• <b><center>Swann Auction Galleries<br>Fine Books, Autographs & Illustration Art:<br>At Auction June 15, 2023</b>
    <b>Swann June 15:</b> J.R.R. Tolkien, <i>The Lord of the Rings</i> trilogy, first American editions, finely bound by The Chelsea Bindery, Boston, 1954-56. $9,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann June 15:</b> John Carleton Atherton, <i>Fall Bounty,</i> oil on board, cover design for The Saturday Evening Post, 1943. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann June 15:</b> George Washington, Endorsement Signed, “G:Washington,’ as President of the Potomac Company, 1787.
    <b>Swann June 15:</b> Gustav Klimt, <i>Das Werk von Gustav Klimt,</i> complete with 50 collotype plates, one of 300 copies, Vienna, 1918. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann June 15:</b> Pancho Villa, Autograph Letter Signed, to the governor of Chihuahua soliciting help in persuading authorities to release him from prison, Mexico City, 1912. $7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann June 15:</b> Charles Monroe Schulz, <i>The Peanuts gang,</i> Complete set of 13 drawings, 1971. $8,000 to $12,000.
  • <b>Bonhams, June 22:</b> BENJAMIN FRANKLIN ON SMALLPOX. <i>Some Account of the Success of Inoculation...</i> 1759. $10,000-$15,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 22:</b> GAUTIER D'AGOTY. <i>Myologie complette en couleur et grandeur naturelle...</i> 1745-6. 20 hand-colored plates. $8000-$12000
    <b>Bonhams, June 22:</b> ILLUMINATED SCIENTIFIC MISCELLANY, manuscript on vellum, 14th century. $4000-$6000
    <b>Bonhams, June 22:</b> PREVIOUSLY UNKNOWN AUTOGRAPH MEDICAL MANUSCRIPT OF JOHN MORGAN, 1760-1. $30,000-$50,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 22:</b> RARE CIVIL WAR CHROMOLITHOGRAPHS BY WINSLOW HOMER. Life in Camp. 1864. $8000-$12000
    <b>Bonhams, June 22:</b> AMELIA EARHART'S SUBSTANTIALLY ANNOTATED COPY OF <i>THE PRACTICAL NAVIGATOR. 1927. $8000-$12,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 22:</b> DAVID BEN-GURION ON ISRAEL'S DESIRE FOR PEACE BUT NEED FOR STRENGTH. 1956. $2000-$3000
    <b>Bonhams, June 22:</b> CONTEMPORARY AUTOGRAPH MUSICAL MANUSCRIPT AND LYRICS FOR "JERUSALEM OF GOLD." $60,000-$80,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 22:</b> FIRST EDITION OF HEMINGWAY'S FIRST BOOK IN UNRESTORED JACKET. $20,000-$30,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 22:</b> TOLKIEN LETTER DESCRIBING HIS OWN HOBBITNESS AND THE CREATION OF LORD OF THE RINGS. $10,000-$15,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 22:</b> NAPOLEON LETTER SIGNED PROCLAIMING HIS ASCENSION AS EMPEROR. $40,000-$60,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 22:</b> MAN RAY. Facile. 1935. First edition, 12 photographic plates. $2000-$3000
    <b>Bonhams, June 22:</b> WIENER WERKSTÄTTE TOYS. 17 linocut plates of toys from the workshop of Jossef Hoffman. $4000-$6000
  • <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>A fourth selection of 16th and 17th Century English Books from the Fox Pointe Manor Library<br>15th June 2023</b>
    <b>Forum, June 15:</b> Hobbes (Thomas). <i>Leviathan, or The Matter, Forme & Power of a Common-Wealth,</i> first edition, first issue, 1651. £10,000 to £15,000.
    <b>Forum, June 15:</b> [Burton (Robert)] "Democritus Junior". <i>The Anatomy of Melancholy,</i> first edition, Oxford, Printed by John Lichfield and James Short, 1621. £8,000 to £12,000.
    <b>Forum, June 15:</b> Fletcher (Giles). <i>Of the Russe Common Wealth,</i> first edition, Printed by T[homas] D[awson] for Thomas Charde, 1591. £7,000 to £10,000.
    <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>A fourth selection of 16th and 17th Century English Books from the Fox Pointe Manor Library<br>15th June 2023</b>
    <b>Forum, June 15:</b> Shakespeare source book.- Fraunce (Abraham). <i>The Lawiers Logike, exemplifying the praecepts of Logike by the practise of the common Lawe,</i> first edition, 1588. £4,000 to £6,000.
    <b>Forum, June 15:</b> Fireworks.- Babington (John.) <i>Pyrotechnia or, A discourse of artificiall fire-works…,</i> 2 parts in 1 vol., first edition, Thomas Harper for Ralph Mab, 1635. £4,000 to £6,000.
    <b>Forum, June 15:</b> Gardening.- [Bonnefons (Nicolas de)]. <i>The French Gardiner instructing how to cultivate all sorts of Fruit-Trees and Herbs for the Garden, translated by John Evelyn,</i> third edition, 1675. £3,500 to £4,500.
    <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>A fourth selection of 16th and 17th Century English Books from the Fox Pointe Manor Library<br>15th June 2023</b>
    <b>Forum, June 15:</b> Witchcraft.- F. (H.) <i>A true and exact Relation Of the severall Informations, Examinations, and Confessions of the late Witches…,</i> first edition, 1645. £3,000 to £4,000.
    <b>Forum, June 15:</b> Science.- Boyle (Robert). <i>The Origine of Formes and Qualities (According to the Corpuscular Philosophy),</i> first edition, Oxford, H. Hall for Ric: Davis, 1666. £3,000 to £4,000.
    <b>Forum, June 15:</b> Massinger (Philip). <i>The Unnaturall Combat. A Tragedie,</i> first edition, Printed by E.G. for John Waterson, 1639. £2,000 to £3,000.
    <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>A fourth selection of 16th and 17th Century English Books from the Fox Pointe Manor Library<br>15th June 2023</b>
    <b>Forum, June 15:</b> Plastic Surgery.- Read (Alexander). <i>Chirurgorum Comes: or the Whole Practice of Chirurgery,</i> first edition, Printed by Edw. Jones, for Christopher Wilkinson, 1687. £2,000 to £3,000.
    <b>Forum, June 15:</b> Hall (Edward). <i>The Union of the two noble and illustre famelies of Lancaster & Yorke…,</i> [by Richard Grafton], 1550. £2,200 to £2,500.
    <b>Forum, June 15:</b> Cosmetics.- Jeamson (Thomas). <i>Artificiall Embellishments. Or Arts Best Directions How to Preserve Beauty or Procure it,</i> first edition, Oxford, Printed by William Hall, 1665. £1,000 to £1,500.
  • <b><center>Sotheby's<br>The Joanne Woodward & Paul Newman Collection<br>26 May - 12 June</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, May 26 – Jun. 12:</b> "Cool Hand Luke" | Paul Newman Academy Award® Nomination Plaque. USD$2500 - $3500
    <b>Sotheby’s, May 26 – Jun. 12:</b> "Hud" | Bound presentation script incorporating photographic stills. USD$1000 - $1500
    <b>Sotheby’s, May 26 – Jun. 12:</b> "The Long, Hot Summer" | Movie Poster. USD$1000 - $1500
    <b>Sotheby’s, May 26 – Jun. 12:</b> Joseph Heller | "Catch-22," inscribed to Woodward & Newman by author. USD$500 - $800
    <b><center>Sotheby's<br>The Joanne Woodward & Paul Newman Collection<br>26 May - 12 June</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, May 26 – Jun. 12:</b> George H. W. Bush | Typed Letter Signed, Issuing a "Pardon" to Paul Newman. USD$1500 - $2000
    <b>Sotheby’s, May 26 – Jun. 12:</b> William Jefferson Clinton | Inscribed Color Photograph. USD$1000 - $1500
    <b>Sotheby’s, May 26 – Jun. 12:</b> Ken Kesey | Typed letter to “Paulnewman,” asking for further compensation for "Sometimes a Great Notion". USD$1000 - $1500
    <b>Sotheby’s, May 26 – Jun. 12:</b> "They Might Be Giants" | Costume sketches by Edith Head. USD$1000 - $2000

