Six Hundred Years of Works on Paper Achieve $1 Million at Auction
Freeman's Books, Maps & Manuscripts department offered more than 900 lots over two days of sales on April 4-5. Together, the Rare Books & Manuscripts auction on April 4 and the Posters, Maps & Other Graphics auction on April 5 resulted in $1 million in sales. "We were gratified to achieve such strong results and maintain a healthy presence in an ever-changing marketplace," said Books, Maps & Manuscripts Department Head David Bloom. Tomes from the Mount St. Alphonsus Seminary Library, rare first editions, Hollywood-related items, U.S. historical pieces, and Audubon prints and engravings were of interest to buyers. Many museums bid and most were successful.
Early Printings, including the Mount St. Alphonsus Seminary Library
Books from the Mount St. Alphonsus Seminary Library realized almost $250,000 combined. Highlights included a Latin manuscript circa 1450, purchased for $20,480; Politanus Angelius dated July 1498, which achieved $11,563; and Ludolphus de Saxonia dated 1474, was sold for $9,375. Yesterdays Rare Books & Manuscripts sale kicked off a series of auctions featuring the seminary library that will continue into 2014. The next sale featuring the collection will be held in September 2013.
American & Continental 18th & 19th Century Manuscripts
One of many historical lots that saw competitive bidding yesterday was a letter by President Abraham Lincoln, dated September 4, 1863, which sold for $25,000. Consigned by vocalist and TV personality Peggy King who was advised on the purchase by her friend poet and Lincoln biographer Carl Sandburg the personal message from the President requested that Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton discharge Charles Young from military service because he was a minor. It states: his father, mother, and a neighbor woman all tell me they will swear the boy was born in February, 1845. One month before the inauguration of Mr. Polk. Another lot, also consigned by King, was a letter written by Ulysses S. Grant to his wife, which realized $15,000. Last but not least, a historical manuscript entitled The New England Conspiracy by Philadelphia publisher & printer Mathew Carey achieved $20,000.
Early Literature & Poetry, including the Library of Ronald Curry
The private library of Ronald Curry resulted in $218,480 in sales yesterday and first editions saw robust bidding. A first edition of John Keats Lamia, Isabella, The Eve of St. Agnes and Other Poems sold for $13,750; a first edition of Paradise Lost by John Milton achieved $11,875; and a first edition of Miscellaneous Poems by Andrew Marvell was purchased for $9,375.
20th Century Manuscripts, including Motion Picture Materials
Another highlight from the Rare Books & Manuscripts auction was the early journals of Technicolor researchers Leonard Troland and John F. Kienninger, which achieved $31,250.. The diaries chronicled their work from 1919-1932 in developing Technicolor Process Number Two, which was used in filming The Toll of the Sea (1922) and Wanderer of the Wasteland (1924) as well as color sequences in The Ten Commandments (1925), The Phantom of the Opera (1925), and Ben-Hur (1925). Troland, a graduate of MIT, was chief engineer for Technicolor Motion Picture Corporation and was appointed director of research in 1925, and J.F. Kienninger patented several photographic and cinematographic techniques for Technicolor during his tenure. Other journals by Leonard Troland are currently housed at the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film, the country's third largest film archive. Natural History Prints Natural History prints stole the show at Freemans April 5 Posters, Maps & Other Graphics auction. Wild Turkey a John James Audubon print sold for $25,000 and an Audubon hand-colored engraving Tropic Bird was purchased for $10,000.