the sale from taking place last year. That lawsuit is now concluded and as part of a settlement a Stipulated Order was entered by the Court which states as follows:

A.A.W.S. irrevocably waives and surrenders any and all rights or claims it has or may have to possession, ownership of, or title to the 1939 "Printer's Copy" also known as the "original working draft" manuscript of Alcoholics Anonymous  (the "Manuscript"), based upon a certain 1979 letter from Barry Leach or otherwise and that Roberts has the right to transfer, auction, or otherwise sell the Manuscript at his sole discretion without being subject to any claim or encumbrance by A.A.W.S.

The 161 typed pages are filled with hand written edits by the founders, some by William Griffith Wilson, aka, Bill W. It belonged to Lois Wilson, Bill's widow. It is one of the best selling books of all time, over 30 million copies have been sold since 1939. It has been translated into 43 languages. The Library of Congress ranks it the number one non-fiction book that shaped America.

In “The Book That Started It All,” a facsimile edition of this manuscript published by Hazelden, an essay succinctly states the extraordinary importance of the present manuscript: “Amid the wealth of literature on Alcoholics Anonymous, you have in your hands the greatest treasure of all, the beginning of it all, the charter of the Fellowship.”

Best-selling AA historian and author, Dr. Ernest Kurtz, said, “Not only is this Manuscript the most important nonfiction manuscript in all history, I consider it right up there with the Magna Carta because of the personal freedom it has provided so many millions of alcoholics!”

It is estimated to sell for $2,000,000 - $3,000,000.

 

197-Mucha copy 1.jpgNew York—Swann Galleries’ auction of Vintage Posters Featuring Highlights from the Gail Chisholm Collection on March 1 offered premier examples of advertising and propaganda from around the world, and broke several auction records. Nicholas D. Lowry, President of Swann and Director of Vintage Posters, announced, “This was our best winter poster auction since 2013, and our third-best winter poster auction of all time.”

A quarter of the auction was devoted to highlights from the collection of Gail Chisholm, renowned dealer and lifelong poster aficionado. Included in the collection was the largest selection of Erik Nitsche’s designers for General Dynamics ever to come to auction. All of the 19 works found buyers, with two achieving new auction records: the French version of Hydrodynamics from the influential Atoms for Peace series 1955, sold for a record $5,500, while General Dynamics / Atoms for Peace, from the same series, was purchased by an institution for $5,250. According to Lowry, “The strength of the Gail Chisholm Collection, which achieved a staggering 87% sell-through rate, seemed to set the tone for the rest of the auction.” In accordance with her wishes, proceeds from the sale of Chisholm’s collection will benefit Planned Parenthood of New York City.

Swann’s winter auctions of Vintage Posters have become the premier destination for scarce and valuable ski resort advertisements. The March 1 sale was no exception, offering a run of historic images, some of which were previously unknown to scholarship. Leading the selection was Alex Diggelmann’s azure Gstaad / Berner Oberland, 1937, at $8,750. Additional Alpine highlights included The Golden Pass Route / Switzerland, 1934, by Edouard Elzingre, which sold for more than twice its high estimate for $7,813, and the English version of Erich Hermès’s Winter in Switzerland, 1936 ($6,250). A previously unrecorded advertisement for Sun Valley, Idaho, circa 1936, showing the world’s first chairlift just after the resort’s opening, sold for $3,750. Lowry said, “We sold 84% of the ski posters we offered—a ‘peak’ that reflects the current buoyancy of the market.”

Paragons of Art Nouveau performed well, with Alphonse Mucha’s suite of four decorative panels of allegories of The Seasons, 1896, leading the sale at $45,000. Another highlight by the master was The Times of the Day / Réverie du Soir, 1899, which reached $10,000. 

Records were achieved by unusual examples of Judaica from both World Wars. The rare Canadian poster The Jews the World Over Love Liberty / Have Fought For It & Will Fight For It, circa 1917, was purchased by an institution for $9,375. An Israeli advertisement for the Auxiliary Territorial Service by the Shamir Brothers, You Can Shorten the Road to Victory, Join the A.T.S., 1943, was also purchased by an institution for the same price.

The next auction of Vintage Posters at Swann Galleries will be Graphic Design on May 3, 2018. The house is currently accepting quality consignments for autumn auctions.

Image: Lot 197: Alphonse Mucha, The Seasons, four decorative panels, 1896. Sold March 1, 2018 for $45,000.

Batman copy.jpgLynbrook, NY - A copy of Detective Comics #29 (July 1939), bought by the consignor at a tag sale for $20, gaveled for $53,675 at a two-day auction held February 14th and 15th by Weiss Auctions, online and in the firm’s Lynbrook gallery, at 74 Merrick Road. The vintage comic book, graded VG/VG-, was an early Batman cover that had the first appearance of Doctor Death.

“It’s a great comic book and scarce at any grade,” said Philip Weiss of the auction’s top lot. “It wasn’t in perfect condition by any means but is still an important addition to any collection. The fact that it was picked up at a tag sale for twenty dollars only added to its cachet. Bidders were not deterred by some loss to the edge to the cover, tanning to the pages and a loose centerfold.”

Bringing nearly as much was a copy of DC Comics Showcase #4 (Oct. 1956), the origin and first appearance of Barry Allen as The Flash. Boasting cover art by legendary illustrators Carmine Infantino (Am., 1925-2013) and Joe Kubert (Polish-Am., 1926-2012), the comic was graded CGC FN+ 6.5, in overall fine condition but with some off-white pages. It commanded $50,850.

The first day of the auction contained nearly 500 lots of sports memorabilia, comics, comic art, animation and more. Day 2 was an estate sale, with close to 500 lots of oil paintings, jewelry, bronzes, porcelain, silver, lighting and more. The top lot from that session was a Tiffany Studios Acorn-style table lamp, 20 inches tall, with a Tiffany-signed base and shade. It sold for $8,750.

About 150 people attended the event in person over the course of the two days, while another 800-1,000 people registered to bid online, via Proxibid.com and Invaluable.com. Thousands of absentee (or left) bids were submitted, and the phones were ringing constantly on auction day. By the time it was over and the last gavel fell on Day 2, the auction had grossed about $750,000.

Following are additional highlights from the auction. All prices quoted include the buyer’s premium.

A nearly complete set (30 of 31 cards) of the U.S. Caramel Presidents cards from 1932, missing Benjamin Harrison but including the rare William McKinley card, changed hands for $23,100. Also, a large photograph of Babe Ruth, 16 ½ inches by 20 inches, showing the Yankee great in a classic home run swing, signed, inscribed and dated (2.29.48) by the Bambino (“To the Golden Strand, Sincerely, Babe Ruth”), made $18,080. The Golden Strand was a resort hotel in Florida.

An oil on canvas painting by Theodore Robinson (Am., 1852-1896), titled On the Seine, artist signed lower left and measuring 22 inches by 15 inches, realized $7,250. The painting, #192 in Robinson’s catalog, was originally offered at auction in 1924 by Keeler Art Galleries. Robinson was close friends with Claude Monet and is best remembered for his impressionist landscapes.

Returning to the comics, original cover art for DC Comics Showcase #102 (July 1978), featuring Hawkman, 12 inches by 17 inches, pulled directly from the estate of its illustrator Joe Kubert and signed by him, went for $14,250. Also, a copy of Marvel’s Incredible Hulk #1, cover art by Jack Kirby, graded CGC 1.5 and featuring the origin and first appearance of The Incredible Hulk, sold for $6,900. The comic was also the first appearance of Rick Jones, Betty Ross and General Ross. 

Weiss Auctions has an auction titled Trains, Trains and More Trains planned for Wednesday, March 21st, in the Lynwood gallery, starting at 10 am Eastern time. Offered will be early Lionel O gauge; Ives and American Flyer O gauge; Lionel post-war boxed sets; and European O and 1 gauge by Marklin, Bing, Carette, KBN and Hornby with live steam, electric and clockwork units. 

Also sold will be Marklin HO trains from the 1960s thru the digital age, many LN with boxes; examples of S Gauge, G Gauge and American HO; articulated steam locos, large diesels and diesel sets; and passenger and freight trains by Lionel, MTH, Weaver & Williams. Add to that tons of accessories, stations and signals, and the sale is a must-attend for toy train enthusiasts.

The next day - Thursday, March 22nd, also in Lynbrook at 10 am - Weiss Auctions will conduct a sale loaded with over 500 lots of toys in all categories, to include toy soldiers with Britains, Mignot, modern soldiers, and more; and diecasts, including Matchbox, Tootsietoy and Dinky.

Also featured will be a collection of mint-on-card Star Wars figures; a collection of Steiff animals, tin litho toys, airplane toys from the Sy Merrall Collection; pressed steel, with boxed Tonka, Structo, Buddy L and Smith Miller; and dolls of all kinds, including Barbie and bisque.

Weiss Auctions is always accepting quality consignments for future auctions. To consign an item, estate or a collection, you may call them at (516) 594-0731; or, you can send an e-mail to Philip Weiss at Phil@WeissAuctions.com. For more information about Weiss Auctions and the auctions slated for March 21st and 22nd visit www.WeissAuctions.com. Updates are posted often.

Image: Copy of Detective Comics #29 (July 1939), graded VG/VG-, an early Batman cover and featuring the first appearance of Doctor Death ($53,675).

CROMWELL (OLIVER) Autograph letter signed copy.jpgThe celebrated letter written 375 years ago by Oliver Cromwell in July 1643, after his first victorious encounter during the English Civil War at the Battle of Gainsborough, is to be offered for sale at Bonhams Fine Books and Manuscripts sale in London on Wednesday 21 March. It is estimated at £20,000-30,000.

Cromwell was a lively correspondent providing vivid, free-flowing pen sketches of the fighting.  From circumstantial evidence, the letter is presumed to have been written to his fellow MP, Sir John Wray and here Cromwell describes for him the moment he first encountered the enemy,” The great body of the enimie advanced, they were within Muskett Shott of us when wee came to the pitch of the Hill, wee advanced likewise towards them and both charged each upon other.” [The great body of the enemy advanced, they were within Musket Shot of us when we came to the pitch of the hill, we advanced likewise towards them and both charged upon each other]. 

After his comprehensive victory in this first skirmish, he tells Wray, “All their force beinge goun, not one man standinge, but all beaten out of the field, we drew up our body together, and kept the field” [All their force being gone, not one man standing, but all beaten out of field, we drew up our body together and kept the field.”]

Elsewhere, Cromwell shows the qualities of leadership and vision for which he became renowned, exhorting Wray to see this success as a sign of God’s favour, to raise a troop of his own and strike while the iron is hot -  “A reasonable strength now raised speedilie, may doe that which much more will not doe after some time.” [A reasonable strength now raised speedily, may do that which much more will not do after some time.]

Bonhams Senior Books and Manuscripts valuer, Simon Roberts said, “This has long been recognised as an important letter, detailing Cromwell’s coming of age as a commander in battle. The experience he gained at Gainsborough made a direct contribution to his victories at the two pivotal battles of Marston Moor and Naseby, which fatally undermined the future effectiveness of the Royalist army, and set Charles I on the long road to the scaffold.”    

Like many Parliamentarians who opposed King Charles I, Cromwell had been preparing for war throughout 1642. With little previous military experience, he nevertheless succeeded in raising a cavalry troop in Cambridgeshire, and by the time the letter was written, Cromwell had begun to forge his troops into the fiercely disciplined Ironsides of legend.

It was at the Battle of Gainsborough in July 1643 that they were, for the first time, to prove their worth. During the encounter, the Parliamentarian cavalry charged successfully, managed to stage an orderly retreat under counter-attack from Royalist troops, and then charge again. This iron discipline under pressure, first seen at Gainsborough, was a key factor in Cromwell’s subsequent success as a military leader.

2018 marks the 360th anniversary of Cromwell’s death in 1658.

Sale: Fine Books and Manuscripts

Location: Bonhams Knightsbridge

Date: Wednesday 21 March at 10.00 am

Specialist: Matthew Haley: Head of Departement Fine Books and Manuscripts

Image: Letter written by Oliver Cromwell after the Battle of Gainsborough, 1643. Estimate £20,000-30,000

PBA Galleries of San Francisco California is excited to announce the return of Mr. Ivan Briggs to their staff as Director of Fine Pens and Comics.  

In 2007 Mr. Briggs moved to Bonhams Auctioneers where he quickly advanced to Senior Specialist and then Director of fine writing instruments. He established himself as a leading worldwide authority on fine pens at auction, with a series of successful previews and sales in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, London, Paris and Hong Kong. Selling over $10,000,000 in fine and rare pens during his nine years, numerous world record prices for pens were realized, including $305,000 for a pair of vintage Namiki Emperor fountain pens in 2015. In his role as premier authority, Mr. Briggs has discussed the pen market with the New York Times, the BBC, Robb Report, the South China Morning Post and numerous other media outlets.

