London, King Street
In January 2007, Francis Wahlgren was appointed Christie’s International Head of Books & Manuscripts, following his ten years as head of the department for the Americas. In this role, he is responsible for global sales and business-getting, and leading Christie’s International Books & Manuscripts team.
Mr. Wahlgren has overseen the sales of an important botanical library, which realized $8.8 million in June 1997; and The Haskell F. Norman Library of Science and Medicine in 1998, which achieved $18.7 million, making it the third highest price realized for a book collection at auction in America. He has also organized several successful sales of children’s literature, including the cataloguing and auction of an extra-illustrated copy of the very rare suppressed first edition of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, which sold for $1.54 million, in December of 1998, a record price for a children’s book at auction.
In March 2000, he organized the sale of Bute Audubon, in which The Birds of America sold for $8.8 million, setting a record for a printed book at auction. In October 2001, he secured and organized the sale of the Abel Berland library, which sold for $14 million -- a record for an English literature collection at auction. This sale included a first folio edition of Shakespeare’s works, which sold for $6.1 million, a record for any Shakespeare work at auction -- and for any 17th-century book sold at auction. In 2002, he was responsible for the sale of the Library of Roger Rechler which achieved the world record price for a collection of modern literature. In 2006, he secured the sale of The History of the Book: The Cornelius J. Hauck Collection, which was 99% sold and totaled $12.4 million. More recently, he handled the sale of the Frank S. Streeter Collection of Navigation and Voyages, in April 2007.
A New York State licensed auctioneer since 1991, Mr. Wahlgren is a frequent auctioneer in Christie’s salerooms as well as for a number of charity auctions. Over the past six years, he has appeared regularly as an appraiser on the Antiques Roadshow.
Mr. Wahlgren did his undergraduate work at Parsons School of Design and The American College in Paris; he received a Master’s degree in Art History from Queens College, New York, in 1985, with a concentration in medieval art. Mr Wahlgren worked for the Pierpont Morgan Library from 1985-1987.