• <b>Doyle, Travel & Sport in Africa from the Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson: Online-Only Auction. Now through June 18</b>
    <b>Doyle, Travel & Sport in Africa from the Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson:</b> MYERS, ARTHUR B.[OWEN] R.[ICHARDS] Life with the Hamran Arabs... $500 to $800
    <b>Doyle, Travel & Sport in Africa from the Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson:</b> LYELL, D. D. Nyasaland for the Hunter and Settler. $600 to $800
    <b>Doyle, Travel & Sport in Africa from the Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson:</b> JOHNSON, ISAAC CHARLES Sport on the Blue Nile… $600 to $900
    <b>Doyle, Travel & Sport in Africa from the Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson: Online-Only Auction. Now through June 18</b>
    <b>Doyle, Travel & Sport in Africa from the Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson:</b> BETHELL, ALFRED J. Notes on South African Hunting and Notes on a Ride to the Victoria Falls… $600 to $900
    <b>Doyle, Travel & Sport in Africa from the Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson:</b> BISHOP, B. F. Game & Visitor's Book. $500 to $800
    <b>Doyle, Travel & Sport in Africa from the Library of Arnold "Jake" Johnson:</b> BYRON, EDMUND What We Did in South Africa in 1873. $600 to $900
  • <b>Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers: Rare Book & Collectible Sale. June 18, 2019</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers, June 18:</b> Joyce (James). <i>Ulysses.</i> Shakespeare and Company, Paris 1922, First Edition, No. 30 of 100 copies. Signed by Joyce and printed on fine Dutch handmade paper. €70,000 to €90,000
    <b>Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers, June 18:</b><br>A very important collection of accounts, draft statements, ledgers etc., from the archive of Domhnall Ua Conchubhair [O’Connor] [1872-1935]. €15,000 to €20,000
    <b>Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers, June 18:</b> Joyce (James). <i>De Honni-Soit a Mal-y-Chance.</i> Mesures, 15 Janvier 1936. [French translation of Joyce’s essay from a banned writer to a banned signer, a tribute to John Sullivan]. €7,000 to €10,000
    <b>Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers: Rare Book & Collectible Sale. June 18, 2019</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers, June 18:</b> Joyce (James). <i>Finnegans Wake,</i> 8vo L. (Faber & Faber) 1939, Signed and Limited 21 (450) Copies. €1,500 to €2,000
    <b>Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers, June 18:</b> Swift (Jonathan). <i>The Works of J.S. D.D.,</i> D.S.P.D., Vol. I – Vol. XVIII, together 18 vols. Faulkner’s Edition of Swift – Lord Orrery’s Copy. €1,000 to €1,500
    <b>Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers, June 18:</b> Eyzinger (Michael). <i>Ad Leonis Belgici Topographicam atque Historicam Descriptionem,</i> 2 vols.in one, [Cologne] 1586. Excessively rare 16th century work with 162 double page engravings. €1,000 to €1,500
    <b>Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers: Rare Book & Collectible Sale. June 18, 2019</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers, June 18:</b> Yeats (W.B.). <i>The Dublin University Review,</i> issue for June 1886, containing the first printing of Yeats’ poem “Mosada” at pp. 473-483. €800 to €1,200
    <b>Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers, June 18:</b> Heaney (Seamus) & O’Neill (T.) <i>Columcille The Scribe,</i> Single m/ss on vellum, R.I.A. 2004, #95 (of 100) copies. €800 to €1,000
    <b>Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers, June 18:</b> Bonaparte (Napoleon). A French Republic Brevet (Republique Francaise) Department of War manuscript and printed document appointing Gaspard Bourves to Captain. Signed. €600 to €700
    <b>Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers: Rare Book & Collectible Sale. June 18, 2019</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers, June 18:</b> Irish Broadsides Ballads: A folio Album containing approx. 70 Dublin printed broadside ballads, mostly by Brereton, Lr. Exchange St., and with wd. cut illus. at head. €400 to €600
