PBA Galleries

Pacific Book Auction Galleries was founded in 1992, changing its name to PBA Galleries in 2001. The auction house holds regular sales at its galleries in the Van Ness area of San Francisco.

Specialising in rare books and manuscripts, their sales often focus on a particular area of collecting such as cartography, exploration, children’s books and Americana. They also offer private library sales.


img_31-1.jpg

Medley of tastes on offer in California

18 March 2019

A Californian sale of March 7 certainly offered great variety in age, content and price range. Promoted as A Biblio-Medley for All Tastes, it ran to well over 500 lots across its printed and supplementary, online catalogues – with at least one lot, a volume of the works of Arthur Hallam, sold for just $10.

img_38-4.jpg

Philip K Dick references the Dane

19 November 2018

Two copies of Time Out of Joint, an early dystopian work by the well-known sci-fi writer Philip K Dick, were offered in a PBA Galleries (20/15% buyer’s premium) sale of October 18.

img_39-1.jpg

Golfosaurians and other course tales

12 November 2018

One of just 100 first edition copies of National Golf Links of America by Charles Blair MacDonald was the top lot in a recent US golf sale at $15,000 (£11,450).

img_47-2.jpg

From Tolkas with ’Love to dearest Bobsie’

22 October 2018

The dust jacket is far from pristine, but this 1933 first of The Autobiography of Alice B Toklas is signed and inscribed by both its subject and her lifelong partner, the writer Gertrude Stein.

img_44-5.jpg

War on the American frontier is the focus of San Francisco sale

17 September 2018

Accounts of wars and skirmishes in the southern states of North America and Mexico were one notable feature of an August 23 sale held in San Francisco.

img_27-5.jpg

A ten shilling, ‘thick paper’ Federalist

18 June 2018

The Federalist…, a collection of essays first published in New York newspapers in the years immediately following independence, is today recognised as a seminal work on American political theory and a cornerstone of constitutional governance.

Golf book

First golf book tees off in the US

30 April 2018

Published in 1895, Wright & Dixon’s Guide to American Golf… was one of the very first books on the game to appear in that country. A copy sold on April 12 in San Francisco for $42,500 (£29,930) was billed as “perhaps the only copy extant”.

img_26-3.jpg

Busman on a honeymoon

26 March 2018

'Busman’s Honeymoon: A Love Story with Detective Interruptions' was the 11th and last of the Dorothy L Sayers books featuring Lord Peter Wimsey.

img_36-3.jpg

Plastic surgery fits the bill at auction

12 March 2018

A number of books on plastic surgery featured in a recent Californian sale including an 1833, first English edition of Johann F Dieffenbach’s Surgical Observations on the Restoration of the Nose.

img_31-4.jpg

There’s gold in them thar hills…

12 February 2018

Published jointly by Kellogg & Comstock of New York and D Needham of Buffalo, c.1849-50, the rare and amusing hand coloured lithograph shown below is titled The Independent Gold Hunter on His Way to California: I Neither Borrow nor Lend.

img_41-2.jpg

Fairy tales and Dr Seuss fascinate in the Big Apple

27 November 2017

Harry Clarke worked for three years on his first major book illustration commission, an edition of the Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen commissioned by Harrap.

img_25-4.jpg

Shelley signature competes with rare sci-fi and fantasy

30 October 2017

Science, fantasy and horror was the principal theme of a PBA Galleries (20/15% buyer’s premium) sale of October 5, though there were also books to appeal to broader literary tastes.

img_38-4.jpg

Hunting tales tracked down at auction

26 June 2017

Some of the more successful lots in a June 1 sale at PBA Galleries (20/15% buyer’s premium) of the first portion of the Richard Beagle collection of angling and sporting books were scarce accounts of early hunting trips in the Yukon and Wyoming.

img_36-1.jpg

Historian has a swing at covering ‘world’s first golf club’

08 May 2017

Best round scores in the most recent PBA Galleries (20/15% buyer’s premium) golfing sale came with the appearance of a group of the papers of golfing historian and collector CB Clapcott.

img_36-2.jpg

Literary path begins for Samuel Clemens aka Mark Twain

08 May 2017

Compiled by J Wells Kelly and published in San Francisco in 1862, a rare copy of the First Directory of Nevada Territory…, which was worn, dry and splitting but in original, leather-backed printed boards, sold for $6500 (£5080) in a PBA Galleries sale of April 20.

img_22-3.jpg

DNA identified as major Californian sale attraction

24 April 2017

A major attraction in a PBA Galleries (20/15% buyer’s premium) sale of April 6 was the Samuel Hessel ‘DNA’ collection of scientific papers, journals and books.

1658AB01A.jpg

Fighting for freedom and fighting on the Texas frontier

29 September 2004

AN escaped slave who became a prominent social reformer, journalist and public official, Frederick Douglass (1817-95) published a first account of his life in 1845, but revised and extended versions followed in 1855 and, finally in 1881 as The Life and Times...

1656AB02A.jpg

The wonderful industry of Oziana

16 September 2004

THERE are few things so distinctly American in the book auction world as the collections of ‘Oziana’ that arrive in the salerooms with remarkable regularity.

1645AB03F.jpg

Frankenstein and the fireproof book

22 June 2004

A TYPED first draft of Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer in which he uses real names of characters and places, not the pseudonyms of the finished book, carried a $100,000-150,000 estimate in a May 27 modern literature sale held in San Francisco by PBA Galleries but it joined a long list of unsold lots.

1642AB02A.jpg

Californian Wizardry

02 June 2004

A children’s and illustrated sale held by Pacific Book Auctions of San Francisco on May 13 included a collection of Oz books by L. Frank Baum.

News

Categories