Past Timed Auction

Fine Literature

Soft close begins Wed, Sep 30, 2020 at 10am EDT
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Rare First Edition of Walt Whitman’s 'Leaves of Grass,' 1855, achieved $175,000

  • Auction of Fine Literature September 30, 2020
  • Rare First Edition of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, 1855, achieved $175,000
  • We Invite You to Contact Us for a Complimentary Auction Evaluation of Your Books, Autographs & Maps

NEW YORK, NY -- Doyle continued the strong success of its rare books auctions with a sale of Fine Literature on September 30, 2020. Featured in the sale was property from The Library of Duncan Cranford, a remarkable collection formed in the late 1930s-40s.

With competitive bidding, the sale totaled a successful $465,431, surpassing the estimate of $272,470-439,780, with an exceptional 96% sold by lot and 100% sold by value.

Highlighting the sale was a fine example of the first edition of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, 1855, the very rare English issue which achieved $175,000 against an estimate of $150,000-$250,000. Watch a video and read an essay by Peter Costanzo profiling this monumental work of 19th century American literature.  Read More

Also noteworthy was a copy of the first American edition of Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita that soared past its estimate of $5,000-8,000 to realize $55,625. The book was inscribed to celebrated Doubleday editor Jason Epstein by the author with a characteristic butterfly drawing, which excited great collector enthusiasm.

A Rudyard Kipling manuscript for a tale from the second Jungle Book is a very desirable desideratum, with few offered at auction in the last quarter-century or more, and determined bidders drove The Miracle of Purun Bhagat to $23,750, many times its estimate of $4,000-6,000.

Highlighting a choice group of works by A.A. Milne were When We Were Very Young, inscribed to his literary agent, which sold for $13,750, far over its estimate of $4,000-6,000, and Now We Are Six, one of 20 copies on Japan vellum signed by author and illustrator, which fetched $15,625 at the high end of its $10,000-15,000 estimate.

All prices include the Buyer's Premium.


We Invite You to Auction!

Consignments are currently being accepted for future sales. 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.

For information, please contact Edward Ripley-Duggan at 212-427-4141, ext 234, or Peter Costanzo at ext. 248, or email [email protected]

Consignments are currently being accepted

To have your property evaluated for possible consignment in the next auction, please contact:

Peter Costanzo
212-427-4141, ext 248
[email protected]

Media Contact

Louis LeB. Webre
SVP, Marketing & Media
212-427-4141, ext 232
[email protected]

  • Estate of Robin Gottlieb
  • Estate of Suzanne Schrag
  • Estate of William Crawford III
  • From the Personal Collection of Gary Combs
  • Property of a Prominent New Jersey Family
  • Property of an Upper East Side Collector
  • Property of Jason Epstein and Judith Miller
  • Property of The College of New Rochelle
  • The Collection of Dorothea Benton Frank
  • The Library of Duncan Cranford
  • The Mary K. Young Collection

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