Auction Update Review
This past week, in conjunction with the ABAA fair in San Francisco, both PBA and Bonhams held sales and more than held their own. PBA had the smaller sale but it was a nice step up in terms of total dollars from some smaller events they have recently had. Their sale, “Rare Books and Manuscripts,” brought $262,644 and saw almost 70% of the lots sell. Bonhams did even better. For their “Books and Manuscripts” sale they brought in $1,271,617 against an aggregate high estimate of $1,242,050 while selling 86% of their lots.
Brunn Rasmussen, in Denmark and Bloomsbury in London, had smaller sales but realized more than 100% of their aggregate high estimates. Lower reserves seem to be bringing higher prices.
PBA's top lot was a set of the 1971 full size facsimile of Audubon’s Birds of America which brought $20,400. A copy of the King James Bible brought $14,400. Bonhams had some big books and some surprises. A 1754 edition of Catesby’s “The Natural History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands” brought $206,000. Choris’ "Voyage pittoresque autour du monde,... " $134,000. Beatrix Potter’s “There once was an amiable guinea-pig", estimated at $12,000 to $18,000, brought $85,400.
Bruun Rasmussen’s top lot, "Voyage d’Egypte et de Nubis" brought E. 5,100. Bloomsbury’s top lot brought BP 3,172, six times the high estimate for John Donne’s "Devotions upon Emergent occasions, and several steps in my Sicknesse." 
On the 26th there's an interesting sale of ephemera at JMW Auctions in Kingston, New York. The material includes thousands of old postcards of upstate New York as well as places further distant. JMW Auctions at www.jmwauctions.com. It's well worth a look.
Fresh material is selling and selling briskly.