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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Additional highlights can be found here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Among the top lots from the Penzler collection:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other top lots include, but are not limited to:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

By appointment only on the morning of the sale


Wednesday, April 10, 2019: 10 am

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Boston Athenaeum Announces Expansion

4th floor_LongRoom-Rendering w label.jpgBoston—The Boston Athenæum, a distinguished and vibrant independent library and cultural institution, announces its expansion via a long-term lease of 19,400 square feet in an adjacent building at 14 Beacon Street.

The lease will provide the Athenæum’s historic and contemporary collections with room to flourish, while better serving patrons and simplifying staff workflows. It will:

  • restore much-needed space for library members in the peaceful, architecturally-significant reading rooms at 10 ½ Beacon Street, while enhancing acoustics and accessibility;
  • add shelves for the continually-growing library of more than half a million items in the circulating library;
  • increase and improve spaces for events, discussion groups, visitors, and rentals;
  • create connected workspaces for cataloging, conserving, digitizing, curating, and teaching with the special collections, comprising more than 100,000 rare books, manuscripts, artworks and other materials; and
  • connect floorplates in the two buildings to facilitate open circulation between patron and staff spaces in both 10 ½ Beacon and 14 Beacon, a move that will foster collaboration and innovation to serve patrons better.

“The board has long known of the need for additional space to care for our library’s valuable and ever-expanding holdings,” says John S. Reed, president of the Athenæum’s Board of Trustees. “We looked at a range of options for responsible growth over time, including moving collections off-site—a prospect soundly rejected by our members. After months of careful deliberation, we are happy to have identified a practical, cost-effective solution right next door.”

“Contiguous space has become available only a handful of times in the last century,” Reed says. “We appreciate the singular opportunity to enter into a long-term lease with Faros Properties. They appreciate the Athenæum’s mission of engaging people who seek knowledge, and stewarding our library full of treasures. They understand the importance of this historic library to the city of Boston.”

The two-year project is advancing with an experienced team: owner’s project managers Smith+St. John; the architecture firm of Schwartz/Silver, known for its award-winning designs for libraries, museums, and historically-significant structures; and Windover Construction of Beverly, MA, a construction management firm with expertise in historic renovation and preservation for museum, cultural, academic, and institutional clients.

“The expansion will benefit Athenæum members and staff, and it will also serve those in the scholarly community who will come to conduct research,” says Creelea Pangaro, a vice president of the Board. “We will be able to move employees out of improvised workspaces that developed over time in the architecturally-significant rooms at 10½ Beacon, and into connected, efficiently-organized offices at number 14. We will be renovating 2,000 square feet of space for storing our special collections. Most significantly, the move will free up more than 4,000 square feet in the one-of-a-kind library environment for the use of the library’s devoted members, who come to read, think, write, and gather together for discussions and events.”

Additionally, members and visitors will find improved first-floor facilities for visiting, reading, and attending lectures and concerts. Beautiful, rentable meeting and social spaces will be made available to the Boston community during times when members are not using them for discussion groups, book talks, and other activities.

This year marks the Athenæum’s 170th anniversary at 10½ Beacon Street, an edifice that was named a National Historic Landmark in 1966. The library has undergone renovations frequently through its history, to accommodate the rapid growth of the collections, fire-proof the building, and install modern climate control, security, and accessibility elements. Partial expansion into the basement and first floor of 14 Beacon was completed in 2002; before that, the last major space expansion took place in 1914-15 with the addition of two additional levels, the fourth and fifth floors, to the original structure.

“The Athenæum is a breathtaking special resource—for its members, our neighbors in Boston, and scholars from around the world,” Pangaro says. “Over many decades, the spaces and activities within its walls have evolved to meet the needs of library patrons—some changing, and others constant. We’re proud to announce a thoughtful expansion that will build on the library’s legacy and demonstrate our investment in its continuation and betterment, far into the future.”

For additional information and visuals, including periodic progress reports, visit the Boston Athenæum online or on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Image: Rendering of the renovated fourth floor. 

Lux Mentis - higher res req.jpegNew York—The beloved New York International Antiquarian Book Fair (NYIABF) produced by Sanford L. Smith + Associates returns to the Park Avenue Armory for its 59th edition March 7-10, 2019. A mecca for bibliophiles and seekers of the curious and quirky, the fair will present a vast treasure trove of material - rare books, maps, illuminated manuscripts, incunabula, fine bindings, illustrations, historical documents and print ephemera.

The Book Fair, widely considered the finest antiquarian book fair in the world, has been a must-see event for seasoned connoisseurs and scholars. In recent years, it has increasingly captivated young collectors with unique offerings at accessible price points. The specialties encompass art, science, medicine, literature, history, culinary culture, fashion, first editions, Americana, philosophy, children’s books and much more. From the historic and academic, to the religious and spiritual, to the bedrock of secular culture - sex, lies, rock-n-roll, money, politics - the fair has offerings in every conceivable genre and subject. NYIABF is officially sanctioned by Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America (ABAA) and International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB).

In its 59th edition, NYIABF will present more than 200 exhibitors culled from the finest American and international antiquarian dealers. In addition to 102 U.S. galleries, NYIABF enjoys strong international participation with galleries hailing from the United Kingdom (38), France (19), Germany (10), Italy (11), The Netherlands (6), Spain (1), Denmark (2), Australia (3), Austria (4), Argentina (3), Canada (2), Japan (2), Belgium (2), Czech Republic (1), and Switzerland (5).

Image: Credit Timothy Ely. Courtesy of Lux Mentis Booksellers.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Additional highlights can be found here.

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

Talbot_RooflineLacock_sharpened_PR 2.jpgNew York - Photography on paper was born in 1839 in England at Lacock Abbey. A new exhibition of photographs juxtaposes the work of its inventor William Henry Fox Talbot (1800-1877) with the contemporary work of Hiroshi Sugimoto, Abelardo Morell, and Mike Robinson. Lacock Abbey: Birthplace of Photography on Paper will be on view at Hans P. Kraus Jr. Fine Photographs from March 2 through May 10, 2019. The exhibition, which pays tribute to Talbot’s beloved ancestral home in Wiltshire, features architectural exteriors and interiors, still lifes, portraits, and tree studies by Talbot, complemented by interpretations from three contemporary artists, who have been inspired by his pioneering photographs.

Among the highlights of the exhibition is one of the earliest examples of Talbot’s calotype negative process, Stable roofline, northeast courtyard, Lacock Abbey, a salt print from September 1840, made the year after he announced his invention to the world. This apparently unique print has never before been exhibited. (This is confirmed by The William Henry Fox Talbot Catalogue Raisonné, which was just released by the Bodleian Libraries.) Set in Lacock’s northeast courtyard, this spectral image of shows Talbot’s innate compositional talent emphasizing the geometric proportions of his home. 

Talbot demonstrated that photography could serve as a bridge between the ancient and modern worlds with his Bust of Patroclus, 1842. The plaster bust of Patroclus, defender of Achilles, was one of Talbot’s most frequently used subjects. Unlike a person, a plaster cast remains steady during the long exposures and experiments with lighting. This boldly sculpted, highly reflective head modulated light and shadow in an infinite number of ways from a wide variety of angles. Talbot’s brush strokes around the border of this exceptional salt print identify this as an early print coated by hand. Later prints appeared in Talbot’s The Pencil of Nature, the first commercially-published photographically-illustrated book (1844-1846). The print on view was made from the same calotype negative as was later used in The Pencil. Art historians are indebted to Talbot, because his invention allowed scholars to study objects in photographic reproduction.

Also on display is Lace, a fine early 1840s salt print. The negative for this print was made without a camera by placing an intricate piece of lace on a sheet of photographically-sensitized paper, capturing its shadow, and producing the boldly graphic image. When Talbot held Lace in front of a group of people they believed it to be an actual piece of lace and were astounded to learn that it was a photographic representation instead. Physically flat, highly detailed, and possessing myriad distinctive anomalies such as torn threads, Lace was an ideal exemplar of Talbot’s method of demonstrating photography’s ability to record a level of detail comparable to that found in still lifes by the most accomplished Dutch painters. 

Talbot’s home and his interpretations of it have inspired several living artists. Hiroshi Sugimoto (Japanese, b. 1948) renews our sense of the wonder and mystery that accompanied the dawn of photography and pays homage to Talbot in An Oriel Window at Lacock Abbey, probably Summer 1835, a toned gelatin silver print from 2010.  Sugimoto photographed one of Talbot’s earliest photogenic drawing negatives, inverted the image during the production process, and greatly enlarged it, obtaining a positive print of a negative the inventor had never printed.  He then toned the image in colors corresponding to the colors of Talbot’s own prints.  Sugimoto’s creative intervention is a reflection on the medium, implicitly narrating its beginnings while gesturing toward his vision of its future. 

Abelardo Morell (American, b. 1948, Cuba) made his first picture using camera obscura techniques in his darkened living room in 1991. The exhibition includes a print of Camera Obscura: Courtyard Building, Lacock Abbey, England, from 2003, made by the artist partly in homage to Talbot and partly to suggest the ongoing spirit his invention continues to instill in the curiosity and practice of present day artists.

Ironically, the most recent pictures in the show are daguerreotypes made in 2018 by Mike Robinson (Canadian, b. 1961).  He boldly brings his mastery of the French inventor Daguerre’s process to the home of the British inventor of photography on paper. 

A reception for the exhibition is being held on Saturday, March 2nd in conjunction with the first ADAA Upper East Side Gallery Walk.

Image: William Henry Fox Talbot (English, 1800-1877); Stable roofline, northeast courtyard, Lacock Abbey, September 1840; Salt print from a calotype negative, 8.0 x 8.2 cm

ce4673ff640bf7adc4bd70f2_1220x574.jpgNew York-The Morgan Library & Museum announced today the exterior restoration of J. Pierpont Morgan’s Library, designed by McKim, Mead & White. The four-year, $12.5 million project, which marks the first preservation of the landmark library’s exterior in its 112-year history, will restore and conserve one of the finest examples of Neoclassical architecture in the United States, enhance the surrounding grounds, improve the exterior lighting of the building, and increase public access to and appreciation of this historic architectural treasure. 

J. Pierpont Morgan’s Library is the heart of the Morgan Library & Museum. Commissioned in 1902 by financier John Pierpont Morgan as his private library, the building was completed in 1906 and is considered one of McKim, Mead & White’s finest works, perfectly embodying the Renaissance ideal of the unity of the arts through the integration of architecture, sculpture, and painting with exceptional craftsmanship and materials. The structure reflects its contents: majestic in design, yet intimate in scale.

In 2010 the Morgan restored the interior rooms of J. Pierpont Morgan’s Library. In 2016 the Morgan began planning for the exterior restoration by engaging Integrated Conservation Resources (ICR), a firm specializing in the restoration of historic structures, to provide an initial needs assessment of the Library’s condition. Following the needs assessment, the Morgan engaged ICR to undertake a more detailed analysis of the building, which resulted in a fully articulated restoration approach. ICR, supported by the architecture firm Beyer Blinder Belle, carefully studied and documented existing conditions, installed data loggers to monitor the performance of the exterior envelope, tested proposed remediations, and finalized the restoration’s details.

The forthcoming restoration will be comprehensive and will address issues such as masonry deterioration, masonry joint failure, roof conditions, deterioration of the fence and other metalwork corrosion, and sculpture conservation.

In conjunction with the restoration, exterior lighting on J. Pierpont Morgan’s Library—currently minimal and ineffective—will be improved by enhancing existing light emanating from the interior, using historic fixtures coupled with new technologies. The scheme will create a painterly effect of layered light at dusk and dark. Developed by Tillett Lighting Design Associates, the new lighting design will give the Library a subtle, timeless, and inviting presence.

Restoring J. Pierpont Morgan’s Library presents a unique opportunity to reimagine the natural setting around it and to provide for visitor access to the site’s exterior for the first time in the institution’s history. The current landscaping—comprising a simple lawn and trees—does little to complement the architecture of the Library, nor does it provide accessible pathways or spaces to encourage visitor interaction with the landmark building’s exterior. By creating new spaces and opportunities for engagement, the project will help to reinvigorate this portion of the Morgan’s campus, which has been less visible to visitors since the Morgan’s entrance shifted from 36th Street to Madison Avenue as part of the 2006 Renzo Piano-designed expansion.

After an extensive search, the Morgan has engaged Todd Longstaffe-Gowan Landscape Design to develop designs to address these issues. An accomplished landscape architect, historian, teacher, and author, Todd Longstaffe-Gowan has led notable projects in the United Kingdom, including for Hampton Court Palace, Kensington Palace Gardens, and the Royal College of Art. This is his first appointment in the United States. Longstaffe-Gowan will collaborate with New York-based Future Green Studio to ensure the development of plantings that will flourish in New York City’s dense, challenging environment. 

“Restoring the sublime exterior of J. Pierpont Morgan’s Library is far and away our most important capital project for the next decade,” said Director Colin B. Bailey. “This is our responsibility. And, in many respects, it is our privilege.Once the restoration of the Library is complete and the grounds are revitalized, the public will be able to engage more fully with one of McKim, Mead & White’s most important architectural achievements. The enhanced grounds will create a generous new space for outdoor programming and allow visitors to look closely at the exterior architectural and sculptural details of the Library.”

To date, 74 percent of the required $12.5 million is funded. On-site work will commence in February 2019, directed by Sciame and executed by Nicholson & Galloway, longtime partners in the architectural expansion and stewardship of the Morgan. Restoration of J. Pierpont Morgan’s Library will be completed by December 2019, at which point work will commence on the surrounding grounds.The library will still be open to visitors during the restoration process.The entire restoration and rehabilitation of the grounds will be unveiled to the public and accessible in fall 2020. The unveiling will be accompanied by an exhibition chronicling the history of the Library, as well as a scholarly publication.

Image: Wurts Bros. (New York, N.Y.) Madison Avenue near East 36th Street. J.P. Morgan Library. Museum of the City of New York, X2010.7.1.197.

d85ac479-596f-4459-aa6d-3ba960b0a23e.pngTo celebrate the 145th anniversary of Ernest Shackleton's birth, Jonkers Rare Books are pleased to stage a selling exhibition featuring some of the rarest books about his life and expeditions, as well as items referring to other famous expeditions from the history of Polar exploration. Shackleton was recently voted by the British public as the greatest explorer of the 20th Century in the BBC Icons series.

Jonkers are exhibiting a remarkable collection of books, manuscripts and artwork at their showroom, 27 Hart Street, Henley on Thames, on his birthday, Friday, February 15, 2019, and publishing an accompanying catalogue with full descriptions of the expeditions and the rare items offered. The exhibition will move to the New York Antiquarian Book Fair, March 7-10. All listed items are for sale.

Some books are remarkable for what they have to say about the polar regions, others were actually produced by Shackleton's men in the Antarctic.

Shackleton highlights from the exhibition include:

20 - Aurora Australis The First Book Printed And Bound In Antarctica. A remarkable feat of publishing, book design and determination in the conditions most ill-fitting on the planet for book production.

Three of the expedition's crew were trained in book production by the printers Joseph Causton and Sons in advance of the expedition, who also donated the expedition a print press. But little could prepare them for the problems they would face. A candle had to be kept under the ink to prevent it from freezing, and only a page or two could be produced per day throughout the winter. The finished product, a book of incredible beauty and a testament to the perseverance of the Antarctic explorers who produced it, is the holy grail of Antarctic books. This copy is one of only a few signed by Shackleton, and it is priced at £150,000.

21 - Shackleton's Antarctic Menu. How Shackleton's Men Celebrated Midwinter. The other item printed on Shackleton's printing press in the Antarctic is this very rare menu, which was set around the table for the expedition's Midwinter Feast of 1908. The feast was, according to Shackleton himself, "a release, and an occasion for a wild spree." This tongue in cheek menu captures the high-spirits of the occasion. It proposes a starter of Turtle Soup, followed by Penguin Patties and Seal Cutlets. The pièce de résistance was Roast Reindeer and Black Currant Jelly with a garnish of Potatoes and Green Peas. Dessert was a selection of Plum Pudding, Ealing Cake and Mince Pies. Champagne and whisky are prescribed throughout, followed by Coffee, Cigars and Cigarettes. A 'drunk' typesetter then proposed yet "MORE WHISHKY!!!!!?" before "Sledges at 12-30". There was likely little more than a dozen copies of this menu originally printed, and only a handful of those are known to survive today. This copy is the one brought back from the Antarctic by expedition's cook, William Roberts.

No. 22 - An Original Employment Contract For Shackleton's Nimrod Expedition. This collection also features an original employment contract for the Nimrod expedition between Ernest Shackleton and the expedition's cook William Roberts. Unruly cooks had caused problems on previous Antarctic expeditions but Roberts was sound choice, who had experience both on land and sea and had most recently been the pastry chef at the Naval & Military Club. His work seems to have been appreciated. A visitor to the Cape Royd's kitchen years later commented "Shackleton's men must have fed like turkey cocks for all the delicacies here". Original contracts of this kind for Antarctic expeditions are extremely rare. We are aware of no other surviving copies of contracts for Shackleton's Nimrod expedition. It is priced at £6,500.

Image: No. 20 - Aurora Australis. The first book printed in Antarctica. 

1- Sappho to send.jpgNew York — His work was startling and new. It had the power to surprise, shock and even haunt the viewer. William Mortensen was a highly controversial artist during his lifetime, stirring up the photographic world in the early twentieth century with images that were in direct opposition to the prevailing realism of his contemporaries. Today, we recognize Mortensen as the trailblazer he was -- the first to use highly manipulated imagery in a way that wasn’t embraced until Photoshop almost a century later.

The New York City Book & Ephemera Fair, will mount a special exhibition of the artist’s work when it returns to the Sheraton Central Park/Times Square hotel, (7th Avenue, between 52nd & 53rd Streets) March 9 & 10. Curated by author/art historian, Brian Chidester, courtesy of the Stephen Romano Gallery, “Celluloid Babylon” draws from the artist’s Hollywood years in the 1920s and 30s. 

Mortensen, the son of Danish-born parents, was the first photographer to take still-photos of actors on Hollywood sets, rather than photographing film stars like Jean Harlow, Rudolph Valentino and John Barrymore in posed studio settings. It all started, when, as a costume designer on Cecile B. DeMille’s epic Hollywood film, The King of Kings, the artist decided one day to snap photographs of the actors while moving around in the opulent costumes he had designed. Director DeMille immediately saw the marketing potential of having such images available prior to the film’s release. The movie lobby card was born! 

Mortensen was known for retouching prints (though seldom negatives) with an abrasion process that used razor-blades, carbon pencil, ink, eraser and pumice to create manipulated images almost indistinguishable from etchings or paintings. His subject matter was theatrical, gothic, and often strange. “A Pictorial History of Witchcraft and Demonology,” and “Monsters and Madonnas,” are two of his best-known works.  

Mortensen clashed openly with the better-known Ansel Adams and his New Realism contemporaries in the 1930s and 40s. Adams’ classic and stately images of Rocky Mountain peaks and valleys at sunset were a world away from Mortensen’s satanic rituals, ancient Hindu goddesses, witch doctors with scary masks and vengeful gorillas.  Ansel Adams wrote, “photography is an objective expression and a record of actuality,” - a philosophy which became even more influential after the hard realities of World War II. Mortensen disparaged such “literal recordings,” calling them “a good beginning, but not an end in itself.” Adams called him the “Antichrist of Photography.”

Today, Mortensen’s altered images are right at home in a world where we are surrounded by fantasy figures in both movies and video games. His work finds an affinity with all forms of story-telling, whether they be fantasy, horror, or mysticism. He was able to tap into that euphoric aspect that humans share with each and every image.  From his early movie lobby cards, which were all about selling fantasies, Mortensen then developed a private art style that took Hollywood iconography into a more timeless space. Anything could be a part of Mortensen’s fictional ecosystem so long as it was emotionally and visually rich. Celluloid Babylon is a testament to this vision. He predicted the imagery to come in the 21st century.  

Fair hours are:  

Saturday, March 9, 2019, 8AM - 4PM

Sunday, March 10, 2019, 9AM - 3PM

Sheraton Central Park / Times Square
811 7th Avenue
New York, NY, 10019

Admission - $15 each day, with student ID - Free
Pre-purchase a weekend pass online and save $5 or register for a complimentary pass for Sunday, March 10 - http://bit.ly/NYCBook19.    

Image: Sappho the Poetess of Old Greece, circa 1928. William Mortensen (1897 - 1965, American) Bromide Print with Pencil.


Astonomical almanac cat 16-b-ti01101246 copy.jpgThousands of years before books were contained within a hand-held technological tablet or phone, there were cuneiform tablets no bigger than the size of a quarter. On view from March 5 through May 19, 2019 in the second floor gallery of the Grolier Club are 275 rare diminutive texts and bindings from around the world that have been created over the span of 4,500 years.  Size matters:  these tiny tomes range in size from a maximum of four inches to less than one millimeter. Drawn from the collection of Patricia J. Pistner, the exhibition represents the history of the book in miniature form.

A Matter of Size: Miniature Bindings & Texts from the Collection of Patricia J. Pistner includes cuneiform tablets and other antiquities, medieval manuscripts and early printed materials, books and bindings by women, imprints of Benjamin Franklin and Abraham Lincoln, as well as contemporary design bindings and artists’ books.

The exhibition is selected and organized by Pistner, along with Jan Storm van Leeuwen, former keeper of rare bindings at the Royal Library in The Hague and winner of the ILAB Breslauer Prize for Bibliography for his important study, Dutch Decorated Binding in the 18th Century.  

A collector of miniature books for over thirty years, Pistner’s love for very small tomes began at the age of seven when she began “publishing” tiny books for her first doll’s house.  As an adult, her passion was reignited after being inspired to fill the small library shelves of the miniature French townhouse she had commissioned. 

“The plan to fill that library with real, readable, printed miniature books led to assembling the most aesthetically compelling, representative samples of the history of the book in the smallest formats,” says Pistner. “My hope is that fellow bibliophiles find tomes here that spark their interest and lead to an increased interest in and respect for the format.” 

Highlights include: 

  • Cuneiform Tablets and other examples of ancient texts dating from 2500 BCE. 
  • Hyakumantō-daraniNara, Japan: c. 764-770 CE. Among the oldest block printed texts, housed in its original wooden pagoda. 
  • Almanac, written in the style of Nuremberg writing masters, Diocese of Bamberg, c. 1450. Illustrated manuscript on vellum, with seven colorful astronomical and astrological circular diagrams, one with a multi-colored patterned centerpiece, with a pinhole for a volvelle. 
  • Septem Psalmi poenitentiales, cum alijs multis devotissimo orationibus. Ac Kalendario Gregoriano. Venetiis: Nicolaus Misserinus, 1593. Measuring a mere 2.4” tall, this binding has rock crystal covers painted in reverse in the verre églomisé depicting St. Francis receiving the stigmata and the Adoration of the Magi. 
  • Enchiridion p[re]clare ecclesie Sarum …. [Book of Hours, Use of Salisbury]. Paris: Widow Thielman Kerver, 1528. Printed by Yolande Bonhomme, the only female printer in Paris and daughter of the famous printer and bookseller, Pasquier Bonhomme. This elaborate mosaic binding by Lortic was done in the 19th century for Charles-Louis de Bourbon (bookplate). The book is in Latin but the captions are in English.
  • Bird’s Egg Nécessaire for Sewing Kit, with Étrennes a l'innocence [including an almanac], Paris: 1820. A very rare type of object, which was not made for any practical purpose, but is a thing of beauty and was probably given by a young man to his beloved.
  • Bibliothèque portative du voyageur, 33 vols. 1801- 1804. Napoleonic era traveling library housed in a book-shaped case contains a collection of works written by the most famous French writers.
  • The Proclamation of Emancipation. 1862. The first separate printing in book form of the Emancipation Proclamation that the Union Army distributed in the South.

