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First edition of Virginia Woolf’s ‘Mrs. Dalloway’ in its unrestored dust jacket, estimated at $15,000-$20,000

Virginia Woolf first edition in dust jacket may exceed $25K at Swann, March 2

First edition of Virginia Woolf’s ‘Mrs. Dalloway’ in its unrestored dust jacket, estimated at $15,000-$20,000
First edition of Virginia Woolf’s ‘Mrs. Dalloway’ in its unrestored dust jacket, estimated at $15,000-$20,000

NEW YORK — Swann Galleries will hold a Fine Books & Autographs sale on Thursday, March 2. The auction will feature autographs from political figures, pop culture icons, artists and authors, and will include first editions of key 19th- and 20th-century literary works. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.

The auction opens with a selection of presidential autographs, including clipped signatures and signed letters by the United States’ first president, George Washington. More than three items are signed by Washington, including an autograph letter from 1790 in which he discusses the character of prospective buyers of the land he intends to sell (estimated at $25,000-$35,000); a payroll for the Potomac Company, signed in 1785 when he was the company’s president (estimated at $7,000-$10,000); and two letters from the Revolutionary War (estimated at $15,000-$25,000 and $10,000-$20,000, respectively).

Autograph 1790 letter from President George Washington, estimated at $25,000-$35,000
1790 letter from President George Washington, estimated at $25,000-$35,000

Visionaries include Walt Disney with a signed and inscribed photograph depicting him speaking to a leprechaun from the film Darby O’Gill and the Little People (estimated at $3,000-$4,000). A selection of autographed letters signed by artists included those by Paul Gauguin (estimated at $10,000-$15,000) and Joan Miro (estimated at $1,000-$1,500) and several complete archives of letters by Pierre Auguste Renoir (estimated at $7,000-$10,000) and Thomas Hart Benton (estimated at $10,000-$15,000). Among the items by writers offered in the auction, a letter signed by Ernest Hemingway describing the summer that inspired his essay The Dangerous Summer as “the best time I ever had” stands out. Its estimate is $2,500-$3,000.

Literary highlights from the 19th and 20th centuries include canonical firsts from Charles Dickens, including the first edition of A Christmas Carol, London, 1843 (estimated at $7,000-$10,000) and a first edition in original monthly parts of A Tale of Two Cities, London, 1859 (estimated at $7,000-$10,000); a run of works by Herman Melville, including a first American edition, in first state binding of Moby-Dick; or the Whale, New York, 1851 (estimated at $12,000-$18,000); Mark Twain with a first American edition, first printing copy of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Hartford, 1876 (estimated at $18,000-$25,000); and a first edition of Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway, London, 1925, in an entirely unrestored rare dust jacket. It carries an estimate of $15,000-$20,000.

An offering of fine press and illustrated books complete the auction. Eric Gill’s limited edition of The Four Gospels, 1931 (estimated at $4,000-$6,000); fine bindings from Kelliegram (estimated at $800-$1,200); and various Continental examples are on offer. Also featured are Robert Indiana’s Numbers, one of 35 artist proofs sourced from his own collection (estimated at $20,000-$30,000); a Spanish translation of Karl Marx’s El Capital, 1887 (estimated at $12,000-$18,000); and the first fully illustrated book-length edition of Clement Moore’s A Visit from St. Nicholas, 1848 (estimated at $6,000-$8,000).

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