Rare Book Monthly

Articles - October - 2013 Issue

Bonhams: Fine Books & Manuscripts on the 16th

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Appealing opportunities

A hallmark of the transitional market that books, manuscripts, maps and ephemera are in today is the steady and substantial flow of quality material - the dispositions of institutions, dealers and collectors coming into the rooms.  There is a certain frenzy to it and for buyers the luxury of choices.  The Bonhams sale in Los Angeles and New York of Fine Books & Manuscripts including Historical Photographs on October 16th is a good example.  This is one of their quarterly general sales and evidence of the rising quality of material coming into the rooms these days.

 

These general sales share the common characteristic of “collectability” while providing a tent under which Lincoln, Martin Luther King, William Faulkner, Mahatma Gandhi, Jack London, and Nina Ricci find themselves in friendly competition for bidder affection.  In this they are not alone.   One can find photographs, scripts, books, artwork and etchings, correspondence, fore-edge painting and ephemera – most from diverse sources and on diverse subjects.  The sale, 379 lots, demands a careful look.

 

Christina Geiger, Director of Books and Manuscripts at Bonhams in New York describes the sale this way: “the October sale includes both traditional and eclectic material, and represents the broad interests of the book collecting community.”

 

To this Dr. Catherine Williamson in Los Angeles added, “this sale includes several small collections consigned by private buyers who have waited out the uncertainty of the past few years, and have now decided to bring their material to market, having seen that the book market is vibrant and healthy.”

 

The sale opens with a strong selection of atlas and sheet maps, including works by Blaeu, de Jode, Hondius, Faden and Mitchell. More unusually there is a beautiful Japanese hand-colored woodcut map of the world, adapted from de Ricci by Nagakubo Sekisui (lot 2010) and a fine copy of the first printed English map of the Far East: John Wolfe's Trew Description of all the Coasts of China after Linschoten (lot 2013).

 

The Travel & Natural History grouping includes voyaging narratives and color-plate books.  One of the rarest titles is William Betagh's alternative narrative of Shelvocke's buccaneering expedition of 1719 in which Captain Betagh bitterly condemns his commander (lot 2022).

 

Next is the Science & Mathematics section which includes a fine copy of Claude Shannon's pamphlet, A Mathematical Theory of Communication, the foundational paper of information theory (lot 2054) directly preceded by the first edition in English of Newton's Principia (lot 2053).

 

Bonhams is offering about three dozen important signed photographs from the estate of noted collector, Jerome Shochet, including those of Pasteur (lot 2126), Turgenev (lot 2136), Brahms (lot 2065), and Wilbur Wright (lot 2139).  Those interested in Wright will also note a copy of his Experiments and Observations in Soaring Flight, 1903, the first published report of experiments with motorized gliders (lot 2058).

 

There is a very good Fine Press & Art section as well. Many highpoints of American fine press are represented, including the Grabhorn Press Leaves of Grass (lot 2218), the Arion Press Moby Dick (lot 2187) and the Rockwell Kent Moby Dick (lot 2225), a.k.a. "the whale in the pail."  Livres d'artiste are also present including works illustrated by Robert Motherwell, Wayne Thiebaud, Pablo Picasso and Ed Ruscha.

 

The Literature and Modern Literature sections include Samuel Clemens' raucous letter to his family announcing his engagement to Olivia Langdon (lot 2271). Modern highlights include literary screenplays from the collection of Richard Manney, including rare copies of William Faulkner's screenwriting work such as Daryl Zanuck's copy of The Last Slaver (lot 2299) and Faulkner's original story treatment of Battle Cry (lot 2304). There is also a working shooting script of The Grapes of Wrath signed by John Ford, Henry Fonda and several other cast members (lot 2336).

 

The final section in the Bonhams sale is the Nancy Walls Collection of Jack London. It includes everything from a paddle acquired by London in the Solomon Islands (lot 2346) to a first edition in jacket of The Call of the Wild (lot 2349) and a love letter to Charmian written just four days before their wedding (lot 2341).

 

The material is on preview in New York Friday, Saturday and Sunday  [October 4th to 6th] and in Los Angeles from Friday 11th through to Tuesday the 15th.

 

The sale on the 16th, in two sessions, begins at 10:00 am PST.  Bidding in person, by phone, absentee and online are available.

 

Images included with this article:

 

Lot 2009.  Japanese Map

Lot 2015.  Mitchell, Samual Augustus

Lot 2024.  Bounty - Pitcairn Island

Lot 2036.  Layard, Austen Henry

Lot 2049.  Einstein, Albert

Lot 2060.  Images of th American WestLot 2066.  Bush, George Walker

Lot 2071.  George Armstrong CusterLot 2075.  Edison, Ford and Firestone

Lot 2115.  Lincoln, Abraham

 

Here is a link to the full sale

 

Contacts:

 

Christina Geiger

New York

212 644-9094

Christina.geiger@bonhams.com

 

Adam Stackhouse, Senior Specialist

San Francisco

415 503-3266

adam.stackhouse@bonhams.com

 

