CHICAGO – Hindman Auctions set a house record on November 9 and 10 when its Fine Printed Books & Manuscripts, Including Americana auction achieved a sales total of $1.5 million, the most ever for a various owner Fine Books & Manuscript auction in the company’s 39-year history.
“I am proud of this department and everyone who helped us achieve this tremendous result,” said Gretchen Hause, Hindman’s Director and Senior Specialist of Books & Manuscripts. “The results of the past two days demonstrate not only the strength of the market, but the breadth and diversity of interests of collectors today.”
The strongest category of the sale was Printed and Manuscript Americana, which accounted for eight of the 15 highest prices of the auction, including the top two lots. A first edition of the Federalist Papers published in 1788 took the top honor selling for $175,000 against a presale estimate of $40,000-$60,000. Written under the pseudonym “Publius” by Founding Fathers Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay, the collection of 85 essays is widely considered to be instrumental in garnering public support for the framework that would become the United States Constitution.
A first edition, second issue printing of Robert Hooke’s Micrographia: Or Some Psychological Descriptions of Minute Bodies Made by Magnifying Glasses highlighted the Science and Natural History category, selling for $36,250 against a presale estimate of $12,000-$18,000. Other highlights in category included Jean Baptiste Audebert’s Histoire naturelle des singes et des makis, a first edition of the first monograph devoted to the description of primates, which sold for $10,625.
Closing out the auction were selections from the studio and personal archive of renowned artist and illustrator Barry Moser. The selection represented the most comprehensive group of Moser material ever offered at auction, and illustrated the full range of Moser’s creative process. The top lot of the collection was the Pennyroyal Caxton edition of the King James Bible, which sold for $17,500, beating its presale estimate of $8,000-$12,000.
Other Moser highlights include an Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass and what Alice found there set illustrated by Moser, which sold for $8,750, and a group of nine original pen and ink with wash and pencil drawings for Allen Mandelbaum’s translation of Virgil’s Aeneid, published in 1981, which sold for $8,750.
The sale also saw strong prices and competitive bidding across the board for literature, fine bindings, fore-edge paintings, and the Frank Lloyd Wright collection of Jesse “Cary” Caraway.
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