Whitman, Audubon and a Balzac Autograph Book: Auction Preview


The Travel, Atlases, Maps & Natural History sale at Sotheby’s London ends Tuesday, November 15. The 193 lots include the volume of George Collot’s atlas Travel in North America (1826, but printed in 1804), which is estimated at £70,000-80,000. The delightful set of botanical mezzotints by Johanna Wilhelm Weinmann Phytanthoza iconography (1737–1745) in a contemporary German binding is expected to sell for £40,000-60,000. by John Gould Monograph of the Ramphastidae, or Toucans family (1834) is estimated at £32,000-40,000, and the 1587 Plantin edition of Ortelius’ atlas Theater of the Universe could sell for between £30,000 and £40,000.

Also ending on Tuesday is the Bonhams Skinner Sale of Rare Fine Books and Manuscripts, in 475 lots. A very wide range of material as usual in this sale. Two documents signed by George Washington should lead the way: a series of orders from November 10, 1776 to General Charles Lee is estimated at between $50,000 and $75,000, and a congratulatory note from August 1776 to the same recipient could sell for between 30 000 and 50,000 dollars. This sale will also include the Charles B. Wood III collection of books on Atlantic salmon fishing, and a subscriber’s copy of the first octavo edition of Audubon’s birds of america ($25,000 to $35,000).

Tuesday at Freeman, 24 lots of Books and Manuscripts: Rare Americana. This sale is certainly one to watch: it includes George Washington’s September 18, 1787 letter to Thomas Jefferson (then in Paris) enclosing a copy of the Constitution as proposed by the Philadelphia convention ($1,000,000-$1,500,000 ). Also up for grabs is the September 20, 1787 issue of Pennsylvania Herald and general announcer, containing the text of the draft Constitution ($100,000 to $150,000); an 1816 letter from Thomas Jefferson to Amos Jones Cook containing the Washington letter referenced above ($80,000-120,000); and a copy of the official report of the first United States census, signed by Thomas Jefferson as Secretary of State ($60,000-90,000).

At Dominic Winter Auctioneers on Wednesday November 16, Printed Books & Maps, the Peninsular War, Library of Architecture & Topography of William Whitfield, in 521 lots. A manuscript Book of Hours circa 1470, using Tours, is estimated at £10,000-15,000. A small group of eight Jacobean conduct books printed between 1615 and 1632 could sell for between £3,000 and £5,000.

Aguttes is organizing the 55 Aristophil sale on Wednesday: Two Thousand Years of Writings, from Papyrus to Printed Book. The 154 lots include the Doheny copy of the 1470 Mainz edition of St. Jerome’s Epistoles, which is expected to sell for between €400,000 and €600,000. Luxuriously illuminated and bound, this copy is also printed on vellum. A Balzac autograph book should sell for between €200,000 and €250,000. A circa 1470 manuscript copy on paper of the story of Tristan and Iseult costs an estimate of €200,000-220,000.

Chez Doyle on Wednesdays, Selections from the Collection of Barbara and Ira Lipman, in 144 lots. A first edition of Whitman’s Blades of grass puts the highest estimate at $70,000-100,000. A copy of the 1694 New York edition of George Keith’s Advanced Truth, printed by William Bradford, is expected to sell for between $40,000 and $60,000. In the same estimate range is a copy of the 1759 Nicholas Scull Map of the improved part of the province of Pennsylvania.

On Thursday November 17, Sotheby’s Paris is selling Precious Bindings from the 16th to the 20th Century from the Collection of a Couple of Bibliophiles, in 125 lots. A binding circa 1589 for Thomas Mahieu should fetch between €20,000 and €30,000.

At the PBA galleries on Thursday, 287 lots of rare books and manuscripts. A first edition set from Gibbon Decline and fall (1776–1788) should lead the way to $30,000–50,000. A complete set of 43 volumes of The world in miniatureedited by Frederic Schoberl (1821) is estimated between $10,000 and $15,000, as is John Edwards Holbrook’s North American Herpetology (1842).

The Arader Galleries are holding their November auction on Saturday November 19 in 175 lots.


Comments are closed.