Books & Manuscripts

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Christie’s International Books and Manuscripts department offers for sale the cream of the world’s printed books, medieval manuscripts, autograph letters and archives, through auction or private sale, based in our four principal sale rooms in New York, London (King Street and South Kensington) and Paris.

Highlights of 2014 included the two most valuable books and manuscripts sold at auction during the year: the exquisite Rothschild Prayerbook (New York, 29 January, $13.6m), which broke the record price for an illuminated manuscript set by the same work at Christie’s in 1999, and the hitherto unknown copy of the editio princes of the Torah (Pentateuch), which sold in Paris on 30 April for €2.79m, a record price for any book sold in France. A series of landmark sales throughout the year illustrated the range of the department’s activities, including its first sale devoted to comic books (Bande Dessinée, Paris, 5 April, €3.2m), the sale of the lost library of Yates, Thompson and Bright: a Family of Bibliophiles (King Street, 16 July, £5m), the first ever sale in Britain devoted to erotica books (Highlights from the Erotica Library of Tony Fekete, King Street, 18 November, £1.28m), and concluding with the remarkable auction of the 1962 Nobel Prize medal awarded to James Watson for the discovery of the structure of DNA (New York, 4 December, $4.76m).

In addition to its auction sales, the department serves its key institutional and private collectors through private sales of books, manuscripts and archives: sales of the latter in 2014 included the archives of George Canning and his son Charles, Earl Canning (to the British Library), literary papers and journals of Stefan Zweig (to Salzburg University) and the archive of the activist and author Gianfranco Sanguinetti (to Yale University).

UPCOMING SALES FROM THIS DEPARTMENT

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Don McLean's 'American Pie': The Original Lyrics

New York, Rockefeller Center

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Travel, Science & Natural History

London, South Kensington

Monday, 27 April 2015

Livres & manuscrits

Paris

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

The Joel Spitz Collection of English Colour-Plate Books

London, King Street

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Fine Printed Books and Manuscripts

London, South Kensington

Friday, 12 June 2015

Books and Manuscripts

New York, Rockefeller Center

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Important Books and Manuscripts from the Library of Jean A. Bonna

London, King Street

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Valuable Books and Manuscripts, including Cartography

London, King Street

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