Successes Across Categories At Bonhams Fine Books Sale In New York

Fine Books & Manuscripts
11 Dec 2013
New York

NEW YORK - Bonhams Fine Books & Manuscripts auction on December 11 saw notable prices achieved in a diversity of categories.

A Book of Cats illustrated by Tsuguharu Foujita in 1930 more than doubled its pre-sale estimate to achieve $68,750. The remarkable book contained 20 full-page etched plates, splendidly showcasing Foujita's application of Japanese ink techniques to Western-style painting.

Saul Steinberg's ink and crayon illustration from 1964, titled Allegory, also exceeded expectations. The satirical scene depicted a serpent on a pedestal gripping a question mark in its mouth, with an eagle clutching an unfurled scroll pierced by a sword, and other quasi-allegorical elements. It reached $25,000 after a lengthy bidding war, more than eight times its pre-sale estimate.

The sale's top lot was a rare pre-publication copy of The Wizard of Oz, one of only two known copies signed and inscribed by both the author, L Frank Baum, and the illustrator, William Wallace Denslow. The superb first edition copy achieved $87,500.

Highlights from the sale's Russian literature section included an important collection of manuscripts, as well as an unpublished poem by Anna Andreevna Akhmatova which sold for $37,500, a signed photograph of Ivan Alekseevich Bunin that fetched $31,250, and an autographed manuscript in Russian from Joseph Brodsky that brought $23,750.

Complete results for Bonhams Fine Books & Manuscripts auction on December 11 are available at

Bonhams next Fine Books & Manuscripts auction in New York, Treasures from The Caren Archive: How History Unfolds on Paper, will take place in April 2014.

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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

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