Rare Book Monthly

Articles - April - 2016 Issue

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

Cf2c3869-6ce2-4634-b224-63f82fc0fdaa

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works on paper including printed, manuscript and photographic materials for Eric Caren, the exceptional collector of historical documents.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>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
  • <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.

Article Search

Archived Articles

Ask Questions