Fine Books – Fine Press – Fine Bindings

(Berkeley, California, October 1st, 2020) – PBA Galleries will present an auction of Fine Books – Fine Press – Fine Bindings on October 22nd, 2020. The catalogue features over 350 lots including works on Alchemy and the Occult, classics in Greek and Latin, works in quantum physics, a wealth of books from the fine press movement, a large collection of posters from David Lance Goines, and an array of fine bindings.

Rare fine press books in superior condition are expected to draw spirited bidding. From the father of the Private Press Movement, William Morris, PBA will offer the Kelmscott Press’s The Poems of William Shakespeare [1893]. One of the most sought after works of the Kelmscott Press, Cockerell in 1898 described this volume as ‘one of the rarest books issued from the Press’ because of its popularity” (Estimate: $6,000-$9,000). Also up for auction will be the finest Blake production by Arnold Fawcus and the Trianon Press, Illustrations to the Book of Job by William Blake (1987 [printed c. 1974]) (Estimate: $6,000-$9,000). Works from Arion Press are present throughout the catalogue, but one of the more sought-after works is Poems by Wallace Stevens, of which PBA will present one of 300 copies in the limited edition ($3,000-$5,000).

One of Two Hundred Copies

Fine examples of historic bindings are sale highlights, including a gorgeous Cosway-style binding privately printed in 1862. In The Story of Nell Gwyn: And the Sayings of Charles the Second by Peter Cunningham, a beautiful miniature portrait is inset into the inside of each front board within elaborate gilt-tooled borders (Estimate: $5,000-$8,000). Other standouts include The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon. W. Strahan and T. Cadell, 1777; 1781; 1788. Gibbon’s landmark work of historiography spans 13 centuries, from the reigns of Trajan and Marcus Aurelius at the close of the Pax Romana, through the establishment of the Byzantine Empire and the Crusades, to the fall of Constantinople ($5,000-$8,000). Modern offerings include Rainbow Zenith posters – a complete set of progressive printings by David Lance Goines. The printings offer fascinating insight into the method used in printing Goines’ posters (Estimate: $800-$1,200).

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