Rare Book Monthly

Articles - November - 2005 Issue

Freeman's Begins Third Century with Celebration

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An exceptional sammelband


In 1920 Addison B. Freeman acquired the name and goodwill of J. E. Conant Co. of Lowell, Massachusetts and become the aggressive auction liquidator of New England shoe factories and the company towns associated with them. It would prove a prescient decision as the shoe business and garment industries fell to regional competition in the 1920s and the lingering survivors to the depression in the 1930s. Through it all Freeman's met its payroll.

With the end of World War II came a flood of estate liquidations. In 1947, in a sign of renewed focus on the upscale market, Freeman's sold the literary collection of Frederick Stanhope Peck including a First Folio of Shakespeare and in 1962 a desk reputed to be Benjamin Franklin's. In 1967 they hammered down an important collection of impressionist paintings and in 1969 a now famous copy of the Declaration of Independence for $404,000.

In these later years a remarkable book dealer turned auction-polymath; Joseph Molloy joined the firm and began cataloging a succession of improving book catalogues that in time attracted David Bloom who today runs this department with the help of an assistant. It is from the late 1960s that the book department that is recognizable today first emerged.

In 2005 the firm is local and international at the same time. It has ties to Lyon & Turnbull of Edinburgh and conducts sales online. Its book, manuscript and ephemera business account for about $1.25 million, up more than 10 fold over the past twenty years, accounting for 8% of the firm's now $16.5 million in annual sales. Today, with the advent of the internet the company is once again reaching beyond Philadelphia's Main Line and, if history is any guide, Freeman's will find its way forward though the path may prove uncertain.

Befitting the occasion the firm has labored hard to provide an important selection of material to reward its long faithful audience as well as attract, if not in person then at least via internet connection, the larger audience that pursues printed material, paintings, antiques and ceramics wherever they are found.

For the occasion a significant cross section of important and collectible materials has been assembled. Here are a few of the important printed materials that will be of interest to collectors. These and all other printed items are entered in the AED (Americana Exchange Bibliographic Database) for quick searching by keyword and phrase. The auctions are of course also available on Freeman's website: www.freemansacution.com

In the next three pages we highlight some of the very interesting items.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 19: 19th & 20th Century Prints & Drawings</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 28: Printed & Manuscript Americana</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 5: African-American Fine Art</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 17: Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 19:<br>Art & Storytelling: Photographs & Photobooks</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 26: Rare & Important Travel Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 2:<br>Old Master Through Modern Prints</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 7: Autographs</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 14: 19th & 20th Century Literature</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 16: Contemporary Art</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 5:<br>Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 14: Illustration Art</b>
  • <b>Announcing a new Books for Sale platform hosted by Biblio</b>
    <b>List your books simultaneously on Rare Book Hub and Biblio</b>
  • <b>19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Exodus 10:10 to 16:15. Complete Biblical scroll sheet in Hebrew, a Torah scroll panel. Middle East, ca. 10th or 11th century.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Copernicus Refuted. (Astronomy.). Scientific manuscript of a course of studies at Collège de la Trinité, Lyon. 1660s.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Israel’s War of Independence and the Early Days of the IDF. 58 photographs presented to Israel Ber, IDF officer and later convicted spy.
    <b>19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Early Unpublished Darwin letter on the races of man. Autograph Letter Signed [to Henry Denny]. Down, Kent, June 1, [1844].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Classic Image of American Slavery. Kimball, M. H. <i>Emancipated Slaves</i>. New York: George Hanks, 1863.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> (Underground Railroad.) Scaggs, Isaac. Important Runaway Slave Poster: $500 Reward Ran away, or decoyed from the subscriber…
  • <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Newton. <i>Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica</i>. London, 1687.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Josephus. <i>De antiquitate Judaica.</i> Lubeck, 1475-76.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Carlerius. <i>Sporta fragmentorum, Sportula fragmentorum</i>. Brussels, 1478-79.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Fridolin. <i>Der Schatzbehalter</i>. Nuremberg, 1491.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Pinder. <i>Der beschlossen gart des rosenkrantz marie</i>. Nuremberg, 1505.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Isidorus Hispalensis. <i>Synonyma de Homine</i>. Nuremberg, 1470-71.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Durer. Sammelband including <i>Underweysung der messing</i>. Nuremberg, 1525-29.

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