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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Additional highlights can be found here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other top lots included, but are not limited to:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RICHARD P. FEYNMAN

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

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

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

1965 NOBEL PRIZE & PAPERS

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

Feynman Manuscripts

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Highlights include:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Additional highlights can be found here.

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For more information about University Archives and the Wednesday, September 26th online auction, please visit www.universityarchives.com.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Paintings & Sculpture

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

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

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

Other featured works include:

Prints & Multiples

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

Other featured works include:

Photographs

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

Previews, Gallery Events, and Catalogs

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

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

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

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

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

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

About Nate D. Sanders Auctions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other top lots included but were not limited to:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bidding for the drawing begins at $7,900.

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About the process:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other top lots included, but were not limited to:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For more information about University Archives and the Wednesday, June 20th online auction, please visit www.universityarchives.com.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bidding on the newspaper began at $40,000. 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

Bidding on the newspaper begins at $40,000.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

Estimate: $1,500/2,000  

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

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

Estimate: $1,600/2,000 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Estimate: $2,200/2,500 

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

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

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

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

Published: Paris, 1856 

Estimate: $600/900 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

Additional featured lots include: 

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

Paul McCartney handwritten lyrics for “Through Our Love.”

Elvis Presley’s gold and diamond ring. 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Previews and Bidding

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

About Skinner

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other top lots include, but are not limited to:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other top lots include, but are not limited to:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Additional highlights can be found here.

Image: Lot 365: Leonetto Cappiello, Carnaval / Vinho do Porto, 1911. Estimate $20,000 to $30,000.

2f4858467e4c7a99061de570fee1600d5f05cfb9.jpegBoston, MA - A rare handwritten letter by German theologist, monk and religious reformer Martin Luther will be auctioned by Boston-based RR Auction. 

The one-page letter in German, signed “Martinus Luther D,” circa September 1, 1543. An extensive, uncommonly well-preserved letter to Georg Buchholzer, Provost of St. Nikolai in Berlin, regarding the latter’s altercation with the Brandenburgian court preacher Johann Agricola from Eisleben (also known as ‘Magister Eisleben’) about the treatment of the local Jews. Prince Elector Joachim II, who in 1539 had introduced the Reformation to Brandenburg and whose tolerant politics toward Jews enraged the population, had long desired a reconciliation between Luther and his former disciple Agricola, and he must have suspected that Provost Buchholzer was poisoning Luther’s mind against his court preacher. Buchholzer therefore wrote to Luther requesting an interpretation of some Biblical verses by which Agricola justified his pro-Jewish stance, and in his answer Luther insists that Buchholzer has done well to preach against the Jews and shall continue to do so, ignoring the habitual liar Agricola. 

In part (translated): “Grace and Peace. My dear Provost! I must be brief with writing, for the sake of my weak head. You are aware that you have no previous association with me, nor I with you, other than that you recently wrote to me asking for an explanation regarding several statements. And even if you were to write me many things about M. Eisleben, how could I believe you alone? For whoever says that you or anyone in Berlin or in all of Brandenburg is inciting me against Eisleben, if he says so unwittingly, may God forgive him, but if he says it knowingly, then he is a roguish liar, as well as M. Eisleben himself has lied frequently, here in Wittenberg. M. Eisleben needs nobody to incite me against him; he himself is much better at that, much better than anyone whom he might suspect of such dealing. He knows that full well….In my opinion, he will give up his life before he gives up his lying.—You have preached against the Jews and fought serious battles over that with the Margrave….And you were quite right to do so. Stand fast and persevere! The words against you which you quoted to me, allegedly protecting the Jews, I will not hope to be true, nor shall I believe that M. Eisleben ever will preach or ever has preached such. I do not yet consider him so deeply fallen. May God prevent him!…For then M. Eisleben would not be the Elector’s preacher, but a true devil, letting his sayings be so shamefully misused to the damnation of all those who associate with Jews. For these Jews are not Jews, but devils incarnate who curse our Lord, who abuse His mother as a whore and Him as Hebel Vorik and a bastard, this is known for certain. And anyone who is capable of eating or drinking or associating with such a foul mouth is a Christian as well as the devil is a saint….You may show this letter to whomever you wish. I do not know, nor do I care, who wrote the other three letters from Wittenberg to Berlin. You will undoubtedly confess this to be the first letter you ever received from me. For your name and person were previously unknown to me.” 

The letter bears several corrections in Luther’s own hand. The date of receipt is noted by Buchholzer at the foot of the reverse: “Received by me in Berlin on Wednesday after St Egyd [5 September] anno etc. 43.” 

Accompanied by a handsome custom-made quarter leather clamshell case. 

Luther had apparently forgotten that several years previously, in late 1539, he had answered a letter of Buchholzer’s inquiring about Catholic rites still in use in Reformed Brandenburg. More notably, although Luther is writing to a fellow scholar, this letter is written in German so that the recipient may show it “to whomever he wishes”—that is to say, to the Elector himself, thus providing Buchholzer with a writ of protection against any suspicion which Joachim may harbor against him. The Hebrew words invoked by Luther, “Hebel Vorik” [vanity and emptiness], are taken from Isaiah 30:7. They were part of a Jewish prayer in which Jews thanked God for having made them different from those peoples who worshipped “Hebel Vorik,” though Luther construed the words as a code for Jesus Christ. Luther’s anti-Judaism had not always been this radical—as a young man he had spoken out judiciously against the traditional defamation of Jews and against all forms of forcible conversion, but he soon grew increasingly bitter, and by 1543 his attitude was one of undisguised loathing. His most notorious antisemitic pamphlet, ‘On the Jews and Their Lies,’ was published only months before the present letter was written. With the same rhetorical skill with which he had previously ridiculed the papacy he now invoked a grotesque abhorrence of Judaism. As an embodiment of his sentiments in his later years, demonstrating how precisely the antisemitic church politics and discourse of the 1540s matched Luther’s instructions, this letter has been quoted or paraphrased by several important biographies of the Reformer.

Less than two years later, in a letter dated March 9, 1545, Luther would write to Elector Joachim II directly, warning him against the ‘tricks’ of the Jews, in whom he is said to have too much confidence, adding that he is ‘glad that the Provost [Buchholzer] is so severe on those Jews, which is a proof of his loyalty to your Grace; and I encourage him to continue in the path he has chosen.’ 

“Although we think of Martin Luther as a reformer, this letter reminds us of his unrepentant anti-semitism,” said Bobby Livingston, Executive VP at RR Auction. 

Luther died on February 18, 1546, after years of struggling with illness. 

The Fine Autographs and Artifacts auction from RR Auction began on June 29 and will conclude on July 11.  More details can be found online at www.rrauction.com.

Lady from Shanghai.jpgCleveland, OH - The art and design of classic, vintage, original movie posters will take center stage at Gray’s Auctioneers & Appraisers on Wednesday, July 11th, as over 100 original movie posters and banners will come up for bid online and in Gray’s showrooms at 10717 Detroit Avenue in Cleveland. The posters are all out of an important single-owner collection from Ohio.

Certain to attract bidder attention will be lot 327, an iconic movie poster from the inimitable 1947 Orson Welles classic film, The Lady from Shanghai, starring Rita Hayworth. Like all the best movie poster designs, this one distills the essence of the moving image into a single frame, combining text, design, photography and advertising into a unique and unforgettable work of art. 

Another lot to watch is #290, a rare linen-backed movie banner for the early talkie The Saturday Night Kid (Paramount Pictures, 1929), starring Clara Bow, nicknamed “The It Girl” and the actress who came to personify the Roaring 20s and was its leading sex symbol. The Lady from Shanghai and The Saturday Night Kid are both graded B+ and carry estimates of $6,000-$8,000.

In all, more than 400 quality lots will come under the gavel, starting at 11 am Eastern time. “This delightful summer auction is filled with fine art, vintage movie posters, furniture and decorations consigned by collectors and estates from Cleveland and the surrounding area,” said Serena Harragin, CEO of Gray’s Auctioneers & Appraisers. Live online bidding is available now at Graysauctioneers.com.

Fans of silver will have much to consider, beginning with the two Wallace sterling silver Grand Baroque flatware services for 12 (lots 38 and 39), both produced in the 20th century and having identical estimates of $2,000-$4,000. The approximate troy weights are 131.53 oz. and 144.3 oz.

An exceptional German silver tea and coffee service by J.D. Schlessinger Sohne, Hanau (circa 1900-1920), comprising a kettle with a burner on a stand, coffee pot, teapot, creamer, sugar bowl and a waste bowl, all set on a matching oval tray with cherub handles and monogrammed, should realize $8,000-$10,000. All the pieces boast footed shaped ovoid bodies with acanthus reserves.

A charming set of four German rococo style .800 silver and gilt pepper shakers and salt cellars (circa 1900), possibly by J.D. Schlessigner, Hanau and having cherub supports and foliate designs, should breeze to $3,000-$5,000; while a Russian silver and cut glass 18-piece men’s grooming set (circa 1886), weighing 46.80 ozt., fully hallmarked, should make $2,000-$4,000.

A pair of horse racing-themed oil on canvas paintings by William Garrett van Zandt (Am., 1857-1942), both from the collection of Oliver and Joyce Murphy, are lots 11 and 12 and are estimated at $3,000-$5,000 each. One is titled Checkerberry (1913), 17 inches by 20 inches; the other Miss Harris M (1918), 18 inches by 25 inches. Both of the paintings have been artist signed and dated.

Other fine art star lots will include an oil on canvas by Louis Aston Knight (Fr., 1873-1948), titled La Chaumiere de Diane, Beaumont-le-Roger, Normandy, signed, measuring 42 inches by 55 inches framed (est. $8,000-$10,000); and an oil on canvas by Antoine Blanchard (Fr., 1910-1988), titled View of the Arc de Triomphe, signed, 15 inches by 30 inches (est. $5,000-$7,000).

Two artworks share the same $2,000-$4,000 pre-sale estimate. One is an unsigned figural oil on canvas done in the manner of John Singleton Copley (Am., 1737-1815), titled Gentleman and Lady with Children in a Courtyard. The other is a Floral Still Life oil on canvas painted in the manner of Jean-Baptiste Monnoyer (Fr., 1636-1699), unsigned, with inpainting and craquelure. 

Lot 27a is a fantastical untitled welded steel sculpture by an unknown artist, somewhat akin to a tree that has been twisted and curled around itself to a point of sublime abstraction. It’s nature rendered into the mechanical.  The 20th century creation, standing 64 inches tall by 58 inches wide and 28 inches deep, makes a strong artistic statement and is estimated to bring $400-$600.

Another astounding sculptural creation, this one lot 28 by Susie Frazier Mueller (b. 1970), has an enormous guitar sitting on a tubular steel stand as its focal point and is titled Imagine Harmony with Nature (Guitar Mania for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame). The 2002 work, 10 feet 9 inches tall and made using slate roofing tiles, tree branches and mixed media, should hit $2,000-$4,000.

Gray’s Auctioneers are open for in-person previews at the Cleveland showrooms July 5th-11th, from 10am -5pm Eastern; and Saturday, July 6th, from 12 noon ‘til 4 pm. The fully illustrated catalog is now online at GraysAuctioneers.com. Telephone and absentee bids are also accepted.

Gray’s Auctioneers are northern Ohio’s leading licensed auctioneers and appraisers of fine art, antiques, decorative arts, rare books, fine jewelry and antique rugs. The boutique auction house has over two decades of experience in the art business. Experts at Gray’s offer traditional real estate services and specialists there have worked with museums, educational institutions, corporations and private collectors to achieve the full value of collections at auction. 

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

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

Image: Lady from Shanghai: Iconic movie poster from the inimitable 1947 Orson Welles classic film, The Lady from Shanghai, starring Rita Hayworth (est. $6,000-$8,000).

kiowa copy.jpgDallas, TX - A Kiowa warrior’s book of drawings documenting his captivity by the U.S. Army in 1875 sold for $396,500 in Heritage Auctions’ June 26 Ethnographic Art Auction, pushing the sale to more than $1 million.

The bound book of 33 images is a stunning discovery of the earliest recorded drawings by Etahdleuh Doanmoe, one of 71 tribal members imprisoned in an effort to force Western assimilation and crush resistance to reservations. The auction also offered Self Portrait, Etahdleuh Doanmoe, Kiowa, circa 1878  - the only known self-portrait by Etahdleuh in his full war panoply - which sold for $27,500, and Kiowa Ledger Drawing, circa 1878, also by Etahdleuh Doanmoe, which sold for $25,000.

“Etahdleuh is considered a master artist in a genre called ledger art, which is an extension of traditional paintings done on buffalo robes,” said Delia Sullivan, Senior Specialist of Ethnographic Art at Heritage. “The group was an exceptionally historic find.”

An imposing, hand-painted panel recording a scene from the Blackfoot War by a chief known as Big Spring, sold for $23,750. Measuring 103 inches wide, the war record panel is one of many painted by elderly Blackfoot warriors for display in the hotels at Glacier National Park.

Dated to the 1880s, an ornate Sioux Girl’s Beaded Hide Dress with Belt, ended at $10,625 and a fascinating Sioux Buffalo Hide Bow Case and Quiver, accompanied by three arrows and a sinew backed bow, closed for $10,000.

Among the highlights of the auction’s selection of tribal art, included a 36-inch long coil of Solomon Islands Feather Money from Tevau, Santa Cruze, which sold for $18,750. The currency was fashioned from wood, fiber and feathers from the scarlet honeyeater, whose red feathers were an insignia of rank and divinity in Polynesia.

A Gold Necklace dated to 200 to 400 AD from Calima, Colombia, brought $10,000 and a separate Gold Necklace from the same era, sold for $8,000. An Olmec Jade Scepter, from 1,000 to 500 BC, sold for $7,500. 

Additional highlights include:

·         Night Guard, circa 1985, a bronze by Apache artist Allan Houser, sold for $11,875.

·         A Sioux Beaded Hide Bowcase and Quiver with Recurved Bow and Arrows, circa 1880, brought $6,875

·         An Olmec Jade Blood-letter tool, from about 1,000 - 500 BC sold for $5,750.

hefner.jpgChicago — Potter & Potter Auctions is excited to present this extraordinary archive as part of the company's 619 lot Fine Books and Manuscripts Sale to be held on Saturday, July 28th, 2018. American entrepreneur Hugh Hefner (1926-2017) is best known as the original "Playboy" and the editor of the magazine of the same name. His over the top antics and personal and professional choices made international headlines for over half a century. He met Jane Borson Sellers at Steinmetz High School in Chicago in the early 1940s and maintained a close relationship with her over the course of his life. Sellers' collections of Hefner letters, drawings, cards, photos, and clippings capture the extraordinary nature of Hugh's lifestyle and career in touching, personal, and intimate ways. 

This sale offers a dozen Hugh Hefner lots with materials dating from the early 1940s thorough 2017.  All eyes will be on lot #445, an archive of correspondence between Hefner and Sellers. This collection includes over 60 typed signed letters and autograph letters, dating from Hefner’s last year of high school in Chicago to his two-year service in the Army; snapshots of Hefner and other members of his high school gang; high school yearbook clippings; and a photo of Hefner’s 1949 wedding to Millie Williams.  Many of the letters are embellished with original ink cartoon drawings by Hefner. The whole collection is neatly and chronologically organized in a binder, as organized by Borson, with her typed summary of the letters.  The preface of the archive is a note from "Hef" on Playboy letterhead dated May 31, 2002, which states: “As I understand it, the contents of personal correspondence is the legal property of the person who wrote the letters, but you have my permission to do whatever you like with them. They are yours with my love—for all the dreams and memories we’ve shared.” This once-in-a-lifetime offering is estimated at $10,000-20,000.

Hefner was a talented amateur cartoonist and considered becoming one professionally.  He appreciated fine cartoon artwork, and his publication always featured cartoons by the most famous cartoonists of the era. Several of his original early cartoons are included in this sale and reveal a rather funny and playful side of the future Playboy.  Lot #449, an original Hefner High School Cartoon entitled “My Typical Day at Steinmetz,” is estimated at $1,000-2,000.  This two page ink and watercolor cartoon from 1943 includes a labeled, hand-drawn diagram titled “Dissection of Soft Shell Clam,” reflecting the curriculum of Hefner's zoology class that day.  

Another headliner in the Hefner collection is lot #452, Hugh Hefner's 1944 signed high school senior class sepia print photograph.  This handsome headshot measures 8-3/8 x 6-1/8 and is inscribed, “To one of the sweetest, swellest gals I know-/Hef.” Of course, the “gal” here is Jane Borson Sellers.  It is estimated at $1,500-3,000.

According to Gabe Fajuri, President at Potter & Potter Auctions, "This archive reveals the private, personal, pre-Playboy side of Hugh Hefner - something very few, if any of his millions of fans got a glimpse of. Hefner lived on a grand scale, and was constantly in the spotlight, yet the letters he exchanged with his high school classmate show he was not just larger-than-life - he could also be down to earth. Offering historically significant, unique material of this nature is a true thrill." 

Image: Archive of Early Hefner Correspondence. Estimate $10,000-20,000

June30_01_pics.jpgIthaca, NY — National Book Auctions, located just outside Ithaca, NY, announces the launch of their next auction catalog.  

This catalog features rare, antique and decorative books as well as select additions of ephemera. Featured are themed private libraries including titles relating to horse racing and art history. A selection of fine bindings will be offered, including antique fancy leather bindings and rare selections from the Folio Society and Easton Press.                   

Antique and rare books are numerous in this catalog. Among the earliest examples are the 1788 printing of Carey's "The American Museum or Repository of Ancient and Modern Fugitive Pieces," and Longus' "Les Amours Pastorales de Daphnis et Chloe," produced in 1779 with engraved plates. Also offered are first printings of important modern titles such as J.M. Barrie's "Peter and Wendy," "Giant" by Edna Ferber, Hemingway's "Men without Women" and others. Additional rare and antique selections relate to travel & exploration, books-on-books, theology, children's, decorative antique sets, art history, special printings by the Folio Society and Easton Press, and beyond.                         

Several interesting collections will also be showcased. Highlighted is a substantial private collection of titles chronicling the history of horse racing. Topics covered include breeding, history, the Preakness, Belmont and Kentucky Derby, and beyond. Another large collection includes an exhaustive art history reference library that belonged to a scholar who specialized in the work of Mary Cassatt. Two other private collections center on railroad history, including logging by railroad, and ornithological reference with titles examining the history of bird illustration.        

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

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

 

131-Hayes copy.jpgNew York—On June 21, the auction of Revolutionary & Presidential Americana from the Collection of William Wheeler III at Swann Galleries saw a 91% sell-through rate for important autographs, letters and documents from some of the biggest players in American history. Wheeler, a manufacturing consultant from a long line of New Englanders, devoted much of his adult life to acquiring illuminating pieces of Americana from the Revolutionary War and nearly every president.

Wheeler harbored a special fascination with the life and deeds of Andrew Jackson, which led to a run of 34 significant letters and documents signed by the president, 88% of which found buyers. Highlights included a retained copy of a letter to be published by editor Thomas Eastin, providing his own account of the altercations that would lead to his killing Charles Dickinson in a duel. One of two known complete drafts, it reached $7,000. An 1833 autograph letter signed as president to his adoptive son, Andrew Jackson, Jr., a request that he go to their plantation (the Hermitage) in response to reports of grieving and ailing slaves, sold for $9,375.

