June 2014 | Rebecca Rego Barry

World Record for Walt Whitman

Yesterday at Christie's NY, a first edition, first issue of Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman sold for a world-record price of $305,000 (including premium) to a US dealer. Was it the five scarce broadside advertisements tipped to the front endpapers that tipped the scale?

The auction of "Clark Family Treasures" was intense--lasting nearly 8 hours and covering rare books, art, furniture, silver, and musical instruments--and very fun to watch, with 96% of lots selling, very often over estimate. The beautiful Baudelaire I posted about earlier this week sold to a European dealer for $293,000, double its high estimate.

Another record-breaker from the sale: Lionel Walden's oil on canvas, Hawaiian Coast, sold to a private collector for $106,250, a world record for the artist.

Overall, the sale realized $8.5 million.