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Leslie Hindman's Fine Books and Manuscripts Auction a resounding success
Ezra Pound, Archive of letters to Ernest Tino Trova. Sold for $35,000.
CHICAGO, IL.- Printed and manuscript literature and Americana were among the top lots that soared past presale estimates yesterday at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers’ November 6th Fine Books and Manuscripts auction. Over 90% of the books, autographs, natural history prints, maps and numismatics sold, thanks to a significant number of presale bids coupled with competitive bidding by telephone, online and in the saleroom.

The sale opened with an impressive collection of eclectic literary offerings; this session featured a fine collection of Dickens’ first editions, including Great Expectations, which brought $3,750 and a rare first edition, first printing of William Faulkner’s first novel, The Marble Faun, which, being in its rare dust jacket, brought an outstanding $18,750. Another headlining item of the sale was an archive of letters and typescripts from the modernist critic and poet, Ezra Pound, to Saint Louis artist, Ernest Trova, from Saint Elizabeth’s Hospital for the Criminally Insane. Pound was housed at the facility after being deemed unfit for trial for treason due to his fascist sympathies and broadcasts in Italy during World War II. With a presale estimate of $10-15,000, the archive exceeded all expectations bringing $35,000.

Achieving an unexpectedly high price was a group of more than 150 early American lottery tickets culled by Patricia Lyons Simon Newman and her second husband, Ralph Newman, founder of Chicago’s Abraham Lincoln Bookshop. Newman recently received national attention due to a touching public farewell from her son, National Public Radio’s Scott Simon, who kept vigil by her bedside and tweeted to his 1.3 million followers reports of her final hours. The archive, spread across five lots by category (institutions, public works, Revolutionary War, etc.) brought a combined total of $19,125 against a presale low estimate of $4,200. Presidential manuscript letters and documents also drew high prices, including a fine autographed George Washington letter from the collection of Lewis and Clark historian and former University of Illinois professor, Donald Jackson which sold for $7,500. Rare early American travel books housed in custom wooden boxes also drew strong prices.

The highest prices of the auction came from a session of rare Audubon prints, including a Hooping Crane, $25,000, and a Great Blue Heron, $62,500. Rounding out the top lots were Turgot’s mammoth bird’s-eye view plan of Paris, $12,500, Benner’s series of portraits of the Romanov family, Collection de vingt-quatre portraits de la famille imperiale, $7,500, and a fine incunable, Herolt’s Sermones discipuli de tempore, et de Sanctis, March 25, 1477, $4,000. The sale closed with a session of coin and paper currency, including a series of rare 16th-century Papal gold coins and a 17th-century silver marriage medal. A collection of 45 1928 Series $100 Federal Reserve Notes sold for $6,250.

For over three decades, Leslie Hindman Auctioneers has been an industry leader combining recognition as one of the nation’s preeminent fine art auctioneers with a global reach of buyers. Founded in Chicago in 1982, sold to Sotheby’s in 1997 and reopened in 2003, Leslie Hindman has remained a constant force behind a company that benefits from an impeccable reputation and a team of professionals who have the ability to effectively market and conduct high profile auctions. From contemporary paintings and fine jewelry to continental furniture and rare books, Leslie Hindman Auctioneers continues a practice of achieving the highest prices while maintaining a high standard of integrity and quality customer service.

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