Published: October 3, 2000
Rare Copy of Beauty and The Beast Prevails at Pacific Book Auction
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF. – Pacific Book Auction (PBA) kicked off its fall season with a gallery sale of Fine and Rare Books with Maps of the Holy Land on September 21. One of the major highlights was a Civil War Autograph Album with approximately 170 signature and inscriptions gathered during the first years of the Civil War, which brought $6,900, well over its $1,00 / 1,500 estimate.
The top lot, however, at $11,500 after frenzied bidding, was a very rare first edition of Charles Lamb’s Beauty and the Beast, dated circa 1811. This superb copy included eight hand-colored stipple-engraved plates, as well as the original wrappers, in a binding by Sangorski & Sutcliffe of full gilt-ruled and lettered red levant morocco.
A sum of $3,737.50 was paid for An Epitome of the Natural History of the Insects of India, and the Islands in the Indian Seas, 1800, by the eminent natural history writer Edward Donovan. Modern literature included a rare advance copy in a variant jacket of Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac at $3,162.50, the top of its high estimate. John Steinbeck first editions continued to pull-down high prices, with a near fine copy of The Grapes of Wrath in its dust jacket fetching $2,300.
The private collection of Maps and Views of the Holy Land brought many new bidders to the auction and prices included $460 for Benedictus Arias Montanus’s Montis Domini Totiusq Sacri Temple…, circa 1661, a striking copper-engraved bird’s-eye view of the Temple of Solomon with later hand-coloring, and $500 for Die heilige statt Jerusalem, 1550, a double leaf woodcut of a city view of contemporary Jerusalem. John Speed’s Seventeenth Century copper-engraved map of Canaan was one of the most popular lots,selling for $1,725.
All prices quoted include a 15 percent premium.
Recent highlights from PBA’s online auctions include a small group of turn of the century glass negatives of Asia for $252 and $702 was the final bid for The Grove Dictionary of Music, edited by Stanley Sadie. There is no buyer’s premium for online auction purchases.
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