A book was the first item ever sold by Freeman’s founder, Tristram Bampfylde Freeman, in 1805. Freeman’s Books and Manuscripts department has sold countless books in the intervening 217 years, and we still treat each one—and every consignor—with the respect and professionalism they deserve.
The specialists in Freeman’s Books and Manuscripts department maintain a deep knowledge of current market trends; although their focus always shifts in response to the material at hand, they have been particularly successful bringing to market the prints of John James Audubon, Americana, Medieval manuscripts, presidential letters and documents, and material related to the history of travel and exploration.
Our multiple annual Books and Manuscripts auctions offer a range of printed books, manuscripts, fine bindings, photography, posters, prints, autographs, and maps. Recent successes include the record-shattering $4.42M sale of signer Charles Carroll’s copy of the Declaration of Independence, which marked the second-highest price ever paid at auction for a copy of the Declaration of Independence, and the highest price ever paid at auction for an American document printed in the 19th century.
The department has been entrusted with several recent important single-owner collections, including works deaccessioned by the Virginia House Museum from the Collection of Ambassador & Mrs. Alexander Weddell; the Alexander Hamilton Collection of John E. Herzog; and selections from the library of Victor Niederhoffer.
Hedge fund manager and statistician Victor Niederhoffer amassed an eclectic collection that spanned disciplines and reflected various passions. Formed over many years, the collection encompassed larger themes such as human accomplishment and heroic achievement. Totaling over $1m, the single-owner sale was comprised of impressive American and European sterling silver trophies and other fine examples that celebrated the craftsmanship and technical prowess of the greatest silversmiths; patriotic and whimsical Americana; folk and illustration art; and a wide selection of first editions, autographs, fine bindings and sporting books from his personal library. Additional selections from Niederhoffer's library were offered in two subsequent sales.
April 10, 2019
Freeman's was proud to offer selected property from the collection of United States Ambassador Alexander Weddell (1876-1948) and his wife Virginia Chase Steedman Weddell (1874-1948), deaccessioned by the Virginia House Museum, in a single-owner sale. The time-capsule collection incorporated art and objects from all over the world, including Spain, Europe, Near & Far East, Britain, and the Americas. This vast collection was held together by the Weddells’ personal story—their shared travels, their love for each other, and their joint passion to collect items with which to furnish their beloved Virginia House in Richmond. Spirited bidding was a common occurrence throughout the single-owner auction, which more than doubled its pre-sale estimate and to date recorded the highest number of registered bidders for a single auction at Freeman’s.
Head of Books and Manuscripts
Cataloguer and Registrar I Books and Manuscripts
Registrar I Books and Manuscripts