Feb 2: Fine Books & Manuscripts at Potter & Potter Auctions
- by Thomas C. McKinney
Taking place a day after the February 2019 issue of Rare Book Monthly is released, Chicago-based auction house Potter & Potter Auctions will be hosting a sale of Fine Books & Manuscripts on February 2nd at 10am CST. The sale is sizeable, with 790 lots that air more on the side of modern than antique. Of particular interest are a series of blueprints and other items from the architect Frank Lloyd Wright, comic books, and French literature and art.
Frank Lloyd Wright had a close relationship with the city of Chicago, and therefore it seems fitting that his material coming to auction does so at a house based in the same city. Lot 7 through 12 are from Wright, with five blueprints and floor plans, and one a broadside that was part of an occasional series of publications issued by Wright between 1941 and 1953. Lot 8 is a signed original floor plan for the Louis Frederick House in Barrington Hills, IL (about 40 miles northwest of Chicago), which, interestingly, sold somewhat recently in mid-2016 for $795,000. The signed plan is estimated $6,000 to $8,000.
Comics make an impressive showing in the sale too. Highlights include (in order of estimated price):
- X-Men No. 1 - $1,500 to $3,000
- The Incredible Hulk No. 181 (the first full appearance of Wolverine) - $1,800 to $2,400
- Strange Tales No. 110 (the first appearances of Doctor Strange, Ancient One, Nightmare, and Wong) - $1,200 to $1,500
- The Amazing Spider-Man No. 129 (the first appearance of The Punisher) - $700 to $900
20th century illustrated Paris publications are another subject that collectors with an eye for the material will want to take a closer look at. The surrealist Yves Tanguy’s first book illustrations are part of Benjamin Peret’s Dormir dans les Pierres (Paris, 1927). This copy is #163 of 205, features fifteen drawings by Tanguy and is estimated $2,600 to $3,500. Continuing in the vein of illustrated books, Andre Dignimont contributed 41 illustrations in color to a special edition of Oscar Wilde’s Ballade de la Geole de Reading. This specific copy is one of three deluxe artist’s copies, numbered and signed by the artist, and last sold at Christie’s in 2001. It’s estimated $1,500 to $2,600 today. Finally, Umberto Brunelleschi’s contributions to Pierre Louys’ Les Aventures du Roi Pausole number seventeen erotic illustrations. The edition was limited to 450 (of which this copy is #56) and is estimated $1,200 to $1,500.
The last highlight of this brief preview may benefit from the title character’s recent return to the big screen: signed copies of both Mary Poppins (ninth printing) and Mary Poppins Comes Back (third printing) by the author, P.L. Travers, are included in a single lot (#540) for an estimated $1,000 to $1,500.
Potter & Potter Auctions’ sale of Fine Books & Manuscripts is slated for February 2, 2019 at 10am CST in Chicago. The online catalog is available here. Bidding is available in person, via absentee bid, over the phone, and online.