Sotheby’s, which opened its auction doors in 1744 with the book collection of Sir John Stanley, now, 250 years later, holds its inaugural internet auction of books and manuscripts, which will include items of interest to Irish readers.
The auction will be open to bidders until Tuesday, July 21, at 1 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. This Internet-only auction comprises 122 lots of American, English and juvenile literature; books on theater, opera and ballet as well as property from the Estate of Donald and Jean Stralem and the Estate of James H. Heineman. Also featured is a first edition of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “Scarlet Letter” and Edgar Rice Burrough’s “Tarzan of the Apes,” as well as approximately 300 autographed Time Magazine covers.
“This is Sotheby’s first online auction and we are extremely excited about the enormous potential of the Internet,” said David Redden, executive vice president of Sotheby’s. “It is absolutely appropriate that Sotheby’s, which started as a book auction house, will now hold its first auction on the Internet in the books and manuscripts arena.”
Featured from the estate of Donald and Jean Stralem are fine first editions from the American literary canon in original bindings by such classic authors as James Fennimore Cooper, Hawthorne and Edgar Allen Poe. The Stralems also collected the very best of nineteenth century boys’ literature, including first editions of Howard Pyle’s lavishly illustrated “Otto of the Silver Hand” and “Men of Iron,” James Otis’s “Toby Tyler,” and Albert Payson’s “Terhune’s Lad: A Dog.” Their collection of English literature includes many first and limited editions by Joseph Conrad and D.H. Lawrence.
Of Irish interest are several important lots relating to the author George Moore. The most important lot relating to Moore is the autograph manuscript of the first 14 chapters of his “Esther Waters” (lot 46; est. $15,000-$20,000), which is one of the highlights of late 19th century realism. This heavily revised and corrected manuscript was formerly in the collection of John Quinn and Jerome Kern. Three additional autograph manuscript portions of the novel are available in the present sale (lot 47-49) as well as a good selection of George Moore titles, including a presentation copy of “Pagan Poems,” published in London in 1881.
From the Estate of James Heineman comes a large (approximately 58 volumes) collection of books and broadsides by or about Benjamin Franklin. Almost all of the books are from the 18th and early 19th centuries. Among the highlights of this lot are several Franklin imprints, a copy of Poor Richard’s Almanac for 1783, and a rare anthology of Gaelic proverbs, which includes “Franklin’s Way to Wealth” in Gaelic, printed in Edinburgh in 1785. There are many editions of Franklin’s works and his famous autobiography, including a rare Danbury, Conn., imprint of the latter, printed in 1795, in an early calf binding. Three copies of the early Swedish translation of the autobiography, printed in 1792, are also in the lot. Of the more recent books about Franklin is the Grolier Club publication of “Franklin and his Press at Passy,” by Luther Livingston, designed by Bruce Rogers and printed in a limited edition in 1914.
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Interested bidders can bid online through our web-based bidsheet at www.sothebys.com, via e-mail at email@example.com,
by fax at (212) 774-5385 or by phone at (212) 774-5301.
For details, call the Sotheby’s Press Office at (212) 606-7176.