Friday, December 12, 2008

Auction Report: Sotheby's & Bloomsbury

The results are in from yesterday's Fine Books and Manuscripts sale at Sotheby's New York; the sale, in 247 lots, brought in a total of $3,342,440.

A first English edition of Jefferson's Notes on the State of Virginia (1787) made $22,500. A ca. 1773 Jeffreys and Faden imprint of John Mitchell's "Map of the British and French Dominions in North America" beat its estimates soundly, fetching $170,500. Likewise for Henry Popple's 1733-34 "Map of the British Empire in America with the French and Spanish Settlements Adjacent thereto," called the "first large-scale map of British possessions in America." That sold for $104,500.

A copy of Gil Blas from George Washington's library sold for $52,500. A playbill for the performance of "Our American Cousin" at Ford's Theatre on the night of 14 April 1865 made $4,375. A bound collection of three Thomas Paine pamphlets, including the rare first edition of The American Crisis No. 1 ("These are the times that try men's souls") sold for a higher-than-expected $158,500. A Shakespeare Fourth Folio fetched $104,500, as did an 1811 Beethoven letter.

As far as the MassHort books, I haven't calculated the total haul for them, but the 1526 Herball made $86,500, while the Hortus Sanitatis didn't meet its estimate, fetching $98,500. It appears that just thirteen of the twenty-five MassHort lots sold (lots 212-237).

Meanwhile, Bloomsbury New York's 10 December sale of Important Books, Manuscripts, Literature and Americana also went off this week. Results are here. Looks like it was a pretty quiet day over there. A 1520 Apianus world map fetched $50,000. The original typed draft of Aleister Crowley's The Book of Thoth sold for $30,000. A copy of the first publication of Poe's "The Raven" in book form made $19,000, but the unpublished Poe manuscript failed to sell. A trifecta of presidential letters written by Washington, Adams, and Jefferson fetched $32,000, $28,000 and $36,000 respectively. The big seller was a John Jeffreys American Atlas (1776), which made $80,000.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

The Poe manuscript did not "fail to sell," in fact. It was withdrawn prior to auction after receiving a bid that was "multiple times" the high-end estimate of 200,000 USD. An offer even Poe couldn't have refused.