Auction Update Review
For the week 16 auctions were archived. It was a big week and part of what is the busiest October on record: 64 sales this month. The sell-through percentage declined, for the week, to 64.1%. In recent weeks it was flirting with a consistent 70%. Over the past few months the US auctions have underperformed their overseas counterparts. This week the seven US sales achieved a 74% sell-through. The US has been under-performing Europe.
Part of the weakness in Europe was in the mega sales held by Galerie Bassenge. They alone brought 3,769 lots through their rooms. Their sell-through was 53%. The rest of the market, US and overseas achieved a 72% success rate. Overall, 8,711 lots were offered and 5,581 sold for $8,348,312.
PBA sold a copy of the AA Big Book signed by Bill Wilson for $27,000. Swann sold a group of Eadweard Muybridge's photographic plates for $81,000. Alde sold an autographed manuscript of Marcel Proust, estimated at $15,000 to $18,000, for $72,000. Bonhams sold a copy of Grapes of Wrath, inscribed by Steinbeck to Darryl Zanuck, for $45,750. Heritage sold two copies of the Federalist for $77,675 and $71,700. Heritage also sold a thank you letter, dated 1825, from Marquis de Lafayette to the American Congress for $31,070.
Good material continues to do well. At the same time the dividing line between very good and exceptional material seems to be clarifying. Important material with appropriate reserves is selling, the top of the market holding up well.