Rare Book Monthly

Articles - March - 2012 Issue

New Book Auction Opens in the American South

Addisonauctn

Addison & Sarova.

The American Southeast will soon have its own book auction house with the opening of Addison & Sarova. Their first auction will be held later this month. The auctions will be held in historic Macon, Georgia, a quick 45 minutes down I-75 from Atlanta, and with interstate access to Florida, the Carolinas, and other points throughout the South. Book auctions are common in the Northeast, along the belt from Boston to Washington, but in the South, books have been buried among antiques and a myriad of other offerings at the typical general auction.

The owner and operator of Addison & Sarova is Michael Addison, a bookseller and auctioneer, and all-around bibliophile of longstanding. Mr. Addison was an English literature major in college who made his way to book selling the typical way – first as a collector. Ten years ago, he turned his passion into a profession by entering the book trade. Addison not only sold books, but provided services as a bookbinder, conservator and restorer of old books. Like other booksellers, Addison would look to auctions both as a source of material of interest for his customers, and as means of making quick sales when a little extra cash flow was needed. However, as he explains, “the lack of a specialized auction house in the Southeast was frustrating. We have many auction houses, but they deal mostly with general antiques and estates. There were no rare book auctions that I could find, so I would have to travel to New York or California if I wanted to attend an auction. I would have to rely upon absentee bidding or online bidding most of the time.”

Meanwhile, Mr. Addison said he was often approached by customers wanting to sell their books. He set up a separate website to assist sellers, providing value estimates based on auction records. Where logical for his business, he might buy the books, but at other times he would refer the owners to an appropriate auction house. This meant either shipping the books to a location far away, or mixing them in with other goods in a general auction. To Mr. Addison, the need was obvious. With his own years of experience with auctions, and generous advice and help from some specialists at other houses, he made the leap to opening the South's first dedicated book auction house.

The first auction will be held on Saturday, March 17, from 12:00 - 4:00 pm. There will be a preview on Friday March 16 from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm. The location is the Sidney Lanier Cottage at 935 High Street, Macon. The cottage was the birthplace of Southern poet Sidney Lanier. Addison has plans to expand his offices and storage space, but expects to continue to hold auctions in historic locations downtown. He notes that Macon has numerous historic places that can be rented for a day, and wants his auctions to be “events” in fine locations, rather than ordinary auctions. It's a way to draw bidders from greater distances to the auctions. There is added incentive to attend this first auction as it coincides with the large annual Friends of the Library book sale and the Cherry Blossom Festival. Nonetheless, those who cannot attend in person will be able to bid. Bidding is available both by telephone and online, or an absentee bid may be faxed or mailed in. The material knows no regional bias, so it will be of interest to collectors throughout the country and around the world.

Addison currently plans on two book auctions per year, but is open to expanding that number as consignments pick up. That is likely to occur as more Southerners become aware that there is now a book auction house in their part of the country. Consignments can range from a book or two up to complete collections. Most books will be sold individually, and Addison looks for a minimum in the $200-$250 range. He feels that having a minimum lower than the large houses will enable more sellers and buyers to participate, while still keeping the quality high. Some lower valued books may be sold in “shelf” sales, but this will be a small minority of lots.

While Addison's expertise is in books, he has a couple of colleagues who specialize in art and jewelry. As a result, there will be auctions in these fields as well. However, these will be separate auctions, allowing book collectors to participate in dedicated books sales.

The first auction figures to have around 250 items presented. Addison noted that it is difficult to categorize the material because it is so varied. There is a signed, limited edition from illustrator Arthur Rackham, two first issue Oz books from L. Frank Baum, several books from western artist Charles Russell, several more from the private Derrydale Press, and numerous selections from the library of Soterios Gardiakos. Gardiakos is a Greek-born American sculptor, and his collection includes numerous works of Greek interest. There are many first editions, including signed ones from Larry McMurtry, Saul Alinsky (recently reemerged in the public eye through less than complimentary presidential comparisons by fellow Georgian Newt Gingrich), and others. There are books of photography, some of which could be considered risqué. There are several works in numismatics. Addison estimates the auction will breakdown around 50-50 between early printed works and modern, mostly first editions.

To learn more about Addison & Sarova, get directions to attend the first auction, place bids from afar, or consign books for their next sale, you can visit their website at www.addisonsauction.com. You may also reach them at 478-787-BOOK or customerservice@addisonauction.com.

