Rare Book Monthly

Articles - November - 2015 Issue

Complex Intrigue in the Rooms at Doyle New York on November 23rd

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Into the late fall book men and women of all persuasions, the amateurs and professionals, readers and librarians cast off their summer crusts in search of the stimulating and collectible works on paper that rise through the fall from their summer doldrums toward the airy peaks achieved with spark and sizzle in November and December. Into this seasonal crescendo they of stout mind and strong heart feel the primal urge to scan the auction catalogues for battles they may engage for prizes that begin as penciled circles on catalogue pages and then bound to life as marked items are considered, rejected or affirmed. Those lots falling onto the must lists will then be more thoroughly examined and bids ultimately weighed. What began as a hopeful uncertainty come the day of the auction become battles to be won.

 

This is true for all houses and particularly true in the closing months of the year.

 

This year the November sale at Doyle New York fits this description very well for the material is serious, often obscure and frequently underestimated. Do not tread lightly here. The descriptions are interesting and the estimates appealing. You’ll be ensnared.

 

I asked Edward Ripley-Duggan and Peter Costanzo, the maestros and pens behind this sale and its descriptions for their take, and learned that fascination, value, and excitement are waiting to leap from every page. And I think they are right.

 

The sale is 794 lots of books, manuscripts and photographs divided into sections and categories.

 

It begins with a bow to the two sales Doyle has conducted for the New York Bar Association. That material, much of it esoteric European and American law, was often important, early and obscure. This latest sale, on November 23rd, starts with what has been most recently released by the Bar Association to sell. Condition is often a problem, but the lots [1-110] are worthy of consideration and include volumes from the libraries of Alexander Hamilton and Noah Webster, among others.

 

The focus then shifts to fine bindings. Dream a dream and expect to find at least one example of what you would like to own. The material is varied and highly collectible, ranging from 18th century silver bindings to Cedric Chivers Art Nouveau extravaganzas.

 

Lots 143 to 189 are French royal and armorial bindings from a private collection, including bindings for the kings and queens of France, and their children and courtiers, all the way from Louis XIII to Charles X. Further along in the sale is a run of seven documents signed by Napoleon. If French royalty is not to your taste, English royalty is present, including a set of eight etchings from the fair hand of Queen Victoria herself. And though America has no royalty, who can resist the lure of the Court of Camelot? Here are early love-letters from JFK to a Swedish sweetheart. You have been warned.

 

Lots 190 to 252 are the sciences, solid and a bit under the radar. Einstein is well represented, including a striking portrait done by Irving Sussman in 1934, signed by the great physicist the same year. Otherwise, there are works on alchemy, economics, clocks, globes and mathematics, to name but a few. As a coda, there is a section of the great modern facsimiles of Leonardo.

 

Beginning at lot 253 printed and manuscript Americana, separate from the New York Bar material, begins. Many of the usual subjects are offered here in unusual examples. Think of Audubon, John Wilkes Booth, indian captivities, Carnegie, Catlin and Chastellux with dashes of early American’s children’s books, the Civil War, Meriwether Lewis, James Madison and Abraham Lincoln. And they are simply the beginning. Page 88 of the catalogue is telling. It contains Lots 305 and 6, early books on the Quaker Persecutions, followed by an ephemera signed by Ronald Reagan and then a signed Theodore Roosevelt Message to the Two Houses of Congress [1907].

 

Signatures and signed material carve out a place here and the keyword search will be important. If it’s the Beatles you want they are lots 480 and 481. Other 20th century personages are too numerous to mention but think Disney, Crawford, Dietrich, Monroe [Marilyn], Orson Welles and Sondheim. Fashion gets it own area including an important lot of Jacqueline Kennedy interest.

 

Here now are a few lots:

 

84. Declaration of Independence and Constitution of the Provisional Government of the State of Kentucky, together with the message of the Governor. Bowling Green: W. N. Haldeman, State Printer, 1861. The first Confederate imprint in Kentucky, printed during the brief tenure of the rebels in the State.

 

111. Manuscript Book of Hours, Southern Low Countries, likely Liège, second or third quarter of the 15th century. with 124 vellum leaves with text in Latin including with 10 large miniatures within two-page borders of acanthus and leafy vines.

 

121. Benvenuto Cellini. The Life of... London:1900. One of ten copies printed on true vellum, bound in two volumes in russet brown morocco by Zaehnsdorf, with intricately decorated, inlaid borders on each cover in navy blue.

 

173. Hardion, Jacques. Histoire universelle sacrée et profane, composée par ordre de Mesdames de France. Paris: 1754-65. Eighteen volumes, full red period morocco, the covers with the gilt arms of Marie Leszczynska, Queen Consort of France, spine in six compartments, richly gilt.

 

200. Portrait of Einstein in grisaille rendered in airbrush on illustration board by Irving Sussman, signed and dated 1934, additionally boldly signed "Albert Einstein," and dated by him 1934.

