Skinnerís Annual Auction of Fine Books & Manuscripts Set for November 16th Skinner, Inc. (www.skinnerinc.com), one of the nationís leading auction houses for antiques and fine art, takes bidders back in time with its unique annual offering of Fine Books & Manuscripts.
News-Antique.com - Oct 29,2008 - The sale is set to take place on Sunday, November 16th at 11 a.m. in Skinnerís Boston gallery, located at 63 Park Plaza. More than 450 lots of important books, manuscripts and intimate documents will be offered, including rare materials from every U.S. President up through George H.W. Bush. Also up for bid in the sale is a group of Arctic exploration materials, maps and atlases, and natural history chronicles, including Audubon folio prints.
To be featured in the sale are a series of letters from General George Armstrong Custer to his cousin Augusta Frary. This correspondence spans a period of more than a quarter century from 1850 through 1876. They range in topic from lightheartedness, detailing how he and his friends snuck out of West Point Academy to attend a ball (lot 12, est. $8/12,000), to more philosophical discussions, as in his position on the war (lot 14, est. $15/20,000). Within the latter he offers ďSo far as my country is concerned I, of course must wish for peace and will be glad when the war is ended, but if I answer for myself alone. I must say that I shall regret to see the war end. I would be willing, yes glad, to see a battle every day during my life. Now do not misunderstand me. I only speak of my own interests and desires, perfectly regardless of all the world besides. but as I said before, when I think of the pain and the misery produced to individuals as well as the universal sorrow caused throughout the land I cannot but earnestly hope for peace, and at an early date.Ē The letters also chronicle a glimpse of his life on the frontier (lot 15, est. $12/18,000); his summons to Washington as witness in the Belknap impeachment trial (lot 16, est. $12/18,000); and the ďseriousĒ Indian difficulties that called him to Dakota.
Also highlighted are several mediaeval illuminated manuscript leaves (lot 246 and lot 246, each est. at $1,5/2,500) and A Map of the Most Inhabited part of New England containing the Provinces of Massachusetts Bay and New Hampshire with the Colonies of Conecticut and Rhode Island. Divided into Counties and Township: The whole composed from Actual Surveys and its Situation adjusted by Astronomical Observations., London: November 29th, 1774, from The American Atlas: Or, A Geographical Description Of The Whole Continent Of America ..., (lot 425, est. $10/15,000), London: Sayer and Bennett, 1776.
Art & Illustrations
Two illustrations by Aubrey Beardsley are expected to draw great interest from bidders. Both original pen and ink drawings were provided as illustrations for Oscar Wildeís controversial Salome: A Tragedy in One Act, 1984, published in London by Elkin Mathews & John Lane, and in Boston by Copeland & Day. After being exhibited in Europe they returned to the collection of John Lane. In 1926, the drawings were dispersed in a sale at Anderson Galleries where the entire series was purchased by an agent acting on behalf of a collector.