June 12 at Bonhams NY: Fine Books and Manuscripts across six centuries

- by Thomas C. McKinney

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Two hundred eighty-seven lots comprise Bonhams June 12thsale in New York of Fine Books and Manuscripts, and they cover a lot of ground. From incunabula to World War II, focused collectors of many subjects will find material of interest. 

In chronological order in the sale, here are some impressive highlights:

 

Lot 3: AESOP. c.620-560 B.C.

[Vita et Fabulae], Latin prose version of Romulus, Franciscus Rinucius Aretinus, translator, et Fabulae, Lib. I-IV, with the metrical version of Anonymous Neveletti (i.e., Aesopus Moralisatus).

THE EARLIEST ILLUSTRATED EDITION OF AESOP TO BE PRINTED IN SWITZERLAND, FORMERLY IN THE COLLECTIONS OF DYSON PERRONS AND SILVAIN BRUNSCHWIG

Est. $60,000 to $80,000

 

Lot 6: BEETHOVEN, LUDWIG VAN. 1770-1827.

Autograph Musical Manuscript, 2 pp, oblong 4to (233 x 307 mm), [Vienna, early 1809,] ruled with 14-staves per page, notated in black ink, some minor darkening.

BEETHOVEN'S EMPEROR CONCERTO, THE MOST FREQUENTLY PERFORMED OF HIS PIANO CONCERTI, AND THE FIRST OF THE GREAT 19TH-CENTURY ROMANTIC CONCERTOS.

Est. $250,000 to $350,000

 

Lot 25: LOCKE, JOHN. 1632-1704.

Autograph Letter Signed ("J Locke"), 2 pp, 8vo (conjoining leaves), Oaks, October 27, 1698, to Ezekial Burridge of Dublin, regarding the death of his friend William Molyneux, with original autograph address leaf on the verso of p 2, some toning and creasing overall, small separations at fold, 1 inch loss to second leaf from original seal, leaves pressed, with small tape repair to address leaf.

Est. $7,000 to $10,000

 

Lot 30: SHAKESPEARE, WILLIAM. 1564-1616.

The Tragedie of Julius Caesar [Extracted from the First Folio]. [London: Isaac Jaggard..., 1623.] 
Folio (308 x 196 mm). 22 pp, the complete play. Modern red crushed morocco, ruled in gilt, repair to lower corners of some leaves, upper border shaved above headlines on most leaves, but not affecting headline or pagination, borders at fore-edge shaved, occasionally touching text, minor staining, small wormhole running through all 11 leaves. 

FIRST PRINTING OF JULIUS CAESAR, one of Shakespeare's greatest and most popular plays.

Est. $50,000 to $70,000

 

Lot 66: AUDUBON, JOHN JAMES. 1785-1851.

Autograph Manuscript, 2 pp recto and verso, folio, n.p., n.d. [but watermarked 1829] being the description of the Crested Titmouse, plate 39 from Birds of America, published in Ornithological Biography [1831-1839], paginated 145-146 in blue pencil by another hand, leaf moderately corrected by the author, with 1/4 inch loss to upper right corner of right margin (not affecting text), very mild toning and thumbing overall.

AUTOGRAPH MANUSCRIPT OF AUDUBON'S ORIGINAL DESCRIPTION OF LOUISIANA'S "CRESTED TITMOUSE."

Est. $10,000 to $15,000

 

Lot 130: ORTELIUS, Abraham. 1527-1598.

Theatrum orbis terrarum. Antwerp: Gilles Coppens de Diest, 1570. 

FIRST EDITION of Ortelius's major atlas of the World.

Est. $50,000 to $80,000

 

Lot 133: ROBERTS, DAVID. 1796-1864, artist; and GEORGE CROLY. 1780-1860.

The Holy Land, Syria, Idumea, Arabia.... London: F.G. Moon, 1842-43-49. 
3 volumes, elephant folio. First edition.

Est. $20,000 to $30,000

 

Lot 178: SIENKIEWICZ, BILL. b.1958.

Original cover art for The Comet Man #5, ink on board, with white out, with title and publication info pasted on, 11 x 17 inches, signed by Bill Sienkiewicz lower right, minor toning, matted and framed.

Est. $3,000 to $5,000

 

Lot 269: GERMAN WEATHER REPORT CODEBOOK, FOR ENIGMA USE.

Wetterkurzschlussel. [WKS. Weather short Signal Book]. Berlin: Oberkommando der Kriegsmarine, 1942. 

German Enigma codebooks from World War II are some of the rarest printed wartime material, and of these codebooks the ones used on the U Boat fleet are the rarest of all.
Est. $20,000 to $30,000

 

Lot 282: THE SHAEF TICKER-TAPE ANNOUNCEMENT OF GENERAL EISENHOWER'S "TOTAL CEASE FIRE ORDER", (FWD-20801) ANNOUNCING THE UNCONDITIONAL SURRENDER OF GERMANY.

2 leaves of SHAEF proforma "SHAEF MESSAGE FORM", unmarked and undated, but stamped five times over the two leaves "US CONFIDENTIAL (EQUALS BRITISH CONFIDENTIAL)," with 17 lines of pasted ticker-tape text announcing the Surrender of the German High Command at 0140 hours Central European Time, and the general orders for a ceasefire. Some light spotting to upper right corners.

Est. $8,000 to $12,000

 

Bonhams sale of Fine Books and Manuscripts takes place June 12thin New York. Click here for more information and to view the online catalog.