Rare Book Monthly

Articles - August - 2018 Issue

AbeBooks Lists Their Top 10 Highest Prices for April-June

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An Esther scroll tops the list.

AbeBooks has prepared their latest quarterly report of the most expensive sales on their book listing site during the past quarter, April-June. The shift to more European material at the top end that has developed over the past couple of years continues. We are unsure if this represents a shift in the location of the buyers or of the type of material collected, but it has certainly been pronounced. Europe does have an advantage in that the oldest material, naturally enough, comes from the Old World, but many of these European items are not that old. From the U.S. comes only one of the Top 10 prices this quarter, though it does have a North American compatriot, just one from the more northern reaches of North America. Here is the latest AbeBooks Top 10 list.

 

10. Southern Tibet by Sven Anders Hedin. This is a 12-volume set published from 1916-1922. Swedish explorer Sven Heden traveled through Tibet from 1906-1908, discovering much about the geography of the land unknown in the West at the time, as well as its botany and geology. $10,150.

 

9. Lapidari by Joan Miro. This is the newest book on the list, published in 1981. It features etchings and acquatints by the artist, who has signed and numbered the book. $10,500.

 

8. Opera Omnia Anatomica & Chirurgica by Andreas Vesalius. This is a 1725 collected edition of the work of the pioneering anatomical researcher of the 17th century. $11,000.

 

7. Osnovi Himii by Dmitri Mendeleev. This is Mendeleev's Fundamentals of Chemistry in Hebrew, published in 1872. Mendeleev was the great Russian chemist who developed the Periodic Law, the basis for the periodic table we all studied in high school chemistry. $12,000.

 

6. Narratio Regionum Indicarum per Hispanos Quosdam Deuastatarum Verissima by Bartolomé de Las Casas. First Latin and illustrated edition of Las Casas' account of the atrocities the Spanish were perpetrating on the natives of America, published in 1598. Las Casas' pleas for intervention by the Spanish crown were politely ignored. $13,000.

 

5. Tractatus Perutilis et Completus de Fractura Cranei by Jacopo Berengario da Carpi. You certainly don't want a fractura cranei. This is a pioneering work on head injuries, a third edition of Berengario's work published in 1535. $13,950.

 

4. La Villanella Rapita Ou La Villageoise Enlevée by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Engraved sheet music to a Mozart opera published in 1789. It was signed by the publisher, Jean-Georges Sieber. $15,300.

 

3. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Obviously, we have found the U. S. item here. This is a first edition from 1960 signed by the author. $15,500.

 

2. Anne of Avonlea by L.M. Montgomery. This is the other North American book. The follow-up to Montgomery's story about Anne at Green Gables, this brings the young Canadian woman to her years as a teacher. It was published in 1909, a year after Green Gables. $17,500.

 

