Rare Book Monthly

Articles - June - 2016 Issue

A New Auction House in London

In 2013 Stephan Ludwig sold Bloomsbury Auctions, together with his Dreweatts business, to the Stanley Gibbons Group PLC for about PS 15,000,000.  In 2015 he retired and is now preparing to return to combat under a fresh banner.  The new firm is called Forum Auctions [www.forumauctions.co.uk] and includes some members of the of the Bloomsbury team that brought the company to prominence over the past several decades.

 

Among them:

 

Filippo Rotundo.  Mr. Rotundo of Philobiblon Galleries in Italy and New York, focuses on introducing the most selective collectors to the greater possibilities of collecting.  He will assist to bring both great collectors and great material into the rooms.

 

Rupert Powell.  He will head the books and manuscripts department of the new firm after having occupied a similar position at Bloomsbury for many years.

 

About the field Mr. Powell is quoted, “The Forum business model embodies my view on the future of our market.  I am thrilled to be joining Stephan and his team of like-minded specialists.  Client service is the key differentiator in our industry and our new venture holds this ethos ahead of all else.  It is my objective to make Forum the go-to auction destination for the discerning book collector, both in Europe and the USA.”

 

The auction field today has become very complex.  The barriers to entry have been reduced while the quantity of material to be re-priced and re-distributed has been increasing.  Traditional collectors have been aging while the population of new collectors has been approaching the field in a fresh, quality-value way that prefers market-determined prices.  Hence the company’s focus on the very best material, which has, at minimum, held it’s value and in many cases soared.

 

All elements in the field, the dealers, auction houses, institutions and collectors have seen both their approaches and strategies upended by the internet, changing tastes, and increasing clarity about rarity and value.  That Mr. Ludwig is attracted to return to the source of his earlier success suggests confidence in the future of the field.  As one of the field’s stellar performers it’s a very good sign.

 

Just as it has famously been sung, “there will always be an England,” Mr. Ludwig’s strategy equally confirms “there will always be a market for collectible material.”

 

Here is a link to the Forum Auctions website which is now coming to life.  The firm promises to provide a ‘traditional’ auction experience with in-the-room, on the phone and on-line bidding.

 

www.forumauctions.co.uk/news-and-events

 

First sales are scheduled in July on the 13th and 14th and will be held at the Westbury Hotel in Mayfair, London.  Two private collections of English 20th century literature and Renaissance material, including splendid early examples from the Aldine Press, will be offered.

 

Location and Contact Details

 

Forum Auctions

www.forumauctions.co.uk

 

220 Queenstown Road

London, UK SW8 4LP

+44.020.7717.5092

 

Email contact information is shown on the site.

Rare Book Monthly

  • 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
  • Bid on iGavelAuctions.com: Heller, Joseph, Closing Time, Advance Readers Copy of Uncorrected Proof with a letter from Heller on his personal stationary
    Bid on iGavelAuctions.com: Gates, Bill, How to Avoid a Climate Disaster, N Y: Knopf, 2021; first edition, with a handwritten note from Bill Gates
    Bid on iGavelAuctions.com: Heller, Joseph, Catch-22, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1961, first edition, first printing, first issue dust jacket, inscribed on the front end paper by Heller
    Bid on iGavelAuctions.com: Heller, Joseph, Something Happened, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1974, first edition, inscribed on the front end paper by Heller
    Bid on iGavelAuctions.com: Austen, Jane, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, London: John Murray, 1818, in four volumes
  • Manuscript Masterpieces from the Schøyen Collection
    London auction, 11 June
    BROWSE NOW
    Christie’s, Explore now: The Holkham Hebrew Bible. In Hebrew, decorated manuscript on vellum [Toledo, 2nd quarter 13th century]. £1,500,000–3,000,000
    Christie’s, Explore now: The Crosby-Schøyen Codex. In Coptic, manuscript on papyrus [Upper Egypt, middle 3rd century / 4th century]. £2,000,000–3,000,000
    Christie’s, Explore now: The Geraardsbergen Bible. In Latin, illuminated manuscript on vellum [Southern Netherlands, late 12th century]. £700,000–1,000,000
    Christie’s, Explore now : Jean de Courcy (fl. 1420). The Chronique de la Bouquechardiere. In French, illuminated manuscript on vellum [Paris, c.1480]. £200,000–300,000
    Christie’s, Explore now: The ‘Catherine de Medici’ Hours. In Latin and French, illuminated manuscript on vellum [Paris, c.1485]. £120,000–180,000
  • Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    30th May 2024
    Forum, May 30: Potter (Beatrix). Complete set of four original illustrations for the nursery rhyme, 'This pig went to market', 1890s. £60,000 to £80,000.
    Forum, May 30: Dante Alighieri.- Lactantius (Lucius Coelius Firmianus). Opera, second edition, Rome, 1468. £40,000 to £60,000.
    Forum, May 30: Distilling.- Brunschwig (Hieronymus). Liber de arte Distillandi de Compositis, first edition of the so-called 'Grosses Destillierbuch', Strassburg, 1512. £22,000 to £28,000.
    Forum, May 30: Eliot (T.S.), W. H. Auden, Ted Hughes, Philip Larkin, Robert Lowell, Seamus Heaney, Ted Hughes, & others. A Personal Anthology for Eric Walter White, 60 autograph poems. £20,000 to £30,000.
    Forum, May 30: Cornerstone of French Enlightenment Philosophy.- Helvetius (Claude Adrien). De l'Esprit, true first issue "A" of the suppressed first edition, Paris, 1758. £20,000 to £30,000.
    Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    30th May 2024
    Forum, May 30: Szyk (Arthur). The Haggadah, one of 125 copies, this out-of-series, Beaconsfield Press, 1940. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, May 30: Fleming (Ian). Casino Royale, first edition, first impression, 1953. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, May 30: Japan.- Ryusui (Katsuma). Umi no Sachi [Wealth of the Sea], 2 vol., Tokyo, 1762. £8,000 to £12,000.
    Forum, May 30: Computing.- Operating and maintenance manual for the BINAC binary automatic computer built for Northrop Aircraft Corporation 1949, Philadelphia, 1949. £8,000 to £12,000.
    Forum, May 30: Burmese School (probably circa 1870s). Folding manuscript, or parabaik, from the Court Workshop at the Royal Court at Manadaly, Burma, [c.1870s]. £8,000 to £12,000.

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