Revolutionary War tracts and 1549 Agricola work beat estimates at Freeman’s

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PHILADELPHIA — Two important tracts from the American Revolutionary War performed at or above expectations, while a 1549 first edition of Agricola’s study of subterranean creatures topped all lots at Freeman’s Book and Manuscripts sale September 27. Complete sale results are ready for review at LiveAuctioneers.

Printed in 1781 by Francis Bailey by order of the newly formed United States Congress, this pamphlet contains The Constitutions of the Several Independent States of America; The Declaration of Independence; The Articles of Confederation Between the Said States. With only 200 copies printed under the Congressional order, this document is exceedingly rare. Estimated at $7,000-$10,000, it hammered for $24,000 ($31,440 with buyer’s premium).

Another Revolutionary War-era tract, Common Sense by Thomas Paine, just beat its lower $15,000 estimate to sell for $16,000 ($20,960 with buyer’s premium).

The sale’s top lot was a 1549 first edition of De animantibus subterraneis liber by Georgius Agricola (Georg Bauer). Not commonly seen at auction, Freeman’s reported this to be the first copy they could find in more than 45 years of worldwide sales. Estimated at $1,500-$2,500, it sold well above its estimate for $30,000 ($39,300 with buyer’s premium).

Two Toulouse-Lautrec posters printed in 1892 had wildly divergent performances. Aristide Bruant sold mid-estimate at $24,000 ($31,440 with buyer’s premium), while Reine de Joie didn’t make its lower estimate of $8,000, hammering at $7,500 ($9,825 with buyer’s premium).
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‘The Constitutions of the Several Independent States of America,’ which sold for $24,000 ($31,440 with buyer’s premium) at Freeman’s.
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Georgius Agricola (Georg Bauer), ‘De animantibus subterraneis liber,’ which sold for $30,000 ($39,300 with buyer’s premium) at Freeman’s.
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Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, ‘Ambassadeurs: Aristide Bruant,’ which sold for $24,000 ($31,440 with buyer’s premium) at Freeman’s.
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J.D. Salinger, ‘Nine Stories,’ inscribed by the author, which sold for $10,000 ($13,100 with buyer’s premium) at Freeman’s.
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Extensive archive of New Jersey detective Ellis H. Parker and his investigation of the Lindbergh baby kidnapping and murder, which sold for $15,000 ($19,650 with buyer’s premium) at Freeman’s.
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Mackinac Island museum acquires portraits of American Loyalists

Portraits depicting Arent DePeyster (shown here) and his wife, Rebecca DePeyster, Americans who supported the British during the Revolutionary War, sold for roughly $51,000 to the Mackinac Island State Park Commission, a Michigan state agency. The paired paintings were offered at Bellmans, an auction house in Billinghurst, England, on October 11.
Portraits depicting Arent DePeyster and his wife, Rebecca DePeyster, Americans who supported the British during the Revolutionary War, sold for roughly $51,000 to the Mackinac Island State Park Commission, a Michigan state agency. The paired paintings were offered at Bellmans, an auction house in Billinghurst, England, on October 11.
Portraits depicting Arent DePeyster and his wife, Rebecca DePeyster, Americans who supported the British during the Revolutionary War, sold for roughly $51,000 to the Mackinac Island State Park Commission, a Michigan state agency. The paired paintings were offered at Bellmans, an auction house in Billingshurst, England, on October 11.

BILLINGSHURST, U.K. – A pair of husband-and-wife portraits of Loyalists – Americans who supported Britain during the Revolutionary War – have sold in a British auction for the British pounds sterling equivalent of $51,000. The buyer is the Mackinac Island State Park Commission, a Michigan state agency which will place the paintings in its museum collection.

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Revolutionary War artifacts: American storytellers

A silver-mounted and inlaid American Revolutionary War tomahawk, taken from a captured combatant and brought back to England as a war trophy, sold for $540,000 plus the buyer’s premium in May 2020. Image courtesy of Dan Morphy Auctions and LiveAuctioneers.
A silver-mounted and inlaid American Revolutionary War tomahawk, taken from a captured combatant and brought back to England as a war trophy, sold for $540,000 plus the buyer’s premium in May 2020. Image courtesy of Dan Morphy Auctions and LiveAuctioneers.
A silver-mounted and inlaid Colonial Revolutionary War tomahawk, taken from a captured combatant and brought back to England as a war trophy, sold for $540,000 plus the buyer’s premium in May 2020. Image courtesy of Dan Morphy Auctions and LiveAuctioneers.

NEW YORK — The nearly 60 men who made up the Continental Congress gathered in the Pennsylvania State House (now called Independence Hall) in Philadelphia on July 4, 1776 to formally adopt the Declaration of Independence. This was no simple vote. Of this group, about a third had served in the Revolutionary War as militia officers and had seen firsthand the horrors of the war that began in April 1775. In this momentous act, which was considered treason against Britain, Colonial America renounced England and declared it was its own country: The United States of America.

The Fourth of July holiday presents the perfect opportunity to consider collecting artifacts from the Revolutionary War and explore why interest in this material only continues to grow.

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