The 1876 presidential election between Rutherford B. Hayes and Samuel Tilden was overshadowed in South Carolina by the gubernatorial contest on the same ticket. An archive of 153 items relating to the election, which resulted in riots, lynch-mobs and a contested victory for the governorship, topped the sale at $23,400.

Also available was an autograph letter signed by Patrick Henry to Colonel William Fleming requesting that the militia in Montgomery County, Virginia, be prepared in the case of an attack by Native Americans in 1778. The letter more than doubled its high estimate, selling after breakneck bidding to a collector for $16,250. Additional Revolutionary highlights included a brief autograph letter signed to Ira Allen, the brother of Ethan Allen, from Thomas Paine, concerning a missed connection at the subversive Caffe Boston in Paris in the 1790s ($10,000), and a pay order signed by 15 members of the Massachusetts House of Representatives “to defray [the] costs” of express rider Jonathan Park on his urgent ride to Philadelphia in May 1776 ($13,750).

In addition to fresh perspectives on monumental events, the auction provided an endearing human side to some of history’s most well-known players. A fine example is a heartfelt letter from Charles Pinckney to Tobias Lear, George Washington’s secretary, upon learning of the first president’s death in 1799. He wrote, “I shall not attempt to express my feelings on this occasion: language cannot describe them. In him I have lost a friend & father. Say everything proper for me to Mrs. Washington & Mrs. Lewis. I cannot console them; but I can weep with them." This rare missive was purchased by an institution for $16,250, above a high estimate of $10,000.

Specialist Marco Tomaschett was especially pleased with the institutional attention to the auction, saying, “Museums and archives recognized the historical significance of the personal correspondence featured in this sale, especially the letter from Pinckney acknowledging the death of Washington.”

The next auction of Americana at Swann Galleries, featuring The Harold Holzer Collection of Lincolniana, is scheduled for September 27, 2018. The next auction of Autographs at Swann Galleries will be on November 8, 2018. The house is currently accepting quality consignments for autumn auctions.

Image: Lot 131: Rutherford B. Hayes, archive related to the 1876 election in South Carolina. Sold June 21, 2018 for $23,400. (Pre-sale estimate $5,000 to $7,500)

 

Sylvia Plath Pulitzer Prize in Poetry 54980b_lg.jpegLos Angeles - The Pulitzer Prize in Poetry awarded to Sylvia Plath posthumously in 1982, will be auctioned by Nate D. Sanders Auctions on June 28, 2018.

Plath was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry for “The Collected Poems,” which was edited by her English poet husband, Ted Hughes. Hughes was presented the Pulitzer Prize on behalf of his late wife. The certificate was inherited by Plath and Hughes’ daughter Frieda Hughes.

Plath lived a short, but productive life. She was born in Boston in 1932 and studied at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts as well as Newnham College at the University of Cambridge. She received critical acclaim for popularizing “confessional poetry” in the 1950’s. Plath’s best-known works were the Bell Jar, The Colossus and Ariel. Sylvia Plath committed suicide in 1963.

The certificate was signed by Pulitzer President Michael Sovern and is stamped with the gold Pulitzer seal.  

Bidding begins at $40,000.

Additional information on the model can be found at 
https://natedsanders.com/Sylvia_Plath_s_Pulitzer_Prize_in_Poetry-LOT49694.aspx

Plath’s Driver’s License.

Also going under the hammer is Sylvia Plath’s 1958 driver license. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts license was issued on October 27, 1958. Plath signed her name twice as “Sylvia P. Hughes.” Bidding begins at $8,000.

Additional information on Plath’s driver’s license can be found at https://natedsanders.com/Sylvia_Plath_Twice_Signed_Driver_s_License_From_19-LOT49695.aspx

  

1584-003.jpgYork, PA - So far this year in the world of pop culture, only Avengers: Infinity War has been able to rival the excitement level generated by Hake’s record-setting March auction. Led by a fresh-to-the-market issue of Detective Comics #27 that sold for a staggering $569,000, the sale took in $2.35 million and emphatically validated the demand for Golden and Silver Age comics and original comic art. Once again it’s time for collectors to fasten their seat belts, as Hake’s rolls out a blockbuster July 10-12 online-auction event brimming with rare memorabilia from hundreds of popular categories.

The insatiable demand for original comic art and the prices such works are realizing at auction indicate the gap is closing between comic and mainstream fine art. An excellent case study may be in the making with the original art for two Frank Frazetta covers entered in Hake’s July auction. Frazetta, who died in 2010, was best known for his fantasy and horror art, but his gift was not confined to those genres. The two auction lots represent the color covers for issues #2 and #4 of Blazing Combat, a comic/magazine published from October 1965 to July 1966. The publication featured war stories in both contemporary and period settings, but its run was short, lasting only four issues. Each of the Frazetta cover artworks from this obscure publication is offered with a $75,000-$100,000 estimate. “If someone were to acquire both of the artworks, they would own fifty percent of the title’s run,” said Alex Winter, president of Hake’s Americana. “That’s very desirable and almost unheard of in comic-art collecting.”

The Ron Lim original pen-and-ink art for page 9 of Silver Surfer, Vol. 3 #36, published by Marvel in April 1990, delivers a double dip of mutant superhuman and Titanian Eternal, Thanos. One panel of the 11 1/8 by 17-inch storyboard shows Thanos with his Star Gem, while another depicts a raging battle scene with Thanos going toe to toe with Thor in the center of the action. This significant page, which offered a portent of things to come in The Avengers’ universe, is estimated at $5,000-$10,000. 

Another important artwork is Alex Ross’s original color page created in 1994 for Marvels, a four-issue comic series that examines the Marvel universe, its superheroes and supervillains from the perspective of an “everyman” character. The gouache-over-pencil art from issue #4, page 41 consists of six panels with images of various Marvel characters. Estimate: $10,000-$20,000. Also at the top of the art category is Greg Hildebrandt 2017 acrylic-on-canvas painting of Wonder Woman in Golden Age attire. Created as a tribute to Wonder Woman’s 75th anniversary, it could hit $10,000-$20,000.

An outstanding lineup of 1,300 comic books from the Golden through Modern Age will be auctioned, and of those, 450 are CGC certified. Many are first issues or represent the first appearance of a key character, as is the case with Detective Comics #38, which introduces Batman’s sidekick Robin the Boy Wonder. Published by DC in April 1940, this comic - which is CGC-graded 5.5 Fine - explains Robin’s origin and features the likable new character in boldly colorful cover art by Bob Kane and Jerry Robinson. “This comic, which is completely fresh to the market, is part of a recently discovered Golden Age comic book collection whose original owner purchased the comics new off the rack in the 1930s and ’40s,” said Winter. Compared to the aforementioned Detective Comics #27 that Hakes sold for well over half a million dollars, there are only around a dozen more known copies of Detective Comics #38, per the CGC worldwide census. “It could far surpass its auction estimate of $50,000-$75,000,” Winter said.

Hake’s also will be offering another helping of impossibly rare action figures from the renowned Russell Branton Star Wars collection. Highlights include: a 1977 Kenner Star Wars Darth Vader action figure, AFA-graded 95 Mint and encapsulated on 12 Back-A blister card, $20,000-$35,000; an AFA-graded 80 Near-Mint Luke Skywalker in 12 Back-C blister card with original Double-Telescoping Lightsaber, $10,000-$20,000; and an Anakin Skywalker prototype for Kenner’s 1985 Star Wars: The Power Of The Force toy line, marketed after it was offered as a Return Of The Jedi mail-in offer, $20,000-$35,000. In March, Part two of Branton’s collection beat the overall high estimate by 40 percent, inspiring Hake’s to conduct podcasts focusing on the July selection.

Movie and concert posters have attracted a legion of loyal fans to Hake’s sales. This time the auction house has amassed over 200 choice examples from all eras and genres. The movie section includes some key sci-fi pieces, such as a one-sheet for the 1951 film Man From Planet X, $2,000-$5,000; and a lobby card set for MGM’s 1956 classic Forbidden Planet, $2,000-$5,000. Concert posters are led by a boxing-style window card for “The Biggest Show of Stars for 1960,” starring Frankie Avalon, $10,000-$20,000; a 1964 Sam Cooke poster, $2,000-$5,000; and an important 1966 Frank Zappa Mothers of Invention poster from the band’s first New York City appearance, $2,000-$5,000.

Other premier auction items include a fresh-to-the-hobby original 1913 photo-postcard depicting the multi-racial All-National Baseball Club, $10,000-$20,000; and a boxed Donald Duck Rocket tin-litho friction toy of unknown French manufacturer. One of only two such examples encountered by Hake’s in 51 years, it is estimated at $2,000-$5,000.

For the political memorabilia connoisseur, Hake’s offers an extraordinary rarity - a 1916 campaign button with American patriotic imagery around a portrait of Republican presidential candidate and Supreme Court Justice Charles Evans Hughes. While Hughes was unsuccessful in his run against the incumbent Woodrow Wilson, the only known example of his ”Give Me Hughes” campaign button is a landslide winner with collectors and commands a $10,000-$20,000 estimate. 

Hake’s Americana Auction #224 has opened for bidding by phone, mail or online at hakes.com. The first session will close on July 10, 2018, while the second session will conclude on July 12. July 11 is an interim day in which bidders can peruse the catalog and prepare for further bidding. To request a free printed catalog or for additional information on any item in the sale, call toll-free: 866-404-9800 or 717-434-1600. Email: hakes@hakes.com

Image: 1584: Frank Frazetta (American, 1928-2010) original art for cover of Blazing Combat #2, Jan. 1966, 23 x 23.75in. (framed), Frazetta family endorsement. Est. $75,000-$100,000. Courtesy of Hake’s Americana

 

75c6a5b578d417f90f99878c5709e9dc26757f84.jpegBoston -  Victor Niederhoffer is more than a well-known hedge fund manager, champion squash player, bestselling author and statistician. He is also a world-class collector. 

RR Auction is pleased to present more than 100 rare and significant letters from his vast collection beginning June 22 - June 28. Niederhoffer only selects content-rich and historically vivid correspondences, and these offerings are the best examples of the diverse writers featured, from the arenas of politics, science, sports, literature and more. From Werner Heisenberg to Thomas Jefferson to Charles Darwin, each intimate letter sheds a rare light on their personal day-to-day lives. In Victor’s own words:

“Books and letters have always been an important part of my family life. My father was a policeman in the book publishing area of east New York. In those days, they didn’t sell their overstock - they dumped them in the East River. They hired policemen to do the unloading. My father was paid 50 cents an hour to dump them in the river; instead, he saved them. Our house of about 750 feet, plus wife and two children, had his book collection. The whole house and basement were lined with books.” 

“Letters were always a traditional highlight of our family. The parents, the adults have always written letters supporting their children. My grandfather sent one to the coach of the Brooklyn College team when his son was taken out of the football game; I wrote my first letter when my daughter was taken out of a third grade talent contest.” [You can read about both of these, and the uproar they caused, in the Niederhoffer memoir, "The Education of a Speculator," pg. 115-116.]

“When I learned that books and letters were available, I started collecting at 25. Very eclectic interests. The publishers and sellers have told me that often people collect one or two fields; what’s unique about me is that I collect in every field. Each week, the sellers would come to my office. If I’d had a good week in the market, I’d use my entire winnings. I bought them from key sellers in the area, and from auctions.”

“I collected for about 20 years, buying most in the 1970s. I kept them in archival volumes and often looked at them with great longing and nostalgia. I gained a lot of happiness looking through them and sharing with my family.”   

“The letters form a real tapestry of history. Nothing was bought just to fill a hole. They all show a tremendous vitality and the key events of their time."

“What’s amazing is that all the writers were very salient; e.g., presidents Grant or Monroe or Jackson, you never think of them as great intellectuals. Reagan, Teddy Roosevelt… they always wrote great, poignant letters. I prefer letters to historic documents, because by the time they come to the president, they’re antiseptic and for posterity. Letters explain how people were really feeling. It gives you a feeling of what the normal day-to-day life was.”

A highlight of the collection is a Ronald Reagan heartfelt and heartbreaking letter to his daughter. Written during a particularly trying period, this emotional letter captures Reagan reflecting on his family’s history as well as on his own mortality.

The one-page letter on both sides of his personal letterhead signed “Love, Dad,” and is dated December 24,1989. Letter to his estranged daughter, Patti Davis, in full: "Alright I’ll quit bothering you but I had more in mind than arguing politics. The line in the song says it all; 'The days dwindle down to a precious few.' On Feb. 6th I’ll be 80 years old. Your mother and I are hard put to understand the separation between us and our first born. It didn’t just happen with your growing up and leaving home. I can recall your mother coming home in tears after driving you to school. She couldn’t understand your complete silence even to the point of your not saying 'goodbye.' Was it having to share with a newborn brother? I remember a loving daughter who never let us leave the house without waving goodbye from the window. We have some snapshots that reveal a difference in a little girl. We ask ourselves, 'what did we do wrong?' We were once a loving family. Well as I said earlier 'I’ll stop bothering you' but I don’t understand the separation of our family. I recall a little girl sitting on my lap and asking me to marry her. Her mother across the room behind her signaled me to say 'yes.' So I did and explained we’d have to wait til she was a little older."  Accompanied by the original mailing envelope, addressed in Reagan's own hand and bearing a pre-printed free frank. Also includes a handsome leatherbound presentation folder. (Estimate: $20,000+)

“It’s a moving letter from father to daughter in the hopes of reconciliation, which would come at last in the mid-1990s following the news of his diagnosis with Alzheimer’s,” said Bobby Livingston, Executive VP at RR Auction.

Additional highlights include:

General Washington Revolutionary War-dated letter resupplying his troops prior to the 1779 Sullivan Expedition. (Estimate: $20,000+)

Thomas Jefferson letter successfully reducing taxes on American cargo with the aid of the Marquis de Lafayette. (Estimate: $25,000+)

Werner Heisenberg on the atom bomb and the Nazi government: "I was never in doubt about the fact that the German regime consisted in its most official positions of fools and scoundrels.” (Estimate: $30,000+)

Charles Darwin replies to a German physician: "Such cases certainly occur in non-Jewish families.” (Estimate: $7,500+)

Louis Pasteur writes a page of "Notes on the Cell Structure of the Silk Worm.” (Estimate: $15,000+)

“I’m pleased that these letters are going to contribute to awareness of the greatness and impact of these people. I hope the recipients enjoy them and will share them with their colleagues and families, the same way I have,”  said Niederhoffer. 

The Significant Letter Collection of Victor Niederhoffer will be auctioned beginning June 22 and will conclude June 28. More details can be found online at www.rrauction.com

Polyglot copy.jpgLondon - Christie’s is pleased to offer discerning collectors the opportunity to view and acquire the Plantin Polyglot Bible during its summer auction of Books and Manuscripts on 11 July in London (estimate: £400,000 - £600,000). Produced by the Plantin Printing workshop in Antwerp almost 450 years ago for King Philip II, this monument of biblical scholarship is now returning from where it originated and will be on public view at the Plantin Museum on 21 and 22 June*. 

Also known as the Biblia Regia, this is considered the greatest achievements of the Plantin printing press. Printed in its original languages and the Latin Vulgate, this polyglot Bible features beautiful and exotic types and exemplifies an epitome of typographical design. 

King Philip II of Spain had originally commissioned 13 copies on vellum for his personal use, and only 11 of these sets survive today. Sent to him by Plantin in 1572, it remained in royal ownership until c.1788 when Charles III gave it to his son, which then followed on by descent to the present owner. This is the only copy in private hands as all other copies are owned by institutions. Seven are located in Spain, while the others reside in London, Turin and the Vatican. 

Meg Ford, International Director Books and Manuscripts comments - “The Renaissance press of Christopher Plantin set out to produce the finest Bible in all Christendom, and Christie’s is exceptionally pleased to bring back for the first time in almost 450 years, a deluxe vellum copy of this masterpiece to its place of origin and the very presses that printed it. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for collectors and bibliophiles to view the deluxe Biblia Regia at the Plantin Museum on 21 and 22 June and Christie’s look forward to offering this set with royal provenance in its auction in London on 11 July.” 

Museum Director Iris Kockelbergh says - “The return of the Biblia Regia in its original home is an emotional moment. Seeing this masterpiece on paper is extremely moving and the version on parchment, on show now, surpasses this experience. We look forward to welcoming local and international viewers on 21 and 22 June to the Plantin Museum, a Unesco World Heritage site, where they can explore the world of the influential Plantin and Moretus family. 

Senior Curator Dirk Imhof, Plantin Museum, Comments - “Language can scarcely do justice to its extraordinary beauty and perfection of condition” a quote of Thomas Dibdin when he saw a version of the Biblia regia on parchment, The Bibliographical Decameron, Londen, 1817 

*The Plantin Polyglot Bible will be on view at the Plantin Museum on 21 June from 10.00am to 17.00pm and on 22 June from 10.00am to 12.00pm. 

 

255.jpgChicago, IL — Potter & Potter's recent magic sale offered collectors a phenomenal selection of automatons, apparatus, ephemera, Houdiniana, broadsides, and mystery clocks, many from the David Baldwin Magic Collection. David M. Baldwin (1928 - 2014) had a lifelong passion for magic and a remarkable eye for the extraordinary; Potter and Potter also sold highlights from this collection in October, 2016.  After the hammer fell for the last time, 33 lots made $1,000-1,999; 26 lots sold for $2,000-$9,999; and six lots lapped the five-figure mark!  Prices noted include the company's 20% buyer's premium. 

A trio of Baldwin's outstanding antique mystery clocks took the top spots in this sale. Lot #28, a lavishly decorated Robert-Houdin glass column mystery clock, made $36,000. It told time via a single arrow-shaped hand, which was set against a gilt-brass framed glass dial with Roman numerals.  Coming in second was lot #30, a two handled Robert-Houdin square dial mystery clock which sold for $24,000. This gilt-framed example featured a beveled dial with Roman and Arabic numerals and a dotted minute track, a marble platform, and two decorative swans.  And things were on the move with lot #32, a c. 1860 French magician automaton mantel clock. This breathtaking timepiece featured a magician who on the hour - or at will - turned his head and produced and transposed objects from his table.  It surpassed its high estimate to realize $21,600.  

Old and newer magic apparatus, with many fine examples from legacy manufacturers, was another spellbinding category in this sale.   Lot #1, c. 1890 European card bouquet, formerly owned by the proprietors of the Petrie-Lewis (P&L) magic company of New Haven, CT, made $11,400 on its $6,000-8,000 estimate.  This mechanically complex device was believed to be the only known example of this effect.  Lot #12, a German c. 1900 spirit bell and clock dial combination made by Carl Willmann more than doubled its low estimate to ring in $10,800. Lot #170, a modern Pillar of the Magi by John Gaughan & Associates modeled on an Otto Maurer design climbed to $10,200 on its $3,000-5,000 estimate.  Lot #197, a surprise Fabergé-Style Egg from Pywacked Magic in Germany beat its high estimate four times over to make $4,560. And lot #67, a c. 1930's American wooden “Sure Shot” dice box changed hands at $900 on its $100-200 estimate. 

