• <b>Chiswick Auctions: Rare Books & Works on Paper. January 23, 2019</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Jan 23:</b> Rossini (Luigi, artist & engraver). <i>Le Antichità Romane, ossia Raccolta della piu interessanti Vedute di Roma Antica,</i> 89 plates. £2500 to £3500
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Jan 23:</b> Four original hand-painted propaganda posters, (550 x 770 mm.), North Korea, 2009. £1200 to £1800
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Jan 23:</b> Plinius Secundus (Gaius). <i>Historia Natural,</i> 2 vol, Spanish translation, woodcut arms of Philip IV of Spain, Madrid, 1624; 1629 £600 to £800
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Jan 23:</b> Nasmyth (James) & Carpenter (James). <i>The Moon,</i> FIRST EDITION, frontispiece and 24 plates, 1874. £600 to £800
    <b>Chiswick Auctions: Rare Books & Works on Paper. January 23, 2019</b>
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Jan 23:</b> A group (12) of large size Chinese Cultural Revolution papercuts on red paper presented on white paper backing, featuring various slogans and images of General Mao. £600 to £800
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Jan 23:</b> Coronelli (V. M.). <i>Tran-Siselana,</i> copper engraved, hand-coloured, title cartouche with four winds and four monkeys, coat of arms, Venice, c.1692; and 8 others. £600 to £800
    <b>Chiswick Auctions, Jan 23:</b> Pouchkine (Alexandre). <i>Contes populaires Russes… traduits … par Alexandra de Holstein et René Ghil,</i> FIRST EDITION, n. 165 of an edition of 270 copies. £400 to £600
  • <b>Bonhams New York: Fine Books and Manuscripts Including the World of Hilary Knight. December 5, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Dec 5:</b> KNIGHT, HILARY. The Original Portrait of Eloise that Hung at the Plaza Hotel. $100,000 to 150,000
    <b>Bonhams, Dec 5:</b> WARHOL, ANDY. "Iced Lemon Delight," an Original Watercolor Presented to Hilary Knight's cat, Phoebe $8,000 to 12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Dec 5:</b> SENDAK, MAURICE. <i>Where the Wild Things Are.</i> PRESENTATION COPY, INSCRIBED with drawing to Hilary Knight in the month following publication. $10,000 to 15,000
    <b>Bonhams New York: Fine Books and Manuscripts Including the World of Hilary Knight. December 5, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Dec 5:</b> NOLAND, KENNETH. Original circle painting, untitled, acrylic and ink on cloth, for cover of monograph $8,000 to 12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Dec 5:</b> TOULOUSE-LAUTREC. <i>Histoires Naturelles,</i> 1899. With 22 original lithographs. $10,000 to 15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Dec 5:</b> SHAKESPEARE, WILLIAM. <i>A Collection of Poems,</i> [1711]. The first authoritative and complete collected Sonnets.$15,000 to 20,000
    <b>Bonhams New York: Fine Books and Manuscripts Including the World of Hilary Knight. December 5, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Dec 5:</b> LONDON, JACK. <i>The Call of the Wild.</i> 1903. First edition, first state jacket. $2,000 to 3,000
    <b>Bonhams, Dec 5:</b> FROST, ROBERT. Autograph Manuscript of "Build Soil," 12 pp, 1932-1936. $15,000 to 20,000
    <b>Bonhams, Dec 5:</b> GOULD, GLENN. Glenn Gould's extensively annotated copy of Bach's Goldberg Variations $100,000 to 150,000
    <b>Bonhams New York: Fine Books and Manuscripts Including the World of Hilary Knight. December 5, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Dec 5:</b> PLATH, SYLVIA. EARLY Autograph Letter Signed, about her beginnings as a writer, Northampton, MA, 1951. $7,000 to 10,000
    <b>Bonhams, Dec 5:</b> HOUDINI, HARRY. A collection of 11 cast iron shackle and lock items from Houdini's personal collection. $20,000 to 30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Dec 5:</b> M4 ENGIMA MACHINE, with very rare RARE HYDRA KEY ENVELOPE. $400,000 to 600,000
