Fine Books & Autographs: October 27, 2022 Auction Highlights

Lot 88: George Washington, autograph document signed, two holograph plat maps with corresponding surveys representing tracts on the Shenandoah River, 1751. Estimate $40,000 to $60,000.

A large assemblage of extraordinary Americana autographs includes a sweeping group of presidents, and many founding fathers. More than three items are signed by George Washington, including an autograph survey of two tracts on the Shenandoah with the plat maps, signed before he turned 20. The sale also offers a document signed by Benjamin Franklin: a 1785 pay order for £15,000 in paper money.

Author autographs include Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, and Virginia Woolf, and a remarkable autograph note signed by George Bernard Shaw on a postcard in which he characterizes his literary works as his children and grumpily adds that genius in any family is a nuisance. Among scientists is a letter by Darwin in which he mentions being unfamiliar with a certain observation about the nesting of birds. Musicians include an uncommon autograph manuscript signed by George Gershwin in 1927 containing 30 bars from “Funny Face.”

Related Reading

At auction October 27: left: Lot 30: Charlie Chaplin, photograph signed & inscribed, showing him as a young man. Estimate $1,000 to $2,000; right: Lot 54: Elizabeth Taylor, nearly life-size photograph signed & inscribed, showing her at 11 years old during wardrobe test for National Velvet, 1990s. Estimate $5,000 to $7,500.
Lot 96: George Gershwin, autograph musical manuscript signed & inscribed, sketch of opening 30 bars of “Funny Face,” 1927. Estimate $7,000 to $10,000.

Fine Books

Highlights in the literature portion of the sale include James Joyce’s Exiles and the first English edition
of Alexander Dumas’s The Count of Monte-Cristo. Also here is the advance proof copy of Ian Hamilton’s
suppressed biography of J.D. Salinger, A Writing Life. Continental literature includes works by Robert
Walser, Raymond Roussel and scarce appearances of L’Eve Future by Auguste Villiers de L’Isle-Adam
and Le Fantôme de l’Opéra by Gaston Leroux, both retaining their original wrappers.

Lot 206: George Orwell, Animal Farm, first edition, London 1945. Estimate $3,500 to $4,500.

Artist’s books include Ten Works by Ten Painters, ex-collection of Robert Indiana and featuring works by him and others, this copy the deluxe issue, just one of 50 copies, as well as Die Fürstin by Max Beckmann, also the deluxe edition, one of 35 copies with each of the six etchings signed by the artist.

Lot 260: Robert Indiana, Numbers, the complete set of 10 color screenprints, signed, 1968. Estimate $30,000 to $40,000.

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