Merchandise - including props, ephemera, and personal items -  associated with the legendary magician The Great Raymond (Maurice Francois Raymond, 1877-1948) proved quite popular with collectors. Lot #255, an important scrapbook of Raymond’s early escape act clippings and ephemera from the 1906-08 timeframe sold for $9,000 on its $1,000-2,000 estimate.  This archive included some of the earliest and perhaps only extant material from this period of Raymond’s career.  Lot #263, another archive of Raymond materials consisting of 1930's era clippings and playbills, made the cut at $2,160. Lot #246, a collection of professional correspondence and letters to The Great Raymond delivered $3,600 on its $200-400 estimate.    And lot #277, Raymond's fine English alligator wallet carried the day at $1,800.  This handsome accessory was detailed with a central “R” medallion and sterling silver corners bearing Birmingham hallmarks. 

This sale came full circle with museum-quality selections of books, posters, photos, and other magic rarities.  Lot #231, an archive of Del Ray (Raymond Petrosky, c. 1927-2003) photographs and ephemera, and a draft biography by Spooner soared to $4,560 on its $150-250 estimate. The collection included Del Ray’s gilt metal Lifetime Membership card in the Academy of Magical Arts.  And lot #316, a pair of 1922 Houdini Shelton Pool stunt news photos picturing the escape artist outside and within the coffin sold for $1,800 on their $250-350 estimate. These glossy silver prints had their news service hand-stamps and annotations on verso. 

According to Gabe Fajuri, President at Potter & Potter Auctions, "The sale marked another strong showing for items from David Baldwin's collection. We were particularly pleased with the results for the Okito-made props, and Del Ray-owned items. Houdini proved to be a hit, too. All in all, it was a very good day for magic collecting and magic collectors alike." 

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

Image: Earliest Archive of Raymond Ephemera. Realized $9,000

New York, NY — What do The Jackson 5’s (and Michael Jackson’s) first recording contract, the Larry Richards “A Cinema Apart” Collection, Rosa Parks’ family home and her handwritten thoughts on the day she first met Dr. Martin Luther King, and Alex Haley’s manuscript for the Malcolm X biography (which includes many of Mr. X’s personal notes) have in common? They will be among the hundreds of extraordinary items being brought to the block by Guernsey’s, the New York City-based auction house, on July 25th and 26th at the historic General Scott Mansion on the corner of Park Avenue and 93rd Street, in New York City. Largely focusing on the Civil Rights Movement, African American movies, and music, this auction will include items that are of huge cultural and historical importance.

The Gregory Reed Collection is an archive of Civil Rights documents, rare books, and African-American musical ephemera, all from the offices of the prominent African-American lawyer who counted Rosa Parks among his clients. In an extraordinary two-page document, Mrs. Parks describes the occasion she first encountered Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Astonished that so young a man could speak so eloquently, she writes “I knew I would never forget him.” It was only months later that this giant of a little woman refused to give up her bus seat. Jail and death threats soon followed, causing Mrs. Parks to flee northward to Detroit where, along with her husband and extensive family, she found shelter in a small, 23’ x 23’ two-story wood home. Now, six decades later, that very structure (which is easily disassembled, and the buyer should know that there will be ample support available to assist in the easy assembly of the house) has been the subject of an international tour extensively covered by the media. The BBC and CNN reported on the story as did the New York Times, which ran three separate articles about the historic home. Most recently exhibited as part of a symposium with the Rhode Island School of Design, this truly historic Rosa Parks family home is in the auction with much of the proceeds directly supporting the Rosa McCauley Parks Heritage Foundation.

In 1992, the estate sale of the then late author Alex Haley was conducted. Internationally renowned for his historic novel, Roots, the top lot in the auction proved to be Haley’s original 257-page manuscript for the Autobiography of Malcolm X (as told to Alex Haley), with many handwritten notes and edits from both Malcolm X and the author. Separately sold in the event were the “lost chapters” - portions of the book thought too controversial to be published. Attorney Reed was the successful bidder back then; now, more than a quarter century later, these extraordinary documents will be offered again.

Comprised of hundreds of rare film posters, window and lobby cards, actor-worn clothing and more, the unique Cinema Apart Collection, assembled by the late Larry Richards, traces the course of African American cinema throughout the 20th century, and represents an important part of American and of cinematic history. In earlier times, films starring African American actors, or ‘all-black casts’ were made specifically for black audiences. These movies were not generally mainstream, and for a time their cultural significance not realized. Titles included Bronze Venus, Smiling Hate, Rhythm in a Riff, Congorilla, Two- Gun Man from Harlem, Voodoo Devil Drums, Midnight Menace, Porgy and Bess. Featuring names such as Paul Robeson, Lena Horne, Sammy Davis Jr., Eartha Kitt, Dorothy Dandridge, and Sidney Poitier, A Cinema Apart’s significance was recognized when a portion of it was selected for inclusion in the collection of the Smithsonian Museum. 

In the 1960’s, emerging, wannabe record labels were almost too numerous to count. One of the upstarts, out of Gary, Indiana, was Steeltown Records, headed by William Adams. At a performance in a junior high school gym, Adams was riveted by five young men (boys, really). From this unheralded performance sprang The Jackson 5 and the then nine-year old Michael Jackson. On November 21, 1967, a contract between Steeltown and the Jackson Five was worked out and signed by Joe Jackson on behalf of his sons. Agreeing to “employ Steeltown, Inc.,” a career began that changed the world. Consigned directly by Mr. Adams, that remarkable contract is in this auction!

Long considered one of Jazz’ greatest piano players, Art Tatum died at age 47. Now, more than sixty years later, his estate has honored Guernsey’s by the inclusion in this event of many of Art’s most enduring treasures. Included among these is his stunning Steinway Grand piano, and a vintage Bulova wrist watch inscribed to the pianist and given to him by none other than Frank Sinatra.

The vast majority of the approximately 700 items in this auction are being offered without minimum reserve. The Gregory Reed Collection is being sold by court order. More information on this important event can be found at www.guernseys.com.  Online bidding will take place at liveauctioneers.com and invaluable.com.

Screen Shot 2018-06-19 at 9.04.06 AM.pngThis July, Christie’s will present Quentin Blake: A Retrospective; Forty Years of Alternative Versions, a series of illustrations offered directly from the personal collection of one of Britain's best-loved illustrators. As part of Christie’s Classic Week, a selection of 30 illustrations by Quentin Blake will be presented in the Valuable Books and Manuscripts auction on 11 July, alongside a dedicated online sale of 148 illustrations open for bidding from 3 to 12 July. The works from this sale are being sold to benefit House of Illustration, Roald Dahl's Marvellous Children's Charity and Survival International. Quentin Blake: A Retrospective; Forty Years of Alternative Versions will be on view and open to the public from 7 to 10 July at Christie’s London. Estimates range from £200 to £10,000. 

The collection comprises works from the past 40 years of Quentin Blake’s career, showcasing some of the most celebrated literary characters of today, which have captured the imagination of generations of children including Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Twits, and James and the Giant Peach to David Walliams’s Mr Stink. Alongside these cherished children’s stories, the sale presents collectors the opportunity to acquire works from various other projects that Blake has worked on including editions illustrated for The Folio Society and artwork for J Sheekey Restaurant, along with illustrations for various public spaces, such as St George’s Hospital, Tooting and the Maternity Unit at Angers University Hospital in France. 

Highlights include works for The Enormous Crocodile, Roald Dahl’s first book to be illustrated by Blake, and preliminary drawings showing the genesis of one of Roald Dahl’s best-loved creations, the Big Friendly Giant. These illustrations will be presented alongside further children’s favorites, including Fantastic Mr Fox, Billy and the Minpins and perhaps two of the most fearsome and wicked of Roald Dahl’s characters The Twits. In 2016, Blake completed a series of works for the Roald Dahl Centenary Portraits project, celebrating 100 years since the author’s birth: Charlie, Willie Wonka and Grandpa Joe, Matilda, and Sophie and the BFG are among the famous Roald Dahl characters depicted in a series of ten portraits by Blake, who asks the viewers to imagine the characters have been invited to sit for their portrait, thus truly bringing these well-known characters to life. Further works in the sale include drawings of Blake’s marvellous portrayal of Beatrix Potter’s protagonist for her long-lost work from 1914, The Tale of Kitty-in-Boots. The story was rediscovered in the archives of the Victoria and Albert Museum in 2015 and Blake’s illustrations of Kitty and her adventures have helped establish the story as a firm favourite within children’s literature. 

Alternative aspects of Blake’s work will be explored, including a group of pencil drawings from his exhibition Arrows of Love, depicting women avoiding or embracing Cupid’s arrow. These rarely-seen nudes reveal Blake’s personal reflections on the joy, folly and sorrow of love. Further illustrations presented in the sale include his work for the Atlantic Bar at J Sheekey restaurant in London, portraying J Sheekey’s chefs, sommeliers and patrons swimming among shoals of fish and sea-creatures. The under-the-sea theme is a particular favourite of Blake’s and is continued in the auction with drawings from the Jerwood Gallery's exhibition in 2015 'Life under Water: A Hastings Celebration', capturing the vibrancy of this historic seaside town. Blake’s work for The Folio Society presents a unique aspect of his oeuvre and the sale will include various examples from The Golden Ass by Apuleius, in which Blake captures the comic spirit of the text, along with the complexity of tone. Further works from the Folio Society will be presented, such as Victor Hugo’s 1829 novel Notre Dame de Paris and Russell Hoban’s genre-defying masterpiece Riddley Walker. 

Quentin Blake is one of today’s most recognised illustrators, known for his collaboration with writers such as Russell Hoban, Joan Aiken, Michael Rosen, John Yeoman and, most famously, Roald Dahl. He has also illustrated classic books and created much-loved characters of his own, including Mister Magnolia and Mrs Armitage. His books have won numerous prizes and awards, including the Whitbread Award, the Kate Greenaway Medal, the Emil/Kurt Maschler Award and the international Bologna Ragazzi Prize. He won the 2002 Hans Christian Andersen Award for Illustration, the highest international recognition given to creators of children's books. In 1999 he was appointed the first UK Children’s Laureate and in 2005 was created CBE. This was followed in 2013 by a knighthood for 'services to illustration' in the New Year's Honours. In 2014 Blake was admitted to the Legion d'Honneur.

vcsPRAsset_531423_107822_40f21660-fa68-4fe3-9e5f-af3ac90a8b2b_0.jpgLos Angeles, California - Van Eaton Galleries, one of the world’s premier animation artwork and collectibles galleries located in Sherman Oaks, California, has announced an extraordinary auction event highlighted by never-before published photographs of Walt Disney’s personal life, as well as a 1953 construction plot plan that Walt Disney drew on to show the boundary for Disneyland. The “A Brief History of the Walt Disney Studios” auction will take place on July 7, 2018 at Van Eaton Galleries located at 13613 Ventura Blvd in Sherman Oaks, California. The auction includes some of the most closely-related artifacts to the life of Walt Disney that have ever been offered for public sale.

Rare highlights include a complete set of exceptional personal photographs of Walt Disney and the Rancheros Visitadores social club. The photo archives depict Walt Disney riding on horseback and camping during one of the Rancheros Visitadores’ yearly excursions through the Santa Ynez Valley. This set includes several never-before-published photos of Walt Disney who took part in the excursions in the late 1930s and into the 1940s.

The photos clearly show a down-to-earth and very casual side of Walt Disney that few have ever seen (Estimate: $6,000-$8,000). Additionally, Van Eaton Galleries will offer a Walt Disney personally-signed Rancheros Visitadores Camp Site sign. This incredibly detailed hand-painted sign was for Walt’s camp site, “Camp Cine Q”.

The sign features the signatures of several of the club’s members including American artist Victor Clyde Forsythe who also created a sketch next to his signature. It also features Walt Disney’s signature accompanied by his personal drawing of Mickey Mouse. Original drawings of Mickey Mouse by Walt are among some of the most sought after Disney artifacts and are rarely seen (Estimate: $12,000-$15,000).

“The ‘A Brief History of the Walt Disney Studios’ auction doesn’t just tell the story of the Studio, but it tells the story of Walt and his team of talented artists and individuals who helped build the company,” says Mike Van Eaton, Co-Owner of Van Eaton Galleries. “We consider this one of the rarest opportunities we have had to show the world a side of Walt Disney that few have ever seen, through personal photographs and personally-signed or hand-drawn items. Many of these items have never come to auction before and are among the only such examples of these items that we have ever seen. To say we are excited about this auction is an understatement. Anyone who recognizes the incredible value of such items from Walt’s personal life will understand how significant this auction is.”  

A plot plan for Disneyland is among one of the rarest and most historically important items to be offered. In August of 1953, shortly after acquiring land in Anaheim, Walt Disney took a grease pencil and drew a triangle on this plot plan to represent where he wanted the Disneyland trains to run, thus creating the boundaries for the park and the beginnings of Disneyland as we know it. This original drawing by Walt represents the earliest known appearance of the shape of Disneyland and its location in Anaheim, and also represents Walt Disney’s personal involvement and input in every aspect of the creation of his park. (Estimate: $100,000-$200,000).

Walt Disney loved railroads so much that he had one built in his backyard. Van Eaton Galleries will offer a piece of Railroad Track from Walt Disney’s own backyard railroad (Estimate: $50,000-$60,000) as well as an extremely rare Walt Disney signed “Laugh-O-Gram” stock certificate from Walt’s early animation studio (Estimate: $8,000-$10,000). 

Nearly 600 items will be offered in the “A Brief History of the Walt Disney Studios” auction that range from furniture from the 1940’s Walt Disney Studio in Burbank, original Disneyland props, animation art from Disney cartoons and films from the 1920s through the 1980s, and much more. Other highlights include a Mickey Mouse Writing Tablet Salesman Sample (Estimate: $3,000-$5,000); a 1934 Colson Mickey Mouse Tricycle (Estimate:  $1,000-$2,000); a Disneyland “Snow White’s Scary Adventures” Tree Prop (Estimate: $5,000-$7,000); a Disneyland Donald Duck Walkaround Character Head (Estimate: $2,000-$3,000); A Disneyland Pluto Walk Around Character Head (Estimate: $2,000-$3,000); a Disneyland “Indiana Jones Adventure” Wait Time Sign (Estimate: $4,000-$6,000) and a Walt Disney “Mousecar” Award (Estimate: $2,000-$3,000)                  

BRIEF HISTORY OF THE WALT DISNEY STUDIOS” EXHIBITION AND AUCTION LOCATION

Van Eaton Galleries                                                                                                       

13613 Ventura Blvd

Sherman Oaks, California 91423

(818) 788-2357

LIVE AND ONLINE AUCTION:
11am July 7, 2018

At Van Eaton Galleries 13613 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, Ca 91423

Register at www.vegalleries.com/disneyauction
Online at www.vegalleries.com/bidnow

The “A Brief History of the Walt Disney Studios” Collection Exclusive Catalogs may be purchased at www.vegalleries.com/disneyauction

Winter Hawk copy.jpgNew York - Christie’s New York Books and Manuscripts sales total $12,853,250, across the two auctions that took place on June 14, 2018. The dedicated single-lot sale for John James Audubon’s The Birds of America (1827-1838) realized $9,650,000, establishing the second-highest price at auction for a full folio-set, with proceeds to benefit the Knobloch Family Foundation.

Other notable results included Audubon’s folio Quadrupeds of North America, 1845-46-48, which realized $348,500; the first issue of Shakespeare’s Second Folio, which sold for $175,000; an autograph manuscript by Charles Darwin (1809-1992) from his radical treatise on human evolution, which realized $112,500; and an autograph manuscript and letter by Thomas Paine (1737-1809), which sold for over three times the low estimate for $93,750

Additionally, strong results were achieved for 20th-Century lots including the first Olympic Gold Medal awarded for Basketball, to George Louis Redlein (1885-1968), St. Louis, 1904 which sold for $125,000; and Paul McCartney's 1970 affidavit initiating his lawsuit to break up the Beatles, with John Lennon's handwritten annotations throughout, which realized $125,000.

Image: The exceptional Duke of Portland set of Audubon's masterpiece. AUDUBON, John James (1785-1851). The Birds of America; from Original Drawings. London: Published by the Author, 1827-1838. PRICE REALIZED: $9,650,000 

 

New York—On June 13, the sale of Bonhams and TCM Present ... A Celebration of Robert Osborne was 100% sold, which included rare one-sheet posters and movie memorabilia from the estate of the beloved Turner Classic Movies host. The top lot of the collection was Bette Davis’ personal Sarah Siddons award, which realized $25,000 against an estimate of $10,000-15,000. A two-week online-only sale of additional lots from the estate starts June 14 and continues until June 28. TCM will donate its proceeds from the sale to The Film Foundation while proceeds from the sale of the posters will benefit the Gingold Theatrical Group.

Dr. Catherine Williamson, director of Entertainment Memorabilia at Bonhams, commented: “The affection for Robert Osborne was evidently clear at the auction. Bids poured out from every corner of the crowded room, as well as on the phone and online. The biggest surprise of the collection was the Stork Club ash tray, which sold for $23,750 against an estimate of $200-300. Fans realized the rarity of this relic from the classic New York night club.”

In addition to the Osborne estate, the June auction also featured classic Hollywood memorabilia from other sources and highlights included:  

  • A Frank Sinatra painting that hung at the Friars Club of Beverly Hills, oil on illustration board, which was the top lot of the sale and realized $31,250.
  • A Tom Hanks Army dress uniform from Forrest Gump Paramount, 1994, which realized $25,000
  • A Katharine Hepburn watercolor painting of the American Shakespeare Theatre, watercolor and ink on paper, which realized $23,750.

Belton, Missouri - The legend of Bonnie and Clyde may have to be rewritten or at least revised with the discovery of a trove of more than 40 previously unknown photographs of the notorious 1930s-era outlaws and various other family members that will be sold in an online-only auction ending Wednesday, July 11th, by Mayo Auction & Realty. There is no live bidding in the gallery. 

Mayo Auction & Realty is no stranger to Bonnie and Clyde. Several years ago the firm auctioned a gun found in the infamous “death car” that police riddled with bullets the day the couple was killed, then later sold another gun owned by the pair. “We’ve become the go-to auction company for market fresh Bonnie and Clyde collectibles,” said Robert Mayo of Mayo Auction & Realty. 

The catalog, with all lots, is online now for viewing and bidding, at www.AuctionbyMayo.com. A preview, where all the photographs can be seen by the public, will be held on Monday, July 9th, from 4-6 pm Central time, in the Mayo Auction & Realty gallery at 16513 Cornerstone Drive in Belton, Missouri. Belton is located just south of Kansas City, a short distance off Interstate 49.

The photos will come as a revelation to those who have only seen the widely published shots of the couple in full gangster mode, Bonnie with a cigarette dangling from her mouth and Clyde toting a machine gun. These show a softer, more human side to the pair: Bonnie all dressed up and wearing makeup in a studio glam shot, and Clyde looking dapper in a crisp three-piece suit.

