PBA Galleries book auction May 17 will satisfy many tastes

‘Mundus Alter et Idem,’ a rare compilation of three imaginary voyages and works of utopian fiction, 1643, also includes Francis Bacon’s ‘Nova Atlantis.’ PBA Galleries image

SAN FRANCISCO – On Thursday, May 17, PBA Galleries will offer A Spring Miscellany of books in all fields, from literature, Americana, and children’s books to fine examples of illustration and press books, books about books, early printing, fine bindings, concert posters from San Francisco’s Summer of Love, and much more. Many of the books are offered without reserve, as are shelf lots of uncatalogued books. Absentee and Internet live bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers.

One of the earliest works in the sale is a rare compilation of three imaginary voyages and works of utopian fiction from 1643 (above). Published by Johannes Waesberg in Utrecht, the three influential works are Mundus Alter et Idem by Joseph Hall (in its third edition – first published in 1605); Civitas Solis, Ida Republic Philosophic by Thomas Campanella (in its second edition – first published in 1623); and Nova Atlantis by Francis Bacon (in its second edition – first published in 1638). Hall’s work is the earliest utopia set in Australia, and Campanella’s City of the Sun and Bacon’s New Atlantis were two of the most reprinted (often together with More’s Utopia and Harrington’s Oceana) of all the 17th century works on the ideal republic. The compilation has a $1,500-$2,500 estimate.

Two highlights are from the mid-20th century. A fine set of the first seven issues of Scanlan’s Monthly, a short-lived publication which ran from March 1970 – January 1971 showcasing politically controversial muckraking (below). Edited by Warren Hinkle, it ultimately came under investigation by the FBI during the Nixon administration and was boycotted by printers as “un-American” (est. $800-$1,200).

‘Scanlan’s Monthly,’ the muckraking journal edited by Warren Hinkle came under investigation by the FBI during the Nixon administration. PBA Galleries image

An original lithograph Stanley Mouse color poster features Bo Diddley and Big Brother and the Holding Company at the Avalon Ballroom. Printed in bright red and blue, the central image is of the Sonoma County Court House after the 1906 earthquake and advertises Aug. 12-13, 1966 dates, just two months after Janis Joplin joined Big Brother and the Holding Company (est. $600-$900).

Color poster by Stanley Mouse, featuring Bo Diddley and Big Brother and the Holding Company at the Avalon Ballroom, barely more than two months after Janis Joplin joined the latter band. PBA Galleries image

From the Fine Press section of the sale are two featured lots. Taos Quartet by Merle Armitage, is his account of D.H. Lawrence’s sojourn in Taos, New Mexico, as a guest of Mabel Dodge Luhan (est. $2,500-$3,500).

Robinson Jeffers’ Poems, is one of 310 copies printed by the Grabhorn Press, with an original signed photograph by Ansel Adams as the frontispiece, signed by Jeffers on the limitation page, and additionally inscribed by Jeffers to legendary Los Angeles bookseller Jake Zeitlin (est. $2,000-$3,000).

One of only five sets of progressive proofs for Jean Charlot’s Picture Book of 32 original lithographs (below), is offered with an original watercolor by the artist. This offering is the set prepared for the famed book designer, Merle Armitage and is signed by him at the front of each volume. Inserted in the front of the first volume is the original watercolor inscribed to Armitage by Charlot (est. $6,000-$9,000). Another lot in the sale with a lithograph by Charlot is Merle Armitage’s monograph on the California modernist painter, Henrietta Shore. The scarce work is limited to 200 copies and is illustrated with photographs by Edward Weston (est. $1,500-$2,500).

Merle Armitage’s monograph on California painter Henrietta Shore features an original lithograph by Jean Charlot. PBA Galleries image

Other featured lots include a first edition of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The House of the Seven Gables in the original blind-stamped brown cloth. The Gothic tale was well received and later influenced the work of H.P. Lovecraft (est. $600-$900). The First Rackham Edition of Hans Christian Andersen’s Fairy Tales contains 12 color plates and is bound in full vellum and signed by the illustrator at the limitation statement (est. $1,500-$2,500).

The sale will begin at 11 a.m. Pacific Time.

For more information, contact the galleries at 415-989-2665 or pba@pbagalleries.com.