Lunchtime Exhibition Tours

March 6 and April 24, 1:00 - 2:00 PM; 

May 18, 3:00 - 4:00 PM. 

Curator Patricia J. Pistner will lead guided tours of the exhibition. 

Open to the public free of charge. No reservations required.

Currently on View in the Exhibition Hall:

Alphabet Magic: A Centennial Exhibition of the Work of Hermann & Gudrun Zapf

Upcoming in the Exhibition Hall:

Poet of the Body: New York's Walt Whitman: May 15 - July 27, 2019

47 East 60 Street, New York, NY 10022


Hours: Monday - Saturday, 10 am to 5 pm
Admission: Exhibitions are open to the public free of charge

Image: Almanac, written in the style of Nuremberg writing masters, Diocese of Bamberg, c. 1450. Illustrated manuscript on vellum, with seven colorful astronomical and astrological circular diagrams, one with a multi-colored patterned centerpiece, with a pinhole for a volvelle. 77 x 52 mm, 3 x 2.” Collection of Patricia J. Pistner


4- colette1 copy.jpgThe Fair that is known as the satellite event, during Manhattan’s celebrated Rare Book Week, has great news for the hundreds of followers who pack its aisles each year, searching for the exceptional “finds” that have made this event a stand out. The fifth edition of the New York City Book & Ephemera Fair has added, by popular demand, a second day when it returns to the Sheraton Central Park/Times Square hotel, on 7th Avenue between 52 & 53 Streets, Saturday March 9th & Sunday March 10th.   

Over 100 rare book and ephemera dealers from all parts of the country and Europe are featured - up from 65 last year. This is the show where first editions, beloved classics, fine & rare books, autographed historical documents, vintage photography, old maps, and more, are just waiting to be discovered. Now, show goers will have an extra day to take it all in!

Premiering this year is the first annual Booklyn Artists’ Book Fair (BABF) - a special section devoted to contemporary artists’ books, that is literally a fair-within-a-fair! Curated and organized by Marshall Weber, co-founder of Booklyn, a dynamic, artist-run non-profit organization based in Booklyn, the inaugural event features over 40 tables of work by member artists and artists groups.   

While books by well-known artists are prized by museums, libraries and educational institutions, the increase in awareness of artists’ books has been spurred by a new generation of cutting-edge young artists, working in a variety of media -- aquatint, collage, fine letterpress, hand-painted , photo-art, screen prints and risograph,  They produce unique books that not only express their own vision, but communicate ideas that are of timely concern. 

Chilean-born BABF exhibitor, Maria Veronica San Martin’s powerful books are deeply connected to the deconstructions of the Pinochet era in her native country and its missing war victims.    Internationally known artist Xu Bing, has turned recently to the impact of modern technology on the environment and the human mind in his work. Swarthmore College’s “Friends, Peace and Sanctuary” will premiere collaborations between American artist bookmakers and artists, poets and artisans from the Syrian and Iraqi refugee community in Philadelphia. The fair will also showcase provocative new work, including the New York premiere of Sofia Szamosi’s “#Metoo On Instagram: One Year Later”, along with vibrant pop-up books from artist, Collette Fu.

This year the New York City Book & Ephemera Fair is also proud to present a special exhibition, “The Celluloid Babylon,” of photography by visionary artist, William Mortensen whose controversial images launched a whole new photographic movement in the 1930s and 40s. Curated by author/art historian, Brian Chidester, courtesy of the Stephen Romano Gallery, the exhibition draws from the artist’s celluloid years, starting at the point, where, as a costume designer, he worked on Cecile B. DeMille’s epic Hollywood film, The King of Kings. The artist decided one day to snap photographs of the actors while they were moving around in his opulent costume designs.  Director DeMille immediately saw the marketing potential of having such images available prior to the film’s release. The movie lobby poster was born! The exhibition highlights these golden years when stars such as Faye Wray, Jean Harlow, John Barrymore and Rudolph Barrymore were the subjects of his photographic creations. 

And then there are the books - wonderful first editions, beloved classics and fine books on almost every subject imaginable!   For Star War buffs, exhibitor Pryor & Johnson Rare books will have a first edition of “Star Wars,” that was ghost-written by Alan Dean Foster.  It appeared before the first film debuted and made history.    Harry Potter devotees will love Pryor & Johnson’s  first two volumes of the Harry Potter series, both signed by Rowling. The first limited edition of William Faulkner's Snopes Trilogy, each volume signed by Faulkner, is another  special find from this rare book specialist.  Exhibitor Stan Gorski calls on Stephen King followers to check out an early King book called Firestarter. Zoe Abrams rare books take us back in time with a series of almanacs & agendas documenting more than a century of merchant life in Ghent (ca. 1720-1845).  They are a delight to behold! 

Fair hours are:  Saturday, March 9, 2019, 8AM - 4PM; Sunday, March 10, 2019, 9AM - 3PM

Sheraton Central Park / Times Square
811 7th Avenue
New York, NY, 10019

Admission - $15 each day, with student ID - Free
Pre-purchase a weekend pass online and save $5 or register for a complimentary pass for Sunday, March 10 - http://bit.ly/NYCBook19

Image: Luoma, Yi Tiger Festival, Photographic Pop-up Book. The Yi people from China’s Yunan province,  worship the tiger as their grandest totem. disturbed by Under the direction of the black “Tiger King,” they offer sacrifice and dance to reflect the journey and way of life of the Yi people as they visit each house to guard the village from evils. Thus “Luoma,” the Tiger Festival, was created to display the Yi people’s tiger-like strength and valor. Artist: COLETTE FU makes one-of-a-kind artist’s books that combine photography and pop-up paper engineering.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TaleofGenji_MetApp_1536x1024_082818.jpgA major international loan exhibition focusing on the artistic tradition inspired by Japan's most celebrated work of literature will go on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art beginning March 5, 2019. Bringing together more than 120 works of art from 32 public and private collections in Japan and the United States—including National Treasures and Important Cultural Properties, most of which have never left Japan—The Tale of Genji: A Japanese Classic Illuminated will explore the tale's continuing influence on Japanese art since it was written around the year 1000 by the noblewoman Murasaki Shikibu (ca. 978-ca. 1014). Often referred to as the world's first novel, The Tale of Genji has captivated readers for centuries through its sophisticated narrative style, humor and wit, and unforgettable characters, beginning with the "radiant prince" Genji, whose life and loves are the focus of the story.

"The Tale of Genji has inspired generations of artists over centuries, and ours is the first exhibition to explore this phenomenon in such a comprehensive way," said Max Hollein, Director of The Met. "The magnificent works of art in the show will also offer a view into the development of Japanese art, a testament to the prevalence and impact of the renowned story."

The exhibition is organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Japan Foundation, with the cooperation of the Tokyo National Museum and Ishiyamadera Temple. 

It is made possible by the Mary Livingston Griggs and Mary Griggs Burke Foundation Fund, 2015; the Estate of Brooke Astor; the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation; and Ann M. Spruill and Daniel H. Cantwell. 

The exhibition will present the most extensive introduction to the visual world of Genji ever shown outside Japan. It will feature nearly one thousand years of Genji-related art—an astonishing range of works including paintings, calligraphy, silk robes, lacquerware, a palanquin for a shogun's bride, and popular art such as ukiyo-e prints and contemporary manga—and provide viewers with a window into the alluring world of the Heian imperial court (794-1185) that was created by the legendary authoress.

Exhibition Overview

Comprising 54 chapters, The Tale of Genji describes the life of the prince, from the amorous escapades of his youth to his death, as well as the lives of his descendants, introducing along the way some of the most iconic female characters in the history of Japanese literature. Organized thematically in eight sections, the exhibition will pay special attention to the Buddhist reception of the tale, while also giving prominence to Genji's female readership and important works by female artists. 

Among the works on view, highlights will include two of Japan's National Treasures. The first, on loan from Seikado Bunko Art Museum, is a pair of screens by the Rinpa master Tawaraya Sotatsu (ca. 1570-ca. 1640)—Channel Markers and The Barrier Gate—depicting two chance encounters between Genji and a former lover. The second is the breathtaking Heian-period Lotus Sutra with Each Character on a Lotus, from the Museum Yamato Bunkakan. These works will be on view for six weeks and then rotated with other masterpieces over the course of the exhibition. A number of works recognized as Important Cultural Properties will be on view throughout the exhibition, including beautifully preserved album leaves by Tosa Mitsuyoshi (1539-1613), from the Kuboso Memorial Museum of Arts, Izumi, which will be shown together with rare Tosa School album paintings from the Harvard Art Museums and The Met's own collection.

The exhibition will also include a section featuring important works of art from Ishiyamadera Temple whose hall contains a "Genji Room" that commemorates the legend that Murasaki started writing the novel within the temple precincts. The final section of the exhibition will feature a series of original manga drawings by Yamato Waki that were inspired by The Tale of Genji. She translated Genji into the comic book idiom, making Murasaki's tale accessible to a whole new generation of readers.

Education Programs, Catalogue, and Credit

A site-specific opera entitled Murasaki's Moon—commissioned by MetLiveArts, On Site Opera, and American Lyric Theater in conjunction with the exhibition—will be presented in The Met's Astor Court on May 17, 18, and 19.

This exhibition will be the opening highlight of Japan 2019, a series of events organized by The Japan Foundation to introduce Japanese arts and culture in the United States throughout 2019.

The Tale of Genji: A Japanese Classic Illuminated will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue.

The catalogue is made possible by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; the Florence and Herbert Irving Fund; the Charles A. Greenfield Fund; the Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Foundation; the Mary Livingston Griggs and Mary Griggs Burke Foundation Fund, 2015; the Parnassus Foundation; and Richard and Geneva Hofheimer Memorial Fund.

The exhibition is curated by John T. Carpenter, Mary Griggs Burke Curator of Japanese Art in the Department of Asian Art at The Met; and guest curator Melissa McCormick, Professor of Japanese Art and Culture at Harvard University; with Monika Bincsik, Diane and Arthur Abbey Assistant Curator for Japanese Decorative Arts at The Met; and Kyoko Kinoshita, Professor of Japanese Art History at Tama Art University.

The exhibition will be featured on The Met's website, as well as on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter using the hashtag #MetGenji.

Image: Tosa Mitsuoki (1617-1691). Portrait-Icon of Murasaki Shikibu (detail). Edo Period (1615-1868), 17th century. Hanging scroll; ink and color on silk; 35 5/8 x 20 3/4 in. (90.5 x 52.7 cm). Ishiyamadera Temple, Shiga Prefecture, Courtesy of Ishiyamadera Temple, photo by Kanai Morio

marion-crawford_0.jpgSan Marino, CA —The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens announced today that it has acquired the largest trove of writing by American novelist F. Marion Crawford (1854-1909) in existence. Crawford was admired in his day by Robert Louis Stevenson for his vivid portrayals of foreign lands and envied by Henry James for his ability to churn out bestsellers. He was a prolific author, publishing 44 novels and scores of short stories, essays, and plays. In addition, Crawford may be the first author to portray Sicily's mafia in an English-language novel, Corleone. The collection includes complete autograph manuscripts for seven novels and two plays, partial manuscripts for five works, and outlines and notes for several novels and essays.

The works were purchased recently at The Huntington’s 22nd annual Library Collectors’ Council meeting. The Council also purchased two large, rare, and detailed maps, created in 1900, that depict the foreign legation (or diplomatic) quarter in Beijing during China’s Boxer Rebellion. Among the first and most important maps ever created to illustrate the dramatic course of events during the siege of the Legation Quarter, they also offer invaluable clues about a fire at an adjacent library from which The Huntington’s single volume from the Yongle dadian, a rare 15th-century Chinese encyclopedia, was rescued.

In addition, The Huntington acquired a collection of 142 letters by Warren D. Chase (1827-1875), a white soldier in the Civil War who wrote vivid, candid, and often heart-rending accounts of his experiences in the Union Army, which included a stint in the newly organized 14th Colored Infantry Regiment. As a former Shaker—a religious sect that separated itself from the secular world—Chase provided an outsider’s perspective on the grim realities of African-American service and the war’s horrors.

Further treasures acquired include a prayer book with a black silk velvet cover and gleaming heraldic device (produced around 1590 for Gilbert and Mary Talbot, the 7th Earl and Countess of Shrewsbury) that includes Catholic prayers at a time when England was officially Protestant; and a single bound volume containing four rare first editions of books by Paracelsus (d. 1541), one of the most influential medical authors of the 16th century.

The Library Collectors’ Council is a group of 45 households that assist in the development of the collections by supporting the purchase of important works that the Library would not otherwise be able to afford.

“These new acquisitions will help researchers push out the boundaries of human knowledge in numerous directions—in the history of the Pacific Rim and the literature and history of 19th-century America, to name just a few,” said Sandra Brooke, Avery Director of the Library at The Huntington. “We are forever grateful to the Collectors’ Council for its generous support in helping us continue to build The Huntington’s dynamic library collections.”

Highlights of the newly purchased materials include:

Papers of F. Marion Crawford (1854­-1909)
“In the early 20th century, it would have been unthinkable that F. Marion Crawford’s name would fade from public view,” said Karla Nielsen, curator of literary collections at The Huntington.

A hugely popular writer on both sides of the Atlantic, Crawford was born to expatriate parents in Italy, where he lived for most of his life.

He was a master storyteller in an astonishing array of modes: historical romances, tales of the strange and uncanny, society dramas. His horror and fantasy stories are still frequently anthologized. “The Upper Berth,” a maritime ghost story, is the most commonly reprinted, followed by the vampire tale “For the Blood is the Life,” which features a female vampire.

The Huntington’s newly acquired archive includes drafts of novels set in Gilded Age New York City; one of his histories of Rome, Ave Roma Immortalis; one of his longer supernatural novels, The Witch of Prague; and two unpublished plays, Marion Darche and By the Waters of Babylon. Also represented are manuscript drafts for two in a series of Italian historical romances, including Saracinesca (1887), which has been considered his most accomplished work. Another book in that series, Corleone, focuses on the maffeosos in Sicily.

“Academics working in book history and publishing studies will be interested in Crawford’s outlines and the markups in his manuscript drafts,” said Karla Nielsen, curator of literary collections at The Huntington. “They reveal an author deftly plotting his novels within market constraints, thinking about the word count and pacing limitations of serial publication.”


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

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

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

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

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

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

Live bidding for the 266-lot auction is scheduled to start promptly at 10:30 am Eastern time. As with all University Archives auctions, this one is loaded with rare, highly collectible autographed documents, manuscripts, books, photos and relics. The full catalog can be viewed online now, at www.UniversityArchives.com. Online bidding is via Invaluable.com and LiveAuctioneers.com. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For more information about University Archives and the Wednesday, February 27th internet-only auction, please visit www.universityarchives.com.

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

The Hours of Marie_Folios 16v-17r_a noblewoman with her daughter kneeling before the Virgin and Child enthroned copy.jpgThis is the twenty-sixth year that Les Enluminures will be exhibiting at TEFAF. To celebrate this occasion, the gallery will launch a special exhibition based on new high-profile acquisitions and entitled "Painting in Manu-scripts in France and Flanders during the Middle Ages and Renaissance." 

A select group of nearly a dozen stunning single miniatures is exhibited for the first time. Illustrating David and Bathsheba and Job and his Friends and Family, two of these by the MASTER OF FRANCOIS DE ROHAN come from a presumably lost Book of Hours, most likely made for a patron at the court of King Francis I (r. 1515-1547). They display this artist's imaginative subject matter and lively narration set in elaborate architecture enlivened by putti on the eve of the French Renaissance. 

A monumental miniature of the Crucifixion, painted with a brilliant palette and charged with emotion, boldly expresses an accomplished new figural style emerging from Italy in the wake of the Renaissance. It can now be added to a group of thirteen other historiated initials, mostly in major museums, from an enormous pair of Choir Books commissioned by Philippe de Levis, bishop of Mirepoix from 1493 to 1537. A recent study convincingly identifies the artist as a Toulouse-based painter, ANTOINE OLIVIER. Complementing the group of miniatures are several illuminated volumes of exceptional richness that reveal the full flowering of the Middle Ages. One of two centerpieces is THE HOURS OF MARIE. This is one of the oldest and most important of all early Books of Hours and one of few thirteenth-century books unambiguously painted for a named laywoman, perhaps Marie de Bra-bant Queen of France. Its pages virtually explode with a richness of imagery. Nearly 300 images display with unusual frequency women in daily life and are set in the royal court. 

The second featured work THE ROMANCE OF TROY includes seventeen large paintings by a rare and accomplished illuminator-painter known as the Master of Girart de Roussillon who worked for the court in the then-Southern Netherlands, probably in Brussels. According to Christopher de Hamel: "The addition of a newly attributed manuscripts to the elusive and incomparable Master himself is a major event in the scholarship of southern Netherlandish art." 

Founded by Dr. Sandra Hindman nearly thirty years ago and with locations in Paris, Chicago, and New York, Les Enluminures has forged long-standing relationships with major museums and prestigious private collections throughout the world. It exhibits at TEFAF Maastricht, TEFAF New York, Masterpiece, the Winter Show, Paris Fine Art, and Frieze Masters. The gallery is well-known for the level of its scholarship but also for the diversity, high quality, and provenance of the works it offers for sale. 

Sandra Hindman states: "We are proud to continue our participation in TEFAF Maastricht, which in my opinion remains unchallenged as the premier venue for the display of world-class, museum-quality works of art. Hats off once again to the astute organizers."

Image: THE HOURS OF MARIE (USE OF SENLIS) In Latin and French, illuminated manuscript on parchment Northeastern France, probably Reims, c. 1270-1280 22 historiated initials by a Reims Master, 2 illuminated borders by the Master of Johannes de Phylomena

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other highlights included: 

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

The Library of Congress announced that it has received a $540,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to evaluate the physical health of the national collection of books in American research libraries and to guide their archive retention and preservation decisions. Since there currently is no objective formula to assess the condition of millions of books in the custody of the nation’s libraries, this scientific study will help inform best practices and provide a baseline for libraries to analyze their print collections based on established scientific guidelines. 

This is the first effort of its kind to lay the scientific groundwork for the development of a national effort to preserve the corpus of books held in American libraries. Entitled “Assessing the Physical Condition of the National Collection,” the 40-month grant project through the Scholarly Communication Program will compare the physical, chemical and optical characteristics of a representative sample of bibliographically identical books across five large research libraries in distinct regions of the country to quantify and objectively assess the condition of these volumes. The five participating institutions are Arizona State University, Cornell University, University of Colorado at Boulder, University of Miami and University of Washington.

The study will help provide a comparable and reliable decision-making method for libraries to follow in deciding what books and how many should be kept in the national collective. The collected data will build a knowledge base for how materials naturally age and decompose, provide a rich set of data about books as artifacts and lead to a stronger predictive model for the condition of books. One objective of the project is also to develop simpler testing tools that could be used on-site in library book stacks.

“Contemporary scholarship crosses boundaries of format, institution, and discipline,” said Jacob Nadal, the Library’s director for Preservation. “Libraries are enabling this through sophisticated partnerships and services that draw on print and digital resources for the distinct qualities that each format offers. This project unites the most current library science with our long history of cooperation to help libraries advance our core professional goals: providing access to research materials and preserving the published record in its original forms.”

The Library of Congress is well suited to conduct this scientific research because of its extensive preservation programs and research laboratories. The research work will take place in the Preservation Research and Testing Division (PRTD) at the Library of Congress and build on the institution’s extensive research into noninvasive and microsampling analytic methods. These techniques enable large scientific analysis of library materials to be conducted at a speed and scale that were not practical before.

“Until we can understand and compare the actual condition of the printed volumes in America, we won’t know how to ensure these are available for future generations,” said Fenella G. France, PRTD chief and the project’s principal investigator. “We may be moving to an increasingly digital world, but so much of our history is retained on the printed record and we must preserve this.”

PRTD will host two researchers for three years, each of whom will complete the analysis of 500 of the same volumes from the five selected American research libraries, totaling 2500 volumes. The Library will convene an expert advisory body to review the work in process and schedule conferences periodically to report the project’s progress. The study’s findings will be shared nationally at a major event in 2022. 

The Library of Congress has one of the most extensive library and archival preservation programs in the world. The Library’s Preservation Directorate staff evaluates, manages and responds to the challenges of ensuring access to the Library’s collection of more than 167 million items in a diverse and expanding range of formats.  The Library’s Preservation Research and Testing Division has been a world leader in developing preservation research to prevent degradation and extend the life of collections. The chemical, mechanical and optical properties labs have developed many innovative research applications and collaborate with colleagues in academia, cultural heritage, science and forensic laboratories.


London — The Folio Society and House of Illustration are thrilled to announce the longlist for the annual Book Illustration Competition (#BIC2019). 

Now in its ninth year, The Book Illustration Competition is a partnership between The Folio Society and House of Illustration. To date, the competition has distributed nearly £60,000 worth of prizes and has received thousands of entries. 

This year from over 500 excellent entries, an increase of 17% on last year, 25 have been selected for the longlist. 

The winner will receive a prestigious £5,000 commission from The Folio Society to illustrate their new edition of Diana Wynne Jones’s Howl’s Moving Castle. Five other shortlisted entrants will each receive £500. As part of the Book Illustration Competition’s committment to nurturing new talent, the judging panel ensures that student entries form part of the shortlist. 

The difficult task of selecting the longlist fell to Sheri Gee, Art Director at The Folio Society, and Colin McKenzie, Director of House of Illustration. 

Sheri Gee said ‘I was really impressed by the standard of entries this year from both students and professionals. Looking at over 500 interpretations to the brief, we found it so interesting how certain scenes clearly resonated more than others, inspiring a myriad of visual interpretations.‘ 

Colin McKenzie noted ‘We were delighted by the record number of entries to this year’s competition, more than for any previous year. The standard was extremely high and demonstrated not just how popular this book remains, but also that it is a story that really catches the imagination. As a result we have a very strong longlist.’ 

Entries were received from 47 countries including the USA, Brazil, Singapore, New Zealand and Armenia, and over 30% of them were from students. 

This year also sees the return of the popular stand alone People’s Choice award. Voted for online (http://bicpeopleschoice.org), the People’s Choice can be selected from any of the longlisted entries.The People’s Choice winning artist and one member of the public who voted for them will receive £100 worth of books from The Folio Society and a one-year membership to House of Illustration. 

The shortlist and the winner will be selected from the longlist by Laura Cecil, literary agent for Diana Wynne Jones; Sheri Gee, Art Director and Sophie Lewis, Editor both from The Folio Society; Colin McKenzie, Director and Olivia Ahmad, Curator both from House of Illustration and Max Löffler, winner of the Book Illustration Competition 2018. 

The awards will be announced at an exclusive ceremony at House of illustration on 26 February 2019. 


Hours_Fauquier_Besancon_1420-40_16r_Majestas copy.jpgDr. Jörn Günther Rare Books AG returns to TEFAF Maastricht (16-24 March 2019) with an exceptional collection of museum-quality, Medieval and Renaissance illuminated manuscripts, miniatures, and early printed books.

This year’s highlights focus on the finest French illumination across the centuries and on the ability of true artists to convey stories. The first outstanding manuscript in the TEFAF Maastricht 2019 line-up is a stunningly beautiful French Book of Hours that shows the exquisite refinement and sophistication of two great artists. The amazing Fauquier Book of Hours only recently resurfaced after having disappeared from the public eye for more than 50 years. The manuscript is rich in iconography and subtle in colours, with 13 miniatures of exceptional quality, all of which showcase their creators’ extraordinary storytelling abilities. It was a commission for a gentleman living in the diocese of Besançon, likely a member of the family Fau(l)quier of Poligny. The Master of Walters 219 contributed two miniatures to this manuscript, while the second master, whose style points to Amiens, was responsible for the remaining eleven images. The style of the first illuminator, the Master of W. 219, likely an itinerant painter who came from Lombardy, is marked by ingenuous scenes that are rich in Italianisms and occupied by many small characters. He worked in the context of some of the best of French and Netherlandish traditions, where he may also have met the second illuminator.

