The 2 December sale of Fine Books & Manuscripts, Including Americana attracted bids from around the world and saw exciting results for printed and manuscript material by Walt Whitman, Beatrix Potter, Frida Kahlo, Rudyard Kipling and others. A momentous autograph draft letter written by Abraham Lincoln to General Ulysses S. Grant just four days before the Confederate surrender at Appomattox sold to an anonymous telephone bidder for $575,000.
A diverse selection of works from the most significant authors of the 19th and 20th century performed strongly in this sale, including an extremely uncommon first edition of James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man in the dust jacket, which realized $106,250 against a presale estimate of $40,000 - $60,000. Important Walt Whitman material from the private collection of Susie Tompkins Buell was 100% sold, realizing $435,250 against an estimate of $267,800 - $400,700.
Another high-point of Tuesday’s auction came from the extremely fine first edition of The Tale of Peter Rabbit from the renowned private collection of David R. MacDonald, which sold for $75,000. The sale saw spirited bidding on children’s books and illustrations, with first editions of Beatrix Potter Tales and a Cinderella paper-doll book selling for over three times their estimates. Other original illustrations from various owners performed well, including a Shepard illustration for The House at Pooh Corner and a Tenniel drawing of Alice from Through the Looking Glass. A fine selection of Holy Land Cartography was 90% sold by lot, with two maps from the splendid 1482 Ulm Ptolemy selling for twice their presales estimates.
Our 2 December sale of Fine Books and Manuscripts will feature a fine selection of 19th- and early 20th-century literature from the collection of Susie Tompkins Buell, with special emphasis on Walt Whitman. In addition we will offer the David R. Macdonald Collection, which comprises literature and children’s books. An extraordinary collection of maps of the Holy Land is also included, as well as a previously unrecorded autograph draft of President Abraham Lincoln’s 6 April 1865 letter to General Grant regarding the waning days of the Civil War.