Rare Book Monthly

Articles - September - 2011 Issue

AE Makes It Easy to Search for Book Auction Listings

Twainauc

Mark Twain is always popular.

The fall book auction season will be starting very soon now. Fall is traditionally the busiest time of the year for auctions. After Labor Day in the U.S., almost everyone has returned home from their summer vacations, and we all return to our usual pursuits. That includes work for those who work, collecting for those who collect.

 

Activity will build through September and October and usually peak in November. This is when many of the European houses hold their semi-annual sales. Many European houses limit themselves to twice yearly book auctions, with May and November generally being the favored times. Auctions will continue strong through the first two weeks of December and then drop off a cliff, as sellers, buyers, and auction houses prepare for the holidays. Sales will pick up again in January, but the pace will be much slower until spring arrives.

 

The Americana Exchange offers some valuable free services to help you locate material at auction. Auctions are a great place to buy if you are seeking value for your money, though only a fairly small percentage of the book-buying public participates. The advantage is you can set your price and never pay more than you choose. You will not find everything you want, or most things precisely when you want them, but with patience you will find some excellent deals. Patience is the hallmark of a careful investor.

 

If you look just under the toolbar near the top of this, and most other pages of AE, you will see a search box with the words "Search for keywords here." To the left of it are choices for AE Database, Upcoming Auctions, and Books For Sale. Check the circle next to "Upcoming Auctions." Then enter keywords for the topic, author, etc., that is of interest. Then click "Search." In a fraction of a second, you will have your results.

 

What you are searching is the only cooperative database of book auction listings from around the world. Rather than having to find and search through each auction house's listings separately, AE scours the listings of over 150 auction houses worldwide. When a book auction is announced, AE places those listings in a cooperative database with other houses, so you can search all of them at once. A task otherwise so complicated and time-consuming as to be realistically impossible can be accomplished in less than a second. Not bad, especially considering the price.

 

New auctions are added practically everyday, and some houses don't post their listings until a few days before the auction, so you should check back here regularly and search anew. Since you are depending on random luck for items you like to show up, you don't want to miss them when they do. When you find something you would like to purchase, you can click through to the house's website for instructions on placing an online bid. The bidding process may seem a bit unfamiliar at first, but so did it feel that way at first for eBay, or Amazon, or AbeBooks. It really won't take long to make online bidding a part of your arsenal of book collecting now that AE has made finding books at auction possible.

 

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Christie’s London, 13 July:</b> Bartolomeo Caporali, attributed to (fl.1442–1503). <i>The Flagellation,</i> historiated initial ‘D’ cut from an illuminated Missal on vellum [Perugia, c.1485–90].
    <b>Christie’s London, 13 July:</b> Frate Nebridio (1460s – 1490s). <i>The Last Supper,</i> historiated initial from an antiphonal, illuminated manuscript on vellum. Lombardy, probably Cremona, c.1470s. £15,000 to £25,000
    <b>Christie’s London, 13 July:</b> Lewis David de Schweinitz (1780–1834). Fungorum Niskiensium Iconum, an album of mycological watercolours. Niesky, Germany, c.1805. £4,000 to £6,000
    <b>Christie’s London, 13 July:</b> Sir Isaac Newton (1642–1727). <i>Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica,</i> edited by Edmond Halley (1656–1743). London, 1687. £350,000 to £400,000
    <b>Christie’s London, 13 July:</b> Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (1547–1616). <i>El ingenioso hidalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha.</i> Madrid, 1605. £300,000 to £400,000
  • <center><b>Swann Auction Galleries<br>View Our Record Breaking Results</b>
    <b>Swann:</b> Scott Joplin, <i>Treemonisha: Opera in Three Acts,</i> New York, 1911. Sold March 24 — $40,000.
    <b>Swann:</b> Louisa May Alcott, autograph letter signed, 1868. Sold June 2 — $23,750.
    <b>Swann:</b> Anne Bradstreet, <i>Several Poems Compiled with Great Variety of Wit and Learning, full of Delight,</i> Boston, 1758. Sold June 2 — $21,250.
    <b>Swann:</b> William Shakespeare, <i>Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies. Published according to the true Originall Copies. The Second Impression,</i> London, 1632. Sold May 5 — $161,000.
    <center><b>Swann Auction Galleries<br>View Our Record Breaking Results</b>
    <b>Swann:</b> John Bachmann, <i>Panorama of the Seat of War,</i> New York, 1861-62. Sold June 23 — $35,000.
    <b>Swann:</b> Charlotte Bronte, <i>Jane Eyre,</i> first edition, London, 1847. Sold June 16 — $23,750.
    <b>Swann:</b> Elihu Vedder, <i>Simple Simon, His Book,</i> 1913. Sold June 9 — $12,350.
    <b>Swann:</b> Frederick Catherwood, <i>Views of Ancient Monuments in Central America, Chiapas and Yucatan,</i> London, 1844. Sold April 7 — $37,500.
  • <center><b>Case Antiques<br>Two-Day Summer Auction<br>July 9 & 10, 2022</b>
    <b>Case Antiques, Jul. 9-10:</b> 1805 TN Supreme Court Book, John Overton and Hugh White Opinions. $800 to $900.
    <b>Case Antiques, Jul. 9-10:</b> TN Lunsford Bramlett Archive, incl. Polk White House Invitation, 8 Items. $400 to $500.
    <b>Case Antiques, Jul. 9-10:</b> Civil War Archive, incl. Gen. Bate on Death of Polk, Capture of Nashville. $2,000 to $2,400.
    <center><b>Case Antiques<br>Two-Day Summer Auction<br>July 9 & 10, 2022</b>
    <b>Case Antiques, Jul. 9-10:</b> 5 Dickens 1st Ed. Books, incl. Edited by Author. $800 to $1,000.
    <b>Case Antiques, Jul. 9-10:</b> Charles Dickens, 5 Christmas Books, 1st Eds. $800 to $1,000.
    <b>Case Antiques, Jul. 9-10:</b> 2 Slave Documents, Nashville TN & North Carolina. $700 to $900.
    <center><b>Case Antiques<br>Two-Day Summer Auction<br>July 9 & 10, 2022</b>
    <b>Case Antiques, Jul. 9-10:</b> 3 Maurice Sendak Signed Items, incl. Nutcracker, Pierre. $500 to $600.
    <b>Case Antiques, Jul. 9-10:</b> 7 Phillip Roth Hardcover Books, incl. Author Signed, 1st Eds. $500 to $550.
    <b>Case Antiques, Jul. 9-10:</b> 6 Kurt Vonnegut Hardcover Books, incl. Author Signed, 1st Eds. $400 to $500.
    <center><b>Case Antiques<br>Two-Day Summer Auction<br>July 9 & 10, 2022</b>
    <b>Case Antiques, Jul. 9-10:</b> 3 Edward Gorey Items, incl. Print + 2 Books. $400 to $500.
    <b>Case Antiques, Jul. 9-10:</b> Josef Albers, INTERACTION OF COLOR, 1963. $800 to $900.
    <b>Case Antiques, Jul. 9-10:</b> Henri Matisse Jazz Portfolio for MOMA, 1st Ed., 1983. $600 to $800.

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