Auction Update Review


Americana Exchange: The tide is coming in

For the week ended Saturday January 25th 15 auctions were archived to the AED; 3 in euros, 4 in British pounds, and 8 in US dollars.  Turnover was $2,988,780 as 4,773 lots were offered and 3,619 sold for a 76% success rate. 

<- Sold for $912,500 today at Keno Auctions.  Manuscript document unsigned, Draft of "The Twelve Colonies by their Delegates in Congress to the Inhabitants of Great Britain" - July 1775 Philadelphia [not included in today's report as just past the deadline.  Will be included next week.] 

2 auctions saw total sales exceed 100% of the high estimates of all lots offered in the sale:

Christies. Michael Inchbald: A Legacy of Design - Prints on January 22nd: 204.44%
Artcurial. Aeronautics on January 19th: 100.72%

10 sales saw at least 80% of their lots sell:

Christies. Michael Inchbald: A Legacy of Design - Prints on January 22nd: 100.00%
Heritage Auctions. Comics - Internet bidstart 1/12 on January 19th: 99.64%
Dirk Soulis Auctions. Signed Prints on December 22nd: 96.08%
Heritage Auctions. Movie Posters - Internet Bidstart 1/12 on January 19th: 93.36%
OSENAT. Archeology: Gantner Museum Collection - Antiquarian Books on January 19th: 90.91%
Paige Auction. Prints on January 14th: 88.89%
Artcurial. Aeronautics on January 19th: 85.00%
Bruun Rasmussen. Modern and Contemporary Prints on January 21st: 83.33%
Christies. The Ski Sale - Posters on January 22nd: 82.97%
Christies. Christies Interiors - Prints on January 21st: 80.00%

For the week ahead 20 sales are scheduled:

Mon. Jan. 27th
Bruun Rasmussen. Copenhagen. Old Prints. 5 lots

Tue. Jan. 28th
Bruun Rasmussen. Copenhagen. Books and Manuscripts. 237 lots
Rossini. Paris. Prints, Photographs. 188 lots
Bearnes Hampton and Littlewood. Exeter. Antiques and Collectables -Books and Prints. 25 lots
Bruun Rasmussen. Copenhagen. Modern and Contemporary Prints. 57 lots

Wed. Jan. 29th
Dominic Winter Book Auctions. Gloucestershire. Printed Books, Maps and Historical Documents. 627 lots
Rupert Toovey and Co. West Sussex. Prints. 41 lots
Christies. New York. Renaissance - Durer Print. 2 lots
Doyle New York. New York. Prints. 14 lots
Bloomsbury Auctions. London. Interiors - Prints. 4 lots

Thu. Jan. 30th Laguna Beach. Rare Books - Internet bidstart 1/23. 386 lots
De Baecque and Associes. Lyon. Autographs and Documents. 204 lots
Heritage Auctions. Dallas. Rare Books - Internet bidstart 1/23. 311 lots
PBA Galleries. San Francisco. Beats and the Counterculture with other Fine Literature - Part 2. 387 lots
Keys Fine Arts Auctioneers. Norwich. Books - Day 1. 815 lots
Bloomsbury Auctions. London. Collectors Sale - Ephemera. 6 lots

Fri. Jan. 31st
Cowans Auctions. Cincinnati. William F. "Buffalo" Bill. 196 lots
Keys Fine Arts Auctioneers. Norwich. Books - Day 2. 202 lots

Sun. Feb. 2nd
Carlsen Gallery. Greenville, NY. Winter Sale - Prints. 8 lots

It's January but already it feels like April.

A few hours ago Leigh Keno, best known for antiques and the Antiques Road Show held a single lot sale of a letter attempting to forestall hostilities between the American colonies and England.  The letter, an important antifact was estimated $100,000 to $400,000, a smart way to say the reserve was low but the value high.  It was effective and the new owner agreed to pay $730,000 plus 25% hammer for an all-in cost of $912,500.  This is part of a trend that is seeing more auction houses confident to sell the very best material.  I believe that specialist auctions do better over all but the Keno outcome was pretty good.  If the buyer is a dealer or a dealer group that will tell us that they believe the actual value is much higher.


