Rare Book Monthly Articles - January - 2022 Issue

The Rare Book Hub Top 500 Auction Prices for Books and Works on Paper for 2021 – It Was a Record Year

Another year has come to a close, meaning it is time to look back at the Rare Book Hub Top 500 prices paid at auction in the books and paper field for 2021. This was a spectacular year, unlike any we have seen before. Prices were skyrocketing across the board, while ephemeral types of paper continued to see an astonishing growth in prices. At the very top, the most expensive item sold for over $43 million, the highest ever for something in the collectible paper field. More amazing was the increase at #500, as this is more indicative of the high end of the field than one single item at the t...

May you Catch and Spread the Collecting Bug

There are many kinds of collectors, their interests and focuses as myriad as the stars in the night sky.  One exceptional practitioner of the craft is sharing his story.  Such opportunities are rar...

“NFT” Is the Word of the Year. But What Is It?

Collins Dictionary has named its Word of the Year, and it's one that collectors of all stripes will need to know in the years ahead. The “word,” though it isn't really a word, is “NFT.” It's an abb...

Top 14 Highest Prices Paid on AbeBooks for 2021

AbeBooks has released their list of the top 14 most expensive items purchased on their website in 2021. “Abe” is the largest seller of old books with millions of titles listed. While most may fit i...

Living Dangerously in the Year Ahead

While I’m managing Partner of Rare Book Hub, the other hat I wear is as a private money manager, building and diversifying our family assets.  I’ve had a good record, year over year my number has r...

Happy Public Domain Day!

January 1 is more that just New Year's Day. It is also Public Domain Day. This holiday may not be as well known, but it is more important in the book world. It is the day when a new batch of books ...

Tomorrow, Tomorrow and Tomorrow

For Rare Book Hub, 2021 was a complex year by every measure.  The volume of auctions and number of lots posted substantially increased.  As well, the percentage of lots sold rose as the median doll...

The $20 Million Honresfield Library Has Been Saved

Britain's Honresfield Library has been saved. It took $20 million in donations to preserve the historic collection, but it will now belong to the British people, rather than being dispersed to priv...

The Boring Journal of a Slave Trader

Today, we’re embarking on a French slave ship that set sail for Africa in 1702! A dreadful voyage for the slaves, but a boring one for the narrator—and the readers.   “Here we are! I’m on boar...

2021: Some Highlights from the Rare Book Hub Monthly Archives

I was going to call this article, “Journal of the Plague Years Part II,” but despite operating in pandemic mode since March of 2020 most of us seem to have muddled through somehow and are still try...

110 Years Overdue Library Book Finally Returned

Rebecca was off the farm for 110 years, but she has returned. Welcome home, Becky.   Another overdue library book has been returned a bit later than usual. In this case, the book was 110 years ov...

The Grolier Club - Safe & Busy while Soldiering On

The Grolier Club of New York is providing a busy month of bibliophilic activities this January, using both traditional and non-traditional approaches to ensure the Club’s commitment to book scholar...

Harry Potter Book Sells at Auction for Almost Half a Million Dollars

If there was any doubt that books are now participating in the incredible price growth experienced by other collectibles, that doubt was put to rest at Heritage Auctions last month. We have seen un...

$50 Million Durer Drawing Bought for $30 at Estate Sale

Have you ever dreamed of finding something cheap at a yard sale, only to learn later that it is fabulously valuable? Everyone has. That dream came true for an unidentified man in his 60s. He found ...

Nine Bookseller Catalogues Reviewed This Month

This month we review nine new catalogues from booksellers. Some have a specific focus while others provide more of a variety of types of material. Shapero Rare Books focuses on Baedeker and other t...

Rare Book Monthly

  • 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
    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
  • 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.
  • Il Ponte, Feb. 27-28: KUPKA, Frantisek (1871-1957) - Quatre histoires de blanc et noir. Paris: Marcel Baque, 1926. €5.000-€8.000
    Il Ponte, Feb. 27-28: VASI, Giuseppe Agostino (1710-1782) - Raccolta delle più belle vedute antiche, e moderne di Roma disegnate ed incise secondo lo stato presente. Rome: A. Vasi, 1786. €4.000-€6.000
    Il Ponte, Feb. 27-28: SALAMANCA, Antonio (1478-1562) - [First map depicting the bay of Naples]. [Rome: 1538]. €3.000-€5.000

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