• <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>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>Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books: </b> Selection of Manuscripts
    <b>Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books: </b> Selection of Miniatures
    <b>Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books: </b> Selection of Early Printed Books
    <b>Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books: </b> Book of Hours, illuminated by the Jason Master, Haarlem, c. 1475-80
    <b>Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books: </b> Book of Hours, illuminated by the Boucicaut Master, Paris, c. 1415
    <b>Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books: </b> Book of Hours, illuminated by the Rohan Master, probably Troyes, c. 1415-20
    <b>Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books: </b> Julius Caesar, De bello Gallico, manuscript on vellum, Milan, c. 1450-75
    <b>Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books: </b> Biblia Latina, Paris, 1476-77, first edition of the Vulgate printed in France
    <b>Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books: </b> Ludolph of Saxony, Vie du Christ, illuminated by the Master of the Chronique Scandaleuse, 1506-08
    <b>Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books: </b><br>King David, miniature on vellum, Bologna, c. 1470
    <b>Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books: </b> Christ calling St. Peter, miniature on vellum, by Pellegrino di Mariano Rossini, Siena, 1471
    <b>Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books: </b> Presentation in Temple, miniature on vellum, Nuremberg, c. 1490-1500
    <b>Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books: </b> Bible, illuminated in the <i>primo stile</i>, Bologna, c. 1250-70
    <b>Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books: </b> Valturio, De re militari, Verona 1483, first edition in Italian
    <b>Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books: </b> Celestial vision at Constantinople, single-leaf woodcut, Nuremberg,<br>c. 1490-91
  • <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)

Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - November - 2007 Issue

William Reese Revisits The Streeter Sale

Reese257

The Streeter Sale Revisited from William Reese.


By Michael Stillman

Catalogue number 257 from the William Reese Company is a must for all major collectors of Americana: The Streeter Sale Revisited. Thomas Streeter was likely the most important collector of printed Americana of the 20th century. Streeter was first a lawyer, then very successful businessman and financier. He began seriously collecting books in the 1920s, and evidently this became the love of his life. He retired in 1939, at the age of just 56, to devote the remainder of his life to book collecting. This he did virtually until its end in 1965.

Streeter collected a great deal of early Americana, but had a special interest in Texas. He published a bibliography based on his collection, donated numerous documents to the University of Texas, and sold his Texas collection in its entirety to Yale University. He made numerous donations to other institutions and served on the boards of, or in other capacities with, many libraries and historical organizations. However, he also wanted to make much of what he had gathered available to the next generation of collectors, so he decided to have some 5,000 of his books put up for auction after he died. The result was the Streeter Sale, probably the most important Americana auction of the last century.

The sale was held at Parke-Bernet Galleries, then New York's largest auction house. The sale began in 1966, and did not conclude until 1969, 23 sessions later. A total of 4,421 of his best items were offered at the auctions, bringing in a total of just over $3.1 million, a record for a book auction in the U.S. at the time. A number of factors helped to make the auction so successful, including the great respect Streeter had developed, making his copies very desirable, and the fact that Streeter gave institutions $400,000 to be used exclusively at his auction. Despite the seemingly generous prices often paid at the time, most of the purchases made at his auction have proven to be a bargain, even taking into account inflation since that time. As the rich get richer, the best get better, and Streeter's collection was the best.

William Reese has owned many items that came from Streeter's collection over the years, and has owned even more other copies of books Streeter once possessed. Currently, he is offering 311 items that are the same or similar to items sold at the Streeter sale, including 18 books owned by Streeter himself. In this catalogue, he looks back at Streeter's sale and gives us the prices from that auction, and in most cases is able to tell us to whom the Streeter copy was sold. In some cases, Reese is also able to compare prices with those sold at the auction of Streeter's son, Frank. Frank Streeter died this past year and his collection, while not on a level with that of his father, was nonetheless an important one, and he had many items that once belonged to Thomas. Reese notes that items sold at the son's auction for roughly 26 times the price at his father's, and that prices in this catalogue average around 28 times the prices at the Streeter sale. Some are only a few times as much, though a few are priced well beyond the 28 times average.

We note that our own findings indicate that this is about double the rate of increase as seen for the typical book since the late 1960s. Again, the best material, though seemingly very expensive at the time, usually increases at a more rapid rate than does average material. The Streeter collection confirms this. For comparison, Reese notes the overall inflation rate since that time stands at 6, so books have been a good financial investment, whether typical or superior copies, along with bringing great pleasure to those collect them.

Rare Book Monthly


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