  • <b>Shapero Rare Books:</b> Fine Illustrated Books. 50 illustrated works across a range of subjects.
    <b>Shapero Rare Books:</b> Present Perfect. Books & works on paper including Literature, Children’s & Illustrated, Sports & Pastimes, Modern Prints and more.
    <b>Shapero Rare Books:</b> The House of Romanov, marking the centenary of the tragic demise of the Romanov dynasty.
    <b>Shapero Rare Books:</b> CHAGALL & GOGOL. Les âmes mortes, 1948. Chagall’s first major illustrated book.
    <b>Shapero Rare Books:</b> GUSTAV KLIMT, eine nachlese, 1931. An important early monograph on Klimt.
    <b>Shapero Rare Books:</b> ELLIOT. Birds of North America, 1866. One of 200 2 vols sets, folio.
    <b>Shapero Rare Books:</b> PURCHAS. His Pilgrimes/Pilgrimage, 1625-26. 5 vols. Probably the greatest collection of voyages ever published.
    <b>Shapero Rare Books:</b> HUXLEY. Brave New World, 1932. Exceptionally fine first edition.
    <b>Shapero Rare Books:</b> KELMSCOTT PRESS. Poems of Shakespeare, one of 500, publisher’s vellum.
    <b>Shapero Rare Books:</b> LEROUX. Phantom of the Opera, 1911. First UK edition in fine S&S binding.
    <b>Shapero Rare Books:</b> INDIANA, Robert. The American Dream, one of 30 AP copies, 30 screen prints.
    <b>Shapero Rare Books:</b> BENOIS. Tsarskoe Selo during the Reign of Elizaveta Petrovna, St Petersburg, 1910. Deluxe issue.
    <b>Shapero Rare Books:</b> CORONATION ALBUM. Description du sacre et du couronnement de leurs Majestés Impériales, 1883. One of 200.
    <b>Shapero Rare Books:</b> IMPERIAL FAMILY. Signed original photograph of Tsar Nicholas II’s 4 daughters.
    <b>Shapero Rare Books:</b> Souvenir du Couronnement de Leurs Majestés Imperiales a Moscou, 1896.
  • <b>Sotheby’s NY, Jan 24:</b> Kingsborough, Edward King. <i>Antiquities of Mexico: Comprising Facsimiles of Ancient Mexican Paintings and Hieroglyphics…</i> London, 1831-1848. $80,000 to $120,000
    <b>Sotheby’s NY, Jan 24:</b> Paul Revere. <i>The Bloody Massacre perpetrated In King-Street Boston on March 5th 1770 by a party of the 29th Reg. Boston, 1770.</i> $150,000 to $200,000
    <b>Sotheby’s NY, Jan 24:</b> Battle of the Alamo. <i>Suplemento al Diario del Gobierno de la Republica Mexicana.</i> (Núm. 326. Tom. IV.). Mexico City: Imprenta del Aguila, Dirigida por José Ximeno, 1836. $6,000 to $8,000
    <b>Sotheby’s NY, Jan 24:</b> The Declaration of Independence. The first book-form printing of the Declaration of Independence. $300,000 to $500,000
    <b>Sotheby’s NY, Jan 24:</b> Treaty of Paris, Ratification. By the United States in Congress Assembled, A Proclamation … Annapolis, [Ca. 16-17 January 1784]. $800,000 to $1,200,000
    <b>Sotheby’s NY, Jan 24:</b> Declaration of Independence. The only known privately held copy of the celebrated William J. Stone facsimile for which provenance can be traced back to a direct ancestor who received it in 1824. $600,000 to $800,000
    <b>Sotheby’s NY, Jan 24:</b> Crockett, David. Autograph letter signed ("David Crockett") to George Patton, announcing his intention to travel to Texas. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Sotheby’s NY, Jan 24:</b> Wytfliet, Cornelius. <i>Descriptionis Ptolemaicae Augmentum, Sive Occidentalis Notitia Brevi Commentario Illustrata.</i> Leuven: Johannes Bogaerts 1597. $35,000 to $50,000
    <b>Sotheby’s NY, Jan 24:</b> Schedel, Hartmann. <i>Liber Cronicarum cum Figuris et Ymaginibus.</i> Nuremberg, Anton Koberger for Sebald Schreyer and Sebastian Kammermeister, 12 July 1493. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Sotheby’s NY, Jan 24:</b> New York Mets. Baseball from the first victory of the New York Mets. $25,000 to $35,000
    <b>Sotheby’s NY, Jan 24:</b> Robert E. Lee. Autograph letter signed ("R E Lee") as Confederate commander, to Rabbi Max Michelbacher, declining to furlough Jewish Confederate troops for the high holy days. $150,000 to $250,000

