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Book Fair Calendar

Westmount Antiquarian Book Fair.  Westmount (Montreal), PQ, Canada.   May 21, 2022.     (more information)

Denver Postcard & Paper Show.  Denver, CO.   May 27–28, 2022.

Northern New England Book Fair.  Concord, NH.   June 3–4, 2022.     (more information)

Rose City Book & Paper Fair.  Portland, OR.   June 17–18, 2022.

Cooperstown Antiquarian Book Fair.  Cooperstown, NY.   June 25, 2022.     (more information)

Denver Postcard & Paper Show.  Denver, CO.   July 8–9, 2022.

Twin Cities Antiquarian Book Fair.  St. Paul, MN.   July 8–9, 2022.

Berkshire Antiquarian Book & Ephemera Fair.  Great Barrington, MA.   July 30, 2022.

Pulpfest.  Mars, PA.   August 4–7, 2022.

Rocky Mountain Antiquarian Book Fair.  Castle Rock, CO.   September 9–10, 2022.

Paper Town (Vintage Paper, Book & Advertising Show).  Boxboro, MA.   September 10, 2022.

Virtual Antiquarian Book Fair & Antiques Show.  .   September 16–18, 2022.

Northampton Ephemera, Books & Photography Show.  Northampton, MA.   October 23, 2022.

Chelsea Antiquarian Book Fair.  London, England.   November 4–5, 2022.

Book Auction Calendar

Hindman Auctions.  Chicago, IL.   May 12, 2022.     (more information)

Swann Galleries.  New York, NY.   May 12, 2022.     (more information)

PBA Galleries.  San Francisco, CA.   May 12, 2022.     (more information)

Auktionshaus Kiefer.  Pforzheim, Germany.   May 12–14, 2022.

Swann Galleries.  New York, NY.   May 19, 2022.     (more information)

Freeman’s Auctions.  Philadelphia, PA.   May 19, 2022.

PBA Galleries.  San Francisco, CA.   May 19, 2022.     (more information)

Potter & Potter Auctions.  Chicago, IL.   May 21, 2022.     (more information)

Swann Galleries.  New York, NY.   May 26, 2022.     (more information)

Swann Galleries.  New York, NY.   June 2, 2022.     (more information)

PBA Galleries.  San Francisco, CA.   June 2, 2022.     (more information)

Freeman’s Auctions.  Philadelphia, PA.   June 5, 2022.

Swann Galleries.  New York, NY.   June 9, 2022.     (more information)

PBA Galleries.  San Francisco, CA.   June 9, 2022.     (more information)

Potter & Potter Auctions.  Chicago, IL.   June 16, 2022.     (more information)

Swann Galleries.  New York, NY.   June 16, 2022.     (more information)

PBA Galleries.  San Francisco, CA.   June 16, 2022.     (more information)

Hindman Auctions.  Cincinnati, OH.   June 17, 2022.     (more information)

Hindman Auctions.  Chicago, IL.   June 22, 2022.     (more information)

Swann Galleries.  New York, NY.   June 23, 2022.     (more information)

Swann Galleries.  New York, NY.   June 30, 2022.     (more information)

PBA Galleries.  San Francisco, CA.   June 30, 2022.     (more information)

PBA Galleries.  San Francisco, CA.   July 14, 2022.     (more information)

Addison & Sarova.  Social Circle, GA.   July 16, 2022.     (more information)

Addison & Sarova (online only sale).  Social Circle, GA.   July 17, 2022.     (more information)

PBA Galleries.  San Francisco, CA.   July 21, 2022.     (more information)

Potter & Potter Auctions.  Chicago, IL.   July 21, 2022.     (more information)

PBA Galleries.  San Francisco, CA.   July 28, 2022.     (more information)

Swann Galleries.  New York, NY.   August 4, 2022.     (more information)

PBA Galleries.  San Francisco, CA.   August 11, 2022.     (more information)

Swann Galleries.  New York, NY.   August 18, 2022.     (more information)

Potter & Potter Auctions.  Chicago, IL.   August 20, 2022.     (more information)

"Building the Bookman's Paradise..."

The Morgan Library & Museum presents J. Pierpont Morgan’s Library: Building the Bookman’s Paradise, on view June 10 through September 18, 2022. This exhibition traces the design, construction, and early life of one of the finest examples of Neoclassical architecture in the United States through works such as rarely seen architectural drawings, period photographs, and a selection of the most significant rare books and manuscripts from Morgan’s collection. It honors the architects, designers, tradespeople, artists, and builders who created the Library more than a century ago and celebrates the completion of the current campaign of exterior restoration and enhancement of this landmark building, which anchors the campus of the Morgan Library & Museum.

