• <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 18: Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 18:</b><br>Euclid, <i>Elementa geometriae,</i> first edition, Venice, 1482. $60,000 to $80,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 18:</b><br>Sir Isaac Newton, <i>Opticks,</i> first edition, London, 1704. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 18:</b><br>Jean-Baptiste du Halde, S.J., <i>Description... de l'Empire de la Chine,</i> first edition, Paris, 1735. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 18: Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 18:</b><br>Werner Rolewinck, <i>Dat boek dat men hiet Fasciculus temporum,</i> first edition in Dutch, Utrecht, 1480. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 18:</b><br>Eckenstein and Lorria, <i>The Alpine Portfolio,</i> first edition, London, 1889. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 18:</b><br>Johann Theodor & Johann Israel de Bry, <i>Pars quarta Indiae orientalis,</i> first edition, Frankfurt am Main, 1601. $1,500 to $2,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 18: Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 18:</b><br>Charles Darwin, <i>The Descent of Man,</i> first edition, London, 1871. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 18:</b><br>Jonathan Swift, <i>Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World,</i> first edition, London, 1726. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 18:</b><br>Rodrigo Zamorano, <i>Compendio del Arte de Navegar,</i> Seville, 1588. $20,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 18: Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 18:</b><br>William Shakespeare, <i>A Winters Tale,</i> first edition, London, 1623. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 18:</b><br>Pedro de Medina, <i>L'Arte del Navegar,</i> first edition in Italian, Venice, 1554. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 18:</b><br>Hans Meyer, <i>An Account of The First Ascent of Kilimanjaro,</i> first edition in English, London, 1891. $1,500 to $2,500.
  • <b>Sotheby’s Paris: The Hunting Library of the Counts du Verne. 5 October.</b> The Largest Collection of Hunting and Falconry To Appear on the Market for the Last Thirty Years.
    <b>Sotheby's Paris Oct. 5:</b> Jacques du Fouilloux. <i>La Vénerie</i>. Poitiers, 1561. Est. €100.000 – 150.000
    <b>Sotheby's Paris Oct. 5:</b> Gaston Phébus. <i>Déduits de la chasse des bestes sauvaiges et des oyseaux de proye</i>. Paris, circa 1507. Est. €150.000 – 200.000
    <b>Sotheby's Paris Oct. 5:</b> Pierre et François de Gommer. <i>L’Autoursserie</i>. Chaalons, 1594. Est. €30.000 – 50.000
    <b>Sotheby’s Paris: The Hunting Library of the Counts du Verne. 5 October. The Largest Collection of Hunting and Falconry To Appear on the Market for the Last Thirty Years.
    <b>Sotheby's Paris Oct. 5:</b> Pierre Landry. <i>Quatre scènes de chasse à courre.</i> Paris, circa 1680. Est. €2.000 – 3.000
    <b>Sotheby's Paris Oct. 5:</b> Conte Henri de Vibraye - Baron Karl Reille. <i>La chasse à courre.</i> Paris, 1951. Est. €3.000 – 5.000
    <b>Sotheby's Paris Oct. 5:</b> Duc de Brissac - Paul Jouve. <i>Chasse.</i> Paris, 1956. Est. €30.000 – 50.000
  • <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Leaves from<br>George Washington's Own Draft <br>of His first Inaugural Address. An Extraordinary Rarity!
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Declaration of Independence: Benjamin Tyler 1818 - First Print with Facsimile Signatures.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Thomas Jefferson Signed Act of Contress Authorizing Alexander Hamilton to Complete Famous Portland Maine Lighthouse.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Emanuel Leutze. Silk Flag Banner designed by Leutze, created by Tiffany & Co., and presented to Gen. John A. Dix, 1864.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> The "greatest of early American maps … a masterpiece" (Corcoran). Thomas Holme.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Lincoln Summons His Cabinet for a Historic Meeting to Discuss Compensated Emancipation.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Albert Einstein. Autograph Letter Signed. Einstein Counsels His Son ... Meaning of Life.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Normal Rockwell. Painting/Drawing Signed. Rockwell's "Barbeshop Quartet", 1936.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Frederick Douglass. Autograph Letter Signed to unknown correspondent. Washington, D.C.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Harry Truman. Autograph Manuscript Notebook for Kansas City Law School Night Class.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Robert E. Lee. Autograph Letter Signed, June 11, 1782. Hours after the Battle of Culpeper Court House, Lee Escapes Again.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> George Washington. Letter Signed, as Commander-in-Chief, Continental Army, to Elias Dayton, Headquarters, [Newburgh, N.Y.], June 11, 1782.
  • <b>19th Century Shop.</b> (AMERICAN WEST.), Watkins, Taber, Savage, and others. <i>Magnificent Album of Mammoth Photographs of the American West, with other subjects various,</i> ca. 1865-1880s
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> EINSTEIN, ALBERT. <i>The Meaning of Relativity,</i> signed by Einstein. London: Methuen, 1922
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> CARTER, SUSANNAH. <i>The Frugal Housewife</i> (1772) 2d cookbook printed in America.
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> SHAKESPEARE, WILLIAM. <i>Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies. Published according to the true originall copies.</i> The second impression. London: by Tho. Cotes, for Robert Allot, 1632
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> (BROOKLYN). <i>An Act to Incorporate and Vest Certain Powers in the Freeholders and Inhabitants of the Village of Brooklyn, in the County of Kings.</i> Brooklyn: Printed by A. Spooner, 1816
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> PAINE, THOMAS. <i>Common Sense</i> (1776) first edition sheets.

