Rare Book Monthly

Articles - January - 2013 Issue

The Arader Sale:  Learning the Hard Way

Guernsey81

Lot 81, Natural History makes history.

The Arader auction of maps, rare books and natural history engravings, watercolors and color plate books at Guernsey’s on December 5th has come and gone and the sale, much discussed ahead, is now the sale much dissected.  It was both a flagship success and a serious failure depending on your perspective.  It was a success because it raised two million dollars.  It was a failure because the total low estimate of all lots was $12 million.  It was arguably three sales and two events [morning and afternoon sessions], divided 46%/54% between unreserved and reserved lots.  One hundred and thirty-three lots sold, 108 with estimates of $10,000 and less, 25 of the remaining 161 lots with estimates over $10,000.

The sale was conducted by Guernsey’s on behalf of and on the premises of Arader Galleries at their 1016 Madison Avenue New York location.

The 294 lots were divided in 5 categories –

Audubon Plates and Books.  82 lots offered and 70 sold

Natural History.  68 lots offered and 21 sold

Maps, Globes and Atlases.  52 lots offered and 13 sold

New York Views and Maps.  60 lots offered and 20 lots sold

American and European Oil Paintings.  32 lots offered and 9 sold

In the weekly auction report issued by AE on – for the week ending December 8th this sale ranked 3rd by dollar volume among the 38 sales archived - $2,258,342.  By another measure however it was disappointing.  The total of the low estimates of all 294 lots was $12,803,000, the sale as a percentage of the total high estimate, a number we track across all completed sales every week, 17.6%, an extremely low percentage.  Auctions routinely sell 70% to 75%.

In some respects the sale was unique.  It was essentially a store sale conducted as an auction.  To do this a catalogue under the auspices of Guernsey’s was issued.  In it the Arader Gallery identified material and provided estimates that, for most lots with high estimates greater than $10,000, turned out to be more than bidders were prepared to pay.


Posted On: 2013-01-01 00:00
User Name: andyboybooks

Excellent Article.


Posted On: 2013-01-02 00:00
User Name: bfgrp

Once again, Graham Arader bravely has defied convention, conducting an auction at his premises, under his auspice. This innovative hallmark of indep


Posted On: 2013-01-02 00:00
User Name: bfgrp

Once again, Graham Arader bravely has defied convention, conducting an auction at his premises, under his auspice. This innovative hallmark of indep


Posted On: 2013-01-02 00:00
User Name: bfgrp

Once again, Graham Arader bravely has defied convention, conducting an auction at his premises, under his auspice. This innovative hallmark of indep


Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Charles Darwin on sexuality and the transmission of hereditary characteristics: Autograph Letter Signed to Lawson Tait. Down, 17 January [1877].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> MILTON, JOHN. <i>Paradise Lost. A Poem written in ten books.</i> London: 1667. A very rare example with the contemporary binding untouched and with a 1667 title page.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Hamilton secures the ratification of the Constitution: <i>The Debates and Proceedings of the Convention of the State of New-York, assembled at Poughkeespsie, on the 17th June, 1788.</i>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> The social contract “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains”: ROUSSEAU, JEAN-JACQUES. <i>Principes du Droit Politique [Du Contract Social]</i>. Amsterdam: Michel Rey, 1762
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> “The first English textbook on geometrical land-measurement and surveying”: BENESE, RICHARD. <i>This Boke Sheweth the Maner of Measurynge All Maner of Lande…</i>
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Caius Julius Hyginus, <i>Poeticon Astronomicon,</i> first illustrated edition, Venice, 1482. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Giovanni Botero, <i>Le Relationi Universali... divise in Sette Parti</i>, Venice, 1618. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> <i>L'Escole des Filles</i>, likely third edition of the first work of pornographic fiction in French, 1676. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Illuminated Book of Hours in Latin on vellum, Flanders, early 16th century. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Johannes Regiomontanus, <i>Calendarium,</i> Venice, 1485. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Pedro de Medina, <i>Libro d[e] gra[n]dezas y cosas memorables de España,</i> Alcalá de Henares, 1566. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b><br>Luis de Lucena, <i>Arte de Ajedres,</i> Salamanca, circa 1496-97. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Andrés Serrano, <i>Los Siete Principes de los Ángeles, válidos de Rey del Cielo,</i> Spain, 1707. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Johannes de Sacrobosco, <i>Sphaera mundi,</i> first illustrated edition, Venice, 1478. $15,000 to $20,000.
  • <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> A Rare 3-rotor German Enigma I Enciphering Machine. $70,000 to $90,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Important collection of correspondence between Werner Heisenberg and Bruno Rossi. $40,000 to $60,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Walt Whitman Autograph manuscript containing his thoughts on death. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> David Roberts. <i>Holy Land</i>. Six volumes. 1842-1849. First edition. $15,000 to $25,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Extensive collection of Ray Bradbury's primary works, most signed or inscribed. $15,000 to $20,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Peter Force. Declaration of Independence. $12,000 to $18,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Steinbeck. <i>Grapes of Wrath</i>. A fine copy of the first edition. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Lewis & Clark. <i>Travels to the Source of the Missouri River</i>... First English edition, extra-illustrated. 1814. $10,000 to 15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Manuscript document signed by Nuno de Guzman relating to Hernan Cortes, 1528. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> “Nos los inquisidores..." The first book in English printed West of the Mississippi. [1787]. $5,000 to $8,000.

Article Search

Archived Articles

Ask Questions