NEW YORK – Printed & Manuscript Americana is at Swann Galleries on April 15 with a selection of American historical prints from a private collection, material from the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, religious ephemera and publications, and more. Bid absentee or live online through LiveAuctioneers.
The sale opens with 121 lots from a noteworthy collection of American historical prints encompassing the colonial era, the American Revolution, Washington and the founding fathers, allegorical prints and the early American engravers, the War of 1812, commerce, and expansion. Highlights include a 1776 engraving of the Late Battle at Charlestown on June 17, 1775, by Bernard Romans, estimated at $40,000-$60,000; an English edition of A Short Narrative of the Horrid Massacre in Boston, London, 1770, estimated at $12,000-$18,000; a 1781 engraving by Joseph Strutt, after Robert Edge Pine, depicting the allegorical figure of America mourning at a monument to four martyred American generals amid the ruins and desolation of war, estimated at $7,000-$10,000; and Battle of Buena Vista: View of the Battle-Ground and Battle of ‘The Angostura,’ a 1847 chromolithograph by Frances Palmer, estimated at $4,000-$6,000.
Americana from throughout the Revolution includes a manuscript document to enforce New York’s Agreement of Non-Importation during the heyday of the Sons of Liberty in New York, 1769, estimated at $10,000-$15,000. Also of note is a 1836 previously unknown printing of the disastrous Treaty of New Echota of December 29, 1835, in which an unauthorized minority faction of the Cherokee Nation agreed upon removal west Indian Territory and cleared the path for the Trail of Tears, estimated at $4,000-$6,000; a first edition of The Trial of William Wemms. . . for the Murder of Crispus Attucks, Boston, 1770, by reporter John Hodgson, estimated at $4,000-$6,000; a manuscript account of a French ship’s naval battle with the British off Pensacola covering the events of April 16 to 19 of 1718, estimated at $3,000-$4,000; and a list of expenses incurred by Colonel Philip Van Cortlandt at Valley Forge from 1779, estimated at $2,500-$3,500.
The Civil War era is represented with an album of cartes-de-visite, including one of spymaster Lafayette Baker with images from 1863 to 1865, estimated at $600-$900; a yearlong diary of a naval officer in pursuit of Merrimac from March of 1862 to March of 1863, estimated at $4,000-$6,000; and a mammoth salt print of Alexander Shaler and the seventh New York Militia Regiment, estimated at $3,000-$4,000; and a 1861 salt print Clarence Mackenzie, drummer boy of the 13th Regiment of Brooklyn, estimated at $3,000-$4,000.
Items throughout reference major religions, with a significant section of Judaica that features the first Jewish calendar from 1806, estimated at $3,000-$4,000; and a small run of material relating to Mormonism in America, including a first edition of The Book of Mormon, Palmyra, 1830, estimated at $30,000-$40,000.
Another chapter of the sale covers ephemera, letters, books and photographs from the fabled Western frontier with a first edition of The Adventures of Big-Foot Wallace, the Texas Rangers and Hunter, Philadelphia, 1871, estimated at $2,500-$3,500; extensive papers from 1872–81 of William McKay, who went west from Iowa to Colorado as a mining agent, estimated at $2,000-$3,000; silver prints from 1885 and 1890 by F. Hay Haynes of Montana cowboys, estimated at $2,000-$3,000; and more.
A rich selection that features the earliest publication concerned solely with chocolate from 1631, estimated at $10,000-$15,000, and early Mexican imprints and manuscript cookbooks, as well as items covering Peru, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, and elsewhere. An offering of material relative to Native peoples and First Nations in America, including photographs, letters rounds out the sale.
View top auction results on LiveAuctioneers here: https://www.liveauctioneers.com/pages/recent-auction-sales/