2091c.jpgFairfield, ME — James D. Julia’s mid-winter auction launched the 2018 auction season in the most auspicious way possible, with bidders competing for the spectacular lots on offer. After the hammer finally fell silent, 48 lots made $10K or above. In addition, 9 lots realized $25K or more, and 10 lots broke the $50K mark!

James D. Julia's Fine Art, Asian & Antiques auctions enjoy a well-deserved reputation of offering only the finest selections of carefully curated paintings, and this auction did not disappoint on any level. The top lot in this event, Fernando Botero’s “A Lawyer,” made it legal at $150,750 on a $125,000-175,000 estimate. This masterpiece features a portly, pensive looking man carrying a book and is signed “Botero 98.” It appears in Marc Fumaroli’s Botero Drawings, 1999. “Happy New Year,” a painting attributed to Frenchman Paul Emile Chabas, realized $24,200 - over six times its low estimate. This joyful work comes alive with two finely dressed, cherubic children and bouquets of peony flowers. Works by Haley Lever were well represented in this sale, with his “Fishing Boats - Sunrise” from 1904 reeling in $60,500. This handsome, signed painting is titled on a Clayton-Liberatore Art Gallery label. And Morris Graves’ “War Maddened Bird Following St. Elmo’s Fire” tempera on paper soared to $81,675, more than four times its low estimate. 

Enthusiasts battled over this sale’s fine selections of exceptional powder horns from important collections. A group of 13 Revolutionary War-era powder horns, carved by the “Folky Artist,” sold for $27,225. This group represents 13 of about 30 known horns carved by this artist whose name has been lost to history. He is thought to be from the south, as southern icons, such as palmetto trees, long leaf pine sprouts, and a Spanish mission, are among the subjects engraved on his horns. A French and Indian War Pennsylvania map horn changed hands at $58,080 - almost four times its low estimate. This detailed example is illustrated starting in Philadelphia and moves north along the Allegheny and its forks depicted as “Monagahny” and Ohio to Lancaster, Carlisle, Shippensburgh, Fort Louden, Fort Lettelton, Fort Stony Creek, Fort Bedford, and Fort Ledgner, and features a great drawing of Fort Pitt flying a British flag on a pole. And a Charleston, SC map horn realized a whopping $78,650 on its $8,000-12,000 estimate. This museum quality artifact is carved with exquisite attention and shows a view of Charleston and its rivers branching into the “Congarees,” “Saux Tee,” “Keeowee,” and others. 

This remarkable sale also made history with its once-in-a-lifetime offerings of antique archival materials, ephemera, and items associated with important people, places, and things. Four massive hand drawn and painted planning maps used by Morton L. Deyo, a World War II hero who commanded naval gunfire support at Utah Beach in the Normandy invasion - amongst other notable accomplishments - sold for $7,620. A “Barbary Pirate” flintlock pistol from the Stephen Decatur estate shot to $18,150 on its $1,000-2,000 estimate. Decatur led successful naval battles in both Barbary Wars, North Africa, the French Quasi War, and the War of 1812; family legend holds this pistol was a souvenir from the Barbary Coast wars. A solid gold Tiffany presentation snuff box presented by the citizens of Buffalo to Lt. John Worden made $48,400. Worden was the hero of the Victory of the Monitor Over the Merrimac. This handsomely decorated box is engraved with the battle scene between the U.S. Navy Ironclad “Monitor” and the Confederate Navy Ironclad “C.S.S. Virginia” (Merrimac), as well as other naval themes. Our catalogers noted that this is one of the most important American Civil War U.S. Navy artifacts to be presented for public auction. And a wonderful time capsule text, “Manuscript Rules And Regulations of USS Congress And USS Constitution, 1817-1821” cruised to $62,920 on its $15,000-25,000 estimate. 

Enthusiasts also saluted the fine offerings of flags on offer through this sale. An iconic 12-star Confederate 1st National Flag from the renowned Boleslaw And Marie-Louise Mastai collection made $76,230. This remarkable rarity was pictured on cover of the 1973 text “The Stars and the Stripes: The American Flag as Art and as History From the Birth of the Republic to the Present” by Mastai. And a Confederate Battle flag made $70,180. This incredibly rare example closely follows the pattern of ANV (Army of Northern Virginia) battle flags and is totally hand sewn. 

Eye-catching Asian treasures gave this sale a touch of international intrigue. A Chinese silk embroidered robe sold for $7,260 on an $800-1,200 estimate. This early 20th century blue silk example is decorated with roundels of various figures within a landscape; its collar and seams are accented with ruyi and fastened with gilded buttons. And a Satsuma pottery vase by Yabu Meizan almost doubled its high estimate, realizing $11,495. This fine Meiji period beaker shaped vessel is exquisitely painted with a continuous waterfront landscape around the lower half and a procession of figures around the top. 

Fine antiques from a wide array of specialty categories tempted collectors throughout this two day event. A cast iron “The Yankee Schoolmaster” (also known as “The Alphabet Man”) made $25,410. This toy was designed as an early educational vehicle to teach children the alphabet or various words; only a handful of these elaborately constructed rarities survived over the past 100+ years. A pair of massive, engraved walrus tusks signed by artist Nathaniel Finney blew away their $6,000-8,000 estimate to sell for $91,960. These c.1870 tusks are illustrated with vignettes of popular actors who worked in San Francisco during the 1860s-1870s, and include the founding members of the California Troup of Actors associated with the California Theatre. An outstanding solid gold Russian hinged box decorated with a micro mosaic top closed the deal at $50,820 on its $4,000-6,000 estimate. Its 2" x 3" scene shows a man on a horse crossing a river with others following, while women are seen on foreground with soldiers. And an important carved and polychrome painted tobacconist figure of Native American man, attributed to Thomas Brooks, was on fire... eventually realizing $26,015. This truly outstanding example has provenance to Danbury, Connecticut by descent to its current owner and was featured on a 1/2 page in color in National Geographic Magazine, September 1931, vol. LX, number three, illustration VII.

Image: Historic Lot Of Four Planning Maps Used By Admiral Morton L. Deyo Abo (a, b, c, & d), $7,260

Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, one of the nation's leading auction houses, will open its newest location in the Buckhead neighborhood of Atlanta, Georgia this spring. In September of 2017, the auction firm announced its expansion into Atlanta after hiring Director of Business Development Mary Calhoun. Prior to this announcement Michael Shapiro (former Director of the High Museum of Art) had joined the firm in April 2017 as Senior Advisor, Museums and Private Collections. 

In May 2018, Leslie Hindman Auctioneers will open at 668 Miami Circle in the Buckhead neighborhood of Atlanta. The facility will accommodate local auctions as well as full-service resources for appraising property and participating in global auctions through the firm¹s Chicago headquarters. The first auction to be conducted in Atlanta is scheduled for August 2018. Consignments are currently being accepted across all categories, which include fine art, fine jewelry, modern design, books and manuscripts, furniture, decorative arts and more.

"We plan on making Atlanta a major auction center," said Leslie Hindman, founder and CEO of Leslie Hindman Auctioneers. "Our focus has always been offering exceptional service and access to the global art market at a local level. The new location will not only be a resource for Atlanta but become a hub for the entire Southeast."

Lelia Williamson has also joined Leslie Hindman Auctioneers' Atlanta team as Consignment Manager. Before starting with the firm, Williamson worked at both Ahlers & Ogletree Auction Galleries in Atlanta and Rago Arts and Auction Center in New Jersey. She was Manager of the Department of American Paintings at Hirschl & Adler and spent time as a Curatorial Assistant at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta. She received her MA from Sotheby¹s Institute of Art in New York, specializing in American Fine and Decorative Arts.

"I'm thrilled to join Leslie Hindman Auctioneers in my native Atlanta," said Lelia Williamson. "The South is filled with extraordinary collectors and institutions, and we look forward to establishing the local expertise and resources needed to serve this thriving market." 

The new Buckhead location will be open Monday through Friday during business hours and on occasional weekends for auction previews. Appraisal appointments are available for all categories and can be scheduled at any time. For more information, please contact Mary Calhoun at (404) 800-0192.

Leslie Hindman Auctioneers is a globally recognized brand with eight national offices and over 60 auctions conducted annually for over a dozen collecting categories. They work with buyers and sellers across the globe, connecting with millions of collectors through each auction conducted.

About Leslie Hindman Auctioneers

Leslie Hindman Auctioneers is among the leading fine art auction houses of the world and one of the largest in the country. As a globally recognized brand, Leslie Hindman Auctioneers conducts over 60 auctions annually in categories such as fine jewelry and timepieces, contemporary art, modern design, rare books, furniture, decorative arts and more. The firm has salerooms and business offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Milwaukee, Naples, Palm Beach, Scottsdale and St. Louis but connects with millions of collectors worldwide through online resources and global listings. The firm is also a founding partner of Bidsquare, a live auction platform formed by six leading auction houses, and owns a proprietary online bidding platform, LHLive, as well as LHExchange, an e-commerce site specializing in high-end designer furniture and decorative arts. Visit www.lesliehindman.com for more information.

1517421670148.jpgWashington, DC—For more than 40 years, Sally Mann (b. 1951) has made experimental, elegiac, and hauntingly beautiful photographs that explore the overarching themes of existence: memory, desire, death, the bonds of family, and nature's magisterial indifference to human endeavor. What unites this broad body of work—figure studies, landscapes, and architectural views—is that it is all bred of a place, the American South. Using her deep love of her homeland and her knowledge of its historically fraught heritage, Mann asks powerful, provocative questions—about history, identity, race, and religion—that reverberate across geographic and national boundaries.

Sally Mann: A Thousand Crossings, the first major survey of this celebrated artist to travel internationally, investigates how Mann's relationship with her native land—a place rich in literary and artistic traditions but troubled by history—has shaped her work. The exhibition brings together 115 photographs, many exhibited for the first time. On view in the West Building of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, from March 4 through May 28, 2018, the exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalog, presenting an in-depth exploration of the evolution of Mann's art, and a short film highlighting her technical process.

"In her compelling photographs, Mann uses the personal to allude to the universal, considering intimate questions of family, memory, and death while also evoking larger concerns about the influence of the South's past on its present," said Earl A. Powell III, director, National Gallery of Art, Washington. "With the acquisition of works from the Corcoran Gallery of Art in 2014, the National Gallery is now one of the largest repositories of Mann's photographs. We are grateful for the opportunity to work closely with the artist in presenting a wide selection of the work she has created over four decades. "

Exhibition Support

The exhibition is supported by a generous grant from the Trellis Fund. Additional support is provided by Sally Engelhard Pingree and The Charles Engelhard Foundation.

Exhibition Organization and Curators

The exhibition is organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, and Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts.

The exhibition is curated by Sarah Greenough, senior curator and head of the department of photographs, National Gallery of Art, and Sarah Kennel, The Byrne Family Curator of Photography, Peabody Essex Museum.

Exhibition Tour

*National Gallery of Art, Washington, March 4-May 28, 2018 *Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, June 30-September 23, 2018
*The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, November 20, 2018-February 10, 2019
*Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, March 3-May 27, 2019
*Jeu de Paume, Paris, June 17 -September 22, 2019
*High Museum of Art, Atlanta, October 19, 2019 -January 12, 2020

Exhibition Highlights

The seeds for Sally Mann: A Thousand Crossings were planted in 2014, when National Gallery of Art curators undertook a review of photographs from the Corcoran Gallery of Art after its collections were placed under the stewardship of the National Gallery. Among the Corcor­an's works were 25 photographs by Sally Mann, made from the mid-1970s to the early 2000s. With the addition of these works, plus several more acquired through purchase, the National Gallery became one of the largest public repositories of Mann's photographs in the country. The curators' interest in mounting an exhibition of Mann's art deepened when they realized that despite her immense talent and prominence, the full range of Mann's work had not yet received sufficient and widespread scholarly and critical atten­tion.

Sally Mann: A Thousand Crossings is organized into five sections—Family, The Land, Last Measure, Abide with Me, and What Remains. The exhibition opens with works from the 1980s, when Mann began to photograph her three children at the family's remote summer cabin on the Maury River near Lexington, Virginia. Taken with an 8 x 10 inch view camera, the family picturesrefute the stereotypes of childhood, offering instead unsettling visions of its complexity. Rooted in the experience of a particular natural environment—the arcadian woodlands, rocky cliffs, and languid rivers—these works convey the inextricable link between the family and their land, and the sanctuary and freedom that it provided them.

The exhibition continues in The Land with photographs of the swamplands, fields, and ruined estates Mann encountered as she traveled across Virginia, Georgia, Louisiana, and Mississippi in the 1990s. Hoping to capture what she called the "radical light of the American South," Mann made pictures in Virginia that glow with a tremulous light, while those made in Georgia and Mississippi are more blasted and bleak. In these photographs, Mann was also experimenting with antique lenses and the 19th-century collodion wet plate process and printing in a much larger size (30 x 38 and 40 x 50 inches). The resulting photographic effects, including light flares, vignetting, blurs, streaks and scratches, serve as metaphors for the South as a site of memory, defeat, ruin, and rebirth. Mann then used these same techniques for her photographs of Civil War battlefields in the exhibition's third section, Last Measure. These brooding and elusive pictures evoke the land as history's graveyard, silently absorbing the blood and bones of the many thousands who perished in battles such as Antietam, Appomattox, Chancellorsville, Cold Harbor, Fredericksburg, Manassas, Spotsylvania, and the Wilderness.

The fourth section, Abide with Me, merges four series of photographs to explore how race and history shaped the landscape of Virginia as well as Mann's own childhood and adolescence. Expanding her understanding of the land as not only a vessel for memory but also a story of struggle and survival, Mann made a series of starkly beautiful tintypes between 2006 and 2015 in the Great Dismal Swamp—home to many fugitive slaves in the years before the Civil War—and along nearby rivers in southeastern Virginia where Nat Turner led a rebellion of enslaved people on August 21, 1831. Here, Mann's use of the tintype process—essentially a collodion negative on a sheet of darkened tin—yields a rich, liquid-like surface with deep blacks that mirror the bracken swamp and rivers. Merging her techniques with metaphoric possibilities, she conveyed the region's dual history as the site of slavery and death but also freedom and sanctuary. Mann also photographed numerous 19th-century African American churches near her home in Lexington. Founded in the decades immediately after the Civil War when African Americans in Virginia could worship without the presence of a white minister for the first time, these humble but richly evocative churches seem alive with the spirit that inspired their creation and the memories of those who prayed there.

Also included in Abide with Me are photographs of Virginia "Gee-Gee" Carter, the African American woman who worked for Mann's family for 50 years. A defining and beloved presence in Mann's life, Carter was also the person who taught Mann the profoundly complicated and charged nature of race relations in the South. The final component of this section is a group of pictures of African American men rendered in large prints (50 x 40 inches) made from collodion negatives. Representing Mann's desire to reach across "the seemingly untraversable chasm of race in the American South," these beautiful but provocative photographs examine an "abstract gesture heated up in the crucible of our association," as Bill T. Jones, who in part inspired the series, once said.

The final section of the exhibition, What Remains, explores themes of time, transformation, and death through photographs of Mann and her family. Her enduring fascination with decay and the body's vulnerability to the ravages of time is evident in a series of spectral portraits of her children's faces and intimate photographs detailing the changing body of her husband Larry, who suffers from muscular dystrophy. The exhibition closes with several riveting self-portraits Mann made in the wake of a grave riding accident. Here, her links to southern literature and her preoccupation with decay are in full evidence: the pitted, scratched, ravaged, and cloudy surfaces of the ambrotypes function as analogues for the body's corrosion and death. The impression of the series as a whole is of an artist confronting her own mortality with composure and conviction.

Sally Mann

Born in 1951 in Lexington, Virginia, Sally Mann continues to live and work in Rockbridge County. Mann developed her first roll of film in 1969 and began to work as a professional photographer in 1972. She attended Bennington College, Vermont, and graduated in 1974 with a BA in literature from Hollins College, Roanoke, Virginia where she earned an MA in creative writing the following year. She has exhibited widely and published her photographs in the books Second Sight: The Photographs of Sally Mann (1983), Sweet Silent Thought: Platinum Prints by Sally Mann (1987), At Twelve: Portraits of Young Women (1988), Immediate Family (1992), Still Time (1994), Mother Land: Recent Landscapes of Georgia and Virginia (1997), What Remains (2003), Deep South (2005), Sally Mann: Photographs and Poetry (2005), Proud Flesh (2009), Sally Mann: The Flesh and the Spirit (2010), and Remembered Light: Cy Twombly in Lexington (2016). Mann's best selling memoir, Hold Still: A Memoir with Photographs (2015), was a finalist for the National Book Award. She has received numerous honors as well as grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Guggenheim Foundation. In 2011 Mann delivered the prestigious William E. Massey Sr. Lectures in the History of American Civilization at Harvard University.

Catalog and Related Programs

Published by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, and the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts, in association with Abrams, this richly illustrated monograph constitutes an in-depth exploration of the evolution of Mann's art through its five sections: Family, The Land, Last Measure, Abide with Me, and What Remains. Plate sections are enriched by the inclusion of quotations by Mann herself and by her most beloved authors. Essays by curators Sarah Greenough and Sarah Kennel analyze Mann's photographic development in concert with her literary interests and Mann's family photographs, respectively. In their valuable contributions, Hilton Als, New Yorker staff writer and recipient of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Criticism; Malcolm Daniel, Gus and Lyndall Wortham Curator of Photography, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; and Drew Gilpin Faust, president and Lincoln Professor of History, Harvard University, explore literary and photographic responses to racism in the South; Mann's debt to 19th-century photographers and techniques; and the landscape as repository of cultural and personal memory. Featuring 230 color illustrations, the 332-page catalog is available in hardcover at shop.nga.gov, or by calling (800) 697-9350 or (202) 842-6002; faxing (202) 789-3047; or emailing mailorder@nga.gov.

Introduction to the Exhibition
March 4 at 2:00 p.m.
East Building Auditorium
Sarah Greenough, senior curator and head of the department of photographs, National Gallery of Art

Public Symposium
Sally Mann: A Thousand Crossings
April 14 at 10:30 a.m.
East Building Auditorium
Illustrated lectures by noted scholars
Made possible by the James D. and Kathryn K. Steele Fund for Photography.

Documentary Film
An eight-minute documentary demonstrating Mann's artistic process is screened in the exhibition.

Image: Sally Mann, Oak Hill Baptist 01:01, 2008-2016, gelatin silver print, collection of the artist, image © Sally Mann


PaddingtonCC.jpgAmherst, MA—Sixty years ago, the story of a bear from Darkest Peru found a place in children's literary history when William Collins published A Bear Called Paddington. This coming April, The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art is proud to be the first American museum to feature the beloved bear in Paddington Comes to America. This exhibition is on view from April 14th through October 7th and is generously supported by HarperCollins Children's Books and YOTTOY Productions. 

On Christmas Eve in 1956, Michael Bond spotted a lonely bear in a London shop. He took it home as a present for his wife and they named it Paddington, after the nearby railway station. Michael, then working as a BBC cameraman, began writing a story about the bear. Bond recalled, "After ten days I found that I had a book on my hands. It wasn't written specifically for children, but I think I put into it the kind of things I liked reading about when I was young." A Bear Called Paddington was first published in 1958. 

Bond continued writing and 15 Paddington novels, numerous picture books, and many compilations and gift editions have been published since. Today, more than 35 million Paddington books have been sold worldwide and they have been translated into 40 different languages, including Latin. For the last 37 years of his life, Bond lived in London, not far from Paddington Station where it all began. He continued to write until shortly before his death in June 2017 at age 91.

Paddington Comes to America brings together copies of notes from one of Bond's notebooks, his typewriter, first edition books, memorabilia, and 70 original illustrations by six artists, including a black-and-white line drawing by Peggy Fortnum, the first artist to create a visual image of Paddington. Eager for Paddington to be convincing, Fortnum visited the London Zoo to sketch and photograph bears. She described her challenges: "The line has to be expressive. I do lots of drawings. Humorous drawing is more difficult than any other kind of drawing." Fortnum's charming illustrations, matching the warmth of Bond's story, made the idea of a talking bear from Peru seem perfectly reasonable. Bond said of Fortnum: "She thought very highly of Paddington, as I did of her. It was a happy combination."

In the seventies and eighties, several illustrators worked on various Paddington projects. In 1972, Bond wrote the first in a series of books for younger readers. These picture books required a more detailed illustrative style than the novels and Fred Banbery was hired as the artist. Banbery illustrated six Paddington picture books. Museum visitors can view his watercolors from Paddington at the Seaside in the exhibition.  

In 1975, illustrator and animator Ivor Wood designed the puppet for the original Paddington television series. Wood also developed a drawn cartoon strip of Paddington that the London Evening News published in the late 1970s. Wood's drawings appeared on a number of products that were licensed around the same time, including a successful stationery line. His six illustrations on view show his penchant for bright colors and bold outlines.   

In the 1980s David McKee, who was already well known for writing and illustrating his own books, including King Rollo, Elmer, and Mr. Benn, was hired as the new artist for Paddington. Seven of McKee's paintings from Paddington at the Zoo are showcased in the exhibition. Barry Macey, who was an in-house artist with Paddington & Co., Ltd., created the artwork for much of the older products and some of the prints. His illustrations from Paddington in the Hot Seat, Paddington Passes Through, and Paddington Takes a Cut are on display. 

Paddington Comes to America also features the work of New England artist R. W. Alley. In 1997 Alley was commissioned to illustrate a new series of Paddington picture books by HarperCollins for an American audience. His version of Paddington worked so well that, two decades later, Alley continues to illustrate the Paddington books. He worked closely with Bond to develop the visual look of each story. Alley notes the author's openness to change: Bond insisted the first book be re-illustrated to reflect a major renovation at Paddington Station. And although Paddington never ages, he is always relevant for the time. Alley's art from more than 20 Paddington picture books is on exhibit, along with some of his preliminary sketches and dummy books. 

Paddington's status as a cultural icon does not go unnoticed in the exhibition. On view are copies of stills from the 1970s stop-motion television series as well as images from the two recent blockbuster Paddington movies. A display of limited-edition plush bears includes a Gabrielle bear. Gabrielle was the first company to create a Paddington bear and was responsible for giving Paddington his Wellington boots, to help him stand up. 

Surely one of the highlights for guests to Paddington Comes to America is a recreated double-decker bus. Guests are invited to board the "hop on/hop off" bus, which also doubles as a reading area. Young visitors will receive special Paddington London Bus Passes and will be encouraged to learn more about the famous sites in London featured around the gallery, having their passes stamped at each location.  


Members Reception: Paddington Comes to America

Saturday, April 21, 2018, 5:00 pm Reception; 6:15 pm Paddington Bear at 60, with Paddington Bear Illustrator R. W. Alley. Members RSVP by April 16 to Jenny Darling Stasinos at membership@carlemuseum.org.

Gallery Talk with R. W. Alley and Ellen Keiter

Sunday, April 22, 2018, 1:00pm. Free with Museum Admission. 

Join Artist R. W. Alley and Chief Curator Ellen Keiter for a gallery talk in the special exhibition Paddington Comes to America, which celebrates the 60th anniversary of the iconic Paddington Bear.

Special Storytime: R. W. Alley**

Sunday, April 22, 2018, 2:00 pm. Free with Museum admission. 

R. W. Alley has illustrated over one hundred books for children and, for the past twenty years, has illustrated Michael Bond's Paddington books in all their formats. Join us for a special story time and drawing demonstration with Alley as he reads one of the charming Paddington picture books. 

**Book signing to follow program. Can't make it to the event? You may reserve signed books online or contact The Carle Bookshop at shop@carlemuseum.org.

About The Carle

The mission of The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, a non-profit organization in Amherst, MA, is to inspire a love of art and reading through picture books. A leading advocate in its field, The Carle collects, preserves, presents, and celebrates picture books and picture-book illustrations from around the world. In addition to underscoring the cultural, historical, and artistic significance of picture books and their art form, The Carle offers educational programs that provide a foundation for arts integration and literacy.

Eric Carle and his wife, the late Barbara Carle, co-founded the Museum in November 2002. Carle is the renowned author and illustrator of more than 70 books, including the 1969 classic The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Since opening, the 43,000-square foot facility has served more than 750,000 visitors, including 50,000 schoolchildren. The Carle houses more than 11,000 objects, including 7,300 permanent collection illustrations. The Carle has three art galleries, an art studio, a theater, picture book and scholarly libraries, and educational programs for families, scholars, educators, and schoolchildren. Educational offerings include professional training for educators around the country and Master's degree programs in children's literature with Simmons College. Museum hours are Tuesday through Friday 10 am to 4 pm, Saturday 10 am to 5 pm, and Sunday 12 pm to 5 pm. Open Mondays in July and August and during MA school vacation weeks. Admission is $9 for adults, $6 for children under 18, and $22.50 for a family of four. For further information and directions, call (413) 559-6300 or visit the Museum's website at www.carlemuseum.org.

Image: R. W. Alley, Illustration for A Bear Called Paddington, HarperCollins, 2007. Courtesy of the artist. © R. W. Alley 2018.

Rare Books Uncovered Paperback.jpgFew collectors are as passionate or as dogged in the pursuit of their quarry as collectors of rare books. In fact, book collecting is the only pastime that has a clinically diagnosable illness—bibliomania—to describe its more obsessive hobbyists. The focus of their desire is seemingly limitless: centuries’ worth of rare and unique tomes, manuscripts, and historical documents, each with unique stories and histories. In Rare Books Uncovered, Rebecca Rego Barry recounts some of these remarkable discoveries from the world of book collecting. 

Barry’s passion for books started as a teenager, haunting library book sales and tiny independent bookshops. A voracious reader, she volunteered at her local public library in New Jersey, interned at Random House during college, and worked for Simon & Schuster after graduation. Despite her bibliophilic tendencies, Barry never regarded herself as a collector until she came across a copy of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman at a church book sale. Although familiar with Miller’s work, “it never occurred to me to check whether the copy was a first edition or not,” Barry says. Upon closer examination a few months later, a blue card flitted out of book. It was, she came to realize, a press pass issued in 1931 to renowned journalist William Shirer from the Chicago Tribune. Further research and detective work, including tracking down Shirer’s family members, revealed that Shirer and Miller were acquaintances and colleagues in the 1950s. Barry believes the book to be Shirer’s copy (a first edition) of Miller’s masterpiece, into which he used an old press pass as a bookmark—a real treasure, found for $1. 

Barry soon realized she’d “rather be working with ‘old’ books instead of new ones.” She returned to graduate school, earning a master’s degree in book history at Drew University, and then went to work in the university library’s conservation department, where books in need of repair go to get fixed. “I loved working with old books in a hands-on way,” Barry says. She began working in the university’s archives as well, gaining an appreciation for manuscripts and historical documents. 

Today, Barry is the editor of Fine Books & Collections magazine, and hearing so many extraordinary tales of treasures found—and, alas, of those that got away—fueled and informed the writing of Rare Books Uncovered. Bibliophiles relish such tales. In this new paperback edition of Rare Books Uncovered, there are 56 individual stories from collectors, dealers, librarians, and others, each entertaining, educational, and inspirational. There’s the Texas family whose discovery of 300+ vintage comics in a basement closet netted them $3.5 million. And the Salt Lake City bookseller who volunteered for a local fundraiser and came across a 500-year-old copy of the Nuremberg Chronicle. And the collector who, when called by a friend to go dumpster diving, turned up a valuable piece of New York City history. These believe-it-or-not “barn finds” will delight casual collectors and hardcore bibliomaniacs alike.

Great books are out there—in Philadelphia flea markets, California swap meets, and English country homes—and discovering one, whether by chance or single-minded pursuit is a pleasure worth savoring and sharing. Just like every angler with a fantastic fish tale to share, every book collector has at least one great “find” to reveal. Rare Books Uncovered celebrates the scouts, the books, and the thrill of the hunt. 

About the Author

Rebecca Rego Barry is the editor of Fine Books & Collections magazine, a quarterly for book & fine art collectors, dealers, curators, and librarians. She has also written about books and history for various publications, including The Guardian, Slate, JSTOR Daily, LitHub, The Millions, Barnes & Noble Review, The Awl, and The Economist.

Praise for Rare Books Uncovered

“Bibliophiles rejoice! This book about rare book finds is a great find.” —Maine Antique Digest

“…a welcome gift for a passionate reader or collector.” —Michael Dirda, The Washington Post

“…a lovely collection of stories … a perfect primer for anyone interested in book collecting.” —Library Journal, starred review

Rare Books Uncovered: True Stories of Fantastic Finds in Unlikely Places

Pub date: February 27, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-7603-6157-3

280 pages with 23 color photos

USD: $19.99, GBP No VAT: £12.99, GBP VAT: £12.99, CAN: $25.9

For more information, to request a review copy of the book or an interview contact: Steve Roth | 612-344-8156 | steve.roth@quarto.com 

Voyageur Press, an imprint of The Quarto Group

1510845370992.jpgWashington, DC—One of the most innovative Italian books of the early baroque period, the Descrizione del Sacro Monte della Vernia, published in 1612, illustrates the experiences of Saint Francis and the buildings of the Franciscan community at La Verna. Drawing from the Gallery's rich holdings of works with Franciscan imagery, Heavenly Earth: Images of Saint Francis at La Verna contextualizes this publication alongside some 30 traditional representations from the late 15th through the mid-18th century. Heavenly Earth will be on view on the ground floor of the West Building from February 25 through July 8, 2018.

"We are very fortunate to have two copies of the first edition of the Descrizione del Sacro Monte della Vernia," said Earl A. Powell III, director, National Gallery of Art. "This exhibition offers a special opportunity to share outstanding prints depicting Franciscan themes from the permanent collection as well as from the Kirk Edward Long Collection."

In September 1224, in the wilderness of La Verna, a mountain in the Casentino Valley in Tuscany, Francis of Assisi began a 40-day fast and contemplation of Christ's Passion, during which he prayed to share in Christ's suffering. The legendary answer was a fiery, six-winged seraph enfolding the figure of a man on a cross. When the seraph departed, Francis's body was imprinted with the crucifixion wounds of Christ, which the friar bore for the remaining two years of his life. Francis's mystical union and unprecedented stigmatization on La Verna was a critical event in Western spirituality and proved to be the effective birth of modern monasticism. La Verna is an active monastery today and is the second most holy site for the Franciscan Order, after Assisi.

Exhibition Organization and Support

The exhibition is organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington.

Exhibition Highlights

On view in the exhibition will be two first-edition copies of the Descrizione del Sacro Monte della Vernia, acquired by the Gallery in 2012 and 2013. In 1608, Brother Lino Moroni invited the head of the Florentine Accademia del Disegno and gifted draftsman and painter Jacopo Ligozzi to illustrate not just Francis's experiences on the mountain but also the area's topography and the buildings of the Franciscan community established there. The resulting work, the Descrizione del Sacro Monte della Vernia (1612), combined meticulous observation and unique vantage points in a set of 22 illustrations, which were then engraved by Raffaello Schiaminossi and Domenico Falcini. Five of the engravings include overslips—paper tabs showing the contemporary topography that, when lifted, reveal an earlier view of the landscape.

Other highlights in the exhibition include early works such as the refined miniature leaf Saint Francis Receiving the Stigmata (1470s) by Cosmè Tura as well as anonymous woodcuts, which demonstrate the variety of early artistic interpretations of the stigmatization. Later prints after paintings by Federico Barocci and Peter Paul Rubens incorporate specific visual details of the event based on accounts published in I Fioretti di San Francesco and its appended Considerazione, translated into Italian in 1477. Although the majority of works feature Saint Francis receiving the stigmata at La Verna, the exhibition also includes a range of Franciscan iconographic themes popular in the Counter-Reformation, such as the saint's rapt prayers in the wilderness, his devotion to the Madonna and child, and the Pardon of Assisi.

Exhibition Curator

The exhibition is curated by Ginger Hammer, assistant curator, department of old master prints, National Gallery of Art.

Image: Cosmè Tura, Saint Francis Receiving the Stigmata, 1470s miniature on vellum National Gallery of Art, Washington, Rosenwald Collection


344.jpg.jpgFalls Church, VA - On Thursday, Feb. 22, Quinn’s Auction Galleries will pay tribute to Black History Month with a two-part auction that incorporates historical material, early photographs and memorabilia from its associated company, Waverly Rare Books. 

The seamless, consecutive sessions will start at 5:30 p.m. Eastern Time with a boutique selection of 65 portraits and paintings by Harlem Spiral Collective artist Merton D. Simpson (1928-1913) and continues with the Johnson Family Collection of Black Americana and Ephemera. All forms of bidding will be available for the entire auction, including absentee and live via the Internet.

The opening portion of the sale, titled “Faces of Merton Simpson,” focuses on images of celebrated Black Americans and other celebrities painted by Simpson, an acclaimed Abstract Expressionist, after he joined the Spiral group in the mid 1960s. Other members of the Spiral arts alliance included Romare Bearden and Hale Woodruff.

Among those depicted in Simpson’s portraits, collages and studies are Jesse Jackson, Oprah Winfrey, Spike Lee, Diana Ross, Maya Angelou, Leontyne Price, Diahann Carroll, Marian Anderson and many other African-American entertainers and leaders of the struggle for racial equality. Many of the portraits are very reasonably estimated at $200-$400. Additionally, the sale features several desirable abstract paintings by Simpson.

The collection amassed by the Johnson family of New Jersey spans three centuries of Black American history and includes a vast array of toys, dolls, board games and other collectibles, as well as important documents, books, photographs, advertising and other ephemera. 

“The Johnson Collection provides a panoramic overview of both the severe challenges and great triumphs Black Americans have experienced in their rise from slavery to the White House,” said Quinn’s Executive Vice President Matthew Quinn. “It is sometimes difficult to view our past through a lens like this, but it is more important that we never forget.”

Two cast-iron mechanical banks reflect the negative stereotypes perpetrated against Black Americans during their long struggle for freedom. One depicts a man, the other, a woman in a yellow dress known as “Dinah.” The Dinah bank was patented in England in 1911 by the John Harper Co., and retains its original paint. Estimate: $200-$300

A toy highlight is the Heubach Koppelsdorf bisque baby doll in a striped dress, with beautifully molded features. It stands 10½ inches high and is estimated at $100-$200.

There are many ceramic items, from Weller’s figural tablewares to cookie jars and a fine Limoges pitcher. A pair of tobacco humidors depicting a black man and woman, both with removable hat lids, will be offered with a $40-$60 estimate.

The Johnson collection is tremendously diverse, covering numerous categories including clocks, textiles, magazines, sheet music, boxing mementos, Civil War abolitionist postal covers, books, postcards, trade cards, and other ephemera.

A Green River Whiskey tin advertising sign depicts the distillery’s familiar man and horse imagery with the logo “She was bred in old Kentucky.” Copyrighted in 1899, the sign is accompanied by two (empty) Green River pint bottles. Estimate: $1,000-$2,000

Three lots contain cruel reminders of slavery in the form of wrist, neck and hand shackles. Lot 345 consists of two sets of shackles, one with a padlock indicating an issue date of 1856-7; the other bearing an anchor-and-sun logo. The pair is estimated at $200-$300. Also, there are five historically important scrapbooks that were maintained from 1876 to 1892 by former slave David F. Nelson. One of the scrapbooks contains numerous articles about Nelson’s escape from slavery, other runaway slaves, and related subjects. Its estimate is $120-$240.

Quinn’s Feb. 22 auction will commence at 5:30 p.m. Eastern Time. For additional information on any item in the auction, call 703-532-5632, ext. 575; email catherine.payling@quinnsauction.com. Quinn’s is located at 360 S. Washington St., Falls Church, VA 22046. Online: www.quinnsauction.com. View the catalogue and bid absentee or live via the Internet at https://www.LiveAuctioneers.com or https://www.Invaluable.com.

Image: One of five scrapbooks maintained from 1876-1892 by former slave David F. Nelson, contains numerous articles about his escape from slavery, other runaway slaves, related subjects. Est. $120-$240 (Lot 344: https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/59965802_5-scrapbooks-maintained-by-former-slave-1876-1892


mccpnhjmemdcjhog copy.jpgNew York—Swann Galleries will offer an auction of Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books on Thursday, March 8, featuring an extensive selection of early Spanish books on a variety of subjects, as well as important Medieval astronomical treatises dating to a period when studying the stars was as mythical as it was scientific.

One of the many “stellar” highlights is the first illustrated edition of Poeticon Astronomicon, 1482, by Caius Julius Hyginus, containing the earliest printed depictions of the constellations. The work boasts 47 woodcuts of zodiac figures and allegorical depictions of planets, and relays starry myths dating to the first century AD; it is valued at $15,000 to $20,000. Also available is the first illustrated edition of the most popular European textbook of astronomy from the thirteenth century to the early modern era, Johannes Sacrobosco’s Sphaera mundi, 1478, with 11 woodcut astronomical diagrams, including the phases of lunar and solar eclipses. This edition was also the first to include the tract on planetary theory attributed to Gerard of Cremona, and carries an estimate of $15,000 to $20,000.           

The Medieval study of astronomy extended into the medical realm with extensive tracts on the affect of stars on the body. Examples in this auction include De computatione dierum criticarum, 1496, by Julián Gutiérrez, uses the stars to determine the critical days affecting the progression of an illness ($8,000 to $12,000). Also available in an extremely unusual Spanish tome of astrological veterinary medicine, specifically relating to horses, Pedro García Conde’s Verdadera Albeytería, 1734, relaying the influence of the stars on a horse’s physiognomy ($400 to $600).

Printed circa 1496-97, Arte de Ajedres by Luis de Lucena is the earliest surviving manual of chess, introducing a new mode of play still in use today. With 161 woodcut diagrams of board set-ups and discussion in Spanish of 11 openings and 150 problems, the scarce tome is valued at $10,000 to $15,000.

Two seventeenth-century French erotic dialogues make a rare auction appearance. L’Ecole des Filles, 1676, the first work of pornographic fiction in French, is attributed to Michel Millot and Jean L’Ange, both of whom were punished after the publication ($8,000 to $12,000). An early edition of Aloisiae Sigeae Toletanae Satyra Sotadica de Arcanis Amoris et Veneris by Nicolas Chorier, previously in the collection of notorious eroticist Gershon Legman, contains six dialogues concerning a sexual initiation; called “the most outspoken erotic work of the seventeenth century,” it carries an estimate of $5,000 to $7,000.

Also in the auction is the first book devoted to the lore and nature of cats, François-Augustin Paradis de Moncrif’s Les Chats, 1727, bound together with the rarely-seen Les Rats, 1737, by Claude-Guillaume Bourdon de Sigrais, the first published book about rats. Amusingly, the city of publication for the rat tome is listed as “Ratopolis”; this sammelband carries an estimate of $1,000 to $2,000.

Manuscripts are led by an early sixteenth-century Flemish illuminated Book of Hours in Latin on vellum, with six full-page borders filled with flowers, birds, animals and insects in colors on a gold leaf background, with an estimate of $6,000 to $9,000. Also available is Pedro de Gracia Dei’s Blasón General y Nobleza del Universo, a circa 1500 copy of a substantial portion of his 1489 Coria original edition of the same name. The Spanish manuscript contains 41 drawings in color based on the printed version, concerning heraldry, planets, nobility and the like ($3,000 to $4,000).

The travel section contains scarce works on missionary journeys to the East, particularly accounts of ill-fated ventures in Japan such as the first edition of a history and martyrology of a Christian mission to the region, José Sicardo’s 1698 Christiandad del Japón ($8,000 to $12,000).

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

Additional highlights can be found here.

Image: Lot 109:  Caius Julius Hyginus, Poeticon Astronomicon, first illustrated edition, with 47 half-page woodcuts, Venice, 1482. Estimate $15,000 to $20,000.

Wolfe archive.jpgBoston, MA—Skinner, Inc. Significant and wide-ranging participation by museums interested in adding to their public collections led the Skinner February 9th auction of the Collection of Avis and Eugene Robinson. More than twenty-six cultural and educational institutions, in this country and abroad, vied to bid on items from the collection of artifacts, documents, and photographs chronicling the full scope of African American history from enslavement to emancipation, from Jim Crow to Civil Rights to the present day.  In all, the collection formed a rich mosaic portraying the complex, often painful, often triumphant history of a people.

The auction’s top lot, selling for $12,300 in the room, was an archive of 18th -20th century documents and photographs from Rhode Island’s DeWolf family, the states most prominent family involved in the transatlantic slave trade.  A framed “$100 Reward for Isaac Churcher,” went for $7380, while an 1833 broadside for the “Public Sale of Negroes” sold for $2583.

Photography of all types was well represented. A tintype of an African American Confederate soldier sold for $9225, while another of a soldier in an infantry uniform went for $5535. The auction catalog cover lot, a tintype of a seated young woman reading a book sold for $6765. Twentieth-century images included two press photographs of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., that sold for $4613. Selling for $738 was a lot of sixteen press photos of Huey P. Newton, co-founder of the Black Panthers.

Other top lots include a framed copy of Frederick Douglass’s The North Star newspaper that sold for $10,455. A braided leather mistress whip made $11,685, while a pair of Middle Passage bilboes went for $1722. A small triangular painting of figures in a bus by folk artist Mose Tolliver (American 1916-2006) sold for $6150, eking out a record for the artist. Finally, an Antar Dayal campaign poster of Barack Obama in 2008 with the motto, “Yes we can.” sold for $2583.

Image: DeWolf Archive, 18th to 20th century, sold for: $12,300; https://www.skinnerinc.com/auctions/3075B/lots/34

Ruysch.jpgDaniel Crouch Rare Books will exhibit at the 31st edition of TEFAF Maastricht, with a collection of maps, books and scientific instruments that emphasize the links between cartography, navigation and astronomy during the Age of Discovery.

This March Daniel Crouch Rare Books will explore the mapping of heaven and earth in the Age of Discovery. Exploration in this period did not simply expand European territorial knowledge, but in turn spurred improvements in scientific instruments and in astronomical observation.

The collection of six Ptolemy atlases provide a perfect example: although they are groundbreaking examples of cartography, containing the first available printed maps of America and Japan, they are based on astronomical calculations made by an ancient Greek cartographer. 

The calculations needed for cartography produced both practical and fantastic results. Day to day navigation is represented by the sextant used by the navigator George Vancouver (£75,000), whose name lives on in the city in Canada. Vancouver accompanied Captain James Cook on his second and third voyages of Pacific exploration, and was one of the men who recovered Cook’s body after he was killed in a confrontation with locals in Hawaii.

At the opposite end of the scale is an extraordinary, and possibly unique instrument named the ‘Coelometer’ by its inventor (£100,000), which can be used for astronomical calculations from the time of sunset anywhere in the world to finding longitude by observing the moon. 

The improvement of scientific instruments spurred the production of atlases of the skies as well as the earth. The exhibition contains an example of the only celestial atlas published during the Dutch Golden Age, by Andreas Cellarius (£350,000).

And while at the moment it is mainly territorial controversies that occupy our attention, the collection provides a reminder of how contentious the heavens can be. A copy of John Senex’s groundbreaking star atlas (£15,000) contains one of the most controversial maps of the century, a star chart. The data used for the chart was published without permission from the astronomer, Nicholas Flamsteed, who responded by buying every copy of the book he could find and burning them.

ImageJohann Ruysch’s fan-shaped world map from the third Rome Ptolemy, 1507.

Mummy HA copy.jpgDallas, TX - Rare movie posters from classic American horror flicks, including the only-remaining Belgian poster for The Mummy (Universal, 1933), haunt Heritage Auctions’ Movie Posters event April 7-8 in Dallas. Cinema’s classic monsters in the 600-lot auction range from a beastly, 47-inch tall poster for King Kong (RKO, 1933) to an elusive poster from the iconic vampire film London After Midnight (MGM, 1927).

“Our spring auctions traditionally offer posters with stunning images from some of the most iconic movies ever made,” Heritage Auctions Vintage Posters Director Grey Smith said. “We believe there are rare posters in this wonderful group for every taste.”

The 24-1/2-by-33-1/2-inch stone lithograph poster for The Mummy, which is making its auction debut at Heritage, is the only remaining poster of its kind. It depicts the haunting visage of Boris Karloff as the shrouded Egyptian priest Imhotep, the mummy who escapes thousands of years after being buried alive. The well-preserved piece comes from Universal’s original European distribution and is expected to sell for $60,000.

A London After Midnight (MGM, 1927) Argentinean one sheet (est. $30,000-60,000) shines a spotlight on one of the “holy grails” of lost cinema, the last known copy of the film which was destroyed in a fire in an MGM studio vault in 1965. Posters from the film, which starred Lon Chaney and directed by Dracula’s Tod Browning, have been as elusive as the film itself over the last 80 years, and this Argentinean one sheet is the first to appear at Heritage since 2009.

A 21-by-58-inch Japanese STB tatekan from The Seven Samurai (Toho, 1954) (est. $20,000-50,000) is an extraordinary collectible poster for fans of Japanese cinema and director Akira Kurosawa. This rare country-of-origin poster from Kurosawa’s most prestigious film is believed to be the only known copy in existence. A bittersweet tale of the price of war and the loss of noble warriors, The Seven Samurai is one of the most influential films in cinema history and was among the highest-grossing films ever made in Japan.

An oversized Swedish King Kong (RKO, 1933) poster (est. $20,000-50,000) features “The Eighth Wonder of the World” raging through New York, holding Fay Wray in one hand while smacking planes out of the sky with the other. Considered by most to be among the greatest horror/fantasy films ever made, King Kong definitely was one of the most innovative, using stop-motion animation that became the industry standard for decades. The rare, oversized stone litho Swedish poster, from the Kirk Hammett Collection, is reminiscent of the U.S. three sheet with its striking image of King Kong atop the Empire State Building.

Also on offer is an extraordinary post-war French release double grande poster from Casablanca (Warner Brothers, 1947), which is expected to sell for $60,000, as well as an arresting British six sheet poster from the 1939 hit The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (20th Century Fox), which measures a mammoth 77-3/4 inches by 87-1/2 inches.

