SAN FRANCISCO – PBA Galleries will host a special auction on Sunday, Feb. 9, of Rare Books & Manuscripts. This sale will be held at the Pasadena Sheraton, adjacent to the Pasadena (Calif.) Convention Center and the 47th California International Antiquarian Book Fair. There are 222 lots, comprising an eclectic selection of rare books, manuscripts, photographs and other items spanning five centuries, ranging from the plays of William Shakespeare to the pop music of the Beatles. Internet live bidding will be facilitated by LiveAuctioneers.com.
One of the many highlights of the sale is a second folio edition of Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies, published in London in 1632. One of the landmarks of English literature, the second folio is essentially a page-for-page reprint of the first folio edition of 1623. With woodcut headpieces and initials, the volume is bound in early 20th century full brown morocco and has a red leather spine label from an earlier binding laid down (est. $50,000-$80,000).
An important archive of 44 autograph letters signed that illuminate the foundations of botanical science and its relation to medicine in the new American republic, where the study of “natural history” was first advanced by passionate scientific amateurs. The recipient of these letters, Jacob Bigelow, is often remembered as author of a bibliophilic landmark – the first American book with printed color plates, his three-volume Medical Botany of 1817-20. Hailed by his friend Oliver Wendell Holmes as an accomplished scientific scholar, eminent physician and social innovator who had great influence on American medical practice, he also wrote the first American book on Technology and was later a founding father of MIT. These letters date from the earliest years of his career, when, as a young Harvard professor of medicine and “applied sciences,” he roamed through the Massachusetts hills to collect plant specimens and wrote his first book on Bostonian flora, prelude to his color-plate magnum opus, and then edited the first American Pharmacopoeia, sanctioned by the first conventions of American physicians. Beyond offering unpublished details of these scientific and medical “firsts,” the strength of the archive is in the wide range of correspondents (est. $40,000-$50,000).
Vocabvlario en Lengva Castellana y Mexicana by Alonso de Molina, published in Mexico in 1571, was the first bi-lingual dictionary of Spanish and Nahuatl, the Aztec language, and the first dictionary printed in the Americas. This second edition, regarded as the first complete edition, is significantly expanded from the first edition of 1555, is considered the first published systematic approach to an indigenous language, and is still in print, an indispensable tool for students of Classical Nahuatl language. It contains woodcut illustrations on each title-page, woodcut illustrations/devices on both sides of the final leaf of each part and decorative initials (est. $20,000-$30,000).
An iconic halftone photograph of all four Beatles on their first nationwide U.S. tour in 1964 inscribed by George Harrison, “To Liber-archie best wishes from the Beatles,” below which each of the band members has signed, over his image, “John Lennon (a band)”; “George Harrison”; “Ringo Starr”; “Paul McCartney (a fan).” This is a page from the Tour Book Concert Program for the Beatles’ first nationwide U.S. tour in 1964, with pictures on the verso as well inscribed to Liberace. A rare and desirable image, wittily inscribed and signed by all four members of the most influential and popular pop/rock band of all time (est. $20,000-$30,000).
The last 73 lots in the auction have been donated by members of the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America and are being sold to benefit the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Benevolent Fund which was established to aid any bookseller in time of distress.
The auction will begin at 8 a.m. Pacific Time on Sunday, Feb 9. The public may preview the auction at the San Francisco Book, Print and Paper Fair, Booth 421, on Saturday, Feb. 1, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m and on Sunday, Feb. 2, 10 a.m – 5 p.m. The sale may also be previewed in the Cordova Room of the Pasadena Sheraton (303 E. Cordova, Pasadena, CA 91101) on Friday, Feb. 7, noon – 5 p.m. and Saturday, Feb. 8, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and by appointment. For more information, contact PBA Galleries at 415-989-2665 or email@example.com.
View the fully illustrated catalog and register to bid absentee or live via the Internet as the sale is taking place by logging on to www.LiveAuctioneers.com.
ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE