Books at Auction in San Francisco

- by Bruce E. McKinney

A story that everyone knows.

Lot No: 421 JEFFERSON, THOMAS. 1743-1826. FIRST SILK BROADSIDE OF JEFFERSON'S SECOND INAUGURAL SPEECH President Jefferson's Inaugural speech. : On the 4th inst. at 12 o'clock, Mr. Jefferson appeared in the Chamber of the United States' Senate, where his re-election was declared, and the necessary oath administered to him. On this occasion he delivered the following speech. [Boston: The Democrat, 1805.] Broadside printed in two columns on silk. 345 x 535 mm. Light spotting on left margin, a few small holes at upper left corner, generally age toned, else an exceptionally well preserved example. Estimate: $8,000 - 12,000

Finally, there is PBA Galleries' [Pacific Book Auction] sale on Thursday the 22nd. According to Bruce MacMakin, head of cataloguing, "it's an eclectic sale of premium material that's intended to offer something for every type of book collector." Material is available for viewing from Wednesday the 14th until the hammer falls on the 22nd at 1:00 pm. Here are some representative items:

No. 65. Johnson, Samuel. A Dictionary of the English Language: In Which the Words are deduced from their Originals, and Illustrated in their Different Significations by Examples from the best Writers. To Which Are Prefixed, a History of the Language, and an English Grammar. London: 1755. Printed by W. Strahan, for J. & P. Knapton, et al. Estimated $15,000 to $25,000.

No. 86. Melville, Herman. Moby Dick; or, the Whale. New York: 1851. Harper & Brothers. Estimated $15,000 to $20,000.

No. 33. Dickens, Charles. A Christmas Carol. In Prose. Being a Ghost Story of Christmas. London: 1843. Chapman & Hall. Estimated $10,000 to $15,000.

No. 101. Poe, Edgar. The Raven. New York: [1870?] W. Jennings Demorest. Estimated $4,000 t0 $7,000.

No. 92. Newton, Isaac. A Letter of Mr. Isaac Newton, Mathematick Professor in the University of Cambridge; containing his New Theory about Light and Colors... [London]: Feb. 19, 1671. [For John Martin]. Estimated $15,000 to $20,000.

No. 7. Aristotle. De Categoriae [and] De Interpretatione. [Northern France, probably Paris]: [c.1250] bound with] Boethius. Liber de Divisione and De Differentiis Topicis. [bound with] Liber sex principiorum. 81 leaves. Latin manuscript on vellum, rubricated throughout, together with one- to four-line initials in red and blue; six marginal diagrammatic tables. 175x115 mm. (7x4 1/2), modern wooden boards with old brass clasps. Estimated $80,000 to $120,000.

No. 113. Sowerby, James, & James Edward Smith. English Botany; or, Coloured Figures of British Plants, with their Essential Characters, Synonyms, and Places of Growth. To which will be added, Occasional Remarks. 40 volumes in 30 including the 4 supplements. London: 1790-1849. Estimated $20,000 to $30,000.

The auctions expect to benefit from the thousands who will attend the Book Fair. And they in turn contribute their audiences to the book fair throngs. Both show participants, visitors, auctions houses and their communities should do well by this unusual opportunity that occurs when their paths cross.