Rare Book Monthly

Articles - December - 2002 Issue

“Sold!,”A New Monthly Feature

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PBA Sale254 Lot 184

Second, and even scarcer than the Edward, was lot 130 in the PBA #254 sale, a copy of J. K. Hyer and W. S. Starring’s Lahcotah: Dictionary of the Sioux Language (Fort Laramie, [1866)]. This crudely printed item is a Wyoming incunabulum, having been the first book printed in the area that became part of that state. Apparently printed on a US Army press at the fort, it was printed in no more than fifty copies, of which only five are extant. This copy, however, failed to sell on its estimate of $10,000-$15,000.

Third, and also in the PBA #254 sale among other Montana items in lots 183-188, was a piece of Western fun in lot 184, Helena’s Social Supremacy: Montana’s Center of Fashion, Refinement, Gentility, Etiquette, Kettle Drums, High Fives, Progressive Euchre and Mixed Drinks (Helena, 1894). This little 48-page book is supposedly part of the controversy surrounding the permanent capital of Montana. First fixed at the now abandoned town of Bannack while Montana was still a territory, the location of the permanent capital became a punching bag between some of the biggest political forces in the new state. Marcus Daly wanted it to be in Anaconda, which he practically owned. An arch enemy, William Clark, wanted it to be in Helena, which eventually won out in 1889 after both men spent an estimated $3 million each trying to influence the outcome. This delightful squib on Montana society recalls the contest and is a minor classic in the literature that surrounded the choice of Montana’s capital city. It sold for $126 on an estimate of $250-$350.

Many American males over 50 owned as a child several shelves of the venerable Zane Grey’s Western novels in the series published by Black. That popularity continues to be reflected in the auction rooms. PBA #254 sold a long run of Grey first and early editions in reasonable condition (lots 76-109). One of the items was his The Lone Star Ranger (New York: Harper, [1924]), signed by Grey but in a facsimile dust jacket. In a twist that reminds one of advertisers who market “faux pearls” and “genuine facsimiles,” PBA spent much time describing the photocopied dust jacket and concluded that the book was “very good in a very good facsimile jacket.” The lot fetched $373.00. Over at Swann, the same title (New York, 1915), also signed but in publisher’s cloth, was grouped with a similar signed copy of his Tales of Fishes (New York, 1919). That copy also had problems: “ex-library with faults, sold as is.” Despite those problems, the pair fetched $100.00. One wonders what would have been the price if both of these, too, had been munified with facsimile jackets. Despite the constant emphasis put on condition, it would appear that spending some time at a color photocopier might pay dividends.

Versions of the Declaration of Independence, all of them expensive, were sold by Sotheby’s (lots 190-193). More interesting, however, than the fates of the various contemporary printings, all of which did well, were the fortunes of two facsimile lots, one at Sotheby’s (lot 192) and the other at the PBA #254 sale (lot 57). The former was a copy in fair condition of William J. Stone’s facsimile produced in 1823 and one of 36 vellum copies known. Stone’s work has proven important over the years as the original Declaration has faded; Stone’s facsimile is, in fact, now clearer than the original. This copy sold for $207,300.00 on an estimate of $100,000-$190,000, surpassed only by lot 190, the Newport, 1776, edition that fetched $367,000.00. In the sale was another facsimile, this one pulled by Peter Force about 1848 from Stone’s plate and found as issued in a volume of his American Archives. (These copies lack the Stone imprint.)

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.
  • <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Leon TOLSTOÏ. <i>Anna Karenina.</i> Moscou, 1878. First and full edition of the Russian novel, in the author’s language.<br>Est. 3 000 / 4 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Mark TWAIN. <i>Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Tom Sawyer's comrade).</i> New York, 1885. First American edition.<br>Est. 5 000 / 6 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Walt WHITMAN. <i>Leaves of Grass.</i> Brooklyn, New York, 1856. Second edition gathering 32 poems. Est. 3 000 / 4 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Karen BLIXEN. <i>Out of Africa.</i> Londres, 1937. First edition in the UK, before Danish translation and American release.<br>Est. 1 500 / 2 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Ernest HEMINGWAY. <i>A Farewell to Arms.</i> New York, 1929. First edition with $2.50 on the dust and A on the copyright page.<br>Est. 2 000 / 3 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> James JOYCE. <i>Ulysses.</i> Paris, Shakespeare and Company, 1922. First edition published by Sylvia Beach. Est. 3 000 / 4 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> James JOYCE. <i>Dubliners.</i> Londres, 1914. First edition. Nice copy in publisher’s cardboard. Est. 2 000 / 3 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> Franz KAFKA. 8 novels in German first edition, published in München, Leipzig and Berlin 1916-1931. Est. from 300 / 400 to 2 000 / 3 000 €
    <b>ALDE, Feb. 26:</b> David Herbert LAWRENCE. <i>Lady Chatterley's Lover.</i> Florence, 1928. Privately printed first edition. Est. 4 000 / 5 000 €
    John STEINBECK. <i>The Grapes of Wrath.</i> New York, 1939. First edition. Nice copy with $2.75 on the cover. Est. 1 000 / 1 200 €

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