Rare Book Monthly

Articles - September - 2017 Issue

A Busy Fall for Swann Galleries and Rare Americana in September

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Swann Auction Galleries has released their Fall 2017 Auction Schedule, and it is quite the lineup! Starting mid-September and running through mid-December, sales that may interest readers of Rare Book Monthly include the following:

 

September 19: 19th & 20th Century Prints & Drawings

September 28: Printed & Manuscript Americana

October 17: Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books

October 19: Art & Storytelling: Photographs & Photobooks

October 26: Rare & Important Travel Posters

November 2: Old Master Through Modern Prints

November 7: Autographs

November 14: 19th & 20th Century Literature

December 5: Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books

 

September’s sales include 19th & 20th Century Prints & Drawings and Printed & Manuscript Americana. Prints is an art sale, with high profile and highly valued work from Picasso, Dalí, Whistler, Renoir, and Toulouse-Lautrec to name but a few. Artwork is best appreciated with one’s own eyes, so I will simply leave a link to the online catalog here.

 

From Printed & Manuscript Americana, we have 325 lots coming to the rooms, and by the looks of the top 10 lots by valuation, I’m immediately reminded of how much of an umbrella term “Americana” is. Minnesota carries the highest estimate, being a large archive (245 autograph letters signed) of Indian missionary letters written by the Pond family while they resided on the frontier. Truly a one of a kind lot, an archive of this volume offers a rare perspective into life in the mid 19th century in Minnesota. As lot 166, it is estimated $30,000 to $40,000.

 

The American Revolution, as it often is in Americana sales, is represented here too. Lots 26 and 27 carry the same estimate of $20,000 and $30,000, and though they both date to the same era, they are of very different natures. The first is a medical journal kept by surgeons aboard the Continental frigate Deane and other vessels. Of the journal, Swann writes, “Primary source material relating to the Continental Navy is scarce. While lists of the army’s officers and enlisted men are readily available, there is no comparable resource for the navy. Ship’s records often sank with their ships, or were cast overboard if in danger of capture.” The lot following the medical journal is a New Hampshire broadside proclamation on the cessation of hostilities. This is the official New Hampshire printing of the act of Congress which ended the war, and it marks a momentous occasion indeed.

 

Moving to the corner opposite the Revolution, two lots from Baja California make up the top 10 items. Both are signed manuscript documents from the late 17th century. Lot 317 is a signed Jesuit profession of faith by Father Eusebio Kino, and Swann notes that no other Kino manuscripts have appeared at auction since a sale at Swann in 1998. This declaration of faith is estimated $10,000 to $15,000. Lot 318 also comes from the Jesuits, but this one is a report on the first 16 months of the California missions written by Father Juan de Ugarte, a man given charge over the first effort to establish a chain of missions on the Baja peninsula. The report was written in 1699, fifteen years after the preceding Kino document, and is estimated $12,000 to $18,000.

 

The remaining five lots of the top 10 are:

-       A first edition of The Book of Mormon (lot 167, est. $10,000 to $15,000)

-       James McClees’ Gallery of Photographic Portraits of the Senators, Representatives & Delegates of the Thirty-Fifth Congress (lot 214, est. $10,000 to $15,000)

-       Manuscript notes on 40 sermons attended at Boston’s First Church and Old South Church (lot 156, est. $8,000 to $12,000).

-       John Taber’s Captain’s journal of a mutinous whaling journey in the South Pacific (lot 292, est. $8,000 to $12,000)

-       The First American Reform Haggadah (lot 138, est. $7,000 to $10,000)

 

A sale of 325 lots doesn’t require much time to skim and browse through, and Swann’s estimates, as they have come to be known for, are always on the reasonable and low side. For collectors of Americana, this is must see material. You can do so right here.

 

