NY Video announcement.pngOn March 5, 2019, the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers held the symposium Who Owned this? Libraries and the Rare Book Trade Consider Issues Surrounding Provenance, Theft and Forgery at the renowned New York book collectors club, the Grolier Club, jointly organized with the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America (ABAA).

Rare booksellers are faced with increasing demands from institutions to have strong provenance on materials they buy. Booksellers need to know how to deal with this and have a good understanding of what libraries need. The symposium brought together a range of experts and scholars from the antiquarian book trade, libraries but also investigation, insurance, art law and IT. 

Today marks the 1st International Provenance Research Day with more than 60 cultural institutions in Germany, Great Britain, Austria, the Netherlands and Switzerland organizing large number of symposiums and workshops at museums, archives and libraries.

Coinciding with this important initiative, ILAB launches the videos of the New York Provenance Symposium.

Please follow this link: https://vimeo.com/album/5874116 

As Sally Burdon, ILAB President said in her introduction on the day:

“The popular image of an old bookshop with a slightly eccentric bookseller selling books in a shop untidily crammed with books and a computer nowhere in sight, is not the modern reality. Antiquarian books, manuscripts, maps, prints etc. are constantly being traded across international borders. Because of this, identifying and keeping track of stolen items is ever more important and requires immediate response to prevent such items being on sold. The rules and regulations that govern this international market place are becoming ever more complex and difficult to keep up with for everyone involved from libraries, institutions, booksellers and collectors... Hence the need for this symposium.

We must take steps. Today is one step along the way. There is more that needs to be and must be done. We need to protect these precious materials in public and private libraries and in the stock of antiquarian booksellers. Join us in this important fight!”

For more information about today’s International Provenance Research Day, please visit the website here: https://www.arbeitskreis-provenienzforschung.org/index.php?id=tag-derprovenienzforschung or follow the hashtag #TagderProvenienzforschung


Author Rachel Cusk's Papers Acquired

007_72dpi-600x337.5-c-default.jpgAustin, TX - The papers of acclaimed author Rachel Cusk (b. 1967) have been acquired by the Harry Ransom Center, a humanities research library and museum at The University of Texas at Austin.

Cusk is the author of 10 novels including the critically acclaimed “Outline Trilogy,” which includes “Outline” (2014), “Transit” (2016) and “Kudos” (2018). Her debut novel was “Saving Agnes” (1993), and other works include “The Temporary” (1995), “The Country Life” (1997), “The Lucky Ones” (2003), “In the Fold” (2005), “Arlington Park” (2006) and “The Bradshaw Variations” (2009). Cusk’s non-fiction works are “A Life’s Work: On Becoming a Mother” (2001), “The Last Supper: A Summer in Italy” (2009) and “Aftermath: On Marriage and Separation” (2012).

Her papers include materials from the 1980s to today, representing the core of her career as a writer and making clear the connections between her personal and professional lives. The materials reflect Cusk’s personal writing process in which much of her composition process occurs in her mind.

Cusk describes her writing process in “The Weather of Domestic Life.

“The process by which I conceive a piece of work has never been especially palpable,” Cusk said. “I tend to see it, suddenly and entire, in a single glimpse. The question is how I bring what I have so briefly seen into public existence. I immediately make a set of notes that are like a photograph of it: they record, in one frame as it were, what it looked like to me. What I write nearly always conforms to the note-photograph I made at the beginning.”

This process is revealed within 16 notebooks and in additional papers and documents. The notebooks also include teaching notes, occasional journal entries, drawings by her children, appointment details and records of everyday life.

She composed two of the early notebooks when she was a student traveling in Turkey and Italy. The entries reveal Cusk’s early efforts at developing her style and are accompanied by sketches of places she visited.

“Rachel Cusk is one of the most exciting novelists writing today,” said Stephen Enniss, director of the Ransom Center. “Her novels explore the way identity is shaped by language and reveal as well the way the novel may serve as a site of struggle over the self,” he noted. “In placing her papers at the Ransom Center, Cusk has given us an intimate record of that struggle with life and with art.”

The papers include personal material, beginning with correspondence from the 1980s and ‘90s. A series of drafts and notes relating to Cusk’s version of Euripedes’ play “Medea,” which premiered at London’s Almeida Theatre in 2015, are also included in the collection as is her MacBook Pro laptop.

Cusk was named one of Granta magazine’s Best of Young Novelists in 2003 and has received numerous literary awards, including the Whitbread First Novel award in 1993 for “Saving Agnes.”

She will be reading from “Kudos,” a book The New Yorker called “a breathtaking success,” on Thursday, April 11, at 6:30 p.m. at the Ransom Center.Once cataloged, the materials will be accessible at the Ransom Center.