 

234. Large lithograph of the Grumman-designed Apollo Lunar Module. Bethpage, New York and Washington, D.C.: 1972. This bears a total of 325 signatures including 43 Apollo astronauts, as well as NASA and Grumman officials.

 

287. Merwiwether Lewis. Document signed as the Territorial Governor of Louisiana appointing George Armistead Justice of the Peace for Arkansas Township. St. Louis: 18 May 1808. Armistead was the future Commander of American forces during the bombardment of Fort McHenry in the War of 1812.

 

297. An archive of the fabled Chrysolite Silver Mining Company of Leadville, Colorado, Leadville: 1880s to 1930s, including retained copies of correspondence from the key period of 1880-88 between the managers of the Chrysolite Mining Company and the President and Secretary of the company in New York, and a huge amount of other material relating to the great Colorado silver boom.

 

431. James Boswell's copy of Heures Perdues et divertissantes du Chevalier de **, Amsterdam: 1716, with his name on the front free endpaper and the inscription in ink "A Present from/my worthy Friend/Sir Alexander Rich," later the copy of Euphemia Boswell, his second daughter, circa 1836.

 

542. Appolinaire, Guillaume & Jim Dine. The Poet Assassinated. New York: [1968]. One of 250 copies of the deluxe edition, the colophon signed by Dine and translator Ron Padgett and with eight original pochoir plates signed and numbered by Dine.

 

556. Addams, Charles. Grandmother! You're not cheating!, 1966. Original drawing for an Addams Family cartoon, depicting Morticia Addams and Granny Frump at a card table, ink and gouache on illustration board, signed, also captioned and inscribed at head "For Barbara with love, Chas Addams 1966.

 

665. Abbott, Berenice. New York at Night, 1932. A vintage toned gelatin silver print housed in the photographer's sleeve of a folded sheet of tan hand-made paper, signed on the mount with, the photographer's 56 West 53rd New York City credit stamp on the verso of the print.

 

Altogether almost 800 lots, the description of the sale is eclectic and having worked my way from 1 to 794 I can confirm there are many possibilities. This is not the common New York sale. Rather, it’s the broad bouquet of possibilities that will allow all interested to pluck something for their inventories and collections.

 

Doyle New York

 

Link to the sale: https://www.doylenewyork.com/content/more.asp?id=400

 

Bon Chance!

