Rare Book Monthly

Articles - May - 2015 Issue

Leslie Hindman: Fine Books and Manuscripts - An appealing sale on the 7th in Chicago

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To be collectible is sometimes to be historical, sometimes to be part of the popular culture, and sometimes both.  The upcoming Fine Books and Manuscripts Sale at Leslie Hindman on May 7th incorporates material from many genres across a great swath of printed history and does it in an appealing way.  The sale is complex.

 

One can imagine that this material has been submitted by many consignors, most of them with vastly different interests.  What unites them in this sale [for the first time] is the desire to turn the page on what was once personally important and is now no longer necessary to the daily conduct of collector’s lives.  This sale is addressed to collectors in the throes and those new to the game, the former the experienced and the latter the neophytes, they all similarly afflicted, they who love and pursue the random pieces, be they books, signatures, manuscripts and coins on the various subjects they passionately pursue.  This is a sale of intricate, mostly beneath the surface, material that completes deep collections and forms the foundation of new beginnings.  It is a very appealing mix.

 

It begins with 37 lots of manuscript material, much of it with an emphasis on music and theatre.  Next there are 70 lots relating to famous authors, most of whom are still familiar today, all of whom were famous in their own times.  Here is a partial list of lots 47-117:

 

Samual Clemens

Charles Dickens

Oliver Wendell Holmes

Vistor Hugo

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Percy Bysshe Shelley

John Steinbeck

Henry Irving and Bram Stoker

Leo Tolstoy

 

Then there are Audubon prints, 10 lots, numbers 118-127.

 

Maps begin with lot 136 and continue to 158.  Then there are a few travel and exploration and topical political items.  Those who missed out buying the first printings of some of Mao Zedong’s thoughts should be prepared to spend more renminbi than they once would have, actually a lot more.

 

Next there is a nice copy of John Milton’s Paradise Lost.  This copy is the extra-illustrated 2 volume 1827 edition.  It’s lot 172.

 

My favorite is lot 176, The Tvvoo Bookes of Francis Bacon.  It was printed in 1605 and is a very nice thing.  If you don’t have one and feel the burning passion this may be your chance.

 

For those who collect auction catalogues lot 177 may appeal.  It’s the four volumes of the sale of the Hamilton Palace Libraries that were sold at Sotheby, Wilkinson and Hodge in 1882.  Buyer’s names and prices are bound in.  The estimate is $200 to $400.

 

And here is another item for the bibliophile.  It’s lot 180, a catalogue of the classic contents of Strawberry Hill and printed in 1842.  Book collectors who are accused of being over the top can point to Strawberry Hill as the real ground zero of obsessive, actually very obsessive, collecting.  All Strawberry Hill material is desirable.  Estimated $200 to $400.

 

Charles Dickens was once the world’s most popular author.  Not so much anymore but still, for the collector, very appealing.  Lots 186 to 208 will offer you many choices.

 

Children’s books are not always child’s play.  The first American publication of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland in 1866 is estimated at $2,000 to $4,000.  It’s lot 209.

 

Most material in the sale is relatively inexpensive.  Colin Campbell’s Vitruvius Britannicus; or, The British Architect, Containing the Plans, Elevations, and Sections of the Regular Buildings, both Publick and Private, in Great Britain, is a good value but not inexpensive.  Its estimate is $20,000 to $30,000 and docketed as lot 215.

 

Lots 215 to 240 are about architecture, art and design.  Lot 221 is a 4 vol. set of Mr. Cornelius Vanderbilt’s House and Collection.  He was once the wealthiest man in America in the era before income taxes.  He had plenty of money to buy culture [and did].  Some of this is evident in this 4 vol. set.

 

For those who read Moby Dick in high school and have been looking for a first edition here it is:  lot 304, estimated $8,000 to $12,000.  And for those looking for a first of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, in this sale, it’s lot 311 and estimated $1,000 to $2,000.

 

Then there are 10 lots of collectible children’s material [lots 314-323].

 

Toward the end of the sale are some interesting group lots.  Lot 361 is 16 early American imprints dated 1786 to 1838.  The estimate is $200 to $400.

 

The next lot no. 363 is a group of 17 nineteenth-century American educational primers.  The estimate is $100 to $200.

 

There are also 4 lots, 368 to 371, relating to Lincoln.  One is a life mask.  It’s disconcerting and not what you might expect.

 

The final section, for those who have not spent their last dollar, are 21 lots of gold coins.  They look very nice and would be great at a restaurant.  “Can I pay you in gold?”  You bet!

 

Here is a link to the sale catalogue.  It’s fun to read.  The event is on the 7th.

 

Here is a link to the house.

 

 

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.

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