Rare Book Monthly

Articles - January - 2010 Issue

An Auction Up Close

Change

With low reserves was change in the air?


By Bruce McKinney

On December 3rd, at 10:30 am or a bit after at Bloomsbury's New York second floor gallery on 48th Street, Stephen Massey opens the bidding on the first of 81 lots in the de Orbe Novo Collection of material relating to the new world. The responsibility for calling the sale is to be divided between Mr. Massey and Peter Costanzo. Stephen will call the first 51 lots and Peter the final 30.

As consignor I am four floors up, in Bloomsbury's back offices, sitting at a computer watching on Live Auctioneers; the single camera channeling the sale - focused on the auctioneer. There is no sense of who or how many are in the auction room. On my way up to the 6th floor I pressed the second floor stop. The doors opened and I saw that bidders were forced to stand well away from auction area, a good sign suggesting the main room is full. I step out, think better of it, step back in and proceed to the 6th floor. Like a true believer in the burned out region of upstate New York in the 1840s, as they climbed trees, I climb stairs, we both to get closer to God, always a good place to be when your material goes to auction and your reserves are low.

At a sale everyone is invited except the consignor whose presence may be a wet blanket. Once upstairs, the Bloomsbury staff, turns on a terminal set to carry the action to the most affected, the consignor. I'm told the portents are encouraging, the room full, the buzz positive. As I haven't been in this position before I can only take it in. I have nothing to compare. In any event, the process will be surgical and brief. Stephen Massey steps to the podium, announces the sale and reads several announcements. It's 10:40 am.

I long ago decided on low reserves and chose "let the market decide" as the sale theme. I'm comfortable with numbers: probabilities the way I see the world. Over the past year, as principal strategist for AE, I've seen a clear pattern in the decline in auction realizations in the works on paper field. Dollar denominated sales fell hard last fall - roughly 40% year over year while non-dollar sales held up through the spring. Into summer the American sales stabilized while Europan sales collapsed. In August dollar denominated sales began to rebound but most consignors held back looking for further confirmation. At that moment I committed this sale for the late fall.

