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>Doyle, April 25:</b> E.H. SHEPARD, Original drawing for A.A. Milne’s The House at Pooh Corner.<br>$40,000-60,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> BERNARD RATZER, Plan of the City of New York in North America, surveyed in the years 1766 & 1767. $80,000-100,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> THOMAS JEFFERSON, Autograph letter signed comparing Logan, Tecumseh, and Little Turtle to the Spartans. Monticello: 15 February 1821. $14,000-18,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN C. FREMONT, Narrative of the Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains, in the Year 1842.. Abridged edition, the only one containing the folding map From the Sporting Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson. $3,000-5,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> ZANE GREY, Album containing 94 large format photographs of Grey and party at Catalina Island, Arizona, and fishing in the Pacific. From the Sporting Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson. $5,000-$8,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> WILLIAM COMBE, A History of Madeira ... illustrative of the Costumes, Manners, and Occupations of the Inhabitants. produced by Ackermann in 1821; From the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> ERIC TAVERNER, Salmon Fishing... One of 275 copies signed by Taverner, published in 1931,From the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN WHITEHEAD, Exploration of Mount Kina Balu, North Borneo. Whitehead reached the high point of Kinabalu in 1888. Part of a major group of travel books from the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN LONG, Voyages and Travels of an Indian Interpreter and Trader, describing the Manners and Customs of the North American Indians... The first edition of 1791. $3,000-$5,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> SAMUEL BECKETT, Stirrings Still. This, Beckett’s last work of fiction with original lithographs by Le Brocquy, limited to 200 copies signed by the author and the artist. From the Estate of Howard Kaminsky.. $1,500-$2,500
  • <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>
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Jacques-Émile Ruhlmann, wallpaper sample book, circa 1919. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Archive from a late office of the Breuer & Smith architectural team, New York, 1960-70s. $3,500 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> William Morris, <i>The Story of the Glittering Plain or the Land of Living Men,</i> illustrated by Walter Crane, Kelmscott Press, Hammersmith, 1894. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Gustave Doré, <i>La Sainte Bible selon la Vulgate,</i> Tours, 1866. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Gustav Klimt & Max Eisler, <i>Eine Nachlese,</i> complete set, Vienna, 1931. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>Eric Allatini & Gerda Wegener, <i>Sur Talons Rouges,</i> with original watercolor by Wegener, Paris, 1929. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>C.P. Cavafy, <i>Fourteen Poems,</i> illustrated & signed by David Hockney, London, 1966. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Jean Midolle, <i>Spécimen des Écritures Modernes...</i>, Strasbourg, 1834-35. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>E.A. Seguy, <i>Floréal: Dessins & Coloris Nouveaux,</i> Paris, 1925. $3,000 to $4,000.
  • <b>Bonhams: Results from Fine Books and Manuscripts on March 9, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> BEETHOVEN, LUDWIG VAN. Autograph Manuscript sketch-leaf part of the score of the Scottish Songs, "Sunset" Op. 108 no 2. [Vienna, February 1818]. Inscribed by Alexander Wheelock Thayer. SOLD for $131,250
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> Violin belonging to Albert Einstein, presented to him by Oscar H. Steger, 1933. SOLD for $516,500
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> EINSTEIN, ALBERT. Autograph Letter Signed ("Papa") to his son Hans Albert, discussing his involvement with the atomic bomb, September 2, 1945. SOLD for $106,250
    <b>Bonhams: Results from Fine Books and Manuscripts on March 9, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> HAMILTON, ALEXANDER. Autograph Letter Signed, to Baron von Steuben, with extensive notes of Von Steuben's aide Benjamin Walker, June 12, 1780. SOLD for $16,250
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> NEWTON, ISAAC. Autograph Manuscript in Latin, being detailed instructions on making the philosopher's stone. 8 pp. 1790s. SOLD for $275,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> 1869 Inauguration Bible of President Ulysses S. Grant. SOLD for $118,750