Other top lots include, but are not limited to:

·         Creature from the Black Lagoon (Universal International, 1954) (est. $15,000-30,000)

·         The Lady Eve (Paramount, 1941) (est. $15,000-30,000)

·         This Gun for Hire (Paramount, 1942) (est. $15,000-30,000)

Will_Shortz_2014 copy.jpgFew things beat the combination of a leisurely morning spent with a cup of hot coffee and the New York Times crossword puzzle.  Crossword enthusiasts the world over have long enjoyed the challenge of the puzzle considered the crème de la crème of the genre, and consider solving it their biggest accomplishment of the day.  The man behind the puzzles is Will Shortz who, for the past twenty-five years, has selected and edited the Times’ daily puzzles -- puzzles that can stump the average crossword enthusiasts and stretch the imaginations of the experts.

At the upcoming Ephemera Fair on March 17 & 18, 2018, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Old Greenwich, CT, Shortz -- who also hosts a popular puzzle show Sunday mornings on National Public Radio -- will share his passion for puzzles in a special guest appearance on Sunday, March 17th, at 9:45am.  Shortz will give a talk that traces the history of crosswords -- from the very first puzzle published in 1913 to the sophisticated art form it is today—using illustrations from his own personal collection of puzzle ephemera. 

The steps Shortz took on the path to becoming the New York Times crosswords editor fit together just like pieces in a puzzle.  Born and raised on an Arabian horse farm in Indiana, Shortz knew early on just what he wanted to do in life—become a professional puzzle maker.   His parents thought he was just going through a phase, but at age 14 he had already sold the first puzzle he created to Venture Magazine.  

At Indiana University he designed his own major, graduating with a one-of-a-kind degree in enigmatology, or the science of puzzles. His parents encouraged him to go to law school, convinced that he couldn’t make a living in puzzles.  Undaunted, Will skipped the bar exam to begin his chosen career in puzzles immediately, and he’s never looked back. He’s even one of the featured experts in “Wordplay,” the 2006 documentary film about crossword puzzles and the people who create them.

Along the way, Shortz, a long-time member of the Ephemera Society, has amassed a collection of more than 25,000 puzzle books and magazines dating as far back as 1534, including mechanical puzzles and other related items, such as a crossword bracelet from 1925 where each wooden link is a crossword square.  Highlights of his collection include the world’s first crossword puzzle, which was published in a supplement to the New York World on Dec. 21,1913 (the only known copy in private hands) as well as an original copy of the world’s first crossword book, published by Simon and Schuster in 1924.   

The Ephemera Fair, produced by Impact Events Group in Lexington, Mass., is the largest fair of its kind in the country.  It is held in conjunction with the Ephemera Society of America’s 38th annual conference.  More than 80 exhibitors from all over the country and Europe will be showcasing and selling what collectors have come to call “eye candy” - delicious discoveries in categories that include correspondence, advertising materials, posters, historical documents, posters, tickets, scores, scripts and cards.  If you’ve ever saved Valentines from long-ago sweethearts, or treasured theater stubs or matchbooks from restaurants you’ve patronized over the years, then you’re already an ephemera enthusiast.

Here is a quick look at just one of the delicious "eye candy" categories to sample at the upcoming Fair.  Colorful, printed advertisements have existed ever since craftsmen, shopkeepers and other business people realized the advantage in promoting themselves and their products.  Today, advertising ephemera is much in demand.   From exhibitor, Richard West, of Periodyssey in Northampton, Mass. comes a fine example -- an advertisement for a famous literary magazine called "The Chap-Book," the first little magazine of its kind.  Published from 1894-1898 by Stone & Kimball, contributors included such luminaries as H.G. Wells, Henry James, Hebert Beerbohn and Eugene Field.  The Chap-Book advertisement that Periodyssey is featuring is from an 1896 edition.

Advertising candy, from Richard D. Sheaff of Bethel, Vermont, includes an early chromolithography American flag advertising hop bitters with the line, “…try the bitters before you sleep. Take no others.”   Richard is also bringing a delightful advertisement for Silver Gem Chewing Gum to the Fair, in which a flying female figure dispenses a cornucopia of silver gem pieces to eager school children scooping them up in their hats.  And who could doubt the color printing talents of Hinds, Ketchum of Chicago when their advertisement for their services, in the shape of a label, is so colorful itself.    Then, there is the bright blue advertising poster for Town's Hotel in Bellows Falls, Vermont, advertising all of the modern improvements -- steam heating and electric bells!

Fair hours are:  Saturday, March 17 from10am-5pm; and Sunday, March 18 from 11am-4pm.  Ticket price is $15 for adults (children under 16 are admitted for free with adult ticket).  Students with an I.D. are also admitted for free. Discount coupons are available on the website www.ephemerafair.com.  Tickets for the Will Shortz presentation on Sunday are limited and must be ordered in advance from the Ephemera Fair website or are included with the conference fee at www.ephemerasociety.org

Heritage-GG copy.jpgDallas, Texas - A Signed and Inscribed First Edition of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby may sell for as much as $100,000 in Heritage Auctions’ Rare Book Auction March 7 in New York. Signed, modern first editions are among the auction’s 600 lots, many from private collections, including a rare Inscribed Presentation Copy of J. D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye (est. $20,000).

“‘Signed, first editions’ is the theme of this season’s auction,” said James Gannon, Director of Rare Books at Heritage. “We have the great fortune to offer many of the 20th century’s greatest novels signed by their authors. Nearly all come from private collections not seen at auction in decades.” 

James C. Seacrest, a Lincoln, Nebraska, publisher and philanthropist, assembled the largest collection featured in the auction. Estimated to bring more than $440,000, all proceeds from the Seacrest Collection will be donated to charity, according to a family representative.

The Seacrest Collection features the near fine, 1925 copy of The Great Gatsby, inscribed by Fitzgerald in 1939 for Tatnall Brown, a banker and former Dean of Haverford College. “The inscription reads ‘For Tatnall Brown / from one, who / is flattered at / being remembered / F Scott Fitzgerald / Hollywood, 1939,’ which reflects Fitzgerald’s deep and well-documented concern about his legacy as a novelist,” Gannon said. 

Additional signed modern editions from the Seacrest Collection also include copies of On the Road by Jack Kerouac (est. $8,000) and Vladimir Nabokov’s 1955 First Edition of Lolita (est. $4,000). Signed tomes by U.S. Presidents include Crusade in Europe by Dwight D. Eisenhower (est. $5,000) and a first edition of Whither Bound? by Franklin D. Roosevelt - an association copy inscribed by Roosevelt to his youngest son (est. $5,000). 

Seacrest also sourced important volumes by Charles Dickens, including a signed and dated First Edition, Second Issue, of The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby (est. $25,000) and an 1843 First Edition of A Christmas Carol, which includes an envelope addressed in Dickens’ hand and signed by him (est. $15,000). The auction also offers additional copies of Dickens’ classics from the Collection of Daniel J. King, such as a set of Christmas books, including a third-person autograph note by the author (est. $15,000) and an unsigned, First Edition, first issue, of A Christmas Carol (est. $10,000). 

The King collection includes choice, first-edition examples of Ian Fleming’s Casino Royale (est. $10,000), an asbestos-bound copy of Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (est. $7,000) and two scarce Audubon Prints: The White-Headed Eagle (est. $7,500) and an Uncolored Gannet (est. $2,500).

The auction also features the first time Heritage has presented a significant grouping of Continental, Irish and Latin American literature. The Continental section is anchored by The Marylin R. Duff Collection, featuring an important signed Holograph Manuscript by Jorge Luis Borges, circa 1926 (est. $20,000), Louis-Ferdinand Céline’s Voyage au bout de la nuit; a presentation copy of Anna Karenina, inscribed by author Leo Tolstoy (est. $10,000) and an inscribed copy of Unzeitgemässe Betrachtungen by Friedrich Nietzsche (est. $30,000). Rounding out the auction’s Continental, Irish and Latin American section offerings is one of just 150 first edition copies of Ulysses by James Joyce (est. $12,500). The section also presents what is considered among the most significant association copies in all of Latin American literature: A 1969 first edition of Pablo Neruda’s Fin de Mundo (est. $12,000), inscribed by the author for Chilean President Salvador Allende.

Additional highlights include:

·         Edward Lear’s Book of Nonsense (est. $15,000), which leads one of Heritage’s strongest offerings of Children’s and Illustrated Books to date.

·         Samuel Johnson’s A Dictionary of the English Language (est. $7,000), from the second offering of books from a private St. Charles, Illinois, collection.

·         Beautiful copies of Winnie-the-Pooh (est. $6,000), Finnegan’s Wake (est. $6,000) and a first edition copy of William Faulkner’s Go Down, Moses (est. $6,000), which was limited to 100 copies.


beethoven scottish songs copy.jpgNew York - On March 9, the Books and Manuscripts auction at Bonhams New York will offer a rare autograph manuscript by Ludwig Van Beethoven, along with a number of historically significant lots including a prism belonging to Benjamin Franklin, the Bible used at the first swearing-in of President Ulysses S. Grant, an atlas by famed cartographer Ptolemy, and an Isaac Newton manuscript on the creation of the fabled philosopher’s stone. 

“This is a sale packed with incredibly significant works by some of the most important figures in music, science, and history. From Newton’s experiments in alchemy to music illustrating Beethoven’s genius, these works are truly one-of-a-kind and the rarest of the rare,” said Ian Ehling, Director of Books and Manuscripts.

Music Highlights 

One of the sale’s highlights is a Beethoven sketch-leaf from part of his Scottish Song, Sunset, Op 108, written for voice, violin, violoncello, and piano, and set to Walter Scott’s poem, The Sun upon the Weirdlaw Hill (estimate: $80,000-120,000). Between 1809-1820, Beethoven composed Scottish, Irish and Welsh folk songs, commissioned by Scottish publisher George Thomson. Although this relatively simple air was written with amateur performers in mind, the extensive editing, refining, and perfecting of the present sketch-leaf shows Beethoven’s working process, providing a fascinating insight into a genius at work. 

Interestingly, this sketch-leaf was originally presented as a token of friendship from Beethoven biographer Alexander Wheelock Thayer to Auguste Grimm, daughter of Wilhelm Grimm of the Brothers Grimm. Thayer was appointed US Consul in Trieste by President Abraham Lincoln, and is the author of what is still considered the most authoritative biography on Beethoven. The document marking Thayer’s appointment and signed by President Lincoln is also in this sale (estimate $4,000-6,000).

Three lots by German composer Richard Wagner will also go under the hammer, including a handwritten announcement by Wagner for the inaugural Bayreuth Festival Theater in 1876 (estimate: $40,000-60,000), advertising his four-part epic music drama Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung). The Ring, which roughly follows Norse mythology, was performed for the first time at the festival. Along with the announcement, heavily altered and corrected autograph manuscripts from the Prelude to Act III of Siegfried (estimate: US$150,000-200,000), and part of the libretto for Götterdämmerung or Twilight of the Gods (estimate: $90,000-120,000) will be up for auction.

Science Highlights

In conjunction with his ground-breaking contributions to mathematics and science, Isaac Newton also explored the experimental possibilities of alchemy, or “chymistry.” The present 8-page manuscript in Newton’s hand is complete and gives detailed instructions on the scientific process to create the Philosopher’s Stone, a substance that could turn lesser materials into gold. Estimated at $200,000-300,000 this manuscript represents one of only a small number of Newton’s manuscripts that are in private hands, and is one of the longest and most substantial.

Two lots once belonging to Albert Einstein are also featured in the sale: a violin (estimate: $100,000-150,000) gifted to the theoretical physicist soon after he arrived to the U.S. in 1933 as a resident scholar at the Princeton Institute for Advance Study, and a letter to his son (estimate: $100,000-150,000) in which Einstein acknowledges for the first time his indirect but significant role in the creation of the atomic bomb.

Additional Highlights

Additional highlights in the 33-lot sale include the only presidential inauguration Bible in private hands, used by President Ulysses S. Grant during his first inauguration in 1869 (estimate: $80,000-120,000); an extremely rare 1478 edition of Ptolemy’s atlas, noted for being the edition Christopher Columbus used prior to his voyage (estimate: $600,000-800,000); and a glass prism belonging to Benjamin Franklin (estimate $20,000-30,000) used in his optics experiments which led to his invention of the bifocal lens. The prism was later gifted to Joseph Pope, designer of the famed orrery in the Philosophy Chamber at Harvard University.

The Books and Manuscripts sale will preview at Bonhams New York from March 6-8, with the auction to be held March 9 at 10:00 a.m. EST.

Image: Ludwig Van Beethoven (1770-1827) Autograph Manuscript, sketch-leaf part of the score of his Scottish Song, "Sunset" Op. 108 no 2. Estimate: US$80,000-120,000

February17_01_pics.jpgIthaca, NY—National Book Auctions, located in Ithaca, NY, announces the launch of their next auction catalog.     

This catalog features rare, antique and decorative books as well as select additions of ephemera. Featured is a private collection of antique volumes dating back to the 16th century. A varied array of signed copies of books from many categories will also be presented alongside a number of modern firsts, including science fiction titles.              

Antique and rare books are numerous in this catalog. Among the earliest examples are the 1583 printing of de Ribadeneira's "Vida del P Ignacio de Loyola," bound in vellum, de Angelis' "Tractatus de Confessionibus tam Iudicialibus quam Extraiudicialibus," produced in 1695, and the 1608 printing of Gerson's "Imitation of Christ," bound in vellum. Additional rare and antique selections relate to travel & exploration, books-on-books, Civil War, theology, Catholicism, mountaineering, polar exploration, Alaska, Arctic, Antarctica, children's, decorative antique sets, Easton Press bindings, art history and beyond.                        

Several interesting collections will also be showcased. Highlighted is a fine array of important modern printings such as a first state of Dos Passos' debut novel, "One Man's Initiation," a rare 1928 printing of Lawrence's "Lady Chatterley's Lover," and an author-signed, limited first edition of Asimov's "The Roots of Dawn." Other selections feature author-signed copies by writers such as Rudyard Kipling, Maurice Sendak, Louis Auchincloss, Paul Theroux, John Masefield, Jerzy Kosinski, Bob Hope, and more. In addition to signed trade editions are a number of limited and special editions.       

Found throughout this catalog are interesting ephemera offerings and many group lots of desirable titles, including a number of lots featuring antique eastern European books, periodicals and ephemera.   

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

Custer.jpgWestport, CT - Rare and fascinating archives of material pertaining to Albert Einstein and Gen. George Armstrong Custer’s wife Elizabeth, plus others, will come up for bid in an online-only auction of autographed documents, manuscripts, books and relics scheduled for Wednesday, February 21st by University Archives, at 10:30 am Eastern. In all, 249 lots will come up for sale.

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

“Many of these archives haven’t seen the light of day for many years,” said John Reznikoff, the founder and president of University Archives, based in Westport. “These groups present a significant opportunity for both institutions and collectors alike. Sometimes dealers end up buying them and breaking them up. This sale has a host of material in nearly every category.”

The Einstein archive comprises letters and telegrams (14 pieces in all) written by Albert and his wife Elsa, to their friend, the Danish journalist Karen Stampe Bendix (1881-1963). Written in Danish and German from 1930-1933, the letters cover a range of topics, to include the growing German threat (“particularly deplorable is the weak stance by the British”) (est. $15,000-$2,000).

The Elizabeth Custer archive of over 600 manuscript pages is a newly discovered, unpublished and museum-quality trove of letters and drafts by Mrs. Custer, the custodian of the legacy of her famous military husband killed at Little Big Horn. Most were written from Daytona Beach, Fla. (circa 1927-1932). Included are several notebooks, plus a buggy whip (est. $20,000-$25,000).

Additional archives in the auction will include:

  • An archive of ten signatures, signed letters and documents from ten U.S. Secretaries of the Treasury, to include Alexander Hamilton (a partially printed document, signed as “Alexander Hamilton” and dated January 4th, 1792, in the midst of a financial crisis), Salmon Chase (also a partially printed document), and eight others. (est. $3,000-$5,000).
  • An archive of twelve letters (21 pages total) written by and to Gen. William Smallwood (1732-1792), all pertaining to the recruitment of soldiers and officers for the Maryland Line in the Continental Army at the outbreak of the Revolutionary War. After the war, Smallwood was elected to Congress and was Governor of Maryland (est. $6,000-$8,000).
  • An archive of 17 autograph letters signed “C.E. Gordon” (Charles “Chinese” Gordon), 13 of them dated 1882 and mostly relating to tortoises and the giant Coco de Mer palm tree growing in the Seychelles in Africa, which Gordon had identified as the location of the biblical Garden of Eden (the palm being the Tree of Knowledge). (est. $5,000-$6,000).
  • An archive of more than 225 letters, mostly written between 1942 and 1945, by British Lieutenant Jack Harrison of the Royal Navy - over 1,000 pages in all, to include five full page detailed drawings, to his mother in Nottingham, England. Also included are letters and envelopes from Harrison’s service in Africa in 1945 and after (est. $1,200-$1,400).

Kennedy items are hugely popular with collectors. Lots will include John F. Kennedy’s personal and historic Cuban Missile Crisis “Victory Map”, 55 inches by 21 inches, with eight “sticker” symbols representing Soviet planes, ships and missiles (est. $30,000-$35,000); and a six-page letter hand-written by Jackie Kennedy to her mother while in college, in 1951, from aboard the Queen Elizabeth ship, written on Cunard Line stationery, with illustrations (est. $3,500-$4,000).

Muhammad Ali’s personal diary from 1968, with over 1,800 words written in the champ’s own hand, including two signatures, has an estimate of $8,000-$10,000. The diary, titled National Diary for 1968, was written while Ali was banned from boxing for refusing military service. Also, a four-page manuscript written by Marlon Brando, with signatures, a peek into the inner mind of the enigmatic actor, with musings, quotes and meanderings, should hit $1,800-$2,000.

Presidential items are a hallmark of University Archives auctions. A document inscribed and signed by Abraham Lincoln from June 10, 1861, written to Secretary of War Simon Cameron, endorsing a Maryland general’s request to assemble a brigade, should bring $6,000-$8000; and a free franked postal cover inscribed and signed by Thomas Jefferson in Sept. 1821, addressed to a professor of medicine at Transylvania University in Kentucky, has an estimate of $3,500-$4,000.

A recently discovered four-page letter, written and signed by Alexander Graham Bell in 1917 to his wife Mabel, signed by him and possibly one of only a couple of Bell letters in private hands that mention the telephone, has an estimate of $12,000-$14,000. Also, an important archive of 39 letters, mostly typewritten, between Dr. George Papanicolaou, the inventor of the Pap smear, and noted eugenicist Dr. Leon F. Whitney, spanning 1937-1954, should gavel for $10,000-$12,000.

A lovely typed copy of the poem The Road Not Taken, signed by its author, Robert Frost, should command $800-$1,000. It’s a narrative poem - four stanzas of five lines each - and reads quite conversationally. It’s also one of Frost’s most popular works. Also, a one-page partially printed and partially handwritten document in Cyrillic, signed by the Russian Empress Catherine the Great (as “Catherine”), dated Feb. 23, 1765 and rewarding a servant, should hit $1,500-$1,700.

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

For more information about University Archives and the Wednesday, February 21st auction, please visit www.universityarchives.com.

Image: Elizabeth Custer archive - over 600 manuscript pages - a museum-quality trove of letters and drafts by Mrs. Custer, the widow of General George Armstrong Custer (est. $20,000-$25,000).

At the Ordinary General Meeting on 4th February 2018 the presidents of ILAB’s national member associations voted for Sally Burdon (Australia) as new ILAB President. She succeeds Gonzalo F. Pontes who served as President from 2016 to 2018; and will be supported by ILAB Vice‐President Fabrizio Govi (Italy).

Sally Burdon is very familiar with the work of ILAB. She has been part of the ILAB committee since 2014 and served as Vice-President under Gonzalo F. Pontes for the past two years.

Ms Burdon was instrumental in organizing the two large, international World Book & Copyright Day campaigns in 2015 and 2016. These fairs motivated booksellers on all continents to promote the trade in their respective countries and to raise over 20,000 Euros for UNESCO’s literacy work in South Sudan.

She is co-convener of the ILAB International Mentoring Programme which was launched in December 2016 to a successful start. Ms Burdon is dedicated to bookseller education, supporting future generations of booksellers through programmes such as the Mentoring Scheme and to the promotion of high standards throughout the trade.

Sally Burdon is a member of the Burdon family of antiquarian booksellers, in effect she was a bookseller in training from the age of 10. After a period of living overseas, she returned to Canberra in 1982 and started working full time in the family business now known as Asia Bookroom. She is a past President of the Australian and New Zealand Association of Antiquarian Booksellers (ANZAAB), served on the faculty of the Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar for 3 years and has organized conferences on bookselling in Australia.

In further elections, the presidents voted for Stuart Bennett as General Secretary, he follows Michel Bouvier (France) in this position.

Anne Lamort (France) and Pavel Chepyzhov (Russia) became new members of the ILAB Committee.

Norbert Donhofer was elected President of Honour.

ILAB Committee 2018
President: Sally Burdon (Australia)                                                                                    

Vice President: Fabrizio Govi (Italy)                                                                                 

Treasurer: Rob Shephard (UK)                                                                                           

General Secretary: Stuart Bennett (US)                                                                              


Anne Lamort (France)

Michael Graves-Johnston (UK)

Robert Schoisengeier (Austria)

Pavel Chepyzhov (RU)

Immediate Past President: Gonzalo F. Pontes (Spain)



Rosin-8_600.jpgSan Marino, CA — A spectacular trove of thousands of valentines and related material—some dating as far back as the late 17th century—has been given to The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, the institution announced today. Considered the best private collection of its kind in the world, the Nancy and Henry Rosin Collection of Valentine, Friendship, and Devotional Ephemera contains approximately 12,300 greeting cards, sentimental notes, folk art drawings, and other tokens of affection that trace the evolution of romantic and religious keepsakes made in Europe and North America from 1684 to 1970. The Rosins had given the collection to their son, Bob, who together with his wife, Belle, donated it to The Huntington for safekeeping. "This collection was carefully created by my parents," he said. "I can't think of a better place for it to be, given its historical and educational value."

The Rosin Collection brims with well-preserved paper (and in some cases, vellum or mixed media) materials that range from lacy 18th-century devotional cards, hand-cut by French and German nuns, to elegant Biedermeier-era (1815-1848) greeting cards complete with hand-painted love scenes, gilded embossing, mother-of-pearl ornaments, and silk chiffon. The collection includes cameo-embossed lace paper valentines from England, elaborate three-dimensional and mechanical Victorian paper confections, as well as handmade works of American folk art demonstrating traditional paper-cut techniques (scherenschnitte) and colorful Germanic Fraktur illustrations. Some of the most historically significant items include heartrending Civil War soldiers' valentines with personal notes detailing the hardship of war and longing for home. The Rosin Collection also contains bitingly satiric "vinegar" valentines, dance cards, memory albums, and watch papers (sentimental notes inserted into pocket watches), among other items relating to the history of love and devotion.

"We are profoundly grateful to Bob and Belle Rosin for this invaluable, and truly beautiful collection that was so carefully developed," said Sandra L. Brooke, Avery Director of the Library at The Huntington. "It will dramatically enhance our holdings in several areas to which we are committed—especially 19th century social history and visual culture, and of course, our renowned U.S. Civil War material."

Nancy Rosin is president of the National Valentine Collectors Association, president emerita of the Ephemera Society of America, and a member of the American Antiquarian Society and The Grolier Club. She says collecting valentines has been her "passionate obsession" for 40 years. "My quest to acquire sentimental expressions of love, especially those celebrating Valentine's Day—a significant social event that was enjoyed by all strata of society—grew into a desire to share them with the public," said Rosin. "Bob grew up watching us build this collection piece by piece. I'd long hoped the collection would end up where it would have the most research value and the highest standard of preservation, so it is deeply gratifying to know Bob and Belle have given these works to The Huntington."

The Huntington's collection of historical prints and ephemera was begun by its founder, Henry E. Huntington, about 100 years ago, and has since grown to contain hundreds of thousands of items that support public exhibitions and scholars' research, especially in the areas of British and American cultural history. The Rosin Collection significantly increases the institution's distinction of being one of the leading archives for ephemera studies.

"This is a collection I've been familiar with and admired for many years," said David Mihaly, Jay T. Last Curator of Graphic Arts and Social History at The Huntington. "It is without a doubt the best in private hands in terms of quality and range within its focus—to say nothing of the sheer wonder and delight the items provide. Pull a string and an ingenious cobweb device lifts to reveal a mouse in a trap; unfold a die-cut valentine and watch a majestic carriage spring to life in 3-D; read a witty poem and realize it's a hilarious jab at a Victorian-era politician; look closely at a tiny, centuries-old card and see it was delicately perforated with hundreds of tiny pinpricks, and hand painted so expertly. We certainly will enjoy researching and processing this collection—and hope to plan an exhibition in coming years."

The institution expects to start preserving and cataloguing the Rosin Collection this year, with research access soon to follow.

Image: Fold-open Valentine card. German, ca.1900. Maker unknown; three-layer construction of die-cut, embossed, and color lithographed paper with applied elements. 7¼" x 9" x 5" open. Gift of Belle and Robert Rosin. Nancy and Henry Rosin Collection of Valentine, Friendship, and Devotional Ephemera. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.


Spiderman-HA copy.jpgDallas, TX - The Original Cover Art from The Amazing Spider-Man #100  - considered one of the most iconic covers of the 1970s - could sell for as much as $300,000 in Heritage Auctions’ winter Comics & Comic Art event Feb. 22-24. Brimming with fresh-to-market high-grade vintage books, the auction features rarely seen art, such as Frank Frazetta’s Tree of Life Original Painting (est. $300,000).

“Hot on the heels of a last year’s record sales, we are starting 2018 with milestones of comic history,” said Barry Sandoval, Director of Operations for Comics & Comic Art at Heritage. “There are wonders to be found for every collector across every price point.” 

Artists John Romita Sr.’s and Frank Giacoia’s cover art for The Amazing Spider-Man #100 masterfully portrays Spidey and dozens of famous canon characters and marks the first time the artwork has ever been offered at auction. Collaborating with the legendary Stan Lee, the two understood the anniversary issue’s cover needed to be a masterpiece. Historians and fans alike rank the cover among the most influential of all time.

“This cover was done during the peak period of John Romita, Sr.’s artwork, at a time when Spider-Man’s popularity was extremely high,” Heritage Auctions’ Senior Vice President for Fine & Decorative Arts Ed Jaster said. “John Romita, Sr., had done the covers and interior of Spider-Man #39-95, and he changed the character from a kind of nerdy high school kid to a more self-confident college student, which is part of the reason why Spider-Man was able to capture more of an older market.”

Another striking example of Marvel Comics’ bombastic Silver Age covers is the Original Cover Art to Thor #154 by Jack “King” Kirby and Vince “The Prince” Colletta (est. $80,000). Thor almost jumps right off the page amid a highly detailed and character-stuffed background. Leading a selection of DC Comics cover art is the 1964 Original Cover Art from Superman #171 by Curt Swan and George Klein (est. $50,000). 

Original daily newspaper comic strip art includes two important rarities: a scarce original Calvin and Hobbes daily comic strip by artist Bill Watterson (est. $70,000). In addition to Watterson’s, fans of Charles Schulz are offered the Original Art for the Dec. 21, 1958 Peanuts Sunday Comic Strip featuring a coveted holiday theme and an entire cast of characters (est. $70,000). Even more beloved themes from Peanuts are offered, particularly Snoopy on his doghouse or pretending he’s a WWI Flying Ace, Charlie Brown and Lucy on the pitcher's mound and Lucy as the sarcastic psychiatrist, talking Charlie Brown through an existential crisis.

The sale’s selection of high-grade vintage comic books includes copies of Batman #1 (DC, 1940), CGC FN/VF 7.0 (est. $250,000) and a scarce copy of All-American Comics #16 (DC, 1940), CGC FN+ 6.5, featuring the origin and first appearance of Green Lantern (est. $125,000). The price guide value of the first appearance of Wonder Woman, in All Star Comics #8 (DC, 1942), CGC FN+ 6.5 (est. $100,000), has skyrocketed by 49 percent between 2016 and 2017.

Collector favorites include Captain America Comics #1 (Timely, 1941), CGC VG- 3.5 (est. $85,000), for its dynamic Adolf Hitler cover by Kirby, and the first appearance of Spider-Man in Amazing Fantasy #15 (Marvel, 1962), CGC FN 6.0 (est. $50,000).

A private collector’s complete run of every Archie-related comic or character reference ever published between 1941 and 1971 debuts in this auction with a group of 30 lots, starting with his first appearance in Pep Comics #22 (MLJ, 1941), CBCS Restored FN+ 6.5 (est. $50,000). The collection holds a coveted Archie Comics #1 (MLJ, 1942), CGC GD/VG 3.0 (est. $30,000) as well as a choice copy of Archie Comics #50 (Archie, 1951), CGC VF- 7.5 (est. $5,000). Perhaps rarest of all is an unusual promotional issue published as a shoe store giveaway (Archie, 1948), CGC VF/NM 9.0 (est. $3,000), rarely seen at auction.

Additional highlights include, but are not limited to:

·         Square Eggs (a.k.a. Lost In The Andes), 1973, a classic painting depicting Walt Disney’s Donald Duck family by Carl Barks (est. $50,000)

·         Original art by Kirby and Paul Reinman for Page 20 from Marvel Comics’ X-Men #1 (est. $40,000)

·         Robert Crumb’s original art for “Morbid Sense of Humor,” (est. $30,000), a one-page story which was published in Despair #1 (Print Mint Inc, 1969)

·         A rarely-seen high-grade copy of The Incredible Hulk #1 (Marvel, 1962), CGC FN+ 6.5 (est. $30,000)

Boxborough Paper Town Returns on March 31

Startling Stories.jpgBoxborough, Massachusetts — Flamingo Eventz is pleased to announce the return of the popular Boxborough Paper Town - The Vintage Paper, Books & Advertising Collectibles Show. This is the original Boxborough Paper Show where you’ll find all things Paper - from classic Ephemera to Books, Board Games, Postcards, Advertising, Classic Vinyl, and more! A long time favorite of both dealers and customers, we continue to make changes and improvements to ensure continued growth and success. We’re bigger, better, more diverse, and with lots of new dealers…this is the paper show to attend for the rare, unusual and hard-to-find treasure!

Scheduled for Saturday March 31, 2018 at the Boxborough Regency Hotel & Conference Center in Boxborough, MA, Exhibitors from across the Northeast will gather to present an outstanding array of fine, rare & unusual old books, maps, postcards, autographs, prints, posters, advertising, and much, much more. Plus, we have appraisals by well-known appraiser John Bruno, star of the PBS series Market Warriors, and guest appraisers from 1-3pm. Interested parties - both dealers & customers - should contact Flamingo Eventz at 603.509.2639 / info@flamingoeventz.com.

Exhibitor Specialties include: Advertising Covers, African American, Americana, Architecture, Art, Art Deco, Auctions, Autographs, Aviation, Baseball, Books, Bibles, Black History, Black Power, Calendars, Calling Cards, Christmas, Circus, Civil War, Cook Books, Charts, Children’s Books, Cocktails, Design, Dogs, Die Cuts, Documents, Engineering, Engraving, Ephemera, Erotica, Esoterica, Fantasy, Fashion, Fishing, Floridiana, Folklore, Folk Music, Foreign Language, Furniture, Games, Gardens & Horticulture, Graphics, Historic Documents, Horses, Hunting, Illustrated Books, Interior Design, Japan, Judaica, Letters, Logbooks, Manuscripts, Maps, Maritime, Medicine, Middle East, Military, Modernism, Music, Native American, Natural History, Nautical, Naval, New York City, New York State, New Jersey, Novelties, Olympic Games, Pacifica, Photographs, Photography, Pochoir, Polar, Pop-Ups & Moveable Books, Poetry, Postcards, Posters, Presentation Copies, Presidential Archives, Press Books, Prints, Pulitzer Prize Winners, Psychedelica, Puppetry, Puzzles, Railroad, Reference, Revolutionary War, Russia, Scholarly, Science, Science Fiction, Sports, Sporting, Technical, Theatre, Theology, Trade Cards, Trade Catalogues, Travel & Exploration, Travel Brochures, Typography, U.S. Coastal History, Vanity Fair Prints, Valentines, Voyages, Watercolors, Whaling, Wine, Yachting. These, and many other specialties, will be found at this event. Be sure to check our website, FlamingoEventz.com, for complete details and easily downloaded Discount Coupons.

Date/Hours: Saturday, March 31, 2018, 9am-3pm

Location: The Boxborough Regency Hotel & Conference Center, 242 Adams Place, Boxborough, MA 01709. Directly off I-495, exit 28.

Admission: Adults: $7 ($1 Discount with Ad or Website Coupon), Young Collectors 12-21: $4, plenty of free parking.

Appraisals: By John Bruno, Star of Market Warriors, and guest appraisers 12-2pm at $5/Item.

Directions: I-495 Exit 28, East on Massachusetts Ave (Rt. 111), right on Adams Place to Hotel. Check our website: flamingoeventz.com for easily downloaded maps.

Miscellaneous: Food & refreshment available at the Hotel restaurant during show hours.

Information: For Dealer or Customer information, please call or click 603.509.2639 / info@flamingoeventz.com

Background: Flamingo Eventz, LLC presents the finest, most innovative, successful, and respected Book & Ephemera Fairs, Antiques Shows, and Vintage Flea Markets in the Northeast. The Brunos have over 25 years experience as antique dealers and over 22 years experience as professional show promoters. They are members of the Antiques & Collectibles National Association (ACNA), and John Bruno is an antiques appraiser and television personality who can be seen on the PBS series Market Warriors.

image005.pngLos Angeles -The J. Paul Getty Museum announced today the gift of six rare Italian manuscript illuminations from collectors James E. and Elizabeth J. Ferrell. The donation has been made in Elizabeth’s name. The generous donation comprises large historiated initials from a group of twenty known leaves originally from a choir book made around 1400 for the Carthusian monastery of Santo Spirito in Farneta (Lucca), Italy. The book was commissioned by Niccolò di Lazzara, the archbishop of Lucca.
“Jim and Zibbie Ferrell have been longtime supporters of the Museum, and we are deeply grateful for this important gift,” says Timothy Potts, director of the J. Paul Getty Museum. “Over the past two decades, they have been very generous and enthusiastic lenders of manuscripts and other works from their collection to exhibitions at both the Getty Center and Getty Villa. A number of their objects are included in the reinstallation of the Villa that will be completed in April. The gift of these six spectacular objects assures Jim and Zibbie a permanent place in the growth and enhancement of our manuscripts collection, and in particular adds greatly to our representation of fourteenth-century art from Central Italy.”
The Ferrell’s have been involved with the Museum’s manuscripts department for almost twenty years, frequently lending works from their collection and supporting exhibitions and scholarly projects. This is their first gift of works of art to the Getty. The leaves are from a gradual, a choir book that contains the sung portions of the Mass. The vibrant illuminations were painted by Niccolò da Bologna, known for his expressive figures and crowded, action-filled narrative scenes. The subjects featured within the historiated initials relate to important feast days of the church, including the Trinity, the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, and several related to individual saints (including two scenes of Saint Paul’s martyrdom, a stunning image of Saint Mary Magdalene’s ascent into Heaven, and one with the Twelve Apostles).
“Niccolò da Bologna was the most prolific Bolognese illuminator of the late fourteenth century, and the Getty already owns two exceptional examples of his work,” says Elizabeth Morrison, senior curator in the Department of Manuscripts. “Each of the initials demonstrates Niccolò’s ability to render figures with a liveliness that seems to allow them to leap off the page. He is an artist whose rich and varied oeuvre deserves to be represented through multiple examples.”
The six initials will make their debut in the upcoming exhibition, Artful Words: Calligraphy in Illuminated Manuscripts on view at the J. Paul Getty Museum from December 18, 2018 through April 7, 2019. Learn more about this important donation and the work of Niccolò da Bologna on the Getty Iris.

Image: Initial P: The Nativity (detail), about 1392-1402, Niccolò da Bologna, from the Gradual of Niccolò di Lazzara for Santo Spirito in Farneta (Lucca). Tempera colors and gold leaf on parchment, 7 ½ x 6 15/16 in. Private collection.

Boston, MA — A flown swatch of fabric recovered from the wreckage of the Hindenburg sold for $36,282 according to Boston-based RR Auction. 

The piece of red cotton canvas was found among the wreckage of the Hindenburg following its disastrous explosion at Naval Air Station Lakehurst in New Jersey on May 6, 1937.

It was picked up by the Rosemary Dowling, a teenager at the time, who was on the ground with her sisters; her father Patrick was among the naval crew working to dock the airship when it exploded.

The museum quality piece is unique in that it is not silver gray, but red and was from the giant Nazi flags that were emblazoned on the tail of the airship.

“For many, this represents much more than the Hindenburg — but an end to the powerful propaganda tool used by the Nazi regime,” said Bobby Livingston, Executive VP at RR Auction. “We are thrilled with the price achieved that is well above our initial pre-auction estimate of $4,000 - $5,000.” 

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

Lyndon B. Johnson letter on White House letterhead sold for $27,455.

White House Flag hand-embroidered and used during four administrations sold $22,689.

George W. Bush letter on White House letterhead stating "The Oval Office is a shrine to Democracy," sold for $22,689.

Richard Nixon letter on White House letterhead from December 14, 1971, sold $20,626.

Abraham Lincoln land grant, signed the day after he issued the Emancipation Proclamation sold $15,496.

John F. Kennedy’s cream-colored silk scarf sold $7,950. 

The Fine Autographs and Artifacts from RR Auction began on January 19 and concluded on February 7.  More details can be found online at www.rrauction.com.   


ca-sycamore_500.jpgSan Marino, CA — One of the planet's most important and beautiful resources—its trees—will be spotlighted in a traveling exhibition of contemporary botanical artworks, on view May 19-Aug. 27, 2018, at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. "Out of the Woods: Celebrating Trees in Public Gardens" is organized by The New York Botanical Garden and the American Society of Botanical Artists. It is their third triennial exhibition. 

"Out of the Woods" highlights the role public gardens and arboreta play in engaging visitors with trees and their ecological and utilitarian roles. It also underscores the conservation, research, and scholarship being undertaken by these public institutions. 

The juried show includes 43 artworks, selected from a field of more than 200 submissions, each one depicting a tree cultivated in a public collection in locations spanning five continents. Specimens from small county arboreta are displayed alongside those from some of the world's most renowned botanical gardens, including The Huntington (as well as its nearby neighbor, the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden in Arcadia).

Working in watercolor, oil, graphite, colored pencil, and ink, these international artists have depicted everything from seedpods to bark to an entire forest floor. 

"By bringing these subjects to life through their work, this extraordinary group of botanical artists creates new pathways for communicating the beauty and value of plants to contemporary life," said James Folsom, the Telleen/Jorgensen Director of the Botanical Gardens at The Huntington. "I can't think of a more critical time than now to be hosting this show and talking about this topic."

While historically botanical illustration served the scientific purpose of helping to identify and categorize plants, today it plays a significant role in educating the public about the importance of conservation. It's an increasingly urgent subject: worldwide, trees are being destroyed by deforestation, development, and the effects of climate change. The urgency resonates locally, as well: trees throughout Southern California—including many on the grounds of The Huntington—are being lost in alarming numbers to invasive pests and diseases. Botanical gardens and arboreta are at the forefront of the fight to save them. (To cite just one example: The Huntington's staff is working closely with other experts to collect data on a tiny but destructive beetle, the polyphagous shot hole borer, and collaborating on ways to address that threat.)

The planet's own well-being relies heavily on its trees: they help clean the air and moderate temperatures, provide habitat and food for animals, absorb storm water and prevent erosion, and contribute to the health of the environment in countless other ways.

"With our growing understanding of global climate issues, trees' importance to our very survival is becoming clearer," said Carol Woodin, director of exhibitions for the American Society of Botanical Artists. "Trees breathe life into us both literally and figuratively. Botanical artists are responding to this, with many in this exhibition professing a particular connection with their subjects."

A number of the trees depicted in "Out of the Woods" are familiar species that viewers will recognize from their own neighborhoods and home gardens, such as the California Sycamore (Platanus racemosa), by artist Deborah Friedman, who created her detailed study of the tree's leaves, flowers, seed balls, and bark from a specimen at The Huntington. Others are more exotic, such as the Screw-Pine (Pandanus utilis), by artist Margaret Best, captured in the Bermuda Arboretum in Devonshire, Bermuda; or the Soursop Tree (Annona muricata) by Wendy Hollender, from the McBryde Garden, National Tropical Botanical Garden in Koloa, Hawaii. Even the bonsai form is represented: the show's Gold Medal winner is a stunning oil painting of a Black Pine Half-Cascade-Style Bonsai (Pinus nigra), by artist Asuka Hishiki, from a tree in the collection of the Omiya Bonsai Art Museum in Saitama, Japan.

"Out of the Woods" opened at the New York Botanical Garden (Nov 18, 2017-April 22, 2018) and will travel to three other venues around the country following its stop at The Huntington: Foundry Art Centre, St. Charles, Missouri (Oct. 5-Dec. 28, 2018); Tucson Botanical Garden, Tucson, Arizona (Jan. 25-April 13, 2019); and the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, Chaska, Minnesota (May 9-Aug. 13, 2019). 

The exhibition will be on view during regular public hours in the Flora-Legium gallery in The Huntington's Brody Botanical Center.

Exhibition Catalog: "Out of the Woods: Celebrating Trees in Public Gardens" is accompanied by a full-color catalog published by the New York Botanical Garden. 60 pages; paperback. $12. Available in the Huntington Store. thehuntingtonstore.org.

Related program: Drop-in family activities centered around botanical art will be offered in the Brody Botanical Center every Saturday and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. throughout the run of the exhibition. The activities will be facilitated by members of the Botanical Artists' Guild of Southern California (BAGSC), a chapter of the American Society of Botanical Artists. An adjunct exhibition, "Amazing Trees," featuring works by BAGSC members, will be on view in an adjacent space in the Botanical Center.

Image: Deborah Friedman, California Sycamore (2016), Platanus racemosa, The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, San Marino, California. Watercolor and ink on paper, 24 x 19 inches. © Deborah Friedman. Courtesy of the American Society of Botanical Artists and the New York Botanical Garden.


darwin-family_600.jpgSan Marino, CA—The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens announced today that it has acquired a unique photograph album, containing 19 prints, that offers a tantalizing glimpse into the intimate family circle of renowned scientist Charles Darwin (1809-1882). Inscribed to a member of Darwin's circle about whom nothing is known, and depicting several unpublished images of sitters ranging from close family members to those not yet identified, the rarity was purchased at The Huntington's 21st annual Library Collectors' Council meeting held earlier this month. 

The Council also purchased manuscript collections of Henry Dundas, 1st Viscount Melville (1742-1811), the United Kingdom's Home Secretary, Secretary of War, and First Lord of the Admiralty, and of James Francis Mercer (d. 1756), a British officer killed during the Seven Years' War while commanding Fort Oswego in New York.

In addition, The Huntington acquired a letter by Italian explorer and Spanish naval officer Alejandro Malaspina (1754-1810), reporting to the viceroy of New Spain in 1790 on a scientific expedition he co-commanded to the Americas and the Pacific. The Library Collectors' Council is a group of 46 families who assist in the development of the collections by supporting the purchase of important works that the Library would not otherwise be able to afford.

"This year's acquisitions extend and enhance our existing collections in history, the history of science, and photography," said Sandra Brooke, Avery Director of the Library at The Huntington. "Such materials have the potential to open new and unexpected pathways for research in these fields. We are deeply grateful to the Collectors' Council for its vision and exceptional support."

Highlights of the newly purchased materials:

A Darwin Family Photograph Album

This unique carte-de-visite photograph album of 19 albumen prints offers a tantalizing glimpse into the intimate family circle of Charles Darwin, the English scientist best known for his work on the theory of evolution. Victorian photographic albums were cherished artifacts in middle- to upper-class homes, serving as keepsakes to memorialize family and friends. This one offers scholars new insight into the complex web of interpersonal relationships surrounding Darwin. "While we know some of the individuals in the pictures, including Darwin himself, of course, there are others that we have yet to identify," said Jennifer Watts, The Huntington's curator of photography and visual culture. "This is, in a very straightforward way, a researcher's dream."

Similar in size to a prayer book, this album of portraits has the look and feel of a devotional tome, Watts added. "Its sacramental appearance runs counter to our contemporary view of Darwin as pronouncer and arbiter of evolution. At a time in which family bonds proved indispensable—both as social networks and as a means of labor—this album is an object at the intersection of science and sentimentality."

Several of the 10 Darwin offspring were deeply involved in their father's work; six are represented in the album. Some of the images are studio portraits by such notable photographers as Oscar G. Rejlander, who collaborated with Darwin on his The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals (1872). Other pictures are intimate (and unpublished) tableaus: an unknown baby on the lap of a Darwin son; a Darwin daughter in a windowsill with her two dogs. Also included are pictures of Darwin, his wife, Emma, and children George Howard; Horace (a scientist and the youngest of the Darwin children to survive into adulthood); Elizabeth ("Bessy"); and Henrietta Emma ("Etty") Litchfield.

Henrietta was a valued companion to her father, an editor of his work, and a correspondent with both of her parents. She was a linchpin in the Darwin circle, helping to anchor the scientific and domestic activities of her family. Henrietta's husband, Richard Buckley Litchfield, inscribed the album to a woman named Anne Griffiths in 1879.

The album's many mysteries invite scholarly scrutiny. Nothing is known of Anne Griffiths or the Darwin family's relationship to her. Several unpublished images depict as yet unidentified sitters—none of them known to be blood relatives—who, once identified, will prove crucial in extending our understanding of Darwin's inner circle.

In 1993, The Huntington acquired one of the greatest collections of Darwiniana ever assembled: the Warren D. Mohr collection of 1,600 books, caricatures, engravings, and photographs.

