Collection of Rare Early Photographs and Photo-books on March 5th

An internationally significant private collection of early photography will be auctioned by PBA Galleries on Thursday, March 5, 2020.

The collection was amassed by Dr. Robert Enteen while living in Paris and other major European cities. It includes an estimated 10,000 photographs, photo-books, and ephemera.

92 photographs from Fratelli Alinari

The earliest items date from 1839, the dawn of photography, to 1939, spanning the medium’s first century. Photography originated in France and England, but the technology spread quickly throughout the globe. The collection includes original works by numerous luminaries, including  Fox Talbot, Charles Negré, Charles Marville, Edouard Baldus, Matthew Brady, Timothy O´Sullivan, William Henry Jackson, Eadweard Muybridge, Edward Curtis, Félix Nadar, Félix Bonfils, Francis Frith, Fratelli Alinari, Julia Margaret Cameron, Alvin Langdon Coburn, Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Steichen, Eugene Atget, Man Ray, André Kertesz, Kimbei Kusakabe, Lewis Hine, Karl Blossfeldt, and others.

The Journal of the French Academy of Sciences announced the new medium in 1839. This announcement is among the many high points in the collection, which also includes paper negatives; one of only four known examples of the earliest paper photograph of Charles Darwin (1854); an album of over 100 photographs of a tsarist estate in Russia c. 1895; an extremely rare first edition, first issue of Man Ray’s first book of photos; and the only known complete set of Yellowstone Albertypes taken by William Henry Jackson, which influenced the US Congress to designate Yellowstone the first national park in the world. 

Eleven stereoviews of NorCal

According to the collection’s owner, Robert Enteen: “The photographs in this museum-quality collection are notable not only because there are many exquisite images, but also because they have historical significance. One can see transitions in photographic technology, materials, and styles, as well as the medium’s enormous influence in medicine and science, the arts, politics, education, travel and ethnology, history, architecture, religion, and other fields of human endeavor.”

Dr. Enteen, originally from New York City, has been collecting antiques, rare books and prints for over 50 years.  His photography collection began at a flea market in Paris in 2013, when he acquired a large group of early photographs by Adolphe Braun. Subsequently, he added to his growing collection in Italy, Spain, Germany, Turkey, and the United Kingdom. He has intensively studied the field of early photography, which helped him curate this comprehensive collection.

Binkley’s Japan the Edition De Luxe, 1897

Bruce MacMakin, Executive Vice President of PBA Galleries, notes: “The Enteen Collection is among the largest private collections of early photography ever placed in auction.  It includes European, American, Asian and African works by most of the great photographers.  In my experience, it comes closest to an American version of Sotheby’s celebrated Paris auction of the Thérèse and André Jammes collection.”

The sale will begin at 11:00 am Pacific Time and the public may preview the auction on Monday, March 2nd from 1:00-5:00pm, Tuesday, March 3rd and Wednesday, March 4th from 9:00am-5:00pm, or Thursday, March 5th from 9:00am-5:00pm. For more information, please contact the galleries at (415) 989-2665 or [email protected].

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Rare Americana & Cartography With the Robert M. Ebiner Zamorano 80 Collection on February 20th

PBA Galleries invites bidders to join them on Thursday, February 20th at 11:00am for a sale of Rare Americana & Cartography, with the Robert M. Ebiner Zamorano 80 Collection. The auction will feature over 500 lots of rare and historically significant material on the Americas, ranging from cornerstones of California history to cartographic delineation of twentieth century development, with books, manuscripts, photographs, ephemera, maps, and atlases. Included is the Robert M. Ebiner Zamorano 80 Collection, a selection of key books in a library of California; a range of books on or by presidents of the United States; books, pamphlets, maps and historical atlases on California local history, and that of other states; and much more.

