Auction Update Review
Sixteen Auctions Archived this Past Week
In the auctions rooms there is an air of austerity, like the stale scent of an attic, that both startles and soon becomes the commonplace. The icons are selling while the less important, but nevertheless important and collectible, are being re-priced. Rare books have had their many springs and now experience the rare fall. Whether this is a Florida winter or an arctic one is unclear but some dealers and collectors are aggressively buying. In the current moment the difference between what dealers ask and auction houses obtain is substantial. Is this an opportunity or premonition? Time will tell but the difference between dealer asking prices and auction realizations is too large to last.
This past week we archived 16 sales: seven in dollars, 3 in British Pounds, and six is Euros. The total turnover was $11,601,921 against their aggregate high estimate of $16,231,765. Sixty-seven percent of the lots sold signaling that the market is consistently one bid short. Over the past ten years auctions have sold roughly 75% of the lots offered. When the percentage drops below 70%, and if it persists, it suggests that estimates are too high. In this way the market adjusts.
Five sales achieved at least 100% of their overall high estimate:
Gonnelli Casa D'Aste selling Mappe e Vedute 181%
Gallerie Bassenge selling Photography and Photography Books 106%
Sothebys in New York selling Important Judiaca 104%
Alde selling Livres Ancient et Modernes 101%
Mealy's selling Rare Books 100%
Best wishes for the holidays.