1. An Esther Scroll. This is the second item on the list in Hebrew, two more than are normally found. This engraved vellum scroll was created around 1700 by a man with the surprising multicultural name of Shalom Italia. Italia was born in Italy but moved to Amsterdam where he executed his craft. $24,000.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Ian Fleming, <i>Goldfinger,</i> first edition, inscribed to Sir Henry Cotton, MBE, London, 1959. Sold for $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Joseph Brant, Mohawk Chief, ALS, writing after pledging support to King George III against American rebels, 1776. Sold for a record $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Sonia Delaunay, <i>Ses Peintures</i> . . ., 20 pochoir plates, Paris, 1925. Sold for a record $13,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Diana, Princess of Wales, 6 autograph letters signed to British <i>Vogue</i> editor, 1989-92. Sold for $10,400.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Alexander Hamilton, ALS, as Secretary of the Treasury covering costs of the new U.S. Mint, 1793. Sold for $12,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Benjamin Graham & David L. Dodd, <i>Security Analysis,</i> first edition, inscribed by Graham to a Wall Street trader, NY, 1934. Sold for $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> George Barbier & François-Louis Schmied, <i>Personnages de Comédie,</i> Paris, 1922. Sold for $9,375.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Alphonse Mucha, <i>Ilsée, Princesse de Tripoli,</i> Paris, 1897. Sold for a record $13,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Ralph Waldo Emerson, <i>The Dial,</i> first edition of the reconstituted issue, Emerson’s copy with inscriptions, Cincinnati, 1860. Sold for a record $3,250.
  • <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Darwin, Charles. <i>On the Origin of Species.</i> Presentation Copy. Sold for $500,075.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Darwin, Charles. Autograph Letter Signed, 3 pp, negotiating the 2nd American edition with Appleton. Sold for $21,325.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Hemingway, Ernest. Autograph Letter Signed, 8 pp, Paris, 1924, to his father discussing Bullfighting, Stories, and his new baby. Sold for $25,075.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Shakespeare, William. <i>Corialanus.</i> London, 1623. 1st printing [Extracted from the First Folio]. Sold for $50,075.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Swift, Jonathan. <i>Gulliver's Travels.</i> London, 1726. 1st edition, Teerink's A edition, fine, large copy. Sold for $21,325.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Fitzroy, Robert. Autograph Letter Signed to agent Thomas Stilwell, informing him of the progress of H.M.S. Beagle. Sold for $17,575.
    <center><b>Bonhams<br> Property from the Collection of Nicole and William R. Keck II</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Shakespeare, William. <i>Sonnets.</i> 1901. 2 volumes. Printed on vellum and illuminated by Ross Turner, bound by Trautz-Bauzonnet. Sold for $13,825.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Beardsley, Aubrey. <i>The Birth, Life, and Acts of King Arthur.</i> 1893-94. 2 volumes. Contemporary painted vellum gilt by Chivers. Sold for $5,325.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Assisi, St. Francis. <i>The Canticle of Brother Sun.</i> Illuminated on vellum, for the Grolier Society. Sold for $7,575.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Rackham, Arthur. <i>Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens.</i> 1/500 copies signed by Rackham. Sold for $4,825.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Proust, Marcel. <i>Du coté de chez Swann.</i> 1st edition, 1st issue. Inscribed by Proust. Sold for $8,825.
  • <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, July 17:</b><br>Lot 14. [CRIMEAN WAR] HAMLEY. <i>The Story of the Campaign of Sebastopol.</i> 1855. £150 to £200
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, July 17:</b><br>Lot 17. JONGH & D'ALMEIDA. <i>L’armee Russe...</i> c.1898. Colour plates and many illustrations. £500 to £600
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, July 17:</b><br>Lot 18. [RUSSIA] LE PRINCE. <i>Oeuvres. 1782.</i> Rare folio format with 80 etchings and 74 aquatints. £4000 to £6000
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, July 17:</b><br>Lot 21. [RUSSIA] MORNAY. Set of 8 hand-coloured aquatints of carriages, sleighs and occupants. c.1825. £1200 to £1800
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, July 17:</b><br>Lot 33. BOWDICH. <i>Excursions in Madeira and Porto Santo.</i> 1825. A fine copy. £800 to £1200
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, July 17:</b><br>Lot 37. QUIN. <i>An Historical Atlas.</i> 1836. 2nd edn, 21 hand-coloured maps revealing civilisation. £800 to £1200
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, July 17:</b><br>Lot 39. LE BRUN. <i>Voyages [...] par la Moscovie, en Perse...</i> 1718. 300+ engravings, panorama. £4500 to £5500
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, July 17:</b><br>Lot 48. BRIERLY. <i>The English and French fleets in the Baltic.</i> 1855. Colour lithographs. £7000 to £9000
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, July 17:</b><br>Lot 60. DELLA VALLE. <i>Reise Beschreibung... in Turckey, Egypten, Palestina[...].</i> 1674. £1500 to £2000
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, July 17:</b><br>Lot 77. MURRAY, Mrs. Watercolour Album of Heaths. c.1860. 55 original watercolours. £750 to £1000
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, July 17:</b><br>Lot 91. ADDISON. <i>Works...</i> 1721. 4 vols, large paper copy, English red morocco. £2500 to £3500
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, July 17:</b><br>Lot 96. HOLBEIN. Imitations of original drawings. 1792-1800. Exceptional copy. £4000 to £6000

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