The photos - small black and whites from the ‘20s and ‘30s - have a history as colorful and well-documented as Bonnie and Clyde’s meteoric rise to the top of the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list. The group was purchased at a drive-in theater flea market in Texas, around 30 years ago, along with a Texas newspaper account of the couple’s murder dated the day they were killed.

The buyer was Bob Andrews of Oklahoma, who has held on to the photos all this time and is now ready to part with them. “This guy was selling what he claimed to be authentic photographs of Bonnie and Clyde that he said had been found hidden in the back of an old console radio, in an album and with the newspaper from the day after the couple’s murder by police,” he said.

Andrews said he didn’t believe the man and walked away. “But it kept gnawing at me and finally my wife said, ‘Oh, just go back and buy them.’ So I did.” Andrews said the man didn’t know anything else about the photos, just that they’d been kept hidden in the back of the radio and had changed hands several times. Only recently did Andrews decide to step forward with the photos.

But are they real? Yes, according to Marc Geyer, an auctioneer, appraiser and historian out of Mesa, Arizona, who worked on authenticating the photographs, indicating that he spent weeks researching and comparing the photos to other known images of the families. “In my opinion, I believe these photographs to be authentic,” Geyer said. “I believe the photo subjects to be Bonnie Parker, Clyde and Buck (Clyde’s brother) Barrow and various other family members and acquaintances. Their journey to this auction is the mystery.”

He has a theory, though. “Through my research, I find it is a strong possibility that these photos belonged to Emma Parker - Bonnie’s mother - and that when she died in 1944, the radio may have ended up with Bonnie’s sister, Billie Jean. When Billie Jean died in 1993, I believe that old radio was sold along with the rest of her estate. The photos were then discovered by the buyer.”

Assuming they are real, following is a list of some of the more historically significant ones:

  • Photos of Bonnie, Clyde and Billie Jean on the docks in Galveston, Texas. The ship in the photo (identified as the Edgemoor, accompanied by a pilot boat, the Mariner) was one that loaded lumber in Galveston. Men are seen in the background loading lumber.
  • A glamour shot of Bonnie, taken at Kelly Studio in Denison, Texas. This is a never-before-seen photo, but it was known that Bonnie and sister Billie Jean enjoyed playing dress-up and sitting for the photographer. Still, it doesn’t square with her gun moll image. 
  • Clyde dressed up in his Sunday best, too. Evidently, vanity wasn’t limited just to Bonnie. Clyde could have modeled for GQ (if there was a GQ in the ‘30s). The shot of him in a three-piece suit, hand propped on the door of a sedan, makes him look downright dapper.
  • A photo of the marker sign at the North Dakota-Montana state line. Again, like with Galveston, it was never previously reported that Bonnie and Clyde ever visited or spent time in either state. It’s assumed the photo was taken on a (possibly necessary) road trip. 
  • Bonnie holding one of her sister Billie Jean’s children. Bonnie never had children of her own, but she enjoyed doting on her younger sister’s kids, and especially took a shine to Billie Jean’s son, Buddy. 
  • Clyde in a photo next to anything but a Ford. Clyde Barrow was a Ford man all the way - wouldn’t drive or steal anything but. However, in one photo he’s shown next to what appears to be a 1926 Chrysler Imperial model E-80 with Illinois license plates from 1929.
  • Bonnie as a young girl, at around age 10. Photos of the outlaw as a child are extremely rare, and this one shows her with three other family members outside their Texas home: here sister Billie Jean, her mother’s late husband’s sister Ada, and a man written as “Ed”.
  • A photo of W.D. Jones, the young protégé and possible love interest. Little is known about Mr. Jones, except that he got caught up in Bonnie, Clyde, Buck and Blanche’s (Buck’s wife) shenanigans as a young man and was rumored to be Billie Jean’s lover.
  • Photos of the infamous “billy goat car”. The billy goat car was so-named because it had a goat-like hood ornament. In one classic photo, Bonnie is shown wearing the ornament on her head and smiling. Cars are in many of the photos - essential for quick getaways.
  • Any photos showing Clyde and Buck together. As career criminals, when one was being sent to prison, the other was just getting out. They were only out together on and before Nov. 29, 1929, when Buck was shot and arrested in Denton, Tex., and after March 1933.

Bonnie once wrote a letter to Clyde while he was in jail, dated Feb. 23, 1930, in which she pours out her lovesick heart: “I’ve got a Majestic Radiola and they drive me crazy with the music. All I’ve heard today is Lonesome Railroad Blues and I Sing All My Love Songs to You. It nearly drives me mad.” Could that be the very radio that contained these photos? We will never know.

One thing is certain, though. The legend of Bonnie and Clyde will only get larger and stronger with the sale of these 40-plus never-before-seen and historically significant photos. Whoever buys them - whether it’s a serious collector, a museum or corporate interest - they will be the custodians of a slice of American history that’s deep in legend and lore - and ready for revision.

Pablo Picasso.jpgCranston, Rhode Island - A pair of outstanding Rhode Island collections - one of gorgeous Tiffany pieces pulled from a home in Providence and the other the modern prints collection of Lucille Comes out of Warwick, all purchased from Multiple Impressions in New York - will be just part of Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers’ next big sale, planned for Saturday, June 23rd, at 10 am Eastern.

The auction will be held online as well as in Bruneau’s gallery, located at 63 Fourth Avenue in Cranston. Internet bidding will be available via Invaluable.com, LiveAuctioneers.com, ePaiLIVE (in Asia), Bidsquare.com, Bidlive.Bruneauandco.com, the Bruneau app, Auctionzip.com and eBay. Phone and absentee bids will also be accepted. Doors will open at 8 am on auction day.

“This sale will not disappoint,” Kevin Bruneau announced proudly. “As owner of the company I take pride in seeing such a comprehensive catalog come to be. Whether you collect Asian art, period furniture, modern prints or more, there is definitely something for you in the catalog.”

Travis Landry, a Bruneau & Co. specialist and auctioneer, added, “You name it, this sale has it. From Tiffany Studios to ancient Roman glass, American Fauvism and even a 1962 Rolls-Royce, there’s something for every collector. I can’t wait to see who takes home the Tiffany table lamp.”

He was referring to the circa 1905 Tiffany Studios (N.Y.) table lamp having a poppy shade consisting of variegated blue, green, red, purple and yellow Favrile glass with reticulated bronze overlay, supported by a twisted vine base. The 20 ¼ inch shade is impressed “Tiffany Studios 1537” and the base is impressed “Tiffany Studios 443”. The lamp should bring $30,000-$50,000.

Also from Tiffany Studios in New York is a beautiful circa 1910 paperweight Favrile glass vase, 10 inches tall (est. $15,000-$20,000). The piece is prolate form, with a thick rolled rim decorated with a freeform bleeding heart pattern in hues of red and purple throughout the iridescent amber Favrile glass. A lovely faint blue swirl pattern is cast over the entirety of the paperweight’s body.  

The Rolls-Royce is lot #1 and a strong contender for top lot of the auction, with an estimate of $30,000-$50,000. It’s a 1962 Silver Cloud II Standard Saloon, one of only 2,417 built between 1959-1962. The velvet green over sand left-hand drive car has a 380 cubic inch V-8 engine and is in remarkable condition. It once resided in the Yankee Candle Car Museum in Massachusetts.

A Fauvist landscape painting by the Swedish-born American artist Birger Sandzen (1871-1954), depicting Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, with two sloped trees amongst rockery on the edge of a river, with mountains in the background, carries an estimate of $20,000-$30,000. The work is signed lower right “Birger Sandzen” and comes in a 21 ¾ inch by 18 ½ inch frame.

In March, Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers made headlines in the trade papers when a gigantic 19th century Chinese archaic poem scroll painting - 24 feet wide by 29 inches tall - sailed past its estimate of $800-$1,200 to command $72,500. From the same estate, two more massive Chinese scrolls will be offered in the June auction, each one with a pre-sale estimate of $10,000-$20,000.

The first is a 26-foot-wide ink and watercolor depiction of three cliffside landscape scenes of robed scholars by the Chinese artist and poet Gai Qi (Chinese, 1773-1828). The Qing dynasty scroll is a masterpiece and museum-quality, signed throughout with calligraphy red seal chop marks. Gai Qi painted in Shanghai and was associated with Fei Dangxu (Chinese, 1801-1850).

The second is a Ming dynasty scroll painting by the Chinese artist Zhimian Zhou (1550-1610), a monumental ink and watercolor scroll depicting a panoramic landscape with birds perched amongst bamboo, foliage, pink flowers and rockery. Measuring 17 feet 4 inches long and 10 ½ inches high, it is museum quality, signed throughout with calligraphy and red seal chop marks.

The centerpiece of Lucille Comes’ modern prints collection is a portfolio of work by Joan Miro (Sp./Fr., 1893-1983), titled El Inocente (est. $4,000-$6,000).  Included are three etchings and an aquatint in color on Arches paper. Each work is signed and numbered (165 of 170). The portfolio is published by Robert Lydie Doutrou (Paris, 1974) with accompanying text by Xavier Domingo.

Also from Ms. Comes’ collection is Pablo Picasso’s Suite 347 No. 106 (Bloch 1586, Baer 1602), etching #47 of 50, signed by Picasso lower right and numbered lower left, with the date within the plate. Framed, the etching measures 22 ½ inches by 24 ¾ inches. It’s accompanied by the original receipt, dated Feb. 20, 1982 from Multiple Impressions. The estimate is $3,000-$5,000.

A circa 1880 room-size Persian Sultanaban rug, 16 feet 1 inch by 11 feet 10 inches, having a central field with burnt sienna ground with ivory and blue floral decoration surrounded by multiple bands of geometric and floral borders, is expected to change hands for $8,000-$12,000.

Also, an early 17th century Northwest European allegorical hand-woven Renaissance tapestry after The Nativity by Peter Paul Reubens (1577-1640), measuring 8 feet 1 inch by 7 feet 3 inches and most certainly from that period, exhibiting routine wear from age, should hit $2,000-$3,000.

Download the Bruneau app on Google play and iTunes. Phone and absentee (left) bids will also be accepted. Previews will be held on Thursday, June 21st, from 9-5; on Friday, June 22nd, from 12 noon until 9 pm; and on Saturday, June 23rd, the date of auction, when the doors open at 8 am.

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

To learn more about Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers and the auction on Saturday, June 23rd, visit www.bruneauandco.com. To contact Bruneau & Co. via e-mail, use info@bruneauandco.com

Image: Pablo Picasso’s Suite 347 No. 106 (Bloch 1586, Baer 1602), etching #47 of 50, signed by Picasso himself lower right and numbered lower left, with the date within the plate (est. $3,000-$5,000).

odnkkpcagocjmljb.jpgNew York—Swann Galleries’ auction of Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books on June 7 brought to market landmarks from the history of cartography and ornithology. The nearly 400 lots traced important developments in science and natural history, especially in North America.

Leading the auction was the hand-colored elephant plate of Fish Hawk from John James Audubon’s Birds of America, 1830, at $68,750. Audubon works, as well as those generally related to birds, performed well overall, achieving three of the top five highest prices in the sale. Another highlight was the first octavo edition of a complete subscriber’s copy of Birds of America, 1840-44, which was purchased by a collector for $22,500.

By delightful coincidence, all three of the most important “Beaver Maps” were in the sale and performed well. Nicolas de Fer’s L’Amerique Divisee Selon Letendue de ses Principales Parties, 1713, colloquially known as the “Original Beaver Map,” was the first major map to include an engraved cartouche of beavers in the wilderness. It was purchased by a collector for $30,000. The beaver motif was emulated and popularized later by Herman Moll in his circa 1735 atlas, The World Described, on the spread depicting New England, which came to be known as “The Beaver Map” for its ubiquity ($22,500). Finally, “The Dutch Beaver Derivative,” the moniker given to Henri Chatelain’s 1719 long Carte Tres Curieuse de la Mer du Sud..., reached $9,375.

Important post-Revolutionary American maps included the first 1827 issue of Herman Boye’s Map of the State of Virginia Reduced to come to auction in more than 50 years ($27,500). The first official map to delineate the exact boundaries of Pennsylvania, by Reading Howell, 1792, reached $5,980.

True to form, unusual plans of Manhattan sparked interest among buyers. A seven-part map compiled by Charles Kinnaird and issued by the Department of Docks in 1873 shows the original shoreline of the island, overlaid with proposed infrastructure including piers and bulwarks. Only five institutional copies are known to exist; it was purchased by a collector for $8,750. Another highlight was Egbert Viele’s “Water Map,” or Topographical Atlas of the City of New York, 1874, depicting the waterways of Manhattan before its development ($9,100).

Specialist Caleb Kiffer was delighted with the auction: “Yesterday's successful auction gave me a lot of confidence in the market. Top material performed very well with the mid-range market remaining strong as ever. The collectors were bidding with strength and it pleases me to see Swann keeping the door open to the private audience, as well as the trade, for high-quality collectible material. A few items, such as Boye’s Virginia and Audubon’s Fish Hawk have not hit the market in some time and it's encouraging to see the continued positive interest in great material like this.”

The next auction of Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books at Swann Galleries will be held on December 13, 2018. The house is currently accepting quality consignments.

Image: Lot 54: Nicolas de Fer, L’Amerique Divisee Selon Letendue…, wall map, Paris, 1713. Sold June 7, 2018 for $30,000. (Pre-sale estimate: $20,000 to $30,000)

 

enokgkmddobcdilh.jpgNew York—On Thursday, June 21, Swann Galleries will close their auction season of books and manuscripts with Revolutionary & Presidential Americana from the Collection of William Wheeler III­-some 230 works on paper including autographs of 36 presidents, manuscript material illuminating the American Revolution and a premium selection of Jacksoniana.

The collection reveals a historian's perspective. Inspired as a child by the collections of the American Antiquarian Society, particularly their holdings of The Massachusetts Spy, Wheeler collected Revolutionary Americana with an eye towards answering questions of American history that caught his interest. The collector outlines this passion in an introduction to the catalogue.

Among Autograph Letters Signed by founding fathers is Revolutionary Americana perhaps less expected, including an 1818 sketch of the Battle of Bunker Hill by Henry Dearborn, who later served as Secretary of War. Drawn in the year he published An Account of the Battle of Bunker's Hill, which drew controversy as a criticism of General Israel Putnam, the sketch, along with autograph manuscript reflections on the battle, is estimated at $6,000 to $9,000. From this account, the offerings span the Revolution: a December 1775 ALS by Horatio Gates sends British prisoners of war to the Chairman of the Committee of Safety at Northampton, MA, and details how they should be treated; a 3 May 1776 pay order for an express rider named Jonathan Park to ride to Philadelphia, signed by several notable early patriots, marks the spread of news in a critical week of the Revolution ($4,000 to $6,000 and $20,000 to $30,000, respectively).

An Autograph Document Signed by Paul Revere discharges Captain Philip Marett from Revere's regiment in 1779 ($12,000 to $18,000). A Letter Signed by George Washington to Major General Nathanael Greene advises that the Commissary General of Forage, Colonel Biddle (whose letter was forwarded to Washington the same day), appeal to the legislature of New Jersey for money to save the Continental Army. The February 1780 letter, showing the challenges of the war in its later days, is estimated at $15,000 to $25,000.

Presidential Americana beyond Washington includes every president through Zachary Taylor, with exceptionally complete offerings through the middle of the twentieth century. Highlights include an Autograph Letter Signed by Thomas Jefferson in 1793 as Secretary of State to Governor Thomas Sim Lee, stating that the government is not authorized to intervene during the Citizen Genêt affair ($20,000 to $30,000). A run of autographs by Franklin D. Roosevelt provide evidence of his formative efforts with the foundation that now operates as the Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute for Rehabilitation in Georgia. 

The cover lot for the auction is a photograph of Harry S. Truman holding the famous erroneous Chicago Daily Tribune announcing "DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN." Truman signed and inscribed the photo, estimated at $12,000 to $18,000, "Too bad!" A copy of the famous misprint is also available and is expected to bring $1,500 to $2,500.

Perhaps the most notable run of presidential material is Wheeler's collection of Jacksoniana. Highlights include an Autograph Letter Signed by Andrew Jackson to editor Thomas Eastin: a retained draft for the 1806 published letter that led to the duel in which Jackson killed Charles Dickinson ($10,000 to $15,000). Other autographs relate to Wheeler's interest in Jackson’s fiscal ineptitude. A November 1829 Autograph Letter Signed, as president, to the Secretary of Treasury Samuel D. Ingham discusses changes to reduce the national debt, while an Autograph Note Signed in January 1832 arranges a meeting with a treasury auditor in advance of the nullification crisis (each $3,000 to $4,000). An ALS from after Jackson's presidency to Nashville Union editor J. George Harris expresses joy at the result of the 1842 congressional elections and criticizes the propagandizing that led to the election of Whig candidate William Henry Harrison in 1840.

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

ImageLot 55: Paul Revere, Autograph Document Signed, certifying the discharge of a captain from his regiment, 1779. Estimate $12,000 to $18,000.

Johnson Poster copy.jpgDallas, TX - A trio of extraordinary flags and banners sparked a flurry of competitive bidding, boosting the final total from Heritage Auctions’ David and Janice Frent Collection of Presidential & Political Americana, Part 3 auction to $1,152,076, exceeding the pre-auction estimate by nearly 20 percent. This auction was the third presented in the last year by Heritage Auctions featuring portions of the Frent collection. Each has exceeded its pre-auction estimate, and the three have produced a combined total of $3,274,023. Additional portions of the Frent Collection are scheduled to be included in at least four more auctions.

“Helping to put together the Frent collection has been one of the highlights of my career,” Heritage Auctions Americana Auctions Director Tom Slater said. “What they have been able to assemble is nothing short of extraordinary, which is why so many of the lots in this auction were pursued so vigorously.”

A William Henry Harrison: A Spectacular Large 1840 Silk Campaign Flag nearly tripled its pre-auction estimate when it sold for $87,500. As stunningly beautiful as any political flag of the era, the deep, rich colors offer a perfect background for the large centered image of the country’s ninth president. Part of the appeal to collectors is the fact that silk flags are particularly prone to condition issues, yet this one endured over the years in near-mint condition.

Another lot that nearly tripled its pre-auction estimate was a Van Buren & Johnson: The Very First Jugate Political Poster, which brought $56,250. A full-page feature in Running for President, 1789-1896, which was engraved and published by E. Durham in New York, this poster features the jugate portraits of the 1840 Democratic candidates, presidential hopeful Martin Van Buren and vice president candidate Richard Johnson, along with an eagle carrying a banner that reads “Liberty and Equality.” The photos of the candidates are positioned above their biographies, as well as detailed illustrations of Johnson at the Battle of the Thames and the Battle of Horse Shoe Bend.

A favorite among collectors is a Lincoln & Hamlin: Sought-after 1860 Campaign Flag Banner, which realized $31,250. In high demand among serious collectors of 19th-century political display items, the allure in this flag is due in part to the fact that Lincoln’s first name is spelled “Abram.”

