Rare Book Monthly

Articles - March - 2017 Issue

Caren Chooses Christie's, Cowans & Country

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Eric Caren, the exceptional collector and sometime dealer, continues this month to explain his decisions about collecting and collections.  He’s recently decided to send some of his best material to auction and has chosen Christie's and Cowan's to handle 3 sales.  A Christie's event is scheduled for June and the first of two Cowan sales in September.  Many consignors wax hot and cold on selling their material but few, if any, in the current era speak so directly of the process and the motivation.  His angst is real, his perspective clear.

 

Here is Eric in his own words.

 

So for those of you who know me or have followed this small saga; here follows a short narrative and the outcome. To refresh your memories; Trump elected was for me the last straw! I had watched this country going South in myriad ways for too long. Friends knew that I was thinking about selling my beloved NY home and much of my immense archive and hightailing it to my beach home in Costa Rica even while Trump was still known mainly for saying "You're Fired" on The Apprentice. The polls were saying Trump couldn't win...A friend in the Midwest said "Why are you still worrying Eric; Hillary is a shoe in!"  Now I know how the opposition felt during the rise of the NSDAP...How did it happen? It took 13 years in Germany while here it literally changed over one election night. Of course the distrust of both parties had been building over many years and mosquitoes were more popular than Congress!

 

So when I got this sick feeling  in the days leading up to Election night that I wasn't just having a bad dream; it was similar to the feeling that I had driving into NYC on 9/11 when the radio informed me that the first Tower was down and NYC was closed. Surreal (I think chosen as the word of the year) then as now. On 9/11 I turned the car around and headed back to my home in Westchester, NY and watched the news all of the rest of that otherwise sunny Tuesday. I was in such a state of disbelief that each time that the newscasters repeated that one and then both towers were down; I thought that they meant some towers on the top of the buildings had been knocked off even as I sadly watched over and over again the buildings implode to the ground.

 

The election on the other hand hit me like a ton of bricks... it was definite! I was going to sell almost everything not nailed down (collection and NY Home, cars, etc.) and swim all day every day until my arms fell off or I ran out of sunscreen in CR. And then I changed my mind back and forth several times a day or at the very least, several days a week.

 

In any case, I did decide that while I was see-sawing on whether to continue to keep both homes; in either case it was time to hold some more auctions. One colleague at the NY ABAA fair teasingly asked me if I was up to Auction #43. No, but after having four single owner auctions preceded by the sale of Collection 1 to The Newseum; I am about to put pen to paper with Christie's NY (June) and Cowan's (Fall and a second one early in 2018)! Everyone at both Houses has been extraordinarily kind, industrious, sympathetic, respectful and professional. How refreshing!!!

 

Every day I walk my rescued dog at least twice through my woods and around my private Gorge. I get to watch leaves turn and still have enough evergreens to make the property a winter wonderland when it snows! I love the natural beauty of my home in NY as much as the natural beauty of my beach home in CR. So my mind told me (still does) get out before it is too late but my heart couldn't pull the trigger (there's a bone for all of you members of the NRA). I have never been a coward but I am a wounded and tired warrior from my 57 years on this planet.

 

So I will continue to collect, continue to buy, continue the hunt! continue the research and continue to watch my cursed NY Jets (perhaps the most depressing thing in this piece). And I will ask one thing of everyone who is reading this. Don't fall into the trap of turning on one another. If you are a Republican, a Democrat, a Socialist or an Independent...We are ALL Americans and we have too many foreign enemies of every ilk from rogue individuals sitting at computers and hacking away at us to Terrorist groups to Totalitarian regimes like North Korea. We can ill afford to let Politicians and The Media (May have just lost my membership to The National Press Club) and Putin create a second Civil War or second Revolution!

 

2 famous historical quotes to leave you with...."We are all Republicans, We are all Federalists" Thomas Jefferson and "A House Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand" Abraham Lincoln and one quote from me "We Have Met The Enemy And They Are Us" Modified from Perry at Lake Erie, War of 1812. May we change our course and live in peace!

 

Special thanks to Bruce of Rare Book Hub, Sven, Christina and Peter of Christie's, and Wes, Katie and Matt of Cowans.

 

Contacts:

 

At Cowans

Katie Horstman

513.871.1670

katie@cowans.com

 

 

At Christie's

Christina Geiger 

212-636-2667

cgeiger@christies.com

 


Posted On: 2017-03-01 05:33
User Name: daviddilaura

Why is this here? It is not informative; it is not focused; it is not . . . bookish. It is little more than the loose ramblings of the self-absorbed.