    <b>Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers, June 18:</b> Anon. <i>The State of Irish Affairs, For the Honourable Members of the Houses of Parliament…</i>. 4to Lond. (G. Miller) 1645. €300 to €400
    <b>Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers, June 18:</b> [Graham (Doctor James)]. <i>A Lecture on the Generation Increase and Improvement of the Human Species…</i>, 8vo L. (M. Smith) [c. 1784]. €200 to €300
  • <b>Bonhams, Jun 13:</b> Darwin, Charles. <i>On the Origin of Species.</i> Presentation Copy. Very Fine. $200,000 to $300,000
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13:</b> Darwin, Charles. Autograph Letter Signed, 3 pp, negotiating the 2nd American edition with Appleton $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13:</b> Hemingway, Ernest. Autograph Letter Signed, 8 pp, Paris, 1924, to his father discussing Bullfighting, Stories, and his new baby. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13:</b> Shakespeare, William. <i>Corialanus.</i> London, 1623. 1st printing [Extracted from the First Folio]. $40,000 to $60,000
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13:</b> Swift, Jonathan. <i>Gulliver's Travels.</i> London, 1726. 1st edition, Teerink's A edition, fine, large copy. $15,000 to $25,000
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13:</b> Neill, John R. Pen-and-ink drawing from Oz, "He raised his gun, took aim and fired," $6,000 to $8,000
    <center><b>Bonhams<br>Fine Books and Manuscripts<br>June 13 - New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13:</b> Shakespeare, William. <i>Sonnets.</i> 1901. 2 volumes. Printed on vellum and illuminated by Ross Turner, bound by Trautz-Bauzonnet. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13:</b> Thompson, Kay. <i>Eloise at Christmastime.</i> New York: Random House, [1958]. First edition. In custom binding by Asprey. $3,000 to $5,000
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13:</b> Beardsley, Aubrey. <i>The Birth, Life, and Acts of King Arthur.</i> 1893-94. 2 volumes. Contemporary painted vellum gilt by Chivers. $2,000 to $3,000
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13:</b> Assisi, St. Francis. <i>The Canticle of Brother Sun.</i> Illuminated on vellum, for the Grolier Society. $7,000 to $9,000
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13:</b> Taylor, Deems. <i>Walt Disney’s Fantasia.</i> New York: 1940. In custom binding by Asprey. $3,000 to $5,000
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13:</b> Proust, Marcel. <i>Du coté de chez Swann.</i> 1st edition, 1st issue. Inscribed by Proust. $5,000 to $7,000
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13:</b> Rackham, Arthur. <i>Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens.</i> 1/500 copies signed by Rackham. $1,500 to $2,500
  • <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Fine Books and Manuscripts Online<br>Now through June 21</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s Online, June 21:</b> THOREAU, HENRY DAVID. <i> Walden: or, Life in the Woods.</i> Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1854. $15,000 to $20,000
    <b>Sotheby’s Online, June 21:</b> BUKOWSKI, CHARLES. Archive of Correspondence Addressed to Kay "Kaja" Johnson, Los Angeles, California: July – November 1961. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Sotheby’s Online, June 21:</b> DICKENS, CHARLES, AND GEORGE CRUIKSHANK [ILLUSTRATOR]. Unpublished autograph letter signed, to Cruikshank, completed on the artist's proof, related to the publication of The Pic-Nic Papers. $7,000 to $10,000
    <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Fine Books and Manuscripts Online<br>Now through June 21</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s Online, June 21:</b> FEYNMAN, RICHARD. <i>"Surely You’re Joking Mr. Feynman!" Adventures of a Curious Character.</i> As Told to Ralph Leighton. New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1985. $12,000 to $18,000
    <b>Sotheby’s Online, June 21:</b> GERSHWIN, GEORGE. Autograph music manuscript of "Leavin’ for de Promise’ Lan’" from the opera Porgy and Bess, Act One Scene Two. $25,000 to $35,000
    <b>Sotheby’s Online, June 21:</b> LINCOLN, ABRAHAM. Document signed ("Abraham Lincoln") as sixteenth president, being a military commission for Rufus H. Johnson. $8,000 to $10,000

