Rare Book Monthly

Articles - March - 2017 Issue

Caren Chooses Christie's, Cowans & Country

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Eric Caren, the exceptional collector and sometime dealer, continues this month to explain his decisions about collecting and collections.  He’s recently decided to send some of his best material to auction and has chosen Christie's and Cowan's to handle 3 sales.  A Christie's event is scheduled for June and the first of two Cowan sales in September.  Many consignors wax hot and cold on selling their material but few, if any, in the current era speak so directly of the process and the motivation.  His angst is real, his perspective clear.

 

Here is Eric in his own words.

 

So for those of you who know me or have followed this small saga; here follows a short narrative and the outcome. To refresh your memories; Trump elected was for me the last straw! I had watched this country going South in myriad ways for too long. Friends knew that I was thinking about selling my beloved NY home and much of my immense archive and hightailing it to my beach home in Costa Rica even while Trump was still known mainly for saying "You're Fired" on The Apprentice. The polls were saying Trump couldn't win...A friend in the Midwest said "Why are you still worrying Eric; Hillary is a shoe in!"  Now I know how the opposition felt during the rise of the NSDAP...How did it happen? It took 13 years in Germany while here it literally changed over one election night. Of course the distrust of both parties had been building over many years and mosquitoes were more popular than Congress!

 

So when I got this sick feeling  in the days leading up to Election night that I wasn't just having a bad dream; it was similar to the feeling that I had driving into NYC on 9/11 when the radio informed me that the first Tower was down and NYC was closed. Surreal (I think chosen as the word of the year) then as now. On 9/11 I turned the car around and headed back to my home in Westchester, NY and watched the news all of the rest of that otherwise sunny Tuesday. I was in such a state of disbelief that each time that the newscasters repeated that one and then both towers were down; I thought that they meant some towers on the top of the buildings had been knocked off even as I sadly watched over and over again the buildings implode to the ground.

 

The election on the other hand hit me like a ton of bricks... it was definite! I was going to sell almost everything not nailed down (collection and NY Home, cars, etc.) and swim all day every day until my arms fell off or I ran out of sunscreen in CR. And then I changed my mind back and forth several times a day or at the very least, several days a week.

 

In any case, I did decide that while I was see-sawing on whether to continue to keep both homes; in either case it was time to hold some more auctions. One colleague at the NY ABAA fair teasingly asked me if I was up to Auction #43. No, but after having four single owner auctions preceded by the sale of Collection 1 to The Newseum; I am about to put pen to paper with Christie's NY (June) and Cowan's (Fall and a second one early in 2018)! Everyone at both Houses has been extraordinarily kind, industrious, sympathetic, respectful and professional. How refreshing!!!

 

Every day I walk my rescued dog at least twice through my woods and around my private Gorge. I get to watch leaves turn and still have enough evergreens to make the property a winter wonderland when it snows! I love the natural beauty of my home in NY as much as the natural beauty of my beach home in CR. So my mind told me (still does) get out before it is too late but my heart couldn't pull the trigger (there's a bone for all of you members of the NRA). I have never been a coward but I am a wounded and tired warrior from my 57 years on this planet.

 

So I will continue to collect, continue to buy, continue the hunt! continue the research and continue to watch my cursed NY Jets (perhaps the most depressing thing in this piece). And I will ask one thing of everyone who is reading this. Don't fall into the trap of turning on one another. If you are a Republican, a Democrat, a Socialist or an Independent...We are ALL Americans and we have too many foreign enemies of every ilk from rogue individuals sitting at computers and hacking away at us to Terrorist groups to Totalitarian regimes like North Korea. We can ill afford to let Politicians and The Media (May have just lost my membership to The National Press Club) and Putin create a second Civil War or second Revolution!

 

2 famous historical quotes to leave you with...."We are all Republicans, We are all Federalists" Thomas Jefferson and "A House Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand" Abraham Lincoln and one quote from me "We Have Met The Enemy And They Are Us" Modified from Perry at Lake Erie, War of 1812. May we change our course and live in peace!

 

Special thanks to Bruce of Rare Book Hub, Sven, Christina and Peter of Christie's, and Wes, Katie and Matt of Cowans.

