In what is shaping up to be a typically busy November for the industry, Heritage Auctions has taken a unique approach to making their November 4th and 5th sale dubbed Rare Books Signature Auction more accessible and convenient to collectors. While the approximately half of the auction will take place in a traditional format with a live sale that includes online and phone bidding, the second half of the sale will have no live or phone bidding, and will accept bids solely through mail, fax, internet, and Heritage’s own Heritage Live internet bidding service. Additionally, pre-sale internet bidding is currently available at this very minute online on their website. Another feature differentiating Heritage’s online offering are the sorting options for finding specific types of items, such as autographed or first edition copies, or perhaps both. This should reduce the amount of time required for potential bidders to determine whether or not there are items of interest contained within the 1,071 lot sale. A significant amount of information about the sale is provided on their website which provides interesting insight for potential bidders. At the time of this writing, the sale already boasts numbers of 998 internet and mail bidders, 11,317 tracked lots by interested parties, and over 31,000 page views.
The following are the ten most popular items of the sale based on the number of page views. Current bids are listed if present, but these will change:
- Lot 45024. Theodore Roosevelt. The Winning of the West. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons/Knickerbocker Press, 1900. Daniel Boone edition, one of 200 numbered copies (this being copy 22) with an original leaf of manuscript in volume I. Estimated $6,000+. Current bid $3,400.
- Lot 45318. Ian Fleming [James Bond]. Casino Royale. London: Jonathan Cape, . First edition, first printing in first issue dust jacket with prices intact, one of an estimated 3,000 copies printed. Estimated $25,000+. Opening bid $12,500.
- Lot 45216. [Salvador Dali, illustrator]. Lewis Carroll. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. New York: Maecenas Press and Random House, 1969. One of 200 Deluxe copies on Rives paper, out of a total edition of 2,500 (this being copy number "LXXIV."). With original color etching and title page signed in pencil by Dali. Estimated $7,500+. Current bid $5,200.
- Lot 45044. Jeremy Bentham. Chrestomathia: Being a Collection of Papers, Explanatory of the Design of an Institution, Proposed to be Set on Foot, under the Name of the Chrestomathic Day School, or Chrestomathic School, for the Extension of the New System of Instruction to the Higher Branches of Learning, for the Use of the Middling and Higher Ranks in Life. London: Printed for Messrs. Payne and Foss...And R. Hunter...By J. M'Creery..., 1816. [Together with his:] Chrestomathia; Part II. Containing Appendix, No. V. Being an Essay on Nomenclature and Classification: Including a Critical Examination of the Encyclopedical Table of Lord Bacon, as Improved by D'Alembert; and the First Lines of A New One...London: Printed for Messrs. Payne and Foss...And R. Hunter, Successor to Mr. Johnson..., 1817. First published edition of both parts of Bentham's principal work on education, in which he ambitiously proposes extending suitable secondary education to the "middling classes" (the first part printed and distributed privately in 1815). Presentation copy, Volume I inscribed in ink at head of title: "To Sir Francis Burdett / from the Author." Estimated $15,000+. Opening bid $7,500.
- Lot 45171. Andreas Vesalius. De Humani Corporis Fabrica Libri Septem. Basel: Johannes Oporinus, June [August] 1543. First edition. "By this epoch-making work Vesalius, the 'Father of Modern Anatomy,' prepared the way for the rebirth of physiology by Harvey. More important still, he undermined the widespread reverence for authority in science and prepared the way for independent observation in anatomy and clinical medicine. The publication of this book was the greatest event in medical history since the works of Galen." - Garrison-Morton, 375. Estimated $30,000+. Current bid $15,000.
- Lot 45451. Henry D[avid] Thoreau. Walden; or, Life in the Woods. Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1854. First edition. Estimated $6,000+. Current bid $3,000.
- Lot 45046. Sir Winston S. Churchill. The Centenary Limited Edition of The Collected Works of Sir Winston Churchill. [and:] The Collected Essays of Sir Winston Churchill. [London]: Library of Imperial History, [1973, 1976]. Centenary Limited Edition. Thirty-nine large octavo volumes (one of which is a duplicate copy of Volume XIII), each individually housed in a matching green gilt-stamped slipcase with the Churchill coat of arms on one side. Illustrated throughout. One of a total edition of 3,000 sets. Estimated $5,000+. Current bid $2,500.
- Lot 45290. Edgar Rice Burroughs. Tarzan of the Apes. In The All-Story Magazine. New York: The Frank A. Munsey, Company, October, 1912. The first appearance in print of the first Tarzan novel, complete in this rare issue. Estimated $15,000+. Opening bid $7,500.
- Lot 45060. Adam Smith. An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. In Two Volumes. London: Printed for W. Strahan; and T. Cadell, 1776. First edition of "the first and greatest classic of modern economic thought" (Printing and the Mind of Man). Estimated $75,000+. Opening bid $37,500.
- Lot 45019. Col. Thomas L. McKenney & James Hall. History of the Indian Tribes of North America, With Biographical Sketches and Anecdotes of the Principal Chiefs. Embellished with One Hundred and Twenty Portraits. Philadelphia: D. Rice & A.N. Hart, 1855, 1858. Estimated $10,000+. Opening bid $5,000.
As you can see from this list of items, the focus of the material is widely varied in every way possible—subject, date and locale printed, price. With over 1,000 items up for auction, it’s likely every book collector will find something piquing their interest.
Rare Books Signature Auction takes place November 4th at 2 p.m. Eastern Time with live bidding at the Waldorf Astoria, located at 301 Park Avenue, Metropolitan Suite, 18th Floor in New York, New York. A full preview of the sale is available at the same location November 2nd through the 4th. The second session with no floor or phone bidding will follow the next day, November 5th at 1 p.m. Eastern Time. The online catalog with all lots is available here. If you plan on bidding at the auction in one form or another, please register at Heritage Auction’s home page for the auction. Full details of the sale are also available from that page.