October literature auction features works by Steinbeck, Wilde, Faulkner

NEW YORK—On Oct. 1, Swann Galleries will hold an auction of 19th & 20th Century Literature. The sale comprises choice 19th-century literature, including color plate books by Cruikshank and his contemporaries, and works by Dickens, Eliot, Melville, and Stowe; decorative sets and bindings and children’s books; and modern works by Faulkner, Hemingway, Steinbeck, Woolf and others.

Nineteenth-century highlights include Jane Austen’s Emma, first English edition, London, 1816 (estimate $5,000 to $7,000); a first edition of Anthony Trollope’s Mr. Scarborough’s Family, three volumes in original cloth, London, 1883 ($1,500 to $2,500); and a top-notch private collection of Oscar Wilde featuring signed copies of The Picture of Dorian Gray, first limited edition, London, 1891 ($8,000 to $12,000), and his last work, The Ballad of Reading Gaol by C.3.3., one of 99 signed copies, London, 1898 ($10,000 to $15,000).

An excerpt from Vladimir Nabokov’s final unfinished novella will appear in Playboy in November, but you needn’t wait for a chance to acquire a first edition of Lolita, two volumes in original wrappers, Paris, 1955, and a scarce first of Pnin, Garden City, 1957, signed and dated in the year of publication ($4,000 to $6,000 each).

A revealing Hemingway lot is an early draft of his introduction to Kiki’s Memoirs, the first introduction he wrote for another writer’s work, two-page typescript with several corrections in his hand, 1930 ($5,000 to $7,500).

A private collection of works by William Faulkner includes The Hamlet, one of 250 signed copies of the first limited edition, New York, 1940 ($2,000 to $3,000); and first editions of Sartoris, New York, 1929, and Sanctuary, 1931 ($3,000 to $4,000 each).

A run of works by John Steinbeck features a first edition Of Mice and Men, New York, 1937 ($2,000 to $3,000); a near fine copy of The Grapes of Wrath, New York, 1939 ($3,000 to $5,000); and East of Eden, one of 1500 signed copies of the first limited edition, New York, 1952 ($1,500 to $2,500).

Other must-have modern first editions include James Joyce’s Ulysses, Paris, 1922, one of 750 copies on handmade paper, ex-collection Joan Whitney ($35,000 to $45,000); an inscribed and signed first edition of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Beautiful and Damned, New York, 1922 ($3,000 to $4,000); and a number of works in scarce dust jackets including Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway, London, 1925 ($10,000 to $15,000), and To The Lighthouse, London, 1927 ($6,000 to $9,000); Woody Guthrie’s autobiography, Bound for Glory, New York, 1943 ($2,500 to $3,500); a fine inscribed copy of Tennessee Williams’s A Streetcar Named Desire, New York, 1947 ($5,000 to $7,500); and Jack Kerouac’s first book, The Town and the City, New York, 1950, inscribed and signed to a neighbor from Lowell, Mass. ($5,000 to $7,500).

Signed first editions from the latter half of the 20th century are Flannery O’Connor’s Wise Blood, New York, 1952 ($4,000 to $6,000); Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, one of 2000 copies of the 10th anniversary edition signed by Rand, New York, 1957 ($2,500 to $3,500); Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, one of 200 copies from the first limited edition, inscribed and signed again to Herb Yellin, Bradbury’s long-time publisher, New York, 1953 ($4,000 to $6,000); and an inscribed copy of Stephen King’s Carrie in mint condition, New York, 1974 ($2,000 to $3,000).

Children’s literature highlights include a lovely complete set of The Fairy Books by Andrew Lang, 12 volumes, London, 1889-1910 ($5,000 to $7,500); Lucy Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables, first edition, second impression, Boston, 1908 ($2,000 to $3,000); and a first limited English edition of A.A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh, one of 350 signed by Milne and illustrator Ernest H. Shepard, London, 1926 ($3,500 to $5,000).

Among the decorative sets and bindings is the spectacular Theodore Roosevelt’s Works … The Memorial Edition, 24 volumes, New York, 1923-26, signed by Edith Kermit Roosevelt and with a Typed Letter Signed by Roosevelt tipped in ($8,000 to $10,000).

The auction will begin at 1:30 p.m. on Oct. 1.

The auction catalog is available online at www.swanngalleries.com.

For further information, and to make advance arrangements to bid by telephone during the auction, please contact Christine von der Linn at 212-254-4710, extension 20, or via e-mail at cvonderlinn@swanngalleries.com. Live online bidding is also available via Artfact.com.

Photos courtesy Swann Auction Galleries.