To download a copy of their first auction (pdf file), click the following link: www.addisonsauction.com/currentcatalogues.html.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Helvelius. Two Autograph Letters Signed to Francis Aston, Royal Society Secretary, noting his feud with Robert Hooke, 5 pp total, 1685. $70,000 to $100,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Newton, Isaac. Autograph manuscript on God, 4 pp, c.1710, "In the beginning was the Word...."?$100,000 to $150,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. First edition, first issue. Untrimmed copy in contemporary boards. $30,000 to $50,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Lincoln, Abraham. Signed photograph, beardless portrait with Civil War provenance. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> IMPEACHMENT. Original engrossed copy of the first Andrew Johnson impeachment resolution vote. $120,000 to $180,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Mucha, Alphonse. 11 original pencil drawings for?<i>Andelicek z Baroku,</i> "Litte Baroque Angel," Prague, 1929. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Einstein, Albert. Annotated Galley Proofs for <i>The Meaning of Relativity.</i> 1921. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Silverstein, Shel. Original maquette for <i>The Giving Tree,</i> 34 original drawings. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Roth, Philip. Typed Manuscript with substantial autograph corrections for an unpublished sequel to <i>The Breast.</i> $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Taupin, Bernie. Autograph Manuscript, the original draft of lyrics for Elton John's "Candle in the Wind," 2 pp, 1973. $100,000 to $150,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> HARVEY, WILLIAM. <i>De Motu Cordis et Sanguinis in Animalibus Anatomica Exercitatio.</i> Padua: 1643. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> CESALPINO, ANDREA. <i>Peripateticarum Quaestionum Libri Quinque.</i> Venice: 1571. $30,000 to $40,000.
  • <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Leon TOLSTOÏ. <i>Anna Karenina.</i> Moscou, 1878. First and full edition of the Russian novel, in the author’s language.<br>Est. 3 000 / 4 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Mark TWAIN. <i>Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Tom Sawyer's comrade).</i> New York, 1885. First American edition.<br>Est. 5 000 / 6 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Walt WHITMAN. <i>Leaves of Grass.</i> Brooklyn, New York, 1856. Second edition gathering 32 poems. Est. 3 000 / 4 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Karen BLIXEN. <i>Out of Africa.</i> Londres, 1937. First edition in the UK, before Danish translation and American release.<br>Est. 1 500 / 2 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Ernest HEMINGWAY. <i>A Farewell to Arms.</i> New York, 1929. First edition with $2.50 on the dust and A on the copyright page.<br>Est. 2 000 / 3 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> James JOYCE. <i>Ulysses.</i> Paris, Shakespeare and Company, 1922. First edition published by Sylvia Beach. Est. 3 000 / 4 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> James JOYCE. <i>Dubliners.</i> Londres, 1914. First edition. Nice copy in publisher’s cardboard. Est. 2 000 / 3 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Franz KAFKA. 8 novels in German first edition, published in München, Leipzig and Berlin 1916-1931. Est. from 300 / 400 to 2 000 / 3 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> David Herbert LAWRENCE. <i>Lady Chatterley's Lover.</i> Florence, 1928. Privately printed first edition. Est. 4 000 / 5 000 €
    John STEINBECK. <i>The Grapes of Wrath.</i> New York, 1939. First edition. Nice copy with $2.75 on the cover. Est. 1 000 / 1 200 €
  • <center><b>Cowan’s Auctions<br>The Road West: The Steve Turner Collection of African Americana<br>February 20, 2020</b>
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Harriet Tubman Cabinet Card by H.S. Squyer, Auburn, NY, 1892. $10,000 to $15,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Scarce <i>Events of the Tulsa Disaster,</i> First Edition, 1922. $4,000 to $6,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Unpublished CDV of Frederick Douglass by Benjamin F. Smith, 1864. $3,000 to $5,000
    <center><b>Cowan’s Auctions<br>The Road West: The Steve Turner Collection of African Americana<br>February 20, 2020</b>
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> California Imprint of <i>President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation</i> Broadside, 1864. $10,000 to $15,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> John C.H. Grabill Cabinet Card of Buffalo Soldier Wearing Buffalo Coat, ca 1886. $8,000 to $10,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Rare <i>What Mrs. Fisher Knows About Old Southern Cooking,</i> 2nd Cookbook Published by African American. $6,000 to $8,000
    <center><b>Cowan’s Auctions<br>The Road West: The Steve Turner Collection of African Americana<br>February 20, 2020</b>
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Frederick Douglass Walking Stick, 1888. $3,000 to $5,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Only Known Slave Narrative Published Independently in California, <i>Life and Adventures of James Williams.</i> $2,000 to $4,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Rare First Edition of History of Black Literature, Abbé Grégoire <i>De La Littérature des Nègres</i>. $2,500 to $3,000
    <center><b>Cowan’s Auctions<br>The Road West: The Steve Turner Collection of African Americana<br>February 20, 2020</b>
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> African American Soldier and Medal of Honor Winner Christian A. Fleetwood CDV, PLUS. $8,000 to $10,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Jack Johnson vs. Jim Jeffries Pennant, 1910 Reno, Nevada. $2,000 to $4,000
    <br>Cowan’s, Feb. 20:</b> Joe Gans Photograph at 1906 Goldfield, Nevada Fight by Percy Dana. $600 to $800
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Jane Austen, <i>Sense and Sensibility: A Novel, By a Lady,</i> 3 volumes, London, 1811. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Virginia Woolf, <i>Kew Gardens,</i> limited edition, signed by Woolf & Bell, London, 1927. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> <i>[Arabian Nights],</i> Calcutta II version, 4 volumes, Calcutta & London, 1839-1842. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Princess Diana, 6 ALS to <i>Harper’s Bazaar</i> editor, anticipating Christie’s sale of her dresses for charity, 1995-97. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Jane Austen, <i>Emma,</i> first edition, London, 1816. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Hirohito & Nagako, Emperor & Empress of Japan, 2 photographs signed, showing Nagako in kimono & obi bearing the imperial seal. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Princess Diana, 6 autograph letters signed to <i>Harper’s Bazaar</i> editor Elizabeth Tilberis, anticipating Christie’s announcement of a sale of her dresses for charity, 1995-97. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Sarojini Naidu, complete galley proof of <i>The Broken Wing</i> signed with several holograph pages & an autograph letter signed to writer Edmund Gosse, 1916. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Fernando Pessoa, <i>Mensagem,</i> first edition, presentation copy, signed & inscribed, Lisbon, 1934. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Graham Greene, <i>The Basement Room,</i> first edition, Greene’s personal copy, signed with annotations throughout, London, 1935. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b> Abraham Lincoln, partly-printed document signed, call for troops issued during America’s first national draft just days before the NYC draft riots, 1863. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Feb 20:</b><br><i>Les Chansons de Bilitis</i> by Pierre Louÿs, illustrated by George Barbier & F.L. Schmied, Paris, 1922. $8,000 to $12,000.

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