iGavel Auctions is pleased to announce that its sale of rare books and incunabula achieved $162,164 including buyer’s premium. With 100 out of 200 lots going into overtime, bidding was highly competitive and resulted in prices far exceeding their original estimates. The top lot– Hanapis, Nicolaus de. S. Bonaventure, Breviloquium Biblia Pauperum, Venice: 1477–sold for $22,500 (estimate: $2,000-4,000). The text, though commonly referred to as a Pauper's Bible, was, in fact, not a bible. Supposedly written by Bonaventure, it is now known to be a shortened version of a text by Nicolaus de Hanapis (1225-1291) and was intended for use by priests or clergy as an aid for sermons. It is filled with cautionary tales intended to assist in the illustration of virtues and vices.
Several other top lots were snapped up by international collectors from Chile, England, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the U.S. Their exuberance for the many rare books extended bidding beyond the March 30th closing date. Among the lots that commanded bidders’ attention were: The Sceptical Chymist, a scientific text by the prominent Anglo-Irish chemist Robert Boyle, 1680 which achieved $10,938 over its estimate of $3,000-5,000; the 6-volume History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire–one of the most important historical texts on the subject– by Edward Gibbons, was purchased for $4,500 over the original estimate of $1,000-2,000; Athanasius Kircher’s Jesu China Monumentis qua sacris qua profanis, Amsterdam: 1667 went for $4,376, three times over its estimate; the very rare (only 3 complete copies located in libraries in the U.S.) Ausmo Nicolaus de. Supplementum Summae Pisanellae, Venice: 1482 sold for $3,750; The Original Works of William Hogarth, by John and Josiah Boydell, London, 1790, was purchased for $3,750 and Two Book of Matisse and Egon Schiele sold for $3,625, over its $700-1,000 estimate.
Says Lark Mason III: Our sale appealed to a wide swathe of international bibliophiles who were keen to add them to their private and public collections. It was an honor handling such rare texts.”