Archive for the ‘auctions’ Category

Boston Municipal Printing Plant to be Auctioned

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

Boston’s defunct (it closed last year) municipal printing plant is going to be cleared out via auction:

“We’re selling the room,’’ said Stanley J. Paine, principal of a family-run auctioning company handling the sale. “It’s all antique. All of it. Everything has its own particulars and story.’’

The sale will include about 200 lots, from a row of oak file cabinets from the 1930s or 1940s to an Art Deco-style grandfather clock made by IBM. The auction will comprise plenty of modern printing equipment, including paper cutters, collators, saddle stitch staplers, and even a massive Heidelberg four-color press.

The auction will be held on February 24th in the plant at 174 North St. (Google Map) and online:

Full article in yesterday’s Boston Globe.

— John Russell (via BoingBoing)

Christie’s Offers a Collection of Illustrated Fête Books

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

festival-copped reports on a forthcoming Christie’s auction of European illustrated books that recorded official celebrations and festivals from the 15th to the 19th century:

‘Encompassing over five hundred of the greatest and most visually arresting illustrations in the history of festivals and ceremonies, The Paul and Marianne Gourary Collection of Illustrated Fête Books will be offered for sale at Christie’s on June 12, 2009. This is the first specialized auction sale of this magnitude to ever take place in America in this important field of bibliophily. The collection covers many famous artists of the Renaissance and Baroque periods such as Ludovico Burnacini, Jacques Callot, Jean Cousin, Stefano della Bella, Nicolaus Hozenberg, and Jean Goujon. These sumptuous works record births, baptisms, weddings, anniversaries, elections, coronations, peace treaties, funerals, religious and secular festivals, theater performances, fireworks displays, and other official, political, artistic and musical productions.’ Read on.


Above: The top lot is an illuminated manuscript of Nurmberg’s historic Shrove Tuesday carnival, with 64 full page color illustrations of costumes and floats (Estimate: $80,000-120,000). Photo: Christie’s Images Ltd. 2009.

— Paul Razzell

Rare Books Could Become Financial Safety Net

Thursday, May 14th, 2009


“The USF administration is undertaking a plan to protect itself from being further impacted by the nation’s deep recession, though some faculty members are wary of this plan and the practices it would entail. According to University President Rev. Stephen Privett S.J., USF is sifting through a range of university assets and compiling a list of items that may be expendable in an economic emergency. “We are not selling anything right now,” said Privett, responding to a group of faculty members upset over the rumor that historic items were being consigned to auction houses to combat economic woes. “Let’s dispel that rumor right now,” he said. The possibility of selling items from the Donahue Rare Book Room in the Gleeson Library has garnered the strongest responses from faculty members.” Read more at Foghorn Online.

Above: Stacks of antique books line the walls of the Donahue Rare Book Room.

—Paul Razzell

Modern Masters’ Artists Books at Auction

Thursday, April 16th, 2009


I just received this notice from Rebecca Weiss at Swann Galleries in New York:

“Swann Galleries’ May 5 auction of the Ritter Collection of Modern Illustrated Books and Livres d’Artiste.

The books offered in this auction were acquired by West Coast collector Mel Ritter over several decades. Forty-six of his exemplary livres d’artiste formed the basis of an exhibition at The University of Arizona Museum of Art in 2006. Now the entire collection is being sold at Swann.

The genre of books designed and illustrated by fine artists took shape in 20th-century France and blossomed into a vibrant art form throughout Europe and beyond. The modern masters of art featured in this sale include Georges Braque, Alexander Calder, Henri Matisse, Joan Miró, Henry Moore, and Pablo Picasso. The publishers who championed their work and produced some of the most exquisite livres in the collection include Maeght, Gallimard, Tériade, and Louis Broder, among others.

Modern and contemporary variations of the artist-illustrated book are well represented with works by Patrick Caulfield, Jim Dine, David Hockney, Robert Indiana, Jasper Johns, Carlos Mérida, Robert Motherwell, and Antoni Tápies. Surrealists like Enrico Baj, Jose Luis Cuevas, Max Ernst, and Roberto Matta appear throughout the catalogue, as do American artists like Leonard Baskin, Fritz Scholder, Ben Shahn, and Bernard Solomon.

Beyond traditional livres d’artiste there are fine publications by such distinctly American presses as Arion, Brighton, Gehenna, Cheloniidae, Pennyroyal, and the popular Limited Editions Club. Ritter’s sense of humor and love of whimsical constructions and bindings can be seen in works by contemporary modern book artists including Julie Chen of Flying Fish Press, Mare Blocker of The M Kimberly Press, and the ever-creative Edward Hutchins.

The preview provides an excellent opportunity to discover and enjoy 200+ of the best artists’ books. If you cannot view the material in person at our galleries (April 25 through May 5), please call 212-254-4710 for additional information. We encourage requests for condition reports.” They also have an online gallery. Well worth a look.

Rebecca Weiss
Media Relations
Swann Galleries
104 East 25th Street
New York, NY 10010
212-254-4710, ext. 23

—Paul Razzell