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News & Notes

Francis Wahlgren Joins Hindman Auctioneers

Leslie Hindman Auctioneers is pleased to announce that Francis Wahlgren has joined the firm as an exclusive consultant for its Fine Books and Manuscripts department. He will be based in New York, but will assist the auction house's eight locations nationwide, including its Chicago headquarters. He joins Gretchen Hause, Director of Fine Books and Manuscripts, who joined the firm in May of last year. Mr. Wahlgren and Ms. Hause previously worked together for 7 years in the Books and Manuscripts Department at Christie's in New York.

Over the past twenty-four years, Mr. Wahlgren has appeared regularly as an appraiser on the Antiques Roadshow. Francis first joined Christie's in 1987 as a porter in the Books and Prints Departments and, working through such historic sales as the Estelle Doheny Library sale, continued developing his expertise.

In 1990 he joined Swann Galleries as cataloguer and became an auctioneer before re-joining Christie's in 1993 to start a book department at Christie's East. He headed this department until 1997 when he became Head of the New York Department at Park Avenue and was appointed Senior Vice President in 2000. In 2007 he was appointed International Head of the Books and Manuscripts department based in New York with global responsibilities for the department, and from 2013 to his departure in 2017 served as International Director focusing on the most important clients and business worldwide.

“I am thrilled to be working with Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, and I am eager to contribute my experience and many relationships to this thriving auction firm based in the heart of the American rare book world,” said Wahlgren. “I am excited about the opportunity of working together with Gretchen and the Hindman team focusing on bringing important collections and pieces to the market here.”

Over the course of his career, Wahlgren managed the sale of numerous important and historic book collections including The Haskell F. Norman Library of Science and Medicine, which realized a notable $18.7 million; The Abel Berland Library of English Literature and early printed books; The History of the Book: The Cornelius J. Hauck Collection, which totaled $12.4 million; The Frank S. Streeter Collection of Navigation and Voyages; Important Books, Atlases and Manuscripts: The Private Library of Kenneth Nebenzahl; and The Arthur & Charlotte Vershbow Collection of illustrated books.

He has also brought significant items to auction such as the Francis Crick ‘Secret of Life’ letter, which sold for a record-setting price exceeding $6 million; a rare suppressed first edition of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, which sold for $1.54 million; a Bute set of John James Audubon's The Birds of America, which sold for $8.8 million; and a first edition of Newton's Principia, which sold for $3.7 million, to name some of his other significant accomplishments.

“It is not surprising to me that the majority of the greatest books and collections I have sold over the last three decades have either been consigned by or purchased by clients in the Midwest. I truly believe our combined focus on bringing more high-quality activity through Chicago will be a welcome development for collectors and institutions alike,” said Wahlgren

Mr. Wahlgren began his career at the Pierpont Morgan Library after graduating with a master's degree in art history and medieval books from Queens College, New York.

Rose City Book & Paper Fair

The Cascade Booksellers Association has announced the 12th annual Rose City Book & Paper Fair. This year more than 60 dealers will be offering the best in used, rare and antiquarian books and ephemera at the DoubleTree Hotel in Portland, Oregon the weekend of June 15 & 16.

In addition to booksellers from Oregon and Washington, there will be exhibitors from Montana, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, California, and Vancouver (BC).  A  wide range of printed material at all price levels and on every conceivable subject will be offered for sale throughout the weekend to seasoned collectors, serious readers and curious newcomers.

Admission remains just $3 (good for both days), and the proceeds benefit children’s literacy organizations. Complete information is available on their website and inquiries should be directed to bookfair@cascadebooksellers.com.

New Catalogue from J & J Lubrano

J & J Lubrano Music Antiquarians (Syosset, NY) have recently published a special catalogue of Musical Literature & Manuscript Facsimiles.  To view the catalogue as a PDF, simply click on Spring Sale List

Florida Antiquarian Book Fair

The 37th annual Florida Antiquarian Book Fair returns to St. Petersburg’s Historic Coliseum April 20 - 22, 2018.   The book fair is the third largest in the country and features more than one hundred specialist booksellers from throughout the United States.

