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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Waverly Rare Books is located at 360 South Washington St., Falls Church, VA 22046. The January 24 auction will commence at 6 p.m. Eastern time. Preview daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., now through auction day. Refreshments will be served at the preview party to be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, January 19. For additional information about any item in the sale, call 703-532-5632, extension 575; or e-mail waverly@quinnsauction.com. View the online catalog and register to bid absentee or live online, at LiveAuctioneers.com. Quinn’s and Waverly are always accepting consignments for future auctions. Visit Quinn’s and Waverly online at http://www.quinnsauction.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Potter & Potter, founded in 2007, is a Chicago area auction house specializing in paper Americana, vintage advertising, rare books, playing cards, gambling memorabilia, posters, fine prints, vintage toys, and magicana - antiques and collectibles related to magic and magicians. For more information, please see www.potterauctions.com.  Follow us on Facebook (potterandpotterauctions), Twitter (PnPAuctions), and Instagram (potterauctions). 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TIMED ONLINE-ONLY AUCTION
Bidding in the timed online-only auction will open on Monday, January 19 and close on Tuesday, January 29 beginning at Noon EST. Lots will close sequentially, one lot per minute, with a soft close. Should any bids be placed in the final minute, bidding will remain open on that lot for one additional minute.

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Live bidding for the 260-lot auction is scheduled to start promptly at 10:30 am Eastern time. As with all University Archives auctions, this one is loaded with rare, highly collectible autographed documents, manuscripts, books, photos and relics. The full catalog can be viewed online now, at www.UniversityArchives.com. Online bidding is via Invaluable.com and LiveAuctioneers.com. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For more information about University Archives and the Wednesday, January 23rd internet-only auction, please visit www.universityarchives.com.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Additional highlights can be found here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Additional highlights of the sale include:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Additional highlights can be found here.

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

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

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

NEWLY DISCOVERED MANUSCRIPT OF POEMS BY JOHN DONNE 

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

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

THE FIRST BOOK TO DESCRIBE A STOCK EXCHANGE 

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

SHAKESPEARE’S COMEDIES, HISTORIES AND TRAGEDIES 

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

THE DISSOLUTION OF THE BEATLES 

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

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

A RARE LETTER FROM THE FATHER OF MODERN GENETICS 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Additional highlights can be found here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The story began in 1975, when Mollo was commissioned by George Lucas to work on the Star Wars series. Lucas urged Mollo to avoid the stereotypical space-age look of earlier science fiction productions and instead to focus his designs on the pivotal concept of light versus darkness - ‘I just want to see light versus dark,’ he said. 

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

Other highlights of the sale included:

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

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

Highlights from the sale included:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE HISTORY OF SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

Auction Total: $4.9 Million 

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

In the year of the centenary of Feynman’s birth, his 1965 Nobel Prize in Physics achieved $975,000. The prize was awarded to Feynman along with fellow physicists Julian Schwinger and Shin’ichiro Tomonaga, “for their fundamental work in quantum electrodynamics, with deep-ploughing consequences for the physics of elementary particles.” The three physicists independently developed different ingenious methods to reconcile the electromagnetic field theory of the 19th century with the quantum mechanics theory of the 20th. Feynman’s method involved his invention of the revolutionary ‘Feynman Diagram’ - innovative pictorial representations that provided a clear visual explanation of every possible interaction between electrons and photons. 

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

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

SPACE EXPLORATION

Auction Total: 2.5 Million 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Potter & Potter, founded in 2007, is a Chicago area auction house specializing in paper Americana, vintage advertising, rare books, playing cards, gambling memorabilia, posters, fine prints, vintage toys, and magicana - antiques and collectibles related to magic and magicians. The company's next sale, an online only magic sale, will be held on December 15, 2018. For more information, please see www.potterauctions.com.  Follow us on Facebook (potterandpotterauctions), Twitter (PnPAuctions), and Instagram (potterauctions). 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Additional highlights can be found here.

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Mickey Mouse Celebrates 90th

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other top lots included, but were not limited to:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About the Publishing house

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

The philosophy of the tiles

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

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

Museum Meermanno

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

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

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

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

Highlights include:

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

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

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

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

Other books in the collection include:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The two-page letter, written in French in a clerical hand and signed by Napoleon (as “Napol” at the top of the second page, verso), was penned in Germany on March 29, 1807. The letter is addressed to Napoleon’s Minister of War, Henri Jacques Guillaume Clarke, chastising the Prince of Isenburg for disobeying orders and calling him “ridiculous.” It should sell for $2,000-$2,400.

The Napoleon bust after an 1885 model by Italian sculptor Renzo Colombo (1856-1885) is 21 ¾ inches tall and is in excellent condition, with the original patina. It depicts the French Emperor as dignified and serious, with firmly set brow and intense eyes. Colombo executed numerous casts of Napoleon, and this example stands as one of his finest. It carries an estimate of $3,000-$4,000.

A 1909 metal casting of an 1860 “life mask” of Abraham Lincoln by Leonard Wells Volk (Am., 1828-1895), with the casting executed by Caproni Casts in Boston, should reach $7,000-$8,000. Also, a letter written in 1782 by George Washington, as Commander in Chief of the Continental Army, to New York Gov. George Clinton, expressing outrage over Native American and loyalist attacks on the New York frontier, four pages, signed, is expected to finish at $18,000-$20,000.

A single-page letter written and signed by Thomas Jefferson as President, dated Oct. 29, 1803, in which he invites the French Ambassador Louis-Andre Pichon to dinner, right after completion of the Louisiana Purchase, has an estimate of $9,000-$10,000; while a one-page letter written and signed by Alexander Hamilton on Jan. 31, 1799, to George W. Kirkland of Philadelphia, in which he supports Kirkland’s idea of Army recruiting at Tioga Point, should hit $5,000-$7,000.

A scarce engraving on rice paper of the Declaration of Independence, printed in 1848 by Peter Force, boasting remarkably exact renditions of the signers’ hands and perhaps one of as few as 500 copies issued, should command $6,000-$7,000; while a bi-fold manuscript document from 1779 signed by George Taylor (1716-1781), among the rarest of the Declaration signers since he only served for seven months in the Continental Congress, has an estimate of $18,000-$20,000. 

A letter from 1947 written in German and signed by Albert Einstein, expressing appreciation for a 75th birthday present from a Mrs. Damann that prompted him to recall and sketch a childhood dexterity game called “Pigs into the Sty”, should reach $12,000-$14,000. Also, a letter penned extensively on all four sides by Charles Darwin, dated Feb. 9, 1861, in which he reflects on social and religious adversity while revising Origin of the Species, should rise to $6,000-$7,000.

An unframed 8 inch by 10 inch photograph of Babe Ruth, signed by the Bambino himself (“to my pal, Cyril, Sincerely, Babe Ruth”), depicting Ruth in street clothes, with a cigar in one hand, with a letter of authenticity from PSA/DNA, should breeze to $4,500-$5,000. Also, a huge black and white photo of Muhammed Ali, shown glowering over Sonny Liston, signed by Ali using a blue Sharpie and double matted in a 35 inch by 29 ½ inch frame, has an estimate of $800-$1,000.

A copy of the book Poems (N.Y., 1844) by Clement C. Moore, author of the classic Christmas poem A Visit From St. Nicholas (“Twas the night before Christmas….”), inscribed by Moore to Janet Drake de Kay (“with the respect of the author, Mar. 1846”) should garner $6,000-$8,000; while a partially printed document from 1793, signed by the poet (and legendary drinker) Robert Burns, in which he signs a permit to grab a cask of rum, is expected to gavel for $4,000-$5,000.

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

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

For more information about University Archives and the Wednesday, December 5th internet-only auction, please visit www.universityarchives.com.

Image: One-page letter written and signed by Alexander Hamilton in 1799, to George W. Kirkland of Philadelphia, supporting Kirkland’s idea of Army recruiting at Tioga Point (est. $5,000-$7,000).

 

752293.jpgNew York-Book collectors from far and wide partook in Swann Galleries’ auction of 19th & 20th Century Literature on Tuesday, November 13. The sale saw demand for genre works and classics alike with an 88% sell-through rate. Specialist John D. Larson noted that “the strong prices achieved across the spectrum of the sale was impressive, with canonical titles by Poe, Hemingway and Wilde leading the way. In addition, the more recent material, particularly the sc-fi variety, went from strength-to-strength with auction records set by Asimov, Philip K. Dick and Heinlein, proving once again the sky is no limit.” Topping the sale was a first edition of Oscar Wilde’s Lady Windermere’s Fan. A Play About a Good Woman, 1893. The presentation copy signed and inscribed by Wilde to Elisabeth Marbury-a leading play agent in New York who handled all of the author’s plays in America-was sold for $27,500 to a collector after breakneck bidding.

