Rare Book Monthly

Articles - January - 2013 Issue

The Arader Sale:  Learning the Hard Way

Guernsey81

Lot 81, Natural History makes history.

The Arader auction of maps, rare books and natural history engravings, watercolors and color plate books at Guernsey’s on December 5th has come and gone and the sale, much discussed ahead, is now the sale much dissected.  It was both a flagship success and a serious failure depending on your perspective.  It was a success because it raised two million dollars.  It was a failure because the total low estimate of all lots was $12 million.  It was arguably three sales and two events [morning and afternoon sessions], divided 46%/54% between unreserved and reserved lots.  One hundred and thirty-three lots sold, 108 with estimates of $10,000 and less, 25 of the remaining 161 lots with estimates over $10,000.

The sale was conducted by Guernsey’s on behalf of and on the premises of Arader Galleries at their 1016 Madison Avenue New York location.

The 294 lots were divided in 5 categories –

Audubon Plates and Books.  82 lots offered and 70 sold

Natural History.  68 lots offered and 21 sold

Maps, Globes and Atlases.  52 lots offered and 13 sold

New York Views and Maps.  60 lots offered and 20 lots sold

American and European Oil Paintings.  32 lots offered and 9 sold

In the weekly auction report issued by AE on – for the week ending December 8th this sale ranked 3rd by dollar volume among the 38 sales archived - $2,258,342.  By another measure however it was disappointing.  The total of the low estimates of all 294 lots was $12,803,000, the sale as a percentage of the total high estimate, a number we track across all completed sales every week, 17.6%, an extremely low percentage.  Auctions routinely sell 70% to 75%.

In some respects the sale was unique.  It was essentially a store sale conducted as an auction.  To do this a catalogue under the auspices of Guernsey’s was issued.  In it the Arader Gallery identified material and provided estimates that, for most lots with high estimates greater than $10,000, turned out to be more than bidders were prepared to pay.


Posted On: 2013-01-01 00:00
User Name: andyboybooks

Excellent Article.


Posted On: 2013-01-02 00:00
User Name: bfgrp

Once again, Graham Arader bravely has defied convention, conducting an auction at his premises, under his auspice. This innovative hallmark of indep


Posted On: 2013-01-02 00:00
User Name: bfgrp

Once again, Graham Arader bravely has defied convention, conducting an auction at his premises, under his auspice. This innovative hallmark of indep


Posted On: 2013-01-02 00:00
User Name: bfgrp

Once again, Graham Arader bravely has defied convention, conducting an auction at his premises, under his auspice. This innovative hallmark of indep


Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Eric Carle, <i>The Very Hungry Caterpillar,</i> hand-painted collage. Sold for a record $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Charles Addams, <i>Couple passing a giant bird house,</i> watercolor cartoon for <i>The New Yorker,</i> 1948. Sold for $16,250.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Miriam Troop, <i>Rain on Laundry Day,</i> oil on canvas, cover for <i>The Saturday Evening Post,</i> 1940. Sold for $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Rockwell Kent, <i>To All Fascists,</i> ink broadside for The League of American Writers, circa 1937. Sold for $6,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Jo Mielziner, <i>Pet Shop Drop,</i> backdrop design for <i>Pal Joey</i> on Broadway, 1940. Sold for a record $55,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Lee Brown Coye, acrylic cover illustration for the 25th anniversary of <i>Weird Tales,</i> 1944. Sold for $18,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Virgil Finlay, <i>The Outsider & Others,</i> pen & ink dust jacket illustration for H.P. Lovecraft's book, 1939. Sold for $5,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Al Hirschfeld, <i>Paul Robeson as Othello,</i> illustration for <i>The New York Times,</i> 1942. Sold for $68,750
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art:</b> Frederic Remington, pen & ink illustration for <i>A Scout with the Buffalo Soldiers</i> in <i>The Century</i> magazine, 1889. Sold for $17,500.
  • <b>Bonhams, Sep. 17:</b> EARLY AVIATION PHOTOGRAPHY ARCHIVE. Chronicling 20th century aviation from the earliest Wright Brothers images through commercial and military applications. $50,000 to $70,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 17:</b> FIRST TELEPHONE CALL TO THE MOON. Partial transcription signed by Apollo 11 astronauts and President Nixon. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 17:</b> SPUTNIK-1 EMC/EMI LAB MODEL, 1957. Full scale vintage test model of the Sputnik-1 satellite, Moscow, [February, 1957]. $400,000 to $600,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 17:</b> Apollo 11 Beta cloth crew emblem, SIGNED BY THE ENTIRE APOLLO 11 CREW. $8,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 17:</b> GEMINI 1/8 SCALE MODEL. Rarely seen large-scale contractor's model. $3,000 to $5,000
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> SMITH, CHRISTOPHER WEBB. 1793-1871. <i>Indian Ornithology.</i> [Patna, India]: 1828. $50,000 to $80,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> DUPRÉ, LOUIS. 1789-1837. <i>Voyage à Athènes et à Constantinople, ou Collection de portraits, vues et costumes grecs et ottomans.</i> Paris: Dondey-Dupré, 1825. $60,000 to $90,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> ADAMS, JOHN. Autograph Letter Signed ("J Adams"), [to Dr. Perkins?] while recovering from his small pox inoculation, [late-April, 1764]. $30,000 to $50,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> AUSTEN, JANE. Autograph Letter Signed ("J. Austen"), to her sister Cassandra, 4 pp, "Thursday – after dinner," [September 16, 1813,] Henrietta St. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> AUDUBON, JOHN JAMES. 1785-1851. <i>The Birds of America, from Drawings Made in the United States and Their Territories.</i> New York & Philadelphia: J.J. Audubon & J.B. Chevalier, 1840-1844. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> DODWELL, EDWARD. 1767-1832. <i>Views in Greece.</i> London: Rodwell and Martin, 1821. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> JAMES, JESSE. Autograph Letter Signed ("Jesse W. James"), to Mr. Flood demanding Flood retract spurious accusations, 3 pp, June 5, 1875. $200,000 to $300,000.

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