Rare Book Monthly

Articles - April - 2016 Issue

The Caren Archive II, How History Unfolds on Paper - at Bonhams in New York on April 11th

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On April 11th Bonhams in New York will sell the 5th installment of rare and historical works on paper including printed, manuscript and photographic materials for Eric Caren, the exceptional collector of historical documents.  Mr. Caren has been acquiring interesting and important first printings for most of his 56 years and a portion of his collection a decade ago was purchased to form the basis for the Newseum Collection in Washington, D.C.  Mr. Caren is an exceptional intellect with both an extraordinary memory and keen understanding.  He saw the future of ephemera decades ago and has been collecting this material ever since.

 

This sale is intended to appeal broadly, whether the three hundred eighteen lots are considered by subject, period or estimated price.  A significant portion of the lots is expected to bring a thousand dollars or less while many others will set auction records so it is fair to say this sale will be both a broad and engaging event.

 

It is both Bonhams and Mr. Caren’s goal to cover a significant portion of all collectible subject genres (5 Centuries Worth) so as to engage an ever larger audience in Ephemera and Paper Americana, a category that has been frequently overlooked but increasingly cherished by even the most fervent antiquarian book dealers.  For every category of buyer, be they collector, dealer or library, historical paper is still in its infancy and this goes a long way to explain how ahead of the times Mr. Caren was gobbling up these inherently rare treasures.  He started collecting ephemera in the 1960’s before he was chronologically in double digits.

 

Here is the sale forward written by Mr. Eric Caren:

 

This is (including my sale to the Newseum) the fifth sale from my collection. It also happens to be my favorite selection. These pieces really have spoken to me and moved me to laugh, ponder, wonder and/or shake my head and smile knowingly. So many hot button topics are here: Religion, Politics, Guns, the Presidents, War and Peace and Human Nature at its best, its worst and its most unusual. I have scoured the world for these rare treasures for a half century now. I am often asked where I got this fabulous material. The answer is: everywhere, including trade shows, collectors, estate sales, flea markets, antique shops, rare book and ephemera dealers, militaria shows, photography fairs, sports memorabilia shows, auctions and, of course, online. I consistently have the same pleasure while holding history in my hands. I love the hunt, the research, the reading of the material, even the smell is often a physical pleasure. Everything within these pages has given me so much pleasure and such interesting insights into topics which are timeless. There is a lot of great Americana (as well as extraordinary international history) here. Though it is only fair that the international community compete at auction, it is my hope that a lot of the collection stays in this country so that Americans of all ages can know the thrill of holding, reading and researching these pieces for generations to come.

 

Sadly, History is not taught in an engaging manner these days and also when I was growing up I was inspired by Westerns, pirate movies, movies on the French and Indian War and American Revolution. Sure in retrospect some of them were silly or historically inaccurate but the key was that they made me hungry to find history at the source. Think not just of yourself as you peruse the catalog. Think of your friends, family and favorite institutions. A special thank you goes out to Christina and Tim at Bonhams and I dedicate this sale to pioneers in my field including Alton Ketchum, Rocky and Avis Gardiner, David Hervey, Stephen Resnick, Phil Jones, Al Malpa, Brian Riba, William Frost Mobley, Willis Monie, Richard Spellman, Sal Lombardo, The Baron Family, The Newman Family, Steve Geppi, Mark Rucker, Dennis Holzman, John Carbonell, Rex Stark, Sam and Paul Murray, John Kashmanian, Ray Gould, Marcus McCorison, Roger Butterfield, Valerie Jackson-Harris, Ken Ritchie and all of those institutions that insured the survival of the material which they could no longer store and de-accessioned it to me and other caretakers. Many of the aforementioned people were (like me) early members of the Ephemera Society and also many of them attended the first paper shows in the country when the material was referred to as Paper Americana back in the mid to late 1970s.

 

Here are ten examples of material in the sale:

 

High Points

 

Lot 38.  Washington, George. 1732-1799.  Journal to the River Ohio [newspaper] 1754.  Est. $60,000-90,000

Lot 60.  The Bunker Hill Bible of Francis Merrifield.  1755.  Est:  $50,000-80,000

Lot 63.  Causes and Necessities of Taking up Arms.  [Continental Congress] broadside. 1775.  Est.  $20,000-30,000

Lot 84.  Peace, Liberty and Independence! Broadside.  Printed in Albany 1783.  Est. $12,000-18,000

Lot 98.  The U.S. Constitution [The New-Haven Gazette, etc.]  Est. $12,000-18,000

Lot 179.  Polk, James K. 1795-1849.  The First Treaty Between US and China autographed by President Polk.  Est. $20,000-30,000

 

Eric Caren’s picks of “not to be overlooked” lots

 

Lot 7.  The Gunpowder Plot and Execution of Guy Fawkes in 1606.  Est. 800-1,200

Lot 25.  LOUIS XIV ROYAL WALL ALMANAC FOR 1701.  Le Roy declare Monseigneur le Duc d'Anjou Roy d'Espagne.... Paris: F. & G. Landry, [1700].  Est.  $3,000-5,000

Lot 156.  First American Comic Strip Lampoons the American West. 1818. Est.  $500-800

