Thursday, November 11, 2010

Auction Report: Sotheby's London and Christie's Paris

- The 4 November Sotheby's London Travels, Atlases, Maps and Natural History sale brought in £1,098,500, with 133 of 214 lots selling. The four-volume composite atlas (c. 1740) and Henry Cook's Recollections of a Tour in the Ionian Islands ... (1853) shared top honors, each fetching £97,250 (with the latter greatly surpassing estimates of £25,000-35,000). A 1708 Janssonius atlas sold for £73,250. The Hortus Eystettensis (1613), which garned a top estimate, did not sell.

- Christie's Paris Importants Livres Anciens, Livres d'Artistes et Manuscrits on 9 November made €1,137,750, with 141 of 193 lots selling. A first edition of Goya's Los Caprichos (1799) was the top seller, bringing in €145,000. Another Goya work, Treinta y tres stampas ... (1816) made €115,000. The first edition of Descartes' Discours de la Méthode made €55,000. The fragment of Saint-Exupéry's manuscript of Pilote de guerre, the top-estimated lot in this sale, failed to sell.

There are some really great sales coming up through the rest of the month (my preview here), and I'll report on those as they happen; after this weekend I'll also start previewing the really great range of sales coming up during the first week in December, including the American Experience sale at Bonhams, Edward Tufte's research library at Christie's, and the Hesketh sale at Sotheby's.

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