Dr. Catherine Williamson, Director

Los Angeles

323 436-5442

Catherine.williamson@bonhams.com

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Charles Darwin on sexuality and the transmission of hereditary characteristics: Autograph Letter Signed to Lawson Tait. Down, 17 January [1877].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> MILTON, JOHN. <i>Paradise Lost. A Poem written in ten books.</i> London: 1667. A very rare example with the contemporary binding untouched and with a 1667 title page.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Hamilton secures the ratification of the Constitution: <i>The Debates and Proceedings of the Convention of the State of New-York, assembled at Poughkeespsie, on the 17th June, 1788.</i>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> The social contract “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains”: ROUSSEAU, JEAN-JACQUES. <i>Principes du Droit Politique [Du Contract Social]</i>. Amsterdam: Michel Rey, 1762
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> “The first English textbook on geometrical land-measurement and surveying”: BENESE, RICHARD. <i>This Boke Sheweth the Maner of Measurynge All Maner of Lande…</i>
  • <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Shackleton, Ernest. <i>Aurora Australis.</i> Printed at the sign of 'The Penguins'; East Antarctica, 1908. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Shackleton, Ernest. <i>South Polar Times.</i> 1st edition, limited issue. from the library of Michael Barne. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> General Washington's <i>Proceedings of a General Court Martial... of Major General Lee.</i> Philiadelphia, 1778. 100 copies printed for Congress. BOUND WITH: ...Court Martial... of St Clair and ...Schuyler. $25,000 to $35,000
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> <i>The Voice of the People.</i> Boston, 1754. Rare pamphlet on the Excise Tax. Nathaniel Sparhawk's copy. $4,000 to $6,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Autograph Letter Signed ("S.L. Clemens"), offering extensive hard-earned advice on writing, 5 pp, 1881. $30,000 to $50,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> After Fra Egnazio Danti. <i>L'Ultime Parti not:e nel Indie Occid:ntli" [The last known parts of the Western Indies].</i> Painted Map of California, Western Mexico, and Japan. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Ptolemaeus, Claudius. <i>Geographie opus nouissima...</i> 1513. The most important edition of Ptolemy, containing the Admiral's Map. $250,000 to $350,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> De Arellano, Don Alonso. Manuscript, his <i>"Relación mui singular y circunstanciada... Capitán del Patax San Lucas,"</i> manuscript copy from the Sir Thomas Phillips collection. $50,000 to $80,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Purchas, Samuel. <i>Purchas his Pilgrimes.</i> First edition. With John Simth's engraved map of Virginia. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Lewis, Meriwether. Contemporary manuscript true copy of his final power of attorney, 1809. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> <i>A New Method of Macarony Making, as Practiced at Boston in North America.</i> Mezzotint. London, 1774. $5,000 to $7,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> <i>Scientific Base Ball Pitching: A Treatise on the Pitcher, Pitching, Origin and Philosophy of the Curve.</i> Chicago, 1897. $2,000 to $3,000
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Franklin H. Brown, <i>State Sovereignty, National Union,</i> Chicago, 1860. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Thomas Paine, <i>The American Crisis,</i> Fishkill, NY, December 1776. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b><br>The Aitken Bible, Philadelphia, 1781. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Francisco Loubayssin de Lamarca, probable first edition of the first novel set in the Spanish New World, Paris, 1617. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Juan de la Anunciación, <i>Sermonario en lengua mexicana,</i> first edition, first book of sermons in Nahuatl, Mexico, 1577. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Maturino Gilberti, <i>Thesoro spiritual en lengua de Mechuacá,</i> first edition, Mexico, 1558. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Commission of William O. Stoddard as secretary to the president, signed by Lincoln, Washington, 1861. $7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> <i>Clay and Frelinghuysen,</i> flag banner, circa 1844. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Daguerreotype of a man believed to be Frederick Granger Williams Smith, son of Joseph Smith, circa late 1850s. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> John C. Wolfe, <i>Portrait of Abraham Lincoln,</i> oil on board in period wooden frame, circa 1860s. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Francis W. Winton, manuscript on pow-wows with indigenous Canadians, 1881. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Family letters from two young daguerreotype artists, 1826-79. $10,000 to $15,000.
  • <b>Leland Little: Important Fall Auction. September 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Leland Little, Sep. 22:</b> Published Half Plate Ambrotype of a North Carolina Confederate Officer. $2,000 to $4,000
    <b>Leland Little, Sep. 22:</b> Two 19th Century Books Pertaining to Canada's Red River Settlement. $400 to $800
    <b>Leland Little, Sep. 22:</b> Two Books With Fore-Edge Paintings of British Architectual Landmarks. $400 to $600
    <b>Leland Little: Important Fall Auction. September 22, 2018</b>
    <b>Leland Little, Sep. 22:</b> Andy Warhol (American, 1928-1987), "Torte a la Dobosch" from <i>Wild Raspberries</i>. $1,000 to $3,000
    <b>Leland Little, Sep. 22:</b> Keith Haring (American, 1958-1990), <i>Pop Shop II,</i> One Plate screenprint in colors, on wove paper, 1998. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Leland Little, Sep. 22:</b> Thomas Rowlandson (British, 1756-1827), Twenty-Two Prints from the <i>Tours of Dr. Syntax</i>. $500 to $1,000

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