Bruce McKinney

The Americana Exchange 



  • <b>Whitmore Rare Books.</b> Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn. A lovely copy of Twain’s masterpiece.
    <b>Whitmore Rare Books.</b> Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and <br>the Sea. A pristine copy of this American classic.
    <b>Whitmore Rare Books.</b> Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland. A high-spot of children’s literature.
    <b>Whitmore Rare Books.</b> Actively seeking famous works of literature.
    <b>Whitmore Rare Books.</b> Cotton Mather, Triumphs of the Reformed Religion, in America. A rare family association copy.
    <b>Whitmore Rare Books.</b> Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged. An inscribed first edition of Rand’s magnum opus.
    <b>Whitmore Rare Books.</b> John K. Toole, A Confederacy of Dunces. Easily the most hilarious Pulitzer Prize Winner.
    <b>Whitmore Rare Books.</b> Click here to view our latest catalogues.
    <b>Whitmore Rare Books.</b> Ian Fleming, Casino Royale. First American in the exceptionally rare 1st issue jacket.
    <b>Whitmore Rare Books.</b> John Donne, Poems. One of the great 17th century works of poetry.
    <b>Whitmore Rare Books.</b> Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to <br>the Galaxy. Inscribed first edition.
    <b>Whitmore Rare Books.</b> Seeking to purchase exceptional books.
    <b>Whitmore Rare Books.</b> Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian. Most important work of American fiction from the 1980s.
    <b>Whitmore Rare Books.</b> Maurice Sendak, Where the Wild Things Are.<br>A lovely first edition.
    <b>Whitmore Rare Books.</b> Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Basis for the beloved 1971 film.
    <b>Whitmore Rare Books.</b> Click here to view our latest catalogues.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 24:<br>Art, Press & Illustrated Books</b>
    Swann Auction Galleries Nov 24: Kelmscott Press, <i>The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer now newly<br>imprinted</i>, Hammersmith, 1896. $45,000 to $60,000.
    Swann Auction Galleries Nov 24: Marcel Schwob, <i>Vies Imaginaires</i>,<br>with illustrations by George Barbier & F.L. Schmied, Paris, 1929.<br>$20,000 to $30,000.
    Swann Auction Galleries Nov 24: Marc Chagall, <i>Psaumes de David</i>, signed first edition, Geneva, 1979. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 24:<br>Art, Press & Illustrated Books</b>
    Swann Auction Galleries Nov 24: Collection of 84 Weimar-era book jackets, including designs by<br>George Grosz, Moholy-Nagy, et. al., Berlin,1926-32. $1,500 to $2,500.
    Swann Auction Galleries Nov 24: Antoni Tàpies, <i>Llull-Tàpies</i>, 75 of 105 copies signed in an edition of 165, Paris and Barcelona, 1985.<br>$7,000 to $10,000.
    Swann Auction Galleries Nov 24: Black Sun Press, Harry Crosby, <i>Shadows of the Sun</i>, first edition<br>in 3 volumes, Paris, 1928-30.<br>$5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Nov 24:<br>Art, Press & Illustrated Books</b>
    Swann Auction Galleries Nov 24:<br>Earl of Rochester [John Wilmot], Sodom: <i>Ein Spiel</i>, illustrated by<br>Julius Klinger, folio, Leipzig, 1909.<br>$3,500 to $5,000.
    Swann Auction Galleries Nov 24: Herbert Matter, <i>Trademarks and Symbols</i>, 2 volumes, California, 1960s. $3,000 to $4,000.
    Swann Auction Galleries Nov 24:<br>H. Boylston Dummer, <i>The Robin<br>Book</i>, 14 typed pages with water-<br>color illustrations, string-bound & hand-painted, Rockport, c. 1925.<br>$300 to $400.
  • Sotheby's NY Dec 2-4: Davies, John, of Hereford. <i>Wittes Pilgrimage</i>. London, [1605?]. $10,000-15,000
    Sotheby's NY Dec 2-4: Rowley, Samuel. <i>When you See Me, You know Mee</i>. London, 1632. $3,000-5,000
    Sotheby's NY Dec 2-4: <br>Ariosto, Lodovico (John Harington, trans.). <i>Orlando Furioso in English Heroical Verse</i>. (London, 1591). $90,000-120,000
    Sotheby's NY Dec 2-4: Marlowe, Christopher. <i>The Famous Tragedy of the Rich Jew of Malta</i>. London, 1633. $40,000-60,000
    Sotheby's NY Dec 2-4: Caius, Joannes. <i>Of Englishe Dogges</i>. London, 1576. $30,000-50,000
    Sotheby's NY Dec 2-4: Hobbes, Thomas. Leviathan, <i>Or The Matter, Forme, & Power of a Common-Wealth</i>. London, 1651. $25,000-35,000
    Sotheby's NY Dec 2-4: Missal, Use of Sarum. <i>Missale ad usu[m] insignis ac preclare ecclesie Sar[um]</i>. London, [1512]. $15,000-20,000
    Sotheby's NY Dec 2-4: Bacon, Sir Francis. <i>Instauratio Magna [Novum Organum]</i>. London, 1620. <br>$20,000-30,000
    Sotheby's NY Dec 2-4: Walton, Izaak. <i>The Compleat Angler or the Contemplative man's Recreation</i>. London, 1653. $70,000-100,000
    Sotheby's NY December 2-4:<br>Milton, John. <i>Poems</i>. London, 1645. $25,000-35,000
    Sotheby's NY Dec 2-4: Baldwin, William. <i>A Myrroure for Magistrates</i>. London, 1559. $100,000-$150,000
    Sotheby's NY Dec 2-4: Newton, Isaac. <i>Opticks</i>. London, 1704. Presentation copy given by the author to Edmund Halley. $400,000-600,000
    Sotheby's NY Dec 2-4: Shakespeare, William. <i>Poems</i>. London, 1640. $150,000-200,000
    Sotheby's NY Dec 2-4: Chaucer, Geoffrey. <i>Canterbury Tales</i>. London, 1526. $200,000-$300,000
    Sotheby's NY Dec 2-4: Donne, John. Autograph letter signed to Lord Chancellor Ellesmere, presenting a first edition of <i>Pseudo-Martyr</i>, London, 1610. $150,000-200,000
  • <b>19th Century Shop.</b> A patriot who fought with George Washington Superb Daguerreotype of Baltus<br>Stone at age 101 (1846).
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> Edward Curtis portrait of Honovi, Walpi Snake Priest "Honovi was one of the author's principal informants" (1910).
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> The Execution of the Lincoln Assassination Conspirators by Alexander Gardner (1865).
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> Harriet Beecher Stowe, Catharine Beecher, Henry Ward Beecher, and the other siblings with their father Lyman Beecher. By Mathew Brady (1850s).
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> From Slaves to World-Famous Entertainers Millie-Christine, "The Two-Headed Nightingale" (c. 1868-71)
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> Goldfield, Nevada Photograph Collection Fabled Western Mining Boomtown (1905-1906)
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> Tycoon-Collector Benjamin Richardson poses with his great-grandson as appeared in parade.
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> Alexander Gardner portrait of Lincoln the only known copy, ex-John Hay (1863).
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> Magnificent Niagara Falls album with a strong provenance (1867).
    <b>19th Century Shop.</b> Spectacular American West Album From Yosemite to Salt Lake City to San Francisco.