• <b>Neal Auction Company: Louisiana Purchase Auction.<br>December 2 – 4, 2016</b>
    <b>Neal Auction Company Dec 2 – 4:</b> Collot, George Henri Victor (French, 1750-1805). "A General Map of the River Ohio, From its source to its mounth” [sic]. $4000 – 6000
    <b>Neal Auction Company Dec 2 – 4:</b> Empire Brass Copernican Armillary Sphere, early 19th c., bands engraved in French, showing the signs of the Zodiac, solstice and equinox. $3000 – 5000
    <b>Neal Auction Company Dec 2 – 4:</b> The Exceptionally Important Jordan Noble Infantry Snare Drum, early 19th c., label inscribed in ink "JB Noble" and engraved "Klemm & Brother's / Piano Forte & Music Warehouse”. $200,000 – 250,000
    <b>Neal Auction Company: Louisiana Purchase Auction.<br>December 2 – 4, 2016</b>
    <b>Neal Auction Company Dec 2 – 4:</b> Confederate First National Flag, c. 1861, silk, double sided stars made from sequins and buillon.<br>$3000 – 5000
    <b>Neal Auction Company Dec 2 – 4:</b> Attributed to James Guy Evans (American/New Orleans, 1809-c. 1859, act. 1835-1859), "U.S. Treasury Schooner <i>Whig</i>", 1848, oil on canvas. $35,000 – 45,000
    <b>Neal Auction Company Dec 2 – 4:</b> Thomas Jefferson and James Madison Signed Ship's Passport, dated June 12, 1805, in four languages, signed by Jefferson as President and Madison as Secretary of State. $3000 – 5000
    <b>Neal Auction Company: Louisiana Purchase Auction.<br>December 2 – 4, 2016</b>
    <b>Neal Auction Company Dec 2 – 4:</b> After Marie Adrien Persac (American/Louisiana, 1827-1873), "Norman's Chart of the Lower Mississippi River from Natchez to New Orleans", 1858.<br>$50,000 – 70,000
    <b>Neal Auction Company Dec 2 – 4:</b> [Mitchell's Universal Atlas], <i>A New Universal Atlas Containing Maps of the Various Empires, Kingdoms, States and Republics of the World…</i>, Philadelphia, Thomas, Cowperthwait & Co., 1852. $2500 – 3500
    <b>Neal Auction Company Dec 2 – 4:</b> Annie L. Colladay Braidwood (American/Pennsylvania, mid 19th c.), "Portrait of Andrew Jackson", 1866. $15,000 – 25,000
    <b>Neal Auction Company: Louisiana Purchase Auction.<br>December 2 – 4, 2016</b>
    <b>Neal Auction Company Dec 2 – 4:</b> After George Caleb Bingham (American/Missouri, 1811-1879), "The Jolly Flat Boat Men", 1847, engraving on paper. $3000 – 5000
    <b>Neal Auction Company Dec 2 – 4:</b> John James Audubon, <i>The New York Historical Society Edition of Audubon's Fifty Best Watercolors from The Original Watercolors Preparatory for...Birds of America</i>, 2006, limited #26 of 200. $5000 – 7000
    <b>Neal Auction Company Dec 2 – 4:</b> José Francisco Xavier de Salazar y Mendoza (Mexican/New Orleans, c. 1750-1802), "Portrait of Daniel William Coxe (1769 1852)", 1792. $100,000 – 150,000
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 8:<br>Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 8:</b> Laurie & Whittle, <i>The Complete East-India Pilot</i>, with 113 maps, London, 1797. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 8:</b> George W. Browning, 134 sketches of natural history & landscape subjects, American West, 1880s-90s.<br>$4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 8:</b> Catesby & Ehret, <i>Magnolia Grandiflora</i>, from first edition <i>Natural History of Carolina</i>, London, 1731-43. $5,000 to $7,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 8:<br>Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 8:</b> Petrus Plancius, <i>The Spice Map</i>, hand-colored, London, 1598.<br>$20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 8:</b><br>John Miller, <i>Illustratio Systematis Sexualis Linnaei</i>, London, 1770-77. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 8:</b> Thomas Shotter Boys, <i>Original Views of London As It Is</i>, de luxe issue, 26 hand-colored lithographs, London, 1842. