Rare Book Monthly

Articles - October - 2013 Issue

Bonhams: Fine Books & Manuscripts on the 16th

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Appealing opportunities

A hallmark of the transitional market that books, manuscripts, maps and ephemera are in today is the steady and substantial flow of quality material - the dispositions of institutions, dealers and collectors coming into the rooms.  There is a certain frenzy to it and for buyers the luxury of choices.  The Bonhams sale in Los Angeles and New York of Fine Books & Manuscripts including Historical Photographs on October 16th is a good example.  This is one of their quarterly general sales and evidence of the rising quality of material coming into the rooms these days.

 

These general sales share the common characteristic of “collectability” while providing a tent under which Lincoln, Martin Luther King, William Faulkner, Mahatma Gandhi, Jack London, and Nina Ricci find themselves in friendly competition for bidder affection.  In this they are not alone.   One can find photographs, scripts, books, artwork and etchings, correspondence, fore-edge painting and ephemera – most from diverse sources and on diverse subjects.  The sale, 379 lots, demands a careful look.

 

Christina Geiger, Director of Books and Manuscripts at Bonhams in New York describes the sale this way: “the October sale includes both traditional and eclectic material, and represents the broad interests of the book collecting community.”

 

To this Dr. Catherine Williamson in Los Angeles added, “this sale includes several small collections consigned by private buyers who have waited out the uncertainty of the past few years, and have now decided to bring their material to market, having seen that the book market is vibrant and healthy.”

 

The sale opens with a strong selection of atlas and sheet maps, including works by Blaeu, de Jode, Hondius, Faden and Mitchell. More unusually there is a beautiful Japanese hand-colored woodcut map of the world, adapted from de Ricci by Nagakubo Sekisui (lot 2010) and a fine copy of the first printed English map of the Far East: John Wolfe's Trew Description of all the Coasts of China after Linschoten (lot 2013).

 

The Travel & Natural History grouping includes voyaging narratives and color-plate books.  One of the rarest titles is William Betagh's alternative narrative of Shelvocke's buccaneering expedition of 1719 in which Captain Betagh bitterly condemns his commander (lot 2022).

 

Next is the Science & Mathematics section which includes a fine copy of Claude Shannon's pamphlet, A Mathematical Theory of Communication, the foundational paper of information theory (lot 2054) directly preceded by the first edition in English of Newton's Principia (lot 2053).

 

Bonhams is offering about three dozen important signed photographs from the estate of noted collector, Jerome Shochet, including those of Pasteur (lot 2126), Turgenev (lot 2136), Brahms (lot 2065), and Wilbur Wright (lot 2139).  Those interested in Wright will also note a copy of his Experiments and Observations in Soaring Flight, 1903, the first published report of experiments with motorized gliders (lot 2058).

 

There is a very good Fine Press & Art section as well. Many highpoints of American fine press are represented, including the Grabhorn Press Leaves of Grass (lot 2218), the Arion Press Moby Dick (lot 2187) and the Rockwell Kent Moby Dick (lot 2225), a.k.a. "the whale in the pail."  Livres d'artiste are also present including works illustrated by Robert Motherwell, Wayne Thiebaud, Pablo Picasso and Ed Ruscha.

 

The Literature and Modern Literature sections include Samuel Clemens' raucous letter to his family announcing his engagement to Olivia Langdon (lot 2271). Modern highlights include literary screenplays from the collection of Richard Manney, including rare copies of William Faulkner's screenwriting work such as Daryl Zanuck's copy of The Last Slaver (lot 2299) and Faulkner's original story treatment of Battle Cry (lot 2304). There is also a working shooting script of The Grapes of Wrath signed by John Ford, Henry Fonda and several other cast members (lot 2336).

 

The final section in the Bonhams sale is the Nancy Walls Collection of Jack London. It includes everything from a paddle acquired by London in the Solomon Islands (lot 2346) to a first edition in jacket of The Call of the Wild (lot 2349) and a love letter to Charmian written just four days before their wedding (lot 2341).

 

The material is on preview in New York Friday, Saturday and Sunday  [October 4th to 6th] and in Los Angeles from Friday 11th through to Tuesday the 15th.

 

The sale on the 16th, in two sessions, begins at 10:00 am PST.  Bidding in person, by phone, absentee and online are available.

 

Images included with this article:

 

Lot 2009.  Japanese Map

Lot 2015.  Mitchell, Samual Augustus

Lot 2024.  Bounty - Pitcairn Island

Lot 2036.  Layard, Austen Henry

Lot 2049.  Einstein, Albert

Lot 2060.  Images of th American WestLot 2066.  Bush, George Walker

Lot 2071.  George Armstrong CusterLot 2075.  Edison, Ford and Firestone

Lot 2115.  Lincoln, Abraham

 

Here is a link to the full sale

 

Contacts:

 

Christina Geiger

New York

212 644-9094

Christina.geiger@bonhams.com

 

Adam Stackhouse, Senior Specialist

San Francisco

415 503-3266

adam.stackhouse@bonhams.com

 

