Books and Manuscripts

Bell's Edition: The Poets of Great Britain Complete from Chaucer to Churchill

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.

  

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Records and Results

The library at The Virginia House Museum
The Collection of Victor Niederhoffer

The Collection of Victor Niederhoffer

June 19, 2019, September 19, 2019 & January 20, 2020

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. 

 

Sell-Through Rate: 95%
Pre-sale Estimate: $574,400-902,300
result: $1.3M
Property from the Collection of Ambassador & Mrs. Alexander Weddell | The Virginia House Museum

Across Continents: Property from the Collection of Ambassador & Mrs. Alexander Weddell | The Virginia House Museum

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.  

 

Sell-Through Rate: 97%
Pre-sale Estimate: $569,000–864,000
Result: $1.5M

Contact a Specialist

 

Darren Winston

 

Darren Winston

Head of Books and Manuscripts

267.414.1247

Email

Colin Foley

 

Colin Foley 

Cataloguer and Registrar I Books and Manuscripts

267.414.1246

Email


Adam Dias

Registrar I Books and Manuscripts

267.414.1257

Email

 

 

Our International Partners

Simon Vickers

 

Simon Vickers

Head of Department

Lyon & Turnbull 

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Cathy Marsden

 

Cathy Marsden

Specialist

Lyon & Turnbull 

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News

 

 

09/22/2022    

Upcoming Valuation Day

Head of Books and Manuscripts Darren Winston will be on site to review potential consignments

09/09/2022    

Appearing in Philadelphia: Patti Smith, Frank Zappa, Bob Dylan, and More

Seminal 20th-century musicians seen through scores, publications, and ephemera

08/26/2022    

This MLK Comic Book Galvanized a Generation of Activists

Dive into the work that inspired John Lewis and many others

04/22/2022    

How John Hancock Announced America's Independence

The remarkably rare 1776 letter that changed the course of history

02/11/2022    

Art Within Art: Original Illustration in 5 Books

The drawings and watercolors that make editions unique

02/04/2022    

Philadelphia, Publishing Powerhouse

Printing from the time of Benjamin Franklin to today

01/21/2022    

Have Presidential Campaigns Changed Since the 18th Century?

From a Rare Jefferson and Adams Handbill to the Present

10/06/2021    

John E. Herzog: Sixty Years as a Scripophily Collector

Extensive collection to be offered October 25

10/04/2021    

The Tenth Anniversary of the Alexander Hamilton Awareness Society

Selection of Hamilton material to be offered October 25

09/27/2021    

The Little Lion: The Alexander Hamilton Collection of John E. Herzog

Single-owner collection of Hamilton material on offer

09/15/2021    

How to Collect Books and Manuscripts: Your Guide to Upcoming Highlights

Fitzgerald, Twain, and Joyce

07/16/2021    

Freeman’s Spring/Summer 2021 Season Builds on its Successes to Shatter Auction Records

A look back on this season's auction highlights