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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Travel, Americana and literature add color to Freeman’s Sept. 27 Books and Manuscripts sale

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PHILADELPHIA — Subject matter ranging from Revolutionary War and anti-slavery tracts to Central American ruins and the Lindbergh baby kidnapping add fascinating color to the Freeman’s Books and Manuscripts sale scheduled for Wednesday, September 27. The catalog is now available for bidding at LiveAuctioneers.

The sale’s diverse selections symbolize a walk through a wide range of Western history and literature. The lot with the highest estimate is a first edition of Frederick Catherwood’s 1844 travelog Views of the Ancient Monuments in Central America, Chiapas and Yucatan. One of just 300 copies printed, the book was the third in a series of first-hand accounts of ancient Mayan ruins encountered by Catherwood, a draftsman, and archaeologist John Lloyd Stephens during 1839-1842 expeditions. The book comes with 25 tinted lithographic plates engraved after Catherwood’s on-scene illustrations. So important were these works at the time that Edgar Allen Poe called the author’s 1843 Incidents of Travel in Yucatan “the most interesting book of travel ever published.” The lot carries an estimate of $30,000-$50,000.

One of the greatest minds among the American Founding Fathers belonged to Thomas Paine. Though only a recent 1774 arrival to the colonies, Paine’s Common Sense was the first widely distributed pamphlet to call for independence from the crown. Freeman’s has a rare 1776 Philadelphia copy of the document in the sale, estimated at $15,000-$25,000.

Quakers, a Protestant Christian group, have long been a part of the American fabric. Their early, 18th-century advocacy for the abolition of slavery set them apart from mainstream thinking at the time. Observations on the Inslaving, importing and purchasing of Negroes by Anthony Benezet was the first Quaker-related pamphlet to speak to the realities of the slave trade. Published in 1759, Freeman’s has a first edition of this important document with clear provenance to the original owner, James Moon, a Bucks County Quaker abolitionist. The pamphlet has an estimate of $15,000-$25,000.

New Jersey Detective Ellis H. Parker was one of the investigators of the Lindbergh baby kidnapping and murder. Notably, it was Parker who felt Bruno Hauptmann, convicted of the crime, to be innocent. A trove of his contemporaneous notes and other documents related to the investigation is estimated at $10,000-$15,000.

A signed presentation first edition copy of Ray Bradbury’s seminal The Martian Chronicles leads a large group of more contemporary American literature. Inscribed by Bradbury hoping he could “continue to entertain you,” the book is estimated at $1,200-$1,800.
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Frederick Catherwood, ‘Views of the Ancient Monuments in Central America, Chiapas and Yucatan,’ estimated at $30,000-$50,000 at Freeman’s.
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Thomas Paine’s ‘Common Sense,’ the 1776 Philadelphia edition, estimated at $15,000-$25,000 at Freeman’s.
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Anthony Benezet, ‘Observations on the Inslaving, importing and purchasing of Negroes,’ estimated at $15,000-$25,000 at Freeman’s.
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Lindbergh baby kidnapping and murder archive of New Jersey Detective Ellis H. Parker, estimated at $10,000-$15,000 at Freeman’s.
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First edition signed presentation copy of Ray Bradbury’s ‘The Martian Chronicles,’ estimated at $1,200-$1,800 at Freeman’s.
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Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, ‘Ambassadeurs: Aristide Bruant,’ estimated at $20,000-$30,000 at Freeman’s.
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