In 1902, the American financier and collector J. Pierpont Morgan (1837–1913) commissioned architect Charles Follen McKim (1847–1909), of the firm McKim, Mead & White, to design a freestanding library next to his home on East 36th Street in New York. For the next four years, hundreds of people worked to fulfill Morgan’s commission and realize McKim’s design, from the quarriers who extracted the stone in east Tennessee to the masons who set the marble blocks with exquisite precision. The works in this exhibition document the choices made as plans for the building were developed. We discover some of the many artisans who contributed to the building’s construction and ornamentation as the exhibition traces the design development of the pristine exterior and colorful interior of the Library. In addition, …more

Literature with Beats and Counterculture at PBA on May 19th

PBA Galleries has announced an auction of Fine Literature – With the Beats, Bukowski & the Counterculture on May 19th, 2022. The sale comprises over 480 lots of fine literature and ephemera, featuring scarce works from the counterculture and the Beat Generation, as well as a large selection from Charles Bukowski, including signed typescript poems.

The sale also includes important works by Stephen King, Ernest Hemingway, John Steinbeck, and other major 20th century figures. High points of 19th century literature include important editions of works by Thoreau, Wordsworth, and Whitman among others. The sale also features fantasy and science fiction, with works by Frank Herbert, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Edgar Rice Burroughs. Particularly scarce are two books from the Anne of Green Gables series in early dust jackets, one with a rare inscription by L.M. Montgomery.

Major lots of the sale include Elaine Steinbeck's copy of East of Eden with a three-page autograph letter signed by Elaine Steinbeck attesting this to be the first copy from the publisher (est. $15,000-25,000). Also on offer is a copy of Anne of Green Gables, inscribed, with an early pictorial dust jacket, the eleventh impression inscribed by L.M. Montgomery on the front free endpaper (est. $10,000-15,000).

Among several works by Stephen King, is the very scarce limited edition of the first volume of King’s Dark Tower series: The Gunslinger. One of 500 copies, signed by Stephen King and Michael Whelan on the limitation page (est. …more

by John Huckans
Reflections on the 2020 Election (Part 5)

The unfortunate legacy of the 2020 election and the way it was carrried out is the partisan divide that remains as bitter and uncompromising as I've ever seen it, even though a lot of folks declare themselves positioned somewhere between the angry rhetoric of the far right and the sanctimonious ignorance of the far left.

Many on the left seem to find it easier to participate in the empty ritual of  “virtue" signalling, rather than spend time and effort sifting through information from a variety of sources, think deeply about matters of sound public policy, and then decide for themselves what is truly virtuous.  And many on the right tend to share inflammatory memes that are tiresome, tedious, and sometimes true.  Add to this the continual stoking of group identity discontent and you have the dangerous stuff of which civil wars are made.

[Personal note: I have it on pretty good authority that civil war can be a rather nasty way to sort out political differences, except perhaps, for the policy-makers and planners who promote and profit from the exercise while making sure people other than themselves are the ones trying to survive on the battlefield.  According to letters from one of my great grandfathers who in 1862 was a member of the 44th regiment (company B) of New York's Volunteer Infantry, the battle at Antietam on September 17, 1862, was not a pleasant day's outing. Older family members recalled he didn't talk about it much in later years.]

The nation's old melting pot theory, formalized in Latin as “e pluribus unum” by Adams, Jefferson et al. and expanded on based on the early observations of Crèvecoeur, Tocqueville and others, is now not only no longer fashionable, but often disparaged by political opportunists who discovered they can profit politically by dividing people along ethnic, racial and national origin lines, often inventing and exaggerating distinctions where none had consciously existed before. Carried to the extreme, it has become formalized as group identity politics or critical race theory (a subset of critical theory) and is reflected in all areas and levels of government, school curricula, media, entertainment and public planning. It has been routinely exploited as a means to reinforce government control over peoples' lives.

About thirty years ago eminent mid-century American historian Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. had a lot to say on the subject in his The Disuniting of America: Reflections on a Multicultural Society.  In it he begins with …more

Sales Results of PBA's April 21st Sale

On April 21st, 2022, PBA Galleries offered a small but highly important group of rare maps, views, and pictorial letter sheets relating to the early history and later development of the city of San Francisco. Map No. 6 of Salt Marsh and Tide Lands situated in … San Francisco, lithographed by G.T. Brown. Sold for $10,000.The important assemblage of graphic and cartographic material from the Charles Fracchia Collection, numbering just over 130 lots, was gathered over half a century by one of the leading historians of the city. The exceptional results often greatly exceeded the published presale estimates, but many of the items were of such rarity, even unique, that the estimates mostly served as starting points. In the end, all 134 lots sold, a “white glove” auction, the first in the 30-year history of the Galleries.

Charles Fracchia, who passed away in the summer of 2021, was the founder of the San Francisco Historical Society, and one of San Francisco’s most respected historians. He led historical walking tours for two generations of San Franciscans; taught history courses at the University of San Francisco, San Francisco State, and City College; and lectured at venues throughout the city. He was the author of numerous books, and was publisher of the historical journal The Argonaut and quarterly newsletter Panorama. He was an active member of various clubs such as the Book Club of California, and the Association Nationale de Bibliophilie, and was one of the founders of Rolling Stone magazine.