First edition of Two Years Before the Mast

19th-century maps, rare books, and ephemera feature prominently in the auction. In a rare, apparently unrecorded issue of John Melish’s 1818 map of the United States, Illinois is properly abutting Lake Michigan, not connected by a rectangular offset of land as with other known copies ($3,000-$5,000). A Black Hills expense report for telegraph usage signed by George Armstrong Custer is dated “Bismarck, Dakota Territory, 1875.” The report is countersigned by the telegraph operator who would later break the news to the world of Custer’s death at the Battle of the Little Big Horn ($6,000-$9,000). A first edition of Two Years Before the Mast by Richard Henry Dana (1840) will be offered in the first edition, first issue. The exceptional copy is in the preferred tan muslin binding and expertly rebacked with the original spine strip employed ($5,000-$8,000). From 1881, a handwritten letter from Tombstone dates to just two months after the gunfight at OK Corral. The note from Tombstone Justice of the Peace Mike Grey is addressed to James W. Denver, of the eponymous city. Grey asks that he mention to “proper authorities” the importance of establishing a military post along the Mexican border where Arizona and New Mexico meet ($1,500-$2,500).

Paloú’s Life of Father Serra, 1787

In Californiana, Francisco  Paloú’s Relacion Historica de la Vida Y Apostolicas Tareas of Father Junipero Serra, founder of the California missions, has been called the “most extensive early work on upper California. PBA will offer a fine 1787 first edition in the original full vellum ($10,000-$15,000). From the 20th century, a rare folding bird’s-eye view of Los Angeles is presented in Los Angeles 1909. The spectacular street map of the sprawling city and the surrounding area is in the original paper wrappers ($2,000-$3,000).

Early American ephemera and artwork are well-represented in the sale. A rare printed broadside proclamation issued by John Adams (1799) marks the period of a rampant yellow fever plague, calling for a “day of solemn humiliation, fasting, and prayer” ($4,000-$6,000). A collection of 119 patriotic envelopes from the Civil War feature captivating illustrations. Some of the envelopes are printed in color, and all display compelling graphic propaganda for the Union cause ($3,000-$5,000). A rare lithograph of the Declaration of Independence in calligraphy by William H. Pratt was designed to form a portrait of George Washington. The portrait was lithographed by August Hagenboeck in Davenport, Iowa in 1865 ($5,000-$8,000). The sale will begin at 11:00 am Pacific Time and the public may preview the auction in Berkeley at PBA Galleries (605 Addison Street, Berkeley, California) on Tuesday, February 18th or Wednesday, February 19th from 9:00am-5:00pm and Thursday, February 20th from 9:00am-11:00am.  For more information, please contact the galleries at (415) 989-2665 or [email protected].

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Rare Books & Manuscripts at the Pasadena Fair on February 6th, 2020

Roberts’ Egypt & Nubia with 121 lithographs

PBA Galleries invites bidders to join them for a special sale on Thursday, February 6th at 10:00am. The sale will take place just prior to the ABAA (Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America) Book Fair in Pasadena, California. The sale will be held in the Piazza Ballroom of the Pasadena Sheraton (303 East Cordova Street), just next door to the Pasadena Convention Center and the 53rd California International Antiquarian Book Fair.

The first half of the auction will be devoted to books donated by ABAA members to benefit the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Benevolent Fund, which was established to support all booksellers in times of distress. The descriptions of the books are by the donor members, and we have worked with them to set fair estimates for the wide range of fine material. In the second part of the sale, PBA will offer Rare Books & Manuscripts. During both parts of the sale, bidders will have access to our usual full provisions for absentee, online, and phone bidding.

In both parts of the sale, noteworthy editions of works by historically influential authors will be on offer. Standouts include the 1860 second edition of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species in the original cloth, a rare version of what remains one of the most important scientific works of the 19th century ($10,000-$15,000). In psychology, no figure looms as large as Sigmund Freud: The auction features an autograph letter signed by Freud to a colleague. The letter is about a prospective female patient who he deemed not suitable for psychoanalysis. Instead, Freud recommends that the patient contact Carl Jung, Freud’s one-time disciple but later rival ($10,000-$15,000). Other noteworthy letters in the auction include PBA’s rare letter from inventor and electrical engineer Nikola Tesla to photographer William Schley, about a photograph to be taken of an “apparatus.” The letter was written in 1896, the year Tesla harnessed the power of Niagara Falls ($10,000-$15,000). 

