NEW YORK – Even though we live in an age in which anything in print is downloadable, it’s still fun to curl up with a memoir or biography and immerse oneself in the life and achievements of a celebrated figure. These are the sorts of books that tend to be collected and kept rather than being given away, especially if they’ve been autographed by the author or the subject, perhaps a movie star, athlete, politician or some other headline-maker.
Jasper52’s January 2nd auction titled “Important Books and Famous Authors” features some highly collectible, signed editions. Devotees of art and architecture will immediately be drawn to a 1965 first edition of The Art of Structure by Mies van der Rohe. Elegantly designed and illustrated with dramatic black-and-white photographs, floor plans and classic details by one of the undisputed godfathers of modernism, it is inscribed and hand-signed by van der Rohe. In keeping with his minimalist approach to design, van der Rohe kept the text to a minimum and let the visuals do the talking in this beautiful edition, which is estimated at $3,000-$3,500.
Harkening to a century ago, an illustrated promotional booklet from Buffalo Bill’s TE Ranch in Ishawooa, Wyoming, is signed on the title page “W.F. Cody / Buffalo Bill / 1916.” Already a horse wrangler, Pony Express rider and aspiring prospector by the age of 15, Cody – known professionally as Buffalo Bill – was best known as the impresario who organized the internationally acclaimed Wild West Show in 1883. The brochure is presented in a custom-made clamshell case. Estimate: $2,000-$2,500
Published in 1980, a first edition of Pilgrimage of Peace – The Collected Speeches of John Paul II in Ireland and the United States comes with two bonus inclusions. One is a 5- by 7-inch signed portrait of the beloved pontiff, while the other is an original 4- by 6-inch original photograph of Pope John Paul II with Father Dom Ferguson. The auction estimate is $1,200-$1,500.
A 1987 first edition of Donald Trump’s The Art of the Deal, signed by the New York businessman and future US president, delves into his business style, even providing 11 guidelines for success. But it’s more than just a primer on how to negotiate big deals. It also includes candid chats with family and friends, recalls clashes with his enemies, and reveals the outside-the-box methods Trump employs both in business and private life. Inscribed and signed in Trump’s familiar bold style, the book is expected to make $1,000-$1,200 at auction.
Other signed editions include The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama, Kingdom of Peace by King Abdullah of Jordan, a biography of Clarence Thomas, and Sincerely by Ronald Reagan. Also noteworthy are a 1999 printing of To Kill A Mockingbird signed on the bookplate by author Harper Lee, and a 1975 first edition of What Is Scientology? signed on the front free endpaper L. Ron Hubbard / Founder. It is estimated at $3,000-$3,500.
A later 1975 printing of Shel Silverstein’s charming book The Giving Tree, which is a parable about a little boy, a fruit tree, and the gift of giving and accepting love, is entered in the auction with a $1,200-$1,500 estimate.
Absentee and Internet live bidding in Jasper52’s Wednesday, January 2, 2019 auction will be available through LiveAuctioneers. The auction will start at 4:30 p.m. Eastern time.