Rare Book Monthly

Articles - April - 2013 Issue

Dreweatts and Bloomsbury Auctions Acquired by the Noble Investment [UK] PLC Group

These are days when the future of bookselling is a bit clouded and the coin and fabric of the field seemingly subject to relentless retesting.  Even so there are glimmers of new realities that exploit opportunities in the rapid changes.  Consolidation is the new ‘it’ as the shift to the web demands high and continuing investments in order to be ever complete and always up-to-date.  Ten years ago software upgrades were done and then thought complete.  Today software development never ends, the shark in replacement of the lion.

So it is logical, and probably inevitable, that smart people would see the logic in combining disparate auction houses under a single umbrella to share costs and benefits - from advertising to display and bidding and all things financial.  Such roll-ups gain significant advantages.

Heritage comes to mind as the textbook model writ large of an auction house selling across a range of categories.  Bonhams too is redefining auction services.  One step up Sotheby’s and Christies have created marketing juggernauts that sell most things collectible when the quality and potential realization are high.  They have effectively organized their own brands and shifted the focus if not the emphasis from what is being sold to who is selling it.  The notion of brand is now deeply embedded; the request at lunch for a coke, not a soda, recognition that our personal dictionaries are increasingly populated with marketed names whose goals have long been to become verbs.

It is too early to say how this fresh combination will work.  Brilliant thinkers have long dominated the auctions.  Rarer still are the brilliant executioners and in this new model it will be the conceptualist with great programming and marketing resources that will carry the day.
  

Nobel Investments has brought Dreweatts and Bloomsbury to the starting line of the next big race, to becoming a marketing verb in the United Kingdom and on other continents where there will be much to be sold and where marketing powerhouses will handle most of the best material.
   

Link to 

The Acquisition Announcement

Bdaily Business News story

The Bloomsbury Book Department


Rare Book Monthly

  • Bonhams, Ending Feb. 21: A JAMES MADISON THANKSGIVING PROCLAMATION. $12,000 - $18,000
    Bonhams, Ending Feb. 21: A JAMES MONROE PRESIDENTIAL SERVICE SOUP BOWL. $6,000 - $9,000
    Bonhams, Ending Feb. 21: A FRANKLIN PIERCE BRUSHED SILK TOP HAT. $10,000 - $15,000
    Bonhams, Ending Feb. 21: LINCOLN ENDORSEMENT: "I AM ALWAYS FOR THE MAN WHO WISHES TO WORK." $15,000 - $20,000
    Bonhams, Ending Feb. 21: A RUTHERFORD B. HAYES CIVIL WAR-ERA TRAVEL DESK. $4,000 - $6,000
    Bonhams, Ending Feb. 21: FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT'S FINAL PRESIDENTIAL AUTOMOBILE FLAG. $20,000 - $30,000
    Bonhams, Ending Feb. 21: GARFIELD LS AS PRESIDENT ALLUDING TO THE "STAR-ROUTE" SCANDAL: "REGRETTING THE EMBARRASSMENTS WHICH THE EVENT HAS CAUSED US BOTH." $25,000 - $35,000
    Bonhams, Ending Feb. 21: AN 18K GOLD AND ENAMEL WILLIAM MCKINLEY INAGURATION POCKETWATCH. $15,000 - $20,000
    Bonhams, Ending Feb. 21: A JOHN F. KENNEDY PRESIDENTIAL MOTORCADE FLAG. $80,000 - $120,000
    Bonhams, Ending Feb. 21: PRESIDENT KENNEDY'S LAST DAY: OFFICIAL SCHEDULE ANNOTATED BY SPECIAL ASSISTANT DAVE POWERS WITH A MINUTE-BY-MINUTE DETAIL OF THE DAY'S ACTIONS. $40,000 - $60,000
  • Sotheby’s
    Modern First Editions
    Available for Immediate Purchase
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Winston Churchill. The Second World War. Set of First-Edition Volumes. 6,000 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: A.A. Milne, Ernest H. Shepard. A Collection of The Pooh Books. Set of First-Editions. 18,600 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Salvador Dalí, Lewis Carroll. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Finely Bound and Signed Limited Edition. 15,000 USD
    Sotheby’s
    Modern First Editions
    Available for Immediate Purchase
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Ian Fleming. Live and Let Die. First Edition. 9,500 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: J.K. Rowling. Harry Potter Series. Finely Bound First Printing Set of Complete Series. 5,650 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Ernest Hemingway. A Farewell to Arms. First Edition, First Printing. 4,200 USD
  • Il Ponte, Feb. 27-28: KUPKA, Frantisek (1871-1957) - Quatre histoires de blanc et noir. Paris: Marcel Baque, 1926. €5.000-€8.000
    Il Ponte, Feb. 27-28: VASI, Giuseppe Agostino (1710-1782) - Raccolta delle più belle vedute antiche, e moderne di Roma disegnate ed incise secondo lo stato presente. Rome: A. Vasi, 1786. €4.000-€6.000
    Il Ponte, Feb. 27-28: SALAMANCA, Antonio (1478-1562) - [First map depicting the bay of Naples]. [Rome: 1538]. €3.000-€5.000

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