Fine Books & Autographs at Galeries Swann on February 17
New York – Fine Books & Autographs are at Swann Galleries on Thursday, February 17. Autographs from inspiring figures in technology, politics, literature and beyond will be on display, alongside rare 20th century first editions and books by notable artists.
Twentieth-century literary highlights include a first edition of TS Eliot’s first book, Prufrock and other observationsLondon, 1917, in original bluff wrappers ($8,000-12,000), and a superb first edition copy of JD Salinger’s The Heart Catcher, Boston, 1951, in the dust jacket of the first issue ($8,000-12,000). Appearing at auction for the first time is a first edition of Dawn Powell’s rare disavowed debut novel Or, Boston, 1925 ($6,000-9,000). Also here is an important three way association copy of Harper Lee Kill a mockingbirdPhiladelphia and New York, 1962, written by Lee and his friend and fellow author (and screenwriter for the 1962 adaptation), Horton Foote, presented to a production assistant on the Oscar-winning film ($9,000-12,000) , as well as unique and important material such as an impression of James Baldwin’s long uncorrected galleys fire next timeNew York, 1963, one of the few produced, and not to be confused with the advanced uncorrected running proof ($1,000-1,500).
Complementing the literature section, remarkable offerings of desirable art, press and illustrated books in immaculate condition which include the rare portfolio The penny lifeBern, 1964, the deluxe edition, one of 100 signed and numbered copies on handmade paper ($2,000-3,000), and an artist’s proof by Robert Indiana The American Dream, El Segundo1997, one of only 30 ($10,000-15,000).
The autographs include the cover of a 1982 issue of Weather magazine starring Steve Jobs, signed by the original genius of Apple ($15,000-25,000). Thomas Edison is available with schematic diagrams for two 1927 enclosure designs ($3,500-5,000), as well as a signed photograph ($1,000-2,000) and signed 1912 handwritten notes to Sherwood Troop Moore offering instructions and remarks on failing test results ($600-900). In addition to Jobs and Edison, autographs from tech innovators include a photograph signed by Henry Ford ($1,500-2,500).
The poets are well represented with a holograph fragment from his 1865 book Cape Cod by Henry David Thoreau ($5,000-7,500); an autograph poem from around 1825 signed by a young Elizabeth Barrett Browning titled Fortune telling ($4,000-6,000); a poem manuscript signed and dated 1975 One of the hottest of all time by Charles Bukowski ($400-600); and a selection of autograph manuscripts signed and inscribed by Robert Frost, one from 1952 to Frederick Baldwin Adams, Jr. ($6,000-9,000) and another from 1946 to Bread Loaf School Principal Reginald Cook ($10,000 at $15,000).
Additional creatives feature with a copy of Andy Warhol’s philosophy signed by Warhol ten times and with 11 designs of soup cans ($2,500-3,500); three signed and inscribed articles to actress Sylvia Miles by Tennessee Williams ($800-1,200); and an ALS by Mario Puzo in which he declines an invitation to be interviewed to promote his book because “I’m sick of the fucking godfather” ($3,500-5,000).
American political figures are available with a document signed by Franklin D. Roosevelt, authorizing the use of his name for the first presidential library ($700-1,000); an 1864 appointment signed by Abraham Lincoln included in an album of letters, notes and documents signed by persons relating to the Complete Works of Abraham Lincoln by John G. Nicolay and John Hay ($6,000-9,000); and Martin Luther King, Jr., with a Weather February 1957 magazine cover, signed 1959 ($3,000-4,000).
Inspirational world leaders and personalities include Leon Trotsky, who in 1930 signed a letter to his editor regarding the History of the Russian Revolution, released that year ($1,000-2,000); a photograph of Nelson Mandela signed by the revolutionary in 1995 ($1,000-2,000); and a selection of Christmas cards signed by members of the British royal family, including cards signed by Princess Diana. Also of note are two color photographs of the 14th Dali Lama, each signed by him in Tibetan circa 1995 ($400-600), and a copy of the December 1975 issue of Weather featuring Mother Teresa, signed by the Catholic nun in 1986 ($700-1,000).
Exhibition hours are 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. from February 14 to February 16. The live online auction platforms will be the Swann Galleries App, Invaluable and Live Auctioneers. The full catalog and auction information is available at www.swanngalleries.com and on the Swann Galleries app.
Additional highlights can be found here.