Fine Books & Manuscripts: November 2020 Highlights

At Auction November 17, 2020

Lot 136: Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice: A Novel, three volumes, first edition, London, 1813. Estimate $20,000 to $30,000.



Featuring Revolutionary War-dated material by John Hancock and Alexander Hamilton, as well as items from Brigham Young, and a photograph postcard signed by Blackfoot chief Two Guns White Calf with his pictogram.

Lot 1: John Hancock, Uncommon Privateer Commission, partly-printed document signed as President of the Continental Congress, 1777. Estimate $6,000 to $9,000.
Lot 35: Frank Lloyd Wright, photograph signed and inscribed. Estimate $2,000 to $3,000.

Autographs by Scientists, World Leaders, Entertainers & more

With material from various notable figures like Neils Bohr, Albert Einstein, Clark Gable, greeting cards from the King and Queen of Jordan, and others.

Lot 45: Abraham Lincoln, partly-printed document signed, conscripting troops for the first national draft in the United States, 1863. Estimate $15,000 to $25,000.

Autographs by Presidents

The sale includes a striking portrait of Franklin D. Roosevelt as a young man, probably taken during his service as Assistant Secretary of the Navy, and it is signed and inscribed by him to a friend. Another item comes from John F. Kennedy, who sat down in the U.S. Senate Restaurant on April 10, 1957, where he signed the front cover of a menu.

Lot 93: Igor Stravinsky, autograph musical quotation signed, three bars from Perséphone, 1936. Estimate $1,500 to $2,500.

Autographs by Musicians

Including material from Claude Debussy, George Gershwin, and from Giacomo Puccini we have a remarkable autograph letter signed to his publisher, promising to complete the music for a work that night, likely a revision of La bohème.

Lot 110: George Bernard Shaw, photograph signed and inscribed, 1931. Estimate $1,000 to $1,500.

Autographs by Writers

Including authors Ezra Pound, Antone de Saint-Exupéry, George Bernard Shaw, and others.

Lot 120: Walt Disney, photograph signed and inscribed to merchandiser of Mickey Mouse in Europe. Estimate $3,500 to $5,000.

Autographs by Artists

Featuring material from Alexander Calder, Grandma Moses, René Magritte, and more.

Lot 141: Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility: A Novel in Three Volumes, By a Lady, first edition of the author’s first published novel and the rarest of the six major works, London, 1811. Estimate $30,000 to $40,000.

19th & 20th Century Literature

We will again be offering Jane Austen first editions and scarce early printings of all her major works (lots 131 to 143). Virginia Woolf is well represented with several signed limited edition copies. A first edition of John Keats’s third and last book published in his lifetime, Lamia, Isabella, the Eve of St. Agnes, and Other Poems; and Lord Byron’s Don Juan, Cantos I-XVI, complete in six volumes. Early George Cruikshank original drawings, many signed, feature as well.

Lot 164: Charles Dickens, American Notes for General Circulation, first edition, inscribed to Richard Henry Dana, Jr., the day after publication, presentation copy from Dickens’ first United States tour, London, 1842. Estimate $30,000 to $40,000.
Lot 169: John Maynard Keynes, The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money, first edition, London, 1936. Estimate $5,000 to $7,500.

Fore-edge paintings

From the nineteenth century is a large run of fore-edge paintings on a variety of subjects, a number of them in handsome period bindings.

Lot 178: George Crabbe, The Poetical Works of George Crabbe, double fore-edge painting depicting views of Notre-Dame, and a view of the Seine, Paris, 1829. Estimate $800 to $1,200.

Art, Press, and Illustrated Books

Among art and illustrated books is the deluxe issue, one of just 100 produced, of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, illustrated by Elihu Vedder.

Lot 290: Alexandre Raymond, L’Art Islamique en Orient, two volumes, first editions, Péra-Constantinople, 1922-24. Estimate $3,000 to $4,000.

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, and must be arranged in advance. To make an appointment please contact the specialist.


Marco Tomaschett

Specialist, Autographs

John D. Larson

Specialist, Literature & Art Books

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