Auction Update Review
For the week ending Saturday August 22nd seven book, manuscript and ephemera auctions were archived in the Americana Exchange Database, the AED. The summer is quickly coming to an end.
Bonhams conducted two sales, one in Scotland, the other in San Francisco:  The Scottish Sale: Books; and  A SoMa Estate Auction. Neither sale was large. Together, denominated in dollars their printed material realized $121,918 on the sale of 146 of 156 lots. Bloomsbury for the week, by dollar amount, did best. Their Bibliophile Sale in England earned $281,269. National Book Auctions of Ithaca, New York, continues to transform itself into the "auction where all things printed sell." At Bruun Rasmussen of Copenhagen, Denmark 26 of 29 old prints and drawings sold on August 12th for $20,093. PBA of San Francisco continued to clear material unsold from previous sales. On August 20th 51% of 454 lots in its Art, Illustrated & Photography Books - Fine Printing - Fine Books changed hands with an average realization of $416. Robert C. Eldred sold 35 of 52 lots in the category on August 5th.
Altogether 1,652 lots were offered and 1,305 sold for a 79% success rate. It's only a single week, and only seven sales, but encouraging. Against an aggregate high estimate of $604,824 these sales raised $560,899. Against the aggregate low estimate of $397,071 they generated a 41% premium. For the week the average lot brought $430.
There is gathering evidence that the market can make bacon. In September we'll learn whether they can make BLTs.
At these diverse places, for a broad assortment of works on paper, the auctions and the buyers were in sync.
August 23, 2009