Auction Update Review

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A Shifting Market

This past week four auctions were archived and they illustrate the complexity of auctions today.  Bonhams, In San Francisco, continues to build a business in the dispersal of interesting and collectible books, manuscripts, maps and ephemera.  On February 27th, in one of their Sunset Estate Sales they sold $69,976 of material as part of a larger sale of over 700 lots.  National Book of Ithaca, New York, continuing to define itself as a source of printed works on paper raised $27,100.  Morton Casa de Subastas, in Mexico City, sold $41,910 and Dirk Soulis, of Lone Jack, Missouri raised $207,261.  The Soulis auction was particularly interesting.   The entire sale was unreserved and there were many surprises.

Lot 1 set the stage – Sebastian Brandt’s Ship of Fools – could have been purchased for $10 starting bid.  It brought $13,200.  A Horace Greeley signed photograph, started at $10 and brought $330 – thus proving that "going west young man" only required going as far as Missouri.  Pride of place went to lot 27, a signed Walt Whitman manuscript poem, in this version called ‘Ah, not that Granite Dead and Cold’ and later published as ‘Washington’s Monument.’  Against its $10 starting bid it brought $61,050.  Unreserved sales are the most interesting auctions today.  They are also uncommon.

Heritage’s March Dallas Signature Texana Auction in Dallas [March 10-12] is fully illustrated and looks very appealing.  PBA’s Rare Americana – Travel & Exploration – Cartography on March 10th is also fully illustrated.  Images of items in both sales are cycling through the AE home page, are searchable in upcoming auctions and come up in triangulated searches across the site.  Images in dealer listings are also randomly appearing on the home page. View Heritage and PBA.

Listing sites and the upcoming auctions section in AE have been essentially passive.  If someone has searched and the material was available it came up in the results.  With the recently introduced triangulated search the prospect of matches is greatly increased, and with images, these matches come to life.  We are moving past the era of passive listings and the field will in time be transformed.  

Bruce McKinney
AE

  • <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>
  • <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.