• <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper<br>26th January 2023</b>
    <b>Forum, Jan. 26:</b> Rowling (J.K.) <i>Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone,</i> first hardback edition, Bloomsbury, 1998. £50,000 to £70,000.
    <b>Forum, Jan. 26:</b> America.- Popple (Henry). <i>A Map of the British Empire in America with the French and Spanish Settlements Adjacent thereto,</i> 1733 [but circa 1740]. £40,000 to £60,000.
    <b>Forum, Jan. 26:</b> America.- Martyr d'Anghiera (Peter). <i>De Orbe Novo,</i> edited by Richard Hakluyt, with the exceedingly rare Hakluyt-Martyr map, Paris, Guillelmum Avvray, 1587. £30,000 to £40,000.
    <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper<br>26th January 2023</b>
    <b>Forum, Jan. 26:</b> Chess.- Johannes Gallensis [John of Wales]. <i>Summa collationum, sive communiloquium,</i> ?first edition, Cologne, Ulrich Zel, [c.1472]. £18,000 to £22,000.
    <b>Forum, Jan. 26:</b> Fleming (Ian). <i>Casino Royale,</i> first edition, 1953. £15,000 to £20,000.
    <b>Forum, Jan. 26:</b> Marvell (Andrew). <i>Miscellaneous Poems,</i> first edition, for Robert Boulter, 1681. £8,000 to £10,000.
    <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper<br>26th January 2023</b>
    <b>Forum, Jan. 26:</b> Tennis.- Sambucus (Johannes). <i>Emblemata, cum aliquot nummis antiqui operis,</i> first edition, Antwerp, Christopher Plantin, 1564.
    <b>Forum, Jan. 26:</b> China, America & Canada.- Photograph album of views of China, America and Canada, [c.1870s]. £5,000 to £7,000.
    <b>Forum, Jan. 26:</b> Bond (Michael). <i>A Bear Called Paddington,</i> first edition, signed by the author and dated October 1958, 1958. £4,000 to £6,000.
    <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper<br>26th January 2023</b>
    <b>Forum, Jan. 26:</b> Bedfordshire, Luton.- Archive of 33 charters from the reign of Henry VI relating to Luton and environs, manuscripts in Latin, on vellum, in charter bookhands, 1422-52. £3,000 to £4,000.
    <b>Forum, Jan. 26:</b> Medicine.- Obstetrics.- Katakura (Kakury?). <i>Sanka Hatsum? [Enlightenment in Obstetrics],</i> 6 vol. in 4, Tokyo, 1799. £3,000 to £4,000.
    <b>Forum, Jan. 26:</b> Bawden (Edward).- Richards (J.M.) <i>High Street,</i> first edition, presentation copy signed by the author, Edward Bawden's copy, 1938. £1,000 to £1,500.
  • <b><center>Swann Auction Galleries<br>View Our Record Breaking Results</b>
    <b>Swann:</b> Gideon Welles, <i>Extensive archive of personal and family papers of Lincoln’s Secretary of the Navy,</i> 1791-1914. Sold September 29 — $281,000.
    <b>Swann:</b> Charles Addams, <i>Rock Climbers,</i> cartoon for <i>The New Yorker,</i> watercolor, ink and gouache, 1954. Sold December 15 — $37,500.
    <b>Swann:</b> Charlotte Brontë, <i>Jane Eyre. An Autobiography. Edited by Currer Bell,</i> three volumes, first edition, 1847. Sold June 16, 2022 — $23,750.
    <b>Swann:</b> Geoffrey Chaucer, <i>The Workes of Geffray Chaucer Newlye Printed,</i> London, 1542. Sold October 13 — $106,250.
    <b><center>Swann Auction Galleries<br>View Our Record Breaking Results</b>
    <b>Swann:</b> Dorothea Lange, <i>Migrant Mother, Nipomo, California (Destitute pea pickers in California. Mother of seven children. Age 32),</i> silver print, 1936. Sold October 20 — $305,000.
    <b>Swann:</b> George Washington, Autograph Document Signed, with two manuscript plat maps in holograph, 1751. Sold October 27 — $37,500.
    <b>Swann:</b> Winfred Rembert, <i>Winfred Rembert and Class of 1959,</i> dye on carved & tooled leather, 1999. Sold October 6 — $233,000.
    <b>Swann:</b> M.C. Escher, <i>Relativity,</i> lithograph, 1953. Sold November 3 — $81,250.
  • <b><center>Sotheby’s<br>Original Film Posters<br>27 January - 10 February 2023</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, Jan. 27-Feb. 10:</b> Vertigo (1958), poster, US. The ultimate poster on this classic Hitchcock title, one of three known examples. £40,000 to £60,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Jan. 27-Feb. 10:</b> Lawrence of Arabia (1962), roadshow poster, US. £8,000 to £12,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Jan. 27-Feb. 10:</b> Star Wars (1977), style C poster, printer's proof, US. £7,000 to £10,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Jan. 27-Feb. 10:</b> The Navigator/ La Croisiere du Navigator (1924), re-release poster (1931), French. £5,000 to £8,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Jan. 27-Feb. 10:</b> Bullitt (1968), special test poster, US. £3,000 to £5,000.
  • <center><b>Potter & Potter Auctions<br>Fine Books & Manuscripts,<br>including Americana<br>February 16, 2023</b>
    <b>Potter & Potter, Feb. 16:</b> [KELMSCOTT PRESS]. CHAUCER, Geoffrey. <i>The Works…now newly imprinted.</i> Edited by F.S. Ellis. Hammersmith: Kelmscott Press, 1896. $100,000 to $125,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter, Feb. 16:</b> [EINSTEIN, Albert (1879–1955)]. –– ORLIK, Emil (1870–1932), artist. Lithograph signed (“Albert Einstein”). N.p., 1928. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter, Feb. 16:</b> TOLKIEN, John Ronald Reuel. <i>[The Lord of the Rings trilogy:] The Fellowship of the Ring.</i> 1954. –– <i>The Two Towers.</i> 1954. –– <i>The Return of the King.</i> 1955. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter, Feb. 16:</b> CLEMENS, Samuel Langhorne ("Mark Twain") and Charles Dudley WARNER. <i>The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today.</i> Hartford and Chicago, 1873. $6,000 to $8,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter, Feb. 16:</b> LOVECRAFT, Howard Phillips. <i>Beyond the Wall of Sleep.</i> Collected by August Derleth and Donald Wandrei. Sauk City, WI: Arkham House, 1943. $2,000 to $3,000.