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams, Mar 12:</b> Walt Whitman. <i>Leaves of Grass.</i> First edition, first issue, SIGNED in block letters by Whitman. 1855. $200,000 to $300,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 12:</b> Isaac Newton's copy of John Greave's <i>Pyramidographia,</i> London, 1646. $50,000 to $70,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 12:</b> Colonel John Mosby. Robert E. Lee's autograph letter to Samuel Cooper reporting on Mosby's exploits, with Cooper's autograph note ordering his appointment to Major.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 12:</b> Gyula Halasz Brassai. Large archive of autograph and typed letters, over 260, to his family including his wife Gilberte, 1947-1978. $40,000 to $60,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 12:</b> Archive of drawings and letters from Harper Lee to Charles Carruth, including an inscribed first edition of <i>To Kill a Mockingbird.</i> $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 11:</b> VESALIUS, ANDREAS. 1514-1564. <i>De humani corporis fabrica libri septem.</i> Basel: Johannes Oporinus, June 1543. $300,000 to $500,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 11:</b> HARVEY, WILLIAM. 1578-1657. <i>De motu cordis & sanguinis in animalibus Anatomica Exercitatio.</i> Leiden: Joannis Maire, 1639. $25,000 to $35,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 11:</b> BERENGARIO DA CARPI, GIACOMO. 1460-1530. <i>Isagogae breves perlucide ac uberrimae in Anatomiam humani corporis.</i> Bologna: Benedictus Hectoris, 15 July 1523. $15,000 to $25,000
    <b>Bonhams NY, Mar 11:</b> FRANKLIN, BENJAMIN. 1706-1790. <i>Experiments and Observations on Electricity, made at Philadelphia in America…</i> London, 1769. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams NY, Mar 11:</b> BENIVIENI, ANTONIO. 1443-1502. <i>De abditis nonnullis ac mirandis morborum et sanationum causis.</i>Florence: Filippo Giunta, 1507. $8,000 to $12,000
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, <i>El Ingenioso Hildalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha . . . Nueva Edición,</i> first Ibarra edition, Madrid, 1780. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> Illuminated Prayer Book in Latin and French, France, 1530-40s. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> Illuminated Book of Hours in Latin, France, mid-15th century. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b><br><i>Die Ernsthaffte Christenpflicht,</i> earliest known edition of the first complete Mennonite prayer book, 1708. $300 to $500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> Georg Agricola, <i>De ortu & causis subterraneorum Lib V.,</i> first edition, Basel, 1546. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> Frederick Ruysch, <i>Icon durae matris in concava [convexa] superficie visae,</i> with 2 mezzotints by Jan Ladmiral, first edition, Amsterdam, 1737. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen, <i>Eine Neue Art von Strahlen,</i> Würzburg, 1895. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> Pietro Carrera, <i>Il Gioco de gli Scacchi,</i> first edition, Militello, 1617. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> William Lithgow, <i>The Totall Discourse, of the Rare Adventures</i> [etc.], London, 1632. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> Michel de Nostradamus, <i>The True Prophecies or Prognostications,</i> first complete edition in English, London, 1672. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> Pseudo-Methodius, <i>De revelatione facta . . . beato Methodio,</i> Basel, 1504. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> Hrabanus Maurus, <i>De laudibus sancte crucis opus,</i> Pforzheim, 1503. $1,000 to $2,000.
  • <b>Chiswick Auctions: Autographs & Memorabilia. February 28, 2019</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Feb 28:</b> Autograph album featuring signatures by prominent actors, politicians, musicians and authors, including Rudolph Valentino. £1,000 to £1,500
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Feb 28:</b> An extremely rare working radio script for Crazy People No 29, the first series of <i>The Goon Show.</i> £600 to £800
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Feb 28:</b> Manuscript prayer book, in German. 8vo, 1755 £800 to £1,200
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Feb 28:</b> Italian Manuscript on Geometry, with diagrams, 18th century. £500 to £700
    <b>Chiswick Auctions: Ornithology, Zoology & Voyages. February 27, 2019</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Feb 27:</b> Thorburn (Archibald). Sparrowhawk, original watercolour & gouache, signed & dated lower right, 1917. £1,500 to £2,000
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Feb 27:</b> Burton (Sir Richard Francis). <i>Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to El-Medinah and Meccah.</i> 3 vol., FIRST EDITION, 1855-56. £1,000 to £1,500
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Feb 27:</b> [Mount (Richard) & Page (Thomas)]. <i>The English Pilot. Describing the Sea-Coasts…</i> 31 engraved maps, W. & J. Mount, T. Page, 1756 £4000 to £6000
    <b>Chiswick Auctions: Ornithology, Zoology & Voyages. February 27, 2019</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Feb 27:</b> D’apres De Mannevillette (Jean-Baptiste Nicolas Denis). <i>Le Neptune Oriental.</i> Paris & Brest, [1775 – 1781]. £10,000 to £15,000
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Feb 27:</b> Loring (Josiah). Terrestrial Globe Containing all the Late Discoveries and Geographical Improvements. Boston, Gilman Joslin, 1846, £800 to £1,200
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Feb 27:</b> Shelley (G. E., Capt.). <i>A Monograph of the Nectariniidae, or Family of Sun-birds,</i> FIRST EDITION, by the Author, 1876-80. £4,000 to £6,000
  • <b>Bonhams: Treasures from the Eric C. Caren Collection: How History Unfolds on Paper, Part VII (Online). March 6-14, 2019</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Albert Einstein A remarkable letter on God in English, one of his most eloquent and quoted, 1 p, July 2, 1945. $100,000 to $150,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Benjamin Lincoln's commission as Major General in the Continental Army, February 19th, 1777. $60,000 to $90,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Broadside. A Poem Upon the Bloody Engagement That Was Fought on Bunker's-Hill. 1775. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Early, full printing of the Star-Spangled Banner in The Yankee, October 7, 1814. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Paul Revere. Engraving, “The Boston Massacre Perpetrated on March 5, 1770," in <i>Massachusett's Calendar 1772.</i> $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Bonhams: Treasures from the Eric C. Caren Collection: How History Unfolds on Paper, Part VII (Online). March 6-14, 2019</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Earliest known newspaper coverage of Babe Ruth, "a St Mary's schoolboy," Baltimore, April 4, 1914. $6,000 to $9,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Franklin, Benjamin. <i>The Independent Whig.</i> First Magazine Published in America, Philadelphia: Keimer, 1723-4. $15,000 to $20,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Smith, Joseph. <i>The Book of Mormon.</i> Palmyra: Printed by E.B. Grandin for the Author, 1830. First printing. $40,000 to $60,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Last Words of Joseph Smith. Autograph Letter Signed from a Mormon disciple, conveying a contemporary account of the Prophet's final words, Nauvoo, July 27, 1844. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> John Brown's Body. Autograph Letter Signed from the daughter of John Brown attempting to arrange the return of her father's body, North Elba, Essex Co, NY, November 29, 1859. $4,000 to $6,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Powell Expedition. Autograph diary of Rhodes C. Allen kept during the Powell Expedition of 1868, June 29, 1868 - November 16, 1868. $20,000 to $40,000

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