Freeman’s April 4 auction of Books, Maps & Manuscripts including Photographs features the rare and unusual, the historic and the fanciful. Department head and senior specialist David Bloom shares what he considers to be some of the stand-out works of the sale, no easy task in an auction with such a wide-ranging diversity of type, medium, and subject. Exhibition of this sale will open to the public on Thursday, March 31. We invite you to join us on Chestnut Street to view these and other works being offered in this upcoming sale.
The first American edition of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland published in New York by Appelton in 1866 is the closest a collector is likely to come to the original Alice. Though Carroll and Alice's illustrator, John Tenniel, first issued Alice the previous year, they were said to be so unhappy with the quality of its printing that they had virtually the whole of the edition destroyed. Luckily not before the English publisher sent a set of the printed sheets to the American publisher, whose only contribution was to print a new title page and provide the attractive cloth binding.
Lewis Carroll Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
New York: D. Appleton, 1866. 1st American ed, comprising the sheets of the supressed English ed with a cancel title.
Here with The Rime of the Ancient Mariner begins the Romantic movement in English literature and the origin of modern poetry (and prose) which follow. The unadorned sublime (with apologies to Shakespeare).
William Wordsworth; Samuel Taylor Coleridge Lyrical Ballads
London: for J. & A. Arch, 1798. 1st ed, 2nd issue. 19th-century morocco gilt. With errata & fly titles, lacking advt leaf.
The principal of the freedom of the press begins in America with Peter Zanger, as his autograph is rare, his principals are to be universal.
[John] Peter Zanger, Document Signed. [New York], Nov 14, 1731. Sgd as witness for power of attorney document.
A rare signature of the early American printer & journalist who played the central role in the origin of the freedom of the American press.
John Sloan. Etching and Aquatint. "Easter Eve, Washington Square."
1926. Published state. Sgd, numbered & titled.