A first edition of Ernest Hemingway’s first book Three Stories & Ten Poems, 1923, from the collection of cartoonist Al Hirschfeld, saw success with a price of $18,750. The first American edition of All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque commanded $9,375 over its high estimate of $6,000. The 1929 book included the author’s signature and an inscription to the daughter of Carl Laemmle-the founder of Universal Studios.

Top prices earned by Transcendentalist authors include Henry David Thoreau’s 1845 Walden; or, Life in the Woods, which garnered $11,250. The author’s 1906 manuscript edition of The Writings, which featured a handwritten selection from Autumnal Tints, brought $8,750. Walt Whitman was present with a signed author’s edition of Leaves of Grass, 1876; and a signed first collected edition of Whitman’s Poems & Prose, 1888; which sold for $7,500 and $5,250, respectively. Additional works by Transcendentalists included the first edition, presentation copy, of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s May-Day and Other Pieces, 1867, which realized $3,750. The publication featured the author’s signature and an inscription to his nephew. Other notable publications from the late nineteenth century included the first edition, first printing of Edgar Allan Poe’s Tales, 1845, which produced $15,000. 

Appearing for the first time in its extraordinarily rare dust jacket was Jack London’s The Sea-Wolf, 1904. The first edition, second issue, brought $6,250. Other early twentieth-century literature included the first edition of Gaston Leroux’s Le Fantôme de l’Opéra, 1910. The scarce example garnered $5,250. The 1912 autographed edition of Thomas Hardy’s The Writings, complete with 20 volumes, was won for $5,000.

Records for works signed and inscribed by Philip K. Dick to his last romantic partner, Joan Simpson, included a 1970 first edition of Our Friends From Frolix 8, and a 1970 first hardcover edition of Galactic Pot-Healer. The works earned $5,000 and $4,750, respectively. Also by Philip K. Dick: the original 1952 typescript for Martians Come In Clouds, won for $9,375. The early story was published in a 1954 issue of Fantastic Universe

Additional science fiction and genre works included a pre-proof copy of Stephen King’s It, 1986. The unique example represents the book’s earliest state of production and brought $4,000.

Other records were set by Isaac Asimov, with a signed and inscribed first edition of The Caves of Steel, 1954, which earned $7,500, while a signed first edition of The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, 1966, by Robert A. Heinlein, reached $5,250.

Swann Galleries is currently accepting quality consignments for auctions in 2019. Visit www.swanngalleries.com for catalogues, bidding and inquiries. 

Additional highlights can be found here.

Image: Lot 279, Oscar Wilde, Lady Windermere’s Fan. A Play About a Good Woman, first edition, presentation copy, signed and inscribed, London, 1893. Sold for $27,500. 

743151.jpgNew York--Swann Galleries’ auction of Autographs on Thursday, November 8 saw major interest in notable authors and innovators, as well as American heros in a variety of fields including athletes and presidents. 

Kurt Vonnegut-an American writer best known for his science-fiction infused anti-war novel Slaughterhouse-Five-was a standout of the sale with a group of letters written to members of his family, largely from his time enlisted in the army during WWII. The offering of 12 letters, on various subjects including the war, love, alcohol and art also contain small drawings and doodles by the young Vonnegut, reached $12,500 over a high estimate of $6,000. Vonnegut also drew interest with a signed and inscribed unpublished story from the 1940s, which sold for $4,500. 

Of the Vonnegut offering Marco Tomaschett, Autographs Specialist, noted: “Vonnegut's letters are themselves tiny literary achievements. They sparkle with humor and keen observation, some with parts taking the form of a dialogue between his recipient and a fictional interlocutor; others serving as a sketchpad for clever insignias or flags that make a sarcastic commentary on the text running alongside. Vonnegut's letters are a joy to read, and that the group Swann offered realized as high a price as it did is a testament to the fact that there are still those who appreciate the joy of reading.”

Additional literary figures included a Ralph Waldo Emerson photograph signed, which brought $4,750. An autograph manuscript from Elizabeth Barett Browning, that featured a selection from her essay Walter Savage Landor, with holograph corrections, sold for $6,500 over a high estimate of $1,000. Ernest Hemingway’s autograph letter signed to Marlene Dietrich, thanking her for a number of things (including her patience) earned $4,680. And, a typed letter signed from Margaret Mitchell to a fan, mentioning her characters from Gone with the Wind as if they were actual people brought $5,980.  

Innovators proved to be popular with collectors with an ALS by Louis Jacques Mandé Daguerre discussing his newly created portable camera, which grossed $12,350, and a photograph signed and inscribed by Orville Wright. The silver print shows the first flight of the Wright Flyer on December 17, 1903 with Wilbur running alongside the plane and Orville piloting ($6,750). Artist Joan Miró’s illustrated autograph note signed to MoMA Director of Exhibitions and Publications, Monroe Wheeler reached $6,250.

American icons saw success with a print depicting the moon landing, signed and inscribed by Neil Armstrong, which garnered $5,250; and a Babe Ruth photograph signed and inscribed by the baseball player earned $8,125. 

Correspondents from American Presidents and First Ladies featured an Abigail Adams autograph letter offering marriage advice to her son that reached $5,460. An ALS from Thomas Jefferson as Secretary of State reached $9,375. Abraham Lincoln was present with an autograph endorsement signed, as well as Mary Todd Lincoln with an ALS on mourning stationary ($6,240 and $5,750, respectively). Modern U.S. Presidents featured John F. Kennedy with a sketch of his PT-109 on “United States Senate” stationary, which brought $5,200. 

Swann Galleries is currently accepting quality consignments for auctions in 2019. Visit www.swanngalleries.com for catalogues, bidding and inquiries. 

Additional highlights can be found here.

Image: Lot 356: Kurt Vonnegut, archive of 12 letters signed to his family, including 6 illustrated, 1930s-40s. Sold for $12,500. 

Los Angeles—A high-grade issue of The Incredible Hulk #1 from May 1962 sold for $167,280 on Friday at Huggins & Scott Auctions

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

The consignor read this 56-year old Hulk Comic once as a youth and kept it in storage since 1962. Well known to be a super tough comic to find in upper grades, this high-demand pivotal issue continues to show astonishing sale price increases, reaching a Fair Market Value of $175,000 in recent years for the few known examples that have been graded at the 8.5 level.

The popularity of the Incredible Hulk comic series led to Marvel Studio producing a superhero film The Incredible Hulk in 2008. The film starred Edward Norton as Bruce Banner/Hulk. Mark Ruffalo replaced Norton as the Hulk in the 2012 film The Avengers. Ruffalo reprised the Hulk role in Avengers: Age of Ultron and Avengers: Infinity War.

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

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

Master.jpgDallas, Texas - The Belgium-based Boon Foundation for Narrative Graphic Arts cast the $600,000 winning bid to add the original art for the eight-page story Master Race (EC 1955) to its collection of artworks from comic strips and graphic novels.

Heritage Auctions offered the original art for the first time since its publication in 1955 at a public auction of vintage comic books and comic art held Thursday, Nov. 15, in Dallas, Texas.

“These eight pages date from 1955 and were the first major representation of the Holocaust in the history of graphic narrative,” said Daniel Spindler, a representative of the Boon Foundation. “Master Race is one of the world masterworks of graphic narrative.” 

Created in Belgium in June 2018 by Philippe Boon, the Boon Foundation for Narrative Graphic Arts houses several thousand works, in particular strip comics and graphic novels. This collection of artifacts, illustrations and original pages stands at the heart of a vast cultural project dedicated to the narrative graphic arts. A permanent venue will be opened shortly to the public in Brussels, and travelling exhibitions will be organized. 

“The foundation’s mission statement to ‘share, enthrall and preserve’ matches Heritage Auctions’ mission perfectly,” said Jim Halperin, Co-Founder of Heritage Auctions. “We’re thrilled that this artwork, for one of the most critically acclaimed comic stories of all time, will tour the world on public display.” 

Frequently called the Citizen Kane of comic books, Master Race is a powerful look at the effects of Nazi concentration camp atrocities upon those who survived them, while retaining EC Comics’ signature "twisted" ending. EC Comics co-editor Bill Gaines and writer Al Feldstein developed the important Holocaust story, but critics point to Bernie Krigstein’s storytelling artwork that perfected the piece and influenced the comic genre for more than 60 years.

