Auction Update Review
For the week ending Saturday June 2nd 11 auctions were archived; one in Mexican pesos, 3 in British pounds, 3 in US dollars and 4 in euros. Total sales were $6,576,932 against the aggregate high estimates of all lots offered: $9,752,757. At 67.44% this was one of the tougher weeks I’ve seen over the past two years. The plunging euro, next round of Greek elections and Andrea Merkel’s pending decision on whether Germany can/will support euro bonds in exchange for European Union member concessions on sovereign budget and debt control has Europe and its trading partners on edge. In Europe it will turn out to be America’s 1789, not France’s 1793. In the mean time auctions take the pulse of the market everyday and we are having some Pepto-Bismol moments. They will pass.
Two sales reached the million-dollar threshold:
Sotheby’s. Music and Continental Books and Manuscripts on May 29th: $2,860,877
Ketterer-Kunst. Rare Books on May 21st: $2,020,283
Three sales sold or exceeded 80% of their lots:
Heritage Auctions. Rare Book Internet Sale ending 5/31: 98.05%
Heritage Auctions. Rare Books Internet Sale ending 5/30: 97.94%
Bonhams. The Stuart B. Schimmel Forgery Collection on 5/23: 96.44%
As Bonhams again confirmed forgeries are and will remain an area of fascination to collectors. The collecting of such material is, to quote one wag, “great fun – simply unreal.”
For the week ahead 13 sales are scheduled:
Monday June 4th Bonhams. Native American Photographs . 163 lots
Wed. June 6th Bruun Rasmussen. Books and Manuscripts; Modern Books . 270 lots
Galerie Bessenge. Photography [99k]. 461 lots
Thursday June 7th Heritage Auctions. Rare Books bidstart 5/31 . 416 lots
PBA Galleries. Rare Americana, Travel & Exploration with Manuscript Material, Maps & Ephemera .
Piasa. Ancient and Modern Prints . 418 lots
Swann Galleries. Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Historical Prints, Ephemera . 358 lots.
Friday June 8th Alde. Ancient and Modern Books . 406 lots
Bloomsbury Auctions. Bibliophile . 430 lots
Saturday June 9th Heritage Auctions. Civil War and Militaria . 56 items
Sunday June 10th Heritage Auctions. Legends of the Wild West . 254 items
Kiefer – Buch- und Kunstauktionen. Books and Graphics . 4868 lots
Osenat. The French Empire in Fontainbleau .
The auction season this year is going deeper into summer. There is too much material to be sold. Not so many years ago this week was the beginning of the summer quiet. In 2012: not so much.
June 3rd, 2012