Saturday, October 16, 2010

Auction Report: Recent Highlights

Some highlights from the first two weeks' worth of October auctions:

- The 7 October Christie's New York sale: A Historic Photographic Grand Tour: Important Daguerreotypes by Joseph-Philibert Girault de Prangey (74 lots) resulted in 58 lots sold, for a total of $2,873,875. The top lot was a signed 1841 daguerrotype of plants, which made $242,500.

- Bloomsbury London's 7 October Maps, Atlases, Travel and Topographical Books, Prints & Photographs (610 lots) resulted in 435 lots sold. The top lot was Peter Simon Pallas' Sammlungen Historischer Nachrichten uber die Mongolischen Volkerschaften (1776-1801), which sold for £14,000 (over estimates of just £750-1,000).

- At Sotheby's Paris' Bibliothèque d'un érudit bibliophile: Rome et l'Italie sale on 12-13 October the total take was 3,587,994 EUR. The unexpected top seller was a 1546 edition of Rabelais, which made 348,750 EUR over estimates of just 18,000-23,000 EUR. Another surprise was Hancarville's Antiquities Etrusques, Grecques et Romaines (1766-1776), which made 204,750 EUR. A first edition of the Hypernotomachia poliphili fetched 132,750 EUR.

- Bloomsbury New York's sale of the first part of the Richard Harris Collection of Natural History and Colourplate Books on 13 October in New York resulted in 155 of 172 lots sold. Six lots did better than $100,000, with the first edition of Audubon's Quadrupeds coming out on top, at $420,000 (but several other top-estimated lots failing to sell).

- The "second selection" from the James S. Copley library sold at Sotheby's New York yesterday. The Henry Strachey archive made $602,500 (well below estimates), and the rest of the lots sold for $2,714,507. The manuscript list of California missions written by Junipero Serra did not sell; the top seller was Jefferson's Notes on the State of Virginia, which made $254,500. Washington's copy of The Beauties of Swift(1782), which was estimated at $30,000-50,000, made $104,500, as did a copy of Washington's 1754 Journal covering the period at the start of the French & Indian War. The Tobias Lear letter on the death of Washington made $50,000.

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