Mark Twain Manuscript among Top Lots of Leslie Hindman Auctioneers’ November 18th Sale

  • Mark Twain

    Mark Twain

Leslie Hindman Auctioneers’ November 18th Fine Books and Manuscripts auction was an outstanding success with 90% of all lots selling.

The highlight of the sale was a hand-written draft chapter from Mark Twain’s A Tramp Abroad, which sold for $79,300 against a presale estimate of $30,000-50,000; an original hand-written high school essay by Ernest Hemingway sold for $7,320. Another item of note was a George Washington document signed as the President of the Potomac Company, which sold for $9,760. Autographed documents from Leo Tolstoy, Boris Pasternak, Auguste Rodin and Henri Matisse also performed well.

Hindman’s last few Fine Books and Manuscripts sales have seen strong results for Fine Bindings, and this auction continued the streak with several lots greatly exceeding their presale estimates. A copy of Alice in Wonderland bound by Kelliegram soared past expectations, selling for $9,760 against a presale estimate of $1,000-2,000. Other highlights of the fine bindings session included a jeweled Sangorski and Sutcliffe, which sold for $11,590, Robert de Flers Ilsee, illustrated by Alphonse Mucha, which sold for $9,760, and a fine set of The Works of Shakespeare, published by the Shakespeare Gallery, which sold for $9,150.

The Chicago session, mainly comprising items from the impressive collection of James Conway, also greatly exceeded expectations, thanks to a crowded sale room of competitive Chicago-area private collectors and dealers. A real estate map of lots offered for sale at auction in 1835 sold for $5,876 against an estimate of $2,000-4,000. Views of the city brought exceptional prices, including a tinted lithograph by Edwin Whitefield entitled View of Illinois and Michigan Train Depot, which sold for $4,880. Print and television media staked out early on in the session for the sale of a rare death mask of John Dillinger, which sold for $3,660.

Rounding out the sale were Natural History and Continental Books and Manuscripts, including a fine copy of William Lewin Birds of Great Britain, which sold for $4,880, and a collection of bound Persian miniatures of the Twelve Months, which sold for $4,392.

"The sales were results were astounding," Director of Books and Manuscripts, Mary Williams, stated, "proving once again that property from private collections that is fresh to the market will always attract competitive bidding. We are so pleased with the worldwide participation of private collectors, dealers and institutions, and especially the in-house participation of Chicago-area buyers, whose presence in the audience is always refreshing in an industry that is becoming so largely web-based."

About Leslie Hindman Auctioneers
For more than two decades, Leslie Hindman Auctioneers has been an industry leader combining a local recognition as the Midwest's leading fine art auctioneers with a global reach of buyers. Founded in 1982, sold to Sotheby's in 1997 and reopened in 2003, Leslie Hindman has remained a constant force behind high profile auctions of everything from contemporary paintings and fine jewelry to French furniture and rare books and manuscripts and always maintains a practice of achieving the highest prices while maintaining the highest levels of integrity and customer service.


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