Travel histories, illustrations, and photography abounds, representing the best of Californiana and beyond. In conjunction with the sale’s location in Southern California, PBA will offer W.W. Elliott’s rare History of San Bernardino County with a section on San Diego county. The tome contains 88 lithographed plates of views, some double-page, and including a striking bird’s-eye view of the Redlands colony ($6,000-$8,000). Across the map, Francis Firth’s Sinai and Palestine features 37 original mounted albumen photographs of Sinai and Palestine, with superb views of Jerusalem, Nazareth, Damascus, Gaza, the Sinai peninsula, and more. This rare set is in the twelve original parts with the original wrappers, and is considered the “best edition” published by William Mackenzie in 1862 ($8,000-$12,000). Likewise, David Roberts’ great illustrated work Egypt and Nubia from Drawings Made on the Spot exhibits 121 superb lithographs printed by Louis Haghe. The three volumes in two (1846-49) are bound in full red morocco and elaborately tooled in gilt ($40,000-$60,000). 

Rare Taber photograph album

Other highlights include a rare album of 46 large original albumen photographs by Isaiah W. Taber, which were assembled for advertising and marketing his studio. The photographs encompass views of his studio and various scenes from San Francisco and the Bay Area, Yosemite, Carmel, Santa Barbara, and more ($80,000-$120,000). From the early modern period, a suite of 24 hand-colored large format mezzotint plates by John Martin were created to illustrate the 1827 two-volume edition of John Milton’s Paradise Lost published by Septimus Prowett. The plates were bound in full navy-blue levant morocco tooled in gilt, a stunning presentation ($15,000-$25,000). Noteworthy letters include a rare original letter from Pierre Toussaint, a one-time slave from Haiti, who emigrated to New York with his master after the Revolution and became a hairdresser to high-society ladies. He helped found a Catholic orphanage and has been beatified and proposed for canonization as the first African-American male saint ($5,000-$8,000). 

The sale will begin at 10:00 am Pacific Time and the public may preview the auction in Berkeley at PBA Galleries (605 Addison Street, Berkeley, California) on Monday, February 3rd and Tuesday, February 4th from 9:00am-5:00pm. They may also preview the sale in Pasadena at the Pasadena Sheraton Piazza Ballroom on Thursday, February 6th from 8:00am-10:00am. For more information, please contact the galleries at (415) 989-2665 or [email protected].

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Art & Illustration– Occult & Hermeticism on January 9th, 2020

It will be magical on January 9th with PBA Galleries’ sale of Art & Illustration – Occult & Hermeticism. The sale will present significant works on magic, Freemasonry, and Rosicrucianism from the Matteo Family Library of the Occult. Beginning the auction will be a section of original art, prints from Old Masters to Hundertwasser, rock posters, and the art of the underground.

Occult standouts include the 1st American edition of Eliphas Levy’s The History of Magic, translated by Arthur Edward Waite. Levy, a French occult author, socialist, and ceremonial magician, remains best known for his profound influence on the history of hermeticism. His famous followers include Aleister Crowley, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, Helen Blavatsky, and more. ($1,200-$1,800). The history of Freemasonry is well-represented by Albert G. Mackey and William R. Singleton’s eponymous title (1906). Both Mackey and Singleton were of the 33rdDegree of the Scottish Rite, a title which cannot be asked for and if asked for, never conferred. This handsomely bound full set is therefore a history of the order from some of its most highly regarded members ($700-$1,000). PBA will also offer The Grand Grimoire (2004), one of 10 signed and hand-bound by the late publisher of Trident Books, James Banner. Also known as Le Dragon Rouge (The Red Dragon), this book contains instructions on summoning Lucifer for the purpose of forming a deal with the devil. 