As Stephen Massey warms up the crowd I have a few microseconds to reconsider the key decision - to set low reserves. Auctions these days tend to fall into two categories according to their reserves: high or low. I prefer to bid at auctions with low reserves and tend to shun those with high reserves unless a particular reserve is mistakenly low. Years ago I decided I would not use high reserves if ever I sent material into the rooms. It cost me nothing to believe that then. Today that idea is a zero coupon bond with a mystery payout now coming due. I'll get to pay a price if I'm wrong.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Jan 29:</b> Leonard Baskin, <i>Diptera: A Book of Flies & Other Insects,</i> Gehenna Press, 1983. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Jan 29:</b> Georg Heym, <i>Umbra Vitae,</i> illustrated by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, first edition, Munich, 1924. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Jan 29:</b> Edgar Allan Poe, <i>The Raven,</i> special copy for illustrator Alan James Robinson, first book from Cheloniidae Press, 1980. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Jan 29:</b><br>W.B. Yeats, <i>Poems,</i> illustrated by Richard Diebenkorn, accompanied by a suite of 6 etchings, 1990. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Jan 29:</b> Georges Rouault, <i>Cirque de l’Étoile Filante,</i> Paris, 1938. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Jan 29:</b> François-Louis Schmied, <i>Le Cantique des Cantiques,</i> Paris, 1925. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Jan 29:</b> Frank Lloyd Wright, <i>Ausgeführte Bauten und Entwürfe,</i> Berlin, Ernst Wasmuth, 1910. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Jan 29:</b> Hans Bellmer & Georges Hugnet, <i>Oeillades ciselées en branch,</i> Paris, 1939. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Jan 29:</b> Wassily Kandinsky, <i>Klänge,</i> first edition, Munich, 1913. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Jan 29:</b> Charles Dickens, <i>The Nonesuch Dickens,</i> limited edition, 1937-38. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Jan 29:</b> Rudyard Kipling, <i>Le Livre de la Jungle,</i> plates by Paul Jouve, engraved by F.L. Schmied, Paris, 1919. $7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, Jan 29:</b> Georges Lepape, <i>Les Choses de Paul Poiret,</i> Paris, 1911. $3,500 to $5,000.
  • <b>Potter & Potter Auctions: Fine Books & Manuscripts. February 2, 2018</b>
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions, Feb. 2:</b><br>Lot 230: Charles Bukowski. <i>South of No North.</i> Los Angeles, 1973. First edition. Signed. $1,500 to $2,000
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions, Feb. 2:</b><br>Lot 244: Aldous Huxley. <i>Brave New World.</i> Garden City, 1932. First American edition. Signed. $2,500 to $3,500
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions, Feb. 2:</b><br>Lot 10: Frank Lloyd Wright. “Fallingwater Side Elevation” Original Blueprint. $1,500 to $2,500
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions: Fine Books & Manuscripts. February 2, 2018</b>
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions, Feb. 2:</b><br>Lot 169: <i>Chicago’s Progress: A Review of the World’s Fair City.</i> Chicago: Bishop Publishing, (1933). $150 to $250
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions, Feb. 2:</b><br>Lot 299: [Tanguy, Yves] Benjamin Peret. <i>Dormir dans Les Pierres.</i> Paris: Editions Surrealistes, 1927. $2,500 to $3,500
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions, Feb. 2:</b><br>Lot 276: Jean Hans Arp. <i>Arp: Eleven Configurations.</i> Zurich, 1945. $1,200 to $1,500
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions: Fine Books & Manuscripts. February 2, 2018</b>
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions, Feb. 2:</b><br>Lot 235: Joseph Conrad. <i>Nostromo: A Tale of the Seaboard.</i> New York: 1904. First edition. $800 to $1,200
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions, Feb. 2:</b><br>Lot 290: Umberto Brunelleschi. Louys, Pierre. <i>Les Aventures du Roi Pausole.</i> Paris: 1930. $1,200 to $1,500
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions, Feb. 2:</b><br>Lot 700: X-Men No. 94. Marvel Comics, 1975. CGC 9.0. $800 to $1,200
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions: Fine Books & Manuscripts. February 2, 2018</b>
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions, Feb. 2:</b><br>Lot 540: Travers, P.L. <i>Mary Poppins</i> [and] <i>Mary Poppins Comes Back.</i> Signed. New York: 1936. $1,000 to $1,500
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions, Feb. 2:</b><br>Lot 576: Mickey Mouse. 17 Big Little Books. 1930s-40s. $300 to $500
    <b>Potter & Potter Auctions, Feb. 2:</b><br>Lot 429: Paracelsus. <i>Medicina Diastatica or Sympathecall Mumie.</i> London: 1653. $800 to $1,200
  • <b>Bunch Auctions: Rare Books & Fine Prints. January 22, 2019</b>
    <b>Bunch Auctions, Jan 22:</b> Dickens, Charles. <i>A Tale of Two Cities,</i> first edition with inclusions. $18,000 to $26,000