Rare Book Monthly

Articles - January - 2011 Issue

Settlement Reached in Rothschild Suit vs. Auction House

Dslade

Bookseller David Slade, whose theft led to the Rothschild-Winter lawsuit.

According to a press release issued by his attorneys, Sir Evelyn de Rothschild has reached a settlement in his suit against Dominic Winter Book Auctions. The amount was not revealed though the press release indicated that Sir Evelyn was satisfied with the result. A spokesman for the attorneys said they would not be making any comments beyond those contained in the press release.

 

This was a very sad case, where the suit was between two victims of a crime committed by a once well-respected member of the book community. David Slade was a former president of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association (Britain) who was hired by Sir Evelyn to catalogue his collection in 2001. Mr. Slade's credentials, a bookseller from the age of 17 who reached the highest office in England's most prestigious booksellers' organization, were impeccable. Both Sir Evelyn de Rothschild and Dominic Winter Auctions trusted him completely. Both suffered for their confidence.

 

At some point between 2001 and 2005, Slade began taking books from Sir Evelyn's collection of turn of the 20th century private press books. There is some obscure material here, and he probably believed no one would miss it. Perhaps he would have gotten away with the thefts, but the unusually long amount of time Mr. Slade was taking to catalogue the collection led to suspicions, which eventually led to the discovery of the theft. All told, he probably stole around 70 volumes from the Rothschild library.

 

In April of 2008, police raided Slade's home and discovered some of Sir Evelyn's books and receipts for others. Mr. Slade confessed, attributing his actions to great personal debt, including around $50,000 on credit cards. In February 2009, Slade pleaded guilty to stealing approximately $340,000 worth of books from Rothschild. He was sentenced to 28 months in prison.

 

And so this sad story came to an end. Well, not quite. Where had the books gone that Slade no longer possessed? Sir Evelyn was still entitled to his books, or compensation for those that could not be found. Mr. Slade was liable to him for the value, but he had long ago spent those proceeds covering his debts. He was broke. Mr. Slade might have to pay for his crime by spending time in jail, but some innocent party would have to pay for the financial losses. That would be Sir Evelyn, unless someone else besides Mr. Slade was secondarily accountable.

 

Forty-two of the books Slade had stolen were taken to Dominic Winter Book Auctions and sold there. We do not know what Winter did to investigate the provenance of the books Slade brought them, but it appears that the auction house may have relied too much on Slade's reputation and assumed his possession was legitimate. Sir Evelyn believed that Winter owed him a bit more due diligence in determining the provenance of these books and sued the auction house for wrongful interference with his ownership and right to possession, along with conversion. Winter maintained that they never took possession of the books and provided no guarantee of title, hence they had no legal connection to the stolen books that would make them liable to Sir Evelyn. They were, in their view, simply facilitating a sale between Mr. Slade and the ultimate buyer, perhaps like a landlord of a retail store facilitates a sale between the shopkeeper and his customer.

 

According to the press release from the Rothschild attorneys, the court ruled for Sir Evelyn in the suit in August 2009 with damages to be determined later. This summer, according to the release, "Sir Evelyn accepted Dominic Winter Auctions' offer to pay him substantial damages and his legal costs in settlement of his claim."

 

The press release also indicated that Sir Evelyn was concerned that Mr. Slade had been able to sell so many stolen rare and antiquarian books at the auction house, noting he was "pleased with the favourable outcome of the litigation." The release concluded, "Sir Evelyn is hopeful that the success of the legal action he has taken in this case will serve to highlight both the potential risks to purchasers of antiquarian books at auction and, most importantly, the need for auction houses to conduct adequate due diligence in order to establish the provenance of the books they are being asked to sell."

