• <b>Il Ponte, Jan. 31:</b> BLAEU, Joannes and Martinus MARTINI - <i>Theatrum orbis terrarum, sive Novus Atlas. Pars sexta. Novus Altas Sinensis.</i> Amsterdam: Blaeu, 1655. €8.000 to €12.000.
    <b>Il Ponte, Jan. 31:</b> ORTELIUS, Abraham - <i>Theatrum orbis terrarum.. Nomenclator ptolemaicus.</i> Antwerp: Christopher Plantin, 1579. €10.000 to €15.000.
    <b>Il Ponte, Jan. 31:</b> PIRANESI, Giovanni Battista - <i>Carceri d'invenzione.</i> [Rome: G.B. Piranesi, second half of the 18th century]. €20.000 to €30.000.
  • <b><center>Case Antiques<br>Two-Day Winter Auction<br>January 28 & 29, 2023</b>
    <b>Case Antiques, Jan. 28-29:</b> Gurrey, Alfred Richard, Jr. <i>The Surf Riders of Hawaii,</i> Gray version, Honolulu, circa 1910-14. Important, hand made publication. $16,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Case Antiques, Jan. 28-29:</b> Scarce Benjamin Owen Tyler 1818 copy of the Declaration of Independence, engraved by Peter Maverick, Newark, NJ. Considered the first copy of the Declaration produced for commercial purposes. $6,000 to $6,400.
    <b>Case Antiques, Jan. 28-29:</b> Henry Mouzon 1775 1st State Map of North / South Carolina With Indian Frontiers. $5,000 to $6,000.
    <b><center>Case Antiques<br>Two-Day Winter Auction<br>January 28 & 29, 2023</b>
    <b>Case Antiques, Jan. 28-29:</b> Gurrey, Alfred Richard, Jr. <i>Idyls of Hawaii,</i> Honolulu, circa 1910-15. Exceptionally rare self-published and hand made. $4,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Case Antiques, Jan. 28-29:</b> McCarthy, Comrac. <i>Suttree,</i> New York, 1979. First edition, signed by the author. $2,600 to $3,000.
    <b>Case Antiques, Jan. 28-29:</b> 375 Different Bound Minstrel & Civil War Songs, 1830-1870, Black Americana. $2,400 to $2,800.
    <b><center>Case Antiques<br>Two-Day Winter Auction<br>January 28 & 29, 2023</b>
    <b>Case Antiques, Jan. 28-29:</b> President Andrew Jackson Signed Letter to Andrew Jackson Donelson, 1836. $1,800 to $2,200.
    <b>Case Antiques, Jan. 28-29:</b> Civil War Robert E. Lee Signed Letter to William Jackson. Gaines Mill, Virginia, dated June 11, 1864. $1,800 to $2,200.
    <b>Case Antiques, Jan. 28-29:</b> Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson ALS to His Sister Laura, New Orleans Barracks, 1848. $1,800 to $2,200.
    <b><center>Case Antiques<br>Two-Day Winter Auction<br>January 28 & 29, 2023</b>
    <b>Case Antiques, Jan. 28-29:</b> McCarthy, Cormac. <i>Blood Meridian,</i> New York, 1985. First edition, first printing. $1,800 to $2,200.
    <b>Case Antiques, Jan. 28-29:</b> Archive of 8 Civil War CSA Cabinet Member Letters, incl. Seddon, Randolph, Walker, Mallory, Memminger, Stephens, Tyler. $1,600 to $1,800.
    <b>Case Antiques, Jan. 28-29:</b> Napoleon I Autograph Letter Signed and Portrait Engraving, framed. $1,000 to $1,200.
  • <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper<br>26th January 2023</b>
    <b>Forum, Jan. 26:</b> Rowling (J.K.) <i>Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone,</i> first hardback edition, Bloomsbury, 1998. £50,000 to £70,000.
    <b>Forum, Jan. 26:</b> America.- Popple (Henry). <i>A Map of the British Empire in America with the French and Spanish Settlements Adjacent thereto,</i> 1733 [but circa 1740]. £40,000 to £60,000.
    <b>Forum, Jan. 26:</b> America.- Martyr d'Anghiera (Peter). <i>De Orbe Novo,</i> edited by Richard Hakluyt, with the exceedingly rare Hakluyt-Martyr map, Paris, Guillelmum Avvray, 1587. £30,000 to £40,000.
    <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper<br>26th January 2023</b>
    <b>Forum, Jan. 26:</b> Chess.- Johannes Gallensis [John of Wales]. <i>Summa collationum, sive communiloquium,</i> ?first edition, Cologne, Ulrich Zel, [c.1472]. £18,000 to £22,000.
    <b>Forum, Jan. 26:</b> Fleming (Ian). <i>Casino Royale,</i> first edition, 1953. £15,000 to £20,000.
    <b>Forum, Jan. 26:</b> Marvell (Andrew). <i>Miscellaneous Poems,</i> first edition, for Robert Boulter, 1681. £8,000 to £10,000.
    <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper<br>26th January 2023</b>
    <b>Forum, Jan. 26:</b> Tennis.- Sambucus (Johannes). <i>Emblemata, cum aliquot nummis antiqui operis,</i> first edition, Antwerp, Christopher Plantin, 1564.
    <b>Forum, Jan. 26:</b> China, America & Canada.- Photograph album of views of China, America and Canada, [c.1870s]. £5,000 to £7,000.
    <b>Forum, Jan. 26:</b> Bond (Michael). <i>A Bear Called Paddington,</i> first edition, signed by the author and dated October 1958, 1958. £4,000 to £6,000.
    <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts and Works on Paper<br>26th January 2023</b>
    <b>Forum, Jan. 26:</b> Bedfordshire, Luton.- Archive of 33 charters from the reign of Henry VI relating to Luton and environs, manuscripts in Latin, on vellum, in charter bookhands, 1422-52. £3,000 to £4,000.
    <b>Forum, Jan. 26:</b> Medicine.- Obstetrics.- Katakura (Kakury?). <i>Sanka Hatsum? [Enlightenment in Obstetrics],</i> 6 vol. in 4, Tokyo, 1799. £3,000 to £4,000.
    <b>Forum, Jan. 26:</b> Bawden (Edward).- Richards (J.M.) <i>High Street,</i> first edition, presentation copy signed by the author, Edward Bawden's copy, 1938. £1,000 to £1,500.

