Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Auction Report: Upcoming

There are a number of noteworthy book auctions coming in the next few weeks. Here's a sampling:

- Today, 21 May (in fact, as I'm writing), Sotheby's Paris will auction Books, Manuscripts and Photographs, including nine manuscripts by Andre Breton from the Simone Collinet collection. This sale features 169 lots. Since results are coming in now, I'll post highlights from this one later today (I'd intended to write this post yesterday but got sidetracked).

- Christie's London has a Valuable Manuscripts and Printed Books sale on 4 June, which includes 369 lots. They'll be selling copies of Shakespeare's First, Second and Fourth Folios. The first is estimated at $585,600-780,800, which (as Brian notes) seems a bit low. But this copy does have a few faults (it's a bit made up, with a few pages in facsimile and some repairs made, and it's in a 19th century binding). Still, I think it'll probably go higher than the estimate. Other goodies from this sale include some interesting H.G. Wells items, a desk owned by Dickens ($97,600-156,160), an unrecorded copy of the second edition of Copernicus' De revolutionibus ($58,560-78,080), and a first edition of Darwin's On the Origin of Species ($68,320 - $87,840).

- Swann Galleries (NY) will sell Printed & Manuscript Americana on 5 June. Interesting items here include a copy of the Aitken Bible, the first English Bible printed in America ($30,000-40,000); a 1781 collection of American state constitutions which was issued to the Foreign Affairs Office (the precursor to the State Department) ($5,000-7,500); one of an unknown number of the Stone broadside edition of the Declaration of Independence printed on paper (1823) with wonderful provenance ($150,000-200,000); a copy of the first American edition (1777) of Milton's Paradise Lost ($1,000-1,500); a forged death warrant from the Salem Witch Trials ($200-300); a copy of the first published English edition of Jefferson's Notes on the State of Virginia ($25,000-35,000); a report of the committee charged with creating the first Library of Congress in 1801 ($800-1,200); a 1667 Dutch account of the loss of New Amsterdam to the English ($1,000-1,500); and a bookplate engraved by Paul Revere for Boston merchant (and ne'er-do-well) Perez Morton ($1,500-2,500).

- On 11 June, Bonhams New York will hold a sale of Fine Books and Manuscripts, consisting of 480 lots. Christina Geiger writes of the sale: "Printed highlights include works by Bligh, Roberts, Audubon, a first edition Wealth of Nations, and a fine run of Dard Hunter. Noteworthy manuscripts include a Darwin draft leaf on 'sexual selection', a fine collection of signed literary photographs, an autograph receipt signed by Raphael for work on Vatican frescoes, Junipero Serra on the establishment of Mission San Juan Capistrano, and property from the estate of General Hap Arnold including his copy of the "Ship of State" broadside signed by Churchill and FDR, and a dinner menu from the Potsdam Conference signed by Churchill, Stalin, Truman and others."