Bonhams Sets New Records Totaling Over $4 Million With 100% of Lots Sold At American Experience Sale

  • NEW YORK, New York
  • /
  • December 09, 2010

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Catlin's North American Indian Portfolio. Hunting Scenes and Amusements of the Rocky Mountains and Praries of America. London: Geo. Catlin, 1844. Sold for $91,000.

Bonhams' "American Experience: 1630-1890" auction on Thursday, December 2, 2010, was a huge success totaling over $4 million with 100% of the lots sold; several lots reaching world record prices. This 300-lot sale was comprised of printed and manuscript Americana from a well-known San Francisco-based collector, Bruce E. McKinney.

Christina Geiger, Director, Books and Manuscripts, said "We are delighted with the results of today's sale; there were many new buyers, including online bidders. Today's auction was the highest value sale at Bonhams in the U.S. in this category."

World records for the sale included: The Discoveries of John Lederer, in three several Marches from Virginia, To the West of Carolina (est. $40,000-60,000, sold for $158,000); A Concise Natural History of East and West Florida, 1775, by Bernard Romans (est. $50,000-70,000, sold for $122,000); and A Two Years Journal in New-York: and Part of its territories in America, 1701 (est. $25,000-35,000, sold $79,300).

Bruce E. McKinney, the collector behind the American Experience, said, "The auction proved that highly collectable material continues to be highly desirable and that prospects for the future look good." He adds, "It is an extraordinary moment of clarity, and after having come through a substantial adjustment; we now have a new base of data to support where the values are. We also witnessed many new collectors entering the marketplace."

Additional highlights that were also world records: a superb copy of the Treaty of Paris (est. $40,000- 60,000, sold for $134,000); A Journal of the Operations of the Queen's Rangers, from the End of the Year 1777, to the Conclusion of the Late American War, 1787, by Simon James Simcoe (est. $50,000- 70,000, sold for $115,900); and Voyage dans l'Amérique septentrionale, ou Description des pays arrosés par le Mississippi, l'Ohio, le Missouri et autres rivières affluentes, 1826, by Georges H. Victor Collot (est. $80,000-120,000, sold $134,000).

Other top lots included: History of the Expedition under the Command of Captains Lewis and Clark to the Sources of the Missouri (est. $70,000-90,000, sold for $158,000); The Strange and Dangerous Voyage of Captaine Thomas James, 1633 (est. $50,000-80,000, sold for $91,500); and History of the Indian Tribes of North America (est. $60,000-80,000, sold for $91,500).

Another success for Bonhams today was the further implementation of Bonhams in-house developed online bidding tool, MyBid, which witnessed strong bidding in today's sale.

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