Ivan Briggs also brings a longstanding expertise in comic books to PBA.  As comic book buyer in the 1990s for San Francisco's Green Apple Books, he compiled two highly successful mail-order catalogues for rare comic book material, with emphasis on pre-code horror and crime comics and comic-related hardcover books.  During this time, he sold the original cover for Mad #21 (the first cover appearance of Alfred E. Neuman) for five times the value achieved by Sotheby's for the same piece. In December 2014, Mr. Briggs sold a single-owner collection of comic books and graphic novels for Bonhams, San Francisco, and realized world-record auction results for half a dozen lots (including a final price of $16,250 for a copy of Incredible Hulk #181, that featured the first full appearance of Wolverine, CGC-certified at 9.8).

Mr. Briggs has served as a consultant for the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide, and maintains the world's most extensive collection of vintage comic-related photographs, a number of which have been published by Taschen Books, Kitchen Sink Press and others.  His interest in comics is wide-ranging, with an emphasis on pre-code horror and crime comics (particularly EC), undergrounds (particularly the work of R. Crumb), Golden Age, Silver Age, and original comic art.

Mr. Briggs is excited to bring his expertise to PBA. “I’m eager to work with my network of pen clients around the globe, and to welcome new buyers and sellers into the fold, especially young collectors seeking a more tactile, individual and authentic relationship to the act of writing than is afforded by electronic devices.”

PBA Galleries is a leader in collectible books, maps and works on paper and holds auctions of these every two weeks.  For more information regarding upcoming sales, consignments, or auction results, please contact PBA Galleries at (415) 989-2665 or pba@pbagalleries.com

5-Washington copy.jpgNew York—Swann Galleries will offer an auction of Autographs on Thursday, March 22, featuring vestiges of history spanning the thirteenth to twentieth centuries. Revolutionary Americana makes up a significant portion of the auction’s pre-sale estimate, as do letters by scientists and some of humanity’s greatest luminaries.

Leading the sale is a 1778 letter signed by George Washington, as Commander-in-Chief, to General James Clinton. From his headquarters in Fredericksburg, Virginia, he discusses preparations for the Sullivan Expedition against Loyalists and enemy Iroquois in western New York and Pennsylvania. The letter carries an estimate of $25,000 to $35,000.

Revolutionary Americana continues with a letter signed by Thomas Jefferson as Governor to Major-General Nathanael Greene, reporting on February 17, 1781 that he has ordered more than 1,000 riflemen to join him against the British General Cornwallis ($15,000 to $25,000), and a 1772 letter by the treacherous Benedict Arnold, at $3,000 to $4,000.

The earliest item in the sale is a manuscript charter on vellum by William, the Bishop of Coventry, granting a church to an abbey in Cheshire in 1222, replete with the pendant Episcopal wax seal of William Cornhill, carrying an estimate of $3,500 to $5,000. Another early highlight is a 1470 document signed by Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy to Johann IV of Nassau, at the height of his powers and concerning his ongoing military campaigns across Europe, valued at $3,000 to $4,000. Additional European historical autographs include a letter that mentions the burning of Whitehall in 1689, fifteenth-century vellum legal decrees and various royal missives.

An 1878 letter by Thomas Edison contains an early use of the word “bug” to describe a technical issue, a term he coined: “I did find a ‘bug’ in my apparatus, but it was not in the telephone proper. It was of the genus ‘callbellum.’” The letter, addressed to Western Union President William Orton, explains that there would be a delay in the delivery of his phonograph ($10,000 to $20,000). Additional laboratory notes and correspondence paint a vivid picture of the inventor’s life.

The Edison correspondence complements a characteristically deep selection of autographs by important scientists, among them an extremely scarce autograph letter signed by Wernher von Braun, who played a key role in the space program, about a conversation he had with President John F. Kennedy “on his promise to the American people to land a man on the moon before the year 1970” ($5,000 to $7,500). Signed photographs and drawings of Albert Einstein join letters by the genius on a variety of subjects, and an autograph quotation signed by Oppenheimer to photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt (who took his portrait in Princeton, NJ) rounds out the selection ($1,500 to $2,500).

Correspondence relating to Charles Dickens is led by a letter by the author to Lord Robert Grosvenor, explaining the inspiration for Wackford Squeers and Dotheboys Hall of Nicholas Nickleby, and announcing that Oliver Twist will soon be published ($3,500 to $5,000).

Autographs by cultural luminaries include Letters by Jacob Lawrence and Hale Woodruff to a Miss Esther Krasny, describing their processes and, in the case of the Woodruff letter, with illustrative sketches ($400 to $600 and $800 to $1,200, respectively). Also available is a print by Léon Bakst of Vaslav Nijinsky as the lead in The Afternoon of the Faun, signed by the dancer in 1916, with an estimate of $3,000 to $4,000. A full-length signed photograph of Josephine Baker inscribed to Eubie Blake, the writer of Shuffle Along, the show that launched Baker’s career, carries an estimate of $1,500 to $2,500. A draft of Walt Whitman’s last work, A Thought of Columbus, with his signature and holograph corrections, dates to 1892, and illuminates the poet’s pre-publication process ($20,000 to $30,000).

Curious revelations into the personal lives of some of history’s greatest players include two letters by Louis Armstrong to his lip salve purveyor, 1965 and 1970, signed “Satchmo” and estimated together at $1,500 to $2,500.

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

Image: Lot 5: George Washington, Letter Signed, as Commander in Chief, planning the Sullivan Expedition, “Head Quarters,” Fredericksburg, Virginia, 1778. Estimate $25,000 to $35,000.

1860.jpgYork, PA - After a 50th-anniversary year whose record-setting sales far surpassed all expectations, Hake’s Americana is on track for a blockbuster 2018. A full two weeks ahead of its March 13-15 auction, Hake’s had already recorded more than $1 million in absentee bids, with the numbers flipping rapidly upward with each passing hour. 

“This is unprecedented,” said Hake’s president Alex Winter. “It’s a clear Hake’s indication that rare comic books and blue-chip pop-culture and entertainment memorabilia has a rapidly expanding fan base worldwide. It also tells us that collectors have listened to the experts. They’re going for rarity and the best quality they can afford.” 

A premier example of rarity and quality in one package would be the auction’s headliner: a fresh-to-the-market issue of Detective Comics #27 CGC 5.0 (May 1939) featuring the first appearance of Batman - then known as “The Bat-Man.” It emerged from a recently discovered Golden Age comic book collection whose original owner had purchased all of the comics new off the rack during the 1930s and ’40s. 

“In any collecting category, there are certain items that every collector wants to own. For baseball card collectors, it would likely be a Honus Wagner 1909 T206 card. In the numismatics world, it might be a 1794 Flowing Hair Dollar coin. To comic book collectors, nothing compares to the Golden Age issues that introduce beloved superhero characters,” Winter said. “The top comic book in the eyes of most collectors has always been Action Comics #1 with the first appearance of Superman, but there are fewer copies of Detective 27 in the CGC census - which maintains a global record of all known comic books - than there are copies of Action 1. From that comparison, collectors would immediately recognize the level of rarity. The Detective Comics #27 in our auction is complete, unrestored, and of a grade that may not appear for sale again for many years. When it does, it will likely be at a much higher price point.” Hake’s auction estimate is $500,000-$1 million. 

Another superstar entry is Action Comics #7 CGC 4.0, scarce and important because it marks Superman’s second appearance on a comic book cover and also pre-dates Superman #1. Unrestored and in original condition, this comic book is highly prized in the collecting world. It comes to auction with a $100,000-$200,000 estimate.

Two other comics that are more than worthy of the spotlight are More Fun Comics #52 CGC 3.0, with the first appearance of The Spectre; and Captain America #3 CGC 7.0, featuring Stan Lee’s first work for the publisher Timely. “All of the early Golden Age Captain Americas are getting much harder to find,” Winter noted. The auction estimate for each of the comics is $35,000-$50,000.

In Hake’s November 2017 auction, Part I of the peerless Russell Branton Star Wars collection, containing 60 lots of AFA-graded pieces, commanded nearly $300,000. Many figures set new world auction records. A similar result is expected for the 70 lots in Hake’s March sale. Top entries include a Darth Vader 12 Back-A double-telescoping variant, AFA 70 (EX+), $35,000-$50,000; and a Boba Fett rocket-firing prototype AFA 85 (NM+), $35,000-$50,000, which Winter describes as “one of the most legendary and sought-after figures of all.”

The comprehensive 200-lot selection of coveted original comic book art includes covers, interior pages, Sunday and daily strips; specialty pieces and more. Among the highlights are the original Ron Wilson cover art for Marvel’s Daredevil #111 (July 1974) featuring The Silver Samurai’s debut appearance, and Greg Hildebrandt’s large and impressive acrylic-on-canvas cover art for X-Men variant Death of X #4 (November 2016). This near-mint artwork is professionally framed and, like the Daredevil cover art, is estimated at $10,000-$20,000.

For more than a half-century, Hake’s Americana has distinguished itself as the ultimate source for rare, early political memorabilia. At the core of the March sale, collectors will find nearly 600 specialty lots from which to choose. The auction’s opening lot is an important copper button from George Washington’s 1789 presidential inauguration. Monogrammed with the initials “GW” and the image of a Liberty cap, it is assigned an R-6 rarity, meaning no more than 5 specimens of its type are known. Its pre-sale estimate is $20,000-$35,000. Another historical relic of great rarity - in fact, the only example ever to have surfaced - is an 1860 cloth campaign banner touting Abraham Lincoln and his running mate Hannibal Hamlin. It bears the image of a spread-winged American eagle, with the written call for “Liberty & Union!” Estimate: $10,000-$20,000

A fantastic array of 200 movie posters and lobby cards focuses on horror, sci-fi and other favorite films of the 1950s/’60s. There are some real gems, like the 14 x 36-inch insert posters for the original 1958 release of Attack of the 50 Ft. Woman and the 1951 classic The Day The Earth Stood Still. Each is estimated at $2,000-$5,000. 

One of the fastest-growing categories in Hake’s pop-culture stable is concert posters. Approximately 100 lots of 1950s/’60s-era posters will be offered, with many depicting influential jazz and rock stars. The two standouts within the grouping advertise legendary soul music acts Ike and Tina Turner (July 4, 1963), $5,000-$10,000; and the immortal Otis Redding (June 26, 1966), $10,000-$20,000.

Not to be missed is the outstanding selection of James Bond memorabilia, including movie posters and classic toys of the 1960s; as well as an elusive 1966 Ideal Official Batman Play Set in the manufacturer’s original windowpane box, $10,000-$20,000.

Hake’s Americana Auction #223 has opened for bidding by phone, mail or online at hakes.com. The first session will close on March 13, 2018, while the second session will conclude on March 15. March 14 is an interim day in which bidders can peruse the catalog and prepare for further bidding. To request a free printed catalog or for additional information on any item in the sale, call toll-free: 866-404-9800 or 717-434-1600. Email: hakes@hakes.com

Image: Attack of the 50 Ft. Woman insert poster, 1958. Est. $2,000-$5,000. Courtesy of Hake’s Americana

 

Villa Massei_56_16th Century St. John the Baptist_WEB.jpgChicago, IL—This February Leslie Hindman Auctioneers conducted two unique single-owner auctions of property from Palm Beach, Florida and Lucca, Italy: Property from the Estate of Philip and Mary Hulitar and Property from Villa Massei. Both collections offered furniture, decorative art and fine art with an international flair that included Italian, French, Chinese and Indian objects.

The February 22 Property from the Estate of Philip and Mary Hulitar auction at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers exceeded expectations with robust participation in the room, on the phone and online. Bidding was strong across all categories including furniture, decorative items and fine art. The collection brought over $665,000 for 446 lots sold.

The best performing lot was a 20th century collection of glass stemware, which sold for $68,750 against a presale estimate of $500 to $700 after competitive bidding from two phone bidders. Other highlights from the sale included two paintings by Stephen Scott Young, Cat on the Island and Chatting, which sold for $35,000 and $30,000, respectively. Decorative art also drew noted interest, such as a collection of Italian ceramic fruit and cabbageware, which sold for $17,500 against a presale estimate of $300 to $500, a pair of Venetian painted blackamoor acrobats, which sold for $10,625 (presale estimate $4,000 ­ 6,000), and a Louis XV style gilt bronze elephant clock, which sold for $9,375, estimated at $1,500-2,500.

The family's history and philanthropic work connected to Palm Beach drove interest in the collection. Philip Hulitar himself was a fashion designer and artist. Notably, he founded the Sculpture Garden for The Society of the Four Arts and went on to become Vice President and its chief benefactor. The Hulitars lived on North Ocean Boulevard in a 12,062-square-foot oceanfront home, designed by Marion Sims Wyeth, a prominent architect who also designed Mar-a-Lago. Both the exterior and interior offered a classic Palm Beach aesthetic with colorfully themed and synchronized rooms. 

Property from Villa Massei was sold February 27 in Leslie Hindman Auctioneers' Chicago saleroom, with the most aggressive bidding happening online. The selected 204 lots came from a hunting lodge near Lucca, Italy. Villa Massei was built around 1500 by the Counts Sinibaldi and with renowned Renaissance-style gardens accompanying the 60-acre estate. From 1981 until recently, Villa Massei was owned by Paul Gervais and Gil Cohen, who spent 34 years restoring and entertaining at the estate.

