Rare Book Monthly

Articles - September - 2016 Issue

The Fall Auction Season Begins: Here is How to Follow It and Find Items of Interest

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Recent matches from a search for "Twain."

The fall auction season, the busiest time of the year, is about to begin. The number of sales in the book and paper field will rapidly rise, and continue to build all the way to its crescendo in mid-December. Then, it will come to its quick conclusion, ended by the holiday season that draws our attention elsewhere. Based on the past couple of years, we can expect something in the area of 170,000 lots to be offered over the next four months, with slightly under 75% of those being sold.

 

Naturally, keeping track of all of this, and finding the lots of interest to you, is next to impossible on your own. That's where we can help. We provide the tools to enable you to locate specific items of interest, as well as follow the sales on a macro basis. There is no charge for using these tools.

 

If you look near the top of this and most pages on this site, you will see a search box. Most likely, it is already set to search "Upcoming Auctions." If not, just click the little triangle to the left of the search box and select "Upcoming Auctions" from the choices.

 

Next, place your search terms in the search box. Use the fewest number of terms possible to create a match. For example, if you collect Mark Twain, enter "Twain" and nothing else. Some auction houses may list a book under "M. Twain" or "Twain/Clemens." You will miss these if you require it match the name "Mark" too. If you get too many matches, you can always go back and add additional limiting terms. Then click "Search." You are done. In a fraction of a second, you will have your matches. Click the title of the lot on the list of matches for a detailed description.

 

We gather information from over 150 auction houses, though not all have auctions running at any one time (some only hold one auction a year). Early in the season, there may be around 10,000 lots posted, while in the heart of the season, it could reach 40,000.

 

You shouldn't go more than a few days without checking your terms if you want to stay on top of what is being offered. Some auction's lots are available only a few days before the sale, so if you wait too long, they will slip by without your ever seeing them.

 

You can also see a complete listing of all lots in the books and paper field at each auction through the auction calendar. You will find this on the home page. You can use the small calendar you see there, but better yet, click the month and year at the top (September 2016). That will reveal a larger calendar, with the name of each auction on it. Those in green have the lots listed. Those in brown do not yet have the lots available. If they are in green with a check mark, it means the results have been posted. You can find the sales prices for these auctions by clicking the name. The arrows in the top right corner of the calendar allow you to switch to future or past months.

 

If you wish to bid on a lot, and virtually all auctions now permit online bidding, you should go to that auction house's website for instructions. We are not involved in the bidding and accept no commissions on sales. Our job is simply to objectively provide the information you need to make your own choices.

 

To check on the results of a sale, you can use the calendar as described above. However, we also have a shortcut for following individual lots. You will need to be an RBH member to do this, since we have to inform you individually of your results, but any level of membership will do, including a free one. If you are not a member, you can sign up by clicking the Become a Member link at the top right corner of each page. You will also have to be signed in to use this service.

 

When you go to the detailed description of a lot, you will see a tab to "Track this Record" on the top toolbar. Click it. Then, to check on this record (you will need to be signed in), click on the "My Home" link at the upper right of each page. At the bottom of the middle column on the page it opens, you will see a box for "Records Tracking." It shows how many lots you are tracking. Click "View now" to see them. Clicking on the title of each tracked record will provide details of that lot, including, once results are posted, the price for which it sold (or a notice that it did not sell if bids were not received).

 

Here is one more feature of your auction search. When you search for auction lots, you are actually searching three databases at once. At the top of the search results page, you will see the number of records found for your search terms in the "Rare Book Transaction History" and "Books for Sale." Each of these numbers is a link. Books for Sale are listings by participating dealers, and worth checking out, as a dealer may have a more suitable item for your collection. You can buy it directly from the dealer through a link on the listing (again, we do not participate in the sale and receive no commissions). The Rare Book Transaction History is a compilation of over 6.5 million records, mostly auctions (some catalogues and bibliographies), both recent and historic. New priced auction results are added practically everyday. This is the one service that requires a paid membership, which can be purchased on the "Become a Member" page.

 

Finally, here is how to follow macro results. Every week, we provide an email update of auctions whose results were posted during the past week and of those auctions scheduled for the coming week. You only receive one a week; it is unobtrusive, undemanding, and can be ignored if you are too busy to read it. It comes late Sunday night (early Monday morning in Europe and Asia). If you don't see it, check your spam filter and set it to allow emails from RBH.