Rare Book Monthly

Articles - July - 2021 Issue

Shifting Gears

591a8134-6bc9-4b5f-bc56-96caf12aff7c

Bruce McKinney

Collecting old books for me has been a day by day, step by step process over six decades converting interests, ambitions and possibilities into accumulations that held together over the years to become collections.  It’s been challenging and fun.

 

It has been a process built on ambition, clarity , logic and time.  It’s invariably uncertain, irregular and personal and when you head into the sunset years it becomes necessary to plan an exit so that your collection or collections do not become a burden to inheritors.

 

I’ve been collecting the printed word since I was a kid and have always assumed what I could buy I could resell and make some money.

 

Over the years I built collections invariably choosing forms, subjects and valuation ranges consistent with my interests and financial capabilities.  Early on I collected material related to the Hudson Valley, some to keep while selling the best.  That money in my early twenties was then contributed to buy a first home in Milton, New York.

 

In my late 20’s I moved overseas to build manufacturing and export businesses and set aside my interest in American material with neither plan nor even interest to return to it.  In 1989 I retired from overseas business development and moved to Gulfstream, Florida where we reorganized ourselves as a private investment fund.  Collecting has long been thought of as a random preference or interest balanced against other factors a collector/investor prioritizes.  Mindful that investing in equities is uncertain, from the outset, I set aside 10% of our net income to pursue material within defined subjects as a form of alternative investing.  For the next 30 years I would ran such projects as investments I enjoy. 

