1st American Color Plate Book Featured in Art & Illustration – Children’s Literature Sale July 13th

Wilson’s American Ornithology

The first outstanding American color plate book is featured in PBA Galleries’ July 13th Art, Illustration, and Fine Children’s Literature auction. Also in the sale are over 350 lots of captivating illustrative and decorative materials, rare graphics, literature for children and your, uncommon photographs, and more. The items range from important early American ornithological works to rare artists’ books, with impressive English color plate books, landmarks of 20th century fantasy, and high points of Golden Age illustrated books. Graphic materials being offered include a sizable collection of botanical prints, original comic art, a large number of 19th century travel photographs, art exhibition posters from Puerto Rico, and much more.

Published in nine volumes, American Ornithology; or, The Natural History of the Birds of the United States, contains 76 hand-colored copper-engraved plates from drawings by the author, engraved by Alexander Lawson, G. Murray, Benjamin Tanner and J. G. Warnicke. The work was the first American work to use color plates to convey scientific information. Now overshadowed by Audubon’s giant folios, Wilson’s work is still considered to be the first great American color plate book of any kind. Estimate: $15,000-$25,000.

History of Royal Residences

Also, featured in the sale is a First Edition of William Henry Pyne’s The History of the Royal Residences from 1819. A magnificent set of histories and descriptions of the homes of British royalty, it includes detailed views of both interiors and exteriors in 100 different aquatint plates each in two states (one hand-colored, the other uncolored) for a total of 200 plates making this copy quite rare. Estimate: $8,000-$12,000.

Rainbow over Potala Palace

Graphic art highlights in the sale include the most famous photograph by Galen Rowell, “Rainbow over the Potala Palace” signed by the photographer. This is an original print of the iconic image of a multi-colored rainbow descending on the Potala Palace resulting in a mystical Tibetan scene. Rowell was tragically killed in a plane crash in California in 2002 (Estimate: $3,000-$5,000). Also in the sale is a rare hand-colored aquatint view of Morea, with Tahiti a part of the Friendly Isles, from a painting by James Cleverley, artist on James Cook’s third voyage (Estimate: $1,000-$1,500) and a captivating 1950’s original oil painting on canvas of San Francisco by the Chicago-born painter, Maurice Lapp (Estimate: $1,000-$1,500).

Original Oil Painting of SF

Celebrated Dogs of America

Splendid chromolithograph plates grace Alexander Pope’s Celebrated Dogs of America, Imported and Native. The work contains 18 of the 20 series of plates originally issued in monthly parts and is quite rare in any form (Estimate: $2,000-$3,000).  Other important books in the sale are Hansel and Gretel and Other Stories illustrated with color plates by Kay Nielsen, one of 600 copies signed by the artist (Estimate: $2,000-$3,000); The Wonderful Wizard of Oz illustrated by Barry Moser, printed at the Pennyroyal  Press, one of 350 copies signed by the illustrator (Estimate: $1,500-$2,500); and a complete set of First American editions of Chronicles of Narnia, C. S. Lewis’ classic fantasy series for young people (Estimate: $2,500-$3,500).

The sale will begin at 11:00 am Pacific Time and the public may preview the auction Monday, July 10th, 1-5pm, Tuesday and Wednesday, July 11th and 12th from 9am to 5pm and on Thursday, July 13th, 9-11am at PBA Galleries in San Francisco. For more information, please contact the galleries at (415) 989-2665 or [email protected].