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Massive Alice in Wonderland Collection To Be Auctioned
Potter & Potter Auctions has announced a 272 lot sale to be held on November 30, 2023. The event will be held live at Potter & Potter's gallery, located at 5001 W. Belmont Avenue in Chicago and will also be live streamed on the company's website. Phone and absentee bids are welcome.
The top lot in this sale is a signed, first authorized edition, and first published English edition of Lewis Carroll's Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, which carries a presale auction estimate of $30,000-50,000. This example was published in London by Macmillan and Co. in 1865 but dated 1866 for the Christmas market. It features 42 illustrations by John Tenniel. For this new edition, the book was re-set by the printer Richard Clay from a copy of the suppressed 1865 Alice, forming the basis for all future Macmillan editions. This presentation copy is inscribed by the author to Richard Doyle (1824-1883) on the half-title using his real name. This was rare as Dodgson was careful to protect his privacy and to prevent his serious mathematical works from being linked with his children's books. The lot also includes a first edition, first state of Carroll's Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There. Published in London by Macmillan and Co., in 1871 but dated 1872, it includes illustrations by John Tenniel and a publisher’s ad for Dodgson’s works on the frontispiece.
Other outstanding lots in the sale include a first authorized edition and first published English edition of Carroll's Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, estimated at $15,00-25,000. It was published in London by Macmillan and Co., in 1865 but dated 1866. This unique presentation copy, inscribed by the illustrator John Tenniel, also includes an original drawing on the half-title of the Mad Hatter with a tea cup and toast, and signed, “With [monogram] JT’s kind regards / Xmas 1867”. This is one of only 5 known copies of drawings made by Tenniel as part of a book inscription , according to Schiller’s 1990 census.
The "original Alice's copy" of Nabokov's Russian translation of Alice, estimated at $10,000-15,000, was published in Berlin by Izdatel’stov Gamayun in 1923. This rarity is signed in brown ink on the front pastedown by Alice P. Hargreaves (1852-1934), the “original Alice” and features 12 illustrations by S.V. Zalshupin in the Russian Constructivist style. It includes its original folding cloth chemise and slipcase.
A celestial globe depicting the Red Kings dream as witnessed by Alice, recalled by Lewis Carroll, and illustrated using the artwork of John Tenniel, is estimated at $5,000-7,000. The 1/1 pre-publication proof was produced in London by Greaves & Thomas in 2001. This unique 33" diameter prototype example replaces the familiar constellations with characters or objects from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass. The gores are hand-done in watercolor and not printed and the globe is mounted on the manufacturer’s original custom-made and hallmarked wooden and metal stand. Included with the globe is Alice’s Celestial Globe, a book by Greaves & Thomas which outlines the plan and design of the globe. This pre-publication edition, limited issue, number 1 of 42 copies, was signed by the publisher.
Illustrator Salvador Dali's and Lewis Carroll's Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, is estimated at $3,000-5,000. The limited edition, number 324 of 2,500 copies signed by Dali, was printed in New York by the Maecenas Press - Random House in 1969, and the large folio includes a colored and etched frontispiece and 12 color heliogravures with original remarques by Dali, each within 17 unbound and unstitched loose as issued gatherings.
According to Chris Brink, Director of Fine Books and Manuscripts at Potter & Potter Auctions, "The Farbers were truly "mad as a hatter" when it came to collecting all things Alice. One focus of their collection were the hundreds of various illustrators that, since 1865, have been producing unique renditions of the characters and scenes from this popular children's book. The Farbers also had a deep fascination for the many translations of the work, chief among them and perhaps the most important – the "original Alice's copy" of Nabokov's Russian translation of Alice..."
Potter & Potter, founded in 2007, is a Chicago area auction house specializing in paper Americana, vintage advertising, rare books, playing cards, gambling memorabilia, posters, fine prints, vintage toys, and magicana - antiques and collectibles related to magic and magicians. For more information contact Chris Brink, Director of Fine Books and Manuscripts at (773) 472-1442 or email@example.com.