Can Birds of Europe beat $75,000 estimate at New York rare books auction?

Items ranging from 16th century maps to a rare book on European birds will feature in an upcoming New York auction. The sale, which takes place on April 11, will feature more than 750 lots including books, maps, prints and original artwork.

And with works covering subjects such as natural history, economics, fiction and the American civil war, the auction looks set to attract a wide variety of collectors from around the world.

Headlining the sale is an exquisite copy of the 19th century work The Birds of Europe by John Gould. Comprising five volumes, the study features numerous full-colour illustrated plates with several drawn by the celebrated artist and poet Edward Lear. Described as "a wonderful confluence of artistry, technique and production", the books will be offered with a pre-sale estimate of $75,000+.

Of particular interest to American history collectors will be a rare copy of Alexander Gardner's Photographic Sketch Book of the War. The two-volume work is described as "the most celebrated, memorable and graphic collection of civil war photographs", and includes 100 photographic prints along with lithographed frames and captions.

Birds of Europe
“A wonderful confluence of artistry, technique and production”

Here at Paul Fraser Collectibles we've always been keen to tell our readers about the investment potential of American civil war memorabilia, and we suspect that the lot's pre-sale estimate of $90,000+ could well be exceeded on the day.

At the modern end of the spectrum is a highly rare and important advance proof copy of the 1974 Stephen King novel Carrie. The first of his novels to be published, the proof copy was gifted to his close friend Phil "Flip" Thompson and is the first book King ever signed. It bears the inscription: "For Flip and Karen - two of the best there are - and I mean that - by the way, this is the first book I've signed in my life - it's kind of fun. All the best, no matter what. Stephen King February 4, 1974."

The copy, which will appear with an estimated value of $10,000+, is described as "a stellar piece, and one destined to be the cornerstone book of any King collection".

For collectors currently looking to invest in rare books and important historic manuscripts, we have a selection available here.

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