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 8:<br>Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 8:</b> Frederick de Wit, <i>Belgi XVII Provinciarum Tabula</i>, true first state wall map, Amsterdam, ca 1670. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 8:</b><br>John James Audubon, <i>Passenger Pigeon, Plate LXII</i>, aquatint & engraving before color, London, 1829. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 8:</b> Joannes Clericus, <i>Atlas Atiquus, Sacer, Ecclesiasticus et Profanus</i>, Amsterdam, 1705. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 8:<br>Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 8:</b> Matthaus Seutter, <i>Atlas Novus sive Tabulae Geographicae totius Orbis</i>, Augsburg, ca 1735.<br>$10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 8:</b> William Roscoe, <i>Monandrian Plants of the Order Scitamineae</i>, Liverpool, 1824-28. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 8:</b><br>John James Audubon, <i>The Mocking Bird</i>, hand-colored aquatint & engraving, London, 1827.<br>$7,000 to $10,000.
  • <b>Sotheby’s New York: The Bible Collection of Dr. Charles Caldwell Ryrie. December 5, 2016</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s New York Dec. 5:</b> John Wycliffe. <i>WYCLIFFITE NEW TESTAMENT IN THE LATER VERSION, IN MIDDLE ENGLISH [ENGLAND, 1ST HALF OF THE 15TH CENTURY]</i>. $500,000-800,000
    <b>Sotheby’s New York Dec. 5:</b> Bible in English [King James Version]. <i>THE HOLY BIBLE, CONTEYNING THE OLD TESTAMENT, AND THE NEW… LONDON: ROBERT BARKER, 1611.</i> $400,000-600,000
    <b>Sotheby’s New York Dec. 5:</b> Bible in English. Tyndale's Pentateuch. <i>THE FIRSTE BOKE OF MOSES CALLED GENESIS [?FYFTE BOKE OF MOSES CALLED DEUTERONOMYE.] [ANTWERP: JOHAN HOOCHSTRATEN, 1530].</i> $300,000-500,000
    <b>Sotheby’s New York: The Bible Collection of Dr. Charles Caldwell Ryrie. December 5, 2016</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s New York Dec. 5:</b> Eliot, John. <i>[BIBLE IN MASSACHUSET, NATICK DIALECT:] MAMUSSE WUNNEETUPANATAMWE UP-BIBLIUM GOD… CAMBRIDGE, MA: SAMUEL GREEN AND MARMADUKE JOHNSON, 1663–61.</i> $175,000-250,000
    <b>Sotheby’s New York Dec. 5:</b> [Italian Bible]. <i>BIBLE WITH PROLOGUES AND INTERPRETATIONS OF HEBREW NAMES, IN LATIN. [ITALY (PROBABLY BOLOGNA)], DATED 1273</I>.<br>$150,000-250,000
    <b>Sotheby’s New York Dec. 5:</b> Bible in English, Coverdale's Version. <i>BIBLIA. THE BIBLE, THAT IS, THE HOLY SCRIPTURE OF THE OLDE AND NEW TESTAMENT, FAITHFULLY AND TRULY TRANLSATED OUT OF DOUCHE AND LATYN IN TO ENGLISH, 1535-1536.</i> $150,000-250,00
    <b>Sotheby’s New York: The Bible Collection of Dr. Charles Caldwell Ryrie. December 5, 2016</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s New York Dec. 5:</b> Bible, Polyglot [The Complutensian Polyglot]. <i>VETUS TESTAMENTUM MULTIPLICI LINGUA NUNC PRIMO IMPRESSUM… [ALCALÀ DE HENARES: ARNAO GUILLÉN DE BROCAR, 1514–1517]</i>. $80,000-120,000
    <b>Sotheby’s New York Dec. 5:</b> Psalter in Greek. <i>[GREEK TITLE: PSALTÊRION]. VENICE: ALDUS MANUTIUS [CA. 1496-1498; NOT AFTER 1 OCTOBER 1498]</i>. $80,000-120,000
    <b>Sotheby’s New York Dec. 5:</b> Bible in German. <i>BIBLIA, DAS IST DIE GANTZE HEILIGE SCHRIFT DEUDSCH.  AUGSBURG: HEYNRICH STEYNER, 1535</i>. $80,000-120,000
    <b>Sotheby’s New York: The Bible Collection of Dr. Charles Caldwell Ryrie. December 5, 2016</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s New York Dec. 5:</b> Thomas à Kempis. <i>IMITATIO CHRISTI. [AUGSBURG:] GÜNTHER ZAINER, [NOT AFTER 6 MAY 1473]</i>. $50,000-70,000
    <b>Sotheby’s New York Dec. 5:</b> The Four Gospels, in Greek. <i>FOUR GOSPELS WITH COMMENTARY, IN GREEK. [CONSTANTINOPLE, 11TH CENTURY]</i>. $50,000-80,000
    <b>Sotheby’s New York Dec. 5:</b> Bible in Latin. <i>A LEAF FROM THE GUTENBERG BIBLE. [MAINZ: JOHANN GUTENBERG AND JOHANN FUST, 1455]</I>.<br> $50,000-70,000

