Audubon May Soar to Record Price in 2012; Top Book Lots at 2011 Auctions

  • From Audubon's Birds of America.

    From Audubon's Birds of America.

An elephant folio first edition of John James Audubon's Birds of America was the most expensive book sold at auction in 2010 and, at well over $11 million, sold for the highest price ever for a book. In 2011, 11 lots fetched above one million dollars, compared to just 8 in 2010, but none came close to the Audubon price.

On January 20, 2012, bidders will again have a chance to acquire a double elephant folio edition of Audubon's Birds of America. Considered an American masterpiece, there are known to be 107 intact copies in institutions, and 13 in private hands.

The copy to be sold by Christie's this month in New York is said to have once belonged to William Henry Cavdendish, the Fourth Duke of Portland. To fetch a world record, the lot will need to exceed the pre-sale high estimate of $10 million.

An illuminated, velum manuscript of the Imhof Prayerbook, from 1511, was 2011's top book price, selling for $2,574,000.

Also of note, Jane Austen's unfinished novel, written in 1803, The Watsons, fetched $1,599,132. Another kind of manuscript, the 1976 founding contract of Apple Computer, signed by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ron Wayne, went for $1,594,500.

More News Feed Headlines

Roy Lichtenstein's The Ring

Next Week's Auction Series Could Hit $2.5 Billion Estimate

  • May 05, 2015 16:03

Impressionist, modern and contemporary art hitting New York auction blocks next week could bring ...

Read More

Protest at the Guggenheim (Global Ultra Luxury Faction/Gulf Labor)

Protesters Shut Down Guggenheim During May Day Occupation

  • May 03, 2015 23:15

A group of protesters occupied the Guggenheim Museum in New York City on Friday, causing the ...

Read More

Detail of an Edgar Degas sculpture, “The Little 14-Year-Old Dancer.”

Accused Fraudster in $11M Scam Gets Jail Time for Bullying Art Dealer

  • April 30, 2015 12:20

On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge William Alsup sentenced accused art thief Luke Brugnara to jail ...

Read More

The original Fragonard painting "Young Woman," on left, is hung next to a replica.

Few Museum Visitors Spot Fake Fragonard Painting

  • April 29, 2015 12:33

The UK's Dulwich Picture Gallery has revealed the identity of a "fake" painting hung in the ...

Read More

Related Press Releases

Related Events from ArtfixDaily Calendar

ArtfixDaily Artwire