Salvador Dali in Wonderland

Historically significant lithographs, oil paintings, woodblock prints, and more make up a diverse artist catalogue. Signed works abound, most notably Salvador Dali’s limited edition artist’s book, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, which features his signature on the title page and an original frontispiece etching. An additional lot, The Alice in Wonderland Lithographs, is a suite of four color plates featuring Dali’s signature on each lithograph ($4,000-$6,000 each). Other coveted signatures include artist August Friedrich Schenck’s on each of his two oil paintings. The untitled painting also includes an archive of autographed letters by Schenck to Mrs. B.B. Tuttle, receipts for his paintings purchased, and an additional set of period press clippings with an obituary of the artist ($3,000-$5,000). Five lots of woodblock prints by Friedensreich Hundertwasser also feature signatures on each and appear in limited editions: “Die Mauer” [The Wall] is 1 of 210 ($2,500-$3,500) and “Korallenblumen” [Coral Flowers] is 1 of 350 ($3,000-$5,000). 

Hobyahs Creep Creep Creep by David Tibet

Other rare works of art include a drawing by Current 93 musician, poet and outsider artist, David Tibet, which is an illustration from Australian fairy tale series Hobyahs Creep Creep Creep ($700-$1,000). On the auction block will also be two etchings ca. 1630 from master printmaker from Alsace, Jacques Callot. PBA anticipates enthusiastic bidding on both of his Parisian scenes, Vue du Louvre and Vue du Pont Neuf ($2,000-$3,000 each).

The sale will begin at 11:00 am Pacific Time and the public may preview the auction on Monday, January 6th from 1:00-5:00pm, Tuesday, January 7thand Wednesday, January 8th from 9:00am-5:00pm, or Thursday, January 9th from 9:00am-5:00pm. For more information, please contact the galleries at (415) 989-2665 or [email protected].

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Art & Illustration on November 7th

On Thursday, November 7th, PBA Galleries will offer an auction of Art & Illustration – Fine Books. The auction will feature over 425 lots featuring original art, prints from old masters to the Bauhaus, rock posters and the art of the underground—with collectible children’s books including Bertuch’s Bilderbuch fur Kinder series, several signed works by Edward Gorey, an Oz library, and more.

On the auction block, PBA will showcase rare first-edition, signed, and illustrated children’s books. Standouts include lovely hand-colored illustrations in an early children’s book series, Bilderbuch zum Nutzen und Vergnügen der Jugend (1802-c.1813). The series is described as “a pleasing collection of animals, plants, flowers, fruits, minerals, costumes and all manner of instructive objects from the realms of nature, the arts and sciences; all selected and engraved from original works and accompanied by a short scientific commentary adapted to the comprehension of the child” ($7,000-$10,000). Classic titles include three Winnie-the-Pooh limited first editions, signed by A.A. Milne and illustrator Ernest H. Shepard. Winnie-the-Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner are limited editions 1/350 ($4,000-$6,000). Now We Are Six, 1/350, will also be on offer ($3,000-$5,000). Additionally, PBA’s yellow brick road will lead bidders to a first edition, first state copy of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum ($4,000-$6,000).

Lovely hand-colored illustrations in an early children’s book series

Significant European and American artists will be well-represented in the auction. Austrian-American artist Betty Lark-Horovitz’s archive of prints, drawings, and ephemera will garner competitive bidding. The archive comprises over 1,000 individual pieces with assorted woodblock prints, etchings, engravings, drawings, film negatives, printing blocks, proof, and ephemera ($4,000-$6,000). From early modern France, Jacques Callot’s Les Deux Grandes Vues de Paris (c. 1630) are standout rarities. PBA has both the Vue du Louvre and Vue du Pont Neuf, separately offered etched views of Paris by the master printmaker from Alsace ($3,000-$5,000) each.

Other highlights include Liverdun by James Abbot McNeill Whistler (1858). The etching was drawn from nature during Whistler’s etching tour of the Rhineland in October 1858 ($1,500-$2,500). Finally, Rick Griffin’s psychedelic Jimi Hendrix experience appears in a rare concert poster from the Jimi Hendrix Experience, John Mayall and the Blues Breakers, and Albert King at the Fillmore Auditorium and Winterland ($5,000-$8,000).

