Rare Book Monthly

Articles - October - 2014 Issue

How to Search the Auctions All from One Place

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The results page after a “Churchill” search.

As summer comes to a close, and the temperatures begin to cool, the auction season starts to heat up. Fall is always the busiest time for auctions, and with the number of lots in the books, manuscripts, and ephemera field rising significantly over the past few years, there will be much to consider. Last year, over 158,000 lots came up for sale during the last four months of the year. This year, it will likely be even more.

 

Naturally enough, the challenge is finding the lots that are of interest to you amid all of the clutter. The lots you seek will be buried among dozens of auction houses and a couple of hundred auctions, some with lots in the thousands. How do you find them? Do you have to go to each auction house's website, see which have auctions that include works in the books and works on paper category, and then scroll through all of their listings? No. That would be impossible.

 

The Americana Exchange website allows you to search all of these listings from one place. It takes a fraction of a second to find all of your matches. Here's all you have to do. Near the top of this, and most other pages of the AE website, you will see a search box. Chances are, it is already set to search “Upcoming Auctions” (look just to the left of the long search bar). If not, click the little arrow “for additional selections” below the setting and it will allow you change the selection to Upcoming Auctions.

 

Next, enter the keywords you wish to search and click the “Search” button. That's it. In some fraction of a second, your results will be displayed. You will notice a link to the right of the “Search” button for “Advanced Search.” Unless you are overwhelmed with matches, stick with the keyword search. Broader keyword searches are less likely to miss something you want than are tighter advanced searches. The advanced search is meant mainly for use with the other databases, which contain millions of records, than the upcoming auctions database that maxes out around 40,000 in the busy season.

 

Once you conduct your search, you will see a page listing all of the matches. It concisely provides the pertinent information – author, title, auction house and auction date, publication date, estimated price, and a brief description. Your search terms will be highlighted in yellow to make it easier to see why the listing is a match. To see the detailed record for each lot, click the book's title. If you would prefer to see the detailed record in a new window, click the rectangle after the title. If there is a camera icon after the title, it means the detailed listing contains one or more pictures of the item.

 

When you click on the link to the individual lot listing, you will find the complete description and more information about the particular auction, including a link to the auction house. If you have not bid at the house before, you will need to set up an account first, usually at least a day prior to the auction, as they will want to be sure you are a real bidder. Of course that won't require you to bid. It will just enable you to bid if you so choose.

 

When you conduct your search, you will see two links near the top left, just under “Auction Search Results.” One is to “Books for Sale.” These are listings offered by booksellers. People often assume they will get the lowest price at auction. That is not always the case. You may be surprised at how often a book will sell at auction for a price higher than the same title is offered by a dealer. It's what assuming can make of us. Research is always worth the effort. Additionally, there may be a difference in the copies, perhaps condition, issue, etc. Again, the more information you have, the better will be the decision you make.

 

The other link near the top is to the “AE Database.” To access this, you will need to be an AE member at any paid level (everything else described here is free). The AE Database is a collection of over 5.4 million bibliographic records, most being priced records from past auctions. If you are a serious collector, the wealth of knowledge this database provides is way more than worth the cost, both for making good decisions and avoiding bad ones.

 

One final point – our name, “Americana Exchange,” is a leftover relic. You will find books and other works on paper in every imaginable field, and from auctions all over the world – Europe, England, South Africa and Australia, as well as Canada and Latin America. You will also find most ship all around the world, and sometimes, they have books you would never expect from an auction at their location.

 

Come back here often as new listings are added almost everyday. Some auctions only post their lots a few days in advance of their auctions, so if you wait a week, some items will slip by without your ever knowing.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <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.
  • <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Collection of 131 Herbert Ponting gelatin silver contact prints of Antartica, £6000-8000
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> One of several lots of Henri Cartier-Bresson gelatin silver prints, £200-300
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Vintage gelatin silver print of Diego Rivera by Leonard McCombe, £300-500
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Albumen print portrait by Julia Margaret Cameron of Sir John Herschel (April, 1867), £30,000-50,000
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Albumen print by Julia Margaret Cameron, Love, 1864 (from the Norman album), £1000-1500
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Albumen print by Lewis Carroll of Twyford School Eleven (Summer Term, 1859), £1000-1500
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Albumen print portrait by Lewis Carroll of Xie Kitchin as 'Dane' (Oxford, 1873), £500-800
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Calotype print (c1845) by Hill & Adamson of Lady Elizabeth (Rigby) Eastlake, £3000-4000
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Group of 12 waxed paper negatives of Scottish scenes by Thomas Keith, mid-1850s, £3000-5000
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> One of 15 lots of Roger Fenton salt prints of his work in the Crimea, mid-1850s, £400-600
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Quarter plate ambrotype (c.1860s) with ethnographic portrait of a woman seated at a table, £400-600
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Rare whole plate thermoplastic union case of the Landing of Columbus (c.1858),part of the John Hannavy collection, £1500-2000
  • <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>

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