Friday, February 15, 2008

Upcoming Auctions

- Bonhams & Butterfields will hold its annual California Rare Books and Manuscripts sale on 17 February. There will be 385 lots, including a miniature Bible from 1780 ($800-1,200), a large selection of William Burroughs and John Steinbeck material, an Ibarra Don Quixote ($4,000-6,000), a first printing of The Great Gatsby with imperfect jacket ($120,000-140,000), a first edition of The Catcher in the Rye ($2,000-3,000), a first edition of Adam Smith's An Inquiry into The Nature and Causes of The Wealth of Nations ($60,000-80,000), relics relating to the Lincoln, Garfield and McKinley assassinations (including some pieces of Samuel Mudd's house and a scrap of Lincoln's coat) and a folio copy of McKenney and Hall's History of the Indian Tribes of North America (which I recently discussed here). That's expected to fetch $120,000-140,000.

- PBA Galleries is holding a Rare Books & Manuscripts sale on 21 February. There will be 169 lots, including a 1618 French edition of Petrus Betius' Tabularum Geographicarum Contractarum Libri Septem with 220 of the 221 full-page engraved maps ($20,000-30,000), a 1602 edition of Chaucer ($6,000-8,000), a first issue copy of Dicken's A Christmas Carol ($10,000-15,000), a second edition of Hakluyt's Principal Navigations ($7,000-10,000), a first edition Moby-Dick in a modern Jack Papuchian decorative binding ($15,000-20,000), and an Isaac Newton manuscript page ($25,000-35,000).

- Sotheby's London will hold the eleventh part of the sale of the Earls of Macclesfield's library on 13 March. This portion comprises the English books and manuscripts. There will be 441 lots. Selected items will be on display in New York from 21-23 February. The one lot of most interest to me is John Eliot's Indian Grammar Begun (1666), of which no copy has sold at auction in the last century. The estimate on this one is 70,000-100,000 GBP. This sale also includes a copy of Roger Williams' A Key into the Language of America (1643), the first English-Indian dictionary (15,000-20,000 GBP).

I'll keep an eye on all these and report back with the realized prices when I can.

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