This sale features a strong selection of modern authors highlighted by Property from the Descendants of William Faulkner, including the manuscript of his Nobel Prize speech with the gold Nobel medal and diploma (1950), autograph letters written to his mother from Paris in 1925, the typescript book of his poem sequence “Vision in Spring” in a handmade binding by the author, drawings, corrected typescripts and other items. Further highlights include rare dust-jacketed copies of F Scott Fitzgerald’s first two books and a copy of The Great Gatsby with the author’s notes transcribed, as well as one of possibly as few as three intact 1924 recordings of Joyce reading Ulysses, letters from Hunter Thompson and David Foster Wallace on their first books and sketches by Ernest Hemingway of his newly purchased home in Key West and of his broken arm.
The sale starts with the last substantial collection of books and manuscripts of the late Henri Burton, a Lyon native who amassed a collection with great taste and discretion over four decades. The story of Japan’s opening to the West is represented in a remarkable 30-foot “Black Ship Scroll” depicting the landing of Commodore Perry’s fleet in 1854, with details of the ships and colt revolvers carried as gifts for the emperor. Also on offer are the engraved naval officer’s sword carried by Perry on the expedition. Americana highlights include a rare and important 1762 Biddle Map of Philadelphia and editions of Catlin, McKenney and Hall and Audubon.
Highlights from the June 11 sale of Fine Books and Manuscripts, Including Americana, included a Lyon: Jean de Tournes work from 1555, which realized an impressive $485,000, along with a woodcut device of Sabon by Maurice Scève from 1544, which realized over $97,000.