Herodotus - who tops April’s most expensive sales lists - is sometimes known as the ‘Father of History.’ He lived in Greece around 450 years before the birth of Christ.
His place as a pioneering historian is assured because he was the first one to systemically collect information, double-check its accuracy and relate the goings-on in a readable narrative. His ‘Histories’ records traditions, politics, geography and wars in the Mediterranean and Western Asia during the period of his life.
In second place is a 1855 lithograph of two men hunting deer by Currier and Ives, who were a successful printmaking firm based in New York between 1834 and 1907. Currier and Ives produced countless prints from paintings as black and white lithographs that were hand colored. Major names like Alexandre Dumas, Galileo, and Robert Louis Stevenson are also found on April's list.
1. The Histories of Herodotus by Herodotus - $9,750
Published in 1709, this is a set of Herodotus translated from Greek to English by Isaac Littlebury.
2. American Winter Sports - Deer Shooting on the Shattagee by Currier & Ives - $8,500
A lithograph from 1855 showing two men from maple sugaring stand hiding behind a pine tree, its boughs heavy with snow. Their guns are aimed at three deer on the opposite bank of a river.
3. The Romances of Alexandre Dumas by Alexandre Dumas - $7,500
A complete 48-volume leather-bound set, published in 1904.
4. Systema Cosmicum in quo Dialogis by Galileo - $6,023
First Latin edition of Galileo's astronomical work and his advancement of the Copernican system. The author was imprisoned after the publication of this book’s Italian first edition.
5. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson - $6,000
First edition, first printing, from a run of 2,000 copies in 1883.
6. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo - $5,500
Published in Brussels by A. Lacroix, Verboeckhoven & Co in 1862, the true first edition, preceding even the Paris edition. Text in French. In 10 volumes, bound as five. Quarter leather on marbled boards
7=. The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S. Eliot - $5,000
The first appearance of the Eliot poem, this publication in the June 1915 issue of Poetry Magazine precedes the book edition by two years. It was Eliot's first publication of a poem outside of school or university.
7=. The 100 Greatest Books Ever Written by Various - $5,000
Easton Press collection published in 1980 containing 100 leather-bound classics with various publication dates. Bound in leather and accented with 22kt gold.
7=. The Vatican Frescoes of Michelangelo (Photographs) by Takashi Okamura - $5,000
Two volumes of plates, elephant folios, 1991. This is copy 40 of 600. Japanese photographer Okamura spent years photographing the frescoes from scaffolding. The close-up images are a unique record.
10. The Holy Bible, Containing the Old and New Covenant by Charles Thomson - $4,500
Translated from the Greek and published in 1808 in four volumes by Jane Aitken.