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Bonhams Fall Books and Manuscripts Sale in San Francisco to offer early King James Bible
[BEATO, FELICE, and others.]. Album assembled by W.J.H., containing 16 images of Delhi and 15 of Lucknow, all by Felice Beato, each 9 x 11 inches, and 42 further images of the aftermath of the 1864 cyclone at Calcutta by J. Pearson and various scenes in Simla, Kashmir, and the Himalayas by Robertson, Bourne, and Shepherd. Oblong folio. Period cloth. Interspersed with manuscript notes and maps by W.J.H. Provenance: likely purchased by W.J.H. in India in 1858; with Maggs, December, 1959. Loosely inserted: folding lithographed map of Delhi by H.L. Fraser dated September 1857; a page from the Illustrated London News of January 16, 1858; Est. $15,000 - 25,000. Photo: Courtesy of Bonhams.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA.- As part of its October 10, 2012, Fine Books and Manuscripts sale, to be held in San Francisco with a simulcast in New York, Bonhams will offer several items of literary and historical importance.

Among them is a unique, extra-illustrated copy of an early printing of the King James Bible, featuring a large, mystical fore-edge painting by 19th-century bibliophile John T. Beer, one of the great practitioners of the genre (est. $12,000-18,000). The third folio edition of 1613, the book later belonged to the collection of Alfred Sutro, noted collector and president of the Book Club of California, who, in 1938, commissioned a pamphlet from the Grabhorn Press to celebrate this volume.

Also featured are two large panoramas by Italian-British photographer Felice Beato, constructed of photographs taken during the Indian Rebellion of 1857-58 – known in India as the First War of Independence (est. $15,000-25,000). The first panorama, nearly 8 feet long, depicts the ravaged city of Lucknow in vivid detail, following its retaking by the British in March of 1858. The second panorama, at 6 feet in length, depicts Lucknow from the Kaiserbagh, the palace of the King of Oudh and a symbolic stronghold of the mutineers.

Another item of historical interest is an 18th-century document signed by the members of the French royal family, including Louis XV, Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette (est. $8,000-12,000). An excellent example of a marriage contract between two members of aristocratic families, the document is also signed by Louis XVIII, Princess Marie Josephine, Charles X and other nobles at Versaille.

Relating to modern literature is a typed letter signed by William Faulkner to Finlay McDermid, head of the writing department at Warner Brothers, regarding the aftermath of Faulkner’s leave of absence from the studio and his attempts to rid himself of his agent Bill Herndon (est. $3,000-5,000). Faulkner addresses rumors of a nervous breakdown – “I am well … never had an illness in my life that a drink of whiskey wouldn’t make worse” – and his difficulty shaking Herndon – “He wants his pound of flesh, no matter how much blood and skin comes off with it.”

An unusual item certain to generate great interest is a fishing bag which belonged to Ernest Hemingway, as well as an inscription from Hemingway to one of his closest friends, Charles Thompson, the owner of a marine hardware store in Key West and the model for the character “Old Karl” in The Green Hills of Africa (est. $3,000-5,000).

Finally, Bonhams will offer a collection of drawings and sketches from Theodor Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss, mostly executed on the backs of menus for the cruise ship Southern Prince in 1933 (est. $10,000-15,000). Pre-dating the first Seuss book by four years, the drawings feature the kind of fantastical hybrid beasts for which Dr. Seuss would become famous, including a “Wild Bidou,” a “Pernambuco Cow” and “Wild Nextbestbet.”

An illustrated catalogue for the sale will be available online in the preceding weeks, for review and purchase at

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