Freeman’s Rare Books and Manuscripts Department (also offering antiquarian maps, prints and posters of all periods) hopes to extend its pleasure in having prepared a select gathering of early printed books, including incunabula, Metaphysical poetry & many monuments of modernist verse & prose literature, as well as important maps, dramatically decorative posters & autograph material of historical significance to all and sundry.
Freemans April 4th and 5th two-day sale sale of Fine Books, Maps and Manuscripts features strong private collections. The first is a focused collection of 17th century & 20th century metaphysical and modern poetry and literature from the estate of a Philadelphia collector. Of note is the first edition of John Donne’s Poems, London, 1633 estimated at an enticing $8,000-12,000; James Joyce’s Ulysses, 1st ed., 1/750 copies, 1922 estimated at $8,000-12,000 and John Miltons first edition of Paradise Lost at $5,000-8,000. An outstanding untrimmed example of John Keat’s Lamia, Isabella, the Eve of St. Agnes and other Poems, London, 1820, in original boards is offered at $6,000-8,000 and a scarce tall copy of Andrew Marvell’s Miscellaneous Poems, London, 1681 at $5,000-8,000.
The second featured collection is from the Mount Saint Alphonsus Seminary library in upstate New York and includes over 180 lots of early printings, including over 15 incunables. Of special note is the 1500 edition of Saint Bridgets Revelations [in German] for $10,000-15,000 with colored woodcuts attributed to Albrecht Durer and printed by Anton Koberger. An early edition of Albertus Magnus’ early tract on Minerology De Mineralibus from 1519 is offered at $12,000-18,000. The first edition of Ludolphus de Saxonia’s Vita Christi, 1474 Strassburg, Carthusian Monastry is offered at $10,000-15,000. A near complete example has not come to auction since 1980. Another interesting edition is Hieronymous’ Epistolae 1492-97 with a frontis woodcut of St. Jerome dressed as a cardinal removing a thorn from a lion's paw, three books bearing versions of Genesis 1:1 the Hebrew Pentateuch, the Greek Septuagint, and St. Jerome’s own Latin translation are beside him. This woodcut was attributed to Durer after the woodblock was discovered with an inscription in Durers hand on the reverse.
Manuscripts from the Americas include a poignant letter from Abraham Lincoln to the secretary of war interceding to release an underage draftee, estimated at $10,000-15,000 and a personal letter from Ulysees S. grant to his wife, signed ’Ulys’ estimated at $5,000-8,000. The sale also includes a good collection of scarce Confederate manuscript material including about a dozen letters by General George Edward Pickett, best remembered for his participation in the Battle of Gettysburg and other letters written by his aide-de-camp Captain Edward R. Baird, who is always pictured at Pickett’s side.
For those interested in the development of early film, a rare offering in the sale are Leonard Trolands early journals of Technicolor research from 1919-1921 estimated at $20,000-30,000. Leonard Troland, a graduate of MIT become director of the Technicolor Motion Picture Corporation of California in 1925. A good private collection of entertainment autographs, including signatures by Cary Grant, Abbott & Costello, Bette Davis and many more, can be found at lot 588 through lot 609. The sale also includes early printed American periodical material including a copy of The New York Evening Post, from September.
The sale also includes early printed American periodical material including a copy of The New York Evening Post, from September 10, 1802, which contains the infamous article by the political pamphleteer and journalist Thomas Callender, featuring the first appearance of Sally Hemings, Thomas Jefferson’s slave paramour by whom the President would father many children, estimated at $12,000-18,000 and a rare newspaper from November 25, 1789 which contains an address to the public by Benjamin Franklin as President of Pennsylvania Society for promoting the abolition of slavery and the relief of free Negroes, estimated at $20,000-30,000.