Master Race was the cover feature for Impact #1, one of EC's "New Direction” wave of books, which was released in 1955. Krigstein's jaw-dropping formal invention of mirroring previous panels and layouts from one page to another became an iconic template for both mainstream and underground cartoonists for many decades to come.

ajdpdnpkjfonpkdg.jpgNew York - Swann Galleries continues their auction season with Illustration Art on Thursday, December 6. The sale boasts an array of original works rife with nostalgia including children’s literature, American illustration and works from as early as 1817.

Ludwig Bemelmans leads a stellar assortment of illustrations from beloved children’s books with Madeline, Miss Clavel and the 11 schoolgirls. The heroine and her friends make an appearance in two illustrations from Madeline in London, 1961, the author’s final Madeline publication. After Everybody had been Fed features Miss Clavel and the girls dancing around Pepito’s birthday cake, and Everyone was in his Bed, shows the headmistress wishing her students a good night. The works demonstrate Bemelmans’ editorial process-the final publication featured different captions for illustrations-each are estimated at $30,000 to $40,000.                                  

Other children’s literature illustrations include Jerry Pinkney’s vibrant drawing for the cover of School Library Journal, published in December 2009. The special holiday watercolor features his characters from The Lion & The Mouse catching snowflakes on their tongues (Estimate: $7,000-10,000). Four of Maria Louise Kirk’s well-known illustrations for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, 1904, depict Alice in her rarely seen yellow dress ($5,000-7,500). Maurice Sendak is present with a preliminary sketch and final illustration for Little Bear’s New Friend, which appeared in a 2001 edition of Nick Jr. Magazine ($30,000-40,000). Also available is Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar and H.A. Rey’s 1939 color pencil work for Cecily G. and the 9 Monkeys-the first book to introduce Curious George ($8,000-12,000 and $10,000-15,000, respectively).

The sale is led by a Norman Rockwell study for the cover of the March 18, 1939 edition of The Saturday Evening Post. The study features James K. Van Brunt, a friend of the artist and one of his favorite models, as a serious yet slightly unkempt alchemist. By the time the image was created Van Brunt had passed and Rockwell was using photo references to execute the cover ($70,000-100,000). Also by Rockwell is The Maternity Waiting Room, an early color study for the illustration published in a 1946 issue of The Saturday Evening Post ($20,000-30,000).

Charlie Brown and Snoopy take the spotlight in this auction with Swann’s largest offering of Peanuts cartoons to date. The assortment of original comic strips by Charles M. Schulz include The Years are Going By Fast, featuring Schroder and Lucy ($8,000-12,000), as well as four additional comic strips and one charcoal drawing, each featuring everyone’s favorite beagle. Additional cartoons include an original 11-panel Doonesbury strip by Garry Trudeau featuring his character Rufus Jackson. Created in the early 1970s the, strip is dedicated and inscribed to the influential psychologist, educator and civil rights activist Kenneth B. Clark ($6,000-9,000).

Early twentieth-century originals include Sir William Russell Flint’s 1924 gouache and watercolor piece for Homer’s Odyssey, which shows a detailed image of Penelope weaving her shroud, is expected to bring $10,000 to $15,000. Illustration 34 from Simón Bolivar and His Time: 51 Miniatures by Arthur Szyk, created circa 1929, but published in 1952, displays a sympathetic portrait of the liberator ($8,000-12,000). A late-1930s manuscript broadside with a message “To all Fascists:” by Rockwell Kent for the League of American Writers, protesting the Spanish Civil War and signed by dozens of members, is estimated at $3,000 to $4,000.

Skaters on the Ice by James Daugherty is the earliest New Yorker cover the house has offered, published in January 1926 and estimated at $4,000 to $6,000. A Charles Addams cartoon of a couple walking past an alarmingly large bird house is expected to bring $6,000 to $9,000. Other highlights from the iconic magazine include a 1964 cover by Peter Arno, cover illustrations from Heidi Goennel and cartoons from Charles Barsotti.           

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

Additional highlights can be found here.

Image: Lot 4: Ludwig Bemelmans, After Everybody had been Fed, illustration for Madeline in London, gouache, watercolor and ink, 1961. Estimate $30,000 to $40,000.

Potter 80.jpgChicago — Potter & Potter Auctions is pleased to announce its 750 lot Vintage Travel Poster Sale to be held on Saturday, December 1, 2018 starting at 10am at the company's gallery, located at 3759 N. Ravenswood Ave., Chicago, IL 60613. All lots from this upcoming sale from are on display and available for public preview on Wednesday, November 28th, Thursday, November 29th, and Friday, November 30th from 10:00am to 5:00pm in the Potter & Potter facility. 

This travel poster event offers a grand tour of European cities, with two examples taking top spots in the sale. Lot #166, a 1951 Venezia poster by Frenchman Adolphe Mouron (1901-1968) features a tranquil vista on a Venetian canal with a man in renaissance dress operating a gondola whose image is inversely reflected in the water.  It was printed in Milan by Calcografia & Cartevalori and is estimated at $2,000-3,000. And lot #355, a c. 1935 Swedish American Line poster, is illustrated with an imposing ocean liner, likely the MS Kungsholm. This impressive, Art Deco style example is estimated at $2,000-3,000 and was printed by the Swedish firm Icasons.  

Other European destinations are also well represented in this sale.  A top dog here is lot #80, a British travel poster featuring an English bulldog on a blue background with a jet above.  This c. 1960 poster for Qantas was designed by Australian Harry Rogers (1929-2012.)  Lot #309, a Berliner Allee cityscape of Dusseldorf, Germany from the perspective of a table on a patio, is a breath of fresh air indeed. It was designed by H. Gutschow in 1955.  And lot #290, an Air France color lithograph with vignettes of various sites, landmarks, and characters of Europe, was designed in 1960 by Frenchman Jean Carlu (1900—1997.) All three are conservatively estimated at $250-350 each. 

It is possible to go great distances without leaving home via the marvelous Russian and Far East posters available through this event.  Bidder battles are certain to break out over lot #214, a 1939 Georgian Military Highway poster by Russian artist Alexander Zhitomirsky (1907-1993.) This stunning example, published in the USSR by Intourist, pictures a blue sedan racing through the mountains on the highway and is estimated at $1,500-2,500. It's also back to the USSR with lot #431, a Pan Am poster vividly illustrated with the St. Petersburg Church of the Savior Blood turrets. This example is from 1970 and is estimated at $500-700.   And lot #298, a Discover Japan Fly JAL 1950s-era color lithograph of a  kite in the form of a samurai on a teal background is certain to take flight, given its charming and period presentation.  It is estimated at $250-350.

Posters representing southern destinations lend a touch of southern comfort (and hospitality) to this auction.  Lot #288, a c. 1955 poster from the Mexican National Tourism Council, is illustrated with a photograph of a large Mexican fruit display complete with a man and woman topper in traditional dress. This "Paradise of Tropical Fruits" is estimated at $150-250.  It's impossible not to make eye contact with Lot #300, a Pan American poster for Tahiti featuring a beautiful woman with a suggestive gaze.  This looker from the 1970s is estimated at $300-500.  And lot #540, a c. 1950 Habana, Cuba poster from Artes Graficas promotes the city's twinkling lights, landmark buildings, and main thoroughfares. It is estimated at $1,400-1,600.

This sale proves you don't have to leave the USA to view world-class landmarks and events.  Lot #14, a Fly TWA to Las Vegas poster from 1968 combines the daytime and nighttime view of the desert oasis with sun, sand, gambling, and glamour.  Lot #15, a small format version of the iconic Fly TWA to New York poster from 1960, is estimated at $800-1,200.  Both these Las Vegas and New York posters were illustrated by David Klein (1918 - 2005), a talented artist best known for his work with TWA and Howard Hughes in the 1950s and 1960s. Also on track in this category is lot #565, a Gustav W. Krollman (1888-1962) Mission Range poster for Northern Pacific Railways.  This example from 1930 pictures a train speeding through Montana. This handsome and period poster is estimated at $1,200-1,800

This sale comes rounds out with can't look away selections of posters featuring sports, events, adventure, and other exotic destination themes. Lot #236, a rare and original 1946  Air France travel poster for West Africa by Vincent Guerra is estimated at $1,500-2,000.  It comes to life with an abstracted, patterned image of African elephants among their native terrain, with a jet flying overhead.  You can go anywhere with lot #152, a classic modernist travel poster from American Airlines advertising the concept of travel rather than a specific destination. This inspiring example was designed by Edward Mcknight Kauffer in 1948 and is estimated at $1,500-2,000. And last to take a pole position in this summary is lot #102, a Dorothy Waugh (1896-1996) poster promoting winter sports for the US Parks Service.  This Art Deco style piece, showing a pair of skiers silhouetted in snowy white against a blue and green background, is estimated at $1,400-2,000.

