Fine Books and Manuscripts to be Auctioned by Skinner Skinner, Inc. will host an auction of Fine Books & Manuscripts on November 13th at 11 a.m. in its Boston gallery located at 63 Park Plaza. Among the featured works is a strong group of Presidential ma
News-Antique.com - Oct 23,2011 - Lincoln Documents and Presidential Material
Of particular local interest is a letter written by Abraham Lincoln dated April 4, 1863 to Massachusetts Governor John Albion Andrew. In it, Lincoln offers the Governor his opinion on naval warfare, specifically an idea regarding the defense of Boston Harbor. This interesting letter is estimated to sell between $30,000 and $50,000.
Historically important on a national scale, lot 35 is a signed manuscript petition proposing the XIII Amendment to the Constitution abolishing slavery. This vellum document, estimated to fetch between $200,000 and $300,000, is dated November, 1864 and is signed by Schuyler Colfax, Speaker of the House; Hannibal Hamlin, Vice President of the US, and President of the Senate; and 110 members of Congress. This extremely rare document is one of only a handful still in existence. It is the formal proposal to the states for the ratification on the abolishment of slavery in this country once and for all.
The sale is also highlighted by an interesting letter from George Washington to the architect William Thornton, dated July 2, 1799, concerning the construction of a building in the “Federal City” (now known as Washington, D.C.). Thornton is often called America’s “first architect” due to his successful design of the Capital Building in 1793. The two townhouses referenced in lot 143, estimated to sell between $20,000 and $30,000, reside in the area now known as Upper Senate Park. There is a letterpress copy of this letter in the archives of the New York Public Library.
The books offerings in the sale run the gamut of literature, science, botany, travel and exploration, poetry, library sale catalogs, and an interesting group of witchcraft titles.
Rare book offerings include a fine first edition of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender is the Night, printed in 1934. This book, lot 400, retains its original first issue dust jacket and has an estimated auction value of $6,000 to $8,000.
Also extremely rare is a two-volume set concerning Sir Ernest Shackleton’s Antarctic exploration, lot 690. This set includes The Heart of the Antarctic 1907-09, numbered 234 of 300 copies, as well as the scarce The Antarctic Book, 1909, which is one of only 300 copies signed by every member of the shore party. This vellum-bound and slipcased set is estimated to fetch between $20,000 to 25,000.
Antique Maps and Illustrations
The sale includes a strong group of maps and atlases. Of local note is lot 907, a 1771 Thomas Jeffery’s map of New England titled “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.” The map is estimated to sell between $10,000 and $15,000.
Representative of the John James Audubon works is lot 824, “The Wolverine,” Plate XXVI from The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America, which has an estimated value of $2,000 to $3,000, and lot 814, “Western Duck,” Plate CCCCXXIX from The Birds of America, which is expected to bring between