 

In 1991, after 15 years away from book collecting I found the ABAA and eventually Bill Reese and, at his suggestion, started to build a bibliographical library.  At that point I had some money and saw the challenge appealing to swim with the fast fish.  I would play the game as a knowledge-based collector and the field now had a category name for me:  Americana.

 

My collecting impulses remained intact after years away and then chose my first post-retirement collecting project, at 45, to be material relating to the discovery and development of new world.  Soon after I bought Servies’ Florida bibliography and subsequently [1991-2000] built a collection of early imprints related to the New World up to 1625.  To do so I bought from Bill, while diversifying my dealer sources by 1993 and began to budget 70% of my purchases to be made at auction to control costs.  My goal then and since, when going on to build other collections, would be to breakeven at 10 years.  In 1995 we moved to San Francisco and started a book collection relating to the American west.  In 2001 Jenny and I committed to build a database of auction records and important dealers catalogues for our personal use.  In September 2002 I made the database with 151,000 records available for anyone interested.  Not many were.

 

In between, as a homage to my father Thomas Craig McKinney who passed away in 1974, during the 1990’s I built a collection of American commemorative stamps.  He once had many very good items but sold or hocked them to hide his peccadillos from my mother.  I found his or better examples and added many others including a block of the 6 cent airmail invert to complete his named collection.  Collecting always has a financial component but his stamp collection meant something more to me.  Later, when confronted with a cash squeeze, selling it was rewarding, not that I made any money but the money came back when I needed it.  Shreve handled the sale and created a memorable catalogue.

 

In 2009, the collection of new world material, having set on my shelves more than a decade, I sent it to Bloomsbury in New York when they were located nearby Rockefeller Center in midtown.  It would sell at auction that fall.  Because Americana Exchange was following both completed and future sales we understood the fall schedule worldwide was quite weak while we were seeing no evidence collectors were less interested.  Future sales were looking weak exclusively because consignors were anxious.  For a consignor with a bit of gumption it would be a strong market.

 

As a single owner sale it was difficult to place.  Our database project, the Americana Exchange as it was then called, was controversial.   I asked the New York houses for proposals and received pink slips.  I required that the source, year and price paid for each item be included in the item descriptions.  Bloomsbury accepted those terms and did a fine job. 

 

A year later Bonhams sold my collection of western Americana and Bill Reece played the pivotal role. He was the principal source of my important Americana and confirmed all prices paid and then became the principal organizer of bids, making bids on 71% of the lots.  Neither sale had reserves, ensuring every item would sell.  Bonhams did anything a consignor could ask.

 

Between them the total reached $6.7 million and netted +$919,000.  It took a lot of work and affirmed it was able to build and re-sell two book collections for a profit over 20 years.  It was doable and the significant bonus of course was the development of Americana Exchange and its successor, Rare Book Hub, that today dominates auction history of collectible paper.

 

As to my final collection, the history of the Hudson Valley, has been a work in process over the past 10 years and have concluded that at 74, I owe it to my family to stop buying and spend my energy to organize the 8 categories comprising those collections so my family can decide, what they may want or sell, knowing what the stakes are and how they should be disposed.

 

These categories comprise:

 

  1. Photography including an extensive collection of disaster images;
  2. Books related to the local history of the Hudson Valley;
  3. Older paintings; including local subjects as well as examples by local artists;
  4. Newer paintings by Leonard Tantillo, embracing the subject:  Ulster County Reimagined;
  5. Subject holdings including by and about Lake Mohonk, the Huguenot Bank, and a Saugerties hardware store [1865 – 1945];
  6. Objects born of Ulster County’s history;
  7. Ephemera.  Mystifyingly complex, the history of the Hudson Valley’s true history is expressed in its everyday decisions on paper
  8. Kitsch.  There are so many small, random items that capture the essence of local life.  Currency, coins, pins, spent slugs, thingamajigs and more

 

It’s been quite a run.  Collecting is catch and release.