    <b>Bunch Auctions, Jan 22:</b> John James Audubon. A la poupee color engraving on paper "Stanley Hawk." $6,000 to $12,000
    <b>Bunch Auctions, Jan 22:</b> [FIRST EDITION, FIRST ISSUE] Dickens, Charles. <i>Oliver Twist</i>, London, 1838. 3 vols. $8,000 to $10,000
    <b>Bunch Auctions: Rare Books & Fine Prints. January 22, 2019</b>
    <b>Bunch Auctions, Jan 22:</b> Land indenture between William Penn and Thomas Gell, dated October 12, 1681, wherein Gell purchased 500 acres Pennsylvania farmland; signed by Penn. $4,000 to $6,000
    <b>Bunch Auctions, Jan 22:</b> Thomas Hart Benton, lithograph on paper "The Woodpile", pencil signed, original AAA certificate. $1,500 to $2,500
    <b>Bunch Auctions, Jan 22:</b> Helen Dryden, <i>Vogue</i> cover design lithograph completed in hand watercolor, proof design for September 1922 issue. $600 to $800
    <b>Bunch Auctions: Rare Books & Fine Prints. January 22, 2019</b>
    <b>Bunch Auctions, Jan 22:</b> Fisher, John D. <i>Description of the Distinct, Confluent, and Inoculated Small Pox, Varioloid Disease, Cow Pox, and Chicken Pox,</i> Boston, 1829. $600 to $800
    <b>Bunch Auctions, Jan 22:</b> [Rare Dust Jacket] Crane, Stephen. <i>The Red Badge of Courage,</i> NY, 1896. $500 to $700
    <b>Bunch Auctions, Jan 22:</b> after Amedeo Modigliani (Italian, 1884-1920), chromolithograph on paper "Lunia Czechowska", signed in plate, artist's proof (A/P). $200 to $400
    <b>Bunch Auctions, Jan 22:</b> Samuel Arlent Edwards, color mezzotint on paper "A Visit to the Boarding School", pencil signed. $100 to $200
  • <b>Il Ponte Casa d’Aste: Books and Manuscripts. January 22, 2019</b>
    <b>Il Ponte Casa d’Aste, Jan 22:</b> [MAGGIOLO, Vesconte] <i>Carta nautica manoscritta, bottega di Vesconte Maggiolo.</i> Italy, c.1550. Previously unknown extraordinary portolan chart. €50,000 to 80,000
    <b>Il Ponte Casa d’Aste, Jan 22:</b><br>LA PÉROUSE, Jean-François. <i>Voyage de la Pérouse autour du monde.</i> Paris: L'Imprimerie de la République, 1797. €6,000 to 9,000
    <b>Il Ponte Casa d’Aste, Jan 22:</b> PEREA Y ROJAS, Daniel. The preparatory watercolours to the renown album <i>A Los Toros.</i> €4,000 to 6,000
    <b>Il Ponte Casa d’Aste: Books and Manuscripts. January 22, 2019</b>
    <b>Il Ponte Casa d’Aste, Jan 22:</b> MELA, Pomponio. <i>Cosmographia, sive De situ orbis.</i> Venice, 1478 [Bound with] DIONISIO il Periegeta. <i> De situ orbis…</i> Venice, 1478. €6,000 to 9,000
    <b>Il Ponte Casa d’Aste, Jan 22:</b> DE FELICE, Fortunato Bartolomeo. <i>Encyclopedie, ou dictionnaire universel raisonne des connoissances humaines.</i> Yverdon, 1770-1780. €4,000 to 6,000
    <b>Il Ponte Casa d’Aste, Jan 22:</b> VECELLIO, Cesare. <i>De gli habiti antichi et moderni di diverse parti del mondo.</i> Venice: Damian Zenaro, 1590. €3,000 to 5,000
    <b>Il Ponte Casa d’Aste: Books and Manuscripts. January 22, 2019</b>
    <b>Il Ponte Casa d’Aste, Jan 22:</b> FALDA, Giovanni Battista; SPECCHI, Alessandro. <i>Il nuovo teatro delle fabriche…</i> [bound with] <i>ll quarto libro del nuovo teatro delli palazzi in prospettiva di Roma moderna.</i> 1665-1699. €4,000 to 6,000
    <b>Il Ponte Casa d’Aste, Jan 22:</b> FALDA Giovan Battista. <i>Le fontane di Roma nelle piazze e luoghi pubblici della citta - Le fontane delle ville di Frascati nel Tusculano…</i> Rome, [1691]. €2,000 to 3,000
    <b>Il Ponte Casa d’Aste, Jan 22:</b> FERRERIO, Pietro & Giovanni Battista FALDA. <i> Palazzi di Roma de piu celebri architetti disegnati… [1655 – 1677]. €2,500 to 3,000
    <b>Il Ponte Casa d’Aste: Books and Manuscripts. January 22, 2019</b>
    <b>Il Ponte Casa d’Aste, Jan 22:</b> VON JACQUIN, Joseph Franz. <i>Eclogae graminum rariorum.</i> Vienna: Strauss Sommer, 1813-1844. €2,000 to 3,000
    <b>Il Ponte Casa d’Aste, Jan 22:</b> Prayer book according to the synagogical Ashkenazy rite in an elegant and precious silver binding. €3,000 to 5,000
    <b>Il Ponte Casa d’Aste, Jan 22:</b> BOCCACCIO, Giovanni. <i>Ameto.</i> Venice: Nicolo Zoppino, 1524. €3,000 to 5,000
  • <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Charles Darwin on sexuality and the transmission of hereditary characteristics: Autograph Letter Signed to Lawson Tait. Down, 17 January [1877].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> MILTON, JOHN. <i>Paradise Lost. A Poem written in ten books.</i> London: 1667. A very rare example with the contemporary binding untouched and with a 1667 title page.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Hamilton secures the ratification of the Constitution: <i>The Debates and Proceedings of the Convention of the State of New-York, assembled at Poughkeespsie, on the 17th June, 1788.</i>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> The social contract “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains”: ROUSSEAU, JEAN-JACQUES. <i>Principes du Droit Politique [Du Contract Social]</i>. Amsterdam: Michel Rey, 1762
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> “The first English textbook on geometrical land-measurement and surveying”: BENESE, RICHARD. <i>This Boke Sheweth the Maner of Measurynge All Maner of Lande…</i>

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