Another impressive manuscript highlight that Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books is bringing to Maastricht is a previously unknown and unpublished legal codex from the 13th century, illuminated by the workshop of Maître Honoré. This exciting new find offers a glimpse into medieval customs, since the law reflects the spirit of the time. The present manuscript is a comprehensive compilation of canon law issued by successive popes, including decisions of Church councils, papal bulls, and excerpts from texts by church fathers and theologians. The manuscript is a high-quality, legal textbook executed under the supervision of a university stationer, whose corrective notes (“cor”) are preserved at the ends of some quires. The layout of the manuscript’s pages is typical of a university law book, containing - in addition to the texts of the various constitutions - the Glossa ordinaria, a systematic commentary in the form of marginal glosses.

The legal codex features miniatures and decorated initials of the finest quality, which were painted by the hand of the famous illuminator Maître Honoré and his workshop in Paris. The five miniatures stand at the beginning of each book: iudex - iudicium - clerus - connubia - crimen (jurisdiction - procedure - clergy - marriage - delinquency and criminal procedures).

Image: Fauquier Book of Hours. Courtesy of Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Additional highlights can be found here.

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

9b9b81b3-d204-4fac-8e9a-73189f21de23.jpgLondon — Firsts, London’s Rare Book Fair, presented by the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association, is delighted to announce that the Official Fair Partner is international online rare bookseller Biblio, and Charity Partner for 2019 is Shakespeare’s Globe.

Firsts London, the ABA’s annual flagship event and one of the most prestigious rare books fairs in the world, will open its doors to visitors from 7 - 9 June in beautiful Battersea Park. More than 150 exhibitors from around the world - sole traders and larger companies - will showcase rare, unique and unusual works for visitors with a wide range of cultural interests and a passion for the printed word, art, books maps and related ephemera from museum-quality medieval manuscripts to modern signed first editions. 

“In the year which sees Shakespeare’s Globe celebrate the centenary of the birth of pioneering and acclaimed actor Sam Wanamaker whose passion led to the rebuilding of the iconic theatre and the 400th anniversary of the death of the famous Globe actor Richard Burbage, we are excited to be staging an exhibition at the Fair of highlights from the Globe Library including books from The John Wolfson Rare Book Collection,” says Pom Harrington, Chairman of Firsts London.  “The exhibition will offer visitors an unrivalled chance to see editions which are not normally on show.”

New York-based collector and author, John Wolfson is the Globe’s Honorary Curator of Rare Books. He will curate the Exhibition and give an exclusive talk, accompanied by actors, on the opening day.

Bringing a strong rapport with booksellers and a genuine enthusiasm for books and book collecting, North Carolina-based Biblio is the perfect fit for Firsts London. It works with the finest booksellers in the world to cultivate a truly remarkable collection that strikes the perfect balance between quantity and quality of selection.  With British, Australian and New Zealand websites and over 5000 dealer members worldwide, the company is looking to expand into continental Europe, as well as the UK.

Brendan Sherar, Founder & CEO of Biblio: “We launched Biblio.co.uk almost ten years ago and we believe there’s an opportunity for significant growth in the UK.  We’re looking forward to strengthening our relationships with our existing British booksellers, meeting potential new clients and having an opportunity to listen and understand the unique challenges facing booksellers and book collectors here.”

The company has strong business ethics. In 2005 Biblio founded non-profit organization, BiblioWorks. Since then, they have used their profits to build twelve public libraries in rural villages of South America.  After the success of the first library project in Morado K'asa, Bolivia, BiblioWorks became a major contributor in the efforts to bring literacy and education to impoverished indigenous communities.”

Firsts London at Battersea Evolution is open from noon - 8pm on Fri 7 June, 11am - 7pm on Sat 8 June, 11am - 5pm on Sunday 9 June and also includes live demonstrations, tours and talks.

Image: Shakespeare's Globe, photo by Clive Sherlock

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

rejlander23_low.jpgLos Angeles - Oscar G. Rejlander (British, born Sweden, 1813-1875) was one of the 19th century’s greatest innovators in the medium of photography, counting Queen Victoria, Prince Albert, Charles Darwin, Lewis Carroll and Julia Margaret Cameron among his devotees. Nevertheless, the extent of Rejlander’s work and career has often been overlooked. Oscar Rejlander: Artist Photographer, on view March 12-June 9, 2019 at the J. Paul Getty Museum, Getty Center, Los Angeles, is the first exhibition to explore the prolific career of the artist who became known as “the father of art photography,” and whose bold experimentation with photographic techniques early in the medium’s development and keen understanding of human emotion were ahead of their time.

The exhibition features 150 photographs that demonstrate Rejlander’s remarkable range, from landscapes and portraits to allegories and witty commentaries on contemporary society, alongside a selection of his early paintings, drawings, and prints.

“Rejlander tells us in his writings that ‘It is the mind of the artist, and not the nature of his materials, which makes his production a work of art,’” says Timothy Potts, director of the J. Paul Getty Museum. “While technologies have dramatically changed, some of the fundamental issues that Rejlander grappled with in his photographs still resonate with photographic practice today. His photographs, though made a century and a half ago, are both meticulously of their time and timeless, foreshadowing many later achievements of the medium through to the digital age.”

Oscar G. Rejlander was born in Sweden and moved to England in 1839, working first as a painter before turning to photography in 1852. He made a living as a portrait photographer while experimenting with photographic techniques, most notably combination printing, in which parts of multiple negatives were exposed separately and then printed to form a single picture. Rejlander moved to London in 1862, where his business continued to grow and where his wife, Mary Bull, worked alongside him in his photography studios.

Portraits and Images of Everyday Life

Portraiture, particularly of members of the higher ranks of London society, was Rejlander’s main professional activity and supported his livelihood. Art critics and clients alike admired his skill with lighting as well as the natural and seemingly spontaneous expressions he was able to capture. Rejlander photographed some of the most important figures of the day, including the English scientist Charles Darwin, known for his theory of evolution, and poets Alfred Lord Tennyson and Henry Taylor. He also guided the first photographic efforts of the writer and mathematician Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (known as Lewis Carroll), the creator of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, as well as photographer Julia Margaret Cameron.

From the beginning of his career as a photographer, Rejlander was keenly interested in depicting the activities of ordinary people, particularly the middle and lower classes of society. It was through his staged domestic images that he illustrated familial relationships with tenderness and humor, often using models and props to re-create in his studio the scenes he had witnessed in the streets, from young boys who swept up dirt and debris in exchange for tips, to street vendors such as “flower girls” who offered bouquets for sale to passersby. Like a modern street photographer, Rejlander chose his compositions and subjects based on what he saw and heard, realizing the final images in the studio.

In 1863 Rejlander constructed a unique iron, wood, and glass “tunnel studio,” where the sitter, positioned in the open, light-filled part of the studio, would look into the darker part of the room where the camera and operator were situated, nearly invisible. The pupils of the sitters’ eyes expanded, allowing for “more depth and expression,” as a writer observed in Photographic News. In addition to this technique, Rejlander often exploited his own unique ability to enact exaggerated emotions to assist his subjects. Charles Darwin illustrated many of Rejlander’s expressive photographs in The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals, published in 1872.

Combination Printing and Two Ways of Life

Rejlander holds an important place in the history of photography primarily because of the groundbreaking way he applied the technique of combination printing. On view in the exhibition is the most ambitious example of the artist’s pioneering experimentation, the epic photograph, or Hope in Repentance (1857). It attracted immediate attention upon its exhibition both for its large size and the ambition of its production, which included the combination printing of over 30 separate wet collodion on glass negatives, a process that took more than three days.

The work represents an intricate allegory of two opposing philosophies of life: Vice and Virtue. In the center of the picture, a wise man guides a younger man to the right, toward a life of virtue—work, study, and religion. To the left, a second young man is tempted by the call of desire, gambling, idleness, and vice. Prince Albert may have worked with Rejlander on the overall conception of the picture, and he and Queen Victoria purchased three versions for their art collection.

Despite this support from the Royal Family, Two Ways of Life divided the photographic community, with professional photographers considering it a technical tour de force, and amateurs seeing it as not only artificial in production but also immoral in its subject. However, it remains one of finest examples of combination printing to come from this period.

Art and Photography

Today, the debate about photography’s status as an art may be obsolete, but the arts community in 19th-century Britain was passionately divided over Rejlander’s chosen medium. Rejlander strongly advocated the view that photography was an independent art, while he was also convinced that a photograph could help artists by providing an effective substitute for working from live models. He was possibly the first to provide artists with visual references for their work in photographs, creating figure studies in a range of poses and costumes, including close-ups of hands, feet, drapery, and even fleeting facial expressions. Although many painters were reluctant to disclose their reliance on photography, several collected Rejlander’s photographs, including George Frederic Watts (English, 1817-1904) and Henri Fantin-Latour (French, 1836-1904).

Paintings also strongly influenced Rejlander’s choice of subjects, leading him not only to imitate the styles of artists but also to re-create the figures found in their compositions. He frequently photographed actors or models posing as a “Madonna,” a “Devotee,” a “Disciple,” or specific Christian figures such as John the Baptist. He may have intended these studies, as well as others showing figures in classical robes, for artists to consult as well.

 “What we hope comes through in the exhibition is Rejlander’s humanity and humor, as well as his humble nature, particularly evident in the fact that he often sent his work to exhibitions under the name ‘amateur,’” says Karen Hellman, assistant curator of photographs at the Getty Museum. “His explanation: ‘When I compare what I have done with what I think I ought to do, and some day hope I shall do, I think of myself as only an amateur, after all—that is to say, a beginner.’”

Oscar Rejlander: Artist Photographer, is on view March 12-June 9, 2019 at J. Paul Getty Museum, Getty Center. The exhibition is curated by Lori Pauli, curator of photographs at the National Gallery of Canada, and Karen Hellman, assistant curator of photographs at the J. Paul Getty Museum.

Image: Untitled Album of Forty Photographs by Rejlander, about 1865. Object credit: Sir Nicholas Mander

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other top lots include, but are not limited to:

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

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

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

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

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

Dr. Seuss Letters Sell for $8,529

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bidding for the lot begins at $3,500.

Additional information on the letter can be found at 


250x250_Books-kovats.jpgOxford, England - Acclaimed British contemporary artist Tania Kovats has created a new public artwork at the Bodleian Libraries in Oxford. Titled The Space of Reading, the permanent commission is a sculpture created from casts of 21 open books and has been installed above the public entrance of the Weston Library.

The artwork was unveiled on 29 January and was commissioned by the Bodleian Libraries with funding from Art Fund and the Henry Moore Foundation. The work has been installed in the ceiling of the colonnade on the south side of the Weston Library, located at the Library’s public entrance on Oxford’s historic Broad Street.

The Weston Library opened to the public in 2015 following a three-year renovation of this 1930s Giles Gilbert Scott building by WilkinsonEyre architects. It is now the Bodleian’s Special Collections library and includes a stunning visitor space with exhibition galleries, a lecture theatre, café and shop.

The Space of Reading focuses on the physical presence of the book and alludes to the diversity and richness of the Libraries’ collections, which include more than 13 million printed items. Kovats drew inspiration from the ceiling of Duke Humfrey’s Library, the oldest reading room at the Bodleian Libraries. The sculptures were cast from actual books taken from Kovats’ personal collection of books, mainly books she read with her son.

Tania Kovats said: “It was the flying books on the panelled ceiling of Duke Humfrey’s Library that were the starting point for this work - I found these completely magical. I saw them on the same day that I was given a tour of some of the treasures of the Bodleian’s collections when I saw first-hand things like fragments of papyrus with Sappho’s poetry. These completely blew my mind.

“The Space of Reading is inspired by the idea of what is housed in the Bodleian - more than a single brain could ever assimilate. And yet there is still more to be said and written and understood. So this work is about some specific books but also about the future books that will be written in the Bodleian Libraries.”

Richard Ovenden, Bodley’s Librarian, said: “The Weston Library is a space where the historic and the contemporary come together so we’re delighted that Tania Kovats’ new artwork creates a new ‘way in’ to the building, inviting visitors to explore the Bodleian Libraries’ historic collections. I hope visitors will look up as they enter the building and be inspired by this fantastic new work.”

Stephen Deuchar, Director of Art Fund, said: “We are pleased to support the commission of Tania Kovats’ subtle intervention which seamlessly captures both the rich history of the Bodleian as well as its purpose today as a space for everyone who finds joy in the book.”

Kovats gave a public lecture about her work on 29 January at the Weston Library and on 26 January, the Bodleian held a special day of workshops and tours celebrating the role of art in the Libraries.

The Space of Reading’s focus on the physicality of the book reflects the Libraries’ strengths in research and teaching around the book as object. In particular, the Centre for the Study of the Book promotes scholarship in this area through a Visiting Fellows Programme, research projects, training courses and events, and the Libraries’ Heritage Science team uses high-tech scientific techniques to uncover new details about treasures in the Libraries’ collections, such as what an object is made of, how it was made, and revealing hidden text and other features.

In its 400-year history, the Bodleian has a long tradition of art in the Libraries. In addition to the written word, the Libraries holds significant collections of works of art and photography, including more than 300 drawings, paintings and prints as well as 50 works of sculpture, antique furniture and historic printing presses. The Libraries also have a long history of commissioning new arts and crafts, with precedents including painted ceilings and friezes, portraits, decorative glass, gargoyles, ironwork and in-built furniture.

In addition to Kovats’ latest work, visitors to the Weston Library can see other artistic features inside the building. These include the Sheldon tapestry Map of Worcestershire, a huge, beautifully woven map created in the 1590s, and the Ascott Park Gateway, which was created in the late 16th century for the Ascott estate in Oxfordshire and is now on long-term loan to the Bodleian Libraries from the V&A.

Since opening in 2015, the Weston Library has proved hugely popular with readers, scholars, local residents and visitors from around the world and has won a string of architecture and design awards. The Library hosts an extensive programme of free exhibitions and displays, lectures and events, and attracts, on average, more than 750,000 visitors each year. Forthcoming exhibitions in 2019 include Babel: Adventures in Translation, opening on 15 February, Thinking 3D: From Leonardo to Present, opening on 21 March, and Talking Maps on 5 July.

In addition to exhibitions showcasing the Libraries’ own collections, recent displays by contemporary artists have proved a major draw to the Library. These have included Cornelia Parker’s Magna Carta in 2015 and early 2016, and a display of her Fox Talbot’s Articles of Glass series in 2018, showcasing nine photogravure etchings that the artist made using glassware items from the Bodleian’s archive of the 19th century photography pioneer William Henry Fox Talbot. Other recent displays include the works of renowned British photographer Martin Parr in 2017 and a display of designer bookbindings as part of the Designer Bookbinders International Bookbinding Competition in 2017.   

ImageThe Space of Reading by Tania Kovats. Photo by John Cairns. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Additional highlights can be found here.

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

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

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

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

Among the records that fell in 2018:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Potter & Potter, founded in 2007, is a Chicago area auction house specializing in paper Americana, vintage advertising, rare books, playing cards, gambling memorabilia, posters, fine prints, vintage toys, and magicana - antiques and collectibles related to magic and magicians. Bids for these extraordinary offerings can be made in person at the sale, placed directly on the company's website, or by phone by arrangement. Please see www.potterauctions.com. for more information. Follow us on Facebook (potterandpotterauctions), Twitter (PnPAuctions), and Instagram (potterauctions). 

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

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

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

Bidding for the letter begins at $21,000.

Additional information on the letter can be found at 

New York - LiveAuctioneers, the world’s leading online marketplace for exceptional fine art, antiques and vintage collectibles, has released its 2018 Annual Report indicating not only another year of record results that outperformed competitors, but also a continued year-over-year pattern of growth that remains unrivaled in the industry.

“Every year, LiveAuctioneers empowers auction-house partners to sell the most items possible to qualified art and collectibles bidders online. In 2018, over 630,000 items were won through LiveAuctioneers.com -- that’s 135,000 more than our closest competitor,” said LiveAuctioneers CEO Phil Michaelson. “Our team continues to find new ways to use incredible technology - including machine learning, streaming video, mobile apps, and auto-scaling cloud servers - to get the right bidders to the right auctions at the right time.”  

A staggering $196.9 billion in total bid value was processed through LiveAuctioneers in 2018. Also, mobile bidding continued its nonstop upward run, with a 46% year-over-year increase in the number of users opting to bid via LiveAuctioneers’ mobile apps. In all, 653,474 bids were lodged through this method, a testament to the commitment LiveAuctioneers made to app technology in 2009 with the introduction of an app for iOS (Apple) devices and the first live-auction bidding app for Android.

LiveAuctioneers’ notable 2018 year-over-year comparisons include:

  • An increase of nearly 756,000 new bidders, reflecting 162% growth in the U.S., 110% growth in Asia, 172% growth in Europe, and a 161% increase in the number of new bidders across the rest of the world
  • 80% growth in lots sold via timed auctions with automated clerking
  • 271% growth in bidders joining auctions through LiveAuctioneers’ Custom Websites
  • 75% increase in Saved Search alerts, with 6.7 million Saved Items

In addition, in 2018:

  • LiveAuctioneers’ traffic surpassed other live online bidding platforms by 65%
  • Over 5 million results were added to the complimentary online price results database
  • 100,000 estate and individual consignment leads were provided to auction-house partners  

During 2018, there were 63.8 million auction registrations, and a 281% increase was seen in the number of potential bidders who placed a credit card on file. More than 433.3 million pageviews were recorded, leading to more than 77.1 million bids being placed through LiveAuctioneers.

On May 12, 2018, LiveAuctioneers partnered with cryptocurrency and decentralized title registry Codex to present a groundbreaking auction of crypto-theme art. All lots were successfully sold - 80% of them through LiveAuctioneers, including the top lot: Guilherme Twardowski’s “CryptoKittie.” The winning bidder purchased the digital artwork through LiveAuctioneers for $140,000 and paid with cryptocurrency. 

“While leading the industry in innovation and sell-through rates, LiveAuctioneers also places a priority on providing stable technology solutions. Our cloud-based systems achieved 99.99% uptime during the broadcasting of 120,000 hours of live auctions in 2018, while at the same time supporting the largest volume of web traffic and deepest level of engagement in our sector. We’re known for being ‘first to market’ with revolutionary technologies such as mobile apps and automated clerking, and the year ahead will show that our world-class engineering team has not been resting on its laurels. The best is yet to come, and it’s going to benefit auction houses worldwide in ways they couldn’t even imagine.” 

Click to view LiveAuctioneers’ Annual Report containing additional information about the company’s growth, trends and highlights of the past year.

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

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

Specifically, Vesalius:

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

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

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

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

Highlights from the collection include:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Auction :  20 February 2019 at 2 pm

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

Christie’s : 9 avenue Matignon, 75008 Paris

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bidding for the lot begins at $3,500.

Additional information on the letter can be found at 

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

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

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


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

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

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


Canada Hitler Book.jpgOttawa, Ontario—Library and Archives Canada announced the recent acquisition of a rare 1944 book previously owned by Adolf Hitler.

The 137-page German language report, Statistik, Presse und Organisationen des Judentums in den Vereinigten Staaten und Kanada (Statistics, Media, and Organizations of Jewry in the United States and Canada), was compiled in 1944 by Heinz Kloss.

The data contained within the book provides details on population statistics in certain cities as well as key organizations and presses of Canadian and American Jewish communities.

This work hints at the story of what might have happened in Canada had the allies lost World War II. It also demonstrates that the Holocaust was not a purely European event, but rather an operation that was stopped before it reached North America. The book adds a great deal of insights worthy of reflection for Canada about World War II, and is an important tool to fight Holocaust denial.

The bookplate bears a stylized eagle, swastika, and the words “EX LIBRIS ADOLF HITLER” indicating it came from Hitler’s personal library.

The acquisition of this book highlights our mandate to acquire material that reflects the published record of Canada as well as to preserve the memory of the Holocaust. It is also a way to let us reflect on what would have happened in Canada had the Second World War ended differently.

Image: CNW Group/Library and Archives Canada

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Los Angeles - The J. Paul Getty Trust announced today it will present the annual J. Paul Getty Medal, its highest honor, to renowned Classicist Professor Mary Beard and artists Lorna Simpson and Ed Ruscha.

Established in 2013 by the trustees of the J. Paul Getty Trust, the J. Paul Getty Medal has been awarded to 11 distinguished individuals to honor their extraordinary contributions to the practice, understanding and support of the arts. 

“We award the Getty Medal to recognize outstanding achievement in the fields in which we work,” said Maria Hummer-Tuttle, chair, J. Paul Getty Board of Trustees. “We are honored to present the medal this year to three leaders who have helped transform and deepen our understanding and appreciation of the visual arts and the humanities.” 

James Cuno, president and CEO of the J. Paul Getty Trust, said of artist Lorna Simpson, “She is at once a photographer and multimedia artist whose work is both trenchant in its critique of race, gender, and identity, and exquisite in its formal beauty and technical execution.”

“I am humbled by this honor,” said Ms. Simpson.  “I am so thrilled to receive the Getty Medal.”

Mr. Cuno hailed Mary Beard, Professor of Classics at Cambridge, author of numerous books on Roman history, Classics Editor of the Times Literary Supplement, and, with Simon Schama and David Olusoga, presenter of the BBC series “Civilisations,” as “one of the world’s premier public intellectuals and Classical scholars, whose scholarship is both deeply original and broadly accessible. Professor Beard has illuminated the ancient world for countless readers and students.”

Said Professor Beard, “I am very honored by this award, and appreciative of the Getty and its trustees for the work they do to further knowledge and appreciation of the ancient world.” 

Mr. Cuno praised Ed Ruscha as “one of our generation’s most original artists, a distinguished and profound painter, draftsman, photographer and bookmaker who finds profundity in the commonplace, through art that is at once highly conceptual, elegant, witty and technically masterful,” noting the Getty Research Institute’s recent acquisition of Mr. Ruscha’s “Streets of Los Angeles” archive.

“I am deeply honored to join my fellow Getty Medalists in receiving the Getty Medal,” said Mr. Ruscha.

The awards will be presented in September at the Getty Center in Los Angeles. 

Past recipients of the J. Paul Getty Medal have included Harold Williams and Nancy Englander, who were honored for their leadership in creating today’s Getty; Lord Jacob Rothschild, for his leadership in the preservation of built cultural heritage; Frank Gehry, for transforming the built landscape with buildings such as the Walt Disney Concert Hall; Yo-Yo Ma, for his efforts to deepen understanding of the world’s diverse cultures; Ellsworth Kelly, for paintings and sculptures of the highest quality and originality; Anselm Kiefer, for his powerful, complex paintings and sculptures; Mario Vargas Llosa, Peruvian writer, politician, journalist, college professor and recipient of the 2010 Nobel Prize in Literature; Thelma Golden, for her influential leadership; Agnes Gund, for her philanthropy and commitment to justice; and sculptor Richard Serra, who expanded our definition of sculpture.


Haggard Manuscript 4 copy.jpgA local BC author recently discovered a rare manuscript stowed in the archives at the Lake Cowichan Museum while doing research for an upcoming book. The manuscript was written by Lieutenant-Colonel Andrew Haggard, a famous Victorian author, who often visited the area on sporting trips, and eventually purchased an estate along the Cowichan River.

“I was only a few days into my research when I spotted an unassuming grey box sitting on a high shelf among some books. A label affixed to the outside read, “Haggard Manuscript.” Initially I was a little punch drunk at the sight of the label. I was well-familiar with the author's brother, H. Rider Haggard, from my book collecting exploits, but I almost didn't believe what I was seeing," says Dean Unger. "I quickly rationalized that it must be some kind of photo-stat copy. I was shocked to see an actual hand-written manuscript, fairly tome-like in aspect, tucked neatly inside. A note on top reads: “Col. Haggard Manuscript. Died late 20s. Came into the Green's possession when Colonel Haggard left Lake Cowichan for Victoria 1922 - 1924. Sealed into a garret at the Green place. The first manuscript page is titled, Book 1: Louis the Desired. Chapter 1: The Last Bourbon King.”

