Past Timed Auction

Fine Literature

Soft close begins Tue, Jun 22, 2021 at 10am EDT
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Prices Soared for Books from the Julius and Theodore Cohn Library and the Collection of the Late William Safire


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  • Successful Auction of Fine Literature on June 22, 2021
  • Prices Soared for Books from the Julius and Theodore Cohn Library and the Collection of the Late William Safire
  • We Invite You to Contact Us for Complimentary Auction Estimates for Your Fine Books & Ephemera

NEW YORK, NY -- Doyle held a successful auction of Fine Literature on June 22, 2021. The sale saw strong prices for a diverse selection of 18th to 20th works of fiction, children’s books and original illustration, private press and fine bindings.

The Julius and Theodore Cohn Library
Highlighting the sale was property from The Julius and Theodore Cohn Library which offered important books collected by two generations. The top lot of the day was a first edition in four volumes of George Eliot’s most enduring work Middlemarch: A Study of Provincial Life. This rare 1871-72 set in publisher’s cloth soared past its estimate of $1,000-2,000 to achieve a stunning $28,350.

The Collection of the Late William Safire
From the Collection of the Late William Safire, the renowned political advisor and speechwriter and longtime writer of The New York Times On Language column, was a bevy of works appealing to any wordsmith. Safire’s collection includes a quantity of books by the great American writers Mark Twain and Herman Melville that sold strongly, notably the three volume Rockwell Kent illustrated edition of Melville’s Moby Dick; or The Whale estimated at $500-800 that realized an exceptional $3,150 and the first issue copy of Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Tom Sawyer's Comrade) estimated $300-500 that fetched $1,764. A group of inscribed volumes from John Le Carré estimated $500-800 achieved $2,268. Read an essay by Peter Costanzo profiling works by Twain and Melville in the Collection. Read Essay

With competitive bidding, the sale totaled a successful $256,656 surpassing its low estimate of $177,900-277,910 with a strong 87% sold by lot and 100% by value.

All prices include the Buyer’s Premium.


We Invite You to Auction!

Consignments are currently being accepted for future auctions. 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]

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Louis LeB. Webre
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212-427-4141, ext 232
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  • Estate of Ambassador and Mrs. Evan G. Galbraith
  • Estate of Florence and Judge David Edelstein
  • Estate of Joan Twigg
  • From the Collection of the late William Safire
  • Property of Jason Epstein and Judith Miller
  • The Celeste Holm Collection
  • The Collection of Dorothea Benton Frank
  • The Julius and Theodore Cohn Library

A Selection of Auction Highlights