According to Gabe Fajuri, President at Potter & Potter Auctions, "We're pleased to offer such a diverse selection of posters, in such wonderful condition, and all from a single owner collection. Any enthusiast with an interest in modern master poster designers should find something appealing at this sales event. These striking images should also catch the eye of designers, decorators, and anyone looking for first-class examples of mid-century modern decorative art."

Potter & Potter, founded in 2007, is a Chicago area auction house specializing in paper Americana, vintage advertising, rare books, playing cards, gambling memorabilia, posters, fine prints, vintage toys, and magicana - antiques and collectibles related to magic and magicians. The company's next sale, an online only Winter Magic Auction, will be held on December 15, 2018. The auction will be conducted exclusively on Potter & Potter's online bidding platform. The online catalog will be posted approximately two weeks before the date of the sale. For more information, please see www.potterauctions.com.  Follow us on Facebook (potterandpotterauctions), Twitter (PnPAuctions), and Instagram (potterauctions). 

Image: Lot 80. Britain Qantas. Estimate $250-350

Goldberg V.jpgNew York - On December 5, Bonhams Books and Manuscripts sale will offer Glenn Gould's extensively annotated copy of his recording for the second "Goldberg Variations," one of the most significant and well-known interpretations in classical music (estimate: $100,000-150,000). This annotated complete score and accompanying notes offer profound insight into the landmark recording. Gould manuscripts are very rare in the marketplace, with no substantial Gould manuscript ever having been sold at auction.

Darren Sutherland, Books and Manuscripts Specialist, commented: "It's very exciting to offer this extensively annotated Glenn Gould score from his 1981 recording of the Goldberg Variations. The vast majority of Gould material is held institutionally, and never reaches the private market."

Pianist Glenn Gould (1932-1982) of Canada, rocketed to stardom in 1955 with his recording of his interpretation of Johann Sebastian Bach's Aria mit verschiedenen Veränderungen (Aria with Diverse Variations), popularly known as the Goldberg Variations. The work comprises a set of 30 contrapuntal variations, beginning and ending with an aria. The piece had long been considered, when considered at all, as too esoteric and demanding to be part of the standard piano repertoire, with very few pianists even attempting it. Glenn Gould's innovative 1955 recording changed all of that. He had first played the Goldberg Variations in concert in 1954, and the composition became a staple of his performances. But it was his 1955 recording that launched his career as an international figure, fast becoming one of the world's best-known piano recordings. In 1964, at the pinnacle of his performing career, Gould retired from performing at the age of 30. Increasingly dissatisfied with his 1955 original, Gould made a new recording of the Goldberg Variations in 1981, this time with years of experience behind him. It was released a week before he died in 1982, winning a Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Solo Performance, and it now stands as the coda to Gould's outstanding career.

These pages offer an important window into Gould's famous final recording, as he notes in minutiae the timings of various takes and levels, while sometimes emphasizing pauses, microphone placements, etc. The four additional manuscript pages likewise contain notes on the recordings, referencing the score and providing additional commentary and instruction, such as at Var. XVII: "↓ at Bar 5 could be just a wee shade less"; or "Var 20 ... Bar 8; look once again for another last beat, 9 as we know tends to rush"; or simply "Var XVIII Perf-" [Perfect]. Gould the pianist had lived closely with this piece of music for 25 years and was unlikely to need notes for playing—the present manuscript contains minute detail of his assembly of the recording.

 

UnVzc2lhbiBCb29rcy5qcGc=.jpegLondon--On 28 November, Christie’s will present the single owner auction Russian Literary First Editions and Manuscripts: Highlights from the R. Eden Martin Collection, which features 228 lots of fine Russian books and manuscripts, primarily from Russia's Golden Age and Silver Age of literature (the early 19th and early 20th centuries respectively). Built over the past two decades by the American Chicago lawyer R. Eden Martin, this is one of the last great private collections of Russian literature in America. The collection is highlighted by a presentation copy of the first edition of Kamen (1913), which was inscribed by Mandel'shtam for his early mentor, the poet Viacheslav Ivanov (estimate: £60,000-90,000). Further highlights include a first edition of Gogol's rare first masterpiece Vechera na khutore bliz dikan'ki (1831-32) (estimate: £50,000-70,000) and the first part of Pushkin's Evgenii Onegin (1825) in its original paper cover - a book so rare that even the great collector Smirnov-Sokol'skii did not have it on his shelves (estimate: £25,000-35,000).

Sven Becker, Specialist, Books & Manuscripts, Christie's: “The auction of this remarkable collection is the most important sale of Russian literature to take place outside of Russia since the Diaghilev-Lifar auction, more than 40 years ago, and one of the last opportunities to acquire genuine rarities in this field”. 

R. Eden Martin: “It seems to me that the case for collecting rare editions of great Russian books is not scholarly - and it is not different than the case for collecting early editions of American literature, or early maps, or stamps, or even antique sports cars. The case is based on taste - pleasure rather than utility. The great books are inherently interesting. Seeing, handling, turning the pages of a first edition of Pushkin or Dostoevsky or Akhmatova is compellingly - even magnetically - engaging. Books are the life-blood of our cultural heritage. Reading of course is fundamental, and one doesn’t need a first edition to read. But seeing or possessing the first appearance of a great story or poem is to touch the new-born infant at the earliest stage of its cultural life. And if the author owned the book, or gave it to a friend with a written presentation on the title page, we get a glimpse of the author’s own life as well. Great books embody superb craftsmanship of the mind working with life and language. They’ve formed and shaped our culture, just as mind-bending new technologies have transformed the ways we live, work and travel. A first edition of Pushkin’s Ruslan and Liudmila has a fascination about it as great as one of the Wright brothers' early airplanes, or the first Apple 1 assembled circuit boards”. 

 

Amaz Fantasy.jpgLos Angeles—Julien’s Auctions, the world-record breaking auction house, has announced that a rare collection of comic book legend and pioneer Stan Lee is part of their highly anticipated event Icons & Idols: Hollywood taking place on November 16 and 17, 2018 at The Standard Oil Building in Beverly Hills and live online at www.juliensauctions.com.

The collection of nearly 20 items includes important artifacts from the universe of Stan Lee, the writer, editor and publisher behind some of the most iconic Marvel Comics characters, Spider-Man, Iron Man, the Incredible Hulk, Black Panther, and Fantastic Four among others. Consigned months ago by an anonymous collector, highlights heading to the auction block feature numerous original comic books signed and written by Stan Lee including a copy of Amazing Fantasy #15 (Marvel Comics Group, August 1962) featuring the first appearance of Marvel’s most famous character, Spider-Man and Spider-Man’s origin (estimate: $30,000-50,000); a custom bound one-of-a-kind hardcover book that includes the first 10 issues of The Amazing Spider-Man, Strange Tales Annual #2, and Amazing Fantasy #15 (Marvel Comics Group, 1962-1964) that is believed to have been previously owned by Michael H. Price, a writer and friend of Stan Lee (estimate: $20,000-$30,000); a Stan Lee written and signed copy of The Amazing Spider-Man #1 (Marvel Comics Group, March 1963) that features the retelling of Spider-Man’s origin (originally published in Amazing Fantasy #15) and also featured the first appearance of J. Jonah Jameson and the Chameleon as well as the first cross-over with the Fantastic Four (estimate: $2,000-$4,000) and a Lee signed copy of The Amazing Spider-Man #42 that features the first full appearance of Mary Jane Watson (estimate: $800-$1,200); a signed copy of Rise of The Black Panther Variant Edition #1 (Marvel Comics Group, March 2018) signed with black marker on the top cover by Stan Lee written by Ta-Nehisi Coates (estimate: $2,000-$3,000); a Stan Lee signed copy of Star Wars #97 (Marvel Comics Group, July 1985) story by Jo Duffy and artwork by Cynthia Martin (estimate: $800-$1,200) as well as a custom fiberglass life size mannequin of Spider Man designed to hang from the ceiling (estimate: $1,000-$2,000), sketches and more.

