Rare Book Monthly

Articles - January - 2018 Issue

Jan. 27: Fine Books & Manuscripts including an unknown Truman archive at Potter & Potter Auctions

This month, Potter & Potter Auctions is hosting a sale of Fine Books & Manuscripts comprising 563 lots. The sale boasts an impressive range of material including Presidential autographs and documents, science and math, literature, pulp and monster magazines, and private press printings. Of note is a previously unknown archive of documents, books, and photographs related to Harry Truman. Fine Books & Manuscripts is slated for 10am on January 27 at Potter & Potter’s Chicago gallery.

Among the Truman material, perhaps the most iconic is a full front page from the Chicago Daily Tribune announcing Truman’s famous “defeat” at the hands of Thomas Dewey. The paper is matted and framed and is estimated $1,500 to $2,500 as lot 22. A number of signed Truman letters and documents are also up for bidding.

Also under the heading of “Presidential and Political Memorabilia,” Truman’s immediate predecessor, FDR, is well represented in the sale with autographs, photographs, and other documents, as well as interesting material on Japanese internment during World War II. But the highlight of the section is a corrected manuscript page from The Autobiography of Malcolm X, with annotations by Alex Haley as well as Malcom X. The lot originated from the 1992 auction of Alex Haley’s personal belongings and is estimated $5,000 to $6,000 as lot 46.

Within the category of “Illustrated Books and Private Presses,” we have reprints of authors such as D.H. Lawrence’s The Man Who Died (lot 122, est. $1,500-3,000), John Steinbeck’s Zapata (lot 130, est. $900-1,200), and Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Complete Works of Sherlock Holmes (lot 157, est. $300-500). 

Two modern literature first editions stand out among the others, and these are William Faulkner’s Sartoris, of which fewer than 2,000 copies were printed, and Jack Kerouac’s On the Road. Faulkner is estimated $2,000 to $3,000 as lot 239, while Kerouac is valued at $5,000 t0 $7,000 as lot 252. 

Having recently visited Chile, my interest was piqued by one of the country’s most famous authors and figures, Pablo Neruda. His Canto General, featuring beautiful pictorial endpapers designed by Diego Rivera and David Alfaro Siqueiros, is a gem and signed by all three men. This copy is #142 of 500. As lot 272, it is estimated $4,000 to $6,000.

If a display piece is of greater interest, and you happen to be a fan of beer, look no further than lot 347, a color lithograph transfer on glass pre-prohibition advertisement for Anheuser—Busch Brewing Association.

And finally, because of my personal interest and academic background in economics, lot 422 closes out this summary of highlights. John Von Neumann and Oskar Morgensten’s Theory of Games and Economic Behavior, a first edition printed in 1944, would be equally at home on the shelf of an economics professor or hedge fund partner—it’s estimated $3,000 to $4,000.

Potter & Potter’s auction of Fine Books & Manuscripts will take place at their gallery in Chicago on January 27 at 10am. The catalog is available as a PDF on their website here, and online bidding is being handled by Bidsquare

Previews of the sale will be available January 25 and 26 from 10am to 5pm.

