Doyle New York to Auction Rare Books, Documents and More from the City Bar Library

A first edition of The Federalist, signed by the “Treasurer of the American Revolution”; a 1783 letter from George Washington on the evacuation of British soldiers from New York City; a 1735 copy of the Charter of the City of New York printed by Peter Zenger; and a note signed by Benedict Arnold in 1779, around the time he considered becoming a spy for the British, are just a few of the items from the library of the New York City Bar Association to be auctioned by Doyle New York in November. The first set of items from the City Bar’s collection will be featured as part of Doyle New York’s auction of Rare Books & Autographs on November 24, 2014, with additional items to be offered in the spring and fall of 2015. In all, there will be close to 1,000 lots of what Doyle describes as “important Americana from the Colonial and Federal Eras through the Western Expansion.” The City Bar’s decision to auction these materials was based on consideration of the condition and quantity of these historic items. “While we have treasured all of the one-of-a-kind books and materials that have come to our library over the past century and a half, the City Bar’s focus is on serving the legal profession, and we cannot give these volumes the type of care they will continue to need,” said the City Bar’s Library Director, Richard Tuske, who began working in the Association’s library in 1972. “Making a number of these works available for auction will better lead to their preservation.” Doyle states that the City Bar’s collection contains a number of examples so rare that they have never appeared on the market, with others having been off the market for over a century. Among the items of note are Northwest Territory – Maxwell’s Code, the first book printed in Ohio, which guided western expansion into the Northwest Territory and which Doyle calls a “noted American rarity”; Hawaii Constitution & Laws; The General Laws and Liberties of the Masachusetts Colony; The Lawes of Virginia Now in Force; and Laws of the Territory of New Mexico. The City Bar will host a viewing reception in its library on November 12th, and Doyle New York will host an exhibition on November 21 – 23. Private previews are available in advance by appointment with Doyle (; 212-427-2730). The auction catalogue for the November 24, 2014 sale will be available in early November. View auction details on Doyle New York’s website here.