“We were saddened to hear of Mr. Lee’s passing this morning as we opened our pre-sale Exhibition,” said Darren Julien, President/Chief Executive Officer of Julien’s Auctions. “At Julien’s we have always been in awe of Stan Lee’s contributions to comic book art and feel fortunate to have this Collection as part of our November 17th Icons & Idols: Hollywood event on view this week at our Beverly Hills gallery.  Fans of Mr. Lee are most certainly welcome to visit this free event. ”

Lee, whose legendary career in comic books began in 1939 and spawned Marvel Comics’ most classic and enduring superheroes, died today at the age of 95. The Stan Lee collection was previously announced as part of a spectacular two day auction featuring some of Hollywood’s most iconic pieces including a selection of never-before-seen, personal property of one of Hollywood’s greatest screen legends, Marilyn Monroe, most notably her 1956 Black Raven Thunderbird, Roy Rogers’ “Nelly Belle” Willys-Overland 1964 jeep, a rare photography collection of silent film star Harold Lloyd, handwritten letters and ephemera connected to HRH Princess Diana and costumes and wardrobe from Batman & Robin (Warner Bros., 1997),  Forrest Gump (Paramount, 1994), The Big Lebowski (Polygram/Working Title, 1998) and more.

JULIEN’S AUCTIONS PUBLIC EXHIBITION AND AUCTION LOCATION

Julien’s Auctions

The Standard Oil Building Beverly Hills

257 N. Canon Drive

Beverly Hills, CA 90210 

PUBLIC EXHIBITION 

Monday, November 12th-Friday, November 16th 

11:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. PST

Free to the public 

JULIEN’S AUCTIONS LIVE AND ONLINE AUCTION 

Icons & Idols: Hollywood

Friday, November 16, 2018 

Session I: 10:00 a.m. PDT

Session II: 1:00 p.m. PDT 

Saturday, November 16, 2018 

Session III: 10:00 a.m. PDT

Session IV: 1:00 p.m. PDT

For more information please email - info@juliensauctions.com or call 310-836-1818.

 

lot 94.jpgChicago—Potter and Potter's Freakatorium: The Collection of Johnny Fox auction caught the attention of enthusiasts from every corner of the globe and delivered exceptional results - surpassing its high pre-sale estimate by more than 50%!  After the hammer fell for the last time, 74 lots realized between $1,000-2,499; 36 lots made between $2,500-6,999; and nine lots broke the $7,000 barrier. Prices noted include the company's 20% buyer's premium.

Getting right to the point, lot #94, a collection of two c. 1970 silver prints of sword swallower Lady Sandra Reed was the top lot in the sale.  Estimated at $1,000-1,500, they realized $28,800.  The photos are attributed to photographer Diane Arbus (1923-1971) and included one shot of the performer kneeling and the second with a sword raised in preparation for the attempt.  The prints were believed to be unique, and were accompanied by a note of provenance by Reed.  Research shows that this is a record price for the most expensive sideshow item sold at public auction.  Other ephemera highlights from the sale included lot #198, an 1880s Wild West Beacon Park season program listing William Cody as Buffalo Bill and Dr. W.F. Carver as an evil spirit in a wild west show, and lot #428, an American Circus broadside from 1846 advertising various equine acts. Each was estimated at $200-300 and made $2,640 - almost 9 times their high estimate! 

Big top and sideshow banners also headlined this auction both in size and sales. Lot #15, c. 1945 Freaks. Alive. canvas sideshow banner was estimated at $3,000-5,000 and realized $11,400. This enormous masterpiece featured sideshow attractions such as the alligator skin lady, a conehead, and a sword swallower.  Lot #12, a Magic. Alive. sideshow banner painted with a half-length portrait of a magician in white tie and tails producing cards, birds, and bats soared to $7,800. Both of these were painted by the Snap Wyatt studios in the 1940s.  And lot #35, a c. 2000 Frierson Studios miniature sideshow banner featuring a two headed calf generated 30 bids and $2,125. 

Circus posters were well represented in this off the wall sale, with those picturing elephants really capturing the eye - and wallets - of collectors.  Lot #338, a c. 1882 linen backed color litho depicting Jumbo giving kids rides on his back was estimated at $3,000-5,000 and delivered $10,200.  Lot #338, a Barnum and Bailey Greatest Show on Earth color litho from 1913 illustrated with an elephant baseball team was a home run at $7,800.  And lot #340, a John B. Doris’ Great Inter-Ocean Museum, Menagerie & Circus color lithograph from c. 1883 featuring a flamingo, elephant, lion, hawk, and alligator made $7,800. 

Fox’s Freakatorium displayed over 1,000 oddities within a 500 square foot venue. These included items related to circus sideshows, historical objets d'art, stage illusions, photographs, and tabloid style ephemera.  Lot #245, a brass “Champion Strong Woman of the World “ trophy belt presented to Minerva (Josephine Blatt., c. 1869-1923) by The Police Gazette in 1893 New York was estimated at $3,000-5,000 and flexed its muscles at $7,800. Lot #495, a 19th century glass sided gothic revival cast iron terrarium/aquarium generated 31 bids and $2,500.  Lot #516, a German, mid-sixteenth century casket style strongbox with an intricate locking mechanism traded hands at $4,560. Collectors said yes to lot #283, a collection of 28 different sideshow giants’ souvenir rings. Estimated at $400-600, this happy handful sold for $3,840. And there’s no bones about it - Freakatorium items featuring human or animal body elements were also quite popular.  Lot #295, an early 20th century South American shrunken head made $7,500, and lot #603, a c. 1920s bone sculpture of a Chinese garden blossomed at $1,440. 

Finally, It is interesting to note that bidders gave a high five to items with provenance to Tom Thumb. Lot #247, a boot reportedly owned by Thumb, sold for $5,040.  Lot #249, Thumb’s Victorian-era walking stick with an ornate gold-filled handle made $4,560. Lot #247, his dark brown satin and dotted waistcoat buttoned things up at $3,840.  And it was lights out for lot #251, a Tom and Lavinia Thumb-owned overnight trunk and its contents. This treasure trove included Thumb clothing, accessories, memorabilia, and ephemera.  It sold for $18,000 on its $1,500-2,000 estimate. 

According to Gabe Fajuri, President at Potter & Potter Auctions, “The stars aligned for this sale. The combination of a great story, great (and rare) material, and a loud and constant buzz online and in the collecting communities that this auction was of interest to set us up to hit a real home run. Bidding was fast and furious, coming from private collectors, Johnny Fox's personal friends, public institutions, and lovers of the unusual alike."

Potter & Potter, founded in 2007, is a Chicago area auction house specializing in paper Americana, vintage advertising, rare books, playing cards, gambling memorabilia, posters, fine prints, vintage toys, and magicana - antiques and collectibles related to magic and magicians. The company's next sale, featuring hundreds of important vintage travel posters, will be held on December 1, 2018. For more information, please see www.potterauctions.com.  Follow us on Facebook (potterandpotterauctions), Twitter (PnPAuctions), and Instagram (potterauctions). 

Image: Lot 94, Diane Arbus. Albino Sword Swallower Photos. Sold for $28,800

MasterRaceComic.jpgDallas, Texas - The original art for the comic story that changed how comics told stories will make history on Thursday when the original art for the complete 8-page story “Master Race is offered at auction for the first time.

The 1955 EC Comic masterpiece, which writer and illustrator Neil Gaiman calls “one of the most important stories in the history of comics and the history of the art of comics,” will be offered in its entirety in Heritage Auctions’ Nov. 15-17 Comics & Comic Art Auction in Dallas and on HA.com. The artwork for Master Race crosses the auction block the afternoon of Nov. 15.

EC Comics co-editor Bill Gaines and writer Al Feldstein developed the important Holocaust story, but critics point to Bernie Krigstein’s storytelling artwork that perfected the piece and influenced the comic genre for more than 60 years.

“It’s been called the most critically acclaimed comic story of all time,” said Todd Hignite, Vice President at Heritage Auctions. “It's been the subject of numerous studies in books on the history of comics, as well as a hugely influential analysis by John Benson, David Kasakove and Art Spiegelman.”

Frequently called the Citizen Kane of comic books, Master Race is a powerful look at the effects of Nazi concentration camp atrocities upon those who survived them, while retaining EC Comics’ traditional "twisted" ending.

Krigstein's jaw-dropping formal invention of mirroring previous panels and layouts from one page to another became an iconic template for both mainstream and underground cartoonists for many decades to come. The format is said to have influenced Dave Gibbons’ genre-shattering Watchmen in 1986 and many other illustrated contributions to American literature.

The story was the cover feature for Impact #1, one of EC's “New Direction” wave of books, released in 1955. So important is this story, that when Gaines sold much of EC's original artwork during the 1980s, it was the only artwork sold directly instead of at auction. An astute collector made Gaines “an offer he couldn't refuse” ... well over market-based value on what other EC art had been selling for at the time. The set is signed as “B. Krigstein” in the first panel.