Posted On: 2017-03-01 15:04
User Name: baseballbooks

Do believe "We Have Met The Enemy... Us" was (first ???) used by Walt Kelly as title of one of his POGO collections in the 1960s.


Posted On: 2017-03-02 08:30
User Name: 19531953

In answer to your question David; it is there because I have owned and continue to own some of the rarest historical pieces in private hands. You are right that it is not bookish... I don't collect books though I have authored 12. I collect Printed &Manuscript Broadsides, Newspapers, Posters, Manuscripts, Letters, Pamphlets, Almanacs, Periodicals, Postcards and Photographs. AND I have educated hundreds of thousands of people through The Newseum, my reprint compilations, my books, etc. I apparently was "bookish" enough to be elected to The Grolier Club, AAS, ABAA and to have been an early Director of The Ephemera Society of America. I have bought and sold millions of dollars worth of rare treasures.
My question for you is what does your question do in any positive manner? It says little but speaks "volumes" about the kind of person that you are. Hardly worth my time to respond...but evidence of someone who has nothing bether to do than write shallow critiques. There are 30+ pgs. of Google links for my achievements in the field and I have been a friend of 5 past Presidents of the "Bookish" ABAA. William Reese widely considered as "One of The Greatest Rare Books Dealers of our Times" was my primary Sponsor for both ABAA and Grolier so perhaps you should ask him why I get covered so widely. As for self absorbed; I guarantee you that my generosity to my fellow human beings far exceeds yours. You Sir are not a Gentleman and I am so glad not to know you.


Posted On: 2017-03-02 08:47
User Name: 19531953

And to Baseball Books; There is nothing new under the sun and my quote was simply used to make a point...my apologies to you and Mr. Pogo if I took any credit away from him. I wonder if you and David are one and the same. If not...you undoubtedly would be like 2 peas in a pod. If either one of you would like to discuss this further; feel free to phone me. I would be happy to accept your apologies!


