Friday, June 22, 2007

Recent Auction Highlights

From the 19 June Christies sale of Fine Printed Books and Manuscripts (mentioned here):

- Lot 111, John Woodhouse Audubon's Illustrated Notes of an Expedition through Mexico and California (1852) surpassed expectations, fetching $120,000. I didn't realized before this this copy had been presented to William Cullen Bryant.

- Lot 131, the previously-unrecorded copy of Copernicus' De revolutionibus, failed to sell.

- Lot 223, an 1812 letter from John Adams to Benjamin Rush, realized $168,000 (just above the low estimate).

- Lot 227, John Wilke Booth's "Secession Crisis" speech in manuscript, passed the high estimate and sold for $312,000.

- Lot 239, a rare first newspaper printing of the Declaration of Independence (6 July 1776) more than doubled its estimate, selling for $360,000.

From the 21 June Sotheby' sale:

- Lot 5, a 1790 letter from John Adams to Benjamin Rush, made $51,000 (estimates were $12,000-18,000).

- Lot 91, a 1757 letter from George Washington to VA Gov. Dinwiddie, fetched $264,000 (just above the low estimate).

- Lot 105, the Beeton's Christmas Annual first edition of the first Sherlock Holmes story, A Study in Scarlet, beat expectations and realized $156,000.

And that first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone sold at Dominic Winter in Gloucestershire yesterday for $14,200. That's well below the top estimate of $30,000, and well below the top price ever paid for the book (almost $40,000, two years ago, by this guy).