Rare Book Monthly

Articles - January - 2020 Issue

The Pie is getting Larger

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It’s difficult to be older in a world that is less certain but there is some good news!

 

No, you aren’t getting younger but there is evidence of an increase in the number of auction buyers in the books, manuscripts, maps and ephemera categories and it’s a helpful sign.

 

People whose lives revolve around old and rare books face complex issues as they age because their children rarely want to join the field or inherit the debris.  That leaves the dealer or collector to sell as best they can.  Such material falls into two categories,  the commonly available that should go to listing sites to be discounted, and the unusual and important that can be sold by dealers or go to auction where such transactions become part of our statistics.    Most sellers will be optimistic and assume their material is highly collectible but auction houses and the market have seen this movie before and will generally not be convinced.  Such material then shifts toward the progressive discounting model on the listing sites until buyers are found, an adjustment that takes time because seller hope dies slowly. 

 

The seeds of today’s pessimism were planted years ago, when the market was thought to be monolithic.  Then we discovered it was not.  Some categories would be strong and others weak and the term employed to explain this - cyclical – a phrase that optimistically, and I think without any blanket justification, carries the seeds of recovery in it.  Today the new division is between the common and collectible and in ten years we’ll have gathered additional perspectives.

 

Pessimism is nothing new.  Dealers have been anxious for decades over the apparent absence of new collectors.  But there have been encouraging signs.  Auction houses have been entering the field and once in, built collectible paper into their calendars.  For them these are business decisions born of evidence they regularly see.  What’s been less certain has been whether that evidence is of sellers looking to sell, buyers looking to buy, or a combination of both.  The selling has been understandable, the buying a changing combination of dealers, institutions and collectors that to successfully absorb the rising tide of material coming out, was always going to require a significant increase in collectors.  And we are seeing this today. 

