Auction Report: November-Early December Sales
Okay, catch-up as usual. Sales from 13 November-9 December are covered here; a preview of the rest of December is coming later today.
- At the 13 November Bonhams sale of Books, Maps, Manuscripts and Photographs, a first edition of Darwin's Origin sold for £45,650, and a nice copy of the first edition of Walton's Compleat Angler made £37,250.
- Bloomsbury sold Maps & Atlases, Watercolours and Prints on 14-15 November. Results are here.
- Looks like quite a few misses at the 15 November PBA Galleries Important Manuscripts and Archives sale; results are here. The top lot was an Elizabeth Blackwell manuscript letter, which sold for $9,600.
- Sotheby's sold Travel, Atlases, Maps & Natural History on 15 November, for a total of £2,229,738. Doing better than three times its estimate, John Thomson's Foochow and the River Min (1873) sold for £349,250. The collection of ornithological watercolors did not sell.
- At the 18 November Skinner, Inc. Books & Manuscripts sale, highlights included a delightful John Quincy Adams letter and a Sam Houston letter (both of which fetched $84,000). A full set of Diderot's Encyclopedie did not sell.
- The Sotheby's Paris on 19 November, Livres et Manuscrits brought in 2,092,450 EUR. The Catesby sold for 288,750 EUR, and a set of Theodor de Bry's Historia Americae fetched 228,750 EUR.
- At the 21 November Christie's, Valuable Manuscripts and Printed Books, the impressive total amounted to £3,260,525. A collection of letters from poet Marina Ivanova Tsvetaeva to poet Anatolii Shteiger was the surprise top lot, selling for £433,250 (over estimates of just £40,000-60,000). A Beethoven music manuscript made £241,250. The first edition Hypnerotomachia fetched £97,250. Another first edition of Origin in this sale: it went for £51,650. The ~1530 Paris Book of Hours failed to find a buyer.
- Bloomsbury sold Important Books & Manuscripts on 27-28 November; results are here. Yet another Origin first was the top lot; it made £38,000.
- At the 27 November Bonhams sale of Printed Books and Maps, the top lot was a near-complete run of The New Naturalist, which sold for £6,250.
- Christie's 27 November Fine Printed Books and Manuscripts sale brought in £425,650. A signed first edition of Proust's Les plaisirs et les jours (1896) sold for £20,000, while a first impression of The Hobbit fetched £16,250.
- The Music, Continental and Russian Books and Manuscripts on 28 November at Sotheby's realized a total of £3,538,150. The working archive of Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky was the star of the show, fetching £1,497,250. A Mozart manuscript sold for £409,250. The first edition Vesalius did not sell.
- The collection of manuscripts, letters, and memorabilia from the family of Alberto Toscanini sold at Sotheby's on 28 November brought in £1,281,402.
- The Christie's 29 November sale of An Important Collection of Russian Books & Manuscripts saw a total of £1,462,675. A 1769 illuminated heraldry manuscript sold for £205,250.
- Results for the 29 November PBA Galleries Fine Americana sale are here. An 1883 directory of Cheyenne, WY looks like the top lot, at $8,400.
- A coded 20 October 1812 letter by Napoleon indicating that he planned to blow up the Kremlin sold at a 2 December auction to a Paris museum, for more than $243,000.
- Bonhams sold the Dictionary Collection of Thomas Malin Rogers on 4 December, and the sale did quite well indeed. The top lot was a late 17th-century Chinese-Spanish manuscript dictionary, which fetched $112,900, but other lots also did very nicely.
- Also on 4 December, Bonhams sold Fine Books, Maps & Manuscripts. A copy of Purchas his Pilgrimes sold for $62,500, while a first octavo edition of Audubon's Birds (from the library of Boston's Samuel Appleton) fetched $47,500.
- The 5 December Western Manuscripts & Miniatures sale at Sotheby's brought in a total of £404,350, with more than half the total from a single lot: The Hours of Isabella d'Este (~1490), which fetched £217,250.
- Bonhams sold Russian Literature and Works on Paper on 5 December: a two-volume autograph album was the top lot, at $230,500.
- Bloomsbury held a Bibliophile Sale on 5 December. A first edition Tom Sawyer in a later binding sold for £2,200.
- Guernsey's New York sold maps, books, and illustrations from Graham Arader's collection on 5 December. I haven't seen a results list for this sale.
- Swann sold Maps, Atlases, Natural History and Ephemera on 6 December.
- The Christie's Fine Printed Books and Manuscripts Including Americana Sale on 7 December was probably the sale of the month. It realized a total of $7,709,250, and three lots shared the top price of $782,500: a copy of the 1823 Stone engraving of the Declaration of Independence on parchment; Julia Ward Howe's original draft of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" (from the Forbes Collection); and Charles Blaskowitz's Revolutionary War manuscript map of New York (another Blaskowitz map, of the Philadelphia campaign of 1777-8, sold for $338,500). A Bien second folio Audubon sold for $422,500. A first edition of Jefferson's Notes sold for $314,500. A Shakespeare Second Folio made $194,500, and yes, yet another first edition of Darwin's Origin was on offer: this copy did the best of the bunch, at $158,500.
- Also at Christie's on 7 December, Derrydale Press Books from the Le Vivier Library, which sold for a total of $346,375.
Preview of the rest of December, coming in a few.