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.


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.


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.


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).


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


A Border ballad takes Scott to new heights

11 January 2005

An unusual picture, both in terms of its style and quality, was the star of the show at this year’s Fine Paintings sale held by the Scottish auctioneers John Swan (10% buyer’s premium) at Dryburgh Abbey Hotel near St Boswells on December 2.


Wake Up!, I Want You, und Du

09 September 2004

A POSTER sale held by Swanns of New York on August 4 was strong on recruitment and propaganda posters of WWI and WWII. A condition-A copy of “the best known American poster of all time”, the famous Uncle Sam image of 1917 seen top right, was sold at $9000 (£4950). Based on the well-known British poster featuring Lord Kitchener, it was originally produced by illustrator James Montgomery Flagg as a magazine cover and is in fact a self-portrait of the artist.


A true treat for Custer buffs...

22 June 2004

AN autograph sale held by Swanns on April 29 included 11 lots from the George Armstrong Custer collection formed by the late Dr. Elizabeth Atwood, a vet and well-known Custer buff. Seen right is a copy print of a larger image by Timothy O’Sullivan, inscribed “Truly yours G.A. Custer”, which sold for $14,000 (£7955).


Moon rock and an historic toothbrush

17 June 2004

IN the 18th century, it was widely believed that meteorites found on Earth were pieces of the moon that had been blasted into space by volcanic eruption. We now know that almost all meteorites come from the asteroid belt and that it was the pummelling that the moon received in the early years of the formation of our solar system that allowed some chunks of moon rock to escape the moon’s gravitational influence and, periodically, find their way to Earth.


The Beggarstaffs couldn’t be bothered, but poster lovers see it differently.

16 June 2004

AT a sale of modernist posters held by Swanns on May 10, the New York cataloguers drew attention to the influence on Ludwig Hohlwein of the work of the Beggarstaffs.


Rembrandt and Corot demonstrate the printed art of self-portraiture

16 June 2004

OVER 600 lots of ‘Old Master through Contemporary Prints’ were offered by Swanns on May 6 and in the former category, Dürer and Rembrandt figured prominently among the higher priced lots.

Witches and witchfinders of Lübeck

10 June 2004

TWO records of witchcraft trials in 17th century Lübeck were among the more successful lots in an April 19 sale held by Swanns of New York.

Scottsboro Boys, Fancies and Abbey Fisher’s pickles

23 March 2004

A PORTRAIT of two of the ‘Scottsboro Boys’, illustrated right, topped this year’s sale of African-Americana at Swann’s when it was knocked down at $36,000 (£19,080). But there was also a bid of $20,000 (£10,600) on a group of 40 letters and telegrams addressed to Dickenson, Hill & Co. and S.R. Fondren, slave dealers of Richmond, Virginia, in the years 1836-62.