I didn't recognize the title as it was and wondered whether it might be an unpublished work, but some quick digging revealed that this is likely the first draft manuscript of what would later become what is arguable his most famous title, Louis XIV and Antoinette.

“I've collected books most of my adult life and have seen some beautiful rarities. This was the first manuscript, that has been raised to a level of esteem by its success over time, that I've seen in person. This a 19th century writer we are talking about here,” Unger says, “so to many people, is fairly obscure. Speaking in contemporary terms, Haggard's work itself is not considered on the calibre of a Hemingway or Poe, but is somewhere on par with an Atwood, or Robertson Davies. However, the fact it is hand-written (a non-sequitur these days) and is from the turn of the century, and contains seminal, definitive research by the hand of one of the best of the time, is significant.”

“I was keyed onto the subject of famous personages who'd once lived here by my good friend, Dustin Lebeaux, who explained that certain members of the Bram Stoker family had an estate here at one time, on the Youbou side. At first I was in disbelief. I began research on the subject and found that, in addition to the Stoker family, there were numerous writers and famous artists who travelled here, or set up shop in the Cowichan Valley during the 19th and early 20th centuries, attracted to the area by the majestic beauty here. Many of them touted the area as unequalled in the world - Rudyard Kipling was one of the Island's biggest advocates. These were bold assertions they were making. However, many of them were ex-military people, much decorated for campaigns in British-held territories from the 1850s onward. Others were diplomatic dignitaries who travelled for politics, rather than war. Any case, Vancouver Island fast became the rage back in the mother land, and many writers relocated to Victoria, and from there, further up-Island, seeking solitude and a place in the world from which to ply their craft. Among these were Rudyard Kipling, who was in Victoria for a time; Robert Service - who resided in Cowichan Bay, during his formative years in the early 1900s; the Stoker family; Frederick Whymper, the famous 19th century artist who was the hired to record visual impressions of the Vancouver Island Exploration Expedition in 1863, for posterity. There are many others who've come here over time. A little further this way time-wise, one of the Apollo 13 Mission astronauts, Edgar Mitchell, even spent several years of his childhood here in Lake Cowichan.

According to Tony Green, present owner of Greendale Riverside Cabins - what was once the Haggard property, it was Norm Wood, an English teacher at the Lake Cowichan High School, who prompted Green senior to help him search the attic for any clues of Haggard's presence. The manuscript was found and soon-after donated to the Lake Cowichan Museum.

In her Blog, An Angler's Paradise ~ Sport fishing and Settler Society on Vancouver Island, 1860s-1920s, Diane Pedersen, points out that Andrew and his wife, Jeannette Ethel Fowler, owned the retirement property in Lake Cowichan from 1906 to 1919. In 1906 the two purchased the property on the Cowichan River, less than a mile from the Riverside Hotel, and christened their estate “Camp Haggard” - an epithet that suggests a wry wit beneath his serious writer's mind.

The larger part of Haggard's canon of work comprised French histories, poetry, historical fiction, and roving accounts of his military exploits and sporting excursions. Through his fishing stories of angling on the wild and remote Cowichan River, he published in international sporting magazines and brought fame to the area's rich sport fishing. Later on, in 1914, Haggard was credited with saving the Cowichan River after he levied a state-of-the-nation statement titled, “Proposed act of violence” - essentially a letter-writing and publicity campaign through the auspices of the Victoria Times Colonist, and in strict opposition to a plan by the Vancouver Power and Land Company who intended to divert water to generate power. On March 11, 1914, Haggard's assertions to save the river were officially backed by Charles Lugrin, then editor of The Colonist. Both Haggard and Lugrin were ardent supporters of new environmental laws and thinking around sustainability and conservation that had then just begun.

Pedersen points out that an earlier story in the Colonist, dated April 19, 1893, states that the Haggards were ensconced at the Riverside Hotel, where they intended to remain for the newly opened fly fish season. This was among some of the earliest references to the author carousing in the area, thus his love affair with the region was borne. On May 26, 1899, the Colonist again reported that the Haggards had once again taken rooms at the Riverside and were officially the first guests to stay there after a recent hotel renovation was completed.

“Like his brother, another successful Victorian author, Henry Rider Haggard,” Unger says, “James adopted the technique of writing his manuscript entirely by hand, and with little editing or revision. This done, he would type-script the work and this would serve as his editing draft - the crucial first stages of the Haggard literary process. When compared to the eventual published book (1909), one can see his style begin to emerge as he became acquainted with his characters; decisions around word economy and refinement and imagery are evident. It's a rare glimpse inside his mind, his process, that would not be afforded otherwise.”

“The staff at Lake Cowichan Museum have done an excellent job of to preserve the subtleties of local culture here over time and through its emerging history,” Unger says. “In 1919, Haggard sold Camp Haggard to James Dunsmuir, Vancouver Island coal magnate. That the manuscript survived hidden there in the attic garret is incredible. The manuscript is, in a way, like a final gift to the community from Lieutenant-Colonel Andrew Haggard, that there yet remains a rare gem beneath our feet here in Cowichan.”

RGFyd2luIGxldHRlcnMucG5n.pngPeter Harrington, the UK’s largest rare bookseller, this year celebrates its 50th anniversary. In 1969 Peter Harrington, the founder of the business, issued the first catalogue from a stall at Chelsea Antiques Market on Kings Road and this year the business which carries his name is launching its 150th catalogue on Tuesday January 22nd. This special anniversary blockbuster catalogue offers fifty notable, and unique, books and manuscripts, from the fifteenth to the twenty-first century.

Pom Harrington, the owner and son of Peter Harrington Rare Books says “I know my father would have been staggered at some of the books that have passed through our hands in recent years and I hope this catalogue conveys the spirit of Peter Harrington. Where the future will take us, who knows? But we will keep doing what we love — finding rare and interesting books and manuscripts, and, equally important, new collectors to look after them.”

Pom Harrington joined the business in 1994 and this year celebrates his 25th anniversary. 

Highlights of Catalogue 150 include:

  • A newly discovered pre-publication inscribed copy of Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Márquez (£50,000);
  • A first edition of Frankenstein by Mary Shelley which is from a Stoke Newington circulating library (£275,000) and a groundbreaking manifesto of women’s rights written by Mary Shelley’s mother, Mary Wollstonecraft, over 200 years ago both of them uncut in their original boards bindings (£25,000);
  • The captain of the Beagle’s own set of Darwin’s first published 4 volumes of his voyage to the Southern Shores of South America (£100,000) and a life-time correspondence between Darwin and the German botanist Friedrich Hildebrand (£125,000);
  • A rare true first edition of Les Misérables by Victor Hugo in its original wrappers (£45,000);
  • A copy of Casino Royale by Ian Fleming inscribed to his employer who allowed him special leave to write his James Bond novels (£135,000);
  • A remarkably rare first edition of the paper Ada Lovelace, the first computer programmer, wrote which belonged to her maths tutor who has extensively annotated it (£250,000);
  • The Second Folio, the first practically obtainable edition, of the collected Shakespeare plays bound in contemporary calf which makes it rare and desirable (£350,000);
  • A notably rare first edition, first issue of Dracula which has been inscribed by Bram Stoker (£135,000);
  • A 400-year-old plus copy of On the Fabric of the Human Body by Andreas Vesalius which marked the beginning of the study of modern anatomy (£250,000). 

Catalogue 150 also contains remarkable books by Jane Austen, Charles Darwin, Winston Churchill, Leo Tolstoy, Karl Marx, Charlotte Bronte, Jeremy Bentham and James Joyce. The 50 unique books selected range in price from £22,500 to £350,000 and come from the fields of travel, economics, philosophy, medicine, poetry, mathematics, computing, as well as literature.

Peter Harrington Rare Books is a member of the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association and offers an ‘unconditional guarantee’ for each item it sells on its authenticity and completeness, as described.

Image: Original autograph correspondence with Friedrich Hildebrand by Charles Darwin (1862-79) £125,000


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

rb-open copy.jpgIrvine, CA - Suntup Editions, publisher of fine limited edition books and art prints, is delighted to announce the upcoming publication of Ira Levin’s classic novel Rosemary’s Baby, with an exclusive introduction by Academy Award winning writer/director Jordan Peele.  

One of the bestselling horror novels of all-time, Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin is considered by many to be the “grand daddy” of horror fiction. Selling 4 million copies upon its publication in 1967, the novel’s success created a new wave of books in the horror genre, while critics heralded it “one of the most perfectly crafted thrillers ever written.” Only one year after the novel’s release, Rosemary’s Baby was adapted into an Academy Award winning motion picture directed by Roman Polanski. Author Ira Levin called the film “the single most faithful adaptation of a novel ever to come out of Hollywood.” 

When Rosemary Woodhouse and her husband Guy, a struggling actor, move into a mysterious old apartment building in New York City, they are immediately greeted by elderly neighbors Roman and Minnie Castavet. Guy is quick to make friends with the eccentric pair, but Rosemary has reservations. Soon thereafter, Guy lands a major role, Rosemary becomes pregnant, and the strange neighbors from upstairs begin taking a heightened interest in Rosemary’s welfare. As Rosemary’s suspicions grow, she finds herself isolated from her husband, and certain that the Castavets’ intentions are not at all what they seem.

In 2017, director Jordan Peele cited the novel Rosemary’s Baby among his greatest influences in writing Get Out for which he won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, along with nominations for Best Picture and Best Director. Peele has written an introduction to Rosemary’s Baby exclusively for this edition.

This edition will also feature an afterword by Ira Levin, originally written for New American Library’s 2003 release.


This fine press edition of Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin is limited to 267 copies for sale, and is presented in two states: Lettered and Limited. Both editions measure 6¼” x 9¼” and feature six black & white illustrations by Richey Beckett, as well as the introduction by Jordan Peele. Both editions are signed by Richey Beckett and Jordan Peele, and are printed letterpress.

Limited Edition

The Limited edition is a quarter leather binding and is limited to 250 copies for sale. The leather spine is stamped in silver foil, and the boards are covered in Japanese cloth. Endpapers feature flecks of metallic gold and silver, and the edition is printed letterpress on Mohawk Superfine. It is housed in a custom cloth-covered slipcase.

Lettered Edition

The lettered edition is limited to 26 copies for sale, lettered A-Z and is printed letterpress on Mouldmade Zerkall paper. It is a full leather binding with a foil stamped spine, and glass eyes inset into leather-formed eyelids on the cover. Endpapers are hand marbled in Germany on Hahnemühle Ingres paper. The edition is housed in a custom ‘bassinet’ enclosure with a rocking book bed.


Since its launch in late 2016, Suntup Editions has garnered the attention of fans, bloggers, and journalists alike. Their stunning premiere project The Eyes of the Dragon Art Portfolio with Lettered and Numbered Editions signed by David Palladini, along with The Covers Collection, limited edition fine art prints featuring original cover art from the novels by Stephen King, made Suntup Editions the ultimate “one to watch” and one of the fastest rising new printing presses on the scene.

In early 2018, Suntup Editions announced it would publish the world’s first limited edition of Misery, which was released with not only the blessing but bearing the signature of Stephen King himself. This was followed by the announcement of a limited edition of Shirley Jackson’s classic novel, The Haunting of Hill House, as well as a signed limited edition of Horns by Joe Hill. Rosemary’s Baby will mark Suntup’s fourth book release.

The mission of the press is to publish finely crafted limited editions, by collaborating with some of today’s leading writers, artists, designers, printers and bookmakers to create an edition that is itself, an art object. By incorporating elements of the story into the design and production of the books, their editions offer a unique reading experience.

Publication is scheduled for Summer 2019 and will be available for pre-order at https://shop.suntup.press from 9:00 am Pacific time on Saturday, January 19, 2019.

Hillerman.jpegOakland, CA - The 52nd California International Antiquarian Book Fair, one of the world's largest and most prestigious exhibitions of antiquarian books, returns to Northern California, Friday, February 8 through Sunday, February 10, 2019 at the Oakland Marriott City Center. The Book Fair is known for its vast collection of rare books, treasures and curiosities that tell fascinating stories. Notable items this year include a $40,000 crayon drawing by Picasso, a first edition of Ansel Adams’ first book, an 1835 caricature of women’s fashion, a 130 year-old German pop-up book, the 1515 first use of Greek typography in Rome, and more.

Sponsored by the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America (ABAA) and the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB) and featuring the collections and rare treasures of nearly 200 booksellers from over 20 countries around the world, the three-day Book Fair offers a rich selection of manuscripts, early American and European literature, modern first editions, children’s books, maps and autographs, as well as antiquarian books on history, science, law, architecture, cooking, wine and a wide range of other topics. 

From the wonderful to the weird, the 2019 Book Fair will feature thousands of interesting items, including these notables: 

A Postcard from Picasso - Greetings from Cannes! An original six-color crayon drawing of a grinning face on a postcard that Picasso sent from Cannes to his friend’s son, Pablo, a six year-old boy named after the artist. Picasso wrote a note to the boy: “Para mi amigo Pablito, Picasso, 5.11.58.” Perhaps inspired by the treasured postcard, Pablo Frasconi would grow up to become an acclaimed documentary filmmaker. (Offered by Ralph Sipper Books at booth #304 for $40,000)

First Edition of Ansel Adams’ Taos Pueblo - Ansel Adams published his first book of photographs, Taos Pueblo, in 1930, when he was 28 years of age. This is the first edition of his first book, copy 46 of only 108 and signed by both Adams and Mary Austin, the book’s author. The book features 12 original photographs, including several formal portraits, intimate landscapes and architectural studies. The first edition sold out over a two-year period at .75 each. (Offered by Argonaut Booksellers at booth #903 for $45,000)

The Original ‘Math for Dummies’ - A teaching tool that pre-dated the popular “…For Dummies” series by 150 years, The First Six Books Of The Elements Of Euclid In Which Coloured Diagrams And Symbols Are Used Instead of Letters For The Greater Ease of Learners was created by Oliver Byrne to help students better understand the abstract theories of Euclid. Byrne was convinced that by using color and diagrams, students could learn the elements of Euclid in 1/3 of the time. Not surprisingly, this wasn’t a best seller: only 250 copies were sold. (Offered by Roy Young Bookseller Inc. at booth #311 for $6,400)

Edward Abbey's National Park Services Hat and Shirt - These two items were unique personal items belonging to Edward Abbey during the time he worked as a fire lookout in the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, beginning in 1971. This period in Abbey's life stands out because this was when he wrote his novel "Black Sun," a romantic story of a solitary man in nature, set in the North Rim. (Offered by Ken Sanders Rare Books at booth #1002 for $7,500)

Dying for Fashion - The things we do to look good! The horrors of fashion are depicted in “The Cholic,” an original hand-colored print by caricaturist George Cruikshank of London. The scene is a lean, elderly woman sitting on a setee shrieking in pain while little demons cinch her waist with rope and attack her with sharp objects while a heavy woman, bottle in hand, watches on laughing. The scene depicts the agonies of being fashionable and the abuse of women. (Offered by Dark Parks Books & Collectibles at booth #704 for $300)

Chinese Feminist Martyr - Qiu yu qiu feng [Memorial booklet for the executed feminist revolutionary Qiu Jin] is an original booklet published shortly after Qiu Jin’s execution in 1907 containing a collection of Qiu’s writings and musings from supporters. Qiu Jin was raised in a wealthy family in Shaoxing who left her arranged marriage and two children to join a group of expat revolutionaries in Japan. She advocated equal rights for women, including marriage by choice and the abolition of foot binding. After returning to China, she was eventually captured, tortured and beheaded for her “revolutionary” activities. She has since been hailed as a martyr. (Offered by Bolarium Books at booth #216 for $200)

Original Tony Hillerman Novels - Tony Hillerman brought the Southwest’s Four Corners area to life with his Navajo Tribal Police series of nonfiction murder mysteries. The popular series was illustrated by Navajo artist Ernest Franklin. Offered are several signed first editions of this series with original art by Franklin. (Offered by James M. Dourgarian Bookman at booth #206, $300 to $15,000) 

A Collection of Sonnets by Elizabeth Barrett Browning - A first edition from 1897 with an exquisite white pigskin binding by Charles Ricketts - a celebrated binder of his time. (Offered by Nudelman Rare Books at booth #105 for $6,250)

Japanese Triptych from 1830 - When the Japanese government banned the use of extravagant colors in the mid-1800s, artists rebelled against these “Sumptuary” laws and got creative by using indigo coloring as alternatives. Tosei Fuzokukuo is a Triptych created in 1830 by Kuniyoshi. The use of indigo became very popular with the public.  (Offered by Ohya-Shobo Co., Ltd. at booth # 612, for $6,800)

The true first printing of Beatrix Potter’s first and most famous book - This copy of The Tale of Peter Rabbit includes the author’s signed presentation inscription “For Miss [Caroline] Hutton with love from Beatrix Potter Christmas 1901”. Potter was 27 and living at home when she wrote The Tale of Peter Rabbit. Five publishers rejected her illustrated manuscript but Potter arranged for it to be privately printed and its immediate success launched her career. (Offered by John Windle Antiquarian Bookseller #618 for $125,000.

Original Pop-Up Book - They don’t make ‘em like they used to. International Circus by Lothar Meggendorfer from 1887 is a first edition pop-up book that is considered a masterpiece of the genre. The book showcases a circus in incredible detail with pop-up artwork. (Offered by Roy Young Booksellers at booth #311 for $4,750) 

First use of Greek typography in Rome - An important early printed edition of Pindar's Odes, produced at Rome by Zacharias Kallierges in 1515, which includes the first use of Greek typography in Rome, as well as the first extensive classical and medieval scholia of this ancient Greek lyric poet.  (Offered by Hackenberg Booksellers at booth #707 for $7,500)


The Book Fair will also highlight Matthew Wills, the winner of the first-ever California Young Book Collector’s Prize from the Northern California Chapter of the Antiquarian Bookseller’s Association of America (ABAA). The competition was open to California collectors aged 35 and under, and their works. Wills’ collection “Anti-Confucian Propaganda in Mao’s China” will be on display in the exhibits area.

This year’s Book Fair will also include a special exhibit by the Book Club of California, an active association of over 800 major California collectors with interests in rare books and manuscripts of all types. Founded in 1912, the Club’s library is dedicated to collecting and sharing works of California fine printers; resources on book making, book design, and book history; and books of historical significance. One side of this bi-faceted exhibit will display a selection of materials by California women printers and book artists, with a spotlight on Jane Grabhorn’s test prints for the illustrations of the Grabhorn Press’ Shakespeare plays. 

Joel Harris, a local member of the International Wizard of Oz Club, will be loaning a portion of his collection for a curated exhibit of first edition books by L. Frank Baum and the subsequent authors of the “Wizard of Oz” series. The theme of a Saturday lecture jointly sponsored by the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America and the Bibliographical Society of America will be Cyclone on the Prairies: The Magic of the Land of Oz.

Designed with the budding collector in mind, "Book Fair Finds" is a program in which dealers spotlight items priced at $100 or less. Visitors can look for the Book Fair Finds sign in participating booths. 

Other highlights of the Book Fair include an interactive and entertaining exhibition that showcases local artists and organizations specializing in book arts. Calligraphers, bookbinders and a small press operator will once again be creating unique souvenirs for attendees to take home. 

The Book Fair is BARTable! The event’s venue in downtown Oakland is an added convenience for bibliophiles. The Oakland Marriott City Center is just steps away from the 12th Street BART Station, making it easily accessible to attendees from San Francisco and all over the East Bay. Out-of-town visitors can stay onsite at the Marriott, plus fair visitors arriving at both Oakland and San Francisco airports can take BART directly to the venue. 

Media sponsors for the Book Fair include: KQED, ABC7, The San Francisco Chronicle/Datebook and BART. 

Tickets and Information

The 52nd California International Antiquarian Book Fair will be held at the Oakland Marriott City Center at 1001 Broadway in downtown Oakland from 3 p.m. - 8 p.m. on Friday, February 8; 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. on Saturday, February 9; and 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. on Sunday, February 10.

Friday Opening Day admission tickets are $25; Saturday and Sunday tickets are $15. Tickets allow return admission for the remainder of the fair. For more information about tickets or exhibiting, visit www.cabookfair.com. Free admission for all students with a current valid student ID.

For more information about the 52ndCalifornia International Antiquarian Book Fair, please visit the website at www.cabookfair.com or contact Fair Managers Doucet Productions at info@cabookfair.com, (415) 919-9220.


Screen Shot 2019-01-16 at 9.13.51 AM.pngNew York — In its 40th year, the Greenwich Village Antiquarian Book Fair is a West Village neighborhood tradition that brings together some of the country’s best known dealers, collectors, and community members to benefit PS3 The Charrette School. This year’s event will take place on Feb. 16-17 at the historic school. 

Those with a keen eye for rare and vintage books, first editions, ephemera, posters, art books, unique children’s books, manuscripts, and hard-to-find collections are sure to uncover something coveted. Dealers  at this fair are eager to help collectors new or  veteran navigate the items for sale..

“We’re thrilled to gather some of the world’s preeminent dealers under one roof for a fair that has become a touchstone of this tightknit community,” said Marvin Getman, founder of Book and Paper Fairs, who is managing this year’s event for the third time. “While the fair has its roots in this neighborhood, it’s an opportunity for anyone with an interest in starting or growing a collection, or finding a one-of-a-kind gift.”

The Greenwich Village Antiquarian Book Fair is one of many fundraisers that help to provide exceptional academic and extracurricular activities for students in grades pre-k through 5.

“We’re pleased to be featuring a section for photo dealers specializing in snapshots, ambrotypes, daguerreotypes, cyanotypes, cabinet cards, tintypes, CDVs, and photo albums. 

The public is welcome to visit the fair on Saturday, Feb. 16, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and on Sunday, Feb. 17, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $10 per person. Half price coupons are available on the website  GVABF.com. Children under 16 and students with a college I.D. are admitted free. The school is located at 490 Hudson St. in the West Village.


Lexington, Mass.-based Book and Paper Fairs specializes in the production of rare book and ephemera fairs in the Northeast. The company organizes notable events such as the New York City Book and Ephemera Fair which this year is adding the first Booklyn Artists’ Book Fair featuring 40 talented book artists,  the Brooklyn Antiquarian Book Fair,  The Ephemera  Fair in Greenwich, CT.,  and the Boston Book Print and Ephemera Fair.

For more information about this or the other fairs contact Marvin Getman at info@bookandpaperfairs.com.  


Portrait-1-.jpgThe Library of Congress has acquired and made available online the Omar Ibn Said Collection, which includes the only known surviving slave narrative written in Arabic in the United States. In 1831, Omar Ibn Said, a wealthy and highly educated man who was captured in West Africa and brought to the United States as a slave, wrote a 15-page autobiography describing his experiences.

This manuscript is important not only because it tells the personal story of a slave written by himself, but also because it documents an aspect of the early history of Islam and Muslims in the United States.

The Omar Ibn Said Collection consists of 42 original documents in both English and Arabic, including the manuscript in Arabic of “The Life of Omar Ibn Said” - the centerpiece of this unique collection of texts. Other manuscripts include texts in Arabic by another West African slave in Panama and from individuals located in West Africa.

The collection was digitally preserved and made available online for the first time by the Library of Congress at loc.gov/collections/omar-ibn-said-collection/about-this-collection/.

“Although the Omar Ibn Said Collection is recognizable, it has been moved between different private owners and even disappeared for almost half a century,” said Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden. “To have it preserved at the Library of Congress and made available to everyday people and researchers across the world will make this collection an irreplaceable tool for research on Africa in the 18th and 19th centuries and will shed light on the history of American slavery.”