Rare Book Monthly

Articles - May - 2005 Issue

First Catalogues

Bbfb1cat

Mr. Babcock's first catalogue. Today he's at work on no. 130


By Bruce McKinney

Over the past three years I have acquired 2 to 3 million auction records and about 17,500 dealer catalogues from the period 1850 to the present. I have done so to build the Americana Exchange Database [AED]. Today we have 1,090,974 full text records online and continue to add material non-stop. We of course are also entering upcoming auction lots and adding realized prices after the sales.

In the process of sorting through the thousands of dealer catalogues I noticed that new dealers often "announced" their first catalogues and so I began to set aside such catalogues I could identify as "firsts." I now have more than 70 and undoubtedly there are many more among the thousands of catalogues I have yet to examine fully. I offer here, as an electronic file, this collection of firsts and some observations about catalogues in general. [Link to First Catalogues]

First catalogues are a remarkable achievement. Accumulate the reference books and the material and then research and write the descriptions. Choose a price, develop selling policies, choose a catalogue format and a printer, create a mailing list, mail the catalogue and pray. It's a wonder so many dealers have created catalogues at all. Failure is a possibility at any stage and success never certain.

In the 19th century bookseller catalogues were common. Even run-of-the-mill material was catalogued. With the 20th century came specialization and by the 1940s the general catalogue was disappearing, replaced by specialist presentations. Catalogues since have progressively mined the deepest levels of understanding, parsing the facts, the printers, the sequence, the events and all sort of hitherto less understood points of significance about printed materials. The best dealers have earned and are continuing to earn the premiums they charge for the research they do. Until the 1990s the system seemed to work. Then, with the advent of the internet, it became possible to easily find alternative copies. The dealer, who did the research, could no longer confidently expect to sell their material based on the work they did. Collectors would be motivated to purchase a copy but not necessarily their copy. In time the financial justification for the effort and expense of creating catalogues weakened. Today, fewer and fewer catalogues are issued because the financial underpinnings continue to erode.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 8:<br>Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 8:</b> Laurie & Whittle, <i>The Complete East-India Pilot</i>, with 113 maps, London, 1797. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 8:</b> George W. Browning, 134 sketches of natural history & landscape subjects, American West, 1880s-90s.<br>$4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 8:</b> Catesby & Ehret, <i>Magnolia Grandiflora</i>, from first edition <i>Natural History of Carolina</i>, London, 1731-43. $5,000 to $7,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 8:<br>Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 8:</b> Petrus Plancius, <i>The Spice Map</i>, hand-colored, London, 1598.<br>$20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 8:</b><br>John Miller, <i>Illustratio Systematis Sexualis Linnaei</i>, London, 1770-77. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 8:</b> Thomas Shotter Boys, <i>Original Views of London As It Is</i>, de luxe issue, 26 hand-colored lithographs, London, 1842. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 8:<br>Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 8:</b> Frederick de Wit, <i>Belgi XVII Provinciarum Tabula</i>, true first state wall map, Amsterdam, ca 1670. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 8:</b><br>John James Audubon, <i>Passenger Pigeon, Plate LXII</i>, aquatint & engraving before color, London, 1829. