Auction Update Review
Five sales were archived this past week. Dominic Winter achieved outstanding success for two sales, the first "The Collector's Sale" and the second "Printed Books and Manuscripts." Against total high estimates of $509,769 the two sales brought $696,889, no mean feat in a rapidly changing market and amid changing governments at 10 Downing Street. The other sales were Bloomsbury's Literature, Manuscripts and First Editions in London; Pacific Book Auctions' Americana, Travel, Natural History and Cartography sale in San Francisco; and New England Book's sale of Sporting material in western Massachusetts. Per usual, at the New England sale, every lot sold.
For the five sales 1,938 lots were offered and 1,523 sold for a 78.6% sale rate. Total sales were $1,150,655, the total high estimate $1,178,012. All together these sales achieved 98% of the high estimate, a remarkable performance. This suggests estimates were low enough to encourage broad bidding.
A comparison of total sales to their aggregate high estimates adds an exclamation point. Dominic Winter, in both sales, achieved realizations totaling 136% of the high estimates. New England Book achieved 114%, Bloomsbury an entirely satisfactory 94%. PBA, by comparison suffered. Against their aggregate high estimate of $284,600 total sales reached only $84,606, a 30% rate. Performance is subjective but normally when total sales achieve the total high estimate it suggests the market views the material as interesting and the estimates as compelling. This is a reminder that auctions are as much art as science.
In today's report selecting any sale allows for readers to then move from auction to auction for quick comparison and an overview of the market.
May 16, 2010