"In one fell swoop, the acquisition of the Mohr collection made The Huntington an international hub for scholars interested in the life and legacy of Charles Darwin," said Daniel Lewis, Dibner Senior Curator of the History of Science and Technology at The Huntington. "Adding this extraordinary photograph album to our Darwin holdings invites the scholarly world to help us puzzle out the evolution of this great scientist's human ties."

Image: Charles Darwin (left) and his daughter Henrietta Emma "Etty" Litchfield. Carte-de-visite Photograph Album (Down, Kent, 1871-1879), 19 albumen prints (2 1/2 x 3 1/2 in.). The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.


247-Diggelmann copy.jpgNew York—Swann Galleries will offer an auction of Vintage Posters Featuring Highlights from the Gail Chisholm Collection on Thursday, March 1. More than 130 highlights from the collection of internationally renowned dealer and aficionado Gail Chisholm provide a colorful cross section of the variety of twentieth-century posters, from unusual images to midcentury masterpieces.

Gail Chisholm was beloved in the poster community for her impeccable taste and sense of humor. The collection is led by a suite of three posters—unique to the travel poster genre—by Georges Dorival, titled Vers le Mont - Blanc, 1928. The set, displaying the majestic peak throughout the day to lure all potential tourists, from early risers to night owls, carries an estimate of $8,000 to $12,000. Breathtaking travel advertisements for Scotland include two depicting holes on the famed Gleneagles golf course—The “Howe o’ Hope” and The “Heich o’ Fash”—each with an estimate of $4,000 to $6,000. Powerful graphic works by Adolphe Mouron Cassandre include Chemin de Fer du Nord, 1929, and Paris, 1935 ($4,000 to $6,000 and $3,000 to $4,000, respectively).

An unmistakable theme in Chisholm’s collection is a concentration of tantalizing advertisements for food and drink. Two posters from Charles Loupot’s iconic 1930 series for Cointreau, each valued at $5,000 to $7,500, demonstrate the artist’s mastery by using the color of the beverage as a thematic element while also reminding the viewer of the fruit from which it derives. Additional culinary highlights include J. Stall’s Champagne Joseph Perrier, circa 1929 ($2,500 to $3,500) and two featuring lobsters.

Also from the Chisholm collection comes an unparalleled selection of Erik Nitsche’s campaign for General Dynamics, a series so graphically powerful it changed the face of advertising. These are led by the French version of Hydrodynamics from the influential Atoms for Peace series in 1955 ($2,500 to $3,500). In accordance with her wishes, proceeds from the sale of her collection will benefit Planned Parenthood of New York City.

The complete set of four allegorical panels by Alphonse Mucha of The Seasons, 1896, leads a breathtaking section of Art Nouveau works, with an estimate of $40,000 to $60,000. Also featured are several iconic posters including Éveil du Matin and Réverie du Soir from the 1899 Times of the Day series, each valued at $7,000 to $10,000, as well as all seven plates designed by Mucha for Maîtres de l’Affiche. All five plates designed for the publication by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec make a rare auction appearance. Iconic works by Paul Berthon, Jules Chéret, Jean de Paleologue (Pal) and Henri Privat-Livemont will also be available.A stellar selection of ski posters includes such highlights as a previously unrecorded advertisement for Sun Valley, Idaho, circa 1936, released within a year of the famous resort’s opening and the inauguration of the world’s first chairlift ($4,000 to $6,000). The following year a similar technology had spread to Switzerland, where it is the main attraction in Alex Diggelmann’s poster for Gstaad / Berner Oberland, 1937 ($6,000 to $9,000). Additional highlights include the scarce English version of Erich Hermès’s Winter in Switzerland, 1936, with an estimate of $4,000 to $6,000, and an early photomontage poster for Davos, 1901, from the Julius Paul Collection ($3,000 to $4,000). Rogers Broders is well-represented with Sports d’Hiver dans les Vosges, circa 1930, at an estimate of $5,000 to $7,500. Charles Hallo, who went professionally by the nickname Alo, designed Chamonix - Mont Blanc, 1924 ($4,000 to $6,000) for the eighth Olympic games, leading a competitive section of Olympic imagery.

Skiing was an attraction in the southern hemisphere as well, with James Northfield’s Winter Sport in Australia, 1932, carrying an estimate of $5,000 to $7,500. Also from Oceania come Australia / The Great Barrier Reef, circa 1956, by Eileen Mayo, and Harry Kelly’s Tasmania / Australia for the Angler, circa 1935 ($2,500 to $3,500 and $2,000 to $3,000, respectively).

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

Image: Lot 247: Alex Walter Diggelmann, Gstaad / Berner Oberland, 1937. Estimate $6,000 to $9,000.


432a3a571055ebf13835989eed584c0c49246ce8.jpegBoston, MA - RR Auction is pleased to present a new lot of exciting collectibles in its Prince Auction with bidding beginning February 8 - February 15.  

From the time he exploded onto the music scene in 1978 with his debut album For You, until his untimely death in 2016, Prince reigned over the landscape of modern music in a way few have before or after. With his unparalleled virtuosity as a prolific singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, electric live performer and even fashion icon, Prince leaves behind a legacy of chart-topping and record-smashing success. His legions of fans worldwide still mourn the loss of his larger-than-life talent.

The collection offers an intimate, up-close glimpse of an elusive musician who valued his personal privacy and kept his inner circle small. Items featured are stage-worn clothing and jewelry and personally owned items, autographed photos (unpublished, promos and candids) and rare albums (many still sealed). There are highly sought-after handwritten notes and lyrics, and items used by Prince on stage and off. 

More than 200 items are included in the sale, originating from Prince insiders. 

Some incredible stand-out items featured in this auction include: 

Prince’s stage worn purple boots. The custom-made high-heeled shoes, feature a black leather interior and purple satin exterior. The zippers on the sides are decorated with large silver ‘love symbol’ charms. These boots were clearly extensively worn by the iconic musician.

Purple piano played by Prince, the upright piano which was kept at the home of an early Prince insider and was personally played by Prince frequently throughout his career. The piano was originally picked up by the touring crew of Earth, Wind & Fire around 1978, and was delivered to the consignor’s home in Los Angeles (where Prince was living at the time) as a gift specifically for Prince. This was his favorite piano to play because he loved the distinctive ring-like sound it made when he played it. 

Prince's handwritten working script for the 1986 film Under the Cherry Moon, plus a handwritten and signed title page.” The red notebook contains eight single-sided pages of Prince's handwritten working script for the 1986 film Under the Cherry Moon, plus a handwritten and signed title page. 

Incredibly rare original 1987 U.S. first pressing of The Black Album factory sealed in its original shrinkwrap, complete with affixed peach-and-black sticker on the front, "Explicit Lyrics, Parental Advisory.”

Drafted lyrics for “I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man,” entirely in Prince's hand.  

Prince microphone from “Purple Rain” tour, the stage-used Sennheiser mic was used during the second half of the 1984-85 Purple Rain Tour.

Prince’s purple pants from circa 1982-1985. The pants are custom-made with a tiny 25″ waist, 26.5″ inseam, and overall length of 38″. These pants are identical in color and fabric to the jacket Prince wore during a photo session with legendary photographer Richard Avedon on December 22, 1982. 

Prince's black mesh cropped shirt decorated with black tassels along the sleeves, worn on the same night of his private performance party for Minneapolis Mayor Sharon Sayles Belton on January 14, 1995. 

The Prince Auction from RR Auction begins on February 8 and will conclude on February 15. More details can be found online at www.rrauction.com.    

Image: Lot #4013 - Prince Handwritten Lyrics for 'I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man.’ Courtesy RR Auction.

London — The Folio Society and House of Illustration are thrilled to announce the longlist for the annual Book Illustration Competition (#BIC2018). 

Now in its eighth year, The Book Illustration Competition is a partnership between The Folio Society and House of Illustration. To date, the competition has distributed over £50,000 worth of prizes and has received thousands of entries. 

This year from over 450 excellent entries, 24 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 Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Selected Adventures and Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes. The five other entrants who complete the shortlist will each receive £500. As part of the Book Illustration Competition’s committment to nurturing new talent, the judging panel ensures that students 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 ‘The longlist represents for me the entries that excelled in both cover and illustration, making a cohesive entry. It’s no simple skill to adapt styles and concepts for both - an illustration which pinpoints an exact moment and a cover which represents the whole in a compelling way.‘ 

Colin McKenzie noted ‘We had a wonderful response to the competition this year with almost twice the number of entries, clearly reflecting the enduring and international popularity of Sherlock Holmes. We were particularly pleased by the large number of student applications and the creativity and ingenuity of so many of the illustrations. As a result we have a very strong longlist.’ 

Entries were received from 48 countries including the USA, Singapore, Iran, Spain and Guatemala, and over 35% of them were from students. 

This year also sees the return of the popular stand alone People’s Choice award. Voted for online (http://competitions.houseofillustration.org.uk/book-illustration-competition-2018/peoples-choice-award/), the People’s Choice can be selected from any of the longlisted entries.The 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 eminent Holmesian, Helen Dorey; Sheri Gee, Art Director and Tom Walker, Publishing Director both from The Folio Society; Colin McKenzie, Director and Olivia Ahmad, Curator both from House of Illustration and Darya Shnykina, winner of the Book Illustration Competition 2017. 

The awards will be announced and presented by Helen Dorey at an exclusive ceremony at House of illustration on 20 February 2018.

New York — In its 39th 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. 17-18 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. Collectors will be on hand to help everyone navigate the items for sale, and no previous knowledge is necessary.

“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 second 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. 18, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and on Sunday, Feb. 19, 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.


Lexington, Mass.-based Book and Paper Fairs specializes in the production  of rare book and ephemera fairs in the Northeast United States. The company organizes notable events such as the New York City Book and Ephemera Fair, the Brooklyn Antiquarian Book Fair,  The Ephemera  Fair in Greenwich, CT, the Boston West Book Print and Ephemera Fair, the Granite State Book and Ephemera Fair in Concord, NH, and the Boston Book Print and Ephemera Fair.

Dealers interested in participating in the 39th Annual Greenwich Village Antiquarian Book Fair may contact Marvin Getman at info@bookandpaperfairs.com.  


The first public school known as PS3 was established in the 1820s, when the visiting Marquis de Lafayette toured this model of progressive American education. The current PS3, also known as the John Melser Charrette School, was founded in 1971 as a progressive and experimental school. The PS3 of today came into being through a community workshop process known as a charrette, at which parents and other community members, teachers, administrators, public officials, social planners, and educational consultants arrived at a vision of child-centered learning in open multi-age classrooms, with a nonhierarchical structure, active parent involvement, and an emphasis on the arts. 

For more information about PS3 The Charrette School, please visit http://www.ps3nyc.org/

For more information about the book fair, please visit The website is www.gvabf.com

February11_02_pics.jpgIthaca, NY—Worth Auctions, located in Dryden, NY, announces the launch of their next auction catalog.    

This catalog features a variety of items and artwork, with the bulk of the catalog focused on our next session from the estate of Salvatore Grippi. In addition to numerous finished paintings, many lots offer works on paper, studies and assorted items from the artist's studio will also be sold.             

Featured in this sale are a number of rare early works by the important New York School artist Salvatore Grippi (1921-2017), who worked and exhibited alongside the likes of de Kooning, Nevelson, and Baziotes during the heydey of Abstract Expressionism. In 1968, Grippi established the art department at Ithaca College, where he taught until 1991. In 2011, he was honored with a solo retrospective at Cornell University's Johnson Museum of Art, marking the last time until now that a substantial body of his work has been on public view in his hometown. The sale showcases several large canvases and a variety of works on paper.         

Other items in this catalog offer a diverse range of categories. Of particular note is a collection of early Currier & Ives prints, including hand-colored and rare examples. There are also some fine antique fishing-related items including reels and an original 1940's Johnson outboard motor. Additional lots include antique Civil War photographs, an antique McClellan saddle, an original oil painting by noted Ithaca area artist, William Charles Baker, vintage dolls, antique coins, musical instruments, and more.       

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

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


Codex_CX-078-1294_Banner.jpgThe Codex and Crafts in Late Antiquity, a Bard Graduate Center Focus Project on view from February 23 through July 8, 2018, examines the structural, technical, and decorative features of the major types of codices—the wooden tablet codex, the single-gathering codex, and the multigathering codex. Exhibited alongside surviving artifacts, documentary, and iconographic evidence, handmade replicas are used to explore the craft processes that were applied in the making of these early books. The exhibition presents the codex not as an invention but rather as an innovation that depended on techniques already widely used in the creation of everyday items such as socks and shoes, and reveals that the codex was a fascinating, yet practical, development. 


The codex, which appears to be a result of Roman ingenuity, is one of the most important innovations in the history of civilization. Throughout Greco-Roman antiquity, the standard format for an extended written text had been the papyrus roll. Literary evidence suggests that the Romans, following the structural and functional principles of the tablet codex, turned from wooden tablets to papyrus and parchment leaves—already used for informal notebooks—and produced the codex, or the book in the format we know it today. 

The transition from roll to codex took place gradually between the second and fifth centuries AD under conditions long debated. Based on surviving evidence it seems that in the early centuries the new book format was not often used for Latin and Greek literary texts, for which the roll continued to be used. Rather, it was apparently the whole-hearted Christian adoption of the codex that is often credited with establishing it as the standard format of the book, as monks and scholars helped spread the religion from the Middle East to the rest of the Mediterranean and beyond. Ultimately, evidence points to a close relation between the craft technologies employed in making the multigathering codex and those used in common objects—woven textiles, baskets, mats, socks, shoes, and sandals. 

The Exhibition 

The Codex and Crafts in Late Antiquity provides a concise history of the first steps of the codex book format from a technical and technological point of view. Specifically it focuses on the different techniques used to turn leaves of papyrus or parchment into a functional book that could be safely used and preserved. 

The first section looks at the precursors—the wooden tablets and single-gathering notebook-style codices— that informed the multigathering codex. Along with replicas or facsimiles of these two basic types of codices, two spectacular antiquities will be on view: an original set of wooden tablets from the Brooklyn Museum con- taining school exercises and a “kylix” or drinking vessel with red-figure decoration illustrating the portability of such tablets. The larger gallery revolves around the five main processes used to make a bound, multigathering codex: the sewing of the gatherings, the attachment of the boards to the book block, the sewing of endbands at the head and tail edges of the spine, the covering of the book with often highly decorative leather, and the addition of fastening straps. All of these processes can be directly related to specific crafts that were in active production during antiquity, as will be demonstrated in the exhibition. 

The sewing used to bind gatherings was adapted from a technique known as cross-knit looping, which was used extensively in late antiquity, notably for socks. The sewing of the boards to the book block is based on such basic stitches as the blanket stitch, ubiquitous in fabrics since prehistoric times. The sewing of the endbands— the tiny strips of fabric visible at either end of the spine—can be directly related to the different techniques used for finishing the edges of textiles and mats and for strengthening as well as decorating them. The cut, stitched, stamped, and gilded decoration on leather covers exactly matches shoe-making techniques while the patterns used correspond to those found on other artifacts, such as mosaics and textiles. Finally, the different fastening straps used with these books are identical to those used in sandals and belts. 

To illustrate these relationships, a limited number of original artifacts will be displayed—book covers, shoes, sandals, wooden tablets, and tunic fragments—as well as replicas of ancient artifacts. A particular highlight will be the intricately stitched and gilded covers of a ninth-tenth-century AD Gospels purchased for J. Pierpont Morgan in 1911, which, although well known to scholars, have been rarely put on public view. Along with the Morgan Library and Museum, lenders include the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, and other major institutions. A handful of makers, including the exhibition’s curator, provided the mod- ern replicas and facsimiles on view. A digital interactive featuring the curator’s hand-drawn diagrams and a short film showing his working methods will both serve to further explicate these early bookbinding processes and emphasize the work of skilled hands in creating—and rediscovering—these crafts from late antiquity. 

The Codex and Crafts in Late Antiquity is curated by Georgios Boudalis, Head of the Book and Paper Conservation Laboratory, Museum of Byzantine Culture, Thessaloniki, Greece; Research Fellow, Bard Graduate Center, February-May, 2015: and Visiting Professor, Bard Graduate Center, September-December, 2016. The exhibition is accompanied by a richly illustrated book, which will be available in the Gallery and the Store. 

About Bard Graduate Center Focus Projects 

Focus Projects are part of an innovative program organized and led by faculty members or postdoctoral fellows through seminars and workshops that culminate in small-scale, academically rigorous exhibitions and publications. Students, assisted by the Center’s professional staff of curators, designers, and media specialists, are closely involved from genesis through execution and contribute to each project’s form and content. The Focus Project promotes experimentation in display, interpretation, and the use of digital media, reflecting the Center’s commitment to exhibitions as integral to scholarly activity. 

About Bard Graduate Center Gallery 

The Gallery organizes pioneering exhibitions on deco- rative arts, design history, and material culture with leading scholars, curators, and institutions worldwide. We provide opportunities for faculty and students to gain experience in exhibition making. Our projects and publications break down traditional barriers between academic and curatorial forms of inquiry. 

Gallery Programs 

Lectures, gallery talks, and conversations are offered in conjunction with the exhibition. For more information, please call 212.501.3011 or e-mail public.programs@bgc.bard.edu. 

Exhibition Tours 

Group exhibition tours are offered Tuesday through Friday between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. and Thursday until 7 p.m. Reservations are required for all groups. To schedule a tour, please call 212.501.3013 or e-mail tours@bgc.bard.edu. 

Bard Graduate Center Gallery is located in New York City at 18 West 86th Street, between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue. Gallery hours are Tuesday and Friday through Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Wednesday and Thursday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Suggested admission is $7 general, $5 seniors and students. 

For information about Bard Graduate Center and upcoming exhibitions, please visit bgc.bard.edu/gallery

Image credit: Modern facsimile of 5th-century PD Glazier codex (Morgan MS 5.67). Wood, leather, bone, parchment. Made by Ursula Mitra. Photograph: Bruce White.

Book-of-the-City-harley_ms_4431_f004r copy.jpgThe British Library has made over 50 rare medieval manuscripts and early print editions, spanning 1,000 years of literary history, available for free on its Discovering Literature website.

Highlights include:

  • The single surviving manuscript of Beowulf, the longest epic poem in Old English
  • The earliest autobiography in English, The Book of Margery Kempe
  • The Wycliffite Bible, the first complete translation of the Bible in the English language
  • William Caxton’s pioneering illustrated print edition of The Canterbury Tales
  • The first work authored by a woman in English, Julian of Norwich's Revelations of Divine Love 
  • The earliest work of theatre criticism in English, Tretise of Miraclis Pleyinge
  • One of the greatest collections of Scottish medieval verse, the Bannatyne Manuscript from the National Library of Scotland

Bringing together over 50 unique medieval manuscripts and early print editions from the 8th to 16th centuries, Discovering Literature: Medieval presents a new way to explore some of the earliest works and most influential figures of English literature.  From the first complete translation of the Bible in the English language to the first work authored by a woman in English, the website showcases many rarities and ‘firsts’ in the history of English literature.  

Featuring extracts of medieval drama, epic poetry, dream visions and riddles alongside over 20 articles exploring themes such as gender, faith and heroism written by poets, academics and writers including Simon Armitage, Hetta Howes and David Crystal, Discovering Literature: Medieval offers unprecedented access to the British Library’s collections and provides contemporary scholarly insight for young people and learners across the world.

Dr Alex Whitfield, Head of Learning Programmes at the British Library, said:

‘Discovering Literature is a fantastic resource, which enables the British Library to open up its collections to a broader audience.  We are always trying to find innovative ways to help learners of all ages engage with the Library’s collections and we are so pleased that such extraordinary collection items and valuable academic insight can now be accessed by anyone, anywhere. Ultimately, we hope that the website will enrich the study and enjoyment of medieval literature for a new generation.’

Dr Claire Breay, Head of Ancient, Medieval and Early Modern Manuscripts at the British Library, said:

‘The British Library’s medieval collections are world-renowned and it’s very exciting to be opening up the Library’s collections of early literary history to young learners through Discovering Literature.  Each item featured on the website has a rich history and it’s fantastic to see the unique manuscripts of Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, which survived a major fire in the 18th century, showcased on this digital platform for future generations to explore.’

Discovering Literature is a free website aimed at A-Level students, teachers and lifelong learners, which provides unprecedented access to the Library’s literary and historical treasures and has received over 7 million unique visitors since launching in 2014.  The British Library has already published collections relating to Shakespeare and the Renaissance, the Romantic and Victorian periods, and 20th century literature and drama, and will continue to add to the site until it covers the whole rich and diverse backbone of English literature, from The Canterbury Tales to The Buddha of Suburbia.

The project has been generously supported by Dr Naim Dangoor CBE The Exilarch’s Foundation since its inception, along with the British Library Trust and the British Library Patrons. Further development of the project is being supported by the Garfield Weston Foundation, Mark Pigott KBE KStJ, Evalyn Lee, Luci Baines Johnson and Ian Turpin, The American Trust for the British Library, The John S Cohen Foundation, The Andor Trust, and Allan and Nesta Ferguson Charitable Trust. 

Image: The Book of the Queen, written by Christine de Pizan, the first female writer to earn a living from her work (Harley MS 4431) (c) British Library Board


GW Book.jpgKnoxville, TN— A trove of historical books, documents and silver tied to George Washington and other Revolutionary War heroes helped Case ring in 2018 with one of its most successful sales to date. 4500 registered bidders from more than 60 countries participated in the January 27 auction at the company’s gallery in Knoxville, and 95% of the lots sold. 

Leading the auction was an important book, owned and signed by George Washington and given to his friend and biographer, the U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall (1755-1835). Published in 1789 by printer and patriot Isaiah Thomas, the leather-bound Volume 1 of The Massachusetts Magazine contained an account of Washington’s first inauguration as President, plus his memoirs, and Washington’s coat-of-arms engraved bookplate. The intriguingly personal piece of presidential ephemera surged to $138,000, shattering its $28,000-32,000 estimate (all prices include the buyer’s premium). The anonymous buyer bid via telephone, competing against 7 other phone bidders and multiple online suitors, including institutions and some of the nation’s leading book and manuscript dealers and collectors.

The book was found by dealer and consultant Carl Schow in the estate of Charles Boyd Coleman, Jr. of Chattanooga, Tennessee. Coleman was a direct descendant of Justice Marshall, and his family tree also included General Henry Dearborn and General Elias Dayton, along with distinguished Civil War soldiers on both sides of the conflict. Company president John Case likened the discovery of material from the estate to “finding a time capsule full of pivotal moments from American history” and noted that more objects from the estate will be sold in Case’s summer auction.

Justice Marshall’s personal copy of his biography of George Washington (second edition, 1832) reached $21,600 (est. $5,000-7,000), and a 1799 letter from George Washington to John Marshall congratulating him on his first election to public office tallied $19,200 (est. $12,000-14,000). A George II silver sauceboat, which descended in the John Marshall family with oral history of having a connection to Washington, served up $11,040. It bore a coat of arms attributed to the Bassett family, and likely belonged to Martha Washington’s niece, Fanny Bassett, who lived at Mount Vernon until her untimely death in 1796. It was accompanied by a velvet remnant said to have come from George Washington’s coat. John Marshall’s signed four-volume set of Plutarch’s Lives, published by James Crissy in Philadelphia,1825, brought $18,600, and Marshall-signed letters to his son and wife brought $4,560 and $4,320 respectively. A full-length oil portrait of Marshall realized $16,640. It is one of seven known portraits of Marshall by William James Hubard (Virginia, 1807-1862); all are nearly identical to the Hubard portrait currently in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery. From the same estate, a Joseph Loring Federal silver cup with engraved initials for General Henry Dearborn (1750-1829) brought $3,240, while a military appointment signed by Gen. Dearborn and President Thomas Jefferson realized $3,120. An 1834 Andrew Jackson signed document conferring the rank of Major to Captain Greenleaf Dearborn marched to $2,176. An archive of material related to Marshall descendant, Lt. Col. Lewis Minor Coleman (CSA, Virginia, 1827-1863), including a tintype photo of Coleman in uniform, charged to $10,240, while Coleman’s bird’s eye view print of the University of Virginia, lithographed by Edward Sachse, landed at $11,264. A Civil War-era Annin & Co. flag unfurled at $5,520. It had been the property of Dearborn descendant Charles H. Boyd, who served the Union during the Civil War as chief topographical engineer for Gen. Henry Thomas.

Applause broke out in the saleroom when the only known lifetime painting of stallion Bonnie Scotland and groom, Robert Green, of the famous Nashville plantation and thoroughbred farm “Belle Meade,” crossed the finish line at $48,000 (its top estimate). The artist was Herbert Kittredge, a promising equine artist whose career was cut short by his death in 1881 at the age of 28. Bonnie Scotland’s progeny included War Admiral, Man O’War, and Seabiscuit, and his descendants are still winning races today, including the 2014 Derby Winner and 2016 American Horse of the Year, California Chrome.

“It was an especially significant painting because of the depiction of Robert Green, a slave at Belle Meade who stayed on as a paid employee after the Civil War,” commented Sarah Campbell Drury, Case’s Vice President of Fine and Decorative Arts. “His likeness reminds us of the often-forgotten role of African Americans to the sport of racing in the 19th century.”

The winning bidder, Belle Meade Plantation (now a house museum and historic site open to the public in Nashville) nosed out underbidders on the telephone and internet, after launching a campaign among supporters and on social media to raise money to buy the painting. A portrait of another Belle Meade horse, “Springfield,” by Thomas Scott (Kentucky, 1824-1888) raced to $7,920 (est. $3,400-3,800), selling to an anonymous phone bidder. Two museums competed against a dealer bidding by phone for a painting by William Frye (Alabama, 1822-1872) depicting an unnamed African American man standing in front of an edition of the Louisville Commercial newspaper (known for its anti-slavery leanings). Despite some tears to the canvas, it hammered down to Winterthur Museum for $15,000. (Winterthur also purchased a rare sampler made by an African girl in an English missionary school in Sierra Leone for $3,840). A folky early 19th century portrait of a little girl in a painted chair, descended in the Moran family of Middle Tennessee, blew past its $1,000-1,200 estimate to $8,640. Other Southern paintings of noted included a painting of a house by New Orleans artist James Michalopoulos, $5,040; a large house paint on wood panel painting of a dancing woman by Mose Tolliver, $4,096, and a Tennessee landscape by Thomas Campbell, $1,140.   Memory paintings by Helen LaFrance (Kentucky, b. 1919) ranged from $1,320 for a still life to $6,240 for a detailed Church Picnic scene. A Carroll Cloar self-portrait lithograph titled “The Ingredients” sold for $3,480 against a $500-600 estimate, and a Charles William Smith woodcut of a Charleston, SC graveyard rested at $1,920.

European Art included Hans Zatzka oil of two partially nude women in a lavish, Orientalist style interior. It sold to a Middle Eastern buyer for $20,480, more than double its estimate. A portrait of a far more conservatively dressed 17th century noblewoman, attributed to the circle of Cornelis De Vos, sold to an overseas buyer for its top estimate, $7,936, while an early 19th century Dutch floral still life by Jan Van Doust flourished at $3,328. A painting of cats by Austrian born animal painter Carl Kahler purred to $6,720, and a Berlin style hand-painted porcelain plaque of a sleeping cherub rested at $4,560. An unsigned 18th century portrait of a well-dressed English gentleman sold for $3,000, and a portrait of a peasant girl in a floral wreath by William Oliver the Younger earned $2,560.

Sculpture included a 36” Victor Issa bronze of a nude woman, $4,608; Erte bronzes Melisande, $3,360 and Heat, $3,072; a Raymond Coins stone tablet carved with Adam and Eve motif, $2,400; and a Tim Lewis carved limestone Noah’s Ark, $1,920.

20th century fine and decorative arts met with avid interest, particularly a George Nakashima walnut credenza, which attracted 8 phone bidders and lots of internet interest, propelling it to $25,600 (est. $5,400-$5,800). Two vivid abstract watercolors by Beauford Delaney (American/Tennessee, 1901-1979), from the artist’s estate, achieved $15,000 and $7,440, while an archive of Delaney letters and paintbrushes drew $4,800. A Picasso Madoura “Visage” ceramic plate brought $7,936 and an Alexander Calder signed lithograph, “Homage to Ben Shahn,” doubled its estimate at $2,880. A Baker “Abalone” chandelier based on a mid-mod Tony Duquette design lit up at $5,632 and a vintage Abercrombie & Fitch leather footstool, in the form of a rhinoceros, trampled its $700-900 estimate to hit $2,688. A group of 3 Clyde Burt Art Pottery items made $1,320.

Several bidders craved a rare Middle Tennessee Sheraton sugar sideboard, pushing the price to $19,800 (est. $5,400-5,800). A Hepplewhite inlaid chest of drawers with deep top “bonnet” drawers, attributed to South Carolina, soared to $18,000, and an East Tennessee desk and bookcase tallied $16,200. An unusual Western Pennsylvania high chest, adorned with what John Case called “a tour de force of inlay,” reached $9,600; an inlaid Hepplewhite style chest of drawers attributed to the Lexington, KY shop of Porter Clay fetched $7,920; and an inlaid sideboard attributed to South Carolina served up $7,440. An English Regency secretary cabinet with ebonized trim including paw feet and sphinx decoration, from the Maple Grove Estate of Knoxville and featured in a Southern Living magazine article on the home, sold for $9,600, while a Chippendale carved tea table with birdcage, possibly from Philadelphia, earned $5,520.

Pottery, a staple at Case, included one of the earliest pieces to surface attributed to David “Dave” Drake, an enslaved but literate artisan at the Lewis Miles Pottery of Edgefield, South Carolina. The double handled jar, inscribed LM and dated 1840, achieved $7,920 (est. $5,000-7,000). Other Southern related objects included a James LaFever Tennessee stoneware jug, $3,840, and a John Fashauer Kentucky stoneware jar, $2,280.

Textiles included an 1832 Kentucky house sampler by Eliza Pearson of Nelson County, $6,144, and a circa 1860 Tennessee pictorial sampler featuring a horse and rider, $3,120.

It was a good sale for jewelry and silver. The star jewelry lot was a 3.13 carat oval brilliant cut diamond ring, F color, VS1 clarity, with GIA report, which realized $36,000 (est. $24,000-28,000).  An Art Deco platinum ring with two mine cut diamonds (approximately 1.4 carats) and twenty channel set sapphires sparkled at $6,960, and a Georgian 18K diamond bangle bracelet wrapped up $4,096. A set of five 22K yellow gold matching bangle bracelets sold for $2,816. A Kirk Repousse pattern 6-piece tea service including kettle sold for $11,040 (est. $8400-8800), while a Baltimore coin silver Repousse Monteith bowl with scenic design hammered down at $4,096. A George III Sterling Epergne brought $6,912, and a Continental silver figural griffin jug climbed ot $4,864. A large Old Sheffield meat dome with warming stand was a hot seller at $6,960, and a Whiting Sterling overlaid ruby glass biscuit jar quadrupled its estimate at $6,240. A Southern coin silver collector claimed a coin silver agricultural premium goblet with inscription for the 1858 Noxubee Fair in Mississippi, to $4,080, while a Bailey & Co. Victorian sterling ewer competed to $3,120, and a set of five Manchester sterling juleps with horseshoe decoration raced to $1,560.

Maps and documents, many from the estate of the late Dr. Benjamin Caldwell, enjoyed success as well. An 1834 set of working copies of the Tennessee State Constitution with margin notations, suggesting it was used during the Constitutional Convention, sold to an institution for $5,280, and an 1830s engraved tripartite view of Nashville, cut from an extremely scarce map by J.P. Ayres (only two copies are known to exist), shot to $3,120 against a $300-350 estimate. A J. Russell 1794 Kentucky map sold for $3,328, while a 1748 “New Map of Georgia” by Emmanuel Bowen tripled its estimate at $3,240. A Civil War letter archive related to the family of Rep. Francis Burton Craige of North Carolina brought $2,160.

A collection of 28 Chinese jade buckles, sold in multiple lots, brought a total of $30,556. Other Asian decorative arts included a Qing red lacquer armchair, $4,864; a Qing carved hardwood games table, $3,328; and a group of 3 Yixing teapots, $2,400. An archaic form bronze jue served up $2,880, while a bronze tree of life turned into a lamp made $2,880 and a Meiji bronze warrior figure prevailed at $1,536.

Two mechanical music collections struck a chord with buyers. Top lots included a Swiss music box on stand with interchangeable cylinders, $5,120; a Swiss Music Box with inlaid burlwood case and bird and bee strikers, $4,096; and a George Baker Troll Co. cylinder music box, $2,400. And a scarce Lyon and Healy harp shattered its $1,000 high estimate to hit a surprise high note of $18,600.

Other interesting objects included a scarce lithographed tin advertising tray and 4 glasses from the short-lived Alabama Brewing Co. (Birmingham, 1897-1908), $2,816, and a W.T. and C.D. Gunter Jack Daniels No. 7 clear glass whiskey bottle, $1,920; a Western Union Model 2825 3-A Ticker Tape with stand, $5,376, and a Solomon Reed full stock percussion long rifle, .40 cal., $5,280. A set of Baccarat gilded crystal bowls and tazzas earned $5,120, and a French gilt bronze table screen with enameled interior scene closed at $4,352.

Case Antiques, Inc. is based in Knoxville with offices in Nashville and the Tri-Cities. The company conducts auctions four times a year of investment quality art, antiques, jewelry and historical objects. For more information or to consign objects for a future auction, visit www.caseantiques.com/selling  or call the gallery in Knoxville at (865) 558-3033 or the Nashville office at (615) 812-6096, or email info@caseantiques.com.

Click here for a full list of highlights from the auction


The National Comedy Center is proud to announce the acquisition of the archive of ground-breaking comedian Shelley Berman, who passed away in September 2017 at the age of 92. The donation was formally announced during a tribute attended by Larry David, Dr. Demento, Cheryl Hines, Laraine Newman, Howard Storm, David Steinberg, Fred Willard, and Alan Zweibel, hosted by Lewis Black and presented by the National Comedy Center on Tuesday, January 30th at the Comedy & Magic Club in Hermosa Beach, California.

The Berman archive is the latest acquisition for the National Comedy Center, the first non-profit cultural institution and national-scale visitor experience dedicated to the art of comedy, which already houses a number of archival pieces including the 25,000-piece George Carlin collection, donated in 2017. 

In production now in Lucille Ball’s hometown of Jamestown, New York, the National Comedy Center fulfills Ball’s vision to establish a center that celebrates comedy in all of its forms, educating and engaging visitors with the story of the art form and its artists. The National Comedy Center is slated to host its ribbon cutting August 1-4, 2018 during its annual Lucille Ball Comedy Festival.

“No longer the step child to the arts, comedy and those who make us laugh are about to have their own place in the world. When I found myself surrounded by all of Shelley's writings, I wondered what to do with all of it. Do I give it to some museum where they let it gather dust before they throw it away? Along came the National Comedy Center, driven by people who have the vision to know that this material and the material of other comedians has a value. They are dedicated to preserving all for their archives and for future generations who may want to know about those who gave us the gift of laughter. I feel confident that all of Shelley's fine work will be in good hands,” said Sarah Berman, Shelley’s wife of more than 70 years. 

The archive was carefully collected and stored in Berman’s home office for seven decades, and spans from the 1940s to the 2010s. It includes hundreds of photographs, contracts, scripts, calendars, scrapbooks, correspondences and rare footage and audio chronicling his wide-ranging career in stand-up, improv, television, film, theater, and comedy writing. 

Included in the gift are Berman’s consecutive Gold Records for his two landmark 1959 albums Inside Shelley Berman and Outside Shelley Berman, the first of which was the comedy album first to win a Grammy. Also included is the trademark stool on which he performed his classic routines during live engagements across the country.

Berman’s unique brand of anxiety-ridden observational humor helped to redefine stand-up comedy in the late 1950s and ‘60s. He continued to be a favorite with audiences in his later years for his Emmy-nominated portrayal of Larry David’s father, Nat, on HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm. 

“Berman had changed the face of stand-up comedy. What I feel helped inform me as a comic, was the precision in his language. You had someone who was this terrific actor doing comedy, and that’s rare,” said event host Lewis Black.

Fred Willard echoed Black’s sentiment. “Shelley Berman came along with that whole new wave of comedy. It forever changed the way we look at stand-up comedy.”

Kelly Carlin further added, “My father looked up to Shelley Berman. He appreciated Shelley’s use of words and his gift for story-telling.  And I can tell you, my dad would be thrilled to know that Shelley’s papers will be sitting next to his in Jamestown.”

Executive Director of the National Comedy Center, Journey Gunderson, concluded the event by saying, “Shelley Berman was there at the very beginning of what we call modern day stand-up comedy. We are so honored that Sarah has chosen the National Comedy Center as the institution to house Shelley’s archive, and has trusted us to preserve and celebrate his legacy.”


Fasciculus 1500.jpgNew York - The New York Academy of Medicine Library has launched a new digital exhibit, “Facendo Il Libro: The Making of Fasciculus Medicinae, an Early Printed Anatomy.” The Library, one of the world’s most significant historical libraries in medicine and public health, holds five editions printed between the years of 1495 and 1522 of the Fasciculus Medicinae, which contains the earliest realistic anatomical images in print, and the earliest scenes of dissection anywhere. The digital exhibit explores full scans of these richly illustrated editions, examining each work on its own - and also in context of each other, and looking at the printing techniques that were used to create them.

“The Academy's dedication to public access to our Library's collections continues with the launch of a digitized exhibit of this seminal work. Today, scholars and users worldwide can easily access an important resource in the history of medicine and public health,” said Academy President Judith A. Salerno, MD, MS.

The book was first printed in Venice in 1491 by the brothers Gregori at their famous printing house. It was extremely popular, and went through 14 editions by the year 1522.  Originally collected in manuscript form, the text comprises a number of medical treatises on uroscopy, phlebotomy, anatomy, surgery, and gynecology. The book’s woodcut illustrations include skilled renderings of medieval prototypes including a Zodiac Man, bloodletting man, and an urinoscopic consultation. 

“This exhibit tells an important story about an influential medical text, and its evolution during the earliest years of printing in Northern Italy. Exploring the book's astonishing woodcuts, the earliest realistic anatomical illustrations in print, enhances our understanding of how sixteenth-century individuals related to and understood their bodies in times of sickness and health,” said Academy Library Curator Anne Garner. 

“Facendo Il Libro” is an addition to the Academy’s digitization initiatives led Dr. Robin Naughton, Head of Digital. Also included in the exhibit are curated essays on each edition, noting important technical, textual, and artistic changes in each, and on the culture of Venetian print. The essays were contributed by guest scholars Taylor McCall, PhD, and Natalie Lussey Seale, PhD.

This online exhibit was made possible by generous support from The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation. 

Image: Fasciculus medicine : similitudo complexionum & elementorum. Venice, [Mar. 28 1500.]

cut4_low.jpgLos Angeles — For most people, a photograph is fairly straightforward - an image on a piece of paper with four straight edges and four corners. But for some photographers, paper is not merely the end result of developing a photograph - it is a material that can be activated in a number of ways. Cut! Paper Play in Contemporary Photography, on view February 27-May 27, 2018, at the J. Paul Getty Museum, Getty Center, looks at the work of six contemporary artists who expand the role of paper in photography. Many of the works in the exhibition have been borrowed from Los Angeles-based collectors, institutions, or galleries, while others are from the Getty Museum’s permanent collection.

“Within the Getty’s very extensive collection of photographs from the birth of the medium to the present day, are a number of works that blur the line between photography and other mediums,” says Timothy Potts, director of the J. Paul Getty Museum. “Cutting and otherwise manipulating the printed photograph, artists from the first half of the twentieth century on have created works in which the cutting, shaping and combining of images take the medium in radically new directions. Exhibitions like this provide a context and historical perspective on the experimentations of many contemporary photographers today.”

The exhibition includes an exploration of photographers’ long-standing interest in the way paper can convey something beyond its physical presence. Spanning the years 1926 to 1967, works by artists like Manuel Álvarez Bravo (Mexican, 1902-2002), Alexander Rodchenko (Russian, 1891-1956), and Ei-Q (born Sugita Hideo, Japanese, 1911-1960) feature cut-paper abstractions and figures modeled from paper that have been photographed. For example, Rodchenko’s photograph Giraffe (1926-27) is a playful arrangement of figures modeled from paper that he created to illustrate a book of children’s poems called Samozveri (Auto-animals). The curiosity of these artists set the stage for more daring contemporary experimentation.

The contemporary works on view focus on two themes, the first of which features artists who create paper models with images gleaned from current events, the internet, or books and magazines for the express purpose of photographing them. Daniel Gordon (American, born 1980) culls images from the internet, then cuts, tears, pastes, and assembles the printouts into three-dimensional sculptures, as in Clementines (2011), in which printouts are arranged to resemble and reference deeply saturated still-lifes by Picasso, Matisse, or Cezanne. By printing digital images, assembling them to resemble a sculptural object, photographing that object with a large format camera, then digitally enhancing it, Gordon walks the line between analog and digital photography.

Matt Lipps (American, born 1975) inserts existing images into new contexts that extend their potential meaning. The works on view appropriate photographs reproduced in publications associated with both high and low culture to comment on how images both reflect and shape our knowledge and experience. After selecting his images, Lipps arranges them into layered collages or models, using light and shadow to transform the images into a cultural tableau that he then photographs. His photographs are printed at a scale much larger than the original reproductions.

Thomas Demand (German, born 1964) is known for his large-scale photographs of meticulously constructed, life-size re-creations of architectural spaces and natural environments, including Landscape from 2013. During his year as an artist in residence at the Getty Research Institute (2011-12), Demand departed from this practice and began photographing architectural models, most notably those of John Lautner. A triptych based on the model for Lautner’s design for an office building in Century City, California, will be on view.

The exhibition also includes examples of photographs that are cut, incised, layered, or folded to introduce tactile, three-dimensional elements into what is usually thought of as a two-dimensional art form. Soo Kim (American, born South Korea, 1965) employs the techniques of cutting and layering to create areas of absence or disruption that imbue her images with dimensionality, as well as with the passage of time. Travel to distant locations has resulted in discrete bodies of work that reveal Kim’s deep interest in architectural structures. Works made in Reykjavik, Taipei, and Panama City will be on view.

Christopher Russell’s (America, born 1974) work confronts photomechanical reproduction with imperfect work by his own hand. Often using cheap lenses, he creates enigmatic photographs that are intentionally out of focus or shot directly into the sun. Using razor blades, Xacto knives and other implements, he disrupts the surface by scratching, scraping, or gouging to reveal the white core of the paper. Some pieces, like Explosion #31 (2014), show a series of controlled marks that result in intricate patterns resembling wallpaper, while Budget Decadence (2008) displays the violence Russell inflicts on the paper with a meat cleaver.

Starting with simple materials and rules, Christiane Feser (German, born 1977) creates “photo objects” that operate in a middle ground between photography and sculpture. After cutting, folding, and layering paper into abstract compositions, Feser carefully lights each construction, often using flash, photographs it with a high-resolution digital camera, and makes a print on paper similar to that used in the construction. In Partition 31 (2015), Feser uses folded pieces of paper that appear as a series of multi-sized cubes, but are actually a sophisticated visual puzzle that requires careful viewing from multiple angles.

“The works in this exhibition demonstrate a variety of approaches used by artists to transform paper into objects with greater sculptural presence,” says Virginia Heckert, curator of the exhibition and head of the Department of Photographs at the Getty Museum. “Photography may be the starting point, with camera-made images altered by acts of cutting and modeling to introduce layered narratives and the passage of time, or it may put the finishing touch on a collage or construction that has been carefully conceived based on existing images. This toggling back and forth between two and three dimensions and between existing and constructed images reminds us of the magical transformation that occurs in every photograph.”

Cut! Paper Play in Contemporary Photography is on view February 27-May 27, 2018, at the J. Paul Getty Museum, Getty Center. The exhibition is curated by Virginia Heckert, head of the Getty Museum’s Department of Photographs. On view concurrently in the Center for Photographs will be the exhibition Paper Promises: Early American Photography.

Image: Daniel Gordon (American, born 1980), Clementines, 2011, Chromogenic print, Copyright: © Daniel Gordon, Object Credit: Alison Bryan Crowell, Repro Credit: Courtesy Daniel Gordon and M+B Gallery, Los Angeles. 

The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress welcomes the Kentucky Center for the Book as its newest affiliated center. The Kentucky Center is based at Kentucky Humanities in Lexington.

“We are thrilled to become Kentucky’s Center for the Book,” said Kentucky Humanities Executive Director Bill Goodman. “Kentucky Humanities is deeply committed to promoting literacy in Kentucky through PRIME TIME Family Reading Time, the Kentucky Book Fair and our upcoming Kentucky Reads initiative. We look forward to continuing to share the love of reading and writing and promoting community discussions about great literature and its relevance to our lives with citizens of the Commonwealth.”

Before it joined the Center for the Book network, Kentucky Humanities already had many successful programs to its credit, among them, PRIME TIME Family Reading Time, an intergenerational family literacy program that has so far reached more than 40,000 Kentuckians through 204 programs in 81 counties; and Kentucky Humanities magazine, first published in 1994. In 2016, Kentucky Humanities became the manager of the Kentucky Book Fair, the state’s premier literary event since 1981.

“We are pleased to welcome the new Kentucky Center for the Book as the newest affiliate to help promote reading with the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress,” said Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden. “The Kentucky Center already has demonstrated a commitment to the mission of promoting books, reading and literacy with its many programs.”

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 will meet in the spring 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.

Kentucky Humanities is an independent, nonprofit affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Kentucky Humanities is supported by the National Endowment and by private contributions. For information about Kentucky Humanities’ programs and services, visit kyhumanities.org.


