Auction Update Review


The Temperature Rises


For the week ending Saturday March 1st 22 auctions were archived to the AED; 2 in euros, 4 in British pounds, and 16 in US dollars.  Turnover was $9,425,842 as 8,253 lots were offered and 7,093 sold for a robust 86% success rate.  There was strength across the globe.

<--- A suite of 12 photographs by Bernd Becher [lot 95] in Swann's sale on the 27th brought $125,000 

1 auction saw their total proceeds reach a million dollars: 

HeritageAuctions. Comics on February 22nd: $4,706,304 

<--- Lot 7 at Bloomsbury Auctions brought GBP 3,968 against a high estimate of GBP 1,500 in their Photo Opportunities on February 28th.

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

Ferraton. Books - Old and Modern on February 22nd: 147.03%
Bloomsbury Auctions. Library of a Gentleman on February 27th: 120.79%

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

Heritage Auctions. Celebrity Art: Doodle for Hunger on February 24th: 100.00%
Heritage Auctions. Lomasney Vintage Movie Art Posters Benefiting Lifebeat Monthly Internet Charity Auction - bidstart 2 on February 27th: 100.00%
Heritage Auctions. Comics -Internet bidstart 2/16 on February 23rd: 99.46%
Heritage Auctions. Comics on February 22nd: 99.42%
Cowans Auctions. The World at War on February 25th: 96.88%
Heritage Auctions. Movie Posters - Internet bidstart 2/16 on February 23rd: 94.97%
Bloomsbury Auctions. Library of a Gentleman on February 27th: 92.74%
Heritage Auctions. Rare Books - Internet bidstart 2/20 on February 27th: 90.99%
Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society. Rare and Used Books on February 14th: 89.01%
Ferraton. Books - Old and Modern on February 22nd: 86.25%
Bruun Rasmussen. Modern and Contemporary Prints on February 25th: 83.33%
Eldreds. Antiques and Accessories - Books and Prints on February 22nd: 81.58%

For the week ahead 21 sales are scheduled:

Mon. Mar. 3rd
Skinner. Boston. Americana: Prints - Internet bidstart 2/24. 21 lots

Tue. Mar. 4th
Neret Minet and Tessier. Paris. Posters. 485 lots
Bruun Rasmussen. Copenhagen. Prints. 55 lots
Bonhams. San Francisco. Asian Decorative Arts - Woodblock Prints, Reference Books. 13 lots
Bruun Rasmussen. Copenhagen. Modern and Contemporary Prints. 42 lots
Bearnes Hampton and Littlewood. Exeter. Books, Prints, Ephemera. 52 lots

Wed. Mar. 5th
Bonhams. London. Single Owner Law Sale Part 1. 472 lots
Dominic Winter Book Auctions. Gloucestershire. Printed Books, Maps and Historical Documents. 675 lots
Sothebys. London. 1000 Ways of Seeing - Prints. 52 lots
Ader. PARIS. Historical Memories. 31 lots

Thu. Mar. 6th
Bloomsbury Auctions. London. Antiquarian Books. 230 lots
Swann Galleries. New York. 19th & 20th Century Prints & Drawings. 661 lots
ALDE. Paris. Library of Amateur Architecture, from Vitruvius to Ledoux. 148 lots
Heritage Auctions. Dallas. Rare Books - Internet bidstart 2/27. 353 lots

Fri. Mar. 7th
Dominic Winter Book Auctions. Gloucestershire. Prints and Books. 23 lots
Rossini. Paris. Prints. 245 lots

Sat. Mar. 8th
Neret Minet and Tessier. Paris. Comic Strips. 447 lots

Sun. Mar. 9th
Heritage Auctions. Dallas. Comics - Internet bidstart 3/2.
Heritage Auctions. Dallas. Movie Posters - Internet Bidstart 3/2.
National Book Auctions. Ithaca. Books and Ephemera - Monument Men, Law, Autographs, etc..

The market is absorbing the higher volume of lots, and as Mike Stillman reported a few days ago, bringing higher prices.  It's been five years since the financial melt-down and finally it feels like its lingering effects are slipping away.


Bruce McKinney



  • <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 Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Caius Julius Hyginus, <i>Poeticon Astronomicon,</i> first illustrated edition, Venice, 1482. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Giovanni Botero, <i>Le Relationi Universali... divise in Sette Parti</i>, Venice, 1618. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> <i>L'Escole des Filles</i>, likely third edition of the first work of pornographic fiction in French, 1676. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Illuminated Book of Hours in Latin on vellum, Flanders, early 16th century. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Johannes Regiomontanus, <i>Calendarium,</i> Venice, 1485. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Pedro de Medina, <i>Libro d[e] gra[n]dezas y cosas memorables de España,</i> Alcalá de Henares, 1566. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b><br>Luis de Lucena, <i>Arte de Ajedres,</i> Salamanca, circa 1496-97. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Andrés Serrano, <i>Los Siete Principes de los Ángeles, válidos de Rey del Cielo,</i> Spain, 1707. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Johannes de Sacrobosco, <i>Sphaera mundi,</i> first illustrated edition, Venice, 1478. $15,000 to $20,000.
  • <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> A Rare 3-rotor German Enigma I Enciphering Machine. $70,000 to $90,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Important collection of correspondence between Werner Heisenberg and Bruno Rossi. $40,000 to $60,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Walt Whitman Autograph manuscript containing his thoughts on death. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> David Roberts. <i>Holy Land</i>. Six volumes. 1842-1849. First edition. $15,000 to $25,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Extensive collection of Ray Bradbury's primary works, most signed or inscribed. $15,000 to $20,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Peter Force. Declaration of Independence. $12,000 to $18,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Steinbeck. <i>Grapes of Wrath</i>. A fine copy of the first edition. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Lewis & Clark. <i>Travels to the Source of the Missouri River</i>... First English edition, extra-illustrated. 1814. $10,000 to 15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Manuscript document signed by Nuno de Guzman relating to Hernan Cortes, 1528. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> “Nos los inquisidores..." The first book in English printed West of the Mississippi. [1787]. $5,000 to $8,000.