 

What’s been changing about  the market are three negative and one positive factors;  [1] on the downside ever increasing online inventory, [2] the aging of its principal owners, and [3] their increasing difficulty finding buyers even with price cuts.  On the bright side, there is a transition, now underway, as many collectors re-focus their collecting based less on dealer inventories and more on deeper searches and theoretical availability because such approaches are yielding surprisingly good results.  And in doing this, it strengthens collectors’ commitments by creating and meeting expectations.  This is the “hey, this works” model and it works well.

 

This narrower, more focused approach seems to be part of the reason the market has stabilized.  It’s simply more satisfying and seems to be sufficiently appealing to compete with other collecting forms.  So, you look and then look again and bit by bit you find the unexpected, often unappreciated, frequently at very reasonable prices.  

 

This is the new collecting.

 

Recently I saw a patch of blue sky for the future of such collections:  clear evidence of increasing numbers of buyers in the auction statistics we’ve been developing over the past 17 years.

 

As part of the Rare Book Hub / Americana Exchange database project we record auction statistics and the numbers are many, almost a blur.  But consider this.  The number of lots offered, percentage of lots sold  and the median sale price over the past 5 years, have all increased, suggesting the collectible paper market, at the auction level at least, is growing.  In real terms, in 2015, 423,000 lots were offered and this year a projected 510,000 when all the lots are counted, an increase of 18,000 lots annually [3.92%] that has also seen a rising percentage of lots selling, increasing from 73% to almost 77% over the same period.  That can’t happen without more participation and according to our sign-ups, it’s collectors that are making the difference.

 

 

 Year  Lots                    % Lots Sold                              Median Price

2019   512,463                          76+*                                        $275 projected**

2018   479,122                          75                                            $283

2017   418,028                          75                                            $267

2016   406,738                          73                                            $270

2015   422,909                          73                                            $266

* estimated when the last sales are archived

** projected when the last results are posted

 

So what does this mean?

 

At the auction level the market is growing and the purchases increasingly concentrated in the rare, unique and unusual and we believe it is collectors who are making the difference.    As they continue to learn they can carve out unique slices of the millions of items available they increasingly understand that collecting has become a search based business, something akin to an electronic game for codgers, that randomly turns up related material across the globe on various platforms and, when  they are open to it, notifies them.  And it’s a big deal.

 

 

 