Top results from their collection include a painting of John the Baptist from the Florentine School. It sold for $27,500 against a $8,000 ­ 12,000 presale estimate. A pair of Italian School paintings sold for $6,000, exceeding the presale estimate of $3,000 to $5,000. Furniture performed well, such as a pair of custom-designed ebonized bookcases that sold for $5,250 against a presale estimate of $1,500 to $2,500 and an Italian neoclassical painted center table that sold for $4,250. The presale estimate was $2,000 to $4,000.

Both collections told the story of their owners, from worldly travelers with an eye for color to entertainers who created their Tuscan ideal. Conducted in both Palm Beach and Chicago, the auctions drew international buyers for the unique collections offered.   

 

carpue.jpgPBA Galleries realized strong sales in their February 22nd Fine Books sale. Leading the way was the collection of early plastic surgery medical texts included in the nearly 500 lots of rare, interesting, unusual, and captivating material, from charming illustrated children’s books to art, science, fine printing, occult, finely bound books, early religious tracts, medicine, astronomy, natural philosophy, history, and much more, including classic rock & roll posters from San Francisco in the 1960’s.

Particularly strong sales were seen among the early rhinoplasty texts. A 1587 edition of Giralomo Mercuriale’s De decoratione liber... additi nunc primum duo tractatus; alter De varicibus alter, De reficiendo naso: nunquam antea editi sold for $5,400. Although a second edition of the work, it is the first to include Gaspare Tagliacozzi's important letter to Mercuriale, which marks the first published description of his achievements in rhinoplasty. He describes several successful cases and announces the imminent publication of a complete treatise on the subject.

Tagliacozzi’s Cheirurgia nova... de narium, aurium, labiorum'que defectu, per insitionem cutis ex humero, arte, hactenus omnibus ignota, serviendo... was eventually published eleven years later in 1598 and the third edition, with 23 woodcut illustrations sold in the sale for $5,100. Two folio editions had been published in Venice prior to this first octavo edition from Frankfurt. Heirs of Hippocrates provides: "This work, is a classic in the history of plastic surgery and is especially noteworthy for its description of rhinoplasty. Rhinoplasty had been practiced in ancient India and, in the thirteenth century, by a family of itinerant Sicilian surgeons who kept the operation a family secret. The volume is divided into two parts: the first, ‘Theory of the art of plastic surgery,’ is about the structure, function, and physiology of the nose; and the second part, ‘Practice of the art,’ describes and illustrates the instruments and operative procedures for restoration of the nose, lip, and ear. Tagliacozzi also fully discussed the complications, that often occurred during these operations."

A rare 1833 work in English by the rhinoplasty pioneer, Johann Friedrich Dieffenbach, produced spirited bidding and sold for $10,200. Surgical Observations on the Restoration of the Nose; And on the Removal of Polypi and Other Tumours from the Nostrils;... With the History and Physiology of Rhinoplastic Operations, Notes and Additional Cases was translated by John Stevenson Bushnan while he was a student in Heidelberg and this volume is the rarest of work in English on the subject.

The rare first work by the English surgeon, Joseph Constantine Carpue, A Description of the Muscles of the Human Body, as they appear on Dissection; with the Synonyma of Cowper, Winslow, Douglas, Albinus, and Innes, and the Nomenclature of Dumas... With prints and maps, showing the insertion of muscles, was apparently prepared for use by his pupils, with the introduction headed "To Students of Anatomy." Selling for $7,800, this 1801 first edition contains seven engraved plates, four with hand covering and was owned by the Medico-Chirurgical Society of Aberdeen as the society's ownership markings appear in holograph on the title page and by ink stamp on the first and final text leaves.

Other highlights from the sale are: 23 volumes from the Nonesuch Dickens which included a printing plate for an illustration by Phiz (Hablot K. Browne) selling for $3,300; the 1712 first edition in English of The Theory and Practice of Gardening which was the first important book on garden design of the 18thc. to appear in England which realized $2,280; the Arion Press limited edition, Poems of W. B. Yeats, illustrated with six etchings by Richard Diebenkorn sold for $2,160; and selling for $1,920, a first printing in the original dust jacket of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! inscribed and signed by the author.

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

GW button copy.jpgDallas, Texas - Not only did the earliest artifact referring to George Washington as the "Father of His Country" set a world record when it sold for $225,000 in Heritage Auction’s Feb. 24 American & Political Auction, but the sale itself set a world record as the highest grossing auction of political memorabilia collection ever offered.

The David and Janice Frent Collection of Political & Presidential Americana, Part II, realized a record $1.2 million from 641 bidders. The sale eclipsed the previous world auction record when The Frent Collection debuted at Heritage in October 2017, generating $911,538. 

“To say this auction was a pulse-pounder is an understatement,” said Tom Slater, Director of Americana Auctions at Heritage. “It’s been a career highlight bringing this collection to auction and the results have just been astounding.” 

The rare Washington artifact is now the world’s most valuable Washington button, created to celebrate the first president’s 1789 Inauguration. It features a crisp, stamped bust of Washington and the words "Pater Patriæ," a Latin phrase meaning “Father of his Country.” Modern collectors avidly seek a wide variety of coat button designs honoring Washington that were sported by patriotic Americans. The Frent Collection features some 50 assorted examples, believed to be the largest such holding ever assembled.

Surprises did not stop with Washington, as an 1868 silk campaign flags for Ulysses S. Grant, one of just three believed known in this design, raced to $62,500, more than triple its presale estimate. A stunning 1860 brooch featuring an ambrotype portrait of Abraham Lincoln by Mathew Brady, depicting the president in the iconic "Cooper Union" pose, sold for $35,000 - a new high water mark for this item at auction. 

Considered one of the finest designs among historic political textiles, an outstanding example of the "Ship of State" Silk Campaign Flag from Henry Clay's 1844 campaign ended at $32,500. Another 19th century textile, an important and near mint 1864 Jugate Silk Campaign Ribbon for Lincoln and Andrew Johnson sold for $21,250.

A unique 1920 Jugate Postcard featuring Democratic running mates James M. Cox and Franklin D. Roosevelt led the auction’s extensive selection of 20th century memorabilia when it sold for $27,500 - more than 10 times the highest previously reported price for a political postcard. The record price resulted from an epic contest between a leading collector of political post cards and a top specialist in items relating to the Cox candidacy. “Sometimes bidders will just dig in their heels,” Slater observed, “and such battles are particularly likely when an item holds interest for two different types of collecting specialists .” A large Cox and Roosevelt jugate poster backing the League of Nations, also believed to be the only known example, sold for $21,250.

Additional highlights included: 

·       A figural "Plumed Knight" Display Piece, depicting American political leader and 1884 GOP presidential candidate James G. Blaine, sold for $17,500.

·       A campaign broadside from Lincoln’s 1864 reelection campaign sold for $16,250.

·       A gilt brass "Eagle with Glory" Inaugural Button for Washington, a  prohibitively rare variety and the first example ever offered by Heritage, sold for $15,000 after opening at $1,000.

Heritage Auctions will offer an online-only session from The Frent Collection beginning at 10 a.m. CST, March 10 on HA.com. The 509-lot offering includes period memorabilia relating to Lincoln and an extraordinary array of political pinbacks and ribbons. To learn more, visit HA.com/6198.

 

HA Spidey copy.jpgDallas, Texas - The original art for The Amazing Spider-Man #100 sold for $478,000, at Heritage Auctions on Friday, setting a world record for the most expensive Marvel Comics Silver or Bronze Age cover ever sold at public auction.

It also is the most expensive piece of Spider-Man art drawn by legendary artist John Romita, Sr.

The winning bidder chose to remain anonymous.

The previous public auction record for a piece of Spider-Man art drawn by Romita, Sr., was set by Heritage Auctions in 2013 when his cover for The Amazing Spider-Man #121 (Marvel, 1973) sold for $286,800.

Considered one of the most iconic covers of the 1970s, the cover masterfully portrays Spidey and dozens of famous canon characters. Collaborating with the legendary Stan Lee and artist Frank Giacoia, the trio understood the anniversary issue's cover needed to be a masterpiece. Historians and fans alike rank the cover among the most influential of all time.

The original cover was offered during Heritage’s Comics & Comic Art Auction held online and in Dallas.

“A true work of art, the winning bidder got a lot of bang for the buck in that the cover depicts so many iconic characters,” Heritage Auctions’ Senior Vice President Ed Jaster said. “This cover was done during the peak period of John Romita, Sr.’s artwork, at a time when Spider-Man’s popularity was extremely high.”

Presented in Marvel Comics’ popular “floating heads” style, more than two dozen famous faces surround a full-body image of Spider-Man. Vicious villains such as Kingpin, Doctor Octopus, Scorpion and the Beetle appear; and Peter Parker’s girlfriends Mary Jane Watson and Gwen Stacy, his beloved Aunt May and Parker’s boss at the Daily Bugle, J. Jonah Jameson, are also depicted.

Top sellers on the auction’s first day included a copy of Batman #1 (DC, 1940), which sold for $334,600 and the first appearance of Green Lantern from All American Comics #16 (DC, 1940), which brought $215,100. 

The auction continues Saturday with a Signature Internet Session beginning at 1 p.m. CST on HA.com. The session includes a copy of Spider-Man #1 (Marvel, 1963) and a high-grade copy of Fantastic Four #52 (Marvel, 1966), which features the first appearance of Black Panther, a character that shattered box office records last week when the superhero appeared in the blockbuster film of the same name.

62-Monet copy.jpgNew York— On Tuesday, March 13, Swann Galleries will offer a superlative auction of 19th & 20th Century Prints & Drawings, featuring original artworks and scarce multiples by some of the most influential artists of the last 200 years.

Following the house’s record-breaking autumn sale of Edward Hopper’s 1923 print The Lonely House for $317,000, Swann will offer an even more scarce etching by the master: House by a River, 1919, an early example of his theme of isolation. Only one other copy of this print, which depicts a still-extant house in Nyack, NY, has appeared at auction in the last 30 years. The work carries an estimate of $100,000 to $150,000.

Hopper’s mentor Martin Lewis is well represented in the auction with a selection of the gritty urban views for which he is known. Bedford Street Gang, 1935, leads the pack at $15,000 to $20,000. Additional highlights include an extremely rare circa 1930 charcoal drawing titled New York Nocturne, previously in the collection of the artist’s widow, with an estimate of $10,000 to $15,000, and the scarce etching Manhattan Lights, 1931 ($12,000 to $18,000).  

From the same period comes the complete set of Six American Etchings, Series I, 1924, published as a promotion for subscribers of the New Republic, with works by Peggy Bacon, Ernest Haskell, Hopper, John Marin, Hayes Miller and John Sloan. This set includes Hopper’s Night Shadows, which is often removed from the group ($30,000 to $50,000).

The auction is distinguished by an array of unique works by notable artists. An exceptionally early drawing by Claude Monet of Maison au toit de chaume, Gainneville, 1857 (when the artist was only 16), carries an estimate of $25,000 to $35,000. Two figurative pencil drawings by Amadeo Modigliani will also be offered: Femme nue, trois quarts, debout, circa 1915, and Femme nue, circa 1915 ($50,000 to $80,000 and $40,000 to $60,000, respectively). Georges Braque is represented by a gouache and watercolor painting, Femme au bicyclette, 1920-22 ($20,000 to $30,000. A Futurist-cum-Deco painting by Fortunato Depero of New York, 1930, will be offered with an estimate of $30,000 to $50,000.

Two bronze sculptures by Henry Moore make a rare auction appearance. Half Figure, 1952, from an edition of only five, carries an estimate of $30,000 to $50,000, while the smaller, seated Woman, 1961, is valued between $15,000 and $20,000.

Interest in Latin American art has led to a larger offering of works by popular artists from the region, including José Clemente Orozco, David A. Siqueiros and Rufino Tamayo, as well as paintings by early Mexican modernists. An especially rich offering of prints by Diego Rivera includes each of the three works regarded as the finest lithographs by artist, all from 1932. Zapata, a portrait of the revolutionary, carries an estimate of $25,000 to $35,000, while Frutos de la Escuela is valued at $20,000 to $30,000. The scarce El sueño (La noche de los pobres) has been seen at auction only ten times in the last 30 years ($20,000 to $30,000).

Pablo Picasso is well represented with prints, ceramics and even a drawing. The selection is led by the elegant lithograph La Colombe, 1949, with an estimate of $50,000 to $80,000. Fine terre de faïence ceramic works include an unusually tall partially glazed vase with anthropomorphic forms and a pitcher titled Flower Women, 1948 (each $20,000 to $30,0000). Finally, Profile d’Homme Vert, 1956, in striking green crayon is valued at $8,000 to $12,000.

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

Image: Lot 62: Claude Monet, Maison au toit de chaume, Gainneville, pencil, 1857. Estimate $25,000 to $35,000.

