Hindman’s Books & Manuscripts, including Americana, department sales encompass a broad range of categories, including printed and manuscript Americana, maps and atlases, science and medicine, travel and exploration, literature, natural history, manuscripts, fine press and printing, livres d’artiste, fine bindings, original illustration art, and a diverse range of important historic objects. Central to our success is our specialists’ unparalleled experience in the field and our commitment to our clients.
The Books & Manuscripts department at Hindman conducts regularly scheduled auctions of collections large and small consigned by individuals, estates and institutions. We invite you to contact our Books & Manuscripts department for a complimentary auction estimate.
Gretchen Hause is the director and senior specialist of the Books & Manuscripts Department at Hindman.
She joined the Books & Manuscripts Department at Hindman Auctions in 2017, after working for over 7 years as a specialist in the Books and Manuscripts Department at Christie’s in New York. During her tenure at Hindman, Gretchen has handled numerous books and maps for record prices, including the superb Mellon-Garden copy of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species, sold in 2019 for the world auction record price of $564,500. She also secured and sold a rare copy of Palmatary’s 1857 pre-fire view of Chicago (the only copy in private hands) for nearly $200,000, and secured and auctioned a copy of Ratzer’s fine Plan of the City of New York for a world auction record $162,500.
In 2019, Gretchen was responsible for the sale of the Library of a Midwestern Collector. The 86-lot sale achieved $2 million, a record for any sale for the department, setting the world auction record for Darwin’s On the Origin of Species, and bringing strong prices for several scientific works, works on computing, and other notable high spots. In 2018, she secured and handled the Fine Cartographic and Printed Americana Collection of Eric and Evelyn Newman, which was 97% sold by lot, achieving the highest sale total at the time for a single-session auction in department history, and bringing several record prices. She also organized the successful sale of The Adventure & Exploration Library of Steve Fossett. The two-session sale brought nearly $900,000, a department record at the time, and achieved a 100% sell through rate.
Prior to joining Hindman Auctions, Gretchen spent 7 years in the Books and Manuscripts department at Christie’s in New York. While at Christie’s, she was the cataloguer for numerous successful sales of collections, including the Dorothy Shea collection of fore-edge paintings (96% sold by lot) and duplicates from the Warren H. Corning Library of the Holden Arboretum, which were 95% sold by lot in 2013 to benefit the acquisitions fund. She also helped catalogue the Cornelius J. Hauck Private Botanical Library (92% sold by lot in 2016), and the American Literature collection of Mrs. J. Insley Blair, which was 95% sold by lot. She had the opportunity to work on a number of landmark single-owner sales, including those of the collections of Kenneth Nebenzahl (exploration and maps), Arthur and Charlotte Vershbow (the art of book illustration), and Jean Perrette (travel and exploration), as well as the sale of the iconic Kelmscott printing press.
Gretchen has attended introductory and advanced bibliography and history of bookbinding courses at Rare Book School at the University of Virginia, and holds a B.A. and M.A. in English Literature. She studied primarily British literature, with emphases in medieval and modern literature. Gretchen is a member of the Grolier Club, the Caxton Club, the Washington Map Society, and the Chicago Map Society. She is an auctioneer, and has over a decade of experience working with rare books and manuscripts.
“A fine copy with plates in exceptional condition.”
“An exceedingly scarce pre-fire view of Chicago, the only copy in private hands.”
“An important letter written by Lincoln requesting the resignation of his cabinet member during the contested 1864 Presidential election”
“A rare variant of the first edition, an extraordinary book produced in extreme conditions, beautifully- produced, printed, and bound by amateur book-makers.”
“A fine copy of Tolkien’s best-selling classic work of fiction.”
“Extremely scarce, one of only three copies sold at auction in the last 30 years.”
“An exquisite 16th-century manuscript illustrated by Dürer’s woodcut views with contemporary hand-coloring.”
“A manuscript of Gershwin’s beloved composition, which evoked the sights and energy of Paris in the 1920s.”
“A monument of North America cartography – the first large-scale printed map of colonial North America, and the first to show all thirteen colonies.”
“A rare complete set of small-format posters representing the work of 97 artists, compiled by Jules Chéret, and published during the Belle Époque.”
“A superb association copy, presented by Wilde to his friend and patron, George Alexander.”
“A fine copy of this remarkable and unique unrecorded issue of Humboldt’s monumental work.”
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