Rare Book Monthly

Articles - December - 2004 Issue

December Auctions <br>Lost in the Moment

Common

This book was common in its time and very rare and important today.


By Bruce McKinney

The December book auctions offer this year, as in past years, an extraordinary array of books, manuscripts and ephemera for the collector to reward him or herself with something for the holidays. Twenty-four sales are scheduled in the United States and Europe offering, in total, more than 14,000 lots. Thirteen of them are at Sotheby's and Christies. The hammer prices will fall in the range of $50 to $1.0 million. Somewhere between these two numbers you should be able to find something to pursue, if not actually acquire. If you want to buy every lot expect to pay at least $25 million or if you want to spend this much without having to handle so much material simply wait for the next Gutenberg Bible. It's going to bring $30 million although I don't know when.

As you read this the curtain will be falling on Old World Auctions' sale of maps #109. The sale concludes on the 1st. Use our auction keyword search at the top of this page to identify material of potential personal interest in this and all other upcoming posted auctions. There are 818 lots. If you don't read this until December 2nd don't despair. No auction house succeeds in selling every lot in every sale. If you find something of interest contact them. It may be unsold and available at an attractive price.

On the 2nd there are 6 sales. PBA offers an angling library and other sporting material. Swann offers early printed and medicine & science books. Eldred offers ephemera. Christie's has 20th century books and manuscripts as well as a collection of material relating to Napoleon. Sotheby's is selling original oil portraits of Indians by George Catlin and, at a separate sale, important baseball memorabilia. If you plan to use your lottery winnings to pay for all you buy make sure you take the lump sum payment. You'll need it. A few Catlin portraits would brighten up any Americana collection and the kid in every grown man would like to have something from the golden age of baseball.

On the 3rd Sotheby's is holding three sales: fine books and manuscripts including Americana and Judaica, highly important manuscripts of Sir Isaac Newton and property from the library of the late Mrs. Insley Blair. The Newton material looks particularly interesting. There is also a Poughkeepsie item. This is a personal weakness. It's a Clement Moore autograph transcript of "A Visit from Saint Nicholas" estimated at $200,000 to $300,000. The connection to Poughkeepsie is circumstantial. We'll see. The question of the day will be: can the Newton manuscripts defy gravity? These items are expensive but undoubtedly exceptional and they may not be seen again.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Announcing a new Books for Sale platform hosted by Biblio</b>
    <b>List your books simultaneously on Rare Book Hub and Biblio</b>
  • <b>19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Exodus 10:10 to 16:15. Complete Biblical scroll sheet in Hebrew, a Torah scroll panel. Middle East, ca. 10th or 11th century.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Copernicus Refuted. (Astronomy.). Scientific manuscript of a course of studies at Collège de la Trinité, Lyon. 1660s.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Israel’s War of Independence and the Early Days of the IDF. 58 photographs presented to Israel Ber, IDF officer and later convicted spy.
    <b>19th Century Shop’s Catalog 170 Great Books and Photos. Please inquire for a copy.</b>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Early Unpublished Darwin letter on the races of man. Autograph Letter Signed [to Henry Denny]. Down, Kent, June 1, [1844].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Classic Image of American Slavery. Kimball, M. H. <i>Emancipated Slaves</i>. New York: George Hanks, 1863.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> (Underground Railroad.) Scaggs, Isaac. Important Runaway Slave Poster: $500 Reward Ran away, or decoyed from the subscriber…
  • <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Newton. <i>Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica</i>. London, 1687.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Josephus. <i>De antiquitate Judaica.</i> Lubeck, 1475-76.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Carlerius. <i>Sporta fragmentorum, Sportula fragmentorum</i>. Brussels, 1478-79.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Fridolin. <i>Der Schatzbehalter</i>. Nuremberg, 1491.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Pinder. <i>Der beschlossen gart des rosenkrantz marie</i>. Nuremberg, 1505.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Isidorus Hispalensis. <i>Synonyma de Homine</i>. Nuremberg, 1470-71.
    <b>Bonhams, inviting consignments for Sep 27:</b> Durer. Sammelband including <i>Underweysung der messing</i>. Nuremberg, 1525-29.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 19: 19th & 20th Century Prints & Drawings</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 28: Printed & Manuscript Americana</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 5: African-American Fine Art</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 17: Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 19:<br>Art & Storytelling: Photographs & Photobooks</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Oct 26: Rare & Important Travel Posters</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 2:<br>Old Master Through Modern Prints</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 7: Autographs</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 14: 19th & 20th Century Literature</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries: Fall 2017 Auction Schedule</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 16: Contemporary Art</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 5:<br>Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Color Plate Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Dec 14: Illustration Art</b>

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