Saturday, November 19, 2011

Auction Report: November Highlights and Previews


- Full results for the 2-3 November Art + Object auction of the Pycroft Collection of Rare New Zealand, Australian and Pacific Books [PDF] are here [PDF]. The sale brought in a total of NZ$546,060, with 596 of 632 lots selling. Highlights at Antipodean Footnotes.

- At the 3 November PBA Galleries Travel, Natural History, Medicine and Cartography sale, just 137 of 239 lots sold. The top lot was a copy of Aurel Stein's Innermost Asia (1928), which fetched $14,400.

- On 9 November at the Sotheby's Paris Livres et Manuscrits sale, 170 of 241 lots sold (full results here), for a total of €3,484,102. Top billing was shared by La Prose du Transsibérien of Blaise Cendrars and Sonia Delaunay (1913) and a 1595 edition of Montaigne's Essais. Both lots sold for €288,750 (the Montaigne much surpassing its €80,000-120,000 estimate). The collection of 126 Revolutionary decrees and the 1475 Augsburg Bible did not sell.

- The same day's Livres Précieux de la Bibliothèque d'un Amateur sale brought in €1,338,103, with 117 of 131 lots selling. Full results here. The set of Buffon was indeed the high seller, fetching €264,750.

- At the Skinner Fine Books & Manuscripts sale, held 13 November, the top seller was, as expected, the holographic copy of the joint Congressional resolution proposing the 13th Amendment, which sold for $225,150. The Abraham Lincoln letter to Massachusetts Governor John Andrew fetched $24,885. You can pull up full results here.

- At the Christie's New York sale of Fine Printed Books and Manuscripts on 15 November, 162 of 211 lots sold, for a total of $2,771,687. The Thomas Jefferson letter to Mathew Carey was the top lot, at $218,500. John Speed's The Threatre of the Empire of Great Britaine (1611-12) did well, selling for $194,500. The two leaves from George Washington's draft (and undelivered) first inaugural address fetched $182,500. Darwin's Origin made $134,500, while Roberts & Croly's The Holy Land sold for $122,500. The two Gironcourt manuscript maps, the 16th-century composite atlas, Hemingway's typewriter, and the John Adams letter failed to sell.

- At Sotheby's London's 15 November sale of Travel, Atlases, Maps and Natural History, 134 of 203 lots sold, for a total of £2,246,400. Full results here. The Linnaeus Tripe photographs of Burma (1855) sold for £241,250, and another Tripe set, photographs of Mysore, India (1854) made £181,250. Braun and Hogenberg's Civitates Orbis Terrarum fetched £151,250, while The 1566 Cimerlinus world map sold for £145,250.

- At the 17 November, Rare Books and Manuscripts sale at PBA Galleries, 122 of 229 lots found homes. The 1613 folio King James Bible was the top seller, reaching $33,000. A 1933 monograph on Chinese bronzes made $30,000.


- Christie's London sells Valuable Printed Books and Manuscripts on 23 November, in 83 lots. Pedro de Medina's Arte de navegar (1545) is estimated at £200,000-300,000, and a first edition Vesalius could fetch £120,000-160,000. The New York "second folio" edition of Audubon's Birds of America rates a £100,000-150,000 estimate, as does Maria Sibylla Merian's Der rupsen begin (1713-1717).

- On 29 November, Bonhams Oxford will sell Books, Maps, Manuscripts and Photographs, in 778 lots.

- Bloomsbury sells Important Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper on 29 November, in 527 lots.

- Christie's Paris sells Importants livres anciens, livres d'artistes et manuscrits on 29 November, in 306 lots. The top estimate, €70,000-100,000, is shared by a 1540 Jean Girard Bible and a set of Nikolai Koutepov's works on Russian hunting (1896-1911).

- Sotheby's London sells Music and Continental Books and Manuscripts on 30 November, in 180 lots. Schumann's manuscript of Szenen Aus Goethes "Faust" rates the top estimate, at £700,000-800,000. A first edition of Copernicus' De revolutionibus (1543) is estimated at £500,000-700,000.

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