“This rare collection is extremely important because Omar Ibn Said's autobiography is the only known existent autobiography of a slave written in Arabic in America,” said Mary-Jane Deeb, chief of the African and Middle Eastern Division at the Library of Congress. “The significance of this lies in the fact that such a biography was not edited by Said's owner, as those of other slaves written in English were, and is therefore more candid and more authentic.”

“It is an important documentation that attests to the high level of education and the long tradition of a written culture that existed in Africa at the time,” added Deeb. “It also reveals that many Africans who were brought to the United States as slaves were followers of Islam, an Abrahamic and monotheistic faith. Such documentation counteracts prior assumptions of African life and culture.”

According to his autobiography, and to articles written about him in the American press while he was still alive, Said was a member of the Fula ethnic group of West Africa who today number over 40 million people in the region extending from Senegal to Nigeria.

Omar Ibn Said, son of a wealthy father, spent over 25 years as a prolific scholar and Muslim in West Africa. When Said was about 37 years old, however, an army came to his home, killed many people, captured him and sold him into slavery.

Conservators at the Library of Congress performed treatment to physically stabilize the Said manuscript, mending and reinforcing its fragile pages. Following multiple owners and the ravages of time, the pages were weak, exhibiting holes, heavy creases and torn edges.

“Paper and ink are resilient and long-lasting, though they can be battered and damaged. Our aim was to strengthen and preserve the manuscript, while still allowing its previous history and life to remain evident,” said Shelly Smith, head of the Book Conservation Section.

The original collection of Omar Ibn Said was purchased by the Library of Congress in 2017. The Omar Ibn Said Collection reflects advancement toward a goal in the Library’s new user-centered strategic plan to expand access, making unique collections, experts and services available when, where and how users need them. Learn more about the Library’s five-year plan at loc.gov/strategic-plan/.

In celebration of African American History Month, on Feb. 5, 2019, the Library will host a special public program and discussion focusing on this unique historical collection:

Conversation on the Omar Ibn Said Collection at the Library of Congress
February 5, 2019, at 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Thomas Jefferson Building, first floor, LJ-119
10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C.  

The Omar Ibn Said half-day event features scholars whose work focuses on the autobiography of Omar Ibn Said and related diaries of enslaved people. To date, this is the only known autobiography by a slave written in Arabic in the United States. It is a historically unique and important primary source for those trying to understand the connections between the Muslim communities in Western Africa and the slaves who continued to practice Islamic faith after being captured during the Atlantic slave trade.

For more information about the event, visit loc.gov/item/event-394446/conversation-on-the-omar-ibn-said-collection/2019-02-05/

Image: A portrait of Omar Ibn Said around the 1850s. Photo courtesy of Yale University Library.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

mappingspace18_low.jpgLos Angeles - Photography’s dynamic relationship to the landscape can be traced to the origins of the medium, when the camera offered a revolutionary method for recording the world. The 19th century witnessed a range of approaches, from land surveys that systematically documented the topography of unsettled regions, to artistic depictions of nature’s majesty that rivaled landscape painting. Beginning in the 1960s, many artists sought novel approaches to representing their surroundings by incorporating personal, critical, and symbolic references to their work. Mapping Space: Recent Acquisitions in Focus, on view February 26-July 14, 2019 at the J. Paul Getty Museum, features a selection of recently acquired works by artists whose photographic views have been informed by new ways of thinking about a familiar subject.

On view at the Getty for the first time are works by five artists: Robert Kinmont (American, born 1937), Wang Jinsong (Chinese, born 1963), Richard Long (English, born 1945), Mark Ruwedel (American/Canadian, born 1954), and Uta Barth (German, born 1958). These artists draw from a variety of influences, ranging from photography’s documentary tradition to Conceptual Art, a movement that first gained significance during the 1960s for its prioritization of ideas over the production of objects. Operating against conventional notions of landscape photography, each of these artists has developed his or her own approach to site-specific spaces.

“The In Focus gallery in the Center for Photographs provides us an opportunity to highlight the Museum’s collection in telling ways, frequently with thematic overviews of the history of the medium, or, as in this case, by emphasizing recently acquired works that indicate an area of collecting interest,” says Timothy Potts, director of the J. Paul Getty Museum. “Spanning almost half a century, from the late 1960s to 2012, the works in this presentation build on the Museum’s important holdings of landscape photography while revealing the importance of site-specificity and a personal response to our environment.” 

Robert Kinmont’s photographs of the landscape emphasize the mundane over the majestic. His series of gelatin silver prints My Favorite Dirt Roads (1969) features empty and unpaved roads that lead to Bishop, California, where the artist grew up. These images show open, unpaved roads and views of the horizon that, with their occasional stippling of powerlines, indicate the presence of communities. In documenting the vastness of this remote landscape, Kinmont communicates a personal connection to a place that most people would overlook.

Destruction, symbolism, and power are encapsulated in Wang Jinsong’s series One Hundred Signs of the Demolition (1998). Depicting brick walls painted with the Chinese character “chai,” which translates to “tear down,” these photographs document buildings slated for demolition in order to make way for new construction. The artist’s decision to focus on a written notice that signals demolition instead of the act, or the aftermath, serves as a quiet critique of a carefully coordinated government practice of the 1990s that discarded vestiges of the past to accommodate rapid growth in cities such as Beijing. The massive scale of these prints, their extreme frontal view, and the elimination of all architectural surrounds heighten the immediacy of this programmatic urban transformation.

Richard Long’s iconic work A Line Made by Walking (1967) depicts a field outside of London in which the grass has been flattened in a straight line by the artist’s footsteps. Performed in the landscape, this modest intervention underscored the potential for an ordinary act to become a work of art that is a meditation on the relationship between the artist and the landscape. This photograph reflects not only the artist’s interest in nature but represents his role in the Land Art movement that emerged in the late 1960s and operated on the notion of direct engagement with the environment.

Mark Ruwedel’s We All Loved Ruscha (15 Apts.) (2011-2012) is deeply informed by the legacy of Conceptual Art. In returning to the urban and suburban locations of the apartment buildings originally captured by the artist Ed Ruscha (American b. 1937) almost 50 years earlier and published in the 1965 book Some Los Angeles Apartments—photographs from this publication are well represented in the Getty’s collection—Ruwedel pays homage to a project that is widely associated with defining the tone of West Coast Conceptual photography. Displaying the same deadpan approach that became a hallmark of Ruscha’s style, these photographs are also documents of the changes these buildings have undergone. 

Photography’s perceived ability to faithfully describe the environment has long been a central concern for Uta Barth. Made between 1981 and 1982, the nine untitled gelatin silver prints in this exhibition present some of her earliest investigations of the medium’s limitations in conveying the spatial dimensions of a specific area. After photographing her immediate surroundings, Barth marked the surface of each print with black and red grease pencils to delineate various compositional elements. The inclusion of numbers, brackets, and occasional curvilinear forms suggests a desire to create a rational order. These markings also guide the viewer’s eyes to consider areas of each print that are not the obvious subject, thereby creating additional layers of meaning.

“Conceptual Art has been a major source of inspiration and influence for many contemporary photographers,” says Arpad Kovacs, assistant curator of photographs at the J. Paul Getty Museum and curator of the exhibition. “The Department of Photographs has made the collecting of Conceptual photography a priority over the last decade and this show provides an opportunity to display some of the works acquired.”

Mapping Space: Recent Acquisitions in Focus is on view February 26-July 14, 2019 at the J. Paul Getty Museum, Getty Center. The exhibition is curated by Arpad Kovacs, assistant curator of photographs at the J. Paul Getty Museum.

Image: © Mark Ruwedel Object Credit: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, Purchased in part with funds provided by Daniel Greenberg and Susan Steinhauser

Minnesota Center for Book Arts (MCBA) announced today that Elysa Voshell will be its next Executive Director. Elysa Voshell will lead a new era of community engagement and sustainability for the internationally-recognized book arts organization. Voshell joins MCBA from Venice Arts, a nonprofit media arts organization in Venice, CA, dedicated to igniting, expanding, and transforming the lives of Los Angeles’ low-income youth through photography and film education. As Venice Arts’ Associate Director, Voshell provided broad leadership and managed day-to-day operations of the organization. She has been with Venice Arts since 2009. Additional career highlights include her role as Associate Editor at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Staff Writer at the Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania, and Artist in Residence in Book Arts at the Oregon College of Art and Craft.

KC Foley, MCBA Board Chair, speaking on behalf of the board and search committee, stated, “We are delighted to have attracted someone of Elysa Voshell’s talent and accomplishment. She brings all the key skills that MCBA needs to be successful at this stage in its history. As a graduate of the Arts Innovation & Management program from the DeVos Institute of Arts Management, Elysa not only understands the value of successful education and community programs, but also the importance of strong fiscal management and integrated marketing and development. Her track record of working with diverse communities, broadening funding sources,and building stable financial foundations are exactly what MCBA needs going forward.”

Voshell will assume the directorship of MCBA in late January 2019. She states, “Coming to MCBA feels like a synthesis of my key passions: creating and stewarding accessible nonprofit arts spaces that foster the creativity of others, and my own artistic practice in book arts and letterpress. My passion for the arts and their ability to transform individuals and communities goes beyond my career; it is an essential part of my character. I am humbled to be named MCBA’s new Executive Director, and to have the opportunity to lead this incredible organization into its next phase of development.”

“Elysa has been an extraordinary leader at Venice Arts. She’s a creative and strategic thinker, an excellent designer and communicator, and a caring and thoughtful leader. While I’m sad to see her leave, I can’t think of a better position for her, marrying her nonprofit experience with her artistic practice. MCBA is so lucky to have her and, I am certain, she will be instrumental in MCBA’s future success,” comments Venice Arts’ founder and Executive Director, Lynn Warshafsky.

Voshell notes the similarities between Venice Arts and MCBA as hubs for creative practice, education, and community: “Venice Arts serves as a vibrant center for photographic and film education, creation, and presentation in Los Angeles, much as MCBA does for the fields of letterpress printing and book arts not only in Minneapolis but also around the country and around the world. I’m so impressed with the scope and vitality of MCBA’s programs, and with the creative community that is fostered here. MCBA’s world-class printing facilities not only preserve an incredible array of printing, papermaking, and binding equipment, but also make these beautiful, specialized tools available to community members of all ages. I am looking forward to working with MCBA’s Board, staff, and community stakeholders to grow MCBA’s programs and support, and expand the communities it serves.”

MCBA’s search committee—which consisted of board members Ronnie Brooks, KC Foley, Mary Pat Ladner, Monica Edwards Larson, Diane Merrifield, and Deborah Ultan, as well community representative Cathy Ryan—began the national search in July, ultimately interviewing 10 finalists from around the country for the position. “The search committee was impressed by the depth and breadth of the pool of candidates. But Elysa, with her strong background in arts management and leadership, as well as her commitment to the arts community and the role of book arts in the contemporary art world, stood out as someone with the vision to lead MCBA forward,” commented Cathy Ryan.

For the past year and a half, Amanda Kaler has served as Interim Executive Director, as well as Director of Development. “We were fortunate during this time that our Development Director, Amanda Kaler, was able to fill the Interim Executive Director role, as we clarified our organizational needs and conducted a national search for our next Executive Director,” said Diane Merrifield, past Board Chair. Kaler, who has been with the organization since 2013, will become Director of Development and Operations and will continue to work with Voshell on MCBA’s strategic vision.

A native of the Philadelphia area, Voshell has nearly two decades of experience as an artist, curator, and arts executive, and a deep commitment to fostering creativity and expanding cultural equity, diversity, and inclusion, as well as to the book arts form. As Venice Arts’ Associate Director, Voshell led initiatives that enabled the organization to grow both its visibility and community support, leading public programming, strategic planning, development, and communications. As the organization’s first Gallery & Public Programs Director, launched in 2010, Voshell built this new programmatic initiative from the ground up, forging community partnerships and organizing dozens of exhibitions and over 100 public programs. 

Before joining Venice Arts in 2009, Voshell worked as the Staff Writer at the Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania, served as the Exhibitions and Events Board Chair of the Philadelphia Center for the Book, and was an Artist in Residence in Book Arts at the Oregon College of Art & Craft, as well as a Fellow at the Center for Book Arts in New York. She started her career as an Associate Editor at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. 

Voshell holds an MA in Book Arts from Camberwell College of Arts, University of the Arts London, and a BA in English/Creative Writing and MLA in Visual and Curatorial Studies from the University of Pennsylvania. Her masters’ thesis exhibition, Reading in Installments: Book Arts Meets Installation, was selected as the Visiting Curator exhibition by Philadelphia’s Center for Emerging Visual Artists, and Voshell’s work and writing has appeared in Paperback LA, The Blue Notebook, and the Lark Books’ 500 Artists Books series.

Screen Shot 2019-01-15 at 3.36.53 PM.pngPasadena, California - Rare Books LA, an antiquarian book, fine print, and photography fair featuring more than 120 specialist dealers from around the world, will showcase books from the private library of Hugh M. Hefner (1926-2017). The Playboy founder was a champion of First Amendment rights who launched the groundbreaking men’s lifestyle magazine and built it into an empire by transforming Playboy into an iconic global brand.

Books from Hefner’s library will be offered for sale by johnson rare books & archives, located in Booth 718 at Rare Books LA, which is being held at the Pasadena Convention Center, 300 E. Green Street. The event is open to the public on Friday, February 1 from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday, February 2 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Opening night tickets are $20 with all proceeds benefitting The Huntington Library. Saturday show tickets are $10 and can be purchased on site or through the website: www.RareBooksLA.com

“My father’s book collection showcases some of the extraordinary contributors to Playboy magazine through the decades, including Gahan Wilson, Shel Silverstein, George Plimpton, David Halberstam, Helmut Newton and Gay Talese," said Hefner’s daughter Christie Hefner. 

Along with books by these writers, one of the most iconic books from Hefner’s library being offered at Rare Books LA is an inscribed first edition of Ian Fleming’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1964). The novel was serialized in Playboy before its publication in book form.

“We are honored to represent Hugh Hefner’s library at Rare Books LA and to help find new homes for the books that once filled the shelves of the Playboy Mansion,” said Jen Johnson, co-owner of johnson rare books & archives and producer of Rare Books LA. 

Hefner published the first issue of Playboy in 1953. Celebrities and models clamored to pose for the magazine that showcased beautiful women, lifestyle advice and some of the most acclaimed and famous journalism and literary pieces of all time, including a 1965 sit down with Martin Luther King Jr., 1974’s "The Great Shark Hunt" by Hunter S. Thompson, and fiction by Margaret Atwood. 

“This collection provides a link to a man who was more than just an icon, he was a self-made businessman, artist, advocate for First Amendment rights, and so much more. His library not only reflects his personal interests but also his influence on our society and popular culture,” said johnson rare books & archives co-owner Brad Johnson.

The net proceeds from sales of books from his library will benefit The Hugh M. Hefner Foundation. Since its founding in 1964, the Foundation has supported organizations that advocate for and defend civil rights and civil liberties, with special emphasis on First Amendment rights and rational sex and drug policies.

The legendary magazine founder was recognized as one of the leading voices in the ongoing battles for freedom of expression, civil rights, and sexual freedom, including reproductive and LGBT rights.

theprintedworld-promo-1000x563.jpgThe Printed World: Masterpieces of Seventeenth-Century European Printmaking opens February 3 and remains on view through March 24, 2019, at the Harnett Museum of Art, University of Richmond Museums. The seventeenth century, often called the age of the Baroque, was a period that saw important changes to European society and culture. The settlement of the Americas and continuing exploration of the planet, motivated by religion and commerce, are symbolic of the ambitious spirit of the time, which confronted newness in many realms. In particular, the scientific revolution, with the invention of the telescope and the microscope, furthered new ways of seeing the world empirically. This is also an important era of consolidation: in politics, rulers such as Louis XIV of France and Philip IV of Spain dominated; the religious climate included the Counter-Reformation seeking to overcome Protestant beliefs that had arisen in the sixteenth century; and large-scale wars were carried out by sacred and secular armies.

These historical changes had a deep impact on the art of the time, perhaps nowhere more extensively than in the medium of prints, which were quickly distributed and had broad and engaged audiences. Etching became the dominant form of expression, with great artists such as Rembrandt exploiting the aesthetic capabilities of the medium. In seventeenth-century prints, subjects from biblical and classical literature reached a new refinement, while landscape achieved a new prominence. The exhibition examines these developing genres and how they were depicted by the printmakers of the Baroque period.

Selected from the Frank Raysor Collection and the Harnett Print Study Center Collection, the exhibition features works by more than thirty artists, such as Jacques Callot (French, 1592-1635), Stefano della Bella (Italian, 1610-1664), Hendrick Goudt (Dutch, 1583-1648), Wenceslaus Hollar (Bohemian, 1607-1677), Claude Lorrain (French, 1604-1682), Rembrandt van Rijn (Dutch, 1606-1669), and Jacob van Ruisdael (Dutch, 1628-1682). 

The exhibition is a collaboration of the University of Richmond Museums with Frank Raysor and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond. It includes selections from the Harnett Print Study Center Collection, University Museums, and promised gifts to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts from the Frank Raysor Collection. Presented as a companion to Hollar’s Encyclopedic Eye: Prints from the Frank Raysor Collection (on view February 2 to May 5 at the VMFA), the exhibition was curated by Mitchell Merling, Paul Mellon Curator and Head of the Department of European Art, VMFA; Richard Waller, Executive Director, University Museums; and Morgan Mitchell, ’20, art history major, the 2018 Harnett Summer Research Fellow, and Curatorial Assistant, University Museums. The exhibition and related programs are made possible in part with funds from the Louis S. Booth Arts Fund.


Sunday, February 3, 2:00 to 3:30 p.m., Curators’ Talk and Reception, Harnett Museum of Art, Modlin Center for the Arts: “Deciphering Prints of the Seventeenth Century." Richard Waller, Executive Director, University Museums, and Morgan Mitchell, ’20, art history major, 2018 Harnett Summer Research Fellow, and 2019 Curatorial Assistant, University Museums. Reception and viewing of the exhibition follow talk. Harnett Museum of Art, Modlin Center for the Arts.

Monday, February 4, 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., Gallery Walk-Through with the Curators, Harnett Museum of Art, Modlin Center for the Arts. Richard Waller, Executive Director, University Museums, and Morgan Mitchell, ’20, art history major, 2018 Harnett Summer Research Fellow, and 2019 Curatorial Assistant, University Museums.

Image: Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione (Italian, 1609-1664), Noah and the Animals Entering the Ark, circa 1650, etching on laid paper, 8 x 15 3/4 inches, Joel and Lila Harnett Print Study center, University of Richmond Museum, Gift of the Richmond Public Library Board of Trustees, by transfer, H2008.01.070

New York — Doyle to the role of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Joanne Porrino Mournet to the role of President. The appointments mark a new generation of leadership at one of the world’s premier auction houses. Kathleen M. Doyle, who has served as the company’s CEO for the past twenty-five years, will continue as Chairman, and Kenneth McKenna will continue as Chief Financial Officer (CFO).

Established in New York in 1962, Doyle is recognized worldwide for its commitment to providing professional auction and appraisal services of the highest standard. A vital player in the global auction market, Doyle combines vast scholarship and in-depth knowledge of industry trends with the latest digital strategies and technological capabilities. This winning strategy attracts thousands of seasoned buyers and newly affluent collectors from over ninety countries around the world, setting world auction records across all sale categories.

“Laura Doyle and Joanne Mournet are experienced and accomplished business professionals who will continue to advance the expansion of Doyle while adhering to our core values of Integrity, Expertise and Service,” said Kathleen Doyle. “I am delighted to be working alongside this dynamic team leading us into the future!”

“I am passionate about the auction business. We are so fortunate to work with beautiful objects and fascinating people,” said Laura Doyle. “New generations of buyers are continually entering the auction market globally, creating new trends in collecting. Never has there been a more exciting time in our industry!”

“Doyle is privileged to bring to auction property from distinguished collections and prominent estates throughout the year,” said Joanne Mournet. “Together with our team of specialists and regional representatives, I look forward to expanding our relationships with the national trusts and estates community while maintaining the level of excellence that our clients rely on.”

The youngest daughter of company founder William Doyle, Laura Doyle quite literally grew up in the auction business. During her almost twenty years at Doyle, she has spearheaded digital strategies and continues to implement new technological capabilities with an eye toward the future. An accomplished and articulate spokesperson for the industry, she, together with Kathleen Doyle, discussed technology and the future of the auction industry in a televised program on Yahoo Finance with Andy Serwer.

In 2016, Laura Doyle was the founder of Doyle’s online-only Hayloft Auctions division in the burgeoning and artistically vibrant South Bronx. A successful Internet start-up, and a valued member of the neighborhood, Hayloft Auctions was honored by the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation (BOEDC) for its work and commitment to Bronx residents and the community. Laura Doyle and Hayloft Auctions were also recognized by Crain’s New York Business in a feature on Bronx business and real estate trends.

Ms. Doyle was educated at Deerfield Academy and earned a BA in the History of Art from the University of Pennsylvania, during which time she spent a year studying at the Courtauld Institute in London. She began her career at Doyle in Client Services, later serving as Director of the Jewelry Department. As Vice-Chairman, she expanded Doyle’s network of regional representatives while focusing on strategies for global growth in collaboration with Doyle’s luxury, digital and real estate marketing partners. She recently oversaw a major renovation of the company’s Manhattan headquarters and the acquisition of a new warehouse in the Bronx.

Joanne Porrino Mournet has held senior positions at Doyle for over twenty-five years, most recently as Executive Vice President and Executive Director of Estate and Appraisal Services. In her new role as President, she will continue serving as Doyle’s senior liaison with prominent banks and law firms in providing Doyle’s comprehensive range of professional appraisal and auction services.

Highly regarded in the field of Trusts and Estates, Ms. Mournet is frequently invited by law firms and banks to speak as an expert on estate appraisals and the auction industry. She regularly represents Doyle at professional estate planning conferences, among them the New York State Bar Association, The Estate Planning Council of New York, The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), UJA law conferences, and The University of Miami Philip Heckerling Law Institute. A graduate of Douglass College, Ms. Mournet is a member of the Professional Advisory Council of The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the American Heart Association Trust and Estates Advisory Council.

An accomplished auctioneer, Ms. Mournet has sold collections totaling well over one billion dollars over the course of her career. She has presided over the landmark auctions of countless estates of celebrities and prominent figures of society and commerce, as well as property from our nation’s most distinguished public and private institutions.

“At Doyle, we believe that every estate and collection is unique,” Ms. Mournet is fond of saying. “We excel at tailoring our services to meet the individual needs of each client.”

Continuing that thought, Laura Doyle stated, “Our goal in this digital age is to ensure that every client, whether a buyer or seller, whether in New York or across the world, receives the personal attention that has always been a hallmark of Doyle.”

01-palm-tree-near-the-church-of-saints-theodore-athens.jpgOpening January 30, 2019 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Monumental Journey: The Daguerreotypes of Girault de Prangey will present masterpieces of early 19th-century photography by one of its unsung pioneers. A trailblazer of the newly invented daguerreotype process, Joseph-Philibert Girault de Prangey (1804-1892) traveled throughout the Eastern Mediterranean from 1842 to 1845, producing more than one thousand daguerreotypes—the largest known extant group from this period and the earliest surviving photographs of Greece, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, and Jerusalem, and among the first depicting Italy. Featuring approximately 120 of his daguerreotypes, supplemented by examples of his graphic work—watercolors, paintings, and his lithographically illustrated publications—the exhibition will be the first in the United States devoted to Girault, and the first to focus on his Mediterranean journey. Many of the sites depicted have been permanently altered by urban planning, climate change, or conflict.

The exhibition is made possible by the Arête Foundation/Betsy and Ed Cohen.

Additional support is provided by Jennifer S. and Philip F. Maritz and the Alfred Stieglitz Society.

It is organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, in collaboration with the Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris.

