Rare Book Monthly Articles - January - 2019 Issue

The Rare Book Hub Top 500 Sales at Auction for 2018. Prices Were Up at the Top

With another year under our belts, it's time to look back at the Top 500 prices paid at auction in the books and paper field (see end of this article for an explanation). At the top end, 2018 was a very good year. Prices rebounded sharply from 2017's softness. The top price paid in 2017 was $1.8 million for an early printing of the Declaration of Independence. This year's highest price was over five times that amount. Six items sold for more in 2018 than did anything in 2017. Nine items exceeded $1 million in price, compared to five the previous year.   Perhaps more telling is the price p...

Understanding Valuation in a fast Changing World

Presentation of historical data for the rare book field has been evolving for more years than any book collector can remember because it’s been clear and necessary for more than two hundred years t...

Book Selling: 40 Years Later

Looking back at almost 40 years as an independent bookseller I’ve been thinking about what has changed. It isn’t the money; though I do know a few dealers who’ve built a profitable business, for mo...

We are in a War over Attention Span

It’s no accident that rare books, and books generally peaked in the 19th century.  Their popularity and importance stemmed from their often unique ability to deliver “content” in a world in which c...

Utah Man Charged in Large Thefts and Frauds Concerning Collectible Mormon Books and Artifacts

Kevin Mark Ronald Schuwer finds himself in a lot of trouble today. Schuwer, a former student at Brigham Young University, has plied the lucrative trade of selling artifacts related to the Church of...

Voyage a la Mer du Sud: No Hollywood Spin-Off

Although sub-titled “a follow-up to Anson’s voyage”, and sometimes bound with the latter, Voyage A la Mer du Sud1 (Duplain Brothers—Lyon, 1756) is actually an independent publication, the spin-off ...

A Greek Monastery Battles Princeton University for Some Very Old Manuscripts

"Possession is nine-tenths of the law" is one of those old idioms that may need updating, at least in the books and manuscripts field. In recent years, it has been more common to look at old transf...

Rare Book Hub as of January 1st, 2019

We enter 2019 with 8,765,292 full text records in the Rare Book Transaction History Database.  During the past year we’ve added 465,101 new records or 1,274 a day or 53 records every hour of every ...

New Amsterdam to Metropolis – Important Maps of New York City 1548 – 1964 at Martayan Lan

Martayan Lan, the New York City rare book and map dealer and ABAA member, has announced the opening of an exhibition of New York maps issued over the past four hundred years.  The event now underwa...

Jan 22: Books & Manuscripts at Il Ponte Casa d'Aste features a previously unknown Portolan chart

Milan-based auction house Il Ponte Casa d’Astewill be hosting a sale of Books and Manuscriptsthis month on January 22. Headlining the 216-lot event is a previously unknown Portolan chart, supported...

Book and Paper Fairs in North America January - March

While the rare book world has been going online and bookshops closing, book fairs remain a resilient marketplace that continues to find new energy among dealers and collectors who are trying to buy...

Scholium Group Reports £56,000 Loss in First Half of Fiscal Year

The Scholium Group, corporate parent of Shapero Rare Books, released its interim financial report for the six months ending September 30, 2018. While holding several divisions, Shapero Rare Books i...

eCatalogues: Seasons Greetings from RBH Members

As the printed catalogue has declined many smart sellers have shifted to eCatalogues to showcase material.  This holiday season we are pleased to present the most recent fifty eCatalogue presentati...

Grant to American Institute of Physics a Sign of Maturation of Book Digitization

The American Institute of Physics has been awarded a grant of $646,697 from the Sloan Foundation to digitize and make universally available the Wenner collection of 3,800 volumes, dating back nearl...

Eleven New Catalogues Reviewed This Month

Variety is the word for this month's new catalogue reviews. There is a variety of topics covered in subject specific catalogues, while others are filled with a variety of material themselves. Those...

