Auction Update Review
Nine Sales Archived
For the week ending November 20th we have archived nine auctions - four denominated in dollars, three in British Pounds and two in Euros. Together these sales raised $3,269,986 or 89% of their aggregate high estimates of $3,754,098. Christie's sale of Sporting Books on November 17th in London realized $1,283,118, 122% of the high estimate. Two other sales realized more than 100% of their high estimates. Piasa's Ancient and Modern Prints [112%] on the 16th and Bonham's Books and Manuscripts [126%] on November 14th both did exceptionally well.
Three other sales achieved more than 90% of their aggregate high estimates: Leslie Hindman's sale No. 146 of Fine Books and Manuscripts on November 18th [99%], Swann Galleries' Travel Posters on November 15th [95%], and Bloomsbury's Bibliophile Sale [Godalming] in London on the 11th [90%].
As for the percentage of lots sold the overall percentage was 77%. Leslie Hindman led the way with 91% followed by Christie's at 90%. Swann sold 85% of their lots. As the percentage of lots sold increases the market gradually begins to believe that competitive bidding rather than reserves determine outcomes. As this idea takes hold bidders will become more active.
Overall 2,362 lots were offered and 1,830 sold. The average lot brought $1,787.
An interesting side story this week is the success of Leslie Hindman of Chicago to sell a hand-written draft chapter from Mark Twain’s A Tramp Abroad, for $79,300 against a presale estimate of $30,000-50,000. Chicago, for years, was under-represented in the auction category in the books, manuscripts, maps and ephemera fields. The Hindman Company has been establishing themselves as a strong competitor in the premium category and their success with this and other important lots suggests they are achieving their goal. Congratulations are in order.