Rare Book Monthly

Articles - October - 2023 Issue

The Future of the Past

Numbers tell the story

Collectible paper has been prospering in the auction rooms for many years.  Over the prior 15 years it has been a given that the annual numbers would slowly increase.  When Covid hit no one knew what would happen and it turned out in 2020 that the book auctions would became the beneficiary of the stay-at-home health policies that reduced or eliminated shows and closed shops.

 

The question would be whether the upsurge in lots, prices, and traffic would hold and today we know.  The surge has held and our month to month records for the past 4 years suggest that old paper at auction will be maintaining, into 2024, the billion dollar pace we first saw in 2021.

 

Here are some charts to think about.

 

Year Month Events Total Lots Lots Sold
2023 1 168 41,969 35,764
2023 2 189 45,318 37,697
2023 3 228 59,741 48,673
2023 4 204 49,723 40,038
2023 5 219 64,325 48,431
2023 6 228 58,775 44,758
2023 7 186 50,091 41,070
2023 8 151 33,377 27,002
  Total 1573 403,319 323,433
         
  2 0 2 2
Year Month Events Total Lots Lots Sold
2022 1 169 41065 34,970
2022 2 176 46829 39,596
2022 3 209 50250 40,806
2022 4 206 52659 43,429
2022 5 230 70657 51,394
2022 6 217 58069 46,732
2022 7 184 50157 40,965
2022 8 134 29170 25,839
  Total 1525 398,856 323,731
         
  2 0 2 1
Year Month Events Total Lots Lot Sold
2021 1 146 36432 32,469
2021 2 152 40993 35,469
2021 3 188 47389 39.426
2021 4 186 48225 38,681
2021 5 186 63921 51,371
2021 6 239 64246 52,446
2021 7 179 52741 39,558
2021 8 142 37459 33,682
  Total 1418 391,406 283,715
         
  2 0 2 0
Year Month Events Total Lots Lots Sold
2020 1 128 34180 29,956
2020 2 126 35289 28,095
2020 3 143 39760 33,536
2020 4 126 34465 29,883
2020 5 140 46153 38,062
2020 6 190 52496 42,475
2020 7 163 45589 35,784
2020 8 120 27823 24,034
  Total 1136 315,755 261,825

Rare Book Monthly

  • Gonnelli:
    Auction 50
    Books, Autographs & Manuscripts
    March 6th-7th 2024
    Gonnelli: Cramer, [Picasso, Chagall , Miró], Trente ans d'activité. Starting price 4800€
    Gonnelli: Futurism
    Gonnelli: Avienus, Opera. 1488. Starting price 1200€
    Gonnelli: Vimont, Relation de ce qui s'est passé en la Nouvelle France, en l'année 1642. Starting price 5000€
    Gonnelli: Goedart, Metamorphosis et historia naturalis insectorum. 1662.
    Gonnelli: Il Petrarcha con la spositione di M. Giovanni Andrea Gesualdo.
    Gonnelli: Poblacion, De usu astrolabi compendium.
  • Toronto Book Auctions
    ART-PHOTO-SIGNED-BOOKS-MILITARY(NON)FICTION
    March 6, 2024
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: [ART BOOK MONOGRAPH] DAVID BURLIUK WITH ORIGINAL DRAWING and Signed twice. David Burliuk Rare ACA Gallery exhibition catalogue, undated. CA$400 – 800
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: [ART BOOK MONOGRAPH] KAWS: COMPANIONSHIP IN THE AGE OF LONELINESS. Text by Margaret Atwood. National Gallery of Victoria, Australia, 2019. $CA400 - 800
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: [ART BOOK MONOGRAPH] LAWRENCE WEINER: POSTERS. Nova Scotia College of Art, Canada,1987. CA$800 – 1,200
    Toronto Book Auctions
    ART-PHOTO-SIGNED-BOOKS-MILITARY(NON)FICTION
    March 6, 2024
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: WILBUR SMITH: THE DARK OF THE SUN. Heinemann, UK, 1965. Signed First edition. CA$800 – 1,200
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: ROBERTSON DAVIES: LEAVEN OF MALICE. SIGNED Clark, Irwin, & Co., Canada. 1954. 1st edition. CA$400 – 600
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: [THE NOTABLE TRAILS LIBRARY]. 8 VOLUMES SOLD TOGETHER. INCLUDING: THE TRIAL OF DR. X; ROE V. WADE; THE GALILEO AFFAIR; THE TRIAL OF BERNHARD GOETZ… CA$300 – 500
    Toronto Book Auctions
    ART-PHOTO-SIGNED-BOOKS-MILITARY(NON)FICTION
    March 6, 2024
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: [MILITARY FICTION]. 8 VOLUMES SOLD TOGETHER. INCLUDING: Canada's Royal Military College. REVIEW, THE STONE FRIGATE, A HISTORY OF THE RMC… CA$300 – 400
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: [WW1] CANADIAN (C.S.E.F.) SIBERIA 1918-1919 PHOTO ALBUM. With approximately 303 original official war photographs, postcards, and personal photographs. CA$8,000 – 10,000.
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: HANS BELLMER: THE DOLL. 1995, 1st Ed. CA$150 – 300.
    Toronto Book Auctions
    ART-PHOTO-SIGNED-BOOKS-MILITARY(NON)FICTION
    March 6, 2024
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: FAN HO; HONG KONG YESTERDAY. ModernBooks edition, 2006. First edition. 4to. CA$300 – 600.
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: TARYN SIMON: AN AMERICAN INDEX OF THE HIDDEN AND UNFAMILIAR. Hatje Cantz, Germany, 2012. Third edition. CA$600 – 1,000.
    Toronto Book Auctions, Mar. 6: BARBARA KRUGER PICTURE/READINGS. [Self-Published], 1978 First edition. CA$800 – 1,200.
  • Sotheby’s
    Modern First Editions
    Available for Immediate Purchase
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Winston Churchill. The Second World War. Set of First-Edition Volumes. 6,000 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: A.A. Milne, Ernest H. Shepard. A Collection of The Pooh Books. Set of First-Editions. 18,600 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Salvador Dalí, Lewis Carroll. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Finely Bound and Signed Limited Edition. 15,000 USD
    Sotheby’s
    Modern First Editions
    Available for Immediate Purchase
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Ian Fleming. Live and Let Die. First Edition. 9,500 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: J.K. Rowling. Harry Potter Series. Finely Bound First Printing Set of Complete Series. 5,650 USD
    Sotheby’s, Available Now: Ernest Hemingway. A Farewell to Arms. First Edition, First Printing. 4,200 USD

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