51 EDWARD III AND PHILIPPA OF HAINAULT THE MARRIAGE CONTRACT BETWEEN EDWARD III AND PHILIPPA OF HAINAULT, copy.jpgLondon — The 1326 marriage contract between Edward III and Philippa of Hainault sold for £150,063 at Bonhams Fine Books and Manuscripts Sale in London on Wednesday 27 March. It had been estimated at £100,000-150,000.

The contract, written on one skin of vellum, was the decisive factor in a carefully laid plot to invade England, raise a rebellion and depose the reigning monarch, Edward II.

Bonhams Head of Books and Manuscripts Matthew Haley said, "This document was of immense significance in the shaping of post-feudal England - as was pointed out in a Times editorial in the run up to the sale. The keen bidding and the price reflected its importance."

Other highlights of the sale included:

• A first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J. K. Rowling (1965-) that belonged to the writer's first literary agent, Christopher Little. The book, first published in 1997, has sold more than 120 million copies worldwide and has been translated into more than 80 languages. Sold for £68,813 (estimate: £40,000-60,000).

• An album of views in Beijing, including Imperial Palaces, and locations in Zhenjiang Province attributed to John Dudgeon. Sold for £31,313 (estimate £3,000-5,000).

• The newly discovered handwritten manuscript of part of The Invisible Girl, a semi-autobiographical short story by Mary Shelley (1797-1851). Sold for £27,563 (estimate: £2,000-4,000).


New York -- The New York Society Library is honored to announce the winners of our 2018-2019 New York City Book Awards:

·        Victoria Johnson, American Eden: David Hosack, Botany, and Medicine in the Garden of the Early Republic (Liveright)

·        Stephen L. Carter, Invisible: The Forgotten Story of the Black Woman Lawyer Who Took Down America’s Most Powerful Mobster (Henry Holt and Co.)

·        Philip Ashforth Coppola, One-Track Mind: Drawing the New York Subway (Princeton Architectural Press)

·        Elizabeth Acevedo, The Poet X (HarperTeen)

·        Karina Yan Glaser, The Vanderbeekers and the Hidden Garden (HMH Books for Young Readers)

·        The Hornblower Award for a First Book: Albert Samaha, Never Ran, Never Will: Boyhood and Football in a Changing American Inner City (PublicAffairs)

Founded in 1995, these awards honor the best books about New York City published in a given year, regardless of genre. As New York City’s oldest cultural institution, the Library is uniquely suited to present the New York City Book Awards. 

Members of the book awards selection committee read and reviewed approximately 140 books published in 2018 with New York City as their major topic or setting. The winners qualify as titles of literary quality or historical importance that evoke the spirit or enhance appreciation of New York City, shedding some new or unusual light on it. The Hornblower Award, established in 2011, is presented to an excellent New York City-related book by a first-time author.

The selection committee itself includes several New York City-based authors. It was chaired by Warren Wechsler and comprised Bianca Calabresi, Alex Gilvarry (From the Memoirs of a Non-Enemy Combatant, Eastman Was Here), Karl E. Meyer (The China Collectors, Pax Ethica), Janice P. Nimura (Daughters of the Samurai), Geeta Tewari, and Stephen Raphael.

The winning authors and publishers will be celebrated at a reception and awards presentation on Wednesday, May 1, at the New York Society Library. The ceremony is by invitation.

More general information and a complete list of winners from the awards’ past 23 years can be found here.

The 2018-2019 New York City Book Awards are generously underwritten by Ellen M. Iseman. 

bookofbeasts21(1) copy.jpgLos Angeles — Unicorns, lions, and griffins race, tumble, and soar through the pages of bestiaries - the medieval book of beasts. The bestiary brought creatures - both real and fantastic - to life before a reader’s eyes, offering both devotional inspiration and literary enjoyment. A kind of encyclopedia of animals, the bestiary was among the most popular illuminated texts in northern Europe, especially in England, during the Middle Ages (about 500-1500). On view at the J. Paul Getty Museum May 14 through August 18, 2019, Book of Beasts: The Bestiary in the Medieval World explores for the first time in a major museum exhibition the bestiary and its widespread influence on medieval art and culture.

“Many of the illuminated manuscripts produced in the European Middle Ages centered around stories from the Christian Bible,” explains Timothy Potts, director of the J. Paul Getty Museum. “Less well known, however, are the various genres of writing and illustration that celebrate and ornament aspects of worldly life and popular belief. Among the most widely-read and striking of these was the bestiary: illustrated collections of real, imaginary and hybrid beasts, many of exotic origin and sometimes entirely fantastic, that give visual form to the creatures believed to inhabit the known world and the distant realms beyond. Both for their artistic inventiveness and for the insights they provide into the fertile medieval imagination these works are one of the most engaging aspects of medieval art.”