 

35 RICHARD III AND EDWARD V - DUCHY OF CORNWALL Compotus or Receiver's Rolls for Cornwall and Devon copy.jpgThe accounts for the Duchy of Cornwall for 1483 - a momentous year in English history - are to be sold at Bonhams Fine Books and Manuscripts Sale in London on 21 March. They are estimated at £4,000-6,000.

The records were taken to Bonhams offices in Exeter for valuation, having been bought as part of a job lot at a local auction in Devon. They were drawn up on the orders of Richard III who came to the English throne in June 1483. His brother Edward IV had died earlier that year, and Richard had been appointed Protector to his 12 year old nephew, who succeeded his father as Edward V.  When Edward V was denounced as the product of an unlawful marriage, he was stripped of the crown and Richard declared the legitimate king in his place.  Edward and his brother Richard were imprisoned in the Tower of London, where they were later famously murdered, traditionally on the orders of Richard III.  

The Duchy of Cornwall was created by Edward III in 1337, specifically to produce an income for the heir to the throne.  It covered, and still covers, areas outside Cornwall -mainly in Devon, including Plympton, Tavistock and Exeter. The accounts for sale are for the period Michaelmas, 22nd year of Edward IV’s reign to Michaelmas, the first year of Richard III’s year i.e. 29 September 1482-29 September 1483. During this time, the position of Duke of Cornwall was held by the future Edward V, and then by Richard III’s son Edward (who died the following year at the age of 10).

The records are highly detailed, showing totals for rents, sales and court receipts for each manor within the Duchy, with the names of the bailiffs or reeves. The receipts for tin mines were particularly valuable.  By this period, the profits from the Duchy were worth around £500 a year. By contrast, the annual average wage of a labourer was then about £2.00.

Bonhams valuer in Exeter, Sam Tuke, said, “It is always exciting to come across something so special. The accounts are particularly interesting because they include details of properties in Devon as well as in Cornwall itself. They are of course, written in mediaeval Latin, but our specialists were able to decipher the text, and reveal their true value."

Bonhams Exeter will be holding two Fine Books and manuscripts valuation days in March as follows:

  • Tuesday 13 March 11.00 am -3.00 pm at Bonhams, The Lodge, Southernhay, West Exeter EX1
  • Wednesday 14 March 10.00 am - 1.00 pm at The Burton Art Gallery, 39 Kingsley Road, Bideford EX39

54-Hine-EllisIsland copy.jpgNew York—Swann Galleries opened the 2018 season with a $1.6M auction of Icons & Images: Photographs & Photobooks on February 15. Important rare and unique work, both fine art and vernacular, brought a variety of buyers to the fore, with especially active bidding by institutions.

Leading the auction and closing to applause was Photographic Views of the Red River Raft, 1873, one of three extant copies of Robert B. Talfor’s documentation of the second attempt to clear debris from Louisiana’s Red River. Several institutions competed for the 113 hand-colored albumen prints, and the album quadrupled its high estimate to sell for $93,750.

A collection of 24 prints of Lewis W. Hine’s most iconic photographs, spanning the entirety of his career, made their victorious auction debut, selling 92%. The works—each boasting the handstamp of Hine’s Hastings-on-Hudson studio, as well as notations in his own hand—were previously owned by Isador Sy Seidman, a friend of Hine, photographer and lifelong collector of photographs of New York City. An extremely rare early printing of the monumental Powerhouse Mechanic, or Mechanic at Steam Pump in Electric Power House, circa 1921, led the selection at $81,250. A contact print of One of many youngsters working in Carolina cotton mills, also known as Sadie Pfeifer, a Cotton Mill Spinner, Lancaster, South Carolina, 1908, printed 1931, doubled its high estimate to sell to a collector for $30,000. The lasting relevance of these images is exemplified by the buyer of Russian family at Ellis Island, 1905, who happily relayed that the children in the photograph are his great-grandmother and her sister.

Notable auction records were set for works by marquee artists, including Cindy Sherman’s Self-Portrait as Lucille Ball, 1975, for $25,000. Roy DeCarava’s double portrait of Dizzy Gillespie & Roy Eldridge, 1956, also achieved a record at $27,500. The fifth book of Edward S. Curtis’s The North American Indian, 1907, set a record for that volume, selling to a collector for $43,600. 

Seven of the eight offered lots by Ansel Adams found buyers, led by a candid portrait of Georgia O’Keeffe and Orville Cox, 1937, which doubled its high estimate to sell for $48,600. Additional highlights included Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico, 1941, and Winter Sunrise, Sierra Nevada, from Lone Pine, California, 1944 ($43,200 and $21,600, respectively).

Daile Kaplan, Director of Photographs & Photobooks and Vice President of Swann Galleries, noted that she expects to see increased interest in nineteenth-century vernacular albums, given the success of The Red River Raft. The auction featured an especially strong selection of such works, including an album of 19 hand-colored salted paper prints of indigenous Brazilian women, 1861-62, which was purchased by an institution for $23,750.

The next auction of Photographs & Photobooks at Swann Galleries will be on April 19, 2018. The house is currently accepting quality consignments for autumn auctions.

ImageLot 54: Lewis W. Hine, Russian family at Ellis Island, silver contact print, 1905, printed circa 1931. Sold February 15, 2018 for $6,000.

2091c.jpgFairfield, ME — James D. Julia’s mid-winter auction launched the 2018 auction season in the most auspicious way possible, with bidders competing for the spectacular lots on offer. After the hammer finally fell silent, 48 lots made $10K or above. In addition, 9 lots realized $25K or more, and 10 lots broke the $50K mark!

James D. Julia's Fine Art, Asian & Antiques auctions enjoy a well-deserved reputation of offering only the finest selections of carefully curated paintings, and this auction did not disappoint on any level. The top lot in this event, Fernando Botero’s “A Lawyer,” made it legal at $150,750 on a $125,000-175,000 estimate. This masterpiece features a portly, pensive looking man carrying a book and is signed “Botero 98.” It appears in Marc Fumaroli’s Botero Drawings, 1999. “Happy New Year,” a painting attributed to Frenchman Paul Emile Chabas, realized $24,200 - over six times its low estimate. This joyful work comes alive with two finely dressed, cherubic children and bouquets of peony flowers. Works by Haley Lever were well represented in this sale, with his “Fishing Boats - Sunrise” from 1904 reeling in $60,500. This handsome, signed painting is titled on a Clayton-Liberatore Art Gallery label. And Morris Graves’ “War Maddened Bird Following St. Elmo’s Fire” tempera on paper soared to $81,675, more than four times its low estimate. 

Enthusiasts battled over this sale’s fine selections of exceptional powder horns from important collections. A group of 13 Revolutionary War-era powder horns, carved by the “Folky Artist,” sold for $27,225. This group represents 13 of about 30 known horns carved by this artist whose name has been lost to history. He is thought to be from the south, as southern icons, such as palmetto trees, long leaf pine sprouts, and a Spanish mission, are among the subjects engraved on his horns. A French and Indian War Pennsylvania map horn changed hands at $58,080 - almost four times its low estimate. This detailed example is illustrated starting in Philadelphia and moves north along the Allegheny and its forks depicted as “Monagahny” and Ohio to Lancaster, Carlisle, Shippensburgh, Fort Louden, Fort Lettelton, Fort Stony Creek, Fort Bedford, and Fort Ledgner, and features a great drawing of Fort Pitt flying a British flag on a pole. And a Charleston, SC map horn realized a whopping $78,650 on its $8,000-12,000 estimate. This museum quality artifact is carved with exquisite attention and shows a view of Charleston and its rivers branching into the “Congarees,” “Saux Tee,” “Keeowee,” and others. 

This remarkable sale also made history with its once-in-a-lifetime offerings of antique archival materials, ephemera, and items associated with important people, places, and things. Four massive hand drawn and painted planning maps used by Morton L. Deyo, a World War II hero who commanded naval gunfire support at Utah Beach in the Normandy invasion - amongst other notable accomplishments - sold for $7,620. A “Barbary Pirate” flintlock pistol from the Stephen Decatur estate shot to $18,150 on its $1,000-2,000 estimate. Decatur led successful naval battles in both Barbary Wars, North Africa, the French Quasi War, and the War of 1812; family legend holds this pistol was a souvenir from the Barbary Coast wars. A solid gold Tiffany presentation snuff box presented by the citizens of Buffalo to Lt. John Worden made $48,400. Worden was the hero of the Victory of the Monitor Over the Merrimac. This handsomely decorated box is engraved with the battle scene between the U.S. Navy Ironclad “Monitor” and the Confederate Navy Ironclad “C.S.S. Virginia” (Merrimac), as well as other naval themes. Our catalogers noted that this is one of the most important American Civil War U.S. Navy artifacts to be presented for public auction. And a wonderful time capsule text, “Manuscript Rules And Regulations of USS Congress And USS Constitution, 1817-1821” cruised to $62,920 on its $15,000-25,000 estimate. 

Enthusiasts also saluted the fine offerings of flags on offer through this sale. An iconic 12-star Confederate 1st National Flag from the renowned Boleslaw And Marie-Louise Mastai collection made $76,230. This remarkable rarity was pictured on cover of the 1973 text “The Stars and the Stripes: The American Flag as Art and as History From the Birth of the Republic to the Present” by Mastai. And a Confederate Battle flag made $70,180. This incredibly rare example closely follows the pattern of ANV (Army of Northern Virginia) battle flags and is totally hand sewn. 

Eye-catching Asian treasures gave this sale a touch of international intrigue. A Chinese silk embroidered robe sold for $7,260 on an $800-1,200 estimate. This early 20th century blue silk example is decorated with roundels of various figures within a landscape; its collar and seams are accented with ruyi and fastened with gilded buttons. And a Satsuma pottery vase by Yabu Meizan almost doubled its high estimate, realizing $11,495. This fine Meiji period beaker shaped vessel is exquisitely painted with a continuous waterfront landscape around the lower half and a procession of figures around the top. 

Fine antiques from a wide array of specialty categories tempted collectors throughout this two day event. A cast iron “The Yankee Schoolmaster” (also known as “The Alphabet Man”) made $25,410. This toy was designed as an early educational vehicle to teach children the alphabet or various words; only a handful of these elaborately constructed rarities survived over the past 100+ years. A pair of massive, engraved walrus tusks signed by artist Nathaniel Finney blew away their $6,000-8,000 estimate to sell for $91,960. These c.1870 tusks are illustrated with vignettes of popular actors who worked in San Francisco during the 1860s-1870s, and include the founding members of the California Troup of Actors associated with the California Theatre. An outstanding solid gold Russian hinged box decorated with a micro mosaic top closed the deal at $50,820 on its $4,000-6,000 estimate. Its 2" x 3" scene shows a man on a horse crossing a river with others following, while women are seen on foreground with soldiers. And an important carved and polychrome painted tobacconist figure of Native American man, attributed to Thomas Brooks, was on fire... eventually realizing $26,015. This truly outstanding example has provenance to Danbury, Connecticut by descent to its current owner and was featured on a 1/2 page in color in National Geographic Magazine, September 1931, vol. LX, number three, illustration VII.

Image: Historic Lot Of Four Planning Maps Used By Admiral Morton L. Deyo Abo (a, b, c, & d), $7,260

344.jpg.jpgFalls Church, VA - On Thursday, Feb. 22, Quinn’s Auction Galleries will pay tribute to Black History Month with a two-part auction that incorporates historical material, early photographs and memorabilia from its associated company, Waverly Rare Books. 

The seamless, consecutive sessions will start at 5:30 p.m. Eastern Time with a boutique selection of 65 portraits and paintings by Harlem Spiral Collective artist Merton D. Simpson (1928-1913) and continues with the Johnson Family Collection of Black Americana and Ephemera. All forms of bidding will be available for the entire auction, including absentee and live via the Internet.

The opening portion of the sale, titled “Faces of Merton Simpson,” focuses on images of celebrated Black Americans and other celebrities painted by Simpson, an acclaimed Abstract Expressionist, after he joined the Spiral group in the mid 1960s. Other members of the Spiral arts alliance included Romare Bearden and Hale Woodruff.

Among those depicted in Simpson’s portraits, collages and studies are Jesse Jackson, Oprah Winfrey, Spike Lee, Diana Ross, Maya Angelou, Leontyne Price, Diahann Carroll, Marian Anderson and many other African-American entertainers and leaders of the struggle for racial equality. Many of the portraits are very reasonably estimated at $200-$400. Additionally, the sale features several desirable abstract paintings by Simpson.

The collection amassed by the Johnson family of New Jersey spans three centuries of Black American history and includes a vast array of toys, dolls, board games and other collectibles, as well as important documents, books, photographs, advertising and other ephemera. 

“The Johnson Collection provides a panoramic overview of both the severe challenges and great triumphs Black Americans have experienced in their rise from slavery to the White House,” said Quinn’s Executive Vice President Matthew Quinn. “It is sometimes difficult to view our past through a lens like this, but it is more important that we never forget.”