Rare Book Monthly

Articles - March - 2015 Issue

The Pear of Anguish, or the evil genius of Mr. Paioli

B862ba6a-8335-448c-b6d4-6dd91f6217ae

The Pear of Anguish.

The devilish “poire d’angoisse” (pear of anguish, or choke pear) is an iron instrument of torture invented by Palioly, a French villain of the 17th century, who sure had a big bag of tricks. One or two of those pears are displayed in some museums nowadays, but there’s a fishy smell about them. Let’s torture one or two books to make them sing.

 

The French poet François Villon was a villain; as such, he was sent at least twice to prison, and even sentenced to death once. At one point, he was incarcerated on orders of Jacques Thibault, the Bishop of Orléans, whom he ironically thanks in one of his poems: “Thank God, and Jacques Thibault / Who so much cold water had me drinking, (...) / Eating of anguish many pears (...)” The cold water is a reference to the prison diet; the pear of anguish, though the actual name of a variety of pears, is an expression. “That is to say,” reads the footnote of the 1742 edition of Villon’s works (Adrien Moetjens, La Haie), “who kept me in great despair, in sad affliction.” The Dictionnaire Historique of Alain Rey (Le Robert, 1998) traces the expression back to the 15th century, when it meant having great displeasure. Originating from Central Asia, pears have been praised since a very long time. Homer called them the gifts of Gods and Pliny already listed sixty varieties! In the Middle Age, French people mostly cooked them, at first; but as they became more refined, they soon ate them the way we do today. It was a custom to offer a pear to the Kings of France during their crowning, and Louis XIV ordered his gardeners to cultivate some in Versailles. As a matter of fact, pears are to be found in many French expressions such as “couper la poire en deux” (to split the difference), or “se fendre la poire” (to have a good laugh); the fruit flesh being quite soft, pears are also a negative symbol like in the expression “être une bonne poire” (to be a good egg) or “se payer la poire de quelqu’un” (to make fun at somebody)—not to mention the “pearish” caricature of Louis-Philippe of 1834 (see previous article).

 

The French author Ménage explains that the name “doesn’t come from a bitter taste, but from Angoisse, in Limousin; the village where it originates from.” In 2 500 Noms Connus (2014) Georges Lebouc giggles: “I don’t understand why Ménage invented this village, which is nowhere to be found on a map of Limousin.” Mr. Lebouc should have widened his researches; he would have found Angoisse, now included in the region next to Limousin, Dordogne. “Ever since the Middle Age,” reads Rey’s Dictionnaire..., “the village of Angoisse has been producing a highly rated variety of pears; it is cooked as a winter-pear, dried, or turned into Cidre, a lightly alcoholised drink.” At one point, though, the village changed its name; probably to be more attractive.

 

The aforementioned footnote featured in Villon’s works continues: “A partisan, or adventurer, in the time of Henri IV, turned this metaphorical expression into a devilish reality, inventing a diabolical machine that he stuck into his prisoners’ mouths, and which is described in d’Aubigné’s Histoire Universelle (Genève, 1626).” Let’s jump to d’Aubigné’s book. Year 1595, near Villefranche-sur-Meuse, as war raged on: “There was (...) one Captain Gaucher, a womanizer, not so steady in his enterprises. (...). Our gallant had too many prisoners who forced him to regularly go back to his place. Consequently, he invented a sort of lock in the shape of a pear. He called it the pear of anguish. He stuffed the mouths of his prisoners with it, opening out the branches that couldn’t be placed back but with a key. Thus he could order his prisoners to go to such or such place, warning them that they would die of hunger in case they would disobey. Not only were these poor prisoners forced to comply, but they also had to pray for the safe return of their master.” This is one of two known origins of the “pear of anguish”. The other one, much more frequently quoted, is a nice little book entitled Histoire Générale des Larrons (Rouen, 1639), written by François de Calvi.

 

The History of the Villains

 

L’Histoire Générale des Larrons, or The General History of the Villains, is quite an entertaining reading. The author describes some 73 murders, robberies or misdeeds committed between the reign of Henri IV and the early 17th century. The book was quite popular and the National Library of France lists 14 editions between 1629 and 1709; in fact, the book is divided into three parts, and the original edition consists of the first one, which came out in 1623—followed by the two others in 1625. It’s still a sought-after book and the first edition appears to be quite rare. One chapter is entitled Of Life and Strange Actions of Palioly, from Toulouse, of his evil deeds in Paris, and of the diabolical invention of the pear of anguish.

