Books at Auction in San Francisco

- by Bruce E. McKinney


One example of an interesting & eclectic sale.

135. [NEW ORLEANS IMPRINT]. Postillon del Mensagero Luisianés. Nueva Orleans, Lunes 22 de Julio 1811. [New Orleans: Joaquín de Lisa and José Antonio Boniquet, 1811]. Folio broadside in three columns, 41.5 x 31.3 cm. First edition of an exceedingly rare New Orleans imprint with important content relating to dispatch of U.S. troops to quell uprising in West Florida and the Kemper brother filibusters (who would soon move their operations to Texas). Not in American Imprints, Jumonville, MacCurdy, Medina (Notas bibliográficas referente a las primeras producciones de la imprenta en algunas ciudades de la América Española...1764-1822), etc. This issue is believed to be unique. ($2,500-5,000)

137. MARGIL DE JESÚS, Antonio. Manuscript dictum written in Latin, signed by Margil as Guardian of the College of Guadalupe of Zacatecas, May 4, 1724. 1 page, folio, in Latin. Documents signed by Margil are rare. Father Margil informs the friars that, under the papal bull of foundation of the College of Santa Cruz of Querétaro of Innocent XI in 1682, the friars doing missionary work do not need licenses from the local prelate to preach or administer the sacraments. Margil is known as the "Apostle of Texas" and the "Giant Northern Pilgrim." His efforts in Texas resulted in the first permanent civil settlement in Texas. He found Mission in East Texas, and his greatest success was the founding of Mission San José in San Antonio de Béxar in 1720 (Handbook of Texas Online: Margil de Jesús, Antonio). ($10,000-20,000)

The Bonhams and Butterfield sale is the broadest of the three. There are 497 lots with an average low estimate of $1,616.16. The material is eclectic, serious in the Southern California way. That is, in this sale, Thomas Jefferson and Dr. Seuss rub shoulders if not noses. I asked Catherine Williamson, Director of Books & Manuscripts for an overview and she said, "For the second year we are timing our auction to coincide with the California ABAA Book Fair. Last year was very successful both for buyers and sellers and we hope to make this an annual event." In response to feedback they are offering extended previewing: Thursday, Friday and Saturday 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Here are some examples of what's offered. The sale is Sunday the 18th and begins at 10:00 am.

Lot No: 35 ROBERTS, DAVID. 1796-1864. The Holy Land, Syria, Idumea, Arabia, Egypt, & Nubia. London: Day & Son, 1855-1856. 6 volumes bound in 3. Illustrated with 248 tinted lithographed plates, mostly duotone, some in three tints (including 6 pictorial title-pages & portrait of Roberts); 2 engraved maps. 4to (292 x 196mm). Period full armorial morocco gilt, all edges gilt. Light foxing to plates but images mostly clean, bookplates of G. Redmayne. First quarto edition. Abbey Travel, 272, 385, and 388. Estimate: $3,000 - 5,000