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Swann’s $1M Americana Auction Continues Upward Trend

Swann’s $1M Americana Auction Continues Upward Trend



Sale 2473; April 12, 2018
Sale total: $1,065,842

Estimates for the sale as a whole: $735,950-$1,096,850

We offered 323 lots; 298 sold (92% sell-through rate by lot)

All prices include Buyer’s Premium.

New York—Swann Galleries’ auction of Printed & Manuscript Americana on
April 12 was the department’s highest-grossing sale in four years,
continuing an upward trajectory as each offering of Americana and
African Americana becomes more curated. Highlights of the sale included
historic bibles and a broad selection of unique and manuscript

Religious texts constituted many of the highlights of the sale,
including an unusually well-preserved first-edition Book of Mormon,
which topped the auction at $77,500, going to a collector. Additional
highlights included a first edition of the Aitken Bible, the first
complete Bible printed in English in the United States, which brought
$47,500 despite missing 6 text leaves, and a rare Pony Express Bible
that was purchased by a collector for $20,000.

Swann is known for offering exceptional Mormon material. In addition to
the top lot of the sale, highlights included an 1844 extra broadside
issued by the Nauvoo Neighbor, containing the first official report of
the murder of Mormon leaders Joseph and Hyrum Smith. It was purchased
for $37,500 in its first auction appearance since 1966.

[]            Many of the
other highlights were unique or making their first appearances at
auction in several decades. The first edition, first state of Thomas
Paine’s American Crisis brought $50,000 in its first auction appearance
since 1955. An ornately framed cypress sprig cut by Lafayette from
Washington’s tomb—the only known example of this tender
keepsake—brought $13,750. Cecil Stoughton’s 16 albums of John F.
Kennedy photographs brought $15,000, and his shot of Kennedy with
Marilyn Monroe (the only known photograph of the two together) brought

Institutions were active throughout the auction. Historic Deerfield
acquired a volume of Iroquois religious tracts by the noted Mohawk
missionary Eleazer Williams, while an account book of the noted
physician George Huntington was purchased by his alma mater, Columbia

A volume of sixteenth-century records from the silver mine at Taxco,
Mexico, brought $30,000, leading a rich selection of Latin Americana.
Many items far exceeded their high estimates, most notably manuscript
material in the Chinantec and Nahuatl languages. Printed highlights
included a 1620 decree by the Mexican Inquisition prohibiting the use
of peyote, which sold for $25,000, above a high estimate of $9,000.

The $1M auction continues Swann Galleries’ upward trajectory in the
field of Americana. Coming just two weeks after the house’s successful
sale of Printed & Manuscript African Americana, “the market shows no
signs of slowing down,” said Rick Stattler, Director of Americana at
Swann. He added, “This was the strongest Americana auction we’ve had in
four years. We saw strong results in every section of the sale, and
participation from a remarkable breadth of buyers.”

The next auction of Americana at Swann Galleries will be Revolutionary
& Presidential Americana from the Collection of William Wheeler III on
June 21, 2018. The house is currently accepting quality consignments
for autumn auctions.

Top lots                                                               
                                           Prices with buyer’s premium

149A     Book of Mormon, first edition, Palmyra, 1830.                 
                                                  $77,500 C

19         Thomas Paine, The American Crisis, Parts I & II, first
separate edition, Philadelphia, 1777.       $50,000 D

45         The Holy Bible, first printing of the complete Bible in
English in America, Philadelphia, 1782.   $47,500 C

149       Nauvoo Neighbor Extra, first edition, first official account
of the death of Joseph Smith, 1844.      $37,500 D

258       Bartholomé de Ledesma, De septem novae legis sacramentis
summarium, first edition, Mexico, 1566. $32,500 D

294       Bound manuscript records of the silver mine at Taxco, Mexico,
1576-77.                                  $30,000 D

303       Manuscript on catechism and census in Chinatec, Mexico, late
1700s – early 1800s.                   $30,000 D

257       Alonso de la Veracruz, Recognitio summularum & Dialectica
resolution…, first editions, Mexico, 1554. $27,500 D

271       Nos los inquisidores…, decree prohibiting the use of peyote,
Mexico, 1620.                              $25,000 D

260       Alonso de Molina, Confessionario mayor & Confessionario
breve, second editions, 1578 & 1577.           $22,500 D

46         “Pony Express Bible,” inscribed, New York, 1858.            
                                                 $20,000 C

97         Alexander Hamilton, Observations on Certain Documents…,
first edition, Philadelphia, 1797.     $20,000 C

48         Juan Bautista de Anza, Autograph Letter Signed, to Viceroy
Antonio Maria de Bucareli,              $18,750 C

  investigating an Indian attack, Presidio de San Diego, January 1776.

295       Manuscript archive relating to land sales in Tlaxcala, three
volumes and map, Mexico, 1683-1823.            $18,750 D

195       Andrew J. Russell, Construction Train near Bear River,
albumen photograph, circa 1868.                       $15,000 C

110       Cecil W. Stoughton, 16 albums of photographs taken as JFK’s
official photographer, 1962-63.     $15,000 D

228       Cypress sprig cut by General Lafayette at George Washington’s
tomb, circa 1820s.                     $13,750 C

297       Pair of scripts in Nahuatl, one comedic, one religious,
possibly Hejotzingo, circa 1650-1750.       $11,875 D

229       George Washington, The Will of General George Washington,
first edition, Alexandria, 1800.     $11,250 D

111       Stoughton, the only known photograph of JFK and Marilyn
Monroe together, 1962, printed 1970s.           $10,625 D

Key:      C = Collector; D = Dealer

Additional highlights can be found

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