Rare Book Monthly

Articles - May - 2014 Issue

The New York Antiquarian Book Fair - success at the top

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The New York Antiquarian Book Fair, at the Park Avenue Armory, has come and gone and left a scent of lingering enthusiasm among buyers and satisfaction among sellers.  The fair, a well-groomed event organized by Sanford Smith, saw more than 6,000 tickets collected.  On opening afternoon, Thursday the third, 152 individuals, mostly men, lined up in the anteroom for the chance to be early if not first into the convention hall.  The crowds come on Friday, the cognoscenti Thursday night.  The buzz was noticeable.

 

Inside, the fates of the 204 participating dealers were pretty much already decided.  The show it seems is simply the final act of what is a four or five act play.  As explained by show Chairman Donald Heald you have to [1] acquire special material, [2] describe it carefully, [3] price it appropriately, [4] expose it minimally, and [5] display the title and price clearly.  Prospective buyers want to see fresh material, typically in impeccable condition and you may have only a minute or so to catch the browser’s attention.  Assuming a visitor is in the show for four hours this works out to 1 minute and 17 seconds per booth.  The whole year leading up is when you do the work.  Over the final four days you simply schmooze and write the orders.

 

Outside, in the hall Thursday afternoon, I spoke with a half dozen of those lined up and they were feeling the spirit.  Bottle that essence and distribute it widely and the future of collectible paper is assured.  In the queue were two certified billionaires and, if their wives are to be believed, 150 very serious collectors.  One of the show’s most important buyers wouldn’t visit the armory until the next day but he too would leave a swath of smiling faces.  The New York Antiquarian Book Fair is this special that billionaires line up to get in.

 

And they were not to be disappointed.

