"Birds of America" Sells for $9.65 Million, Leads Christie’s Spring Sale of Books & Manuscripts
New York - Christie’s New York Books and Manuscripts sales total $12,853,250, across the two auctions that took place on June 14, 2018. The dedicated single-lot sale for John James Audubon’s The Birds of America (1827-1838) realized $9,650,000, establishing the second-highest price at auction for a full folio-set, with proceeds to benefit the Knobloch Family Foundation.
Other notable results included Audubon’s folio Quadrupeds of North America, 1845-46-48, which realized $348,500; the first issue of Shakespeare’s Second Folio, which sold for $175,000; an autograph manuscript by Charles Darwin (1809-1992) from his radical treatise on human evolution, which realized $112,500; and an autograph manuscript and letter by Thomas Paine (1737-1809), which sold for over three times the low estimate for $93,750
Additionally, strong results were achieved for 20th-Century lots including the first Olympic Gold Medal awarded for Basketball, to George Louis Redlein (1885-1968), St. Louis, 1904 which sold for $125,000; and Paul McCartney's 1970 affidavit initiating his lawsuit to break up the Beatles, with John Lennon's handwritten annotations throughout, which realized $125,000.
Image: The exceptional Duke of Portland set of Audubon's masterpiece. AUDUBON, John James (1785-1851). The Birds of America; from Original Drawings. London: Published by the Author, 1827-1838. PRICE REALIZED: $9,650,000