This exhibition features one-third of the world’s surviving Latin illuminated bestiaries and gathers together more than 100 works in a variety of media from institutions across the United States and Europe, including manuscripts, paintings, tapestries, sculpture, and decorative arts from the Middle Ages. A final section includes modern and contemporary works that trace the enduring legacy of the bestiary tradition. The Getty Museum’s three medieval bestiaries, including the famed Northumberland Bestiary (English, about 1250-1260) are central to the exhibition, and provided the inspiration for the exhibition’s theme.

“The bestiary’s images can be seen as the medieval equivalent of contemporary memes,” said Elizabeth Morrison, senior curator of manuscripts at the Getty Museum. “They served as memorable and engaging snapshots of particular animals that went viral in medieval culture. The bestiary, in fact, still impacts how we talk about and characterize animals today. The very first line of the medieval bestiary introduces the lion as the king of beasts, an idea we take for granted even if most people don’t know its origin.”  

Book of Beasts: The Bestiary in the Medieval World is organized into five sections: The Unicorn, The Bestiary, Beyond the Bestiary, The Bestiary and Natural History, and The Legacy of the Bestiary. The first section focuses on a quintessentially medieval beast, the unicorn. This case study explores the bestiary as one of the most popular sources of information on animals in the Middle Ages. It presented real and legendary creatures as living allegories, with the animals’ physical and behavioral characteristics symbolizing central aspects of the Christian faith. For example, the bestiary explains that the unicorn is a pure but fierce creature that can only be captured by a maiden placed in the forest alone, allowing hidden hunters to come forth and slay their prize for its valuable horn. The bestiary goes on to interpret this beast as a symbol for Christ, who was born to a virgin, making possible his eventual death and Crucifixion. The unicorn became one of the most popular animals in art of the period, largely due to its powerful Christian message, and exemplifies how the bestiary’s texts and images played a vital role in establishing animal stories and their Christian connotations in the minds of audiences.

The next section — The Bestiary — presents the development of the bestiary’s textual and visual tradition, highlighting a series of animals and their related stories. Medieval bestiaries contained anywhere from a few dozen to more than 100 descriptions of animals, each accompanied by an iconic image. Although the essential elements of the text and imagery associated with the beasts remained consistent across manuscripts, the bestiary was not a standardized book. The aim of the stories and illuminations was not to impart factual information or visual accuracy but rather to convey the wonder, variety, and hidden meaning found in the natural world. This section will introduce the animals through one of the most common arrangements of the medieval bestiary: quadrupeds, birds, serpents, and sea creatures. Elephants, eagles, sirens, hippos, and dragons are just a few of the fabulous animals encountered in this section and discussed in depth by the medieval bestiary.

The third section — Beyond the Bestiary — takes a look at different incarnations of the bestiary’s animals. The bestiary’s stories and images were so popular that medieval artists readily adapted them to a variety of works of art, ranging from ivories and metalwork to stained glass and tapestries. Because many bestiary animals communicated complex religious messages, they often appeared in liturgical and devotional contexts where worshippers could easily link them to Christian ideology. In addition, the well-known characteristics associated with numerous beasts were effortlessly appropriated for secular works made for the elite world of the court. The use of animals as allegories for human virtues and vices was not limited to European Christian art but was a widespread phenomenon that transcended geography and religion. This section the exhibition will include Hebrew and Arabic manuscripts with moral stories featuring animal characters.

Bestiary and the Natural World encompasses the use of bestiary material in natural history texts, encyclopedias, and maps. The medieval bestiary was never intended as a scientific work, but much of its lore was eventually incorporated into the nascent field of natural history. The period of the bestiary’s greatest popularity corresponded with a movement toward the creation of encyclopedia intended to gather together all knowledge. Many of these included a section devoted to animals, which relied heavily on the bestiary but often stripped away the Christian symbolism. At the same time, the European conception of the world was being broadened by a growth in trade and travel that increasingly linked the West with other parts of the globe. The stories popularized through the bestiary continued to influence natural history texts and images well into the sixteenth century.

The final section — The Legacy of the Bestiary — explores the medieval bestiary’s artistic impact in more recent times with work by modern and contemporary artists such as Pablo Picasso, Alexander Calder, Kate Clark, Claire Owen, and Damien Hirst. So influential is this medieval art form that today the term bestiary often refers to any collection of description of animals, whether in words or images. Modern bestiaries, as well as contemporary works of art in an array of media that explore the human-animal relationship, draw on the medieval tradition while also introducing elements from the artists’ own time and place.

Book of Beasts: The Bestiary in the Medieval World is curated by Elizabeth Morrison with Larisa Grollemond, assistant curator of manuscripts at the Getty Museum. In conjunction with the exhibition, Getty Publications will release a catalog of the same name edited by Morrison with Grollemond. With over 270 color illustrations and contributions by 26 leading scholars, this gorgeous volume explores the bestiary and its pervasive influence on medieval art and culture as well as on modern and contemporary artists. In conjunction with the exhibition, Getty Publications will also release Don’t Let the Beasties Escape This Book! written by Julie Berry, and featuring fantastical illustrations by April Lee. This children’s book contains engaging back matter with information on life in the Middle Ages and a mini-bestiary drawn from original manuscripts of the era.

