Auction Update Review

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The Pace Quickens

For the week ending Saturday September 8th 6 auctions were archived to the AED; 1 in euros, 1 in British pounds and 4 in dollars.  One thousand four hundred and forty six lots were offered and 1,307 sold for an exceptional 90.4% success rate.  Total turnover was a million dollars.

 

Two sales reached 100% of their aggregate high estimates on their lots in the books, manuscripts, maps and ephemera field:

 

Bruun Rasmussen.  Books on September 4th:  147%

Christie’s.  The London Sale on September 12th:  142%

 

Every sale archived this week sold at least 80% of their lots:

 

National Book.  Books and Ephemera on August 12th:  100%

National Book.  Books and Ephemera on July 29th:  99.6%

Bruun Rasmussen.  Books on September 4th:  94%

Christie’s.  The London Sale on September 3rd:  85%

Heritage Auctions.  Rare books online ended September 6th:  80%

 

For the week ahead 11 sales are scheduled:

 

Wed. Sept. 12th  Dorotheum.  Posters, Advertising Art, Comics, Film and Photo History [9596]

                                    Heritage Auctions.  Estate Sale:  Prints and Photography [5101]

                                    Rupert Toovey and Co.  Prints [1068].

 

Thurs. Sept. 13th        Bloomsbury Auctions.  Bibliophile [35949]

                                    Heritage Auctions.  Estate Sale:  Prints and Photography [5101]

                                    Heritage Auctions.  Rare Books.  Online bidding ending today.

                                    PBA Galleries.  Rare Books and Manuscripts [488]

                                    Swann Galleries.  Fine & Vintage Writing Instruments [2285]

                                    Waddington’s.  Joyner-Waddington Online Auction of Post-War Canadian Art including Prints [91312]

 

Sat. Sept 15th             Alain & Evelyne Morel de Westgaver.  Books, etc. [91512]

 

Sun.  Sept. 16th          Bonhams.  Prints and Photographs [20041]

The PBA Sale is interesting.  For starters it's a big sale and for institutions and collectors an opportunity to consider some very good material.  Details of the sale are appearing on AE home, auction and AEM pages.

The Swann sale of Fine and Vintage Writing Instruments the same day, Thursday the 13th, is also showcased on AE pages.   Both sales deserve a careful look.

 

We enter the fall season undecided if the tool of choice will be the cross-cut or rip saw.  We know the music will be a Brandenburg Concerto but not yet the key.  My sense is we are in the new reality.  Old price assumptions are no longer dictating.  Demand is and it’s increasingly a very different game, the ability to build and command an audience now essential and inseparable from great material and very good descriptions.

 

For institutions and collectors the market has never been better.  For dealers its an adjustment.

 

Bruce McKinney

AE

September 9th, 2012

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries, July 30:</b> Adam Smith, <i>Wealth of Nations,</i> first edition, descended from William Alexander, London, 1776. $70,000 to $90,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, July 30:</b> George Gershwin, photograph signed & inscribed with autograph musical quotation, <i>An American in Paris,</i> 1928. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, July 30:</b> Friedrich Engels, <i>The Condition of the Working Class in England,</i> first edition, NY, 1887. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, July 30:</b> <i>Bury St. Edmunds Witch Trials,</i> first edition, London, 1682. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, July 30:</b> Robert Rey, <i>Estampes,</i> complete portfolio of 12 wood engravings, Paris, 1950. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, July 30:</b> Archive of 47 letters by Enrico Caruso to a lady friend, 1906-20. $7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, July 30:</b> Books of Hours in Flemish, Netherlands, 15th century. $8,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, July 30:</b> Jack Kerouac, <i>Doctor Sax,</i> deluxe limited edition, signed, NY, 1959. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries, July 30:</b> Walt Disney, signature on title-page of Ward Greene’s <i>Lady and the Tramp,</i> first edition, first printing. $3,000 to $4,000.