• <b>Bonhams 4 June 2014:</b> China: The Camera Collection. An extensive collection of material from archives of John David Zumbrun and Camera Craft. Sold for US$ 317,000 inc. premium
    <b>Bonhams 4 June 2014:</b> Chernikhov, Yakov Geogievich. 1889-1951. <i>Architectural Cycles</i>. Sold for US$ 425,000 inc. premium
    <b>Bonhams 4 June 2014:</b> Turing, Alan Mathison. 1912-1954. On Computable Numbers, Application to the Entscheidungsproblem. Sold for US$ 50,000 inc. premium
    <b>Bonhams 4 June 2014:</b> CHERNIKHOV, YAKOV GEORGIEVICH. 1889-1951. Sold for US$ 173,000 inc. premium
    <b>Bonhams 4 June 2014:</b> GÖDEL, KURT. On Undecidable Propositions of Formal Mathematical Systems. Sold for US$ 47,500 inc. premium
    <b>Bonhams 4 June 2014:</b> FEYNMAN, RICHARD and LARRY GROBEL. Original Cassette Tape of an interview of Nobel prize winning physicist. Sold for US$ 37,500 inc. premium
    <b>Bonhams 5 June 2014:</b> A D-Day 48 star Ensign flown from LST-493, 6th June 1944. Sold for US$ 386,500 inc. premium
    <b>Bonhams 5 June 2014:</b> A Rare Enigma three rotor Enciphering Machine Germany circa 1942-44. Sold for US$ 92,500 inc. premium
    <b>Bonhams 5 June 2014:</b> Anonymous, alithographic poster, 1939. Sold for US$ 27,500 inc. premium
  • <b>Leslie Hindman Auctioneers:<br>Sale 322 - Fine Books and Manuscripts, August 6th.</b>
    <b>Leslie Hindman Auctioneers August 6th:</b> Lot 8. MACKENZIE, Alexander. <i>Voyages from Montreal</i>. London, 1801. First edition. Est. $3-5,000.
    <b>Leslie Hindman Auctioneers August 6th:</b> Lot 27. AUDUBON, John James. <i>The Birds of America</i>. New York and Philadelphia, [1839], 1840-1844. Est. $30-50,000.
    <b>Leslie Hindman Auctioneers August 6th:</b> AUDUBON, John James and John BACHMAN. <i>Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America</i>. New York, 1845-1848. 3 vols. Elephant folio edition. Est. $200-400,000.
    <b>Leslie Hindman Auctioneers:<br>Sale 322 - Fine Books and Manuscripts, August 6th.</b>
    <b>Leslie Hindman Auctioneers August 6th:</b> GREW, Nehemiah. <i>The Anatomy of Plants</i>. London, 1862. First edition. Est.: $1,500-2,500.
    <b>Leslie Hindman Auctioneers August 6th:</b> APIANUS, Petrus. <i>Cosmographia</i>. Cologne, 1574. With 5 plates, 4 with volvelles. Est. $7-9,000.
    <b>Leslie Hindman Auctioneers August 6th:</b> SMITH, Adam. <i>An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations</i>. London, 1776. 2 vols. First edition. Est. $60-80,000.
    <b>Leslie Hindman Auctioneers August 6th:</b> (LOUIS-PHILIPPE I) MCKENNEY AND HALL. <i>History of the Indian Tribes of North America</i>. Philadelphia, 1838, 1844. 3 vols. King Louis-Philippe I copy. Est. $140-180,000.
    <b>Leslie Hindman Auctioneers August 6th:</b> GREENER, Richard. Diploma of first African American man to graduate Harvard College. Est. $10-15,000.
    <b>Leslie Hindman Auctioneers August 6th:</b> (MIRO, Joan) <i>Lithographs I-VI</i>. New York and Paris, 1972, 1975, 1977, 1981 and 1992. 6 vols.<br>Est. $2-4,000.
    <b>Leslie Hindman Auctioneers August 6th:</b> HEMINGWAY, Ernest. <i>A Farewell to Arms</i>. New York, 1929. First edition. Est. $800-1,200.
  • <b>19th Century Shop</b>. 30th anniversary catalogue of landmark rare books, autographs and manuscripts, and historical photographs of all ages.
    <b>19th Century Shop</b>. Abraham Lincoln, "a previously unknown portrait of exceptional quality." From the collection of John Hay.
    <b>19th Century Shop</b>. <i>The Federalist</i> (1788). An important association copy in original boards, untrimmed.
    <b>19th Century Shop</b>. Isaac Newton. <i>Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica</i> (1687).
    <b>19th Century Shop</b>. Shakespeare's <i>Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies</i> (1632).
    <b>19th Century Shop</b>. John Rockefeller. Ambrotype, the earliest known photograph of Rockefeller.
    <b>19th Century Shop</b>. Muybridge, <i>Animal Locomotion</i> (1887) subscriber's copy.
  • <b>Sotheby's Paris on 19 June 2014:</b> DALI, BRETON, V. HUGO and GALA. <i>Surrealist portrait of Lenin</i>. 1932. Cadavre exquis signed by all four. On a postcard addressed to René Char. Estimate €15,000-20,000
    <b>Sotheby's Paris on 19 June 2014:</b> CELINE. <i>Voyage au bout de la nuit</i>. One of 20 copies on vélin d’Arches, inscribed to Roland Saucier and a binding by A. Cerutti. Estimate €80,000-120,000
    <b>Sotheby's Paris on 19 June 2014:</b> PROUST. <i>Autograph letter to Gaston Gallimard</i>, about the Jeunes filles en fleurs and his dreyffusian past. December 21, 1919. 4 pages. Estimate €10,000-15,000
    <b>Sotheby's Paris on 19 June 2014:</b> REVERDY. <i>La Lucarne ovale. 1916</i>. First edition. One of 6 copies on Japan paper. Binding by Jean de Gonet. With a letter by Pierre Albert-Birot. Estimate €28,000-35,000
    <b>Sotheby's Paris on 19 June 2014:</b> STENDHAL. <i>Histoire de la Peinture en Italie</i>. 1817. First edition, inscribed to count Kosakowsky.<br>Estimate €20,000-30,000
    <b>Sotheby's Paris on 19 June 2014:</b> BAUDELAIRE. Théophile Gautier. 1859. Exceptional copy with contemporary binding, inscribed to Edouard Manet.<br>Estimate €40,000-60,000
    <b>Sotheby's Paris on 19 June 2014:</b> OVIDIUS. [<i>Complete works</i>]. Venice, Aldus, 1502-1503. 17th cent. vellum. Estimate €3,000-5,000
    <b>Sotheby's Paris on 19 June 2014:</b> GIEGHER. <i>Le Tre trattati</i>. Padova, 1639. Contemporary binding. Estimate €8,000-12,000
    <b>Sotheby's Paris on 19 June 2014:</b> ROLEWINCK. <i>Fasciculus temporum</i>. Lyon, Huss, 1496. From the Seillières collection. Estimate €4,000-6,000
    <b>Sotheby's Paris on 19 June 2014:</b> AMUS. <i>32 autograph letters to Liliane Choucroun</i>. 1936-1952.<br>Estimate €60,000-80,000
    <b>Sotheby's Paris on 19 June 2014:</b> LA FONTAINE. <i>Fables</i>. 1668. Morocco by Bedford. First collective edition. Estimate €6,000-8,000
    <b>Sotheby's Paris on 19 June 2014:</b> ROUAULT. <i>Cirque de l’étoile filante</i>. Ambroise Vollard, 1938. Fine binding by Creuzevault. Copy on Japon Impérial. Estimate €30,000-50,000

