Auctions In June
By Bruce McKinney
As the auction season winds down for summer the pace of sales slows but never stops. There is simply too much material trying to get into the rooms. As we head into June there are 38 sales scheduled and more will be entered into the calendars as the month progresses. The July and August schedules remain substantially incomplete but are also filling in. Twenty-four of the June events are in Europe, fourteen in the United States. The distribution of sales by continent continues to favor Europe which dominates the book auctions both by number of sales and lots per sale. For the full month more than 25,000 lots are expected to be posted and 18,000 to 19,000 sell. In Europe auctions are a more broadly accepted method for redistributing material. In North America, where book listing sites and eBay came of age, these alternative methods dominate the low and to mid-range material while traditional auctions and dealers generally make a market in the upper third. Of particular note:
On June 17th, in New York, Christies is offering "Important Science Books: The Richard Green Library." It is 300 lots "from six revolutionary centuries of scientific, mathematical and philosophical thought. The sale offers outstanding works by Galileo Galilei, Nicolaus Copernicus, Albert Einstein, Charles Darwin, Karl Marx, Johnannes Kepler, Sir Isaac Newton, and many more including a number of works never seen on the market before." The collection is expected realize in excess of $6 million.
Swann is conducting a Maps & Atlases sale in New York on the 19th, Sothebys, the same day in New York, a sale of Fine Books and Manuscripts. Two Americana sales are on the calender: Swann in New York on the 5th, Cowan the same day in Cincinnati. Dominic Winter is offering Children's Books on the 19th, Bloomsbury material in the category on the 23rd. On the US west coast PBA offers Fine Literature on the 12th, Fine & Rare Books on the 26th. In Paris there are half a dozen sales, in London and the United Kingdom 10, Denmark 2, Belgium 2 sales over 3 days, in Rome 1. In New York there are 7 events, in Dallas and San Francisco 2 each, Cincinnati, Ohio and Falls Church, Virginia 1 each. Inevitably other sales will be announced, posted and sold.
As we go to press 34 upcoming auctions are searchable through the Rare Book Search & Research single search that searches all auctions as a single sale and provides results in declining date order. Here are some examples of searches [and the number of lots found] in upcoming auctions: