Caren Archive manuscripts to auction at Bonhams in April

An April 7 sale of items from the Caren Archive at Bonhams New York will feature an early printing of the Declaration of Independence in the New England Chronicle.

The lot, valued at $60,000-80,000, will lead a selection of almost 300 items from the Caren Archive, a major collection of historically significant manuscripts and artefacts accumulated by curator Eric Caren.

Francis Drake broadsheet Bonhams
The circa 1580 broadsheet features a rare portrait of Sir Francis Drake

It will join a selection of papers that include a 16th century broadsheet commemorating Sir Francis Drake's journey around the world ($50,000-80,000) and a rare American revolutionary broadside dating to 1775 ($25,000-35,000).

Christina Geiger, Bonhams' director of fine books and manuscripts, comments: "One of the compelling things about this collection is that it demonstrates that our insatiable need for news is hardwired, that it's not particular to our own age.

"The same inclination to spread word of important events inspired our forbearers to publish newspapers and handbills and to take photographs even under the most difficult circumstances. You really get a sense of their fight to get the story out."

Caren himself commented on his collection: "I understood even as a small boy that they were special... that they offered a chance to travel across space and time, to be in the historical moment and to experience it as those at the time did."

The last sale of items from the collection took place at Swann Auction Galleries in New York in 2011 and grossed more than $600,000.

We have a range of rare books and manuscripts available to purchase, including this rare Peter Force printing of the Declaration of Independence.

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