 

All this said, we will be acquiring older auction catalogues as they are the raw material we need to build the older records for Transactions+.  The heart and soul of the transaction history going back three hundred years is what gives us a reason to scan the horizon each day.  While I live, we will continue to build a bridge into the past.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b><center>Case Antiques<br>Two-Day Winter Auction<br>January 28 & 29, 2023</b>
    <b>Case Antiques, Jan. 28-29:</b> Gurrey, Alfred Richard, Jr. <i>The Surf Riders of Hawaii,</i> Gray version, Honolulu, circa 1910-14. Important, hand made publication. $16,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Case Antiques, Jan. 28-29:</b> Scarce Benjamin Owen Tyler 1818 copy of the Declaration of Independence, engraved by Peter Maverick, Newark, NJ. Considered the first copy of the Declaration produced for commercial purposes. $6,000 to $6,400.
    <b>Case Antiques, Jan. 28-29:</b> Henry Mouzon 1775 1st State Map of North / South Carolina With Indian Frontiers. $5,000 to $6,000.
    <b><center>Case Antiques<br>Two-Day Winter Auction<br>January 28 & 29, 2023</b>
    <b>Case Antiques, Jan. 28-29:</b> Gurrey, Alfred Richard, Jr. <i>Idyls of Hawaii,</i> Honolulu, circa 1910-15. Exceptionally rare self-published and hand made. $4,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Case Antiques, Jan. 28-29:</b> McCarthy, Comrac. <i>Suttree,</i> New York, 1979. First edition, signed by the author. $2,600 to $3,000.
    <b>Case Antiques, Jan. 28-29:</b> 375 Different Bound Minstrel & Civil War Songs, 1830-1870, Black Americana. $2,400 to $2,800.
    <b><center>Case Antiques<br>Two-Day Winter Auction<br>January 28 & 29, 2023</b>
    <b>Case Antiques, Jan. 28-29:</b> President Andrew Jackson Signed Letter to Andrew Jackson Donelson, 1836. $1,800 to $2,200.
    <b>Case Antiques, Jan. 28-29:</b> Civil War Robert E. Lee Signed Letter to William Jackson. Gaines Mill, Virginia, dated June 11, 1864. $1,800 to $2,200.
    <b>Case Antiques, Jan. 28-29:</b> Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson ALS to His Sister Laura, New Orleans Barracks, 1848. $1,800 to $2,200.
    <b><center>Case Antiques<br>Two-Day Winter Auction<br>January 28 & 29, 2023</b>
    <b>Case Antiques, Jan. 28-29:</b> McCarthy, Cormac. <i>Blood Meridian,</i> New York, 1985. First edition, first printing. $1,800 to $2,200.
    <b>Case Antiques, Jan. 28-29:</b> Archive of 8 Civil War CSA Cabinet Member Letters, incl. Seddon, Randolph, Walker, Mallory, Memminger, Stephens, Tyler. $1,600 to $1,800.
    <b>Case Antiques, Jan. 28-29:</b> Napoleon I Autograph Letter Signed and Portrait Engraving, framed. $1,000 to $1,200.
  • <b><center>University Archives<br>Rare Manuscripts, Books & Sports Memorabilia<br>February 1, 2023</b>
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 1:</b> Thomas Paine ALS Confirming Christmas Eve Attack Likely Based on Anti-Christianity, “The account you heard of a man firing into my house is true.” $24,000 to $35,000.
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 1:</b> George Washington Gives a Horse and Guns to His Loyal Guard 10 Days Before Resigning as Commander-in-Chief. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 1:</b> John Hancock ALS, “General Howe is bent on coming here” - Troops, Martha Washington, & 1777 Continental Congress, to Wife Dolly! $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b><center>University Archives<br>Rare Manuscripts, Books & Sports Memorabilia<br>February 1, 2023</b>
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 1:</b> Abraham Lincoln Boldly and Fully Signs Appointment of Consul Who Would Facilitate Bond Sales in Europe Financing Civil War. $6,000 to $7,000.
