Bonhams

London — In the public imagination, Sir Walter Raleigh is the swashbuckling adventurer who colonised North America and introduced tobacco and the potato to England. He is perhaps less widely known as a fine poet and a scholar who built a substantial library of manuscripts and several hundred printed books. Only six of the books were known to have survived until the recent discovery of Raleigh’

A very busy week coming up in the auctions rooms:

On Tuesday, February 25, Swann Galleries sells Classic & Contemporary Photographs, in 334 lots. Two lots are estimated at $50,000–75,000: a 1940 print of Edward Steichen's 

London — Sir Ernest Shackleton’s Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition of 1914-1917 is remembered for one of the great feats of human daring and valour. Attempting to sail across the Weddell Sea, the expedition ship Endurance became trapped in pack ice, eventually disintegrating in October 1915. The dramatic escape of the crew is the stuff of legend. The expedition’s official photographer,

New York – On March 6, Bonhams will offer an extremely rare official engrossed copy of the first impeachment resolution vote in the House of Representatives for Andrew Johnson. It is signed by all 57 “Yea” votes, as well as signed and stamped with the official House seal by Clerk Edward McPherson, assembled by Clerk Isaac Strohm on December

London — An important collection of more than 80 works by the leading 18th-century caricaturist James Gillray is a highlight at Bonhams Prints and Multiples sale on Wednesday 18th December in Knightsbridge. The etchings, that span the last three decades of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, capture Gillray’s outstanding body of

Los Angeles – The original handwritten lyrics to Elton John’s “Your Song” by Bernie Taupin sold at Bonhams sale of Music Memorabilia on December 9 for $237,575. This was Elton’s first monster hit, introducing audiences to his exciting new brand of piano pop, and it remains today one of his most identifiable and best-loved songs.   
 
These are

Hat tip to Aaron T. Pratt, Pforzheimer Curator of early books & manuscripts at the Ransom Center, who brought this incredible but easily overlooked painting to our attention. Known only as “Still life of an illuminated manuscript,” the sixteenth-century oil on panel sold for £81,312 ($105,658) at Bonhams’ sale of Old Masters in

London — Florence Nightingale was so appalled by medical neglect during the Crimean War (1853-1856), that she wrote – and privately printed – a damning report that presented statistics in a pie chart. It is thought to be the first time that the pie chart was used in a widely circulated document. A rare, signed copy of this 1858 report that she sent to her influential friends, will be offered

A few of the sales I'll be watching this week:

On Wednesday, December 4, Fine Books, Manuscripts, Atlases & Historical Photographs at Bonhams London. The 393 lots include a first issue of Darwin's Origin (£80,000–120,000

New York — Away from the silver screen, Hollywood legend Charlton Heston – best remembered as the embodiment of the strong silent hero in films such as Ben Hur and El Cid – was an avid collector of rare books. Heston’s exceptionally scarce 1673 copy of Macbeth (a play he acted in several times in his parallel career as a stage actor) comes to Bonhams Sale of Fine Literature, featuring