Rare Books at Auction This Week

A full week is lined up in the salesrooms, including auctions from the William St. Clair Library and the Glaisdale Agricultural Library.

At Canada Book Auctions on Tuesday September 27, Fine and Rare Books, Maps and Prints, in 333 lots. A copy of the first English edition of Euclid from 1570The Elements of Geometry with the facsimile base plate is estimated at $25,000 to $35,000. Ledermüllers Amusement Microscope (1764–1768), the first edition in French, expected to sell for $6,000–8,000, and a first Canadian edition by F. Scott Fitzgerald The beautiful and the damned (1922) could fetch $4,000 to $6,000.

Lyon & Turnbull is selling 336 lots of rare books, manuscripts, maps and photographs from the library of the late William St Clair on Wednesday September 28th. A 1648 autograph letter from Oliver Cromwell to Richard Norton as part of negotiations for the proposed marriage of Cromwell’s son Richard to Dorothy Maijor is expected to fetch between £5,000 and £8,000. A signed set of Eric Gill’s proofs for the 1927 Golden Cockerel Press edition Troilus and Criseyde could sell for $3,000 to $5,000. An album of 120 salt proofs of calotype negatives attributed to Charles George Hood Kinnear and dated c.1846-1848 is estimated at £4,000-6,000.

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In the university archives on Wednesday, rare autographs, manuscripts and books, in 414 lots. An Apollo 11 lunar landing mission Neil Armstrong autograph is estimated at $90,000 to $110,000. An autograph fragment from George Washington’s first inaugural address, one chopped up and distributed by Jared Sparks (sent to “Miss Abby L. Davis” in 1850), is estimated at $60,000-$70,000. A manuscript fragment by Isaac Newton containing notes on religion could sell for $28,000 to $35,000. An 1864 CDV photograph of Sojourner Truth, believed to have been signed by Truth with her “X” sign, is estimated at $24,000–$30,000.

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On Thursday September 29, Forum Auctions will be auctioning off beautiful books, manuscripts and works on paper in 368 lots. A copy of the very rare first edition from 1553 Parte Primera de la Chronica del Peru estimated at £50,000-70,000. A single Gutenberg Bible leaf from Numbers 7:38-8:12 is expected to sell for £40,000-60,000. The first editions of the first printed book on memory, Jacobus Publicius’ Ar’s oratorios. Ars Epistolandi. Ars Memoriva (1482), printed by Ratdolt in Venice; and a copy of Sir John Mandeville’s 1469–1499 edition Travel in Italian. A sheet from a block book Biblia pauperum from about 1465 could be sold for £25,000 to £35,000.

At Swann Galleries on Thursday, Printed & Manuscript Americana, in 395 lots. A large collection of manuscripts, letters, and journals by Gideon Welles and his family is estimated at $60,000-$90,000. Copy of the first edition Catlin’s North American Indian portfolio (1844) could sell for $40,000–60,000, and a copy of the Charleston Mercury The additional broadside issue announcing the passage of South Carolina’s secession ordinance in 1860 is valued at an estimate of $25,000 to $35,000.

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The PBA gallery sales of books in all fields – with literature; Americana & Cards; Art & Photography also ends on Thursday. The 338 lots will be sold with no reserve price starting at $10.

On Friday at Tennants Auctioneers, The Glaisdale Agricultural Library: The Private Collection of a Yorkshire Agriculturist, in 179 lots. The first two volumes (bound together) of the first trade and agricultural journal, A collection of letters to improve husbandry and trading (1681-1683) is expected to lead the sale at £2,000-3,000.

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