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

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

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

Shackleton highlights from the exhibition include:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fair hours are:  

Saturday, March 9, 2019, 8AM - 4PM

Sunday, March 10, 2019, 9AM - 3PM

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

Highlights include: 

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

Lunchtime Exhibition Tours

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

May 18, 3:00 - 4:00 PM. 

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

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

Currently on View in the Exhibition Hall:

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

Upcoming in the Exhibition Hall:

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

VISITING THE GROLIER CLUB
47 East 60 Street, New York, NY 10022

212-838-6690 
www.grolierclub.org

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Exhibition Overview

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

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

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

Education Programs, Catalogue, and Credit

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Highlights of the newly purchased materials include:

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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