Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Auction Report: July Sales & Preview

Let me begin by noting that I'm very pleased by the new version of the Sotheby's website. Much smoother. July's a fairly quiet month (in fact yesterday was the key auction day), but here's what's up.

- Sotheby's Paris sold Comics on 4 July; the sale brought in a total of 645,224 EUR. The top lot was a Tintin strip, which fetched 234,740 EUR.

- Bloomsbury held a Bibliophile Sale on 4-5 July: results are here.

- PBA Galleries sold Fine Literature with Books in All Fields on 5 July; the top lot was an original Elizabeth Barrett Browning manuscript sonnet, which sold for $9,600.

- Sotheby's London had quite a day on 10 July, with three separate sales. The first was "The History of Script: Sixty Important Manuscript Leaves from the Schøyen Collection," which brought £2,590,200. Most lots did quite well, with the top price going to the Adler Papyri (£457,250).

At the Western Manuscripts & Miniatures sale, the total was £1,262,725. The top lot was the Welsh medieval manuscript "The Laws of Hywel Dda," sold by the Massachusetts Historical Society. It fetched £541,250 and was purchased by the National Library of Wales (which end result, at least, makes me very happy). I had not seen the catalog text for this, but am surprised that the provenance note does not make clear that this was at MHS at least before 1830, when it is referred to in the Proceedings.

And the third Sotheby's sale, English Literature, History, Children's Books and Illustrations, brought in £1,595,175. The highest price went to a turquoise and gold ring which once belonged to Jane Austen: it sold for £152,450 (well above the £20,000-30,000 estimate). A copy of Shakespeare's Fourth Folio fetched £127,250, and a Kelmscott Chaucer sold for £73,250. A first edition of Jane Eyre went for £67,250.

- At Bloomsbury on 19 July, Printed Books including Modern First Editions, in 579 lots.

- Also on 19 June, PBA Galleries sells Fine Americana, Travel & Exploration, with Ephemera & Manuscript Material, in 411 lots. A matched set of Audubon's Birds and Quadrupeds in octavo rates the top estimate, at $60,000-90,000.


~*sim*~ said...

ach, i ought to have paid more attention to your auction preview in june (although i didn't have my wits about me all month)... the serendipity shelf sale looks like it would've been YUMMY.

JBD said...

Indeed; you and me both!