Rare Book Monthly

Articles - March - 2016 Issue

Bonhams presents... The Charlton Heston Collection

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Books being sold in Bonham's TCM Presents... The Charlton Heston Collection

If you've ever had a fantasy of being Charlton Heston, or at least owning a large amount of his things, Bonhams has you covered this month. Dubbed TCM Presents... The Charlton Heston Collection, this sale is much larger than just books. Set pieces from his movies, portraits of the man, furniture, jewelry, even a director's chair are all being sold in this 322 lot sale. Books make up a small portion of the sale, and this article aims to bring your attention to some of those items.

I would be remiss to not include a printed work related to Heston's acting career, and I present for your consideration a copy of his own working screenplay of Ben-Hur. Bearing numerous annotations from time of production, this is a singular piece of film history that cannot be found anywhere else in private hands (the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences received three donated by Heston). It is estimated $10,000-15,000 as lot 207.

Heston did also collect rare books (not just his own screenplays), and they are also available for sale. His portrayals of Macbeth both on stage and on live television may have piqued his interest in collecting, as one of the rarest items for sale is a first separate and first quarto edition of the famous play. Macbeth was first printed in the first folio of 1623, and not separately until this edition listed, printed in 1673. No complete copies, and merely two incomplete copies were found in auction records. The last incomplete copy sold at Sotheby's in 1961. This is indeed a rare item, and it carries an appropriate estimate as lot 98 for $25,000-35,000.

Another item of personal interest to Heston is a copy of Hemingway's In Our Time. His son Fraser Heston has stated his father believed Hemingway to be the greatest American writer of the 20th century, so it's not surprising Heston would seek out a remarkable work. This limited first edition (no. 132 of 170) is also a Hemingway family copy, with the ownership signature of Jack Hemingway, the only child of Hemingway's first marriage. Being a one of a kind variant has boosted the accorded value of the book, resulting in an estimate of $25,000-35,000 for lot 145.

Continuing the trend of collectible material appealing specifically to him, Heston also obtained a first English (British) edition of the account of Lewis and Clark's epic expedition, printed the same year as the first American edition (1814). Heston played William Clark in the film Far Horizons in 1955, and while the London edition does not carry the same weight as its American counterpart, this remains an impressive item in any Americana collection, containing a close copy of the American edition's folding map. It may be bid on under lot 140 and carries an estimate of $10,000-15,000.

This really is a fascinating sale for anyone who appreciates Heston's long acting career. Set pieces from many of his films are available and are likely to be some of the most sought after items. A group of drawings, sketches, and paintings done by him are also being sold. The sale is not huge and is definitely worth browsing.

The sale is set to start on March 22nd at 10am PDT. Bidding is available in person, over the phone, and internet. Registration is required for any form of bidding and may be done so here. The catalog for the sale is available online 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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