Sotheby’s New York Books & Manuscripts department achieved extraordinary results and set numerous records in 2017, totalling over $17.6 million across eight sales. Auctions ranged from the exceptional white glove single owner sale, Alexander Hamilton: An Important Family Archive of Letters and Manuscripts, to Space Exploration, which included the Apollo 11 lunar bag used by Neil Armstrong to bring back the first samples of the moon ever collected. It sold for $1,812,500, setting the world record for an American space artefact. Click ahead for the year's top highlights, and consign now for the upcoming season.
The sale of the Library of Sergio Rossetti on 20 February in Milan encompasses the rich history of Ancient and Renaissance Rome. From plate books reproducing classical sculptures and the elaborate decoration of Roman interiors by the greatest artists of the day to views of ancient and modern Rome, the history and legacy of the Eternal City are on display. Click ahead to see highlights from the sale. Roma. La Biblioteca Sergio Rossetti 20 February | Milan
Sotheby’s Books & Manuscripts department has once again proven themselves to be the world’s leading specialists in their field of expertise, achieving exceptional results and setting numerous world records in 2017. Offering sales in traditional and specialised categories, including Musical Manuscripts and History of Science & Technology, the year's 26 global auctions totalled over $58 million. Click ahead for the top highlights from the past year, and consign now for the upcoming season.
Depicting cities such as New York and Charleston and the open spaces of Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon, historic maps, lithographs and more offer a fascinating glimpse of the American past. See the Brooklyn Bridge before its completion, “the greatest American landscape book of the post-Civil War era” and a series of magnificent panoramas of the American West. Click ahead to check out the view. Fine Printed and Manuscript Americana, Including Cartography 17 January | New York
Since founding his lifestyle brand in 1985, Tommy Hilfiger has tapped into the American zeitgeist for inspiration. The art, music and celebrity culture of the United States have all, at some level, influenced his eye, making his celebrated line the epitome of American fashion – and Hilfiger an American icon in himself. Ahead of Americana Week (10–21 January, New York) we spoke with Hilfiger about the meaning of American style, the role of nostalgia and his favourite works in the upcoming auctions. TOMMY HILFIGER. © CRAIG MCDEAN ART + COMMERCE.
In November 1861 Julia Ward Howe accompanied her husband, Dr Samuel Gridley Howe, to Washington and the surrounding countryside in order to see first-hand the condition of Massachusetts's troops guarding the nation’s capitol – an experience that inspired the social activist to adapt the popular Union tune “John Brown's body lies a-mouldering in the grave.” Her version titled “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” – an autograph transcription of which is on offer in the 17 January Fine Printed and Manuscript Americana auction – would go on to become the best-known song of the Civil War, arousing fervour as it was sung by the Union armies marching into battle. The song’s legacy, however, extends far beyond the 19th century. Howe’s triumphant lyrics have been woven into the fabric of American history and identity, and become one of the defining political and spiritual hymns of our time. LOT 100. JULIA WARD HOWE – CHARLES M. JENCKES [ARTIST]. THE BATTLE HYMN OF THE REPUBLIC, ILLUMINATED BY CHARLES M. JENCKES IN WATERCOLOUR AND GOUACHE. [NEW YORK: 1865-1869]. ESTIMATE $40,000–50,000.
Sotheby's Americana Week offers a look at US history across the 16th to 20th centuries. Filled with furniture, decorative and folk art, silver, ceramics, fine art from notable private and institutional collections, books and manuscripts, these objects embody the rich history and heritage of America. Click ahead for a selection of highlights. Important Printed and Manuscript Americana, Including Cartography 17 January | New York Important Americana 18–21 January | New York
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