Antiquarian Books with something for everyone

First American edition of Johanna Spyri’s classic Heidi

PBA Galleries will hold an auction of Antiquarian Books on December 2nd, 2021. The sale comprises nearly 250 lots featuring children’s books, works from the golden age of illustration, posters, decorative & graphic arts, and antiquarian books. Highlights include a custom-made art deco chandelier from San Francisco’s premier movie palace the Fox Theater, a three-sheet color lithograph poster from magician Carter the Great, a complete set of William Pickering’s Book of Common Prayer, several classic works of the Western canon, and a wide variety of other material from marching with Napoleon Bonaparte to Go-Kart racing in communist Czechoslovakia.

Highlighting the sale is a rare, complete set in seven volumes of William Pickering’s printing of the historical Book of Common Prayer, as issued by the different English monarchs. Typographic facsimiles of the original black letter editions, each volume is magnificently printed handsomely bound in the original vellum over marbled boards with ornamental title pages and decorative head and tailpieces (Estimate: $3,000-$5,000).

A number of documents related to the Napoleonic era will be offered led by a Napoleon signed letter. Penned in August of 1797 amidst the Italian Campaign in which Napoleon, then General in Chief of the Army of Italy, gained much of his early fame, Napoleon directs procedure for the confiscation and distribution of rations and other goods, requests an intelligence officer for a planned raid, and names other specific tasks for his officers (Estimate: $1,000-$1,500).

A unique manuscript ledger and cutlery design book from the Argyle Cutlery Works in Sheffield, England is illustrated throughout with pen and ink knife designs. Dating from the early 20th century, the lot also contains other bits of ephemera including an invoice and business card from the business. The Argyle Cutlery Works was one of numerous Sheffield businesses that exported pocket knives, soldiers’ knives, and cutlery to the world market (Estimate: $1,000-$1,500).

Some of the non-book lots in the sale are: a custom chandelier from San Francisco’s landmark Art Deco movie palace The Fox Theater (Estimate: $5,000-$8,000); a pair of vintage Art Deco lighting fixtures with opaque glass (Estimate: $3,000-$5,000); and a Beaux Arts era Paris streetlight floor lamp with bronze casting (Estimate: $3,000-$5,000). Also in the auction are two beautiful Seguso Family Murano glass vases from the glass making dynasty (Estimates for each: $1,500-$2,000).

Rounding out the sale are other featured lots: one hundred pochoir plates of 1920’s Paris fashion from the celebrated Gazette du Bon Genre, by artists including G. Barbier, Benito R. Bonfils, P. Brissaud, et al (Estimate: $3,000-$5,000); a First Edition of Aubrey Beardsley’s first important work, containing over 300 of his designs illustrating King Arthur (Estimate: $1,000-$1,500); the 1649 classic on French royal ceremonies, Theodore Godefroy’s Le Cérémonial de France, originally printed in 1619 (Estimate: $1,000-$1,500); a large collection of English plays spanning post-restoration to the early 19th century (Estimate: $1,000-$1,500).

PBA continues to safeguard the health of employees and clients and is open by appointment only. PBA limits live auction participation to online or phone bidding. For more information about upcoming sales, to schedule a Zoom preview or phone bidding for a future auction, please contact the galleries at 415.989.2665 or [email protected].