Rare Book Monthly

Articles - September - 2017 Issue

A Busy Fall for Swann Galleries and Rare Americana in September

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Swann Auction Galleries has released their Fall 2017 Auction Schedule, and it is quite the lineup! Starting mid-September and running through mid-December, sales that may interest readers of Rare Book Monthly include the following:

 

September 19: 19th & 20th Century Prints & Drawings

September 28: Printed & Manuscript Americana

October 17: Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books

October 19: Art & Storytelling: Photographs & Photobooks

October 26: Rare & Important Travel Posters

November 2: Old Master Through Modern Prints

November 7: Autographs

November 14: 19th & 20th Century Literature

December 5: Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books

 

September’s sales include 19th & 20th Century Prints & Drawings and Printed & Manuscript Americana. Prints is an art sale, with high profile and highly valued work from Picasso, Dalí, Whistler, Renoir, and Toulouse-Lautrec to name but a few. Artwork is best appreciated with one’s own eyes, so I will simply leave a link to the online catalog here.

 

From Printed & Manuscript Americana, we have 325 lots coming to the rooms, and by the looks of the top 10 lots by valuation, I’m immediately reminded of how much of an umbrella term “Americana” is. Minnesota carries the highest estimate, being a large archive (245 autograph letters signed) of Indian missionary letters written by the Pond family while they resided on the frontier. Truly a one of a kind lot, an archive of this volume offers a rare perspective into life in the mid 19th century in Minnesota. As lot 166, it is estimated $30,000 to $40,000.

 

The American Revolution, as it often is in Americana sales, is represented here too. Lots 26 and 27 carry the same estimate of $20,000 and $30,000, and though they both date to the same era, they are of very different natures. The first is a medical journal kept by surgeons aboard the Continental frigate Deane and other vessels. Of the journal, Swann writes, “Primary source material relating to the Continental Navy is scarce. While lists of the army’s officers and enlisted men are readily available, there is no comparable resource for the navy. Ship’s records often sank with their ships, or were cast overboard if in danger of capture.” The lot following the medical journal is a New Hampshire broadside proclamation on the cessation of hostilities. This is the official New Hampshire printing of the act of Congress which ended the war, and it marks a momentous occasion indeed.

 

Moving to the corner opposite the Revolution, two lots from Baja California make up the top 10 items. Both are signed manuscript documents from the late 17th century. Lot 317 is a signed Jesuit profession of faith by Father Eusebio Kino, and Swann notes that no other Kino manuscripts have appeared at auction since a sale at Swann in 1998. This declaration of faith is estimated $10,000 to $15,000. Lot 318 also comes from the Jesuits, but this one is a report on the first 16 months of the California missions written by Father Juan de Ugarte, a man given charge over the first effort to establish a chain of missions on the Baja peninsula. The report was written in 1699, fifteen years after the preceding Kino document, and is estimated $12,000 to $18,000.

 

The remaining five lots of the top 10 are:

-       A first edition of The Book of Mormon (lot 167, est. $10,000 to $15,000)

-       James McClees’ Gallery of Photographic Portraits of the Senators, Representatives & Delegates of the Thirty-Fifth Congress (lot 214, est. $10,000 to $15,000)

-       Manuscript notes on 40 sermons attended at Boston’s First Church and Old South Church (lot 156, est. $8,000 to $12,000).

-       John Taber’s Captain’s journal of a mutinous whaling journey in the South Pacific (lot 292, est. $8,000 to $12,000)

-       The First American Reform Haggadah (lot 138, est. $7,000 to $10,000)

 

A sale of 325 lots doesn’t require much time to skim and browse through, and Swann’s estimates, as they have come to be known for, are always on the reasonable and low side. For collectors of Americana, this is must see material. You can do so right here.

 

Printed & Manuscript Americana is scheduled for 1:30pm Eastern Time on Thursday, September 28th. Previews of the sale will be taking place in New York on the 23rd from 12 to 5pm, on the 25th through 27th from 10am to 6pm, and immediately before the sale from 10am-12pm. Bidding is available live, and through absentee, phone, and internet avenues.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Francis Scott Key, <i>Star Spangled Banner,</i> first printing, c. 1814-16. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> William Sydney Porter, a.k.a. “O. Henry,” archive of drawings made to illustrate a lost mining memoir, c. 1883-84. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> [Bay Psalm Book], printed for Hezekiah Usher of Boston, Cambridge, c. 1648-65. $50,000 to $75,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Book of Mormon, first edition, Palmyra, 1830. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> <i>Noticia estraordinario,</i> probable first announcement in Mexico City of the fall of the Alamo, 1836. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Patrick Gass, first edition of earliest first-hand account of the Lewis and Clarke expedition, Pittsburgh, 1807. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Diploma from the Princeton Class of 1783, commencement attended by Washington & Continental Congress. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> <i>Sprague Light Cavalry!</i> color-printed broadside, NY, 1863. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> <i>The Lincoln & Johnson Union Campaign Songster,</i> Philadelphia, 1864. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Lucy Parsons, labor organizer, albumen cabinet card, New York, 1886. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Daniel L.F. Swift, journal as third mate on a Pacific Whaling voyage, 1848-1850. $3,000 to $4,0000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 10:</b> Two photos of Thomas Moran, Grand Canyon, silver prints, 1901. $1,500 to $2,500.
  • <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Helvelius. Two Autograph Letters Signed to Francis Aston, Royal Society Secretary, noting his feud with Robert Hooke, 5 pp total, 1685. $70,000 to $100,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Newton, Isaac. Autograph manuscript on God, 4 pp, c.1710, "In the beginning was the Word...."?$100,000 to $150,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. First edition, first issue. Untrimmed copy in contemporary boards. $30,000 to $50,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Lincoln, Abraham. Signed photograph, beardless portrait with Civil War provenance. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> IMPEACHMENT. Original engrossed copy of the first Andrew Johnson impeachment resolution vote. $120,000 to $180,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Mucha, Alphonse. 11 original pencil drawings for?<i>Andelicek z Baroku,</i> "Litte Baroque Angel," Prague, 1929. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Einstein, Albert. Annotated Galley Proofs for <i>The Meaning of Relativity.</i> 1921. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Silverstein, Shel. Original maquette for <i>The Giving Tree,</i> 34 original drawings. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Roth, Philip. Typed Manuscript with substantial autograph corrections for an unpublished sequel to <i>The Breast.</i> $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> Taupin, Bernie. Autograph Manuscript, the original draft of lyrics for Elton John's "Candle in the Wind," 2 pp, 1973. $100,000 to $150,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> HARVEY, WILLIAM. <i>De Motu Cordis et Sanguinis in Animalibus Anatomica Exercitatio.</i> Padua: 1643. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 6:</b> CESALPINO, ANDREA. <i>Peripateticarum Quaestionum Libri Quinque.</i> Venice: 1571. $30,000 to $40,000.

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