Hindman's Fine Books and Manuscripts auction achieves strong sell through rates

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Hindman's Fine Books and Manuscripts auction achieves strong sell through rates
[SUPREME COURT JUSTICES]. A very extensive collection of 203 autograph letters, letters, documents and signatures signed by 16 Chief and 93 Associate Justices, 1789-2017. Estimate: $20,000.00 - $30,000.00. Price Realized: $25,000.

CHICAGO, IL.- Hindman’s auction of Fine Printed Books and Manuscripts including Americana realized $461,725, achieving strong sell-through rates of 94% by lot and 113% by value. Following the success of a record-setting 2019 for the Books and Manuscripts department, Hindman’s first Fine Books and Manuscripts including Americana auction of the year once again exceeded expectations. Strong presale interest and competitive bidding across multiple telephones and four online auction platforms drove the result past the presale estimate of $327,600 to a total $461,725 and sold a remarkable 94% of lots.

The outstanding results of this week’s sale confirms that our strategy of offering works of the highest quality and rarity continues to resonate with the market. We were particularly honored to hold the sale of books from the collection of Rhoda H. Clark and the Monastery Hill Bindery, and were pleased with the result of the miniature of John Fleming’s 57th Street Library and Gallery.

The auction’s top lot, a remarkable archive of 203 signed documents from 16 Chief and 93 Associate Justices of the United States Supreme Court from 1789-2017 (Lot 287), sold for $25,000. The most complete collection of Justice’s signatures to ever be offered at auction, the collection included the signatures of every justice from John Jay through William Rehnquist, and featured excellent examples of even the rarest justices, including James Iredell, Alfred Moore, Robert Trimble, John Catron, John McKinley and Peter V. Daniel. The lot also included examples from three judges that were nominated but never confirmed to the Court: Robert Hanson Harrison, Ebenezer R. Hoar, and George H. Williams.

The auction also featured the historic Collection of Rhoda H. Clark and the Monastery Hill Bindery, which realized over $88,000 against a presale estimate of $69,750. Monastery Hill Bindery, one of the oldest businesses in Chicago, was founded by Clark’s great-grandfather in 1868. Enthusiastic bidding sent many lots from the collection well past their presale estimates. The top lot from the collection was Lossing’s The Pictorial Field-Book of the Revolution (Lot 282). The eight-volume set bound with additional original documents and correspondence from several Founding Fathers sold for $10,625 against a presale estimate of $4,000-6,000. Additionally, a copy of William Lloyd Garrison’s biography (Lot 252), also bound with several original documents from notable political figures and abolitionists, sold for $6,875 against a presale estimate of $4,000-6,000.

Among the many highlights in the sale was a miniature of John Fleming’s 57th Street Library and Gallery (Lot 205), selling for$11,250, almost 8 times the presale estimate of $1,500-2,500. The miniature of the gallery of one of the most important antiquarian booksellers in the United States in the 20th-century, contained an array of meticulously crafted accoutrements including six miniature books, numerous miniature "book" models, miniature furnishings and silver.

Far exceeding expectations, a rare Kelmscott Press pamphlet entitled When Adam Delved and Eve Span..., together with 3 draft prospectuses with holograph corrections vaulted past its pre-sale estimate of $500 – 700, selling for $6,000.

The Fine Books and Manuscripts Including Americana auction was held at Hindman’s Chicago saleroom on June 23, 2020 with all bidders participating remotely. As has been the trend throughout the spring and early summer, online bidding largely drove the action, accounting for over 46% of the sale’s total.

Hindman is now welcoming consignments for the next Fine Books and Manuscripts auction to be held in November.

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