Auction Update Review


Count Down

The auction season, entering its final month of 2011, has delivered a series of highly successful results around the world.  With twenty–four auctions reporting this week total sales reached $21.4 million, a nudge above 100% of the high estimate of all lots offered.  This is a rare and important result for, during the year, the percentage of the aggregate high estimates range from 70% to 90% and rarely reach 100%.  It suggests confidence in the rooms.


For the auctions reported this past week 12,279 lots were offered and 9,035 lots sold for a 74% sell-through.  The aggregate low estimate of the lots sold was $12,262,929 million and their aggregate high estimate $15,971,575.  Total sales were $21,386,007, a fraction higher than the aggregate high estimate of all lots offered - $21,341,259.  Europe may be in a funk, what with the Euro-debt crisis, and the United States be in the throes of political reality television but bidders, understanding that they need to bid when material is available are coming through in a significant way.


For the week eleven sales reached or exceeded 100% of their aggregate high estimates:


Rupert Toovey.  Ephemera on November 1st:  257%

Burgersdijk & Niermans.  Books on November 15th:  192%

Artcurial Briest-Le Fur-Poulain- F. Tajan.   Comic Strips – Herge’s Universe on November 26th:  137%

Piasa.  Ancient and Modern Prints on November 23rd:  123%

Ader.  Books – ancient and modern – Architecture – Manuscripts on November 23rd:  115%

Sotheby’s.  Music, Books, Children’s and Illustrated Books on November 20th:  110%

Alde.  Modern Books, Works on Paper on November 28th:  106%

Ketterer Kunst / F. Doerling.  Rare Books on November 21st:  104%

Galerie Bassange.  Prints on November 24th:  102%

Bonhams.  Books, Maps and Manuscripts on November 29th:  101%

The Romantic Agony Book and Print Auctions.  Books on November 25th:  100%


For the week ahead 23 sales are scheduled:


December 5th      Ader.  Posters and Periodicals (11569)

                                    Antiquarian  Books (15)

                                    Cowan’s Auctions, Inc.  The Herbert Merritt Collection of Books on Cincinnati and Southwestern Ohio


December 6th             Antiquarian  Books (15)

                                    Artcurial Briest-Le Fur-Poulain-F. Tajan.  Prints and Illustrated Books (2088)

                                    Henri Godts Books & Prints Auctions.  Books from the 16th to 20th Centuries (16123)

                                    Piasa.  Manuscripts Second Vacance (120611)

                                    Sotheby’s.  Western and Oriental Manuscripts (L11241)


December 7th             Antiquarian  Books (15)

                                    Christie’s.  Old Master, Decorative, Modern and Contemporary Prints (3311)
Old World Auctions.  Maps, Atlases, Prints, etc (138)

                                    Piasa.  Succession of Mister X.  (17832)


December 8th             Ader.  Judaica, Paintings, Sculptures, Liturgical objects, Books (17514)

                                    Alexander Autographs, Inc.  WWII Militaria and Autographs (46)
Antiquarian  Books (15)

                                    Heritage.  Manuscripts Grand Format Auction (6603)

                                    Piasa.  Modern Prints Henri M. Petiet (120811)

                                    Swann Galleries.  Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Historical Prints, Ephemera (2264)


December 9th             Alexander Autographs, Inc.  WWII Militaria and Autographs (46)        

                                    Dorotheum.  Autographs (12911)

                                    Galerie Koller Auctions.  Modern Prints (A159)

                                    Heritage.  Manuscripts  Grand Format Auction continuing (6603)


December 11th Michael Treloar.  Manuscripts, Books, Photographs and Artwork (121111)

Good hunting!


Bruce McKinney


December 4th, 2011

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 13:</b> <i>Manhattan Gay Scene Guide 1969, Summer Edition,</i> Mattachine Book Service. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 13:</b> Harvey Milk, 2 autograph letters signed, to Pat Mormon, during US Navy service, 1954. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 13:</b> Oscar Wilde, <i>“The secret of life is in Art,”</i> autograph quotation dated and signed, 1882. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 13:</b> Daniel Abraham, original art for <i>Stonewall Romances,</i> pen, ink & gouache, 1979. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 13:</b> Antonio Lopez, 9 men’s fashion studies, graphite, 1974. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 13:</b> Susie Gaynes & Amy E. Bartell, <i>March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights,</i> 1987. $600 to $900.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 13:</b> <i>Paris is Burning,</i> photo offset poster by Anne Dutlinger, signed by film director Jennie Livingston, 1991. $400 to $600.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 13:</b> Toyen, pen & ink illustration from <i>Marquis de Sade: Justina cili prokletí ctnosti,</i> 1932. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 13:</b> David Wojnarowicz, <i>Untitled (Genet with Dog),</i> mixed media collage. $8,000 to $12,000.