Auction Update Review


Foot Soldiers in May

For the week ending Saturday May 12th 13 auctions were archived; 1 in British pounds, 1 in Australian dollars, 4 in euros, and 7 in greenbacks.  Ten thousand and twelve lots were offered and 6,591 sold for a 66% success rate.  Total sales were $17,904,290.  From a distance it was a very good week.  Up close there were a few dings on the fenders.  Heritage had another very successful sale of comics and comic art – raising $5,493,154 while selling 99.71% of the 1,359 lots offered.  Three other sales reached the one million dollar level.


Heritage Auctions.  Comics and Comic Art on May 10th:  $5,493,154

Christie’s.  Important Books, Art Books, Manuscripts on May 11th:  $4,708,189

Sotheby’s.  Travel, Atlases, Maps & Naval History on May 9th:  $3,846,355

Kiefer – Buch – und Kunstauktionen.  Rare Books on April 20th:  $1,125,215


Only one sale exceeded 100% of its aggregate high estimate:


Christie’s.  Important Books, Art Books, Manuscripts on May 11th:  142%


Heritage’s sale of comics and comic art belongs in this category but they provide only a start bid rather than a range so there is no aggregate high range to compare.  What can be seen is that the average of all the 1,355 lots sold was $4,042, a remarkable number.


The following auctions sold at least 90% of their lots:


Heritage Auctions.  Comics and Comic Art on May 10th:  99.71%

Heritage Auctions.  Rare Books.  Internet bid start May 3rd:  98.93%

Knotty Pine Auction Service.  Autographs and Militaria, Antique and Estate Books on April 28th:  95.02%


For the week ahead 21 auctions are scheduled


Tuesday May 15th Alde.  Modern Illustrated Books [19156]:  384 lots

                                    Artcurial Briest-Le Fur-Poulain-F. Tajan.  Modern Books [18097]:  457 lots

                                    Bloomsbury Auctions.  Important Books and Manuscripts [35916]:  371 lots

                                    Burgersdijk & Niermans.  Books, Manuscripts and Graphic Arts [335]:  1,343 lots

                                    Coutau-Begarie.  Books and Manuscripts [19198]:  292 lots

                                    Sotheby’s.  Photographs [PF1220]:  108 lots

                                    Sotheby’s.  Books and Manuscripts [PF1203]:  184 lots

                                    Swann Galleries.  Early Printed and Travel Books [2279]


Wed. May 16th           Alde.  Original Editions.  Prints [19157]:  208 lots

                                    Bonhams.  Modern Prints [19781]:  312 lots

                                    Burgersdijk & Niermans.  Books, Manuscripts and Graphic Arts [335]:  1,343 lots [continuing]

                                    Christie’s.  Photographs [5323]:  104 lots

                                    Christie’s.  Photographs 1840 – Present [6556]:  61 lots

                                    Dominic Winter.  Printed Books, Maps and Documents [051612]

                                    Rupert Toovey and Co.  Prints [1040]

                                    Tajan.  Ancient and Modern Prints [9703]  328 lots


Thurs. May 17th         Bonhams.  Photographs [20154]:  90 items

                                    Heritage Auctions.  Rare Books internet bidstart May 11th:  383 lots


Friday May 18th         Christie’s.  Important Printed Books and Americana from the Albert H. Small Collection [2655]:  151 lots

                                    Skinner, Inc.  Fine Prints [2598B]


Sunday May 20th       Bonhams.  Books and Manuscripts [20004]


Anymore this is what a week looks like, twenty-one sales, thousands of lots, the steady flow of material months in preparation, marching into the rooms for their verdicts to be read.  It is a fascinating sight.


Bruce McKinney


Sunday May 13th, 2012

  • <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