The panoramic Palmatary view of Chicago that sold for $45,000 (£39,510) at Hindman, featuring at lower left, its tracks and trestles protected by breakwaters and dikes, a strip of land, several hundred feet out in Lake Michigan, that formed the terminal of the Illinois Central Railroad. At the time the line was the longest in the world, running 750 miles from Cairo, Illinois, to Chicago.

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It led a 700-lot, November 8-9 held by local saleroom Hindman (25/20/12% buyer’s premium).

A four-sheet map, it shows overall browning, some cracking and occasional small losses and minor facsimile replacements, and though it sold a little under estimate at $45,000 (£39,510), it is one of only five known copies - and indeed one of only two that are not in US institutional collections.

In fact, the only other example recorded at auction is a better preserved example that Hindman sold for $160,000 in 2017.

Bid to $40,000 (£35,120) as part of the 100-lot Patrick Atkinson collection of signed books and manuscripts was one of the 60 that had US presidential connections - in this instance a signed and inscribed 1958 first of Martin Luther King Jnr’s Stride Toward Freedom. The Montgomery Story.

It was a signed copy that also bore in his hand his non-violence credo, “The strong man is the man who can stand up for his rights and not hit back”.


An early Christmas entry on these pages, in the form of a 1902, US first of L Frank Baum’s The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus that sold for $550 (£485) in the Hindman sale.

Raising the bar

Bid to a much higher than predicted $30,000 (£26,340) was a copy of Mahatma Gandhi’s Young India 1919-1922. Re-cased and repaired, it is inscribed with “With love MK Gandhi 18-9-‘31” to the halftitle, while on the front pastedown appear the signatures of his son, his two secretaries and a disciple, Mirabehn, or Madeleine Slade.

An odd volume from a 1763 edition of David Hume’s History of England bearing on the title-page the signature of John Adams, the USA’s second president, and someone whose own writings and correspondence include frequent references to Hume’s works, was sold at $22,500 (£19,755).

Gangster style

A very different world was reflected in a couple of lots with the name of Al Capone as the big draw.

Sold at $35,000 (£30,730) was a Colt revolver reputed to have belonged to Capone, while a very rare example of his writing rather than shooting hand, realised $42,500 (£37,315).

The latter was a doubly signed and very chatty letter sent to a friend, Bill Sells - though shortly after an unsuccessful attempt had been made on his life as he was being driven away from a Chicago restaurant.