Rare Book Monthly

Articles - January - 2018 Issue

Jan. 27: Fine Books & Manuscripts including an unknown Truman archive at Potter & Potter Auctions

Ee699618-1f9b-42e1-85c5-6cff3b5f0a65

This month, Potter & Potter Auctions is hosting a sale of Fine Books & Manuscripts comprising 563 lots. The sale boasts an impressive range of material including Presidential autographs and documents, science and math, literature, pulp and monster magazines, and private press printings. Of note is a previously unknown archive of documents, books, and photographs related to Harry Truman. Fine Books & Manuscripts is slated for 10am on January 27 at Potter & Potter’s Chicago gallery.

Among the Truman material, perhaps the most iconic is a full front page from the Chicago Daily Tribune announcing Truman’s famous “defeat” at the hands of Thomas Dewey. The paper is matted and framed and is estimated $1,500 to $2,500 as lot 22. A number of signed Truman letters and documents are also up for bidding.

Also under the heading of “Presidential and Political Memorabilia,” Truman’s immediate predecessor, FDR, is well represented in the sale with autographs, photographs, and other documents, as well as interesting material on Japanese internment during World War II. But the highlight of the section is a corrected manuscript page from The Autobiography of Malcolm X, with annotations by Alex Haley as well as Malcom X. The lot originated from the 1992 auction of Alex Haley’s personal belongings and is estimated $5,000 to $6,000 as lot 46.

Within the category of “Illustrated Books and Private Presses,” we have reprints of authors such as D.H. Lawrence’s The Man Who Died (lot 122, est. $1,500-3,000), John Steinbeck’s Zapata (lot 130, est. $900-1,200), and Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Complete Works of Sherlock Holmes (lot 157, est. $300-500). 

Two modern literature first editions stand out among the others, and these are William Faulkner’s Sartoris, of which fewer than 2,000 copies were printed, and Jack Kerouac’s On the Road. Faulkner is estimated $2,000 to $3,000 as lot 239, while Kerouac is valued at $5,000 t0 $7,000 as lot 252. 

Having recently visited Chile, my interest was piqued by one of the country’s most famous authors and figures, Pablo Neruda. His Canto General, featuring beautiful pictorial endpapers designed by Diego Rivera and David Alfaro Siqueiros, is a gem and signed by all three men. This copy is #142 of 500. As lot 272, it is estimated $4,000 to $6,000.

If a display piece is of greater interest, and you happen to be a fan of beer, look no further than lot 347, a color lithograph transfer on glass pre-prohibition advertisement for Anheuser—Busch Brewing Association.

And finally, because of my personal interest and academic background in economics, lot 422 closes out this summary of highlights. John Von Neumann and Oskar Morgensten’s Theory of Games and Economic Behavior, a first edition printed in 1944, would be equally at home on the shelf of an economics professor or hedge fund partner—it’s estimated $3,000 to $4,000.

Potter & Potter’s auction of Fine Books & Manuscripts will take place at their gallery in Chicago on January 27 at 10am. The catalog is available as a PDF on their website here, and online bidding is being handled by Bidsquare

Previews of the sale will be available January 25 and 26 from 10am to 5pm.

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>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Jacques-Émile Ruhlmann, wallpaper sample book, circa 1919. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Archive from a late office of the Breuer & Smith architectural team, New York, 1960-70s. $3,500 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> William Morris, <i>The Story of the Glittering Plain or the Land of Living Men,</i> illustrated by Walter Crane, Kelmscott Press, Hammersmith, 1894. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Gustave Doré, <i>La Sainte Bible selon la Vulgate,</i> Tours, 1866. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Gustav Klimt & Max Eisler, <i>Eine Nachlese,</i> complete set, Vienna, 1931. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>Eric Allatini & Gerda Wegener, <i>Sur Talons Rouges,</i> with original watercolor by Wegener, Paris, 1929. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>C.P. Cavafy, <i>Fourteen Poems,</i> illustrated & signed by David Hockney, London, 1966. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Jean Midolle, <i>Spécimen des Écritures Modernes...</i>, Strasbourg, 1834-35. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>E.A. Seguy, <i>Floréal: Dessins & Coloris Nouveaux,</i> Paris, 1925. $3,000 to $4,000.
  • <b>Bonhams: Results from Fine Books and Manuscripts on March 9, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> BEETHOVEN, LUDWIG VAN. Autograph Manuscript sketch-leaf part of the score of the Scottish Songs, "Sunset" Op. 108 no 2. [Vienna, February 1818]. Inscribed by Alexander Wheelock Thayer. SOLD for $131,250
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> Violin belonging to Albert Einstein, presented to him by Oscar H. Steger, 1933. SOLD for $516,500
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> EINSTEIN, ALBERT. Autograph Letter Signed ("Papa") to his son Hans Albert, discussing his involvement with the atomic bomb, September 2, 1945. SOLD for $106,250
    <b>Bonhams: Results from Fine Books and Manuscripts on March 9, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> HAMILTON, ALEXANDER. Autograph Letter Signed, to Baron von Steuben, with extensive notes of Von Steuben's aide Benjamin Walker, June 12, 1780. SOLD for $16,250
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> NEWTON, ISAAC. Autograph Manuscript in Latin, being detailed instructions on making the philosopher's stone. 8 pp. 1790s. SOLD for $275,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> 1869 Inauguration Bible of President Ulysses S. Grant. SOLD for $118,750
  • <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> E.H. SHEPARD, Original drawing for A.A. Milne’s The House at Pooh Corner.<br>$40,000-60,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> BERNARD RATZER, Plan of the City of New York in North America, surveyed in the years 1766 & 1767. $80,000-100,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> THOMAS JEFFERSON, Autograph letter signed comparing Logan, Tecumseh, and Little Turtle to the Spartans. Monticello: 15 February 1821. $14,000-18,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN C. FREMONT, Narrative of the Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains, in the Year 1842.. Abridged edition, the only one containing the folding map From the Sporting Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson. $3,000-5,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> ZANE GREY, Album containing 94 large format photographs of Grey and party at Catalina Island, Arizona, and fishing in the Pacific. From the Sporting Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson. $5,000-$8,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> WILLIAM COMBE, A History of Madeira ... illustrative of the Costumes, Manners, and Occupations of the Inhabitants. produced by Ackermann in 1821; From the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> ERIC TAVERNER, Salmon Fishing... One of 275 copies signed by Taverner, published in 1931,From the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN WHITEHEAD, Exploration of Mount Kina Balu, North Borneo. Whitehead reached the high point of Kinabalu in 1888. Part of a major group of travel books from the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN LONG, Voyages and Travels of an Indian Interpreter and Trader, describing the Manners and Customs of the North American Indians... The first edition of 1791. $3,000-$5,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> SAMUEL BECKETT, Stirrings Still. This, Beckett’s last work of fiction with original lithographs by Le Brocquy, limited to 200 copies signed by the author and the artist. From the Estate of Howard Kaminsky.. $1,500-$2,500

Article Search

Archived Articles

Ask Questions