FALLS CHURCH, Va. – Waverly Rare Books, a division of Quinn’s Auction Galleries in suburban Washington DC, will deliver a wealth of local nostalgia to the auction block on Thursday, September 19th. The centerpiece of the sale is a remarkable selection of gelatin silver photographic prints by Theodor Horydczak (Polish/American, 1890-1971), whose specialty was documenting in black and white the architecture and social activities in our nation’s capital primarily during the first half of the 20th century.
Horydczak was especially adept at capturing attractive angles of government buildings and landmarks, both inside and out. He enjoyed being in the heart of the action and was there with his camera for such events as the 1933 World Series and Washington’s World War II preparedness campaigns. The vast majority of Horydczak’s work – more than 14,000 photos in all – became part of the permanent collection at The Library of Congress after his family donated the extensive archive.
“Theodor Horydczak was an accomplished commercial photographer whose photos were turned into postcards, calendars and other printed ephemera. In our research, we came across a rare Mount Vernon souvenir postcard featuring one of Horydczak’s photos, which leads us to believe he also sold his photos to museums and cultural institutions,” said Monika Schiavo, director of Waverly Rare Books.
There are 35 large-format Horydczak photographs in the September 19th auction, some of them measuring over 6 feet. Three are pencil-signed and some are stamped on verso with Horydczak’s studio name and reproduction notice.
“The consignor of the Horydczak photographs purchased them years ago as a box lot at a country auction in Virginia, then stored them away,” Schiavo said. Estimates range from $300-$500 for a gelatin silver print of the National Cathedral Sanctuary, to $1,500-$2,500 for a dramatic after-dark image of the US Capitol and Reflecting Pool, pencil-signed by Horydczak. Beautiful photos of the Washington Monument and Mount Vernon are also among the signed lots.
The auction will recall America’s days as a new nation in the form of an archive of historical documents pertaining to Fries Rebellion. The 1798 uprising of German-American farmers near Philadelphia, led by John Fries (circa 1750-1818), protested a federal real property tax enacted by President John Adams to finance an anticipated war with France. In July of 1798 Fries led the group of dissenters to a jail in Bethlehem, Pa., demanding the release of prisoners who had been arrested for resisting the tax.
U.S. District Judge Richard Peters issued warrants for the tax protestors and sent U.S. Marshall William Nichols to Northampton County in February of 1798. Nichols arrested 20 violators and held them in the Sun Tavern in Bethlehem prior to their removal to court in Philadelphia. Fries led a company of men to the tavern and negotiated with Nichols, who eventually released the prisoners; whereupon Fries and his company dispersed. Later, Fries was captured and tried twice. Both times he was convicted of treason and sentenced to hang, but in 1800 he was pardoned by President Adams.
Group Lot 436 contains 31 documents pertaining to Fries Rebellion, including the written appointment of Capt. William Rodman of the Bucks County Troop of Light Dragoons to the post of Deputy Marshall, troop rolls, lists of equipment, payments to soldiers, and correspondence requesting payment for expenses for forage and stores. The archive is estimated at $2,000-$3,000.
A compelling slice of 20th-century British history is encapsulated in Lot 371, a set of three custom-cased, blue cloth albums originally belonging to Edward the Prince of Wales (briefly King Edward VIII until his abdication; later Duke of Windsor). The albums contain 117 photographs relating to Edward’s British Army service in Egypt and Sudan during March and April of 1916. The photos include such subjects as British military personnel in a rowboat crossing the Suez Canal, Indian military men on camels, two photos of a monkey on board the ship that transported Edward to Sudan, two photos of trains, and many pictures of the prince on horseback, with honor guards and other officers. Additionally, there are photos from the palace of the Governor-General of Sudan, and images of Sudanese commoners, some with livestock. The bound albums are embossed in gold: “Windsor Photographs Vol. 159/160/161.” Estimate: $400-$700.
Edward isn’t the only royalty represented in Waverly’s September 19 auction. Memories of America’s own “king” – Elvis Presley – are captured in Lot 434, a record-album sleeve personally inscribed “To Sue/Thanks./Elvis Presley.” In very good condition, the autographed sleeve is expected to make $300-$500.
Among the top entries in the Art & Illustrations section is Lot 192, a cased 1898 folio of Pierre Bonnard lithographs titled La Lithographie Originale en Couleurs (Paris: Andrew Mellerio). Two original lithographs by Bonnard are among those included. Estimate: $1,500-$2,500. Also, Lot 203, a set of six French art and literary journals, features original lithos by Chagall, Calder and Tapies. The six issues of Derriere Le Miroir (Paris: Maeght) are from as early as 1966, the period during which Calder’s star rose to prominence worldwide. Estimate: $200-$300. Lot 276, The Prints of Roy Lichtenstein – A Catalogue Raisonne 1948-1993 by Mary Lee Corlett, is estimated at $150-$200.
A boxed set designed by Jasper Johns as a tribute to Gertrude Stein is cataloged as Lot 53. The compartmented set was created for a 1971 museum exhibition in Germany and includes paper rolls that introduce and list the contents of the exhibit; as well as an advertisement for Johns’ “lightbulb” works, and a red plastic rose. The lot is affordably estimated at $80-$120.
Waverly Rare Books’ September 19 auction will begin at 6 p.m. Eastern time. The preview is on from September 14 through and including auction day (see website for hours). The gallery is closed on Sundays.
All forms of bidding will be available, including absentee or live via the Internet through www.LiveAuctioneers.com. For information on any lot in the sale, call 703-532-5632 or e-mail email@example.com. Visit Waverly Rare Books online at www.quinnsauction.com.
View the fully illustrated catalog and sign up to bid absentee or live via the Internet at www.LiveAuctioneers.com.