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Livres d'Artiste, Signed First Editions, Science Fiction Classics Among Highlights of Swann Galleries Auction
David Burliuk, Two pamphlets published by the artist's wife in New York in the 1930s, each with an original watercolor frontispiece by Burliuk, signed and dated 1931. Estimate: $3,000-4,000.


NEW YORK, NY.- On Thursday, May 12 Swann Galleries will conduct a two-session auction of Art, Press & Illustrated Books, and 19th & 20th Century Literature. The sale begins at 10:30 a.m. with a selection of architecture and art journals, livres d’artiste, fine private press books, original illustrations and works on fashion and design. The afternoon session, starting at 1:30 p.m., features first editions, signed and inscribed copies, children’s literature, and a section devoted to science fiction, fantasy and thriller fiction.

Among the desirable livres d’artiste are Picasso’s collaboration with Pierre Reverdy, Le Chant des Morts, one of 20 hors commerce copies signed by both, Paris, 1946-48 (estimate $5,000 to $7,500); a first edition of Andy Wahol’s Index Book, in the original packaging and signed and inscribed by famed pop-up designer Waldo Hunt, New York, 1967 ($1,200 to $1,800); a limited edition copy of Salvador Dalí’s Die Göttliche Komödie, with 100 color woodcut plates, Geneva, 1974 ($7,000 to $10,000); and the great Jasper Johns and Samuel Beckett collaboration, Foirades / Fizzles, one of 250 signed by both, Paris and New York, 1976 ($12,000 to $18,000).

There are also three of Susan Weil's artistic tributes to James Joyce published by Vincent FitzGerald & Company: The Epiphanies, with 64 etchings, watercolors, collages and handcuttings by Weil and Marjorie Van Dyke, one of 50 signed by Weil and Van Dyke, New York, 1987 ($8,000 to $12,000); Giacomo Joyce Interpreted by Susan Weil, one of 50 signed copies, 1989 ($2,500 to $3,500); and Bride-Ship and Gulls, Weil’s final livre d’artiste celebrating the life and work of Joyce, one of 25 signed, 1991 ($4,000 to $6,000).

Other private press highlights include one of only three special copies of Peter Pauper Press’s Champ Rosé: Wherein May Be Discovered the Roman Letters that were Made By Geofrey Tory, printed entirely in red, with 27 antique alphabet plates by Bruce Rogers after Tory, signed by Frederick Goudy, Rogers, and press owner Peter Beilenson, New Rochelle, 1933 ($1,500 to $2,500); and a section of Arion Press titles including the culinary classic, The Physiology of Taste by Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, translated from the French by M.F.K. Fisher, with illustrations by Wayne Thiebaud, San Francisco, 1994, one of 200 signed by Thiebaud ($3,000 to $5,000).

Modern art highlights include a pair of pamphlets with original watercolors by David Burliuk, New York, 1931 ($3,000 to $4,000); the portfolio 10 Origin, with plates by Jean Arp, Sonia Delaunay, Wassily Kandinsky and others, most of them signed by the artists, Zurich, 1942 ($4,000 to $6,000); and Albert Gleizes and Jean Metzinger’s Du Cubisme, with 11 etchings and aquatints by or after Picasso, Braque and Léger and other artists, Paris, 1947 ($5,000 to $7,500).

Among the illustration highlights are original watercolors by designer George Barbier, including Makeda, Reine de Saba, Chronique Ethiopienne, 1912 ($5,000 to $7,500) and two Persian figures in traditional dress, likely created for one of fashion designer Paul Poiret’s famous costume fêtes, 1912 ($4,000 to $6,000); and a group of three fashion sketches in pencil and watercolor by graphic artist and designer Fritzi Löw, circa 1915 ($3,000 to $4,000).

There are also classic illustrated works by Leonard Baskin, Arthur Rackham, Maurice Sendak, Saul Steinberg, and a scarce first edition of the first work completely illustrated by Arthur Szyk, Julian Tuwim’s Rewolucja w Niemczech, a satirical commentary on post-World War I Germany, Warsaw and Lodz, 1919 ($4,000 to $6,000).

The afternoon session contains a private collection of early Science Fiction, Fantasy and Thriller literature including Isaac Asimov's The Foundation Trilogy, first edition of the Hugo Award-winner for all time best series, New York, 1951-53 ($2,500 to $3,500); first editions of Philip K. Dick’s The Man in the High Castle, 1962, The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, 1965, and Ubik, 1969 ($2,000 to $3,000 each); Robert A. Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land, New York, 1961 ($2,000 to $3,000); and titles by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Ray Bradbury, Arthur C. Clarke, Stephen King and many others.

A wonderful rarity is the only known copy in a true first edition dust jacket of Carroll John Daly’s detective novel The Snarl of the Beast, New York, 1927 ($4,000 to $6,000). Also compelling is a scarce first edition of Boris Pasternak’s Doctor Zhivago, in Russian, Milan, 1958 ($1,200 to $1,800).

Highlights among the children’s books are a large-paper copy of Winnie-The-Pooh signed by author A.A. Milne and illustrator E.H. Shepard, New York, 1926 ($5,000 to $7,500); Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings’s The Yearling, first limited edition with an ink drawing by illustrator N.C. Wyeth, and signed by Rawlings and Wyeth, New York, 1939 ($2,500 to $3,500); and a first edition of The Phantom Tollbooth, signed by author Norton Juster and illustrator Jules Feiffer, New York, 1961 ($1,200 to $1,800).

Other signed classics include first editions of Émile Zola’s critical works, inscribed to French drama and music critic Edouard Noël, 1878-81 ($2,000 to $3,000); a signed first limited edition of D.H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover, Florence, 1928 ($6,000 to $9,000); John Steinbeck’s Their Blood is Strong, first edition, San Francisco, 1938 ($2,000 to $3,000); and a signed and inscribed copy of Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea, London, 1956 ($3,000 to $4,000).

Nineteenth-century highlights include Emily Dickinson’s celebrated first three books of poetry, Boston, 1890-96 ($5,000 to $7,500); and The Nonesuch Dickens, from the limited edition of 877, with an original woodblock illustration, 1937-38 ($5,000 to $7,500).

Other desirable sets are Henry David Thoreau’s The Writings . . . Manuscript Edition, 20 volumes, one of 600 sets signed by the publisher and with an original manuscript sheet by Thoreau from his journal, Boston, 1906 ($6,000 to $9,000); and H.G. Wells, The Works, one of 1050 printed for America and signed by Wells, New York, 1924-27 ($2,000 to $3,000).

The auction will begin at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, May 12, and continue in the afternoon at 1:30 p.m. The books will be on public exhibition Saturday, May 7, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Monday, May 9 to Wednesday, May 11, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

An illustrated catalogue, with information on bidding by mail or fax, is available for $35 from Swann Galleries, Inc., 104 East 25th Street, New York, NY 10010, or online at www.swanngalleries.com.

For further information, and to make advance arrangements to bid by telephone during the auction, please contact Christine von der Linn at (212) 254-4710, extension 20, or via e-mail at cvonderlinn@swanngalleries.com.

Live online bidding is available via Artfact.






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