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‘Letters of John Ruskin to Charles Eliot Norton,’ bound by The Doves Bindery, $8,125

Books & manuscripts by Ruskin, Bukowski, McCarthy led PBA Galleries sale

‘Letters of John Ruskin to Charles Eliot Norton,’ bound by The Doves Bindery, $8,125
‘Letters of John Ruskin to Charles Eliot Norton,’ bound by The Doves Bindery, $8,125

BERKELEY, Calif. – PBA Galleries‘ first auction of the year, held on January 13, had an impressive 91% sale rate, with a large amount of early bidding on numerous lots and competitive bidding throughout the sale. The auction consisted of more than 450 lots of fine literature and ephemera.

Bidding was spirited for the unique copy of Letters of John Ruskin to Charles Eliot Norton, which was exquisitely bound by The Doves Bindery. The two volumes were housed in a custom two-part red morocco slipcase with spines lettered in gilt by Riviere & Son. It achieved $8,125.

Charles Bukowski manuscript, ‘100 Dollar Stuff,’ $6,250
Charles Bukowski manuscript, ‘100 Dollar Stuff,’ $6,250

 

Also performing well was an original unpublished typescript by Charles Bukowski, 100 Dollar Stuff, submitted to Robert Singer for his literary journal in-the-works which was to be called “Speed Fast Reading.” The journal never came to be, and there is no record of the story appearing in any journals or included in any published collection. This might be the only existing copy of the work. The story recounts a visit by the narrator, a photographer for an adult magazine, to a woman at her home for a nude photo session. It was sold with a typed letter and mailing envelope for $6,250.

 Eight signed Cormac McCarthy paperbacks, $4,062

Eight signed Cormac McCarthy paperbacks, $4,062

Equally remarkable was a set of eight paperback editions by Cormac McCarthy that brought $4,062. All copies were inscribed and signed by McCarthy; inscribed copies of McCarthy titles in any edition are very scarce.

Other high achievers include a first edition in original dust jacket of Frank Herbert’s sci-fi classic, Dune, which brought $5,937. Uncle Tom’s Cabin, a first printing of one of the most influential books written, sold for $4062.50. A second printing signed by Ernest Hemingway of his Spanish Civil War novel For Whom The Bell Tolls realized $3,437, and a scarce second edition of the Herman Melville classic Moby Dick went for $3,437.

PBA Galleries holds sales of fine, rare and collectible books every two weeks. The house is currently accepting consignments for Fine Literature including Beats, Bukowski and Counterculture. For more information regarding upcoming sales, consignments, or auction results, please contact PBA Galleries at 415-989-2665 or pba@pbagalleries.com.

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Charles Bukowski