Daguerreotypists in the early 1840s faced enormous technical challenges, especially in the desert, so daguerreotypes from these years are exceedingly rare. No other photographer of the period embarked on such a long excursion and successfully made a quantity of plates anywhere near Girault’s production of more than a thousand daguerreotypes. The resulting photographic campaign remains an unparalleled feat in its appearance, scope, scale, and ambition. Using an oversize, custom-made camera, he exposed more than one image on a single plate to create at least six different formats, including unexpected horizontal panoramas and narrow vertical compositions.

The fact that a collection of this size survived at all is extraordinary and attests to the achievement of an unheralded innovator working with unprecedented technology. The survival of this monumental and exemplary collection is also a result of Girault’s meticulous archival process—precocious at the time, even if today it seems commonplace. The artist stored his daguerreotypes in custom-built wood boxes; in addition, he carefully sorted, labeled, and dated the images so that he could retrieve them for future use, occasionally recording when he utilized them, for example, as the basis for a painting or published print. He also had them inventoried several times during his lifetime. In essence, he created the world’s oldest photographic archive.

“The exhibition reveals Girault as the originator of a thoroughly modern conception of photography, by which visual memories can be stored, retrieved, reassembled, and displayed,” stated Stephen C. Pinson, Curator, Department of Photographs. “At the same time, it is perhaps more important than ever to recognize that Girault was himself the product of a complex network of political, social, and historical forces that had far-reaching impact on the West’s relationship with the world he photographed.”

The exhibition presents a unique opportunity to experience these rarely seen works, as Girault never exhibited his daguerreotypes and died without direct heirs in 1892. In 1920, a distant relative, Charles de Simony, purchased Girault’s estate outside Langres, France, and discovered the photographs—labeled and carefully stored in their original wood boxes—in a storeroom of his  dilapidated villa. A handful of intrepid collectors and curators were henceforth aware of the collection, but its dramatic content and scope remained little-known to the world until 2003, when the first of several auctions of material drawn from the original archive was held.

Monumental Journey: The Daguerreotypes of Girault de Prangey is curated by Stephen C. Pinson, Curator in the Department of Photographs at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue published by The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The catalogue is made possible by the Diane W. and James E. Burke Fund.

The exhibition is featured on The Met website, as well as on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter via the hashtag #MonumentalJourney.

Image: Girault de Prangey (French, 1804-1892), Palm Tree near the Church of Saints Theodore, Athens (89. Athènes. 1842. Palmier près S Théodore.), 1842. 9 3/8 × 7 3/8 in. (23.9 × 18.7 cm). Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris (EG7-750)

2. Jennifer Rose Wolken, Into the Fire (front) copy.jpgMinnesota Center for Book Arts (MCBA) presents Chronicled in Clay: Ceramics and the Art of the Story, an exhibition that brings together ceramics and contemporary book arts. Chronicled in Clay is presented in conjunction with Claytopia, the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts’ (NCECA) 53rd Annual Conference, which explores “the human imagination as a vehicle of restless yearning for a more livable, just, and meaningful world.” 

Chronicled in Clay: Ceramics and the Art of the Story examines how contemporary artists express narratives in clay through text, imagery, multiples, and sequence. The jurors, Tetsuya Yamada (artist and faculty at the University of Minnesota), Monica Edwards Larson (MCBA Board member and artist / proprietress of Sister Black Press), and Torey Erin (MCBA Exhibitions and Artist Programs Manager), have composed an exhibition that provokes new perspectives and challenges traditional ideas of narrative and linear storytelling through clay form, including notebook tablets, book vessels, a wall installation of wave-like ceramic pages, and more.  

Participating artists include:

Eileen Cohen, Minneapolis, MN

Corie J. Cole, Colorado Springs, CO

Paula McCartney, Minneapolis, MN

Stefana McClure, Newburgh, NY

Teri Power, Amery, WI

Derek Prescott, Columbia Heights, MN

Nicole Roberts Hoiland, Saint Paul, MN

Jennifer Rose Wolken, Springfield, MO

Molly Streiff, Missoula, MT

The exhibition will be on view and open to the public February 8th, 2019 through April 28th, 2019 in MCBA’s Main Gallery, with an opening reception on Friday, March 28th, 6-9pm.

Minnesota Center for Book Arts (MCBA) is a visual arts nonprofit organization that supports creative expression through traditional and contemporary book arts, including papermaking, bookbinding, and letterpress printing. MCBA’s philosophy and artistic vision challenges its artist community to think beyond the traditional notion of “book.” Today, books can be bound and unbound, fabricated into sculptures, interpreted as metaphor, experienced as installation or performance, and interacted with virtually. What unites this varied work is a focus on the interdisciplinary expression of narrative. To learn more, visit our website at https://www.mnbookarts.org

Image: Into the Fire by Jennifer Rose Wolken

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Are_These_Men_Collaborators_72dpi.jpgAustin, TX — More than 35 years ago, prominent artists Robert Frank, Dave Heath, Robert Heinecken and John Wood agreed to participate in a project exploring creativity in photography. Led by art historians Susan E. Cohen and William S. Johnson, the three-year collaborative project examined the artists’ creative process. Until now, no comprehensive record of those efforts has been accessible.

The Harry Ransom Center at The University of Texas at Austin has acquired the Susan E. Cohen and William S. Johnson Creativity Project archive. 

Conceived in the early 1980s by Cohen and Johnson, the project included the participation of photographers Frank, Heath, Heinecken and Wood. Years later, Cohen and Johnson reflected that the artists “agreed to collaborate with each other and with us to make an exhibition that presented not only their finished work, but also the decisions and actions they made during the creative process.”

Starting in January 1983, the historians conducted interviews with each of the artists, facilitated meetings among them and observed them in the studio.

Cohen and Johnson worked with each artist to select work for the touring exhibition “Four Photographers: Robert Frank, David Heath, Robert Heinecken, John Wood,” organized at the Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, New York. Artist Joan Lyons, director of the Visual Studies Workshop Press, designed an illustrated catalog to include a 16-page signature created by each participating artist and essays by Cohen and Johnson.

The planned exhibition and catalog were never completed, and the project came to a halt when a corporate sponsor redirected additional funding. Cohen and Johnson’s catalog essays were published in “Horses, Sea Lions, and Other Creatures: Robert Frank, Dave Heath, Robert Heinecken, and John Wood” (Joshua Press, 1986), a privately printed book. An edition of 15 copies was produced for participants and supporters. 

The archive includes more than 50 hours of audio and video interviews and conversations, research notes and essay drafts, letters and postcards, layouts and revisions and photographs of meetings and studio sessions. Among the materials are the artist’s maquettes that Frank, Heath and Wood designed for their signatures in the “Four Photographers” catalog. Also included is a copy of Heinecken’s artist’s book “1984: A Case Study in Determining an Appropriate Newswoman (A CBS Docudrama in Words and Pictures),” printed from his maquette for the project in 1985.

The archive is an important “time capsule,” said Jessica S. McDonald, the Ransom Center’s Nancy Inman and Marlene Nathan Meyerson Curator of Photography. “It represents a remarkable coming together of people and ideas at a pivotal moment in photography’s history.”

Rare monographs and artist’s books such as first editions of Frank’s “Les Américains” (Delpire, 1958) and Heath’s “A Dialogue With Solitude” (Community Press, 1965) are included, as well as Heinecken’s “MANSMAG: Homage to Werkman and Cavalcade” (published by the artist, 1969) and Wood’s “Lap Dissolve—Joan Lyons” (published by the artist, 1973).

Throughout the project and after, the artists wrote letters and inscribed photographs to Cohen and Johnson. Photographs in the archive include Frank’s “U.S. 90, en route to Del Rio, Texas,” 1955, inscribed to Cohen and Johnson and their children; a triptych by Heath, with a printed poem titled “For Susie (and Bill),” 1984; a 20- by 24-inch photogram by Heinecken titled “Iconographic Art Lunches #3,” [1983], made as Johnson observed in the studio; and Wood’s “Eagle Pelt,” 1985, the photograph that became the first image in Wood’s maquette for his signature in the planned exhibition catalog. 

The archive also contains Cohen and Johnson’s research materials on each artist, including periodicals, exhibition catalogs, tear sheets, exhibition notices, press releases and other ephemeral publications, many now scarce.

The archive is an especially fitting addition to the Ransom Center’s internationally renowned photography collection, which traces the advancement of photography as a creative art from the earliest days of the medium.

Once processed and cataloged, the materials will be available for research.

Image: Joan Lyons (American, b. 1937), Are these men collaborators?, 1983. Photolithograph from pinhole negative, 57.3 x 44.4 cm. Susan E. Cohen and William S. Johnson Creativity Project Archive, Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin © Joan Lyons


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Additional highlights can be found here.

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

K13.jpgNew York - The Association of International Photography Art Dealers (AIPAD) has announced participating galleries for the 39th edition of The Photography Show, April 4-7, 2019, at Pier 94 in New York City. More than 75 of the world’s leading fine art photography galleries will present museum-quality work including contemporary, modern, and 19th-century photographs, as well as photo-based art, video, and new media. AIPAD is working closely with gallerists, curators, artists, and collectors to create a tightly-focused program for the Show, including a special exhibition curated by photographer Alec Soth, the presentation of the annual AIPAD Award, and the acclaimed AIPAD Talks program with prominent speakers. An essential annual event for the international photography community, The Photography Show presented by AIPAD commences with an Opening Preview on April 3, 2019.

The Photography Show, one of the world’s most highly-anticipated annual art fairs, is the longest running and foremost exhibition dedicated to the photographic medium. The 2019 Show will feature leading fine art galleries from 9 countries and 33 cities from across the U.S. and around the world, including Europe, Asia, Canada, and South America. In addition, the Show will present a lively bookseller and publisher section with more than 25 exhibitors.

The Show will include four new participants: Boccara Art, Brooklyn; Louise Alexander Gallery, Encino; CA; Momentum Fine Art, Miami; and Voltz Clarke Gallery, New York. AIPAD also welcomes new exhibiting members including Utópica, from Sao Paolo, the organization’s first member in Brazil, and Arnika Dawkins Photographic Fine Art Gallery from Atlanta. 


How should the photography world respond to the times in which we live? “A Room for Solace,” a special exhibition curated by Alec Soth for The Photography Show, will feature scenes of domestic interiors that speak to the possibility of finding refuge during turbulent times. Comprising portraiture, still life, and reportage chosen from exhibiting galleries, what connects these pictures is a quality of intimacy. Says Soth, “With this exhibition, I want to take a break from the fractious public square of photography and wander quietly into people’s homes. Behind these doors I hope to find a sliver of solace in these unstable times.”


A partial list of participating galleries includes:

Alan Klotz Gallery, New York

Arnika Dawkins Photographic Fine Art Gallery, Atlanta

Atlas Gallery, London

Augusta Edwards Fine Art, London

Barry Singer Gallery, Petaluma, CA

Baudoin Lebon, Paris

Boccara Art, Brooklyn, NY

Bruce Silverstein Gallery, New York

Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery, New York

Candela Gallery, Richmond, VA

Catherine Couturier Gallery, Houston

Catherine Edelman Gallery, Chicago

Charles Isaacs Photographs Inc., New York

ClampArt, New York

De Soto Gallery, Venice, CA

Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York

Elizabeth Houston Gallery, New York

Etherton Gallery, Tucson, AZ

Fahey Klein Gallery, Los Angeles

Flowers Gallery, London/New York

Galerie 402 Catherine et André Hug, Paris

Gallery 19/21, Guilford, CT

Gary Edwards Gallery, Southampton, NY

Gilles Peyroulet & Cie, Paris

Gitterman Gallery, New York

HackelBury Fine Art Ltd, London

Hans P. Kraus Jr. Inc., New York

Holden Luntz Gallery, Palm Beach, FL

Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Huxley-Parlour Gallery, London

Ibasho, Antwerp

In The Gallery, Copenhagen

Jackson Fine Art, Atlanta

James Hyman Photography, London

Joel Soroka Gallery, Aspen

Jörg Maass Kunsthandel, Berlin

Joseph Bellows Gallery, La Jolla, CA

Keith de Lellis Gallery, New York

L. Parker Stephenson Photographs, New York

La Galerie de l'Instant, Paris

Laurence Miller Gallery, New York

Lee Gallery, Inc., Winchester, MA

Louise Alexander Gallery, Encino, CA

MEM, Tokyo

Michael Hoppen Gallery, London

Michael Shapiro Photographs, Westport, CT

Momentum Fine Art, Miami

Monroe Gallery of Photography, Santa Fe, NM

Paul M. Hertzmann, Inc., San Francisco

PDNB Gallery, Dallas

Peter Fetterman Gallery, Santa Monica, CA

PGI, Tokyo

Polka Galerie, Paris

Richard Moore Photographs, Oakland, CA

Robert Klein Gallery, Boston

Robert Koch Gallery, San Francisco

Robert Mann Gallery, New York

Rolf Art, Buenos Aires

Scott Nichols Gallery, San Francisco

Sears-Peyton Gallery, New York

Sous Les Etoiles Gallery, New York

Staley-Wise Gallery, New York

Stephen Bulger Gallery, Toronto

Stephen Daiter Gallery, Chicago

The Halsted Gallery, Birmingham, MI

Throckmorton Fine Art, New York

Todd Webb Archive, Portland, ME

Toluca Fine Art, Paris

Unix Gallery, New York

Utópica, Sao Paulo

Voltz Clarke Gallery, New York

William L. Schaeffer, Chester, CT

Winter Works on Paper, Brooklyn, NY

Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York

(List in formation. As new galleries and exhibitors are added, an updated list will be available at AIPADShow.com/Exhibitors.)


Pier 94, 711 12th Avenue at 55th Street, New York City 


Opening Preview, Wednesday, April 3

VIP Hours: 2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Public Hours: 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Thursday, April 4, 12:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Friday, April 5, 12:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Saturday, April 6, 12:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Sunday, April 7, 12:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

(The Show is open daily to VIP guests one hour prior to public hours.)


Tickets and information are available at AIPADShow.com/Tickets. For further details, visit AIPADShow.com, email info@aipad.com, or call +1-202-367-1158.

Photo credit:  Eamonn Doyle, K13, 2018. Archival pigment print, 75 x 56 cm. Courtesy of Michael Hoppen Gallery, London

xl_2018_43_1.jpgAmherst, MA—The graphic novel is arguably the single most exciting new development in illustrated literature for children and teens in a generation. As pioneers of a rapidly-evolving art form, graphic novelists explore the vast middle ground between the picture book and text-only narrative. The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art debuts its first exhibition on the topic, Out of the Box: The Graphic Novel Comes of Age, on February 10. It will remain on view through May 26, 2019. Curated by children's book historian Leonard S. Marcus, the exhibition examines the graphic novel genre through a close look at ten poignant coming-of-age stories by Vera Brosgol, Catia Chien, Geoffrey Hayes, Hope Larson, Jarrett J. Krosoczka, Matt Phelan, David Small, Raina Telgemeier, Sara Varon, and Gene Luen Yang.  

"The coming-of-age story has long been fertile ground for the literature of preteens and teens," says Marcus. "It was only natural then that the graphic novel for young readers would often concern itself with a theme already so firmly embedded in young people's lives." The ten graphic novels featured in Out of the Box explore the often confusing and painful journey from childhood to adulthood. "Novel" is somewhat of a misnomer as graphic novels frequently address real-life events. Two haunting examples are Jarrett J. Krosoczka's Hey Kiddo (2018) and David Small's Stitches: A Memoir (2009). Krosoczka lays bare his adolescence with an incarcerated mother, an absent father, and two strong-willed grandparents. In stark monochrome, Small gives an unsparing account of a dysfunctional family and a devastating cancer diagnosis. Raina Telgemeier's Smile (2010) and Vera Brosgol's Be Prepared (2018) are also autobiographical stories from the artists' childhoods, told with empathy and humor for younger audiences. Telgemeier reaches deep into the emotional well of her own coming-of-age years to tell a tale of physical transformation, social distress, and self-discovery, while Brosgol recalls a pivotal summer spent at a sleep-away camp for Russian-American children. In all four books, the young protagonists' proclivity for art provides safe refuge from chaotic familial and social situations.

Gene Luen Yang's American Born Chinese (2006) follows Jin Wang, the only Chinese American student in his middle school, as he grapples with his identity and heritage. Yang caricatures--in order to disarm--hateful stereotypes in this ingeniously layered story. Hope Larson's 2012 adaptation of Madeleine L'Engle's classic science fiction novel A Wrinkle in Time gives potent visual form to Meg Murry and her quest to find her father and save her brother. In Bluffton: My Summer with Buster (2017), Matt Phelan presents a wistful account from the early life of silent film star Buster Keaton. In contrast to most artists in the exhibition, Phelan rejects digital imagery in favor of traditional watercolor applied with a painterly lyricism. Sara Varon's New Shoes (2018) is a heartwarming graphic novel for young readers. Set in Guyana, New Shoes is an idiosyncratic animal fable about friendship, devotion to craft, and the courage it takes to venture into wild, unknown terrain alone for the first time.

The Carle is proud to present two never-before-seen stories in the exhibition. Lovo and the Firewolf was to be Geoffrey Hayes's long anticipated breakout book: his headlong leap into long-form comics and darker imaginative territory. At his untimely death in 2018, he had completed a pencil version and had inked, colored, and lettered the first chapter. The opening sequence on view represents the first public showing of the work that is sure to be judged as Hayes's masterpiece. Catia Chien created the vibrant, mixed-media art for Animals expressly for Out of the Box. It represents the first chapter of a work in progress, a graphic novel with text by her husband, the poet Michael Belcher, titled This Tenderness in the Attending. The story concerns a young person's deepening awareness of death and its role in the natural order.

Out of the Box is an exhibition The Carle has long contemplated. "As stewards of a museum dedicated to picture books," says executive director Alexandra Kennedy, "The Carle's staff has cheered on the creation of comics for young readers and pre-readers. When Leonard S. Marcus, a trustee at The Carle, began researching his book Comics Confidential: Thirteen Graphic Novelists Talk Story, Craft, and Life Outside the Box (2016), we knew we had the right curator." 

In addition to curating the exhibition, Marcus also wrote the catalog essay, in which he succinctly traces the history of the graphic novel and its rise in popular culture. Marcus states, "The graphic novel-comic is a hardy hybrid, a global phenomenon, and an art for our time. It is a narrative format whose roots reach back centuries and span continents, a teller of tales that have generated huge fan bases and at times spirals of controversy."    

Out of the Box features a reading area with more than 100 graphic novels for guests to peruse. A timeline traces the evolution of graphic novels with examples of groundbreaking books, comics, zines, and manga. A gallery activity titled The Story Board invites guests to create a short graphic novel or contribute drawings to a community-generated tale. 

Marcus notes that graphic novel artists have pushed the boundaries of the form over the last 25 years: "Beyond the accolades, the value of the books can be measured in many ways and can hardly be overstated. The genre's cross-generational appeal has shown that as readers we do not (as was long supposed) outgrow the need--or love--for stories told in words and pictures." 

Out of the Box: The Graphic Novel Comes of Age is made possible with generous support from Macmillan Children's Publishing Group and Scholastic, Inc.

Image: Geoffrey Hayes, Illustration for Lovo and the Firewolf (unfinished). © 2017 Geoffrey Hayes. Used by permission of Edite Kroll Literary Agency Inc.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Additional highlights of the sale include:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hindman LLC announces today that it has acquired auction houses Leslie Hindman Auctioneers and Cowan's Auctions. The new venture brings together two of America's defining auction firms, uniting a nationwide network of specialists and resources. Born to serve and grow the industry landscape through digital transformation and customer service, Hindman LLC reflects the shared vision of Leslie Hindman and Wes Cowan, the respective founders of each firm.

“We're thrilled to join forces with Cowan's who shares many of our core values, including our vision for a national client-centric auction house,” said Leslie Hindman, Co-Chair of the newly formed Hindman LLC. “We’ve both grown by connecting local communities to the global art market and by providing excellent service across all categories, sales channels and price points. And now we can further accelerate our vision through this combined effort.”

Leslie Hindman founded Leslie Hindman Auctioneers in 1982 in Chicago. Wes Cowan founded Cowan's Auctions in 1995 in Cincinnati. Both will remain intimately involved in developing the strategy and vision of Hindman LLC where Leslie Hindman will serve on the Board as Co-Chair and Wes Cowan as Vice Chair.

“Leslie and I have known each other for many years, so this shouldn't be a surprise to anyone who knows us,” said Wes Cowan. “We decided to partner because we both recognized that the new digital landscape and growing auction customer base provides the best opportunity to realize our vision of creating a national client-centric auction house. This means we are locally available to serve the complete needs of our clients and give them access to international buyers. This is an exciting continuation of our vision but with more resources and thought leadership backing it up.”

Hindman LLC will create one of the largest auction firms in America with its combined expertise and footprint. It will be led by CEO Thomas Galbraith, who will work closely with senior leadership at both companies to oversee the collaboration. 

“Leslie and Wes have a history of making bold moves. They've each built companies from the ground up by responding to the needs of clients and taking them along on their journeys to innovate,” said Thomas Galbraith, CEO of Hindman LLC. “This next chapter holds that theme as we build new tools and expand our expertise to be as diverse and dedicated as the clients we serve.” 

Leslie Hindman Auctioneers and Cowan's Auctions will continue to operate under their respective brands and with uninterrupted service. Both auction firms will retain current locations: Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Milwaukee, Naples, Palm Beach, Scottsdale and St. Louis for Leslie Hindman Auctioneers and Cincinnati, Cleveland and Denver for Cowan's Auctions. 

About Leslie Hindman Auctioneers

Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, one of the world's foremost fine art auction houses, has been providing exceptional service and achieving record prices since 1982. With more salerooms in the United States than any other auction house, Leslie Hindman Auctioneers conducts over 60 auctions annually in categories such as fine jewelry and timepieces, contemporary art, 20th century design, rare books, furniture, decorative arts and more. The firm has salerooms and business offices in Chicago, Atlanta, Denver, Milwaukee, Naples, Palm Beach, Scottsdale and St. Louis but serves a global client base through its position at the forefront of technology. Visit www.lesliehindman.com for more information.

 About Cowan’s Auctions

A full-service auction house, Cowan's Auctions is a leader in the industry, having disrupted the marketplace since its founding in 1995. From its Cincinnati and Cleveland salesrooms, Cowan's holds over 60 auctions a year in the categories of historic firearms and militaria, American Indian art, American history, Americana, folk art, fine art, furniture, Asian art, coins and currency, rare books, fine jewelry and more. Cowan's has always been at the forefront of the digital revolution in the auction industry as one of the earliest auction houses to launch a website and to auctions items online. For more information, visit www.cowans.com.

Bube_ Travel Ban.JPGNew York- The Center for Book Arts is proud to present the latest exhibition, Politics of Place, curated by Alexander Campos and Monica Oppen. The exhibition will be held from January 18 through March 30, 2019. 

From the mechanisms of colonialism, to intractable wars, displacement has become a catalyst to a contemporary discourse surrounding belonging, homeland and nationhood. Politics of Place highlights artist books, mainly from Australia and North America, both new world territories that share parallel histories, to explore the longstanding issues centered in indigeneity, enslavement, conflict-caused immigration. These issues reflect the undercurrent of political motives and decisions often decentering and ignoring the voices of those displaced. 

Artists and Authors include: Sue Anderson, Julie Barratt, Aileen Bassis, Neda, Parastoo and Maryam Bahrami, Doug Beube, Tia Blassingame, Bonney Djuric, Jas Duke, Noga Freiberg, Colette Fu, Anne Gilman, Parra Girls, Adam Golfer, Lyall Harris, Gwen Harrison, Claudia, Heinermann, Michal Iwanowski, Murtaza Ali Jafari, Ann Kalmbach, Tatana Kellner, Peter Rutledge Koch, Taller Lenateros, Jason Lujan, Peter Lyssiotis, Clyde McGill, Vivienne Mehes, Gideon Mendel, Mohammed , Tammy Nguyen, Iviva Olenick, Lefteris Olympios, Fakhruddin Rajai, Madina and Yalda Sayer, Indre, Michael Serpytyte, Patricia Silva, Anne Twigg, Juana Valdes, Judy Watson, Philip Zimmermann, Debra Magpie Earling, Lily Hibberd Dominique Malaquais, Paul Mason and Sonya Winterber.