A George Washington: Outstanding “Plain Roman GW” Inaugural Button, Possibly the Finest Example Known drew multiple bids until it closed at $21,250. A beautiful example of an elusive pattern, this button often is found in much lower grades, but the absence of wear, in addition to the gloss and patina and the original shank, make the condition of this example extremely rare. This button was acquired directly from Dewey Albert at the 1976 A.P.I.C. convention in Hartford, Connecticut. So pristine is the condition that Albert later added the notation “Best specimen known” by its image in his book on military and historical buttons.

One of the largest varieties of political flags ever produced, a Henry Clay: Spectacular Large 50” 1844 Campaign Flag Banner inspired 17 bids before ultimately bringing in $21,250. Featuring an outstanding portrait of Clay, the lawyer and statesman who represented Kentucky in both the United States Senate and the House of Representatives, the flag has an extraordinary display presence. This style is in particularly high demand among collectors because of the production of a Polk mate, offering collectors the prospect of owning a matching pair. Heritage Auctions will be offering a much rarer Polk mate in its Aug. 18 Americana & Political auction.

A John Quincy Adams: Profoundly Rare “Pewter Rim” from the 1828 Election, which drew $20,625, is an example of one of the most sought-after and valued political collectibles from the second quarter of the 19th century. Some, like this example, feature a mirror on verso, compared to other models that have a vice president or running mate. To collectors of this pewter rim series, this Adams variety - the lot here is one of just two known to exist - is considered the ultimate prize. Adams campaign memorabilia is extremely rare, making this one of the key offerings in the entire Frent collection.

Other top lots include, but are not limited to:                                                                                     

·         Lincoln & Hamlin: Spectacular Example of the Largest Size of 1860 “Doughnut” Ferrotype $20,000

·         Lincoln & Hamlin: Huge, Colorful 1860 Campaign Jugate Chart $16,250

·         Cox & Roosevelt: Supremely Rare Jugate 1920 Campaign Watch $15,000

·         Andrew Jackson: An Important Original Oil Portrait by Ralph E. W. Earl $11,875

·         Bryan & Stevenson: Perhaps the Best Jugate Poster Designed for this 1900 Democratic Ticket $11,250

 

blobid16_1528451737871.pngA newly discovered notebook containing the only known working drafts of Edward Thomas’s very earliest poems, is one of the highlights of Bonhams Fine Books and Manuscripts sale in London on Wednesday 20 June. It is estimated at £30,000-40,000.

Thomas (1878-1917) was already a well-established literary critic when he turned to writing poetry at the prompting of his friend, the American poet Robert Frost. The notebook - a school exercise book that belonged to his daughter, Myfanwy - is dated 17th and 18th December 1914, two weeks after his momentous conversation with Frost.  It includes handwritten drafts of three of his important early works, The Mountain Chapel, The Birds’ Nests and House and Man.     

The friendship between Edward Thomas and Robert Frost was important to both men.  Frost had moved to the UK in 1912 to revitalise his flagging career. His first book of poetry, A Boy’s Will, was published in 1913, and gained critical attention only after a positive review by Thomas.  Frost, knowing of Thomas’s increasing unhappiness with the daily routine of his career as a literary journalist, gave him the confidence to embrace poetry.

In 1915, despite suffering from intermittent emotional and physical ill-health, and being over the official recruitment age, Thomas volunteered to join the Army. He was killed on Easter Monday 1917 on the first day of the Battle of Arras, having arrived in France only a few days earlier.

Thomas had written poetry feverishly during the preceding two years and his work had been accepted for publication. Six works appeared under a pseudonym during his lifetime, but the first book in his own name, Poems - which included Birds’ Nests - was not published until after his death. The other two works from the notebook were printed in Last Poems in 1918.

Thomas’s reputation grew rapidly in the early 1930s and has never diminished. Dylan Thomas wrote of him: “It is as though we had always known his poems, and were only waiting for him to write them down.” Ted Hughes - a poet of a much later generation - wrote simply, “He is father of us all.” 

The notebook was given in 1922 by Thomas’s widow Helen to Jack Haines, a Gloucester solicitor and poet and close friend of both Frost and Thomas. Haines played an important role in the publication of Thomas’s work, and in an article in 1933, coined the term Dymock Poets to describe the group including Thomas, Frost, Rupert Brooke and John Drinkwater who had lived in and around the Gloucestershire village of the same name.   

Bonhams Head of Books and Manuscripts Matthew Haley said: “This is a very important discovery. Thomas tended to write ideas for his poems on scraps of paper which he then destroyed when he copied out the finished work. This notebook, therefore, is one of the few surviving examples of his creative process at work, and of great literary significance.”   

The notebook is one of more than 40 lots in the sale relating to Frost, Thomas and the Dymock Poets, including the handwritten definitive version of Frost’s well-known poem, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.

Image: (Left) Handwritten early draft of poem from Edward Thomas’s newly discovered notebook.  Estimate: £30,000-40,000. (Right) Portrait of Edward Thomas.

Lot 91.jpgWestport, CT - With politics so much in the news, it’s fitting that University Archives’ online auction slated for Wednesday, June 20th, is packed with presidential memorabilia - items from all the past U.S. Presidents, in fact. The auction features 266 lots of rare, highly collectible autographed documents, photos, manuscripts, books and relics, beginning at 10:30 am Eastern.

“It’s rare to find all of our past presidents represented in one single event, as is the case with this auction,” said John Reznikoff, the owner of Westport-based University Archives. “The examples are mostly high-quality and many have superior content. Most have been off the market for at least half a century.” The expected top earners are items from Washington, Lincoln, Jefferson, JFK and Reagan. Jackie Kennedy is represented as well.

But the auction features more than just U.S. Presidents. Other highlight lots pertain to aviation pioneer Orville Wright (of Wright Brothers fame), American Rev-War hero Nathaniel Greene, former British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli and the German composer Johannes Brahms. People can register and bid now, at UniversityArchives.com or on the platform Invaluable.com.

Mr. Reznikoff added, “The auction is particularly strong in Revolutionary War period items, highlighted by items from the Charles I. Forbes collection, which haven’t seen the light of day in more than fifty years. Included in the group are more than a few items relating to George Washington, with a rare and superb letter from Nathaniel Greene to General Washington.”

The letter signed by Greene to Washington, dated June 24, 1780, informs Washington of his victory in New Jersey while serving as a major general in the Continental Army, one of the finest Greene letters known. Also sold will be a commission letter signed by Washington, dated Sept. 30, 1789, in which the president appoints William Lewis, a Quaker, as attorney for the District of Pennsylvania (Washington’s home seat). Both of the letters carry estimates of $10,000-$12,000.

An archive of three documents relating to the dismissal of Mary Katherine Goddard as Baltimore Postmaster (and printer of the Declaration of Independence) in 1789 by Postmaster Gen. Samuel Osgood, who said the position required “more traveling than a woman could undertake,” should realize $5,000-$6,000. Goddard pled her case to President Washington, who refused to consider it. It could be said that this was one of the very first women’s rights causes in the United States.

Letters dating to the dawn of aerial flight, all of them addressed to Arthur Ruhl, a writer with Collier’s magazine, will be sold as single lots. They include two letters written by Orville Wright, in 1908 and 1909, refusing requests for a flight as a passenger (est. $2,500-$3,000, $3,000-$5,000); a similar letter, only written by Katherine Wright, Orville’s sister, in 1910 (est. $300-$400); and a 1908 letter by Orville in which he ruminates on aviation (est. $3,000-$5,000).

A lengthy letter written around the 1850s by Johannes Brahms to his good friend and “concert master” Julius Otto Grimm, in which he implores Grimm to “just let loose and create beautiful music!”, is expected to gavel for $6,000-$8,000. The massive archive of nearly 160 autographed signed letters pertaining to Benjamin Disraeli, who ruled Great Britain from 1874-1880, penned to his second secretary, Algernon Turnor, including a leather album, should hit $40,000-$50,000.

A letter typed in German and signed by Albert Einstein on Aug. 29, 1931, in which he praises a musician colleague about being a conscientious objector, has an estimate of $2,600-$2,800 and comes with an English translation. Several lots pertaining to Jackie Kennedy will be offered, to include a four-page signed letter, written to her mother from London in 1955, two years after her marriage to JFK in which she alludes to his early affairs, should change hands for $3,000-$3,500.

Speaking of JFK, and returning to the presidents, a single-page typed letter signed by JFK on White House stationery, addressed to Edna Kelly, a Congresswoman and trailblazer for women’s equality, dated Aug. 20, 1962, has an estimate of $2,000-$4,000. Also, a nicely preserved letter written and signed by Abraham Lincoln as president (co-signed by Salmon Chase as Secretary of the Treasury), concerning Lincoln’s home state of Kentucky, should command $5,000-$6,000.

A letter written and twice signed by Thomas Jefferson, dated July 9, 1792 while he was serving as Secretary of State, addressed to the Governor of Vermont with content regarding the revolts in Vermont and the Treaty of Paris, is expected to fetch $6,000-$7,000; while an autographed letter written by Ronald Reagan on presidential card stock to his good friend “Hup” McArthur, in which he thanks him for “my 43rd anniversary of the 39th birthday,” should make $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, June 20th online auction, please visit www.universityarchives.com.                                               

Image: Lot 91: Letter written by Nathaniel Greene of the Continental army to George Washington, dated June 24, 1780, informing Washington of his victory in New Jersey (est. $10,000-$12,000).

gdnmdcenhnglclnk copy.jpgNew York—Swann Galleries broke long-standing records and brought new artists to auction for the first time in their June 5 Illustration Art sale. 76% of the rich selection of just over 250 works of art sold.

Contributing to the success of the auction was a section of works for historically important theater productions by noted set and costume designers. A promotional drawing by Al Hirschfeld for Cabin in the Sky, 1940, published in The Herald Tribune, was purchased by a collector for $32,500. Hirschfeld also designed the promotional poster for the 1943 film. An early sketch by Jo Mielziner for the set of the Tony award-winning first production of Death of a Salesman, 1949, far exceeded the previous record for a work by the artist, which had stood at $3,250—the ink and wash piece at Swann was purchased by a collector for $23,750. Costume designs by Erté and Elizabeth Montgomery, known as Motley, also performed well.

Topping the sale was Russell H. Tandy’s cover for one of Carolyn Keene’s popular Nancy Drew mysteries, The Secret in the Old Attic, 1944. Each detail of the watercolor and gouache painting was done by hand, including the precise text of the title and author’s name. After break-neck bidding, the work was purchased by a collector for $35,000, a record for the artist.

A record was also achieved by Ruth Eastman with a proposed cover for The Saturday Evening Post, titled Hitting the Links of Palm Beach, mid-1920s. The gouache painting on a printed Post cover reached $8,750, above a high estimate of $1,200. The record for a cover by Charles Addams for The New Yorker was not one of the dark gags for which he is known, but for the bright and hysterical Penguin Convention, 1977. The watercolor vista of innumerable penguins wearing nametags was also a record for any work in color by the artist: it sold to an institution for $30,000.

Another highlight was the auction debut of any work by George Wolfe Plank. Christmas Gifts, 1913, was one of more than 60 covers the artist produced for Vogue between 1911 and 1936. The elegant watercolor reached $22,500.

Works by beloved illustrators Harrison Cady, Arthur Rackham, Charles Schulz, Everett Shinn and Jessie Willcox Smith also performed well.

Specialist Christine von der Linn said of the sale, “We are thrilled with the results, as we were with the enthusiastic throng of attendees at the exhibition the preceding week. The desire for strong works that depict moments of mystery, nostalgia, humor, fashion and theatrical drama continues to fuel competition for the top lots.”           

The next auction of Illustration Art at Swann Galleries will be held on December 6, 2018. The house is currently accepting quality consignments.

Image: Lot 45: Russell H. Tandy, The Secret in the Old Attic, watercolor, ink and gouache, for Nancy Drew Mystery Stories #21, by Carolyn Keene, 1944. Sold June 5, 2018 for $35,000. (Pre-sale estimate: $15,000 to $25,000)

blobid8_1528279561472.pngLondon--Bonhams is offering an extraordinary selection of timeless film posters at its entertainment memorabilia sale on Wednesday 18 July in London. Leading the sale is a rare poster of the American classic King Kong, estimated at £50,000-70,000. It is one of only two copies of the Czech Poster known to exist.

Also on offer is a poster from the James Bond series, Diamonds are Forever, featuring Sean Connery, in his famous pose, clutching a gun to his chest, estimated at £20,000-30,000.

Other highlights in the sale include:

  • The Beatles: A Belfast Concert Poster, 1964, estimated at £25,000-28,000.
  • Le Mans: Original poster artwork by Tom Jung, Cinema Center Films/ Solar Productions, 1971. Estimated at £8,000-12,000. Thomas Jung is an advertising art director, grapHic designer and illustrator who is best known for his movie poster art work having also worked on Doctor Zhivago, Grand Prix, Star Wars, The Dogs of war and Once Upon a Time in America.

Image: Rare 1933 Czech King Kong poster (£50,000-70,000) and Diamonds are Forever poster (£20,000-30,000)

blobid5_1528110256103.jpgAn important archive of correspondence and writings from the father of Suprematism, Kazimir Malevich, leads Bonhams Fine Books and Manuscripts sale in London on Wednesday, 20 June. The 340-page collection, illuminating his artistic activities and personal life against the social and political background of the Soviet era, is estimated at £150,000-250,000.

Kazimir Malevich was the pioneer of modern abstract painting, and his work and thinking had a profound influence on the development of non-objective art in the twentieth-century. The archive, which reveals both his personal and artistic preoccupations, dates from 1913, shortly after his return from his momentous visit to Paris, and ends just before his death from cancer in 1935. It was in Paris that Malevich explored Cubism, developing the style and theory which led to his key work Black Square (1915), the keystone of Suprematist art. 

The correspondence and writings trace his development as an artist, theorist and defender of Suprematism. In one undated letter to the poet Grigorii Petnikov, written when he was already ill from cancer, Malevich claims: “The Black Square is the reality of life” and says of non-objectivity: “It is not the death of Art, but the death of the object in art.” He rails against Soviet state-backed Socialist Realist art, writing in 1921 to The People’s Commissar of Enlightenment, “It’s too bad that Pravda {the official newspaper of the Communist Party, and the Russian word for Truth} has taken control of all the truth.”

Malevich often went hungry and wrote of the frustrations of the Soviet system when attempting to obtain a bread ration. In one letter he complains that as the ration was given only to those who worked, he had to pretend his wife was his secretary, and had resorted to posting bread to himself in the country from Leningrad.

During Malevich final illness he wrote several poignant and nostalgic letters, recalling halcyon summers, mushroom-picking, gathering wood and the countryside he loved, and reproaching himself for not describing the beauty of nature in his painting. In 1934, for example, he wrote to Petnikov "The soft, objectless sound of the wind in the forest is pleasant to us for it is not the noise of the city, not the music of mankind, but the music of objectless nature... Wild nature is wonderful, and we too, being wild, can create wondrous phenomena...". 

The collection was formed by the writer and art collector Nikolai Ivanovich Khardzhiev (1903-1996), editor of the works of Vladimir Mayakovsky and a friend of Anna Akhmatova.

Bonhams Head of Books and Manuscripts Matthew Haley said: “This is probably the most important archive of Malevich’s letters and writings still in private hands. Malevich’s place in art history is assured but his correspondence also reveals a witty and shrewd observer, a good friend, and a likeable and courageous man of great warmth and humour.”

Kazimir Malevich (1879-1935) was a Russian avant garde artist and teacher, and a major figure in the history of art. His theories on the supremacy of pure feeling over objective representation - Suprematism - and the works he produced based on this concept, had a profound effect on 20th century art and culture.  Malevich had an uneasy relationship with the Soviet establishment, and fell out of favour in the late 1920s. His works and papers were confiscated, he was imprisoned briefly, and was forced to paint in a representational style for the rest of his life although he never abandoned his artistic beliefs.   

Image: An important archive of correspondence and writings from Kazimir Malevich. Estimate: £150,000-250,000.

226 copy.jpgFalls Church, VA — Quinn’s Auction Galleries and its specialist subsidiary Waverly Rare Books will join forces on June 7 and 9 in offering a high-quality selection of fine and decorative art, furniture, Asian antiques and modern first editions. The June 9 session features artworks by such stellar names as Georgia O’Keeffe, Amedeo Modigliani, and acclaimed Washington Color School painter and lyrical abstractionist Sam Gilliam. All forms of bidding will be available to those who cannot attend in person, including phone, absentee, and live via the Internet.

The June 7 session, presented by Waverly Rare Books, contains 486 lots of collectible books, prints, photos, ephemera and memorabilia. A highlight is the 150-lot collection of modern first editions, including The Great Gatsby, The Catcher in the Rye, The Grapes of Wrath, and titles by George Orwell, Jack Kerouac, Ray Bradbury, William Faulkner, Ezra Pound, Aldous Huxley, Herman Hesse, Rudyard Kipling and many more. Also featured are books, clothing and prints from the Estate of Dr. John Joseph McLaughlin, founder and longtime host of The McLaughlin Group; plus a collection of children’s and illustrated books; maps and atlases; and Old Master Prints.

The impressive grouping of first editions is led by a 1939 copy of John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath. Published by Viking Press, this desirable 1939 first edition retains its original dust jacket and is estimated at $2,000-$4,000. Two examples of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, Scribner’s, 1925, contain the typographical errors denoting them as first edition first printings (each $800-$1,200); while another American classic, Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea, a 1952 first edition in a first-issue dust jacket (with no mention of the Nobel Prize Hemingway won for writing the novel) could easily surpass its $200-$400 estimate. A group lot of two Hemingway first editions - For Whom the Bell Tolls (1940, first-issue dust jacket) and A Moveable Feast (1964, with dust jacket) - is entered with a $200-$300 estimate.

Thomas Pynchon’s controversial 1973 novel Gravity’s Rainbow traverses science and speculative metaphysics in its storyline, which explores the mystery of a “black device” to be installed inside a World War II German V-2 rocket. A first edition with dust jacket, it is offered in the Waverly session with a $500-$700 estimate.

The collection of items from the estate of Dr. John McLaughlin (1927-2016) reflects both the intellectual and sartorial sides of the popular political commentator best known for his cerebral TV panel show The McLaughlin Group. There are dozens of custom-made blazers and suits, as well as polo shirts, silk ties, and other fine-quality accessories. The trademark tartan plaid sport coat McLaughlin wore on air every holiday season would be instantly recognizable to viewers. Its pre-sale estimate is $200-$400.

The star of Quinn’s June 9 Fine & Decorative Arts session is a circa-1966 Sam Gilliam oil-on-canvas work, Forest Bard. Purchased from a Washington, DC gallery shortly after it was created, the painting has remained in the same family ever since. Signed, titled and dated on verso, the 72- by 36-inch abstract executed in muted blue-green tones with peach and white accents is expected to make $30,000-$50,000.

Gilliam is enjoying the greatest success of his lifetime, but it has been a long time coming for the 84-year-old artist. “Sam Gilliam is regarded as a trailblazer. He was the first African-American artist to exhibit at the Venice Biennale, back in 1972. There has always been an interest in his paintings, especially here in the Washington, DC area, but it has only been in the last few years that his work has really caught fire,” said Quinn’s Sr VP Marketing Matthew Quinn. “Most of his auction records have been set in the last two years. Sotheby’s sold a 1971 Gilliam for more than $680,000 last September - a record price. It will be interesting to see what happens with the painting in our sale.” 

