Rare Book Monthly

Articles - October - 2013 Issue

Bonhams: Fine Books & Manuscripts on the 16th

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Appealing opportunities

A hallmark of the transitional market that books, manuscripts, maps and ephemera are in today is the steady and substantial flow of quality material - the dispositions of institutions, dealers and collectors coming into the rooms.  There is a certain frenzy to it and for buyers the luxury of choices.  The Bonhams sale in Los Angeles and New York of Fine Books & Manuscripts including Historical Photographs on October 16th is a good example.  This is one of their quarterly general sales and evidence of the rising quality of material coming into the rooms these days.

 

These general sales share the common characteristic of “collectability” while providing a tent under which Lincoln, Martin Luther King, William Faulkner, Mahatma Gandhi, Jack London, and Nina Ricci find themselves in friendly competition for bidder affection.  In this they are not alone.   One can find photographs, scripts, books, artwork and etchings, correspondence, fore-edge painting and ephemera – most from diverse sources and on diverse subjects.  The sale, 379 lots, demands a careful look.

 

Christina Geiger, Director of Books and Manuscripts at Bonhams in New York describes the sale this way: “the October sale includes both traditional and eclectic material, and represents the broad interests of the book collecting community.”

 

To this Dr. Catherine Williamson in Los Angeles added, “this sale includes several small collections consigned by private buyers who have waited out the uncertainty of the past few years, and have now decided to bring their material to market, having seen that the book market is vibrant and healthy.”

 

The sale opens with a strong selection of atlas and sheet maps, including works by Blaeu, de Jode, Hondius, Faden and Mitchell. More unusually there is a beautiful Japanese hand-colored woodcut map of the world, adapted from de Ricci by Nagakubo Sekisui (lot 2010) and a fine copy of the first printed English map of the Far East: John Wolfe's Trew Description of all the Coasts of China after Linschoten (lot 2013).

 

The Travel & Natural History grouping includes voyaging narratives and color-plate books.  One of the rarest titles is William Betagh's alternative narrative of Shelvocke's buccaneering expedition of 1719 in which Captain Betagh bitterly condemns his commander (lot 2022).

 

Next is the Science & Mathematics section which includes a fine copy of Claude Shannon's pamphlet, A Mathematical Theory of Communication, the foundational paper of information theory (lot 2054) directly preceded by the first edition in English of Newton's Principia (lot 2053).

 

Bonhams is offering about three dozen important signed photographs from the estate of noted collector, Jerome Shochet, including those of Pasteur (lot 2126), Turgenev (lot 2136), Brahms (lot 2065), and Wilbur Wright (lot 2139).  Those interested in Wright will also note a copy of his Experiments and Observations in Soaring Flight, 1903, the first published report of experiments with motorized gliders (lot 2058).

 

There is a very good Fine Press & Art section as well. Many highpoints of American fine press are represented, including the Grabhorn Press Leaves of Grass (lot 2218), the Arion Press Moby Dick (lot 2187) and the Rockwell Kent Moby Dick (lot 2225), a.k.a. "the whale in the pail."  Livres d'artiste are also present including works illustrated by Robert Motherwell, Wayne Thiebaud, Pablo Picasso and Ed Ruscha.

 

The Literature and Modern Literature sections include Samuel Clemens' raucous letter to his family announcing his engagement to Olivia Langdon (lot 2271). Modern highlights include literary screenplays from the collection of Richard Manney, including rare copies of William Faulkner's screenwriting work such as Daryl Zanuck's copy of The Last Slaver (lot 2299) and Faulkner's original story treatment of Battle Cry (lot 2304). There is also a working shooting script of The Grapes of Wrath signed by John Ford, Henry Fonda and several other cast members (lot 2336).

 

The final section in the Bonhams sale is the Nancy Walls Collection of Jack London. It includes everything from a paddle acquired by London in the Solomon Islands (lot 2346) to a first edition in jacket of The Call of the Wild (lot 2349) and a love letter to Charmian written just four days before their wedding (lot 2341).

 

The material is on preview in New York Friday, Saturday and Sunday  [October 4th to 6th] and in Los Angeles from Friday 11th through to Tuesday the 15th.