 

Contacts:

 

At Cowans

Katie Horstman

513.871.1670

katie@cowans.com

 

 

At Christie's

Christina Geiger 

212-636-2667

cgeiger@christies.com

 


Posted On: 2017-03-01 05:33
User Name: daviddilaura

Why is this here? It is not informative; it is not focused; it is not . . . bookish. It is little more than the loose ramblings of the self-absorbed.


Posted On: 2017-03-01 15:04
User Name: baseballbooks

Do believe "We Have Met The Enemy... Us" was (first ???) used by Walt Kelly as title of one of his POGO collections in the 1960s.


Posted On: 2017-03-02 08:30
User Name: 19531953

In answer to your question David; it is there because I have owned and continue to own some of the rarest historical pieces in private hands. You are right that it is not bookish... I don't collect books though I have authored 12. I collect Printed &Manuscript Broadsides, Newspapers, Posters, Manuscripts, Letters, Pamphlets, Almanacs, Periodicals, Postcards and Photographs. AND I have educated hundreds of thousands of people through The Newseum, my reprint compilations, my books, etc. I apparently was "bookish" enough to be elected to The Grolier Club, AAS, ABAA and to have been an early Director of The Ephemera Society of America. I have bought and sold millions of dollars worth of rare treasures.
My question for you is what does your question do in any positive manner? It says little but speaks "volumes" about the kind of person that you are. Hardly worth my time to respond...but evidence of someone who has nothing bether to do than write shallow critiques. There are 30+ pgs. of Google links for my achievements in the field and I have been a friend of 5 past Presidents of the "Bookish" ABAA. William Reese widely considered as "One of The Greatest Rare Books Dealers of our Times" was my primary Sponsor for both ABAA and Grolier so perhaps you should ask him why I get covered so widely. As for self absorbed; I guarantee you that my generosity to my fellow human beings far exceeds yours. You Sir are not a Gentleman and I am so glad not to know you.


Posted On: 2017-03-02 08:47
User Name: 19531953

And to Baseball Books; There is nothing new under the sun and my quote was simply used to make a point...my apologies to you and Mr. Pogo if I took any credit away from him. I wonder if you and David are one and the same. If not...you undoubtedly would be like 2 peas in a pod. If either one of you would like to discuss this further; feel free to phone me. I would be happy to accept your apologies!