Dr. Catherine Williamson, Director

Los Angeles

323 436-5442

Catherine.williamson@bonhams.com

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>ANZAAB Highlights Catalogue:</b> OUTHWAITE, Ida Rentoul. FROG TEACHER LEADING ELF PUPILS ... Watercolour, c.1920.
    <b>ANZAAB Highlights Catalogue:</b> SATO, Gyro. [GENDAI RYOKI SENTAN ZUKAN]. Tokyo : Shinchosa, 1931.
    <b>ANZAAB Highlights Catalogue:</b> CARROLL, Lewis. ALICE’S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND. London : Macmillan and Co., 1868.
    <b>ANZAAB Highlights Catalogue:</b> FLEMING, Ian and MILLER, Albert. CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG. New York : Random House, 1968.
    <b>ANZAAB Highlights Catalogue:</b> PHOENIX. Adelaide : Adelaide University Union, 1939.
    <b>ANZAAB Highlights Catalogue:</b> BOWEN, Emmanuel. A complete map of the Southern Continent. London : 1744.
    <b>ANZAAB Highlights Catalogue:</b> NORTHFIELD, James. AUSTRALIA. Melbourne : Northfield Studios and J.E. Hackett, c.1935
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 5:</b> Charles Loupot, <i>Les Cigarettes Mekka,</i> 1919. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 5:</b> Plinio Codognato, <i>Cicli Fiat,</i> circa 1910. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 5:</b> L.N. Britton, <i>Warning! Consider the Possible Consequences,</i> c. 1917. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 5:</b> Leonardo Bistolfi, <i>Première Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs Modernes,</i> 1902. $7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 5:</b> Leonetto Cappiello, <i>Paquet Pernot / Biscuits Pernot,</i> 1910. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Jul 15:</b> Jessie Tarbox Beals, archive of signed photographs, 15 silver prints, c. 1930. $6,000 to $8,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 5:</b> Francesco Nonni, <i>Font Meo / Acqua Minerale Naturale,</i> 1924. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 5:</b> Frederick Winthrop Ramsdell, <i>American Crescent Cycles,</i> 1899. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 5:</b> <i>Be a Tight Wad! Own Something!</i> designer unknown, 1925. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 5:</b> Candido Aragonese de Faria, <i>Chamonix–Mont–Blanc,</i> c. 1910. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 5:</b> W.E.J., <i>Irishmen Avenge the Lusitania,</i> c. 1915. $2,000 to $3,000.
  • <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Your Own Sylvia:<br>Sylvia Plath’s letters to Ted Hughes and other items,<br>Property of Frieda Hughes<br>9 to 21 July 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, 9 – 21 July:</b> Sylvia Plath. Family photograph album ("The Hughes family Album"), 1957-1962. £30,000 to £50,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 9 – 21 July:</b> Sylvia Plath. Typed letter signed, to Ted Hughes, on "my own private doctrine", with a poem, 5 October 1956. £15,000 to £20,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 9 – 21 July:</b> Sylvia Plath. Pen and ink portrait of Ted Hughes, [1956]. £10,000 to £15,000.
    <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Your Own Sylvia:<br>Sylvia Plath’s letters to Ted Hughes and other items,<br>Property of Frieda Hughes<br>9 to 21 July 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, 9 – 21 July:</b> Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath. Joint autograph letter signed, to William and Edith Hughes, March 1960. £8,000 to £12,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 9 – 21 July:</b> Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes. Photographic portrait by David Bailey, inscribed by Plath, 1961, and another press photo. £800 to £1,200.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 9 – 21 July:</b> Tarot de Marseille. Deck of cards owned by Sylvia Plath. £4,000 to £6,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 9 – 21 July:</b> Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes. Pair of gold wedding rings. £6,000 to £8,000.
  • <center><b>Trillium Antique Prints & Rare Books<br>Fine Art<br>Antique Engravings & Lithographs<br>Works on Paper<br>Accepting bids until July 31</b>
    <b>Trillium, July 31:</b> Cleveley, Jukes, & Cook - View of Charlotte Sound, New Zealand. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Trillium, July 31:</b> Peron - Platypus. $300 to $600.
    <b>Trillium, July 31:</b> Loon & Pitt - Map of the World published 1680 - <I>Orbis Terrarum nova et accuratissima tabula.</i> $5,000 to $8,000.
    <b>Trillium, July 31:</b> Maitres de l'Affiche by MUCHA - La Dame aux Camelias. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <center><b>Trillium Antique Prints & Rare Books<br>Fine Art<br>Antique Engravings & Lithographs<br>Works on Paper<br>Accepting bids until July 31</b>
    <b>Trillium, July 31:</b> Cause - Peony, Crocus, Dog's Tooth Violet. $400 to $800.
    <b>Trillium, July 31:</b> Redoute, Folio - Lemmonnier's Iris - Iris Monnieri. $2,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Trillium, July 31:</b> Audubon, Imperial Folio - Common American Deer. $6,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Trillium, July 31:</b> Gould - Cuvier's Toucan (Ramphastos Cuvieri). $5,000 to $8,000.

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