New York — LiveAuctioneers, the world’s leading online marketplace for auctions of collectibles, antiques and fine art, today announced its participation in the Codex Consortium, which supports the Codex Protocol, a decentralized title registry for the $2 trillion arts & collectibles (A&C) asset class that brings provenance onto the blockchain. LiveAuctioneers has committed to adopting Codex Protocol, its native token, and its first product, Biddable, the day the protocol is launched. In the short term, Biddable will make bidding easier for LiveAuctioneers’ audience of 12 million users, enable bidding with cryptocurrency, and bring an influx of cryptowealth to auction houses. Over the long term, Codex will create a larger and more trusted art and collectibles market that will benefit LiveAuctioneers’ auction-house partners.

As part of the Codex Consortium, LiveAuctioneers will be working closely with the Codex team and integrating the protocol into its online marketplace. Codex’s first application, Biddable, will make it possible to register for auctions instantly by leaving a cryptocurrency deposit and to pay for won items in cryptocurrency. Today, auction houses lose substantial revenue to bidders who renege on items they win. Because of this, many auction houses require extensive financial disclosures from potential bidders just to participate. With Biddable, anyone can bid easily without invasive financial disclosures.

“We are thrilled to be one of the first members of the Codex Consortium and to bring Biddable to our users. At LiveAuctioneers we pride ourselves in being the first to help auction-house partners grow sales with innovative technology solutions,” said Phil Michaelson, president of LiveAuctioneers. “While we have been recognized in the industry for our customer service, there are major frictions in the bidding experience. Registering for auctions can be hard, especially for foreign bidders and those with anonymous wealth. Meanwhile, some auction houses lose up to ten percent of their revenue to non-performing bidders, and the auction industry likely rejects over one million bidder registrations per year. LiveAuctioneers has continuously invested in providing our auction-house partners with services and technology solutions to address this problem, and Biddable is the most impressive we’ve seen. Biddable can securely and anonymously increase trust among buyers, seller and consignors, so we, our bidders, and our auction-house partners eagerly await its launch.”

With the growing amount of cryptowealth around the world, wealthy cryptoholders are seeking uncorrelated and discrete ways to store value. With Codex and Biddable, cryptoinvestors will be able to invest in assets with low correlation to other cryptocurrencies. Michaelson continued, “Auction houses look forward to welcoming the new generation of cryptowealthy as they invest in art and collectibles. With Biddable, cryptoholders will be able to use cryptocurrency to bid on and buy tens of millions of unique items worth several billion dollars in tens of thousands of auctions from thousands of auction houses. Exceptional items ranging from Corvettes to Warhols, from antique cameras to Patek Philippe watches and Viking jewelry, are available at LiveAuctioneers. As with Codex, they’ll be able to prove provenance with a title, which will preserve the value of their items without disclosing their identity. We could not be more excited about joining the Codex consortium, and our clients feel similarly.”

CEO of Codex, Mark Lurie, said, “LiveAuctioneers has always been committed to investing in and developing innovative technologies for the arts and collectibles space. They have an established international presence that brings millions of bidders and billions of dollars of collectibles to the marketplace. In contrast, the auction items available for purchase with cryptocurrency anywhere else in the world fill less than a single room. LiveAuctioneers is well positioned to understand where the market can be improved, what motivates participants, and what the major hurdles are when it comes to growing arts and collectibles as a financial asset class. Codex was created by industry players for industry players, and we aim to create a larger, better, and fairer market for collectors, intermediaries and artists alike.”

By hosting thousands of auctions in real time via the Internet, LiveAuctioneers allows unprecedented access to live sales. Codex and Biddable will extend that mission to make the auction process easier, more trustworthy and more accessible. As the Codex title registry grows, the arts and collectibles industry will be able to buy, sell, securitize, insure, and lend against the asset class more easily.

About LiveAuctioneers.com:

Founded in 2002, LiveAuctioneers.com digitally connects an audience of millions with the live-bidding action at nearly 5,000 premier auction houses and galleries in 59 countries, providing a highly curated and trusted marketplace of unique items. Privately owned and headquartered in New York City, LiveAuctioneers is the world’s preferred online source for fine and decorative art, antiques, jewelry and vintage collectibles.

About Codex:

Codex is the leading decentralized title registry for the $2 trillion arts & collectibles (“A&C”) ecosystem, which includes art, fine wine, collectible cars, antiques, decorative art, coins, watches, jewelry and more. Powered by the BidDex native token, the Codex Protocol is open source, allowing third-party players in the A&C ecosystem to build applications and utilize the title system. Codex’s landmark application, Biddable, is a title-escrow system built on the Codex Protocol, which solves long-standing challenges in auctions: non-performing bidders, lack of privacy, and bidder access. The codes Protocol and BidDex will be adopted as the only cryptocurrency by the Codex Consortium, a group of major stakeholders in the A&C space who facilitate over $6 billion in sales to millions of bidders across tens of thousands of auctions from 5,000 auction houses in more than 50 countries. To learn more about the Codex Protocol and Biddable, please visit www.codexprotocol.com.

Wolf-FIU.jpgMiami Beach, FL — For summer 2018, The Wolfsonian-Florida International University is tapping into today’s fascination with Russian propaganda through two coinciding shows focused on early 20th-century Soviet graphic design. Constructing Revolution: Soviet Propaganda Posters from Between the World Wars (April 13-August 12), organized by the Bowdoin College Museum of Art in Brunswick, Maine, and the complementary library installation Red and Black: Revolution in Soviet Propaganda Graphics (April 5-August 5) will shed light on ties between cultural life and revolutionary ideology in the decades following the 1917 Russian Revolution. Both shows explore how designers were inspired by the utopian ideals of the revolution to develop new techniques of graphic persuasion on behalf of Russia’s Communist dictatorship.

“With Constructing Revolution, the stars truly aligned,” said Tim Rodgers, Wolfsonian director. “We recognized in Bowdoin’s exhibition a rare opportunity to do what The Wolfsonian does best—present some of the finest examples of modern propaganda, reexamine objects from our own collection, and offer fresh insight into a topic currently front and center on the worldwide stage.”

Bringing more than 50 Soviet-era posters from the private collection of Svetlana and Eric Silverman together with rarely seen works held by The Wolfsonian, Constructing Revolution showcases a number of key figures in the Soviet artistic avant-garde, among them Vladimir Mayakovsky, Aleksandr Rodchenko, and Gustav Klutsis. The exhibition charts the formative decades of the USSR and provides a glimpse into this turbulent period of Russian history, when posters were employed to provide a new visual language converting Communist aspirations into readily accessible, urgent, public art. The resulting images reflect a remarkable degree of artistic experimentation, even as their content was strictly guided by the priorities of the Soviet state.

Highlights include:

  • Dmitrii Moor’s Death to World Imperialism (1919), which depicts a monstrous green dragon representing the dangers faced by the young Soviet state during the Civil War that broke out immediately following the 1917 Russian Revolution;
  • A 1920 poster of a worker holding a banner for the May Day celebration, a design first produced in stencil for dissemination to local artists;
  • Grigorii Shegal’s Down with Kitchen Slavery (1929), illustrating the Soviet state’s promise to liberate women from domestic tasks so that they could participate as workers and citizens on an equal basis to men;
  • Working Men and Women-Everyone to the Election of Soviets (1930) by Gustav Klutsis,  pioneer of the photomontage technique, which combines photographic images, text, and graphic elements into a single cohesive message; and
  • A 1930 photomontage poster by Valentina Kulagina commemorating women’s industrial labor for International Working Women’s Day.

“These works speak to the paradox of the Soviet Union during its early decades, when utopianism went hand-in-hand with manipulation,” said Jon Mogul, Wolfsonian associate director of curatorial & education. “There is an undeniable sense of excitement, optimism, and experimentation in these images, though they also convey the sanitized and one-sided version of reality that contributed to the consolidation of a brutally repressive dictatorship.”

In conjunction with the exhibition, the focused installation Red and Black will feature roughly 20 rare books, periodicals, postcards, and portfolio plates from The Wolfsonian-FIU Library that reveal the contribution of Constructivism to Soviet graphic design. A key movement in the early 20th century, Constructivism applied abstraction and the machine aesthetic to the practical design of everything from architecture to household objects—all in service of the Communist vision of building a new, classless society.

The Wolfsonian has been recognized internationally for the attention it has given to political propaganda, a subject prevalent in both its mission and its collection of modern-age material, 1850-1950. Throughout the museum’s 22-year history, dozens of exhibitions and countless programs have investigated how objects and images were shaped into tools of political persuasion in countries across the globe.

Constructing Revolution: Soviet Propaganda Posters from Between the World Wars (Apr 13-Aug 12, 2018), organized by the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, reveals how the Soviet state wielded graphic design to inspire and manipulate the public

Red and Black: Revolution in Soviet Propaganda Graphics (Apr 5-Aug 5, 2018), examines avant-garde art in books, periodicals, postcards, and portfolio plates from The Wolfsonian-FIU Library

wells fargo.jpgPBA Galleries continued their strong start in 2018 with their January 25th Americana - Travel & Exploration - World History - Cartography sale. The auction offered five hundred lots of rare and significant items of historical, cultural, and visual interest, including books, manuscripts, photographs, and ephemera, with a particularly strong gathering of cartographic material. Ranging from the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada, with much on California history, to the peaks of the Rocky Mountains, and the bayous of the Old South, the Americana section offered original material capturing the dynamic growth and culture of the New World over the centuries. Next, they traveled to the far reaches of the globe, the mysteries of the occident and orient were unveiled. Finally, the charting of the world over five centuries included maps of the East Indies, Asia, Europe, and the lands of the western hemisphere, with many scarce maps of the towns and cities of California.

The highlight of the sale was an 1875 Wells Fargo Reward Poster for “Alkali Jim” which sold for $10,200. The poster advertised a reward of $100 for the capture of “Wm Harrington, alias Wm. Waverly, alias Chas. Johnson, alias Jas. W. Clark, alias Alkali Jim” and was issued following his escape from San Quentin Prison on July 17th, 1875. Alkali Jim, along with his partners Charles Cooper and William Miner, had been convicted in 1872 for the 1871 armed robbery of a Wells, Fargo & Co. stage coach near San Andreas, California. Bidding was vigorous with phone bidders competing against those online for the single letterpress sheet.

A rare copper-engraved chart of the Straits of Singapore from 1711 led the cartography section of the sale selling for $6,600. This rare and important hand-colored map is oriented with north to the right. Its prime significance when issued was its depiction of the routes through the labyrinth of islands in the straits to Borneo and Java. Singapore and other settlements in the straights grew as a means to control the area which was secured by Britain in 1824. The imprint on this chart reads "By Iohn Thornton Hydrographer at the Sign of England Scotland and Ireland in the Minories London."

The high point of the Travel & Exploration section of the sale was a collection of approximately 92 glass lantern slides and other related photographs, postcards and a diary selling for $6.000. The glass slides, most hand-colored, provide a fascinating photographic record of a mission by the Lutheran Pastor George Bayard Young to Armenia and Turkey in 1919 to offer aid following the Armenian genocide. The disturbing images of piles of bones and poignant pictures of orphans were taken for presentations to raise relief funds in the U.S.

Books also did well in the sale.  The Manuscript Edition of The Writings of John Muir drew spirited bidding and saw the hammer fall at $5,100. Edited by William Frederic Badè and illustrated with numerous photogravure and halftone plates, the set is bound in the special deluxe half black morocco with leather edges ruled in gilt, spines lettered in gilt and with beautiful gilt-stamped floral vignettes, raised bands and matching endpapers. A manuscript leaf by Muir from Chapter 4 of The Mountains of California is mounted to front preliminary flyleaf of Volume 1 and Volumes 1-8 also contain an original gelatin silver photograph.

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


vaudeville_ut_news_graphic_1.pngAustin, Texas — The Harry Ransom Center draws on its extensive performing arts holdings to tell the story of one of American theater’s most popular forms of entertainment in the exhibition “Vaudeville!”

The exhibition runs from Jan. 29 to July 15, 2018.

About 200 items selected from the thousands of photographs, playbills, business records, letters, books and other archival materials from the Ransom Center’s collections explore how this uniquely American form of entertainment helped shape the nation’s identity for more than 100 years. Its enduring legacy is seen in contemporary American popular culture in videos, film, television and comedy.

Vaudeville began in the early 1800s as a cleaned-up and family-friendly version of variety shows. Performances included comic sketches, animal tricks, magic, blackface minstrelsy, acrobatics, celebrity appearances and early film. Its impact still reverberates in modern culture and entertainment.

The exhibition tells how, with the advent of the railroad, thousands of performers toured a vast network of theaters, bringing mass entertainment to America’s small towns. The vaudeville theater circuit reflected the country’s complex race and class dynamics and gave rise to new labor movements at the turn of the 20th century.

“Vaudeville was a snapshot of America in the moment it was happening,” says Eric Colleary, Cline Curator of Theatre and Performing Arts at the Ransom Center and organizer of the exhibition. “It captured some of the best and worst of society, and the jokes, songs and formulas developed by vaudevillians over a century ago can still be found in television, film and performance today.”

The exhibition is arranged in six sections and begins in the early days of American theater, exploring pantomime, puppetry, circus museums, minstrelsy and morality. The finale explains how, by the mid-20th century, vaudeville was transformed and found new relevance in musical theater, radio, film, television — and later, even the internet.

In between, sections explore the structure and content of a performance, the life of an entertainer, and popular vaudeville performers. Featured are Harry Houdini, Fanny Brice, Eddie Cantor, Bert Williams, George M. Cohan, Burns & Allen, Tony Pastor, the Nicholas Brothers, Barbette and others.

Among the earliest items in the exhibition is a 1783 letter from the citizens of Pennsylvania fighting against the building of a new theater, and letters from President Thomas Jefferson to the painter and early museum advocate Charles Willson Peale.

"Vaudeville!" will be on view in the Ransom Center Galleries on Mondays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with extended Thursday hours until 7 p.m. On Saturdays and Sundays the galleries are open from noon to 5 p.m. The exhibition is free and open to the public. Daily docent-led tours are offered at noon, Thursdays at 6 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m.

Dallas, TX - From Dorthea Lange to Annie Leibovitz, Heritage Auctions' inaugural Online Photographs Auction of 2018 brings iconic artwork from more than 80 artists across 170 lots to collectors Feb. 28, 2018 on HA.com. The diverse offerings span intriguing contemporary signed prints to 19th century orotone images by Edward Sheriff Curtis.

Ruth Bernhard’s 1952 Classic Torso (est. $6,000-8,000) is a 9-3/4-by-7-1/2-inch gelatin silver from a series of by the photographer of nude and semi-nude women - the subject for which Bernhard is perhaps best known.

Horst P. Horst’s 1989 Tulips (est. $4,000-6,000) is a gelatin silver image measuring 16-1/4 by 14-1/8 inches with the photographer’s blindstamp in margin recto; it is signed, titled, dated and inscribed in pencil on verso by Horst, considered one of the most significant photographers of the 20th century known for his elegant, glamorous images.

Elliott Erwitt’s 1974 New York City (est. $3,500-4,500) is a gelatin silver image measuring 11-5/8 by 17-1/2 inches and is signed, titled and dated in pencil on verso. One of the top photographers of his generation, Erwitt began shooting in the 1940s and developed a reputation for humanizing celebrity portraits and his humorous subjects.

William A. Garnett’s 1975 Sand Dune #1, Palm Desert, California (est. $3,500-4,500) is a gelatin silver image measuring 7 by 9 inches, and is signed in pencil in margin recto by Garnett, and titled and dated in pencil with the artist’s stamp on verso. Garnett, who is perhaps known best for his landscape and aerial photography, earned three Guggenheim fellowships for his landscape photographs.

Ilse Bing’s 1931 Self-Portrait with Leica, Paris (est. $2,000-3,000) offers a unique perspective of Bing, with simultaneous views of her pointed directly into the lens of her camera and also a profile of her as she shoots. The German-born avant-garde and commercial photographer moved to Paris in 1930 and started using an advanced Leica camera, earning her the title “Queen of the Leica.”

Heritage's recent development of online-only photography auctions offers lots ranging in estimate between $100 and $10,000. The sales are part of a strategic plan to grow the firm's photography department by streamlining access to classic and contemporary artworks for new collectors. These quarterly auctions also have proven effective in assisting established collectors’ efforts to expand their interests and assets.

Bidding is facilitated at HA.com or through the firm's newly-released, free mobile app for Android and iOS users.

17-33 Adoration of the Magi copy.jpgLes Enluminures is celebrating its 25th year exhibiting at TEFAF Maastricht

For this prestigious event, the leading specialists in manuscripts and jewelry from the Middle Ages, Les Enluminures will inaugurate at TEFAF Maastricht the selling-exhibition “The thing of mine I have loved the best”: Meaningful Jewels. Forty-six exceptional pieces of European jewelry - pendants, reliquaries, amulets, and talismans - dating from the eighth century to the eighteenth century, will be presented in a specially commissioned, one-time-only display, which will be revealed at TEFAF. 

One of the many remarkable objects assembled by Founder and President of Les Enluminures Dr Sandra Hindman, over a period of fifteen years, is a Spanish “magic belt”. The oldest of the very few surviving examples, it includes elements from the tenth to the seventeenth centuries: Islamic textile, Arab coins, rosary beads, a rock crystal skull, a jet amulet, and a type of horse chestnut make up the belt, which would have been worn by a child to protect him or her from evil spirits.

A lavishly illustrated book by two senior scholars, Cynthia Hahn and Beatriz Chadour-Sampson, accompanies the exhibition.

Alongside this, Les Enluminures will present an array of important acquisitions. Notable highlights include two exceptional miniatures from the crucible of sixteenth century illumination, art, and design in Renaissance Paris. These two full-page miniatures come from a richly illuminated Breviary assigned to the Bellemare Group - possibly the late work of Noël Bellemare himself. 

Also on display will be the Hours of Philippote de Nanterre, a monumental illuminated manuscript with 27 miniatures by the Master of Raoul d’Ailly, a rare Amiens painter directly influenced by Flemish Primitives, and a collaborator.

Image: Bellemare Group (plausibly Noël Bellemare, active Antwerp and Paris, 1512-1546), Adoration of the Magi, France, probably Paris, c. 1540-45


Dallas, TX -- The only inaugural button referring to George Washington as the “Father of His Country" (perhaps the earliest instance of the use of the phrase) will open for bidding at $20,000 when Heritage Auctions presents Part II of the David and Janice Frent Collection of Political & Presidential Memorabilia Feb. 24. The auction offers 658 lots of extraordinary pin backs, banners, campaign flags and assorted campaign paraphernalia. 

“The record-setting debut of the Frent Collection realized a stunning $911,538 last October,” said Tom Slater, Director of Americana Auctions at Heritage, “and Part II is every bit as exciting.”

The landmark Frent collection - widely regarded as the largest and most comprehensive collection of its kind ever assembled - will span eight dedicated auctions with everything from buttons to banners dating from the founding of the republic up through recent elections.

The collection’s extraordinary Washington Inaugural Button is stamped with the words “Pater Patriæ” (Father of his Country) and is the only portrait button in the accepted canon of Washington inaugural buttons. The Frent collection specimen is superior to one recently acquired by Washington’s Mount Vernon historic site.

An outstanding example of the iconic “Ship of State” Silk Campaign Flag for Henry Clay’s 1844 campaign also opens with a $20,000 bid. Considered the most desirable Clay flag variety, the rarity has fine display presence and offers a very special opportunity for the advanced specialist in political textiles.

Several photographic campaign items will cross the block, and a stunning 1860 brooch featuring an ambrotype portrait of Abraham Lincoln known as the "Cooper Union" pose will open at $12,000. The nation's leading portrait photographer, Mathew Brady, took the image while Lincoln was in New York to give a speech at Cooper Union Institute in February 1860. “Although Lincoln photographic items produced for the 1860 election were widely distributed, almost every example of the George Clark ambrotype suffers condition problems. The marvelous Frent example is essentially in mint condition and is the finest known example to exist,” Slater said.

A dramatic 1868 Ulysses S. Grant Silk Campaign Flag will open at $7,500. Measuring 33" x 24", the example is likely one of just three others known.

Additional highlights include but are not limited to:

 ·         An Abraham Lincoln Pennsylvania Campaign Broadside from 1864

·         A Folk Art Parade Banner for Horatio Seymour, the Democratic Party nominee for president in the 1868 presidential election

 ·         An Important 1864 Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson Jugate Silk Campaign Ribbon (in near mint condition and considered the top ribbon in the Frent Collection)

·         An Exceptional 1828 Andrew Jackson New York Broadside from 1828

Bidding opens for the Feb. 24 auction of Part II of the David and Janice Frent Collection of Political & Presidential Memorabilia Feb. 5 at HA.com/ 6187. For more information, please contact Tom Slater at 214-409-1441 or TomS@ha.com.

Remarque - All Quiet On The Western Front.jpgNew York, NY - Who Knows The Best Book Fairs In New York City? The Shadow Show Knows! Flamingo Eventz and Lamont Cranston step out of the shadows to celebrate Rare Book Week in New York City by announcing the return of The Manhattan Vintage Book, Ephemera, & Fine Press Book Fair! Known as The Shadow Show because it is held in conjunction with the well-known New York Antiquarian Book Fair at the Park Avenue Armory, this year it will be held on Saturday March 10, 2018.

A few years ago we moved the show uptown, directly across the street from the Park Avenue Armory to The Church of St. Vincent Ferrer, 869 Lexington Avenue at 66th Street, and everyone agreed; this was the smart move! We are pleased to be returning to St. Vincent’s again this year with another exciting field of exceptional Exhibitors.

This show has grown steadily since its inception in 2009 to present some of the finest Vintage & Antiquarian Book and Ephemera Dealers in America, Canada and Europe - many of whom are members of ABAA, ILAB, ESA, PADA, MARIAB, MABA, LIABDA and other professional groups - all gathered together for one fabulous weekend to offer an incredible Vintage Book & Ephemera adventure! The inclusion of The Fine Press Book Fair in 2014 added an exciting new dimension to the show and brought it to a new level of prominence. Now, with this move to the doorstep of the Armory and the New York Antiquarian Book Fair, we bring an unprecedented opportunity and ease of enjoyment to the Vintage Book World.

As always, the fair will present an outstanding array of fine, rare & unusual old books, as well as poetry, prose, political, social, historical, children's series, maps, postcards, autographs, prints, posters, World’s Fair, and much, much more. A special feature found only at Flamingo Shows will be Antiques Appraisals by John Bruno and guest Appraisers 1-3pm at $5/item!

Exhibitor Specialties include: African American, Americana, Architecture, Art, Art Deco, Auctions, Autographs, Aviation, Baseball, Books, Bibles, Black History, Black Power, Calendars, Calling Cards, Christmas, Circus, Civil War, Cook Books, Charts, Children’s Books, Cocktails, Design, Dogs, Die Cuts, Documents, Engineering, Engraving, Ephemera, Erotica, Esoterica, Fantasy, Fashion, Fishing, Floridiana, Folklore, Folk Music, Foreign Language, Furniture, Games, Gardens & Horticulture, Graphics, Historic Documents, Horses, Hunting, Illustrated Books, Interior Design, Japan, Judaica, Letters, Logbooks, Manuscripts, Maps, Maritime, Medicine, Middle East, Military, Modernism, Music, Native American, Natural History, Nautical, Naval, New York City, New York State, New Jersey, Novelties, Olympic Games, Pacifica, Photographs, Photography, Pochoir, Polar, Pop-Ups & Moveable Books, Poetry, Postcards, Posters, Presentation Copies, Presidential Archives, Press Books, Prints, Pulitzer Prize Winners, Psychedelica, Puppetry, Puzzles, Railroad, Reference, Revolutionary War, Russia, Scholarly, Science, Science Fiction, Sports, Sporting, Technical, Theatre, Theology, Trade Cards, Trade Catalogues, Travel & Exploration, Travel Brochures, Typography, U.S. Coastal History, Vanity Fair Prints, Valentines, Voyages, Watercolors, Whaling, Wine, Yachting. These, and many other specialties, will be found at this event. Be sure to check our website, FlamingoEventz.com, and our Facebook Page, facebook.com/manhattanvintagebookfair for complete details and easily downloaded Discount Coupons.

Date/Hours: Saturday March 10, 10am-5pm.

Location: The Church of St. Vincent Ferrer, 869 Lexington Avenue at 66th Street, New York, NY 10065

Admission: Adults: $15, Youths 12-21: $7, under 12: free w/Paid Adult.

Appraisals: 2-4pm, $5/item by John Bruno and Guest Appraisers.

Directions: Check our website: FlamingoEventz.com and our Facebook Page, facebook.com/manhattanvintagebookfair for easily downloaded point-to-point maps.

Miscellaneous: There are parking garages throughout the neighborhood & subway stops nearby.

February3_03_pics.jpgIthaca, NY—National Book Auctions, located in Ithaca, NY, announces the launch of their next auction catalog.     

This catalog features rare, antique and decorative books as well as select additions of ephemera. Featured is a large private collection of deluxe leather bindings by Easton Press, Franklin Library and other publishers. A varied array of signed copies of books from many categories will also be presented alongside a number of modern firsts.              

Antique and rare books are numerous in this catalog. Among the earliest examples are the 1579 printing of Benzoni's "Der Newenn Weldt," with early Native American reports, "Reliquiae Sacrae Carolinae," produced in 1657, and Sanchez's "Disputationum de Sancto Matrimonii Sacremento," published in 1625 and complete as three volumes bound in two vellum bindings. Additional rare and antique selections include titles relating to the American West, books-on-books, Civil War, travel & exploration, history, literature, children's, chromolithographic, decorative antique sets, art history and beyond.                         

Several interesting collections will also be showcased. Highlighted is a substantial library of Easton Press and other deluxe modern leather bindings in excellent or new condition. These include signed limited editions of titles by authors such as Allen Drury, John Grisham, Susan Sontag, and many others. Another collection features author-signed copies by writers including Maurice Sendak, Kenneth Roberts, Margaret Atwood, Booth Tarkington, Sinclair Lewis, Edith Sitwell, Bob Hope, and more.       

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

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


78f9e48dd9f0c50d8894d7214b8af67c8d0ce106.jpegRR Auction celebrates Presidents’ Day in February 2018.  The Fine Autographs and Artifact auction will feature a selection of historical documents, manuscripts, and correspondence representing the presidents of the United States. 

Among items to be featured are autographs from every American president, including a variety of virtually unobtainable examples—an Abraham Lincoln land grant, a James A. Garfield autograph letter as president, and a Theodore Roosevelt speech.

Headlining the sale is an excessively rare land grant signed by Abraham Lincoln the day after he issued the Emancipation Proclamation. 

The one-page document partly-printed vellum signed as president, dated January 2, 1863. President Lincoln grants 120 acres of land in St. Cloud, Minnesota, to "Margaret Donnell Widow of Eli Donnell who served in the name of Eli Donnald Private Captain Harpole's Company Tennessee Militia War 1812." The document goes on to note that the plat has "been assigned by the said Margaret Donnell to George H. Marsh and by him to Emma C. Stebbins now Emma C. King in whose favor said tract has been located." 

Boldly signed at the conclusion by President Lincoln, and countersigned by Recorder of the General Land Office G. W. Granger. The printed "By Sec'y" text beside Lincoln's signature has been struck through, signifying that the president himself signed the document—a highly unusual occurrence. 

The rather mundane presidential practice of signing land grants was discontinued in 1833 during Andrew Jackson's second term, when Congress passed a law authorizing the president to appoint a special secretary to sign land patents on his behalf. 

It is therefore incredibly rare to find an authentically signed land grant from later on. Indeed, this is the only Lincoln-signed land grant we have ever encountered, and our research suggests that no other authentically signed example has appeared at auction. The vast majority of land grants issued during the Lincoln administration were signed by William O. Stoddard, who was specifically appointed for the task on July 15, 1861. 

The ultimate recipient of this parcel of land, Emma C. King, was the wife of Horatio Collins King, son of politician Horatio King, who briefly served as postmaster general at the end of the Buchanan administration. Lincoln and the elder King saw eye-to-eye on many issues, and in April 1862 President Lincoln appointed Horatio King to the three-man Emancipation Commission, which reviewed petitions for compensation by DC-area slave-owners affected by the end of slavery in the district. In September, Lincoln issued a warning that he would order the emancipation of all slaves in any state that did not end its rebellion by the new year. On January 1, 1863—the day before signing the present document—President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation into law, thereby ending slavery in the United States. 

“In addition to being an unheard of format for a Lincoln signature, this remarkable document dates to a defining moment in American history and landmark achievement of Lincoln's legacy,” said Bobby Livingston, Executive VP at RR Auction.  

Additional Presidential highlights include a hand-embroidered White House Flag used during four administrations. The rare and impressive official presidential flag was in service at the White House under Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and Ronald Reagan before being acquired by the consignor through a White House connection when the flag was officially retired and replaced for the incoming George H. W. Bush administration in January 1989. A nearly impossible to acquire White House artifact—seldom does such an exceptional example of presidential history become available.

Also featured: Olympic medals and torches; artistic autographs from the likes of Matisse, Picasso, and Renoir; literary letters by Proust, Kafka, Dickens, and Voltaire; and autographs of music icons such as the Beatles, Rolling Stones, and Woody Guthrie. 

The Fine Autographs and Artifact auction from RR Auction began on January 19 and will conclude on February  7. More details can be found online at www.rrauction.com.    

Members of the 1937 American League All-Star team, Lou Gehrig, Joe Cronin, Bill Dickey, Joe DiMaggio, Charlie Gehringer, Jimmie Foxx and Hank Greenberg gather on the field for the fifth annual All-Star Game in Washington, D.C. Gehrig hit a two-run homer off National League ace Dizzy Dean as the American League went on to win, 8-3.

A major exhibition opening in June at the Library of Congress will celebrate baseball as community, including the people, from amateur players to professionals, baseball diamonds from city lots to rural fields, and places across the globe from Mexico to Japan that have embraced the game. “Baseball Americana” will explore baseball’s gritty roots, its changing traditions and the game today. It is a story the nation’s library can uniquely tell, showcasing items that cannot be found anywhere else.

Featured artifacts will include the first handwritten and printed references to baseball in America; early rules of the game; historical baseball images, including a lithograph of prisoners of war playing baseball in captivity during the Civil War and photographs from baseball throughout the decades; familiar players from some of the great collections of early baseball cards; Branch Rickey’s scouting reports; beloved baseball movies and early flickering footage from the late 1800s; broadcasts of iconic baseball moments and rare interviews and clips of Hall of Fame players, including Babe Ruth, Jackie Robinson and others.

The exhibition is made possible by the Library of Congress Third Century Fund, the James Madison Council and Democracy Fund.

Original content developed in collaboration with ESPN will support the Library’s world-class collections. Statistical comparisons, game trends, video presentations and intriguing stories will explore the art and science of baseball, bridging the game’s storied past and exciting present.

Additional artifacts and video footage, borrowed from Major League Baseball, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York, and private collectors, have been selected to expand upon storylines developed from the Library’s baseball materials.

“Baseball has been part of our community from children playing in local ballparks to professional athletes playing in the country’s biggest stadiums - and the Library’s unique collection shows how the game and American society evolved together,” said Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden. “My childhood dream was to play shortstop before I found my calling at the Library. We’re excited to offer visitors an immersive experience, exploring baseball in the past and now. I know I am.”

The yearlong exhibition “Baseball Americana” will open in late June, just before Washington’s Nationals Park hosts Major League Baseball’s 89th All-Star Game. The exhibition will tell the story of the game’s origins, its contemporary character, how the game has stayed true to its traditions and areas where it has diverged. It will also feature ongoing conversations and connections between baseball’s rugged past and its refined present, along with showing how baseball has long forged a sense of community.

The exhibition will be organized into five sections:

  • “Origins and Early Days” will feature the development of baseball from its early forms, when Massachusetts Town Ball and the New York Game battled for supremacy, to the game we know today.
  • “Who’s Playing?” will encompass the variety of participants and the diverse array of ball clubs that ruled the sandlot, barnstormed the country or occupied magnificent stadiums. An integral piece of this story will be that of the players who have fought for the right to play as equals regardless of their race, ethnicity or gender.
  • “At the Ballpark” will examine traditions and changes in the architecture and accoutrements of baseball, fan interaction, music and media coverage.
  • “The Promise of Baseball” will explore the many ways that the sport gave poor players a path out of poverty and new immigrants access and the ability to help shape American culture, as well as the economics and business of baseball and how the game has been used for diplomacy beyond U.S. borders.
  • “The Art and Science of Baseball” considers the constant and changing views of mastering the game, building a team, getting an edge, tracking statistics and the art of winning.

“Baseball Americana” will be on view in the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C. The exhibition will be free and open to the public Monday through Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

In conjunction with the exhibition, the Library of Congress will develop a series of special programs including family activities, gallery talks, film screenings, panel discussions, educational materials and teacher workshops, docent-led tours and more.

Two books published in association with the Library of Congress will be released to coincide with the exhibition. In May, Harper Perennial will release an updated edition of “Baseball Americana: Treasures from the Library of Congress,” which includes hundreds of historical images and numerous milestones of the national pastime. In October, Smithsonian Books will release “Game Faces: Early Baseball Cards from the Library of Congress,” which showcases rare and colorful baseball cards from the Library’s Benjamin K. Edwards Collection.


New York - LiveAuctioneers today announced that Senior VP of Product and Marketing Phil Michaelson has been promoted to president. In this new role, Michaelson will continue to work from the company’s Manhattan headquarters with a broadened responsibility set, continuing to report to LiveAuctioneers Chairman and CEO Jason Finger.

Michaelson is a product and business leader with 15+ years of experience in leading high-performance teams both tactically in day-to-day operations and through strategic planning processes aimed at optimizing investments in the marketplace, leveraging human capital and data analytics. 

“Since joining LiveAuctioneers three years ago, Phil has consistently driven tremendous results across virtually every dimension of our business. Most importantly, his execution is always in a manner consistent with the values of the company,” said Finger. “Not only does he ‘just get it done,’ he always ensures initiatives are executed in a ‘smarter, better way,’ no matter what the job may be or in which of our company’s departments. No job is too big or small for him.”

Finger continued, “Phil starts with trust in his business activities, whether that means identifying features that empower our auction-house partners to better market themselves and deepen bidder relationships, or adding enhancements to help our millions of bidders worldwide to search, discover and bid more efficiently. Phil’s user-centric approach has been a major force behind our growth. Our trust metrics, items sold, revenue, and the number of bidders and auction houses using our various services have all seen a major uptick since Phil joined our management team.”

Prior to joining LiveAuctioneers, Michaelson was director of product management at 1stdibs. Concurrently, he founded and served as CEO of KeepIdeas, Inc (KeepRecipes.com). His previous positions included senior business analyst, corporate strategy and business development at Dun & Bradstreet; and senior consultant at IBM. Michaelson holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and an AB from Princeton University. His past awards and distinctions include Harvard Business School’s Arthur C. Rock Entrepreneurial Fellowship, Apple Staff Pick, and British Airways’ Face of Opportunity Award. During his first three years with LiveAuctioneers, Michaelson’s leadership and innovative ideas were instrumental to the company’s selection as a Red Herring Top 100 North America winner (2016), Crain’s Best Places to Work in New York City winner (both 2016 and 2017), and a Silver 2017 Stevie® Award winner in the Customer Service Team of the Year category.  

The new marketing and product enhancements Michaelson has guided across various channels of LiveAuctioneers have led to a 200 percent growth rate in new bidders across web and mobile channels. In addition, more sellers than ever are taking advantage of the company’s various advertising and marketing options. 

“It’s been incredibly satisfying to help entrepreneurial auctioneers and passionate collectors form meaningful relationships online. I’m delighted to continue on the journey of empowering sellers to more easily market their auctions and ensure buyers have a trusted, engaging auction experience,” Michaelson said.

View LiveAuctioneers’ 2017 Annual Report online at https://www.liveauctioneers.com/pages/2017-annual-report/ .

About LiveAuctioneers:

Founded in 2002, LiveAuctioneers digitally connects an audience of millions with the live-bidding action at almost 5,000 premier auction houses and galleries in 59 countries, providing a highly curated and trusted marketplace of unique items. Privately owned and headquartered in New York City, LiveAuctioneers is the world’s preferred online source for fine and decorative art, antiques, jewelry and vintage collectibles. A pioneer in mobile-bidding technology, LiveAuctioneers opened a new bidding pipeline in 2009 with its development of both an industry-leading app for iOS (Apple) devices and the first live-auction bidding app for Android.

Sylvia Plath's Personal Copy of The Bell Jar First Edition Signed and Dated 1962 Image No. 1 copy.jpgBooks and personal effects of two of the greatest poets of the 20th century, Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes, are to be offered for sale at Bonhams Fine Books and Manuscripts sale in London on 21 March 2018. The collection, Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes; The Property of Frieda Hughes, is being sold by the poets’ daughter, Frieda Hughes, and shines a light on her parents’ exceptionally close working relationship.

Among the highlights are:

  • Sylvia Plath’s own copy of The Bell Jar, her only novel, published under the pseudonym Victoria Lucas in January 1963, two months before her death. It is inscribed and dated "Sylvia Plath/23 Fitzroy Road/London NW1/Christmas 1962" and is estimated at £60,000-80,000. Plath and her two children, Frieda and Nicholas, had moved to London from the family home in Devon following her split from her husband, Ted Hughes.
  • Plath’s copy of the "uncorrected proof" of The Bell Jar, with her manuscript corrections, inscribed "Sylvia Plath/Court Green/North Tawton/Devonshire" on the first page, estimated at £50,000-70,000.  Plath has made approximately seventy textual corrections to this copy, including spellings and the addition of words. She signed the book with the address of her Devon home, where she worked on the proofs prior to her final break with Hughes.
  • Sylvia Plath's final typewriter - "Hermes 3000" estimated at £40,000-60,000.  It was purchased by Plath in Boston in 1959, and was used by her to write The Bell Jar in spring-summer 1961. 
  • An important pen and ink portrait of Ted Hughes by Sylvia Plath, drawn shortly after their marriage in July 1956, probably during their honeymoon. In October 1956, Plath wrote to her mother about the sketches saying, "every drawing has in my mind and heart a beautiful association of our sitting together in the hot sun, Ted reading, writing poems, or just talking with me... the sketches are very important to me...". The portrait is estimated at £20,000-30,000.
  • The dedication copy of Hughes’ first book of poetry, The Hawk in The Rain (1957) inscribed to Plath -  "Written [To Sylvia, printed] and now presented to her with all my love." Plath was instrumental in the genesis of the book, and launching of Hughes' career. In a letter to her mother Plath wrote, "I am more happy than if it was my book published! I have worked so closely on these poems of Ted's and typed them so many countless times through revision after revision that I feel ecstatic about it all." It is estimated at £10,000-15,000.
  • The first American edition of The Hawk in the Rain bearing Hughes inscription “because the book belongs to you just as surely as all my love does.” It is estimated at £8,000-12,000.
  • A first edition of Ariel, the book of Plath’s poems edited by Hughes after his wife’s death and on which her reputation rests. Frieda Hughes has written that her father had, "honoured my mother's work and her memory by publishing Ariel... He, perhaps more than anyone, recognised and acknowledged her talent as extraordinary. Without Ariel, my mother's literary genius might have gone unremarked for ever.”  It is estimated at £2,000-3,000.

Bonhams Senior Book specialist, Luke Batterham said, “This fascinating collection provides a riveting insight into the warmth and mutual support of the Hughes-Plath creative relationship, especially in the early years of their marriage.

“The deeply personal inscriptions to Plath in first editions of Hughes’ breakthrough works The Hawk in the Rain, and its successor Lupercal, show how much he appreciated and acknowledged his wife’s help.

“A tender and important pen and ink drawing of Hughes by Plath drawn shortly after their marriage while the couple were on honeymoon in Spain, was commemorated years later in Hughes’ last work Birthday Letters.

 “And, of course, Ariel, the poetry with which Plath is most closely identified, owes its existence largely to Hughes who recognised the quality of the work and arranged for its publication.

Image: The Bell Jar, FIRST EDITION, SYLVIA PLATH'S OWN COPY SIGNED AND DATED "CHRISTMAS 1962", with her Fitzroy Road address on the front free paper, light spotting to extreme edges, publisher's cloth, pictorial dust-jacket (slightly worn at extremities), 8vo, Heinemann, [1963] Estimate: £60,000-80,000. Courtesy of Bonhams. 


New York, NY — After five days and eight sessions, Sotheby’s annual Americana Week sales concluded on Sunday with a total of $13.9 million and nearly 1,000 lots sold across two auctions. The week kicked off with the sale of Important Printed and Manuscript Americana, including Cartography, which was led by The Declaration of Independence printed by E. Russell that sold for $1.2 million. The Important Americana sale achieved $9.6 million and saw strong results across a diverse group of works, including American furniture, silver, and ceramics. 

Erik Gronning, Head of Sotheby’s Americana Department, remarked: “We are very pleased with the results from last week’s auctions, which demonstrated wonderful depth across a number of categories, with a particular emphasis on Pilgrim century, William & Mary and Classical furniture. In addition, we saw a strong appetite among collectors for exceptional objects emerging from distinguished private collections, as illustrated by results for the collection of Patricia M. Sax, the estates of Price and Isobel H. Glover and property from the Dudley and Constance Godfrey Foundation.” 

The sale of Fine Printed and Manuscript Americana, Including Cartography on 17 January was led by a magnificent printing of The Declaration of Independence by E. Russell which sold for $1.2 million. Beautifully preserved and appearing at auction for the first time, this broadside is the authorized printing for Massachusetts - a colony central to America’s struggle for independence from Great Britain. Of the Ezekiel Russell broadside copies, three are in private collections while others are in institutions including the Boston Public Library, Harvard Library, Peabody Essex Museum and American Antiquarian Society. 

An Important Federal Highly Inlaid Cherrywood and Mahogany Tall Case Clock, by Nathan Lumbard circa 1800, topped the Important Americana sale when it sold for $471,000 to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Emerging from the collection of Anne H. and Frederick Vogel III, the tall-case clock is an icon of rural New England craftsmanship in the Federal style and is the most extravagant of a group of clocks attributed to Lumbard - a cabinetmaker working in the Sturbridge and Sutton areas of Massachusetts. Lumbard's distinctive and unique inlay reveals his great skill and creative craftsmanship. The wild and whimsical decorative motifs include an anthropomorphized sun, swirling oval paterae with alternating dark and light rays, an eagle surmounted by an arch of stars (perhaps alluding to the recently adopted Great Seal of the United States), and a double-headed eagle clutching a shield on the base. Thanks to strong donor support, this masterpiece will be the first example of Lumbard's work to enter the MFA collection. 

One of the earliest and most important Wainscot chairs ever to appear at auction highlighted an exceptional group of pilgrim era furniture, selling for $375,000. The Important Mansfield-Merriam Family Wainscot Armchair circa 1640-1660 was likely owned by one of the first settlers of New Haven, Connecticut, Richard Mansfield, and has since descended through his family and the Merriam family of Meriden for over 365 years. Twenty-one other extant Wainscot chairs are included in public collections, but only two remain in private collections. The last time a chair of similar quality appeared at auction was in 1995, and it has remained the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art ever since. 

An American silver and copper "Indian" punch bowl and ladle created circa 1900-15 and attributed to metal molder and finisher Joseph Heinrich led the sale’s silver offerings when it fetched $312,500 -far surpassing its pre-sale high estimate of $175,000. Heinrich’s punch bowls featuring Indian heads and arrowheads are some of the best examples of the uniquely-American aesthetic that became popular during the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial. Many industries during this time produced objects that celebrated North American flora and fauna, as well as Native American imagery which lasted through the early 20th century. 

The exceptional ceramics on offer were led by Two Rare Chinese Export Figures of a Horse, each of which achieved $150,000 (estimates $20/30,000, respectively). Exhibiting a major genre in Chinese art, the present examples of horse portraiture adhere closely to the style of Giuseppe Castiglione (Lang Shi Ning) - an Italian Jesuit missionary who travelled to China in 1715 and later became the most well-known and prolific of European painters working at the Qing court. Known for his ability to combine European techniques and Chinese themes, Castiglione’s works have had a clear influence on the present figures. Likely included in a small group of works, the present two figures are among five extant examples. Of the other three works, one can be found in a private American collection and the other two are in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

walden.jpgPBA Galleries started 2018 off strongly with their first sale of the year on January 11th.  The sale offered over 700 lots of important literature spanning four centuries, with additional fine books in a variety of fields including finely bound books, fine press books, miniature books and the poetry collection of Larry Rafferty, featuring numerous key works by some of the most important figures in twentieth century poetry, many of them signed or inscribed by the authors.

Highlighting the sale was a first edition of Henry David Thoreau’s Walden: Or, Life in the Woods, one of the landmarks in American letters, which sold for $14,400 nearly twice the presale high estimate. This copy in the original blind-stamped brown cloth with the wood-engraved vignette on the title-page and illustrated with a map of Walden Pond is one of only 2000 copies of the first edition printed.

Prices for works by John Steinbeck were robust led by Of Mice and Men, a first issue in the original pictorial dust jacket in fine condition, which sold for $4,800 well over the presale high estimate. Other titles outperforming the estimates include Sweet Thursday, The Pearl, and Once There Was a War. The Log from the Sea of Cortez, although a second edition, was the first separate issue of the “Log’ portion of Sea of Cortez also sold for over the high estimate.

Mark Twain’s works drew much interest and spirited bidding.  A fine copy of an early state of the First American Edition of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn sold for $7,200 over twice the presale high estimate. This copy of the quintessential classic of 19th century American literature was a fine and bright copy with only minor wear to the binding, amongst the nicest PBA has seen. The First English Edition of the book also sold for above estimates.  Other early editions of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson And the Comedy Those Extraordinary Twins, Mark Twain's Sketches, New and Old, and Roughing It outperformed expectations.

The Poetry Collection of Larry Rafferty generated much interest before the sale. Bidders were attracted by the freshness of the material on offer which translated into brisk sales. Leading the way in the poetry section was a copy #1 of North Haven. In Memoriam Robert Lowell, a scarce broadside signed by Elizabeth Bishop selling for three and a half times the high estimate. The lot also included printer’s proofs and mockups. A rare, inscribed copy of Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet and a limited edition of Robert Creeley’s poem, Pictures, with lithographs by American pop artist, Jim Dine, also performed well.

