Rare Book Monthly

Articles - February - 2014 Issue

Conferences for Appraisers in San Francisco, Librarians in Malaysia

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Malaysia is welcoming you this year.

We have received notices of two completely unrelated events, but perhaps one will be of interest to you. One concerns a course for appraisers to take place in San Francisco in early March. The other relates to two conferences for librarians in Malaysia during the spring and summer. We certainly recommend the latter if you can get your library to pick up the tab.

 

The American Society of Appraisers is sponsoring the conference How to be a Successful and Effective Expert Witness on March 5-6 at the Sir Francis Drake Hotel in San Francisco. Appraisers are being called on regularly to appear in court in disputes over the value of objects, be they books, art, or anything else. Not only are their valuation services needed in cases involving disputing family members and other people, they are being called on regularly for testimony in Tax Court cases. The most effective appraisers need to know how to handle the rough and tumble world of court appearances and cross-examination.

 

The ASA pointed to a couple of recent tax cases as examples of the importance of solid appraisals. One involves the estate of artist Jean-Michael Basquiat. The estate and the IRS have a $66 million difference of opinion. The estate paid $8.5 million in estate taxes, but the IRS wants $10 million more. The major issue revolves around a “blockage discount.” There are 1,351 of Mr. Basquiat's paintings in the estate. The IRS might have their value right if each work could be sold in isolation to the others, but if the market were suddenly flooded with 1,351 painting by the same artist in order to pay off the estate's obligations, the sum that could be raised would be substantially less. Even a Shakespeare First Folio could be expected to decline in price if the Folger Library ever decided to sell all 82 of its copies at once.

 

The second case mentioned is about as strange as they come, the ultimate Catch-22. It deals with the value of Robert Rauschenberg's artwork Canyon. The IRS valued the work at $65 million, the heirs of art dealer Ileana Sonnabend at $0. Zero? Yes. Rauschenberg attached a few objects to his 1959 work of art, one of them being a stuffed bald eagle. However, a 1940 law made it illegal to sell a bald eagle, dead or alive. Rauschenberg had to supply the government with a statement at the time that the eagle had been shot and stuffed by one of Teddy Roosevelt's Rough Riders before the law was passed. Unfortunately for the heirs, the work cannot legally be sold, meaning it could not be used to raise the $40 million (including penalties) the IRS demanded. Though artistically valuable, its market value, technically, is zero. Ultimately, the heirs gave the work to the Museum of Modern Art in exchange for the IRS dropping its demands (however, because of the zero market value, they did not obtain a charitable deduction for their tax returns either).

 

Among the topics covered in the conference are building a defensible report, preparing for deposition, trial and cross-examination, and avoiding common mistakes. There will be videos of actual trial testimony as well as mock trial exercises. Breakfasts and lunches will be provided both days for those hungry for more than just knowledge. There will also be a second conference on Personal Property Issues and Insights following the one on expert testimony, March 7-8. For more information or registering, you can visit the ASA website at www.appraisers.org/Events/asa-mini-conferences or call 800-272-8258.

 

We do not have much information on the activities in Malaysia other than the National Library of Malaysia is organizing a pair of conferences in 2014. From April 8-10 they will host the International Digital Library Conference, and from May 28 – July 28 the International Exhibition and Conference on Malay Manuscripts. The conference is part of a celebration called Visit Malaysia Year 2014. A nation that has managed to avoid most of the troubles in a troubled part of the world – Southeast Asia – while maintaining healthy economic growth, Malaysia hopes to lure more foreign visitors to their shores in 2014. The website for Visit Malaysia Year 2014 may be found at www.vmy2014.com

Rare Book Monthly

  • <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
  • <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.

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