“This is a true ‘auction first’ in comic history,” Hignite said. “Krigstein's tour-de-force demonstrates everything he dreamed the comic language was and is capable of as an art form.”

The original art for the complete, 8-page story “Master Race, illustrated by Krigstein for Impact #1 (EC, 1955), will be auctioned this Thursday afternoon, Nov. 15, in Heritage Auctions’ Nov. 15-17 Comics & Comic Art Auction in Dallas and on HA.com.

try diary.jpgLondon—On 12 December, as part of Classic Week, Christie’s auction of Books and Manuscripts will offer two extraordinary sledging journals of the Norwegian polar explorer Tryggve Gran, who accompanied Robert Falcon Scott on the Terra Nova Expedition of 1910 - 1913. The journals have passed by direct descent from Tryggve Gran; their appearance at auction represents a remarkable opportunity to acquire an authentic piece of Polar history, offering an insight into the trials and tribulations of the British Antarctic Expedition here. Featuring two separate journals, one in English and one in Norwegian (estimate: £120,000 - £180,000, illustrated above), these accounts offer additional material, covering his astonishingly prescient dream on the night of 14 December 1911 of Amundsen’s triumph, as well as the search for Scott’s polar party and tragic discovery of the tent.

The young Norwegian Tryggve Gran was recruited by Scott as a skiing expert for the Terra Nova Expedition on the recommendation of the explorer and humanitarian Fridtjof Nansen. He would go on to play a valuable role in the second geological expedition (November 1911-February 1912), which collected data in the Granite Harbour region. 

A particularly emotional entry in his diary takes place on 12 November 1912, when Gran discovered the tent with the frozen bodies of Scott, Wilson and Bowers: ‘It has happened - we have found what we sought - horrible, ugly fate - Only 11 miles from One Ton Depot - The Owner, Wilson & Birdie. All gastsly [sic]. I will never forget it so long I live - a horrible nightmare could not have shown more horror than this “Campo Santo”. In a tent - snowcovered til up above the door we found the three boddies [sic]. The Owner in the middle, half out of his bagg [sic]. Birdie on his right and Uncle Bill on left laying headway to the door. The frost had made the skin yellow & transparent & I’ve never seen anything worse in my life. The Owner seems to have struggled hard in the moment of death, while the two others seem to have gone off in a kind of sleep’. 

The English journal also includes Gran’s reading of Scott’s last diary entries and the fruitless search for Oates: ‘The Owner writes in his diary: There is no more hope and so God look after our people...’ (12 November 1912) 

Gran retrieved their personal effects and records, and used his own pair of skis to fashion a cross, raised above the snow cairn built to cover the bodies of the ill-fated polar party, before returning to camp on Scott’s skis, reasoning that at least his expedition leader’s skis would finish their journey. In December 1912, before leaving Antarctica, Gran he made an ascent of Mount Erebus with Raymond Priestley and Frederick Hooper, and was lucky to escape with his life after an unexpected eruption set off an avalanche of the surrounding pumice stone. Gran went on to receive the Polar Medal for his endeavours in Antarctica. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Science, Travel & Natural History

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

Continental Printed Books & Manuscripts

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

English Printed Books & Manuscripts

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

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

Printed & Manuscript Americana

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

The 20th Century 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bidding for the letter begins at $30,000. 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“It's a little bit funny this feeling inside

I'm not one of those who can easily hide

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Previews, Catalogs & Events

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Additional highlights can be found here.

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

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

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

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

The sale can be accessed directly here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Additional highlights can be found here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Glenn Gould annotated Goldberg Variations Score

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Additional highlights can be found here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Additional highlights can be found here.

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Additional highlights can be found here.

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For more information about University Archives and the Wednesday, October 31st internet-only auction, please visit www.universityarchives.com.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Additional highlights can be found here.

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Artists donated both individual work and collaborations, including:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

Other featured works include:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Additional highlights can be found here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Auction

9 - 10 October 2018 on storyltd.com

Viewings in Mumbai

3 - 10 October 2018 (excluding 7 October 2018)

11 am - 7 pm, Monday to Saturday

Venue

Saffronart, Industry Manor, Third Floor

Appasaheb Marathe Marg

Prabhadevi, Mumbai 400025

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Additional highlights can be found here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

• the various modes of American propaganda;

• post-WWI humanitarian outreach;

• propaganda in Vichy France; and

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NYC-Focused Collection Shines at Swann

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bidding for the archive begins at $110,000.

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Additional highlights can be found here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other top lots included, but are not limited to:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RICHARD P. FEYNMAN

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

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

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

1965 NOBEL PRIZE & PAPERS

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

Feynman Manuscripts

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Highlights include:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Additional highlights can be found here.

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For more information about University Archives and the Wednesday, September 26th online auction, please visit www.universityarchives.com.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A 1498 German edition woodcut by Albrecht Durer (German, 1471-1528) titled The Opening of the Fifth and Sixth Seals, from The Apocalypse, with the sheet measuring 15½ inches by 11¼ inches, is expected to change hands for $2,000-$4,000. Also, an etching with drypoint by the Dutch master Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669) titled Three Oriental Figures (1641), from New Hollstein’s second (and final) state, 13 inches by 12 inches framed, should bring $3,000-$5,000.

A chromolithograph plate of a bird titled Crested Grebe was drawn from nature by John James Audubon (American, 1785-1851) and produced in 1860 by Julius Bien (Plate 389 No. 6-4). It measures 31 inches by 42 inches framed, and its estimate range is $1,500-$2,000. A hand-colored plate titled Lantern Fly & Pomegranate Flower (1726) by Maria Sibylla Merian (German, 1647-1717), on an 18½-inch by 13-inch sheet and in very good condition, should reach $800-$1,200.

One volume of Scottish biographer/author James Boswell’s copy of Chrysal: Or The Adventures of a Guinea, boldly inscribed on the first free endpaper by Boswell and dated 1765, carries a pre-sale estimate of $1,000-$2,000. Also, a notable 18th-century compilation of Welsh civil and ecclesiastical law (1730), with a title in Latin, was published in London and has a title page with ownership inscription of the English poet Robert Southey. Its auction estimate is $800-$1,000.

A first-edition copy of The Grandeur of the Gorges (1926), a compilation of 50 photographic studies of China’s great waterway, the Yangtze Kiang, tipped in, with descriptive notes and including 12 hand-colored prints, is expected to knock down $1,500-$2,500. Compiled by Donald Mennie and published in China, the volume retains its original embroidered silk binding.

Auction previews are presently under way at Waverly Rare Books’ gallery in northern Virginia, and will continue through auction day. Consult the company’s website for hours.

Waverly Rare Books, a division of Quinn’s Auction Galleries, is always accepting quality consignments for future auctions. To consign a single item, an estate or a collection, please call 703-532-5632, ext. 575; or email waverly@quinnsauction.com. View the online catalog and register to bid absentee or live online at www.LiveAuctioneers.com or www.Invaluable.com

To learn more about the Thursday, September 13 auction, visit http://www.quinnsauction.com.

Image: Lot 20: Copy of a commencement address delivered by Frederick Douglass in July 1854 at Western Reserve College, titled The Claims of the Negro… at Western Reserve College. Est. $2,000-$3,000. Courtesy of Waverly Rare Books.

cocnbacajjlbinoj.jpgNew York—Swann Galleries’ season-opening auction of 19th & 20th Century Prints & Drawings on September 20 brings to market original works by blue-chip artists and scarce prints by Regionalists, German Expressionists, Modernists and more.

The cover lot for the auction, Downtown, New York, by John Taylor Arms, comes from a private collection of iconic New York City views (estimate $2,000-3,000). A showcase of architectural splendor, the run features early twentieth-century etchings of the Brooklyn Bridge, the Flatiron Building, elevated trains and waterways. Among unusual examples is Kerr Eby’s scarce view of the Singer Building, circa 1930, which was razed in the late 1960s. The etching shows the now-forgotten building swathed in fog ($1,200-1,800). Other artists in the collection are Armin Landeck, John Marin, Joseph Pennell and John Sloan.

Further American works include several luminous color woodcuts: Blanche Lazzell’s Tulips, 1920 ($15,000-20,000); Edna Boies Hopkins Cineraria (Anemones; Purple Zinnias), 1915-17 ($10,000-15,000); and Bror J. O. Nordfeldt’s Three Travelers Crossing a Bridge in the Snow, 1906 ($2,000-3,000). Grant Wood’s lithograph Sultry Night, 1939, stands out among Regionalist prints ($15,000-20,000). 

