Rare Book Monthly

Articles - October - 2018 Issue

The Lubranos, Music Antiquarians, Test the Auction Field on 6 October

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John & Jude Lubrano

John and Jude Lubrano, the husband-and-wife team of J & J Lubrano Music Antiquarians, have long held an important, even unique, place in the field of antiquarian music.  They specialize in historically significant material relating to music and dance through the centuries.  Their business dates to the pre-Internet era, having been established in 1977.  In a few days they will be launching, via the auction platform Invaluable, their first auction, to take place on October 6th.

 

In their 41 years in the trade they were first traditional dealers, located near the summer music paradise, Tanglewood, in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts, also the site of the country’s oldest summer dance festival, Jacob’s Pillow. They began by selling to both visitors to the festivals and associated conductors, musicians, and dancers, and later broadened their business by selling by mail and telephone.  In time, they would issue several catalogues a year, and over the ensuing years, publish more than eighty in total. In the early 1980s they joined the ABAA, the primary American association of antiquarian booksellers, and soon thereafter became regular exhibitors at ABAA book fairs.  In the 1990s they began to both buy and sell online, launching their first website in 2003. Their website and online catalogues have since become their primary sales vehicles.

 

But times change, and the Lubranos are changing with them with this new auction venture. More, and younger, people are buying at auction, and this tendency is as noticeable in antiquarian music as it is in the myriad other categories of collectible printed and manuscript material that have increasingly seen younger buyers prefer market-determined valuations.  With the staging of this, their first auction, the Lubranos are moving into this realm.

 

The collectability of the categories of music and dance is beyond dispute; these fields have been actively collected for centuries. The primary question for new collectors is just how much to pay for items they find of interest.

 

Auctions fall into two categories: those houses that sell their own material and those that provide this service to others.  Initially, the Lubranos will be selling their own material, and it is material that they know very well.  Their plan is to set conservative starting prices and allow the hammer, or price realized, to be determined by market interest. For newer collectors who are more accustomed to, and comfortable with, buying by competitive bidding, such an approach makes sense.

 

The material offered in their current auction, some 465 lots, is posted on the auction site Invaluable and a link to the sale posted at the end of this article.

 

Here are a few examples that express both the subjects and price ranges reflected in the sale:

 

MUSICAL MANUSCRIPTS

Lot 224: MENOTTI, Gian Carlo

Two solo songs from the composer's cantata Landscapes and Remembrances: "The Abandoned Mansion (South Carolina)” for contralto: 1f. (title), 5, [i] (blank) pp. and "Farewell at a Train Station in Vermont for tenor." 8 pp. Autograph musical manuscripts in piano-vocal score. Signed "G. Menotti." Ca. 1976

Estimate $6,000 - $8,000

Starting bid $4,500

 

 

AUTOGRAPH LETTERS OF COMPOSERS

Lot 384: VERDI, Giuseppe

Autograph letter signed "G. Verdi" to his accountant Luigi Peragallo

Estimate $4,500 to $5,500

Starting bid $3,000

 

 

PRINTED MUSIC

Lot 246: MOZART, Wolfgang Amadeus

[K527]. Il Dissoluto Punito osia Il Don Giovanni Dramma giocoso in due Atti... Ridotto per il Pianoforte da C. G. Neefe. [Piano-vocal score]. Hamburgo: Giovanni Augusto Böhme [without PN], [ca. 1810]

Estimate $600 - $800

Starting bid: $500

 

 

DANCE

Lot 473: [DUNCAN, Isadora] Walkowitz, Abraham

Original full-length pencil drawing of Duncan in a dance pose by the American modernist artist Abraham Walkowitz

Estimate $450 - $650

Starting bid $350

 

Here is a link to the sale on Invaluable:  https://www.invaluable.com/catalog/yyaxwpv6w7

 

The sale begins at noon EST on October 6th

 

Contact Information: 

 J. & J Lubrano

Synosset, New York

(516) 922-2192

Email:  info@lubranomusic.com

 

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> SMITH, CHRISTOPHER WEBB. 1793-1871. <i>Indian Ornithology.</i> [Patna, India]: 1828. $50,000 to $80,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> DUPRÉ, LOUIS. 1789-1837. <i>Voyage à Athènes et à Constantinople, ou Collection de portraits, vues et costumes grecs et ottomans.</i> Paris: Dondey-Dupré, 1825. $60,000 to $90,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> ADAMS, JOHN. Autograph Letter Signed ("J Adams"), [to Dr. Perkins?] while recovering from his small pox inoculation, [late-April, 1764]. $30,000 to $50,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> AUSTEN, JANE. Autograph Letter Signed ("J. Austen"), to her sister Cassandra, 4 pp, "Thursday – after dinner," [September 16, 1813,] Henrietta St. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> AUDUBON, JOHN JAMES. 1785-1851. <i>The Birds of America, from Drawings Made in the United States and Their Territories.</i> New York & Philadelphia: J.J. Audubon & J.B. Chevalier, 1840-1844. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> DODWELL, EDWARD. 1767-1832. <i>Views in Greece.</i> London: Rodwell and Martin, 1821. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> JAMES, JESSE. Autograph Letter Signed ("Jesse W. James"), to Mr. Flood demanding Flood retract spurious accusations, 3 pp, June 5, 1875. $200,000 to $300,000.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Textile of the Great White Fleet, with portraits of Theodore Roosevelt, Rear Admiral Robley D. Evans & successor Charles Stillman Sperry, 1908. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> William J. Stone, <i>Declaration of Independence,</i> Force printing, 1833. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Shugart family papers including documentation of the Underground Railroad, 63 items, 1838-81. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Records of the Dickinson & Shrewsbury salt works, over 2000 items, with extensive slave labor correspondence, legal records & receipts, bulk 1820-1865. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Gloria Steinem, typescript for her speech <i>Living the Revolution,</i> with related letters and documents, 1941-77. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> <i>Liberty Triumphant or the Downfall of Oppression,</i> depicting the aftermath of the Boston Tea Party, c. 1774. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Juan Eusebio Nieremberg, <i>Historia naturae, maxime peregrinae, libris XVI distincta,</i> Antwerp, 1635. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Antonio de Mayorga, manuscript map of Mexico City, 1779. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Thomas L. McKenney & James Hall, <i>History of the Indian Tribes of North America,</i> first edition, 3 volumes, Philadelphia, 1842-44. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Samuel Walker, diary of the entire first cruise of the USS Kineo, a gunboat on the Mississippi, 1854-69. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Scrapbook on early Stanford football, with letters from Walter Camp, 1893-95 & 1931. $8,000 to $12,000.
  • <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Roberts, David. Twenty Lithographs of the Holy Land, 19th Century. $2,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Declaration by the Reps. of the United Colonies of N.A. 1775. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Composer Jerome Kern personal Letters, Albums and Other. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Paine, Thomas. <i>Common Sense,</i> London 1776. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Stowe, Harriet Beecher. <i>Uncle Tom’s Cabin,</i> Cleveland 1852. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Hobbes, Thomas. <i>Leviathan,</i> 3rd edition, London 1651. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Anno Regni Georgii III. Intolerable Acts and other Bills, 1774. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Wilberforce, William. An Abstract of the Evidence, 5 Letters, and two books. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Nightingale, Florence. Notes on Nursing and Signed Letters, ca. 1860 $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Tolstov, Leo. <i>War and Peace,</i> 5 volumes, 1886. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Dickinson, John. Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania, 1768. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Twain, Mark. <i>Tom Sawyer,</i> 1877 [and] <i>Huckleberry Finn,</i> 1885. $4,000 to $6,000.

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