Two Rudyard Kipling works, a lot containing first editions of both The Jungle Book and The Second Jungle Book, and, one of the 19th century’s great novels, Captains Courageous outsold their estimates. Other books that inspired movies, such as The Treasure of the Sierra Madre and The African Queen attracted strong bidding.

Lastly, the miniature books in the sale produced lively bidding and a very high sale rate with nearly 95% of the lots selling. Tops sellers in this section included a large collection from  Kitemaug Press featuring 72 miniatures from Frank Anderson spanning nearly 40 years and a collection of antiquarian mostly religious small volumes.

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

About PBA Galleries

PBA Galleries is a San Francisco-based auction house rooted in nearly 60 years of service to the collectors’ community. Auctions are held every-other week in a variety of specialties and genres, including rare books, manuscripts, maps, Americana, and related materials. For information regarding bidding or consignment, please call 415.989.2665 or email pba@pbagalleries.com. PBA Galleries is located at 1233 Sutter Street, San Francisco, CA 94109.

60-Hine copy.jpgNew York— Swann Auction Galleries launches into 2018 with the wide-ranging auction Icons & Images: Photographs & Photobooks on Thursday, February 15. Scarce and one-of-a-kind works will be offered, incorporating the full spectrum of the medium, from nineteenth-century land surveys to fine art photographs printed this century.

The highlight of the sale is a run of 24 prints of Lewis W. Hine’s most iconic images, spanning the entirety of his career, each boasting the handstamp of Hine’s Hastings-on-Hudson studio, as well as notations in his own hand. The works were previously owned by Isador Sy Seidman, a friend of Hine, photographer and lifelong collector of photographs of New York City. An extremely rare early printing of the monumental Powerhouse Mechanic, or Mechanic at Steam Pump in Electric Power House, leads the sale at $70,000 to $100,000. It was printed circa 1921, about a year after the photograph was taken. In some cases, Hine’s notations on the verso serve as alternative titles for famous works. For example, One of many youngsters working in Carolina cotton mills is frequently listed as Sadie Pfeifer, a Cotton Mill Spinner, Lancaster, South Carolina; taken in 1908 and printed 1931, it is here estimated at $10,000 to $15,000. Additional highlights from this collection, which has never before appeared at auction, include recognizable images—some contact prints—of immigrants at Ellis Island, a group of “newsies” and various Empire State Building views.

Recurring characters in the sale are the art world’s favorite love triangle, Georgia O’Keeffe, Dorothy Norman and Alfred Stieglitz. Offered is an illuminating archive of works by both Stieglitz and Norman, with Stieglitz’s notes to the aspiring photographer written in pencil on the mats. These include “Perfection!” and “Wonderful,” but most intriguing is a snapshot by Norman with the letters “ILY” (“I Love You”) repeated hundreds of times by Stieglitz until the symbols create a hypnotic graphic texture covering the mat. The suite, led by a circa 1931 portrait of Norman by Stieglitz, carries an estimate of $10,000 to $15,000 and originally comes from the estate of Dorothy Norman. Meanwhile, photographs of O’Keeffe, Stieglitz’s wife, include the master’s own Hands of Georgia O’Keeffe, no. 26, 1919, printed late 1940s, estimated at $12,000 to $18,000, and the candid portrait by Ansel Adams of Georgia O’Keeffe and Orville Cox, 1937, printed late 1960s, with an estimate of $18,000 to $22,000. Adams is additionally represented in the sale with such icons as the famous Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico, 1941, printed before 1977 ($30,000 to $45,000).

The sale offers a notably fine selection of nineteenth-century works, including R. B. Talfor’s Photographic Views of the Red River Raft, 1873, of which only three copies are known to exist. In 113 stunning hand-colored views, the album records the second attempt by the Louisiana government to clear the “raft” of fallen trees that clogged the river ($18,000 to $22,000). Leading an edifying selection of photographs of Brazil is an album containing 19 hand-colored salted paper prints of women at work, 1861-62, carrying an estimate of $9,000 to $12,000. Additional highlights include two midcareer works by Gustave le Gray, a veritable who’s-who of Victorian cartes-de-visite and an album of architectural cyanotypes of Haiti, 1895 ($6,000 to $9,000). Rare works by Edward S. Curtis are led by the complete fifth volume of his magnum opus, The North American Indian, 1907, with 36 photogravures on vellum ($18,000 to $22,000).

Engaging portraits by twentieth-century masters include Diane Arbus’s Young Waitress at a Nudist Camp, New Jersey, 1963, printed by Neil Selkirk, with an estimate of $9,000 to $12,000, and Garry Winogrand’s Victor Riesel, 1957, one year after he was blinded in an acid attack in Manhattan ($14,000 to $18,000). Also available is a double portrait by Roy DeCarava of Dizzy Gillespie and Roy Eldridge, 1956, printed 1981, estimated between $15,000 and $25,000. Works by Nick Brandt, Michael Dweck, Robert Frank, Horst P. Horst, Sally Mann, Herb Ritts, Cindy Sherman, Robert Silvers and Bert Stern ensure a well-rounded sale.

The auction will have its share of haunting landscapes, led by Josef Sudek’s foreboding one-of-a-kind pigment print Gravestone of the Rabbi Lowe, the Old Jewish Cemetery, Prague, 1932, with an estimate of $25,000 to $35,000, as well as the silver print Landscape (lake scene), 1920s ($10,000 to $15,000). André Kertész is well-represented, most notably by the large-format modern prints, Carrefour Blois, 1930, and Chez Mondrian, 1926 ($18,000 to $22,000 and $15,000 to $25,000, respectively).

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

Image: Lot 60: Lewis W. Hine, Powerhouse Mechanic, silver print, circa 1921. Estimate $70,000 to $100,000.

"Facing the Camera" Opens January 24

Enrie_DetailShroudofTurin 2.jpgNew York - Facing the Camera will be on view at Hans P. Kraus Jr. Fine Photographs from January 24 through March 16, 2018. The exhibition presents nineteenth-century portraits by Duchenne de Boulogne, Julia Margaret Cameron, Lewis Carroll, J. B. Greene, Hill & Adamson, Nadar, and Vallou de Villeneuve, among others. Contemporary work by Adam Fuss and Vera Lutter is also included. Both are inspired by the early photographers and their work resonates with that of their forerunners.

Portraiture is the most expressive application of the photographic art form. Since the dawn of photography artists have sought ways to capture the human likeness. Once achieved, photography has since challenged the ascendancy of the painted portrait. 

The exhibition includes three rare 1862 albumen prints from glass negatives made circa 1856 by pioneering neurologist and physiologist Duchenne de Boulogne (1806-1875), the first scientist to explain that facial expressions were connected to human emotions through discrete muscle actions. The results of Duchenne’s experiments and collaboration with photographer Adrien Tournachon, illustrated in Mécanisme de la physionomie humaine, occupy a distinct place at the intersection of art and science.

John Beasley Greene’s (1832-1856) Venus de Milo on rooftop in Paris, a waxed paper negative from 1852-1853, will also be on view. It was made during Greene’s formative period as a student of Gustave Le Gray in Paris. Greene, perhaps in the company of Le Gray, carried his statuette of Venus to the roof in order to sharpen his skills in lighting and composition.

A young girl, Xie Kitchin, fixes the viewer with her direct stare in an 1873 albumen print by Lewis Carroll, best known as the author of Alice in Wonderland. Carroll once declared that the key to obtaining excellence in a photograph was simply to “take a lens and put Xie before it.” On display is the only known untrimmed print from the negative.

Facing the Camera includes a 1931 gelatin silver print of Detail of the Shroud of Turin by Giuseppe Enrie (1886-1961). Great advances in technology since earlier photographs of the Shroud enabled Enrie to photograph it close-up and life size. This print shows a richness of detail unsurpassed by later photographs. 

Vera Lutter (b. 1960) has worked with the camera obscura for many years.  Having mastered its use she exposes her photographic paper over varying lengths of time. Rather than a print of the positive image, Lutter consistently preserves the negative as her final work. On display is Lutter’s unique, Marble Torso of Eros, Metropolitan Museum, 5 November 2012, which highlights the expressive, sculpted human form.

For more than three decades, Adam Fuss (b. 1961) has created a body of work distinctive for its contemporary reinterpretation of photography’s earliest techniques. His pinhole photographs and cameraless photograms, executed with technical rigor, are often concerned with temporality, memory, regeneration, and death. Untitled silhouette, 1997, a toned silver print from a photogram, is a strikingly bold self-portrait.

Facing the Camera will be exhibited from January 24 through March 16, 2018 at Hans P. Kraus Jr. Fine Photographs in New York City.

Image: Giuseppe Enrie (Italian, 1886-1961), Detail of the Shroud of Turin, 1931, Gelatin silver print, 29.5 x 23.4 cm

225.pngFalls Church, VA - On Thursday, January 25, the Waverly Rare Books & Prints division of Quinn’s Auction Galleries will present the first on two sales devoted to prints reflecting the natural world in its many forms, with Part II to follow in May. The January sale selection consists of the best of several small private collections, including that of Virginian Jim Willis. The Willis collection contains highly significant antique prints of a remarkable and sweeping range. Many are beautifully framed.   

Animals, birds, botanicals, fish, amphibians and reptiles of all kinds are richly represented in the 375-lot sale, with all forms of bidding available including live online through LiveAuctioneers. In total, there are more than 2,700 auction items grouped into logical affinity lots.

More than 60 plates from Alessandri and Scattaglia's Descrizioni degli Animali: Secondo Volume de Quadrupedi, Venice, 1772, are among the highlights, as are 144 plates from The Birds of America, Amsterdam Edition; Amsterdam and New York: Johnson Reprint Corporation and Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, 1971-1972. 

“The Amsterdam Edition is one of the most faithful and collectible facsimile editions of Audubon’s original Elephant Folio,” noted Catherine Payling, director of Waverly Rare Books.

There are also more than 250 plates from several of John Gould's majestic and wide-ranging ornithological titles, including Hummingbirds, The Birds of Great Britain, Europe, Australia, New Guinea and, above all, The Birds of Asia. Individually framed birds include the kakapo, triton cockatoo, black-mantled goshawk and black falcon.

Among the more than 35 plates by Maria Sybilla Merian (1647-1717) are examples of Banane from Metamorphosis insectorum Surinamensium, Amsterdam, 1715; Red Ginger Plant and Cayman with Snake, same title, 1719; Water Scorpion, Frogs & Water Beetle, Lantern Moth & Pomegranate Flower, and Jasmine & Snake from Dissertatio de Generatione et Metamorphasibus Insectorum Surinamensium, The Hague: Gosse, 1726. 

Additionally, there are 16 botanical plates by Basilius Besler (1561-1629), including Dracontium Maius and Sedum Arborescens (1613, 1640), and more than 60 plates by Johann Wilhelm Weinmann from Phytanthoza iconographia, 1737, which contained some of the first produced plates to feature color printing (mezzotint). 

Sixteen citrus plates by Giovanni Battista Ferrari come from Hesperides, sive, De Malorum Aureorum cultura etusa Libri Quatuor, circa 1646; while 84 fish studies by Marcus Elieser Bloch are from Ichtyologie, ou Histoire Naturelle, Generale et Particuliere des Poissons [Ichthyology or natural history, general and particular fish]. Berlin: 1785-1797. Some of the plates are heightened in silver and gold. 

Other important prints in the sale include works by Mark Catesby, Albertus Seba, Moses Harris, George Edwards, Prideaux John Selby, Jacques Barraband, Redoute, Emanuel Sweerts, Elias Fries, Georg Knorr, Johann Christoph Volckamer, Elizabeth Blackwell, Abraham Munting and Jan and Caspar Commelin.  

The Jan. 25 auction will commence at 6 p.m. Eastern Time. For additional information on any item in the auction, call 703-532-5632, ext. 575; or email info@quinnsauction.com. Quinn’s is located at 360 S. Washington St., Falls Church, VA 22046. Online: www.quinnsauction.com. View the catalogue and bid absentee or live via the Internet at http://www.LiveAuctioneers.com.

Image: Lot 225: John Gould (British, 1804-1881), Henry C. Richter (British, 1821-1902), and William Hart (1830-1908), one of a group of 10 hand-colored lithographs from The Birds of Great Britain, London, 1862-73, 14.5 x 21.5in. Est. $800-$1,000

SM_Texaco Station_ Togo_ 1958.jpgTodd Webb (1905-2000), best known for his photographs of New York, Paris, Georgia O'Keeffe and the American West, is one of the most significant photographers of the 20th century earning him a place in an elite circle of practitioners that include: Alfred Stieglitz, Harry Callahan, Berenice Abbott, Walker Evans, Gordon Parks, Lisette Model, Helen Levitt and Ansel Adams.

While Webb was very well known during the 1940s through the 1960s, he would later drop below the radar for the rest of his life through his death in 2000. The Todd Webb Archive, under the direction of Betsy Evans Hunt, is bringing Webb's remarkable oeuvre back into the spotlight again, presenting his bodies of work from the United States, Europe, and Africa.

In the summer of 2017, the Museum of the City of New York, in collaboration with the Todd Webb Archive, mounted a solo exhibition of vintage prints, "A City Seen: Todd Webb's Postwar New York, 1945-1960," which was one of the museum's most attended exhibitions of the season. This was followed in the fall with the publication of the stunning monograph, I See A City: Todd Webb's New York, written by Sean Corcoran and Daniel Okrent and edited by Betsy Evans Hunt (Thames & Hudson, November 2017). The book and show have garnered critical acclaim worldwide.   

Building upon the resurgence of interest in Todd Webb, the Todd Webb Archive will have rare, never-before-seen vintage prints by the photographer on sale for the first time at the Todd Webb Archive booth at AIPAD (Association of International Photography Art Dealers) at Pier 94, New York from April 5-8, 2018.

Works for Sale at AIPAD

  • Africa 1958: This newly discovered color work was made by Webb in Tanganigka (now known as Tanzania), Rhodesia (now known as Zimbabwe), Sudan, Somalia, Ghana, Togo, and Kenya for five months commencing in April 1958. Commissioned by the United Nations, the vibrant photographs document people in their communities with a focus on workers and local industries. The series is distinctive for being in color and the only known photographic documentation of its kind during this period.
  • New York Post-World War II: This series presents Webb's intimate and wonderfully rich exploration of the everyday life and architecture of New York in the years following World War II. In his review of the book in The New York Times Book Review, Luc Sante writes: "I See A City: Todd Webb's New York shows an upbeat, down-market post-World War II Manhattan, filled with sidewalk vendors and one-story sheds and hand-painted signs ... His pictures present a vividly comestible pedestrian-eye view, one that invites you to walk into that pawnshop, take a seat on that streetcar." 

Among the prints on sale is the iconic Sixth Avenue panel -- a panorama of one block, Sixth Avenue, 1958 between 43rd and  44th streets, assembled from eight separate frames.

Other bodies of work by Todd Webb:

Paris: 1948-1952

Guggenheim Fellowship -- Walk across America: 1955-1956

American West: 1955-1970

Georgia O'Keeffe Abiquiu and Ghost Ranch: 1955-1980

Portraits of Artists, including Berenice Abbott, Harry Callahan, Gordon Parks, Lisette Model and Man Ray.

Over a period of more than fifty years, Todd Webb produced a unique body of work which attained an important place in the annals of American photographic history. Webb's humanistic approach to documentary photography infuses his images with a sense of intimacy and a curiosity in the relationship between history, place, and people. His life was like his photographs; at first they seem very simple, without obvious tricks or manipulation, but on closer examination, they are increasingly complex and marvelously subtle.

The primary goal of the Todd Webb Archive, located in Portland, Maine, is to educate the public about Webb and his oeuvre. The archive is making vintage work available for the first time while also offering a limited edition of large scale posthumous prints. Since Todd Webb's death in 2000, his estate (known as the Todd Webb Archive) has been managed by collector/dealer Betsy Evans Hunt who has represented Webb since 1991. Hunt first met Webb and his wife Lucille in 1989 when they visited her photography gallery in downtown Portland. The Webbs formed a close and enduring friendship with Hunt with whom they shared a similar aesthetic sensibility. Prior to moving to Portland, Hunt held various positions in the field of fine art photography, among them as Robert Mapplethorpe's first studio manager. Hunt is currently working with various museums on Todd Webb exhibitions and accompanying publications, as well as with commercial venues. The Todd Webb Archive is open by appointment. 

For more information, visit: www.toddwebbarchive.com

Image: Texaco Station, Togo (West Africa), 1958 / copyright: The Todd Webb Archive


chris killip_w.jpgNew Haven, CT—The Yale Center for British Art has expanded its collection of photographs through a generous gift of 125 works from the London-based collectors Claire and James Hyman. The gift includes prints by famed British photographers Bill Brandt (1904-1983), Tony Ray-Jones (1941-1972), and Martin Parr (b. 1952), and it introduces works by Bert Hardy (1913-1995), Roger Mayne (1929-2014), Fay Godwin (1931-2005), John Blakemore (b. 1936), Colin Jones (b. 1936), Anna Fox (b. 1961), and many others who are not yet represented in the Center’s steadily growing collection. A selection reflecting the range of British photographers and approaches to the medium represented in this gift will be on display at the Center beginning on Tuesday, January 16, mounted by Assistant Curator of Photography Chitra Ramalingam. This arrangement will be on view in the second-floor galleries through March 29, 2018. 

“Claire and I hope that by making this donation at such a seminal moment it will help provide a platform for the Center’s ambitions to develop its engagement with British photography,” said Dr. James Hyman. “This gift marks the continuation of a special relationship with Yale University that began in 2001, when the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies for British Art, London, in association with Yale University Press, published my doctorate The Battle for Realism: Figurative Art in Britain during the Cold War (1945-60).” 

Highlights from the Hymans’ gift to the Center include British landscapes, from the layered intimacy of a riverbank in Blakemore’s Lathkill Dale, Derbyshire (1979) to the bleak, ruptured majesty of Godwin’s Meall Mor, Glencoe (1989). Several photographers whose work is included in the gift, such as Hardy, Brandt, Jones, and Jane Bown (1925-2014) worked for illustrated magazines, such as the mid-century Picture Post or the Observer, the long-lived illustrated Sunday magazine, which fostered both social documentary and graphic innovation in British photography. Prints from two Picture Post photo-essays by Hardy trace the everyday realities of wartime and postwar Britain: A Trawler in War-time, March 1942, captures fishermen trawling in the North Sea under brutal conditions, while Life in the Elephant depicts citizens of south London during the winter of 1948. Jones recorded life in postwar industrial landscapes, foregrounding British steel-working and coal-mining towns in the 1970s. Fox’s photographs document the unsettling customs and rituals of British life in a small, picturesque village in Hampshire.

“We are delighted to make this gift to the Center as part of our commitment to promoting British photography internationally,” said Dr. Claire Hyman. “The donation includes British photographs that span the last century by many of the most important figures from Bill Brandt to Anna Fox. We are especially excited to make the gift at such an important time in the Center’s engagement with photography!”

The Hymans’ largesse builds on a precedent set by the Center’s founder, Paul Mellon (Yale College, Class of 1929), whose own extraordinary gift to Yale included early and rare examples of books and albums with photographic illustrations. Among the most notable are a copy of William Henry Fox Talbot’s photographically illustrated book Sun Pictures in Scotland (1845), depicting sites from the life and work of Sir Walter Scott; Relics of Old London (1875-1886), a portfolio of carbon prints by several late Victorian photographers memorializing historical London buildings in danger of demolition; and the William Field scrapbook (1895), an extraordinary album compiled by a commercial photographer to record the collective memory of his family and its relationship to the distant past. The newly acquired prints complement the Center’s rich collection of historic photographs and drawings made with optical devices, such as the camera obscura and camera lucida, which both played a key role in the genesis of photography.

“We are deeply grateful to the Hymans for advancing the Center’s collection of modern and contemporary British photographs. Their magnificent gift includes works by many notable practitioners new to the institution’s holdings,” said the Center’s director, Amy Meyers. “Their generosity comes at an opportune moment, since we have begun to develop our collection of photographs both actively and strategically to represent the wide breath of the medium, as well as its historical and social significance to British culture.” 

In addition, Ramalingam noted, “the Center wishes to build its photography collection in innovative ways that reflect not only the multifaceted nature of photography as a practice but also the complexity of Britishness at this moment in history. The photographs included in the Hymans’ gift compel us to examine both these questions, as the Center launches research projects and exhibitions that deepen our understanding of the material, aesthetic, and social history of photography.”

Currently, the Center houses more than six thousand photographs, including works in books and albums, and cartes de visite. Over the last decade, the institution has made a firm commitment to expand the breadth and depth of its holdings in this area, with works that range from early photographic experiments to contemporary innovations with the medium: from a cameraless salt print by William Henry Fox Talbot (1800-1877) to a digital print by Yinka Shonibare MBE (RA) (b. 1962). 

Image: Christopher Killip, Helen and her Hula-hoop, Seacoal Camp, Lynemouth, Northumberland (detail), 1984, gelatin silver print, Yale Center for British Art, Gift of the Hyman Collection, London (Claire and James Hyman) © Christopher Killip 2018


Warhol.JPGFranklin, MA — A mid-1980s gouache on paper rendering of the iconic Apple Macintosh logo attributed to pop art legend Andy Warhol (1928-1987), and an oil on canvas composition signed by the French painter of modern art Auguste Herbin (1882-1960), are expected top lots in Woodshed Art Auctions’ internet-only fine art sale Thursday, February 1st, at 5:30 pm Eastern.

The Private Art Collections & Estates Discoveries Auction contains 142 lots of modestly priced artworks from consignors in Europe, England, Canada, South America and the U.S., featuring original paintings and drawings by and attributed to prominent names in 19th and 20th century art. Styles span Realism, Impressionism, Surrealism, Expressionism, Neo Expressionism and Pop.

The Warhol painting is a playful and vibrant interpretation of the Macintosh Apple logo, and it’s possibly a study for an advertising commission, although that can’t be corroborated. The work measures eight inches square (16 ½ inches square in the frame) and is signed front and back and verso, marked with reference numbers. It’s been assigned a modest estimate of $20,000-$30,000.

The Herbin attribution measures 21 ½ inches by 17 ½ inches framed and is signed lower right and on the reverse, with a date of 1954. Herbin is best known for his Cubist and abstract works consisting of colorful geometric figures. The painting up for bid should bring $50,000-$80,000.

The rest of the catalog features artists such as Stuart Davis, Jane Peterson, Titian Ramsay Peale, Montgomery Livingston, George Cochran Lambdin, Maurice Braun, Franz Kline, Arthur Dove, Girogio de Chirico, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Auguste Rodin. All lots can be viewed now, at www.woodshedartauctions.com. People can register and bid on the site, too (a new feature). They can also bid on lots via the popular online bidding platform www.LiveAuctioneers.com.

“This month’s selections reflect a wide range of tastes among our consignors,” said Bruce Wood of Woodshed Art Auctions. “Some conservative landscape and marine paintings arrived from New England estates, Surrealist drawings came from South America and Modern abstractions emerged from European collections. The catalog overall presents a lively visual conversation.”

An abstract composition, gouache and graphite on paper attributed to Stuart Davis (Am., 1892-1964), signed in graphite under the 18 inch by 25 ¼ inch unframed image, is expected to rise to $40,000-$60,000. Also, an oil on canvas mounted onto board, signed by Jane Peterson (Am., 1876-1965) and titled Boats in Gloucester Harbor, in a frame, should realize $25,000-$35,000.

A watercolor on paper with graphite indications attributed to Titian Ramsay Peale (Am., 1799-1885), titled Callosamia Promethea, signed lower right, unframed, has an estimate of $10,000-$15,000; while an oil on canvas by Montgomery Livingston (Am., 1816-1855), titled Mount Desert Island, Maine, signed and titled in pencil and in a new frame, should hit $6,000-$8,000.

An oil on canvas titled Still Life with Roses by George Cochran Lambdin (Am., 1830-1896), signed lower left and housed in a 31 inch by 24 ½ inch frame, is estimated at $6,000-$8,000. Also, an oil on canvas board landscape by Hungarian-American artist Maurice Braun (1877-1941), possibly of Old Lyme, Conn., signed lower left, framed, should make $15,000-$20,000.

An abstract watercolor painting on heavy weight paper attributed to Arthur Dove (Am., 1880-1946), circa 1940, signed along the lower edge, 5 inches by 7 inches unframed, has an estimate of $8,000-$12,000; while an abstract composition acrylic on paper attributed to Franz Kline (Am., 1910-1962), signed, 13 ¾ inches by 11 inches unframed, should garner $10,000-$15,000.

A portrait of an entertainer attributed to Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (Fr., 1864-1901), possibly Miss Dolly from Le Star in the Port of Le Harvre, France, signed and unframed, is expected to realize $30,000-$50,000; and an unframed mixed media drawing of a cow on paper, done in the manner of Andy Warhol, signed in pencil front and back, has an estimate of $40,000-$60,000.

The auction’s top lot may not end up being a painting at all but a bronze cast sculpture signed by the renowned French artist Auguste Rodin (1840-1917), depicting a hand holding a female torso, 5 ½ inches tall (est. $80,000-$100,000). Also being offered is a watercolor on paper attributed to Giorgio de Chirico (It., 1888-1978) titled Testa de Cavallo (Horse Head) (est. $15,000-$20,000).                                                                 

Woodshed Art Auctions is a family-owned art gallery specializing in oil painting restoration and live and online art auctions, celebrating its 50th anniversary. The firm is always accepting quality artworks for future auctions. To inquire about consigning a single piece or an entire collection, you may call Bruce Wood at 508-533-6277; or, e-mail him at bruce@woodshedartauctions.com

For more information about Woodshed Art Auctions and the February 1st Private Art Collections & Estates Discoveries Auction, please visit www.woodshedartauctions.com.

Image: Mid-1980s gouache on paper rendering of the iconic Apple Macintosh logo attributed to pop art icon Andy Warhol (Am., 1928-1987) (est. $20,000-$30,000).

Screen Shot 2018-01-17 at 9.48.49 AM.pngOn February 20th 2018, Sotheby’s Milan will offer up for sale the library of Sergio Rossetti, a Milanese collector, connoisseur and bibliophile. He dedicated the vast majority of his studies and his collecting to the city of Rome. 

His library illustrates all the aspects of art, archeology, architecture and costume in the Italian capital from the early 15th century to the 19th century.

The collection also features the great classic works on Roman architecture, from Fontana to Borromini and Palladio. 

The library includes a large number of well-preserved items, such as Carlo Fontana’s Templum Vaticanum et ipsius origo.., Rome, 1694. Thanks to its precise iconography and detailed descriptions it is considered the most accurate and exhaustive work about the Vatican Basilica and its construction (79 tables engraved by Alessandro Specchi from Fontana’s drawings), est. €10.000-15.000. In addition, two books by Francesco Borromini, Rome, 1720-1725, Opera cavata dai suoi originali (both of them feature the architect’s portrait) est. €5.000-7.000, and Andrea Pozzo’s Perspectiva pictorum et architectorum..,1693, enriched with some magnificent engravings, among them the plate with the vault of the Church of Sant’Ignazio in Rome, est. €2.000-3.000. 

The sale also includes the first edition of Obeliscus Pamphilius, hoc est, interpretatio nova.., 1650, executed by the great erudite jesuit Athanasius Kircher, in which he presents his theories about the translation of hieroglyphics; the book is accompanied by several illustrations concerning Egyptian mythology. Besides, this work was commissioned by Pope Innocenzo X in order to carry out the restoration of the obelisk by Bernini: it was placed soon after in the middle of Piazza Navona, opposite Palazzo Pamphili, est. €3.000-4.000.

The renowed seventeenth-century printer and engraver Giacomo Lauro produced Antiquae Urbis splendor, hoc est, praecipua eiusdem templa, amphitheatra, theatra, circi, naumachiae.., followed by plates and texts, 1637, here a magnificent morocco binding with the arms of Urban VIII Barberini, est. €4.000-6.000.

In the works dedicated to Roman maps, it is worth mentioning Giovanni Battista Nolli, Nuova pianta di Roma, 1748, Rome, with an engraved plate depicting the city of Rome in its entirety; this first edition is rare, est. €4.000-6.000.

Seventeenth-century Rome is magnificently illustrated through the engraved plates of the well-known Palazzi di Roma de’ più celebri architetti..,by Pietro Ferrerio (1655-1670), and Nuovi disegni delle architetture e piante dei palazzi di Roma de’ più celebri architetti.., by Giovanni Battista Falda, est. €3.000-4.000.

Valuable books by the noted engraver and architect of the 18th century Giovanni Battista Piranesi will be offered to auction; among them, the renowed Della magnificenza ed architettura de’ Romani.., 1761, (est. €5.000-7.000), first edition, Antichità romane de’ tempi della Repubblica e de’ grandi imperatori..,1748, (est. €4.000-6.000), enriched with detailed plates, and the first edition of the impressive and rare work on Campo Marzio: Il Campo Marzio dell’antica Roma, Rome, 1762, est. €10.000-15.000.

The library also features one of the most relevant works about eighteenth-century civil engineering, illustrated in great detail across 54 plates: the Castelli e ponti con alcune ingegnose pratiche del trasporto dell’obelisco Vaticano…by Nicola Zabaglia, Roma, 1743, est. €2.500-3.000.

Next, the first editions of five books of views of Rome by Giuseppe Vasi Delle Magnificenze di Roma antica e moderna, Rome, 1747-1761, est. €8.000-12.000.

The library of Sergio Rossetti is rich in curiosities about Rome and includes, moreover, the most complete series of Italian and foreign guides to Rome from the 16th century to the 19th century. 


Wolf Image.jpgMiami Beach, FL— The Wolfsonian-Florida International University today announced a significant gift of more than 650 items from Palm Beach philanthropist Jean S. Sharf and her late husband, collector and scholar Frederic A. Sharf. A longtime trustee and benefactor of museums across the U.S., Fred Sharf initiated the donation in early fall 2017, just a few months before his death in late November. His final gift to The Wolfsonian is the culmination of nearly two decades of institutional support and features rare, under-studied material from the late 19th century through the Second World War relating to aviation, national fairs, the rise of the modern Japanese empire, and colonialism in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.

“Fred Sharf dedicated his life to ensuring that the items he collected were made available to the community,” said Francis Luca, Wolfsonian chief librarian. “He actively and prolifically published in order to share his knowledge, and sought out permanent homes for his finds in public museums and gallery spaces. We are honored that the Sharfs have chosen The Wolfsonian as a permanent repository for a large part of their private library, knowing that the extraordinary artifacts Fred amassed over a lifetime would ‘not collect dust on the shelves,’ but rather be preserved, displayed, and made accessible for generations to come.”

Significant highlights of the Sharfs’ gift are:

  • Japan and Her Exhibits, a rare catalog from the 1915 San Francisco Panama Pacific International Exposition containing over 400 pages of information, photographs, and advertisements on Japanese industries, art, and attractions;
  • An original photograph album (1919-26) documenting a British traveler’s seven-year trip around the world, with an elaborate mother-of-pearl inlay cover design of a bird with outstretched wings;
  • A 5-ft framed tapestry (1927) commemorating Charles Lindbergh’s historic transatlantic flight from New York to Paris, and his single-engine monoplane Spirit of St. Louis;
  • Early aviation magazines, including issues of The American Aviator (1929) and Flight (1932);
  • Our Wonderful Women by Cecil Hunt, a Second World War-era book published in London to commend women’s contributions in the war effort as nurses, members of the WAAF (Women’s Auxiliary Air Force), and ATS (Auxiliary Territorial Service); and
  • 1950s British fair publications, featuring colorful cover artwork and ads for products such as chocolate, shampoo, and diamond rings.

The Sharfs’ relationship with The Wolfsonian dates back to 1999, when they began contributing toward exhibitions and publications. From 2001 to 2006 Fred Sharf served on the museum’s advisory board, and in 2010 the couple’s focus homed in on the collection and initiatives of The Wolfsonian-FIU Library, where they have underwritten an associate librarian position dedicated to accessioning, cataloging, and preparing their extensive donations for digitization and display. Rochelle T. Pienn, holding this role since its inception in 2011, has since processed thousands of items gifted by the Sharfs.

“A rare combination of historian, art collector, and humanist, Fred Sharf had a keen understanding of what was both beautiful and meaningful,” said Pienn. “Whether donating period books from the Russo-Japanese War or original British colonial photograph albums, Fred understood the importance of relating artifacts of the past for the purpose of new scholarship. He was invigorated by the study and exhibition of these materials here on Miami Beach.”

The Sharf Collection held by The Wolfsonian-FIU Library contains over 5,000 rare photograph albums and other unique materials providing first-person perspectives of historical events and places across the globe. Major periods and moments covered by the collection are: the building of the Panama Canal; British colonial initiatives in India and Burma; and wars and uprisings ranging from the Boxer Rebellion (1898-1901), Spanish-American War (1898), Second South African War (1899-1902), Philippine American War (1899-1902), and Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905) to various Japanese military conflicts in Manchuria, China. Other materials also housed at The Wolfsonian include architectural drawings and illustrations. 

“The Sharfs’ latest gift is a keystone donation,” said Wolfsonian director Tim Rodgers. “We’re saddened that Fred’s many years of fruitful collaborations with the Wolfsonian team have been cut short, but look forward to celebrating his legacy in the true spirit of the Sharfs—with endless curiosity, the heart of a scholar, and a passion for the overlooked and unsung.”

The Wolfsonian is planning an installation of lacquered photograph albums from the Sharf Collection for 2019, and will continue to research and display material from the collection in other upcoming projects. Past installations that have heavily drawn on Sharf materials or were supported by the Sharfs include Styled for the Road: The Art of Automobile Design, 1908-1948 (2009), Visions of Victory: Picturing the Spanish-American War (2012), Wonders Never Cease: The 100th Anniversary of the Panama Canal (2014), and An Artist on the Eastern Front, Feliks Topolski, 1941 (2015), among many others.


trouvelot_comet_600.jpgSan Marino, CA - A rare set of exquisite lithographs, depicting the pastel drawings of planets, comets, eclipses and other celestial wonders by artist/astronomer Étienne Léopold Trouvelot (1827-1895), takes center stage in late April when The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical mounts the new exhibition “Radiant Beauty: E.L. Trouvelot’s Astronomical Drawings” in the Library’s West Hall. The exhibition is on view April 28-July 30.

The set of 15 chromolithographs was the crowning achievement of Trouvelot’s career, said curator Krystle Satrum, assistant curator of the Jay T. Last Collection at The Huntington. “He was both an extraordinarily talented artist and a scientist, producing more than 7,000 astronomical illustrations and some 50 scientific articles during his working life.”

In vivid color and meticulous detail, the works depict a range of astronomical phenomena. “The high quality of both the artwork and the scientific observation demonstrates his uncanny capacity to combine art and science in such a way as to make substantial contributions to both fields,” Satrum said. 

Trouvelot’s artistic talent and eye landed him a position at the Harvard College Observatory, where he produced highly detailed drawings of his observations, many of which were published in the Annals of the Astronomical Observatory of Harvard College. In 1875, he was invited to the U.S. Naval Observatory to use their 26-inch refracting telescope, at the time, the world’s largest. He then went public, exhibiting several astronomical pastels at the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. With the success of that exhibit, Trouvelot sought to publish a portfolio of his best drawings. He teamed up with New York publishers Charles Scribner’s Sons, selecting 15 drawings to be made into chromolithographs, which were finally published in 1882.

It is estimated that some 300 portfolios were published, but only a handful of complete sets still exist. Initially the portfolios were sold to astronomy libraries and observatories as reference tools that astronomers could use to compare with their own observations. However, as early 20th century advances in photographic technology allowed for more accurate and detailed depictions of the stars, planets, and phenomena, these prints were discarded or sold to collectors. The Huntington’s set was acquired by Jay T. Last as part of his collection of graphic arts and social history, then donated to The Huntington. 

Trouvelot’s legacy is not without controversy, said Satrum. Born in Aisne, France, he fled to the United States in 1855 with his wife and two children following Napoleon’s coup three years earlier, settling in Medford, Massachusetts. While supporting his family as an artist, he spent much of his free time studying insects, working to see if better silk-producing caterpillars could thrive in the United States. During a trip back to France in the late 1860s, he collected live specimens of the gypsy moth, bringing them home to Medford. “Unfortunately, after hatching, some of them escaped his backyard, infesting the nearby woods, then quickly spread throughout New England and Canada, destroying millions of hardwood trees,” she said. Though large-scale efforts to eradicate it were underway by 1890, they proved unsuccessful; the gypsy moth continues to be a scourge of U.S. and Canadian forests today, causing millions of dollars’ worth of damage annually. “This episode also seems to have soured Trouvelot’s passion for entomology, for by 1870, he had turned to astronomy,” Satrum said.

The West Hall is adjacent to the astronomy section of “Beautiful Science: Ideas that Changed the World” The Huntington’s permanent exhibition on the history of science, featuring rare books and manuscripts by the likes of Ptolemy, Galileo, Newton, and Einstein, among others.

Image: E. L. Trouvelot (1827-1895), The Great Comet of 1881, 1881, color lithograph, 32 3/4 × 25 3/4 in. Jay T. Last Collection, The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

Hours_Spitz_Bourdich_c1500_Tours_f27r_Annunciation copy.jpgDr. Jörn Günther Rare Books AG returns to TEFAF Maastricht (10-18 March 2018) with an exceptional collection of museum-quality, Medieval and Renaissance illuminated manuscripts, miniatures, and early printed books. 

This year’s highlights focus on the masterful artistry displayed in one-of-a-kind secular and sacred works of art from the 15th and 16th centuries. The first outstanding manuscript in the TEFAF Maastricht 2018 line-up is an exceptionally fine Book of Hours that shows the exquisite refinement and sophistication of a great artist. This elegant prayer book is attributed to the Master of Petrarch’s Triumphs, a distinctive master whose earlier work is localized in Tours. 

The manuscript’s delicate grisaille and touches of jewel-toned colours emanate a degree of translucency and purity. This devotional work includes 38 small miniatures with gold and red frames, as well as 4 full-page miniatures surrounded by borders of gilt scrolls containing the repeated motto “Parce Michi Domine”, meaning “Spare me, O Lord”, which may possibly indicate a yet unidentified patron’s device. While rooted in spiritual aspiration, this opulent manuscript nonetheless provides the owner with a luxury object that expresses his or her social status.

Another impressive manuscript highlight that Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books is bringing to Maastricht is a superb copy of Livy’s History of Rome, translated into French as Les Décades. This text is the first translation of any major classical author into French, originally commissioned by the French King John II the Good. This 15th-century manuscript is outstanding in size and in historical importance. The history measures 450 x 318 mm and includes 87 large miniatures, making it the most profusely illustrated of all known copies of Livy. Equally spectacular is the extremely fine 16th-century binding à la fanfare.

This manuscript’s engaging illustrations offer everything that the Middle Ages are supposed to be: battles, jousts, knights, armour, castles, trumpeters, kings, maidens, and banquets in a profusion of colour and chivalric splendour. The makers of this manuscript are not only named, but there is also a self-portrait of the artist, a portrait of the scribe, and a portrait of their patron.

Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books will also show an extremely rare early printed book: Albrecht Dürer’s Apocalypse - which is considered to be the first book in history that was both created and published by an artist. The copy at hand is the second Latin edition and the first with the title woodcut depicting the apparition of the Virgin with Child to St. John. It includes the complete series of 16 monumental woodcuts.

The publication of the Apocalypse was a revelation of Dürer’s artistic genius: never before had a single artist executed a project of such scope with total mastery over every aspect. Dürer utterly transformed the appearance of the illustrated printed book and of woodcuts. His large, complex images in realistic settings, full of life and movement, feature a descriptive power evident in the present series. Revolutionary in its time in both technique and breadth of concept, Dürer’s woodcut style graphically manifests the potency of St. John’s visions, capturing minute detail, rich texture, profound physical vigour, and his mastery of light and darkness.

His interpretation of the events before Doomsday was a great popular success. With editions in Latin and German, the book became accessible to the widest possible audience. However, today, this outstanding work is rarely seen in commerce.

Image: Book of Hours, use of Rome. Manuscript on vellum, illuminated by the Master of Petrarch’s Triumphs. France, Tours, c. 1490-1500. Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books AG. Price: 1,600,000 EUR.



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

This catalog features rare, antique and decorative books as well as select additions of ephemera. Featured is private collection of special and limited editions, along with many volumes signed by authors, illustrators and other contributors. A varied array of antique, vintage and recent children's books are also in this auction, with many signed copies.

Antique and rare books are numerous in this catalog. Among the earliest examples are the 1575 printing of Crispi's "In Hippocratis Aphorismorum Lib I Commentaria," bound in vellum, Ballonii's "Medici Parisiensis Celeberrimi," produced in 1640 and bound in vellum, and the 1699 printing of Gavanto's "Thersaurus Sacrorum Rituum," also in vellum. Author-signed volumes in this auction include names such as Robert Frost, Edward Rickenbacker, Rockwell Kent, Maurice Sendak, Stephen King, Peter Straub, Carl Sandburg, Eudora Welty, Philip Roth and many others. Additional rare and antique selections include titles relating to books-on-books, Civil War, travel & exploration, science fiction, mysteries, children's, Victorian gilt bindings, the American West, theology, decorative antique sets, art history and beyond.                       

Several compelling collections will also be showcased. Highlighted is a singular private library of rare limited and special editions, including many important autographed editions. Other lots present desirable vintage and antique examples such as the 1829 first edition of "The Memoir, Correspondence and Miscellanies from the Papers of Thomas Jefferson," the 1922 first American edition of Einstein's "The Meaning of Relativity," and a first state in the original dust jacket of Robert Heinlein's "Assignment in Eternity."     

Found throughout this catalog are interesting ephemera and group lot book offerings.    

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


Dallas, TX- Thanks to two stellar signature animation art auctions and another exceptional event at Knott’s Berry Farm amusement park in Buena Park, California, Heritage Auctions’ Animation Art Department had its best year ever, with total sales for the year of $3,919,080 - breaking the department’s previous record by 38 percent.

“It was an exciting year for Animation Art at Heritage Auctions,” Heritage Animation Art Director Jim Lentz said. “The year began with the historic ‘75 Years of America’s First Theme Park - Knott’s Berry Farm Auction’ held right at the historic park, which drew a record turnout. That was followed by two Animation Art Signature sales, the ‘Art of Fantasia’ auction in July and the ‘Animation Birthday Celebration’ auction, each of which set new records, thanks to artwork from the hands of such artists as Mary Blair, Eyvind Earle, Chuck Jones and Tim Burton, to name a few.”

The top Animation Art lot sold through Heritage Auctions in 2017 was Carl Barks “Family Portrait” Uncle Scrooge and Disney Ducks Painting #73-15 with Handwritten Letter (Walt Disney, 1973), which was pursued by numerous bidders before ultimately hammering at $68,712.50. From the hand of legendary Disney Duck artist Carl Barks, the image features Donald Duck surrounded by Uncle Scrooge McDuck, Grandma McDuck, Daisy Duck, Gladstone Gander and, in front, Donald’s nephews: Huey, Dewey and Louie.

An iconic image from one of the most beloved animated films of all time, the “Night on Bald Mountain” Concept Painting from Fantasia by Kay Nielsen (Walt Disney, 1940) realized $59,750. The work of Nielsen, a Danish illustrator, was utilized heavily in the famed “Night on Bald Mountain” scene. This rare Nielsen original concept/story painting, features the Chernabog with bats, skeletons and flames surrounding Bald Mountain and is signed in the upper right corner by Nielsen.

Another legendary Disney image is depicted in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Old Hag and Snow White Production Cel Courvoisier Setup (Walt Disney, 1937), which soared past its pre-auction estimate before ultimately selling for $33,460. The extraordinary hand-inked and hand-painted image of the Old Hag offering the Poison Apple to Snow White captures a key scene from this landmark animated movie. This original Courvoisier cel setup, on a custom background for presentation purposes, came originally from the “Ray Bradbury Collection.”

From one of Walt Disney’s favorite artists, Mary Blair “It's a Small World” Disneyland Painting (Walt Disney, 1964) nearly tripled its pre-auction estimate before bringing in $27,485. This original gouache-on-paper painting, measuring 14 by 18 inches, was done for the “Small World” exhibit in the Fantasyland section of Disneyland. This exact piece was held by Walt Disney and shown on the Wonderful World of Color episode called “Disneyland Around the Seasons” in what turned out to be one of Disney’s last appearances on the show.

One of the most legendary comics of all time is featured in A Charlie Brown Christmas Charlie Brown and Christmas Tree Production Cel (Bill Melendez, 1965) which more than quadrupled its pre-auction estimate when it crossed the block at $21,510. Written by Charles Schulz, the strip shows Charlie Brown as he defends his choice of the famous tiny Christmas tree” by claiming “I think it needs me!” This hand-inked, hand-painted production cel is on a photo print background for presentation purposes.

Other top Animation Art lots included, but were not limited to:

·         "The Band Concert" Good Housekeeping Illustrations by Tom Wood (Walt Disney, 1935): $20,315

·         Sleeping Beauty Eyvind Earle Master Hand-Painted Production Background with Production Cel Setup (Walt Disney, 1959): $19,120

·         Rocky and His Friends Production Cel Setup and Key Master Background (Jay Ward, 1960): $16,730

·         Mickey Mouse Early Publicity Artwork Signed by Walt Disney (Walt Disney, c. early 1930s): $11,950

·         Tim Burton The Black Cauldron Character Design Concept Art Group of 4 (Walt Disney, 1977): $11,651

·         DC and Marvel Underoos Illustration by Alex Toth (DC/Marvel/Fruit of the Loom, c. 1977-81): $6,572.50

Knott’s Berry Farm

Heritage Auctions helped celebrate the 75th anniversary of Knott’s Berry Farm’s Ghost Town attraction with a public auction in March that realized nearly $790,000 for 228 lots.