Rare Book Monthly

  • <center><b>Potter & Potter Auctions<br>Fine Books & Manuscripts,<br>including Americana<br>February 16, 2023</b>
    <b>Potter & Potter, Feb. 16:</b> [KELMSCOTT PRESS]. CHAUCER, Geoffrey. <i>The Works…now newly imprinted.</i> Edited by F.S. Ellis. Hammersmith: Kelmscott Press, 1896. $100,000 to $125,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter, Feb. 16:</b> [EINSTEIN, Albert (1879–1955)]. –– ORLIK, Emil (1870–1932), artist. Lithograph signed (“Albert Einstein”). N.p., 1928. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter, Feb. 16:</b> TOLKIEN, John Ronald Reuel. <i>[The Lord of the Rings trilogy:] The Fellowship of the Ring.</i> 1954. –– <i>The Two Towers.</i> 1954. –– <i>The Return of the King.</i> 1955. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter, Feb. 16:</b> CLEMENS, Samuel Langhorne ("Mark Twain") and Charles Dudley WARNER. <i>The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today.</i> Hartford and Chicago, 1873. $6,000 to $8,000.
    <b>Potter & Potter, Feb. 16:</b> LOVECRAFT, Howard Phillips. <i>Beyond the Wall of Sleep.</i> Collected by August Derleth and Donald Wandrei. Sauk City, WI: Arkham House, 1943. $2,000 to $3,000.
  • <b><center>University Archives<br>Rare Manuscripts, Books & Sports Memorabilia<br>February 1, 2023</b>
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 1:</b> Thomas Paine ALS Confirming Christmas Eve Attack Likely Based on Anti-Christianity, “The account you heard of a man firing into my house is true.” $24,000 to $35,000.
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 1:</b> George Washington Gives a Horse and Guns to His Loyal Guard 10 Days Before Resigning as Commander-in-Chief. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 1:</b> John Hancock ALS, “General Howe is bent on coming here” - Troops, Martha Washington, & 1777 Continental Congress, to Wife Dolly! $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b><center>University Archives<br>Rare Manuscripts, Books & Sports Memorabilia<br>February 1, 2023</b>
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 1:</b> Abraham Lincoln Boldly and Fully Signs Appointment of Consul Who Would Facilitate Bond Sales in Europe Financing Civil War. $6,000 to $7,000.
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 1:</b> The Rarest of Dual Signed Kennedy Items! 1963 Christmas Card with "Blessed Christmas" Removed at the Last Minute for Kennedy's Jewish Friends. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 1:</b> George Gershwin Signed Contract for 1st Production of <i>Porgy and Bess,</i> Also Signed by Dubose Heyward & Ira Gershwin, Historic! $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b><center>University Archives<br>Rare Manuscripts, Books & Sports Memorabilia<br>February 1, 2023</b>
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 1:</b> Einstein Signed, “Two years after the fall of the German Goyim” 1st Ed. of <i>Mein Weltbild.</i> $12,000 to $14,000.
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 1:</b> Walt Disney <i>Fantasia</i>-Era Boldly Signed TLS Re: "Special Effects Department," PSA Certified Authentic & With Phil Sears COA. $6,000 to $7,000.
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 1:</b> 1996-97 Michael Jordan Chicago Bulls Home Game-Worn Jersey Showcasing "Light" Evident Use, MEARS A5. $6,000 to $7,000.
    <b><center>University Archives<br>Rare Manuscripts, Books & Sports Memorabilia<br>February 1, 2023</b>
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 1:</b> Wayne Gretzky’s 1994 All-Star Used Game Jersey, Inscribed to Former MLB Player! $4,500 to $5,500.
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 1:</b> <i>The Astronauts</i> Signed by All 7 Mercury Astronauts! $4,000 to $5,000.
    <b>University Archives, Feb. 1:</b> Fabulous Edison, Firestone, Burroughs Signed Journal With 44 Original Photos, Very Rare. $4,000 to $5,000.
  • <b><center>Swann Auction Galleries<br>View Our Record Breaking Results</b>
    <b>Swann:</b> Gideon Welles, <i>Extensive archive of personal and family papers of Lincoln’s Secretary of the Navy,</i> 1791-1914. Sold September 29 — $281,000.
    <b>Swann:</b> Charles Addams, <i>Rock Climbers,</i> cartoon for <i>The New Yorker,</i> watercolor, ink and gouache, 1954. Sold December 15 — $37,500.
    <b>Swann:</b> Charlotte Brontë, <i>Jane Eyre. An Autobiography. Edited by Currer Bell,</i> three volumes, first edition, 1847. Sold June 16, 2022 — $23,750.
    <b>Swann:</b> Geoffrey Chaucer, <i>The Workes of Geffray Chaucer Newlye Printed,</i> London, 1542. Sold October 13 — $106,250.
    <b><center>Swann Auction Galleries<br>View Our Record Breaking Results</b>
    <b>Swann:</b> Dorothea Lange, <i>Migrant Mother, Nipomo, California (Destitute pea pickers in California. Mother of seven children. Age 32),</i> silver print, 1936. Sold October 20 — $305,000.
    <b>Swann:</b> George Washington, Autograph Document Signed, with two manuscript plat maps in holograph, 1751. Sold October 27 — $37,500.
    <b>Swann:</b> Winfred Rembert, <i>Winfred Rembert and Class of 1959,</i> dye on carved & tooled leather, 1999. Sold October 6 — $233,000.
    <b>Swann:</b> M.C. Escher, <i>Relativity,</i> lithograph, 1953. Sold November 3 — $81,250.
  • <b><center>Sotheby’s<br>Original Film Posters<br>27 January - 10 February 2023</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, Jan. 27-Feb. 10:</b> Vertigo (1958), poster, US. The ultimate poster on this classic Hitchcock title, one of three known examples. £40,000 to £60,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Jan. 27-Feb. 10:</b> Lawrence of Arabia (1962), roadshow poster, US. £8,000 to £12,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Jan. 27-Feb. 10:</b> Star Wars (1977), style C poster, printer's proof, US. £7,000 to £10,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Jan. 27-Feb. 10:</b> The Navigator/ La Croisiere du Navigator (1924), re-release poster (1931), French. £5,000 to £8,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Jan. 27-Feb. 10:</b> Bullitt (1968), special test poster, US. £3,000 to £5,000.

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