Several watercolors by Thomas Rowlandson are led by James Christie’s Auction Rooms, circa 1810, a variant of a similar work held by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The image of a packed salesroom replete with periwigs and tricorn caps is estimated at $10,000 to $15,000. Other nineteenth-century highlights include Honoré Daumier’s Les Gens de Justice, with 38 lithographs, 1848, the master caricaturist’s satirization of corrupt lawyers and judges ($30,000-50,000). A run of scarce prints and drawings by Camille Pissarro features Maison avec Palmiers, watercolor and pencil, circa 1852-54 ($15,000-20,000).

European originals include the delicate Jeune Fille Accroupie by Aristide Maillol, and a chalk drawing of a tall, fashionable woman in profile by Gustav Klimt ($1,000-1,500 and $20,000-30,000, respectively). A run of antiquity-inspired works by Georges Braque is led by the 1925 brush-and-ink Portrait d’une femme ($20,000-30,000). A colorful watercolor by Man Ray, Sans titre (Trois Arbres), 1913, reflects the artist’s early work likely inspired by the inaugural Armory Show in New York that same year ($15,000-20,000). 

A strong selection of German Expressionist works includes Lyonel Feininger’s Dorfkirche, watercolor, pen and ink, 1954 ($12,000-18,000) and scarce prints by Käthe Kollwitz, Max Beckmann, and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner.

The top lot of the sale is Pablo Picasso’s Grand nu Dansant, color linoleum cut, 1962 ($40,000-60,000). Edvard Munch’s 1899 color woodcut of a curvy, smiling sex worker in a dim interior relates to his painting Rose and Amelie, in the Oslo Munch museum ($30,000-50,000). Highlights among fine prints by Marc Chagall are Les Adolescents, 1975, and Femme du Peintre, 1971 ($25,000-35,000 and $30,000-50,000, respectively).

The complete catalogue with bidding information is available at www.swanngalleries.com. Additional highlights can be found here.

Image: Lot 308: John Taylor Arms, Downtown, New York, aquatint and etching, 1921. Estimate $2,000-3,000.

4efb8270-1f23-4c31-8c07-efc3721801ef.jpgBoston, MA — On Friday, September 21, Skinner presents an outstanding two-session auction of Prints, Multiples & Photographs and Paintings & Sculpture with over 350 lots spanning Old Masters through contemporary offerings. Robin S. R. Starr, Vice President and Director of American & European Works of Art, notes, "We're excited about the depth and breadth of the works in the September auction, from a rediscovered Gérôme masterpiece to a considerable number of fresh to the market works from private collections, including of the composer, lyricist, author, playwright, recording artist, and performer, Dory Previn." 

Paintings & Sculpture

The marquee lot of the sale is by Jean-Léon Gérôme. This newly rediscovered orientalist painting called Evening Prayer (Lot 266, Estimate: $400,000-600,000) has been described as a "perfected" version of one of Gérôme's most evocative compositions, showing Muslim men at prayer on a Cairo rooftop. With all of the technical hallmarks and intellectual nuances of his art, it has recently been confirmed as an original work by his hand, and returned to the artist's oeuvre. It has not appeared at auction since it was sold at the Christie, Manson and Woods, London, Modern Pictures auction on May 5, 1888. 

Other notable 19th-century works include Twilight on the Terrace by Julius Leblanc Stewart (Lot 219, Estimate: $150,000-250,000).  From a private collection, this major painting by expatriate artist Julius Stewart, dated 1877, shows elegant figures at leisure on a terrace with a twilight view of Paris in the distance. The three women wear handsomely painted dresses of satin and lace, and exotic details such as the colorful parrots and Japanese parasol add to the opulence of the scene. Stewart studied for a time with Jean-Léon Gérôme and accompanied him on a trip to Egypt in 1874. Starr notes, "The rediscovered Gérôme is such a rare and wonderful find; and to be able to present it with Stewart’s work - also previously hidden away in private hands - gives us a fascinating glimpse into the relationship between master and student.”

A highlight among the offerings of Modern & Contemporary works is by Louise Nevelson, a leading figure in 20th-century American sculpture. Nevelson is represented by a maquette for the monumental sculpture Sky Landscape I (Lot 373, Estimate: $50,000-70,000). The 30-inch tall welded steel piece displays the elegance of Nevelson's smooth opaque black surfaces and the balanced fusion of her geometric angles and anthropomorphic curves. The monumental version of Sky Landscape I is currently on view at the Seattle Art Museum's Olympic Sculpture Park.

Other featured works include:

Prints & Multiples

Features work from the old masters to the 21st century, and is especially strong in 20th-century works. Leading the group is Andy Warhol’s Portraits of the Artists (Lot 108, Estimate: $25,000-35,000); a group of 100 colorful screen printed polystyrene boxes depicting a veritable who’s who of New York’s 1960s art scene. The auction features two groups of prints - one by Joan Miró and the other by Rockwell Kent. Both show the broad ranges and talents of these two artists. The collection of Miró prints includes lithographs and intaglios from small, intimate compositions like the plate from the Ubu Roi suite (Lot 75, Estimate: $2,500-3,500) and large-scale iconic images with heavy carborundum like Le matador (Lot 77, Estimate $25,000-35,000) and La fronde (Lot 76, Estimate: $20,000-30,000). The Kent works likewise feature a variety of media, and include Starlight (Lot 24, Estimate $2,500-3,500) and Forest Pool (Lot 21, Estimate $1,500-2,500), two of his most highly coveted wood engravings.

Other featured works include:

Photographs

A range of 20th-century and contemporary works by such masters as Ansel Adams, Lewis Baltz, Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Nan Goldin, Kenneth Josephson, Daido Moriyama, and others are on offer. Highlights include:

Previews, Gallery Events, and Catalogs

Previews for the auction will be in our Boston Gallery on Wednesday, September 19: 12pm-5pm and Thursday, September 20: 12pm-8pm.  Free and open to the public, department specialists will be available to answer questions about the material and participating at auction. Join us for an EVENT... The fully illustrated print catalog may be purchased on the Skinner website or by phone order at 508-970-3234.

Image: Andy Warhol (American, 1928-1987) Portraits of the Artists (Lot 108, Estimate: $35,000-35,000)

Sanders-D Duck.jpegLos Angeles - A signed hand-drawn Walt Disney sketch of Donald Duck was auctioned tonight by Nate D. Sanders Auctions for $11,949.

In the early 1930’s, Disney created Donald Duck to be Mickey Mouse’s companion. Disney signed his name at the bottom of his pencil drawing of the beloved duck character. The sketch measures 5.5 by 8.5 inches. 

Nate D. Sanders auction manager Michael Kirk remarked, “It's rare to find a Donald Duck illustration hand drawn and signed by Walt Disney himself. Disney famously delegated almost all animation work to his team of talented animators, making this piece very unique and collectible."  

Additional information on the Sketch can be found at 
https://natedsanders.com/Walt_Disney_Hand_Drawn_Sketch_of_Donald_Duck__Sign-LOT50054.aspx

About Nate D. Sanders Auctions

An industry leader in documents and autographs, Nate D. Sanders Auctions has conducted auctions in Los Angeles since 1990 and now holds major auctions on a monthly basis. Owner Nate Sanders is recognized for his knowledge of sports, historical and Hollywood memorabilia. To learn more visit natedsanders.com

166 .jpgChicago -- Potter and Potter's signature summer magic auction caught the attention of collectors worldwide and delivered exceptional results. After a long day of spirited bidding, 29 lots realized between $1,000-1,999; 29 lots made between $2,000-$9,999; and six lots broke the five-figure mark. Prices noted include the company's 20% buyer's premium. 

Rarities associated with legendary people or places in the magic community took the top spots in this sale. Lot #282, a 1916 three sheet color litho featuring Howard Thurston as Thurston the Great rose to $22,800. This spectacularly illustrated poster featured Thurston, assisted by imps, levitating an assistant, with Kellar’s endorsement quoted in the lower margin. Lot #455, Bob Swadling’s Magic Kettle more than doubled its low estimate and changed hands at $21,600. This mechanically complex vessel was used by Paul Daniels on British TV in 1979. This kettle is one of the items that was sold to help defray the costs of Sebastian Midtvaage's care. And lot #166, Chicago Magic Roundtable 1946 scrapbook - featuring the autographs of about 500 magicians as well as brochures, business cards, signed photographs, letters, promotional materials, and clippings from the club - made an astonishing $19,200 on its original $2,000-3,000 estimate. This treasure-trove generated 43 bids, the most of any lot in this sale. 