The exhibition is generously supported by The Leonetti/O'Connell Family Foundation, The Ruddock Foundation for the Arts, Jeffrey P. Cunard, and Elizabeth and Mark S. Siegel. Additional support is provided by Allen Adler and Frances Beatty, Ariane David on behalf of the Ernest Lieblich Foundation, the J. Paul Getty Museum Director’s Council, Dar and Geri Reedy, Virginia Schirrmeister, and Brian and Kathy Stokes.

Image: Griffin (detail), from Book of Flowers, France and Belgium, 1460. Tempera colors on parchment. Koninklijke Bibliotheek, The Hague, Ms. 72.A.23, fol 46

Lot 175. Star Wars 40x30 Style-A Poster copy.jpgLos Angeles - Pop culture is everywhere. It reflects the ideas, attitudes, and perspectives of the era, and has done so for decades. Van Eaton Galleries has announced its first joint popular culture and Disneyland auction: The Art of Entertainment, to take place at Van Eaton Galleries in Sherman Oaks, California on May 4th, 2019 beginning at 10:00 a.m. PT. On offer are 700 rare and extraordinary items, many of which are at auction for the first time. From original artwork to the memorabilia that defined our youth and shaped our world, The Art of Entertainment auction will celebrate important moments from television, film, Disney theme parks, and more. The vast array of art and memorabilia to be offered will surprise even the most avid collectors, with iconic moments immortalized by famous artists, designers, and artisans spanning from the early 1930s to today.

Pop culture has defined our world. It’s that blend of ideas and objects which captures our attention and doesn’t let go, whether it be a mainstream favorite or a cult classic. The works which can claim the hearts of fans live on, continuing to shape popular culture well past their production date, and The Art of Entertainment collection captures the art and imagination which inspires such loyalty.

Who can forget their fascination with the world’s original Superheroes: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and Spider-Man? What about the laughter evoked when watching your favorite episode of “Happy Days” or reading comic strips featuring Charles Schulz’s lovable Charlie Brown? From Dr. Seuss’ “Cat in the Hat” to the whimsical magic of “Mary Poppins,” this extraordinary auction will commemorate the most nostalgic moments of our time. Rare items from Disneyland, award-winning television series, and favorite cartoons are just some of the items on offer.

Highlights of “The Art of Entertainment” include a signed original Dr. Seuss “The Cat in the Hat” drawing (Estimate: $6,000-$9,000); an original Charles Schulz “Peanuts” comic strip (Estimate: $15,000-$20,000); a rare original “Superman” poster painting by Drew Struzan ($7,000-$9,000); a rare “Batman” Drew Struzan original poster painting (Estimate:$7,000-$9,000); a rare, large original painting created by renowned cartoonist Charles Addams for the 1976 feature film “Murder by Death” (Columbia 1976) - (Estimate: $30,000-$40,000); an extremely rare and complete “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” exhibition campaign book ($1,500-$2,500); a “Spider-Man” original poster painting ($6,000-$8,000); a Collection of “Happy Days” slides and photos (Estimate: $100-$200); a 20th Century Fox large neon sign by famed neon sculpture artist Lili Lakich (Estimate: $5,000-$8,000); a “Wonder Woman” original poster painting (Estimate: $5,000-$7,000); and Walt Disney’s “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”  (Disney, 1954) presentation Nautilus, which was the original wooden Nautilus model Disney used to promote the film (Estimate: $20,000-$30,000).

Pop culture moments from film and television are also highlighted with items including a “Star Wars” (Lucas Films, 1997) cast and crew signed poster (Estimate: $2,000-$3,000); a Peter Ellenshaw “The Black Hole” (Disney, 1979) original concept drawing (Estimate $1,000-$2,000); “Back to the Future Part III” (Universal, 1990) original artwork by legendary poster artist Drew Struzan (Estimate: $20,000-$30,000); a “Men in Black” (Columbia, 1991) Neutralizer prop (Estimate: $2,000-$3,000); a “Mary Poppins” original chimney sweep concept painting (Estimate $8,000-$10,000); a Madonna uniform from “A League of Their Own” (Estimate: $3,000-$5,000); original “Willy Wonka” (Paramount, 1967) candy room concept art (Estimate: $5,000-$7,000); a Bally “Tommy” (Bally, 1975) Pinball Wizard machine (Estimate: $2,000-$3,000); “The Simpsons” original cel and matching background from the first episode (Estimate: $1,500-$2,500) and an original John Alvin “Pocahontas” poster concept (Estimate: $1,000-$2,000). The collection is too vast and covers too many eras of television and film to provide a complete list of items offered at this auction, but it includes art from “Star Trek,” “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial,” “Escape from Alcatraz,” “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” ‘Planet of the Apes,” “Jaws,” and so much more.

