May 2012 | Jeremy Dibbell

Auction Report: May Sales

Just in case we biblio-folk needed some perspective: last week's sale of "The Scream" for $119.9 million was more than the totals realized over all the book auctions in 2011 for both Christie's and Sotheby's combined.

Before we get to May, some April sale notes:

- Doyle New York sold Rare Books, Autographs, and Maps on 23 April. The surprise top seller was a group of manuscript leaves, which fetched $86,500 over estimates of $2,000-3,000. was The first octavo edition of Audubon's Birds of America sold for $56,250.

- At Christie's Travel, Science and Natural History on 25 April, the total realized was £1,031,500. The 1794 W. & S. Jones orrery fetched £32,450, while the ~1705/15 German pocket globe sold for £18,750. The top lot was an Augustin Brunias oil painting, which made £87,650.

- The top lot at PBA Galleries' 26 April sale of Fine Americana, Travel & Exploration, and Cartography was a copy of the very rare American Bond Detector (1869), which sold for $5,700.

- Results for Bloomsbury's 27 April Bibliophile Sale are here.

And now, May:

- At Bloomsbury on 3 May, the Angling Collection of George Miskin sold, in 704 lots. The top lot was a copy of Frederic M. Halford's Floating Flies and How to Dress Them (1886), which fetched £6,000.

- At Sotheby's on 9 May, Travel, Atlases, Maps, & Natural History, in 212 lots. Top estimate goes to Linnaeus Tripe's Views of Burma, 120 albumen prints (£150,000-200,000).

- On 10 May, PBA Galleries will sell the Library of Michael Killigrew desTombe, in 233 lots. The top-estimated lot is John Dee's Monas hieroglyphica (1564), estimated at $50,000-80,000.

- Christie's Paris on 11 May has Importants Livres Anciens, Livres d'artiste et Manuscrits, in 227 lots. The top estimate goes to a ~1490 Tuscan Mahzor (est. 400,000-600,000 EUR).

- Bloomsbury sells Important Books and Manuscripts on 15 May, in 372 lots.

- At Swann on 15 May, Early Printed, Scientific, Medical, and Travel Books, in 400 lots. Lots include a Hebrew Bible signed by Increase Mather.

- Also on 15 May, Livres et Manuscrits at Sotheby's Paris, in 184 lots. A group of Guillaume Apollinaire letters rates the top estimate, at 150,000-250,000 EUR.

- At Christie's New York on 18 May, Important Printed Books and Americana from the Albert H. Small Collection, in 151 lots. Highlights include copies of the SecondThird, and Fourth Folios, a first edition of Audubon's Quadrupeds with great provenance, a first octavo of Audubon's Birds in the original wrappers, and a Kelmscott Chaucer, among other fantastic lots.

- Another angling library: Bonhams sells the Angling Library of Alan Jarvis on 22 May, in 489 lots.

- A neat one at Bonhams on 23 May: the Stuart B. Schimmel Forgery Collection, in 253 lots. They're all here: Chatterton, Ireland, Ossian, Forman, Wise ... I wish this one was in New York and not London, but I suppose it's probably a good thing I can't go! I'll have a more detailed rundown of this one as we get closer to the date.

- No previews yet for the following: PBA Galleries Fine Literature & Books in All Fields on 24 May; Music and Continental Books & Manuscripts at Sotheby's on 29 May.