Rare Book Monthly

  • Sotheby’s
    Modern First Editions
    Available for Immediate Purchase
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Winston Churchill. The Second World War. Set of First-Edition Volumes. 6,000 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: A.A. Milne, Ernest H. Shepard. A Collection of The Pooh Books. Set of First-Editions. 18,600 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Salvador Dalí, Lewis Carroll. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Finely Bound and Signed Limited Edition. 15,000 USD
    Sotheby’s
    Modern First Editions
    Available for Immediate Purchase
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Ian Fleming. Live and Let Die. First Edition. 9,500 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: J.K. Rowling. Harry Potter Series. Finely Bound First Printing Set of Complete Series. 5,650 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Ernest Hemingway. A Farewell to Arms. First Edition, First Printing. 4,200 USD
  • Manuscript Masterpieces from the Schøyen Collection
    London auction, 11 June
    BROWSE NOW
    Christie’s, Explore now: The Holkham Hebrew Bible. In Hebrew, decorated manuscript on vellum [Toledo, 2nd quarter 13th century]. £1,500,000–3,000,000
    Christie’s, Explore now: The Crosby-Schøyen Codex. In Coptic, manuscript on papyrus [Upper Egypt, middle 3rd century / 4th century]. £2,000,000–3,000,000
    Christie’s, Explore now: The Geraardsbergen Bible. In Latin, illuminated manuscript on vellum [Southern Netherlands, late 12th century]. £700,000–1,000,000
    Christie’s, Explore now : Jean de Courcy (fl. 1420). The Chronique de la Bouquechardiere. In French, illuminated manuscript on vellum [Paris, c.1480]. £200,000–300,000
    Christie’s, Explore now: The ‘Catherine de Medici’ Hours. In Latin and French, illuminated manuscript on vellum [Paris, c.1485]. £120,000–180,000
  • Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    30th May 2024
    Forum, May 30: Potter (Beatrix). Complete set of four original illustrations for the nursery rhyme, 'This pig went to market', 1890s. £60,000 to £80,000.
    Forum, May 30: Dante Alighieri.- Lactantius (Lucius Coelius Firmianus). Opera, second edition, Rome, 1468. £40,000 to £60,000.
    Forum, May 30: Distilling.- Brunschwig (Hieronymus). Liber de arte Distillandi de Compositis, first edition of the so-called 'Grosses Destillierbuch', Strassburg, 1512. £22,000 to £28,000.
    Forum, May 30: Eliot (T.S.), W. H. Auden, Ted Hughes, Philip Larkin, Robert Lowell, Seamus Heaney, Ted Hughes, & others. A Personal Anthology for Eric Walter White, 60 autograph poems. £20,000 to £30,000.
    Forum, May 30: Cornerstone of French Enlightenment Philosophy.- Helvetius (Claude Adrien). De l'Esprit, true first issue "A" of the suppressed first edition, Paris, 1758. £20,000 to £30,000.
    Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    30th May 2024
    Forum, May 30: Szyk (Arthur). The Haggadah, one of 125 copies, this out-of-series, Beaconsfield Press, 1940. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, May 30: Fleming (Ian). Casino Royale, first edition, first impression, 1953. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, May 30: Japan.- Ryusui (Katsuma). Umi no Sachi [Wealth of the Sea], 2 vol., Tokyo, 1762. £8,000 to £12,000.
    Forum, May 30: Computing.- Operating and maintenance manual for the BINAC binary automatic computer built for Northrop Aircraft Corporation 1949, Philadelphia, 1949. £8,000 to £12,000.
    Forum, May 30: Burmese School (probably circa 1870s). Folding manuscript, or parabaik, from the Court Workshop at the Royal Court at Manadaly, Burma, [c.1870s]. £8,000 to £12,000.
  • Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    K. Marx, Das Kapital,1867. Dedication copy. Est: € 120,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Latin and French Book of Hours, around 1380. Est: € 25,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Theodor de Bry, Indiae Orientalis, 1598-1625. Est: € 80,000
    Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Breviary, Latin manuscript, around 1450-75. Est: € 10,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    G. B. Piranesi, Vedute di Roma, 1748-69. Est: € 60,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    K. Schmidt-Rottluff, Arbeiter, 1921. Orig. watercolour on postcard. Est: € 18,000
    Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Breviarium Romanum, Latin manuscript, 1474. Est: € 20,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    C. J. Trew, Plantae selectae, 1750-73. Est: € 28,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    M. Beckmann, Apokalypse, 1943. Est: € 50,000
    Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Ulrich von Richenthal, Das Concilium, 1536. Est: € 9,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    I. Kant, Critik der reinen Vernunft, 1781. Est: €12,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Arbeiter-Illustrierte Zeitung (AIZ) / Die Volks-Illustrierte (VI), 1932-38. Est: €8,000

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