The results of this auction confirm Potter & Potter’s solid reputation as the first choice for buying and selling fine magic-related archives and collections. Lot #209, a Servais LeRoy & Co. illusion instruction archive from 1912 almost doubled its low estimate to make $11,400. This collection included typed and manuscript instructions and advertisements for illusions, gimmicks, pocket, and parlor tricks sold and manufactured by this short-lived but important London-based magic company. Buyers were also focused on lot #255, a collection of more than 200 photographs of magicians from the 1940's through the 1990's including Doug Henning, Ali Bongo, Paul Daniels, Lance Burton, Jack Gwynne, Blackstone Jr, and others. This comprehensive grouping was estimated at $400-800 and sold for $3,000. And lot #173, a Loring Campbell scrapbook, owned and kept by the lyceum and Chautauqua magician, turned the page for $720 on its $50-100 estimate. 

Ephemera related to the great Dutch magician Okito (1875-1963) clearly captured the imagination of bidders at this event. Okito was the stage name of Tobias Bamberg, a sixth-generation magician who performed his Asian themed act entirely in pantomime. Lot #221, a 1929 photo postcard of a costumed Okito signed and inscribed to his best customer and friend Victor Barbour, sold for $2,400 - four times its high estimate!  A number of letters from Okito to Barbour also delivered strong results in this sale. Of note is lot #222, a letter from Okito to Barbour dated April 29, 1920 addressing a variety of personal and professional topics, and lot #233, three Okito letters to Barbour spanning the 1918-1924 time frame. Each of these lots was estimated at $400-600 and sold for $2,160. 

This event's offering of over 150 rare and important magic books, with titles from the 1600's onward, was truly breathtaking. Surprise best sellers in this category include lot #70, Professor Hoffmann’s signed copy of Robert-Houdin and Jean Eugène’s Les Tricheries Des Grecs Devoilees, published by J. Hetzel in Paris in 1863.  Estimated at $300-500, it made $2,750. And lot #120, a manuscript copy of Tetragramaton, published by the author Tony Andruzzi (Tom Palmer) in Chicago in the 1970’s sold for $4,080 on its $1,200-1,800 estimate.  This absolutely exquisite book doubled as a piece of art, and was detailed with pebbled black hardcovers, brass studs, a color lenticular illustration of a wizard, border decorations, and original illustrations.

This spotlight sale rounded out with top-tier offerings of magic related ephemera, stage worn costumes, apparatus, artwork, and other rarities. Lot #366, a c. 1940’s deco style Devil’s mailbox made by the F.G. Thayer & Co. burned through its $250-300 estimate to realize $3,600.  Lot #328, an early 20th century French wind up bisque-headed child conjuror performed well, making $4,250 on her $300-500 estimate.  Lot #187, a 1924 typed, signed letter from Ottokar Fischer to Dr. Samuel Cox Hooker on dramatic, three color letterhead made $2,640 - more than ten times its high estimate! And wrapping things up here, lot #177 - two 1920’s-era costume robes from the Carter Illusion Show - brought $1,440 on their $250-350 estimate. 

According to Gabe Fajuri, President at Potter & Potter Auctions, “It's gratifying to see strong demand for the rare and unusual magic memorabilia we featured in this sale. As is often the case, the unique or truly scarce and attractive items we offer performed exceptionally well. This bodes well for the future - both short-term and long-term - as we have some spectacular and historically significant magic memorabilia on deck for the coming year." 

Potter & Potter, founded in 2007, is a Chicago area auction house specializing in paper Americana, vintage advertising, rare books, playing cards, gambling memorabilia, posters, fine prints, vintage toys, and magicana - antiques and collectibles related to magic and magicians. The company's next sale, its annual Coin-Op & Advertising Auction, will be held on September 29, 2018.  For more information, please see www.potterauctions.com.  Follow us on Facebook (potterandpotterauctions), Twitter (PnPAuctions), and Instagram (potterauctions). 

Image: Chicago Magic Roundtable 1946 Scrapbook, sold for $19,200.

Dallas, TX - A rare Polk & Dallas: Highly Significant Large 1844 Campaign Flag Banner sold for $81,250 and a Pocket Watch Owned by One of the Passengers on the R.M.S. Titanic drew $57,500, to lead Heritage Auctions’ Americana & Political auction Aug. 25-26 in Dallas, Texas. Sales from the event totaled $1,459,448.

“This auction featured items that really captured the fascination of collectors of all levels,” Heritage Auctions Americana Auctions Director Tom Slater said. “The 1844 campaign flag and the watch from the Titanic are lots that tell important stories, and will be key pieces in their new owners’ collections.”

Polk campaign items, especially display pieces, are rare, and the Polk & Dallas flag is one of the largest political flags ever made, measuring 49-1/2 by 30-1/2 inches, or 57 by 38 inches with the frame. This flag is one of perhaps six known. It formerly resided in the legendary U.I. “Chick” Harris Collection, and achieved the highest price of any object when that collection was sold in a series of eight auctions nearly 20 years ago. Intended for horizontal display, it still has the original fabric loops for suspension across the top, and fine stitching around the perimeter.

The pocket watch was salvaged from Sinai Kantor, a Russian immigrant who was one of victims when the Titanic collided with an iceberg April 15, 1912. Kantor’s belongings, including the watch, were returned to his widow, Miriam, who was spared when “women and children first” protocol earned her a seat on the final lifeboat to reach the rescue ship R.M.S. Carpathia.

Numerous bidders pursued Revolutionary War: “Liberty Triumphant or the Downfall of Oppression” Prohibitively Rare Copper Engraved Cartoon Celebrating the Boston Tea Party until it brought $37,500. The rare political cartoon was published after Dec. 23, 1773 and before April 1774, mere months after the Sons of Liberty, disguised as Mohawk Indians, took to Boston Harbor and destroyed more than 92,000 pounds of tea. Just six copies of the copper engraved cartoon are known to exist in institutional holdings.

One of the premier political banners surviving from the era, Henry Clay: A Spectacular Hand-Painted Banner from the 1844 Campaign drew multiple bids before closing at $35,000, nearly double its pre-auction estimate. Reflecting the Nativist and Protectionist viewpoint of many of Clay’s supporters, the banner features a portrait of Clay over text that reads: “AMERICA THOU ART OUR COUNTRY AND THEE WILL WE SUPPORT / We are labourers and would not that our children’s bread should be cast to the dogs of foreign nations.”

William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody’s Wild West Show: “He-Nu-Kaw” Richly Colored Lithographed Poster Depicting “The Handsomest Indian Maiden in the World” led a group of 84 lots related to the legendary American scout, bison hunter and showman when multiple bidders drove its final price to $32,500 - more than six times its pre-auction estimate. A rare and early poster issued around 1878 to promote Cody’s New York stage play, this example is one of only a handful known to remain in existence, according to former longtime Buffalo Bill Historical Center curator Paul Fees. Printed by Cleveland, Ohio-based lithographers W.J. Morgan & Co., this example comes from the collection of the late, renowned collector Edward C. Gillette of Kansas City. Gillette amassed one of the finest collections of items related to Buffalo Bill, many of which appeared in the Aug. 25 Heritage Auctions sale.

Other top lots included but were not limited to:

·       George Washington: Portrait Dated 1791 After Gilbert Stuart: $27,500

·       Dwight D. Eisenhower & John F. Kennedy: Official White House Presidential Flag: $27,500

·       Mexican-American War: South Carolina Palmetto Regiment Gold Medal with Ribbon: $27,500

·       Cox & Roosevelt: The “Holy Grail” Jugate Button for These 1920 Running Mates: $22,500

·       Lyndon B. Johnson: Signed Iconic Air Force One Swearing-In Photograph: $21,250

55036a_lg.jpegLos Angeles - A signed hand-drawn Walt Disney sketch of Donald Duck will be auctioned by Nate D. Sanders Auctions on August 30, 2018.

In the early 1930’s, Disney created Donald Duck to be Mickey Mouse’s companion. Disney signed his name at the bottom of his pencil drawing of the beloved duck character. The sketch measures 5.5 by 8.5 inches.

Nate D. Sanders auction manager Michael Kirk remarked, “It's rare to find a Donald Duck illustration hand drawn and signed by Walt Disney himself. Disney famously delegated almost all animation work to his team of talented animators, making this piece very unique and collectible."  

Bidding for the drawing begins at $7,900.

Additional information on the manuscript can be found at 
https://natedsanders.com/Walt_Disney_Hand_Drawn_Sketch_of_Donald_Duck__Sign-LOT50054.aspx

 

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