The sale will begin at 11:00 am Pacific Time and the public may preview the auction on Monday, November 4th from 1-5pm, Tuesday and Wednesday, November 5th and 6th from 9am-5pm, or Thursday, November 7th from 9-11am. For more information, please contact the galleries at (415) 989-2665 or [email protected].

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Fine Literature on October 10th

On Thursday, October 10th, PBA Galleries will offer an auction of Fine Literature. The auction will feature over 500 lots of fine literature and poetry from the 20th century and earlier. The sale features some truly rare and unique material relating to Charles Bukowski, a nice selection of Raymond Carver rarities, and a number of scarce and important works by Ernest Hemingway,  Jack London, Thorne Smith, John Steinbeck, and other perennially collectible authors of the 20th century. Also featured is a comprehensive section of the works of H.G. Wells with a number of inscribed and signed volumes.

Large archive of Ray Bradbury papers and photographs

Rare Charles Bukowski materials will be on the auction block, including a nine-page manuscript letter from Jane Cooney Baker, Bukowski’s early muse. Currently, this letter is the only known surviving piece of correspondence from the mysterious Baker, Bukowski’s early love and the model for Fay Dunaway’s character in the film Barfly. Up for bidding is a nine-page letter written to her family in which she touches upon her relationship with Bukowski, among other aspects of her life, of which little biographical material has been available ($3,000-$5,000). Bukowski devotees will also compete for three hours of unreleased Bukowski interview footage in 1983, filmed for an interview with Cosmopolitan International Magazine. In this unedited footage, Bukowski fields questions from photographer Michael Montfort and interviewer Frances Schoenberger over many bottles of wine. The vast majority of the footage has not been released to the public ($5,000-$8,000).

Canonical literary heavyweights of the 20th-century Western canon are well-represented. Iron Heel, Jack London’s chilling dystopian novel of a fascist dictatorship in the United States, will be offered by PBA in its very rare original dust jacket ($5,000-$8,000). In personal archives, Ray Bradbury’s large collection stands out: The lot’s papers include many hundreds of drafts, contracts, letters, signed photographs, promo materials, and other miscellaneous papers ($800,-$1,00).

Shakespeare and Company – Inscribed by Sylvia Beach

The bulk of the auction presents 19th and 20th-century literary history with exceptional highlights, such as a first American edition of H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine ($1,000-$1,500). Spirited bidding is expected for the two page signed holograph letter by Willa Cather written to Mr. Harry Hansen, Literary Editor for the New York World, regarding a review of Death Comes for the Archbishop ($1,000-$1,500). Valuable history is preserved in the six printing plates from City Light Books publications, including the 17th printing of Allen Ginsberg’s Howl and works from Bob Kaufman and David Meltzer ($700-$1,000). 

Other particularly exciting gems include a first edition of Thorne Smith’s most famous book, Topper, which was made into the 1937 Cary Grant film. The first edition is inscribed by Thorne Smith and in its original dust jacket ($2,000-$3,000). In popular literature, PBA will offer a first edition, first issue with all the first points (and first issue dust jacket) of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Far fewer copies of the first U.S. edition of the first Harry Potter book were issued than the sequels in this wildly popular series ($1,000-$1,500). And, a scarce copy of Sylvia Beach’s Shakespeare and Company is available. The book is signed and inscribed by Beach, American-born bookseller and publisher  who, through her Paris bookstore, Shakespeare and Company, published James Joyce’s Ulysses, and encouraged the publication and sold copies of Hemingway’s first book ($2,000-$3,000).

The sale will begin at 11:00 am Pacific Time and the public may preview the auction on Monday, October 7th from 1-5pm, Tuesday and Wednesday, September 8th and 9th from 9am-5pm, or Thursday, October 10th from 9-11am. For more information, please contact the galleries at (415) 989-2665 or [email protected].

