Auction Update Review
For the week ended Saturday April 12th 28 auctions were archived to the AED; 8 in euros, 7 in British pounds and 13 in US dollars. Turnover was $21,095,993 as 8,723 lots were offered and 6,954 sold at the stellar run rate of 80%. The catalyst was the just completed New York Antiquarian Book Fair but many of the fireworks were in the briskly competitive auction rooms. The field is experiencing a return of buyer and bidder confidence.
5 auctions saw their total proceeds reach a million dollars:
Christies. Comic Strips on April 5th: $3,889,500
Arader Galleries. Natural History and Americana on April 5th: $3,418,790
Sothebys. Islamic World - Books, Manuscripts on April 9th: $1,765,675
Doyle New York. Rare Books, Autographs and Photgraphs on April 9th: $1,426,065
Bonhams. Treasures from the Caren Archive on April 7th: $1,379,177
5 auctions saw total sales exceed 100% of the high estimates of all lots offered:
Swann Galleries. Printed & Manuscript Americana on April 8th: 127.17%
Sothebys. Islamic World - Books, Manuscripts on April 9th: 122.36%
Dominic Winter Book Auctions. Photography on April 10th: 115.34%
Bonhams. Treasures from the Caren Archive on April 7th: 111.71%
Christies. Comic Strips on April 5th: 105.75%
8 sales saw at least 80% of their lots sell:
Heritage Auctions. Comics -Internet bidstart 3/30 on April 6th: 99.22%
Heritage Auctions. Movie Posters - Internet Bidstart 3/30 on April 6th: 93.90%
Dominic Winter Book Auctions. Fine Illustrated Travel and Military History on April 10th: 92.98%
Arader Galleries. Natural History and Americana on April 5th: 92.47%
Heritage Auctions. Rare Books - Internet bidstart 4/3 on April 10th: 91.02%
Swann Galleries. Printed & Manuscript Americana on April 8th: 88.75%
Dominic Winter Book Auctions. Printed Books and Maps, Vintage Photographs on April 9th: 82.81%
Doyle New York. Rare Books, Autographs and Photgraphs on April 9th: 81.30%
For the week ahead 17 sales are scheduled:
Mon. Apr. 14th
Minerva Auctions Roma. Roma. Prints, Books. 284 lots
Bruun Rasmussen. Copenhagen. Old Master Prints. 6 lots
Tue. Apr. 15th
Bonhams. London. Grosvenor School and Avant Garde British Printing. 107 lots
Bonhams. London. Marine. 5 lots
Bonhams. Edinburgh. The Scottish Sale.
Bruun Rasmussen. Copenhagen. Modern and Contemporary Prints. 52 lots
Wed. Apr. 16th
Christies. London -South Kensington. Prints and Multiples. 316 lots
Artcurial. Paris. Books and Manuscripts. 363 lots
RR Auction. Amherst. Rare Manuscript, Document & Autograph - bidstart 3/21. 1078 lots
Thu. Apr. 17th
Swann Galleries. New York. The Vernacular Eye: Photographic Albums, Snapshots & Objects. 297 lots
Bloomsbury Auctions. London. Antiquarian Books. 419 lots
Tajan. Paris. Photographs. 339 lots
Heritage Auctions. Dallas. Rare Books - Internet bidstart 4/10. 565 lots
Fri. Apr. 18th
Stair Auctioneers and Appraisers. Hudson. Prints. 28 lots
Sat. Apr. 19th
OSENAT. FONTAINEBLEAU. The Empire at Fontainebleau.
Sun. Apr. 20th
Heritage Auctions. Dallas. Movie Posters - Internet bidstart 4/13.
Heritage Auctions. Dallas. Comics -Internet bidstart 4/13.
In the air at the bookfairs and in the auction rooms there was noticeable confidence. Collectors and institutions are bringing a better understanding of appropriateness, rarity and value and converting this knowledge into bids and offers that are finding success. This market feels like it has found its land legs and is ready for an extended voyage.
If the past 5 years were tough they were also probably necessary. For the sun to rise it had to first set.