Two cast-iron mechanical banks reflect the negative stereotypes perpetrated against Black Americans during their long struggle for freedom. One depicts a man, the other, a woman in a yellow dress known as “Dinah.” The Dinah bank was patented in England in 1911 by the John Harper Co., and retains its original paint. Estimate: $200-$300

A toy highlight is the Heubach Koppelsdorf bisque baby doll in a striped dress, with beautifully molded features. It stands 10½ inches high and is estimated at $100-$200.

There are many ceramic items, from Weller’s figural tablewares to cookie jars and a fine Limoges pitcher. A pair of tobacco humidors depicting a black man and woman, both with removable hat lids, will be offered with a $40-$60 estimate.

The Johnson collection is tremendously diverse, covering numerous categories including clocks, textiles, magazines, sheet music, boxing mementos, Civil War abolitionist postal covers, books, postcards, trade cards, and other ephemera.

A Green River Whiskey tin advertising sign depicts the distillery’s familiar man and horse imagery with the logo “She was bred in old Kentucky.” Copyrighted in 1899, the sign is accompanied by two (empty) Green River pint bottles. Estimate: $1,000-$2,000

Three lots contain cruel reminders of slavery in the form of wrist, neck and hand shackles. Lot 345 consists of two sets of shackles, one with a padlock indicating an issue date of 1856-7; the other bearing an anchor-and-sun logo. The pair is estimated at $200-$300. Also, there are five historically important scrapbooks that were maintained from 1876 to 1892 by former slave David F. Nelson. One of the scrapbooks contains numerous articles about Nelson’s escape from slavery, other runaway slaves, and related subjects. Its estimate is $120-$240.

Quinn’s Feb. 22 auction will commence at 5:30 p.m. Eastern Time. For additional information on any item in the auction, call 703-532-5632, ext. 575; email catherine.payling@quinnsauction.com. Quinn’s is located at 360 S. Washington St., Falls Church, VA 22046. Online: www.quinnsauction.com. View the catalogue and bid absentee or live via the Internet at https://www.LiveAuctioneers.com or https://www.Invaluable.com.

Image: One of five scrapbooks maintained from 1876-1892 by former slave David F. Nelson, contains numerous articles about his escape from slavery, other runaway slaves, related subjects. Est. $120-$240 (Lot 344: https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/59965802_5-scrapbooks-maintained-by-former-slave-1876-1892

 

mccpnhjmemdcjhog copy.jpgNew York—Swann Galleries will offer an auction of Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books on Thursday, March 8, featuring an extensive selection of early Spanish books on a variety of subjects, as well as important Medieval astronomical treatises dating to a period when studying the stars was as mythical as it was scientific.

One of the many “stellar” highlights is the first illustrated edition of Poeticon Astronomicon, 1482, by Caius Julius Hyginus, containing the earliest printed depictions of the constellations. The work boasts 47 woodcuts of zodiac figures and allegorical depictions of planets, and relays starry myths dating to the first century AD; it is valued at $15,000 to $20,000. Also available is the first illustrated edition of the most popular European textbook of astronomy from the thirteenth century to the early modern era, Johannes Sacrobosco’s Sphaera mundi, 1478, with 11 woodcut astronomical diagrams, including the phases of lunar and solar eclipses. This edition was also the first to include the tract on planetary theory attributed to Gerard of Cremona, and carries an estimate of $15,000 to $20,000.           

The Medieval study of astronomy extended into the medical realm with extensive tracts on the affect of stars on the body. Examples in this auction include De computatione dierum criticarum, 1496, by Julián Gutiérrez, uses the stars to determine the critical days affecting the progression of an illness ($8,000 to $12,000). Also available in an extremely unusual Spanish tome of astrological veterinary medicine, specifically relating to horses, Pedro García Conde’s Verdadera Albeytería, 1734, relaying the influence of the stars on a horse’s physiognomy ($400 to $600).

Printed circa 1496-97, Arte de Ajedres by Luis de Lucena is the earliest surviving manual of chess, introducing a new mode of play still in use today. With 161 woodcut diagrams of board set-ups and discussion in Spanish of 11 openings and 150 problems, the scarce tome is valued at $10,000 to $15,000.

Two seventeenth-century French erotic dialogues make a rare auction appearance. L’Ecole des Filles, 1676, the first work of pornographic fiction in French, is attributed to Michel Millot and Jean L’Ange, both of whom were punished after the publication ($8,000 to $12,000). An early edition of Aloisiae Sigeae Toletanae Satyra Sotadica de Arcanis Amoris et Veneris by Nicolas Chorier, previously in the collection of notorious eroticist Gershon Legman, contains six dialogues concerning a sexual initiation; called “the most outspoken erotic work of the seventeenth century,” it carries an estimate of $5,000 to $7,000.

Also in the auction is the first book devoted to the lore and nature of cats, François-Augustin Paradis de Moncrif’s Les Chats, 1727, bound together with the rarely-seen Les Rats, 1737, by Claude-Guillaume Bourdon de Sigrais, the first published book about rats. Amusingly, the city of publication for the rat tome is listed as “Ratopolis”; this sammelband carries an estimate of $1,000 to $2,000.

Manuscripts are led by an early sixteenth-century Flemish illuminated Book of Hours in Latin on vellum, with six full-page borders filled with flowers, birds, animals and insects in colors on a gold leaf background, with an estimate of $6,000 to $9,000. Also available is Pedro de Gracia Dei’s Blasón General y Nobleza del Universo, a circa 1500 copy of a substantial portion of his 1489 Coria original edition of the same name. The Spanish manuscript contains 41 drawings in color based on the printed version, concerning heraldry, planets, nobility and the like ($3,000 to $4,000).

The travel section contains scarce works on missionary journeys to the East, particularly accounts of ill-fated ventures in Japan such as the first edition of a history and martyrology of a Christian mission to the region, José Sicardo’s 1698 Christiandad del Japón ($8,000 to $12,000).

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

Additional highlights can be found here.

Image: Lot 109:  Caius Julius Hyginus, Poeticon Astronomicon, first illustrated edition, with 47 half-page woodcuts, Venice, 1482. Estimate $15,000 to $20,000.

Wolfe archive.jpgBoston, MA—Skinner, Inc. Significant and wide-ranging participation by museums interested in adding to their public collections led the Skinner February 9th auction of the Collection of Avis and Eugene Robinson. More than twenty-six cultural and educational institutions, in this country and abroad, vied to bid on items from the collection of artifacts, documents, and photographs chronicling the full scope of African American history from enslavement to emancipation, from Jim Crow to Civil Rights to the present day.  In all, the collection formed a rich mosaic portraying the complex, often painful, often triumphant history of a people.

The auction’s top lot, selling for $12,300 in the room, was an archive of 18th -20th century documents and photographs from Rhode Island’s DeWolf family, the states most prominent family involved in the transatlantic slave trade.  A framed “$100 Reward for Isaac Churcher,” went for $7380, while an 1833 broadside for the “Public Sale of Negroes” sold for $2583.

Photography of all types was well represented. A tintype of an African American Confederate soldier sold for $9225, while another of a soldier in an infantry uniform went for $5535. The auction catalog cover lot, a tintype of a seated young woman reading a book sold for $6765. Twentieth-century images included two press photographs of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., that sold for $4613. Selling for $738 was a lot of sixteen press photos of Huey P. Newton, co-founder of the Black Panthers.

Other top lots include a framed copy of Frederick Douglass’s The North Star newspaper that sold for $10,455. A braided leather mistress whip made $11,685, while a pair of Middle Passage bilboes went for $1722. A small triangular painting of figures in a bus by folk artist Mose Tolliver (American 1916-2006) sold for $6150, eking out a record for the artist. Finally, an Antar Dayal campaign poster of Barack Obama in 2008 with the motto, “Yes we can.” sold for $2583.

Image: DeWolf Archive, 18th to 20th century, sold for: $12,300; https://www.skinnerinc.com/auctions/3075B/lots/34

Mummy HA copy.jpgDallas, TX - Rare movie posters from classic American horror flicks, including the only-remaining Belgian poster for The Mummy (Universal, 1933), haunt Heritage Auctions’ Movie Posters event April 7-8 in Dallas. Cinema’s classic monsters in the 600-lot auction range from a beastly, 47-inch tall poster for King Kong (RKO, 1933) to an elusive poster from the iconic vampire film London After Midnight (MGM, 1927).

“Our spring auctions traditionally offer posters with stunning images from some of the most iconic movies ever made,” Heritage Auctions Vintage Posters Director Grey Smith said. “We believe there are rare posters in this wonderful group for every taste.”

The 24-1/2-by-33-1/2-inch stone lithograph poster for The Mummy, which is making its auction debut at Heritage, is the only remaining poster of its kind. It depicts the haunting visage of Boris Karloff as the shrouded Egyptian priest Imhotep, the mummy who escapes thousands of years after being buried alive. The well-preserved piece comes from Universal’s original European distribution and is expected to sell for $60,000.

A London After Midnight (MGM, 1927) Argentinean one sheet (est. $30,000-60,000) shines a spotlight on one of the “holy grails” of lost cinema, the last known copy of the film which was destroyed in a fire in an MGM studio vault in 1965. Posters from the film, which starred Lon Chaney and directed by Dracula’s Tod Browning, have been as elusive as the film itself over the last 80 years, and this Argentinean one sheet is the first to appear at Heritage since 2009.

A 21-by-58-inch Japanese STB tatekan from The Seven Samurai (Toho, 1954) (est. $20,000-50,000) is an extraordinary collectible poster for fans of Japanese cinema and director Akira Kurosawa. This rare country-of-origin poster from Kurosawa’s most prestigious film is believed to be the only known copy in existence. A bittersweet tale of the price of war and the loss of noble warriors, The Seven Samurai is one of the most influential films in cinema history and was among the highest-grossing films ever made in Japan.

An oversized Swedish King Kong (RKO, 1933) poster (est. $20,000-50,000) features “The Eighth Wonder of the World” raging through New York, holding Fay Wray in one hand while smacking planes out of the sky with the other. Considered by most to be among the greatest horror/fantasy films ever made, King Kong definitely was one of the most innovative, using stop-motion animation that became the industry standard for decades. The rare, oversized stone litho Swedish poster, from the Kirk Hammett Collection, is reminiscent of the U.S. three sheet with its striking image of King Kong atop the Empire State Building.

Also on offer is an extraordinary post-war French release double grande poster from Casablanca (Warner Brothers, 1947), which is expected to sell for $60,000, as well as an arresting British six sheet poster from the 1939 hit The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (20th Century Fox), which measures a mammoth 77-3/4 inches by 87-1/2 inches.

Other top lots include, but are not limited to:

·         Creature from the Black Lagoon (Universal International, 1954) (est. $15,000-30,000)

·         The Lady Eve (Paramount, 1941) (est. $15,000-30,000)

·         This Gun for Hire (Paramount, 1942) (est. $15,000-30,000)

Heritage-GG copy.jpgDallas, Texas - A Signed and Inscribed First Edition of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby may sell for as much as $100,000 in Heritage Auctions’ Rare Book Auction March 7 in New York. Signed, modern first editions are among the auction’s 600 lots, many from private collections, including a rare Inscribed Presentation Copy of J. D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye (est. $20,000).

“‘Signed, first editions’ is the theme of this season’s auction,” said James Gannon, Director of Rare Books at Heritage. “We have the great fortune to offer many of the 20th century’s greatest novels signed by their authors. Nearly all come from private collections not seen at auction in decades.” 

James C. Seacrest, a Lincoln, Nebraska, publisher and philanthropist, assembled the largest collection featured in the auction. Estimated to bring more than $440,000, all proceeds from the Seacrest Collection will be donated to charity, according to a family representative.

The Seacrest Collection features the near fine, 1925 copy of The Great Gatsby, inscribed by Fitzgerald in 1939 for Tatnall Brown, a banker and former Dean of Haverford College. “The inscription reads ‘For Tatnall Brown / from one, who / is flattered at / being remembered / F Scott Fitzgerald / Hollywood, 1939,’ which reflects Fitzgerald’s deep and well-documented concern about his legacy as a novelist,” Gannon said. 

Additional signed modern editions from the Seacrest Collection also include copies of On the Road by Jack Kerouac (est. $8,000) and Vladimir Nabokov’s 1955 First Edition of Lolita (est. $4,000). Signed tomes by U.S. Presidents include Crusade in Europe by Dwight D. Eisenhower (est. $5,000) and a first edition of Whither Bound? by Franklin D. Roosevelt - an association copy inscribed by Roosevelt to his youngest son (est. $5,000). 

Seacrest also sourced important volumes by Charles Dickens, including a signed and dated First Edition, Second Issue, of The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby (est. $25,000) and an 1843 First Edition of A Christmas Carol, which includes an envelope addressed in Dickens’ hand and signed by him (est. $15,000). The auction also offers additional copies of Dickens’ classics from the Collection of Daniel J. King, such as a set of Christmas books, including a third-person autograph note by the author (est. $15,000) and an unsigned, First Edition, first issue, of A Christmas Carol (est. $10,000). 

The King collection includes choice, first-edition examples of Ian Fleming’s Casino Royale (est. $10,000), an asbestos-bound copy of Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (est. $7,000) and two scarce Audubon Prints: The White-Headed Eagle (est. $7,500) and an Uncolored Gannet (est. $2,500).