 

The sale on the 16th, in two sessions, begins at 10:00 am PST.  Bidding in person, by phone, absentee and online are available.

 

Images included with this article:

 

Lot 2009.  Japanese Map

Lot 2015.  Mitchell, Samual Augustus

Lot 2024.  Bounty - Pitcairn Island

Lot 2036.  Layard, Austen Henry

Lot 2049.  Einstein, Albert

Lot 2060.  Images of th American WestLot 2066.  Bush, George Walker

Lot 2071.  George Armstrong CusterLot 2075.  Edison, Ford and Firestone

Lot 2115.  Lincoln, Abraham

 

Here is a link to the full sale

 

Contacts:

 

Christina Geiger

New York

212 644-9094

Christina.geiger@bonhams.com

 

Adam Stackhouse, Senior Specialist

San Francisco

415 503-3266

adam.stackhouse@bonhams.com

 

Dr. Catherine Williamson, Director

Los Angeles

323 436-5442

Catherine.williamson@bonhams.com

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams, Mar 12:</b> Walt Whitman. <i>Leaves of Grass.</i> First edition, first issue, SIGNED in block letters by Whitman. 1855. $200,000 to $300,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 12:</b> Isaac Newton's copy of John Greave's <i>Pyramidographia,</i> London, 1646. $50,000 to $70,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 12:</b> Colonel John Mosby. Robert E. Lee's autograph letter to Samuel Cooper reporting on Mosby's exploits, with Cooper's autograph note ordering his appointment to Major.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 12:</b> Gyula Halasz Brassai. Large archive of autograph and typed letters, over 260, to his family including his wife Gilberte, 1947-1978. $40,000 to $60,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 12:</b> Archive of drawings and letters from Harper Lee to Charles Carruth, including an inscribed first edition of <i>To Kill a Mockingbird.</i> $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 11:</b> VESALIUS, ANDREAS. 1514-1564. <i>De humani corporis fabrica libri septem.</i> Basel: Johannes Oporinus, June 1543. $300,000 to $500,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 11:</b> HARVEY, WILLIAM. 1578-1657. <i>De motu cordis & sanguinis in animalibus Anatomica Exercitatio.</i> Leiden: Joannis Maire, 1639. $25,000 to $35,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 11:</b> BERENGARIO DA CARPI, GIACOMO. 1460-1530. <i>Isagogae breves perlucide ac uberrimae in Anatomiam humani corporis.</i> Bologna: Benedictus Hectoris, 15 July 1523. $15,000 to $25,000
    <b>Bonhams NY, Mar 11:</b> FRANKLIN, BENJAMIN. 1706-1790. <i>Experiments and Observations on Electricity, made at Philadelphia in America…</i> London, 1769. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams NY, Mar 11:</b> BENIVIENI, ANTONIO. 1443-1502. <i>De abditis nonnullis ac mirandis morborum et sanationum causis.</i>Florence: Filippo Giunta, 1507. $8,000 to $12,000
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, <i>El Ingenioso Hildalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha . . . Nueva Edición,</i> first Ibarra edition, Madrid, 1780. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> Illuminated Prayer Book in Latin and French, France, 1530-40s. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> Illuminated Book of Hours in Latin, France, mid-15th century. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b><br><i>Die Ernsthaffte Christenpflicht,</i> earliest known edition of the first complete Mennonite prayer book, 1708. $300 to $500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> Georg Agricola, <i>De ortu & causis subterraneorum Lib V.,</i> first edition, Basel, 1546. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> Frederick Ruysch, <i>Icon durae matris in concava [convexa] superficie visae,</i> with 2 mezzotints by Jan Ladmiral, first edition, Amsterdam, 1737. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen, <i>Eine Neue Art von Strahlen,</i> Würzburg, 1895. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> Pietro Carrera, <i>Il Gioco de gli Scacchi,</i> first edition, Militello, 1617. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> William Lithgow, <i>The Totall Discourse, of the Rare Adventures</i> [etc.], London, 1632. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> Michel de Nostradamus, <i>The True Prophecies or Prognostications,</i> first complete edition in English, London, 1672. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> Pseudo-Methodius, <i>De revelatione facta . . . beato Methodio,</i> Basel, 1504. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> Hrabanus Maurus, <i>De laudibus sancte crucis opus,</i> Pforzheim, 1503. $1,000 to $2,000.
