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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Handy guide to have in Catalan if you happen to be declaring independence

30 October 2017

A good-conduct guide for princes and rulers that focuses on the government of self, the family and the civil authorities proved particularly topical at a New York auction on October 17.

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Photographic bites from the Big Apple

25 September 2017

October is one of two periods each year when New York salerooms put the spotlight on photographs. Here ATG selects highlights ranging from mid-19th century daguerreotypes to works from the 21st century...

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How sketches liven up plain sailing

26 June 2017

For a number of years now ship’s logs have made good prices at auction. Those featuring naval engagements, significant encounters in foreign lands, or with added, if amateur illustration – even logs kept on whalers that use simple sketches to record a catch – offer something extra.

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The words on the street - record for Sinclair Lewis' 1920 first at Swann

12 June 2017

Condition leaves a little to be desired, but the spine of this copy of Sinclair Lewis’ 'Main Street' and the matching details on the jacket mark it out as a 1920 first, published by Harcourt, Brace & Howe of New York.

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Cruikshank cartoons count at auction

05 June 2017

A rare and complete set of The Scourge…, a monthly publication of the early 19th century that also described itself as the …Expositor of Imposture and Folly, brought a record bid of $9000 (£6075) in a Swann (25/20/12% buyer’s premium) sale of May 16.

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Opulent Art Deco luxury liner SS Normandie relics sail into auction

31 May 2017

Once a flagship of the glamorous age of luxury liners, redolent of the Art Deco style and dripping with opulence, the SS Normandie ended her days broken up for scrap after being ravaged by fire.

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Tchaikovsky and JFK in harmony in American auctions

30 May 2017

The autograph sale held by Swann (25/20/12% buyer’s premium) in New York on May 4 included a musical quotation in the hand of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, the theme from the finale of his Orchestral Suite No.3 in G Major (Op.55), which sold for $14,000 (£10,855).

Christie’s notes on ‘whodunnits’

22 May 2017

Containing over 150pp of notes and fragmentary drafts for two of her novels and a play, an autograph notebook used by Agatha Christie while in Baghdad around 1948 – perhaps while travelling with her husband, the archaeologist Max Mallowan – sold for $15,000 (£11,625) in a Swann Auction Galleries (25/20/12% buyer’s premium) sale of May 4.

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Privately printed edition of Lawrence of Arabia's classic at New York auction

08 May 2017

One of 170 complete copies of the privately printed Cranwell edition of the 'Seven Pillars of Wisdom, A Triumph', 1926, by TE Lawrence (better known as Lawrence of Arabia) leads the Swann Galleries sale on May 16 in New York.

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Whistler's Weary contribution to New York sale

24 April 2017

Pictured here is one of several etchings by James Abbott McNeil Whistler that will feature in Swann Galleries’ sale of prints on May 2.

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New view of anti-slavery heroine

18 April 2017

A carte-de-visite album of the 1860s containing a previously unknown photograph of the abolitionist heroine Harriet Tubman was one of the high points of the March 30 sale held by Swann (25/20/12% buyer’s premium).

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American Arctic exploration classic up at New York auction

10 April 2017

The Arctic Regions, 1873, a sumptuously bound narrative of American artist William Bradford’s seven expeditions to the Arctic, illustrated with 141 mounted albumen photographs, is the highest-estimated lot in the April 20 Swann Galleries photographs and photobooks sale.

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Beardsley shows his devilish side at auction

05 April 2017

It may have been under 2in (5cm) high, but a tiny ink drawing by Aubrey Beardsley sold for a sizeable $10,000 (£8000) in a sale of Illustration Art held by Swann (25/20/12% buyer’s premium) in New York on March 21.

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Chagall’s ‘Arabian Nights’

01 April 2017

Seen here is one of 13 coloured lithographs by Marc Chagall that make up Tales from the Arabian Nights, a special, deluxe portfolio printed by Albert Carman and published by Pantheon Books in New York in 1948.

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American First World War propaganda posters flagged up at auction

24 February 2017

Kitchener’s moustache-adorned stern visage staring out with finger extended demanding that you join your country’s army is not only one of the best-known First World War posters but one of the most familiar posters overall.

Lepape's 1927 Vogue cover 'Le Miroir

Still in Vogue: 1920s magazine cover makes $50,000 at auction in New York

13 October 2016

An original 1920s Vogue cover by French illustrator Georges Lepape broke the auction record for the artist last month.

 La Revue Blanche by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

Toulouse-Lautrec posters sweep into Swann’s auction

15 July 2016

A series of posters by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec headlines the upcoming Vintage Posters sale at Swann Auction Galleries in New York.

Bay Psalm book sold for $221,000

15 February 2016

A previously unknown seventh edition of the Bay Psalm Book, published in Boston, 1693, with a provenance tied to Salem witch trial judge Jonathan Corwin and descendants of John Proctor, sold for $221,000 (£151,584) at a Swann sale in New York on February 4.

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Railway poster from 1928 taken to new high

13 December 2012

Designed for the London, Midland and Scottish Railway, a 1928 poster by Cassandre (1901-68) sold at Swann Auction Galleries of New York for what is believed to be a record for the sought-after poster designer at auction.

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Swanns go native for $1.2m sale

18 October 2012

Edward S. Curtis’ monumental photographic study of ‘The North American Indian’ was one of the most expensive and ambitious undertakings in the history of book production, comprising 20 illustrated text volumes and 20 folios of larger photographic plates.

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