Christie’s is proud to present Fine Printed Books & Manuscripts including Americana, online from 5-19 October featuring significant books and manuscripts from the first century of printing in Europe to the very recent past, including important documents that documented the opening age of European conquest of the western hemisphere to the dawn of the atomic age.
Leading the sale is the earliest obtainable edition of Christopher Columbus’s letter to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella announcing the discovery of the American continent by a modern European, previously in a private Swiss library for nearly a century. Other important printed highlights include a complete set of Cook's Voyages, the Second Folio edition of Shakespeare's Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies, a first edition of Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations, and a “Noble Fragment,” a leaf from the Gutenberg Bible. Rare science books sold on behalf of the William P. Watson Trust include a first edition of Charles Darwin's The Zoology of the Beagle and a large, unrestored copy of Kepler's Tabulae Rudolphinae.
The Collection of Dr. and Mrs. Constantin Mamouris is a choice selection of sumptuous bindings and Art Deco livres d’artiste, including André Derain’s edition of Rabelais bound by Germaine de Coster and Hélène Dumas. There is an incredible section of Napoleon Bonaparte material acquired by Dr. Mamouris in the 1970s including autographs by Napoleon’s circle and by Napoleon.
Our offerings in Americana feature additionally several important manuscripts such as Ronald Reagan's preparation notes for his historic 1980 debate against Jimmy Carter, Marilyn Monroe and Greta Garbo's first film contracts, and what is believed to be the only contemporary color photograph of the Trinity atomic tests in private hands, objects related to George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, and a fine selection of eighteenth-century maps of the east coast of North America sold on behalf of the Glastonbury Historical Society.