Early DNA Research Collection Featured in April 6th Sale

A remarkable collection on early DNA research assembled by bookseller Samuel Hessel, proprietor of By the Book, L.C. will highlight the April 6th Fine Books with Science & Medicine sale by PBA Galleries. The auction will also include more than 500 lots of fine books, ephemera, and other material including early printed books, color plate books, Fine Press books, and many scientific and medical works. Highlights of the sale include Gallessio’s Pomona Italiana and Knorr’s Conchology, both with many stunning colored plates; a large collection of finely printed works from Walter Hamady’s Perishable Press, including a complete set of all 8 Gabberjabb books and many other of the rarest books of the press; early editions or Erasmus, La Fontaine, La Rochefoucauld, Voltaire, and other classics; and a large selection of scientific and medical writings from the inventory of Edwin V. Glaser. Following the cataloged lots will be more than 200 lots offered without reserve.

Twenty-five lots from the personal collection of Samuel Hessel relating to early DNA research or to discoverers John D. Watson and Francis Crick will be offered. The featured item in this part of the sale is a group of seven early and seminal papers on DNA from five issues of Nature in their original journal format with two of the papers signed by both Watson and Crick These articles profoundly altered the understanding of DNA and contain the first illustrations of the double helix structure of the molecule (Estimate: $12,000-$18,000). Also offered in the sale is an advance review copy of Watson’s The Double Helix signed by both Nobel Laureates, Watson and Crick (Estimate: $2000-$3,000).

A first edition of the first and most significant work on the fruits of Italy, Giorgio Gallesio’s Pomona Italiana, published in 1817 contains 60 full-page aquatint plates, partially printed in color and finished by hand. These strikingly beautiful plates are interleaved with letterpress descriptions varying in length (Estimate: $15,000-$20,000). Also from the area of natural history is the first Dutch edition of Knorr’s Conchology with 190 hand-colored copper engraved plates of shells. Although, the work first appeared in both French and German editions, this Dutch edition features the richest coloration, most accurately depicts the actual specimens (Estimate: $12,000-$18,000).

Other highlights of the sale include: a complete set of all eight of the very collectible Perishable Press Gabberjabb books finely crafted by Walter Hamady, a part of a large collection of Perishable Press books and ephemera in this auction (Estimate $12,000-$18,000); the earliest known printing of Voltaire’s Candide, the blasphemous and one of the most famous clandestine works of the 18th century (Estimate: $2,500-$3,500); and a rare second issue of the first printing of one of the most influential investing books ever published, Security Analysis by Benjamin Graham and David Dodd (Estimate $3,000-$5,000).

The sale will begin at 11:00am Pacific Time. The public may preview the auction Monday, April 3rd, 1 – 5pm, Tuesday and Wednesday, April 4th and 5th, 9am – 5pm; and Thursday, April 6th, 9-11am or by appointment at PBA Galleries in San Francisco. PBA accepts absentee bids by phone, fax or email or bids may be placed during the sale in person or online. The entire catalog may be viewed at www.pbagalleries.com. For more information, please contact PBA at (415) 989-2665 or [email protected].