Rare Book Monthly

  • <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
  • <center><b>Bibliothèque R. & B. L. VII :<br>XIXe siècle (1840–1898)<br>First editions – Reviews – Autograph letters and manuscripts<br>Auction in association with Binoche & Giquello on October 9th.</b></center>
    <b>Bibliothèque R. & B. L. VII, Oct. 9:</b> LAUTRÉAMONT. <i>Les Chants de Maldoror.</i> 1869. First edition, unbound, one of the rare copies dated 1869. €100 000 to €150 000
    <b>Bibliothèque R. & B. L. VII, Oct. 9:</b> PAUL VERLAINE. Poème saturnien. March 31st -June 1st, 1885. Autograph poem signed and illustrated. €12 000 to €15 000
    <b>Bibliothèque R. & B. L. VII, Oct. 9:</b> STÉPHANE MALLARMÉ. <i>L’Après-midi d’un faune.</i> 1876. Inscribed to Paul Gauguin. €30 000 to €40 000
    <center><b>Bibliothèque R. & B. L. VII :<br>XIXe siècle (1840–1898)<br>First editions – Reviews – Autograph letters and manuscripts<br>Auction in association with Binoche & Giquello on October 9th.</b></center>
    <b>Bibliothèque R. & B. L. VII, Oct. 9:</b> CHARLES BAUDELAIRE. <i>[La Cloche fêlée,</i> 1851–1855.] Signed autograph manuscript of one of the poems of Les Fleurs du mal. €25 000 to<br>€35 000
    <b>Bibliothèque R. & B. L. VII, Oct. 9:</b> STÉPHANE MALLARMÉ. <i>Le Tombeau d’Edgar Poe.</i> Circa 1889. Signed autograph manuscript inscribed to Edmund Gosse. €40 000 to €60 000
    <b>Bibliothèque R. & B. L. VII, Oct. 9:</b> GÉRARD DE NERVAL. Manuscrit autographe. 1855. Rare manuscript fragment of Aurelia with corrections. €20 000 to €30 000
    <center><b>Bibliothèque R. & B. L. VII :<br>XIXe siècle (1840–1898)<br>First editions – Reviews – Autograph letters and manuscripts<br>Auction in association with Binoche & Giquello on October 9th.</b></center>
    <b>Bibliothèque R. & B. L. VII, Oct. 9:</b> PAUL VERLAINE. <i>La Bonne chanson.</i> 1870. First edition. One of 20 copies on Hollande paper in a mosaic binding by Noulhac. €15 000 to<br>€18 000
    <b>Bibliothèque R. & B. L. VII, Oct. 9:</b> ARTHUR RIMBAUD. Autograph letter to his sister, July 10, 1891. One of the most beautiful letters by Rimbaud, about his last moments, illustrated with drawings of his leg. €80 000 to €100 000
    <b>Bibliothèque R. & B. L. VII, Oct. 9:</b> GUSTAVE FLAUBERT. <i>Salammbô.</i> 1863. First edition. One of 25 copies on Hollande paper, this one inscribed to Théophile Gautier. €30 000 to<br>€40 000
    <center><b>Bibliothèque R. & B. L. VII :<br>XIXe siècle (1840–1898)<br>First editions – Reviews – Autograph letters and manuscripts<br>Auction in association with Binoche & Giquello on October 9th.</b></center>
    <b>Bibliothèque R. & B. L. VII, Oct. 9:</b> CHARLES BAUDELAIRE. <i>Les Fleurs du mal</i>. 1857. First edition, unbound.<br>€15 000 to €20 000
    <b>Bibliothèque R. & B. L. VII, Oct. 9:</b> CHARLES BAUDELAIRE. Barbey d’Aurevilly caricature. Original drawing (208 x 130 mm). 1865.<br>€20 000 to €30 000
    <b>Bibliothèque R. & B. L. VII, Oct. 9:</b> OSCAR WILDE. <i>The Ballad of Reading Goal by C.3.3.</i> 1898 First edition, publisher’s binding, one of 30 on Japan paper. €10 000 to €12 000
  • <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>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. September 27, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Cartwright (George). <i>A Journal of Transactions and Events, during a Residence of nearly Sixteen Years on the Coast of Labrador...,</i> first edition, with A.L.s. from the author, 1792. £4,000 to £6,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Swift (Jonathan). <i>Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World,</i> 2 vol., first edition, Teerink's "A" edition, Printed for Benj. Motte, 1726. £15,000 to £20,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Fourier (Jean Baptiste Joseph). <i>Theorie Analytique de la Chaleur,</i> first edition, Paris, chez Firmin Didot, 1822. £6,000 to £8,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. September 27, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Boccaccio (Giovanni). <i>Genealogiae Deorum,</i> additions by Dominicus Silvester and Raphael Zovenzonius, Venice, Vindelinus de Spira, 1472. £10,000 to £15,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Mary I. Letter signed at the head "Marye the Quene" to Lord Paget, 1 page, 7th June 1556. The recall from exile of nine persons opposed to the Marian regime. £10,000 to £12,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Nelson (Horatio). Autograph Letter signed "Horatio Nelson" and written to Francis Drake, British Minister at Genoa, discussing the disposition of his "Cruizers" near Genoa. £6,000 to £8,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. September 27, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Darwin (Charles). Unpublished Autograph Letter signed to Walter Raleigh Browne, playing down his scientific knowledge of comparative anatomy, 1881. £6,000 to £8,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Murphew (J.). <i>The fair in an uproar, or, the dancing-doggs.</i> As they perform in Mr. Pinkeman's New Opera in Bartholomew Fair, 1707. £1,500 to £2,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Chaucer (Geoffrey). <i>The Workes,</i> by [Nicholas Hill for] Thomas Petit, dwellyng in Paules churche yarde at the sygne of the Maydens heed, 1550. £7,000 to £10,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. September 27, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Austen (Jane). <i>Emma: A Novel,</i> 3 vol., first edition, 1816. £7,000 to £10,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Greene (Graham). <i>Stamboul Train,</i> first edition, first issue, 1932. £8,000 to £12,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Churchill.- Fearon (Percy Hutton) "Poy". “Eat More Beef,” pen and ink cartoon with shading in blue pencil, [July 1928]. £400 to £600
  • <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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