Rare Book Monthly

Articles - December - 2014 Issue

Profiles In History: Three Important Sales on Three Diverse Subjects

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Various items from Profiles In History's upcoming sales

The fall and early Winter are busy times for auction houses, and the auction house Profiles in History is no different. With five sales over the course of four days in December, three of which we’ll take a closer look at in this preview, PIH is making a strong push to finish out the year with a bang. The three auctions I’ll be going over are Historical Auction 72, taking place December 16th, 2014, the Golden Goose Press Archive Collection on December 17th, 2014, and A Celebration of Music: The Property of a Private Collector, also on December 17th, 2014.

Historical Auction 72 is made up of 215 lots, and it’s certainly difficult to choose only a few lots to highlight before moving on to Profiles in History’s other auctions. Their descriptions are very detailed, and often include backstory to fill in the specific item’s significance. In terms of overall magnitude of importace, the star may not be an item that is particularly old. Lot 76 is a manuscript draft by Einstein (and obviously signed by him) for a scientific paper on the development of his unified field theory—Einstein coined this term that is still in use today. I will not pretend to understand entirely what it is, but appraisers with more knowledge than me have estimated the item $120,000 - $180,000. Another very impressive item is lot 143, which is a $100,000 REWARD broadside poster from 1865 for the capture of a certain assassin. Yes, this poster for the capture of John Wilkes Booth and his accomplices is one of four in this particular design. Owning perhaps the most important reward poster in American history will carry a hefty price, with the item estimated $125,000 - $150,000.

It should be noted, too, that this sale contains a significant amount of autograph letters and documents signed worth reviewing. As I stated before, Historical Auction 72 is scheduled for December 16th, 2014, at 11am, PT, with bidding available on site in Calabasas, CA, over the phone, and online. For all forms of bidding, you may register here on Profiles in History’s website as well as download the PDF catalog.

Next  up, we have the Golden Goose Press Archive Collection. It’s much easier to choose a lot to write about when the sale only contains one. I don’t imagine someone who isn’t familiar will consider bidding the estimated $300,000 - $500,000, but to cover my bases, the Golden Goose Press was a publishing company started by Richard Wertz Emerson, a poet of the beat generation. It was a destination for many contributions from many well known authors, including Marioth Rossi, George Santayuaca, E.E. Cummings, William Carlos Williams, and William Butler Yeats. While the contents of this sale is large, with “the entire remains of Golden Goose Press as amassed by Richard Wertz Emerson,” (PIH) the jewel of the sale is the “Joan Anderson Letter” by Neal Cassady, an infamous letter that inspired Jack Kerouac to write On the Road. The stories behind both the press and the letter are told in detail within the sale’s catalog[www.profilesinhistory.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/GlodenGoose.pdf] hosted on Profiles in History’s website.

Golden Goose Press Archive Collection will be up for bidding on Wednesday, December 17th, 2014 at 10:30AM PT, taking place at PIH’s Calabasas, CA site. Phone and internet bidding is also available. Registration for the sale can be done here, and the PDF catalog is available here.

The final sale of this preview is A Celebration of Music: The Property of a Private Collector. In my perusal of the catalog, I found myself simultaneously searching for and listening to Beethoven, Brahms, Gershwin, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, and Schubert, to name a few. These great men are all included in the sale, and it just made too much sense to refamiliarize myself with their works as I attempted to choose only a few lots to mention here. Lot 2, an autograph letter signed twice by Beethoven, is absolutely a treasure to any collector of musical history. At an estimated $80,000 - $120,000, it had better be. Additionally, a first edition of the Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony is for sale as lot 5. It’s only one of, if not the most famous musical composition of all time. It’s estimate is more modest at $5,000 - $7,000. Moving closer to the present, lot 53, an autograph music for the song “By Strauss,” signed in three places by George Gershwin and with lyrics written in his hand is another high profile item of the sale. It is estimated $75,000 - $125,000.

A Celebration of Music: The Property of a Private Collector takes place the same day of and directly after Golden Goose Press Archive Collection on Wednesday, December 17th, at 11am PT. As is the case with all of their sales, bidding will be done on-site, via phone, and online. Registration and the PDF catalog are available through Profiles In History’s website.

 

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Caius Julius Hyginus, <i>Poeticon Astronomicon,</i> first illustrated edition, Venice, 1482. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Giovanni Botero, <i>Le Relationi Universali... divise in Sette Parti</i>, Venice, 1618. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> <i>L'Escole des Filles</i>, likely third edition of the first work of pornographic fiction in French, 1676. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Illuminated Book of Hours in Latin on vellum, Flanders, early 16th century. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Johannes Regiomontanus, <i>Calendarium,</i> Venice, 1485. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Pedro de Medina, <i>Libro d[e] gra[n]dezas y cosas memorables de España,</i> Alcalá de Henares, 1566. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b><br>Luis de Lucena, <i>Arte de Ajedres,</i> Salamanca, circa 1496-97. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Andrés Serrano, <i>Los Siete Principes de los Ángeles, válidos de Rey del Cielo,</i> Spain, 1707. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Johannes de Sacrobosco, <i>Sphaera mundi,</i> first illustrated edition, Venice, 1478. $15,000 to $20,000.
  • <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> A Rare 3-rotor German Enigma I Enciphering Machine. $70,000 to $90,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Important collection of correspondence between Werner Heisenberg and Bruno Rossi. $40,000 to $60,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Walt Whitman Autograph manuscript containing his thoughts on death. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> David Roberts. <i>Holy Land</i>. Six volumes. 1842-1849. First edition. $15,000 to $25,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Extensive collection of Ray Bradbury's primary works, most signed or inscribed. $15,000 to $20,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Peter Force. Declaration of Independence. $12,000 to $18,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Steinbeck. <i>Grapes of Wrath</i>. A fine copy of the first edition. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Lewis & Clark. <i>Travels to the Source of the Missouri River</i>... First English edition, extra-illustrated. 1814. $10,000 to 15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Manuscript document signed by Nuno de Guzman relating to Hernan Cortes, 1528. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> “Nos los inquisidores..." The first book in English printed West of the Mississippi. [1787]. $5,000 to $8,000.
  • <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Collection of 131 Herbert Ponting gelatin silver contact prints of Antartica, £6000-8000
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> One of several lots of Henri Cartier-Bresson gelatin silver prints, £200-300
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Vintage gelatin silver print of Diego Rivera by Leonard McCombe, £300-500
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Albumen print portrait by Julia Margaret Cameron of Sir John Herschel (April, 1867), £30,000-50,000
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Albumen print by Julia Margaret Cameron, Love, 1864 (from the Norman album), £1000-1500
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Albumen print by Lewis Carroll of Twyford School Eleven (Summer Term, 1859), £1000-1500
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Albumen print portrait by Lewis Carroll of Xie Kitchin as 'Dane' (Oxford, 1873), £500-800
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Calotype print (c1845) by Hill & Adamson of Lady Elizabeth (Rigby) Eastlake, £3000-4000
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Group of 12 waxed paper negatives of Scottish scenes by Thomas Keith, mid-1850s, £3000-5000
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> One of 15 lots of Roger Fenton salt prints of his work in the Crimea, mid-1850s, £400-600
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Quarter plate ambrotype (c.1860s) with ethnographic portrait of a woman seated at a table, £400-600
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Rare whole plate thermoplastic union case of the Landing of Columbus (c.1858),part of the John Hannavy collection, £1500-2000
  • <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>

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