 

As an introduction, Mr. de Calvi gives a few words of warning about the education of children. Just like the trees, he writes, they grow wild when not properly tutored. Such was the young Palioly, who grew up in Toulouse (south of France). His father, who loved him too much, never spanked him in due time, and that led him straight to perdition. Chased from his birthplace over a few misdeeds, he sought refuge in Paris where “he soon mingled with the purse-robbers.” Palioly was a bright man, responsible for a striking trick that made the English comedian Benny Hill famous, the wax hands! Longing to hear a famous preacher, many people of quality swarmed the church of St Mederic one day. Our villain slipped into the crowd. “He had very well executed hands of wax, which he tied to his neck; he got them through the sleeves of his coat, and with the said hands held a book, pretending to read.” Thus absorbed in his pious reading, he came close to a Dame of quality who “didn’t imagine he had another pair of arms.” He didn’t let his wax hands know what his flesh ones were doing, and surreptitiously stole the Dame’s silver watch; he got away with it.

 

Benny Hill, the English comedian, was a more inconsistent man; he reproduced the trick, but only to touch the bottoms of beautiful girls at the bus stop; the man next to him got the blame, and the slap. Palioly’s friends were more down-to-earth people; but one of them eventually got caught red-handed (or should we say waxed-handed?). The trick being revealed, more inventiveness was now required. “They carved some wooden hands, and covered them with gloves and springs.” What they exactly did with the springs is not clearly stated here—did they make the wooden fingers move under the gloves? If so, then it probably inspired Palioly for his next invention, the pear of anguish.

 

The Tribulations of Mr. Eridas

 

“He met a locksmith, quite subtle and handy, from whom he ordered an instrument he called the pear of anguish, a diabolical one really, which made many ills in Paris and all over France; it had the shape of a small ball, which, thanks to some springs, could open and enlarge itself; and nothing could close it back but a key made for that purpose.” Mr. Calvi explains that the key was bringing the spring back to its original size, thus closing the pear. The first victim to experience this “loathsome invention” was a “fat bourgeois from the Place Royale, whom I’ll call Eridas.” Palioly entered Eridas’ home with two accomplices, pretending to be a merchant; but he soon made it clear that he had come for money. As he was about to shout “Thief!”, the three robbers assaulted Eridas, and stuffed his mouth with the metallic pear; “it opened at once, turning the poor Eridas into a statue, his mouth wide opened, able to shout or talk with his eyes only.” The more the victim tried to close his mouth, the more the pear painfully opened out. Once the robbers had left with their booty, Eridas ran to his neighbours; “they tried to file the pear, in vain; they tried to extract it, but the more they insisted the more it hurt its victim, as there were some points outside that injured his cheeks.” Our fat bourgeois spent the whole night in despair. Fortunately, “as cruelty doesn’t dwell forever in one’s mind”, one of the robbers sent him the key with a short note: “Sir, I didn’t mean to hurt you, or to cause your death; here is the key for you to open the instrument inside your mouth. I know it must have been painful; nevertheless, I am still yours truly.” Mr. de Calvi underlines that the pear was used several times afterwards, in various places.

 

Palioly soon made his name so formidable in Paris that he had to run away. “He went to war in Hungary and Germany,” says Mr. de Calvi, “where it is said he met his death.” That’s it—end of the story of the pear of anguish. The few books that ever mentioned it afterwards actually quote Calvi’s work. A few pears of anguish are to be seen in some museums today. But to tell the truth, they smell fishy.

 

The Horror Bid

 

Executioners die as well; so did Mr. Fernand Meyssonnier in 2008; he was one of the last French executioners, and he left a huge collection of instruments of torture behind him. When the famous auction sale house Cornette de St Cyr announced the sale of these items, it created a national controversy; the Minister of Culture himself publicly opposed the sale that was eventually cancelled. One of these lovable items was described as follows: “Poire d’angoisse. Iron made, ornaments on the sides. To be forced in orifices (vagina, rectum). Length when closed, 22 centimetres.” The Museum of the Renaissance, in Ecouen, near Paris, owns a “pear of anguish”—“but it’s not currently displayed,” confesses the curator joined on the phone. “To be honest, though it was once introduced as dating from the 16th century, we’ve come to the conclusion that it might in fact date from the 19th century.” So reads the caption of the photograph, “maybe fake.”