Rare Book Monthly

  • <center><b>Chiswick Auctions<br>Books & Works on Paper<br>September 25, 2019</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Sep. 25:</b> Rowling (J.K.) <i>Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone,</i> FIRST EDITION, first issue, 8vo, 1997. £15,000 to £20,000
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Sep. 25:</b> Bible, Italian.- Malermi Bible, woodcut illustrations, folio, Lazaro de Soardi & Bernardino Benali, Venice,1517. £8,000 to £12,000
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Sep. 25:</b> Germany.- Homann (Johann Baptist). <i>Atlas von Deutschland,</i> engraved half title, hand coloured, 87 double page engraved maps, [folio, Erben, Nuremberg, 1753]. £8,000 to £10,000
    <center><b>Chiswick Auctions<br>Books & Works on Paper<br>September 25, 2019</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Sep. 25:</b> [Mirk (John)].- <i>Liber festivalis et Quatuor sermons</i> [bound with], [Le Roy (Pierre)] <i>A Pleasant Satyre or Poesie,</i> first edition in English, Widdow Orwin for Thomas Man, 1595, 8vo. £1,500 to £2,000
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Sep. 25:</b> Antoninus Florentinus (Saint Archbishop of Florence). <i>Confessionale: Defecerunt…,</i> 8vo, Pietro Quarengi, Venice, 15 February 1499. £1,000 to £1,500
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Sep. 25:</b> Jesuit Letters.- [Froes (Father Luigi) & et al.)] Avvisi del Giapone de gli anni 1582, 1583, 1584…, 1586 [bound with] Avvisi della Cina et Giapone…, FIRST EDITIONS, Rome. £1,000 to £1,500
    <center><b>Chiswick Auctions<br>Books & Works on Paper<br>September 25, 2019</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Sep. 25:</b> Plutarch & Probus (Aemilius). <i>Plutarchi Cheronei et Aemilii Probi Illustrium,</i> folio, Nicolas de Pratis for Jean-Petit, Paris, 1521. £1,000 to £1,500
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Sep. 25:</b> Bible.- English. <i>The Byble in Englyshe of the Largest and Greatest volume,</i> elaborate woodcut border, text vignettes, folio, 1541. £1,000 to £1,500
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Sep. 25:</b> Fore-edge Painting.- Lord George Byron, The Giaour, a Fragment of a Turkish Tale, bound with 10 other titles, 4 plates marked 'Proof.', 1813. £800 to £1,200
    <center><b>Chiswick Auctions<br>Books & Works on Paper<br>September 25, 2019</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Sep. 25:</b> Manson (John). Twelve by Sixteen Papers of John Mason, a collection of 50 sheets of paper, some watermarked, 12 x 16”, c.1978. £800 to £1,200
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Sep. 25:</b> Fleming (Ian). <i>Dr. No,</i> FIRST EDITION, original boards, dust-jacket, 8vo, 1958. £700 to £900
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Sep. 25:</b> Eliot (T.S.) <i>Four Quartets,</i> NUMBER 121 of 290 COPIES, signed by author, 1960. £400 to £600
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Eric Carle, <i>The Very Hungry Caterpillar,</i> hand-painted collage. Sold for a record $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Charles Addams, <i>Couple passing a giant bird house,</i> watercolor cartoon for <i>The New Yorker,</i> 1948. Sold for $16,250.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Miriam Troop, <i>Rain on Laundry Day,</i> oil on canvas, cover for <i>The Saturday Evening Post,</i> 1940. Sold for $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Rockwell Kent, <i>To All Fascists,</i> ink broadside for The League of American Writers, circa 1937. Sold for $6,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Jo Mielziner, <i>Pet Shop Drop,</i> backdrop design for <i>Pal Joey</i> on Broadway, 1940. Sold for a record $55,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Lee Brown Coye, acrylic cover illustration for the 25th anniversary of <i>Weird Tales,</i> 1944. Sold for $18,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Virgil Finlay, <i>The Outsider & Others,</i> pen & ink dust jacket illustration for H.P. Lovecraft's book, 1939. Sold for $5,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Al Hirschfeld, <i>Paul Robeson as Othello,</i> illustration for <i>The New York Times,</i> 1942. Sold for $68,750
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Frederic Remington, pen & ink illustration for <i>A Scout with the Buffalo Soldiers</i> in <i>The Century</i> magazine, 1889. Sold for $17,500.
  • <b>Bonhams, Sep. 17:</b> EARLY AVIATION PHOTOGRAPHY ARCHIVE. Chronicling 20th century aviation from the earliest Wright Brothers images through commercial and military applications. $50,000 to $70,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 17:</b> SPUTNIK-1 EMC/EMI LAB MODEL, 1957. Full scale vintage test model of the Sputnik-1 satellite, Moscow, [February, 1957]. $400,000 to $600,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 17:</b> FIRST TELEPHONE CALL TO THE MOON. Partial transcription signed by Apollo 11 astronauts and President Nixon. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 17:</b> Apollo 11 Beta cloth crew emblem, SIGNED BY THE ENTIRE APOLLO 11 CREW. $8,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 17:</b> GEMINI 1/8 SCALE MODEL. Rarely seen large-scale contractor's model. $3,000 to $5,000
    <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>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. September 26, 2019</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 26:</b> Joyce (James). <i>Dubliners,</i> first edition, signed presentation inscription from the author, 1914. £100,000 to £150,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 26:</b> The Beatles.- Baker (Geoffrey.) 3 Autograph Letters and 1 Autograph Card signed to Ann Gosnell, addtionally sgn’d by George Harrison, John Lennon, Cynthia Lennon and others, 1968. £5,000 to £7,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 26:</b> Pilgrim Press.- Dod (John). <i>A plaine and familiar exposition of the tenne commandements ...,</i> [Leiden], [William Brewster], 1617. £15,000 to £20,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. September 26, 2019</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 26:</b> Automaton Chess Player & Mechanical Illusion.- Reynell (H., printer). “The Famous Chess-Player, No.14, St.James's-Street, next Brooks's,” broadside advertisement for "The famous Automaton", [1784]. £2,000 to £3,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 26:</b> Clemens (Samuel Langhorne). <i>Life on the Mississippi,</i> first English edition, signed presentation inscription from the author, 1883. £8,000 to £12,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 26:</b> Arctic Sledge Flag.- Fulford (Reginald Baldwin). Sledge flag... HMS Discovery, 1875. £4,000 to £6,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. September 26, 2019</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 26:</b> Rowling (J.K.) <i>Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone,</i> first edition, first printing, 1997. £20,000 to £30,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 26:</b> Piranesi (Giovanni Battista). <i>Le Antichità Romane,</i> 4 vol., 1756. £20,000 to £30,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 26:</b> Canaletto (Giovanni Antonio Canal, called). <i>Urbis Venetiarum Prospectus Celebriores,</i> 3 parts in 1, Richard Ford's copy, Venice, Giovanni Battista Pasquali, 1751. £10,000 to £15,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. September 26, 2019</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 26:</b> Atlases.- Speed (John). <i>A Prospect of the Most Famous Parts of the World,</i> bound with <i>The Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine,</i> 1631-27. £12,000 to £18,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 26:</b> Anatomical illustration.- Aselli (Gaspare). <i>De lactibus sive lacteis venis... dissertatio,</i> first edition, Milan, Giovanni Battista Bidelli, 1627. £20,000 to £30,000

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