 

There is not much we can add to the advice proffered by Sir Evelyn. All purchasers and facilitators, be they collectors, dealers, or auction houses, should be conducting some degree of investigation, particularly with more expensive or large quantities of items. Nonetheless, we can also sympathize with Dominic Winter, whose apparent excessive reliance on David Slade's integrity was very similar to the reliance Sir Evelyn placed on the same man. Perhaps the most important message for all involved in the book trade is to remember that the law is more focused on the nature of the material you possess or trade (stolen vs. legitimate) than on the good faith with which you received it. If you possess stolen goods, you must return them, even if you purchased them in good faith for fair value. You are simply out of luck. You are expected to determine their legitimacy, and if you do not, you will be held accountable for their value (though your good faith will keep you, unlike Mr. Slade, out of prison). Caveat emptor! Let the buyer beware. Do your research, recognize that something too good to be legal probably isn't, and consider your source. A seller's guarantee and promise to take back stolen merchandise with no time limit is a reassurance worth considering, even if that dealer or auction house's prices are somewhat higher than the street bazaar.

 

 


Posted On: 2011-01-01 00:00
User Name: MikeDaw

Sad case but raises some interesting issues. If the books had been sold through an on-line marketplace or auction site (AE, ABE, Amazon, eBay, et


Posted On: 2011-01-05 00:00
User Name: monatrim

One obvious question: I assume that the books stolen by Slade did not feature the bookplate/signature of Sir Evelyn. In such a case, what const


Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams: Fine Books and Manuscripts. Sept. 21, 2016</b>
    <b>Bonhams Sept. 21:</b> WARREN, JOSEPH. Letter Signed ("Jos Warren") as Chairman of the Committee of Safety. Cambridge, MA, June 4, 1775.
    <b>Bonhams Sept. 21:</b> WHITMAN, WALT. Leaves of Grass. Brooklyn, NY: [for the Author], 1855.
    <b>Bonhams Sept. 21:</b> JEFFERSON, THOMAS. Printed Broadside Signed ("Th: Jefferson") as Secretary of State. Philadelphia, February 12, 1793.
    <b>Bonhams Sept. 21:</b> CELLINI, BENVENUTO. 1500-1571. Autograph Letter Signed ("Beto. Cellini"). [Florence, c.1566].
    <b>Bonhams: Fine Books and Manuscripts. Sept. 21, 2016</b>
    <b>Bonhams Sept. 21:</b> NAPOLEON BONAPARTE. Autograph Manuscript. [c.1795].
    <b>Bonhams Sept. 21:</b> DICKENS, CHARLES. Great Expectations. London: Chapman and Hall, 1861.
    <b>Bonhams Sept. 21:</b> REED, JOHN. To the Honourable House of Representatives of the Freemen of Pennsylvania this Map of the City and Liberties of Phiadelphia With the Catalog of Purchasers is Humbly Dedicated.... [Philadelphia]: engraved by James Smit
    <b>Bonhams Sept. 21:</b> ELIOT, THOMAS STEARNS. The Waste Land. New York: Boni and Liveright, 1922.
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel. Sept. 20, 2016</b>
    <b>Bonhams Sept. 20:</b> PTOLEMAEUS, CLAUDIUS. 2nd Century. Untitled Ptolemaic Map of the World. [Insculptum est per Johane Schnitzer de Armszheim.] [Ulm: Leinhart Holle, July 16, 1482.]
    <b>Bonhams Sept. 20:</b> HONDIUS, JODOCUS THE YOUNGER. 1597-1651; JOHANNES JANSSONIUS, PUBLISHER. 1588-1664; ADRIAAN METIUS, ASTRONOMER; & ABRAHAM GOOS, ENGRAVER. A Pair of Library Globes. Amsterdam: 1623, 1648.
    <b>Bonhams Sept. 20:</b> HAKLUYT, RICHARD. 1553-1616. The Principall Navigations, Voiages, and Discoveries of the English Nations, made by Sea or ouer Land, to the most remote and farthest distant Quarters of the earth at any time within...
    <b>Bonhams Sept. 20:</b> WARRE, HENRY JAMES, SIR. 1819-1898. Sketches in North America and the Oregon Territory. [London]: Dickinson & Co., [1848].
    <b>Bonhams Sept. 20:</b> SPEKE, JOHN HANNING. 1827-1864. Manuscript map, ["Sketch Map of Eastern Africa, Shewing the Various Routes travelled by the Expedition"], 230 x 255 mm, n.p., c.1858.

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