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 8:</b> Joannes Clericus, <i>Atlas Atiquus, Sacer, Ecclesiasticus et Profanus</i>, Amsterdam, 1705. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 8:<br>Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 8:</b> Matthaus Seutter, <i>Atlas Novus sive Tabulae Geographicae totius Orbis</i>, Augsburg, ca 1735.<br>$10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 8:</b> William Roscoe, <i>Monandrian Plants of the Order Scitamineae</i>, Liverpool, 1824-28. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 8:</b><br>John James Audubon, <i>The Mocking Bird</i>, hand-colored aquatint & engraving, London, 1827.<br>$7,000 to $10,000.
  • <b>Bonhams: History of Science and Technology. December 7, 2016</b>
    <b>Bonhams Dec. 7:</b> EINSTEIN, ALBERT. <i>Die Grundlage der allgemeinen Relativitätstheorie.</i> Leipzig: Johann Ambrosius Barth, 1916.<br>$80,000 – 120,000
    <b>Bonhams Dec. 7:</b> NEWTON, ISAAC. Autograph Manuscript in English, Signed Integrally ("Isaac Newton"). $50,000 – 70,000
    <b>Bonhams Dec. 7:</b> DARWIN, CHARLES. <i>On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life</i>. London: John Murray, 1859. $25,000 – 35,000
    <b>Bonhams: History of Science and Technology. December 7, 2016</b>
    <b>Bonhams Dec. 7:</b> NEWTON, ISAAC. <i>The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy.</i> London: Benjamin Motte, 1729.<br>$20,000 – 30,000
    <b>Bonhams Dec. 7:</b> HEISENBERG, WERNER. Autograph Manuscript entitled "<i>Entwicklung der Theorie der Elementarteilche,</i>” [1964].<br>$15,000 – 25,000
    <b>Bonhams Dec. 7:</b> BERNOULLI, DANIEL. <i>Hydrodynamica, sive De viribus et motibus fluidorum commentarii.</i> Strasbourg: Johann Heinrich Decker for Johann Reinhold Dulsecker, 1738. $5,000 – 7,000
    <b>Bonhams: Voices of the 20th Century. December 7, 2016</b>
    <b>Bonhams Dec. 7:</b> [TARKOVSKY, ANDREI ARSENIEVICH.] STRUGATSKY, BORIS AND ARKADY. Typed Manuscript for <i>Stalker</i>, being the director's working script, 1977. $150,000 – 200,000
    <b>Bonhams Dec. 7:</b> HEMINGWAY, ERNEST. Typed Manuscript of "Marlin Off the Morro: A Cuban Letter," n.p., [1933]. $30,000 – 50,000
    <b>Bonhams Dec. 7:</b> SALINGER, JEROME DAVID. 4 Autograph Letters, 2 of which Signed ("Jerry") and 6 Typed Letters, 2 of which Initialed ("J"). $30,000 – 50,000
    <b>Bonhams: Voices of the 20th Century. December 7, 2016</b>
    <b>Bonhams Dec. 7:</b> PASTERNAK, BORIS LEONIDOVICH. Typed Manuscript Carbon, "Doktor Zhivago," with some typed corrections, Moscow, 1948. $30,000 – 50,000
    <b>Bonhams Dec. 7:</b> MILNE, ALAN ALEXANDER. Autograph Manuscript Signed 3 times ("A.A. Milne"), entitled "Peace with Honour: An Enquiry into the War Convention," 1934.<br>$30,000 – 50,000
    <b>Bonhams Dec. 7:</b> FROST, ROBERT. Autograph Manuscript Signed ("Robert Frost"), titled "Gold for Christmas," 1952. $15,000 – 20,000
  • <b>19th Century Shop.</b> CURTIS, EDWARD. <i>Original glass plate photograph, Honovi – Walpi Snake Priest, prepared by Curtis for the printing of The North American Indian</i>, c.1910
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> (AMERICAN WEST.), Watkins, Taber, Savage, and others. <i>Magnificent Album of Mammoth Photographs of the American West, with other subjects various</i>, ca. 1865-1880s
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> DARWIN, CHARLES. <i>Darwin Family Photograph Album</i>. Down, Kent, 1871-1879
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> (SECRET SERVICE). <i>The photographic archive, papers, and relics of William Kennoch, Secret Service Agent</i>. Various places, 1870s and 1880s
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> (AMERICAN REVOLUTION). <i>Daguerreotype Portrait of Baltus Stone, the earliest photo of a Revolution veteran,</i> 1846
  • <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Leaves from<br>George Washington's Own Draft <br>of His first Inaugural Address. An Extraordinary Rarity!
