Saturday, June 06, 2009

Auction Report: Arader Sale

On 19 June, Sotheby's New York will host the Graham Arader sale, 204 lots of color plate books, atlases, maps and natural history illustrations. Highlights include a 1513 Ptolemaic atlas ($350,000-450,000); Redouté's Les Liliacées (1802-1816) and Les Roses (1817) (estimated at $350,000-450,000 and 300,000-400,000 respectively); a second edition of Catesby ($250,000-275,000); a 1769 Bonner map of Boston ($220,000-260,000); and Blaeu's 11-volume Atlas Major (1662-1665), estimated at $200,000-250,000. has a full report on this sale, which Arader says he's holding "for estate planning purposes."

Arader has offered to donate 20% of the hammer price for any lot to the charity of the buyer's choice, saying "In deciding to part with a portion of my holdings for estate planning purposes, I recalled the myriad libraries, universities, foundations, botanical gardens, schools, zoos and other institutions that I worked with over the years and saw an opportunity to give back to those who have supported my field and improved the quality of life for all of us. My hope is that through this sale, the works that I have treasured will find new homes that will benefit not only their owners, but the charities they designate as well."

More on Arader here. Since Mr. Arader is a known and confessed bookbreaker when it suits him (he has even called himself "the greatest breaker of books"), I can't say I'd be inclined to purchase anything from his collection even if I could afford it. But to each his own.