Auctions | September 25, 2020

100% Sell-Through for Books at Freeman’s, Led by Bible Leaf

Courtesy of Freeman's

A leaf from the Gutenberg Bible sold for $81,250.

Philadelphia, PA — Freeman’s is delighted to announce the results of its inaugural Ritual and Culture auction. Kicking off the house’s Fall/Winter 2020 fine auction season, the 240-lot sale achieved a sell-through rate of 89% and realized nearly $680,000, well surpassing its pre-sale low estimate, and with 95% of bidding taking place online. A new addition to Freeman’s fall auction schedule, Ritual and Culture is one of four new, themed auctions that present art and objects from across specialist departments in compelling and unexpected ways.

Said Head of Sale, Tessa Laney: “This sale featured a series of jewel-like collections that worked in tandem to tell a compelling story about the richness of human culture.  Each group was assembled thoughtfully by dedicated collectors who were knowledgeable and passionate about their respective fields. The fantastic results of this sale demonstrate that well-curated collections resonate strongly with a range of buyers.”

The 20-lot Books & Manuscripts section achieved a 100% sell-through rate and realized nearly $200,000. The sale included 15 incunabula, led by the highly anticipated Leaf From the Gutenberg Bible (Lot 26), which sold for $81,250—soaring past its pre-sale estimate of $40,000-60,000. Another highlight from this section was Biblia (in West Low German With Glosses According to Nicolaus de Lyra’s Postils) (Lot 31) which realized $32,500 against a pre-sale estimate of $20,000-30,000.

Said Head of the Books & Manuscripts Department, Darren Winston: “Rarely does a collection such as this come to market. These 20 lots represent over 9,000 years of printing history. Led by an exquisite Leaf From the Gutenberg Bible, several of these titles haven’t seen any examples come to auction in over 100 years. It was a magnificent day in the book world today.”