Other highlights include The Beatles’ “Yellow Submarine” (King Features, 1968) animation cels (Estimate: $2,000-$3,000); vintage Marx toy displays (Estimate: $2,500-$3,500), and hundreds of remarkable Disneyland artifacts and art. Some notable Disneyland highlights include an original hand-silkscreened 1956 Disneyland Hotel attraction poster (Estimate: $5,000-$7,000); a complete set of 6 near-attraction posters from 1966 (Estimate: $3,500-$4,500); a 1955 “Jungle Cruise” prop Impala ear display (Estimate: $1,500-$2,500); an original Mark Twain and Keel Boats 1955 attraction poster (Estimate: $6,000-$8,000); a “Big Thunder Mountain” 1980 brownline (Estimate: $400-$600); an extremely rare  “Pirates of the Caribbean” original painting (Estimate: $3,000-$5,000); a “Fantasmic” crocodile model by Kevin Kidney (Estimate: $2,000-$4,000); an original 1955 “Fantasyland” attraction poster (Estimate: $6,000-$8,000); an original 1959 Paul Hartley “Matterhorn Bobsleds” attraction poster (Estimate: $6,000-$8,000); the 1967 “Adventure Thru Inner Space” Atommobile prop (Estimate: $6,000-$8,000), and so much more.

“The Art of Entertainment” auction showcases decades of film, television, and print work which has defined pop culture in our lifetime. This collection brings together a massive and varied array of art, props, original paintings and drawings, memorabilia, and collectibles from some of the most famous moments in popular entertainment. This auction offers the excitement of very rare items never sold before at auction, but also evokes a sense of nostalgia and sentimentality for those artists and performers whose work defined us in our youth. We are so honored to be able to offer such remarkable items to fans and collectors around the globe. - Mike Van Eaton, Co-Founder, Van Eaton Galleries

“The Art of Entertainment” auction covers decades beginning in the late 1930s through today. The extraordinary selection has taken years to amass by collectors around the globe and pop culture enthusiasts. Van Eaton Galleries will conduct the one-day auction on-site, online, and by phone. Interested bidders are encouraged to register early. Media interested in covering is requested to email or call the press contact listed below.

For more information or to order a collectible catalog visit www.vegalleries.com/popculture

To register to bid in the auction go to www.vegalleries.com/bidnow

Image: Star Wars poster, courtesy of Van Eaton Galleries

92_1.jpgWest Palm Beach, FL - When Chanel’s iconic couturier and design mastermind Karl Lagerfeld passed away in February, he left behind a legacy that will forever be associated with luxury, glamour and some of Hollywood’s greatest stars. Prior to joining Chanel in 1983, Lagerfeld’s storied career included a series of design positions at other European houses favored by the rich and famous, among them Fendi, Chloe, Patou, and Balmain. But it was not until January 2014, when Palm Beach Modern Auctions hosted its high-profile “Lagerfeld + Liz” sale, that fashionistas learned of Lagerfeld’s early days with the House of Tiziani in Rome. That auction included a number of original Lagerfeld design sketches from the Tiziani archive. The selection was 100% sold. 

On April 18, 2019, Palm Beach Modern Auctions’ new division, Urban Culture Auctions, will offer what is believed to be the last remaining sketches from the long-hidden archive. “The gentleman in Palm Beach who inherited the archive consigned most of its contents to us for the 2014 sale, but even we did not know that he had retained some favorite sketches for his own personal collection. Now he has decided to let a new generation become the caretakers for those irreplaceable artworks,” said Urban Culture Auctions co-owner Rico Baca. 

Public demand has been the force behind the planned 125-lot auction of the Tiziani/Lagerfeld sketch collection’s core holdings. “There was so much publicity about our 2014 sale that, after Karl Lagerfeld’s passing, our phone started ringing off the hook with calls from collectors, museums and people in the fashion industry, asking if we had any more of his sketches available to purchase,” Baca said.

Many of the oblong sketches are hand-colored and have penciled notes at the sides or bottom - a testament to Lagerfeld’s intensely personal design process. Additionally, many have original fabric swatches attached. Of particular importance are the seven Lagerfeld portfolios, each containing between 22 and 44 original sketches. Each prized portfolio carries an auction estimate of $2,000-$4,000. Individual sketches are estimated at $1,000-$1,500, while two that were special designs for Elizabeth Taylor are expected to sell for up to $3,000 each.

The collection is special - beyond the obvious - for several reasons, Baca said. “Aside from the fact that these sketches are the work of one of the most brilliant couturiers of the last half century, they are also very rare and might not have survived had they remained in Lagerfeld’s possession.” In 2007 the designer told The New Yorker, “I throw everything away,” with a nod to a nearby wastebasket filled with discarded sketches.