 

There’s another pear in the somewhat dubious Museum of Torture in Carcassonne (south of France); but no one could be reached there. I came across a very critical article about the pear, a few years ago; the author had access to a pear, and conducted a few experiments, finding it improper to any brutal use—too fragile. Unfortunately, I didn’t keep any record of this work that has apparently vanished from the Internet. I didn’t know him personally, but people like Palioly usually choose the simplest and quickest way to do their business. What’s the use of making such a complicated object when a mere piece of tissue is enough to silence a victim? Plus, such a complex iron object must have cost a little fortune; was it profitable to leave it with the victim? Furthermore, as long as some air is circulating inside your mouth, you can make some noise! According to the historical rumours, the Inquisition used these pears to “punish women who had had sex with the devil.” Of course, the instrument wasn’t forced in their mouths, on that occasion! The Inquisition was at least as inventive as Palioly, as far as causing pain was concerned; but people whose imagination was running wild have forged a lot of the instruments of torture from the Middle Age—could the “pear of anguish” be one of them? The San Gimignano Museum, in Italy, displays one—it was even featured on their promotional posters at one point. But they haven’t answered my questions yet. The Inquisition, purse-robbers, wannabe historians—it’s frightening to see how inventive people can be when it comes to inflicting pain or anguish upon their fellow men. To be honest, I prefer those who use their imagination to make us laugh—Thank God, and Benny Hill, as Villon would say.

(c) Thibault Ehrengardt


Posted On: 2015-03-02 06:41
User Name: sfjoseph

Sorry but the phrase "much cold water he had me drinking" is less a reference to the prison diet than to another excruciating form of torture. Large quantities of water were forced down the prisoner's throat until his stomach became painfully distended. It was quite a French speciality in the late medieval and early modern periods.
Steven Joseph, Brussels.


Posted On: 2015-03-02 17:53
User Name: EHRENGARDT

Dear Steven,
don't be sorry, every comment is welcome.
This one is quite relevant and you might be right. But for what I've come to understand, Villon was tortured while incarcerated a first time in Le Châtelet, in Paris; and the passage I quote in the article deals with his second incarceration, in Mehun (near Orléans), on orders of Jacques Thibault. We don't know what led him to prison in Paris but it was a serious case, as he was sentenced to death, and thus 'put to the question'; it was usually the case with criminals (to see if they had more to confess). That's when he wrote his masterpiece, "Fellow humans who are after us alive…" He appealed the sentence and was saved; hence his very joyful Epitaph about his appeal where he talks about a "drapel". The footnote of the quoted edition (1742) underlines that the torture of water (you force a man to drink five or six liters of water, the pain is almost unbearable) was "given in Paris with water, sent through a wet sheet to the stomach of the victim ; and that's what the poet means by the word "drapel" (sheet)" This is a straight reference to the torture.
The " had me much cold water drinking" might be too, to be honest. But as our poet was then in Mehun (near Orléans), where he wasn't tortured (for all I know), I chose the interpretation of the "prison diet'. Indeed, Villon also refers to his prison diet in another verse, talking about "the little loaf of bread and cold water" he was reduced to, while in jail (être mis au pain et à l'eau froide, a typical French expression). And according to Villon's lifestyle, the fact to be deprived of wine (mostly back in those days when it wasn't always safe to drink water) might have been a cruel "punishment" too. :)
Now, I'm no Villon specialist, and might be wrong; it might also have been more relevant to interpret it the way you did, since the article deals with torture.
Best
TE


