A Serious Book Auction in Chicago
Lot 143 Eau & Gaz
For book buyers in Chicago and the Midwest evidence of resurgence in the book auction market is apparent in the upcoming sale at Leslie Hindman in downtown Chicago. The sale will take place on June 14th and begins at noon. Material is currently available for viewing both online and at the auction house. There are in fact two sales. The other is a Vintage Couture and Accessories sale on June 13th.
Book auctions were once a staple of Chicago life and the Hindman firm is now working to restore them as a regular midwest event. The city itself has a storied history and complex relationship to the printed word. Book stores, book auctions and collecting organizations have been ever present on the Chicago skyline.
The 388 lot book sale includes the property of many consignors but is primarily material consigned by Rockford College to raise funds for endowment. Many of the Rockford items have been the property of their rare book department for generations. The material is eclectic, the common denominator value. Some of it is quite rare.
Befitting an auction department that is building a base the presentations are thorough and the estimates appealing. Here is a representative group of what should be an interesting sale:
Lot 49 shows us what is more valuable than gold. It's ink of course. An actress collected the signatures of many of America's famous and prominent people in the first half of the 20th century. Two volumes of over 100 examples are offered here. Autograph highlights include Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Lou Gehrig, Willie Mays (signed photo), Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, Amelia Earhart, Herbert Hoover, Calvin Coolidge, Michael Collins, Carrie Chapman Catt, John Philip Sousa, William Wrigley, Prince William of Sweden, Prince Ferdinand of Russia, Jane Addams, Al Jolson, Jack Dempsey, and Mel Blanc. The estimate is $3,000 to $5,000.
Lot 71 is a first edition of The Life of Samuel Johnson by James Boswell. This is a celebrated biography that was a premier collectible before the depression, suffered a decline through the end of the Second World War and has slowly found its footing. It suffers from visibility but is an important work. It is estimated at $4,000 to $6,000. Lot 72 is a rebound set and is estimated at $1,000 to $2,000.
Lot 84 is Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There. It's the 1872 first edition, first issue with 50 illustrations. It's estimated $800 to $1,200.
Lots 97 and 98 are stereo views of Chicago pre and post the great Chicago fire. No other city in has quite the fascination with its destruction as does Chicago. These lots are both estimated $200 to $400.
Lot 103 is an early Confederate imprint, Regulations For The Army Of The Confederate States. Richmond: Ritchie & Dunnavant, 1861 8vo., blue cloth. With the signature of Brig. Gen. Sterling Price to f.f.e.p. Light wear and soiling to binding; otherwise fine. This would have been printed in the opening months of the war, just a carriage ride from Washington. It is estimated $1,000 to $2,000.
Lot 143 will be of interest both to the French and to those appreciate the French style. It is [Duchamp, Marcel] Lebel Robert, Sur Marcel DuChamp. Paris: Trianon, 1959 4to., in wrappers, in brown cloth clamshell case with plate reading "Eau & Gaz a Tous Les Étages". 1 of 110 copies of the deluxe edition signed by Marcel DuChamp and Robert Lebel. A biography and catalog of DuChamp and his work. Fine in a lightly soiled and worn case. It is estimated $6,000 to $8,000.
A Serious Book Auction in Chicago
Psychology: an arm full
Lot 174 is a signed letter from George Gershwin to Miss Magnhild Styhr. Someone could probably figure out what show Mr. Gershwin refers to and possibly who Miss Styhr is. Estimated $1,000 to $2,000.
Lot 217 is an incomplete copy of Holinshed's Chronicles by William Harrison. It's printed in 1577. It may be destined to be bought for its leaves. It's estimated $1,000 to $2,000.
Lot 291 is a Lakeside printing of Herman Melville's Moby Dick; or, The Whale. It was printed in 1930. Estimated $2,000 to $4,000.
Lot 315 is an autographed photograph of Cole Porter estimated $300 to $500.
Lot 346 is an imperfect first separate quarto edition of William Shakespeare's Macbeth: A Tragedy. Acted at the Dukes-Theatre. It was printed in 1677. Bidders should discuss this copy with the auction house as there are problems. The estimate is $8,000 to $12,000.
Lot 358 is a first edition of Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island printed in 1883. Six generations have read and loved this book. Someone is going to buy it. The estimate is $6,000 to $8,000.
Lots 362 and 363 are early editions of Jonathan Swift's Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World. . .by Lemuel Gulliver. 1726. Lot 362 is the third edition in two volumes and 363 is the first illustrated edition printed in 1727. Take your pick or buy them both. The estimates for each are the same: $5,000 to $7,000.
Lot 369 brings us back to America. It's a framed photograph of Mark Twain and a signed note: "When in doubt, tell the truth." We all know someone we'd like to give this to. Estimated $800 to $1,200.
Finally there is lot 381, an entire Women's Suffrage collection in a single set. The books themselves are the four volumes of History of Woman Suffrage: 1848-1861. There is a complex combination of signatures and ephemera inserted that makes this set very desirable. Estimated $2,000 to $4,000
There are of course many other lots. Here is a link to the entire sale.
Leslie Hindman is located at 122 North Aberdeen Street in Chicago. For inquiries the telephone number is 312 334-4215. Direct inquiries by email to the department should be sent to email@example.com. Adam Muhlig is the head of department and is assisted by Lauren Matson.
Our thanks to Thomas Joyce for his background and perspective on the Chicago book trade. He operates Thomas J. Joyce and Company, a rare and used book firm at 400 N. Racine in Chicago, Illinois 60622.