  • <b>Chiswick Auctions: Autographs & Memorabilia. February 28, 2019</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Feb 28:</b> Autograph album featuring signatures by prominent actors, politicians, musicians and authors, including Rudolph Valentino. £1,000 to £1,500
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Feb 28:</b> An extremely rare working radio script for Crazy People No 29, the first series of <i>The Goon Show.</i> £600 to £800
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Feb 28:</b> Manuscript prayer book, in German. 8vo, 1755 £800 to £1,200
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Feb 28:</b> Italian Manuscript on Geometry, with diagrams, 18th century. £500 to £700
    <b>Chiswick Auctions: Ornithology, Zoology & Voyages. February 27, 2019</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Feb 27:</b> Thorburn (Archibald). Sparrowhawk, original watercolour & gouache, signed & dated lower right, 1917. £1,500 to £2,000
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Feb 27:</b> Burton (Sir Richard Francis). <i>Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to El-Medinah and Meccah.</i> 3 vol., FIRST EDITION, 1855-56. £1,000 to £1,500
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Feb 27:</b> [Mount (Richard) & Page (Thomas)]. <i>The English Pilot. Describing the Sea-Coasts…</i> 31 engraved maps, W. & J. Mount, T. Page, 1756 £4000 to £6000
    <b>Chiswick Auctions: Ornithology, Zoology & Voyages. February 27, 2019</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Feb 27:</b> D’apres De Mannevillette (Jean-Baptiste Nicolas Denis). <i>Le Neptune Oriental.</i> Paris & Brest, [1775 – 1781]. £10,000 to £15,000
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Feb 27:</b> Loring (Josiah). Terrestrial Globe Containing all the Late Discoveries and Geographical Improvements. Boston, Gilman Joslin, 1846, £800 to £1,200
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Feb 27:</b> Shelley (G. E., Capt.). <i>A Monograph of the Nectariniidae, or Family of Sun-birds,</i> FIRST EDITION, by the Author, 1876-80. £4,000 to £6,000
  • <b>Bonhams: Treasures from the Eric C. Caren Collection: How History Unfolds on Paper, Part VII (Online). March 6-14, 2019</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Albert Einstein A remarkable letter on God in English, one of his most eloquent and quoted, 1 p, July 2, 1945. $100,000 to $150,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Benjamin Lincoln's commission as Major General in the Continental Army, February 19th, 1777. $60,000 to $90,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Broadside. A Poem Upon the Bloody Engagement That Was Fought on Bunker's-Hill. 1775. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Early, full printing of the Star-Spangled Banner in The Yankee, October 7, 1814. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Paul Revere. Engraving, “The Boston Massacre Perpetrated on March 5, 1770," in <i>Massachusett's Calendar 1772.</i> $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Bonhams: Treasures from the Eric C. Caren Collection: How History Unfolds on Paper, Part VII (Online). March 6-14, 2019</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Earliest known newspaper coverage of Babe Ruth, "a St Mary's schoolboy," Baltimore, April 4, 1914. $6,000 to $9,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Franklin, Benjamin. <i>The Independent Whig.</i> First Magazine Published in America, Philadelphia: Keimer, 1723-4. $15,000 to $20,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Smith, Joseph. <i>The Book of Mormon.</i> Palmyra: Printed by E.B. Grandin for the Author, 1830. First printing. $40,000 to $60,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Last Words of Joseph Smith. Autograph Letter Signed from a Mormon disciple, conveying a contemporary account of the Prophet's final words, Nauvoo, July 27, 1844. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> John Brown's Body. Autograph Letter Signed from the daughter of John Brown attempting to arrange the return of her father's body, North Elba, Essex Co, NY, November 29, 1859. $4,000 to $6,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Powell Expedition. Autograph diary of Rhodes C. Allen kept during the Powell Expedition of 1868, June 29, 1868 - November 16, 1868. $20,000 to $40,000

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