Part of the collection of William Reese with a photo of the late book dealer.

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A series of themed live and online auctions will be held in New York from May 25 and through to the autumn. With approximately 700 lots, the collection has a total pre-sale estimate of $12m-18m.

A highlight is one of only six recorded copies of one of the earliest contemporary broadside editions of the Declaration of Independence (and possibly the first edition printed in New England): the Sang-Copley-Reese copy (estimate: $1m-1.5m).

Also featured is Paul Revere’s engraving of The Bloody Massacre Perpetrated In King Street, Boston 1770 estimated at $250,000-350,000 as well as works by John James Audubon, John Woodhouse Audubon, Mark Catesby, George Brookshaw, John Fisk Allen, Daniel Giraud Eliot and many more.

Reese opened his antiquarian bookshop, William Reese Company, in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1979, situated next to the Yale University campus and Beinecke Library.

He was a long-time member of a number of associations including the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America and the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers and was well regarded in his field.