Printed & Manuscript Americana is scheduled for 1:30pm Eastern Time on Thursday, September 28th. Previews of the sale will be taking place in New York on the 23rd from 12 to 5pm, on the 25th through 27th from 10am to 6pm, and immediately before the sale from 10am-12pm. Bidding is available live, and through absentee, phone, and internet avenues.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Charles Darwin on sexuality and the transmission of hereditary characteristics: Autograph Letter Signed to Lawson Tait. Down, 17 January [1877].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> MILTON, JOHN. <i>Paradise Lost. A Poem written in ten books.</i> London: 1667. A very rare example with the contemporary binding untouched and with a 1667 title page.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Hamilton secures the ratification of the Constitution: <i>The Debates and Proceedings of the Convention of the State of New-York, assembled at Poughkeespsie, on the 17th June, 1788.</i>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> The social contract “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains”: ROUSSEAU, JEAN-JACQUES. <i>Principes du Droit Politique [Du Contract Social]</i>. Amsterdam: Michel Rey, 1762
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> “The first English textbook on geometrical land-measurement and surveying”: BENESE, RICHARD. <i>This Boke Sheweth the Maner of Measurynge All Maner of Lande…</i>
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Jacques-Émile Ruhlmann, wallpaper sample book, circa 1919. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Archive from a late office of the Breuer & Smith architectural team, New York, 1960-70s. $3,500 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> William Morris, <i>The Story of the Glittering Plain or the Land of Living Men,</i> illustrated by Walter Crane, Kelmscott Press, Hammersmith, 1894. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Gustave Doré, <i>La Sainte Bible selon la Vulgate,</i> Tours, 1866. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Gustav Klimt & Max Eisler, <i>Eine Nachlese,</i> complete set, Vienna, 1931. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>Eric Allatini & Gerda Wegener, <i>Sur Talons Rouges,</i> with original watercolor by Wegener, Paris, 1929. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>C.P. Cavafy, <i>Fourteen Poems,</i> illustrated & signed by David Hockney, London, 1966. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Jean Midolle, <i>Spécimen des Écritures Modernes...</i>, Strasbourg, 1834-35. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>E.A. Seguy, <i>Floréal: Dessins & Coloris Nouveaux,</i> Paris, 1925. $3,000 to $4,000.
  • <b>Bonhams: Results from Fine Books and Manuscripts on March 9, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> BEETHOVEN, LUDWIG VAN. Autograph Manuscript sketch-leaf part of the score of the Scottish Songs, "Sunset" Op. 108 no 2. [Vienna, February 1818]. Inscribed by Alexander Wheelock Thayer. SOLD for $131,250
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> Violin belonging to Albert Einstein, presented to him by Oscar H. Steger, 1933. SOLD for $516,500
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> EINSTEIN, ALBERT. Autograph Letter Signed ("Papa") to his son Hans Albert, discussing his involvement with the atomic bomb, September 2, 1945. SOLD for $106,250
    <b>Bonhams: Results from Fine Books and Manuscripts on March 9, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> HAMILTON, ALEXANDER. Autograph Letter Signed, to Baron von Steuben, with extensive notes of Von Steuben's aide Benjamin Walker, June 12, 1780. SOLD for $16,250
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> NEWTON, ISAAC. Autograph Manuscript in Latin, being detailed instructions on making the philosopher's stone. 8 pp. 1790s. SOLD for $275,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> 1869 Inauguration Bible of President Ulysses S. Grant. SOLD for $118,750
  • <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> E.H. SHEPARD, Original drawing for A.A. Milne’s The House at Pooh Corner.<br>$40,000-60,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> BERNARD RATZER, Plan of the City of New York in North America, surveyed in the years 1766 & 1767. $80,000-100,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> THOMAS JEFFERSON, Autograph letter signed comparing Logan, Tecumseh, and Little Turtle to the Spartans. Monticello: 15 February 1821. $14,000-18,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN C. FREMONT, Narrative of the Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains, in the Year 1842.. Abridged edition, the only one containing the folding map From the Sporting Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson. $3,000-5,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> ZANE GREY, Album containing 94 large format photographs of Grey and party at Catalina Island, Arizona, and fishing in the Pacific. From the Sporting Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson. $5,000-$8,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> WILLIAM COMBE, A History of Madeira ... illustrative of the Costumes, Manners, and Occupations of the Inhabitants. produced by Ackermann in 1821; From the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> ERIC TAVERNER, Salmon Fishing... One of 275 copies signed by Taverner, published in 1931,From the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN WHITEHEAD, Exploration of Mount Kina Balu, North Borneo. Whitehead reached the high point of Kinabalu in 1888. Part of a major group of travel books from the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN LONG, Voyages and Travels of an Indian Interpreter and Trader, describing the Manners and Customs of the North American Indians... The first edition of 1791. $3,000-$5,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> SAMUEL BECKETT, Stirrings Still. This, Beckett’s last work of fiction with original lithographs by Le Brocquy, limited to 200 copies signed by the author and the artist. From the Estate of Howard Kaminsky.. $1,500-$2,500

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