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Art & Illustration – Fine Books on July 25th

On Thursday, July 25th, PBA Galleries will offer an auction of over 450 lots of prints, graphics, original artwork, and other visual materials; illustrated books; artist’s books; children’s books; art reference; plate books, and more, from the 17th to 21st centuries. The auction also features an exciting selection of fine books in a variety of fields, with literature, history, religion, science, finely bound and finely printed books.

George Grosz’s Ecce Homo

Rare lithograph prints are equally well-represented in the auction. PBA Galleries will showcase George Grosz’s key work of German Expressionism, Ecce Homo (1923) on the auction block. The lot includes a partial set of the deluxe Edition ‘A’, with 10 color and 27 black & white lithographs, each signed in pencil ($10,000-$15,000). Other lithographs on offer include a set of 64 hand-colored lithographs after Frederick Frohawk of birds of Hawaii, being the full complement of plates from a disbound copy of Wilson and Evans’ Aves Hawaiienses, 1890-1899 ($8,000-$12,000).

Auction highlights will include noteworthy photography lots from the 19th and 20th centuries. American Beauty Personified as the Nine Muses (1869) features 10 mounted original albumen photographs of paintings by Joseph Fagnani of American models, reportedly one of only 50 copies produced ($2,000-$3,000). Photographer Todd Hido’s first book, House Hunting, from the Nazraeli Press, includes an original signed chromogenic print, one of only 25 copies ($5,000-$8,000). Other Nazraeli Press standouts include a complete deluxe edition of the One Picture Book Series, 115 volumes in all, with each volume signed by its photographer and with a tipped-in original photographic print ($8,000-$12,000).

The auction has signed first editions of iconic works. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery will be available in the first American edition. PBA’s copy is one of 500 hand-numbered and signed copies in the original first issue dust jacket with matching number ($5,000-$8,000). William Faulkner’s The Hamlet, the first novel in the Snopes family trilogy, one of 250 signed copies of the limited first edition, is also expected to attract competitive bidding ($2,000-$3,000).

Other exciting offerings include Variations by Edouard Benedictus, with 86 striking Art Nouveau and Art Deco textile and wallpaper designs on 20 plates, superbly rendered in pochoir by Jean Saudé ($2,000-$3,000). Erotic etchings by Mahlon Blaine will be available: Venus Sardonica features a portfolio of 50 etchings of erotic, grotesque, and even pornographic natures, limited to 50 copies ($2,000-$3,000).

The sale will begin at 11:00 am Pacific Time and the public may preview the auction on Monday, July 22nd from 1-5pm, Tuesday and Wednesday the 23rd-24th from 9am-5pm, or Thursday, July 25thth from 9-11am. For more information, please contact the galleries at (415) 989-2665 or [email protected].

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Fine Literature with Mystery & Detective Fiction on June 27th

Three wrapper-bound first editions of Raymond Chandler mysteries

On Thursday, June 27th, PBA Galleries will offer an auction of over 500 lots of fine literature and poetry. The first 121 lots in the auction comprise a selection of mystery and detective fiction, with a large section dedicated to the works of Arthur Conan Doyle, featuring many first and scarce editions of titles from his iconic Sherlock Holmes series. Also featured are desirable titles by Ian Fleming, Rex Stout, and Dashiell Hammett, among other classic writers of the genre. The second section comprises a large selection of  scarce literature and poetry from the 19thand 20thcenturies. Featured are a number of scarcer works by Charles Bukowsi and Raymond Carver, many signed. Also well represented are many other perennially collectible authors of the 20thcentury,  including William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, and John Steinbeck.

PBA Galleries will offer exciting first editions from the 20th-century’s most collectible authors. Ian Fleming’s Dr. Nowill be on the auction block. The first edition, first state of the iconic sixth James Bond novel is available in the original dust jacket ($1,500-$2,000). The auction also features a first printing of Ginsberg’s revolutionary Howl and Other Poems, with a dedication to Lucien Carr still present ($800-$1,200) and three wrapper-bound first editions of Raymond Chandler mysteries: Five Murderers, Five Sinister Characters, and Finger Man and Other Stories ($800-$1,200).

