Rare Book Monthly

Articles - September - 2016 Issue

The Fall Auction Season Begins: Here is How to Follow It and Find Items of Interest

9b31eb80-c36c-4ee9-bb1b-7fa1247199c0

Recent matches from a search for "Twain."

The fall auction season, the busiest time of the year, is about to begin. The number of sales in the book and paper field will rapidly rise, and continue to build all the way to its crescendo in mid-December. Then, it will come to its quick conclusion, ended by the holiday season that draws our attention elsewhere. Based on the past couple of years, we can expect something in the area of 170,000 lots to be offered over the next four months, with slightly under 75% of those being sold.

 

Naturally, keeping track of all of this, and finding the lots of interest to you, is next to impossible on your own. That's where we can help. We provide the tools to enable you to locate specific items of interest, as well as follow the sales on a macro basis. There is no charge for using these tools.

 

If you look near the top of this and most pages on this site, you will see a search box. Most likely, it is already set to search "Upcoming Auctions." If not, just click the little triangle to the left of the search box and select "Upcoming Auctions" from the choices.

 

Next, place your search terms in the search box. Use the fewest number of terms possible to create a match. For example, if you collect Mark Twain, enter "Twain" and nothing else. Some auction houses may list a book under "M. Twain" or "Twain/Clemens." You will miss these if you require it match the name "Mark" too. If you get too many matches, you can always go back and add additional limiting terms. Then click "Search." You are done. In a fraction of a second, you will have your matches. Click the title of the lot on the list of matches for a detailed description.

 

We gather information from over 150 auction houses, though not all have auctions running at any one time (some only hold one auction a year). Early in the season, there may be around 10,000 lots posted, while in the heart of the season, it could reach 40,000.

 

You shouldn't go more than a few days without checking your terms if you want to stay on top of what is being offered. Some auction's lots are available only a few days before the sale, so if you wait too long, they will slip by without your ever seeing them.

 

You can also see a complete listing of all lots in the books and paper field at each auction through the auction calendar. You will find this on the home page. You can use the small calendar you see there, but better yet, click the month and year at the top (September 2016). That will reveal a larger calendar, with the name of each auction on it. Those in green have the lots listed. Those in brown do not yet have the lots available. If they are in green with a check mark, it means the results have been posted. You can find the sales prices for these auctions by clicking the name. The arrows in the top right corner of the calendar allow you to switch to future or past months.

 

If you wish to bid on a lot, and virtually all auctions now permit online bidding, you should go to that auction house's website for instructions. We are not involved in the bidding and accept no commissions on sales. Our job is simply to objectively provide the information you need to make your own choices.

 

To check on the results of a sale, you can use the calendar as described above. However, we also have a shortcut for following individual lots. You will need to be an RBH member to do this, since we have to inform you individually of your results, but any level of membership will do, including a free one. If you are not a member, you can sign up by clicking the Become a Member link at the top right corner of each page. You will also have to be signed in to use this service.

 

When you go to the detailed description of a lot, you will see a tab to "Track this Record" on the top toolbar. Click it. Then, to check on this record (you will need to be signed in), click on the "My Home" link at the upper right of each page. At the bottom of the middle column on the page it opens, you will see a box for "Records Tracking." It shows how many lots you are tracking. Click "View now" to see them. Clicking on the title of each tracked record will provide details of that lot, including, once results are posted, the price for which it sold (or a notice that it did not sell if bids were not received).

 

Here is one more feature of your auction search. When you search for auction lots, you are actually searching three databases at once. At the top of the search results page, you will see the number of records found for your search terms in the "Rare Book Transaction History" and "Books for Sale." Each of these numbers is a link. Books for Sale are listings by participating dealers, and worth checking out, as a dealer may have a more suitable item for your collection. You can buy it directly from the dealer through a link on the listing (again, we do not participate in the sale and receive no commissions). The Rare Book Transaction History is a compilation of over 6.5 million records, mostly auctions (some catalogues and bibliographies), both recent and historic. New priced auction results are added practically everyday. This is the one service that requires a paid membership, which can be purchased on the "Become a Member" page.

 

Finally, here is how to follow macro results. Every week, we provide an email update of auctions whose results were posted during the past week and of those auctions scheduled for the coming week. You only receive one a week; it is unobtrusive, undemanding, and can be ignored if you are too busy to read it. It comes late Sunday night (early Monday morning in Europe and Asia). If you don't see it, check your spam filter and set it to allow emails from RBH.

