Auctions: Paper ephermera of all kinds offered in four sales

Freeman's sale on Feb. 12 of books and manuscripts features two lots of Audubon color prints from "Birds of America."
Freeman's sale on Feb. 12 of books and manuscripts features two lots of Audubon color prints from "Birds of America."
Posted: February 02, 2013

February, the most fleeting month of the year, will offer four sales featuring paper ephemera, including autographs; historical and political correspondence; postcards and greeting cards; and a bird's-eye view of Manhattan by Currier & Ives.

The autographs, including signed books and photographs of theatrical figures, such as Spencer Tracy in Army uniform, will be included in Freeman's sale at 2 p.m. Feb. 12 of books and manuscripts. The sale is being billed as a prelude to Freeman's much bigger sale on April 4 and 5, which will offer two major collections.

One features works by metaphysical and modern poets, including a 1633 first edition of John Donne's poetry; the other collection includes more than a dozen lots of incunabulae, works from the earliest days of printing. Both could bring five-figure prices.

The 250 lots in the Feb. 12 sale are expected to bring much more modest prices, according to the online catalog now accessible at "It's a great sale to introduce buyers to auctions and for young collectors," Kerry-Lee Jeffery, David Bloom's associate in Freeman's books department, said this week.

All but two of the lots have presale estimates in the two- and three-figure range, such as the signed and inscribed Tracy photo ($100 to $150). The two lots that might go higher are groupings of John J. Audubon color prints from the 1971 Amsterdam edition of Birds of America, one with 65 pieces, the other with 38. Each is expected to bring between $800 and $1,200.

Previews: 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thursday, next Friday, and Feb. 11 at the gallery at 1808 Chestnut St. For further information, call 215-563-9275.

History at Slosberg's. The historical and political documents will be featured by Barry S. Slosberg Inc. at a sale beginning at 10 a.m. Feb. 10 at the Port Richmond gallery of antique and vintage ephemera and estate furnishings.

The most important is a U.S. Naval history album of visiting cards assembled by Assistant Secretary of the Navy Gustavus V. Fox during his 1866-67 goodwill visit to Imperial Russia and Europe. There also is diplomatic correspondence between the United States and the newly formed U.S.S.R, dating to 1934, shortly after diplomatic relations were established.

Other historic ephemera includes 19th-century lithograph tobacco signs, a 1938 collection of Hermann Goering photos, a Bible printed in 1653 by John Field, and "Essayes" by Sir William Cornwallis dating to 1600.

Preview: 9 a.m. to sale time Feb. 10 at the gallery at 2501 E. Ontario St. For further information, call 215-425-7030.

Postcards at Morphy's. The post- and greeting cards will be offered by Morphy Auctions at a two-day sale next weekend at its gallery near Reading. The more than 160 lots, plus print items, will come up at the end of the second session. Online bidding on the more than 1,100 lots - to be offered beginning at 10 a.m. next Friday and Feb. 9, and including ceramics, art glass, spatterware, paintings, and two dozen skater's lanterns - is already available at

Many of the postcard and greeting card lots consist of 500 pieces or more with presale estimates in the three-figure range. They include valentines, Christmas and Halloween cards, Victorian trade cards, Hershey chocolate labels, and other cards depicting cars, trains, dogs, cats, and costumed rabbits.

The 488-lot first session begins on a more serious note - and with higher presale estimates: more than 120 lots of Austrian and central European vases. At least 60 of them are Amphora ceramic vases, including an 18½-inch-high "Daughter of the Rhine" vase illustrated in the book The House of Amphora, expected to bring $10,000 to $15,000.

Five-figure prices are also expected for several of the paintings in the session, including Canal Near Lumberville, Pa. by Charles Morris Young and Fruit on a Tabletop attributed to Rubens Peale (each $10,000 to $15,000); Mountain Landscape by Albert Bierstadt ($20,000 to $30,000); and View of Niagara Falls by the 19th-century, Danish American Ferdinand Richardt ($40,000 to $60,000). The second session opens with 120 lots of jewelry followed by watches, coins, musical instruments, and historical items, notably a signed 1787 Benjamin Franklin property deed ($7,000 to $10,000).

Morphy Auctions is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily at 2000 N. Reading Rd., Denver. For further information, call 717-335-3435.

Wiederseim antiques, paintings. The bird's-eye view of Manhattan is among the 650 lots of antiques that Wiederseim Associates will offer beginning at 9 a.m. on Feb. 16 at the Ludwigs Corner firehouse, 1325 N. Pottstown Pike (Route 100), Glenmoore. Information about the sale, featuring items from a local educational institution and from the estates of Priscilla G. Flint and Col. Theodore Leskanich of Gettysburg can be seen at

Top items include a circa 1770 Dutch six-tune musical clock by Jan Christofel Sauer ($10,000 to $15,000); a Georg Jensen sterling compote ($7,000 to $9,000); a good New York Federal sideboard ($3,500 to $4,500), and paintings, notably an Alden Lassell Ripley scene of a grouse among pine trees ($6,000 to $8,000). The Currier & Ives bird's-eye view should bring $3,000 to $4,000.

Preview: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Feb. 15. For further information, call 610-827-1910.

Talking of the ephemeral, this will be my last "Auctions" column here. After writing it for more than 30 years, time and the economy have taken their toll.

For any further information or queries, contact David Iams at Send auction event listings to esmanagers@event-source.


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