The Strand Magazine – volumes one through ten

Notable literary periodicals also feature in the sale. Dashiell Hammett’s first ten books of collected short fiction are offered in the complete run as published by Lawrence E. Spivak ($800-$1,200). Other periodical rarities include a limited edition of the first volume, first issue issue of the infamous literary magazine, Laugh Literary and Man the Humping Guns.This issue is signed by Bukowski with an additional original illustration by him ($700-$1,000).  Additionally, PBA Galleries is excited to offer volumes 1-8 of The Strand Magazine, which feature the first appearance of “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes,” alongside volumes 9-10, which include Doyle’s Brigadier Gerard stories ($700-$1,000).

Other lots expected to draw competitive bidding include Graham Greene’s Brighton Rock, offered in a true first edition in the original dust jacket ($3,000-$5,000) and Raymond Carver’s The Pheasant, a particularly scarce hardcover edition made more desirable by Carver’s signature at the colophon ($1,000-$1,500).

The sale will begin at 11:00 am Pacific Time and the public may preview the auction on Monday, June 24th from 1-5pm, Tuesday and Wednesday the 25th-26th from 9am-5pm, or Thursday, June 27th from 9-11am. For more information, please contact the galleries at (415) 989-2665 or [email protected].

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Fine Pens & Watches on June 20th

MONTBLANC: Duomo di Milano 18K Gold Limited Edition Skeleton Fountain Pen

On Thursday, June 20th, PBA Galleries will offer an auction of almost 350 lots of rare and unusual fine writing instruments. The lots include both modern and vintage pens, including exceptional examples from Montblanc, Montegrappa, OMAS, Namiki, Parker, Pelikan and more. PBA will have a selection of fine watches, including examples from Montblanc, Audemars Piguet, Girard Perregaux, Alain Silberstein and others.

The sale features several of the most coveted Montblanc writing instruments including those which pay homage to people or places. The Duomo di Milano 18K Gold Limited Edition Skeleton Fountain Pen is a stunning tribute to the Duomo di Milano, resplendent in 18K white gold overlay skeletonized in emulation of the cathedral’s spires, columns, and flying buttresses. #59 of only 86 pens produced, details include finely engraved tracery, a sapphire set in the clip, and a luminous mother-of-pearl captop star ($15,000-$25,000). The James Watt 18K Gold Limited Edition Skeleton Fountain Pen is a tribute to Scotsman James Watt, whose engineering innovations powered the industrial revolution, and thus incorporates an oversized flywheel motif and is also #39 of only 183 ($20,000-$25,000).

Other Montblanc rarities include the Cristobal Colon 18K Gold Toledo Limited Edition Fountain, which is #31 of 92 produced of Montblanc’s most impressive limited editions. This Toledo-style pen was released predominantly to the European market in 2008, and very few examples were made available to collectors in the U.S. and other markets ($12,000-$18,000). The Hundertwasser 18K Gold Limited Edition Fountain Pen is an 18K gold fountain pen, with multicolored stones studding the captop, which embraces the spirit of artist/architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser’s work ($10,000-$15,000). The No. 12 ROUGE et NOIR “Goliath” Black Hard Rubber Safety Filler Fountain Pen, c. 1910, is an extremely rare, fascinating and significant Montblanc pen which may possibly be unique ($20,000-$30,000).

PBA will also offer select Omas pens, including the Legni Pregiati Collection Limited Edition Set of Fountain Pens. This fascinating complete set of 15 piston-filler fountain pens is fashioned from exotic woods from various nations; each pen is #16 of 500 ($5000-$8000). The Mandela Collection Lot includes seven limited edition fountain pens in platinum, 18K gold, and sterling silver each of which represents a different chapter of Mandela’s life and is #16 within its limitation ($10,000-$15,000).

