Sunday, May 15, 2011

Auction Report: May 10-15 Sales

- The Sotheby's London Travel, Atlases, Maps & Natural History sale on 10 May brought in £1,393,000. Full results here. The Egyptology items did particularly well: the unexpected top lot was a first edition of Ippolito Rosselini's I Monumenti dell'Egritto e della Nubia (1832-1844), which made £169,250. Champollion's Monuments de l'Egypte et de la Nubie (1835-1845) fetched £85,250. A copy of Description de l'Egypte did much better than expected, fetching £99,500 over estimates of £20,000-30,000. The Egyptian archive of embroidery templates and artwork sold for £73,250. Gould's Birds of Europe was the only non-Egypt-related high seller; it made £56,450. The 1570 Paolo Forlani world map and the first edition of Purchas his Pilgrimes did not sell.

- Watch the summer Fine Books & Collections for my full take on the 11 May Michel Wittock sale at Christie's Paris on 11 May, but full results are here. Of the 80 lots, 57 sold, for a total of €1,738,037. That spectacular copy of Description de l'Egypte was by far the top lot, reaching €1,095,400. Several of the fine bindings also sold well.

- The Importants Livres Anciens, Livres d'Artistes, et Manuscrits sale, also at Christie's on 11 May, saw 192 of 238 lots sell, realizing €3,282,250. Four of the top five lots, all hammered down at more than €100,000, where John Gould works: his Birds of Australia (€199,000); A Monograph of the Trochilidae (€151,000); The Birds of New Guinea (€111,400); and Birds of Asia (€109,000). The other top lot was a Mozart music manuscript, which fetched €115,000.

- Swann's Literature; Art, Press & Illustrated Books sale on 12 May saw a copy of the Jasper Johns/Samuel Beckett Foirades/Fizzles as the top lot, making $16,800.

- At Bloomsbury London's Continental & English Literature and Manuscripts, the top lot was two A.E. Housman manuscript poems, which made £10,000.

For what's coming up in the second half of May, see my preview post.

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