The bidders were passionate about the Fracchia collection, and in particular lithographs and views of San Francisco. One example of this is Vue de San Francisco en 1860, a tinted lithograph looking toward Yerba Buena Island, that sold for $10,625, twice the high estimate. In the same category, a George Baker lithograph of San Francisco went to a fortunate bidder for $11,785.

Vue de San Francisco en 1860, published by Henry Payot. Sold for $10,625The collection featured numerous maps of the entire city,from its infancy to the years of rebuilding after the devastating earthquake. But perhaps of even greater interest were the local maps featuring the neighborhoods being divided up into lots, for sale to homesteaders and speculators. One in this category that went well above the estimate was a map of tide lands for sale, printed by G.T. Brown, the first African-American lithographer in California, which sold for $10,000. Another map that attracted the interest of bidders was Official Map of Chinatown in San Francisco, a color lithograph from 1885. The lot sold for $15,000, ten times the high estimate.

The large selection of pictorial letter sheets, graphic portrayals of San Francisco in the wild days of the Gold Rush, captured its amazing growth from outpost to metropolis in a few short years. These brought high prices across the board – among the most notable was a letter sheet with a large double-page lithographed Bird’s Eye View of San Francisco … July 1852, published by Cooke & LeCount, which sold for $9,375. The auction foreshadows what is to come at PBA. The second portion of the Charles Fracchia collection, featuring an important group of lithographed views of San Francisco, with related material, will be offered in the fall of 2022.

PBA Galleries holds sales of fine, rare and collectible books every two weeks. They are currently accepting consignments for Fine Literature with Beats & the Counterculture. For more information regarding upcoming sales, consignments, or auction results, please contact PBA Galleries at (415) 989-2665 or pba@pbagalleries.com.

AntiqueShowsCanada Upgrades Virtual Event

More than a year and a half ago AntiqueshowsCanada developed a virtual show platform open to booksellers and antique dealers.  They ran half a dozen shows in 2021 and in the process learned a great deal about what makes for an effective and successful virtual show. This past December and and January there was a complete overhaul of the show website to incorporate a number of improvements and efficiencies. What started as an event with more antiques dealer than booksellers has become quite the reverse.

Participating dealers have noticed the differences at the first two shows of 2022.  The general idea is that a dealer will book a 'booth' of a given size from four options.  Once the booth has been created, the dealer creates a secure account, giving him or her access to the booth.  At this point a dealer begins the process of uploading items for sale.  With the new website a dealer has the ability to make edits, add, delete and rearrange both photos and items for sale.  During the show the exhibitor can go into a booth and mark items sold or on hold.  Feedback from dealers has been positive - they report the uploading process is simple and easy to use.

Exhibitors also like the fact that they can add ‘new' items to replace those which have been sold.  Each booth size allows a certain number of …more

Fine Books & Manuscripts at Potter & Potter

Potter and Potter's Fine Books and Manuscripts Sale achieved some rather spectacular results. After a long day of competitive bidding, 72 lots brought between $2,500-9,999; 14 lots made between $10,000-24,999; and 5 lots broke the $25,000 mark. Prices noted include the company's 20% buyer's premium.

Important antiquarian books in various fields took that performed well Lot #293, a first American edition, early state copy of Samuel Langhorne Clemens' ("Mark Twain") (American, 1835–1910) The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, was estimated at $10,000-15,000 and realized $21,600.included Ethan Allan's (1738–1789) A Narrative of Colonel Ethan Allen's Captivity from the Time of his Being Taken by the British, near Montreal, on the 25th day of September, in the Year 1775, to the Time of his Exchange, on the 6th day of May 1778: Containing his Voyages and Travels Interspersed with Some Practical Observations. Written by Himself, and now Published for the Information of the Curious in all Nations, was estimated at $40,000-60,000 and traded hands at $78,000. This, the second edition from 1779 has the distinction of being only copy offered at auction since 1909 when it traded hands at Henkel's Clarence H. Clark sale - 113 years ago.

Richard Hakluyt's (c. 1552–1616) The Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques and Discoveries of the English Nation, made by Sea or over-land, to the remote and farthest distant quarters of the Earth, at any time within the compasse of these 1500 yeeres, almost doubled its low estimate to sell for $48,000. This three volume, second (first enlarged) edition was printed in London in 1599 and had been the property of Charles Maynard, 1st Viscount Maynard and others.  Alexis de Tocqueville's (1805–1859) De la Democratie en Amerique, traded hands at $33,600.00 (est. $30,000-40,000). The two parts in four volume edition was printed in Paris by Bourgogne and Martinet for Charles Gosselin between 1835-1840.

Thomas Gamaliel Bradford's  (1802–1887), An Illustrated Atlas, Geographical, Statistical and Historical of the United States and the Adjacent Countries, was estimated at $8,000-12,000 and made $21,600. This first large edition from 1838 included 39 copper engraved maps including several city plans and a double–page map of the United States by G.W. Boynton.

