Rare Book Monthly

Articles - November - 2007 Issue

An Interesting Sale in Vermont


The Brassier Map of Lake Champlain brought $3,750

In this sale the luck was running with the winners who will now be busy all winter wrestling with their bounty. It should be fun. For collector's the spring will bring a raft of fresh items, divided by importance and relevance, identified and explained. The prices will be higher but the work will have been done. The collector will then only need to read and decide.

One such bidder was Leigh Stein of Eveleigh Books & Stamps. Of the 504 lots in the sale he bought 52. He bought lot 283, a fine example of Carrigain's New Hampshire map. He also acquired several of the large lots - the weekend discovery packages. "I had a great time and bought some great material." You could tell he was smiling as we spoke by phone.

The 504 lots brought $141,030 or $279.82 for each lot offered. Four lots were withdrawn and 5 failed to find an opening bid at $20. Subtracting these nine lots the average realized price for the 495 that changed hands was $284.91. Twenty-eight items made at least $1,000, representing half the total sales. These lots are linked at the end of this article with their full descriptions and realized prices.

This is, as already mentioned, not Mr. Parkinson's first sale. On his website he posts several others that have come and gone. The past of course is not prologue in the auction business, or anywhere else for that matter, but it suggests both the type of material he likes to handle as well as the reception it receives. If you find your temperature rising as you graze the lots and realized prices you may be setting yourself up to be a bidder at a future sale. In the auction business, which tends to be formulaic, this sale is a reminder that a fresh approach is appreciated. Many lament the declining state of the book business. I think the hundred or so who traveled to Vermont for this sale will not agree.

Click here to search all 504 lot descriptions and realized prices in the sale just concluded. For the price of a Ben & Jerry's Sundae you can also access for a week both this complete auction in a more flexibly searchable format and another 1.65 million auction and bibliographic records in the AED. The cost is $7.95 and we credit it against a continuing subscription if you upgrade during the trial period. A research subscription, by the month is $14.75 or $141.60 by the year. Click here to sign up.

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