Also, some would question describing Lagerfeld’s beautifully detailed concept images as mere “sketches.” Bill Hamilton, who designed for Carolina Herrera for 17 years and now maintains a private clientele, observed, “These are more like works of art. I don’t think [designers] put that much effort into the sketches of today.” 

The emergence of the Tiziani archive may well have amused - perhaps delighted - Lagerfeld. In 2014 when there was saturation media coverage of the previous Lagerfeld auction, his beloved cat Choupette posted a story about it on her blog. “We would have to assume that it was Mr. Lagerfeld, and not Choupette, who did the actual blog posting,” Baca said with a laugh, “but either way, it adds a nice bit of indirect authentication for the collection.”

Urban Culture Auctions’ Thursday, April 18, 2019 sale of Rare Karl Lagerfeld Fashion Drawings & Portfolios will begin at 12:00 noon US Eastern time. It is a gallery auction with all forms of remote bidding available, including phone, absentee and live via the Internet through LiveAuctioneers. For questions about any artwork in the auction or to arrange a phone line for bidding, call 561-586-5500 or email uca@modernauctions.com. View the fully illustrated catalog online at www.liveauctioneers.com. Visit Urban Culture Auctions online at www.urbancultureauctions.com.

Image: Lot 92: 1960s hand-colored, hand-annotated original fashion drawing created by Karl Lagerfeld (German, 1933-2019) while engaged by House of Tiziani, Rome. Fabric swatch attached. Estimate: $500-$1,500


549.jpgChicago -- Potter & Potter Auctions is pleased to announce its 560+ lot magicana sale to be held on Saturday, April 27th, 2019 starting at 10am at the company's gallery, located at 3759 N. Ravenswood Ave., Chicago, IL 60613. The sale features the collection of Ray Goulet, a beloved collector, publisher, producer, performer, and friend to all magicians. Goulet amassed one of the great American collections of conjuring memorabilia which was until most recently on display at his mini-museum in Watertown, MA. All lots from this event will be on display and available for public preview on Wednesday, April 24th, Thursday, April 25th, and Friday, April 26th from 10:00am to 5:00pm in the Potter & Potter facility. All times noted are CST. 

Large and significant promotional posters take many of the top slots in this auction.  Over 50 examples representing many of the 19th century's most noted performers are on offer. Lot #549, a 1911 letterpress poster advertising a matinee performance of “Challenged” or “Houdini Upside Down” at the Southampton Hippodrome is estimated at $15,000-25,000. This absolute rarity - The only known example extant- is inscribed and signed by Houdini in the central right blank space: “To my friend John Mulholland/Houdini.” Houdini devised and wrote the script for "Challenged" with the goal of protecting his signature water torture cell act from infringement by copycat escape artists.  Lot #551, a c. 1905 color litho featuring Harry Kellar's most famous illusion, the levitation of an assistant in a Moorish setting, is estimated at $10,000-15,000. This stage trick is considered by many to be Kellar’s most significant theatrical achievement. Lot #543, a c. 1912 color litho titled Chung Ling Soo. A Gift From the Gods, is estimated at $10,000-15,000. This handsome and eye-catching poster depicts Soo standing on God’s hand, descending to Earth from a flurry of storm clouds. And lot #533, a painted lobby display titled  Le Grand David. Stage Magic Lives Again, is estimated at $500-700.  This Art Nouveau themed piece featuring finely rendered performers and props was created by Rick Heath in the 1980s. It comes complete with its original painted frame. 

This sale's robust selections of 60+ carefully curated magic books are certain to catch the eyes of collectors worldwide. Lot #400, a first edition presentation copy of Harry Kellar's  A Magician’s Tour, is estimated at $2,500-3,500.  This 1886 example, published by R.R. Donnelley & Sons in Chicago, is inscribed twice by the author. The first is to Li Hung Chang, a Chinese viceroy. It reads, “A son excellence/Li Hung Chang/with compliments of The Author/New York Sep. 2 1896.” And the second is “To Howard Thurston, Esq./from his friend Harry Kellar.” Lot #391, Harry Houdini's America’s Sensational Perplexer from 1903, is estimated at $1,500-2,500. It was published by Willsons' Printers in Leicester and has Houdini within a cloudy frame as its cover art. And lot #372, Gus Hartz's 1874 Souvenir of Prof. Hartz with pictorially lithographed wraps is estimated at $1,000-1,500. This rarity - only the second example our catalogers have seen - includes 12 vignettes of Hartz’s conjuring feats, with explanatory text to each scene printed on the verso. 