Rare Book Monthly

  • <center><b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>Printed Books, Maps & Documents, Children’s Books & Modern First Editions<br>June 19/20</b><br>
    <b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>June 19/20:</b> Cook, James. <i>A Voyage towards the South Pole,</i> 1st edition, 1777. Presentation copy to James Furneaux. £3,000 to £5,000
    <b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>June 19/20:</b> Mathews, Gregory M. <i>The Birds of Australia,</i> 13 volumes, 1st edition, 1910-27. A fine set, with 600 hand-coloured lithographs. £3,000 to £5,000
    <b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>June 19/20:</b> Shelley, George Ernest. <i>Monograph of the Nectariniidae,</i> 1st edition, 1876-80. With 121 hand-coloured lithographic plates by Keulemans. £2,000 to £3,000
    <center><b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>Printed Books, Maps & Documents, Children’s Books & Modern First Editions<br>June 19/20</b><br>
    <b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>June 19/20:</b> Nostradamus, Michel de. <i>The True Prophecies or Prognostications,</i> 1st edition in English, 1672. £3,000 to £5,000
    <b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>June 19/20:</b> Collodi, Carlo. <i>Le Avventure di Pinocchio,</i> 1st edition, 1883. Original cloth. £6,000 to £8,000
    <b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>June 19/20:</b> Kelmscott Press. <i>The Life and Death of Jason,</i> 1895. One of 200 copies on paper. £2,000 to £3,000
    <center><b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>Printed Books, Maps & Documents, Children’s Books & Modern First Editions<br>June 19/20</b><br>
    <b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>June 19/20:</b> Ambler, Eric. <i>Uncommon Danger,</i> 1st edition, 1937. With the dust jacket. £1,500 to £2,000
    <b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>June 19/20:</b> Huxley, Aldous. <i>Crome Yellow,</i> 1st edition, 1921. Rare in the dust jacket. £2,000 to £3,000
    <b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>June 19/20:</b> Isherwood, Christopher. <i>Goodbye to Berlin,</i> 1st edition, 1939. With the dust jacket, £1,000 to £1,500
    <center><b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>Printed Books, Maps & Documents, Children’s Books & Modern First Editions<br>June 19/20</b><br>
    <b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>June 19/20:</b> Lewis, C. S. Autograph letter signed to Charles Jasper Sisson (1885-1966), 1937. £1,000 to £1,500
    <b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>June 19/20:</b> Tolkien, J. R. R. <i>The Lord of the Rings,</i> 1956-7. Signed by Tolkien in each volume. £7,000 to £10,000
    <b>Dominic Winter Auctioneers<br>June 19/20:</b> Wells, H. G. <i>The War of the Worlds,</i> 1st edition, 1898. Inscribed by Wells with autograph self-portrait. £3,000 to £5,000
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries June 20:</b> NYC pride parade photos by Hank O’Neal, annotated on verso by Allen Ginsberg, 1970s. Pictured is Marsha P. Johnson. $70,000 to $100,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries June 20:</b> David Wojnarowicz, <i>Neon Dancer,</i> postcard signed to Jim Fouratt, 1982. $5,000 to $8,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries June 20:</b> Personal papers of Candy Darling, New York, circa 1950s-1973. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries June 20:</b> Walt Whitman, <i>Memoranda of the War,</i> Remembrance Copy, inscribed to Peter Doyle, from “the author with his love,” Camden, 1875-76. $50,000 to $75,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries June 20:</b> Oscar Wilde, <i>The Importance of Being Earnest, A Trivial Comedy for Serious People,</i> first edition, signed, London, 1899. $50,000 to $70,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries June 20:</b> James Baldwin, <i>Giovanni’s Room,</i> first edition, presentation copy, New York, 1956. $1,800 to $2,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries June 20:</b> JEB (Joan E. Biren), <i>Ginger and Catherine,</i> silver print, 1972. $700 to $1,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries June 20:</b> Su Negrin, <i>Gay Liberation,</i> photograph by Peter Hujar, poster published by Times Change Press, 1970. $400 to $600.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries June 20:</b> Harvey Milk, Autograph Letter Signed, as acting Mayor of San Francisco, March 7, 1978. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries May 23:</b> Lester Beall, <i>Rural Electrification Administration,</i> 1939. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries June 20:</b> Gerda Wegener, <i>Two Women in a Window,</i> watercolor, chalk & wash, circa 1920. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries June 20:</b> Jean Cocteau, original sketchbook, <i>Le Mystère et Antigone,</i> including sketches of his lover Jean Desbordes, 1932. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries June 20:</b> Djuna Barnes, <i>Ladies Almanack . . . Written & Illustrated by A Lady of Fashion,</i> limited edition, signed & inscribed to her literary executor, 1928. $10,000 to $15,000.

Article Search

Archived Articles

Ask Questions