Rare Literary Works from Serendipity Books to Go Under Hammer

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The much-anticipated Bonhams sale from Serendipity Books in Berkeley, Calif., will start along with a great selection of European paintings and 20th century designs in San Francisco.

The lots will include more than 200 works of poetry as well as fiction by literary masters like John Steinbeck, Samuel Beckett, William Faulkner, Allen Ginsburg, Robinson Jeffers, Henry James, Richard Ford, Joseph Conrad, Henry Miller, Ring Lardner and others.

A highlight of the event will be a 1924 edition of James Joyce's Ulysses, estimated at $300 to $500. The novel by the Irish author is regarded as one of the most important works of modernist literature.

Other highlights of the event include a first edition of Malcolm Lowry's Under the Volcano (est. $300-$500); a first edition of John Steinbeck's East of Eden (est. $300-$500); an advance proof copy of Horace McCoy's They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (est. $400-$600); and an advance uncorrected proof along with an advance reader's copy of Marilynne Robinson's Housekeeping (est. $400-$600).

Peter Howard (1939-2011), the late owner of Serendipity Books, has been eulogized as one of the most imaginative booksellers of his generation. His collection included not only individual titles but entire collections. He wanted people to search for their books, looking carefully and hopefully finding not only what they were looking for, but far more.

The paintings on offer, on the other hand, will comprise a mix of Old Master and 19th century works including a charming mythical subject: a French 18th century oil of Diana and Endymion (est. $4,000-$6,000).

Other notable selections featuring Biblical scenes will include a Flemish School 17th century oil on panel of Christ on the Cross (est. $3,000-$5,000) and an Italian School painting of Susannah and the Elders (est. $3,000-$5,000) from the late 18th/early 19th century.

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