Lot 186.  Learning the Alphabet in Chinese:  Letter to Merriam of Dictionary renown.  Est. $1,500-2,500

Lot 189.  Important Mormon Letter about The First Major California Gold Strike.  1848.  Est. $8,000-12,000

Lot 212.  John Brown Gang Inscribed Photograph Estimate:  $1,500-2,500

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries, May 12:</b> <i>Westvaco–Inspirations for Printers,</i> 3 volumes, 1938-61. $200 to $300.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, May 12:</b> Proef van Letteren, <i>Welk gegooten worden in de Nieuwe Haerlemsche Lettergietery,</i> 1768. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, May 12:</b> Paul Klee, <i>Bauhaus Ausstellung Juli – Sept.,</i> Weimar, 1923. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, May 12:</b> Michel Seuphor & Jozef Peeters, <i>Het Overzicht Nos.</i> 22-23-24, Antwerp, 1922. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, May 12:</b> Wolfrum & Co., <i>Modern Graphik, Serie I…,</i> complete portfolio, 1909. $1,200 to $1,800.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, May 12:</b> <i>Gravure et Fonderie deC. Derriey: Specimen-Album,</i> Paris, 1862. $5,000 to $7,500.
  • <center><b>Hindman Auctions<br>Fine Books & Manuscripts,<br>Including Americana<br>Live and Online<br>May 12, 2021</b>
    <b>Hindman Auctions, May 12:</b> CURRIER and IVES, publishers -- After Frances F. Palmer. The Rocky Mountains. Emigrants Crossing the Plains, 1866. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, May 12:</b> [BIBLE, in English]. <i>The New Testament of Jesus Christ, translated faithfully into English.</i> Rheims, 1582. $6,000 to $8,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, May 12:</b> [BIBLE, in Latin]. <i>Biblia latina.</i> Venice: Franz Renner of Hailbrun [Heilbrunn], 1483. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <center><b>Hindman Auctions<br>Fine Books & Manuscripts,<br>Including Americana<br>Live and Online<br>May 12, 2021</b>
    <b>Hindman Auctions, May 12:</b> SHELLEY, Percy Bysshe (1792-1822). Autograph letter signed ("P. B. S."), to Charles Ollier. Florence, Italy, 15 December 1819. “MY PROMETHEUS IS THE BEST THING I EVER WROTE.” $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, May 12:</b> RAMSAY, David (1749-1815). <i>The History of the Revolution of South-Carolina…</i> Trenton: Isaac Collins, 1785. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, May 12:</b> [BINDINGS]. MUIR, John (1838-1914). <i>The Writings of John Muir.</i> Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1916-1924. 10 vols. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <center><b>Hindman Auctions<br>Fine Books & Manuscripts,<br>Including Americana<br>Live and Online<br>May 12, 2021</b>
    <b>Hindman Auctions, May 12:</b> [CHICAGO] -- <i>Park & Guide Map of Chicago.</i> Chicago: Jas. Van Vechten, 1873. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, May 12:</b> CURRIER and IVES, publishers -- After Frances F. Palmer. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, May 12:</b> [ALLEN PRESS]. SHAKESPEARE, William (1564-1616). <i>Romeo and Juliet.</i> Greenbrae: Allen Press, 1988. $1,000 to $1,500.
    <center><b>Hindman Auctions<br>Fine Books & Manuscripts,<br>Including Americana<br>Live and Online<br>May 12, 2021</b>
    <b>Hindman Auctions, May 12:</b> BEMELMANS, Ludwig (1898-1962). Pencil drawing on paper. 247 x 198 mm, sight, matted and framed. Showing a child shooting at a baby's balloon. $1,000 to $1,500.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, May 12:</b> [LOGAN ELM PRESS]. HARVEY, Rebecca. <i>Any Number of Things.</i> Ohio State University, 2013. Single sheet paper scroll. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Hindman Auctions, May 12:</b> BINYON, Laurence (1869-1943). A small archive of letters and pamphlets. $200 to $300.
  • <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Travel, Atlases, Maps<br>and Natural History<br>Online Auction<br>27 April – 13 May 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, 27 Apr. to 13 May:</b><br>Daniel Giraud Elliot. <i>A Monograph of the Phasianidae, or Family of the Pheasants,</i> 1870-1872, coloured plates. £40,000 to £60,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 27 Apr. to 13 May:</b><br>Georg Braun und Franz Hogenberg. <i>Civitates orbis terrarum.</i> Cologne, 1597-c.1606, 5 volumes, hand-coloured, calf. £140,000 to £200,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 27 Apr. to 13 May:</b> Qianren Huang. "Blue Map" of China. [Daoguang, 19th century]. £60,000 to £80,000.
    <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Travel, Atlases, Maps<br>and Natural History<br>Online Auction<br>27 April – 13 May 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, 27 Apr. to 13 May:</b> Abraham Ortelius. <i>Theatrum orbis terrarum,</i> 1595. £40,000 to £60,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 27 Apr. to 13 May:</b> Maxime Du Camp. <i>Egypte, Nubie, Palestine et Syrie. Dessins Photographiques.</i> Paris, 1852. £100,000 to £150,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, 27 Apr. to 13 May:</b><br>China, Canton School. A superb album of 141 watercolours, c.1800. £70,000 to £100,000.

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