Swann

Swann Auction Galleries in New York are an auction house that have been trading in rare and antiquarian books and works on paper since 1941.

The family-run business moved to new and larger premises in 1999, and now holds over 40 sales every year.


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Thar she blows for auction record

12 August 2019

Published in 1851 by Richard Bentley as The Whale, the first English edition of Herman Melville’s tale preceded the American issue by four weeks.

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Olympic upheaval as posters reveal convoluted history of the wartime Games

22 July 2019

These two posters which will be offered for sale by Swann Auction Galleries in New York on August 7 illustrate the convoluted history of the Olympic Games during the Second World War era.

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Cosmographical delight and colossal crustaceans

22 July 2019

Top lot in a June 6 sale of maps, natural history and other colour plate books held in New York was a rare map by Lewis Evans of what were then still the ‘Middle British Colonies’ in America.

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Hirschfeld steps into the saleroom

08 July 2019

Works produced in the 1940s by Al Hirschfeld figured prominently among the higher priced lots at a June 4 Illustration Art sale held in New York.

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Pick of the week: Early draft of colonial American map impresses at New York auction

17 June 2019

A pre-press version of a key map of colonial America emerged for sale at Swann Auction Galleries in New York on June 6. Carrying an estimate of $30,000-50,000, it sold at $100,000/£76,900 (plus 25% buyer’s premium) – a sum that reflected its extraordinary provenance.

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Gaston Leroux’s 'The Phantom of the Opera' makes a very real result at Swann auction

10 June 2019

Sporting a torn and defective but rarely seen dust jacket, a 1911, first American printing of Gaston Leroux’s 'The Phantom of the Opera' sold for $10,000 (£7750) in a recent New York sale.

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New York auctions to celebrate the LGBTQ community and mark 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising

05 June 2019

As the Pride season begins this month with a series of events and parades in major cities to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community, Sotheby’s, Bonhams and Swann Auction Galleries are to hold auctions honouring the movement.

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New World music making at Swann's Americana sale

13 May 2019

Billed as the first music to be both composed and printed in the New World, Juan Navarro’s setting of '…Quatuor passions Christi' was one of several items of Mexican origin to do well in a recent Americana sale.

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Golf, Goldfinger and an early 007 classic sell at Swann New York

06 May 2019

Ian Fleming firsts in a Swann of New York sale of May 14 will include a copy of Goldfinger of 1959 inscribed to a famous golfer, Henry Cotton, estimated at $12,000-18,000 (£9250- 13,850).

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Guide to travel in the shocking age of segregation

19 April 2019

First published in 1936, The Negro Travellers’ Green Book was a once indispensable guide for African-Americans in the age of segregation.

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Set of Man Ray limited edition prints emerge at Swann auction

15 April 2019

'Electricité', pictured below, is one of a limited edition portfolio of 10 photogravures after Man Ray’s Rayographs from a 1931 commercial commission from the artist by the Compagnie Parisienne de Distribution d’Electricité.

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Early movers in the chess playing world

08 April 2019

Born in Celico, southern Italy and consequently known as ‘The Calabrian’, Gioachino Greco is considered the first professional chess player.

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Poignant guide for African American travellers that inspired Oscar winning film Green Book sells at auction

04 April 2019

The name of the film Green Book which won the Oscar for best picture in February was based on a motoring handbook aimed to guide African-American travellers away from hazardous areas in the pre-civil rights US.

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Six lots to watch at auction this week including an Elizabethan jug, a Constable sketch and a German Expressionist painting

04 March 2019

With estimates from £100-$50,000, here are six previews from upcoming sales this week.

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Major selection of German Expressionist works come to auction in New York

28 February 2019

Swann Auction Galleries is to sell a major selection of German Expressionist works from one of the movement’s most important collections next week.

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Alphonse Mucha makes Art Nouveau masterpiece

18 February 2019

Shown below is a page from an 1897 Paris edition of Robert de Flers’ 'Ilsée, Princesse de Tripoli' in which the text is framed by 132 coloured litho illustrations, borders and other decorations by Alphonse Mucha.

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Ski posters slide into New York sale

28 January 2019

Sales of ski posters have long been a seasonal feature of the auction scene scheduled for those winter months when enthusiasts take to the slopes.

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West that was not so wild

21 January 2019

'Across the Continent. Westward the Course of Empire Takes its Way' is a well-known hand coloured litho print issued by Currier & Ives, although the publisher’s imprint has been cut off the bottom of the example shown below.

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Marx Brothers bird play at Swann

21 January 2019

Groucho, Harpo and Chico are shown below in Al Hirschfield’s original cover artwork for 'Why a Duck?', a profusely illustrated work about the Marx Brothers edited by Richard J Anobile and published in 1971.

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Chinese export porcelain punch bowl among US auction highlights in early 2019

07 January 2019

This Chinese export porcelain punch bowl will feature in a large two-day sale of more than 750 lots of Americana and international interest at Pook & Pook in Downingtown, Pennsylvania, on January 11-12.

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