AE Top 500 Auction Sales for 2006!
For something a bit more modern, there were handwritten lyrics for Maxwell's Silver Hammer by Paul McCartney. Item 102. $192,000. However, Igor Stravinsky did even better than Sir Paul with an autographed working manuscript for The Nightingale. Item 13. $694,784.
While many great figures made multiple appearances in the Top 500, this must be called the year of William Blake. The controversial auction of his drawings for the 1808 edition of The Grave as single items, rather than as a collection, has been called a travesty and worse, but it did result in a commanding performance in the Top 500. Eleven Blake drawings made the list, all within the top 51. Despite this, many experts thought the Blake prices were disappointing.
Before getting to the Top 10, we have to mention one more runner-up. It is a personal manuscript by author Pierre Louys, illustrated with photographs, detailing the women with which he slept between the ages of 18 and 22. There were 29 photographs in all. #212. $115,870. Now for the Top 10.
10. One of the many Blakes, this one the design for the title page of The Grave. $744,000.
9. A Mercator atlas published in 1595, once owned by a 16th century Venetian ambassador to Paris. $777,216.
8. Another Blake illustration, The Grave Personified. $912,000.
7. We climb over the $1 million mark with yet another Blake, The Reunion of the Body and Soul. This body and soul cost an arm and a leg. $1,024,000.
6. An autographed manuscript copy of Ireland's National Anthem, A Soldier's Song, by Peadar O'Cearnaigh. $1,124,587.
5. Forty leaves of a Parisian illuminated manuscript on vellum from 1425-1435 of the Hours of the Cross. $1,168,768.
4. The fourth and final Top 10 appearance for Blake, Death of the Strong Wicked Man. $1,584,000.
3. A lengthy illuminated manuscript "Book of Friendship" from 1596-1633 created by Philipp Hainhofer, an influential cloth merchant from Augsburg who recorded signatures from various princes he met as he traveled on commercial and diplomatic missions throughout Europe. $2,368,000.