CHICAGO – Hindman’s Thursday, May 11 Fine Printed Books & Manuscripts, including Americana auction pays tribute to trailblazers with works related to explorers such as Meriwether Lewis, William Clark, and the crew of the H.M.S. Investigator, along with editions by leaders in the literary world such as Jane Austen and Ian Fleming. The Americana section includes an impressive selection of material by John James Audubon, Currier & Ives and figures of American history from colonial times to the modern day. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.
Jane Austen is without question one of the most important figures in English literature. Not only is she one of the most celebrated writers of the 19th century, but she was among the first women to have her works published under her name. The auction features first editions of each of Austen’s major novels from the estate of William D. Weiss of Jackson, Wyoming: Sense and Sensibility, estimated at $20,000-$30,000; Pride and Prejudice, estimated at $25,000-$35,000; Mansfield Park, estimated at $10,000-$15,000; Emma, estimated at $10,000-$15,000; and Northanger Abbey, which has an estimate of $5,000-$7,000.
The auction begins with 125 lots relating to polar exploration from the 18th to 21st centuries, including a complete first edition set of views of the entrapment and abandonment of the H.M.S. Investigator in arctic ice, which carries an estimate of $15,000-$25,000. The Investigator set sail in 1850 as a part of the second expedition to search for the ships of Sir John Franklin’s ill-fated attempt to find the northwest passage before becoming stuck in pack ice itself in 1853. Unlike the mystery surrounding Franklin’s ships, the abandonment of the Investigator was well-documented, including the sketches made by Lieutenant Samuel Gurney Cresswell offered in the auction.
A session on American exploration is highlighted by Mississippi River books from the Dudley Bell Priester collection sold at auction in 2009. Among the many highlights are an 1817 third English edition of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark’s telling of their famous expedition to find the northwest passage which features the important map as frontispiece. Its estimate is $4,000-$6,000. The map is considered to be one of the most important maps of North America, which served as the basis for many other 19th-century maps drawn of what would become the western United States.
The Americana section includes an impressive selection of material from notable American figures and firms such as John James Audubon, Currier and Ives, and other political figures. Highlights include a presentation copy, first octavo edition of Audubon’s The Birds of America inscribed by Audubon in 1844 and estimated at $40,000-$60,000; as well as a large-format Currier and Ives lithograph with hand-coloring of the Great Chicago Fire, estimated at $5,000-$7,000.
Other highlights include first editions of all of Ian Fleming’s original James Bond novels, which appear in the sale lineup as lots 218 through 229; a 19th-century first edition by Humphry Repton on the theory and practice of landscape gardening from the Fred and Kay Krehbiel collection, estimated at $3,000-$4,000; and a remarkable 15th-century edition of Gaius Valerius Maximus’s Facta et dicta memorabilia, estimated at $6,000-$8,000.
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