The top lot at the event was a Henry H. Cross “Baldwin Wagon Train Under Attack” Ghost Town Painting (1898), which sold for more than 40 times its pre-auction estimate when it drew a winning bid of $71,700. The painting was purchased by Walter Knott and displayed in Ghost Town in the early 1940s, and was spotlighted in the first issue of the Knott’s Berry Farm newspaper: the Ghost Town News. Cross was called “the greatest painter of Indians portraiture of all times” by Buffalo Bill Cody, worked as an artist for P.T. Barnum’s circus and was known for his portraits of Kit Carson, Wild Bill Hickock, Sitting Bull and Sioux chief Red Cloud.

One of the most visible attractions at Knott’s Berry Farm was the 1940 Jennie K Locomotive, which realized $40,630. Built in Pittsburgh, this H.K. Porter locomotive originally was owned by the Acme Brick Company in Malvern, Arkansas before ultimately being sold to Cedar Point Theme Parks.

A 1904 Caille Brothers Double Slot Machine (c. 1904) drew frenzied bidding before finishing at $38,240. When local tax authorities imposed a tax on each slot machine, the manufacturers and venue owners reacted by doubling and tripling the machines in a single cabinet in order to pay taxes once for multiple machines. This Big-Six Eclipse Twin oak double slot machine was re-purposed by Knott's Berry Farm to become a double-token machine with a vending fee of 25 cents.

Other top lots from the Knott’s Berry Farm auction included, but were not limited to:

·         Walter Knott's Model T Ford (1919/20): $37,045

·         Seagrave-Type Fire Engine (c. 1940s): $31,070

·         Ford Custom Two Bucket Seat Hot Rod Roadster (1927/59): $21,510

Heritage Auctions is the largest fine art and collectibles auction house founded in the United States, and the world’s largest collectibles auctioneer. Heritage maintains offices in New York, Dallas, Beverly Hills, San Francisco, Chicago, Palm Beach, London, Paris, Geneva, Amsterdam and Hong Kong.

The Internet’s most popular auction-house website, HA.com, has over one million registered bidder-members, and searchable free archives of four million past auction records with prices realized, descriptions and enlargeable photos.

Stock certificate.jpgReno, NV - Holabird Western Americana Collections, LLC is on the cusp of presenting its first big auction of the New Year - a two-day affair slated for the weekend of January 20th and 21st, featuring nearly 1,500 lots in many collecting categories. The auction will be held online and in Holabird’s gallery, at 3555 Airway Drive in Reno, starting at 8 am Pacific time both days.

Online bidding will be provided by the platforms iCollector.com, Invaluable.com, eBay Live and Auctionzip.com. Phone and absentee bids will also be accepted. A virtual catalog of the sale in its entirety, showing all lots, is up and online, at www.fhwac.com. Viewers can “flip” through each page and do keyword searches, too. They can also register and bid with a click of a button.

The Saturday, January 20th session will showcase mining and minerals, art, foreign items, Native Americana and general Americana. The Sunday, January 21st auction will feature cowboy, firearms and weaponry, militaria, gaming and tokens, numismatics (coins), tokens, bottles, saloon, railroadiana, Wells Fargo, World’s Fair and Expositions, bargains and dealer specials.

Nearly half of all lots on Day 1, January 20th (377 of the 723 lots being offered) are general Americana. One item is a strong candidate for top lot of the auction overall. It’s a choice pocket watch with a gold-in-quartz chain, made by the Illinois Watch Company in 1899 (by then its corporate offices had moved to San Francisco), engraved to John J. Kelly (est. $6,500-$10,000).

From the same category will come a rare silver chalice made in the 1870s or 1880s in historic Virginia City, Nevada and stamped on the bottom by the maker (M. M. Frederick), 6 ½ inches tall (est. $2,000-$5,000); and a one-sheet original poster from the 1940 Western movie Triple Justice, starring George O’Brien and Vivian Vale, 27 inches by 41 inches (est. $500-$1,000).

A star of the mining category is a 1908 stock certificate for the Great Cariboo Gold Company of British, Columbia in Canada, in the amount of 84 shares, issued to Annie E. Price (1833-1910), possibly Benjamin Price’s daughter from the U.K. (est. $500-$1,000). The 15 inch by 13 ¾ inch certificate is signed by J. Houghton as president and shows eight gorgeous gold nugget vignettes.

Minerals will feature a Triassic reptile fossil discovered embedded into black shale in Guizhou, China and measuring 6 inches by 11 inches (est. $600-$1,000). The 200 million-year-old reptile, known as Keichousaurus hui, was first discovered as a species in 1958, and has only been found in China. It was a “prey species” dinosaur, meaning it became food for a lot of other creatures.

Native Americana will be led by a beautiful white buckskin Pow Wow dress, with orange, green, yellow and black beads and fringing on both sides. The Northern Plains dress should hammer for $1,200-$3,000. A choice foreign lot is the set of four intricate hand puppets, made by the noted puppet “maestro” Katherina Bekleshova of Russia, probably in the 1940s (est. $2,000-$4,000). The politically-themed puppets are about two feet each in length and are in excellent condition. 

On to Day 2, where bottles (always a hit with collectors) will feature a very rare aqua mint hutch style Elko Bottling Works (Elko, Nev.) soda bottle, circa 1899-1901, with strong embossing and one of just a few known (est. $1,000-$1,500); and an Owl Pharmacy Co. (Seven Troughs, Nev.) bottle, one of the top Western medicines, circa 1909-1914, purple in color (est. $1,200-$1,500).

Numismatics will showcase a pair of three-coin commemorative coin sets honoring Israeli leader and 1994 Nobel Peace Prize winner Yitzhak Rabin, being sold as one lot. Each set consists of two silver coins and one gold coin of 22 carats (16.96 grams). The coin was designed by Aharon Shevo, with Rabin’s portrait engraved by Tidhar Dagan. The lot is estimated at $2,000-$6,000.

Paper currency will be highlighted by a scarce 1882 Watkins red-on-blue $10 advertising note, made famous more recently as a Ford car promotion in 2008. The original note was made in Laramie, Wyoming which, in 1882, was essentially the center of northern cowboy country. The note - advertising “Dry Goods, Groceries, Hats, Caps, Boots, Shoes” - should hit $1,500-$3,000.

Fans of gaming collectibles won’t be disappointed. Nearly 20 lots will come up for bid, led by a War Eagle 25-cent slot machine from around the 1930s, all-original, with the original wood sides and base. The machine, one of the classic “one-armed bandits” and still popular with collectors, has had a professional repainting and appears to be working, but has no key (est. $1,500-$3,000).

Color catalogs are available on request, by calling toll-free, 1-844-492-2766, or 775-851-1859. Also, anyone owning a collection that might fit into an upcoming Holabird Western Americana Collections, LLC auction is encouraged to get in touch. The firm travels extensively throughout the U.S., to pick up collections. Last year it went to Boston and New York, among other places.

Holabird Western Americana is always seeking quality bottle, advertising, Americana and coin consignments for future auctions. To consign a single piece or a collection, you may call Fred Holabird at 775-851-1859 or 844-492-2766; or, you can e-mail him at fredholabird@gmail.com. To learn more about Holabird Western Americana's Jan. 20th-21st auction, visit www.fhwac.com

Image: 1908 stock certificate for the Great Cariboo Gold Company of British, Columbia in Canada, for 84 shares, issued to Annie E. Price (est. $500-$1,000).

PBA Tyler.jpgPBA Galleries is pleased to offer the Tyler-Goodwyn Family Archive, an archive of President John Tyler descendants containing approximately 265 letters, documents, writings, and other items, including manuscripts, typed material, partially printed forms, and more, plus silver cups and spoons, an engraved gold watch, and other family memorabilia c.1832-1980. The archive will be offered on Sunday, February 11th in an early morning sale in Pasadena, California to coincide with the 51st California International Antiquarian Book Fair.

An important archive of papers and other items passed down by the descendants of President John Tyler through his eldest son Robert Tyler, who married Priscilla Cooper, and whose daughter Priscilla C. Tyler married Albert T. Goodwyn. The Tylers and the Goodwyns were old Southern families, from South Carolina, Virginia, and Alabama, long involved in the political, economic and social life of the South, and were owners of slaves and plantations. One of the earliest letters is from John Tyler in 1834, to his then 18-year old son Robert, when the elder Tyler was a senator from Virginia, discussing primarily matters of politics and state. The archive includes letters, deeds, wills, bills of sale, and other records detailing numerous transactions in slaves, and in large holdings of land. These latter include the sell-off of land after the Civil War, and re-acquiring assets in the succeeding decades. There are also three letters written by Albert T. Goodwyn while he was a prisoner of the Union forces during the Civil War, held on Johnson’s Island, in Lake Erie off the north shore of Ohio. Following the Civil War, business practices of necessity changed, but large land-owners and slave-holders such as the Goodwyns were able to adapt, and the documents reveal the share-cropping practices that kept the freed slaves in virtual if not actual bondage. There are also a number of papers relating to the curious ownership of a bridge by the Goodwyn family, acquired in the early 20th century. During this period members of the Goodwyn family became more involved in politics, and various papers and speeches reveal the efforts of the Democratic Party in the south to keep power firmly in the hands of white men. Some of the family were of a literary bent, though more whimsical than serious in nature, and there are several stories and essays by Robert Tyler Goodwyn, some treating in “humorous” fashion the relationships between the white patricians of the south and African Americans. There are, finally, artifacts of the family, including a gold pocket watch from the American Waltham Watch Company, with initials and dates of three family members, beginning in 1852. Provenance: Descended in the family.

The papers are housed in plastic sleeve in six binders, arranged chronologically in fourteen different subject categories, or sections. You can view the full catalogue entry here with further details https://www.pbagalleries.com/view-auctions/catalog/id/0/lot/143654/

Section One - Photographs

Ten photographic images, some from paintings, portraits of family members, 

Section Two - John Tyler

Letter to son Robert Tyler regarding negotiations with France and their promised payment of $5,000,000 to the U.S. government for violations of trade agreements.

Section Three -Slavery

Twelve manuscript letters, documents, bills of sale, etc., relating to slavery. 1838-c.1850.

Section Four - Civil War

Five items relating to the American Civil War, including three letters from Albert T. Goodwyn to family members when he was a prisoner-of-war at Johnson’s Island, Ohio, in 1864

Section Five - CSA Veterans

Fourteen items relating to Confederate veterans and veteran organizations. 1903-1935.

Section Six - Land

Forty-three documents, deeds, quit claims, and other items relating to land and land transactions. 1832-1939.

Section Seven - Business and Finance

Forty-five document, letters, insurance forms, contracts and other items relating to finance and business, including some involving sharecropping. 1867-1966

Section Eight - Bridge

Twenty-five letters and documents relating to the Montgomery Toll Bridge Company. 1915-1934.

Section Nine - Politics

Sixteen documents, speeches, and other items relating to politics, including voter suppression in the 1930’s and 1940’s. 1892-1942.

Section Ten - Literary and Education

Thirty essays, stories, school tests, diplomas, and other fictional and factual writings, a number of them relating to race relations. 1867-1942.

Section Eleven - Family Letters

Twenty letters between members of the Tyler-Goodwyn extended family. 1834-1928.

Section Twelve - Genealogy and Family History

Thirty items relating to the genealogy of the Tyler-Goodwyn extended family, including family trees, memoirs, obituaries, newspaper articles, etc. 1884-1988.

Section Thirteen - Wills

Thirteen wills and related testaments of members of the Tyler-Goodwyn extended family. 1900-1951.

Section Fourteen - Miscellaneous

Thirteen items of miscellaneous nature, including several relating to the 1918 military service of Robert Tyler Goodwyn, Jr. 1891-1962.

Overall the archive is in very good condition, with normal wear associated with age, use, and storage, some of the earlier papers with neat archival tape repairs.

The archived is estimated at $20,000-30,000.

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

13_72dpi.jpgAustin, TX — The Harry Ransom Center, a humanities research library and museum at The University of Texas at Austin, has acquired the archive of American playwright Arthur Miller (1915-2005). Obtained from the Arthur Miller Trust, the archive spans Miller’s career.

During his lifetime the Ransom Center had a close association with Miller, who first donated a group of early play manuscripts and working notebooks to the Center in the early 1960s. This acquisition greatly extends that collection and tells the full story of Miller’s life and work, the production history of his major plays and the international reception that made Miller one of the most significant playwrights of the 20th century.

“Arthur Miller is one of our country’s finest playwrights, one who gave dramatic form to themes that are central to our still-evolving American story,” says Ransom Center Director Stephen Enniss. “For years to come, all primary source research into this major American playwright’s life and work will begin here.”

Beginning with Miller’s first play “No Villain” (1936), written when Miller was at the University of Michigan, to “Finishing the Picture” (2004), produced just months before his death, the archive provides a comprehensive record of Miller’s creative works. Present are drafts of “All My Sons” (1947), “Death of a Salesman” (1949), “The Crucible” (1953), “A View from the Bridge” (1955), “After the Fall” (1964), “Incident at Vichy” (1964), “The Price” (1968), “The Creation of the World and Other Business” (1972) and “The Ride Down Mt. Morgan” (1991), as well as screenplays, short stories and other writings.

Miller is one of our country’s most lauded playwrights. Over a distinguished career his plays have earned numerous honors, including a Pulitzer Prize for “Death of a Salesman” when Miller was only 33 years old; three Tony Awards and another for Lifetime Achievement; Kennedy Center Honors; the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award; the Theater Guild National Award; an honorary Molière Award; the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters; and the American Academy of Arts and Letters Gold Medal for Drama.

“With the acquisition of the Arthur Miller archive by the Harry Ransom Center, UT continues to be a leader in the arts and humanities,” said Gregory L. Fenves, president of The University of Texas at Austin. “Miller’s works are timeless, and his original manuscripts, journals and correspondence will be studied and enjoyed for generations to come.”  

The archive contains multiple versions of Miller’s scripts, many re-edited throughout his career for new productions. Supplementing the scripts are extensive materials related to productions of Miller’s plays, including contracts, set designs, marketing materials, reviews and awards. Drafts of Miller’s speeches and essays demonstrate his life-long engagement with the social and political issues of his time.

“We are pleased to have found a fitting home for Dad’s voluminous notes and papers at the Harry Ransom Center, where they will be added to the rest of his earlier works already in place there,” said Robert A. Miller. “The Center is well known for its collection of many of the finest writers in America and beyond, and we look forward to partnering with them as we explore how best to present his works and life in ways that can reflect his seemingly boundless curiosity and insight coupled with his unique observations and reflections on the 20th century world as he saw it, both intimate and global.”

Throughout his life, Miller recorded ideas, drafts, bits of dialogue and notes related to his work in journals, interspersing them with diary-like reflections on his personal life. More than 50 of these journals span from the 1940s to the 2000s.

Substantial correspondence in the archive reflects Miller’s association with significant colleagues from the literary and theatrical worlds including Edward Albee, Saul Bellow, Harold Clurman, Norman Mailer, Cynthia Ozick, Harold Pinter and John Steinbeck. Some relates to Miller’s investigation by the House Un-American Activities Committee. Also included is family correspondence.

“It’s rare to see a writer document his process in such a rich and complete way,” said Eric Colleary, the Ransom Center’s Cline Curator of Theatre and Performing Arts. “Given the scope and scale of Miller’s archive, researchers and artists can look forward to significant new insights into one of America’s greatest playwrights and public intellectuals.”

Many other collections at the Ransom Center contain primary source materials related to Miller, including the papers of Stella Adler, Boris Aronson, Mel Gussow, PEN and the archive of Eli Wallach and Anne Jackson. The Ransom Center’s PEN International collection includes hundreds of Miller’s letters demonstrating his commitment to freedom of expression around the world and documenting his service as president of PEN International from 1965 to 1969.

Included in the archive is a vast collection of photographs, many by such notable photographers as Eve Arnold, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Bruce Davidson, Fred Fehl, Arnold Newman, and Miller’s third wife Inge Morath. Some are portraits of Miller and others document productions of his plays. There are also family photographs and snapshots.

The Ransom Center has one of the largest collections of playwright archives in the world. Miller’s archive will reside alongside those of American dramatists including Lillian Hellman, Adrienne Kennedy, David Mamet, Terrence McNally, Elmer Rice, Sam Shepard and Tennessee Williams; and British and Irish playwrights Samuel Beckett, David Hare, John Osborne, George Bernard Shaw and Tom Stoppard.

The acquired materials will be cataloged within two years. The collection will then be accessible to researchers, students and the public.

The acquisition is being funded by a combination of private gifts and university funds. No state general revenue or tuition funds are being used. The Ransom Center is seeking additional private support for the Miller archive. 

Image: Typescript draft page for "The Price," ca. 1967. Arthur Miller Papers, Harry Ransom Center.

mary-q-scots-elizabeth-i-to-ralph-sadler-3-dec-1584 copy.jpgThe British Library is pleased to announce the donation to its American Trust of 43 historically important letters, written by Queen Elizabeth I and senior courtiers, relating to the imprisonment of Mary, Queen of Scots. 

Many of the letters were written to Sir Ralph Sadler, who was entrusted with the custody of Mary, Queen of Scots, at Tutbury Castle in Staffordshire, between 1584-85, just a few years before her execution for treason in 1587. They include four letters signed by Elizabeth I, and many others in the hands of her Chief Minister, Lord Burghley, and her Secretary of State, Sir Francis Walsingham. 

The collection, which is of significant historical importance, has been on loan to the Library for a number of years. The letters have been gifted by industrialist and philanthropist Mark Pigott KBE to the American Trust for the British Library and will enhance the Library’s extensive collections of original correspondence of the Tudor monarchs.

Roly Keating, chief executive of the British Library said, “The British Library is delighted to announce the gift of this important collection of letters, relating directly to one of the most dramatic episodes in English and Scottish history. The words of figures such as Elizabeth I, Burghley and Walsingham are a vital part of our shared heritage. The Library and all scholars and students of UK history are grateful to Mr. Pigott and to the American Trust for their vital ongoing support.”  Keating added, “Mark Pigott has generously supported the British Library and its collections for many years, including sponsorship of our magnificent PACCAR Gallery and exhibitions on our Royal Manuscripts collection and Henry VIII. He has also generously contributed to the enhancement of education and outreach programmes and we are very grateful for his continued commitment and friendship.”

Mark Pigott KBE shared, “The British Library has provided luminescent insights into centuries of history through their collections and we are pleased to add to their superb repository of manuscripts. The Tudor period was an eventful time for the nation, politically and culturally, and these letters offer a unique window onto that world both for researchers today and for future generations”

David Redden, President of the ATBL, said: “The American Trust for the British Library acknowledges with enormous gratitude the spectacular gift by Mark Pigott of the Sadler archive. The archive has been placed at once on deposit with the British Library where it will dramatically expand our insight into the world of the Tudors and the extraordinary story of Mary, Queen of Scots.” 

The Library plans to digitise the letters next year, along with other Tudor documents, and they will be made available for all on the Digitised Manuscripts website. 

Image: Letter from Elizabeth I to Ralph Sadler, 3 December 1584.

outcasts5_20171218190231992_low.jpgLos Angeles, CA - Medieval manuscripts preserve stories of faith, romance, and knowledge, but their luxurious illuminations can sometimes reveal hidden prejudices as well. Outcasts: Prejudice & Persecution in the Medieval World, on view January 30—April 8, 2018 at the J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, presents individual case studies that examine the way art, like language, was used to articulate a rhetoric of exclusion. Whether for reasons of race, class, gender, religious identity or sexual difference, medieval society was far more diverse than is commonly understood, but diversity did not necessarily ensure tolerance. Drawn from the Getty’s permanent collection of illuminated manuscripts, this exhibition explores the obstacles faced by those who were perceived as “others.” For today’s viewer, the vivid images and pervasive subtexts in illuminated manuscripts can serve as stark reminders of the power of rhetoric and the danger of prejudice.

“With their focus on religious subjects and tales of chivalry, it’s easy to forget that the pages of illuminated manuscripts frequently depicted social biases,” says Timothy Potts, director of the J. Paul Getty Museum. “Frequently, these works were a reflection of social norms and reinforced prejudices that were prevalent in society. In some cases these references may be subtle, in other cases not. In either case it is important to understand these works of art as also being social and historical documents that illuminate both the medieval past and the biases and prejudices that we still grapple with today.”

The exhibition begins with an illumination of the Crucifixion in the Getty’s Stammheim Missal, a masterpiece of Romanesque painting. The image is usually understood as a celebration of Christian belief, in which the sacrifice of Christ paved the way for the salvation of humanity, but this exhibition highlights the institutionalized anti-Semitism underlying Christian rhetoric about the old law and the new. Ecclesia, the personification of the Christian Church, is seen at Christ’s right, while the Jewish Synagoga appears on his left. Synagoga points at Christ, glaring, while holding a banderole (representing Old Testament law) that proclaims “cursed be he who hangs on the tree.” Below, two personifications echo and amplify the antithetical positions of these figures. In a roundel below Ecclesia, the fair-skinned Life gazes calmly across the composition at Death, who resembles contemporary (twelfth-century) caricatures of Jews with hooked noses and swarthy complexions.

“As repositories of history and memory, museums reveal much about our shared past, but all too often the stories told from luxury art objects focus on the elite,” explains Kristen Collins, curator of manuscripts and co-curator of the exhibition. “Typically created for the privileged classes, manuscripts can nevertheless provide glimpses of the marginalized and powerless and reflect their tenuous places in society.”

Some medieval writers and artists altered historical content to align with the prevailing morals of the day. Among Alexander the Great’s lovers was the young man Hephaiston and the eunuch Bagoas, but in one medieval manuscript Bagoas was recast as a beautiful woman called Bagoe in order (as the text says) to “avoid a bad example.” Even as a woman, however, Bagoe is still transgressive. In a fifteenth-century Flemish illumination, Bagoe wears luxurious flowing garments like those of the spear-carrying Amazon women in the background, who were renowned for their military prowess and heightened sexual drive. The literary and artistic interpretation of Bagoas/ Bagoe reveals the predominant prejudice against same-sex attraction and, by aligning her with the Amazons, the pervasive wariness toward powerful women.

Cis-gender women and Muslims often fared no better in the medieval world. The Merovingian queen Brunhilde, a powerful heroic figure who led armies and ruled over kingdoms, fell victim to the misogyny of later medieval authors who cast her as the archetypal “nasty woman.” In Giovanni Boccaccio’s story of The Death of Brunhilde, Queen of France (1413-15) he described Brunhilde as ruthless and vengeful, characterizations that were also applied to Saracens, a pejorative medieval term for Muslims. This parallel may explain the turbaned figures in the margins of this manuscript. In medieval art, the “Saracen” became a catch-all category of people to be feared.

Color conveyed a range of meanings in medieval art. Blackness not only signified race and ethnicity, but also symbolized the absence of light, and thus, God. Demons were often rendered in shades of black or dark browns and grays. In Initial Q: David Before Saul (after 1205), color appears to have been used in both ways. In a jealous rage, King Saul draws a sword on the young David. King Saul’s melancholic temperament is conveyed not only through his actions but also by the dark-skinned demon who resembles caricatured representations of Africans, Jews, and Muslims found elsewhere in the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries, a period of extreme intolerance and violence.

According to Bryan C. Keene, assistant curator of manuscripts and co-curator of the exhibition, “This exhibition strives to make connections between the Middle Ages and the contemporary world, specifically in the way rhetoric is used to construct society’s ‘out groups.’ Attitudes toward Jews and Muslims, the poor, those perceived as sexual or gender deviants, and the foreign peoples beyond European borders can be discerned through caricature and polemical imagery, as well as through marks of erasure and censorship.”

In an attempt to respond to possible concerns from audiences, the exhibition curators also reached out through the Getty blog and Tumblr, inviting members of the public to comment on the exhibition text as it was being drafted. That ongoing conversation can be found on the Getty Iris.

Outcasts: Prejudice & Persecution in the Medieval World is curated by Kristen Collins, curator in the Manuscripts Department and Bryan C. Keene, assistant curator in the Manuscripts Department. The exhibition is on view at the J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center from January 30 -April 8, 2018. Related programming includes “Sexuality, Sanctity, and Censorship: A Conversation with Artist Ron Athey,” a discussion about sexuality, gender identity, and censorship in relation to the exhibition and, “Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia in the Middle Ages and Today” a panel discussion featuring Sara Lipton, Hussein Fancy, and Jihad Turk.

Image: The Crucifixion, probably 1170s. Tempera colors, gold leaf, silver leaf, and ink on parchment. Leaf: 28.2 × 18.9 cm (11 1/8 × 7 7/16 in.). Credit: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, Ms. 64, fol. 86

Kerouac Cassady copy.jpgDallas, TX - Sales of Rare Books & Historical Manuscripts at Heritage Auctions recorded its best year in the category’s 12-year history with total 2017 sales reaching $3,762,722 million.

“We were very pleased with the stellar performance of our rare books auctions in 2017,” Heritage Auctions Rare Books Director James Gannon said, “and we attribute much of our success to great ‘fresh-to-market’ collections and Heritage’s unmatched marketing reach and Internet presence.”

J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone realized the highest sale price of any book sold by Heritage during 2017. Numerous bidders pushed it all the way to $81,250 - more than quadrupling its pre-auction estimate - and establishing a new world record for unsigned copies. Written in 1996, the book earned Rowling a tiny advance from Bloomsbury, which published just 500 copies in the initial run 20 years ago, with 300 copies earmarked for English libraries.

A T.S. Eliot collection comprised of 40 lots passed down through the Eliot family to T.S. Eliot’s great-niece, the last living relative to have a personal relationship with the author, sold for more than $215,000. The headliner was one of four first-edition presentation copies printed in vellum of Ara Vos Prec, which was inscribed by the author to his mother and realized $57,500.

Another collection that surpassed expectations was The KoKo Collection of Mystery and Detective Literature, encompassing 237 lots, which sold for $475,000 on $299,000 in pre-auction estimates. The top lot in the collection was an attractive copy of Dashiell Hammett’s 1929 Red Harvest, which went for $50,625. Strong prices realized for high spots from Poe, Fleming, Chandler, Doyle and Christie rounded out the consignment.

The highest price for any individual lot in the department was the $206,250 brought in by The Joan Anderson Letter, written by Neal Cassady in 1950 and originally sent to Jack Kerouac. A significant artifact in the history of Beat Literature, the letter proved hugely influential on Kerouac, who called it “the greatest piece of writing I ever saw.” Cassady, in his own right, was a major figure in the Beat Generation of the 1950s and the psychedelic and counter-culture movements of the 1960s. He later admitted that he wrote the 18-page document, with roughly 16,000 words and handwritten additions, deletions and edits, while high on speed. The letter, which described Cassady’s history with women, including women - hence the moniker “The Joan Anderson Letter - and other subjects, was thought to be lost for decades and still never has been published, except for a short fragment which appeared in 1964, after its influence and place in literary lore were already established.

The department had the good fortune to offer another Jack Kerouac item, his Original Typescript of The Dharma Bums, typed from the original scroll, realized $137,500. The 200-page draft Kerouac submitted to his publisher, Viking Press, in January 1958, includes hand-written corrections that made it into the final novel.

Other top lots included, but were not limited to:

·         An Aitken New Testament (1781), the first English-language New Testament printed in America: $75,000

·         A John James Audubon. [Robert Havell, engraver]. Original Copper Printing Plate: $62,500

·         A collection of 28 Early American Imprints, including the First Federal Budget: $47,500

·         A pair of Hermes 3000 Typewriters used by Larry McMurtry to write Lonesome Dove: $37,500

“By combining thorough and honest catalog descriptions with visual-minded presentation and exceptional marketing reach, we feel we have found a market-expanding formula at Heritage,” Gannon said. “We have set ourselves on a winning path to even more success in the future and are excited about what 2018 has to bring.”

Heritage Auctions is the largest fine art and collectibles auction house founded in the United States, and the world’s largest collectibles auctioneer. Heritage maintains offices in New York, Dallas, Beverly Hills, San Francisco, Chicago, Palm Beach, London, Paris, Geneva, Amsterdam and Hong Kong.

The Internet’s most popular auction-house website, HA.com, has over one million registered bidder-members, and searchable free archives of four million past auction records with prices realized, descriptions and enlargeable photos.

Dallas, TX - Numerous records set by Heritage Auctions' Comics & Comic Art category in 2017 include total sales of $44.3 million  - the highest ever in the 16-year history of the category and a new standard for the second year in a row. Gross sales surpassed 2016’s total sales of $42.95 million.

In addition, the department's Weekly Internet Auctions cracked the $10 million plateau for the first time, bringing in a total of $10.8 million, an average of nearly $208,000 per week for the world's leading comics and comic art auctioneer.

Departmental revenue records were not the only ones set in 2017. Robert Crumb R. Crumb's Fritz the Cat Cover Original Art (Ballantine, 1969) set a new world record for the most valuable piece of American comic art when it sold for $717,000 - nearly tripling its high pre-auction estimate - while Joshua Middleton NYX #3 Cover and Concept Art X-23 First Appearance Original Art (Marvel, 2004) established a new mark for the most valuable piece of 21st-century comic art when it hammered at $71,700.

“The last year has been the best in the history of our department,” Heritage Auctions Comics and Comic Art Operations Director Barry Sandoval said. “We were able to offer a number Robert Crumb items in which collectors saw premium value, and our weekly internet auctions underscored the quantity of in-demand lots our consignors consistently sell through Heritage Auctions.”

Animation Art

The top animation art piece from 2017 was the iconic Kay Nielsen Concept Painting for the "Night on Bald Mountain" scene in Fantasia (Walt Disney, 1940), which sold for $59,750.

Weekly Auctions

The weekly auctions have been a major boon to the department. The final total for the year of $10.8 represented a jump of 5 percent over the previous mark, which was established in 2016.

“Our average weekly auction has more than $200,000 worth of material, all sold without any reserves or minimum bids,” Sandoval said. “In addition to the Disney animation drawings and comic art we sell week in and week out, we’re proud to have a steady flow of key comics. In weekly auctions this year alone we have sold 22 Amazing Fantasy #15s, 26 Amazing Spider-Man #1s, 33 Incredible Hulk #181s and 27 New Mutants #98s … and there are plenty more in the pipeline.”

The top lot sold during a 2017 weekly auction was Amazing Fantasy #15 (Marvel, 1962) CGC VG/FN 5.0 Off-white to white pages, which realized $35,850

The most lucrative comic art lot sold in a 2017 weekly auction was John Buscema and Jim Mooney Amazing Spider-Man #76 The Lizard Original Art (Marvel, 1969), which brought $11,950.

Disney lots enjoyed significant success at the 2017 weekly auctions. Among the top offerings was Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Grumpy Animation Drawing (Walt Disney, 1937), which sold for $1,434.

A significant contributor to the Comics Department’s 2017 success was the Ethan Roberts collection of comic art, a compilation of more than 1,000 lots that have yielded sales totaling more than $2 million … so far. Among the top lots Roberts sold through Heritage Auctions in 2017:

·         Alex Raymond Flash Gordon Original Art dated 10-27-35 (King Features Syndicate, 1935): $131,450

·         Alex Raymond Flash Gordon with Jungle Jim Topper Sunday Comic Strip Original Art dated 11-12-39 Group of 2 (King Features Syndicate, 1939): $95,6000

·         Steve Ditko Amazing Spider-Man #34 Story Page 16 Original Art (Marvel, 1966): $71,700

·         Bernie Wrightson Swamp Thing #6 Cover Original Art (DC, 1973): $58,555

Heritage Auctions is the largest fine art and collectibles auction house founded in the United States, and the world’s largest collectibles auctioneer. Heritage maintains offices in New York, Dallas, Beverly Hills, San Francisco, Chicago, Palm Beach, London, Paris, Geneva, Amsterdam and Hong Kong.

The Internet’s most popular auction-house website, HA.com, has over one million registered bidder-members, and searchable free archives of four million past auction records with prices realized, descriptions and enlargeable photos.

capricorn-detail-from-liturgical-calendar.jpgNew York, NY — Before the appearance of the clock in the West around the year 1300, medieval ideas about time were simultaneously simple and complex. Time was both finite for routine daily activities and unending for the afterlife; the day was divided into a fixed set of hours, whereas the year was made up of two overlapping systems of annual holy feasts. Perhaps unexpectedly, many of these concepts continue to influence the way we understand time, seasons, and holidays into the twenty-first century. 

Drawing upon the Morgan’s rich collection of illuminated manuscripts, Now and Forever: The Art of Medieval Time explores how people in the Middle Ages told time, conceptualized
history, and conceived of the afterlife. It brings together more than fifty-five calendars, Bibles, chronicles, histories, and a sixty-foot genealogical scroll. They include depictions of monthly labors, the marking of holy days and periods, and fantastical illustrations of the hereafter. The exhibition opens January 26 and continues through April 29. 

“Artists of the medieval period could render the most common of daily activities with transcendent beauty, while also creating a strange, often frightening, afterlife,” said Colin B. Bailey, director of the Morgan Library & Museum. “Their work mirrored the era’s intricate mix of temporal, spiritual, and ancient methods for recording the passage of time. The elaborate prayer books, calendars, and other items in the exhibition provide a rich visual history of a world at once familiar and foreign, from the seasonal work of farmers that would not look unusual in today’s almanacs, to apocalyptic visions of eternity that make Hollywood’s futuristic films appear tame.” 

The Exhibition 

The show is divided into five sections focusing on the medieval calendar, liturgical time, historical time, the hereafter (“time after time”), and the San Zeno Astrolabe. 

I. The Medieval Calendar 

Medieval calendars told time in two ways: through the ancient Roman calendar that Julius Caesar had reformed in 45 B.C. and by the feast (usually a saint’s day) celebrated on the day. They appear odd to modern eyes because they lack our sequential numbering; all medieval calendars were perpetual. But they also contained much useful data. Golden Numbers tracking the year’s new moons and Dominical Letters (A through G) tracking Sundays were both used to determine the date of Easter. Calendars also noted each month’s unlucky days and added astronomical information such as the beginning of the summer’s Dog Days. 

In the Calendar of Ravenna, each month was gorgeously illustrated by its zodiacal sign—the constellation with its composite stars. Not simply aesthetically pleasing, this calendar also tracked the positions of the sun and the moon. 

In addition to the signs of the zodiac, calendars often depicted the labors of each month—for instance, August was dedicated to reaping wheat. By the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, this sole secular element within prayer books was given more focus. In fact, illuminator Simon Bening painted the labors on the folios of the Da Costa Hours as large full-page illustrations. 

II. Liturgical Time 

During this period, Europeans used the canonical hours to tell daily time. The medieval day was marked by eight hours, which the Church sanctified with prayer. The day began in the middle of the night (matins and lauds) and proceeded through the course of the day (beginning at sunrise with prime). The day ended in the evening (compline). The prayers became synonymous with the particular times they were recited. Books of Hours enabled laypeople to imitate the clergy and pray throughout the course of the day. A jewel-like Book of Hours illuminated by French Renaissance artist Jean Fouquet will be open to the Visitation, a scene marking the nighttime hour of lauds

Two overlapping systems were used to structure the year: the temporale and the sanctorale. The temporale consisted largely of feasts celebrating events from the life of Christ. Some feasts had fixed dates, like Christmas; others were movable, like Easter. Feasts of the sanctorale were generally saints’ days, commemorating the days upon which the saints died and entered heaven. 

Remnants of medieval timekeeping survive today. The medieval vigil, the commencement of an important feast on the evening before, has become today’s eve, such as Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve. In The Berthold Sacramentary, a miniature marks Palm Sunday, when the inhabitants of Jerusalem laid cloaks and palms in Christ’s path as he entered the city. Distributing blessed palms on Palm Sunday is a medieval practice that continues to this day. Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and St. Patrick’s Day all come from the medieval way of keeping time as well. 

III. Historical Time 

In the Middle Ages, the Bible was both the word of God and the early history of man. It was believed that the Hebrew Bible (the Christians’ Old Testament) chronicled actual ancient events, even if they had occurred long ago. The New Testament related the life and death of Christ and mentioned at times historic figures with known dates. In the sixth century, a new system of dating events was devised: years were described as A.D. or Anno Domini (In the Year of Our Lord), based on the presumed birthdate of Christ. 

According to medieval tradition, ancient Troy marked the start of European civil history. When the city fell, the defeated but heroic Trojans sailed off and founded such major European cities as Rome, Paris, and London. The medieval belief that Troy itself was founded by descendants of Noah provided a seamless link between the people and events chronicled in the Bible and the Trojans, the forebears for all of Europe. 

An anonymous compiler covered the six thousand years of history that began with Adam and Eve and concluded with fifteenth-century France as the world’s superpower in a sixty-foot scroll, the centerpiece of the exhibition. With sixty-six miniatures, it is the most fully illustrated copy of this universal chronicle known to exist. Outlining the history of the world from Creation to the reign of King Louis XI of France, it depicts five lines of descent: 1) the popes; 2) the Holy Roman Emperors; and 3) the kings of France, England, and the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem. 

IV. Time after Time 

Obsessed with the “Four Last Things” (death, judgment, heaven, and hell), people in the Middle Ages believed that time on earth was but a fleeting moment compared to the endlessness of the hereafter. Of those lucky enough to merit heaven, only martyrs or the truly holy might get there immediately after death. The rest detoured through purgatory, a place of temporary punishment, which could mean, however, thousands of years. 

Punishment in hell was imagined to be painful and fiery. In The Hours of Catherine of Cleves, the entrance of hell was depicted as a gaping lion’s mouth opening its batlike lips tipped with talons. Through it, demons cast damned souls. Meanwhile, burning towers heat cauldrons into which mutilated bodies are pitched. 

The Apocalypse dominated the imagination of what the end
of time held in store for humanity. Illustrators of medieval
manuscripts portrayed the Beast of the Apocalypse as having seven heads with ten horns and the body of a leopard with bear’s feet, which would make war on the faithful on earth. A False Prophet would order the people of the earth to worship this beast--and also cause great wonders, such as drawing fire from heaven. 

V. San Zeno Astrolabe 

For hundreds of years, an astrolabe hung in the Benedictine abbey of San Zeno in Verona. This extraordinary movable calendar is the only object of its type to survive from the Middle Ages—and is the only loan to the show. For every day of the year, the astrolabe’s three dials were rotated by hand to give a wide-ranging set of information: the date in Arabic numerals, the date according to the ancient Roman calendar, the feast to be celebrated, the zodiacal constellation, the hours of darkness and light, and the age of the moon. In doing so, it helped monks organize their devotional lives. 


Now and Forever is accompanied by the book, The Medieval Calendar: Locating Time in the Middle Ages, which examines vigils, octaves, Egyptian Days, and other fascinating mysteries of medieval calendars. It is lushly illustrated with over sixty color plates. 

Author: Roger Weick 

Publisher: The Morgan Library & Museum and Scala Arts Publishers, 2017, 98 pages.

Image: Liturgical calendar for Ravenna, Italy, Milan (?), 1386, illustrated by a follower of Giovannino de’ Grassi, The Morgan Library & Museum, MS M.355, fol. 8v (detail), purchased by Pierpont Morgan, 1909. Photography by Graham Haber, 2017. 


Lot 205.jpgWestport, CT - Former United States presidents and their wives will take center stage in University Archives’ online-only auction of autographs, books and relics slated for Wednesday, January 17th, at 10:30 am Eastern time. Bidders can view all lots now, at the University Archives website, at www.UniversityArchives.com. Online bidding is being facilitated by Invaluable.com.

The sale is packed with 218 lots of important, scarce and collectible signed documents and other items relating to some of the most important names in all of history. The top lot could well end up being from First Lady Martha Washington, whose handwritten and signed letter from 1794, regarding a meeting of “The President” and James Madison, should finish at $25,000-$30,000. This letter was previously auctioned at Christie’s in 1989, in the prestigious Doheny collection.

Speaking of the Madisons, a document signed by James Madison in 1809, as President, issuing a patent to a Mr. Atkinson Farra for his “double-bored pendulum pump,” is expected to hit $2,000-$4,000; and a fabric swatch from a gown worn and owned by First Lady Dolley Madison (1768-1849), with impeccable provenance, and a print of her 1804 portrait, should bring $1,000-$1,200.

JFK items are a huge hit with collectors. A letter typed and signed on U.S. Senate letterhead by Kennedy in 1957, regarding a discrimination issue dating to World War II, has an estimate of $1,000-$2,000; while a piece of car roof Plexiglas, of the type used in the Lincoln Continental bubble-top at the time of his assassination, tested with a bullet hole, should fetch $1,200-$1,400.

Not to be outdone, Jackie Kennedy is also represented in the sale, with two lots having estimates of $3,000-$4,000 each. One is her personally owned and worn white gloves (her favorite fashion accessory), with important provenance; and her personally owned and worn navy blue leather belt, embellished with gold buckles and detailing at the front, consigned by her former secretary.

What’s more valuable, an Abraham Lincoln related pen or a George Washington actually used pencil? Answer: the pencil. The mechanical pencil personally owned by Washington, beautifully framed and with his portrait print, should garner $10,000-$12,000; while an original wooden pen made from the wood of a tree Lincoln himself planted carries a pre-sale estimate of $800-$1,000.

Keeping in the same vein, an early 1800s miniature wood carving of an axe, 7 inches long, made from an elm tree growing in the area where then-Gen. Washington encamped his army on their march, culminating in the crossing of the Delaware River in Dec. 1776, should make $600-$700. Also, a superb land grant on vellum, signed and dated (June 11, 1787) by Benjamin Franklin, an unusually well-preserved example with strong contrasting ink, has an estimate of $8,000-$9,000.

Several documents signed by Lincoln have strong appeal, such as an early legal brief written entirely in his hand circa 1841 or 1842, when he was still an Illinois lawyer (est. $4,500-$5,000); and a boldy signed prisoner discharge note from 1863, in which then-President Lincoln offers a pardon to any man who swears, without coercion, allegiance to the Union (est. $4,000-$5,000).

Thomas Jefferson items will feature a lengthy letter written and signed by the third president, during the War of 1812, relating to his beloved Shadwell, one of four farms owned by him (est. $8,000-$9,000; and a scarce Naval appointment dated Nov. 1805, with gorgeous engravings, in which Jefferson appoints commander Hugh Campbell as a Navy Captain (est. $6,000-$7,000). There is also a letter by Jefferson that has scientific, in fact “lunar”, content (est. $5000-$6000).

A rare, partly printed document signed “James A. Garfield” as president, dated April 29, 1881, in which he appoints Francis W. Seeley postmaster for Lake City, Minn., has a reasonable estimate of $9,000-$10,000. Also, a military commission dated May 2, 1907, signed by Pres. Theodore Roosevelt and countersigned by William Taft as Secretary of War, should fetch $1,000-$1,200.

A letter typed and signed by Harry Truman in May 1961, one of only a few known in which he ruminates on his decision to drop the atomic bomb on Japan as an expedient means to end World War II, has an estimate of $4,000-$5,000. Also, three individual card place settings on heavy card stock for Pres. Dwight Eisenhower and Russia’s Nikita Khrushchev, for an official dinner, should rise to $1,000-$3,000.

A designer porcelain enameled pillbox with a Japanese garden scene, gifted and inscribed to Mrs. Nancy Reagan by Tina Sinatra, Frank Sinatra’s daughter from his first marriage, carries an estimate of $1,500-$2,000; while a collection of eight Dictaphone recordings made by then-Vice Pres. Richard Nixon, more than 18 minutes, with handwritten notes, should reach $1,000-$1,200. 

A one-page letter, written in May 1831 and signed by then-Pres. Andrew Jackson, to Acting Sec. of the Navy John Boyle, in which he discusses the scandalous Petticoat Affair of 1829-1831, is expected to coast to $1,200-$1,400; and a military document from 1797, signed by future Pres. William H. Harrison, when he was Lt. Commander at Ft. Washington, should hit $1,800-$2,000.

Not all lots in the sale are president-related. Charles Lindbergh’s grandfather’s watch, ostensibly gifted to the pioneer aviator (and, remarkably, still working), maker unknown, has an estimate of $1,600-$1,800. Also, an aluminum combination spoon-and-fork, recovered from the site of the World War II P.O.W. camp dramatized in the film The Great Escape, should bring $800-$900.

A rare silver Masonic skull and crossbones shield from the 19th century, with a black velvet front and a black linen back, 14 inches by 14 inches, with significant weight in silver, is expected to realize $1,000-$1,200. Also, a seven-relic, first class Multireliquary housed in a hand-fashioned iron theca and sealed with red wax on the reverse, assembled in 1883, should garner $600-$700.

A group of eight Civil War reunion medals and ribbons, from the Grand Army of the Republic and the 7th Connecticut Regiment, has an assigned estimate of $400-$500. Also, a relic from the church where Pocahontas was baptized - a flat wooden disk from The Old Williamsburg Church (the second oldest church in America), recovered in the early 1880s - should sell for $300-$400.

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 17th auction, please visit www.universityarchives.com.

Image: Lot 205: Letter handwritten and signed by First Lady Martha Washington in 1794, regarding a meeting of “The President” and James Madison (est. $25,000-$30,000).

americas-greatest-library_486x578.pngA new book from Library of Congress Historian John Y. Cole, “America’s Greatest Library: An Illustrated History of the Library of Congress,” tells the story of the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and how it came to be the world’s largest library.

Librarian of Congress Carla D. Hayden calls the Library “a place where you can touch history and imagine your future,” and the story of its creation and evolution comes alive in this rich chronology. The book is the first authoritative history of the Library published in nearly 20 years.

“America’s Greatest Library,” which will be published Jan. 9 by D Giles Limited in association with the Library of Congress, highlights the personalities and events that created and sustained the institution over its 217-year history, starting at a time when Washington had no other libraries or cultural institutions. Packed with fascinating stories, compelling images and little-known nuggets of information, the narrative traces the growth of the collections with the development of the nation’s capital through a combination of concise milestones, brief essays and vivid photographs and illustrations.

