Auction Update Review

Nopreview

Five Auctions this week suggest recovery

The Week ending July 24th


Just as the auction business is rolling up the awnings and heading for summer vacations we are reminded that the mosaic of auctions that together comprise the books, manuscripts, maps and ephemera cash market will not be defined or categorized by anyone but bidders. Five auctions: Piasa, Dominic Winter, Australian Book, Pacific Book Auctions, and National Book combined for an exceptional 85% sales rate in the most recent report; their individual rates 88.61%, 78.35%, 85.56%, 71.69% and 100%. These sales took place in Italy, England, Australia and on the US east and west coasts. This week extends the recovery trend that just a few weeks back looked uncertain. With all auctions through June 30th priced and now consigned to history we have updated the three trend graphs for month by month change in median auction lot price, year to year change in the 12 month moving average, and 12 month moving average of the sell-through rate. Taken together these graphs present an optimistic picture; the trend line for median lot value particularly encouraging. Average lot selling price, which after August 2008 was steadily weaker into mid-2009 has now substantially recovered the August 2008 levels. Median selling prices remain low but look to be building a base.

Whether the material or the market is better is less certain. During the first year of the downturn there was some deterioration in the quality offered. Anecdotally, the quality is picking up. Dealers, institutions and collectors never lost interest in exceptional material. These days they look everywhere and will bid anywhere.

As a side note to those who subscribe for the AED we have added 100,040 records over the past 30 days. We cover auctions worldwide to the extent the material is well described and the houses willing to provide a record of realizations and unsold lots in a timely manner. We are also now building a bridge of results back into the 19th century. This past month only about 10,000 new lots passed through the rooms. The balance of the material we added is for Sotheby's sales conducted between 1980 and 1995. We have 1.3 million other records currently under review. Month by month as we complete our review they will enter the AED: our goal - five million records and a seamless record of material at auction back to 1850.

Click on the Trend Charts link to review the revised charts.

Bruce McKinney
AE

  • <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>
  • <b>Announcing a new Books for Sale platform hosted by Biblio</b>
    <b>List your books simultaneously on Rare Book Hub and Biblio</b>