Rare Book Monthly

Articles - October - 2014 Issue

Auction Preview: Bonhams' History of Science

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It's rare for AE to feature an auction preview where the headlining item isn't considered part of books, maps, or ephemera, but Bonhams New York's History of Science on October 22nd is one such sale. The sale contains many items that will be added to the AE Database once its results are posted--everything on paper. However, those items are not the reason why the sale has been featured in the news recently.

The reason this sale is particularly significant is lot 286, which is a functioning motherboard for the Apple I computer, the first pre-assembled personal computer to ever be sold. This began the modern computing era. You can see a neat video hosted on Bonhams website of the Apple I in action by clicking here. You could buy many brand new modern day Apple computers for the estimated price of the Apple I ($300,000-500,000), and they'd be faster and more capable by light years, but this computer is truly a piece of history. Working Apple Is have sold for huge amounts recently.

The range of topics covered in this general sale of science is broad. The following are highlights and interesting items available for bidding.

Astronomy

  • Lot 58w, being an archive of pioneering astronomer, photographer and telescope designer George Willis Ritchey. Contained within the lot are hundreds of photographs of the universe as well as glass slides, and books on astronomy. Estimated $450,000-550,000.

  • Lot 48, Johannes Kepler’s last publication, Tabulae Rudolphinae, quibus Astronomicae scientiae, temporum longinquitate collapsae Restauratio continetur, which was later called “the foundation of all planetary calculations for over a century” by Ruth Sparrow in her Milestones of Science.

Natural History

  • Lot 74, Nathaniel Wallich’s Plantae Asiaticae Rariores, or, Descriptions and Figures of a Select Number of Unpublished East Indian Plants. Contains 295 full page hand-colored lithograph plates. Estimated $35,000-55,000.

  • Lot 78, an exhibition broadside entitled “Great American Mastodon!! Now Exhibiting at the Hall”, circa 1846. Estimated $2,000-3,000.

Anatomy

  • Lots 128 through 132 are superb prints of human muscles by Arnauld-Eloi Gautier D’Agoty. Each of them estimated $1,200-1,800.

  • Lot 142, for those interested in plastic surgery, an untitled article on Hindu rhinoplasty is the first Western reference on the pratice that would later take LA by storm. Estimated $800-1,200.

Autograph Letters Signed

  • Lot 80, ALS by Charles Darwin containing questions about the reproductive act among barnacles. Estimated $20,000-30,000.

  • Lots 256, 257 and 259, being autograph letters and postcards signed by Albert Einstein. Estimated $5,000-8,000; $2,500-3,500; $3,000-5,000.

  • Lots 276-278, being an autograph letter, photograph and document signed by Thomas Edison. Estimated $1,500-2,000; $1,500-2,000; $1,000-1,500.

Bidding for the sale begins on October 22, 2014 at 1pm EDT. The sale's catalogue is available for viewing in its entirety on Bonhams' website. Bidding is available in person, over the phone, and over the internet. Prospective bidders using Bonhams' website must register prior on their site, direct link to registration here.

 

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> SMITH, CHRISTOPHER WEBB. 1793-1871. <i>Indian Ornithology.</i> [Patna, India]: 1828. $50,000 to $80,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> DUPRÉ, LOUIS. 1789-1837. <i>Voyage à Athènes et à Constantinople, ou Collection de portraits, vues et costumes grecs et ottomans.</i> Paris: Dondey-Dupré, 1825. $60,000 to $90,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> ADAMS, JOHN. Autograph Letter Signed ("J Adams"), [to Dr. Perkins?] while recovering from his small pox inoculation, [late-April, 1764]. $30,000 to $50,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> AUSTEN, JANE. Autograph Letter Signed ("J. Austen"), to her sister Cassandra, 4 pp, "Thursday – after dinner," [September 16, 1813,] Henrietta St. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> AUDUBON, JOHN JAMES. 1785-1851. <i>The Birds of America, from Drawings Made in the United States and Their Territories.</i> New York & Philadelphia: J.J. Audubon & J.B. Chevalier, 1840-1844. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> DODWELL, EDWARD. 1767-1832. <i>Views in Greece.</i> London: Rodwell and Martin, 1821. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> JAMES, JESSE. Autograph Letter Signed ("Jesse W. James"), to Mr. Flood demanding Flood retract spurious accusations, 3 pp, June 5, 1875. $200,000 to $300,000.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Textile of the Great White Fleet, with portraits of Theodore Roosevelt, Rear Admiral Robley D. Evans & successor Charles Stillman Sperry, 1908. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> William J. Stone, <i>Declaration of Independence,</i> Force printing, 1833. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Shugart family papers including documentation of the Underground Railroad, 63 items, 1838-81. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Records of the Dickinson & Shrewsbury salt works, over 2000 items, with extensive slave labor correspondence, legal records & receipts, bulk 1820-1865. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Gloria Steinem, typescript for her speech <i>Living the Revolution,</i> with related letters and documents, 1941-77. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> <i>Liberty Triumphant or the Downfall of Oppression,</i> depicting the aftermath of the Boston Tea Party, c. 1774. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Juan Eusebio Nieremberg, <i>Historia naturae, maxime peregrinae, libris XVI distincta,</i> Antwerp, 1635. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Antonio de Mayorga, manuscript map of Mexico City, 1779. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Thomas L. McKenney & James Hall, <i>History of the Indian Tribes of North America,</i> first edition, 3 volumes, Philadelphia, 1842-44. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Samuel Walker, diary of the entire first cruise of the USS Kineo, a gunboat on the Mississippi, 1854-69. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Scrapbook on early Stanford football, with letters from Walter Camp, 1893-95 & 1931. $8,000 to $12,000.
  • <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Roberts, David. Twenty Lithographs of the Holy Land, 19th Century. $2,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Declaration by the Reps. of the United Colonies of N.A. 1775. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Composer Jerome Kern personal Letters, Albums and Other. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Paine, Thomas. <i>Common Sense,</i> London 1776. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Stowe, Harriet Beecher. <i>Uncle Tom’s Cabin,</i> Cleveland 1852. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Hobbes, Thomas. <i>Leviathan,</i> 3rd edition, London 1651. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Anno Regni Georgii III. Intolerable Acts and other Bills, 1774. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Wilberforce, William. An Abstract of the Evidence, 5 Letters, and two books. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Nightingale, Florence. Notes on Nursing and Signed Letters, ca. 1860 $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Tolstov, Leo. <i>War and Peace,</i> 5 volumes, 1886. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Dickinson, John. Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania, 1768. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Twain, Mark. <i>Tom Sawyer,</i> 1877 [and] <i>Huckleberry Finn,</i> 1885. $4,000 to $6,000.

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