Source : John Howell Books Americana

Source Title Americana - Books, Manuscripts, Maps, Prints, Photographs, Paintings - The Inventory of John Howell - Books Part I
Description Various material from the inventory of John Howell - Books.
Scope of Text "Antiquarian booksellers lead privileged lives. They are merchants, to be sure, but what merchandise they buy and sell! It is the very stuff of human life, wisdom and vanity, nobility and squalor, adventure and serenity, distilled into words and preserved on paper. A bookseller can never be lonely; his shop is always full of people (though at times he may wish more of them were in the aisles rather than on the shelf, customers rather than tenants.)

Partly no doubt from necessity but largely as a result of their own enthusiasm good booksellers are teachers. A neophyte collector will learn from bibliographies but he will learn far more by frequenting the company of the leading members of the book trade. In my thirty years as a curator I gained as much from Warren Howell and his peers as from academic historians and bibliographers. A lifetime spent with books can bring much curious knowledge to an enquiring mind, and men like Warren gladly shared that learning.

Good booksellers not only know good books, they know where they belong. There is a certain intoxication in the power to choose which collector, personal or institutional, shall have first opportunity to acquire a rare title. Every great collection owes more to booksellers than it ever had to pay in dollars on invoices submitted. Certainly the Yale Collection of Western Americana owed much to Warren. Out debt was small compared to that of his beloved Bancroft Library, but it included many choice titles. And we were only two among many collections which he helped to build.

Now his books are being dispersed at auction. The firm of John Howell - Books has ceased to exist. But long after all of us who knew Warren have disappeared, generations of scholars will have cause to be grateful to him. That is monumental enough for any bookman."