 

To receive it, sign up for a membership (any level, including free is sufficient). You will receive it automatically when you sign up unless you decline it. If later on you decide you don't want to receive it any more, you can turn it off via the "My Mailings" box on your "My Home" page.

 

The email will list all of the million dollar auctions, those which sold over 80% of their lots, and then a listing of all auctions posted for the week. Then, it will list all auctions for the upcoming week. Each listing is a link, either to the lots offered in the upcoming auction, or the results for past ones. A further link once you reach the sales results page to "Auction Report" (upper right corner), provides overall information for that auction, such as total number of lots offered and sold, the total sales volume for that sale, and the highest priced items in that sale.

 

Lastly, the email you receive will include a listing of the Top 25 prices at all auctions reported during the past week.


Posted On: 2016-09-03 01:33
User Name: ARTUS

Can I enter a whole list of search terms for the various books I am looking for in coming auctions, save it and then check what become available every few days? If I have to search separately for each book every few days, this is not a useful tool. It goes faster to check directly the auctions of the relatively few auction houses covering my specific field of interest. The best system would be to have a system like Abe book where you enter a list of "wants" and they send you an e-mail whenever a relevant item becomes available. For you, the cost of such a program would probably be very low and it would make your HUB even more useful than it is currently.
Jacques R. Artus


Posted On: 2016-09-03 04:17
User Name: AE244155

Jacques.

We already have such a system. It's called "Matchmaker." You will see a link for it on the top tool bar. All you need to be to use it is a logged in member at any level - including a free membership. That's so we can connect to your account when delivering matches. It's very easy to use and self-explanatory. Click "Add Keywords" to add your terms. Come back whenever you like to check for matches (they are added once a day, at some crazy hour in the middle of the night in the U.S.). And you can get daily email notifications whenever there are matches too. Click "Matchmaker Preferences" and click "Yes" after "Receive Alert E-mail."


Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams: Treasures from the Eric C. Caren Collection: How History Unfolds on Paper, Part VII (Online). March 6-14, 2019</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Albert Einstein A remarkable letter on God in English, one of his most eloquent and quoted, 1 p, July 2, 1945. $100,000 to $150,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Benjamin Lincoln's commission as Major General in the Continental Army, February 19th, 1777. $60,000 to $90,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Broadside. A Poem Upon the Bloody Engagement That Was Fought on Bunker's-Hill. 1775. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Early, full printing of the Star-Spangled Banner in The Yankee, October 7, 1814. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Paul Revere. Engraving, “The Boston Massacre Perpetrated on March 5, 1770," in <i>Massachusett's Calendar 1772.</i> $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Bonhams: Treasures from the Eric C. Caren Collection: How History Unfolds on Paper, Part VII (Online). March 6-14, 2019</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Earliest known newspaper coverage of Babe Ruth, "a St Mary's schoolboy," Baltimore, April 4, 1914. $6,000 to $9,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Franklin, Benjamin. <i>The Independent Whig.</i> First Magazine Published in America, Philadelphia: Keimer, 1723-4. $15,000 to $20,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Smith, Joseph. <i>The Book of Mormon.</i> Palmyra: Printed by E.B. Grandin for the Author, 1830. First printing. $40,000 to $60,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Last Words of Joseph Smith. Autograph Letter Signed from a Mormon disciple, conveying a contemporary account of the Prophet's final words, Nauvoo, July 27, 1844. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> John Brown's Body. Autograph Letter Signed from the daughter of John Brown attempting to arrange the return of her father's body, North Elba, Essex Co, NY, November 29, 1859. $4,000 to $6,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 6-14:</b> Powell Expedition. Autograph diary of Rhodes C. Allen kept during the Powell Expedition of 1868, June 29, 1868 - November 16, 1868. $20,000 to $40,000
  • <b>Bonhams, Mar 12:</b> Walt Whitman. <i>Leaves of Grass.</i> First edition, first issue, SIGNED in block letters by Whitman. 1855. $200,000 to $300,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 12:</b> Isaac Newton's copy of John Greave's <i>Pyramidographia,</i> London, 1646. $50,000 to $70,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 12:</b> Colonel John Mosby. Robert E. Lee's autograph letter to Samuel Cooper reporting on Mosby's exploits, with Cooper's autograph note ordering his appointment to Major.
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 12:</b> Gyula Halasz Brassai. Large archive of autograph and typed letters, over 260, to his family including his wife Gilberte, 1947-1978. $40,000 to $60,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 12:</b> Archive of drawings and letters from Harper Lee to Charles Carruth, including an inscribed first edition of <i>To Kill a Mockingbird.</i> $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 11:</b> VESALIUS, ANDREAS. 1514-1564. <i>De humani corporis fabrica libri septem.</i> Basel: Johannes Oporinus, June 1543. $300,000 to $500,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 11:</b> HARVEY, WILLIAM. 1578-1657. <i>De motu cordis & sanguinis in animalibus Anatomica Exercitatio.</i> Leiden: Joannis Maire, 1639. $25,000 to $35,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar 11:</b> BERENGARIO DA CARPI, GIACOMO. 1460-1530. <i>Isagogae breves perlucide ac uberrimae in Anatomiam humani corporis.</i> Bologna: Benedictus Hectoris, 15 July 1523. $15,000 to $25,000
    <b>Bonhams NY, Mar 11:</b> FRANKLIN, BENJAMIN. 1706-1790. <i>Experiments and Observations on Electricity, made at Philadelphia in America…</i> London, 1769. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams NY, Mar 11:</b> BENIVIENI, ANTONIO. 1443-1502. <i>De abditis nonnullis ac mirandis morborum et sanationum causis.</i>Florence: Filippo Giunta, 1507. $8,000 to $12,000
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, <i>El Ingenioso Hildalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha . . . Nueva Edición,</i> first Ibarra edition, Madrid, 1780. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> Illuminated Prayer Book in Latin and French, France, 1530-40s. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> Illuminated Book of Hours in Latin, France, mid-15th century. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b><br><i>Die Ernsthaffte Christenpflicht,</i> earliest known edition of the first complete Mennonite prayer book, 1708. $300 to $500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> Georg Agricola, <i>De ortu & causis subterraneorum Lib V.,</i> first edition, Basel, 1546. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> Frederick Ruysch, <i>Icon durae matris in concava [convexa] superficie visae,</i> with 2 mezzotints by Jan Ladmiral, first edition, Amsterdam, 1737. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen, <i>Eine Neue Art von Strahlen,</i> Würzburg, 1895. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> Pietro Carrera, <i>Il Gioco de gli Scacchi,</i> first edition, Militello, 1617. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> William Lithgow, <i>The Totall Discourse, of the Rare Adventures</i> [etc.], London, 1632. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> Michel de Nostradamus, <i>The True Prophecies or Prognostications,</i> first complete edition in English, London, 1672. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> Pseudo-Methodius, <i>De revelatione facta . . . beato Methodio,</i> Basel, 1504. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Mar 7:</b> Hrabanus Maurus, <i>De laudibus sancte crucis opus,</i> Pforzheim, 1503. $1,000 to $2,000.
  • <b>Chiswick Auctions: Autographs & Memorabilia. February 28, 2019</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Feb 28:</b> Autograph album featuring signatures by prominent actors, politicians, musicians and authors, including Rudolph Valentino. £1,000 to £1,500
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Feb 28:</b> An extremely rare working radio script for Crazy People No 29, the first series of <i>The Goon Show.</i> £600 to £800
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Feb 28:</b> Manuscript prayer book, in German. 8vo, 1755 £800 to £1,200
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Feb 28:</b> Italian Manuscript on Geometry, with diagrams, 18th century. £500 to £700
    <b>Chiswick Auctions: Ornithology, Zoology & Voyages. February 27, 2019</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Feb 27:</b> Thorburn (Archibald). Sparrowhawk, original watercolour & gouache, signed & dated lower right, 1917. £1,500 to £2,000
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Feb 27:</b> Burton (Sir Richard Francis). <i>Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to El-Medinah and Meccah.</i> 3 vol., FIRST EDITION, 1855-56. £1,000 to £1,500
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Feb 27:</b> [Mount (Richard) & Page (Thomas)]. <i>The English Pilot. Describing the Sea-Coasts…</i> 31 engraved maps, W. & J. Mount, T. Page, 1756 £4000 to £6000
    <b>Chiswick Auctions: Ornithology, Zoology & Voyages. February 27, 2019</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Feb 27:</b> D’apres De Mannevillette (Jean-Baptiste Nicolas Denis). <i>Le Neptune Oriental.</i> Paris & Brest, [1775 – 1781]. £10,000 to £15,000
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Feb 27:</b> Loring (Josiah). Terrestrial Globe Containing all the Late Discoveries and Geographical Improvements. Boston, Gilman Joslin, 1846, £800 to £1,200
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Feb 27:</b> Shelley (G. E., Capt.). <i>A Monograph of the Nectariniidae, or Family of Sun-birds,</i> FIRST EDITION, by the Author, 1876-80. £4,000 to £6,000

Article Search

Archived Articles

Ask Questions