Records & Results: Early Printed & Medical Books

Our late October auction of Early Printed & Medical Books exceeded expectations with a 96% sell-through rate and strong bidding across all categories. Rare linguistic and travel books generated particularly heavy interest, and seldom seen material relating to Eastern Christianity drew a substantial response. 

Lot 257: William Shakespeare, Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies, the Fourth Folio, 
London, 1685. Sold October 27 for $31,200.
Shakespeare’s Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies rose to its place as top lot by selling for more than twice its pre-sale estimate at $31,200. Although Andreas Vesalius’s Anatomia Deudsch was superseded by Shakespeare, it remained a strong selection and sold well over its high estimate, bringing $27,500.
Lot 378: Andreas Vesalius, Anatomia Deudsch, first edition of an unauthorized German translation, Nuremberg, 1551. Sold October 27 for $27,500. 
Lot 141: [Biblia Latina], second Koberger Vulgate, Nuremberg, 1477. 
Sold October 27, 2015 for $19,500.
Lot 30: The New Testament of Jesus Christ translated faithfully into English, first edition, Rheims, 1582. 
Sold October 27, 2015 for $13,750.


Early printed Bibles sold well, signifying a lasting collector interest in material related to Christianity and its early roots. A second Koberger Vulgate of [Biblia Latina] sold for $4,500 over its high estimate at $19,500, and an early printed copy of the New Testament in English sold for $4,750 over its high estimate with $13,750.


Lot 258: Shakespeare, [Sir William Davenant], Macbeth, first edition of Davenant’s adaptation, London, 1674. Sold October 27, 2015 for $20,000.
Equally surprising was the sale of a first edition Sir William Davenant’s adaptation of of Shakespeare’s Macbeth for almost seven times its pre-sale estimate of $2,000 to $3,000. It set an auction record, and went to a dealer for $20,000. 
Lot 303: Gioseffo Zarlino, Le Institutioni Harmoniche, first edition, Venice, 1558. 
Sold October 27, 2015 for $20,000


A landmark in the history of music theory, Gioseffo Zarlino’s important work Le Institutioni Hamoniche, whose pre-sale estimate was also $2,000 to $3,000 likewise set an auction record of $20,000. 
View the full results here.