Archibald Hanna,
New Haven, Connecticut
November 1984

From the preface to the sale catalogue.
Total Records in AED 718
  • Sotheby's Paris: Livres et Manuscrits, 25 June 2015, 2:30 PM CEST
  • Lot 100: Beautifully preserved contemporary broadside of the Declaration of Independence. Estimate: $1,500,000-2,000,000
    Sotheby’s June 19. Lot 1: <br>Gutenberg Bible, the complete <br>Book of Esther, 1455, 8 leaves. <br>Estimate: $500,000-700,000
    Sotheby’s June 19. Lot 2: Flavius Josephus, Opera, 1470, first edition in Latin. Estimate: $100,000-150,000
    Sotheby’s June 19. Lot 15: Bonifacius VIII, Pont. Max. (Formerly Benedetto Gaetano), Liber sextus Decretalium, 1473, in contemporary Viennese binding. Estimate: $75,000-100,000
    Sotheby’s June 19. Lot 19: <br>Ansel Adams, Taos Pueblos, described by Ansel Easton Adams and described by Mary Austin,<br>1939. One of 100 copies, signed. Estimate: $30,000-40,000
    Sotheby’s June 19. Lot 29:<br>Ludwig Bemelmans, Parisian <br>street scene with Madeline, Miss Clavel and pupils. Original gouache and ink drawing, late 1950’s. Estimate: $25,000-35,000
    Sotheby’s June 19. Lot 40:<br>Charles Dickens, First edition<br>of Great Expectations, 1861. <br>Estimate: $80,000-120,000
    Sotheby’s June 19. Lot 50: Allen Ginsberg, Lenny Bruce, and other Beat authors, Collection of autographed and typed letters, 1950s-1970s . Est: $10,000-15,000
    Sotheby’s June 19. Lot 56: Hermann Hesse. autograph illustrated manuscript entitles Zwolf Gedichte, 1921. Estimate: $20,000-$30,000
    Sotheby’s June 19. Lot 69: Henri Matisse, autograph letter signed to his wife, Tangier, 1912, with original sketch for the painting Window in Tangier. Estimate: $15,000-20,000
    Sotheby’s June 19. Lot 79: Pablo Picasso, Luis de Gongora, Vingt Poèmes de Gongora, 1948.<br>Estimate: $10,000-15,000
    Sotheby’s June 19. Lot 99: The first book printing of the Declaration of Independence from Montesquieu’s library. Estimate: $300,000-500,000
    Sotheby’s June 19. Lot 100:<br>A Beautifully preserved contemporary broadside of the Declaration of Independence. Estimate: $1,500,000-2,000,000
    Sotheby’s June 19. Lot 122: Abraham Lincoln, An unrecorded letter to a Yale student dated May 27, 1858. Estimate: $50,000-70,000
    Sotheby’s June 19. Lot 144: George Washington, Autograph leaf from his discarded First Inaugural Address. Estimate: $175,000-275,000
    Sotheby’s June 19. Lot 150:<br>Roger Williams, The Bloudy <br>Tenent, London, 1644. A seminal work on religious freedom. <br>Estimate: $100,000-150,000
  • <b>Skinner Fine Books & Manuscripts Auction May 27-June 7</b>
    <b>Skinner May 27-June 7:</b> Lot 52. Herman Melville. Autograph letter signed ,1858. est. $2,000-3,000
    <b>Skinner May 27-June 7:</b> Lot 55.<br>Edgar Allan Poe. Oil on canvas portrait, est. $400-600
    <b>Skinner May 27-June 7:</b> Lot 61. John Roberts. Account and Memoranda books of the Pennsylvania Quaker miller executed for treason during the American Revolution,<br>est. $6,000-8,000
    <b>Skinner May 27-June 7:</b> Lot 106. Marc Chagall. <i>Le Plafond de l'Opera</i>, inscribed copy, est. $400-600
    <b>Skinner Fine Books & Manuscripts Auction May 27-June 7</b>
    <b>Skinner May 27-June 7:</b> Lot 147. Manuscript Prayer Book in Latin and Dutch with Hand-colored woodcuts, c. 1500, est. $2,000-2,500
    <b>Skinner May 27-June 7:</b> Lot 189. McKenney & Hall. <i>History of the Indian Tribes of North America</i>, 1837-38, est. $8,000-12,000
    <b>Skinner May 27-June 7:</b> Lot 204. <br>Julio Plaza and Augusto do Campos. <i>Obetos Serigrafias Originais</i>, 1969,<br> est. $2,000-3,000
    <b>Skinner May 27-June 7:</b> Lot 222. <i>Nuremberg Chronicle in</i> Latin, 1493, est. $25,000-35,000
    <b>Skinner Fine Books & Manuscripts Auction May 27-June 7</b>
    <b>Skinner May 27-June 7:</b> Lot 234. <i>Third Annual Report of the Board of Commissioners of the Central Park</i>, 1860, est. $800-1,000
    <b>Skinner May 27-June 7:</b> Lot 249. Theodor De Bry. Hand-colored illustrations of North American Indians, est. $2,000-2,500
    <b>Skinner May 27-June 7:</b> Lot 254. <br>Pete Hawley. Original illustration<br>for Jantzenaire corsets, 1950s,<br>est. $2,000-3,000
    <b>Skinner May 27-June 7:</b> Lot 264. <i>Burr's Atlas of the State of New York</i>, 1840, est. $7,000-9,000
  • <b>Profiles in History Historical Auction 75, June 11th.</b>
    <B>Profiles in History June 11.</B> Lot 10: Boone, Daniel. Autograph document signed. Est. $12,000-15,000.
    <B>Profiles in History June 11.</B> Lot 29: Darwin, Charles. Autograph letter signed. Est. $4,000-6,000.
    <B>Profiles in History June 11.</B> Lot 30: Davis, Jefferson. Civl War-date autograph letter signed. <BR>Est. $15,000-25,000.
    <B>Profiles in History June 11.</B> Lot 45: Einstein, Albert. Autograph letter signed. Est. $15,000-$25.000.
    <b>Profiles in History Historical Auction 75, June 11th.</b>
    <B>Profiles in History June 11.</B> Lot 46: Einstein, Albert. A large archive.<br>Est. $25,000-35,000.
    <B>Profiles in History June 11.</B> Lot 48: Einstein, Albert. Typed letter signed. Est. $15,000-25,000.
    <B>Profiles in History June 11.</B> Lot 57: Fulton, Robert. Autograph letter signed. Est. $8,000-12,000.
    <B>Profiles in History June 11.</B> Lot 74: Jackson, Thomas J. ("Stonewall"). <br>Est. $20,000-30,000.
    <b>Profiles in History Historical Auction 75, June 11th.</b>
    <B>Profiles in History June 11.</B> Lot 97: Lincoln, Abraham. A Proclamation, January 1863. Est. $40,000-60,000.
    <B>Profiles in History June 11.</B> Lot 99: [Slavery - Thirteenth Amendment]. Est. $80,000-120,000.
    <B>Profiles in History June 11.</B> Lot 116: Newton, Sir Isaac. Autograph document signed ("Is. Newton"). <br>Est. $30,000-$50,000.
    <B>Profiles in History June 11.</B> Lot 200: Ruth Babe. Photograph signed. <br>Est. $4,000-6,000.
  • <b>19th Century Shop.</b> Catalogue 160: Magnificent Books, Manuscripts, & Photographs
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> Shakespeare's First Folio (1623)
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> Charles Darwin family photograph album
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> Spectacular album of mammoth photos of the American West by Watkins & others
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> Washington family copy of The Federalist (1788)
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> Underground Railroad runaway broadside (1857)