Rare Book Monthly

Articles - July - 2024 Issue

Harry Potter is still feeling the Magic

Picture Perfect!

The Library of Dr. Rodney P. Swantko was sold at Sotheby’s on June 26th in New York as 47 lots were offered and 36 sold.   Among them was the original cover art for “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” that brought $1,920,000 against $400,000 - $600,000 estimates. The sale overall brought $6,024,480.


While the above mentioned cover art made the New York Times in their June 28th edition, the sale had other appealing lots too.


Frank L. Baum’s “The Wizard of Oz” (1900) brought $108,000

Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” (1843) presentation copy brought $228,000

Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle’s “The most significant Sherlock Holmes manuscript extant” of The Sign of the Four. It brought $960,000.

Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle’s – Sidney Paget Original Illustration of “The Death of Sherlock Holmes.” It brought $384,000.

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby, first edition.” It brought $336,000.

Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road; first edition.” $120,000

Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita, first edition.” $264,000

Edgar Allan Poe’s Tamerlane: $420,000

Edgar Allan Poe’s “The earliest Poe manuscript still in private hands.” $216,000

Edgar Allan Poe’s “The fever called living is conquered at last.” $504,000

Walt Whitman. “Unscrew the locks from the doors! Unscrew the doors themselves from their jambs!” $132,000


Dr. Swantko went home as a winner twice. While he converted some of his material into big bucks, he’ll still have 11 unsold lots to keep nearby. To keep his spirits up before those 11 unsold slip away, I’ll quote Ron in The Prisoner of Azkaban, “Don’t let the muggles get you down.”


Here is a link to his complete sale https://www.rarebookhub.com/auctions/auction_detail?id=27023


His experience is an encouragement to collectors.

Rare Book Monthly

  • Sotheby’s, July 11: Galileo, Document annotated and signed by Galileo, dated Padua, 1595. £500,000 to £700,000.
  • Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    18th July 2024
    Forum, July 18: Rowling (J.K.) Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, first hardback edition, 1997. £40,000 to £60,000.
    Forum, July 18: Binding.- Lucian of Samosata Opuscula Erasmo Roterodamo interprete, first Aldine edition, Venice, Heirs of Aldus Manutius and A, 1516. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, July 18: Bacon (Sir Francis). De Dignitate et Augmentis Scientiarum Libri IX, Pierre Gassendi's copy gifted him by Nicolas-Claude Fabri de Peiresc, Paris, Typis Petri Mettayer, 1624. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    18th July 2024
    Forum, July 18: Shakespeare (William). The First Part of Henry the Fourth, with the Life and Death of Henry, Sirnamed Hot-Spurre…, Printed by Isaac Jaggard, and Ed. Blount, 1623. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, July 18: Darwin (Charles). On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, third edition, presentation inscription 'From the Author' in a secretary's hand, John Murray, 1861. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, July 18: Teague (Violet). Geraldine Rede. Night Fall in the Ti-Tree, first edition, Melbourne, Sign of the Rabbit, 1905; and another. £10,000 to £15,000.
    Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    18th July 2024
    Forum, July 18: India.- Primrose (Gen. James Maurice). Collection of 24 original drawings from his time in India with the 43rd Regiment of Foot, circa 1855 to 1864. £10,000 to £15,000.
    Forum, July 18: Manet (Édouard). Trente Eaux-fortes originales, the complete portfolio, Paris, A. Stroelin, 1905. £8,000 to £12,000.
    Forum, July 18: Bible, English. [The Holy Bible], first edition of the King James Bible, the Great 'He' Bible, [Robert Barker], [1611]. £6,000 to £8,000.
    Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    18th July 2024
    Forum, July 18: America.- Mathews (Alfred E.) Pencil Sketches of Montana, first edition, New York, Published by the Author, 1868. £6,000 to £8,000.
    Forum, July 18: Bawden (Edward). Original dust-jacket artwork for 'The Outsider' by Albert Camus, [c.1946]. £4,000 to £6,000.
    Forum, July 18: World.- Fries (Laurent). Tabula Nova Totius Orbis, woodcut map, [c.1541]. £3,000 to £5,000.

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