Meet the artists and curators at the opening reception on January 18th at 6:30pm, and the Roundtable discussions on January 25 and February 28, 2019 at 6:30pm.

The Center for Book Arts promotes active explorations of both contemporary and traditional artistic practices related to the book as an art object. The Center seeks to facilitate communication between the book arts community and the larger spheres of contemporary visual and literary arts, while being a model organization locally, nationally, and internationally within the field. We achieve this through exhibitions, classes, public programming, literary presentations, opportunities for artists and writers, publications, and collecting. Founded in 1974, it was the first not-for-profit organization of its kind in the nation.

Support for the Center for Book Arts’ Visual Arts Programs is provided, in part, by the New York State Council for the Arts, with the support of Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs of the city of New York in partnership with the City Council, and by the National Endowment for the Arts. The 2019 History of Art series is co-sponsored by the New York Chapter of the American Printing History Association.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Additional highlights can be found here.

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

Roni_Peter.jpgNew York — No artist is an island. Harnessing wide-ranging interests to create striking works unconfined by limitations, Joseph Cornell's life and art are the inspiration behind Introspective Collective. Aspects of Cornell’s output—visual and lyrical poetics, collage, assemblage, found objects, and dance—provide a framework to show how the individual and the community interconnect to create art that can be reflective while also contributing to discussions about societal concerns.

Drawing on Cornell’s life and art as the framework, this exhibition seeks to explore the crosscurrents where the individual artist intersects with the wider community. The captivating artwork on display is well worth a visit to the gallery. A wall of shadow boxes addressing climate change hangs opposite an installation concerning Hurricane Maria. Scrolling images of ballerinas in unexpected places are projected alongside a collage of broadsides on loan from The Center for Book Arts.

Visit The Clemente through January 20th to catch this show!

Participating artists: Damali Abrams, Golnar Adili, Aravind Enrique Adyanthaya , Jose Ambriz, Tomie Arai, Milcah Bassel, Elizabeth Louise Castaldo, Ana Paula Cordeiro, Aurora De Armendi, Roni Gross and Peter Schell, Barbara Henry, Wennie Huang, James Kelly, KS Lack, Norah Maki, Colin McMullan DBA Emcee C.M., Master of None, Luis Pons, paul singleton iii, and Daphne Stergides 

Panel Discussion: Altruism and art-making: inherent contradictions - January 19th, 2019 at 2:30PM with Amanda Deutch, paul singleton iii and Aurora De Armendi, moderated by Drake Tyler

Project website https://introspectivecollective.home.blog/

Image: Undertow Roni Gross and Peter Schell

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

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


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

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


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


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


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

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


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

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

Dallas, TX - Heritage Auctions’ Make Offer to Owner (MOtO) program, through which clients can make anonymous offers on lots previously sold at auction, has added an extremely useful new feature showing the amount and status of every resale offer ever made via HA.com.

Any Heritage member who sees a previously auctioned item of interest with a Make Offer to Owner button has the option of submitting an offer, after which the item’s owner can accept or decline the offer, or submit a counter-offer to the potential buyer. The new Make Offer to Owner Archive is sortable by Category as well as by Accepted, Rejected and Pending status. The Archive includes every MOtO offer made via HA.com since the feature was introduced first in 2009, with the most recent offers appearing first.

“This new, permanent archive increases our already market-leading transparency,” said Heritage Auctions Co-Chairman Jim Halperin, “and we hope it will encourage more MOtO competition on previously auctioned items by showing pending offers in one convenient place. Just type ‘HA.com/moto’ into your browser to access the main MOtO Archive page anytime, then pick a category and refine the list to see Pending, Rejected, Accepted or All offers. Our members will be amazed at how much information they can glean by accessing their favorite categories on a daily basis. Every listing includes a link to the entire item page. Members are encouraged to outbid any and all pending MOtO offers if they would pay more for that item than the pending high offer.”

Heritage’s MOtO program has become increasingly popular with both sellers and buyers. Most members who have made a purchase through the program have bought, or at least made offers, again. Using the program offers clients an added measure of security and comfort about the authenticity of a lot that cannot be replicated through a secondary outside seller.

The program has enjoyed tremendous growth, with combined sales in 2017 and 2018 - the program’s two most successful years - of more than $16 million. The MOtO program has been particularly popular among Sports and Comics collectors.

3f7db8c354cf83d542b33caa_1220x946.jpgNew York — The Morgan Library & Museum presents an exhibition of photographs from one of the most comprehensive repositories of photography on the continent, the collection at the National Gallery of Canada. The first in a series of three major photography shows at the Morgan in 2019, The Extended Moments: Photographs from the National Gallery of Canada is organized into a sequence of pairings that underline the persistence, over time and across space, of trends and tensions central to photography. The moment in each photograph in the sequence is “extended” by images neighboring it on either side, even as the exhibition as a whole presents the age of photography, from its beginning in 1839 to now, as a single “extended moment.” 

Included in the show are 68 works representing photography's role in art, journalism, science, exploration, activism, warfare, the chronicling of family and community histories, and many other subjects. Spanning a period of 180 years, the exhibition also features works by notable artists such as Edward Burtynsky, Julia Margaret Cameron, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Lynne Cohen, John Herschel, Richard Learoyd, Lisette Model, Zanele Muholi, Edward Steichen, and Josef Sudek.

Canada’s was the first national gallery to actively start collecting photography. In 1967 the Gallery began building a collection that chronicles the medium from its prehistory to the present, including major contributors to the field. The gallery’s holdings are distinguished by coverage of the complex history of photographic processes and by deep historical strengths, including the daguerreotype and early French and British photography. More recently, the Gallery has expanded the collecting mandate for photographs to take a more inclusive look at photography as a cultural phenomenon. 

“Photographs have influenced the human imagination in myriad, complex ways from the very beginning of the medium’s history,” said Colin B. Bailey, Director of the Morgan. “Images are made daily and document our national and global histories. Photography is also a deeply personal art that asks questions about how the world works. This is an incredible opportunity for the Morgan to familiarize visitors in the U.S. with one of the most distinguished photography collections on the continent.”

“The Morgan is at once the newest kid on the block. The Department of Photography here is only six years old—and a place where photography gets seen in long historical perspective among the arts of communication,” said Joel Smith, curator of the Morgan exhibition. “It is an honor to host the venerable collection of the National Gallery of Canada here; it also feels like a case of natural synergy.” 

Image: Zanele Muholi, ZaVa, Amsterdam, 2014. National Gallery of Canada. Courtesy of the artist, Yancey Richardson, New York, and Stevenson Cape Town / Johannesburg.


raw pcard front.jpgRaw is a new exhibition presented by Minnesota Center for Book Arts (MCBA). The exhibition is on view from December 14th - February 3rd in the Open Book Cowles Literary Commons. The opening reception for raw will take place on Thursday, January 10 from 6-8pm. Both the exhibition and opening reception are free and open to the public.

Raw features work by eleven MCBA Artist Cooperative members: Wendy Fernstrum, Georgia A. Greeley, Marvel Grégoire, Karen Kinoshita, Monica Edwards Larson, Raven Miller, Charles Nove, Paul Nylander, Bridget O’Malley, CB Sherlock, and Emily Umentum. Exploring the intersection of ideas, objects, and emotions, artistic methods represented include handmade lace paper, photogravure prints, monotype, intaglio, chapbooks, experimental books, and broadsides.

MCBA’s Artist Cooperative is a community of artists dedicated to book arts. Co-op membership is open to artists with demonstrated interest in papermaking, bookbinding, letterpress printing, screen printing, or related arts. Membership offers 24/7 access to a wide range of equipment in MCBA’s studios, exhibition opportunities, class tuition discounts, peer support, and more.

As the largest and most comprehensive center of its kind in the nation, Minnesota Center for Book Arts celebrates the book as a vibrant contemporary art form that takes many shapes. From the traditional crafts of papermaking, letterpress printing, and hand bookbinding to experimental artmaking and self-publishing techniques, MCBA supports the limitless creative evolution of book arts through book arts workshops and programming for adults, youth, families, K-12 students, and teachers. MCBA is located in the Open Book building in downtown Minneapolis, alongside partner organizations The Loft Literary Center and Milkweed Editions. To learn more, visit www.mnbookarts.org.

Image: Laima by Emily Umentum

5639a46bda86eabb9e15e422_884x1100 copy.jpgNew York — This winter, the Morgan Library & Museum offers a once-in-a-generation opportunity to see a remarkable collection of materials related to one of the world’s most beloved authors, John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (1892-1973). Tolkien’s adventurous tales ignited a fervid spark in generations of readers. From the children’s classic The Hobbit to the epic The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien’s stories of hobbits and elves, dwarves and wizards have introduced millions to the rich history of Middle-earth. Opening January 25, Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth—a new exhibition at the Morgan organized in collaboration with the Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford—celebrates the man and his creation. 

This exhibition provides the largest collection of Tolkien material ever assembled in the United States. First presented at the Bodleian Libraries in 2018, the 117 objects on view include family photographs and memorabilia, Tolkien’s original illustrations, maps, draft manuscripts, artefacts, and designs related to The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion. The exhibition guides visitors through Tolkien’s development as a writer and artist, from his childhood and student days, through his career as a scholar of medieval languages and literature, to his family life as a husband and father. It presents a unique opportunity to understand the intensely visual imagination, the dedicated scholarship, and the aspects of daily life that shaped Tolkien’s most treasured works. 

Notable objects in the exhibition include draft manuscripts of The Hobbit and the original manuscripts of The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion, displayed alongside striking watercolors, dust jacket designs, and drawings. Other highlights are the photographs and letters from Tolkien’s childhood and student days. Drawn from the collections of the Tolkien Archive at the Bodleian Libraries (Oxford), Marquette University Libraries (Milwaukee), the Morgan, and private lenders, the objects on display introduce visitors to Tolkien’s creative process from his early abstract paintings in The Book of Ishness and the letters written and illustrated for his children to his epic fantasy novels.

The exhibition also offers a rare look at Tolkien’s artistic output, which was wide-ranging and experimental, naturalistic and abstract. In his landscapes of Middle-earth and intricate designs, visitors can catch a glimpse of Tolkien world-building and working out his ideas on paper. 

Since the publication of his novels, Tolkien has amassed a variety of admirers including poet W.H. Auden and singer Joni Mitchell,” said Colin B. Bailey, director of the museum. “This exhibition helps us see what was so extraordinary and universally appealing about his gifts as a storyteller and his ability to combine the scholarly with the artistic. The show presents an intimate look at Tolkien’s world through his handwritten and drawn works. We are grateful to the Bodleian Libraries, The Tolkien Estate and The Tolkien Trust for this landmark collaboration.”

“It is exciting to see so much material in Tolkien’s own hand,” said John McQuillen, Associate Curator of the Printed Books and Bindings Department. “It’s as if we are looking over his shoulder while he composes and illustrates his vision of Middle-earth. We get to glimpse moments in the creation of the narrative, such as when he changes the wizard’s name to Gandalf or suddenly comes up with the idea of the One Ring. It is almost voyeuristic: we have the opportunity to see the creative process that brought us the books with which we are so familiar.”

Image: J. R. R. Tolkien (1892 - 1973), Dust jacket design for The Hobbit, April 1937, pencil, black ink, watercolor, goache. Bodleian Libraries, MS. Tolkien Drawings 32. © The Tolkien Estate Limited 1937. ® TOLKIEN is a registered trademark of The Tolkien Estate Limited. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Additional highlights can be found here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other highlights of the sale included:

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

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

Highlights from the sale included:

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

artfulwords1(1) copy 2.jpgLos Angeles - The written word was a major art form in the premodern world. Calligraphers filled the pages of manuscripts with scrolling vines and delicate pen flourishes, and illuminators depicted captivating narratives with large letterforms. These decorative embellishments reveal the monetary, cultural, and spiritual value placed on handmade books at the time. Offering an exploration of decorated letters, Artful Words: Calligraphy in Illuminated Manuscripts, provides insight to the artistic trends that shaped calligraphic practice from England to Central Europe and beyond for nearly one thousand years.

Three types of decorated letters were employed in the handwritten book arts of the Middle Ages: ornamented letters, formed by abstract foliate motifs; inhabited letters, in which strokes of the letter are made up of animal, human, or hybrid forms; and historiated initials, in which the letter includes figures or other content related to the text.

The alphabetic adornments in this exhibition appear in manuscripts that range from a Bible and a Qur’an to books of prayer, law, and history. The calligraphers who made them combined script and ornament to embellish pages, while illuminators developed original and complex strategies for fitting miniature stories into individual letters. Several of the manuscripts feature signatures by the scribes, calligraphers, or artists.

“We consume words in a variety of ways—in handwritten, printed, and digital media—decoding messages that are communicated not just by the combination of phrases but also by their design and styling,” said Bryan C. Keene, associate curator of manuscripts. “Among the highlights in the exhibition is a grouping of manuscripts penned by the famous scribe David Aubert for Duchess Margaret of York, as well as a Qur’an paired with an Italian ceramic vase with imitation Arabic script.”

Artful Words: Calligraphy in Illuminated Manuscripts will be on view December 18, 2018, through April 7, 2019 at the J. Paul Getty Museum. The exhibition is curated by Keene and Katherine Sedovic, former graduate intern in the Manuscripts Department. Related programming will include gallery talks, lectures, and more. Additional information can be found at getty.edu/360.

Image: Butterfly, Marine Mollusk, and Pear, 1561 - 1562; illumination added 1591 - 1596, Joris Hoefnagel (Flemish / Hungarian, 1542 - 1600) and Georg Bocskay (Hungarian, died 1575). Watercolors, gold and silver paint, and ink on parchment. Leaf: 16.6 × 12.4 cm (6 9/16 × 4 7/8 in.). 86.MV.527.118. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, Ms. 20, fol. 118

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Additional information on Olmsted’s letter can be found at 

7673632dd7c16ca4ecb40184_560x502.jpgNew York — The 2019 winter season at the Morgan Library & Museum continues to celebrate visual artists and writers whose experimental methods and innovative creative processes have transformed our understanding of drawing, illustration, writing, and photography. Over the course of January and February, the Morgan will open a series of varied exhibitions, ranging from a look at the creative enterprise of J.R.R. Tolkien, to a focused examination of unconventional practices in contemporary drawing, to the first display in the United States of the storied photography collection of the National Gallery of Canada, to a survey of celebrated early Italian Drawings from our collection.

By Any Means: Contemporary Drawings from the Morgan

January 18, 2019 through May 12, 2019

Contemporary approaches to drawing are often experimental and expansive. By absorbing and building upon the legacy of avant-garde experimentation in the first half of the twentieth century, artists from the 1950s to the present have pushed beyond the boundaries of traditional draftsmanship through their use of chance, unconventional materials, and new technologies. Emboldened by the accessibility, scale, and relative affordability of paper, and informed by the developments of Cubist, Futurist, Dada, and Surrealist predecessors, these artists have pursued drawing by any means--whether by pouring, pressing, rolling, rubbing, folding, pasting, printing, plotting, or pushing. By Any Means brings together about twenty innovative works from the Morgan’s collection, including many recent acquisitions, by artists such as John Cage, Sol LeWitt, Vera Molnar, Robert Rauschenberg, Betye Saar, Gavin Turk, and Jack Whitten.

By Any Means: Contemporary Drawings from the Morgan is made possible with the support of Louisa Stude Sarofim and Nancy Schwartz.

Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth 

January 25 through May 12, 2019

“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.” With these words the Oxford professor J.R.R. Tolkien ignited a fervid spark in generations of readers. From the children’s classic The Hobbit to the epic The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien’s adventurous tales of hobbits and elves, dwarves and wizards have introduced millions to the rich history of Middle-earth. Going beyond literature, Tolkien’s Middle-earth is a world complete with its own languages and histories. Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth celebrates the man and his creation. The exhibition will be the most extensive public display of original Tolkien material for several generations. Drawn from the collections of the Tolkien Archive at the Bodleian Library (Oxford), Marquette University Libraries (Milwaukee), the Morgan, and private lenders, the exhibition will include family photographs and memorabilia, Tolkien’s original  illustrations, maps, draft manuscripts, and designs related to The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion.

Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth is organized by the Morgan Library & Museum in collaboration with the Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford, and with the support of The Tolkien Estate, The Tolkien Trust, and members of the Tolkien family.

The exhibition is made possible through the generosity of Fay and Geoffrey Elliott.

®TOLKIEN is a registered trademark of the Tolkien Estate Limited.

Invention and Design: Early Italian Drawings at the Morgan 

February 15 through May 19, 2019

The Morgan’s impressive collection of Italian Drawings documents the development of Renaissance drawing practice from its beginnings in the fourteenth century and over the following two centuries. From the influence of medieval manuscript and painting workshops to the new practice of sketching, artists gradually moved away from imitation of standard models and to the invention of novel ways of thinking on the page and representing traditional subjects. As artists came to be recognized more as intellectuals than as craftsmen, a new class of collectors and connoisseurs created a market for autonomous drawings of classical subjects and other compositions. Portrait drawing emerged as an independent genre during this period, while artists invented new ways approaches to landscape drawing. Invention and Design explores these developments and celebrates more than a century of innovation in drawing. This exhibition will be the first to focus on this material, featuring works by artists such as Mantegna, Filippo Lippi, Filippino Lippi, Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Fra Bartolomeo, and Andrea del Sarto.

Invention and Design: Early Italian Drawings from the Morganis made possible with generous support from the Scholz Family Charitable Trust, the Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw Charitable Trust, the Alex Gordon Fund for Exhibitions, and the Andrew W. Mellon Research and Publications Fund.

The Extended Moment: Photographs from the National Gallery of Canada 

February 15 through May 26, 2019

Through a selection of around seventy works, The Extended Moment reveals the historical, technological, and aesthetic richness of the photography holdings of the National Gallery of Canada, a major collection little known in this country. In the exhibition’s presentation at the Morgan, works of far-flung origins appear side-by-side in a sequence that highlights recurring trends and tensions in the history of the medium. Surprising parallels and hidden histories link images drawn from the worlds of art, fashion, journalism, propaganda, scientific research, social activism, and beyond. Thus on one hand, the “moment” in each photograph is “extended” into collaboration with its immediate neighbors; on the other, two centuries of history emerge as an “extended moment” in which the unifying element is photography in its many manifestations. Artists include Edward Burtynsky, Julia Margaret Cameron, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Lynne Cohen, John Herschel, Richard Learoyd, Lisette Model, Edward Steichen, and Josef Sudek.

The Extended Moment: Photographs from the National Gallery of Canada is made possible through the generosity of the Thompson Family Foundation, Inc. 

Organized by the Canadian Photography Institute of the National Gallery of Canada in collaboration with the Morgan Library & Museum, New York.

Image: Giovanni Agostino da Lodi (active ca. 1467 - ca. 1524), Head of a Youth Facing Left, 15th century, red chalk on paper. The Morgan Library & Museum, 1973.35:2

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

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

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


Auction Total: $4.9 Million 

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

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

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

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


Auction Total: 2.5 Million 

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

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

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

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

spectacularmysteries9(1) copy.jpgLos Angeles - During the Italian Renaissance—the period from about 1475 to 1600 that is often seen as the foundation of later European art—drawing became increasingly vital to the artistic process just as it grew dramatically more sophisticated in technique and conception. Today, Italian Renaissance drawings are considered some of the most spectacular products of the western tradition. Yet, they often remain shrouded in mystery, their purpose, subjects, and even their makers unknown.

Featuring drawings from the Getty Museum’s collection and rarely seen works from private collections, Spectacular Mysteries: Renaissance Drawings Revealed, on view December 11, 2018—April 28, 2019, at the J. Paul Getty Museum, highlights the detective work involved in investigating the mysteries behind master drawings.

“The Getty’s collection of Italian drawings counts among the greatest in this country, and this exhibition will surprise many visitors with how much we still have to learn about these rare works of art,” explains Getty Museum Director Timothy Potts. “This display, which includes some of our best Italian drawings, provides many insights into the methods curators use to investigate the purpose and meaning of these superlative works of art, and some of the revelations they have disclosed.”

The practice of drawing flourished in Italy during the Renaissance, due to a surge in patronage for paintings, sculpture, and architecture, which went hand in hand with the rise of artists’ studios and a rigorous production process for these works. Many of the drawings produced at the time tell stories of their creation and the purposes they served, yet sometimes even the most seemingly simple question—who drew it?—is a mystery. Given the ease and informality with which a sketch can be made, its purpose and other information about it must be discovered from the only surviving evidence: the drawing itself. 

Clues about the artist can be uncovered by comparing a drawing with the stylistic characteristics of other sheets. In 1995, for example, a Sotheby’s expert looked at Study of a Mourning Woman (about 1500-05), and immediately recognized the distinctive penwork and handling of the drapery of Michelangelo. Subsequent study confirmed this attribution. The Getty acquired the drawing in 2017.

Inscriptions can sometimes also be a useful clue to the artist, but should be treated with caution since they often reflect the over-optimistic attribution of a past owner. One work in the exhibition - Exodus (about 1540) - features many inscriptions. It took some time and much research to decipher which inscriptions belonged to past owners and which was that of the artist. Eventually, the drawing was attributed to Maturino da Firenze.

Mysteries about the sitter, subject, and purpose can sometimes be revealed by linking a drawing to a painting, sculpture, or print. The purpose of Two Male Standing Figures (about 1556) was unknown until 2001 when the work was auctioned and identified as the work of Girolamo Muziano. At that time, it was determined to be a study for figures in an altarpiece the artist painted for the cathedral in Orvieto.

“As I try to learn more and more about these captivating works, I sometimes feel like a detective,” says Julian Brooks, senior curator of drawings and curator of the exhibition. “In the end, this exhibition is the story of what we know, what we don’t know, what we might know, and what we can’t know about these extraordinary works of art and their world.”

Spectacular Mysteries: Renaissance Drawings Revealed will be on view December 11, 2017 -April 28. 2019, at the J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center. The exhibition is curated by Julian Brooks, senior curator in the Department of Drawings.

Image: The Head of a Young Man, about 1539 - 1540, Parmigianino (Francesco Mazzola) (Italian, 1503 - 1540). Pen and brown ink. 16 × 10.5 cm (6 5/16 × 4 1/8 in.). The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oakland, CA - The 52nd California International Antiquarian Book Fair, recognized as one of the world's largest and most prestigious exhibitions of antiquarian books, returns to Northern California, Friday, February 8 through Sunday, February 10, 2019 at the Oakland Marriott City Center. Sponsored by the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America (ABAA) and the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB) and featuring the collections and rare treasures of nearly 200 booksellers from over 20 countries around the world, the three-day Book Fair offers a rich selection of manuscripts, early American and European literature, modern first editions, children’s books, maps and autographs, as well as antiquarian books on history, science, law, architecture, cooking, wine and a wide range of other topics.

This year’s Book Fair will include a special exhibit by the Book Club of California, an active association of over 800 major California collectors with interests in rare books and manuscripts of all types. Founded in 1912, the Club’s library is dedicated to collecting and sharing works of California fine printers; resources on book making, book design, and book history; and books of historical significance. One side of this bi-faceted exhibit will display a selection of materials by California women printers and book artists, with a spotlight on Jane Grabhorn’s test prints for the illustrations of the Grabhorn Press’ Shakespeare plays. Also on display will be some of the Club’s oldest and most sought-after books, including a beautifully ornamented Virgil printed by Miscomini in 1476 and Ansel Adams’ Taos Pueblo.

