Sculptures offer change of pace for PBA Galleries bidders Nov. 15

Alexander the Great, fourth-century terracotta. PBA Galleries image

SAN FRANCISCO – On Thursday, Nov. 15, PBA Galleries will conduct a fine and rare books auction that also offers three important ancient sculptures from Gandhara. Absentee and Internet live bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers.

Up for auction will be over 200 lots of rare and significant material, ranging from second-century sculptures from the Gandhara civilization to rarities of modern science fiction, important natural history works to original artwork for classic children’s books. There are numerous early works on religion focusing on Catholicism, books and sets in fine bindings, color plate books, Asian erotica, illustrated books, medical books and literary landmarks.

Highlighted in this sale is the terracotta sculpture of Alexander the Great from Gandhara in the fourth century. His conquest of much of eastern and central Asia exerted great artistic influence on the Gandhara civilization, as well as social, cultural and military influences (estimate: $25,000-$35,000).

A sculpture of the head of Buddha from the Gandhara civilization in what is now Pakistan is being offered in this auction as well. The head was carved from gray schist, circa second to third century (estimate: $10,000-$15,000). These were both gifts from H.R.H. Muhammad Mohabbat Khanjee, the last reigning Nawab of Junagadh State in India, to Noor Mohammad Charlie, late husband of the current owner. With a copy of the letter of provenance by H.R.H. Jehangir Khanjee, grandson of Muhammad Mohabbat Khanjee, and Nawab of Junagadh in exile, dated Karachi, Pakistan, Dec. 12, 1999.

Buddha head from Gandra – carved in gray schist rock. PBA Galleries image

The auction is also offering a carved stone head of a Bodhisattva from Gandhara.

Following Abraham Lincoln by Bernhardt Wall will also be up for auction. This set is completed with the original 85 volumes, is illustrated throughout with some 960 etchings printed in colored inks, hand-bound in boards with dust wrappers. This is just one of 100 copies. created over a span of 12 years, with original etchings which chronologically follow Lincoln’s life and depict his boyhood homes and places of interest throughout his career (estimate: $8,000-$12,000).

Illustration from Bernhardt Wall’s ‘Following Abraham Lincoln,’ 85 volumes. PBA Galleries image

Les Oiseaux by Édouard Traviès, 1857, an exquisite series of bird portraits in their natural habitats, with 54 folio color lithographed plates, finished by hand and heightened with gum Arabic. Édouard Traviès was one of the best-known natural history illustrators of 19th century France (estimate: $20,000-$30,000). We will also be auctioning Let Us Compare Mythologies, the first book by revered poet/singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen, an early presentation copy inscribed by Cohen the year of publication, with the original dust jacket. This is one of the 400 copies printed (estimate: $10,000-$15,000).

Other featured lots in the sale include:

– Folio Aldine Press printing of Orationes horum rhetorum, in Greek, 1513, featuring writings by Aeschinis, Lysiae, Alcidamantis and others, a fine example of Aldine Manutius’ Greek printing (estimate: $5,000-$8,000).

– Ray Bradbury’s dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451, where firemen ignite fires to burn books, one of 200 copies bound in special Johns-Manville Quinterra white asbestos, signed by the author (estimate: $4,000-$6,000).

– Persian manuscript of the collected works of the 14th-century poet Hafez, whose writings are regarded as a pinnacle of Persian literature (below), steeped in mysticism but also the joys of love and wine, executed in the 17th or 18th century (estimate: $5,000-$8,000).

Persian manuscript of Hafez’s writings – a pinnacle of Persian literature. PBA Galleries image

The sale will begin at 11 a.m. Pacific time/2 p.m. Eastern. For details contact PBA Galleries at 415-989-2665 or pba@pbagalleries.com.