A fascinating study from Georgia O’Keeffe’s (American, 1887-1986) renowned series “Above the Clouds” was consigned by a private Virginia collector whose family was close to the O’Keeffes during the artist’s childhood years in Williamsburg.

“Georgia O’Keeffe kept in contact with the family throughout her life and even stayed with them when The College of William & Mary awarded her an honorary degree in 1938. She gave the family this drawing years later, as a token of her longtime affection,” Quinn noted. The study is artist-signed and carries an $8,000-$12,000 estimate.

A 1948 Jay Hall Connaway (American, 1893-1970) painting titled Winter Cottage Monhegan (Maine) showcases the artist’s ability to capture Monhegan Island’s unique atmosphere on canvas. It measures 27½ x 38 inches (framed) and comes with desirable extra provenance in the form of a card from the artist, on verso. Est. $1,200-$1,600

Other art highlights include an Amedeo Modigliani (Italian, 1917-1920) chalk-on-paper profile of a head, $4,000-$6,000; and a Robert Henry Rockwell (Virginia, 1885-1973) bronze titled Moose. It is signed and dated on the base: R H Rockwell 1940, 1/10. Estimate: $6,000-$9,000.

An important schoolgirl sampler created by Jane Likens (1812-1880), Shepherdstown, (West) Virginia, displays rice, chain and cross-stitches on linen; and is dated 1822. It was exhibited at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and has a record of provenance that includes the collection of James F. Scott, prior sale at Sotheby’s (Jan. 2013), and the collection of Connie Bergendoff of Old Lyme, New Hampshire. Estimate: $3,000-$5,000.

Also of note are a set of six Danish Modern Koefoeds Hornslet rosewood chairs with leather-upholstered seats, $800-$1,000; a Shreve & Co., sterling silver set comprising a platter, 12 bread plates and 12 chargers, $2,000-$4,000; and a Tiffany Studios “Arrowroot” lampshade and base with Tiffany Studios New York 534 label, $4,000-$6,000.

For additional information on any item in the June 7 or 9 auctions, call 703-532-5632 (ext. 575 for June 7 session; ext. 571 for fine/decorative arts) or email info@quinnsauction.com. Quinn’s and Waverly’s galleries are located at 360 S. Washington St., Falls Church, VA 22046. Online: www.quinnsauction.com. View the catalogue and bid absentee or live via the Internet through LiveAuctioneers

Image, Lot 226: Thomas Pynchon, Gravity’s Rainbow, first edition in dust jacket, Viking Press, 1973. Est. $500-$700. Courtesy of Quinn’s Auction Galleries

 

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

Lot 1 

Jenkins (James) The Martial Achievements of Great Britain and Her Allies;
Published: Js. Jenkins, London, (1814-1815) Estimate: $6,000/7,000 

Originally published in thirteen parts, back wrappers carry Conditions of the Work stating that the artist is Heath (William), each number to contain four plates, price 21s. per number: the letterpress to be compiled from official documents only, publication monthly until complete from Dec. 1. 1814. One hundred sets on large paper at 42.s. a part: and finally, List of Subscribers to given on completion. - Abbey (J.R.) Life in England, In Aquatint and Lithography 1770-1860, number 365 

Lot 2 

[Skotnes (Cecil) Artist] & [Gray (Stephen) Poetry] 

Man's Gold (Limited Edition Art Portfolio) 

Published: Johannesburg, August 1975 to January 1979 

Estimate: $3,500/4,500 

This art portfolio is copy number 43 of an edition limited to 75 numbered copies. There were also 15 lettered artists’ proofs.
Some copies were issued loose so that the art works could be framed. This copy is bound by master craftsman Peter Carsten’s, as issued, in full Oasis goatskin leather with a darker brown coloured central strip on the upper side with a Skotnes blind stamped design. There are 28 original woodcuts, each one signed in pencil by Cecil Skotnes and numbered 43/75. Each woodcut was printed from the original blocks in 2 to 5 colours on Zerkall Buetten paper. 

Lot 3 

Heylyn (Peter). Chorographie and Historie of the Whole World. And all the principal Kingdoms, Provinces, and Seas, and Isles thereof Published: Henry Seile, London, 1657 Estimate: $8,000/9,000 

As an ecclesiastic Heylyn was a disputatious monarchist who served for a while as King's chaplain, as a geographer he was an English patriot, and it through these spectacles he describes 'the Whole World'. As he tells the reader: 'In the pursuance of this Work.. so have I not forgotten that I am an English-man, and which is somewhat more, a Church-man. As an English-man I have been mindful upon all occasions to commit to memory the noble actions of my Countrey; exploited both by Sea and Land, im[n] most parts of the World, and represented on the same Theaters on which they were acted.' 

Lot 8 

Miro (Joan) L'oiseau Solaire - De Luxe Limitied Edition Signed By Miro Published: Maeght Edteur, Paris, 1967
Estimate: $2,000/2,500

This is Issue 164-165 of this highly collected art periodical produced by the Maeght Art Gallery - Derriere Le Miroir, featuring 20th. Century artists and illustrated with many original graphics. The double issue on offer features the work of Joan Miro and is No. 114 of the De Luxe limited edition of 150 copies signed by Miro. Unlike the trade issue, it is printed on fine handmade Velin de Rives art paper. Issued as a loose leaved portfolio in an originally Miro lithographed cover, protected in a custom chemise and matching slipcase. With 5 original Miro colour lithographs (one triple page foldout), 5 additional Miro colour lithographs (two double page) and 22 reproductions in black and white. 

Lot 215 

[Fitzgerald (Edward) Translator] Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám (Limited edition, war time printing, Cairo). Published: Mobile Maps Printing Co., Maadi, Egypt, 1943 Estimate: $600/700 

This is an edition of 25 copies of which this is no 18.
Loosely inserted is a handwritten note signed by Amslie Beckett which describes the production of this volume as follows:
This Rubaiyat was printed in the camp of the Mobile Maps Printing and Printing Co of the UDF (Union Defence Force) at Maadi Egypt in 1943 as a means to overcome boredom.
I designed the book and did the illustrations, which were made from lino taken off the Officers Mess bar counter. The engraving tool was made from one of the stays of a broken umbrella obtained at a nearby convent. Some of the illustrations are in seven or eight colours. 

Lot 282 

Speke (John Hanning) My Second Expedition to Eastern Intertropical Africa (Pre-publication pamphlet)
Published: Saul Solomon & Co., Cape Town, 1860
Estimate: $2,000/2,500 

This pamphlet is a slightly edited version of pages 155 -199 of Speke's What Led to the Discovery of The Source of The Nile (1864). At the start of his third expedition (the second journey to the Lakes 1860 - 3,) Speke travelled to Cape Town on the same ship as Sir George Grey, Governor of Cape Colony. Upon arrival Sir George obtained a donation of £300 from the Cape Parliament towards the cost of Speke's expedition together with the services of ten Hottentot volunteers. 

Lot 309 

Fleming (Ian). Live and Let Die. Published: Jonathan Cape, London, 1954 Estimate: $1,500/2,000 

First edition, first printing of the scarce second James Bond novel. The gilt decorations are moderately oxidised and dulled, as is common for this title, in this instance more noticeably on the spine lettering than on the medallion on the front board. Apart from this, a truly about fine copy. The boards are square and unmarked with no bumping of the corners or edges. Internally it is very clean and possibly unread with no markings or foxing. There is one tiny spot on the fore edge. In a supplied dustwrapper from a later edition which has reviews of the book on the rear flap and adverts for Moonraker and Diamonds are Forever on the rear panel. The dustwrapper is at least very good, complete and not price clipped (10s.6d.). The colours are bright with some light edge wear, most marked at the top of the spine. 

Lot 331 

Naval Intelligence Division Chine Proper. Geographical Handbook Series. Restricted Handbooks
Published: H. M. Stationary Office, London, 1944-45
Estimate: $400/600 

Probably one of the best-researched set of books on China during the turbulent period, covering all aspects of the vast country under occupation, with revolutionary movements thriving, civil war and uncertainty of the future. China Proper seems to be among the rarest Naval Intelligence Division Geographical Handbooks of the Second World War. 

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

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

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

All pricing is done in US$. No buyer’s premium is charged. Next auction: Auction #68: 19 - 26 July 2018 

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

Image: Lot 3, Chorographie and Historie of the Whole World 

 

john adams.jpgOn May 31st, PBA Galleries offered a significant selection of rarities in their Americana with Manuscript Material - Travel & Exploration - Cartography Sale.

A rare First Edition of The Federalist, the highlight of the auction, justifiably considered the most important book in the political history of the United States, soared to $223,500 over an estimate of $80,000-120,000 in bustling bidding by a full bank of phone bidders. The Federalist, presenting essays by founding fathers James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay, meant to convince state legislatures of the fragile confederation that had just gained independence from Great Britain, to combine in a United States with a common government and purpose under the new constitution. This copy of the rare 1788 first edition, of which only 500 copies were printed, was one of the exceptionally rare deluxe copies printed on thick superfine royal writing paper, the two volumes bound in contemporary sheep. The importance of the Federalist to the early development of the great political experiment that was the United States cannot be overstated.  The strong price was the most a book has ever sold for at PBA Galleries, topping the $212,000 fetched by a first edition fetched in 2008 for a copy of the official account of the Lewis and Clark expedition.

A presentation copy of Jonathan Mayhew’s A Discourse, Concerning Unlimited Submission and Non-Resistance to the Higher Powers; with some reflections on the resistance made to King Charles I bearing the signature of John Adams, the second President of the United States volleyed between two online bidders to reach $10,800. Estimated at $8,000-12,000, the inscription for the presentation is not in Adams’ hand and although previous records named the recipient as daughter Abigail “Nabby” Smith, this is now thought to be in error and it is possible the book was presented to a more distant relation of Abigail Adams (nee Smith).

A typed letter, signed "Edgar." 22 lines, on letterhead of the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, to Franklin Roosevelt’s special adviser Harry Hopkins in 1942, framed along with a copy of a newspaper article about the saboteurs, and a porcupine emblem they had carved while aboard a submarine sold for over twenty times the low estimate of $500 with a price realized of $10,200. J. Edgar Hoover relates that "When I saw you the other day, I believe I told you that the group of saboteurs who landed on Long Island from a German submarine had carved out, while on the submarine en route to the United States, miniature porcupines from aluminum. The reason that they selected the porcupine to be carved was because the submarine which they came on was named the 'Porcupine.' I am enclosing herewith two of these miniature porcupines, as I thought the President and you might like to have one each as a souvenir of this incident." Four saboteurs landed on Long Island, and four more in Florida. Two of them surrendered, and gave information to the FBI which led to the capture of the other six. The two informants were given lengthy prison sentences (commuted by Harry Truman in 1948) - the other six were executed.

The first appearance in a magazine of The Defence of Fort M’Henry, the four-stanza poem that was to become The Star-Spangled Banner, in the November 1814 issue of The Analectic Magazine commanded a price of $4,800 topping the high estimate of $3,500.  In 1950 Carroll Wilson wrote in Familiar Quotations (page 391) about the rarity of this issue of The Analectic Magazine in wrappers, stating that "No other copy of this . . . number is known to have survived in original state." Other copies have since come to light, but it is a rare survival.  As Filby & Howard document, this issue of the Analectic Magazine was published in early November, 1814, about seven weeks after the famous bombardment; the poem’s appearance here is preceded by numerous newspaper appearances and a few separate printings in small broadside formats, but this is its first publication in a "permanent" format. 

The Rough Riders, signed by author Theodore Roosevelt, trounced the presale estimate of $600-900 reaching a price of $3,600. This is Teddy Roosevelt's own account of his heroic actions in Cuba when he famously charged San Juan Hill, catapulting him to the Governorship of New York, the Vice Presidency and the White House.

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

 

ha tintin.jpgDallas, TX - An auction dedicated to European Comic Art reached $1,257,082 as Heritage Auctions entered the collecting category with nearly 300 lots of high-end original art.

The June 2 sale offered a rarely seen set of original Tintin drawings by Belgian cartoonist Hergé, which sold for $425,000. A 12-panel page of inked original art from the story “The Red Sea Sharks,” published in a 1958 edition of Journal Tintin, was sold along with its pencil-on-paper design. 

“Our first auction of European Comic Art attracted a wide pool of active bidders, comfortably surpassing our original goal of $1 million in sales,” said Jim Halperin, Co-Founder of Heritage Auctions. “The sale’s 87 percent sell-through rate by volume also eclipses rates set at other houses, which typically reach 70 percent. We are very pleased with our debut.”

A 1978 page of Original Art from Corto Maltese, by legendary Italian comic book creator Hugo Pratt, sold for $62,500. 

Original art by the influential French cartoonist Moebius (Jean Giraud) attracted vigorous bidding. A full page of Original Art from the 1991 graphic novel The Black Incal - considered a pillar of contemporary science fiction - sold for $21,250 and a full page of Original Art from Upon A Star, from the artist’s critically acclaimed 1983 release, ended at $13,750. 

Woman with Blue Eyes, 1995, an original illustration by Italian artist Milo Manara, sold for $11,875. His early work in several Franco-Belgian comics magazines to later projects for Marvel Comics established Manara a worldwide fan base.

In addition to works by Europe’s finest cartoonists and illustrators, the auction also featured rare art from popular American artists. Original Art for “Gin,” a single-page advertising parody from Weirdo #15 by American satirist Robert Crumb, who has lived in France since 1991, sold for $20,000.

Jack Kamen’s 1951 Original Art for page 1 of Weird Science #9 sold for $18,750. Bursting with eye appeal and a bold portrait of his iconic character The Spirit, a Splash Page of Original Art by Will Eisner, published as a newspaper insert in 1950, ended at $16,250.

A hand-curated selection of animation art included original drawings from Walt Disney shorts and films from the 1930s and 1940s and pre-production concept art. An exceptional Mermaids Concept Painting for Peter Pan by Mary Blair (Walt Disney, 1953) brought four times its pre-auction estimate to sell for $16,250.

The auction was the first of its kind held by Heritage Auctions, the world’s largest auctioneer of vintage comic books and comic art. The auction was conducted by auctioneers at Heritage in Dallas, Texas, and included a viewing audience at Heritage Auctions Europe, a Dutch entity, in IJsselstein, the Netherlands. Viewing was available on internet streaming video with live bidding capability through HeritageLive!, the firm’s proprietary auction program.

Sargent .jpgNew York —American Art comes to Swann Galleries on June 14 with a highly curated offering of original works by artists living or working in the United States. The nearly 300 paintings, drawings and sculptures, encompassing the middle of the nineteenth century to the present, are expected to exceed $1.6M. Many have never before appeared at auction.

The auction will feature a strong section of works by PaJaMa, the artist collective consisting of Paul Cadmus, Jared French and Margaret Hoening French. Many of these works, from the collection of Jon Anderson and Philis Raskind-Anderson, are portraits by the members of one another and their partners and friends. For example, Cadmus drew Jon Anderson #1, 1965, and Portrait of Margaret French, 1944 ($15,000 to $20,000 and $8,000 to $12,000, respectively), and Jared French drew him in Portrait of Paul Cadmus, 1931, which is estimated at $7,000 to $10,000.

Jared French is additionally represented by Men in a Garden, circa 1934-35, a verdant oil painting of a semi-nude fête, carrying an estimate of $20,000 to $30,000. Three-dimensional works by French will also be offered: a circa 1935 marble carving entitled Etruscan Man, and a plaster bust of the photographer George Platt Lynes, circa 1940 ($3,000 to $4,000 and $40,000 to $5,000, respectively).

Nineteenth-century works shine in a variety of media, with highlights including Head of a Young Girl, circa 1875-78, a pencil drawing by John Singer Sargent. The sketch illustrates the artist’s mastery of color, form and light, and comes with an estimate of $15,000 to $20,000. An autumnal canvas by Worthington Whittredge of a River Landscape with Sailboat, is valued at $20,000 to $30,000. Paintings of the west include a landscape by William Bradford of Inspiration Point, Yosemite, 1879, a clement change from the Arctic vistas for which he is known ($15,000 to $20,000), and Joseph Henry Sharp’s oil painting Still Life with Poppies, 1890, at $10,000 to $15,000.

Early American Modernists present a strong selection of harbingers of movements to come. A charcoal and pencil drawing by Joseph Stella, The Sewing Lesson, 1908, previously exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1994, was likely part of a commissioned series representing the immigrant communities of industrial Pittsburgh. At $20,000 to $30,000, it leads a selection of drawings by Stella, as well as a collage. Nine watercolors by Charles Burchfield will be offered, following the house’s success in June 2017, when all offered paintings by the artist were sold. These are led by Brook, 1916, with an estimate of $12,000 to $18,000. Bathers, an elegant circa 1910 painting by Abraham Walkowitz, embodies his mature style; it is valued between $5,000 to $8,000.

John Steuart Curry, known primarily for his forceful Regionalist prints, returns to the theme of the American heartland in an oil painting titled Plowing Before a Storm, circa 1935. The work, valued between $15,000 and $20,000, is one of few paintings in the artist’s oeuvre. From his circle, Thomas Hart Benton and Rockwell Kent will be represented by sketches and watercolors.

Following Swann’s offering of works from his personal collection in 2017, Will Barnet will be represented in this auction by a sketch of Boy and Cat, 1984 ($5,000 to $8,000), and an oil painting of a Park Scene, 1937, most likely in New York’s Central Park, at $7,000 to $10,000.

Joseph Cornell’s Untitled, a circa 1960 collage for the avant-garde artist Kasoundra Kasoundra, featuring a silhouette of Don Quixote and a macaw, carries an estimate of $12,000 to $18,000.

Contemporary works include a striking landscape painting by Wolf Kahn titled Poisonous Yellow-Green, 2001, with an estimate of $15,000 to $20,000. Four canvases by Leonard E. Fisher include his signature floating objects motif, intended to evoke hope and gaiety. The patriotic The 4th of July, 2014, leads the pack at $10,000 to $15,000, while the 1996 Bubbles is valued at $8,000 to $12,000.

Sketchbooks by Peggy Bacon, Rockwell Kent, Henry Varnum Poor, Fairfield Porter and Mahonri Young offer insight into the minds and processes of the artists.

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

Image: Lot 12 John Singer Sargent, Head of a Young Girl. Estimate $15,000-20,000.

Screen Shot 2018-06-01 at 10.01.29 AM.pngLondon—This July, Sotheby’s will offer for sale the original map of Winnie-the-Pooh’s Hundred Acre Wood by E.H. Shepard. Possibly the most famous map in children’s literature, this charming sketch from 1926, has been unseen for nearly half a century and will be offered with an estimate of £100,000-150,000 at the English Literature, History, Science, Children’s Books and Illustrations sale in London on 10th July. 

Featuring on the opening end-papers of the original 1926 book, the sketch introduces readers to the delightful imagination of Christopher Robin and his woodland friends. Exactly 40 years later the map played a starring role in the landmark Disney film - Winnie-the-Pooh and the Honey Tree - where it was brought to life as an animation in the film’s opening sequence. 