Tales of a Thousand and One Nights; [or], The Arabian Nights’ Entertainments, estimated at $7,000-9,000 fetched …more

Contemporary & Modern Art at Hindman

An extraordinary surreal Gertrude Abercrombie painting set a new world auction record for the artist at Hindman Auctions on February 17 when it sold for $387,500. The 1964 oil on panel measuring 7 ½ by 9 ½ inches and entitled The Dinosaur Gertrude Abercrombie The Dinosaur, 1964 oil on panel Price Realized: $387,500was the highlight of Hindman’s Somewhere Out There auction, which featured one-of-a-kind artworks from the more “out there” regions of the imagination. Led by the Abercrombie piece, the auction achieved a total of $970,656, nearly tripling the presale estimate.

“Gertrude Abercrombie was one of the artists that we had in mind for inclusion when we dreamt up this genre-spanning sale of enchantingly strange image-based narrative works,” said Zack Wirsum, Hindman’s Senior Specialist for Post War and Contemporary Art.

With this auction, Hindman offered a thematically consistent ensemble of a wide range of artists bridging the 1940s to the present, satisfying the current market demand for high caliber work with visionary and fantastical approaches. Including but not limited to Surrealist, Outsider, Psychedelic, Street, Magical Realist, Avante Garde, Pop and Activist artworks, the sale saw inspired bidding at every price point and level of collecting.

A brilliant Surrealist artist, Abercrombie’s work has only recently become celebrated on an international level. This work of a large ostrich egg and tiny dinosaur in a barren landscape is …more

Woody Guthrie at the Morgan

The Morgan Library & Museum presents Woody Guthrie: People Are the Song, opening February 18, 2022, and running through May 22, 2022. Curated in collaboration with the Woody Guthrie Center, Woody Guthrie Publications, and music historian Bob Santelli, the exhibition tells the story of the great American troubadour and writer Woody Guthrie in his own words and by his own hand. On view is an extraordinary selection of musical instruments, handwritten lyrics, manuscripts, photographs, books, art, and audiovisual media, assembled from the preeminent holdings of the Woody Guthrie Archive and several private collections. Prominent among these rarely seen objects are the original, handwritten lyrics to This Land Is Your Land, one of the world’s most famous protest songs, which Guthrie composed just a few blocks away from the Morgan in 1940. More than eighty years later, this song remains enduringly popular, as Guthrie’s words maintain a relevance today.

The show traces Guthrie’s life and career through his artistic response to several interrelated themes: place, politics, family, love, and spirituality. Running through these themes is an emphasis on Guthrie’s connection to people: to specific people in his life, historical figures of his era, and the anonymous workers, soldiers, and immigrants whose stories appear in so much of his music. Songs like …more

PBA's January 27th Auction Results

PBA Galleries' Fine Art and Photography Sale held on January 27th attracted considerable interest, with prints and lithographs performing especially well. The sale consisted of over 325 lots featuring paintings, prints, original photographs, photobooks, artists’ books, posters, decorative arts, and more. Major collections included early works by Ed Ruscha from his friend Marilyn McCorkle’s collection, a large collection of Chez Panisse posters signed by David Lance Goines that had a very good sell-through rate, and a collection of signed prints by Salvador Dali. Outstanding individual lots included a Thanksgiving Day mail art broadside sent from Ed Ruscha and Mason Williams to model Marilyn McCorkle.

Highlights included a signed Käthe Kollwitz lithograph, Le Corbusier’s Série Panurge, lovely original photographs from Nick Brandt and Peter Stackpole, and an original oil painting from Bauhaus participant Iwao Yamawaki. The bids were particularly strong for the Ed Ruscha and Mason Williams’ Thanksgiving Day 1965, an original multicolor holograph mail art broadside on orchestral score. In the words of Ruscha and Williams, a “cultural endeavour care package” sent to model and friend Marilyn McCorkle. Written in the hands of the authors and signed by them as Masie Bunny and Eddie P, the piece sold for $3,750. An original gelatin silver print of Pablo Picasso and Jean Cocteau attracted a lot of interest. It represents Cocteau playing an African xylophone type instrument, and Picasso joyfully looking on. This print of the photo, likely part of a 1958 exhibition of Duncan's Picasso photographs at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, sold for $4,062.50.  Also two animal photographs by Nick Brandt each went for $3,125.

Among the remarkable lots that were offered in Sale 753, were Chez Panisse posters, designed by Berkeley artist David Lance Goines. All  were signed by the author and sold well. The Chez Panisse Second Birthday, second of nearly 50 posters in the decades-long collaboration between David Lance Goines and Alice Waters, fetched a record of $1,062.50. Other Chez Panisse posters will be auctioned in the next PBA Galleries’ Art and Photography sale.

From Sandow Birk’s series In Smog and Thunder, Overview of the Carnage South of Market (The Battle of San Francisco) attracted strong bidding. One of the battles between Northern and Southern California as envisioned by California artist Sandow Birk, offering an often-caustic critique of contemporary America, sold for $1,625.

