Rare Book Monthly Articles - January - 2015 Issue

The AE Top 500 Prices Paid at Auction in 2014

Once again a year has come to an end, meaning it is time to look back at the top 500 prices paid at auction in 2014 in the field of books, maps, manuscripts and ephemera (see end of article for a description of what is included). Once again, there was one eight-digit item at the top that far exceeded anything else. Last year, the Bay Psalm Book went for more than double the second highest priced item. This year, it was more than triple.   More telling about the overall health of the upper end of the market was the price at #500. This year, the low end of the top 500 was more than $10,000 ...

Mystery Buyer at Doyle New York was none other than…

Bill Reese, the leading rare bookseller in the United States over the past quarter century, demonstrated convincingly at the November 24th Doyle New York sale why he ranks at the top of his field. ...

Looking Ahead

Paul Krugman in his book The Conscience of a Liberal, published in 2007, describes the economic history of America since the Civil War as a succession of changing perspectives on taxation. This led...

AbeBooks Announces Their List of the 50 Most Expensive Books Sold on Their Site in 2014

Abebooks.com has released its list of the 50 most expensive sales on its website during 2014. We all know that some very high prices are paid on occasion for books, but through a click on a website...

Seeking Collectible Editions from a Long Time Ago in a Galaxy Far, Far Away

The first movie begins with a screen crawl in medias res with Episode IV and in a mythical time and place, classically the locus for the shaman’s struggle for self-realization, growth and unificati...

Is This Writer's Archive Too Valuable to Mention Its Price?

Has the value of archives of notable writers become so great that buyers no longer dare speak their cost, for fear of driving up future prices to even more outrageous levels? It would seem so, at l...

Book Selling: Some Highs and Lows of 2014

There is some strong anecdotal evidence that for some people in the antiquarian book trade 2014 was a good year.   For Bruce McKinney, 68, Americana Exchange publisher in San Francisco, this was ...

What Can a Life of Book Theft Lead to Next?

They say that bad things like cigarettes and alcohol can lead to habits much worse, like hard drugs. How about book theft – can that lead to something even more extreme? Here is a strange case that...

Madame Deshoulières - The Melancholic Nature of Man

Women, states a critic, carry their natural loquacity, their abundant, restless and unquenchable verbosity in everything they arrogantly undertake to say, and when infatuated with the bel-esprit, t...

An Unusual Archeological Dig for Old Books

An unusual archeological dig is taking in place in Glasgow, Scotland, for old books. An archeological search for books makes one think they are looking for some ancient stone tablets or cave drawin...

A New Record Price Set for a Photograph - $6.5 Million

A record price has apparently been paid for a photograph – a whopping $6.5 million. We say “apparently” as it was a private sale, and it is impossible to know for certain whether there has been a l...

Newly Discovered Oscar Wilde Manuscripts to go on Display at the Rosenbach

The Rosenbach will be exhibiting some newly discovered works of Irish author-playwright-poet Oscar Wilde opening on January 23. Now officially the Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphia, the...

Amazon Secures Exclusive Control of .Book Domain Names

There is a new domain name suffix coming to an internet connection near you soon that may be of great interest to those in the book trade, or those who just like books a lot. That domain root is .b...

Fourteen New Catalogues Reviewed This Month

We begin the new year with 14 new booksellers' catalogues to review. Whitmore Rare Books has created a catalogue of major literary works. The Kelmscott Bookshop features fine presses and 19th centu...

Rare Book Monthly

  • Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    30th May 2024
    Forum, May 30: Potter (Beatrix). Complete set of four original illustrations for the nursery rhyme, 'This pig went to market', 1890s. £60,000 to £80,000.
    Forum, May 30: Dante Alighieri.- Lactantius (Lucius Coelius Firmianus). Opera, second edition, Rome, 1468. £40,000 to £60,000.
    Forum, May 30: Distilling.- Brunschwig (Hieronymus). Liber de arte Distillandi de Compositis, first edition of the so-called 'Grosses Destillierbuch', Strassburg, 1512. £22,000 to £28,000.
    Forum, May 30: Eliot (T.S.), W. H. Auden, Ted Hughes, Philip Larkin, Robert Lowell, Seamus Heaney, Ted Hughes, & others. A Personal Anthology for Eric Walter White, 60 autograph poems. £20,000 to £30,000.
    Forum, May 30: Cornerstone of French Enlightenment Philosophy.- Helvetius (Claude Adrien). De l'Esprit, true first issue "A" of the suppressed first edition, Paris, 1758. £20,000 to £30,000.
    Forum Auctions
    Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper
    30th May 2024
    Forum, May 30: Szyk (Arthur). The Haggadah, one of 125 copies, this out-of-series, Beaconsfield Press, 1940. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, May 30: Fleming (Ian). Casino Royale, first edition, first impression, 1953. £15,000 to £20,000.
    Forum, May 30: Japan.- Ryusui (Katsuma). Umi no Sachi [Wealth of the Sea], 2 vol., Tokyo, 1762. £8,000 to £12,000.
    Forum, May 30: Computing.- Operating and maintenance manual for the BINAC binary automatic computer built for Northrop Aircraft Corporation 1949, Philadelphia, 1949. £8,000 to £12,000.
    Forum, May 30: Burmese School (probably circa 1870s). Folding manuscript, or parabaik, from the Court Workshop at the Royal Court at Manadaly, Burma, [c.1870s]. £8,000 to £12,000.
  • Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    K. Marx, Das Kapital,1867. Dedication copy. Est: € 120,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Latin and French Book of Hours, around 1380. Est: € 25,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Theodor de Bry, Indiae Orientalis, 1598-1625. Est: € 80,000
    Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Breviary, Latin manuscript, around 1450-75. Est: € 10,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    G. B. Piranesi, Vedute di Roma, 1748-69. Est: € 60,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    K. Schmidt-Rottluff, Arbeiter, 1921. Orig. watercolour on postcard. Est: € 18,000
    Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Breviarium Romanum, Latin manuscript, 1474. Est: € 20,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    C. J. Trew, Plantae selectae, 1750-73. Est: € 28,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    M. Beckmann, Apokalypse, 1943. Est: € 50,000
    Ketterer Rare Books
    Auction May 27th
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Ulrich von Richenthal, Das Concilium, 1536. Est: € 9,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    I. Kant, Critik der reinen Vernunft, 1781. Est: €12,000
    Ketterer Rare Books, May 27:
    Arbeiter-Illustrierte Zeitung (AIZ) / Die Volks-Illustrierte (VI), 1932-38. Est: €8,000
  • Sotheby’s
    Modern First Editions
    Available for Immediate Purchase
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Winston Churchill. The Second World War. Set of First-Edition Volumes. 6,000 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: A.A. Milne, Ernest H. Shepard. A Collection of The Pooh Books. Set of First-Editions. 18,600 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Salvador Dalí, Lewis Carroll. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Finely Bound and Signed Limited Edition. 15,000 USD
    Sotheby’s
    Modern First Editions
    Available for Immediate Purchase
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Ian Fleming. Live and Let Die. First Edition. 9,500 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: J.K. Rowling. Harry Potter Series. Finely Bound First Printing Set of Complete Series. 5,650 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Ernest Hemingway. A Farewell to Arms. First Edition, First Printing. 4,200 USD

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