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Champlain first edition

Champlain first edition sails past $200K at Freeman’s

Champlain first edition
A page from Samuel de Champlain’s ‘Les Voyages du Sieur de Champlain …,’ first edition. Sold for $201,600. Freeman’s image

PHILADELPHIA – Freeman’s Books and Manuscripts auction on Feb. 18 realized over $445,000. With spirited bidding throughout the sale from bidders both online and on the telephone, the 166-lot auction achieved an impressive 91% sell-through rate and surpassed its presale high estimate. Absentee and Internet live bidding was available through LiveAuctioneers.

The highlight of the sale was the stellar result achieved for Samuel de Champlains’s Les Voyages du Sieur de Champlain, Paris, 1613 (above). After competitive bidding, the first edition of the French explorer’s second book sold for $201,600 – more than tripling its high estimate.

Other notable highlights included the following:

– Vladimir Nabokov’s Ada or Ardor: A Family Chronicle (below) which sold for $15,120, more than three times its high estimate;

Champlain first edition
Vladimir Nabokov, ‘Ada or Ardor: A Family Chronicle.’ Sold for $15,120. Freeman’s image

– Thomas Birch and J.H. Seymour’s The Geographical Pastime, or the Complete Tour of Europe, which achieved $13,100, more than five times its high estimate;

Champlain first edition
Thomas Birch and J.H. Seymour, ‘The Geographical Pastime, or the Complete Tour of Europe,’ 1822. Sold for $13,100. Freeman’s image

Evening Clouds, East Side of the Sierra Nevada, California, a photograph by Ansel Adams, realized $10,710;

Champlain first edition
Ansel Adams, ‘Evening Clouds, East Side of the Sierra Nevada, California.’ Sold for $10,710. Freeman’s image

– Complete deck of Harlequin playing cards from Chas E. Carryl (Lot 49), which sold for $8,820, more than seven times its high estimate.

Champlain first edition
Chas. E. Carryl, Harlequin playing cards, Tiffany & Co. Sold for $8,820. Freeman’s image

Under the leadership of Darren Winston, who has served as the head of the department since 2018, Freeman’s Books and Manuscripts department has grown and prospered. Recent successes including the sale of a 15th century Books of Hours (sold for $87,500, November 2020); a first edition collection of Bell’s Edition: The Poets of Great Britain Complete from Chaucer to Churchill (sold for $30,000, October 2020); and a leaf from the Gutenberg Bible (sold for $81,250, September 2020) are a testament to Winston’s impact on the department and Freeman’s as a whole.

The department is now inviting consignments for their May Books and Manuscripts auction which will include selections from a large collection of World War II posters deaccessioned by the Valentine Museum in Richmond, Virginia.

For details contact Darren Winston at

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Champlain first edition