Other standout lots include Montegrappa’s Dragon Restyle 18K Yellow Gold and White Diamonds Limited Edition Fountain Pen. The artist’s proof ultra-limited version of Montegrappa’s most successful design represents Montegrappa’s greatest achievements in pen design ($30,000-$50,000).The sale will begin at 11:00 am Pacific Time and the public may preview the auction by appointment with IvanBriggs by emailing [email protected]. For more information, please contact the galleries at (415) 989-2665 or [email protected]

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Fine Books & Manuscripts – Food and Drink on May 30th

On May 30, 2019, PBA Galleries will offer an auction of Fine Books & Manuscripts – Food and Drink. Significantly, the auction is the first to be held in PBA Galleries’ new location at 605 Addison Street in Berkeley. On the auction block will be over 400 lots of rare, valuable, curious, and unusual material from all centuries and all lands, ranging from sober religious tomes to groundbreaking works on science and natural history, Winston Churchill to Oscar Wilde, with fine bindings and sets, fine cookery, illuminated manuscripts, captivating illustrated books, early printed books, photographs, and more.

Engraved plates of citrus fruits and plants

PBA Galleries is pleased to offer significant food and drink material, from artwork to artifacts and cookbooks. Of particular note is one of the first Creole cookbooks (1885) from the Christian Woman’s Exchange of New Orleans. The book is considered one of the founding scriptures for the Creole tradition ($3,000-$5,000). Another standout lot is the bound collection of 219 engraved plates of citrus fruits and plants, with backgrounds featuring Nuremberg and surrounding areas, from Johann Christoph Volkamer’s Nürbergisches Hesperides and its Continuation, 1708-1714 ($20,000-$30,000).

Rare signed and inscribed 20th-century materials are expected to garner spirited bidding. On the auction block will be Winston Churchill’s The World Crisis, his 6-volume history of the First World War, inscribed to former British Prime Minister H.H. Asquith in the second volume. This volume is the one describing Asquith’s sacking of Churchill as First Sea Lord following the debacle at Gallipoli ($10,000-$15,000). 20th-century history will also be represented by the rare copy of An American Genius: The Life of Ernest Orlando Lawrence, signed by over 40 scientists, veterans of the Manhattan Project, laboratory staff, and others. Ten of the signers are Nobel laureates, from when they gathered at the opening ceremonies at the Lawrence Hall of Science in Berkeley, in 1968 ($5,000-$8,000). PBA anticipates particularly competitive bidding over the Alcoholics Anonymous “Big Book,” first edition, fifth printing, inscribed by author Bill Wilson in 1942, the year of publication, to Lawrence Kolb, Assistant Surgeon General who specialized in treatment of narcotics addicts ($5,000-$8,000).

Historically significant materials from dance to photography will be featured. PBA is proud to offer Anna Pavlova, one of 300 copies, the first edition in English of Valerian Svetloff’s exquisite tribute to the Russian prima ballerina, superbly illustrated in color and photogravure, this copy signed by Pavlova (Estimate: $1,500-$2,500). Original photographs from Egypt will be on the auction block as well. An exceptional album of 89 albumen photographs of Egypt, c.1870-90, primarily by J.P. Sebah, featuring many unusual views of peddlers, tradespeople, laborers, women, cafes, rug merchants, female students, and more is a standout lot ($2,000-$3,000).

Other featured lots include the Manuscript scroll of Book of Esther. The Illustrated Hebrew manuscript scroll of the Book of Esther, likely 19th century, measures about 18 feet in length, on soft sheepskin vellum, comprising around 29 panels each of which has a hand-painted scene at the bottom, decorations at the sides and tops ($4,000-$6,000). A more modern, yet exciting lot is the treatise on vampires, Dissertazione sopra i vampiri, by Giuseppe Davanzati (1774). This rare, posthumously published treatise was written by the Italian Catholic patriarch and only exists in 7 known copies held in institutions ($1,500-$2,500).

The sale will begin at 11:00 am Pacific Time and the public may preview the auction Tuesday and Wednesday, May 29th and 30th from 9am-5pm, and Thursday, May 30th from 9-11am at PBA Galleries in San Francisco. For more information, please contact the galleries at (415) 989-2665 or [email protected].

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