Fine Books & Manuscripts: Auction Highlights for July 30, 2020

Lot 231: Books of Hours in Flemish, Netherlands, 15th century. $8,000 to $10,000.


Starting this auction is a portion of Americana (lots 1 to 8); autographs by world leaders, entertainers, scientists, explorers, athletes, and others (lots 9 to 36); and Presidential autographs (lots 37 to 59). Presidential autographs include a fiery letter signed by Andrew Jackson, railing against Congress for having censured him after removing the deposits from the United States Bank. In this sale, you will also find a small group of emotional letters Ted Kennedy wrote to a newspaper editor after his presidential aspirations were shattered by the Chappaquiddick incident.

Lot 143: George Gershwin, photograph signed and inscribed, with an autograph musical quotation from An American in Paris, 1928. $8,000 to $12,000.

Autographs by Musicians

Featuring The Enrico Caruso Collection of Albert M. Bary

 At the heart of this portion of this sale are the musician autographs, including a photograph with an autograph musical quotation signed by George Gershwin days after the premier of An American in Paris, as well as several lots of items by Giacomo Puccini, including romantic letters to two different lovers.  Lots 62 to 138 are from the Enrico Caruso collection of Albert M. Bary (1929-2019), which contains numerous caricatures, including many portraying Caruso himself, and many that have been published. Numerous signed photographs are featured, several of which portray Caruso in some of his well-known roles. Remarkable letters to Caruso’s lovers, children, and other associates, as well as many postcards sent during his world tours.

Lot 62: Archive of 47 letters by Enrico Caruso to a lady friend, 1906-20. $7,000 to $10,000.
Lot 63: Enrico Caruso, archive of 17 postcards, 1907-16. $1,000 to $2,0000.

Autographs by Artists & Writers

Among the artist autographs (lots 210 to 221) is an exhibition catalogue with a sketch signed by Pablo Picasso, and a first edition Lady and the Tramp book signed by Walt Disney, as well as outstanding autographs by writers (lots 180 to 209), world leaders, entertainers, and others.

Lot 216: Walt Disney, signature on title-page of Ward Greene’s Lady and the Tramp, first edition, first printing. $3,000 to $4,000.

Early Printed Books & Manuscripts

Containing incunabula, illustrated books, English and Continental imprints, and manuscripts on a wide range of subjects, including early Bibles, fine bindings, literature, Renaissance editions of the classics, law, and more. A travel section features printed and illustrated books and manuscripts chronicling voyages to the arctic. A portion dedicated to medicine, science, and social sciences spans the centuries with important contributions, early imprints, and first editions of high spots.

Lot 295: Adam Smith, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, first edition, descended from William Alexander, London, 1776. $70,000 to $90,000.
Lot 238: Bury St. Edmunds Witch Trials, first edition, London, 1682. $2,000 to $3,000.

Travel & Voyages

Lot 320: Ernest Shackleton & Robert F. Scott, South Polar Times, first limited edition, three volumes, London, 1907-14. $7,000 to $10,000.

Medicine, Science, & Social Science Books

Lot 328: Marie Curie, Traité de Radioactivité, first edition, two volumes, Paris, 1910. $500 to $750.

19th & 20th Century Literature

From the modern literature portion of the sale comes a limited edition of James Joyce’s Ulysses, one of only 750 printed, this copy bound by Sangorski and Sutcliffe, retaining the original fragile wrappers. A major desideratum for any collection of economic theory is the first edition in English of Friedrich Engels’ The Condition of the Working Class in England in 1844, the translation by noted reformer and progressive Florence Kelley Wischnewetzky, an important figure in her own right.

Lot 354: Friedrich Engels, The Condition of the Working Class in England in 1844, translated by Florence Kelley Wischnewetzky, first edition in English, New York, 1887. $5,000 to $7,500.
Lot 378: Jack Kerouac, Doctor Sax, Faust Part Three, deluxe limited edition, signed, New York, 1959. $4,000 to $6,000.

Art, Press & Illustrated Books

Among the art books section that closes the auction is a superb copy of the deluxe limited edition of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland illustrated by Salvador Dalí, one of just 200 copies, signed twice by Dali.

Lot 443: Robert Rey, Estampes, complete portfolio of 12 wood engravings, Paris, 1950. $12,000 to $18,000.

What You Need to Know for Auction Day

This auction will be held live and conducted remotely by Swann auctioneers taking bids from multiple platforms. While there will not be bidding in the room, we will be accepting order bids, and interested buyers will be able to participate live online via the Swann Galleries App. The app is available in the App Store and on Google Play, and it can also be accessed on a desktop at

Please note: limited phone bidding will be available for this auction. Phone bidding registrations will close the day before the sale at 4pm.

At this time, our exhibition and auction location at 104 East 25th Street is closed to the public. Private viewings are available by appointment only, from Monday, July 27 to Wednesday, July 29, and must be arranged in advance directly with the specialist.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions.

Specialists for the Auction

Devon Eastland

Senior Specialist, Early Printed Books

John D. Larson

Specialist, Literature & Art Books

Marco Tomaschett

Specialist, Autographs

Sign up for Auction Updates to get email notifications about new catalogues, or download our Live Bidding App and enable push alerts.

How to Bid at Auction