Auction Update Review

Nopreview

The Fall Approaches and the Portents are good

Over the past week we have archived six sales:  two in dollars, two in British Pounds, one in Mexican Pesos and one in Australian dollars.  One thousand seven hundred and twenty-four lots were offered and 1,173 sold for a 68% rate of sale.  Total turnover was $784,642, seventy-seven percent of the aggregate high estimate of all items offered.  The week was better than it looked.  August, traditionally the slowest month for auctions, has been seeing a steady flow of houses looking to capture a piece of what is becoming a more important month for sales.  What with the annual calendar for auctions building month to month and year over year, the opportunity to reach prospective bidders in a moment of relative quiet becomes more attractive.  Houses are not yet and perhaps never will post their most important sales during the summer but with dance cards filling we are seeing the end of the summer shut-down because bidders will bid whenever and wherever. 

The Australian Book Auction company had the best performance both for total sales and percent of lots sold:  $335,579, ninety-two percent of the aggregate high estimate.  PBA also had a good week.  It’s sale of Americana with ephemera & maps raised $235,218, eighty-one percent of the total high estimate.  Bloomsbury, in London, in its continuing series of Bibliophile sales, raised $124,392 while selling 80% of the their lots.

Other houses are finding innovative ways to incorporate auction-able books into general sales.  With better material and the relative ease for houses to estimate value more houses are integrating such material into mainstream sales.  For the potential bidder as well it's increasingly easy to find things to buy in both obscure and sometimes simply unexpected places. 

For the week ahead four sales are scheduled:

Tuesday August 16th          Bonhams:  20th Century Prints;

                                      Poulin Auctions:  Important Maine Book Auction;

 Wednesday Aug. 17th:       Bonhams:  The Scottish Sale – Books;

                                      Doyle New York:  Doyle at Home – Prints

 For those who believe, as I do, that auction statistics provide an important narrative there is a pretty if fragile picture emerging that suggests recovery in the auction rooms is well underway.  In the recently updated charts for “Trends in Book Auction Prices”, the twelve-month moving average of monthly lots by median price has been rising since April.  As important the year over year change has swung into positive territory for the first time since August 2008. 

It’s encouraging.

Bruce McKinney

AE

August 14th, 2011

  • <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>