CHICAGO – The highlight of Leslie Hindman Auctioneers’ sale of fine printed books and manuscripts May 1 is the selection of nearly 400 manuscripts from the private collection of Robert L. McKay. Absentee and Internet live bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers.
The collection will be offered as a session within the sale, lots 172-451, and contains signed letters and manuscripts from notable authors and writers, artists, musicians, politicians, entertainers and scientists, among many others. Highlights include a Claude Monet 1902 autograph letter signed to art critic Gustave Geoffroy (estimate: $4,000-$6,000); an autograph musical manuscript titled Themes from an American in Paris (above), presented by George Gershwin to friend and early supporter Hyman Sandow (est. $6,000-$8,000); and an autograph letter signed from Russian composer Pyotr Ilich Tchaikovsky to Eduardo Frantsevich Nápravnîk (est. $8,000-$12,000).
Also included in the collection are numerous letters and manuscripts from historic American figures. An autograph letter signed from George Washington written at Mount Vernon will be offered with an estimate of $8,000-$12,000.
Other examples include a one-page autograph letter signed from Benjamin Franklin to his great-nephew Jonathan Williams Jr. in 1773 estimated at $8,000-$12,000; an autograph letter signed by Thomas Jefferson as president estimated at $6,000-$8,000; an autograph letter signed from the Marquis de Lafayette to James Monroe estimated at $4,000-$6,000; and a Robert E. Lee autograph letter signed estimated at $5,000-$7,000.
The May sale also includes sessions of livres d’artiste and artists’ books, sporting books, maps and atlases, fine printed books, and printed and manuscript Americana.
Oriental Field Sports by Thomas Williamson (1790-1815) and Samuel Howitt, (?1755-1822), a complete, detailed and accurate description of the wild sports of the East, published by William Bulmer and Co., London, for Edward Orme, [1805-]1807, first edition, first issue.
Highlights from these sessions include a first edition of Thomas Williamson and Samuel Howitt’s Oriental Field Sports published in 1807 (est. $10,000-$15,000); and a rare copy of Conradus de Halberstadt’s Concordantiae bilbliorum, printed by Mentelin in Strassburg before 1474 (est. $10,000-$15,000).
Also included are a copy of John James Audubon’s Purple Heron (est. $10,000-$15,000); Karl Bodmer’s Herd of Bison (est. $1,000-$2,000); Isaac and Lea’s A Complete Historical, Chronological, and Geographical American Atlas, 1822 (est. $3,000-$5,000); and a copy of Sir Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe in original rose silk-covered boards (est. $2,000-$3,000).
The auction will begin Tuesday, May 1, at 11 a.m. Eastern time.