Ancient Sculptures from Gandhara

Alexander the Great – 4th Century Terracotta Sculpture

On Thursday, November 15th, PBA Galleries  will host a Fine & Rare Books with three important ancient sculptures from Gandhara. Up for auction will be over 200 lots of rare and significant material, ranging from second century sculptures from the Gandhara civilization to rarities of modern science fiction, important natural history works to original artwork for classic children’s books, and much in between. There are numerous early works on religion focusing on Catholicism, books and sets in fine bindings, color plate books, Asian erotica, illustrated books, medical book, literary landmarks, and much more.

Highlighted in this sale is the terracotta sculpture of Alexander the Great from Gandhara in the 4th century. His conquest of much of eastern and central Asia exerted great artistic influence on the Gandhara civilization, as well as social, cultural and military influences (Estimate: $25,000-$35,000). A sculpture of the head of Buddha from the Gandhara civilization in what is now Pakistan is being offered in this auction as well. The head was carved from gray schist, circa 2nd -3rd century (Estimate: $10,000-$15,000). These were both gifts from H.R.H. Muhammad Mohabbat Khanjee, the last reigning Nawab of Junagadh State in India, to Noor Mohammad Charlie, late husband of the current owner. With a copy of the letter of provenance by H.R.H. Jehangir Khanjee, grandson of Muhammad Mohabbat Khanjee, and Nawab of Junagadh in exile, dated Karachi, Pakistan, December 12, 1999.

Following Abraham Lincoln by Bernhardt Wall will also be up for auction. This set is completed with the original 85 volumes, is illustrated throughout with some 960 etchings printed in colored inks,  hand-bound in boards with dust wrappers. This is just one of one-hundred copies. created over a span of twelve years, with original etchings which chronologically follow Lincoln’s life and depict his boyhood homes and places of interest throughout his career (Estimated: $8,000-$12,000).

Sculpture of the head of Buddha

Les Oiseaux by Édouard Traviès, 1857, an exquisite series of bird portraits in their natural habitats, with 54 folio color lithographed plates, finished by hand and heightened with gum Arabic. Édouard Traviès was one of the best known natural history illustrators of 19th century France (Estimated: $20,000-$30,000). We will also be auctioning Let Us Compare Mythologies, the first book by revered poet/singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen, an early presentation copy inscribed by Cohen the year of publication, with the original dust jacket. This is one of the four-hundred copies printed (Estimate: $10,000-$15,000).

Other featured lots in the sale include: Folio Aldine Press printing of Orationes horum rhetorum, in Greek, 1513, featuring writings by Aeschinis, Lysiae, Alcidamantis and others, a fine example if Aldine Manutius’ Greek printing (Estimate: $5,000-$8,000). Persian manuscript of the collected works of the 14th century poet Hafez, whose writings are regarded as a pinnacle of Persian literature, steeped in mysticism but also the joys of love and wine, executed in the 17th or 18th century (Estimate: $5,000-$8,000). Ray Bradbury’s dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451, where firemen ignite fires to burn books, one of 200 copies bound in special Johns-Manville Quinterra white asbestos, signed by the author (Estimate: $4,000-$6,000).

The sale will begin at 11:00 am Pacific Time and the public may preview the auction Monday, November 12th, 1 – 5 pm, Tuesday and Wednesday, November 13th and 14th, 9am – 5pm and on Thursday, November 15th, 9-11 am at PBA Galleries in San Francisco. For more information, please contact the galleries at (415) 989-2665 or [email protected]