The auction also features the first time Heritage has presented a significant grouping of Continental, Irish and Latin American literature. The Continental section is anchored by The Marylin R. Duff Collection, featuring an important signed Holograph Manuscript by Jorge Luis Borges, circa 1926 (est. $20,000), Louis-Ferdinand Céline’s Voyage au bout de la nuit; a presentation copy of Anna Karenina, inscribed by author Leo Tolstoy (est. $10,000) and an inscribed copy of Unzeitgemässe Betrachtungen by Friedrich Nietzsche (est. $30,000). Rounding out the auction’s Continental, Irish and Latin American section offerings is one of just 150 first edition copies of Ulysses by James Joyce (est. $12,500). The section also presents what is considered among the most significant association copies in all of Latin American literature: A 1969 first edition of Pablo Neruda’s Fin de Mundo (est. $12,000), inscribed by the author for Chilean President Salvador Allende.

Additional highlights include:

·         Edward Lear’s Book of Nonsense (est. $15,000), which leads one of Heritage’s strongest offerings of Children’s and Illustrated Books to date.

·         Samuel Johnson’s A Dictionary of the English Language (est. $7,000), from the second offering of books from a private St. Charles, Illinois, collection.

·         Beautiful copies of Winnie-the-Pooh (est. $6,000), Finnegan’s Wake (est. $6,000) and a first edition copy of William Faulkner’s Go Down, Moses (est. $6,000), which was limited to 100 copies.

 

beethoven scottish songs copy.jpgNew York - On March 9, the Books and Manuscripts auction at Bonhams New York will offer a rare autograph manuscript by Ludwig Van Beethoven, along with a number of historically significant lots including a prism belonging to Benjamin Franklin, the Bible used at the first swearing-in of President Ulysses S. Grant, an atlas by famed cartographer Ptolemy, and an Isaac Newton manuscript on the creation of the fabled philosopher’s stone. 

“This is a sale packed with incredibly significant works by some of the most important figures in music, science, and history. From Newton’s experiments in alchemy to music illustrating Beethoven’s genius, these works are truly one-of-a-kind and the rarest of the rare,” said Ian Ehling, Director of Books and Manuscripts.

Music Highlights 

One of the sale’s highlights is a Beethoven sketch-leaf from part of his Scottish Song, Sunset, Op 108, written for voice, violin, violoncello, and piano, and set to Walter Scott’s poem, The Sun upon the Weirdlaw Hill (estimate: $80,000-120,000). Between 1809-1820, Beethoven composed Scottish, Irish and Welsh folk songs, commissioned by Scottish publisher George Thomson. Although this relatively simple air was written with amateur performers in mind, the extensive editing, refining, and perfecting of the present sketch-leaf shows Beethoven’s working process, providing a fascinating insight into a genius at work. 

Interestingly, this sketch-leaf was originally presented as a token of friendship from Beethoven biographer Alexander Wheelock Thayer to Auguste Grimm, daughter of Wilhelm Grimm of the Brothers Grimm. Thayer was appointed US Consul in Trieste by President Abraham Lincoln, and is the author of what is still considered the most authoritative biography on Beethoven. The document marking Thayer’s appointment and signed by President Lincoln is also in this sale (estimate $4,000-6,000).

Three lots by German composer Richard Wagner will also go under the hammer, including a handwritten announcement by Wagner for the inaugural Bayreuth Festival Theater in 1876 (estimate: $40,000-60,000), advertising his four-part epic music drama Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung). The Ring, which roughly follows Norse mythology, was performed for the first time at the festival. Along with the announcement, heavily altered and corrected autograph manuscripts from the Prelude to Act III of Siegfried (estimate: US$150,000-200,000), and part of the libretto for Götterdämmerung or Twilight of the Gods (estimate: $90,000-120,000) will be up for auction.

Science Highlights

In conjunction with his ground-breaking contributions to mathematics and science, Isaac Newton also explored the experimental possibilities of alchemy, or “chymistry.” The present 8-page manuscript in Newton’s hand is complete and gives detailed instructions on the scientific process to create the Philosopher’s Stone, a substance that could turn lesser materials into gold. Estimated at $200,000-300,000 this manuscript represents one of only a small number of Newton’s manuscripts that are in private hands, and is one of the longest and most substantial.

Two lots once belonging to Albert Einstein are also featured in the sale: a violin (estimate: $100,000-150,000) gifted to the theoretical physicist soon after he arrived to the U.S. in 1933 as a resident scholar at the Princeton Institute for Advance Study, and a letter to his son (estimate: $100,000-150,000) in which Einstein acknowledges for the first time his indirect but significant role in the creation of the atomic bomb.

Additional Highlights

Additional highlights in the 33-lot sale include the only presidential inauguration Bible in private hands, used by President Ulysses S. Grant during his first inauguration in 1869 (estimate: $80,000-120,000); an extremely rare 1478 edition of Ptolemy’s atlas, noted for being the edition Christopher Columbus used prior to his voyage (estimate: $600,000-800,000); and a glass prism belonging to Benjamin Franklin (estimate $20,000-30,000) used in his optics experiments which led to his invention of the bifocal lens. The prism was later gifted to Joseph Pope, designer of the famed orrery in the Philosophy Chamber at Harvard University.

The Books and Manuscripts sale will preview at Bonhams New York from March 6-8, with the auction to be held March 9 at 10:00 a.m. EST.

Image: Ludwig Van Beethoven (1770-1827) Autograph Manuscript, sketch-leaf part of the score of his Scottish Song, "Sunset" Op. 108 no 2. Estimate: US$80,000-120,000

February17_01_pics.jpgIthaca, NY—National Book Auctions, located in Ithaca, NY, announces the launch of their next auction catalog.     

This catalog features rare, antique and decorative books as well as select additions of ephemera. Featured is a private collection of antique volumes dating back to the 16th century. A varied array of signed copies of books from many categories will also be presented alongside a number of modern firsts, including science fiction titles.              

Antique and rare books are numerous in this catalog. Among the earliest examples are the 1583 printing of de Ribadeneira's "Vida del P Ignacio de Loyola," bound in vellum, de Angelis' "Tractatus de Confessionibus tam Iudicialibus quam Extraiudicialibus," produced in 1695, and the 1608 printing of Gerson's "Imitation of Christ," bound in vellum. Additional rare and antique selections relate to travel & exploration, books-on-books, Civil War, theology, Catholicism, mountaineering, polar exploration, Alaska, Arctic, Antarctica, children's, decorative antique sets, Easton Press bindings, art history and beyond.                        

Several interesting collections will also be showcased. Highlighted is a fine array of important modern printings such as a first state of Dos Passos' debut novel, "One Man's Initiation," a rare 1928 printing of Lawrence's "Lady Chatterley's Lover," and an author-signed, limited first edition of Asimov's "The Roots of Dawn." Other selections feature author-signed copies by writers such as Rudyard Kipling, Maurice Sendak, Louis Auchincloss, Paul Theroux, John Masefield, Jerzy Kosinski, Bob Hope, and more. In addition to signed trade editions are a number of limited and special editions.       

Found throughout this catalog are interesting ephemera offerings and many group lots of desirable titles, including a number of lots featuring antique eastern European books, periodicals and ephemera.   

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

Custer.jpgWestport, CT - Rare and fascinating archives of material pertaining to Albert Einstein and Gen. George Armstrong Custer’s wife Elizabeth, plus others, will come up for bid in an online-only auction of autographed documents, manuscripts, books and relics scheduled for Wednesday, February 21st by University Archives, at 10:30 am Eastern. In all, 249 lots will come up for sale.

Bidders can view all the lots now, and register to bid, at www.UniversityArchives.com. Online bidding is being facilitated by Invaluable.com. The auction is packed with important, scarce and collectible signed documents and other items relating to some of the most important names in all of history. The archives are in the spotlight due to their rarity, importance and high estimates.

“Many of these archives haven’t seen the light of day for many years,” said John Reznikoff, the founder and president of University Archives, based in Westport. “These groups present a significant opportunity for both institutions and collectors alike. Sometimes dealers end up buying them and breaking them up. This sale has a host of material in nearly every category.”

The Einstein archive comprises letters and telegrams (14 pieces in all) written by Albert and his wife Elsa, to their friend, the Danish journalist Karen Stampe Bendix (1881-1963). Written in Danish and German from 1930-1933, the letters cover a range of topics, to include the growing German threat (“particularly deplorable is the weak stance by the British”) (est. $15,000-$2,000).

The Elizabeth Custer archive of over 600 manuscript pages is a newly discovered, unpublished and museum-quality trove of letters and drafts by Mrs. Custer, the custodian of the legacy of her famous military husband killed at Little Big Horn. Most were written from Daytona Beach, Fla. (circa 1927-1932). Included are several notebooks, plus a buggy whip (est. $20,000-$25,000).

Additional archives in the auction will include:

  • An archive of ten signatures, signed letters and documents from ten U.S. Secretaries of the Treasury, to include Alexander Hamilton (a partially printed document, signed as “Alexander Hamilton” and dated January 4th, 1792, in the midst of a financial crisis), Salmon Chase (also a partially printed document), and eight others. (est. $3,000-$5,000).
  • An archive of twelve letters (21 pages total) written by and to Gen. William Smallwood (1732-1792), all pertaining to the recruitment of soldiers and officers for the Maryland Line in the Continental Army at the outbreak of the Revolutionary War. After the war, Smallwood was elected to Congress and was Governor of Maryland (est. $6,000-$8,000).
  • An archive of 17 autograph letters signed “C.E. Gordon” (Charles “Chinese” Gordon), 13 of them dated 1882 and mostly relating to tortoises and the giant Coco de Mer palm tree growing in the Seychelles in Africa, which Gordon had identified as the location of the biblical Garden of Eden (the palm being the Tree of Knowledge). (est. $5,000-$6,000).
  • An archive of more than 225 letters, mostly written between 1942 and 1945, by British Lieutenant Jack Harrison of the Royal Navy - over 1,000 pages in all, to include five full page detailed drawings, to his mother in Nottingham, England. Also included are letters and envelopes from Harrison’s service in Africa in 1945 and after (est. $1,200-$1,400).

Kennedy items are hugely popular with collectors. Lots will include John F. Kennedy’s personal and historic Cuban Missile Crisis “Victory Map”, 55 inches by 21 inches, with eight “sticker” symbols representing Soviet planes, ships and missiles (est. $30,000-$35,000); and a six-page letter hand-written by Jackie Kennedy to her mother while in college, in 1951, from aboard the Queen Elizabeth ship, written on Cunard Line stationery, with illustrations (est. $3,500-$4,000).

Muhammad Ali’s personal diary from 1968, with over 1,800 words written in the champ’s own hand, including two signatures, has an estimate of $8,000-$10,000. The diary, titled National Diary for 1968, was written while Ali was banned from boxing for refusing military service. Also, a four-page manuscript written by Marlon Brando, with signatures, a peek into the inner mind of the enigmatic actor, with musings, quotes and meanderings, should hit $1,800-$2,000.

Presidential items are a hallmark of University Archives auctions. A document inscribed and signed by Abraham Lincoln from June 10, 1861, written to Secretary of War Simon Cameron, endorsing a Maryland general’s request to assemble a brigade, should bring $6,000-$8000; and a free franked postal cover inscribed and signed by Thomas Jefferson in Sept. 1821, addressed to a professor of medicine at Transylvania University in Kentucky, has an estimate of $3,500-$4,000.

A recently discovered four-page letter, written and signed by Alexander Graham Bell in 1917 to his wife Mabel, signed by him and possibly one of only a couple of Bell letters in private hands that mention the telephone, has an estimate of $12,000-$14,000. Also, an important archive of 39 letters, mostly typewritten, between Dr. George Papanicolaou, the inventor of the Pap smear, and noted eugenicist Dr. Leon F. Whitney, spanning 1937-1954, should gavel for $10,000-$12,000.

A lovely typed copy of the poem The Road Not Taken, signed by its author, Robert Frost, should command $800-$1,000. It’s a narrative poem - four stanzas of five lines each - and reads quite conversationally. It’s also one of Frost’s most popular works. Also, a one-page partially printed and partially handwritten document in Cyrillic, signed by the Russian Empress Catherine the Great (as “Catherine”), dated Feb. 23, 1765 and rewarding a servant, should hit $1,500-$1,700.

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 21st auction, please visit www.universityarchives.com.

Image: Elizabeth Custer archive - over 600 manuscript pages - a museum-quality trove of letters and drafts by Mrs. Custer, the widow of General George Armstrong Custer (est. $20,000-$25,000).

Spiderman-HA copy.jpgDallas, TX - The Original Cover Art from The Amazing Spider-Man #100  - considered one of the most iconic covers of the 1970s - could sell for as much as $300,000 in Heritage Auctions’ winter Comics & Comic Art event Feb. 22-24. Brimming with fresh-to-market high-grade vintage books, the auction features rarely seen art, such as Frank Frazetta’s Tree of Life Original Painting (est. $300,000).

