First Photographic Images of Yellowstone to be Auctioned in September 2016

This September 20th, San Francisco’s PBA Galleries will be auctioning off a book of rare William Henry Jackson images. The auction company will feature a bound volume of 76 “Albertypes” of Yellowstone National Park made from negatives produced by Jackson. What makes these images so remarkable, besides their quality, is their aforementioned rarity. The Albertypes were produced in 1874, just a few years after Jackson accompanied the 1871 Hayden Geological Survey as a photographer. Jackson had hoped to market the … Continued

World’s Largest William Blake Gallery to Open in San Francisco

John Windle Antiquarian Bookseller announces the grand opening of The William Blake Gallery, a new exhibition space in San Francisco dedicated to works created by the massively influential 19th century poet, artist, and engraver. The gallery is the largest of its kind devoted solely to the artist, as well as the largest collection in the world of pieces by Blake available for purchase. Widely considered to be one of the greatest contributors to the Western world of literature and art, … Continued

For Sale: Scrap of Wallpaper from Room Where Lincoln Died

Image courtesy of Addison & Sarova.
Image courtesy of Addison & Sarova.

Coming to auction later this week is a neat little relic of President Abraham Lincoln’s life–or more accurately, his death. The fragment of wallpaper was removed from the back bedroom of the rowhouse across the street from Ford’s Theatre where Lincoln breathed his last, and laid into a book called Words of Lincoln (1895) with the note, “Taken from the all of the room in which Lincoln died. 516 10th St. Washington D.C.”

The book’s author, Osborn H. Oldroyd (1842-1930), was a Civil War sergeant and a famous collector of Lincoln memorabilia; a biography of him published in 1927 is subtitled Founder and Collector of Lincoln Mementos. Oldroyd amassed a large collection of Lincolniana, first displayed at Lincoln’s home in Springfield, Illinois, but relocated to the Petersen House, aka the house where Lincoln died, in 1893. He and his family bunked there too.

The auctioneers, Addison & Sarova of Macon, Georgia, estimate the wallpaper snippet will sell for $2,000-3,000.

Incidentally, the University of Chicago houses a substantial Lincoln-Oldroyd collection. You can read more about Oldroyd and the Petersen House here.


Browse related collectible books:

Abraham Lincoln – Books & Ephemera

Copies of “Words of Lincoln” by Oldroyd

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Literary Posters at Auction

by Rebecca Rego Barry

Alongside an array of vintage war, travel, and political posters on offer at Swann Galleries this week, a few gems that feature literary magazines caught my eye. I dare say these posters, particularly those that headline a coveted author, might be “gateway” buys that introduce book collectors to the poster market. If nothing else, they will enhance a wall and complement a full bookcase.

literary posters on - from fine books & collections

Rudyard Kipling and Anthony Hope collectors might take special notice of this McClure’s poster from August 1895. The estimate is $400-600.

literary poster for The Bookman - Rare Finds from Fine Books Magazine &

Perhaps a favorite for this readership, this advertising poster for The Bookman, Christmas 1895, depicts a Benjamin Franklinesque character perusing a bookshop. The estimate is $400-600.

literary poster - Fine Books Magazine &

According to Swann, this poster for the March 1907 issue of Scribner’s magazine is rarely seen at auction. It portrays a fashionable female reader with her Scribner’s magazine in hand. The estimate is $2,500-3,500.

literary poster - Rare Finds from Fine Books Magazine &

This Paris Review poster from 1983 was designed by conceptual artist Sol LeWitt. It is signed and numbered by the artist, 75/100. The estimate is $700-1,000.

Posters as Ephemera

Posters: Rare Book Room on Biblio

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Exhibition at The Met to Focus on Fragonard, Famed Master Draftsman of the 18th Century

Jean Honoré Fragonard (French, 1732-1806)—one of the most forward-looking and inventive artists of the 18th century—was equally skilled in painting, drawing, and etching. Yet, unlike many old masters for whom drawing was a preparatory tool, Fragonard explored the potential of chalk, ink, and wash to create sheets that were works of art in their own right. As displays of virtuosity and an imaginative spirit, his drawings were highly prized from his own day to the present, and New York has … Continued

Four Unknown Beatrix Potter Illustrations Found in England

By Nate Pedersen, Fine Books & Collections

Four previously unknown Beatrix Potter illustrations were found tucked away in the library at Melford Hall, a Tudor mansion and National Trust property in Suffolk, England.

The drawings focus on interior and exterior scenes of Melford Hall itself, which was frequently visited by Potter between 1899 and 1938 when her cousin Ethel Leech lived there with her husband and three children. (more…)

Brontë Bible at Auction

Brontë Bible at Auction - Image via Sotheby’s.
Brontë Bible at Auction – Image via Sotheby’s.

By Rebecca Rego Barry

Apropos to our summer issue’s feature on Charlotte Brontë’s bicentenary, Sotheby’s London is offering a bible that the author gifted to her best friend Ellen Nussey in 1837. The diminutive (duodecimo) bible was printed in 1821 and bound in red morocco with gilt edging. The sparse inscription in Brontë’s hand reads “E Nussey | from | C Bronte | 1837.”

At the time, Brontë, 21, and Nussey, 20, had already been friends and correspondents for several years. But why did Brontë bestow a bible? According to Sotheby’s, she was “experiencing some religious confusion. This, coupled to an emotional separation from Nussey, may have prompted the gift.”

A later inscription reveals that Nussey bequeathed it to a relative, Mary Carr, before her death in 1897. Some penciled verse and marginalia of unknown origin appears in the book as well.

The sale is scheduled for July 12, and the estimate is £15,000-20,000 ($19,000-25,000).


Browse related collectible books:

Charlotte Brontë Books & Illustrations

Beautiful and Rare Bibles

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The dread and envy of them all

In the wake of the British “Brexit” vote that not only begins the process of withdrawing from the European Union, but also potentially triggers the break-up of the United Kingdom, the libretto to a piece of eighteenth-century theatre illustrates the tangled history of Britain and Europe. In 1700, England faced a succession crisis: twelve years previously, the Roman Catholic king James II had been ousted by his daughter, Mary Stuart and her husband, the Dutch Protestant William of Orange. They … Continued

Babar Comes to Houghton Library

Reprinted with permission from Fine Books & Collections, Barbara Basbanes Richter, author

Harvard’s Houghton Library recently acquired the complete archive of Jean de Brunhoff’s preparatory materials for his 1934 alphabet book, ABC de Babar. Over one hundred sketches, hand-colored proofs, and other items were gifted to the library by Laurent de Brunhoff and Laurent’s wife, Phyllis Rose. (more…)

A Revamped Website for Mosher Press Collectors

Reprinted with permission from Fine Books & Collections, Rebecca Rego Barry, author

Just a few weeks ago I was delighted to hear that collector and bookseller Philip R. Bishop renovated and relaunched a website devoted to the work of American private press pioneer Thomas Bird Mosher (1852-1923) of Portland, Maine. As Bishop writes of him, “Mosher’s contributions to the private press movement in the United States rank him high as a major exponent and promoter of the British Pre-Raphaelites, Aesthetes, and Victorians to his fellow Americans.” This comprehensive website complements Bishop’s bio-bibliography, Thomas Bird Mosher: Pirate Press of Publishers (Oak Knoll Press, 1998). (more…)