Books & Manuscripts Winter Sales

19 November – 14 December 2016

Christie’s International Books & Manuscripts Department presents a group of exceptional sales this winter, bringing to auction the best of the world’s printed books, medieval manuscripts, autograph letters and archives.

Two online auctions will run concurrently from the end of November into December. Script and Illumination: Leaves from Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts will showcase the best of European manuscript production, with a particular focus on Italian illumination. Furthermore, Christie’s is delighted to present its inaugural online auction of cricket books, featuring a superb collection of the Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack, the famous annual that takes its name from John Wisden, the Sussex bowler.

The season concludes with our sale of Fine Printed Books and Manuscripts, including Americana, to be held in New York on 14 December. The sale highlight is an outstanding presentation copy of Isaac Newton’s world-changing Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica, in a contemporary binding. The sale also features a group of letters from George Washington and Thomas Jefferson to the Marquis de Chastellux, who was the chief liaison officer between the French forces and General Washington during the American Revolutionary Wars. The letters are in perfect condition and have been in the Chastellux family since the time of their writing.


Highlights

  • Sir Isaac Newton (1642–1727). Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica. London: Joseph Streater for the Royal Society, to be sold by Samuel Smith and booksellers, 1687.

    An outstanding copy of Newton’s Principia, in an extremely rare period binding of inlaid morocco, for presentation from the publisher Samuel Smith, and bearing his presentation label.
    Estimate
    $1,000,000–1,500,000
    Lot offered
    Fine Printed Books and Manuscripts, Including Americana, New York, 14 December

  • Guide Michelin (1900-2016)

    108 volumes. A complete collection of Michelin guides, including the very first copy published in 1900, all in their publisher’s red cloth bindings.
    Estimate
    €20,000–30,000
    Lot offered
    Livres rares et manuscrits du XVe au XXe siècles, Paris, 5 December

  • Selected correspondence from George Washington and Thomas Jefferson from the Archives de Chastellux (lots 354-362).

    A remarkable group of letters to General de Chastellux, comprising six from George Washington, and three from Thomas Jefferson. These beautifully-preserved letters have stayed with the Chastellux family for over two hundred years and offer a unique opportunity to acquire important examples of manuscript Americana that have never before appeared at auction. Replete with rich, historical and philosophical content, the letters offer a first-hand portrait of the United States during one of the most critical periods in American history—between the end of the Revolutionary War and the ratification of the federal Constitution—when the very survival of the nation was not yet assured.
    Estimate
    $540,000-730,000
    Lot offered
    Fine printed Books & Manuscripts, Including Americana, New York, 14 December

  • WRIGHT, Orville (1871-1948). An archive of papers concerning the writing and eventual publication of a lengthy biography of Orville and Wilbur Wright.

    An original typescript of the only Wright Brothers biography authorized by the Wright family, together with Orville Wright’s correspondence with authors Earl N. Findley and John R. McMahon—a revealing set of letters documenting the production of the biography (ultimately rejected by Wright), and its eventual unauthorized publication by McMahon in 1930. This lot is one of a number drawn from the papers of aviation journalist Earl Findley (lots 338-353). Orville Wright, who closely guarded his public image and valued his privacy, felt comfortable opening up to a trusted correspondent like Findley.
    Estimate
    $15,000 – 20,000
    Lot offered
    Fine printed Books & Manuscripts, Including Americana, New York, 14 December

  • Jacques-Fabien Gautier d'Agoty (1717–1786). Myologie complette en couleur et grandeur naturelle.

    Paris: Gautier, Quillau père et fils, La Mesle, 1746.
    Gautier d’Agoty’s masterpiece of anatomical colour printing, containing the famous proto-surrealist Anatomical Angel.
    Estimate
    €30,000 – 50,000
    Lot offered
    Livres rares et manuscrits du XVe au XXe siècles, Paris, 5 December



Sale information

Bande Dessinée et Illustration

  • Auction

    9 Avenue Matignon
    75008 Paris

    19 Nov, 3pm

  • Viewing

    16 Nov, 10am – 6pm
    17 Nov, 10am – 6pm
    18 Nov, 10am – 6pm
    19 Nov, 10am – 1pm








The Giancarlo Beltrame Library of Scientific Books, Part II

  • Auction

    8 King Street, St. James's
    London SW1Y 6QT

    30 Nov, 10:30am & 2pm

  • Viewing

    25 Nov, 9am – 4:30pm
    26 Nov, 12pm – 5pm
    27 Nov, 12pm – 5pm
    28 Nov, 9am – 8pm
    29 Nov, 9am – 4:30pm

  • Contact

    Robert Tyrwhitt
    rtyrwhitt@christies.com
    +44 (0)20 7389 2151



Valuable Printed Books & Manuscripts

  • Auction

    8 King Street, St. James's
    London SW1Y 6QT

    1 Dec, 11am

  • Viewing

    25 Nov, 9am – 4:30pm
    26 Nov, 12pm – 5pm
    27 Nov, 12pm – 5pm
    28 Nov, 9am – 8pm
    29 Nov, 9am – 4:30pm
    30 Nov, 9am – 4:30pm

  • Contact

    Robert Tyrwhitt
    rtyrwhitt@christies.com
    +44 (0)20 7389 2151



Livres et Manuscrits

  • Auction

    9 Avenue Matignon
    75008 Paris

    5 Dec, 2:30pm

  • Viewing

    2 Dec, 10am – 6pm
    3 Dec, 10am – 6pm
    4 Dec, 2pm – 6pm










Peintres et poètes: les classiques de la modernité, la bibliothèque Werner Bokelberg

  • Auction

    9 Avenue Matignon
    75008 Paris

    5 Dec, 4:30pm

  • Viewing

    2 Dec, 10am – 6pm
    3 Dec, 10am – 6pm
    4 Dec, 2pm – 6pm



Fine Printed Books and Manuscripts, Including Americana

  • Auction

    20 Rockefeller Plaza
    New York, New York

    14 Dec, 10am & 2pm








Script and Illumination: Leaves from Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts

  • Auction

    Online Auction

    29 November – 8 December