NEW YORK, NY.- Swann Galleries
will present Early Printed Books at auction Thursday, May 5. The sale will feature part one of the collection of Ken Rapoport alongside a selection of noteworthy publications, including a book bound for Jean Grolier and works on economics, science, medicine, and travel.
The first part of the complete library of noted bibliophile and collector Ken Rapoport forms the cornerstone of the auction. Over a collecting career of more than fifty years, Rapoport amassed hundreds of sought-after rarities in literature. Inspired chiefly by the works of Franšois Rabelais, Miguel de Cervantes, William Shakespeare and MoliŔre, the collection includes much in Spanish and English poetry and drama, as well as works that encompass the early chivalric tradition that gave rise to Don Quixote, along with the work of Spanish contemporaries of Cervantes.
Highlights from part one of the collection include the top lot in the sale, Shakespeare's Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies. Published according to the true Originall Copies, London, 1632 ($100,000-150,000), as well as the first Valencia edition of Cervantes El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha, 1605 ($80,000-100,000), a sammelband of three works by Edmund Spenser, including The Shepheards Calendar, 1591, The Faerie Queene, 1596, and Colin Clouts Come Home Again, 1595 ($16,000-24,000), and Geoffrey Chaucers The Woorkes, London, 1561 ($8,000-10,000). Also of note are works by Lancelot du Lac, John Donne, Alonso de Ercilla y Z˙˝iga, and translations of Virgil and Homer.
The auction will feature Thucydides De Bello Peloponnensium Atheniensiumque Libri VIII, from the library of bibliophile Jean Grolier, bound by the Royal Parisian bookbinder to Franšois I, ╔tienne Roffet ($30,000-50,000). With the provenance of Lucien Goldschmidt and a letter from Howard Nixon accompanying the volume, the lot presents a rare opportunity to own a book once shared by the famed Grolier with his friends.
Publications on economics will include many first editions by Nobel laureates in the field, a presentation copy of Adam Smiths The Theory of Moral Sentiments, London, 1790 ($3,000-5,000), a first edition of Milton Friedmans Capitalism and Freedom, Chicago, 1962 ($1,000-1,500), and a run of works by John Maynard Keynes.
Rounding out the sale is a selection of works on science, medicine, travel and manuscripts. Highlights include an Italian Carmelite Breviary from the fifteenth century ($8,000-12,000), an example of German seventeenth-century bookbinding in silver ($3,000-5,000), and John Gerards The Herball or General Historie of Plantes, London, 1636 ($3,000-5,000.)
Exhibition hours are 12 p.m to 5 p.m from May 2 through May 4.