• <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>Morton Subastas on Bidsquare:</b><br>Die Französische Expedition gegen Mexico /Beilagen zum Beiheft des Militair - Wochenblattes
    <b>Morton Subastas on Bidsquare:</b><br>The Architecture Of M. Vitruvius Pollio. London, 1791.
    <b>Morton Subastas on Bidsquare:</b> Estatuto Provisional del Imperio Mexicano. México: Imprenta de Andrade y Escalante, 1865.
    <b>Morton Subastas on Bidsquare:</b> Historia de Méjico... México, 1849 - 1852.
    <b>Morton Subastas on Bidsquare:</b> Juárez, Benito - Ogazón, Pedro. Legajos de Bandos del Estado de Guadalajara, 1860-1863.
    <b>Morton Subastas on Bidsquare:</b> Sigüenza y Góngora, Carlos. Mapa de las Aguas que por el Círculo de 90 Leguas Vienen a la Laguna de Tescuco... Méx, 1748.
    <b>Morton Subastas on Bidsquare:</b> Cruces y Campa / Aubert / Valleto. Pareja Imperial, Fusilamiento de Maximiliano, Tipos Mexicanos... ca,1875.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Feb 21:</b> NASA archive with 351 photographs, silver & chromogenic prints, 1960-2002. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Feb 21:</b> Edward S. Curtis, suite of 18 cyanotypes, 1910-14. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Feb 21:</b> Edward S. Curtis, <i>Horse Capture, Atsina,</i> unique copper plate for <i>The North American Indian,</i> 1908. $60,000 to $90,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Feb 21:</b> John Whipple, <i>Harriet Beecher Stowe,</i> salted print from a calotype negative, 1853. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Feb 21:</b> Lewis Carroll, <i>Xie Kitchen,</i> albumen print, circa 1872. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Feb 21:</b> Ansel Adams, <i>Taos Pueblo,</i> limited, signed first edition of the artist's first book, 12 silver bromide prints, 1930. $30,000 to $45,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Feb 21:</b><br>JFK in his motorcade about 2 mins before his assassination, chromogenic print, 1963. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Feb 21:</b> Anton Guilio Bragaglia, 6 photomechanical postcards with facsimile signatures, 1911-13, printed 1932. $30,000 to $45,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Feb 21:</b> Société Anonyme, Inc, group of 9 postcards, including 8 real photo postcards, 1920-30. $25,000 to $35,000.
  • <b>Christie’s Paris, 20 Feb:</b> BELON. <i>L’Histoire de la nature des oyseaux.</i> Paris : Corrozet, 1555. $17,000 to $23,000
    <b>Christie’s Paris, 20 Feb:</b> MIOMANDRE – BARBIER. <i>Dessins sur les danses de Vaslav Nijinsky.</i> Paris. 1913. $23,000 to $34,000
    <b>Christie’s Paris, 20 Feb:</b> HOKUSAI. <i>Fugaku Hyakkei, Edo : Nishimura Yûzô.</i> 1834-1875. $58,000 to $80,000
    <b>Christie’s Paris, 20 Feb:</b> EDWARDS. <i> <br>A Natural History of Uncommon Birds…</i> London : Printed for the Author. 1743-1764. $35,000 to $46,000
    <b>Christie’s Paris, 20 Feb:</b> VESALIUS. <i><br> De Humane Corporis Fabrica libri septem...</i> Basle : J. Oporinus. 1555. $58,000 to $80,000

Rare Book Monthly

Articles - February - 2019 Issue

Lahaina Printsellers, Ltd.: Hawaii Antiquarian Dealers who Became Pioneers in High Quality Map & Print Reproduction

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Charlene and Alan Walker, owners of Lahaina Printsellers Ltd., recently celebrated the company's 40th anniversary.

Alan and Charlene “Char” Walker have just completed their 40th year as owners of Lahaina Printsellers, Ltd., where they’ve been antiquarian dealers of maps and prints, pioneers in high quality digital reproductions, patrons and publishers of artists, operator of galleries, and framing specialists. They’ve worked as a team and through the years their business model has evolved and modified as the market changed and new technologies emerged.

 

The couple met in the Bahamas where he was working and she was on holiday: He was a Scottish lad kicked out of school at 15; while she was a shy young woman from Northern Michigan who found he could make her laugh. A short time later they made the transition to Maui, married in the 60s, and never looked back.

 

Now, decades later, they are both in their 70s and married for 53 years. The attractive accomplished pair are still running a visual arts enterprise that involves galleries, digital printing, framing, marketing, a substantial technical & sales staff, not to mention a break even point that that hovers around $5,000 a day. Life is not cheap in sunny Lahaina, Hawaii where rents are frequently compared to those in Times Square.