Joel Harris, a local member of the International Wizard of Oz Club, will be loaning a portion of his collection for a curated exhibit of first edition books by L. Frank Baum and the subsequent authors of the “Wizard of Oz” series. The theme of a Saturday lecture jointly sponsored by the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America and the Bibliographical Society of America will be Cyclone on the Prairies: The Magic of the Land of Oz.

In recognition of the next generation of bibliophiles, the California Book Fair is pleased to announce The California Young Book Collectors’ Prize. The competition is open to collectors aged 35 and under who are living in California. All collections of books, manuscripts, and ephemera are welcome, no matter their monetary value or subject. The collections will be judged on their thoroughness, the approach to their subject, and the seriousness, with which the collector has catalogued his or her material.

The winner of the competition will be awarded the opportunity to exhibit and showcase the winning collection at the 52nd California International Antiquarian Book Fair; a gift certificate of $500 to spend at the Fair; a $250 stipend for exhibition travel and other expenses; plus a one-year membership to the Book Club of California, the Bibliographical Society of America, and a one-year subscription to The Book Collector. Additionally, in celebration of young collectors, all students with current valid student ID will be admitted to the Book Fair for free.

The deadline to enter is December 1, 2018 and the winner will be notified by January 5, 2019. For further details, rules, and to participate, please visit cabookfair.com or email Ben Kinmont, Chair of the Northern California Chapter of the ABAA, at bkinmont@gmail.com

Designed with the budding collector in mind, "Book Fair Finds" is a program in which dealers spotlight items priced at $100 or less. Visitors can look for the Book Fair Finds sign in participating booths.

Other highlights of the Book Fair include an interactive and entertaining exhibition that showcases local artists and organizations specializing in book arts. Local libraries and universities will be exhibiting one-of-a-kind works from their collections. Calligraphers, bookbinders and a small press operator will once again be creating unique souvenirs for attendees to take home.

The Book Fair’s schedule will also include the following events and special exhibits, free with Fair admission:

Saturday, February 9:

1:00 pm - : Cyclone on the Prairies: The Magic of the Land of Oz

Peter E. Hanff, Deputy Director of The Bancroft Library, will be presenting a lecture on L. Frank Baum jointly sponsored by the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America and the Bibliographical Society of America.

More programming will be announced soon.

Sunday, February 10

9:30 am: Zamorano Celebrates 90

(Please note that this panel takes place at the Oakland Marriott City Center prior to the Fair opening and is open to the public)

A panel discussion organized by the ABAA Women’s Initiative with project coordinator/editor Jean Gillingwators; first woman president of the Zamorano Club Judy Sahak; and contributors Jen and Brad Johnson who will speak on fine press printer Lillian Marks of the Plantin Press and bookseller Peggy Christian. The Zamorano Club is Southern California’s oldest organization of bibliophiles and manuscript collectors. Founded in 1928, it sponsors lectures and publications on bookish topics. Most noteworthy is the Zamorano 80 (1945)—a member-selected and -written catalogue of the most significant books in California history. The event is free and open to the public. 

12:30 - 1:15 pm: Book Collecting 101

Learn from ABAA president Vic Zoschak, Jr., Tavistock Bookshop to create a strategy for collecting books, as well as how to spot a “first edition,” judge a book’s condition, and learn bookish terms and jargon. 

1:15 - 2:00 pm: What’s This Book Worth?

Vic Zoschak, Jr., Tavistock Books will discuss the primary factors that give books commercial and monetary value, as well as strategies for appraising and selling books.

2:00 - 3:30 pm: Discovery Day

This is the public’s chance to discover if those old books gathering dust are worth something. The public will receive free, expert oral appraisals on up to three books. Appraisals are limited to a first come, first served basis - within the scheduled times.

The Book Fair is BARTable! The event’s venue in downtown Oakland is an added convenience for bibliophiles. The Oakland Marriott City Center is just steps away from the 12th Street BART Station, making it easily accessible to attendees from San Francisco and all over the East Bay. Out-of-town visitors will appreciate staying onsite at the Marriott, plus fair visitors arriving at both Oakland and San Francisco airports can take BART directly to the new venue.

Sponsors for the Book Fair include: KQED, ABC7, The San Francisco Chronicle/Datebook and BART.

Tickets and Information

The 52nd California International Antiquarian Book Fair will be held at the Oakland Marriott City Center at 1001 Broadway in downtown Oakland from 3 p.m. - 8 p.m. on Friday, February 8; 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. on Saturday, February 9; and 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. on Sunday, February 10.

Friday Opening Day admission tickets are $25; Saturday and Sunday tickets are $15. Tickets allow return admission for the remainder of the fair. For more information about tickets or exhibiting, visit www.cabookfair.com. Free admission for all students with a current valid student ID.

For more information about the 52nd California International Antiquarian Book Fair, please visit the website at www.cabookfair.com or contact Fair Managers  Doucet Productions at info@cabookfair.com, (415) 919-9220.

Oxford, England — The Bodleian Libraries will present novelist Sir Kazuo Ishiguro with the Bodley Medal, the Libraries’ highest honour. Sir Kazuo will receive the award at the FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival on 3 April 2019, when he will deliver the annual Bodley Lecture.

Sir Kazuo is an award-winning British novelist, screenwriter, short story writer and songwriter. He is widely considered one of the greatest contemporary fiction authors in the English-speaking world.

He was born in Nagasaki, Japan, in 1954 and moved to Britain at the age of five. His eight works of fiction have earned him many awards and honours around the world, including the Nobel Prize in Literature (2017) and the Booker Prize (1989). His work has been translated into more than 50 languages. His novels The Remains of the Day and Never Let Me Go were made into acclaimed films. Sir Kazuo was given a Knighthood for Services to Literature in 2018, and also holds the French decoration, Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, and the Japanese decoration, Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star.

The Bodley Medal is awarded by the University of Oxford’s Bodleian Libraries to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the worlds in which the Bodleian is active including literature, culture, science and communication. Past winners include biographer Claire Tomalin, novelist and screenwriter William Boyd, classicist Mary Beard, physicist Stephen Hawking, film director Nicholas Hytner, novelist Hilary Mantel, the late poet Seamus Heaney, writer and actor Alan Bennett and inventor of the World Wide Web Sir Tim Berners-Lee.

Sir Kazuo will appear in conversation with Richard Ovenden, Bodley’s Librarian, at 6 p.m. on 3 April in the University of Oxford’s Sheldonian Theatre as part of the FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival. Following the event, Ovenden will present him with the Bodley Medal.

The Bodleian Libraries is a cultural partner of the FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival, which runs from Saturday, 30 March to Sunday, 7 April 2019. Events will take place at the Bodleian’s Weston Library and Divinity School as well as at venues across the city. For more information, and to book tickets for the Bodley Lecture, visit the FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival website at: http://oxfordliteraryfestival.org/

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Additional highlights can be found here.

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

bbb1a82f6edb5977588103f0_880x682.jpgNew York — The Morgan Library & Museum is proud to announce the recent acquisition of a large-scale study of two figures for Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s celebrated canvas, The Great Bathers of 1884-87, in the collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Beginning December 18, 2018, visitors will have the chance to see the monumental drawing in the Gilder Lehrman Hall lobby at the Morgan. The drawing has never been exhibited or reproduced in color. A gift from the estate of prominent philanthropist and long-time Morgan Trustee Drue Heinz (1915-2018), Bathers is the first major compositional study by the artist to enter the Morgan’s collection, enriching the holdings of drawings by artists associated with the Impressionist movement.

As Renoir (1841-1919) sought a new direction in his work during the 1880s, he experimented with the classical subject of female bathers. He turned to a seventeenthcentury relief sculpture at Versailles, the Bain des nymphes by François Girardon (1628- 1715), as inspiration for the contemporary scene of three women bathing. Beginning in 1884, Renoir spent nearly three years developing the composition, producing numerous preparatory studies, ranging from small scale sketches to full-scale drawings.

In this study for his painting of modern naiads, the artist explored the pose of the bather in the left foreground of the painting, recoiling as one of her companions splashes her. While the figure appears almost identical in the painted version, Renoir replaced her passive companion by the river bank with a more animated bather, wrapping herself in a sheet.

Among the at least twenty studies for The Great Bathers, the Morgan sheet stands out for being one of two full-scale model drawings for the final composition. Executed on paper mounted to canvas, the drawing’s condition is remarkable. The surface itself is striking: it retains the original powdery white chalk used for the flesh of the figures and to outline their forms.

“The bold, sensuous lines of this expressive drawing present a different side to the Renoir we know through his paintings,” said director of the museum, Colin B. Bailey. “The Morgan’s Drawings Department is renowned for its collection of works that illustrate the creative process, and this drawing gives us a glimpse into the mind of a master. We are delighted to share it with visitors soon.”

Image: Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919), Bathers, 1884-85, red and white chalk, with smudging and blending on wove paper lined to canvas. The Morgan Library & Museum, Bequest of Drue Heinz, 2018.71. Photography by Graham S. Haber. 


Philadelphia—For its second survey of photography, the Barnes Foundation is presenting nearly 250 early photographs—most of which have never been exhibited before—created by British and French photographers between the 1840s and 1880s. Curated by Thom Collins, executive director and president of the Barnes, From Today, Painting Is Dead: Early Photography in Britain and France is drawn from the private collection of Michael Mattis and Judy Hochberg and spans the invention of the daguerreotype to photography on paper and beyond. The show is on view in the Barnes’s Roberts Gallery from February 24 through May 12, 2019.

From Today, Painting Is Dead: Early Photography in Britain and France is sponsored by Comcast NBCUniversal.

Following the production of the first photographs in the 1830s, and before the advent of Kodak’s point-and-shoot camera in 1888 and the industrialization of photography, artists experimented with photography, creating innovative processes and uniquely compelling representational tropes.

“When the influential French painter Paul Delaroche saw a photograph for the first time, he proclaimed, ‘From today, painting is dead!’ This sentiment captures the anxiety with which photography was greeted by artists, though it would be nearly 50 years before technology evolved enough to approximate the work Delaroche and his fellow painters were already doing,” says Collins. “This exhibition explores the very fertile period in the early history of photography, when the medium’s pioneers were grappling with the complex inheritance of official, state-sponsored visual culture.”

For the better part of the 19th century—before rebellious groups like the impressionists challenged the status quo—powerful fine arts academies in Paris and London governed the official style for painting and even guided what subjects artists should depict. Some themes were considered more important than others, based on their cultural significance and the skill required to render them. Moralizing historical subjects were generally the most valued; next came portraiture, then genre (or scenes of daily life), then landscape, and finally still life.

Photography developed amid this stringent artistic climate. Between 1840 and 1870, photographers of all stripes—both amateurs and an emergent class of professionals, makers of vernacular pictures and those aspiring to create fine art—experimented with the new medium, not only its mechanics and chemistry, but also its representational potentials. In doing so, they inevitably absorbed—and transformed—the well-established tropes of the dominant academic painting tradition.

From Today, Painting Is Dead: Early Photography in Britain and France features over 60 photographers, including such masters as William Henry Fox Talbot—the scientist and inventor credited with developing the first photographic prints on paper; Félix Nadar, the great portraitist of Paris high society; Roger Fenton, the English painter turned celebrated photographer who achieved widespread recognition for his photographs of the Crimean War in 1855; Gustave Le Gray, the leader of 1850s French art photography; and Julia Margaret Cameron, whose literary and biblical-themed figure studies and captivating portraits were unprecedented in her time.

Exhibition highlights include:

  • Original calotypes from 1840 to 1845 by William Henry Fox Talbot, including still lifes, portraits, landscapes, and street scenes from both England and France.
  • The earliest war photographs, taken of the Crimean War by Roger Fenton, including his iconic Valley of the Shadow of Death as well as the 11-plate panorama of Sebastopol.
  • An 1844 daguerreotype of Jerusalem—one of the first of the city—by Joseph-Philibert Girault de Prangey.
  • A full-plate daguerreotype of the Fontaine des Innocents in Paris by Baron Jean-Baptiste-Louis Gros from 1850.
  • Some of the earliest existing travel photographs of the Middle East, Southern Europe, Africa, India, Burma, Ecuador, Mexico, and New Zealand.
  • Portraits by Félix Nadar, Napoleonic Paris’s great portraitist and larger-than-life personality, with subjects ranging from literary legends—including an oversize 1885 deathbed portrait of Victor Hugo—to the first official Japanese delegation to France (1864). Also included are Nadar’s 1860s photographs of the Paris catacombs and sewers, which represent one of the first uses of artificial lighting in photography.
  • Pre-Raphaelite allegorical portraiture by Julia Margaret Cameron.
  • French physiologist Étienne-Jules Marey’s 1880s motion studies of athletes, which prefigure the development of motion pictures, much like Eadweard Muybridge’s motion studies in the US.
  • Seascapes, landscapes, photographs of military maneuvers, and other works by Gustave Le Gray, the leader of the 1850s French movement of fine art photography. 

All works are from the collection of Michael Mattis and Judy Hochberg. This exhibition was organized by the Barnes Foundation in association with art2art Circulating Exhibitions. The presentation at the Barnes Foundation is curated by Thom Collins, executive director and president of the Barnes.

This exhibition was produced as part of a new educational venture between the Barnes and the University of Pennsylvania led by Thom Collins and professor Aaron Levy, with curatorial contributions from students in the 2018 Spiegel-Wilks Curatorial Seminar “Ars Moriendi: Life and Death in Early Photography.”

Boston - The acclaimed North Bennet Street School (NBSS) has selected Sarah Turner as the institution’s next President, effective December 1. Turner will spearhead expansion of the School’s public programs and community partnerships within the craft-education world, while continuing the School’s 137-year legacy of training students for careers in traditional trades and fine crafts.

From its beginnings as a settlement house offering vocational training, NBSS has become a unique, professional craft school, recognized internationally for its excellence as a learning institution. The School offers nine full-time programs—Bookbinding, Carpentry, Cabinet & Furniture Making, Jewelry Making & Repair, Locksmithing & Security Technology, Piano Technology, Preservation Carpentry, and Violin Making & Repair—in addition to dozens of continuing education classes. Since 1881, America’s first trade school remains committed to fostering individual growth, attention to detail, and technical mastery.

Turner brings more than 20 years of experience in contemporary craft and design, as an educational leader, instructor, and artist at a number of celebrated institutions, including Cranbrook Academy of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, Oregon College of Art and Craft, and the State University of New York at New Paltz. Notably, at Cranbrook, Turner redesigned the Academic Programs and implemented an international Teaching fellowship to bring art and design thinkers to studio practice. Turner also launched a new public lecture series, instituted regular symposia on changing topics, and developed new community and institutional partnerships.

“My heart lies in leadership work; helping studio-craft institutions draw together the contributions of all members to make something unique, useful, and forward-looking,” says Turner. “The strong sense of this, past and present, at North Bennet Street School drew me to the position. I am excited to get started on bringing about new connections and ideas.”

Turner has unique perspective on an educating artisans. She earned a BA in Sociology from Smith College, a Certificate in Metalsmithing from the Oregon College of Art & Craft, and an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art.

According to Marc Margulies, Chair of the School’s Board of Directors, the nationwide search for a new President resulted in dozens of well-qualified candidates before Turner's selection. “Sarah has the training, experience, and passion necessary to lead the institution,” he says. ”We are thrilled to have her as our next president. She understands the context of teaching in a workshop, knows first-hand the details of running a postsecondary school, and appreciates the significance of a career in craft and the trades.”

Turner succeeds Miguel Gómez-Ibáñez, the School’s first leader to also be a graduate, who will retire in December. Among other accomplishments, during his successful 12-year tenure Gómez-Ibáñez secured and led the renovation of the School’s new 64,000 sf facility, established multiple strategic partnerships, and oversaw the School’s recent $20 million fundraising campaign, which will help to fund $1 million in student scholarships annually.

“This transition is coming at an ideal moment,” adds Margulies. “Sarah inherits an institution with a tremendous legacy and bright future, supported by a dedicated community of alumni, donors, and friends. The Board looks forward to working with her to enhance the School’s presence, reputation, and impact in the world.”

About North Bennet Street School

North Bennet Street School (NBSS) trains students for careers in traditional trades that use hand skills in concert with evolving technology, to preserve craft traditions and promote a greater appreciation of craftsmanship. Since 1881, America’s first trade school remains committed to teaching the whole person while fostering individual growth, attention to detail, and technical mastery. The private vocational school’s programs and experienced faculty draw students worldwide who graduate with the skills, tools, and practical understanding needed to build self-sufficient, meaningful, and productive lives. For more information, visit: www.nbss.edu.


San Francisco — Letterform Archive, the nonprofit library and museum dedicated to the history, preservation of and education in graphic design and letterform arts, announces its new membership program and the launch of the Online Archive. Beginning on November 29, 2018, charter participants in Letterform Archive’s membership program will receive access to the online Archive, a digital repository of highlights from the non-profit center’s collection of over 50,000 items related to lettering, typography, calligraphy, and graphic design. While the physical Archive is located in San Francisco, it is connected to an international community, and the new membership program and online Archive will serve designers and students around the world as a resource for serendipitous discovery and creative inspiration. 

The online Archive launches with 1,000 items spanning two centuries and captured by the Archive’s state-of-the-art photography, allowing users to explore the collection at exceptional resolution. A digital tool to discover the unexpected, the online Archive’s intuitive search and browse methods employ metadata developed specifically for graphic design. After the site opens to the general public, Archive members will have exclusive access to special upcoming features, such as the ability to create their own custom sets, or “tables”, a term that references the physical table at Letterform Archive around which 

bespoke collections are curated for guests. It’s the perfect metaphor for the community and connection inspired by each visitor’s experience. 

Highlights from Letterform Archive’s distinguished collection include Zuzana Licko’s and Rudy VanderLans’ work as Emigre, Inc. As early adopters of digital tools, Emigre were design pioneers, and their Emigre magazine represents a critical turning point in the history of the craft. Soon after Letterform Archive was founded, Emigre donated a major collection with the goal of making it as accessible as possible. The first 11 issues of Emigre magazine are now available in the online Archive, marking the first occasion these full issues have been available in digital form. The quality of the images allows users to zoom into each tabloid-size page to see all the graphic detail and read the text of every article. 

“During my days of editing Emigre, I often wished something like Letterform Archive had existed,” VanderLans said. “If it lives up to expectations, and I’m sure it will, this new website will be a boon to editors, researchers, curators, and design aficionados alike.” 

The online Archive contains sketches and inkings by LA-based designer and illustrator Michael Doret, who is behind some of the most recognizable artwork in recorded music and professional sports, as well as the logos and title graphics for many Disney and Pixar films, including Inside Out , Moana , and Zootopia. Because pencil-on-paper sketches are unique, these images represent the only copy of these objects in the world, and, because many concepts end up on the cutting room floor, this is the first time they’ve been seen outside Doret’s studio. 

Also in the online Archive is work by Jacob Jongert, an under-appreciated Dutch modernist who perfected the branding power of lettering and color. Letterform Archive’s collection of his work is the most complete in the U.S., with hundreds of items created in the 1920s and 1930s for Van Nelle, a Rotterdam-based manufacturer of coffee, tea, and tobacco. Together, the collection is a tremendous resource to learn about designing a cohesive brand. Letterform Archive offers the best view of Jongert’s work on the web, with hi-res images of labels, boxes, tins, in-store displays, posters, advertising, and other collateral, like pocket notebooks and calendars. 

These three highlights represent just a sampling of the 1,000 imaged items in the online Archive at launch. The growing collection also includes advertising design, book jackets, calligraphy, corporate identity manuals, experimental design, packaging, posters, typeface specimens, and more. 

Since Letterform Archive opened its doors in 2015, its mission has been to democratize design. Members help take accessibility to the next level, and their gift helps provide resources for students, educators, designers, and a global community of those who love letters. Letterform Archive offers members tremendous benefits, including the opportunity to access its Salon Series both in-person and online and the ability to experience lectures and materials related to specific topics of interest. Membership options are outlined below, and the packages are outlined at the link here

About Letterform Archive 

Letterform Archive is a nonprofit center for education, inspiration, and community, with a collection of over 50,000 items related to lettering, typography, calligraphy, and graphic design, spanning 2,000 years of history. Since opening to the public in early 2015, we’ve welcomed nearly 5,000 lovers of letters through our doors in San Francisco. We also share the collection through educational programs, original publications, social media, and - now - an online Archive. 

The University of Puerto Rico Graduate School of Information Sciences and the Library Sciences and Informatics Library will establish the first Puerto Rico Center for the Book in 2019 as the 53rd affiliate center of the Library of Congress, the two institutions announced today. The Library’s Center for the Book is a network of U.S. sites promoting an interest in reading and literacy.

The newest affiliate center will be housed at the University’s Rio Piedras Campus in San Juan. It will be based in the Library Sciences and Informatics Library, with an online presence to highlight Puerto Rican books and authors.

A launch event for the new center is planned for Jan. 25, featuring a reading and program with U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith. Smith has been visiting several states across the nation to engage Americans in conversations about poetry.

The Puerto Rican Center will celebrate books and work to develop literacy skills, cultivate lifetime reading habits among young people and stimulate research into the history and culture of books and Puerto Rican literary heritage. The Center will also seek to enhance the role of libraries and information professionals to promote a culture of reading, writing, creativity and innovation.

“The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress welcomes the Puerto Rico Center for the Book into our family of affiliated centers,” said John Van Oudenaren, director of the Library’s Center for the Book. “We look forward to co-sponsoring events and other activities with our new center as they promote the rich literary heritage of Puerto Rico.”

Preliminary activities include guided walking tours of literary sites in Old San Juan, mini book fairs showcasing Puerto Rican books, writers and publishers, and other special events.

“The Graduate School of Information Sciences and the Library Science and Informatics Library at the University of Puerto Rico are highly honored to have the Puerto Rico Center for the Book included as the 53rd affiliate of the Library of Congress’ Center for the Book,” said Luisa Vigo-Cepeda, the Puerto Rico Center’s project director. “Efforts will be geared to develop a wide range of events, such as authors colloquia, workshops, reading festivals and contests to explore the making and writing of books. A makerspace is being developed at the site as well as in the virtual space to stimulate creativity and innovation in reading and writing.”

About the Poet Laureate

As poet laureate, Smith has traveled the country to connect with rural communities and engage Americans in conversations about poetry with her project “American Conversations: Celebrating Poems in Rural Communities.” This year she also unveiled a new anthology, “American Journal: Fifty Poems for Our Time,” featuring the works of 50 living American poets of different ages and backgrounds. She is also launching a new weekday podcast and public radio feature titled “The Slowdown.” Smith is the author of four books of poetry published by Graywolf Press, including “Wade in the Water” in April 2018; “Life on Mars” (2011), winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry; “Duende” (2007), winner of the 2006 James Laughlin Award and the 2008 Essence Literary Award; and “The Body’s Question” (2003), winner of the Cave Canem Poetry Prize. Smith is also the author of a memoir, “Ordinary Light” (2015), a finalist for the 2015 National Book Award in nonfiction.

Born in Falmouth, Massachusetts, in 1972 and raised in Fairfield, California, Smith earned a B.A. in English and American literature and Afro-American studies from Harvard University and an M.F.A. in creative writing from Columbia University. From 1997 to 1999, she was a Stegner Fellow in poetry at Stanford University. Smith has taught at Medgar Evers College of the City University of New York, at the University of Pittsburgh and at Columbia University. She is currently the Roger S. Berlind ’52 Professor in the Humanities and director of the creative writing program at Princeton University.

About the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress

Congress created the Library’s Center for the Book in 1977 to stimulate public interest in books and reading. It has become a national force for reading and literacy promotion with affiliates in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The affiliates meet every spring at the Library of Congress to exchange ideas. For more information, visit read.gov.

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States - and extensive materials from around the world - both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov; access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov; and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.


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

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

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

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


Auction Guide