The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 Friday, January 15, 2021

Landmark mystery fiction collection of Otto Penzler offered by Heritage Auctions
The Otto Penzler Library.

DALLAS, TX.- Otto Penzler's lifelong passion for mystery fiction began with "The Complete Sherlock Holmes" by Arthur Conan Doyle.

With little competition in the early days, he began uncovering first-edition copies of detective fiction by scouring dozens of shops across New York City's 4th Avenue "booksellers' row." His collection of detective fiction was an addicting, yet affordable pursuit, and clearly ahead of its time.

"It was easy to find a half dozen first editions in collectable condition within my five-dollar-a-week budget," Penzler said. "My primary drive was buying a book in the mystery world that I could afford. It was the pure joy of collecting."

Now a giant of the New York literary scene, Penzler is opening his personal library to fellow collectors for the first time in 55 years. The Otto Penzler Collection of Mystery Fiction, Part 1, debuts in Heritage Auctions' Rare Books Auction March 6 in New York.

After devouring work by authors Agatha Christie, John Dickson Carr and Ellery Queen, it was Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett who convinced the young collector that crime fiction could be elevated to a place of parity with the best of American literature.

Penzler opened the Mysterious Bookshop in midtown Manhattan in 1979, a business that supplied like-minded fiction fans as well as his growing and enviable collection.

"Every first edition that came into the store was compared against my personal copy," Penzler said. "It was where I researched every week. I upgraded books constantly, being obsessed with having the best possible copy, as well as checking for variants, which I thought important for bibliographical purposes." After decades of finding new titles, and upgrading the ones he already had, he needed to build a massive library attached to his medium-size home, a bibliophile's palace.

The investment paid off: Penzler's 1929 first edition copy of Hammett's "Red Harvest" may sell for at least $60,000, and a first edition of "The Big Sleep," signed by Chandler himself, may sell for more than $30,000.

A remarkable copy of "The Maltese Falcon", a high spot of the hard-boiled canon and Hammett's first book to feature Sam Spade, also may sell north of $30,000.

"We believe this to be the best and most comprehensive collection in this genre ever assembled," said Greg Rohan, president of Heritage Auctions. "This auction is only the first in an ongoing series of auctions over the next two years that will showcase to the world Otto's unprecedented collection."

The initial offering includes 231 lots, including rare volumes such as the 1845 first edition, first printing of "Tales" by Edgar Allan Poe and James M. Cain's "The Postman Always Rings Twice," a coveted 1934 first edition association copy, inscribed by the author. The entire collection on offer March 6 is now open for preview and bidding.

Part 2 of The Otto Penzler Collection of Mystery Fiction auction is Sept. 5 in New York, with a strong emphasis on British authors.

Today's News

February 16, 2019

Historic show marks 350 years of Rembrandt, the 'first Instagrammer'

Major gift to The Met of Peter Doig's modern masterpiece Two Trees

The Morgan announces the restoration of J. Pierpont Morgan's Library designed by McKim, Mead & White

Christie's announces details of lots included in the sale of The Private Collection of Florence and Herbert Irving

Junya Ishigami to design Serpentine Pavilion 2019

Cheffins launches major rebrand and new website

Israeli photographer revives archaic art form in border series

Exhibition explores themes of illusion, power, and escapism through the physical space of the theater

Seattle Art Museum announces $150 million campaign with over $125M pledged to date

Double exhibition of the work of Erwin Olaf opens in The Hague

John James Audubon's The Birds of America returns to view at the North Carolina Museum of Art

MARC STRAUS opens a solo exhibition of works by Italian artist Sandro Chia

Trulee Hall's first solo exhibition with Maccarone opens in Los Angeles

Landmark mystery fiction collection of Otto Penzler offered by Heritage Auctions

Art Gallery of Greater Victoria showcases Fiona Tan's installation Ascent

Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens presents Edmund Greacen and World War I

Crocker Art Museum exhibits works by printmaker, sculptor, and publisher Leonard Baskin

Raina Lampkins-Fielder named Curator of Souls Grown Deep Foundation

Joseph Tisiga presents a cutting-edge navigation of identity and self through an exhibition

'Small Island' novelist Andrea Levy dies aged 62

'No regrets' for ballet bad boy Polunin as he premieres new show in Moscow

A half century of Peruvian photography explores a city and a culture at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art

Dancer/choreographer/filmmaker Yvonne Rainer to join Barnard College as Orzeck Artist-in-Residence

Artist dives into the recesses of memory to explore the darkness within us all

Paying for Your Wedding: Is Personal Loan the Answer?

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful