Headlined by a first edition of Audubon’s The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America, the auction house Skinner’s November 15th sale of Fine Books & Manuscripts immediately asserts itself as one for your consideration during this year’s busy fall. And if natural history isn’t your cup of tea, or you find yourself thinking a $200,000 - $300,000 estimate is a bit beyond your budget, there are 407 other lots spanning a wide range of subjects and pricing. Eighty-one lots of autographs begin the sale, ranging from Lincoln, to Neil Armstrong, to Claude Monet. From there, books are presented in an alphabetic manner, and include a large amount of important literature. The sale wraps up with an offering of etchings, and a selection of maps and atlases. Let’s take a look at some high profile lots from the sale.
Lot 93. Audubon, John James (1785-1851) and Reverend John Bachman (1790-1874) The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America. New York: by J.J Audubon and V.G. Audubon, 1845-1851. Three imperial folio atlas volumes and three octavo text volumes. Atlas volumes illustrated with 150 hand-colored lithographs of the four-footed mammals of North America (fifty in each volume), first edition, with the title page for volume three present; the three bound in uniform half red morocco and corners with gray buckram sides, 27 1/4 x 20 3/4 in. Estimated $200,000-300,000.
Lot 287. Shakespeare, William (1564-1616) Mr. William Shakespear's Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies. Published according to the true Original Copies. London: for H. Herringman, E. Brewster, and R. Bentley, at the Anchor in the New Exchange, the Crane in St. Paul's Church-Yard, and in Russel-Street Covent-Garden, 1685. Fourth folio, engraved portrait frontispiece of the poet by Martin Droeshout facing the typographical title, with the ten lines of verse by Ben Jonson beneath; with the anonymous Epitaph by John Minton; the leaf L1 printed in a smaller typeface; printed in two columns throughout, within single rule borders; bound in full brown calfskin, circa 1820, decorated in a very spare geometric style reminiscent of cathedral bindings. Estimated $40,000-60,000.
Lot 314. Whitman, Walt (1819-1892) Leaves of Grass. Brooklyn: [for the author by Andrew and James Rome], 1855. First edition, first issue, with the engraved portrait of Whitman by Samuel Hollyer after a photograph printed on thick paper, no tissue guard; copyright statement on verso of title; without the laudatory press statements that appear in later issues; bound in full green publisher's cloth, the spine gilt lettered with floral decorations, the boards triple filleted with the title in gilt and floral tools blind blocked, marbled endleaves, gilt edges; in a later green buckram jacket inserted in a half morocco slipcase. Estimated $30,000-40,000.
Lot 96. Audubon, John James (1785-1851) The Birds of America. New York: J.J. Audubon [and] Philadelphia: J.B. Chevalier, 1840-1844. First octavo edition, in seven volumes, illustrated throughout with 500 hand-colored lithographs after Audubon's drawings, printed in color in Philadelphia by Bowen, portrait of Audubon inserted in volume one; half-titles and subscribers' lists present in each volume. Estimated $30,000-35,000.
Lot 13. Churchill, Winston (1874-1965), Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882-1945), and Others. Signed Menu from the Atlantic Conference, 9 August 1941. Folded menu printed in red, blue, and copper-colored metallic ink, commemorating the dinner served during the historic meeting of Churchill and Roosevelt aboard the U.S. Flagship Augusta where the Atlantic Charter was drafted; dignitaries present are listed inside on the verso of the cover, each has signed over his name: Franklin D. Roosevelt; Sumner Welles; Admiral Harold R. Stark; General George C. Marshall; Admiral Ernest J. King; Major General Henry H. Arnold; Harry L. Hopkins; Averill Harriman; Winston Churchill; Sir Alexander G.M. Cadogan; Admiral Alfred D.P.R. Pound; General John G. Dill; Air Chief Marshal Wilfrid R. Freeman; and Lord Cherwell. Estimated $20,000-25,000.
Lot 248. Milne, Alan Alexander (1882-1956) Winnie-the-Pooh, Four First Edition Titles in Dust Jackets, One Signed. When We Were Very Young, London: Methuen, , first edition, illustrations by Ernest Shepard, no roman numerals on the contents page, in publisher's blue cloth boards, gilt-decorated, t.e.g., with the cream-colored textured paper dust jacket printed in blue ink; dust jacket slightly worn, with finger smudges and some ink doodles to two letters in the title (not very noticeable); Winnie-the-Pooh, London: Methuen, , first edition, illustrations by Shepard, bound in publisher's gilt pictorial green cloth boards, t.e.g., in the original dust jacket, slightly worn, smudged; Now We are Six, London: Methuen, , first edition illustrated by Shepard, bound in publisher's red cloth, t.e.g., the binding quite clean, in the original green paper dust jacket; [and] The House at Pooh Corner, London: Methuen, , first edition, signed by Milne on title page; bound in publisher's salmon cloth, pictorial gilt tooling to front board, in the original dust jacket, jacket slightly worn and frayed, all housed in a custom chemise and blue half morocco slipcase, each volume 7 1/2 x 4 3/4 in. Estimated $20,000-25,000.
Lot 302. Timberlake, Lieutenant Henry (d. 1765) The Memoirs. London: for the Author, sold by Ridley, Nicoll, and Henderson, 1765. First and only 18th century edition, octavo, with half-title and the folding map, "A Draught of the Cherokee Country on the west side of the twenty four Mountains commonly called Over the Hills," and the folding engraved plate depicting an encoded page from the journal of a French officer killed by Indians. Estimated $20,000-25,000.
With 408 lots included in the sale, perusing the catalog isn’t a prolonged affair. Collectors of autographs, literature, natural history, and maps will all find something interesting. You can view all sale lots directly here. The sale itself takes places November 15th, at 11 a.m. Eastern Time. Previews are available November 12th through the 15th at the site of the auction, 63 Park Plaza, Boston. If you intend on bidding, please register with Skinner at their website here.