“Hot on the heels of a last year’s record sales, we are starting 2018 with milestones of comic history,” said Barry Sandoval, Director of Operations for Comics & Comic Art at Heritage. “There are wonders to be found for every collector across every price point.” 

Artists John Romita Sr.’s and Frank Giacoia’s cover art for The Amazing Spider-Man #100 masterfully portrays Spidey and dozens of famous canon characters and marks the first time the artwork has ever been offered at auction. Collaborating with the legendary Stan Lee, the two understood the anniversary issue’s cover needed to be a masterpiece. Historians and fans alike rank the cover among the most influential of all time.

“This cover was done during the peak period of John Romita, Sr.’s artwork, at a time when Spider-Man’s popularity was extremely high,” Heritage Auctions’ Senior Vice President for Fine & Decorative Arts Ed Jaster said. “John Romita, Sr., had done the covers and interior of Spider-Man #39-95, and he changed the character from a kind of nerdy high school kid to a more self-confident college student, which is part of the reason why Spider-Man was able to capture more of an older market.”

Another striking example of Marvel Comics’ bombastic Silver Age covers is the Original Cover Art to Thor #154 by Jack “King” Kirby and Vince “The Prince” Colletta (est. $80,000). Thor almost jumps right off the page amid a highly detailed and character-stuffed background. Leading a selection of DC Comics cover art is the 1964 Original Cover Art from Superman #171 by Curt Swan and George Klein (est. $50,000). 

Original daily newspaper comic strip art includes two important rarities: a scarce original Calvin and Hobbes daily comic strip by artist Bill Watterson (est. $70,000). In addition to Watterson’s, fans of Charles Schulz are offered the Original Art for the Dec. 21, 1958 Peanuts Sunday Comic Strip featuring a coveted holiday theme and an entire cast of characters (est. $70,000). Even more beloved themes from Peanuts are offered, particularly Snoopy on his doghouse or pretending he’s a WWI Flying Ace, Charlie Brown and Lucy on the pitcher's mound and Lucy as the sarcastic psychiatrist, talking Charlie Brown through an existential crisis.

The sale’s selection of high-grade vintage comic books includes copies of Batman #1 (DC, 1940), CGC FN/VF 7.0 (est. $250,000) and a scarce copy of All-American Comics #16 (DC, 1940), CGC FN+ 6.5, featuring the origin and first appearance of Green Lantern (est. $125,000). The price guide value of the first appearance of Wonder Woman, in All Star Comics #8 (DC, 1942), CGC FN+ 6.5 (est. $100,000), has skyrocketed by 49 percent between 2016 and 2017.

Collector favorites include Captain America Comics #1 (Timely, 1941), CGC VG- 3.5 (est. $85,000), for its dynamic Adolf Hitler cover by Kirby, and the first appearance of Spider-Man in Amazing Fantasy #15 (Marvel, 1962), CGC FN 6.0 (est. $50,000).

A private collector’s complete run of every Archie-related comic or character reference ever published between 1941 and 1971 debuts in this auction with a group of 30 lots, starting with his first appearance in Pep Comics #22 (MLJ, 1941), CBCS Restored FN+ 6.5 (est. $50,000). The collection holds a coveted Archie Comics #1 (MLJ, 1942), CGC GD/VG 3.0 (est. $30,000) as well as a choice copy of Archie Comics #50 (Archie, 1951), CGC VF- 7.5 (est. $5,000). Perhaps rarest of all is an unusual promotional issue published as a shoe store giveaway (Archie, 1948), CGC VF/NM 9.0 (est. $3,000), rarely seen at auction.

Additional highlights include, but are not limited to:

·         Square Eggs (a.k.a. Lost In The Andes), 1973, a classic painting depicting Walt Disney’s Donald Duck family by Carl Barks (est. $50,000)

·         Original art by Kirby and Paul Reinman for Page 20 from Marvel Comics’ X-Men #1 (est. $40,000)

·         Robert Crumb’s original art for “Morbid Sense of Humor,” (est. $30,000), a one-page story which was published in Despair #1 (Print Mint Inc, 1969)

·         A rarely-seen high-grade copy of The Incredible Hulk #1 (Marvel, 1962), CGC FN+ 6.5 (est. $30,000)

Boston, MA — A flown swatch of fabric recovered from the wreckage of the Hindenburg sold for $36,282 according to Boston-based RR Auction. 

The piece of red cotton canvas was found among the wreckage of the Hindenburg following its disastrous explosion at Naval Air Station Lakehurst in New Jersey on May 6, 1937.

It was picked up by the Rosemary Dowling, a teenager at the time, who was on the ground with her sisters; her father Patrick was among the naval crew working to dock the airship when it exploded.

The museum quality piece is unique in that it is not silver gray, but red and was from the giant Nazi flags that were emblazoned on the tail of the airship.

“For many, this represents much more than the Hindenburg — but an end to the powerful propaganda tool used by the Nazi regime,” said Bobby Livingston, Executive VP at RR Auction. “We are thrilled with the price achieved that is well above our initial pre-auction estimate of $4,000 - $5,000.” 

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

Lyndon B. Johnson letter on White House letterhead sold for $27,455.

White House Flag hand-embroidered and used during four administrations sold $22,689.

George W. Bush letter on White House letterhead stating "The Oval Office is a shrine to Democracy," sold for $22,689.

Richard Nixon letter on White House letterhead from December 14, 1971, sold $20,626.

Abraham Lincoln land grant, signed the day after he issued the Emancipation Proclamation sold $15,496.

John F. Kennedy’s cream-colored silk scarf sold $7,950. 

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

 

247-Diggelmann copy.jpgNew York—Swann Galleries will offer an auction of Vintage Posters Featuring Highlights from the Gail Chisholm Collection on Thursday, March 1. More than 130 highlights from the collection of internationally renowned dealer and aficionado Gail Chisholm provide a colorful cross section of the variety of twentieth-century posters, from unusual images to midcentury masterpieces.

Gail Chisholm was beloved in the poster community for her impeccable taste and sense of humor. The collection is led by a suite of three posters—unique to the travel poster genre—by Georges Dorival, titled Vers le Mont - Blanc, 1928. The set, displaying the majestic peak throughout the day to lure all potential tourists, from early risers to night owls, carries an estimate of $8,000 to $12,000. Breathtaking travel advertisements for Scotland include two depicting holes on the famed Gleneagles golf course—The “Howe o’ Hope” and The “Heich o’ Fash”—each with an estimate of $4,000 to $6,000. Powerful graphic works by Adolphe Mouron Cassandre include Chemin de Fer du Nord, 1929, and Paris, 1935 ($4,000 to $6,000 and $3,000 to $4,000, respectively).

An unmistakable theme in Chisholm’s collection is a concentration of tantalizing advertisements for food and drink. Two posters from Charles Loupot’s iconic 1930 series for Cointreau, each valued at $5,000 to $7,500, demonstrate the artist’s mastery by using the color of the beverage as a thematic element while also reminding the viewer of the fruit from which it derives. Additional culinary highlights include J. Stall’s Champagne Joseph Perrier, circa 1929 ($2,500 to $3,500) and two featuring lobsters.

Also from the Chisholm collection comes an unparalleled selection of Erik Nitsche’s campaign for General Dynamics, a series so graphically powerful it changed the face of advertising. These are led by the French version of Hydrodynamics from the influential Atoms for Peace series in 1955 ($2,500 to $3,500). In accordance with her wishes, proceeds from the sale of her collection will benefit Planned Parenthood of New York City.

The complete set of four allegorical panels by Alphonse Mucha of The Seasons, 1896, leads a breathtaking section of Art Nouveau works, with an estimate of $40,000 to $60,000. Also featured are several iconic posters including Éveil du Matin and Réverie du Soir from the 1899 Times of the Day series, each valued at $7,000 to $10,000, as well as all seven plates designed by Mucha for Maîtres de l’Affiche. All five plates designed for the publication by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec make a rare auction appearance. Iconic works by Paul Berthon, Jules Chéret, Jean de Paleologue (Pal) and Henri Privat-Livemont will also be available.A stellar selection of ski posters includes such highlights as a previously unrecorded advertisement for Sun Valley, Idaho, circa 1936, released within a year of the famous resort’s opening and the inauguration of the world’s first chairlift ($4,000 to $6,000). The following year a similar technology had spread to Switzerland, where it is the main attraction in Alex Diggelmann’s poster for Gstaad / Berner Oberland, 1937 ($6,000 to $9,000). Additional highlights include the scarce English version of Erich Hermès’s Winter in Switzerland, 1936, with an estimate of $4,000 to $6,000, and an early photomontage poster for Davos, 1901, from the Julius Paul Collection ($3,000 to $4,000). Rogers Broders is well-represented with Sports d’Hiver dans les Vosges, circa 1930, at an estimate of $5,000 to $7,500. Charles Hallo, who went professionally by the nickname Alo, designed Chamonix - Mont Blanc, 1924 ($4,000 to $6,000) for the eighth Olympic games, leading a competitive section of Olympic imagery.

Skiing was an attraction in the southern hemisphere as well, with James Northfield’s Winter Sport in Australia, 1932, carrying an estimate of $5,000 to $7,500. Also from Oceania come Australia / The Great Barrier Reef, circa 1956, by Eileen Mayo, and Harry Kelly’s Tasmania / Australia for the Angler, circa 1935 ($2,500 to $3,500 and $2,000 to $3,000, respectively).

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

Image: Lot 247: Alex Walter Diggelmann, Gstaad / Berner Oberland, 1937. Estimate $6,000 to $9,000.

 

432a3a571055ebf13835989eed584c0c49246ce8.jpegBoston, MA - RR Auction is pleased to present a new lot of exciting collectibles in its Prince Auction with bidding beginning February 8 - February 15.  

From the time he exploded onto the music scene in 1978 with his debut album For You, until his untimely death in 2016, Prince reigned over the landscape of modern music in a way few have before or after. With his unparalleled virtuosity as a prolific singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, electric live performer and even fashion icon, Prince leaves behind a legacy of chart-topping and record-smashing success. His legions of fans worldwide still mourn the loss of his larger-than-life talent.

The collection offers an intimate, up-close glimpse of an elusive musician who valued his personal privacy and kept his inner circle small. Items featured are stage-worn clothing and jewelry and personally owned items, autographed photos (unpublished, promos and candids) and rare albums (many still sealed). There are highly sought-after handwritten notes and lyrics, and items used by Prince on stage and off. 

More than 200 items are included in the sale, originating from Prince insiders. 

Some incredible stand-out items featured in this auction include: 

Prince’s stage worn purple boots. The custom-made high-heeled shoes, feature a black leather interior and purple satin exterior. The zippers on the sides are decorated with large silver ‘love symbol’ charms. These boots were clearly extensively worn by the iconic musician.

Purple piano played by Prince, the upright piano which was kept at the home of an early Prince insider and was personally played by Prince frequently throughout his career. The piano was originally picked up by the touring crew of Earth, Wind & Fire around 1978, and was delivered to the consignor’s home in Los Angeles (where Prince was living at the time) as a gift specifically for Prince. This was his favorite piano to play because he loved the distinctive ring-like sound it made when he played it. 

Prince's handwritten working script for the 1986 film Under the Cherry Moon, plus a handwritten and signed title page.” The red notebook contains eight single-sided pages of Prince's handwritten working script for the 1986 film Under the Cherry Moon, plus a handwritten and signed title page. 

Incredibly rare original 1987 U.S. first pressing of The Black Album factory sealed in its original shrinkwrap, complete with affixed peach-and-black sticker on the front, "Explicit Lyrics, Parental Advisory.”

Drafted lyrics for “I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man,” entirely in Prince's hand.  

Prince microphone from “Purple Rain” tour, the stage-used Sennheiser mic was used during the second half of the 1984-85 Purple Rain Tour.

Prince’s purple pants from circa 1982-1985. The pants are custom-made with a tiny 25″ waist, 26.5″ inseam, and overall length of 38″. These pants are identical in color and fabric to the jacket Prince wore during a photo session with legendary photographer Richard Avedon on December 22, 1982. 

Prince's black mesh cropped shirt decorated with black tassels along the sleeves, worn on the same night of his private performance party for Minneapolis Mayor Sharon Sayles Belton on January 14, 1995. 

The Prince Auction from RR Auction begins on February 8 and will conclude on February 15. More details can be found online at www.rrauction.com.    

Image: Lot #4013 - Prince Handwritten Lyrics for 'I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man.’ Courtesy RR Auction.

February11_02_pics.jpgIthaca, NY—Worth Auctions, located in Dryden, NY, announces the launch of their next auction catalog.    

This catalog features a variety of items and artwork, with the bulk of the catalog focused on our next session from the estate of Salvatore Grippi. In addition to numerous finished paintings, many lots offer works on paper, studies and assorted items from the artist's studio will also be sold.             

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

Other items in this catalog offer a diverse range of categories. Of particular note is a collection of early Currier & Ives prints, including hand-colored and rare examples. There are also some fine antique fishing-related items including reels and an original 1940's Johnson outboard motor. Additional lots include antique Civil War photographs, an antique McClellan saddle, an original oil painting by noted Ithaca area artist, William Charles Baker, vintage dolls, antique coins, musical instruments, and more.       