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Declaration of Independence: Benjamin Tyler 1818 - First Print with Facsimile Signatures.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Thomas Jefferson Signed Act of Contress Authorizing Alexander Hamilton to Complete Famous Portland Maine Lighthouse.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Emanuel Leutze. Silk Flag Banner designed by Leutze, created by Tiffany & Co., and presented to Gen. John A. Dix, 1864.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> The "greatest of early American maps … a masterpiece" (Corcoran). Thomas Holme.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Albert Einstein. Autograph Letter Signed. Einstein Counsels His Son ... Meaning of Life.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Frederick Douglass. Autograph Letter Signed to unknown correspondent. Washington, D.C.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Harry Truman. Autograph Manuscript Notebook for Kansas City Law School Night Class.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> Robert E. Lee. Autograph Letter Signed, June 11, 1863. Hours after the Battle of Culpeper Court House, Lee Escapes Again.
    <b>Seth Kaller:</b> George Washington. Letter Signed, as Commander-in-Chief, Continental Army, to Elias Dayton, Headquarters, [Newburgh, N.Y.], June 11, 1782.
  • <b>Neal Auction Company: Louisiana Purchase Auction.<br>December 2 – 4, 2016</b>
    <b>Neal Auction Company Dec 2 – 4:</b> Collot, George Henri Victor (French, 1750-1805). "A General Map of the River Ohio, From its source to its mounth” [sic]. $4000 – 6000
    <b>Neal Auction Company Dec 2 – 4:</b> Empire Brass Copernican Armillary Sphere, early 19th c., bands engraved in French, showing the signs of the Zodiac, solstice and equinox. $3000 – 5000
    <b>Neal Auction Company Dec 2 – 4:</b> The Exceptionally Important Jordan Noble Infantry Snare Drum, early 19th c., label inscribed in ink "JB Noble" and engraved "Klemm & Brother's / Piano Forte & Music Warehouse”. $200,000 – 250,000
    <b>Neal Auction Company: Louisiana Purchase Auction.<br>December 2 – 4, 2016</b>
    <b>Neal Auction Company Dec 2 – 4:</b> Confederate First National Flag, c. 1861, silk, double sided stars made from sequins and buillon.<br>$3000 – 5000
    <b>Neal Auction Company Dec 2 – 4:</b> Attributed to James Guy Evans (American/New Orleans, 1809-c. 1859, act. 1835-1859), "U.S. Treasury Schooner <i>Whig</i>", 1848, oil on canvas. $35,000 – 45,000
    <b>Neal Auction Company Dec 2 – 4:</b> Thomas Jefferson and James Madison Signed Ship's Passport, dated June 12, 1805, in four languages, signed by Jefferson as President and Madison as Secretary of State. $3000 – 5000
    <b>Neal Auction Company: Louisiana Purchase Auction.<br>December 2 – 4, 2016</b>
    <b>Neal Auction Company Dec 2 – 4:</b> After Marie Adrien Persac (American/Louisiana, 1827-1873), "Norman's Chart of the Lower Mississippi River from Natchez to New Orleans", 1858.<br>$50,000 – 70,000
    <b>Neal Auction Company Dec 2 – 4:</b> [Mitchell's Universal Atlas], <i>A New Universal Atlas Containing Maps of the Various Empires, Kingdoms, States and Republics of the World…</i>, Philadelphia, Thomas, Cowperthwait & Co., 1852. $2500 – 3500
    <b>Neal Auction Company Dec 2 – 4:</b> Annie L. Colladay Braidwood (American/Pennsylvania, mid 19th c.), "Portrait of Andrew Jackson", 1866. $15,000 – 25,000
    <b>Neal Auction Company: Louisiana Purchase Auction.<br>December 2 – 4, 2016</b>
    <b>Neal Auction Company Dec 2 – 4:</b> After George Caleb Bingham (American/Missouri, 1811-1879), "The Jolly Flat Boat Men", 1847, engraving on paper. $3000 – 5000
    <b>Neal Auction Company Dec 2 – 4:</b> John James Audubon, <i>The New York Historical Society Edition of Audubon's Fifty Best Watercolors from The Original Watercolors Preparatory for...Birds of America</i>, 2006, limited #26 of 200. $5000 – 7000
    <b>Neal Auction Company Dec 2 – 4:</b> José Francisco Xavier de Salazar y Mendoza (Mexican/New Orleans, c. 1750-1802), "Portrait of Daniel William Coxe (1769 1852)", 1792. $100,000 – 150,000

Article Search

Archived Articles

Ask Questions