Rare Books &c. at Auction This Week

As things settle down in the auction world over the holiday period, here's a quick check on last week's action and the few upcoming sales.

  

The Valuable Books and Manuscripts sale at Christie's London last week realized a total of £3,879,250, with Adam Smith's copy of his Wealth of Nations leading the way at £908,750.

  

I haven't yet been able to find full results from the fourth sale of books from the library of Pierre Bergé, held on December 14, but media reports indicate that the copy of Proust's Du côté de chez Swann, inscribed to Lucien Daudet, sold for 1.51 million Euros, setting a new auction record for a French book.

  

Looking ahead, Bonhams London sells Prints and Multiples on Tuesday, December 18, in 168 lots. Rating the top estimate, at £70,000-100,000, is Goya's suite of eighty etchings "Los Desastres de la Guerra." Goya's eighteen-etching series "Los Proverbios" is estimated at £30,000-50,000, as are Andy Warhol's 1983 screenprint of Ingrid Bergman, "The Nun" and Francis Bacon's 1971 lithograph "?tude por una corrida." An etched sheet of Rembrandt studies, including a self-portrait (pictured below), could fetch £15,000-25,000.

     

rembrandt.png Sotheby's New York sells Important Judaica, including a Distinguished Private Collection, on Wednesday, December 19, in 226 lots. A seventeenth-century painting of worshippers at an Italian synagogue is estimated at $250,000-300,000, while the only known kabbalistic manuscript with autograph comments by Rabbi Jonathan Eibeschuetz could sell for $250,000-350,000. A thirteenth-century Torah scroll from Spain, believed to be the second oldest recorded Sephardic Torah scroll, is estimated at $200,000-300,000.

  

On Thursday, December 20, PBA Galleries holds a Mid-Winter Miscellany auction, in 381 lots. A real hodge-podge, and well worth a browse no matter what areas you collect. Lots 190 through 377 are being sold without reserve, too, so there may well be some bargains to be had.

  

Image credit: Bonhams