Posted on January 13, 2022 at 11:48 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

A prominent rare-book dealer's private collection is headed to auction, years after his death.

But for those with the means to buy items from it, it seems well worth the wait.

The New York Times reports that William Reese's private library will be auctioned off in a series of events, beginning in May.

Among the crown jewels: an early printed copy of the Declaration of Independence (estimated at $1 million to $1.5 million), a first edition of John Smith’s General History of Virginia, New England and the Summer Isles from 1624 ($300,000 to $500,000), and rare editions of John James Audubon and Herman Melville, according to the NY Times.

The Melville items will be auctioned off separately in September; those items include his annotated copy of Dante's Divine Comedy and an inscribed copy of his novel Typee.

The head of books and manuscripts for Christie's, which is handling the collection, gave a conservative estimate that everything together would bring in a total of $12 million to $18 million.

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