The book features important acquisitions and episodes, including:

  • The November 1963 late-night search in the stacks— by flashlight—by Lincoln specialists working at the behest of first lady Jacqueline Kennedy, seeking guidance on appropriate funeral arrangements for an assassinated president
  • The Brady-Handy photographic collection, containing more than 3,000 negatives made by Civil War photographer Mathew B. Brady and his nephew Levin C. Handy
  • The earliest surviving copyrighted motion picture, Thomas Edison’s 1894 “Kinetoscopic Record of a Sneeze”
  • The 175,000 photographs from the Farm Security Administration archive, including Dorothea Lange’s iconic “Migrant Mother”
  • The 1944 world premiere of the ballet “Appalachian Spring,” choreographed by Martha Graham with music by Aaron Copland
  • The 303 glass-plate negatives documenting the earliest flights of Orville and Wilbur Wright
  • Rare sacred texts, including the Washington Haggadah, an illuminated Hebrew manuscript, and two 15th-century Bibles, the Giant Bible of Mainz and one of only three perfect vellum copies of the Gutenberg Bible
  • A variety of musical instruments and scores, including five stringed instruments made by Antonio Stradivari, the 1,600-item Dayton C. Miller flute collection, and the original score of Gershwin’s “Porgy and Bess.”
  • The 1815 purchase of Thomas Jefferson’s personal library after the British burned the Capitol and Jefferson’s concept of a universal library that would form the foundation of the Library’s comprehensive collection

For more than 50 years, beginning in 1966 when Cole joined the Library’s staff as an administrative intern, librarian and historian, he has sought to increase public understanding of the key role of the Library of Congress in American government, scholarship and culture. He was the founding director of the Library’s Center for the Book from 1977 to 2016, when he was named to a new position as the Library’s first official historian.

“America’s Greatest Library,” a 256-page softcover book with 250 illustrations, is available for $19.95 in the Library of Congress Shop, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C., 20540-4985. Credit card orders are taken at (888) 682-3557 or loc.gov/shop/. Hardcover and e-book versions are available through book retailers.

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.


264 Durer and Books.jpgSt. Petersburg, FL - Few would argue that the Florida Gulf Coast is an agreeable place to be in January. Aside from the sunshine and beaches that are free to all comers, the Tampa Bay area boasts a thriving art community and one of the nation’s most highly regarded auction houses: Myers Fine Art (MFA). To mark the company’s 30th year at the same landmark Art Deco gallery in St. Petersburg, Myers’ co-owners Mike Myers and Mary Dowd have announced a January 21 auction that reflects a full year of scrupulous assessment and curation of European and Asian fine art and antiques. All of the goods set aside for the 30th anniversary auction were sourced from upscale estates in Florida, the Hamptons, and various New England regions known for their gracious, historic homes.

“We have always taken the same curated approach as Sotheby’s and Christie’s. We don’t conduct general auctions, only specialty auctions,” Dowd explained. “If we hold an Americana sale, for example, customers who deal exclusively in Americana will still fly in to bid in person. They know that our 600-lot sale will contain 600 lots of exactly the type and quality of goods they are seeking. We make sure that is the case.”

For their initial sale of 2018, Myers will present a superb selection of 16th to early 20th-century European paintings, heavy antique silver, exquisite European and Chinese porcelain, jade and hardstone carvings, antique scrolls, woodblock prints, carved furniture, fine jewelry, and many items with interesting provenance.

The connoisseurship for which Myers and Dowd are so well known is amply validated in the selection of artworks chosen for the auction. A star lot is an oil-on-panel scene of Village Kermesse by Dutch genre painter Joost Cornelisz Droochsloot (1586-1666). The artwork depicts in quintessential Droochsloot style a festive gathering in a village street, with townsfolk of all ages represented. The lively 37 by 50.5-inch (framed) painting retains an old paper label on verso, possibly from an auction or gallery, bearing both French and German writing that describes the subject matter. Estimate; $20,000-$40,000. 

Many other desirable European paintings will cross the auction block. An intriguing 19th-century oil-on-canvas allegorical painting of Lucrezia Borgia, 40.8 inches square, is estimated at $1,000-$2,000, while a very fine 17th- or early 18th-century Continental oil-on-canvas portrait of a knight is expected to make $3,000-$5,000. Several well-executed Italian and French religious carvings and santos will be offered. A highly detailed Italian polychrome carving of the Madonna and Child measures 51 inches high and is inscribed on the base Aves Maria Laureto. It appears to be well over 150 years old, possibly much older. Estimate: $2,000-$3,000.

An eyewitness to America’s glamorous Gilded Age, a pair of 19th-century (or earlier) German Black Forest elk-antler chandeliers formerly illuminated the Grill Room at the prestigious Yale Club in New York City. Each of the chain-suspended 16-light chandeliers has at its center a large, hand-carved wood figure of a mermaid holding a crown, coat of arms and goblet. A photo appearing in Volume 25 of the 1915 Yale Alumni Weekly shows one of the chandeliers in situ at the club, with text noting that all Grill Room furnishings and decorations had been the gift of William P. Eno, Yale class of 1882. Offered as a pair, the chandeliers are estimated at $5,000-$10,000. 

Also of special note are two palatial Louis XV French crystal chandeliers that previously graced the Presidential Suite and Lady Mendl Suite, respectively, of New York’s Plaza Hotel. Deaccessioned prior to the hotel’s 2005 closure for renovation, the elegant fixtures will now be auctioned consecutively, each with an estimate of $1,500-$2,500.

An abundance of particularly fine sterling silver will be available, including a massive William Bateman II 1828 English tray weighing 209ozt, estimated at $3,000-$5,000. Additionally, there will be an extensive array of Continental porcelain including Sevres urns and KPM productions; and English earthenware, led by several large, significant pieces of George Jones majolica and a Moorcroft silver-overlaid tea set.

Approximately 40% of the sale is devoted to Asian treasures. The selection includes carved Chinese furniture, Chinese porcelain, including plaques; jade and hardstone carvings, lacquerware, bronzes, cloisonné, woodblock prints, vibrant antique rugs (all from estates), and 25 scrolls, possibly 18th century. A pair of striking Japanese Meiji period dragon-motif cloisonné enamel vases is estimated at $1,000-$2,000. 

A Chinese 18th/19th-century hand-embroidered double silk panel depicts foo lions amongst exotic blue clouds and foliage, with workmanship that reveals tiny embroidered stitches including the “forbidden” stitch. Measuring 22.25 by 11 inches, it has a gold-thread border and is signed in Chinese characters on verso. With direct descent from the Shanghai estate of Dr. J. Ward Hall (1849-1908), personal dentist to the Chinese Imperial Family, the important textile is expected to reach $1,000-$1,500 at auction.

Antiquarian books and maps are expected to attract strong interest from both the trade and private collectors. Two 16th-century Albrecht Durer engravings are included within a rare, one-of-a-kind portfolio-book collection of 16th/17th-century original prints collected by German scholar Leonhart Wurfbain (1581-1654). Estimate: $2,000-$3,000. Other prized lots include Abraham Ortelius’ comprehensive1624 map folio Paregon Atlas of the Ancient World, est. $2,000-$3,000; and Jacques Majorelle’s Les Kasbahs De l’Atlas artist book, Paris, 1930, which includes 30 beautiful boards of paintings and drawings Majorelle created between 1920 and 1929. Estimate: $20,000-$30,000

The sale also features fine jewelry, 19th/20th-century furniture, enameled art glass, and coveted Jumeau dolls, plus many unique or unusual objects that are in a class of their own. The letter category includes the architectural grille from Josephine Baker’s estate in France, $600-$800; a 19th-century Faberge gold and diamond parasol handle originally presented by Czar Nicholas II and with continuous ownership by the original recipient’s family, $3,000-$5,000; and Villeroy & Boch Blue Onion serving pieces from Sotheby’s 1996 auction of Property from the Estate of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

Myers Fine Art’s Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018 auction will commence at 11 a.m. Eastern Time Preview 10-6 on Saturday, Jan. 20, and 9-11 a.m. on auction day. The gallery is located at 1600 4th St. North, St. Petersburg, FL 33704. All forms of bidding are available, including live online through LiveAuctioneers, Invaluable and eBayLive. Tel. 727-823-3249, e-mail auctions@myersfineart.com. Online: www.myersfineart.com.

Image: One of two Albrecht Durer 16th-century engravings included within a rare, one-of-a-kind portfolio-book collection of 16th/17th-century original prints collected by German scholar Leonhart Wurfbain (1581-1654). Portfolio est. $2,000-$3,000. Shown here with Abraham Ortelius’ 1624 map folio Paregon Atlas of the Ancient World, est. $2,000-$3,000; and Jacques Majorelle’s Les Kasbahs De l’Atlas artist book, Paris, 1930, est. $20,000-$30,000

Train Getty.JPGLos Angeles - The early history of paper photography in the United States is a formative but rarely studied aspect of the medium’s evolution. While Americans were at first slow to adopt Europe’s negative-positive photographic practices, the country’s territorial expansion and Civil War increased demand for images that were easy to reproduce and distribute. The exhibition Paper Promises: Early American Photography, on view February 27 - May 27, 2018 at the J. Paul Getty Museum, Getty Center, features rare 19th-century paper negatives and paper photographs from this important era of American experimentation, including portraits of some of the country’s most notable political and cultural figures, as well as searing images from the Civil War. 

            “In the mid-nineteenth century, photographs did much more than merely document the development of the nation; increasingly they became central to debates about the U.S. and its place in the world,” explains Timothy Potts, director of the J. Paul Getty Museum. “The photographs on view in this exhibition offer a rare insight into the forces and movements that shaped the country’s character at a formative stage of its development.”

Photographic Pioneers

            Today, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat create a thirst for casual selfies, views of our surroundings, and documentation of the most mundane aspects of daily life. Yet reproducible photography was not initially popular in the United States. In the earliest years of the medium Europeans quickly adopted techniques that enabled multiple photographs to be printed from negatives, but Americans initially preferred singular formats intended for intimate viewing, such as those produced directly on metal or glass.

            A few intrepid American photographers experimented with negative-positive techniques in the 1850s. The earliest photographs they produced used papers sensitized with silver salts that resulted in matte images well suited to register a range of textures. Paper Promises showcases dozens of rarely exhibited salted paper prints.

            To secure the widest possible market for photographs that could be printed in multiple, entrepreneurial photographers made salted paper prints for a variety of purposes: scientific investigation, celebrity portraiture, tourism, historic preservation, corporate and self-promotion, and firsthand documentation of newsworthy events. Their ambition to develop a technique suited to the quickened pace of modern life is apparent in a salted paper print made around 1860 by an unknown photographer, in which a group of men and women gather excitedly aboard the front of a train. The railroad was a potent symbol of progress, and it was anticipated that photography, like locomotives, might connect Americans to places and people far away.

            In the 1850s, however, alarmist reports that photographic negatives were being used to counterfeit currency caused widespread anxiety. At the time, banks printed their own money and thousands of different paper bills were in circulation. Around forty percent of the bills that passed through American hands were counterfeit, so banknotes began to be thought of as little more than flimsy “paper promises.” The exhibition features photographic counterfeits from the era, revealing a previously unstudied aspect of initial American resistance to photographic reproducibility. Though “paper promises” was originally a derisive phrase, the promise of paper photography soon swept the nation.

            Also included in the exhibition are examples of other pioneering photographic techniques, including daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, albumen silver prints, a panotype, and an ivorytype.


            As the use of negatives to produce photographs in multiple sizes and shapes began to catch on, photography studios rushed to secure famous sitters in the hope of gaining wide distribution for popular images. The exhibition demonstrates how celebrities of the era grew savvy about circulating carefully crafted images of themselves. For example, an 1860 portrait of abolitionist Frederick Douglass by an unknown photographer emphasizes the gravitas of the fiery orator and prolific writer. Douglass sat for portraits throughout his life, countering racialized stereotypes by circulating dignified images of himself.

            Family photographs also became increasingly cherished as the medium gained in popularity. At a time when life expectancy was short and child mortality common, photographic portraits were thought of as especially precious souvenirs. The exhibition features several intimate portraits of families and children, some of which were carefully hand-tinted to further strengthen the sense of personal connection.

            Universities capitalized on the ability to produce images in multiple and compiled volumes of students and staff into what is today the familiar yearbook format. An example from about 1852 by John Adams Whipple (American, 1822-1891) was commissioned by Harvard - a proto-Facebook more than 150 years before Mark Zuckerberg’s start.

The West and the War

            As disputes over state and federal sovereignty as well as American Indian rights intensified, photographers sought how best to portray the people and places most frequently in the news. Photographs of several treaty negotiations will be on view, such as images of the first Japanese delegation to the United States, and an 1858 portrait by Alexander Gardner (American, born Scotland, 1821-1882) of a delegation of Upper Sioux who traveled to Washington, D.C., for treaty talks.  While most of the delegates pictured wore contemporary clothing, Gardner kept costumes on hand to outfit visitors in “traditional” attire, in keeping with East Coast ideas about Native dress. Photographs of American Indian sitters proliferated as their autonomy became a highly contested matter of public debate.

            In the territorial struggles of the 1860s, families torn apart by the Civil War sought personal mementos that could be easily shared and saved, and paper photographs served that purpose well. Soldiers had their portraits made upon enlistment, and civilians clamored for images of the battlefield. Images of slaves and of Abraham Lincoln were increasingly wielded as tools for political change, and the exhibition will spotlight several examples. Freedom’s Banner. Charley, A Slave Boy from New Orleans (1864) by Charles Paxson (American, died 1880) is one of many small-scale images carefully composed and widely circulated to encourage empathy with the plight of enslaved families. The photographs were sold to support education for freed slaves and to sustain support of the abolitionist cause. 

            “As we struggle to adapt to today’s digital revolution, with its capacity for unchecked manipulation and proliferation of images, it’s valuable to look to an earlier era in which ideas about photography and its role in society were similarly exerting profound effects,” says Mazie Harris, assistant curator of photographs at the J. Paul Getty Museum and curator of the exhibition. “Because early paper photographs became an integral part of everyday life, not many survive. So this is a unique opportunity to see rare images from a tumultuous period of American history.” 

            Paper Promises: Early American Photography is on view February 27, 2018 - May 27, 2018 at the J. Paul Getty Museum, Getty Center. The exhibition is curated by Mazie Harris, assistant curator of photographs at the J. Paul Getty Museum. A book of the same name and authored by Dr. Harris, with contributions from scholars of American history and photography, will be released by Getty Publications in February 2018.

Image: Locomotive on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, near Oakland, Maryland, about 1860. Salted paper print. Image: 16.2 × 16 cm (6 3/8 × 6 5/16 in.). Lent by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Purchase, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Gift, through Joyce and Robert Menschel, 1991 (1991.1151). Image: www.metmuseum.org


The Library of Congress has acquired the archive of Pulitzer Prize-winning humorist, commentator and playwright Art Buchwald, best known for his long career as a political satirist, poking fun at the famous and powerful for The Washington Post and in a column syndicated in 500 newspapers worldwide. Buchwald was often considered “the Wit of Washington.”

The archive of approximately 100,000 items includes his columns, plays, screenplays, books, unpublished pieces, correspondence and business records from his personal life and extensive career as a writer and public speaker. His novel “The Bollo Caper” was adapted as a television movie, and his stage comedy “Sheep on the Runway” had a run on Broadway.

Buchwald’s papers document his relationships with a large network of friends and acquaintances. These include journalists Ben Bradlee and Mike Wallace and novelist William Styron, part of Buchwald’s social set at Martha’s Vineyard. There are letters, photographs and exchanges with political figures, entertainers and celebrities, including the Kennedy and Shriver families, Lauren Bacall, Bob Hope, Carol Burnett, Christopher Reeve, Dinah Shore, Carly Simon and others, as well as a brief exchange with Donald Trump.

Beyond the glamour of Buchwald’s life, the archive recounts his difficult childhood in an orphanage and foster homes, his suffering from depression, health struggles later in life, and his activism on mental health awareness, disability rights and end-of-life care. The collection includes the prosthetic leg Buchwald used after his limb was amputated due to a stroke and circulatory problems. Buchwald died in 2007 after chronicling his battle with kidney failure.

“The collection tells the story of my father’s life as a writer and satirist, from his birth certificate to his death certificate,” said Joel Buchwald, the writer’s son, and his wife Tamara Buchwald. “We love the idea that his papers are going to stay in Washington, D.C., where so much of his career took place, and more specifically the Library of Congress, which holds many related research collections. He would be thrilled knowing that his archive will be available to the public in such a memorable institution.” 

The Buchwald collection contains materials from the writer’s legal battle with Paramount Pictures over the idea for the 1988 hit film “Coming to America” starring Eddie Murphy. Paramount made a contract for rights to Buchwald’s similar story “King for a Day” years earlier but dropped its option to make such a movie before releasing “Coming to America” without crediting Buchwald. A judge ruled the studio had stolen Buchwald’s idea and awarded $900,000 to Buchwald and a partner.

At the start of his career in the 1940s, Buchwald dropped out of school, joined the Marines and served in World War II. Later he would buy a one-way ticket to Europe and drew an audience for his dispatches as an American in Paris in his columns “Paris After Dark,” “Mostly About People” and “Europe’s Lighter Side” for the New York Herald Tribune. After returning to the U.S., he would go on to tackle issues ranging from the Vietnam War and anti-Communism to the environment and disability rights. In 1982, Buchwald won journalism’s top honor, the Pulitzer, for outstanding commentary.

“I don’t know how well I’ve done while I was here,” Buchwald wrote in his final column published after his death, “but I’d like to think some of my printed works will persevere - at least for three years.”

The Library will preserve the Buchwald collection, which will be made available to researchers and the public after archivists process and organize the materials. The Library also holds the papers of other journalists, writers and entertainers, including Bob Hope, Groucho Marx, Katharine Graham, David Broder, Mary McGrory, Jules Feiffer and Herbert Block.

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.


Dallas, TX - Setting two world records and tallying more than $10 million in sales of rare and vintage posters maintained Heritage Auctions’ dominance in the vintage poster field in 2017. The year marked a 27 percent increase in total sales over 2016.

The firm set a world record for the most valuable movie poster ever sold at auction when one of just two surviving copies of the style A poster for the 1931 horror classic Dracula (Universal, 1931) sold for $525,800 in November. The sale came on the heels of another world record set in July 2017 when the only known surviving Italian issue movie poster from 1946 for Casablanca (Warner Brothers, 1946) sold for $478,000. The sale matched Heritage’s world record price from November 2014 for an only-known 1927 copy of the poster for London After Midnight (MGM, 1927)

“We’ve had an incredible year matching stellar rarities with motivated collectors,” said Grey Smith, Director of Vintage Poster Auctions at Heritage. “It’s always exciting to set a world record in this field, but to set two such records in a row is just a thrilling career accomplishment.”

The year’s top 25 posters celebrated tremendous finds from landmark cinema classics. A Style A teaser for The Invisible Man (Universal, 1933) soared to $274,850 - more than four times its pre-auction estimate. The studio produced few teasers for their horror greats and this haunting poster features art by Karoly Grosz, a legendary designer of the 1930s. 

Fresh to Market Draws Advanced Collectors

High on collectors’ lists, the first post-war release French Grande poster for Casablanca (Warner Brothers, 1947) brought $239,000 and a 1953 re-release, Italian four fogli from the film, featuring artwork by Luigi Martinati, sold for $107,550. 

A special offering, the only-known Australian pre-war daybill for the genre-defining Metropolis (UFA-Cinema Art Ltd., 1928) sold for $215,100. The daybill is the only copy known to exist and is among the rarest in the business. Artist Bernie Bragg, once a draftsman and combat artist during World War I, brings Fritz Lang's famous Robotrix, now a timeless icon of science fiction, to life by capturing the essential elements of the film's dynamic cinematography. 

Among rare paper from horror classics, one of only three copies known to exist of the one sheet for Supernatural (Paramount, 1933) sold for $107,550 and a one sheet for Frankenstein (Universal, 1931) sold for $107,550.

In a surprise auction appearance, Albert Kallis’ original poster artwork for Invasion of the Saucer-Men (American International, 1957) ended at $107,550. The artwork actually inspired the creation of the movie and further solidified a cornerstone of the public's collective consciousness of “little green men” from outer space.

Additional 2017 highlights include:

$107,550: Casablanca (United Artists, R-1962), Italian 2 - Fogli, Silvano "Nano" Campeggi Artwork

$95,600: The Phantom of the Opera (Universal, 1925), one sheet, style L

$83,650: The Lady Eve (Paramount, 1941), one sheet

$71,700: The Wizard of Oz (MGM, 1939), half sheet, style A

Heritage Auctions is the largest fine art and collectibles auction house founded in the United States, and the world’s largest collectibles auctioneer. Heritage maintains offices in New York, Dallas, Beverly Hills, San Francisco, Chicago, Palm Beach, London, Paris, Geneva, Amsterdam and Hong Kong.

The Internet’s most popular auction-house website, HA.com, has over one million registered bidder-members and searchable free archives of four million past auction records with prices realized, descriptions and enlargeable photos.

January7_01_pics.jpgIthaca, NY—Worth Auctions, located in Dryden, NY, announces the launch of their next auction catalog.  

This catalog features a broad variety of items. Featured is an array of artwork and works on paper, including our second session from the estate of Salvatore Grippi. Among the varied types of items are antique maps, mixed media artwork, rare lithographs and prints, ephemera, antique photographs and much more.           

Featured in this sale are a number of rare early works by the important New York School artist Salvatore Grippi (1921-2017), who worked and exhibited alongside the likes of de Kooning, Nevelson, and Baziotes during the heydey of Abstract Expressionism. In 1968, Grippi established the art department at Ithaca College, where he taught until 1991. In 2011, he was honored with a solo retrospective at Cornell University's Johnson Museum of Art, marking the last time until now that a substantial body of his work has been on public view in his hometown. The sale showcases several large canvases, a variety of works on paper. Additional paintings, rare prints and posters, both antique and modern, have been cataloged and present the works of noted artists.                     

The broad range of collectibles and estate items promises something for everyone.  Highlighting this catalog is a number of mixed ephemera lots and antique maps.  Collectibles include an antique magic lantern projector with slides, tobacciana, African masks, antique postcards, a Victrola with records, and much more.      

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

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


January6_01_pics.jpgIthaca, NY—National Book Auctions, located in Ithaca, NY, announces the launch of their next auction catalog.  

This catalog features rare, antique and decorative books as well as select additions of ephemera. Featured is fine selection of rare Robert Frost titles, including many signed copies. A varied array of early printings dating back to the 16th century will be offered, along with a host of ephemera lots, including a vintage and antique private collection related to immigration.              

Antique and rare books are numerous in this catalog. Among the earliest examples are the 1596 printing of Castalione's "Oratio in Funere F Petri Nicolai Mutii Bergomatis," Bucci's "Ad Sixtum V Pont Max Oratio," produced in 1586 and retaining the original woodcut, and the 1592 printing of de Sossa's "Ad Clementem VIII Pont Max." Author-signed works in this auction include names such as Ray Bradbury, John Masefield, Edward Everett Hale, Robert Benchley, and Robert G. Ingersoll. Additional rare and antique selections include titles relating to Native American Indians, books-on-books, Civil War, travel & exploration, children's, Victorian gilt bindings, the American West, theology, decorative antique sets, art history and beyond.                       

Several compelling collections will also be showcased. Highlighted is a singular private library of rare Robert Frost printings, including signed copies of "In the Clearing," "A Further Range - Book Six," "Steeple Bush" and others. Other groupings present desirable vintage and antique examples such as a 1952 first state of Steinbeck's "East of Eden," in the original dustjacket, the 1883 first edition of Joel Chandler Harris' "Nights with Uncle Remus - Myths and Legends of the Old Plantation," and an author-signed copy of the 1850 printing of Rundall's "Memorials of the Empire of Japon[sic]."       

Found throughout this catalog are interesting ephemera offerings. Of particular note is an impressive collection of antique pamphlets and articles dating back to the early 1800's and covering areas such as early Americana, American colleges, Alaska, and others. Another group features a number of lots containing early-to-mid-20th century writings, much of it concerning immigrants and written in native languages.    

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


directories.jpgPBA Galleries saw strong prices realized in their December 14th sale of Americana - Travel & Exploration - World History - Cartography. A number of lots sold for well over the presale high estimate and many lots saw spirited bidding, including an album of Albertypes from photographs taken by William Henry Jackson of Yellowstone, 14 annual editions of a Chinese telephone directory for San Francisco and Oakland, and books by the noted English scholar and explorer, Richard F. Burton.

A fascinating and rare album of 63 Albertypes of Yellowstone sold for $12,000. The photographs by William Henry Jackson were taken on the 1871 Hayden Geological Survey during which the Yellowstone region was explored. These were some of the first photographic views of the area and were instrumental in its establishment as the first U. S. national park. The scarcity of these albums was caused by a fire in the studio of the photographer and engraver Edward Bierstadt in early 1875 that destroyed most of the Albertypes he had printed, as well as virtually all of Jackson’s original glass negatives.

William Henry Jackson was in the early stages of his very long career as a photographer when he joined Ferdinand V. Hayden of the U.S. Geological Survey on an expedition to investigate the marvels of what is now the Yellowstone National Park. Jackson took hundreds of photographs of the towering mountains, the breathtaking canyons, the bubbling hot springs, and the steamy geysers, as well as the surrounding country, towns and forts on the way to the Yellowstone, creating glass plate negatives using the painstaking wet-collodion process, his studio borne by a mule. His photographs verified the amazing natural wonders to a fascinated nation, and led to the creation in early 1872 of the first national park out of “a tract of land fifty by sixty-five miles” at the Yellowstone. Hayden, leader of the expedition to the Yellowstone, was a promoter as well as a scientist, and saw Jackson’s photographs as a prime means to publicize the new park as well as help procure funding for future government surveys.

Fourteen consecutive annual editions of a Chinese Telephone Directory for San Francisco and Oakland sold for $2,040, well above the presale estimate.  Covering the years 1931-1944, the directories are in Chinese throughout, except for the wrappers which are printed in English. Individual issues of this directory are scarce, and the consecutive fourteen-year run exceeded any holdings listed in OCLC

Lots by the English scholar and explorer, Richard F. Burton, also did well in the sale.  A first edition of Burton’s account of his trip into the interior of Africa, The Lake Regions of Central Africa: A Picture of Exploration sold for $5,700 nearly twice the presale high estimate. Published in 1860, the two volumes contain 12 “chromoxylograph” color plates, a folding engraved map with slight hand-coloring and woodcuts throughout. This journey in search of the source of the Nile River with John Hanning Speke is as famous for the acrimonious relationship between the two explorers as for the geographical knowledge gained.

The original publication of Burton’s exploration of Central Africa in the Journal of the Royal Geographical Society also did well, selling for $2,400. Nearly the entire journal is devoted to Burton’s narrative of the trip and includes a folding engraved map.  Since Burton was yet to have his disagreements with John Hanning Speke this account is less acrimonious than the book publication published the following year.

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

About PBA Galleries

PBA Galleries is a San Francisco-based auction house rooted in nearly 60 years of service to the collectors’ community. Auctions are held every-other week in a variety of specialties and genres, including rare books, manuscripts, maps, Americana, and related materials. For information regarding bidding or consignment, please call 415.989.2665 or email pba@pbagalleries.com. PBA Galleries is located at 1233 Sutter Street, San Francisco, CA 94109.

Heritage Auctions Launches New Mobile App

Dallas, Texas - Collectors may browse and bid in hundreds of auctions and access more than 4 million prices realized from the convenience of their smartphone with the debut of the Heritage Auctions Mobile App.

The new, free smartphone application offers Face ID and Touch ID sign-in, free appraisals using your device’s camera, instant lot tracking and one-touch mobile bidding. The app is now available for both Android and iOS smartphones.

“This app was designed to be streamlined,” said Jim Halperin, Co-founder of Heritage Auctions. “Our pledge to continually invest in new technology aligns our clients’ interests with our interests and provides the first class experience.”

Among the new app’s features:

·         Access to values of previously sold lots spanning 40 different categories of fine art and collectibles

·         Free appraisals using your device’s camera

·         A Currency Converter to calculate foreign exchange rates

·         Instant notifications when outbid

·         An exceptional, clean design

·         Barcode search function for professionally graded comic books and coins from the hobby’s largest grading services: NGC, CGC and soon PCGS

·         High-resolution images of every lot on offer or in auction archives

·         Expert Value Guides spanning dozens of collecting categories

Visit HA.com/App today or download the Heritage Auctions Mobile App via App Stores for Android or iOS.

Heritage Auctions is the largest fine art and collectibles auction house founded in the United States, and the world’s largest collectibles auctioneer. Heritage maintains offices in New York, Dallas, Beverly Hills, San Francisco, Chicago, Palm Beach, London, Paris, Geneva, Amsterdam and Hong Kong.

The Internet’s most popular auction-house website, HA.com, has over one million registered bidder-members, and searchable free archives of four million past auction records with prices realized, descriptions and enlargeable photos.

131-DISCH.jpegThe Grolier Club looks back to the future in an exhibition of science fiction and the fantastic from the collection of author and antiquarian bookseller Henry Wessells.  

A Conversation larger than the Universe represents the Grolier’s first-ever presentation of speculative fiction, in a highly personal selection of 70 books (many signed or inscribed by their authors), magazines, manuscripts, letters, and works of art, dating from the mid-eighteenth century to the present, on view in the second floor gallery from January 25 to March 10, 2018.  From Gothic romances to classic fantasies to cyberpunk and frightening dystopian fiction, the works map out a universe of hopes, dreams - and nightmares. 

The exhibition A Conversation larger than the Universe traces the origins of science fiction to the eighteenth-century Gothic, with Thomas Leland’s Longsword (1762).  Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818) grew from this Gothic tradition but she accomplished something new with her tale of the creation of a fully autonomous and intelligent artificial human being: the first science fiction story.  On view is a copy of the first American printing of Frankenstein from 1833.  Mary Shelley also wrote the first secular apocalypse, The Last Man (1826), in which a terrible plague destroys all humanity.  Other landmark works from the nineteenth century on view include After London (1885) by Richard Jefferies and The Island of Doctor Moreau (1896) by H.G. Wells, a tale of animals transformed into human beings which eminent American author Gene Wolfe has called “the ultimate science fiction novel.”              

The heyday of pulp fiction in the 1930s is evoked by book and magazine appearances of Doc Savage.  Also on view is Katharine Burdekin’s frightening novel, Swastika Night, published by Victor Gollancz in the summer of 1937, imagining a world seven hundred years after a Nazi victory, where women are reduced to the status of breeding animals and history and literature have been exterminated.

In the 1960s, science fiction was at the center of the counterculture.  In San Francisco, Chester Anderson used $300 from his advance for a novel, The Butterfly Kid, to become printer to the Diggers and the summer of love.  The New Wave brought literary innovation to science fiction and included American and British authors such as J. G. Ballard, Thomas M. Disch, and Samuel R. Delany.  Disch and Ballard were contributors to the satirical ’zine Ronald Reagan The Magazine of Poetry, published in London in 1968.

William Gibson’s 1984 novel Neuromancer sent shock waves through science fiction.  Gibson invented the word cyberspace on his portable typewriter in the early 1980s, yet the author did not go online until 1996.  His first response to the experience is on view in the exhibition.

The Grolier Club has always fostered and documented the book arts, and this show includes examples of  fantastic literature in books from celebrated fine presses: William Morris and his Kelmscott Press provide the archetype of the map in fantasy literature, with The Sundering Flood (1897); and the beautiful Doves Press Hamlet (1909) is a ghost story that points to the resonance of Shakespeare in science fiction as in all forms of literary activity.

The exhibition also charts how women authors have been at the heart of science fiction and the fantastic since the earliest stages, with works by Mary Shelley and Katharine Burdekin, as well as Sara Coleridge, author of the first fairy-tale novel, Phantasmion (1837), Ursula K. Le Guin, Joanna Russ, and Alice Sheldon, who wrote brilliant stories under the pseudonym James Tiptree, Jr., in the 1960s and 1970s.  Closer to the present are works by Karen Joy Fowler, Wendy Walker, Eileen Gunn, Kelly Link, Greer Gilman, and Susanna Clarke.

Other topics include the influence of the First World War on science fiction and the fantastic, Imaginary Voyages, Dystopia, Literary Innovation, Humor, Rock ’n’ Roll, Bibliography and Scholarship in the field, and what’s happening in science fiction and the fantastic right now.

Notable authors whose works are also on view include Richard F. Burton, translator of the Arabian Nights; Lord Dunsany; H. P. Lovecraft’s first book, The Shunned House (1928); Philip K. Dick; Brian Aldiss;  James Blish; Jean Rhys; John Crowley; Douglas Adams, author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy; Peter Straub; and pioneering scholars E. F. Bleiler and John Clute.  The exhibition concludes with Christopher Brown‘s Tropic of Kansas, a gripping novel of political change in a dystopian alternate America (published July 2017).

An illustrated catalogue accompanying the exhibition, A Conversation larger than the Universe. Readings in Science Fiction and the Fantastic 1762-2017, with a descriptive checklist of the materials on view, published by The Grolier Club, will be available in January 2018. 


The current exhibition in the first floor gallery is Radiant with Color & Art: McLoughlin Brothers and the Business of Picture Books, 1858-1920, on view through February 4, 2018. 

It is the final presentation in the Grolier Club’s main floor exhibition hall while the space undergoes a complete renovation - the first in thirty years.

However, a full schedule of exhibitions will continue in the second floor gallery during the renovation process.  Following A Conversation larger than the Universe is the Spring exhibition Westward the Course of Empire, opening March 21, 2018.

The first floor exhibition hall will close at the beginning of February 2018 for approximately nine months.  The scope of the renovation will include the latest innovations and conservation specifications for display cases, lighting, ventilation, and sound systems.  The project will enhance the auditorium function of the exhibition hall for educational events and greatly expand storage for the rare book collection on the upper balcony.  Designed by Ann Beha Architects of Boston, the newly renovated exhibition hall is scheduled to reopen in December 2018.  


47 East 60th Street  

New York, NY 10022  



Hours: Monday - Saturday, 10 am to 5 pm

Admission: Exhibitions are open to the public free of charge

Denver, PA — Effective December 14th, 2017, Dan Morphy of Morphy Auctions, proudly announced that he has successfully merged with the renowned international auction company of James D. Julia, Inc., which will become a division of Morphy Auctions. 

Morphy Auctions and James D. Julia, Inc. share a common purpose of delighting collectors worldwide with aligned missions and unparalleled customer service standards. Joining forces creates a synergistic team of passionate staff members to better serve our customers and strengthen the antiques and collectibles industry.

Both companies take pride in having the most talented and knowledgeable experts in the industry. One of the biggest advantages to this merger is blending both teams of leading experts to enhance processes, descriptions, and valuations.

Morphy Auctions realized annual sales of $35 million dollars within the last year. Within this same time, Julia’s generated $43 million dollars in annual sales; for a combined gross of $78 million dollars.  With this combined total of potential annual sales, Morphy Auctions is poised to become the one of the largest antique auction houses in North America. 

President and founder of James D. Julia, Inc., Jim Julia, has been involved in the auction business for nearly 50 years.  He began as a small country auctioneer in Maine but grew the company to an internationally renowned business, which currently consists of 3 divisions; Rare Firearms, Lamps, Glass & Fine Jewelry, and Fine Arts, Asian & Antiques. 

Morphy Auctions has experienced tremendous growth over the years. The combination of the highly experienced and much acclaimed Julia team together with the outstanding auction team that Morphy has already formed, will make Morphy Auctions the ultimate place to go for rare firearms and important lamp & glass; as well as, toys, dolls, advertising, coin-op, automobilia and petroliana, and all forms of decorative arts.  

Dan Morphy, Founder and President of Morphy Auction Company stated, “I have literally spent all my life watching and learning from Jim. With nearly 50 years in the industry, Jim has an undisputed reputation and I admire and will emulate his business approach towards his clients and employees. It is an honor and privilege to have this new association with someone I have considered to be a mentor and leader in the industry.  

Over the years, Jim Julia crafted an extraordinary team and unique auction company as a result of his philosophy, business acumen and direct, honest approach with his clients whether they be buyers or sellers.  I have always tried to incorporate the same approach. In merging with Julia’s extraordinary team, I intend to make the transition as seamless as possible. The bottom-line is that I not only want to merge Jim Julia’s company and his people but I want to expand the philosophy of our business to include much of what created extraordinary success for Jim.  

Jim Julia, Founder and President of James D. Julia, Inc., shared, “I had never considered not being in the auction business and I have, for many years, contended that I, like my father (who passed away at nearly 90 years old this past year), would continue to auction well into my 80’s, provided my health allowed it.  The limitation in my mind had always been my personal health.  But in November of 2016, my wife received a devastating diagnosis of incurable brain cancer.  I immediately realized that as much as I loved the people, the antiques, and the excitement of the auction; there was nothing more important in this world to me than my wife, and I elected to devote my time to my wife, Sandy.  From November of 2016 until today, my auction company never skipped a beat and has been extremely successful under the leadership of my good friend and CEO, Mark Ford, who continued to lead, improve, and expand our company.

A short while ago, Dan Morphy called to speak with me and asked if I would consider selling the company or doing some sort of joint venture.  I explained to him that there were 3 things that were incredibly important to me; first, of course, was what was in the best interest of me and my wife, secondly, my obligation to my incredibly loyal and dedicated team of employees, and thirdly, wanting to do what would best serve all of the wonderful consignors and buyers that the company had developed over the years.  The ensuing conversations with Dan, and ultimately the deal we were able to put together, allowed me to cover all three of these factors.  The employee concern was a highly important one, and with Dan’s likeminded philosophy and practice with his current team; it instilled tremendous confidence in my people as they made their new career commitment to Morphy Auctions.  As I said, I also had a concern for all the wonderful consignors and buyers that have followed my company for these many years, and I really wanted to see the core philosophy of my business continue and provide my valued customers with a similar special opportunity as they had experienced with Julia’s.  Dan’s approach to adopting many of the key components of my business philosophy gave me a great sense of assurance, confidence and satisfaction in regards to the fact that my customers now and into the future will continue to have a wonderful auction experience as they have for many years with Julia’s.   

I have always admired Dan, his youth, his energy, his tremendous drive and his success.  I knew and did business with Dan before he became an auctioneer and watched him as he entered the auction business and the subsequent dramatic growth he experienced.  Dan is a superb leader and this was very clear and obvious during our negotiations about the melding of the two companies. 

In transitioning my company to Morphy’s, I will miss the wonderful friends I have developed with consignors and buyers throughout my auctions.  I will miss the incredible camaraderie of my auction team and the thrilling and exciting experience of the actual auction.  Most importantly, I will miss the satisfaction I received from a job well done.  I must also say, selling my company to Dan is a great relief.  It now has removed all of my responsibilities in regards to auctions and overseeing the management of a valued team.  Now Sandy and I can focus completely on each other.  I will transition to Morphy Auctions as a consultant for Dan and the team. Under the circumstances, I could not imagine a better conclusion for my business and for Sandy”.

Both the Morphy Auction Team and the Julia Auction Team will be represented once again at the 2018 Las Vegas Arms Show, January 19th - 21st, 2018.  

“We encourage anyone attending the show to stop by the booths and meet our newly blended and expanded Firearms Auction Team”, Dan Morphy concluded.

Julia’s currently has scheduled a Fine Arts, Asian & Antiques auction in February of 2018 and their spring Firearms Auction which will take place in March.  To facilitate a seamless transition, the Julia team will manage and conduct both sales in Fairfield, Maine, as they have in the past. Morphy Auctions will hold all future auctions and accept consignments in their Pennsylvania and Nevada locations.

othmanu1.jpgNew York - This morning at Sotheby’s New York, the auctioneer for today’s Important Judaica sale announced that The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York has acquired privately for an undisclosed amount a Magnificent Illuminated Hebrew Bible from Spain, which had previously been scheduled for the auction. Hailing from the renowned collection of Jaqui E. Safra, the illuminated Bible was produced in Castile during the first half of the 14th century and stands as a remarkable testament to the cross-cultural influences in the Golden Age of medieval Spain.

Jaqui E. Safra commented: “The Bible could not have found a better home than at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. I am absolutely thrilled.” 

Daniel H. Weiss, President and CEO of The Metropolitan Museum of Art said: “We are thrilled to add this treasure of Jewish artistic heritage to The Met’s growing collection of important Judaica, where it will join recent acquisitions such as a 15th-century handwritten copy of the Mishneh Torah, and a Torah crown and pair of finials of 18th-century Italian silver.” 

Melanie Holcomb, Curator in the Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, added: “The Jewish communities of medieval Spain set a high standard for the arts. This beautiful and rare Bible celebrates the sacred Hebrew text, and remarkably embraces both Christian and Islamic aesthetic sensibilities. It will completely transform our display of the art of medieval Spain at the Cloisters, importantly reminding us that this was a vibrant, heterogeneous society.” 


This distinguished illuminated Hebrew Bible is an exceptionally important exemplar of medieval book arts and literary culture. The tradition of Hebrew Bible production which flourished in Castile beginning in the 1230s, began to decline due to the deteriorating political and economic situation of Spanish Jewry, persecutions connected with the Black Plague of 1348-1349, and the anti-Jewish riots of 1391. Thus, only three illuminated Hebrew Bibles from 14th-century Castile have survived, making the present manuscript incredibly unique. The high quality of its parchment, the generous quantity of its carpet pages, and the lavishness of their design, as well as the formal repertoire of the micrographic decoration, make this volume an exceptional witness to the glorious tradition of medieval Hebrew manuscript illumination. 

The tradition of illuminated Hebrew Bibles first began to flourish during the reign of Ferdinand III (1217-1252) and continued until the expulsions of the Jews from Spain in 1492 and from Portugal in 1496-1497. While the production of these Bibles can be ascribed to different artistic schools located in Castile, Navarre, Catalonia and Portugal, the present manuscript’s lavish decoration, both painted and micrographic (an embellishment whereby a specialized scribe fashions minute script into ornamental patterns) suggest that it was produced in Castile during the first half of the 14th-century.

When the first embellished Hebrew Bibles began to appear in Castile during the early 13th-century, their patterns of decoration were based almost exclusively on an Islamic artistic repertoire, as seen in the present volume with its geometrically planned micrographic carpet pages at the end of the codex and micrographic frames with interlaced designs placed around significant biblical texts. Some of these patterns share commonalities in format and composition with illuminations in Qur’ans, as well as tooled patterns in book bindings that were produced in Spain by Muslim, Jewish, and Christian craftsmen into the 16th-century. It was only gradually — during the 14th-century — that the adornment of Hebrew Bibles in Spain began to reflect some of the motifs common in Gothic art, which was dominant in Iberian Christian culture of the 13th, 14th, and 15th centuries. The Bible’s decoration notably reflects these artistic interactions among the three coexisting religions, Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, a phenomenon referred to as convivencia


29-Bemelmans copy.jpgNew York—The grand finale of Swann Galleries’ 2017 roster was a successful auction of Illustration Art on December 5. Highlights of the sale ranged from large-scale oil paintings to sentimental children’s characters to wry political commentary, with works dating from the middle of the nineteenth century to early 2017. The auction was the department’s most successful to date, exceeding its high estimate and twice breaking its own record for the most expensive artwork sold.

            The runaway top lot was a spectacular set design for the musical Manhattan Mary by the studio of William Oden Waller. The highly-detailed gouache with gold highlights, which served as the cover for the fall issue of the house’s newsletter, barreled past its high estimate of $6,000, finally selling amid applause from the floor for $77,500. It was the highest price achieved by the department since its inception six years ago, an accomplishment made even more impressive by the fact that it had just been reset two hours before, with a watercolor by Ludwig Bemelmans, at $75,000. Featuring Madeline, Miss Clavel, and all the girls at the table, the instantly recognizable image served as the rear cover illustration for Madeline’s Christmas, 1956.        

Another vibrant work by Bemelmans was Verandah Grill on the Queen Mary, a painting in gouache, watercolor and oil capturing the glamour of dining on the high seas. Bemelmans included his own hands in the image, drawing the gentleman seen in the center of the composition ($20,000).

            Institutions were particularly active in the sale, winning nearly half of the top twenty lots. Christine von der Linn, Senior Specialist for Illustration Art at Swann Galleries, attributed this trend to “the acknowledgement that works of art intended for publication, whether through advertisements or children’s books, have shaped our cultural heritage.” Of special note was the University Libraries at Saint Louis University’s purchase of Florence Pretz Smalley’s archive of material relating to the Billiken, a creature of her invention and the mascot of the university.

            The first watercolor to appear at auction from Jerry Pinkney’s popular Further Tales of Uncle Remus, 1990, was also an auction record for a work by the artist. The painting, appearing as a double spread in the book, shows Brer Rabbit and Brer Bear sitting together. It was purchased by an institution for $27,500. A Great Gallumphing Galoot!, a unique creature by Dr. Seuss, drawn on the front endpaper of Dr. Seuss’s ABC, 1963, sold to a collector $21,250, while a pencil sketch and finished watercolor for Maurice Sendak’s Bears Around the World, 1981, together reached $28,750.

            Georges Lepape’s ethereal watercolor portrait of Madame Condé Nast in a Fortuny gown against a dark sky with gold highlights, Après la Tempête, served as the cover of Vogue at the end of World War One. Lepape inscribed the work to its subject, contributing to its sale price of $32,000.

            Each of the six lots by Edward Gorey offered in the sale performed well, exceeding the high estimate for the run by more than $10,000. The highlights were a group of ten illustrations for The Monster Den, 1966, and Avoiding Christmas, a watercolor for a 1987 article in The New York Times ($11,250 and $10,313, respectively).

            Von der Linn said of the sale, “We’re seeing the market grow stronger and healthier each year as narrative art is increasingly chosen to reflect our cultural history because of its inherent power to provoke nostalgia and emotion in an emphatic way. Because we saw the most enthusiastic inquiries and bidding on lots displaying iconic characters or imagery, future auctions of Illustration Art at Swann Galleries will include more genre-specific sections and focused categories.”

