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.

Portraiture

            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. 

PLEASE NOTE—RENOVATION UPDATE

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.  

VISITING THE GROLIER CLUB

47 East 60th 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

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.

Auction Guide