Rare Book Monthly

Articles - October - 2006 Issue

Lightning Strikes Twice at John's Western Gallery

La.france

Purchased by the French collector Moi-meme.


Maps and charts are of course among the choice raw material of history and seven lots offered brought out buyer lust. A map of Santa Monica dated 1875 brought $5,750 against an estimate of $800 to $1,200 and a 5 page "Description of Orange and Vine Lands in Los Angeles" with map brought $1,840 against an estimate of $300 to $400. Overall maps and charts brought almost 3 times the low estimates and twice the highs. Early Los Angeles city directories, lots 143-145, brought $6,325, $7,475 and $6,900, a total of $20,800, again more than twice the high estimates. An albumen-print carte de visite of "Tiburcio Vasquez, the notorious Bandit," brought $2,875, a sum probably greater than all the money he obtained at gun-point and evidence that he might have done better shooting photographs. For those who needed confirmation of his capture lot 111 was a "Diagram of the Scene of the Capture of Vasquez" which brought $3,450 against an estimate of $1,500 to $2,500. If you are now curious about Mr. Vasquez here is a link to the archives at USC which have a piece on him. www.usc.edu/libraries/archives/la/scandals/Vasquez.html

Several Chinese items brought good prices. An 1878 speech on Chinese exclusion delivered by the Hon. Jas. J. Ayers to the committee of the [state] Constitutional Convention brought $1,495 against an estimate of $800 to $1,200. A letter signed by H. D. Barrows expressing anti-Chinese sentiments and dated 1878, brought $546 against an estimate of $250 to $350.

Bargain hunters found the spotty bidding appealing and bought unloved material for well under the low estimate. One buyer paid $74.75 for 6 such lots, a remarkable if unexpected bounty. These lots included early billheads, a newspaper receipt, "Minutes of the First Session of the Southern California Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church,...", and "Reminicences de l'Hymne de la France a l'Ennemi!" which is thought to be possibly the first Los Angeles imprint in French.

You never know what you'll find at an auction. That's why you go.

Full results are posted in the auction pages [click here].

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 27:</b> <i>[Sutro Baths] / On the Shore of the Pacific Ocean,</i> designer unknown, 1896. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 27:</b> Osvaldo Ballerio, <i>Biscottini e Amaretti Delser,</i> circa 1900. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 27:</b> Maxfield Parrish, <i>Harper’s Weekly,</i> 1896. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 27:</b> Leonetto Cappiello, <i>Les Parfums de J. Daver Paris,</i> 1903. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 27:</b> Jacob Lawrence, <i>Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture,</i> 1968. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 27:</b> Charles Loupot, <i>Lion Noir, Cirage – Crème,</i> 1949. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 27:</b> <i>Keep Calm and Carry On,</i> designer unknown, 1939. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 27:</b> Walter L. Greene, <i>Adirondack Mountains / Lake Placid,</i> 1930. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 27:</b> Laura Brey, <i>Enlist / On Which Side of the Window Are You?</i> 1917. $1,500 to $2,000.

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