John F Kennedy first edition signed by President Obama leads books auction

Yesterday, National Book Auctions held a sale of antique and vintage books, including an antique Bible and classic Dr Seuss, alongside artwork and unique material from inside the Roycroft Company.

Whilst the results from that are still coming through, the company is pressing ahead with its next venture which is based around travel, the state of New York and features some exciting signed Presidential memorabilia.

One of the highlights of the antique travel and exploration books section is a remarkable 1817 printing of A Narrative of Voyages and Travels, in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.

National Book Auctions November image selection
A selection of the collectibles on offer

Cartography enthusiasts will be even more excited to see a four-volume first edition of Washington Irving's Life & Voyages of Christopher Columbus, printed in 1828 and containing the original fold-out maps, alongside a very scarce 1836 printing of the History of the Lives & Bloody Exploits of Pirates.

Additionally included are an 1897 volume on Japan and an 1892 first edition of A Princess of Fiji.  

The travel volumes also cover early American history, with an 1872 printing of Picturesque America, several mid-nineteenth century reports of railroad explorations and surveys, and even a 1913 story of homesteading, The Conquest - The Story of a Negro Pioneer by Oscar Devereaux Micheaux.

The New York State historical volumes featured include genealogical and county histories, historical atlases of counties and much more.  Featured in this collection is a very scarce complete collection of the 100 prints from the Fish & Game of New York in 1902, featuring classic prints of fish by S. F. Denton and birds painted by Louis Agassiz Fuertes. 

National Book Auctions November image selection

Rarely seen at auction are a number of limited editions published by small-press houses, including Janus Press and Riverside Press. 

Most of these are hand-signed by the author or artist, including A Fable of Bidpai signed by artist Helen Siegl; Benjamin Franklin's The Old Mistresses' Apologue printed in 1975 with engravings by Claire Van Vliet; a 1974 printing of Brazilian Miniatures by Axl Leskoschek; and an accordion-style Alphabeta Concertina by Ronald King.

Signed first editions are also going under the hammer, with an eye-popping piece certain to capture the attentions of any Presidential memorabilia collector: a unique copy of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy's Profiles in Courage signed by President Barack Obama.

This surely counts as an excellent investment. It would be going too far to compare it to the copy of Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation owned by Bobby Kennedy which is on offer at Sotheby's, but memorabilia which relates to more than one President is always likely to be valuable.

The auction takes place in New York on November 7.


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