As well as mapping the magical world of Winnie-the-Pooh the sketch also captures the unique personalities of A.A. Milne’s much-loved characters. Eeyore is depicted in his “rather boggy and sad” “gloomy place” with his head hanging sluggishly in the grass, whilst the energetic Roo bounces towards the “sandy pit” where he plays. A solitary Winnie-the-Pooh sits thoughtfully looking out over the wood to his friend, Christopher Robin, who stands with boyish arrogance looking back. 

The charming childishness of Christopher Robin is marked by clumsily spelt locations, such as “NICE FOR PICNICKS” and “100 AKER WOOD”, as well as a compass marked with points spelling out the title character’s name. Shepard’s own amusing personality seeps into the illustration, as the map is signed off with the words “Drawn by me and Mr Shepard helpd". 

The map will be offered alongside four further original Winnie-the-Pooh illustrations by E.H. Shepard, none of which have been seen for almost 50 years. Among them is a most poignant illustration showing Christopher Robin and Pooh walking hand-in-hand to ‘an enchanted place on the very top of the Forest’ to say their final goodbye. In the emotional conclusion to his much-loved book - The House at Pooh Corner, A.A. Milne finally signs off with one of the most heart-rending farewells in children’s literature: "…wherever they go, and whatever happens to them on the way, in that enchanted place in the top of the Forest a little boy and his bear will always be playing." The illustration, printed as a double-page, is, excluding a silhouette of the two friends, the penultimate time we see Christopher Robin and Pooh together as they make their way to the place of parting. 

Two additional illustrations taken from Chapter Six of The House at Pooh Corner show the characters and a game of ‘Pooh Sticks’. Originally reproduced on pages 95-6 of the published book, the ink drawings record the creation of the game with the first drawing showing Pooh, Piglet, Roo and Rabbit eagerly peering over the Poohsticks bridge, and the second, depicting an unexpected but comic turn of events, with Eeyore floating from beneath the bridge. 

The fourth, perhaps most familiar image, is a re-drawn version of another illustration from the "Poohsticks" episode which concludes with Christopher Robin, Pooh and Piglet left on the famous bridge by themselves. The tone of the illustration is somewhat different with the excitement of the Poohsticks game changing to a more contemplative mood, with the three friends looking wistfully at the river beneath them, saying nothing. Used twice in the published book, within the chapter and also as the frontispiece, this illustration accompanies a moment of unified friendship and forgiveness, in which Piglet breaks the silence and volunteers his view that "Tigger is all right, really" and Pooh suggesting further that, "Everybody is really... But I don't suppose I'm right...". 

The five original illustrations will be offered in Sotheby’s English Literature, History, Science, Children’s Books and Illustrations sale in London on 10th July 2018 with a combined estimate of £310,000-440,000. 

Image: E.H. Shepard’s The Original Map of the Hundred Acre Wood Original ink drawings, signed, 1926. Estimate  £100,000 -150,000.

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

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

Antique and rare books are numerous in this catalog. Among the earliest examples are the 1631 printing of Selden's "Titles of Honor," Roscoe's "Life of Lorenzo de Medici, Called the Magnificent," produced in two leather-bound volumes in 1796, and the 1735 printing of the "Dramatick Works of John Dryden," in six volumes. We're also pleased to offer in this catalog a first printing of the "B" binding of "Uncle Tom's Cabin," and the scarce signed limited edition of the "Works of Theodore Roosevelt," complete in 24 volumes produced over the years 1923 to 1926. Additional rare and antique selections relate to travel & exploration, circus history, pulp, books-on-books, theology, children's, decorative antique sets, art history, special printings by the Folio Society and Limited Editions Club, and beyond.                          

Several interesting collections will also be showcased. Highlighted are first printings of modern firsts such as Steinbeck's "Cannery Row," and "Breakfast at Tiffany's," by Truman Capote. A collection of children's books and related items is highlighted by first printings of Dr. Seuss titles, an original, framed signature by Kate Greenaway, and antique juvenile pulp magazines.        

Found throughout this catalog are interesting ephemera offerings and many group lots of desirable titles. Of particular note are numerous groupings of original vintage and antique science fiction and fantasy pulp magazines including titles such as "Amazing Stories," "Astounding Science Fiction," "Fantastic Adventures" and others.     

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

 

blobid3_1527759979782.pngLondon--The Wassenaar Zoo: a Dutch Private Library sale at Bonhams in London on 30 May 2018 realised £1,723,075 with 227 of the 234 lots sold.

Highlights of the sale included:

  • A world record of £102,500 for a first edition of the five volume Birds of New Guinea and the Adjacent Papuan Islands by John Gould and Richard Sharpe.  This was Gould final work completed after his death in 1881 by Sharpe and published between 1875-1888.  
  • A first edition of the seven-volume Birds of Australia (1840-1869), by John Gould. The result of his own tour of the continent during which he named 300 new species of birds, the edition sold for £187,500 having been estimated at £100,000-150,000.
  • llustrations of the Family of Psittacidae or Parrots by Edward Lear which made £90,000 against its pre-sale estimate of £40,000-60,000.
  • Histoire naturelle des oiseaux de paradis (1806) by the French explorer, zoological collector, and noted ornithologist François Levaillant. Estimated at £20,000-30,000, it sold for £65,000.

Bonhams Head of Fine Books and Manuscripts, Matthew Haley said: “This was a spectacular result for what was one of the finest collections of historical ornithological books still in private hands. I was not surprised that collectors took full advantage of this rare opportunity to acquire some of the most eagerly sought after examples of this beautiful genre.”    

To read more about the collection, click here to read Simon Barnes’ article in Bonhams magazine.

Image: Red and Yellow Macaw from Illustrations of the Family of Psittacidae or Parrots by Edward Lear. Sold for £90,000

Paris - This eclectic sale brought together works from very different fields. Buyers were responsive to this original selection, as witness the high proportion of lots sold: 80%, a record rate for the second time running in France's book market. With a total of €1.9 million, this sale of books and manuscripts was a resounding success, rewarding a bold approach by Sotheby’s France. 

The outstanding lot in the antique section of the first sale, Les relations des Jésuites au Canada au XVIIe siècle (a very rare collection of 17 letters) multiplied its low estimate by ten, at €125,000 (lot 6). Humboldt, another piece of Americana with its extraordinary journey through South America, largely exceeded its high estimate when it garnered €25,000 (lot 29). 

The highest price went to one of Marc Chagall's most dazzling books, illustrated with 42 vibrantly fresh original lithographs: Daphnis & Chloé, Tériade, 1961, driven up to €140,000 (lot 81). 

Another highly popular lot, five of Antonin Artaud's unpublished sketchbooks, was pre- empted at €68,750 by the Bibliothèque nationale de France (lot 65). These fascinating sketchbooks from one of Artaud's most creative periods provide remarkable documentation on the author's life and dramatic philosophy. 

Three love letters from Guillaume Apollinaire to Lou, two containing autograph poems and one where he illustrates himself with her, inspired some splendid bidding battles, selling for €20,000, €35,000 and €25,000 respectively (lots 52 to 54). 

In the second part, Sotheby’s was delighted to sell books and manuscripts from Marcel Proust's library, subsequently enlarged by his niece Suzy Mante-Proust. Audiences were riveted from the very beginning, as was obvious during the talk opening the exhibition by Proust expert Jean-Yves Tadié. 

The highest price went to one of the most important lots in the sale: a very early draft of one of the finest passages from Côté de chez Swann, describing the hero's walk along the Vivonne (lot 160, €132,500). 

One of the great discoveries of this collection was the striking personality of Reynaldo Hahn, Marcel Proust's great love and lifelong friend, seen through their amusing correspondence. One letter describes Proust's day (lot 140, €6,875), while a touching series, almost entirely unpublished, illustrates the strong bond between the two men (lot 141, €19,375) and a beautiful melancholic letter full of feeling speaks of the death of Mallarmé (lot 145, €4,500). 

One of the most fought-over lots was a pencil portrait of Marcel Proust on his deathbed by Jean-Bernard Eschemann, which finally fetched €45,000 (lot 196). 

The session was also rich with lots illustrating Proust's daily life, including a 1911 note from the Grand Hôtel in Cabourg, the town on which he based Balbec (lot 169, €9,000). 

Pre-emptions 

Lot 65 

Antonin Artaud 

FIVE UNPUBLISHED SKETCHBOOKS 

1932-1934 

€68,750 

Pre-empted by the Bibliothèque nationale de France 

Lot 181 

Marcel Proust 

À L’OMBRE DES JEUNES FILLES EN FLEURS 

Manuscript galley, 1914-1918 

€62,500 

Pre-empted by the Musée Marcel Proust in lliers-Combray 

 

blobid6_1527248108353.pngThe definitive draft of Robert Frost’s poem Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening - one of the most famous and popular poems of the 20th century - is to be offered for sale at Bonhams Fine Books and Manuscripts sale in London on Wednesday 20 June.  It is estimated at £20,000-30,000.

It appears in a letter dated 28th January 1923 sent by Frost to his friend in England, Jack Haines. Frost wrote, “I shall be sending you some poetry in MS again before long", adding as an afterthought, "I believe I'll copy a bit here and now." The ‘bit’ turned out to be the final, four-verse, version of Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening word for word as it was subsequently published.

The only other surviving pre-publication draft of the poem consisted of three verses only. Frost added this fourth verse at the beginning to set the scene:

“Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.”

Bonhams Head of Fine Books Matthew Haley said: “Almost all of Frost’s correspondence is well documented, so it was a great surprise to discover this unpublished letter with Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening written out for the very first time, exactly as we know it today. The discovery allows us to date Frost’s composition of the extra verse and, therefore, the completed work.

“The addition of a new first verse rebalances the poem and creates a much more vivid picture than the three-verse version.  And, of course, the words “stopping… woods… snow” echo more fully the title of the poem. The work is wonderfully song-like, especially with the final repetition, and somehow thoroughly American in its mood of the lonely pioneer and the great American landscape.”

Haines and Frost met in early 1914 when the American poet, who had travelled to the UK in 1912 to restart his literary career, moved to Gloucestershire where Haines was a local solicitor. The two men became close and life-long friends. Haines, a poetry enthusiast, acted as the hub for a group of poets some of whom, including Frost, lived in the village of Dymock.  Among the other Dymock Poets, as they became known, were Rupert Brooke, Edward Thomas and John Drinkwater.

There are 30 letters from Frost to Haines in the sale, mainly written after Frost’s return to the USA in 1915. They are full of literary gossip and family news; his deep affection for Gloucestershire and the friends he left behind, the progress of his work and his growing fame. He also reflects on the devastation of the First World War, in which Brooke and Thomas died.

Of Brooke’s death in April 1915, Frost writes: ʻI was struck sad for Rupert... how much the war had done to make him a better poet. The war saved him only to kill him.' The letter is dated 15 May 1915, and is estimated at £2,000-3,000.

The death of Edward Thomas hit Frost harder. Their friendship had been particularly intense. Frost’s first book of poetry, A Boy’s Will, was published in 1913, and was largely ignored until praised by Thomas - a prominent literary critic. In return, Frost encouraged Thomas to abandon literary journalism, which he found both stressful and demanding, and to embrace poetry.

Thomas was killed on 9 April 1917 on the first day of the Battle of Arras. Frost, who was later to describe Thomas as ‘the only brother I ever had’, wrote to Haines on 29 April, “I haven’t written for a long time because there was nothing to write except that I was sick at heart.’ The letter is estimated at £3,000-4,000.

The sale also features Edward Thomas’s newly discovered poetry notebook containing the only hand-written compositional drafts of his poems The Mountain Chapel and The Birds' Nests. It is estimated at £30,000-40,000.

Image: Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost (right). Estimate: £20,000-30,000

Cuzco copy.jpgDallas, Texas - A powerful image by American photographer Irving Penn could bring as much as $150,000 in Heritage Auctions’ Photographs Auction June 5 in New York.

“This auction has an exceptional array of works by outstanding photographers,” Heritage Auctions Photographs Director Nigel Russell said. “The sale features masterworks from the Sato Collection by Penn, Avedon, Newton, Herb Ritts and others. Several of the lots are rare images from limited editions that rarely appear at auction, making them even more appealing to serious collectors.”

Irving Penn Cuzco Children, Peru, December, 1948 (est. $100,000-150,000) is a platinum-palladium image, flush-mounted to aluminum. It is signed, titled, dated and editioned “40/60” with a “1428” notation in pencil with the Penn Condé Nast copyright credit reproduction limitation stamp, and stamped “In addition to 60 numbered prints of this image in platinum metals, unnumbered, but signed silver prints not exceeding a total of 30 may exist” on verso. The 60-year-old image of two children from the city in the Peruvian Andes Mountains measures 19-1/2 by 20-1/4 inches. 

Helmut Newton Saddle I, Paris (at the Hotel Lancaster), 1976 (est. $50,000-70,000) is a striking work by German-Australian fashion photographer Helmut Newton, who was known for erotically charged black and white photos that were featured frequently in numerous publications. The 12-by-18-1/4-inch gelatin silver image is signed by the photographer and printer, and titled and dated in pencil with the photographer’s copyright stamp on verso.

Another image expected to fare well in the auction is Irving Penn Guedras in the Wind, Morocco, 1971 (est. $30,000-50,000). Penn’s 40-year-old platinum-palladium image is signed, titled, dated, annotated and editioned “18/32” in pencil with the photographer’s copyright stamp on verso.

Already drawing significant pre-auction interest is Richard Avedon Dovima with Elephants, Evening Dress by Dior, Cirque d'Hiver, Paris, 1955 (est. $30,000-50,000). This stunning 8-by-10-inch gelatin silver contact print of the elegant woman standing between two pachyderms is signed and editioned “46/100” in pencil with the photographer’s copyright stamp on verso. 

Ansel Adams Clearing Winter Storm, Yosemite National Park, 1937 (est. $25,000-35,000) is a breathtaking photo by Adams, the renowned American photographer and environmentalist whose black-and-white landscape photographs of the American West, especially Yosemite, have enjoyed massive success when reproduced in books, on posters and calendars, and on the internet. This gelatin silver image is signed in pencil mount recto and titled in ink in the photographer’s stamp mount verso.

Other top lots include, but are not limited to:

·         David Yarrow Mankind, Yirol, South Sudan, 2014: est. $20,000-30,000

·         Julia Margaret Cameron Paul and Virginia, circa 1865: $20,000-30,000

·         Herb Ritts Floating Torso, St. Barthélemy, 1987: $15,000-25,000

·         Robert Mapplethorpe Poppy, 1988: $15,000-25,000

·         Lewis Carroll Study of Alexandra 'Xie' Kitchin, 1874: est. $15,000-25,000

·         Helmut Newton Tied-up Torso, Ramatuelle, 1980: est. $15,000-25,000

The auction also includes the largest group of Jerry Uelsmann photographs to appear at auction. The collection of 56 images by Uelsmann, a photomontage pioneer who mastered the art of merging multiple photos into stunning single images where the combinations are so seamless that his works have been referred to as “Photoshop before there was Photoshop.” Among the top Uelsmann images in the auction:

·         Jerry Uelsmann Untitled (Philosopher's Desk), 1976 (est. $2,500-3,500)

·         Jerry Uelsmann Apocalypse II, 1967 (est. $2,000-3,000)

·         Untitled (Nude and river), 1992 (est. $2,000-3,000)

·         Untitled (House and roots), 1982 (est. $2,000-3,000)

·         Animal Dream, 1978 ($1,500-2,500)

·         Untitled (Woman in cloth), 1991 (est. $1,500-2,500)

·         Untitled (Kadzu), 1982 (est. $1,500-2,500)

·         Untitled (Roman tile), 1993 (est. $1,500-2,500)

139_1.jpgChicago — Collectors hit the jackpot at Potter & Potter's recent gambling memorabilia sale. When the frenzied bidding finally came to an end, 31 lots realized between $1,000-1,999; 37 lots realized between $2,000-$9,999; and three lots exceeded the five-figure mark, in a most impressive way!  Prices noted include the company's 20% buyer's premium. 

Enthusiasts from the four corners of the globe took notice of this sale's phenomenal collection of antique gambling books.  The odds-on favorite for the auction's top sale - lot #151, Alfred Trumble's Faro Exposed; or The Gambler and his Prey. Being a Complete Explanation of the Famous Game, its Origin and Development, and how its Skins are Worked - did not disappoint.  This extraordinarily rare 1882 publication dealing with the subject of advantage play made $24,000; a possible new world's record for a gambling book.  Collectors also anted up to lot #126, F.R. Ritter's Advantage Card Playing and Draw Poker. This book from 1905, featuring the first photograph of a Jacob's Ladder-style holdout ever printed, Ritter’s 20 rules for playing poker, and images of cards marked with "blockout" work, more than doubled its low estimate to sell for $14,400.  

This exciting auction also featured a number of additional best sellers in its book category. Lot #7, John Blackbridge's 1875 The Complete Poker Player, realized $2,640 on its $500-750 estimate. And lot #139, an original, first edition copy of R.A. Smith's Poker to Win from 1925 made $1,800 on its $300-500 estimate.  The book included a treatise on card sharping, including false shuffles, false deals, cons, tricks, and other sleight-of-hand poker dodges. 

Collectors didn't keep things close to the vest in regards to the spectacular dice, cards, and chips on offer through this sale.  Lot #455, a crooked dice making jig with a pair of dice, rolled to $1,140 on its $100-200 estimate.  Good things came in threes with lot #467, a trio of scrimshawed ivory mustang dice which more than tripled it high estimate to make $1,560. Lot #325, a deck of Steamboat No. 1999 playing cards made $660 on a $100-200 estimate.  This exceptional deck, which was made by the Dorrity Card Manufacturing Company of New York, featured a very rare joker. 

You can bet your bottom dollar that this auction presented a breathtaking array of gambling accessories and devices.  Lot #254, an adjustable brass card edge notcher with a turned wooden handle was estimated at $1,200-2,000 and sold for $5,760. This c. 1890 tool was used to prepare cards for four-pin dealing boxes.  And lot #260, a Shiner ring and instruction sheet, ran circles around its $100-200 estimate to make $1,320.  This reflective piece of jewelry was used to read cards as they were dealt off the top of the deck. 

Will & Finck's cheating devices, game accessories, and company ephemera remain the "gold standard" amongst gambling memorabilia collectors today. All eyes were on lot #249, a c. 1880 Jacob's Ladder style brass sleeve holdout mounted on a porcelain display hand.  Estimated at $3,000-5,000, it quadrupled its low estimate to realize $12,000. Lot #262, a particularly petite, c. 1880 ivory handled brass card trimmer in its original wooden packing crate, was estimated at $3,000-4,000 but shuffled its way to $9,600. And lot #207, a Will & Finck gambling catalog in its original mailing envelope and a small archive of related company ephemera from 1894 sold for $6,000 on its $2,500-3,500 estimate. It was the only known original Will & Finck gambling supply catalog in private hands. 

