Auction Update Review


Count Down

The auction season, entering its final month of 2011, has delivered a series of highly successful results around the world.  With twenty–four auctions reporting this week total sales reached $21.4 million, a nudge above 100% of the high estimate of all lots offered.  This is a rare and important result for, during the year, the percentage of the aggregate high estimates range from 70% to 90% and rarely reach 100%.  It suggests confidence in the rooms.


For the auctions reported this past week 12,279 lots were offered and 9,035 lots sold for a 74% sell-through.  The aggregate low estimate of the lots sold was $12,262,929 million and their aggregate high estimate $15,971,575.  Total sales were $21,386,007, a fraction higher than the aggregate high estimate of all lots offered - $21,341,259.  Europe may be in a funk, what with the Euro-debt crisis, and the United States be in the throes of political reality television but bidders, understanding that they need to bid when material is available are coming through in a significant way.


For the week eleven sales reached or exceeded 100% of their aggregate high estimates:


Rupert Toovey.  Ephemera on November 1st:  257%

Burgersdijk & Niermans.  Books on November 15th:  192%

Artcurial Briest-Le Fur-Poulain- F. Tajan.   Comic Strips – Herge’s Universe on November 26th:  137%

Piasa.  Ancient and Modern Prints on November 23rd:  123%

Ader.  Books – ancient and modern – Architecture – Manuscripts on November 23rd:  115%

Sotheby’s.  Music, Books, Children’s and Illustrated Books on November 20th:  110%

Alde.  Modern Books, Works on Paper on November 28th:  106%

Ketterer Kunst / F. Doerling.  Rare Books on November 21st:  104%

Galerie Bassange.  Prints on November 24th:  102%

Bonhams.  Books, Maps and Manuscripts on November 29th:  101%

The Romantic Agony Book and Print Auctions.  Books on November 25th:  100%


For the week ahead 23 sales are scheduled:


December 5th      Ader.  Posters and Periodicals (11569)

                                    Antiquarian  Books (15)

                                    Cowan’s Auctions, Inc.  The Herbert Merritt Collection of Books on Cincinnati and Southwestern Ohio


December 6th             Antiquarian  Books (15)

                                    Artcurial Briest-Le Fur-Poulain-F. Tajan.  Prints and Illustrated Books (2088)

                                    Henri Godts Books & Prints Auctions.  Books from the 16th to 20th Centuries (16123)

                                    Piasa.  Manuscripts Second Vacance (120611)

                                    Sotheby’s.  Western and Oriental Manuscripts (L11241)


December 7th             Antiquarian  Books (15)

                                    Christie’s.  Old Master, Decorative, Modern and Contemporary Prints (3311)
Old World Auctions.  Maps, Atlases, Prints, etc (138)

                                    Piasa.  Succession of Mister X.  (17832)


December 8th             Ader.  Judaica, Paintings, Sculptures, Liturgical objects, Books (17514)

                                    Alexander Autographs, Inc.  WWII Militaria and Autographs (46)
Antiquarian  Books (15)

                                    Heritage.  Manuscripts Grand Format Auction (6603)

                                    Piasa.  Modern Prints Henri M. Petiet (120811)

                                    Swann Galleries.  Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Historical Prints, Ephemera (2264)


December 9th             Alexander Autographs, Inc.  WWII Militaria and Autographs (46)        

                                    Dorotheum.  Autographs (12911)

                                    Galerie Koller Auctions.  Modern Prints (A159)

                                    Heritage.  Manuscripts  Grand Format Auction continuing (6603)


December 11th Michael Treloar.  Manuscripts, Books, Photographs and Artwork (121111)

Good hunting!


