Collection of Michael Lerner and Modern Literature featured in Bonhams Spring Fine Books and Manuscripts auction

16 Apr 2012, Fine Books and Manuscripts featuring the Michael Lerner Collection

Collection of Michael Lerner and Modern Literature featured in Bonhams Spring Fine Books and Manuscripts auction

16 Apr 2012, Fine Books and Manuscripts featuring the Michael Lerner Collection

NEW YORK—Bonhams is pleased to announce the April 16 Fine Books and Manuscripts auction featuring the Michael Lerner Collection. While this auction prominently features modern literature greats, such as Ernest Hemingway and Allen Ginsburg, this sale's diversity will surely appeal to a wide variety of collectors. With books and maps that document the age of exploration, decorative costume design journals, religious texts, and personal letters from Jonathan Swift, Napoleon and Gandhi, the Bonhams Spring book auction showcases items of incredible quality, rarity, and range.

One auction highlight sure to attract many collectors interested in modern literature, is an advance copy of Allen Ginsberg's Howl (est. $40,000-60,000). This particular copy of the now legendary collection was sent to Alan Ansen, and is inscribed by Ginsberg: "To be published July 30th, 1956—City Lights Bookstore Pocket Poets series Broadway & Columbus Ave. S.F. Cal. U.S.A With introduction by W.C. Williams." This rare mimeographed edition was printed in May of 1956 for merely twenty-five close friends, peers and literary heroes of the famous Beat poet, including Ezra Pound, T.S. Eliot, Lionel Trilling and William Faulkner.

A first limited edition association copy of Ernest Hemingway's In Our Time (est. $30,000-50,000), is another auction highlight of remarkable rarity and literary significance. This particular copy was given to Kate Buss, a fellow American expatriate in Paris, and is inscribed by Hemingway: "For Kate Buss with the best wishes of the Author/ March 1924." Published in March of 1924, Hemingway's first short story collection introduced readers to the author's spare yet powerful language and oblique psychological characterization.

Heralded English poet Siegfried Sassoon's personal copy of his own collection of War Poems (est. $4,000-6,000), is another lot sure to entice collectors of modern literature. This phenomenal association copy was presented to Sassoon's best friend in America, playwright Samuel Behrman, and is heavily annotated by the gifted poet. Sassoon used this copy during his 1920 American lecture tour and his thorough notes include: indications of where and when each poem was written, stress marks that indicate tempo during oration, word transpositions and substitutions and two pages of notes used by Sassoon to guide his commentary on his own work. With hand-inscribed lecture notes like, "waste and brutality are known to all, (but no one thinks of them when a new war is being started)..." his words highlight both his undeniable literary talent and the tragedy of war.

Bonhams is particularly thrilled to offer a lot composed of Mohandas Gandhi's affects (est. $40,000-60,000), including a pair of wooden chappals with rounded toe pegs, a thread fragment from an ashram Gandhi wore, a framed photograph of Gandhi taken on his 60th birthday and a typed letter signed by Indira Gandhi. All these artifacts come from the collection of Franziska Standenath, a scholar of Indian politics and history, who acted as Gandhi's personal assistant. A man of very few possessions, Gandhi's chappals (simple wooden sandals) along with his glasses and walking staff have come to typify his inspirational asceticism and vast historical legacy.

Other highlights include: an eighteen volume costume journal collection featuring over 3,500 hand-colored engravings (est. $30,000-50,000); an autographed letter by Jonathan Swift in which he writes about his Scriblerian peers, his fear of death, and his love of French wine (est. $15,000-25,000); and Oscar Wilde's personal and autographed copy of Charles Stuart Calverley's Fly Leaves (est. $5,000-7,000).

Press Contacts:

Julie Saunders Guinta
(917) 206-1681


Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and appraisal services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to

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