Top collection of Americana on market

June 20, 2005 at 8:13 PM

BRYN MAWR, Pa., June 20 (UPI) -- Ex-Philadelphia Flyers President Jay Snider is selling his collection of rare books and maps because he wants to start a new one focused on Ben Franklin.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that the collection to be auctioned Tuesday is large enough to stock a small museum. The 346 items include the first-known map of New Jersey, earliest engraving of Manhattan and a first edition of "The Generall Historie of Virginia, New-England, and the Summer Isles" by the celebrated Capt. John Smith.

"You're not going to see anything like it for another 10 years," Don Cresswell, co-owner of the Philadelphia Print Shop told the newspaper.

The sale is expected to bring in $5 to $6 million.

Snider said that he is still buying and wants to shift his collection to early Philadelphia and Ben Franklin. He already owns an early "Poor Richard's Almanac."

"I wanted to focus on building one body of the collection that in the end would add up to something very meaningful," he told the Inquirer.

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