Unusual, museum-quality selections of ephemera, including photographs, brochures, advertisements, archives, and souvenirs, are well represented in this sale, with over 60 lots on offer.  There's certain to be a wave of interest in lot #486, a c. 1850 Theatre Robert-Houdin souvenir fan. These wooden ribbed, pictorial fans were distributed to attendees at the Theatre Robert-Houdin in Paris. One side features an engraving of the entrance to the theatre; the other has vignettes of Robert-Houdin’s most famous tricks and French verses describing them. It is estimated at $4,000-6,000. And two albums of materials from noted 20th century performers take center stage in this key category.  The first, lot #433, is an archive of 1930s/60s materials from magician David Bamberg - better known as Fu Manchu. The second, lot #435, is an archive of 1900s/10s materials from Italian quick change artist and actor Leopoldo Fregoli. Both collections include photographs, heralds, clippings, among other items, and are presented in a string-tied embossed leather album. Each archive is conservatively estimated at $800-1,200.

The vintage and modern stage-used magic apparatus offerings in this event are simply spellbinding.  Lot #465, a Houdini-owned key and signed Houdini playing card is estimated at $2,500-3,500. The card was signed by the master magician during a run at the NY Hippodrome. The set, along with a later set of vintage handcuffs and a photo of Houdini - handcuffed, in a jail cell - are all handsomely and professionally framed in a wooden shadowbox. Lot #481, a black robe worn as the stage costume of vaudeville performer Arthur Lloyd, is estimated at $1,500-2,500. Lloyd, better known as the Human Card Index, was able to instantly produce from his pockets virtually any card, ticket, form, or document, called for by the audience. This included racing forms, coat check tickets, lottery tickets, playing cards, or any other small paper article. This lot also includes approximately 150 of the various tickets, cards, and documents produced by Lloyd while wearing the robe as well as research materials related to his career and copies of photos of him wearing the robe. A 1936 Ripley’s “Believe It Or Not” column asserted that Lloyd carried 15,000 cards in his clothing, estimated as weighing 45 pounds. And two illusions produced by Rick Heath and used by the Le Grand David Spectacular Magic Co. in the 1980s deserve a shout out.  The first, lot #337, is a Riddle of the Rabbit Illusion, consisting of two stage-sized hand-painted cabinets used to perform Le Grand David's version of the classic “Where Did the Ducks Go?” trick. It is estimated at $1,000-1,500. And the second, lot #339, is an Appearing Duck Illusion, consisting of a slanted wooden stand with two large trays and a tub. This hand-painted and well manufactured trick is estimated at $800-1,200. 

Playing cards, prints and drawings, and treasures that defy conventional categories bring this can't miss magic sale full circle. Lot #362, a deck of Trumps Long Cut Tobacco insert cards from 1890 is estimated at $1,000-1,500. The front of each card is illustrated with a different semi-erotic woman dressed in a theatrical costume. The backs feature a man holding a fan of playing cards, within the tagline “Smoke and Chew Trumps Long Cut” on a brown patterned background. Lot #457, a c. 1875 bronze desk set in the shape of a conjurer performing "cups and balls" on a draped, folding table, is estimated at $4,000-6,000. The conjurer’s hat lifts to form an inkwell or hold a pen, the trumpet forms a seal, and the trunk opens to accommodate stamps. When depressed, the small figure on top of the center cup rings a bell. This elaborate and finely finished model was once owned by magician and scholar Bob Read. And ending on a sterling note, lot #454 - a card case presented by Chung Ling Soo to his trusted illusion builder Percy F. Ritherdon - is estimated at $5,000-7,000. This c. 1915, cast and hallmarked silver accessory is decorated with scalloped edges, a celestial dragon, a bamboo tree, and an engraved medallion. This extraordinary, one of a kind gift of friendship was obtained by the consignor directly from Ritherdon's family. 

According to Gabe Fajuri, President at Potter & Potter Auctions, "Offering Ray's collection at auction is bittersweet for many magicians - myself included. Many considered Ray the definition of the phrase "renaissance man," as he was accomplished at nearly anything he put his mind to, from building things to performing, to publishing, to producing, to real estate, and oh, so much more. His mini-museum of magic was a fixture in the Boston area for decades - a showplace for rare magicana, and a meeting place for those who loved the history of the art. No one was a bigger fan of it all, including both the "stuff" he collected, and by association, the people he collected (in a manner of speaking), than Ray. On a personal note, I met Ray at the age of 16, and never in a million years thought I would be the one to bring his collection to market." 

Image: Lot 549 Hippodrome Southampton. Houdini “Challenged”, estimate $15,000-25,000.

Ishiguro-Bodleian.pngOxford, England - The Bodleian Libraries has presented novelist Sir Kazuo Ishiguro with the Bodley Medal. Sir Kazuo received the award at the FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival on 3 April 2019, when he delivered the annual Bodley Lecture.

Sir Kazuo appeared in conversation with Richard Ovenden, Bodley’s Librarian, who presented him with the medal at the end of the event.

