First Octavo Edition of Audubon's 'Birds of America' Fetches $56,250
Sale Total Surpasses $1 Million Amid International Bidding
We Invite You to Contact Us for a Complimentary Auction Evaluation of Your Books, Autographs and Maps
On April 23, 2012, Doyle New York held an auction of Rare Books, Autographs and Photographs. Among the offerings were manuscripts and early printing, color plate, Americana, travel, sporting, literature, illustrations, artist books, fine bindings, private press, maps and atlases.
With competitive bidding from the salesroom, the telephones and the Internet, the sale totaled a strong $1,022,676, surpassing the pre-sale estimate of $531,400-785,600, with an exceptional 91% sold by lot and 98% sold by value.
Highlighting the sale was a group of manuscript leaves dating from the 8th through 16th centuries that achieved a stunning $86,500 from a European buyer. The group included a fine range of leaves from Carolingian and Ottonian manuscripts.
Early printing featured a first edition of Simon Kellwaye’s 1593 A defensatiue against the plague, London, that achieved $22,500, more than doubling its estimate of $8,000-10,000. A copy of The holy bull, and crusado of Rome, London, 1588, sold for $20,000, many times its estimate of $4,000-6,000.
Color plate books featured a first octavo edition of John James Audubon’s Birds of America that fetched $56,250 from a New York buyer. Published in Philadelphia 1840-1844, this set of seven volumes contained 500 finely hand-colored lithographic plates. Also offered was James Malton’s A picturesque and descriptive view of the city of Dublin displayed in a series of the most interesting scenes taken in the year 1791, which sold for $28,125.
American literature offered The Writings of Mark Twain, New York, 1922-25, The Definitive Edition signed by the author as both Samuel Clemens and Mark Twain, in 37 volumes bound in morocco. Estimated at $8,000-10,000, the set fetched $17,920. Also featured was Herman Melville’s Moby Dick with illustrations by Rockwell Kent, 1930, estimated at $4,000-6,000, that sold for $8,125.
Property from the Estates of M. Michael Eisenberg and Barbara Yetka-Eisenberg included a first Russian edition of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland (Ania V Stranie Chudes), 1923, as translated by Vladimir Nabokov, that sold for $12,800, well over its estimate of $6,000-9,000.
The selection of autographs was highlighted by a letter signed by Marcel Proust, circa 1919, that achieved $16,640, more than tripling the estimate of $4,000-5,000. An archive of letters, photographs etc. belonging to John Martin (1893-1985), the eminent American dance critic, estimated at $1,000-2,000 fetched a surprising $13,750.
From the Collection of longtime Architectural Digest editor Paige Rense Noland was an autograph transcript of Louise Labe's 18th sonnet in Henri Matisse's hand, incorporating an elaborate engrossed capital B and drawing of a pair of lips. Estimated at $3,000-5,000, it fetched a strong $14,080. From the same Collection was a rare 1944 postcard signed by Norma Jeane, as the young Marilyn Monroe was known, that sold for $8,750, far surpassing its estimate of $1,000-1,500.
All prices include the buyer's premium.
NEXT RARE BOOKS, AUTOGRAPHS AND MAPS AUCTION: Fall 2012
Doyle New York's next auction of Rare Books, Autographs and Maps is scheduled for Fall 2012. Consignments are currently being accepted. We invite you to contact us for a complimentary auction evaluation. Our specialists are always available to discuss the sale of a single item or an entire collection. Please contact Edward Ripley-Duggan at 212-427-4141, ext 234, or Peter Costanzo at ext. 248, or email [email protected]