RIVERRUN specializes in rare, antiquarian, and unusual books & literary manuscripts of all periods, with an emphasis on illustrated and artist's books, the fine and decorative arts, photography, architecture, design, fine literature, travel & exploration, science & technology, and Americana. We seek interesting and important material in all fields.
We are open by chance or appointment.
RIVERRUN was founded in 1978 by Frank Scioscia, a former sales executive for Harper’s Books, and was continued from 1993 by his son-in-law, Christopher P. Stephens, whose career as a bookman has spanned four decades. RIVERRUN was purchased by Tom Lecky in the Summer of 2016.
Prior to taking over RIVERRUN, Tom Lecky was Head of the Printed Books & Manuscripts Department at Christie’s auction house in New York, and a Senior Vice President there. Tom joined Christie’s in 1999 as a specialist, and was named head of department in 2006. Tom has extensive experience in the fields of science & technology, travel & exploration, and historical Americana, as well as English & American literature. As a former head of department in a major auction house, however, Tom has broad knowledge in all fields of books and manuscripts, from Homer to Harry Potter. Tom has worked on some of the most significant collections to come to auction in the last 25 years: prime among them are the auctions of the Kenneth Nebenzahl and Frank S. Streeter libraries of important Americana, navigation & voyages, and the Richard Green Library of Important Scientific Books.
Tom catalogued the publisher’s copy of Isaac Newton’s Principia Mathematica sold at Christie’s New York in December 2016 for $3.7million, a world record for a scientific book. This beat the previous record, which Tom also catalogued: the Richard Green copy of Nicholaus Copernicus's De revolutionibus (1543) that sold for $2.2 million dollars. This remains a world auction record for any sixteenth-century book at auction. Tom also handled Abel Buell's 1783 map of the United States that sold for $2.1 million. This remains a world auction record for any printed map. He has been involved in many other historic sales of the past quarter century, including those of Jack Kerouac’s typescript scroll of On the Road; The Helmut N. Friedlaender Library (early printed books, science, and literature); The Library of Abel E. Berland (English literature, early printed books); The William E. Self Library (English and American literature); The Estelle Doheny Collection from St. Mary's of the Barrens, Perryville, Missouri (early printed books, Bibles, American literature); Masterpieces of Modern Literature: The Library of Roger Rechler; The Estate of Mary, Viscountess Eccles (English literature including Shakespeare); and The History of the Book: The Cornelius J. Hauck Collection (important historical texts, miniature books, and bindings). Tom cataloged the groundbreaking sale The Origins of Cyberspace, the first auction exclusively devoted to the history of the computer. Tom's skills and knowledge extend beyond the fields of printed books and manuscripts: at Christie’s he oversaw the sale of Bob Dylan's Fender Stratocaster that was used when he (in)famously “went electric” at Newport, 1964: at $964,000, it was a world record for a guitar sold at auction. Tom was an auctioneer at Christie's, and he has appeared since 1999 as an appraiser on PBS's Antiques Roadshow.
Tom previously served as Director of the Books & Prints Departments at Doyle New York. Tom was educated at Stanford University (MA American literature), Columbia College (BA English) and Choate Rosemary Hall. Tom occasionally finds time to pursue the recording of instrumental music, having released four albums under the name Hallock Hill.
Appraisers Association of America, Certified Member
The Grolier Club, member since 1999
The Bibliographical Society of America
The Manuscript Society
More about Tom Lecky can be found on his PBS Antiques Roadshow appraiser page and in these select mentions in the press:
Fine Books & Collections: "Bright Young Booksellers: Tom Lecky"
Rare Book Monthly: "Tom Lecky, the next stage"
NY Times: “Bits of History (of Bits) on the Auction Block.”
NBC News: “Science Books Fetch Astronomical Prices.”
USA Today: “Copernicus book sells for more than $2.2M in New York.”
The Guardian: “Philip Roth tops the bill at PEN's annotated first edition auction.”
CNBC: “Walt Whitman Book Sells for $305,000.”