Friday, June 06, 2008

Auction Report: Swann

Swann's Printed & Manuscript Americana sale (previewed here) was held yesterday. Not surprisingly, the high spot was the Stone broadside of the Declaration of Independence, which made $110,000 (all prices listed do not include the premiums). That price missed the estimate range by $40,000.

The Aitken Bible took the second spot, fetching $55,000 (beating its estimate); it was followed by a surprisingly strong third-place showing by a manuscript document creating an iron foundry in northwestern Connecticut (the Salisbury Furnace). The document's allure is the presence of Ethan Allen's signature (he was a junior partner in the venture). Swann had put an estimate of $10,000-15,000 on the lot, but it sold for $48,000.

Other items of interest: a first edition of Jefferson's Notes on the State of Virginia sold for $24,000; the 1781 collection of American state constitutions made $10,000; Milton's Paradise Lost (a copy of the first American edition) sold for just $800; the forged Salem witch death warrant went for $375; the report of those charged with creating the first Library of Congress fetched $900, and the Perez Morton bookplate (engraved by Revere) went for $1,000.

Swann's next sale, on 19 June, will feature Maps & Atlases, Natural History, and Historic Prints.