Thursday, November 13, 2008

Auction Report: Recent Sales

Today's big story will be the sale of the 1612 Champlain map at Sotheby's: it made £157,250, better than tripling its estimate. This is the one, you'll recall, that turned out not to be Harvard's copy.

Some other highlights from the recent sales:

- At the Swann sale on 11 November, an illuminated book of hours (c. 1450-1500) sold for $15,600. A fifteen century Latin manuscript list of historical figures made $14,400 (it was estimated at $800-1,200, so I wonder if this is an error). A Darwin first of Origin, in not-very-good condition, made $21,600, and a fourth edition of Vesalius' De humani corporis went for $15,600.

- At Bloomsbury London's 30 October sale, a Shakespeare Second Folio made £75,000. A John Harrison pamphlet from 1765 relating to the longitude question made £20,000. A signed association copy of the first edition of Darwin's Expression of the Emotions made £17,000, better than doubling its estimate.

- At Bloomsbury New York's 11 November sale, just 75 of 135 lots sold. The Audubon octavo failed to sell. A third octavo edition made $17,000. The first edition of Lear's Parrots made $85,000. A second issue of Wilson's American Ornithology, with Bonaparte's additions, went for $14,000. And the Orchid Album made $19,500.

- Sotheby's Greece and the Levant sale on 13 November, an 1813 panorama of Constantinople sold for £23,750. A first edition of Bory de Saint-Vincent's Expédition Scientifique de Morée (1832-6) made £56,450. The Duchesse de Berry's copy of Choiseul-Gouffier's Voyage Pittoresque de la Grèce (1782-1822) fetched £106,850. Dupre's Voyage (1825) made £103,250. At the Natural History, Travel, Atlases & Maps sale, David Roberts' The Holy Land (1842-45) sold for £78,050 (and see the Champlain map mentioned at the top).

- Christie's Valuable Manusripts and Printed Books Sale on 12 November saw some biggies: the San Sisto Choirbooks sold for £657,250, and a Blaeu atlas made £169,250.

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