Top Lots: Art, Press & Illustrated Books

Swann’s October 11 sale of Art, Press & Illustrated books resulted in strong prices from examples of fine art press books to pop art portfolios. Notably, Gustav Klimt’s first and only monograph, Das Werk von Gustav Klimtbrought a record $144,000, more than three times the high estimate. The portfolio contains 50 collotype plates in a case designed by Julius Dratva.

Gustav Klimt, Das Werk von Gustav Klimt, Einleitende Worte: Hermann Bahr, Peter Altenberg,
50 plates in original case designed by Julius Dratva, Vienna and Leipzig, 1918.
Sold October 11, 2012 for an auction record of $144,000.

A copy of Andy Warhol’s classic illustrated book, 25 Cats Name Sam and One Blue Pussy, 1954, sold for $52,800. The quirky hand-made book was a collaboration between Warhol, his mother, and many friends, who helped color in the cats. Warhol gave them as Christmas gifts, and it is believed approximately 150 copies were produced. 

Andy Warhol, 25 Cats Name Sam and One Blue Pussy,  18 hand-colored lithographs, New York, 1954.
Sold October 11, 2012 for $52,800.

A first edition of Frank Lloyd Wright’s “Wasmuth Portfolio,” formally titled Ausgeführte Bauten und Entwürfe, 1910, brought $22,800. The portfolio was a collaboration between Wright and the publisher Ernst Wasmuth, who wanted to publish a complete folio of Wright’s work to date. It was popular in Europe, and was dubbed the “the most important book of the century” by contemporary architects.

Frank Lloyd Wright, Ausgeführte Bauten und Entwürfe, two portfolios, Berline, 1910.
Sold October 11, 2012 for $22,800.