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 1:</b> The Rarest of Dual Signed Kennedy Items! 1963 Christmas Card with "Blessed Christmas" Removed at the Last Minute for Kennedy's Jewish Friends. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 1:</b> George Gershwin Signed Contract for 1st Production of <i>Porgy and Bess,</i> Also Signed by Dubose Heyward & Ira Gershwin, Historic! $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b><center>University Archives<br>Rare Manuscripts, Books & Sports Memorabilia<br>February 1, 2023</b>
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 1:</b> Einstein Signed, “Two years after the fall of the German Goyim” 1st Ed. of <i>Mein Weltbild.</i> $12,000 to $14,000.
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 1:</b> Walt Disney <i>Fantasia</i>-Era Boldly Signed TLS Re: "Special Effects Department," PSA Certified Authentic & With Phil Sears COA. $6,000 to $7,000.
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 1:</b> 1996-97 Michael Jordan Chicago Bulls Home Game-Worn Jersey Showcasing "Light" Evident Use, MEARS A5. $6,000 to $7,000.
    <b><center>University Archives<br>Rare Manuscripts, Books & Sports Memorabilia<br>February 1, 2023</b>
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 1:</b> Wayne Gretzky’s 1994 All-Star Used Game Jersey, Inscribed to Former MLB Player! $4,500 to $5,500.
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 1:</b> <i>The Astronauts</i> Signed by All 7 Mercury Astronauts! $4,000 to $5,000.
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 1:</b> Fabulous Edison, Firestone, Burroughs Signed Journal With 44 Original Photos, Very Rare. $4,000 to $5,000.
  • <b>Il Ponte, Jan. 31:</b> BLAEU, Joannes and Martinus MARTINI - <i>Theatrum orbis terrarum, sive Novus Atlas. Pars sexta. Novus Altas Sinensis.</i> Amsterdam: Blaeu, 1655. €8.000 to €12.000.
    <b>Il Ponte, Jan. 31:</b> ORTELIUS, Abraham - <i>Theatrum orbis terrarum.. Nomenclator ptolemaicus.</i> Antwerp: Christopher Plantin, 1579. €10.000 to €15.000.
    <b>Il Ponte, Jan. 31:</b> PIRANESI, Giovanni Battista - <i>Carceri d'invenzione.</i> [Rome: G.B. Piranesi, second half of the 18th century]. €20.000 to €30.000.
  • <center><b>California International Antiquarian Book Fair<br>February 10-12, 2023<br>Pasadena Convention Center<br> abaa.org/cabookfair
    <center><b>California International Antiquarian Book Fair<br>February 10-12, 2023<br>Pasadena Convention Center<br> abaa.org/cabookfair
    <center><b>California International Antiquarian Book Fair<br>February 10-12, 2023<br>Pasadena Convention Center<br> abaa.org/cabookfair
    <center><b>California International Antiquarian Book Fair<br>February 10-12, 2023<br>Pasadena Convention Center<br> abaa.org/cabookfair
    <center><b>California International Antiquarian Book Fair<br>February 10-12, 2023<br>Pasadena Convention Center<br> abaa.org/cabookfair
    <center><b>California International Antiquarian Book Fair<br>February 10-12, 2023<br>Pasadena Convention Center<br> abaa.org/cabookfair
    <center><b>California International Antiquarian Book Fair<br>February 10-12, 2023<br>Pasadena Convention Center<br> abaa.org/cabookfair
    <center><b>California International Antiquarian Book Fair<br>February 10-12, 2023<br>Pasadena Convention Center<br> abaa.org/cabookfair
    <center><b>California International Antiquarian Book Fair<br>February 10-12, 2023<br>Pasadena Convention Center<br> abaa.org/cabookfair
    <center><b>California International Antiquarian Book Fair<br>February 10-12, 2023<br>Pasadena Convention Center<br> abaa.org/cabookfair
    <center><b>California International Antiquarian Book Fair<br>February 10-12, 2023<br>Pasadena Convention Center<br> abaa.org/cabookfair

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