Bonhams starts its run of December auctions with four sales over two days, on December 4th and 5th, two of which are single-owner collections. At 1pm on December 4th there is the long anticipated Dictionary Collection of Thomas Malin Rodgers. Rodgers, an Atlanta collector who passed away earlier this year, formed an extensive library, spanning three millennia in date: from a 16th century B.C.E. cuneiform tablet to a first edition of the Oxford English Dictionary, issued in parts from 1884-1933. The Dictionary collection will be immediately followed by a various-owner auction of Fine Books, Maps & Manuscripts, a general sale with particularly enticing sections of English voyages and other travel books, printed and manuscript maps, and natural history including a second folio edition of Aububon's Birds. The undoubted highlight of this sale is the monumental manuscript world map by Urbano Monte produced between 1587 and 1589. On 74 sheets and at nine by nine feet, if assembled, this beautiful work is the largest early manuscript world map known.
The morning of December 5, at 10 am, Bonhams continues with over 200 lots of Russian Literature and Works on Paper. This sale takes in particularly strong manuscripts of Revolutionary literature, including very rare autograph material by Osip Mandelshtam, Anna Akhmatova, Andrei Belyi, Boris Pasternak and others, in addition to graphic avant-garde books and drawings. The top lot is the two autograph albums of the Moscow & Paris patron of the arts, Henrietta Girshman. Her albums span six decades and include autographs, literary and musical quotations and drawings by people such as Nabokov, Joyce, Rachmaninoff, Prokofiev, Bartok, Benois, Serov, and hundreds of others.
Last but not least on the Bonhams December calendar is the auction, "Illuminating Space: Images from a Private Virginian Collection." This collection was formed from the early 1960s to the present and includes the most significant original representations of humankind's first phase of space exploration. For example, there is the first photograph of the earth taken from lunar orbit; a unique hand-mosaic photograph of Surveyor I's shadow on the Oceanus Procellarum from June 13, 1966; an original negative from Lunar Orbiter IV of the crater Aristarchus; and hand-mosaic photographs from the Viking Orbiter mission of the Martian landscape. The sale also includes 19th century and early 20th century lunar & deep space photography, globes and telescopes.
December 4, 1pm, The Dictionary Collection of Thomas Malin Rodgers, www.bonhams.com/20475
December 4, 3pm, Fine Books, Maps & Manuscripts, www.bonhams.com/20078
December 5, 10am, Russian Literature & Works on Paper, www.bonhams.com/20377
December 5, 1pm, Illuminating Space: Images from a Private Virginian Collection,www.bonhams.com/illuminating