Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Bonham's Fine Books and Manuscripts February 10, 2014--Dali Casanova

It is just difficult to keep up with the fine books and manuscript auctions but I am trying to pay closer attention, track some lots and better understand the world of book auctions.  The upcoming Feburary 10 Fine Books and Manuscript Auction at Bonham's Los Angeles holds numerous treasures and a few books that I would love to own but will simply enjoy tracking the bids and seeing the results.

[DALI, SALVADOR. 1904-1989.] CASANOVA DE SEINGALT, GIACOMO GIROLAMO. 1725-1798. Dali illustre Casanova. Paris: Au Cercle du Livre Precieux, [1967].

The first title to capture my attention is Lot 102, Dali, Salvador. 1904-1989, Casanove De Seingalt, Giacomo Girolamo, 1725-1798, Dali illustre Casanova, Paris:  Au Cercle du Livre Precieux, 1967 carrying an estimate of $4000-$6000.  Folio (377 x 276 mm). 14 full-page aquatint engravings in color and illustrations throughout the text by Dali. Loose as issued in pictorial wrappers, beige cloth chemise and beige cloth slipcase with embroidered panels to each side. Light shelfwear, else fine. LIMITED EDITION, SIGNED by Dali, no 307 of 390 copies with original numbered bookmark laid in.

I loved Casanova's Memoirs and still recall the year or so spent riding a stationary bicycle 30 minutes a day, reading about 20 pages at a time, and marveling at the experiences, adventures and insights to be discovered.  While I'd love to add this to my library I'd be doing so just to have access to the illustrations. I am not a true fan of Dali, while I do appreciate his vision and illustrations, especially associated with fine, world class literature, I can live without this.  I would love to view all the illustrations and I imagine this will sell for less than the estimate, perhaps $2500-$3,500---a somewhat refined guesstimate on my part!

A couple of past auctions results provide some guidance as copy sold at a Chirstie's auction in February 2010 for $4, 713  and a copy sold in 2008 via LiveAcutioneers(Leighton Galleries, Inc)  for $3,300.  There are three copies available via ABE and are listed here priced between $6,337.83, $6,500 and $7,500.  Assuming the retail option would be realized at 80% of the asking prices the range would be $5,000 to $6000.  I will be tracking this auction and will be interested in the the selling price, if buyers appear.