Rare Book Monthly
A Serious Book Auction in Chicago
For book buyers in Chicago and the Midwest evidence of resurgence in the book auction market is apparent in the upcoming sale at Leslie Hindman in downtown Chicago. The sale will take place on June 14th and begins at noon. Material is currently available for viewing both online and at the auction house. There are in fact two sales. The other is a Vintage Couture and Accessories sale on June 13th.
Book auctions were once a staple of Chicago life and the Hindman firm is now working to restore them as a regular midwest event. The city itself has a storied history and complex relationship to the printed word. Book stores, book auctions and collecting organizations have been ever present on the Chicago skyline.
The 388 lot book sale includes the property of many consignors but is primarily material consigned by Rockford College to raise funds for endowment. Many of the Rockford items have been the property of their rare book department for generations. The material is eclectic, the common denominator value. Some of it is quite rare.
Befitting an auction department that is building a base the presentations are thorough and the estimates appealing. Here is a representative group of what should be an interesting sale:
Lot 49 shows us what is more valuable than gold. It's ink of course. An actress collected the signatures of many of America's famous and prominent people in the first half of the 20th century. Two volumes of over 100 examples are offered here. Autograph highlights include Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Lou Gehrig, Willie Mays (signed photo), Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, Amelia Earhart, Herbert Hoover, Calvin Coolidge, Michael Collins, Carrie Chapman Catt, John Philip Sousa, William Wrigley, Prince William of Sweden, Prince Ferdinand of Russia, Jane Addams, Al Jolson, Jack Dempsey, and Mel Blanc. The estimate is $3,000 to $5,000.
Lot 71 is a first edition of The Life of Samuel Johnson by James Boswell. This is a celebrated biography that was a premier collectible before the depression, suffered a decline through the end of the Second World War and has slowly found its footing. It suffers from visibility but is an important work. It is estimated at $4,000 to $6,000. Lot 72 is a rebound set and is estimated at $1,000 to $2,000.
Lot 84 is Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There. It's the 1872 first edition, first issue with 50 illustrations. It's estimated $800 to $1,200.
Lots 97 and 98 are stereo views of Chicago pre and post the great Chicago fire. No other city in has quite the fascination with its destruction as does Chicago. These lots are both estimated $200 to $400.
Lot 103 is an early Confederate imprint, Regulations For The Army Of The Confederate States. Richmond: Ritchie & Dunnavant, 1861 8vo., blue cloth. With the signature of Brig. Gen. Sterling Price to f.f.e.p. Light wear and soiling to binding; otherwise fine. This would have been printed in the opening months of the war, just a carriage ride from Washington. It is estimated $1,000 to $2,000.
Lot 143 will be of interest both to the French and to those appreciate the French style. It is [Duchamp, Marcel] Lebel Robert, Sur Marcel DuChamp. Paris: Trianon, 1959 4to., in wrappers, in brown cloth clamshell case with plate reading "Eau & Gaz a Tous Les Étages". 1 of 110 copies of the deluxe edition signed by Marcel DuChamp and Robert Lebel. A biography and catalog of DuChamp and his work. Fine in a lightly soiled and worn case. It is estimated $6,000 to $8,000.