Early Printed Books: Fall 2020 Auction Highlights

At Auction October 27, 2020

Lot 19: Book of Hours with Illuminated Miniatures, France, mid-15th century. Estimate $15,000 to $25,000.

Early Imprints

Early imprints will be featured, as always, including sixteenth-and seventeenth-century British titles. The first extant edition of Marlowe’s Jew of Malta in quarto, 1633, will be offered; along with a copy of Meres’s Palladis Tamia from 1598; and a substantial fragment of the 1611 “She” edition of the King James Bible; Burton’s Anatomy of Melancholy; and the first collected edition of Machiavelli’s Works in English.

Lot 35: Conradus de Alemania [Halberstadt the Elder], Concordantiae Bibliorum, Strassburg, 1474. Estimate $20,000 to $30,000.
Lot 94: Christopher Marlowe, The Jew of Malta, London, 1633. Earliest extant edition of this antiauthoritarian Elizabethan play.
$40,000 to $60,000.

Scientific & Medical Books

Keep an eye out for scarce early books on horology and dial making, equine medicine, incunabula, manuscripts, early bibliography, and medical texts (lots 152 to 164).

Lot 147: Sir Isaac Newton, The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy, first edition in English, two volumes, London, 1729. Estimate $20,000 to $30,000.
Lot 157: Equine veterinary formulary, manuscript on paper, East Earl, Pennsylvania, circa 1860. Estimate $400 to $600.
Lot 164: Cyanotype of an anatomy class at the Woman’s Medical College
of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, 1895. $300 to $400.

Travel Books

North American Exploration

A strong section of Canadian travel books includes a fine copy of Rae’s Narrative of an Expedition to the Shores of the Arctic Sea, 1850, in original cloth, ex libris Hudson’s Bay Company; a first edition of Alexander MacKenzie’s Voyages from Montreal, and other first edition titles by Franklin, Richardson, Hearne, Long, and Back.

North American travel will include Pittman’s Present State of the European Settlements on the Mississippi, from 1770; Lahontan’s New Voyages to North America, 1703; and works by Las Casas, Imlay, Gregg, and Adair.

Lot 221: John Rae, Narrative of an Expedition to the Shores of the Arctic Sea in 1846 and 1847, first edition, London, 1850. Estimate $3,000 to $4,000.
Lot 219: Philip Pittman, The Present State of the European Settlements on the Mississippi…, first edition, London, 1770. Estimate $10,000 to $12,000.

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 live.swanngalleries.com

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.


Devon Eastland

Senior Specialist, Early Printed Books


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