 

To receive it, sign up for a membership (any level, including free is sufficient). You will receive it automatically when you sign up unless you decline it. If later on you decide you don't want to receive it any more, you can turn it off via the "My Mailings" box on your "My Home" page.

 

The email will list all of the million dollar auctions, those which sold over 80% of their lots, and then a listing of all auctions posted for the week. Then, it will list all auctions for the upcoming week. Each listing is a link, either to the lots offered in the upcoming auction, or the results for past ones. A further link once you reach the sales results page to "Auction Report" (upper right corner), provides overall information for that auction, such as total number of lots offered and sold, the total sales volume for that sale, and the highest priced items in that sale.

 

Lastly, the email you receive will include a listing of the Top 25 prices at all auctions reported during the past week.


Posted On: 2016-09-03 01:33
User Name: ARTUS

Can I enter a whole list of search terms for the various books I am looking for in coming auctions, save it and then check what become available every few days? If I have to search separately for each book every few days, this is not a useful tool. It goes faster to check directly the auctions of the relatively few auction houses covering my specific field of interest. The best system would be to have a system like Abe book where you enter a list of "wants" and they send you an e-mail whenever a relevant item becomes available. For you, the cost of such a program would probably be very low and it would make your HUB even more useful than it is currently.
Jacques R. Artus


Posted On: 2016-09-03 04:17
User Name: AE244155

Jacques.

We already have such a system. It's called "Matchmaker." You will see a link for it on the top tool bar. All you need to be to use it is a logged in member at any level - including a free membership. That's so we can connect to your account when delivering matches. It's very easy to use and self-explanatory. Click "Add Keywords" to add your terms. Come back whenever you like to check for matches (they are added once a day, at some crazy hour in the middle of the night in the U.S.). And you can get daily email notifications whenever there are matches too. Click "Matchmaker Preferences" and click "Yes" after "Receive Alert E-mail."


Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Shackleton, Ernest. <i>Aurora Australis.</i> Printed at the sign of 'The Penguins'; East Antarctica, 1908. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Shackleton, Ernest. <i>South Polar Times.</i> 1st edition, limited issue. from the library of Michael Barne. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> General Washington's <i>Proceedings of a General Court Martial... of Major General Lee.</i> Philiadelphia, 1778. 100 copies printed for Congress. BOUND WITH: ...Court Martial... of St Clair and ...Schuyler. $25,000 to $35,000
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> <i>The Voice of the People.</i> Boston, 1754. Rare pamphlet on the Excise Tax. Nathaniel Sparhawk's copy. $4,000 to $6,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Autograph Letter Signed ("S.L. Clemens"), offering extensive hard-earned advice on writing, 5 pp, 1881. $30,000 to $50,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> After Fra Egnazio Danti. <i>L'Ultime Parti not:e nel Indie Occid:ntli" [The last known parts of the Western Indies].</i> Painted Map of California, Western Mexico, and Japan. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Ptolemaeus, Claudius. <i>Geographie opus nouissima...</i> 1513. The most important edition of Ptolemy, containing the Admiral's Map. $250,000 to $350,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> De Arellano, Don Alonso. Manuscript, his <i>"Relación mui singular y circunstanciada... Capitán del Patax San Lucas,"</i> manuscript copy from the Sir Thomas Phillips collection. $50,000 to $80,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Purchas, Samuel. <i>Purchas his Pilgrimes.</i> First edition. With John Simth's engraved map of Virginia. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Lewis, Meriwether. Contemporary manuscript true copy of his final power of attorney, 1809. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> <i>A New Method of Macarony Making, as Practiced at Boston in North America.</i> Mezzotint. London, 1774. $5,000 to $7,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> <i>Scientific Base Ball Pitching: A Treatise on the Pitcher, Pitching, Origin and Philosophy of the Curve.</i> Chicago, 1897. $2,000 to $3,000
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Franklin H. Brown, <i>State Sovereignty, National Union,</i> Chicago, 1860. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Thomas Paine, <i>The American Crisis,</i> Fishkill, NY, December 1776. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b><br>The Aitken Bible, Philadelphia, 1781. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Francisco Loubayssin de Lamarca, probable first edition of the first novel set in the Spanish New World, Paris, 1617. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Juan de la Anunciación, <i>Sermonario en lengua mexicana,</i> first edition, first book of sermons in Nahuatl, Mexico, 1577. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Maturino Gilberti, <i>Thesoro spiritual en lengua de Mechuacá,</i> first edition, Mexico, 1558. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Commission of William O. Stoddard as secretary to the president, signed by Lincoln, Washington, 1861. $7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> <i>Clay and Frelinghuysen,</i> flag banner, circa 1844. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Daguerreotype of a man believed to be Frederick Granger Williams Smith, son of Joseph Smith, circa late 1850s. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> John C. Wolfe, <i>Portrait of Abraham Lincoln,</i> oil on board in period wooden frame, circa 1860s. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Francis W. Winton, manuscript on pow-wows with indigenous Canadians, 1881. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Family letters from two young daguerreotype artists, 1826-79. $10,000 to $15,000.
  • <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. September 27, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Cartwright (George). <i>A Journal of Transactions and Events, during a Residence of nearly Sixteen Years on the Coast of Labrador...,</i> first edition, with A.L.s. from the author, 1792. £4,000 to £6,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Swift (Jonathan). <i>Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World,</i> 2 vol., first edition, Teerink's "A" edition, Printed for Benj. Motte, 1726. £15,000 to £20,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Fourier (Jean Baptiste Joseph). <i>Theorie Analytique de la Chaleur,</i> first edition, Paris, chez Firmin Didot, 1822. £6,000 to £8,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. September 27, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Boccaccio (Giovanni). <i>Genealogiae Deorum,</i> additions by Dominicus Silvester and Raphael Zovenzonius, Venice, Vindelinus de Spira, 1472. £10,000 to £15,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Mary I. Letter signed at the head "Marye the Quene" to Lord Paget, 1 page, 7th June 1556. The recall from exile of nine persons opposed to the Marian regime. £10,000 to £12,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Nelson (Horatio). Autograph Letter signed "Horatio Nelson" and written to Francis Drake, British Minister at Genoa, discussing the disposition of his "Cruizers" near Genoa. £6,000 to £8,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. September 27, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Darwin (Charles). Unpublished Autograph Letter signed to Walter Raleigh Browne, playing down his scientific knowledge of comparative anatomy, 1881. £6,000 to £8,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Murphew (J.). <i>The fair in an uproar, or, the dancing-doggs.</i> As they perform in Mr. Pinkeman's New Opera in Bartholomew Fair, 1707. £1,500 to £2,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Chaucer (Geoffrey). <i>The Workes,</i> by [Nicholas Hill for] Thomas Petit, dwellyng in Paules churche yarde at the sygne of the Maydens heed, 1550. £7,000 to £10,000
    <b>Forum Auctions: Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper. September 27, 2018</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Austen (Jane). <i>Emma: A Novel,</i> 3 vol., first edition, 1816. £7,000 to £10,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Greene (Graham). <i>Stamboul Train,</i> first edition, first issue, 1932. £8,000 to £12,000
    <b>Forum Auctions, Sep. 27:</b> Churchill.- Fearon (Percy Hutton) "Poy". “Eat More Beef,” pen and ink cartoon with shading in blue pencil, [July 1928]. £400 to £600
  • <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Charles Darwin on sexuality and the transmission of hereditary characteristics: Autograph Letter Signed to Lawson Tait. Down, 17 January [1877].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> MILTON, JOHN. <i>Paradise Lost. A Poem written in ten books.</i> London: 1667. A very rare example with the contemporary binding untouched and with a 1667 title page.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Hamilton secures the ratification of the Constitution: <i>The Debates and Proceedings of the Convention of the State of New-York, assembled at Poughkeespsie, on the 17th June, 1788.</i>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> The social contract “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains”: ROUSSEAU, JEAN-JACQUES. <i>Principes du Droit Politique [Du Contract Social]</i>. Amsterdam: Michel Rey, 1762
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> “The first English textbook on geometrical land-measurement and surveying”: BENESE, RICHARD. <i>This Boke Sheweth the Maner of Measurynge All Maner of Lande…</i>

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