Photo Tour: Bonhams & Butterfields Fine Books & Manuscripts Auction Preview
Sometimes in these days of iPads and smartphones it's a pleasure to look at real writing, at old books, scrawled signatures, the things that could be mere curiosities to future generations. Bonhams & Butterfields Fine Books & Manuscripts auction is coming up on February 13. One of the showcase lots is a book, prominently featuring California backdrops, of 100 hand-colored lithograph plates and accompanying text by famed German-Russian painter and explorer Louis Choris. Choris' volume has more than 100 plates depicting areas of San Francisco, such as the Presidio, the Mission, and the Bay; as well as the Hawaiian Islands; Alaska; the Philippines; Chile; and Easter Island. It is estimated at $100,000-$150,000.
The illustrated auction catalog for the Fine Books & Manuscripts Sale is available online for review and purchase at www.bonhams.com/18686. Take a look some other items after the jump...
A second edition of the book The Natural History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands: Containing the Figures of Birds, Beasts, Fishes, Serpents, Insects and Plants, illustrated with 220 hand-colored plates by English naturalist Mark Catesby is also estimated at $100,000-$150,000. The large volume includes some of the first images depicting flora and fauna in natural settings. The first edition of the book, completed in 1747, was one of the earliest color plate books on American birds.
A typed letter from poet Sylvia Plath (1932-1963) includes the text of a poem, 'Lament' published several years before. This item is estimated at $15,000 to $20,000.
A Walt Disney lot includes a Disney signature on a First Class menu for a Pan American flight, an original four-panel comic strip for Walt Disney's Donald Duck, pen and ink on stiff paper, 5 x 23 inches, September 19, 1941, and an 8 x 10 inch portrait of Disney. This lot has an estimate of $1,000 - 2,000.
A Mark Twain signature adorns a Lotos Club menu of dinner celebrating Samuel Langhorne Clemens (Twain's real name) on November 10, 1900. The Lotos Club is one of the oldest literary clubs in New York; Clemens was an early member, joining in 1873. The 1900 dinner in Clemens' honor was a celebration of the author's return to the states after a decade of travels. It is estimated at $1,000 to $1,500.
A complete set of eight volumes plus an atlas gives an account of explorer James Cook's three voyages in Tahiti, Australia and other parts of the South Pacific. The handsome volumes have gilt spines decorated with maritime devices and are estimated at $25,000 to $30,000.
Older books up for sale include selections from Alfred Tennyson, H.G. Wells and Harriet Beecher Stowe.
A "Kadder" cloth, produced by hand in Mahatma Gandhi's ashram is accompanied by a note and photographthat indicate that the cloth was originally collected and identified by an American missionary to India in the 1930s associated with the Lucknow Christian College in Uttar Pradesh, India. It is estimated at $4,000 - 6,000.