PBA Galleries holds sales of fine, rare and collectible books every two weeks. They  are currently accepting consignments for Fine Art and Photography. For more information regarding upcoming sales, consignments, or auction results, please call (415) 989.2665 .

by John Huckans
Reflections on the 2020 Election (Part 4)

By many accounts there is a human disaster unfolding in Afghanistan. According to one report back on August 26, a distraught Afghan father shot his daughters to prevent their being taken to be given as “comfort women” to Taliban soldiers. Some have predicted that the human rights abuses that will be occuring in the weeks and months to come will rival or surpass those of Benghazi (2012) or the fall of Saigon in 1975.  Whatever happens, there will be efforts by the administration and their allies in the press to shield those responsible.

And what is seen by many as a crisis at the southern border may be viewed as political opportunity by the administration that helped to bring it about. Apart from the grave health risks of a “super-spreader event” posed by an indeterminate number of …more

by Michael Rectenwald
What Is the Great Reset?

(Michael Rectenwald is the chief academic officer for American Scholars. He has a B.A. from the University of Pittsburgh, an M.A. from Case Western Reserve University, and a Ph.D. in Literary and Cultural Studies from Carnegie Mellon University. He has taught at New York University, Duke University, North Carolina Central University, Carnegie Mellon University, and Case Western Reserve University. He is the author of numerous books, including Nineteenth-Century British Secularism: Science, Religion, and Literature; Google Archipelago; Beyond Woke; and Thought Criminal.)

Is the Great Reset a conspiracy theory imagining a vast left-wing plot to establish a totalitarian one-world government? No. Despite the fact that some people may have spun conspiracy theories based on it—with some reason, as we will see—the Great Reset is real. Indeed, just last year, Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum (WEF)—a famous organization made up of the world’s political, economic, and cultural elites that meets annually in Davos, Switzerland—and Thierry Malleret, co-founder and main author of the Monthly Barometer, published a book called COVID-19: The Great Reset. In the book, they define the Great Reset as a means of addressing the “weaknesses of capitalism” that were purportedly exposed by the COVID pandemic.

But the idea of the Great Reset goes back much further. It can be traced at least as far back as the inception of the WEF, originally founded as the European Management Forum, in 1971. In that same year, Schwab, an engineer and economist by training, published his first book, Modern Enterprise Management in Mechanical Engineering. It was in this book that Schwab first introduced the concept he would later call “stakeholder capitalism,” arguing “that the management of a modern enterprise must serve not only …more

by John Huckans
Reflections on the 2020 Election (Part 3)

The  election of 2016 was in many ways about class struggle, with shifting alliances and a strange new cast of players. Wealth and economic power, built largely through the skills and hard work of the American working and middle class, had became increasingly concentrated in the hands of the super rich – CEOs of major corporations, international banks, money managers, hedge fund operators, “non-proft” foundations and the entertainment industry.  For the purpose of this discussion, I would define the entertainment industry as including movies, network news, televised spectator sports, and much of reality television – 21st century purveyors of bread and circuses or opioids for the masses. Orchestrated attempts to divert people from thinking about …more

by John Huckans
Reflections on the 2020 Election (Part 2)

The post-war exportation of jobs began in the 1950s in places like Gloversville and Johnstown (Fulton County, NY) when glove factories discovered it was much cheaper to ship unfinished leather goods out of the country for completion.  The perfect storm of post-war strikes for higher wages accompanied by a shrinking market for leather gloves accelerated the change as manufacturers and their suppliers struggled, and often failed, to survive.  The surge in unemployment and economic decline that began in Fulton County was already well-established long before the term “rust belt” had even been thought of.  And to give readers an idea of the importance of this “canary in a coal mine” case, consider that while growing up in Gloversville some people we knew looked with condescension on their “poor cousins” who lived in the small city of Saratoga Springs a few miles to the east.

Years later as industries throughout the country began closing in response to cheaper goods being imported from Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines and elsewhere,  factory workers were losing their livelihoods at an accelerated but manageable rate.  It really wasn't until the 1990s that the flood of imported products from China, often under international trade terms lacking in reciprocity, that the accelerated industrial decline turned into a rout. Far from being an old Russian-style, Marxist economy based on state ownership of the means of production (with all of its inefficiencies and uniformly low standard of living), China has more in common with the 1930s German national socialist partnership with private businesses operating under close governmental scrutiny and control.

A few of the companies that prospered (often using enforced or slave labor) under German national socialism included Hugo Boss (made snappy uniforms for the Brown Shirts, the SS and other government agencies), Volkswagen, BMW, Siemens, I.G. Farben (manufacturers of Zyklon-B), and others. Also, American companies operating in Germany that …more

by John Huckans
Reflections on the 2020 Election (Part 1)

It will be a long time before a full and accurate account of the 2020 U.S. presidential election will be published. Passions remain high, wounds are fresh, friendships have been damaged and lost, and one person's facts are another person's unverified anecdotal evidence – both sides claiming ownership of the real truth. And in case you haven't noticed there are few, if any, reliable fact-checkers to check the fact checkers.

