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  • Campbell E Sims' Harlem nightclub map beats estimate by 66%
  • Post author
    Paul Fraser
  • CampbellEHarlemSims'

Campbell E Sims' Harlem nightclub map beats estimate by 66%

The original copy of Campbell E Sims' Nightclub Map of Harlem has sold for $100,000 at Swann Auction Galleries.

It smashed an estimate of $60,000 by 66.6% in the March 31 African-Americana auction in New York.

Map Harlem Sims
Sims' was clearly a regular in the bars and clubs of Harlem

Swann explains: "The 'Night-Club Map' is both a guide and a who's who of the old Prohibition speakeasies and night-clubs that dotted the Harlem landscape in the 1920's and 1930's, many of them surviving well after Prohibition was repealed."

The work was first published in Manhattan Magazine in 1932. It shows the location of some of Harlem's liveliest haunts, including Small's Paradise, the Radium Club and Gladys' Clam Bar.

At the time the district was in the midst of the Harlem Renaissance - the great flowering of music, art and culture facilitated by the exodus of black Americans from the country to the big cities.

Sims was one of the first black illustrators to find work in mainstream white publications such as  Esquire and Playboy.

He was also clearly a regular in Harlem's bars and clubs. He includes various tips, including which clubs open at 5am and where to procure marijuana.

The sale included a wealth of incredible artefacts, including an "Honor King: End Racism" placard carried by striking sanitation workers in Memphis in 1968.

The lot realised $25,000 against a $12,000 estimate - an increase of 108.3%.

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  • Post author
    Paul Fraser
  • CampbellEHarlemSims'