Register for the Legendary Catskill Mountain House Brings $45k in Americana at Swann

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PRINTED & MANUSCRIPT AMERICANA : Sale 2546; September 24, 2020. Sale total: $634,341. Estimates for sale as a whole: $477,320–$718,130. We offered 368 lots; 295 sold (82% sell-through rate by lot) All prices include Buyer’s Premium.

PRINTED & MANUSCRIPT AMERICANA
Sale 2546; September 24, 2020

Sale total: $634,341
Estimates for sale as a whole: $477,320–$718,130
We offered 368 lots; 295 sold (82% sell-through rate by lot)
All prices include Buyer’s Premium.
Guest register for the legendary Catskill Mountain House, 1839–43 and 1846–52. Sold for $45,000.

New York—Swann Galleries’ Thursday, September 24 sale of Printed & Manuscript Americana brought an 82% sell-through rate by lot, totaling over $600k with at least 23 institutions purchasing a total of 93 lots in the sale. The sale was “evidence of continued stability in the book and manuscript market,” according to Rick Stattler, a Vice President of the house and specialist for the sale, “Buyers were eager and willing auction participants, with many lots selling for double or triple their estimates.”

Elizabeth Shoumatoff, three watercolor studies for the “Unfinished Portrait” of Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1945. Sold for $40,000.
Elizabeth Shoumatoff, three watercolor studies for the “Unfinished Portrait” of Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1945. Sold for $40,000.

Top lots of the sale included the guest register of the Catskill Mountain House, which served as a spiritual home of the early Hudson River School. It led the auction at $45,000, over a $5,000-7,500 estimate, just nosing out a strong order bid when it sold to a collector on the phone. A set of three studies for the famed “Unfinished Portrait” of Franklin Roosevelt by Elizabeth Shoumatoff brought $40,000, while a gripping 1865 diary of death on the Overland Trail kept by James W. Bentley brought $27,500.

Religious text featured an 1845–46 first edition of the first translation of the Pentateuch into English, which realized $10,000, and an 1841 Book of Mormon, first European edition, from the second American edition, saw $9,375.

Among the lots which doubled their estimates were an original vellum stamp from the Stamp Act of 1765 ($15,000), an issue of the pro-Union Waterford News of Virginia ($4,759), an Iowa Civil War soldier’s diary ($4,000), and a group of Henry Moore cartes-de-visite from Hilton Head, SC ($3,250). Also besting their estimates was a collection of photographs from the first Alaskan film shoot ($5,250), a colorful broadside from an Iowa general store ($3500), as well as a pair of cartes-de-visite of a Chinese exchange student Liang Dunyan from 1878 ($4,500).

Leading the Latin American section was a 1611 Nahuatl-Spanish dictionary which brought $27,500. Additional Latin Americana works of note included a first edition of the first book of sermons in Nahuatl, which sold to an institution for $12,500.

The house is currently accepting quality consignments for the spring 2021 season. For the house’s most up-to-date auction schedule please visit swanngalleries.com.

Top lots Prices with buyer’s premium
164 Guest register for the legendary Catskill Mountain House, 1839–43 and 1846–52. $45,000 D
192 Elizabeth Shoumatoff, three watercolor studies for the “Unfinished Portrait” of Franklin D.  Roosevelt, 1945. $40,000 D
240 James W. Bentley, diary of a cavalry officer protecting emigrants on the Overland Trail, 1865. $27,500 D
272 Pedro de Arenas, Vocabulario manual de las lenguas castellana, y Mexicana, Mexico, 1611. $27,500 D

21 Stamp from the Stamp Act of 1765, circa 1765. $15,000 C

269 Juan de la Anunciación, Sermonario en lengua Mexicana, Mexico, 1577. $12,500 I
108 The Law of God, the first Jewish translation of the Pentateuch into English, Philadelphia, 1845–46. $10,000 D

148 The Book of Mormon, first European edition from the second American edition, England, 1841. $9,375 C
150 William Billings, Music in Miniature, Boston, 1779. $8,750 I
1 Pieter Schenck, Sa Ga Yean Qua Rash Tow, Coning Vande Maquas alias Coning Brant,  mezzotint engraving, circa 1710s. $7,500 I

Key:      C = Collector; D = Dealer; I = Institution

Additional highlights can be found here.

Captions:

Lot 164: Guest register for the legendary Catskill Mountain House, 1839–43 and 1846–52. Sold for $45,000.

Lot 192: Elizabeth Shoumatoff, three watercolor studies for the “Unfinished Portrait” of Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1945. Sold for $40,000.

Specialist: Rick Stattler • [email protected] • 212-254-4710 x27

Communications Director: Alexandra Nelson • [email protected] • 212-254-4710 x 19

Public Relations Associate: Kelsie Jankowski • [email protected] • 212-254-4710 x 23

Social media: @swanngalleries

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ILLUSTRATED CATALOGUE, ADDL. IMAGES & COMPLETE PRICES REALIZED ON REQUEST

Swann Auction Galleries is a third-generation family business as well as the world’s largest auction house for works on paper. In the last 75 years, Swann has repeatedly revolutionized the trade with such innovations as the first U.S. auction dedicated to photographs and the world’s only department of African-American Fine Art. More than 30 auctions and previews are held annually in Swann Galleries’ two-floor exhibition space in Midtown Manhattan, and online worldwide. Visit swanngalleries.com for more information.