Monday, June 09, 2008

Auction Report: Upcoming

- Bonham's New York branch will hold a Fine Books and Manuscripts sale on 11 June. I mentioned this earlier but thought I should add some specific highlights from among the 480 lots. These include a manuscript diary from the 1848-49 Franklin & Ross Arctic expedition ($7,000-9,000); a first edition of William Bligh's account of the Bounty mutiny ($10,000-15,000); a first edition of David Roberts' The Holy Land, considered the finest illustrated work on the Middle East ($35,000-45,000); a collection of 34 Thomas Bewick wood blocks; a first edition of Adam Smith's Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations ($60,000-80,000); a manuscript draft page from Darwin's Descent of Man ($40,000-60,000); and, last but certainly not least, John Adams' copy of Marcus Aurelius' Meditations ($20,000-25,000 - and yes, I've added it to his catalog).

- Christie's New York will sell Fine Printed Books and Manuscripts, including Americana, on 12 June. The big kahuna here is a signed, numbered copy of Ulysses (1922), which is expected to fetch between $400,000 and $600,000. Other interesting items include a first edition, first issue of Poe's Tales (1845), in wrappers ($100,000-150,000); a 1801 John Adams letter ($35,000-50,000), &c.

- Also on 11 (and 12) June, Bloomsbury London will hold a Bibliophile Sale, comprising a whopping 855 lots. Bloomsbury describes the sale as "An eclectic mix! From English and Continental Literature, Children’s books and History to Modern First Editions, Private Press, Science, Travel and Topography. The second day begins with Conjuring and the property of Bobby Bernard featuring books, posters, playbills, memorabilia and apparatus. This is followed by books from the library of the late Sheridan Morley. A theatre critic, broadcaster, columnist, cabaret presenter, raconteur and after dinner speaker; this eclectic and ‘cultural omnivore’ as he was known, collected books inscribed to him from the author. The dedications range from Alan Ayckbourn, Cecil Beaton, Sir John Gielgud, Joan Plowright, Ronald Searle, Lord Snowdon and Sir Roy Strong to name but a few." No major highlights here, but this may be the place for a bargain.

- Bloomsbury Rome will hold a sale of Books, Autograph Letters and Prints on 18 June. This sale will include 655 lots, among them "
the first Aldine edition of Dante’s Comedy and an extremely rare Conclusiones Nonagentae by Pico della Mirandola. This is followed by an important selection of classics, books on medicine, architecture and travel." And in New York, Bloomsbury will sell Literature on 19 June (302 lots) and Children's Literature, Original Illustrations and Literature on 25 June (509 lots). The latter sale includes a full set of Arthur Rackham, a first edition/first issue of Boswell's Life of Johnson, and more.

- On 17 June, Christie's New York hosts the sale of the Richard Green Library, 347 Important Scientific Books. A first edition of Copernicus' De revolutionibus (1543) with delightful and varied provenance is expected to lead the way ($900,000-1,200,000). When they say important scientific books, they mean it: Galileo, Einstein, Kepler, Newton and others are all here in spades. This will be a sale to watch for benchmark prices, I suspect.

- Sotheby's New York will sell Fine Books & Manuscripts on 19 June. Highlights include a portion of Arthur Conan Doyle's manuscript of "His Last Bow" ($150,000-200,000); plates from Shaw & Hill's 1820 book Picturesque Views of American Scenery ($175,000-225,000); a second edition of Catesby's Natural History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands once owned by the Library Company of Philadelphia and the Maryland Historical Society ($100,000-150,000); a first edition, first state of Newton's Principia ($100,000-150,000); and quite a few other fascinating things.