Election fraud is nearly as old as the Republic – the origins of Tammany Hall predate the adoption of the U.S. Constitution by about a year, and in all that time we've never looked back. In modern times the Daley Machine, long a fixture in Chicago politics since its founding in the 1930s by Anton Cermak, became world famous in 1960 when late on election night it delivered Illinois' electoral vote to John Kennedy, thus ensuring his election as the 35th president. The process was simplicity itself.  Chicago would traditionally hold its vote tally back until the downstate returns were in – then enough newly discovered votes would often be produced to ensure a Democrat victory. By some accounts the Nixon people were well aware of the fraud but in the interest of national tranquility, didn't challenge the results. On a smaller scale Frank Hague (Democrat) and “Nucky” Johnson (Republican) ran dueling election fraud operations in northern and southern New Jersey, according to the late American historian, Thomas Fleming.

Overshadowing everything in 2020 was the Trump factor.  Even before the 2016 election he had become a favorite target of hatred and derision mainly because of his unfiltered and bombastic approach to addressing the very real problems facing the nation, along with people he didn't like very  much.

As a one time Democrat turned populist with street smarts, Trump understood that the ruling elites of today have moved beyond Wall Street. Today they also occupy K Street, where money and political power have combined to …more

The Year at Hindman

2021 was a year of records at Hindman Auctions. The auction firm reported $87 million in total sales for the year, its highest total by far in the company’s 39-year history, setting over 30 individual auction records along the way. The year demonstrated not only the strength of the current auction market, but the success of Hindman’s investment in technology and its client-focused approach.

“Over the five years I have been lucky to be with Hindman, our business has more than doubled in size,” said Jay Frederick Krehbiel, Hindman’s CEO. “Building on the extraordinary legacy of our founders, Leslie Hindman and Wes Cowan, we have redoubled our efforts to be the most client-centric firm possible and I was thrilled to see our clients respond so enthusiastically this year.”

Hindman began 2021 by launching its Digital Bid Room, a proprietary online and mobile live bidding platform that allows clients to livestream and bid in auctions from anywhere in the world. Clients immediately took to the platform. Throughout the year, the Digital Bid Room accounted for $35.6 million in sales, nearly 41% of the yearly total.

In a year that Hindman set its firm record for sales total, it also set over 30 individual auction records. The Fine Art department set the pace for the company with records across several categories, including American & European, Post War & Contemporary, and Western art. The most notable achievement …more

Morgan Hosts Holbein the Younger Exhibition

The Morgan Library & Museum proudly presents Holbein: Capturing Character, opening February 11, 2022, and running through May 15, 2022.  Co-organized with the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, this marks the first major U.S. exhibition dedicated to the art of Hans Holbein the Younger (1497/98–1543).  The Morgan’s display will feature around sixty objects from over twenty lenders across the globe, including thirty-one paintings and drawings by Holbein himself. Holbein’s Simon George (ca. 1535–40). In this vibrant painting, Simon George of Cornwall is portrayed in profile, in a manner modeled on antique coins and portrait medals. Nothing but the sitter’s name and place of origin is known today. Hans Holbein the Younger was among the most skilled, versatile, and inventive European artists of the sixteenth century.  He created captivating portraits of courtiers, merchants, scholars, and statesmen in Basel, Switzerland, and later in England, and served as a court painter to King Henry VIII (1491–1547).  Enriched by inscriptions, insignia, and evocative attributes, his portraits not only conveyed truthful likenesses but also celebrated the individuals’ identities, values, aspirations, and achievements.

Spanning the artist’s entire career, Holbein: Capturing Character begins with the artist’s early years in Basel, where he was active in the book trade and created iconic portraits of the great humanist scholar Erasmus of Rotterdam (1466–1536). Holbein stayed in England from 1526 to 1528 and moved there permanently in 1532, quickly becoming the most sought-after artist among nobles, courtiers, and the German merchants of the Hanseatic League. In addition to displaying superb examples of Holbein’s drawn and painted likenesses of his sitters, the exhibition also explores the artist’s activities as a designer of prints, book illustrations, …more

November Sales at Swann Bring $6.7M, with a Record for David Hockney

November at Swann Galleries featured a marathon of fine art auctions including a two-day sale of Old Master Through Modern Prints and Master Drawings, a private collection of Contemporary Artists’ Books, as well as Contemporary art, and travel posters. Combined the auctions earned $6.7 million and Michael Rudolf Wening, Siam / Beautiful Bangkok / The Jewel City of Asia, circa 1920s. $16,250established an exceptional 30 records for the market.
    
The month opened with Old Master Through Modern Prints and Master Drawings, featuring a private collection of Italian Old Masters. Held over two days, on November 2 and 3, the sales brought a combined total of $2.9 million.
    
