North America

A natural history selection

29 September 2004

IN Antiques Trade Gazette No.1655, I illustrated a first octavo edition of Audubon’s Birds of America, 1840-44, that sold for $48,000 (£25,920) in a May sale held by Northeast Auctions of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. In their August 21-22 sale they had another, half morocco bound and rather better looking set – one originally sold by Clarendon Harris, a book dealer of Worcester, Mass – which made $64,000 (£35,200).


Fighting for freedom and fighting on the Texas frontier

29 September 2004

AN escaped slave who became a prominent social reformer, journalist and public official, Frederick Douglass (1817-95) published a first account of his life in 1845, but revised and extended versions followed in 1855 and, finally in 1881 as The Life and Times...

Veterans with designs on the young market

22 September 2004

NEW YORK’s pioneer organisers Wendy Management have been putting antiques fairs together for 70 years but they are not resting on their laurels.

Lipton literati

22 September 2004

MANHATTAN Asian art dealers William Lipton hold a selling exhibition of Chinese furniture, what they term “literati objects” and other Asian works of art at 41 East 57th Street until October 7.

Coloured new worlds

22 September 2004

WITH the frontispiece and all but the last of the 34 double-page or folding engraved plates and plans in full contemporary colour, Isaac Commelin’s Histoire de la Vie & Actes memorables de Frederic Henry de Nassau, Prince d’Orange of 1656 sold for $32,000 (£17,580) in a Christie’s New York sale of June 9.

Sure he can make it there

22 September 2004

CHELSEA-based Paul Andrews has been a full-time dealer since 1965 and for the past 14 years has sold a wide range of antiques from 4000 square feet in the Furniture Cave in King’s Road, London SW10.


Classical warriors to set off on a world conquest

22 September 2004

LEADING New York antiquities dealers Royal-Athena Galleries hold two concurrent selling exhibitions from October 1 to 30 at their galleries at 153 East 57th Street.

$1.4m quotation from AA

22 September 2004

SOLD for $1.4m (£760,870) at Sotheby’s New York on June 18 was a working draft, or heavily annotated multilith copy of the text that was to become known after the organisation established by its compilers as Alcoholics Anonymous.


Signalling for Victory

22 September 2004

THERE were two copies of Sailing and Fighting Instructions for His Majesties Fleet in a Sotheby’s New York sale of June 17.


The wonderful industry of Oziana

16 September 2004

THERE are few things so distinctly American in the book auction world as the collections of ‘Oziana’ that arrive in the salerooms with remarkable regularity.

Coast to coasters

16 September 2004

GEORGE Jensen silver specialists The Silver Fund, who have shops in St. James’s, London and Madison Avenue, New York, have opened an outlet at Gump’s, San Francisco’s leading department store.


Storeyville and the Bayous

09 September 2004

SOMETHING in the region of $1.2m (£660,000) was taken at a July 31-August 1 sale held by the Neal Auction Company of New Orleans and two 20th century photographs (one reproduced right) were among the more successful lots.


Boston dinner party

09 September 2004

THE biggest surprise in the July 17 sale held by Skinners of Boston was provided by a pair of Chinese chairs, but the pair of 3 7/8in (10cm) high, Wedgwood & Bentley blue jasper portrait medallions of c.1779 right, depicting William Penn & Benjamin Franklin, also did well.


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.


Queen Adelaide’s Audubon

09 September 2004

OFFERED by Christie’s New York on June 25 was a magnificent unbound set of the plates that make up Audubon’s great Birds of America (1827-38) that came from the library of the Dukes of Saxe-Meiningen in Thuringia.


The State that never was...

09 September 2004

IN 1784, settlers in what is now North Carolina and eastern Tennessee put together a plan for a new state that was to be named in honour of Benjamin Franklin.


Voragine’s Golden Legend ...

09 September 2004

ILLUSTRATED right is the opening page of a 1468 paper manuscript copy (in period-style panelled calf with period clasps) of Jacob de Voragine’s 13th century history of the lives of the saints, Legenda Aurea – otherwise decorated with rubricated initials throughout – that with some staining to the opening leaves sold at $18,000 (£9780) in a Bonhams & Butterfields of San Francisco sale of June 28.


Maritime Massachusetts

09 September 2004

SHIP portraits are, as one might expect, popular with bidders at Eldred’s East Dennis auction galleries on Cape Cod.


Intimate impressionism

09 September 2004

CAPE Cod auctioneers Eldred’s of East Dennis had a busy August schedule and results from their series of Asian and Americana sales will appear in future US Selections, but seen here are two of the 970 lots found in an August 12-13 sale of Fine & Decorative Art.


Wilde and a gift that he feared might lead to the perfection of poverty

01 September 2004

WHEN Oscar Wilde left Reading prison, Reggie Turner presented him with the gentleman’s black leather travelling or dressing case, seen right.



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