Rare Book Monthly

  • Freeman’s | Hindman, June 25: [Keats, John] Spenser, Edmund: The Works of that Famous English Poet, Mr. Edmond Spenser. $50,000 - $80,000.
    Freeman’s | Hindman, June 25: (Walton, Izaak): The Compleat Angler or the Contemplative man's Recreation. Being a Discourse of Fish and Fishing. $30,000 - $50,000.
    Freeman’s | Hindman, June 25: Thomas, Gabriel: An Historical and Geographical Account of the Province and Country of Pensilvania; and of West-New-Jersey in America. $25,000 - $35,000.
    Freeman’s | Hindman, June 25: [Carroll, Lewis]: The Game of Alice in Wonderland. $2,000 - $3,000.
    Freeman’s | Hindman, June 25: Athias, Joseph, et al.: Biblia Hebraica. $7,000 - $10,000.
    Freeman’s | Hindman, June 25: [Warhol, Andy, and Jens Quistgaard] Dansk Designs Salesman's Presentation Catalogue. $2,500 - $3,500.
  • Sotheby’s, June 26: Poe, Edgar Allan. Tamerlane — the most poignant rarity in American literature. 400,000 - 600,000 USD
    Sotheby’s, June 26: The Declaration of Independence. "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal..." 2,500,000 - 5,000,000 USD
    Sotheby’s, June 26: William Blake. “Poems with very wild and interesting pictures” 1,200,000 - 1,800,000 USD
    Sotheby’s, June 26: Thomas Taylor [artist]. The original cover art for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. 400,000 - 600,000 USD
  • Bonhams, June 15-25: 18th Century American Sea Captain's Journals of Voyages to Hawaii, China, and South America. $35,000 - $45,000
    Bonhams, June 15-25: Admiral Richard E. Byrd's Autograph Diary from Bolling Advance Base, Winter 1934. $40,000 - $60,000
    Bonhams, June 15-25: Thoreau, Henry David. Walden; Or, Life in the Woods. Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1854. $4,000 - $6,000
    Bonhams, June 15-25: Cellarius, Andreas. Harmonia macrocosmica seu atlas universalis et novus, totius universi creati cosmographiam generalem, et novam exhibens. $20,000 - $30,000
    Bonhams, June 15-25: Nobelist George Stigler's Copy of Ricardo's Classic on the Science of Economics. $20,000 - $30,000
    Bonhams, June 15-25: Histoire charmante de l'adolescente sucre d'amour. Paris: F. L. Schmied, 1927. $15,000 - $20,000
    Bonhams, June 15-25: Fine Copy of Walras's Classic on the Theory of Marginal Utility. $12,000 - $18,000
    Bonhams, June 15-25: Arion Press Moby Dick. Melville, Herman. $8,000 - $12,000
    Bonhams, June 15-25: Venegas, Miguel. Noticia de la California, y desu conquista temporal, y espiritual hasta el tiempo presente. $7,000 - $9,000
    Bonhams, June 15-25: Carelton Watkins, Yosemite and the West. Portfolio of 21 imperial albumen prints. $6,000 - $9,000
    Bonhams, June 15-25: An Unpublished Archive of Thornton Wilder Correspondence to F.J. O'Neil. $6,000 - $9,000
    Bonhams, June 15-25: Vesalius, Andreas. 1514-1564. Suorum de humani corporis fabrica librorum epitome. $100,000 - $150,000
  • Bonhams, June 25: Vesalius, Andreas. 1514-1564. De humani corporis fabrica libri septem. $200,000 - $300,000
    Bonhams, June 25: Gersdorff, Hans Von. 1455-1529. Feldtbuch der wundartzney. $40,000 - $60,000
    Bonhams, June 25: Pare, Ambroise. C.1509-1590. La Methode Curative des Playes, et Fractures de la Teste humaine. Avec les pourtraits des Instruments necessaires pour la curation d'icelles. $25,000 - $30,000
    Bonhams, June 25: Reisch, Gregor. 1470-1525. Margarita Philosophica. $20,000 - $30,000
    Bonhams, June 25: Bright, Richard. 1789-1858. Reports of Medical Cases, Selected with a View of Illustrating the Symptoms and Cure of Diseases by a Reference to Morbid Anatomy. $12,000 - $18,000
    Bonhams, June 25: Berengario da Carpi, Giacomo. C. 1460-1530. Tractatus de fractura calve sive cranei. $10,000 - $15,000
    Bonhams, June 25: Vicq D'Azyr, Felix. 1748-1794. Traite d'antomie et de physiologie. $8,000 - $12,000
    Bonhams, June 25: Croce, Giovanni Andrea Della. 1509?-1775. Chirurgia libri septem... $8,000 - $12,000
    Bonhams, June 25: Bruno Da Longburgo. 1200-1286. La cyrogia di Maistro Bruno: Expertissimo in quella. Tradutta in vulgare. $8,000 - $12,000
    Bonhams, June 25: Schwann, Theodor. 1810-1882. Mikroskopische Untersuchungen uber die Ubereinstimmung in der Struktur und dem Wachsthum der Thiere und Pflanzen. $8,000 - $12,000
    Bonhams, June 25: Cowper, William. 1666-1709. The Anatomy of Humane Bodies, with Figures Drawn after the Life… $6,000 - $9,000
    Bonhams, June 25: Bidloo, Govard. 1649-1713. Anatomia humani corporis, centum & quinque tabulis, per artificiossis. G. de Lairesse ad vivum delineatis. $6,000 - $9,000

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