There was a strong demand for Old Master Through Modern Prints. Three of the top 10 highest selling lots were Rembrandt etchings, an equal number for works by modern masters Pablo Picasso and Joan Miró also sold well; world records were achieved for American prints by Winslow Homer, Blanche Lazzell and Gustave Baumann, and the top lot of the sale was Vincent Van Gogh's ultra-scarce 1890 etching Homme à la Pipe: Portrait du Docteur Gachet (one of fewer than 65 impressions known), at $161,000, well above the $120,000 pre-sale high estimate.
    
Master Drawings was led by two drawings of machinery by fourteenth-century Sienese artist Francesco di Giorgio Martini. The drawings were won by an institution for $61,250, a record for a drawing by the artist. Also of note from Italian schools were works by Giorgio Vasari and Il Guercino. Preparatory drawings and studies by French artists included Jean-François Millet’s 1871–72 charcoal-on-canvas study for the oil painting La Famille du Paysan, at $17,500, and Eugène Delacroix’s Jacob Wrestling with the Angel, a brush-and-ink reminiscent of his mural of the same name in Church of Saint-Sulpice, at $16,250.
    
On November 9, the house offered Contemporary Artists’ Books: The Property of a Texas Collector—an exceptional single-owner sale that featured rarely seen works by leading artists and imprints. …more

by John R. Lott, Jr.
Is Ensuring Election Integrity Anti-Democratic?

Sixteen years ago, in 2005, the Carter-Baker Commission on Federal Election Reform issued a report that proposed a uniform system of requiring a photo ID in order to vote in U.S. elections. The report also pointed out that widespread absentee voting makes vote fraud more likely. Voter files contain ineligible, duplicate, fictional, and deceased voters, a fact easily exploited using absentee ballots to commit fraud. Citizens who vote absentee are more susceptible to pressure and intimidation. And vote-buying schemes are far easier when citizens vote by mail.

Who was behind the Carter-Baker Commission? Donald Trump? No. The Commission’s two ranking members were former President Jimmy Carter, a Democrat, and former Secretary of State James Baker III, a Republican. Other Democrats on the Commission were former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle and former Indiana Congressman Lee Hamilton. It was a truly bipartisan commission that made what seemed at the time to be …more

Results of Hindman's Antiquities & Ethnographic Art Auction

On November 18th, Hindman Auctions achieved $1,121,063 in its Antiquities and Ethnographic Art auction, which included  ancient Egyptian sculpture. Figural stone sculptures and portrait heads also attracted  strong bidding activity. The auction offered rare objects from the fifth millennium B.C. to the 20th century A.D.

Emerging as the top lot of the auction was an Egyptian granodiorite falcon, which shattered its presale estimate of $7,000-9,000 to sell for $93,750. The falcon is seen as a powerful and fierce bird in ancient culture. Bidders recognized value in the fine craftmanship and overall remarkable condition.

An Egyptian alabaster canopic jar soared well above the estimate of $30,000 - $50,0000 to achieve $87,500. The jar, from the reign of Tuthmosis III, remains impressively intact with much of its original pigment. The inscription is for …more

Fine Printed Books & Manuscripts Auction Nearly Doubles Presale Estimate

Hindman Auctions set a house record on November 9 and 10 when its “Fine Printed Books & Manuscripts, including Americana” auction achieved a sales total of $1.5 million, the most ever for a various owner Fine Books & Manuscript auction in the company’s 39 year history. The 686 lot auction saw competitive bidding from around the globe that resulted in lots consistently soaring past their presales estimates on both days. “I am proud of this department and everyone who helped us achieve this tremendous result,” said Gretchen Hause, Hindman’s Director and Senior Specialist of Books & Manuscripts. “The results of the past two days demonstrate not only the strength of the market, but the breadth and diversity of interests of collectors today.”
 
The strongest category of the sale was Printed and Manuscript Americana, which accounted for 8 of the 15 highest prices of the auction, including the top two lots. A first edition of the Federalist Papers (lot 281) published in 1788 took the top honor selling for $175,000 against a presale estimate of $40,000 - $60,000. Written under the pseudonym "Publius" by Founding Fathers Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay, the collection of 85 essays is widely considered to be instrumental in garnering public support for the framework that would become the United States Constitution. …more

The Polonsky Exhibition of The New York Public Library’s Treasures

The Polonsky Exhibition of The New York Public Library's Treasures opened on September 24, 2021. This permanent exhibition at the iconic 42nd Street library showcases over 250 rare items from the Library’s renowned research collections, giving visitors a unique opportunity to see and explore objects and stories that have helped shape our world.
 
The objects—spanning 4,000 years of history—represent moments, movements, and stories that have helped shape the world. They continue to inspire curiosity, conversation, and a stronger understanding of the past to inform a better future. The exhibition draws exclusively from the Library’s research collections, which contain over 45 million objects including rare books, manuscripts, photographs, prints, maps, ephemera, audio and moving image, and more, collected over the institution’s 126 years and accessible at the Library’s research centers: the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, the Library for the Performing Arts, and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. Timed tickets are available at nypl.org/treasures.

