I n keeping with the established tradition, Books and Manuscripts is pleased to once again join our colleagues across other departments in celebrating Sotheby’s Americana Week.
“Fine Books and Manuscripts, Including Americana” will be open for bidding the 14th through the 25th of January, and brings together a rich range of property from various owners. From John James Audubon to Bob Dylan, this sale features material from the nation’s greatest luminaries, both past and present.
We are proud to offer J.J. Audubon’s original autograph manuscript description of the “Wild Turkey,” the first plate in his landmark The Birds of America ($250,000-350,000). The turkey was arguably Audubon’s favorite bird—it was even featured on his personal seal, embedded in his signet ring along with the phrase “America My Country.” Other remarkable works related to the natural and geographical history of the United States include Hayden and Moran’s breathtaking The Yellowstone National Park, and the Mountain Regions of Portions of Idaho, Nevada, Colorado and Utah ($100,000-150,000), and Fry and Jefferson’s “A Map of the most Inhabited part of Virginia…”, one of the most important early maps of that region ($18,000-24,000).
If one’s tastes turn toward literature in these winter months, highlights include an exceptionally rare copy of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, boldly signed by the author ($150,000-200,000); a fine first edition of Henry David Thoreau’s Walden, a cornerstone of Transcendentalist thought ($15,000-20,000); a strikingly fresh first edition of J.D. Salinger’s iconic The Catcher in the Rye ($20,000-25,000); and a first edition of James Joyce’s Ulysses, one of the most important and influential novels of the twentieth century, this being copy 51 of only 100 numbered copies signed by Joyce ($70,000-90,000).
This January we are also delighted to offer lots that capture the spirit of modern music in America. These include a group of postcards and letters penned by a young Bob Dylan ($30,000-50,000); a long autograph letter signed from Louis Armstrong to Pearl Bailey ($15,000-20,000); and an original sign from the Armadillo World Headquarters, the now-legendary Austin venue ($50,000-70,000). If one’s musical leanings are of the British persuasion, we are also pleased to offer the official trial transcript of Keith Richards’ infamous 1978 heroine bust ($5,000-7,000).
And from Carel Allard’s stunning maps of the world ($12,000-18,000), to William Y-Worth’s Cerevisiarii Comes: Or, the New and True Art of Brewing ($5,000-7,000), the present sale offers material that will appeal to any interests. An exhibition will be open the 14th through the 18th of January. Private views are available upon request.