Rare Book Monthly

Articles - November - 2018 Issue

AbeBooks Top 10 Most Expensive Items for the Third Quarter of 2018

C6ea7764-0ca9-4724-886e-cbee4decfe38

Vasarely zebras from Descartes' Discours de la Méthod.

AbeBooks has released the list of their ten most expensive sales for the third quarter of 2018, July-September. It ranges from a couple of the great 17th century philosophers to some of the most popular writers of the 20th century. There are a few other stops along the way. Most notably, the list includes the most expensive item sold on the AbeBooks site since 2015. Here is the list.

 

10. The Birds of America by John James Audubon. This isn't a first edition, as it does not rise to seven or eight figures, nor even a first octavo as it isn't pushing six. However, this 1870 edition contains 500 plates across seven volumes, and came with a copy of his Quadrupeds of North America containing 106 of 155 plates. $13,500.

 

9. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. A 1925 first edition, first printing, with a third state dust jacket, not in the greatest shape, but at least still present. $14,500.

 

8. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. This is a complete first edition in excellent shape. $16,000.

 

7. A collection of notebooks by Max Newman. Newman was a British mathematician who was a pioneer in the field of electronic computing. $19,700.

 

6. A collection of Beethoven string quartets. It consists of sheet music in first and early editions, beginning in 1798. $20,350.

 

4. (tie) The Natural and Civil History of the French Dominions in North and South America by Thomas Jefferys. This is a 1760 first edition, and it is a good thing Jefferys didn't wait any longer to publish as two years later, with the conclusion of the French and Indian War, there were no more French dominions in North America. $24,000.

 

4. (tie) The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis. Seven volumes of first British editions, published 1950-1956. This may not be as important a book as the other one tied for #4, but it is certainly a lot more read. $24,000.

 

3. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. A signed first edition of Rand's final and most successful novel. $28,000.

 

2. Discours de la Méthode by René Descartes. He thought, and so he was. This book by one of the greatest thinkers of his time was first published in 1637, but this is a 20th century edition, noted more for the Op Art drawings by Victor Vasarely. It is one of 15 copies reserved for and signed by the artist. $32,500.

 

1. Discorsi e Dimostrazioni Matematiche by Galileo. Written by a brilliant contemporary of Descartes and published in 1638, this is one of the greatest science books, considered by some the first physics textbook. $82,500.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 54. Fanciful engraving of earth's interior with magma core and errupting volcanoes (1682). $1500 to $1800.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 165. Rare state of Jefferys' influential map of New England in contemporary color (1755). $8000 to $9500.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 177. Mouzon's foundation map of the Carolinas (1775). $10000 to $13000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 183. Very rare first state of De Fer's map of the Lower Mississippi Valley (1715). $20000 to $25000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 253. Scarce Scottish edition based on Ellicott's plan of Washington, D.C. (1796). $2400 to $3000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 313. Stunning view of Philadelphia by John Bachmann (1850). $3250 to $4250.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 338. Rare Civil War map based on Bucholtz map of Virginia (1862). $9500 to $12000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 667. First map to accurately show Luzon in Philippines (1590). $6000 to $7500.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 682. Rare map of Shanghai International Settlement published just after WWI (1918). $7000 to $9000.
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 738. Coronelli's superb map of the Pacific showing the Island of California (1697) Est. $2400 - $3000
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 743. A cornerstone piece in the mapping of Australia and New Zealand (1726) Est. $6000 - $7500
    <b>Old World Auctions (April 28):</b><br>Lot 781. An uncommon signature during Jefferson's Governorship of Virginia (1779) Est. $9500 - $11000
  • <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Collection of a Connoisseur:<br>History in Manuscript, Part 2<br>27 April 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Ronald Reagan. Series of 37 letters to Senator George Murphy, and related material, 1968-90. £50,000 to £70,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Chaim Weizmann. Autograph letter signed, to General Sir Gilbert Clayton, 6 September 1918. £20,000 to £30,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Sir Winston Churchill. Autograph letter signed, to Pamela, Lady Lytton, 1942. £20,000 to $30,000.
    <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Collection of a Connoisseur:<br>History in Manuscript, Part 2<br>27 April 2021</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Oscar Wilde. Five autograph letters signed, to Alsager Vian, 1887. £15,000 to £20,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Napoleon I. Letter signed to Admiral Ganteaume, ordering the invasion of England, 22 August 1805. £10,000 to £15,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, through Apr. 27:</b><br>Horatio, Viscount Nelson, and Emma Hamilton. Two autograph letter signed, to Catherine and George Matcham, 1805. £6,000 to £8,000.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Frances Palmer, <i>Battle of Buena Vista,</i> chromolithograph, New York, 1847. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Antonio Colmenero de Ledesma, the earliest publication concerned solely with chocolate, first edition, Madrid, 1631. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Romans Bernard, <i>An Exact View of the Late Battle at Charlestown, June 17th, 1775,</i> engraving, 1776. $40,000 to $60,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> <i>A Short Narrative of the Horrid Massacre in Boston,</i> English edition, London, 1770. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> William Soule, <i>Lodge of the Plains Indians,</i> albumen print, 1872. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Manuscript document to enforce New York’s “Agreement of Non-Importation” during the heyday of the Sons of Liberty, New York, 1769. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Clarence Mackenzie, <i>Drummer Boy of the 13th Regiment of Brooklyn,</i> salt print with applied color, 1861. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b> Moses Lopez, <i>A Lunar Calendar,</i> first Jewish calendar published in America, Newport, RI, 1806. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 15:</b><br>The Book of Mormon, first edition, Palmyra, 1830. $30,000 to $40,000.

Article Search

Archived Articles

Ask Questions