AE Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - November - 2007 Issue

William Reese Revisits The Streeter Sale

Reese257

The Streeter Sale Revisited from William Reese.


By Michael Stillman

Catalogue number 257 from the William Reese Company is a must for all major collectors of Americana: The Streeter Sale Revisited. Thomas Streeter was likely the most important collector of printed Americana of the 20th century. Streeter was first a lawyer, then very successful businessman and financier. He began seriously collecting books in the 1920s, and evidently this became the love of his life. He retired in 1939, at the age of just 56, to devote the remainder of his life to book collecting. This he did virtually until its end in 1965.

Streeter collected a great deal of early Americana, but had a special interest in Texas. He published a bibliography based on his collection, donated numerous documents to the University of Texas, and sold his Texas collection in its entirety to Yale University. He made numerous donations to other institutions and served on the boards of, or in other capacities with, many libraries and historical organizations. However, he also wanted to make much of what he had gathered available to the next generation of collectors, so he decided to have some 5,000 of his books put up for auction after he died. The result was the Streeter Sale, probably the most important Americana auction of the last century.

The sale was held at Parke-Bernet Galleries, then New York's largest auction house. The sale began in 1966, and did not conclude until 1969, 23 sessions later. A total of 4,421 of his best items were offered at the auctions, bringing in a total of just over $3.1 million, a record for a book auction in the U.S. at the time. A number of factors helped to make the auction so successful, including the great respect Streeter had developed, making his copies very desirable, and the fact that Streeter gave institutions $400,000 to be used exclusively at his auction. Despite the seemingly generous prices often paid at the time, most of the purchases made at his auction have proven to be a bargain, even taking into account inflation since that time. As the rich get richer, the best get better, and Streeter's collection was the best.

William Reese has owned many items that came from Streeter's collection over the years, and has owned even more other copies of books Streeter once possessed. Currently, he is offering 311 items that are the same or similar to items sold at the Streeter sale, including 18 books owned by Streeter himself. In this catalogue, he looks back at Streeter's sale and gives us the prices from that auction, and in most cases is able to tell us to whom the Streeter copy was sold. In some cases, Reese is also able to compare prices with those sold at the auction of Streeter's son, Frank. Frank Streeter died this past year and his collection, while not on a level with that of his father, was nonetheless an important one, and he had many items that once belonged to Thomas. Reese notes that items sold at the son's auction for roughly 26 times the price at his father's, and that prices in this catalogue average around 28 times the prices at the Streeter sale. Some are only a few times as much, though a few are priced well beyond the 28 times average.

We note that our own findings indicate that this is about double the rate of increase as seen for the typical book since the late 1960s. Again, the best material, though seemingly very expensive at the time, usually increases at a more rapid rate than does average material. The Streeter collection confirms this. For comparison, Reese notes the overall inflation rate since that time stands at 6, so books have been a good financial investment, whether typical or superior copies, along with bringing great pleasure to those collect them.

AE Monthly


Review Search

Archived Reviews

Ask Questions