Bruce McKinney


December 4th, 2011

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Caius Julius Hyginus, <i>Poeticon Astronomicon,</i> first illustrated edition, Venice, 1482. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Giovanni Botero, <i>Le Relationi Universali... divise in Sette Parti</i>, Venice, 1618. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> <i>L'Escole des Filles</i>, likely third edition of the first work of pornographic fiction in French, 1676. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Illuminated Book of Hours in Latin on vellum, Flanders, early 16th century. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Johannes Regiomontanus, <i>Calendarium,</i> Venice, 1485. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Pedro de Medina, <i>Libro d[e] gra[n]dezas y cosas memorables de España,</i> Alcalá de Henares, 1566. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b><br>Luis de Lucena, <i>Arte de Ajedres,</i> Salamanca, circa 1496-97. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Andrés Serrano, <i>Los Siete Principes de los Ángeles, válidos de Rey del Cielo,</i> Spain, 1707. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Johannes de Sacrobosco, <i>Sphaera mundi,</i> first illustrated edition, Venice, 1478. $15,000 to $20,000.
  • <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> A Rare 3-rotor German Enigma I Enciphering Machine. $70,000 to $90,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Important collection of correspondence between Werner Heisenberg and Bruno Rossi. $40,000 to $60,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Walt Whitman Autograph manuscript containing his thoughts on death. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> David Roberts. <i>Holy Land</i>. Six volumes. 1842-1849. First edition. $15,000 to $25,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Extensive collection of Ray Bradbury's primary works, most signed or inscribed. $15,000 to $20,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Peter Force. Declaration of Independence. $12,000 to $18,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Steinbeck. <i>Grapes of Wrath</i>. A fine copy of the first edition. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Lewis & Clark. <i>Travels to the Source of the Missouri River</i>... First English edition, extra-illustrated. 1814. $10,000 to 15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Manuscript document signed by Nuno de Guzman relating to Hernan Cortes, 1528. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> “Nos los inquisidores..." The first book in English printed West of the Mississippi. [1787]. $5,000 to $8,000.
  • <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Collection of 131 Herbert Ponting gelatin silver contact prints of Antartica, £6000-8000
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> One of several lots of Henri Cartier-Bresson gelatin silver prints, £200-300
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Vintage gelatin silver print of Diego Rivera by Leonard McCombe, £300-500
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Albumen print portrait by Julia Margaret Cameron of Sir John Herschel (April, 1867), £30,000-50,000
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Albumen print by Julia Margaret Cameron, Love, 1864 (from the Norman album), £1000-1500
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Albumen print by Lewis Carroll of Twyford School Eleven (Summer Term, 1859), £1000-1500
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Albumen print portrait by Lewis Carroll of Xie Kitchin as 'Dane' (Oxford, 1873), £500-800
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Calotype print (c1845) by Hill & Adamson of Lady Elizabeth (Rigby) Eastlake, £3000-4000
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Group of 12 waxed paper negatives of Scottish scenes by Thomas Keith, mid-1850s, £3000-5000
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> One of 15 lots of Roger Fenton salt prints of his work in the Crimea, mid-1850s, £400-600
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Quarter plate ambrotype (c.1860s) with ethnographic portrait of a woman seated at a table, £400-600
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Rare whole plate thermoplastic union case of the Landing of Columbus (c.1858),part of the John Hannavy collection, £1500-2000
  • <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Charles Darwin on sexuality and the transmission of hereditary characteristics: Autograph Letter Signed to Lawson Tait. Down, 17 January [1877].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> MILTON, JOHN. <i>Paradise Lost. A Poem written in ten books.</i> London: 1667. A very rare example with the contemporary binding untouched and with a 1667 title page.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Hamilton secures the ratification of the Constitution: <i>The Debates and Proceedings of the Convention of the State of New-York, assembled at Poughkeespsie, on the 17th June, 1788.</i>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> The social contract “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains”: ROUSSEAU, JEAN-JACQUES. <i>Principes du Droit Politique [Du Contract Social]</i>. Amsterdam: Michel Rey, 1762
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> “The first English textbook on geometrical land-measurement and surveying”: BENESE, RICHARD. <i>This Boke Sheweth the Maner of Measurynge All Maner of Lande…</i>