This Gambling Memorabilia sale came full circle with museum quality selections of photos, coin-op machines, and other rarities.  Lot #488, a c. 1880 traveling roulette wheel in a wooden crate spun to $7,200 - more than seven times its low estimate.  The clock was ticking on lot #297, a photograph of crowd at a casino in Goldfield, NV on October 1, 1910 at midnight.  It made $1,020 on its $50-100 estimate.  And what made the subject matter of this black and white moment so appealing? Gambling became illegal in the state of Nevada after midnight that day. And finally, bidders took aim at lot #497, a Gambler's palm pistol with pearl grips that made $9,600 - more than twice its high estimate.  It was made by the Chicago Fire Arms Co., in 1893 and was accompanied by its original box, a box of 50 cartridges, and three manufacturer's parts sheets with prices.  

According to Gabe Fajuri, President at Potter & Potter Auctions, "Strong participation in all categories made for a spirited, lively, and profitable auction on Saturday. Highlights included cheating books - including the $24,000 sale of Faro Exposed, possibly a record for a book on gambling at auction - as well as gambling devices, poker chips, and rare playing cards. Uncommon trade catalogs also fared well. This was our most successful gambling memorabilia sale to date." 

Potter and Potter, founded in 2007, is a Chicago area auction house specializing in paper Americana, vintage advertising, rare books, playing cards, gambling memorabilia, posters, fine prints, vintage toys, and magicana - antiques and collectibles related to magic and magicians. For more information on their May 19th, 2018 Gambling Memorabilia Sale and Potter & Potter Auctions, please see www.potterauctions.com. 

Image: Poker to Win. Sold for $1,800.

256.jpgChicago — Potter & Potter Auctions is pleased to announce the 435 lot David Baldwin Magic Collection II sale to be held on Saturday, June 16th, 2018 starting at 10am at the company's gallery, located at 3759 N. Ravenswood Ave., Chicago, IL 60613. David M. Baldwin (1928 - 2014) had a lifelong passion for magic and a remarkable eye for the extraordinary.  Professionally, he worked in New York real estate with Harry Helmsley.  Baldwin assembled one of the most important and finely curated collections of antique magic apparatus and memorabilia in the world. All lots from this upcoming sale from are on display and available for public preview on Wednesday, June 13th, Thursday, June 14th, and Friday, June 15th from 10:00am to 5:00pm in the Potter & Potter facility. 

Baldwin was keenly interested in mystery clocks, especially those made or inspired by 19th-century French magician and clockmaker Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin.  Robert-Houdin was the "father of modern magic" and the inspiration behind Harry Houdini's professional name. This sale features several examples of these mind-bending timekeepers. 

All eyes will be on lot #28, a Robert-Houdin glass column mystery clock, estimated at $40,000-60,000.  This lavishly decorated rarity tells the time via a single arrow-shaped hand, which is set against a gilt-brass framed glass dial with Roman numerals. The clock is handsomely detailed with a glass column supported by four griffins, a velvet-covered platform, and a gilt wooden and ebonized base. Lot #30, a marked, two handled Robert-Houdin square dial mystery clock is estimated at $30,000-50,000.  This gilt-framed example features a beveled dial with Roman and Arabic numerals and a dotted minute track, a marble platform, and two decorative swans.  And it's the best of all worlds with lot #32, a c. 1860 French magician automaton mantel clock, estimated at $10,000-20,000.  This utterly amazing and entertaining timepiece features a magician who on the hour - or at will - turns his head and produces and transposes objects from his table.  Two other figures peek out from the containers at his side.  This masterpiece, with provenance to Sotheby’s London, has a rectangular wooden case with gilt-brass and beaded moldings, a four-inch enamel Roman numeral dial, serpent hands, and a signed Vincenti movement. 

This sale also features a full spectrum of old to new magic apparatus, with several breathtaking examples from legacy manufacturers. Many of the antique selections were also owned and used by The Great Raymond (Maurice Francois Raymond, 1877-1948.) Lot #239, The Great Raymond’s Matter Through Matter device, is estimated at $4,000-6,000.  This 1908 Asian inspired piece is marked and was made in New York by Okito.  It was featured in William V. Rauscher's The Great Raymond on page 295. Lot #12, a spirit bell and clock dial combination, is estimated at $5,000-7,000. It was made around 1900 in Germany by Carl Willmann. And lot #1, a c. 1890 European card bouquet, formerly owned by the proprietors of the Petrie-Lewis (P&L) magic company of New Haven, CT, is estimated at $6,000-8,000. This mechanically complex device is believed to be the only known example of this effect.

More modern apparatus includes lot #175, an elegant, gold trimmed Hofzinser 52 Card Rise Box. Estimated at $8,000-12,000, it enables any card specified to rise from top of the box.  This example, one of three made, was produced in Cincinnati by Joseph Young in 1999. The original Hofzinser card rise was constructed in the 1840's for the master magician, Johann Nepomuk Hofzinser. Hofzinser’s version is now in the Library of Congress. And lot #178, an unusual c. 1970's red tooled leather over machined brass coin casket made by Charles Kalish in New York, is estimated at $1,500-2,000.    

Now let's focus on another key category in this sake, magic-themed photography.  Several important images of Harry Houdini take the spotlight here.  Lot #307, a 1925 glossy silver print of Houdini with eight of Teddy Roosevelt’s grandchildren, is estimated at $500-700. Lot #317, a 1920 banquet photo taken at a dinner given by The Magicians’ Club in London is estimated at $600-900. The Houdinis are shown standing beside the chairman of the dinner, Maurice Raymond.  And lot #315, a silver print of Houdini performing outside The Oregonian Building in Portland, OR, is estimated at $600-900.  It depicts a large crowd witnessing Houdini free himself from a straitjacket while suspended high above the street. 

There is certain to be more than a passing interest in this auction's phenomenal offerings of magic related ephemera.  Lot #256, an archive of Great Raymond materials including scrapbooks and photographs, is estimated at $2,000-3,000. This career-spanning collection is a treasure trove of unpublished and candid images and scarce printed matter. It includes clippings and programs, as well as illusion, backstage, performance, snapshot, travel, friends, and family photos spanning the 1900-1940 timeframe.  Lot #377, Hartz’s 1873 Illustrated Descriptive Catalogue of Conjuring and Magical Apparatus, is estimated at $500-700. This time capsule is illustrated with apparatus available at the Hartz Magical Repository, located at 850 Broadway in New York.  It is believed that Hartz, which opened in 1870, was the first American magic store. Lot #306, a set of two bound volumes of Conjurers’ Monthly Magazine from 1906-1908 in a custom drop-spine box, is estimated at $1,500-2,500.  Both front flyleaves are inscribed and signed “Best wishes from/Harry Houdini." And lot #304, a German letterpress theatre program dated October 4, 1903 billing Houdini as the "Handcuff King" is estimated at $1,800-2,600.  This performance was held at the Central Theater in Dresden and also featured other acts.  

This sale's selections of stunning, linen-backed broadsides are certain to cast a spell over magic enthusiasts.  Lot #359, an eight-sheet color lithograph The World’s Greatest Psychic Sensation. Samri S. and Miss Baldwin in Oriental Hypnotic Dream Visions is estimated at $3,000-5,000.  This large, c. 1895 graphic pictures Miss Baldwin - blindfolded and empowered with second sight by magical forces - sitting and surrounded by red imps rushing to her with questions.  Lot #281, The Weird Witches Cabinet, is estimated at $1,500-2,000. This c. 1910 half sheet color lithograph features The Great Raymond and a cacophony of spirits, ghosts, a witch, and binocular toting imps.  And lot #285, simply titled Enchantress, is estimated at $1,000-1,500.  This c. 1920, six-sheet color lithograph poster is illustrated with a mystical looking woman whose form appears from the flames of a pedestal and question slips at her feet.

This sale comes full circle with museum-quality selections of books, tricks, props, and other rarities. Lot #36, a c. 1900 magician musical automaton from the Parisian firm Leopold Lambert, is estimated at $8,000-12,000.  As his music box plays, the magician - blinking his eyes and turning his head - raises the cup that he holds in each hand and objects vanish, appear, and transpose underneath them.  And lot #382, a first edition of the two volume La Magie de Robert-Houdin. Secrets et Souvenirs de Soirées Fantastiques from 2005 is estimated at $600-900. The first book describes the secrets of Robert-Houdin’s tricks; the second is a faux tome containing recreated Robert-Houdin souvenirs, including booklets, bank notes, and a DVD. 

According to Gabe Fajuri, President at Potter & Potter Auctions, "We are thrilled to offer the second installment of the David Baldwin Magic collection. His mystery clocks are so appealing and clearly a highlight in this upcoming sale.  Although they can sell for a pretty penny - one went for $60,000 in the first sale - we also have recreated versions for those "on a budget" at this event.  The Great Raymond merchandise is also important, and I wonder what secrets will emerge from his unpublished archives. David Baldwin, after buying half of the Raymond/Gibson collection, sponsored the publication of a book on Raymond. Many of the items in our June auction are included in this book. Others, which we sold in the October, 2016 auction, set truly astonishing prices.  With any luck, we'll repeat our previous success this time around."

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

Image: The Great Raymond’s Own Ephemera Scrapbooks and Photographs. Estimate $2,000-3,000.

Gilda Columbia, 1946. U.S. one sheet poster, copy.jpgNew York—Bonhams and Turner Classic Movies (TCM) today announced Bonhams and TCM Present ... A Celebration of Robert Osborne, an auction of more than 400 posters and memorabilia from the estate of the beloved Turner Classic Movies host. The sale - which will take place June 13 at Bonhams New York - features Bette Davis’ personal Sarah Siddons award, rare one-sheet posters and other items from the host’s vast movie memorabilia collection. Highlights from the collection will be on preview at Bonhams New York on Madison Avenue on June 11 and a two-week online-only sale of additional lots from the estate will follow beginning on June 14. TCM will donate its proceeds from the sale to The Film Foundation while proceeds from the sale of the posters will benefit the Gingold Theatrical Group. 

Highlights from the collection include:

  • Bette Davis' personal Sarah Siddons award (estimate: $10,000-15,000)
  • Working script pages from Gone With the Wind (estimate: $1,000-2000)
  • A rare one-sheet poster of Gilda (estimate: $20,000-30,000), the very first poster Osborne ever bought
  • A pristine one-sheet of Preston Sturges’ Sullivan's Travels (estimate: $8,000-12,000)
  • A one sheet of Rebecca (estimate: $4,000-5000) featuring haunting portraits of Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine
  • A one sheet of Laura (estimate: $6,000-7000)

Osborne's collection also reflects his interest in Broadway theatre. He was an avid collector of Hirschfeld prints, with many of his pieces featuring warm inscriptions from their celebrity subjects including Lauren Bacall, Stephen Sondheim and Lucille Ball.  The sale also includes fine art paintings that hung in Osborne’s apartment and personal items such as a pair of Van Cleef and Arpels cuff links, a Cartier watch and his tuxedo.

“For more than 22 years, Robert was the heart and soul of TCM, and was seen as the connective link between our fans and the classic films they love,” said Jennifer Dorian, General Manger TCM. “With the sale of Robert’s beloved posters and iconic film memorabilia, fans have the opportunity to once again connect with our beloved host and share a piece of his personal passion for classic film.” 

Dr. Catherine Williamson, director of Entertainment Memorabilia at Bonhams, worked with Osborne in 2014 when he consigned 50 posters from his collection to that year's TCM auction, There's No Place Like Hollywood. She commented: “He loved the directness, the clarity of a vintage Hollywood poster. You knew what you were getting when you looked at a one sheet from Hollywood's Golden Age, whether it was a comedy, a musical, a romance, or a western.” As they went through his collection together, he told her of browsing the Hollywood poster shops religiously during his early years in Hollywood, never paying more than $25 for a poster, and often spending less than $1.

In addition to the Osborne estate, the June auction also features classic Hollywood memorabilia from other sources, including a collection of Rudoph Valentino letters and photographs, a life portrait of actress Loretta Young by Hollywood portraitist Tino Costas, and a large selection of animation art.

Image: Gilda, Columbia, 1946. U.S. one sheet poster, style B, framed (estimate: $20,000-30,000)

fe513c0a0081e03592f34992b8d83ecf4959e4c7.jpegBoston—An important Albert Einstein handwritten manuscript will be auctioned by Boston-based RR Auction. 

The manuscript is Einstein's criticism of a paper in which the author, Erich Trefftz, claimed to have found a static solution of the equations of general relativity for two point masses; Einstein points out that such a conclusion is based on an error. Featuring several mathematical equations—including a modified form of his General Theory of Relativity.

The two-page manuscript in German, which is unsigned (but incorporating "Einstein" in the title), no date but circa late 1922. Headed (translated), "Comment on E. Trefftz's Paper: 'The Static Gravitational Field of Two Mass Points in Einstein's Theory,'" the paper was presented on November 23, 1922, to the Berlin-based Royal Prussian Academy of Sciences, who published the work on December 21, 1922. The present manuscript was probably a draft used for typesetting, as it contains several handwritten editor's annotations in pencil which were executed in the published version. This was Einstein's first paper published after he received the Nobel Prize on December 10, 1922.

Most significantly, this manuscript contains a handwritten version of Einstein's General Theory of Relativity. In 1915, Einstein made his groundbreaking achievement with the introduction of the General Theory of Relativity. In 1917, Einstein applied his equations to the problem of explaining the structure of the cosmos on a large scale and found that he would need to modify his equations by adding another term, containing a constant, which he denoted λ and called 'cosmological.' This cosmological constant relied on a static universe; upon the later discovery that the universe was expanding, Einstein reportedly called this the greatest blunder of his career. 

It was advanced by Einstein in a 1919 paper as a candidate for a slightly modified field equation to account both for the structure of matter and for cosmological structure. With important scientific content—and an enormously significant date within the context of Einstein's career—this is a truly remarkable piece which stands as the most spectacular Einstein manuscript we have ever offered.

“With important content and significant date within the context of Einstein's career—this is a truly remarkable piece,” said Robert Livingston, Executive VP at RR Auction.  (Estimate: $175,000+)

Among other items to be featured is a magnificent collection of presidential autographs representing a complete set from George Washington through Franklin D. Roosevelt, uniformly affixed by their left edges to large off-white sheets custom-bound into a beautiful red leather volume with slipcase, gilt-stamped titles, and a calligraphically embellished title page, each page preceded by a large engraving depicting the president. (Estimate: $48,000+)

Also up for auction is handwritten letter by Antoine de Saint-Exupery, author of “The Little Prince.” The moving three-page love letter to his former fiancee, Louise Leveque de Vilmorin, circa 1929. (Estimate: $10,000+)

The Fine Autographs and Artifacts auction from RR Auction began on May 18 and will conclude on June 13. More details can be found online at www.rrauction.com.

ioielflhehanmclf.jpgNew York—Swann Galleries’ June 7 auction of Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books offers nearly 400 groundbreaking maps, atlases, manuscript travelogues, naturalist plates and ephemera from every corner of the world.

Landmarks in the history of mapping the United States include the first representation of the country as an integrated landmass: John Melish’s Map of the United States with the Contiguous British & Spanish Possessions, 1816, with an estimate of $15,000 to $25,000. Also available is A Map of the State of Virginia Reduced from the Nine Sheet Map of the State, in Conformity to Law, 1827, by Herman Boye, the first official map of the state to delineate its geography with accuracy; it has not seen at auction since 1963 ($20,000 to $30,000). The first printed map of the Mississippi River based on first-hand exploration—the result of Louis Jolliet’s expedition to the region in 1673—carries an estimate of $15,000 to $20,000. Works by cartographical legends Lewis Evans, Henricus and Jodocus Hondius, Gerardus Mercator, Abraham Ortelius and John Reid will also be offered.

Another highlight is Nicolas de Fer’s L’Amerique Divisee Selon Letendue de ses Principales Parties, 1713, colloquially known as the “Original Beaver Map.” The large decorative wall map of the Americas was the first major map to include an engraved cartouche of a beaver in the wilderness, a motif emulated and popularized later by Herman Moll in in his World Described atlas ($10,000 to $15,000). The original carries an estimate of $20,000 to $30,000, and features California as an island on the west coast.

An engaging selection of maps of Manhattan that reveal the island’s shoreline before its development include an extremely rare hand-colored composite map of the city compiled in 1873 by Charles Kinnaird Graham for the Department of Docks, showing the original high and low watermarks around the southern tip of Manhattan overlaid with the projected development of piers, slips and bulkheads into the Hudson and East Rivers, estimated at $5,000 to $7,500. Also available is Egbert Viele’s “Water Map,” or Topographical Atlas of the City of New York, 1874 ($3,000 to $5,000).

A fascinating variety of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Japanese cartography will be offered. Highlights include a large folding manuscript watercolor map of the port city of Shimoda, 1858, one of the earliest cities to allow foreign diplomacy after Commodore Matthew Perry opened the island to trade with the west ($3,000 to $5,000). A contemporary archive of material relating to Perry’s 1853 visit, including a charming sketch of him, is valued between $2,500 and $3,500.

Highlights from John James Audubon’s Birds of America, 1830, include the hand-colored elephant plate of Fish Hawk, one of the most dramatic compositions in the canon, with an estimate of $30,000 to $50,000. Great Horned Owl, a hand-colored elephant sheet, leads a bevy of owl plates at $10,000 to $15,000. The first octavo edition of a complete subscriber’s copy of Birds of America, 1840-44, originally owned and compiled by John Pierce Brace, who devoted his life to the education of girls and women, will be offered at auction for the first time ($25,000 to $35,000).

Additional naturalist delights come in the form of the complete French edition of Johann Michael Seligmann’s Recueil de Divers Oiseaux, 1768-76, with hand-colored plates after Mark Catesby and George Edwards, at $15,000 to $25,000.

Entrancing watercolor albums from far-off lands include 19 circa-1920 scenes of Cuba by illustrator Edwin James Meeker, published in History of Cuba, by Willis Fletcher Johnson, with an estimate of $8,000 to $12,000. Following success with nautical travelogues, Swann will offer a book of 14 views of the Turkish coastline, presumably executed by a British serviceman as his ship passed through the Strait of Bosphorus on its way to the Crimean War ($2,500 to $3,5000).

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

Image: Lot 280: Map of Manhattan issued by the Department of Docks, compiled by chief engineer Charles K. Graham, 1873. Estimate $5,000 to $7,500.

Auction date: Thursday, June 7, at 1:30 pm EST

Exhibition dates:  June 2, 12-5; June 4, 5 to 6, 10-6; June 7, 10-12

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Additional highlights can be found here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Additional highlights include:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Additional top highlights: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other lots that established new auction records:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other top lots included, but were not limited to:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Additional highlights can be found here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Additional highlights can be found here.

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Potter and Potter, founded in 2007, is a Chicago area auction house specializing in paper Americana, vintage advertising, rare books, playing cards, gambling memorabilia, posters, fine prints, vintage toys, and magicana - antiques and collectibles related to magic and magicians. For more information on their April 28, 2018 Magic Sale and Potter & Potter Auctions, please see www.potterauctions.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

Guardian of the Proustian temple

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

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

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

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

A literary adventure

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

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

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

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

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

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

Between love and friendship

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Livres et Manuscrits

Auction: 24 May 2018 

Preview: 18, 21, 22 & 23 May

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other top lots included, but were not limited to:

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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