Saturday, March 10, 2012

Auction Report: March Sales

First, a rundown of the sales so far this month:

Bloomsbury sold Continental & English Literature & History and Modern First Editions on 1 March, in 443 lots. Admiral Sir Sidney Smith's copy of a 1746 French book containing plans of Mediterranean forts was the top seller, reaching £5,200.

PBA Galleries sold Golf Books and Memorabilia on 1 March, in 339 lots. Prizes realized are here.

At Swann on 1 March, Printed & Manuscript African Americana, in 534 lots. An 1834 Philadelphia Bible used as a "slave Bible" at a plantation belonging to the Munday family of Essex County, VA sold for $27,600. The original tally from the Senate's roll call vote on the 1964 Civil Rights Act fetched $22,800. A first edition copy of Ida Wells Barnett's A Red Record (1895) sold for $25,200. The Brinley copy of Phillis Wheatley's Poems on various subjects (1773) found a buyer at $26,400; another copy, with interesting New England provenance, wasn't sold.

And now, upcoming sales:

- Swann will sell the second selection from the Eric C. Caren collection on 15 March, in 374 lots. The expected high seller is the original manuscript indictment of a Salem "witch," Margaret Scott (one of the last executed), which is estimated at $25,000-35,000. An example of the bookplate Paul Revere engraved for Isaiah Thomas will also be on offer (est. $1,000-1,500).

- There's a Bibliophile Sale at Bloomsbury on 15 March, in 387 lots.

- Also on 15 March, PBA Galleries sells Fine Literature & Fine Books in All Fields, in 446 lots. A set of twelve photographs of Charles Bukowski rate the highest estimate, at $12,000-18,000. A very rare copy of H.G. Wells' first book, The First Men in the Moon, could fetch $10,000-15,000.

- Bloomsbury sells Travel, Natural History, Sport & Science on 21 March, in 444 lots. A nice copy of the South Polar Times (1907-1914) takes the top estimate, £12,000-18,000.

- Christie's will sell Fine Printed Books on 21 March, in 103 lots. A unique, extra-illustrated copy of Man Ray's Les main libres (1937) is estimated at £20,000-30,000.

- Bonhams holds a Books, Maps & Manuscripts sale on 27 March, in 222 lots. The bookplate collection of Arthur W. Dorling is among the lots, rating a £4,000-6,000 estimate. A copy of Fermat's Varia opera mathematica is estimated at £12,000-15,000. Lots 151-155 are a series of important ~1765 manuscript maps of Massachusetts roads [which should be sold together, he grouses grumpily]. Churchill's presentation copy to Neville Chamberlain of Marlborough: His Life and Times (1933-1938) is estimated at £40,000-60,000.

- At Sotheby's Paris on 28 March, Livres illustrés Modernes de la Bibliothèque R. & B.L., in 190 lots. Henri Matisse's Jazz (1947) rates the top estimate, at 150,000-200,000 EUR.

- At PBA Galleries on 29 March, Americana, Travel & Exploration, and Cartography. Catalog not yet online.