€ 114,000* for a letter
Magellan’s circumnavigation of the globe achieves top price at Ketterer Kunst in Hamburg
Hamburg, 18 November 2008, (kk) - Very good results were achieved at the two-day Ketterer Kunst auction marathon in Hamburg. The evening auction alone achieved overall proceeds amounting to € 550,000*, topping an estimated sales volume of € 450,000. At approx € 1.300,000, the overall proceeds from the auction of Rare Books - Manuscripts - Autographs - Decorative Prints on 17 & 18 November 2008 match the results achieved at this year’s spring auction.
"This result is highly gratifying because it demonstrates that the field of rare books, a long established field, proves its worth particularly in economically precarious times. Going by the estimated sales volume, we even succeeded in chalking up a slightly higher sales quota," thus Robert Ketterer, auctioneer and owner of Ketterer Kunst.
Magellan. Maximilianus Transsylvanus, De Moluccis insulis,...1523. see image =>
Estimate: € 80,000
Allard. Orbis habitabilis. 1698.
Estimate: € 18,000
Vesalius- De humani corporis. 1555.
Estimate: € 25,000
Fetching € 114,000*, the extremely rare original edition of a letter written by Maximilianus Transsylvanus, secretary to the imperial court of Charles V, achieved the highest price at this auction. In his letter, Transsylvanus reports to the cardinal-bishop of Salzburg on the circumnavigation of the globe by Ferdinand Magellan. A European dealer secured the book with a sealed bid in writing that would have left some scope for bidding up, thus surpassing the € 94,300* already achieved at Ketterer Kunst in 2004 for one of the four published editions of “"De Moluccis insulis ...”.
An international company of bidders from Germany, Britain, Switzerland, Italy and the US competed on the telephones for the extremely sought-after Carel Allard book of cities, "Orbis habitabilis oppida et vestitus ...", which has not been seen for sale at auction since 1945. The gavel went down for a buyer from London, who could not resist offering € 58,000* .
The same London bidder, however, was left in the lurch in the skirmish for the 14 musclemen representing the highlight of the illustrations in "De humani corporis fabrica", the groundbreaking anatomical work by Andreas Vesalius. An Italian collector present in the auction room succeeded in taking home for € 30,000 the celebrated woodcuts of standing figures on which the muscular system is explained by systematic dissection of each layer from picture to picture.
A mid-13th-century "Biblia latina" from Paris handsomely exceeded its estimate. The Latin manuscript featuring some 120 large fleuronnée initials in blue and red went to a Belgian private collection for € 30,000* (estimate: € 20,000).
An English dealer, on the other hand, ensured that the estimate of € 10,000 for Abram Salm’s Java Album doubled to € 20,000* when he outbid a compatriot and other contenders from France, Germany and the Netherlands for this rare volume of plates.
Another highly successful item was the "Europens Pracht und Macht" of Gabriel Bodenehr (estimate: € 14,000), that went to a German private collection for € 18,000*.
Other sales well worth mentioning were:
|46||Johann Gottfried Ebel||"Bergstrassen"||€ 10,000*||16,000|
|66||Joh. Wolfgang von Goethe||"Letter"||€ 6,000*||16,000|
|1782||Walter Schnackenberg||"Ballet und Pantomime"||€ 2,000*||10,000|
Post-auction sales continue on through 18 December 2008: an inviting chance to snap up an exciting item or two.
* The sale price equals hammer price + 20 per cent surcharge
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