CHICAGO – Potter & Potter Auctions will hold a Fine Books and Manuscripts Sale on Thursday, July 21, starting at 10 am Central time. The online-only auction includes a full range of titles and authors spanning numerous centuries and categories, collections of hard-boiled fiction and modern literature, and signed volumes by noted authors. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.
Likely standouts include a first American edition, early state example of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, estimated at $2,000-$3,000. The masterpiece by Samuel Clemens, writing under the name Mark Twain, was published in New York by Charles L. Webster & Company in 1885. This copy has a sheepskin binding; of the four bindings issued, the sheepskin is considered to be the rarest, as it was particularly susceptible to wear. Only 2,500 copies were produced.
Another prize is Henry Morton Stanley’s In Darkest Africa; or, The Quest, Rescue, and Retreat of Emin, Governor of Equatoria, estimated at $800-$1,200. The set is a first American edition, number 13 of 250 copies from the Demy Quarto de Luxe edition, and is signed by Stanley. These tomes were published in New York by Charles Scribner’s Sons in 1890.
Among the more contemporary selections is a Book Club Edition of Stephen King’s The Dead Zone, estimated at $300-$400. It was published in New York by the Viking Press in 1979. This particular copy is inscribed, “For Nancy, All best and I, hope all your zones will, be live ones, Stephen King, 7/25/82”. The book has provenance to Nancy Joannes and includes a laid-in newspaper clipping announcing a sci-fi convention at the Chase-Park Plaza Hotel, where King spoke in July 1982.
Equally if not more compelling is Jim Thompson’s Child of Rage with an introduction by Gerald Petievich, is estimated at $250-$350. Published in Los Angeles by Blood & Guts Press in 1991, this example – a first unexpurgated edition, limited issue, and one of 10 copies designated specifically for the Thompson family – features its original unclipped dust jacket designed by Andy Warhol and is signed by Petievich. It is being sold with a first edition of Thompson’s Child of Rage, published in New York by Lancer Books in 1972. These books were purchased from the estate of Brian Miller, son of Patricia Thompson Miller – the daughter of Jim Thompson.
Rounding out the highlights is a circa-1870 painting of novelist Robert Louis Stevenson by William Cosens Way, estimated at $300-$500. This portrait was likely completed in the early years of the writer’s career as he was making a name for himself in London’s literary circles. Way’s portraits are rare; he is primarily known for his landscapes and his depictions of ruins.
View top auction results on LiveAuctioneers here: https://www.liveauctioneers.com/pages/recent-auction-sales/