Freeman's Auctioneers, April 4th, 5th and 17th

- by Bruce E. McKinney

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Selected lots from the 3 sales

Freeman’s Auctioneers & Appraisers in Philadelphia is holding three sales in April that warrant attention: Rare Books and Manuscripts on the 4th, Posters, Maps and Other Graphics on the 5th, and American Furniture, Folk & Decorative Arts on the 17th.  Altogether 1,290 lots are on offer.

The rare book sale on the 4th and 5th includes over 180 lots [338-520] of early printings from the Mount Saint Alphonsus Seminary in Esopus, Ulster County, New York.  At one time, such seminaries were common, but they have outlived their purpose and are increasingly the subject of redistribution and dispersal.  Additional material from this facility will be offered in August and September.  The Alphonsus Seminary portion of the sale includes “over 180 lots of early printings, including over 15 incunables. Of special note is the 1500 edition of Saint Bridgets Revelations [in German] for $10,000-15,000 with colored woodcuts attributed to Albrecht Durer and printed by Anton Koberger. An early edition of Albertus Magnus’ early tract on Minerology De Mineralibus from 1519 is offered at $12,000-18,000. The first edition of Ludolphus de Saxonia’s Vita Christi, 1474 Strassburg, Carthusian Monastry is offered at $10,000-15,000. A near complete example has not come to auction since 1980. Another interesting edition is Hieronymous’ Epistolae 1492-97 with a frontis woodcut of St. Jerome dressed as a cardinal removing a thorn from a lion's paw, three books bearing versions of Genesis 1:1 the Hebrew Pentateuch, the Greek Septuagint, and St. Jerome’s own Latin translation are beside him.”

In addition to the seminary material on the 4th, this sale includes focused collections of subject matters varying from 17th and 20th century metaphysical and modern poetry and literature to Leonard Troland’s journals of Technicolor research and early American periodicals, other sources, in particular an interesting combination of the printed word and related images with an emphasis on America.

On the 5th, during the Posters, Maps and Other Graphics sale, bidders will be competing for Thomas Holme’s “A Mapp of Ye Improved Part of Pennsylvania in America, Divided into Countyes, Townships and Lotts” (London: P. Lea, c.1687) as well as Toulouse Lautrec’s “Divan Japonais,” Herbert Matter’s “All Roads Lead to Switzerland,” and engravings by Marguerite Kirmse, Francisco Zuniga, and James Abbott McNeill Whistler.

On the 17th, Freeman’s is offering a 13 star American flag dated 1784 and a Confederate flag (2nd National Flag of the Louisiana Guard Battery) from 1864. Such flags are rare and provide some evidence of the continuing trend for historical collections to include an increasing emphasis on images and related objects.  The bidding will not be for the faint hearted.  The 13 star flag is estimated $175,000 - $250,000 and the Confederate flag $75,000 - $125,000. Freeman’s has sold other important flags over the past two years.  The sale on the 17th also includes many regional paintings.

Here a link to Rare Books and Manuscripts on April 4th

Posters, Maps and Other Graphics on April 5th

American Furniture, Folk and Decorative Arts on April 17th