 

Among dealers, in the aftermath, reports of success were as common as dandelions in June.  Expectations and scale varied widely but most did well and some very well.

 

Sandy Smith of Sanford Smith, the show’s promoter for two decades offered, “The fair saw some off years but that downturn is now behind us.  Reports of individual success this year have been widely noted and I expect 2014 will go into the books as the best book fair ever.”

 

For Mr. Heald preparations for 2015 are already starting.  “Success in 2015 is assured for those who prepare.”

 

Come fall collectors will begin to mark their calendars for 2015.   This year’s positive spirit will linger like perfume, raising expectations for another grand event.  This year more than 6,000 attended the four-day event.  Who knows how many next?

 

If the story ends here the rare book business is a bucolic romp and the primary determinant of success a dealer’s ability to become a show exhibitor.  But it’s not that easy.

 

As Mr. Smith reminds us every year is not a good year.  Book fairs seem to follow the national and international economic trends and while the charts always seem to eventually make their way up they twist and turn unpredictably along the way.  If you’re a dealer who needs consistent cash flow the inevitable periodic air pocket can be unnerving.  More importantly, the New York book fairs and others to a lesser extent are focused on selling the best books to the greatest collectors.  The everyday rare book trade sells their books to those who love the material and whose budgets are often compromises between eating steak or pizza.  And it is these stalwarts that actually make the trade the solid business it is and it is they that have to find comparable success to what the New York Book fairs recently achieved if they are to be able to encourage future major collectors in their teens and twenties to become the significant players they can become a generation hence.  The success at the New York fairs is enviable but hardly inevitable and thousands of dealers played a part in it.

 

In New York the dollars were undeniably significant but the number of books sold very small.  Behind the leading edge of stellar copies that did sell are hundreds of thousands of titles and editions that sing their songs in local choirs.  Today the structure of the field is challenging and one hopes fresh thinking will help restore financial strength to the broader market.  Success at the top is commendable, success at all levels essential.

 

Mr. Heald reminds us that preparation is essential.  His prescription is for the individual dealer.  The building blocks of the field; the listing sites, auction houses, dealer organizations, libraries and databases need to see their role in promoting a healthy field.  It’s wonderful to see the cherry.  We all have to work to make the sundae.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b><center>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>June 14/15<br>Printed Books, Maps, Playing Cards & Games, English Literature, Private Press & Illustrated Books</b>
    <b>Dominic Winter, June 14/15:</b> Chinese School. Album of Chinese rice paper paintings of St Helena and Napoleon, circa 1830s/1840s. £700 to £1,000.
    <b>Dominic Winter, June 14/15:</b> Speed (John).<i> The Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine...,</i> 1676. £3,000 to £5,000.
    <b>Dominic Winter, June 14/15:</b> Laroon (Marcellus). <i>The Cryes of the City of London drawne after the Life,</i> 1st edition, 1688. £1,000 to £1,500.
    <b><center>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>June 14/15<br>Printed Books, Maps, Playing Cards & Games, English Literature, Private Press & Illustrated Books</b>
    <b>Dominic Winter, June 14/15:</b> Thomas Sedgley binding. <i>The Holy Bible,</i> London, 1701, large folio. £2,000 to £3,000.
    <b>Dominic Winter, June 14/15:</b> Kipling (Rudyard). The Sussex Edition of the <i>Complete Works in Prose and Verse,</i> 1937-1939. £5,000 to £8,000.
    <b>Dominic Winter, June 14/15:</b> Dodgson (Charles). <i>Alice's Adventures in Wonderland,</i> 1886, presentation copy. £500 to £800.
    <b><center>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>June 14/15<br>Printed Books, Maps, Playing Cards & Games, English Literature, Private Press & Illustrated Books</b>
    <b>Dominic Winter, June 14/15:</b> German tarot cards. Napoleon tarock, Leipzig: Johann Gottfried Herbert, circa 1808. £1,500 to £2,000.
    <b>Dominic Winter, June 14/15:</b> Milne (A.A.). <i>The House at Pooh Corner,</i> 1928, inscribed limited deluxe edition of 20. £15,000 to £20,000.
    <b>Dominic Winter, June 14/15:</b> Peter Pan. A unique 13.5m (44ft) long needlework nursery frieze, by Helen Stebbing M.R.S.T., 1936. £7,000 to £10,000.
    <b><center>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>June 14/15<br>Printed Books, Maps, Playing Cards & Games, English Literature, Private Press & Illustrated Books</b>
    <b>Dominic Winter, June 14/15:</b> Peak (Bob, 1928-1992). <i>U.S.A,</i> a mural produced for Trans World Airlines (TWA), 1971. £200 to £400.
    <b>Dominic Winter, June 14/15:</b> Austen (Jane). <i>Pride and Prejudice: a novel,</i> 3 volumes, 2nd edition, London: T. Egerton, 1813. £8,000 to £12,000.
    <b>Dominic Winter, June 14/15:</b> Hughes (Ted). Crow, 1st edition, London: Faber and Faber, 1970, signed presentation copy. £400 to £600.

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