Monday, April 02, 2012

Auction Report: March Review

Here's a look at highlights from the March book auctions:

- At the Swann Eric C. Caren collection sale, held 15 March, the top lot ended up being a copy of the 1622 A briefe Relation of the Discovery and Plantation of New England, which sold for $55,200. The original manuscript indictment of a Salem "witch," Margaret Scott, sold for $31,200, as did a copy of the 13 June 1789 Gazette of the United States, which contains the first printing in any form of the Bill of Rights. The bookplate Paul Revere engraved for Isaiah Thomas fetched $1,320.

- PBA Galleries old Fine Literature & Fine Books in All Fields on 15 March. The copy of H.G. Wells' first book, The First Men in the Moon, sold for $7,800. The set of twelve photographs of Charles Bukowski did not sell.

- The top seller at Bloomsbury's Travel, Natural History, Sport & Science sale on 21 March was George Edwards' A Natural History of Birds, which made £4,000. The South Polar Times (1907-1914) failed to sell.

- Christie's 21 March sale of Fine Printed Books realized £284,712, with a de Rossi atlas taking the top spot at £18,750. The unique, extra-illustrated copy of Man Ray's Les main libres (1937) was unsold.

- At Bonhams Books, Maps & Manuscripts sale on 27 March, the top seller proved to be a presentation copy of T.E. Lawrence's The Seven Pillars of Wisdom, which sold for £50,450. The copy of Fermat's Varia opera mathematica sold for £49,250. Only one of the four large manuscript maps of Massachusetts roads sold, for £34,850, but a couple other MA manuscript maps did well. Churchill's presentation copy to Neville Chamberlain of Marlborough: His Life and Times (1933-1938) fetched £45,650. Arthur W. Dorling's bookplate collection fetched £10,625.

- Sotheby's Paris 28 March Livres illustrés Modernes de la Bibliothèque R. & B.L. sale saw some terrific surprises. The 1913 work La prose du Transsibérien et de la petite Jehanne de France, estimated at EUR 40,000-60,000, sold for a whopping EUR 312,750, while a copy of the Joan Miro/Paul Eluard work A Toute Épreuve (Geneva, 1958) which rated the same estimate, sold for EUR 228,750. A rather impressive number of other lots also did extremely well; the sale realized at total of EUR 4,493,525.

- PBA Galleries sold Americana, Travel & Exploration, and Cartography on 29 March. The top seller was a copy of the first Buddhist world map printed in Japan, Zuda Rokashi's 1710 Nansenbushu Bankoku Shoka No Zu, which sold for $5,700.

- Bonhams held a Polar Sale: Scott and Amundsen Centenary, on 30 March. A farewell letter from Scott to Sir Edgar Speyer proved the top lot, at £163,250.

April preview, shortly.

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