Ovenden said: “Sir Kazuo Ishiguro is one of the greatest living novelists whose work has made a major contribution to literature and culture. He has formed a highly original, distinctive and compelling literary voice, one which brings to the fore major themes of inner conflict, the challenges of memory, the struggles between modernity and the past, and the realities of human emotion. We are delighted to honour him with the Bodleian Libraries’ highest honour, the Bodley Medal.”

Sir Kazuo said: “Libraries play a crucial role in shaping our memory of who we are, and the narratives that determine who we’ll become. In this sense, writers and libraries share a common - and solemn - responsibility. I’m especially moved and proud, then, to receive this rare honour from Oxford University’s Bodleian Libraries - an institution that can claim to be not only one of the greatest in the world, but in western history.”

Sir Kazuo is an award-winning British novelist, screenwriter, short story writer and songwriter. He is widely considered one of the greatest contemporary fiction authors in the English-speaking world.

He was born in Nagasaki, Japan, in 1954 and moved to Britain at the age of five. His eight works of fiction have earned him many awards and honours around the world, including the Nobel Prize in Literature (2017) and the Booker Prize (1989). His work has been translated into more than 50 languages. His novels The Remains of the Day and Never Let Me Go were made into acclaimed films. Sir Kazuo was given a Knighthood for Services to Literature in 2018, and also holds the French decoration, Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, and the Japanese decoration, Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star.

The Bodley Medal is awarded by the University of Oxford’s Bodleian Libraries to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the worlds in which the Bodleian is active including literature, culture, science and communication. Past winners include biographer Claire Tomalin, novelist and screenwriter William Boyd, classicist Mary Beard, physicist Stephen Hawking, film and theatre director Nicholas Hytner, novelist Hilary Mantel, the late poet Seamus Heaney, writer and actor Alan Bennett and inventor of the World Wide Web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee.

The Bodleian Libraries is a cultural partner of the FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival, which runs from Saturday, 30 March to Sunday, 7 April 2019. Events will take place at the Bodleian’s Weston Library and Divinity School as well as at venues across the city.

c3d48eab5295b996b12c0f20_880x880.jpgNew York — The Morgan Library & Museum announces a new exhibition of satirical drawings and prints by renowned artist William Hogarth (1697-1764). Best known for his humorous political commentary, Hogarth’s work engaged a broad audience and agitated for legislative and social change. His intricate drawings and richly anecdotal scenes depict the ills and injustices of eighteenth-century urban life, exploring the connections between violence, crime, alcohol abuse, and cruelty to animals. He hoped his graphic work would amuse, shock, and ultimately edify his audience. Opening May 24, Hogarth: Cruelty and Humor tells the story of Hogarth’s iconic images and the social realities of life in Georgian London that inspired him to advocate for reform through popular works of art. It is the first show at the Morgan devoted to this artist, whose style was so influential in British art that the word “Hogarthian” remains a recognizable way of describing works of satire. 

Featuring over twenty works, the show investigates Hogarth’s creative process and examines his embrace of humor, highlighting the Morgan’s exceptional cache of preparatory drawings for his two most acclaimed print series from 1751: Beer Street and Gin Lane and The Stages of Cruelty. Hogarth’s prints documenting the dangerous impact of the gin craze, Beer Street and Gin Lane, generated popular support for the 1751 Gin Act and other reform efforts, while the Stages of Cruelty reflects the growing anxiety about episodes of human brutality in London. Included in the show are the only other two known studies related to the Stages of Cruelty; these works reveal the complex generative process of the series. Also on view are drawings from The Royal Collection Trust that represent Hogarth’s first and last forays into satire.

Fiercely independent, Hogarth was driven to innovate in order to elevate the status of British art, creating new genres and modes of expression in his painting, printmaking, and drawing. His compositions are rich with narrative detail. It was his adoption of such “low” subjects, no less than his use of humor, that led him to struggle to be taken seriously throughout his career. 

“William Hogarth’s works should be enjoyed for their artistry, humor, and activism, and as such hold a special place in our drawings and prints collection,” said Colin B. Bailey, director of the museum. “The artist was a keen observer of his city, and his visual anecdotes were a brilliant means of communicating to a wider public.”

“Looking closely at Hogarth’s passion for socially relevant subjects reveals the challenges he faced in being known as a satirical artist,” said Jennifer Tonkovich, Eugene and Clare Thaw Curator of Drawings and Prints. “I think our current appetite for satire allows us to appreciate Hogarth’s tremendous intelligence and ambition in constructing narratives that he hoped would change the world around him.”

Image: William Hogarth (1697-1764), Detail ofFourth Stage of Cruelty, 1750-51, red chalk, some graphite, on paper, incised with stylus. The Morgan Library & Museum,III, 32e, purchased by Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913) in 1909. Photography Steven H. Crossot, 2014.

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