 

It didn’t start out quite that complicated. The couple recalled their early years on Maui working in the visitor industry, construction, tending bar, and other similar jobs. One of their employers introduced them to scrimshaw and they eventually bought the business. But then things got dicey when restrictions were imposed on the ivory business and they looked for a new venture.

 

On a trip to England and Scotland in 1974, they spent time scouring map and print dealers for images relating to Hawaii (in Capt. Cook’s day known as the “Sandwich Islands”) and found a wealth of material at very low prices. At that time there was little interest in these pictures, but back in Lahaina the early maps and views documenting the exploits and travels of Pacific explorers found a ready market and a clientele willing to pay heady prices for original prints and maps.

 

At their zenith in the early 90s, Lahaina Printsellers, Ltd. employed as many as 30 full time workers. It was headquartered in a large beautifully appointed gallery modeled after an English gentleman’s club. They had other galleries and poster shops in high end resort locations and ran a full scale framing workshop that crafted one-of-a-kind custom frames for original works; all that and worldwide shipping too.

 

The couple agree they were fortunate in the early years to work with Mike Cordi, a young man with technical skills who persuaded them to buy their first bubble jet printer. He helped them make the transition to a computerized world soon to be dominated by the internet. Like many others in the antiquarian field as the internet spread and became more powerful, their customers for original antiquarian materials were not as numerous, especially when goods were available on other venues for lower prices.

 

In the old days Lahaina printsellers did occasionally make reproductions using copper plate engravings in the traditional manner. Once printed they’d test the stability of the images by putting them up on the roof in the hot Lahaina sun.

 

In the new scheme of things, as Char explained, “We realized there was a market for high quality reproductions but there weren’t any to be found.” That’s how they became pioneers in the fast transforming world of digital reproduction using a variety of software to scan and enhance imagery and expensive large format digital printers to reproduce what became an enormous library of images that could be output in many sizes, formats and on many surfaces.

 

Eventually they focused on a specialty canvas based strata with a unique coating that helped to stabilize color and eliminated the need for glass in the framing process. Now, in addition to visiting their galleries, they could be found online. Their customers were fascinated by things such as state maps, California as an island, Texas as a republic, or the route of Lewis and Clark blown up to cover an entire wall. They liked not only having thousands of images to choose from, but also being able to order them in a variety of sizes. Their basic formula for cost relates to the number of square inches of any given piece.

 

As time went by, though the Walkers still bought and sold originals, commissioned art and represented artists, their bricks and mortar galleries shrunk to two locations: one in a high traffic area and the other more off the beaten path. They spun off their custom framing and now only use pre-made standard sizes frames manufactured to their specifications in the Philippines.

 

Currently their business has transitioned from mostly originals to mostly made-to-order reproductions. Though much of their emphasis is still on Hawaiiana, including antiquarian materials and nostalgia from the early days of tourism, their inventory of digital scans also includes a wide variety of Western Americana, photography, artists, golf art and other similar genres. Alan named “Cook’s General Chart of 1784 - showing the track of all three voyages and the new discoveries in the Pacific,” as perhaps their best selling image.

 

Some things didn’t work as well. “There were a lot of blind alleys” he said, referring specifically to a venture involving golf imagery that cost a fortune and did not perform as well as they had hoped.

 

He was not eager to share the details of the digital side of their business, only to say that it’s “expensive, fast changing, and leasing is the way to go.”

 

“We learned as we stumbled along,” he said, “and advanced as the technology improved.” Equipment costs are high and talented technical oriented employees not easy to find. He said they are fortunate to have Dave Shively (who joined the company in 1996 as a technical graphics specialist) as a “person who has been critical to our success.”

 

Likewise, though their sales force is not as large as it once was when there were multiple galleries, several of their gallery staff have been with them for decades.

 

To this day Alan Walker loves to buy and has good stories to tell about wonderful finds and the deals they turned into. Char, on other hand, is noted for her sales ability, and fine instinctive eye when it come to framing. She attributes much of their success to Alan, saying, “His creativity is exceptional, everything is due to him.”

 

Like many small business people who are getting older the Walkers are thinking of retirement and without children they do not have a second generation to take over the family business. Alan said their inventory and back stock is worth “more than a million dollars at 10% of actual retail value.” Their inventory includes antique prints and maps, quality reproductions, frames and supplies. The pair hopes to find some younger financially able entrepreneurs who would find the Hawaii lifestyle appealing and would not be daunted by the high cost of living or cut throat competition in the visitor market.

 

Walker does not see the company that he and his wife have built as part of the “trade,” more a business that evolved as time went by and in response to market forces. “We’re just trying to make a living,” he said. “So you see starting with nothing we’ve made a go of it.”

 

Website: www.printsellers.com

Reach Alan Walker at info2@printsellers.com

Tel: (808) 667-7843 (Hawaii)

Rare Book Monthly

  • <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>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

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