This year the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair celebrates the historical and cultural significance of the written word with its theme of The Art of the Idea. Ever since humans started drawing on cave walls, they’ve been trying to share their experiences and their ideas. We’ve come a long way from the days when ancient Egyptians and Greeks were pressing symbols into soft clay tablets or scratching out their ideas on papyrus. “This year we pay homage to the language artists in our midst who have for centuries been formulating, nurturing, and communicating ideas for the advancement of mankind,” said Sarah Smith, manager of the book fair. The notion embraces the written word particularly in book form, the enduring method of communication we all celebrate at the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair.

The Book Fair is presented in The Coliseum, a restored 1920s music and dance hall that has been billed as the South’s finest ballroom. Featuring a 34-foot arched ceiling over a polished oak floor, it has hosted such luminaries as Duke Ellington, Rudy Vallee, Harry James, and Paul Whiteman, not to mention Cab Calloway, Guy Lombardo, Benny Goodman, Count Basie, Tommy Dorsey, and Louis Armstrong. It is located at 535 Fourth Avenue North, in downtown St. Petersburg.

A complete list of participating exhibitors is available on their website .  Hours are Friday, April 20th,  5 p.m. to 9 p.m; Saturday, April 21st, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m; and Sunday, April 22nd: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Friday evening’s admission, which includes a live music performance, is $10 and the ticket is good for the entire weekend. Saturday’s admission is $10 for the weekend or $6 for the day.  Sunday’s admission is $6 for the day and includes a free appraisal by members of the Florida Bibliophile Society. Children 12 and under, and students with valid identification, are free. Parking is free. Ticket sales benefit the St Petersburg Public Library. Discount coupons are available online or on Facebook (search: “Florida Antiquarian Book Fair”).  Discounted tickets can also be purchased online through Eventbrite. Food and beverages, including cash bar, are available onsite.  St. Petersburg’s Historic Coliseum, 535 Fourth Ave. N, is known as “the finest ballroom in the South.”

Leslie Hindman Auctioneers Announces New Atlanta Location

Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, one of the nation's leading auction houses, will open its newest location in Atlanta, Georgia this spring. In September of 2017, the auction firm announced its expansion into Atlanta after hiring Director of Business Development Mary Calhoun.  Prior to this announcement Michael Shapiro (former Director of the High Museum of Art) had joined the firm in April 2017 as Senior Advisor, Museums and Private Collections.

In May 2018, Leslie Hindman Auctioneers will open at 668 Miami Circle in the Buckhead neighborhood of Atlanta. The facility will accommodate local auctions as well as full-service resources for appraising property and participating in global auctions through the firm's Chicago headquarters. The first auction to be conducted in Atlanta is scheduled for August 2018. Consignments are currently being accepted across all categories, which include fine art, fine jewelry, modern design, books and manuscripts, furniture, decorative arts and more.

"We plan on making Atlanta a major auction center," said Leslie Hindman, founder and CEO of Leslie Hindman Auctioneers. "Our focus has always been offering exceptional service and access to the global art market at a local level. The new location will not only be a resource for Atlanta but become a hub for the entire Southeast."

Lelia Williamson has also joined Leslie Hindman Auctioneers' Atlanta team as Consignment Manager. Before starting with the firm, Williamson worked at both Ahlers & Ogletree Auction Galleries in Atlanta and Rago Arts and Auction Center in New Jersey. She was Manager of the Department of American Paintings at Hirschl & Adler and spent time as a Curatorial Assistant at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta.  She received her MA from Sotheby's Institute of Art in New York, specializing in American Fine and Decorative Arts.

The new Buckhead location will be open Monday through Friday during business hours and on occasional weekends for auction previews.  Appraisal appointments are available for all categories and can be scheduled at any time.  For more information, please contact Mary Calhoun at (404) 800-0192.

Hobart Book Village

Hay-on-Wye established itself as the first book town in the world and remains the most famous thanks to the pioneering efforts and promotional talents of Richard Booth.  Other rural villages have tried to emulate that model but few have had lasting success.  Book towns are essentially cooperative efforts and the fact that many have been launched to great fanfare and later faded to oblivion points out the obvious – initial passion needs to be sustained by dedication and hard work.  One success that was featured in the Guardian delves into the interesting back story about how the Hobart Book Village came to be and how, after more than 10 years, it continues to thrive. 

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