S otheby’s is pleased to invite participation in New York’s July sales, “Fine Books and Manuscripts, Including Americana.” “Part 1” of this two-part series will open for bidding on the 7th, and conclude in a live auction on the 21st of July. Part 1 will feature the Astor Books of Hours, a copy of Shakespeare’s First Folio with distinguished provenance, an important association copy of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, among several other exceptional lots, each representing a high spot in its respective category. We are also particularly proud to offer "The Virginia Bill of Rights"—a remarkable, official record of the final days of the Convention and the state ratification that ensured the success of the United States Constitution and inspired the Federal Bill of Rights.
“The Virginia Bill of Rights” is the engrossed and attested copy of that state’s official ratification of the United States Constitution, together with two sets of amendments to the Constitution proposed by the Virginia Convention.This is evidently one of only three copies surviving from a set of twelve, each intended to be sent to the other state governors or legislatures in order to gain support for a Bill of Rights. It was this official record of Virginia’s ratification, containing in its proposed amendments the nucleus of the Bill of Rights, which placed the fledgling United States on a sure and secure footing.
Other significant lots of Americana include the Salem broadside printing of the Declaration of Independence, and Thomas Jefferson’s personal copy of the earliest official printing of the Ratified Bill of Rights.
Part 1 also boasts an exceptional copy of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, rarely found in such condition; a draft of the original artwork for F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby; and Bob Dylan’s manuscript lyrics for his now-iconic “Subterranean Homesick Blues.”
Part 2 of this series—an online only sale—will run concurrently, opening for bidding on the 7th, and closing on 21st of July. An exhibition highlighting both Parts 1 and 2 will be open the 12th through 20th of July. Private views outside of these hours are available upon request.