Pacific travel writings and fine press to highlight Bonhams Fine books & Manuscripts auction in February

Fine Books & Manuscripts
17 Feb 2013
San Francisco

San Francisco — Bonhams looks forward to presenting its sale of Fine Books & Manuscripts, February 17 in San Francisco, timed to coincide with the 46th Annual California International Antiquarian Book Fair at the Concourse Exhibition Centre, February 15-17 (not affiliated with Bonhams).

The Bonhams auction will feature a large selection of Pacific travel books from the library of a European collector. Among them will be A Voyage of Discovery to the North Pacific Ocean and Round the World in which the Coast of North-West America has been Carefully Examined and Accurately Surveyed by Captain George Vancouver, estimated at $20,000-30,000, and Exploration du territoire de l'Oregon, des Californies et de la Mer Vermeille... by M. Duflot De Mofras, estimated at $10,000-15,000.

The San Francisco-based sale will also offer an item of local historical note: a sterling silver, double-sided, engraved menu card made by the Comstock Lode for Nevada Senator and San Francisco notable William Sharon for an honorarium at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco in 1876, estimated at $10,000-15,000. Senator Sharon was honoured with a grand dinner to celebrate his success in helping to save the Bank of California after a disastrous crash in mining stock prices brought a run on the bank.

A collection of fine press by Ashendene, Doves, Essex House, Grabhorn and Kelmscott Presses will also be highlighted. Ashendene Press examples will include Le Morte Darthur by Thomas Malory, estimated at $4,000-6,000; The Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser, estimated at $1,200-1,800; and The History of the Valorous and Wittie Knight-Errant Don-Quixote of the Mancha by Miguel De Cervantes Saavedra, estimated at $2,000-3,000, among others. Kelmscott Press titles will include The Story of Sigurd the Volsung and the Fall of the Niblungs by William Morris, estimated at $5,000-7,000, and The History of Reynard the Foxe by William Caxton, estimated at $2,500-3,500.

Property not before offered by Bonhams from The Dictionary Collection of Thomas Malin Rodgers will also be available. The current offerings will follow the $1.1-million results achieved at the first auction from this collection, held December 4 at Bonhams in New York.

Also of note in the sale will be material from a California institution, including a late 15th/early 16th century Book of Hours, estimated at $7,000-9,000; the first edition of the Gospels in Arabic, estimated at $8,000-12,000; and an Antiphonal manuscript, estimated at $5,000-7,000.

Bonhams will also offer property to tide over football fans until the next season of games: a Charles Schulz 8-panel Sunday Peanuts strip from October 16, 1983, featuring Charlie Brown overcoming the compulsion to try and kick the football Lucy holds for him, only to encounter several other members of the gang tempting him with footballs of their own. It is a rare example of Schulz's annual football strips, estimated at $18,000-25,000.

For more information about the sale, please visit An illustrated catalogue for the sale will be available online in the preceding weeks, for review and purchase at

Auction preview: February 15-17 in San Francisco
Auction: February 17 in San Francisco


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 valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to

Related auctions