In its inaugural iteration, The Polonsky Exhibition of The New York Public Library’s Treasures is organized into nine sections: Beginnings, Performance, Explorations, Fortitude, The Written Word, The Visual World, Childhood, Belief, and New York City. Each section highlights …more

Full Measure News (October 3)

Full Measure's investigative news program for October 3rd, 2021 leads off with a behind the scenes look at the debate over the teaching of critical race theory in Loudon County Viginia. Also video coverage of protest demonstrations occuring in Habana over the summer, and finally an upsurge in domestic medical tourism caused by widespread inequities in the pricing of surgical procedures in various parts of the United States. Watch here.

Fine Books & Manuscripts Sale Achieves Record Results

Potter and Potter's recent Fine Books and Manuscripts Sale was the company's highest grossing auction to date. After a day of spirited bidding, 107 lots realized between $1,000-4,999; 22 lots realized between $5,000-9,999; and 16 lots broke the five digit mark. Prices noted include the company's 20% buyer's premium.

Collections of writings from Samuel L. Clemens (Mark Twain, 1835–1910) and Charles Dickens (1812–1870) were high spots in this sale, with two generating world-record prices. A 38 volume set of Twain's works, was estimated at $4,000-6,000 and sold for $33,600 - a new world's record. Published in New York by Gabriel Wells in 1923–1925, this example, number 499 of 1024 copies of the “Definitive Edition,” was signed (in advance) by Twain on the front flyleaf of volume I with the attestation on the facing page signed by Clemens' biographer and executor, Albert Bigelow Paine.  Another 22 volume set of Twain's work, was estimated at $600-800 and brought $8,400. It was published in Hartford, CT by the American Publishing Company in 1901. This set retained the original dust jackets, was number 583 of 625 copies printed, and was the first uniform edition of all Twain’s works.  
 
A collection of five Christmas books by Dickens, was estimated at $6,000-8,000 and fetched $28,000 - another world's record. All were first editions and published in London in the 1843–1848 period. Titles included A Christmas Carol, The Chimes, The Battle of Life, and The Haunted Man. Each volume was finely bound , with their upper covers featuring various color morocco inlays depicting a Dickens character from its corresponding work.

Materials related to Herman Melville (1819–1891) caught the eye of enthusiasts worldwide. A first American edition, first binding of Melville's Moby–Dick; or, The Whale, brought …more

by John C. Huckans
Family Letters (reprinted from October 2020)

Before my maternal grandfather arrived in the United States to seek a new life and job opportunities that weren't available to many young men from the moors of rural Devon (the Hatherleigh and Torrington areas weren't as trendy in the late 1880s as they are now), he shipped out to Argentina which until then had one of the fastest growing economies in the world. His timing couldn't have been worse.

About the time of his arrival or shortly afterwards, there was a major wheat crop failure, a collapse of many of the major banks and all of it leading to the panic of 1893 and widespread …more

Important Americana & Rare Cartography at PBA's July 8th Sale

Seventy-five choice lots of rare and valuable Americana and cartography drew strong interest in PBA Galleries’ July 8th auction. The sale was highlighted by an amazing record price of $361,500 (including the buyer’s premium) for the first book printed in California, José Figueroa’s Manifiesto a la Republica Mejicana, 1835, the then-governor of California’s defense of his policies and actions in connection with the Hijar and Padrés colonization scheme. Though the scheme and its relation to the secularization of the California mission properties is of great importance to historians and scholars, that is overshadowed today by its significance as the first substantial book printed in California, and undoubtedly the most important book produced in California during the Mexican period, printed by California's first printer, Agustin V. Zamorano.  For this, the book is rewarded with a prime position in the Zamorano 80, a list of the eighty most important and influential books on California and its history compiled by members of the Los Angeles-based bibliophilic organization, the Zamorano Club, with the list published in 1945. Of the estimated 19 copies of the book extant, only five are believed to be in private hands.

The price achieved at PBA Galleries shattered the previous auction record of $40,250, set by the Plath-Robbins copy sold at PBA in 1996, with two copies selling in 1994 and 2003 for $34,500 each, both at auctions conducted by the late Dorothy Sloan. Indeed, the book also bested itself by a considerable margin – the Estelle Doheny copy, previously sold at Christie’s in 1988 for $15,400. The book also set another milestone by a wide mark – the highest price brought at auction for a book on the Zamorano 80 list., previously held by Lansford Hastings’ The Emigrants' Guide, to Oregon and California, 1845, at $194,500, was nearly doubled by the Figueroa.

Other highlights from the auction include a striking lithograph of Sacramento in 1857.  A Birds-Eye View of Sacramento, "The City of the Plain", by George H. Baker, 1857, considered the greatest of gold rush-era lithographs of the city, the central image surrounded by pictorial vignettes sold for …more

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