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

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

 

GW Book.jpgKnoxville, TN— A trove of historical books, documents and silver tied to George Washington and other Revolutionary War heroes helped Case ring in 2018 with one of its most successful sales to date. 4500 registered bidders from more than 60 countries participated in the January 27 auction at the company’s gallery in Knoxville, and 95% of the lots sold. 

Leading the auction was an important book, owned and signed by George Washington and given to his friend and biographer, the U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall (1755-1835). Published in 1789 by printer and patriot Isaiah Thomas, the leather-bound Volume 1 of The Massachusetts Magazine contained an account of Washington’s first inauguration as President, plus his memoirs, and Washington’s coat-of-arms engraved bookplate. The intriguingly personal piece of presidential ephemera surged to $138,000, shattering its $28,000-32,000 estimate (all prices include the buyer’s premium). The anonymous buyer bid via telephone, competing against 7 other phone bidders and multiple online suitors, including institutions and some of the nation’s leading book and manuscript dealers and collectors.

The book was found by dealer and consultant Carl Schow in the estate of Charles Boyd Coleman, Jr. of Chattanooga, Tennessee. Coleman was a direct descendant of Justice Marshall, and his family tree also included General Henry Dearborn and General Elias Dayton, along with distinguished Civil War soldiers on both sides of the conflict. Company president John Case likened the discovery of material from the estate to “finding a time capsule full of pivotal moments from American history” and noted that more objects from the estate will be sold in Case’s summer auction.

Justice Marshall’s personal copy of his biography of George Washington (second edition, 1832) reached $21,600 (est. $5,000-7,000), and a 1799 letter from George Washington to John Marshall congratulating him on his first election to public office tallied $19,200 (est. $12,000-14,000). A George II silver sauceboat, which descended in the John Marshall family with oral history of having a connection to Washington, served up $11,040. It bore a coat of arms attributed to the Bassett family, and likely belonged to Martha Washington’s niece, Fanny Bassett, who lived at Mount Vernon until her untimely death in 1796. It was accompanied by a velvet remnant said to have come from George Washington’s coat. John Marshall’s signed four-volume set of Plutarch’s Lives, published by James Crissy in Philadelphia,1825, brought $18,600, and Marshall-signed letters to his son and wife brought $4,560 and $4,320 respectively. A full-length oil portrait of Marshall realized $16,640. It is one of seven known portraits of Marshall by William James Hubard (Virginia, 1807-1862); all are nearly identical to the Hubard portrait currently in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery. From the same estate, a Joseph Loring Federal silver cup with engraved initials for General Henry Dearborn (1750-1829) brought $3,240, while a military appointment signed by Gen. Dearborn and President Thomas Jefferson realized $3,120. An 1834 Andrew Jackson signed document conferring the rank of Major to Captain Greenleaf Dearborn marched to $2,176. An archive of material related to Marshall descendant, Lt. Col. Lewis Minor Coleman (CSA, Virginia, 1827-1863), including a tintype photo of Coleman in uniform, charged to $10,240, while Coleman’s bird’s eye view print of the University of Virginia, lithographed by Edward Sachse, landed at $11,264. A Civil War-era Annin & Co. flag unfurled at $5,520. It had been the property of Dearborn descendant Charles H. Boyd, who served the Union during the Civil War as chief topographical engineer for Gen. Henry Thomas.

Applause broke out in the saleroom when the only known lifetime painting of stallion Bonnie Scotland and groom, Robert Green, of the famous Nashville plantation and thoroughbred farm “Belle Meade,” crossed the finish line at $48,000 (its top estimate). The artist was Herbert Kittredge, a promising equine artist whose career was cut short by his death in 1881 at the age of 28. Bonnie Scotland’s progeny included War Admiral, Man O’War, and Seabiscuit, and his descendants are still winning races today, including the 2014 Derby Winner and 2016 American Horse of the Year, California Chrome.

“It was an especially significant painting because of the depiction of Robert Green, a slave at Belle Meade who stayed on as a paid employee after the Civil War,” commented Sarah Campbell Drury, Case’s Vice President of Fine and Decorative Arts. “His likeness reminds us of the often-forgotten role of African Americans to the sport of racing in the 19th century.”

The winning bidder, Belle Meade Plantation (now a house museum and historic site open to the public in Nashville) nosed out underbidders on the telephone and internet, after launching a campaign among supporters and on social media to raise money to buy the painting. A portrait of another Belle Meade horse, “Springfield,” by Thomas Scott (Kentucky, 1824-1888) raced to $7,920 (est. $3,400-3,800), selling to an anonymous phone bidder. Two museums competed against a dealer bidding by phone for a painting by William Frye (Alabama, 1822-1872) depicting an unnamed African American man standing in front of an edition of the Louisville Commercial newspaper (known for its anti-slavery leanings). Despite some tears to the canvas, it hammered down to Winterthur Museum for $15,000. (Winterthur also purchased a rare sampler made by an African girl in an English missionary school in Sierra Leone for $3,840). A folky early 19th century portrait of a little girl in a painted chair, descended in the Moran family of Middle Tennessee, blew past its $1,000-1,200 estimate to $8,640. Other Southern paintings of noted included a painting of a house by New Orleans artist James Michalopoulos, $5,040; a large house paint on wood panel painting of a dancing woman by Mose Tolliver, $4,096, and a Tennessee landscape by Thomas Campbell, $1,140.   Memory paintings by Helen LaFrance (Kentucky, b. 1919) ranged from $1,320 for a still life to $6,240 for a detailed Church Picnic scene. A Carroll Cloar self-portrait lithograph titled “The Ingredients” sold for $3,480 against a $500-600 estimate, and a Charles William Smith woodcut of a Charleston, SC graveyard rested at $1,920.

European Art included Hans Zatzka oil of two partially nude women in a lavish, Orientalist style interior. It sold to a Middle Eastern buyer for $20,480, more than double its estimate. A portrait of a far more conservatively dressed 17th century noblewoman, attributed to the circle of Cornelis De Vos, sold to an overseas buyer for its top estimate, $7,936, while an early 19th century Dutch floral still life by Jan Van Doust flourished at $3,328. A painting of cats by Austrian born animal painter Carl Kahler purred to $6,720, and a Berlin style hand-painted porcelain plaque of a sleeping cherub rested at $4,560. An unsigned 18th century portrait of a well-dressed English gentleman sold for $3,000, and a portrait of a peasant girl in a floral wreath by William Oliver the Younger earned $2,560.

Sculpture included a 36” Victor Issa bronze of a nude woman, $4,608; Erte bronzes Melisande, $3,360 and Heat, $3,072; a Raymond Coins stone tablet carved with Adam and Eve motif, $2,400; and a Tim Lewis carved limestone Noah’s Ark, $1,920.

20th century fine and decorative arts met with avid interest, particularly a George Nakashima walnut credenza, which attracted 8 phone bidders and lots of internet interest, propelling it to $25,600 (est. $5,400-$5,800). Two vivid abstract watercolors by Beauford Delaney (American/Tennessee, 1901-1979), from the artist’s estate, achieved $15,000 and $7,440, while an archive of Delaney letters and paintbrushes drew $4,800. A Picasso Madoura “Visage” ceramic plate brought $7,936 and an Alexander Calder signed lithograph, “Homage to Ben Shahn,” doubled its estimate at $2,880. A Baker “Abalone” chandelier based on a mid-mod Tony Duquette design lit up at $5,632 and a vintage Abercrombie & Fitch leather footstool, in the form of a rhinoceros, trampled its $700-900 estimate to hit $2,688. A group of 3 Clyde Burt Art Pottery items made $1,320.

Several bidders craved a rare Middle Tennessee Sheraton sugar sideboard, pushing the price to $19,800 (est. $5,400-5,800). A Hepplewhite inlaid chest of drawers with deep top “bonnet” drawers, attributed to South Carolina, soared to $18,000, and an East Tennessee desk and bookcase tallied $16,200. An unusual Western Pennsylvania high chest, adorned with what John Case called “a tour de force of inlay,” reached $9,600; an inlaid Hepplewhite style chest of drawers attributed to the Lexington, KY shop of Porter Clay fetched $7,920; and an inlaid sideboard attributed to South Carolina served up $7,440. An English Regency secretary cabinet with ebonized trim including paw feet and sphinx decoration, from the Maple Grove Estate of Knoxville and featured in a Southern Living magazine article on the home, sold for $9,600, while a Chippendale carved tea table with birdcage, possibly from Philadelphia, earned $5,520.

Pottery, a staple at Case, included one of the earliest pieces to surface attributed to David “Dave” Drake, an enslaved but literate artisan at the Lewis Miles Pottery of Edgefield, South Carolina. The double handled jar, inscribed LM and dated 1840, achieved $7,920 (est. $5,000-7,000). Other Southern related objects included a James LaFever Tennessee stoneware jug, $3,840, and a John Fashauer Kentucky stoneware jar, $2,280.

Textiles included an 1832 Kentucky house sampler by Eliza Pearson of Nelson County, $6,144, and a circa 1860 Tennessee pictorial sampler featuring a horse and rider, $3,120.

It was a good sale for jewelry and silver. The star jewelry lot was a 3.13 carat oval brilliant cut diamond ring, F color, VS1 clarity, with GIA report, which realized $36,000 (est. $24,000-28,000).  An Art Deco platinum ring with two mine cut diamonds (approximately 1.4 carats) and twenty channel set sapphires sparkled at $6,960, and a Georgian 18K diamond bangle bracelet wrapped up $4,096. A set of five 22K yellow gold matching bangle bracelets sold for $2,816. A Kirk Repousse pattern 6-piece tea service including kettle sold for $11,040 (est. $8400-8800), while a Baltimore coin silver Repousse Monteith bowl with scenic design hammered down at $4,096. A George III Sterling Epergne brought $6,912, and a Continental silver figural griffin jug climbed ot $4,864. A large Old Sheffield meat dome with warming stand was a hot seller at $6,960, and a Whiting Sterling overlaid ruby glass biscuit jar quadrupled its estimate at $6,240. A Southern coin silver collector claimed a coin silver agricultural premium goblet with inscription for the 1858 Noxubee Fair in Mississippi, to $4,080, while a Bailey & Co. Victorian sterling ewer competed to $3,120, and a set of five Manchester sterling juleps with horseshoe decoration raced to $1,560.

Maps and documents, many from the estate of the late Dr. Benjamin Caldwell, enjoyed success as well. An 1834 set of working copies of the Tennessee State Constitution with margin notations, suggesting it was used during the Constitutional Convention, sold to an institution for $5,280, and an 1830s engraved tripartite view of Nashville, cut from an extremely scarce map by J.P. Ayres (only two copies are known to exist), shot to $3,120 against a $300-350 estimate. A J. Russell 1794 Kentucky map sold for $3,328, while a 1748 “New Map of Georgia” by Emmanuel Bowen tripled its estimate at $3,240. A Civil War letter archive related to the family of Rep. Francis Burton Craige of North Carolina brought $2,160.

A collection of 28 Chinese jade buckles, sold in multiple lots, brought a total of $30,556. Other Asian decorative arts included a Qing red lacquer armchair, $4,864; a Qing carved hardwood games table, $3,328; and a group of 3 Yixing teapots, $2,400. An archaic form bronze jue served up $2,880, while a bronze tree of life turned into a lamp made $2,880 and a Meiji bronze warrior figure prevailed at $1,536.

Two mechanical music collections struck a chord with buyers. Top lots included a Swiss music box on stand with interchangeable cylinders, $5,120; a Swiss Music Box with inlaid burlwood case and bird and bee strikers, $4,096; and a George Baker Troll Co. cylinder music box, $2,400. And a scarce Lyon and Healy harp shattered its $1,000 high estimate to hit a surprise high note of $18,600.

Other interesting objects included a scarce lithographed tin advertising tray and 4 glasses from the short-lived Alabama Brewing Co. (Birmingham, 1897-1908), $2,816, and a W.T. and C.D. Gunter Jack Daniels No. 7 clear glass whiskey bottle, $1,920; a Western Union Model 2825 3-A Ticker Tape with stand, $5,376, and a Solomon Reed full stock percussion long rifle, .40 cal., $5,280. A set of Baccarat gilded crystal bowls and tazzas earned $5,120, and a French gilt bronze table screen with enameled interior scene closed at $4,352.

Case Antiques, Inc. is based in Knoxville with offices in Nashville and the Tri-Cities. The company conducts auctions four times a year of investment quality art, antiques, jewelry and historical objects. For more information or to consign objects for a future auction, visit www.caseantiques.com/selling  or call the gallery in Knoxville at (865) 558-3033 or the Nashville office at (615) 812-6096, or email info@caseantiques.com.

Click here for a full list of highlights from the auction

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Additional highlights include but are not limited to:

 ·         An Abraham Lincoln Pennsylvania Campaign Broadside from 1864

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

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

·         An Exceptional 1828 Andrew Jackson New York Broadside from 1828

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Among the highlights are:

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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