            The next auction of Illustration Art at Swann Galleries will be on June 5, 2018. The house is currently accepting quality consignments.

Image: Lot 29: Ludwig Bemelmans, And we’re back—all twelve no less—Happy New Year and togetherness!, ink and watercolor, for Madeline’s Christmas, 1956. Sold December 14, 2017 for $75,000. (Pre-sale estimate $30,000 to $40,000)


250x400_Tolkien-Father-Christmas.pngOxford, England - Handwritten illustrated letters from Father Christmas written by the author JRR Tolkien to his four children give a touching insight into Tolkien’s personal family life.  The illustrated letters are to go on show at a major new exhibition opening at the University of Oxford’s Bodleian Libraries in 2018. Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth will explore the full breadth of Tolkien’s unique literary imagination from his creation of Middle-earth, the imagined world where The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit and his other works are set, to his life and work as an artist, poet, medievalist and scholar of languages.

When Tolkien’s three-year old son, John, asked who Father Christmas was, and where he lived, Tolkien wrote a reply from Father Christmas, starting a tradition that would continue for the next twenty-three years. Every Christmas Eve, from 1920 to 1943 when his youngest child Priscilla was fourteen, Tolkien would sit in his study and write a letter to his children from Father Christmas, accompanying them with beautiful illustrations.

Catherine McIlwaine, Tolkien Archivist at the Bodleian Libraries and curator of the Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth exhibition said:

‘The Father Christmas letters are some of my favourite items in the exhibition. The letters were delivered by the postman, who’d been persuaded by Tolkien to deliver them with the rest of the post, or arrived on the hearth with specially made stamps from the North Pole, marked with the cost of postage ‘2 kisses’. They contained news from the North Pole where Father Christmas lived with his ‘helper’ the North Polar Bear, who often got into trouble and caused twice as much work for Father Christmas. As the Tolkien children grew older, the letters from Father Christmas grew longer and the tales became darker and more thrilling.’

In an exciting letter from 1932 goblins make an appearance, living in the caves underneath the North Pole and stealing the childrens’ presents from Father Christmas’ cellars. Some of the Father Christmas letters were written when Tolkien was engaged in writing one of his most famous works, ‘The Hobbit’. The goblins and wargs in that story began to spill over into Father Christmas’s letters. Elves, called Red Gnomes, also appear, coming to Father Christmas’s aid in his battles with the goblins.

The Father Christmas letters will be on display alongside the largest array of original Tolkien materials from the UK and the USA to go on show since the 1950s. Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth will feature manuscripts, artwork, maps, letters and artefacts from the Bodleian’s extensive Tolkien Archive, the Tolkien Collection at Marquette University in the USA and from private collections.

The exhibition will examine the scholarly, literary, creative and domestic worlds that influenced Tolkien as an author and artist, delighting both Tolkien fans as well as scholars, families and visitors of all ages. Tolkien may be best known today as the author of The Lord of the Rings but during his lifetime he was chiefly known as a scholar of Old and Middle English and a philologist intimately concerned with the creation of language. He was also a devoted husband and father of four children for whom he created stories for pleasure. 

The exhibition will be accompanied by a richly illustrated book, Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth to be published by Bodleian Library Publishing on 25 May 2018.

The complete collection of Tolkien’s Father Christmas letters have been published by Harper Collins, Letters from Father Christmas. The book and Christmas cards featuring Tolkien’s Father Christmas illustrations are available from the Bodleian Libraries shops: https://www.bodleianshop.co.uk

Image: First drawing from Father Christmas, 1920. When Tolkien’s three-year old son, John, asked who Father Christmas was and where he lived, Tolkien wrote a reply from Father Christmas, starting a tradition that would continue for the next twenty-three years. Every Christmas Eve Tolkien would sit in his study and write a letter to his children from Father Christmas, accompanying them with beautiful drawings. © The Tolkien Estate Ltd 1976

Minnesota Center for Book Arts (MCBA) is pleased to announce the next participants in our Artist-in-Residence program: Printmaker and papermaker Megan Burchett and printmaker and fiber artist Maddie Zerkel. 

Project summary and artist bios: 

Megan Burchett and Maddie Zerkel will collaborate on Air Tight, a monumental sculptural book that incorporates papermaking, printmaking and weaving. This book will be comprised of three-dimensional paper forms and printed, woven, and embedded sheets of handmade paper. The scale of the project will align the piece with sculpture as much as it does with a book —about two by four feet on the ground, and three feet tall. Air Tight references a compressed sample of some kind— a geologic block that’s been unearthed, making visible years of buried history. 

Megan Burchett incorporates printmaking, papermaking, bookbinding and textile processes into her practice. Her work examines creative labor and its relationship to danger, survival, and healing. Megan received a BFA in Printmaking from Cornell University in 2008 and MFA in Printmaking & Book Arts from the University of Georgia in 2017. She has worked in several print shops on the east coast including Pyramid Atlantic Art Center, Asheville Bookworks, and Supergraphic in Durham, NC. 

Maddie Zerkel is an artist from and currently residing in Athens, Georgia. Her work includes printmaking, weaving, and dyeing processes, but she is excited about utilizing and manipulating unconventional materials. She plays with the relationship between common household objects and the body, often examining concepts like dimensionality and functionality. Maddie received her BFA in Fabric Design from the University of Georgia in 2015. 

The Artist-in-Residence (AIR) program is designed to support selected artists by providing financial and community resources, space, and equipment to assist in the creation and promotion of their work. Residencies may be from two weeks to three months in duration. Studios and equipment are available to facilitate work in papermaking, printing and bookbinding. Artists-in-Residence also receive a stipend of $2000 to be used at the artist’s discretion for supplies, travel and/or living expenses. Participation in the program is based on the artistic merit of proposed projects as well as the degree to which artists further MCBA's artistic mission: to lead the advancement of the book as an evolving art form. 

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


vcsPRAsset_531423_106591_c1c6d5a4-a891-47e6-bca9-f321f053b643_0.jpgLos Angeles, CA - “Remembering Disneyland,” a highly-anticipated public auction of over 800 rare and original items chronicling the history of Disneyland took  place on Saturday,  December 16th at Van  Eaton Galleries in Sherman Oaks,  California. Highlight results have been announced.

Highlights of the auction include a rare original 1954 Disneyland Prospectus which sold for $10,600; an original Main St. Keystone Cop costume which sold for $6,900; an original Elephant Maquette from The Jungle Cruise which sold for $12,075; the Guy Williams “Zorro” worn costume which sold for $28,750;  a rare Rainbow Caverns Attraction poster which sold for $16,100; A “Tower of Terror” Room Key Cabinet which sold for $12,650; a “Tower of Terror” Lobby Television Prop which sold for $13,800 and a Disneyland  Vinylmation Display which sold for $13,800. More results will be posted to the website.

“There was something for everyone in this auction. It was also very special because most of the items in it came from people that actually worked at the park, or had a hand in creating it,” said Mike Van Eaton, Co-Founder of Van Eaton Galleries. “Next year we will be hosting several more Disney related auctions offering rare and unique items from the “Happiest Place on Earth.”

For over 60 years, Walt Disney’s Disneyland has influenced popular culture and built generations of loyal enthusiasts across the globe. Fans and collectors of Disney memorabilia have made everything from simple toys to actual props and artwork from the parks among the hottest collectibles in the world to date.  

A link to the online auction catalog from the auction can still be seen here: https://vegalleries.com/rememberingdisneyland

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

New York, NY -- Highlighting Doyle's auction of Photographs on December 14, 2017 was an Ansel Adams Museum Set that achieved $1.2 million. Ansel Adams (1902-1984) was the preeminent 20th century photographer of Western landscape, and a founder of the influential Group f.64, which included such luminaries as Edward Weston and Imogen Cunningham. Prepared several years before Adams’s death, this Museum Set of seventy-five images is among the most comprehensive known to exist. Such sets more typically consist of between twenty-five and fifty images.

This was the first time a set has been offered with the permission of The Ansel Adams Gallery and the artist’s grandson, Matthew Adams. Legal restrictions generally prevent sales of Museum Sets. See the press release of November 28, 2017 from Mr. Adams at The Ansel Adams Gallery. Read below or click here. 

As Mr. Adams notes: “It is clear that the prints in this specific set are no longer subject to the legal restrictions that Ansel made” and “the terms of the agreement with Ansel have been met and it is for the College of New Rochelle to determine its disposition.” He adds “We believe this is an exception, and that, by contract, other Museum Sets must remain intact and intended for public display”; this is therefore likely to be a unique opportunity to purchase prints from a Museum Set.

The Museum Sets contain as their nucleus ten of the most famous Adams images, including Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico 1941 (est. $30,000-40,000); Mt. Williamson from Manzanar (est. $20,000-30,000); Aspens, Northern New Mexico (est. $12,000-18,000); Winter Sunrise, the Sierra Nevada (est. $15,000-25,000); Monolith, the Face of Half Dome (est. $15,000-25,000); Clearing Winter Storm, Yosemite (est. $25,000-35,000); Sand Dunes, Sunrise, Death Valley (est. $15,000-25,000); Tenaya Creek, Dogwood, Rain (est. $7,000-10,000); The Tetons and Snake River, Grand Teton National Park (est. $30,000-50,000) and Frozen Lake and Cliffs, the Sierra Nevada (est. $20,000-30,000). There were a further sixty possible prints that could be purchased as part of a set. Those few who purchased all seventy received an five additional prints, the majestic 1940 Surf Sequence (est. $40,000-60,000).

Spanning Adams’ entire career, this offering includes all the artist’s best-known work, in prints of scrupulous quality prepared in Adams’ workshop under his direct supervision and signed by him. The Museum Set, acquired by a private collector from Adams in the 1980s, was donated to The College of New Rochelle in 2012, and was offered for sale on their behalf.

The Ansel Adams Museum Set comprised lots 127 through 198 in the Photographs auction on December 14.


Beverly Hills, CA - A painting by one of the most famous Walt Disney Studios artists of all time helped Heritage Auctions’ Dec. 9-10 Animation Art Auction in Beverly Hills, California clear more than $1.5 million, making it one of the most successful auctions ever for the department. The extraordinary return was the department’s seventh straight auction that totaled at least $1 million, and pushed its total for the year to nearly $3.7 million, establishing a new record for sales in a single year for the department.

“The animation art department has enjoyed its best year yet,” Heritage Auctions Director of Animation Jim Lentz said, “and this auction marked the perfect way to cap off the year. We were able to offer an incredible array of lots that brought out the most serious collectors of Walt Disney art and animation art in general.”

More than a dozen bidders pursued a Carl Barks "Family Portrait" Uncle Scrooge and Disney Ducks Painting #73-15 with Handwritten Letter (Walt Disney, 1973) until it finally hammered at $68,712.50. The entire Duck family “posed” for the legendary Disney artist, with Donald Duck surrounded by Uncle Scrooge McDuck (a Barks creation), Grandma Duck, Daisy Duck, Gladstone Gander, and in front, Donald's nephews Huey, Dewey and Louie.

Another lot in high demand was Mary Blair It's a Small World Disneyland Painting (Walt Disney, 1964), which fetched $27,485. This exact piece was held by Disney and shown on the Wonderful World of Color episode called Disneyland Around the Seasons, which can be found on YouTube. Blair, for whom Disney had enormous respect, was inducted in 1991 as a Disney Legend.

Fifteen bidders made a play for A Charlie Brown Christmas Charlie Brown and Christmas Tree Production Cel (Bill Melendez, 1965) until it more than quadrupled its pre-auction estimate, crossing the block at $21,510. The image shows Charlie Brown as he picked out his famously tiny Christmas tree, remarking to Linus, “I don't care, we'll decorate it and it will be just right for our play... besides I think it needs me!"

The first theatrical cartoon that showcased Mickey Mouse in full color, "The Band Concert" Good Housekeeping Illustrations by Tom Wood (Walt Disney, 1935) is another that prompted multiple bids before realizing $20,315. Ranked No. 3 in Jerry Beck’s 50 Greatest Cartoons, the short that produced these illustrations was released Feb. 23, 1935 and included just one speaking character: Donald Duck. This is the original hand-painted Good Housekeeping Disney page for this short, featured in the January, 1935 issue, a full month before the historic cartoon was released.

Two lots prompted competitive bidding before drawing the same price when Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Old Hag with Apple and Snow White Production Cel Courvoisier Setup (Walt Disney, 1937) and Sleeping Beauty Eyvind Earle Master Hand-Painted Production Background with Production Cel Setup (Walt Disney, 1959) brought $19,120.

Animation drawings remained strong, thanks in large part to items like Steamboat Willie Mickey Mouse Animation Drawing (Walt Disney, 1928), which realized $7,468.75.

Other top lots included, but were not limited to:

·         Peter Pan Peter and Tiger Lilly Production Cel and Master Production Background (Walt Disney, 1953): $15,535

·         Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs "Silly Song" Production Cel Setup with Master Production Background (Walt Disney, 1937): $13,145

·         The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad Headless Horseman Concept Painting by Mary Blair (Walt Disney, 1949): $13,145

·         Kem Weber Designed Disney Animation Desk and Eric Larson Pencil Tray (Walt Disney, 1939-40): $13,145

·         Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Old Hag Production Cel Courvoisier Setup (Walt Disney, 1937): $13,145

·         Elmer's Candid Camera Elmer Fudd and Happy Rabbit Production Cel Set of 2 (Warner Brothers, 1940): $11,950

·         Mickey Mouse Early Publicity Artwork Signed by Walt Disney (Walt Disney, c. early 1930s): $11,950

·         Tim Burton The Black Cauldron Character Design Concept Art Group of 4 (Walt Disney, 1977): $11,651.25

·         Doctor Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas Grinch and Max Production/Presentation Cel Setup (MGM, 1966): $10,755

·         South Park "The Spirit of Christmas" Hand-Cut Animation Scene (Celluloid Productions, 1992): $8,962.50

·         DC and Marvel Underoos Illustration by Alex Toth (DC/Marvel/Fruit of the Loom, c. 1977-81): $6,572.50

·         Sesame Street Magazine #135 Bert, Grover and Oscar Original Illustration (The Parenting Group, 1980): $2,390

Heritage Auctions is the largest fine art and collectibles auction house founded in the United States, and the world’s largest collectibles auctioneer. Heritage maintains offices in New York, Dallas, Beverly Hills, San Francisco, Chicago, Palm Beach, London, Paris, Geneva, Amsterdam and Hong Kong.

The Internet’s most popular auction-house website, HA.com, has over one million registered bidder-members, and searchable free archives of four million past auction records with prices realized, descriptions and enlargeable photos.

moore_reclining-figures_600.jpgSan Marino, CA — The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens announced today that it has acquired a major collection of graphic art by Henry Moore (1898-1986), the most prominent British sculptor of the 20th-century. A gift of the Philip and Muriel Berman Foundation, the collection contains about 330 works on paper that represent the full range of Moore’s graphic work and instantly place The Huntington among the largest Moore repositories in North America. Limited-edition etchings and lithographs comprise the greatest part of the collection, and these intricate, often delicate works explore the same universal themes found in Moore’s monumental sculptures, which are enjoyed by millions in sculpture gardens and museums around the world. The gift also includes three drawings by Moore—one a solidly modeled figure of a woman holding a book, another a biomorphic form that is possibly a study for a sculpture, and the third a sheet of varied studies revealing the artist’s process as he works through a series of ideas.

The collection will form the basis of an exhibition at The Huntington next summer. “Spirit and Essence, Line and Form: The Graphic Work of Henry Moore,” will be on view in the Virginia Steele Scott Galleries of American Art’s Susan and Stephen Chandler Wing from June 16 through Oct. 1, 2018.

Berman Foundation president Nancy Berman (a member of The Huntington’s Board of Overseers and chair of its Art Collectors’ Council), along with her husband, Alan Bloch, and the Berman Foundation, have contributed to The Huntington’s art collections in several ways over the past decade. They donated a series of tapestries by Alexander Calder (1898-1976) that are on display in Rothenberg Hall, made the promised gift of a bronze Sounding Sculpture by Harry Bertoia (1915-1978), which stands to the north of the American art galleries, and were instrumental in securing the long-term loan of Calder’s Jerusalem Stabile for a stroll garden at The Huntington. In 2016, they donated a large-scale Moore lithograph. “Nancy tends to lift The Huntington to new levels, and into new areas, time and again,” said Catherine Hess, interim director of the Art Collections at The Huntington. “With this major gift—a selective, well-rounded group of graphic works by one of the greatest artists of the last century—she again exercised her keen understanding of The Huntington and its goals—in this case, our aim to grow our collection of 20th-century British art. Nancy’s contributions always have a special power to move the institution forward.”

The Berman Foundation was founded by Nancy Berman’s parents, devoted collectors who often built friendships with the artists they admired, including Henry Moore. “We’ve long known we’d eventually like to give this group of prints that my parents so carefully assembled to a museum where they were likely to make the biggest difference, and be most useful to a range of visitors and scholars,” said Berman. “Once we were ready to make the gift, The Huntington was the obvious choice. As one of the world’s major institutions for the study of British art and culture, with a substantial body of secondary sources on Henry Moore, the addition of this primary material places The Huntington at the forefront of Moore scholarship in the U.S.”

The prints will complement The Huntington’s strong core collection of early 20th-century British works on paper, which includes drawings by Eileen Agar, Edward Burra, and William Roberts, among others, and dramatically strengthens its collection of British modernist graphic art. Modern British paintings first began joining the collection over the last two years, with an example each by David Bomberg, Mark Gertler, and Duncan Grant.

"Moore’s massive bronze sculptures are already well represented in the Los Angeles-area, in collections including those at the Getty, LACMA, the Norton Simon Museum, and UCLA,” said Hess. “With the Berman gift to The Huntington, the region now has a significant body of his graphic art, providing opportunities for deeper contextualization of the artist’s oeuvre and creative process.”

“Spirit and Essence, Line and Form: The Graphic Work of Henry Moore”

The Huntington will present a broad range of Moore’s graphic work from the Berman gift in “Spirit and Essence, Line and Form” (June 16- Oct. 1, 2018). With approximately 25 works on paper, the exhibition will examine Moore’s graphic work in terms of theme and style, from his explorations of the psyche through the abstracted human figure seen in such examples as Reclining Figure Cave (1979), to musings on the power of creativity in his series on The Artist’s Hand (1979), to studies of architectural forms and found objects with his powerful Stonehenge (1973) and Elephant Skull (1969) portfolios.

“Though he was the most prominent British sculptor of his time,” said Melinda McCurdy, associate curator for British art at The Huntington and curator of the exhibition, “Moore was also a prolific graphic artist, producing powerful drawings as well as hundreds of prints that explore the same themes found in his sculpture - the roots of creation, the body, life, and death. Like his sculpture, his prints examine these primal themes through the language of abstraction, where line and form are imbued with meaning.”

Much like his sculptures, Moore’s prints often express his reactions to the changing political and social climate of his time, as well as his personal life, from the threat of war and nuclear annihilation to the birth of his child. Prints such as Mother and Child (1973) not only express the universal themes of fertility and creation, but also can be read as tender explorations of a topic that became of paramount interest to the artist after his daughter’s birth.

“Spirit and Essence, Line and Form” will introduce visitors to the newly acquired collection and the broad stylistic and thematic range of Moore’s graphic work, revealing his technical interest in the interrelationship of shape and mass and the intersections among different forms, while at the same time showcasing the sheer beauty and power of his imagery.

McCurdy added, “by presenting the exhibition in the American art galleries, we also hope to inspire interesting connections between British and American modernism.” Modernist works in the American art collection include those by Tony Smith (a sculpture For W.A. (1969) and painting Untitled (1960) as well as Sam Francis’s Free Floating Clouds (1980).

Image: Henry Moore, Five Reclining Figures, 1979, lithograph, 19 × 25 in. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Gift of the Philip and Muriel Berman Foundation. © The Henry Moore Foundation. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2017 / henry-moore.org

Vice & Virtue Exhibition 1.jpg copy.jpgNew Orleans, LA — In honor of New Orleans’ tricentennial, M.S. Rau Antiques is pleased to present Vice & Virtue: An Exhibition of Sex, Saints & Sin. The new show, which will explore the universal and timeless struggle between virtue and vice, is free and open to the public beginning April 7 to June 9, 2018 and promises to delight, shock, and tempt the visitor.  There will be a private preview kick-off party at the century-old landmark business on Friday, April 6, 2018.

To celebrate the city’s 300th years, curator Rebecca Rau has put together a unique exhibit that exemplifies the rich history, diversity, cultural traditions and resilience of the city.  Vice & Virtue will feature fine art and rare objects from across history, from torture masks to Brueghel masterpieces.

The new exhibit, which features over 50 pieces of art, antiques, art and historical items valued at over $15 million, will give a nod to New Orleans’ Catholic heritage and its infamous culture of celebration, indulgence and excess and include depictions of the pious and pure, alongside voyeurs, seductresses, and misbehaving cardinals.

“Since the beginning New Orleans has been filled with piety and decadence; it is a city that thrives on extremes,” explained Rau, a fourth-generation antiques dealer.  “It is this dichotomy of differences that make this city all that it is, from the magnificent churches to the rowdiness of Mardi Gras, it is a place that both inspires and amazes.”


Considered one of the world’s foremost experts on 18th- and 19th-century antiques and fine art, William Rau is President, CEO and third-generation owner of M.S. Rau Antiques of New Orleans, Louisiana. Over 105 years old, M.S. Rau Antiques is one of the largest premier fine arts and antique galleries in the world. William Rau’s extensive knowledge of the international art market has not only allowed him to help clients cultivate museum quality collections, but it has also afforded him the opportunity to amass the remarkable and important works in this comprehensive exhibition. 

Los Angeles — The J. Paul Getty Museum announced today the donations of two groups of photographs from collectors Leslie and Judith Schreyer and Michael and Jane Wilson. The gifts include works by artists not previously in the Museum’s collection, as well as photographs that enhance the Museum’s existing holdings.

“These generous gifts complement and strengthen our holdings of important photographers from Los Angeles, New York, Europe and Asia,” says Timothy Potts, director of the J. Paul Getty Museum. “Both Les and Judy and Michael and Jane are longtime and enthusiastic supporters of the Museum and our photographs department. Their donations will provide a rich trove of images from which we will be able to organize future exhibitions.”

Adds Virginia Heckert, curator and department head for the Getty Museum’s Department of Photographs, “We are thrilled to receive these new gifts from the Schreyers and the Wilsons. Together this group of donations introduce the work of 15 new photographers into the collection and expand our ability to demonstrate the myriad ways in which photographs document the world of the past and the present.” 

The donation from Leslie and Judith Schreyer is their largest gift to the Getty to date, and includes 50 photographs by 39 artists with a wide range of styles and subject matter. Among the best-known photographers in the group are Diane Arbus (American, 1923-1971), Garry Winogrand (American, 1928-1984), and photographers who have belonged to the groundbreaking Magnum agency, such as W. Eugene Smith (American, 1918-1978), Bruce Davidson (American, born 1933), and Josef Koudelka (Czech, born 1938). The donation also includes works by photographers associated with Los Angeles, including Matthew Brandt (American, born 1982), Jo Ann Callis (American, born 1940), Judy Fiskin (American, born 1945) and Graciela Iturbide (Mexican, born 1942), as well as Helen Levitt (American, 1913-2009), Arthur Leipzig (American, 1918-2014), Leon Levinstein (American, 1913-1988), Jerome Liebling (American, 1924-2011), and David Vestal (American, 1924-2013), all of whom were members of the New York Photo League, an area that is underrepresented in the Getty Museum’s collection.

The Schreyers’ donations vary in subject matter and composition, ranging from formal portraits, architectural studies, and landscape photographs to experiments in light and process. Highlights include Imogen Cunningham’s (American, 1883-1976) study of a tulip tree, an abstract study of peeling paint by Aaron Siskind (American, 1903-1991), and a variant image of a seated man taken during Paul Strand’s (American, 1890-1976) 1932 trip to Mexico.

Michael and Jane Wilson, founding members of the Getty Museum Photographs Council, have regularly donated the work of important photographers to the museum’s permanent collection. This most recent gift includes 71 photographs by nine artists that strengthen the museum’s holdings of European, American, and Asian photographers active in the last quarter of the 20th century and first decade of the 21st century. Six of the artists will be new to the museum’s collection: Darren Almond (English, born 1971), Robbert Flick (Dutch, born 1938), Leland Rice (American, born 1940), Paul Shambroom (American, born 1956), Jem Southam (British, born 1950) and Seung Woo Bak (Korean, born 1973), while works by Wang Jingsong (Chinese, born 1963), Jeff Chien-Hsing Liao (Taiwanese, born 1977), and Hans-Christian Schink (German, born 1961) strengthen existing holdings.

The Wilsons’ donation includes selections from several serial bodies of work, most notably elegiac landscapes of the British countryside and Normandy coastline by Jem Southam and hour-long exposures of landscapes in the Northern and Southern hemispheres by Hans-Christian Schink. Others touch upon topical political issues, such as Paul Shambroom’s examination of the dynamics of political power in city council and community meetings across the United States and Seung Woo Back’s commentary on modes of surveillance in North Korea.

Lot 213 Disneyland Main Street Brownlines copy.jpgLos Angeles, California - “Remembering Disneyland,” a highly-anticipated public auction of over 800 rare and original items chronicling the history of Disneyland will take place on Saturday,  December 16th at Van Eaton Galleries in Sherman Oaks,  California beginning at 11:00 a.m. PST.  Van Eaton Galleries is located at 13613 Ventura Blvd. With memorabilia pre-dating the opening of the park, to expansions into Florida, Tokyo, and Europe and beyond, the auction is an unprecedented glimpse into the world-wide phenomenon known as Disneyland. There are over 800 items to hit the auction block with bidders from around the globe already registered to take part.

Highlights include several original concept drawings and paintings for Sleeping Beauty Castle (Estimate: $3,000-$5,000);  a 1954 Disneyland Original Prospectus (Estimate $1,000-$2,000), A  Disneyland 45 Year Serve Award statue featuring Walt Disney (Estimate: $2,000-$3,000); Disneyland Press Preview tickets (Estimate  $3,000-$5,000); a Main Street U.S.A. Keystone Cop original costume (Estimate: $3,000-$5,000); the Santa Fe Railroad Drumhead  (Estimate: $4,000-$6,000); an original Disneyland Railroad park poster (Estimate: $2,000-$3,000); a set of rare Main Street  Disneyland Brownline Construction drawings (Estimate: Various $500-$800); a “Beauty & The Beast” store display Bust signed  by the stars of the show (Estimate:$600-$800);  a Disneyland Main Gate 35th Anniversary Sign(Estimate:$400-$600); Disneyland 60th Anniversary Diamond Décor (Estimate:$400-$600);  original “America on Parade” film (Estimate: $200-$400); an original Adventureland poster (Estimate:$400-$600); a Jungle Cruise  Elephant Maquette (Estimate: $2,000-$3,000);  Jungle Cruise original concept drawings (Estimate: $1,000-$2,000); an original Disneyland signed check (Estimate: $600-$800);  Vintage Cast Member  pants from Frontierland (Estimate: $600-$800);  “Y’All  Come Back” original park sign (Estimate: $3,000-$4,000); “Haunted Mansion Foil Poster (Estimate: $800-$1,000); an original table from “Club 33” (Estimate: $1,000-$2,000); Walt Disney World Railroad Logo Test (Estimate: $3,000-$5,000); a Walt Disney World Background Philosophy book (Estimate: $200-$400) and hundreds of other items never before offered at auction.      

Other highlights include a collection of “Golden Horseshoe” memorabilia from 25-year performer Fulton Burley’s estate and original Disneyland Railroad items including an actual wheel from a Disneyland train (Estimate: $3,000-$5,000); original props and signage from the recently closed “Twilight Zone Tower of Terror” (varying estimates); an original sign from the “Country Bear Jamboree” attraction (Estimate: $5,000-$7,000); Original Metal Cast Member ID Badge (Estimate: $1,500-$2,500), a set of Original Paintings by Artist Neil Boyle (Estimate: $3,000-$5,000), a rare Disneyland 45-Year Service Award (Estimate: $2,000-$3,000), a Disneyland Opening Day Press Preview Ticket (Estimate: $3,000-$5,000), and a Complete Set of Furniture from a Grand Californian Hotel Room (Estimate: $2,000-$4,000)

“There is something for everyone in this auction. It’s also very special because most of the items in it come from people that actually worked at the park, or had a hand in creating it,” said Mike Van Eaton, Co-Founder of Van Eaton Galleries.

The massive collection also includes memorabilia from Walt Disney World, EPCOT, Tokyo Disneyland, and Disneyland Paris. From signage, vintage souvenirs, original artwork, records, documents, magazines, costumes and other items from the earliest days of the park, bidders from around the globe will find a wide range of items to enjoy.

For over 60 years, Walt Disney’s Disneyland has influenced popular culture and built generations of loyal enthusiasts across the globe. Fans and collectors of Disney memorabilia have made everything from simple toys to actual props and artwork from the parks among the hottest collectibles in the world to date.  

A link to the online auction catalog here: https://vegalleries.com/rememberingdisneyland 


Van Eaton Galleries                                                                                                       

13613 Ventura Blvd

Sherman Oaks, California 91423

(818) 788-2357


December 16th, 2017 starting at  11 a.m. PST

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

Register at www.vegalleries.com/disneylandauction

Online at www.vegalleries.com/bidnow 


Van Eaton Galleries is one of the world’s premier original animation art and collectibles galleries. The Gallery is located in Sherman Oaks, California and specializes in unique original animation artwork. Established in 1994, the gallery offers distinct collections from the world of animation and special exhibits and events for collectors, fans and guests from around the globe. The gallery’s regular operating hours for the public are Tuesday through Saturday from 10am to 6pm.  Van Eaton Galleries has offered such collections as The Story of Disneyland, Collecting Disney, and Walt Disney’s Disneyland, as well as original animation artwork from Disney, Warner Bros., Dreamworks, Hanna-Barbera, Don Bluth and many other studios. For more information, please visit www.vegalleries.com.

Image: Courtesy of Van Eaton Galleries


Gehrig copy.jpgDallas, Texas - The most decorated franchise in baseball history continued its winning ways in Heritage Auctions’ “Yankee Legends” auction, emphatically closing out annual auction sales in excess of $60 million for the sports collectibles category of the world’s largest collectibles auctioneer.

Key Yankees documents broke the bank in the Dec. 10 auction, with Lou Gehrig’s 1931 Yankees contract commanding $216,000 and Derek Jeter’s 1992 scouting report—the earliest article of Yankees ephemera relating to the sure-fire member of the 2020 Hall of Fame class—finding a new owner at $102,000.

Autographed baseballs, the hobby’s bedrock foundation, set exciting new auction prices - a welcome indicator of the market’s enduring strength. Five signed spheres soared past the $100,000 mark in spirited online bidding, most notably a $228,000 result for a 1915 Eddie Plank single signed baseball, second only to Heritage’s mark of $388,375 for a PSA/DNA Mint+ 9.5 Babe Ruth single sold in 2012. Fellow Dead Ball Era legend “Shoeless Joe” Jackson followed close behind on a multi-signed sphere that commanded more than $171,000.

“This has been the busiest period in our history,” Chris Ivy, director of Sports Collectibles at Heritage Auctions said of the months spent in preparation for this special three-auction sequence. “It’s gratifying to see all that hard work pay off. To see confirmation that the market can absorb this high volume of elite material.”

Mickey Mantle game used material also registered multiple six-figure results in this high-octane event, with a 1951 rookie model garnering $168,000, his 1960 World Series gamer drawing $108,000, and his 1965 Game Used Fielder’s Glove bringing $144,000. 

Other notable results include: 

·         $120,000: 1926 New York Yankees Team-Signed Baseball from The Lou Gehrig Collection, the finest example known

·         $120,000: 1927 New York Yankees Team-Signed Baseball

·         $108,000: 1946-47 Babe Ruth Single-Signed Baseball, PSA/DNA NM-MT+ 8.5

·         $96,000: 1960's Jackie Robinson Single Signed Baseball, PSA/DNA Mint 9

 ·         $72,000: 1951 Joe DiMaggio All-Star Game Used Bat, PSA/DNA GU 10

·         $50,400: Late 1950's Yogi Berra Game Used & Signed Catcher's Mitt, PSA/DNA Authentic

·         $43,200: 2014 Derek Jeter Final Career Home Run (260) & Career Hits 3,452 to 3,255 Game Used & Signed Bat, PSA/DNA GU 9.5 

·         $38,400: 1915 Eddie Collins Single Signed Baseball to Hall of Fame Umpire Tommy Connolly

Heritage Auctions is the largest fine art and collectibles auction house founded in the United States, and the world’s largest collectibles auctioneer. Heritage maintains offices in New York, Dallas, Beverly Hills, San Francisco, Chicago, Palm Beach, London, Paris, Geneva, Amsterdam and Hong Kong.

The Internet’s most popular auction-house website, HA.com, has over one million registered bidder-members and searchable free archives of four million past auction records with prices realized, descriptions and enlargeable photos.

ph_garciamarquezg_38_7_011_300dpi_web.jpgAustin, Texas — More than 27,000 images from Nobel laureate Gabriel García Márquez’s archive are now online. A significant portion of the archive is accessible, including materials from all of García Márquez’s works of fiction, 22 personal scrapbooks and notebooks, a memoir, screenplays, photographs and ephemera.

View at http://hrc.utexas.edu/ggmdigital.

Leer en Español. 

“Anyone with access to the internet can have an in-depth look at García Márquez’s archive,” said Jullianne Ballou, Ransom Center project librarian. “Spanning more than a half century, the contents reflect García Márquez’s energy and discipline and reveal an intimate view of his work, family, friendships and politics.”

Since the archive opened for research in 2015, it has become one of the Harry Ransom Center’s most frequently circulated collections.

This digitization and access project, “Sharing ‘Gabo’ with the World: Building the Gabriel García Márquez Online Archive from His Papers at the Harry Ransom Center,” was supported by a Digitizing Hidden Special Collections and Archives grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR). The grant program is made possible by funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

There are few opportunities for researchers to access digitized archives of contemporary authors, much less those of one of the most significant authors of the 20th century.

“My mother, my brother and I were always committed to having my father’s archive reach the broadest possible audience,” said Rodrigo García, one of the author’s sons. “This project makes my father’s work more widely accessible to a global community of students and scholars.”

The project, which includes text-searchable English- and Spanish-language materials, took 18 months and involved the efforts of librarians, archivists, students, technology staff members and conservators. The university’s Benson Latin American Collection provided guidance on how best to describe García Márquez materials in Spanish.

While accessing the online archive, scholars, fans, educators and students can choose to use the Mirador image viewer, which facilitates side-by-side comparisons of García Márquez’s evolving literary works. This capability is made possible by the International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF); with the implementation of IIIF, all images from the online archive are accessible to an international network of IIIF-enabled digital image collections.

“This project is significant, fostering new methods of use and scholarship of archival materials,” said Liz Gushee, head of Digital Collections Services at the Ransom Center. “It provides rights-holder-approved online access to copyright-protected archival materials, opportunities for comparative research and interoperability with other IIIF-compatible online collections. The support from García Márquez’s family made this important project possible.”

The online archive is available through the Ransom Center’s digital collections portal, which makes accessible more than 80,000 images from the Ransom Center’s holdings. 

The Ransom Center appreciates the support of CLIR, an independent, nonprofit organization that forges strategies to enhance research, teaching and learning environments in collaboration with libraries, cultural institutions and communities of higher learning.

Image: Unidentified photographer. Gabriel García Márquez with Emma Castro, 1957. Courtesy Harry Ransom Center.


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

The December 17, 2017 sale at Worth Auctions features a broad range of fine art and antiques from multiple estates and collections nationwide.             

Featured in this sale are a number of rare early works by the important New York School artist Salvatore Grippi (1921-2017), who worked and exhibited alongside the likes of de Kooning, Nevelson, and Baziotes during the heydey of Abstract Expressionism. In 1968, Grippi established the art department at Ithaca College, where he taught until 1991. In 2011, he was honored with a solo retrospective at Cornell University's Johnson Museum of Art, marking the last time until now that a substantial body of his work has been on public view in his hometown. The sale showcases several large canvases dated between 1954 and 1957 exemplifying his innovative "figurative expressionist" style; one of these was exhibited at the Smithsonian and another at the Corcoran. Also offered are a variety of works on paper, including a series of preparatory sketches, collages, and a scarce artist's proof of his intaglio print "Mind" from the important portfolio "Twenty-One Etchings and Poems" (1958), which also paired the work of Franz Kline and Frank O'Hara.                        

Other noteworthy works on paper in this sale are original graphics by Bonnard, Kollwitz, Rembrandt, and other Old and Modern Masters from a prominent Manhattan collection.

Several sought-after pieces of vintage photographic equipment fresh from a local living estate will be offered, including three cased lenses and a camera body by Leica. 

This sale also includes a number of interesting large-scale glass pieces, including a "Mega" vase by contemporary glass artist Tony Serviente, a door with an ornate stained glass window, and an antique Tiffany-style hanging lamp shade with an unusual three-dimensional fruit motif.     

Another lot worthy of special mention is a carefully preserved and fully transcribed archive of Civil War letters by John Straight of the 85th and 112th New York Regiments. Datelines include Washington, Baltimore, and Raleigh, and one missive includes a hand-drawn map depicting the Battle of Seven Pines, the culmination of McClellan's offensive up the Virginia Peninsula in the summer of 1862.

Further complementary material will be offered in future sessions throughout the fall and winter of 2017.  

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


Getty Center Celebrates 20th Anniversary

Los Angeles - Twenty years ago this month, visitors streamed to a Brentwood mountaintop to see the brand new Getty Center, featuring breathtaking vistas, sky-lit galleries, dramatic modernist architecture by Richard Meier, and the always-changing Central Garden, created by artist Robert Irwin.

The iconic Getty Center was the result of 15 years of research, planning, design and construction.  After purchasing the hilltop site in the Sepulveda Pass in 1982, the Getty invited 33 architects to submit qualifications.  In 1984, Richard Meier was selected as the architect. Construction began in 1989 - and was briefly halted by the Northridge earthquake in 1994. In December of 1997, the Getty Center opened to the public, with initial demand for visits so strong that advance parking reservations were required for the first few years. 

Since then, more than 20 million visitors from all over the world have come to the hilltop campus, where admission is free (and no reservations are necessary). More than 160,000 K-12 students visit each year, including more than 130,000 from Title One schools, whose transportation is subsidized by the Getty.  

“The Getty Center was envisioned as a destination where people could come for inspiration and contemplation,” said Getty President and CEO James Cuno.  “That vision came true, and we’re honored to host visitors from across the globe, as well as our neighbors here at home. But by coming together in one location, the Getty programs were also transformed, becoming infinitely greater than the sum of their parts.”

Working together from their hilltop campus in Los Angeles over the last 20 years, the Getty Conservation Institute, Getty Foundation, J. Paul Getty Museum, and Getty Research Institute have helped conserve, study and present Old Master panel paintings in Europe, ancient mosaics in the Middle East, icons from the Sinai Desert, cave temples in the Gobi Desert, contemporary video art in Latin America, modern architecture in India - and much more.

“In the 20 years since the Getty Center opened, the Getty has begun to fulfill its potential as the world's largest cultural and philanthropic organization dedicated to the visual arts,” said Maria Hummer-Tuttle, chair of the Getty Board of Trustees. “We are able to look around the world and see the benefits of our research and work on every continent.”

One example is Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, underway now, an unprecedented international collaboration of more than 70 visual and performing arts organizations.  An exploration of Latin American and Latino art, Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA comprises more than 80 exhibitions and events, creating new scholarship in an area that has not received sufficient study.

“As we celebrate this 20th anniversary, we continue to look for ways to have an impact in the world,” said Cuno, “to do what can’t be done by others, what only the Getty could do.”

Throughout the next few months, the Getty Center will host a number of events in honor of the anniversary, including an exhibition of photographs by acclaimed photographer Robert Polidori (Canadian-American, born 1961), known for his images of architecture and human habitats, who created a series of images of the Getty Center shortly before its opening in 1997. Robert Polidori: 20 Photographs of the Getty Museum, December 12, 2017-May 6, 2018, features captivating behind-the-scenes views of the building and the new galleries as objects from J. Paul Getty’s painting, sculpture, and decorative arts collections were being installed in the museum.

Getty Publications is producing a special edition commemorative volume, The Getty Center at 20, which will be on sale in the Museum Store beginning in January, at a special price of $5. The book features striking photographs of the Getty Center, and documents the work of the Getty’s programs around the world over the last 20 years.

From January through March, Sounds of LA, the Getty’s annual concert series exploring the city's varied musical geography, will feature some local favorites curating programs honoring master musicians who’ve played at the Getty over the years.  Mariachi Los Camperos, Cuba LA, and Mythili Prakash have created concerts paying homage to the legacies of Natividad “Nati” Cano, Francisco Aguabella and Lakshmi Shankar.

In February and March, Jim Cuno will present a special series of the Art and Ideas podcast focusing on the anniversary, featuring interviews with Los Angeles Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne, architect Richard Meier, and Stephen Rountree, who served as the director of the Getty’s building program.

J. Paul Getty Museum Director Timothy Potts leads a panel of senior curators from the Museum to look at some significant recent acquisitions to the collection.  Hear the intriguing behind-the-scenes stories behind some of these acquisitions on February 13.

On March 10, the community is invited to join an unforgettable birthday bash in an engaging and immersive Family Festival featuring dance, music, Getty Center-inspired crafts, and birthday games (Getty style).

“We invite visitors to join us as we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Getty Center and the Getty’s work preserving cultural heritage at home and around the world,” said James Cuno. 

For more information visit getty.edu/360.

Rediscovery of Lost Antarctic Chronicle

Cover 2 copy.jpgOne man’s fascinating record of four winters in the Antarctic during the 1920s has been rediscovered.

Bernard Quaritch Ltd have today published the first English translation of this compelling story. In Four Antarctic Years in the South Orkney Islands the Argentine José Manuel Moneta chronicles in captivating detail and evocative photographs the many and varied aspects of life on a Southern Ocean island which few visit even today. In 1920s Antarctica seals and penguins provide much of the food; coal and paraffin are used for heating and lighting, and electricity is a new introduction. A relief ship comes just once a year.

José Manuel Moneta’s account of the South Orkney Islands was originally written in Spanish and published in twelve editions from 1939 to 1963. This is the first English translation of what is still the only autobiographic account of the South Orkney Islands. For this edition, R.K. Headland has added copious supplementary material ranging from maps and notes to a bibliography and an index.

At the launch R.K. Headland said: “José Manuel Moneta’s book is an exceptional record of the period of Antarctic history when it was changing from the exploration of unknown regions to securing long accurate records of climatic phenomena. Such detailed records from remote polar regions are sparse and valuable as current changes become increasingly significant.  The style of life, almost a century ago, with the adoption of the very new technology of radio communication, is comprehensively described by a young man while he gained almost five years of Antarctic experience.

José Manuel Moneta’s descriptions of facilities and work on base provide fascinating details of living in such an isolated, and frozen archipelago. These appear in no comparable publications.  Cooperation with his family while editing the book is greatly appreciated, especially for the original photographs they have made available.  The book did well in Argentina and its presentation in English contributes vastly to knowledge of the remote South Orkney Islands.”

Four Antarctic Years in the South Orkney Islands: an Annotated Translation of ‘Cuatro Años en las Orcadas del Sur’ by José Manuel Moneta can be purchased online at www.quaritch.com.

ISBN: 978-0-9955192-0-6         Price: £50        Pages: 440.            Binding: Paperback.


lggkcjacihpldmnf.jpgNew York—Maps were so plentiful at Swann Galleries’ December 5 auction of Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books that one could be forgiven for getting lost. Many buyers chose to bid in person, contributing to a strong sell-through rate of 84%.

The highlight of the sale was Richard Hakluyt’s 1587 map of the New World, Novus Orbis—the first to use the designations “Virginea” and “Nuevo Mexico.” It was one of a selection of duplicates from the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation Collection, originating in the William C. Wooldridge Map Collection, which was generously donated by the Virginia Cartographical Society in 2017. All proceeds from the sale of these lots will be used to support this important acquisition and the collections at Colonial Williamsburg. In its first appearance at auction since 1917, the Hakluyt map brought $80,000.

Maps represented more than half of the auction’s offerings. A masterwork of sixteenth-century Venetian cartography, Bolognino Zaltieri’s 1566 rendering of North America in the Lafreri style depicted the mythical northwest Strait of Anian, dividing the continents of Asia and North America; it sold for $47,500. Maps by Martin Waldseemüller performed well, with the captivating woodcut Tabula Terre Nove, 1513—the first map of the Americas to appear in an atlas—selling to a collector for $27,500. A hand-colored map of the same year brought $18,750. John Smith’s 1616 map of New England, called the “foundation map” of the region, realized $35,000.

Not everything in the sale concerned cartography. A fine book of detailed watercolors of birds by John Gerrard Keulemans reached $6,500, above a high estimate of $2,500. Similarly, the ink-and-watercolor sketch Golden Eagle and Ptarmigan by Louis Agassiz Fuertes flew past its $3,000 high estimate to sell for $12,500 to a collector.

Caleb Kiffer, Maps & Atlases Specialist at Swann Galleries, said he was “very pleased” with the sale. “Swann continues to cruise the top of the auction market to buy and sell exceptionally scarce high-profile items, as well as holding strong with mid-range material. Across the board, the map-collecting community is out in force and the results of this sale are evidence that Swann is an important part of keeping that interest and energy alive.”

The next auction of Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books at Swann Galleries will be on June 7, 2018. The house is currently accepting quality consignments. 

Image: Lot 77: Richard Hakluyt, Novus Orbis, engraved folding map, showing first printed use of “Virginia,” Paris, 1587. Sold December 5, 2017 for $80,000. (Pre-sale estimate: $40,000 to $60,000)

Auction Guide