CHICAGO, IL.- Leslie Hindman Auctioneers
announces an auction featuring over 75 lots of early Italian and Latin literature from the antiquarian book library of John Sisto of Berwyn, Illinois. The books, maps and engravings comprise what remains of the over 3,500 items seized by the Chicago division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in 2007, of which 1,600 items were repatriated to Italy after being deemed unlawfully imported.
The collection had been brought to the attention of the FBI by Mr. Sistos heirs, following his death in 2007. After an extensive review of the materials by the FBI Art Crime Team, the Italian Command for the Protection of Cultural Heritage, and the Italian Ministry for Cultural Assets and Archives, who identified the items as having come from the Bari region of Italy, approximately 1,600 items were returned to conferring institutions and private collections in their country of origin. The origin and ownership of the remaining 2,000 recovered items could not be determined and, as such, they were returned to the estate of John Sisto. The majority of these items, which include rare eighteenth-century scientific and theological books, dictionaries and maps, will be offered in a featured session of over 75 lots in the March 16th Fine Books and Manuscripts auction at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers.
The items will be on public exhibition Sunday, March 14th, from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Monday, March 16th, from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The auction will begin at 12:00 p.m. Tuesday, March 16th.