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  • Press release
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  • New York
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  • For immediate release
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  • 20 September 2021

The Exceptional Literature Collection of Theodore B. Baum Totals $9,657,875

New York – The Exceptional Literature Collection of Theodore B. Baum, sold across two live and online sales, totaled $9,657,875, surpassing the pre-sale high estimate. The live sale achieved $6,703,375 and was 98% sold by lot and 218% hammer above low estimate. Bidders participated from 14 countries and 6 continents. A new world auction record for a printed work by a woman was established for the first edition of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, which sold for $1,170,000, above an estimate of $200,000-300,000.  Another auction record was set by an inscribed first edition of Bram Stoker's Dracula, which realized $275,000.

The online portion of The Exceptional Literature Collection of Theodore B. Baum, Part Two: The Twentieth Century totaled $2,954,500, and was 95% sold by lot. The top selling work in the online portion was James Joyce’s Dubliners which sold for $400,000, above the estimate of $150,000-250,000.  Night and Day by Virginia Woolf was another highlight which achieved $112,500, over the estimate of $40,000-60,000. 

Heather Weintraub, Books and Manuscripts Specialist and Head of Sale, remarks: “It was a privilege working with the exceptional library of Theodore Baum, and we are delighted by the outstanding results. The sale attracted bidders and buyers from around the world and showed that the market is strong for such fine examples of literary high spots.”

About Christie’s

Founded in 1766, Christie’s is a world-leading art and luxury business. Renowned and trusted for its expert live and online auctions, as well as its bespoke private sales, Christie’s offers a full portfolio of global services to its clients, including art appraisal, art financing, international real estate and education. Christie’s has a physical presence in 46 countries, throughout the Americas, Europe, Middle East, and Asia Pacific, with flagship international sales hubs in New York, London, Hong Kong, Paris and Geneva. It also is the only international auction house authorized to hold sales in mainland China (Shanghai).

Christie’s auctions span more than 80 art and luxury categories, at price points ranging from $200 to over $100 million. In recent years, Christie’s has achieved the world record price for an artwork at auction (Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi, 2017), for a 20th century artwork (Andy Warhol’s Shot Sage Blue Marilyn, 2022) and for a work by a living artist (Jeff Koons’ Rabbit, 2019). Christie's is also recognised as a reference for prestigious single owner collections, having auctioned 8 of the 10 most important collections in history.

Christie’s Private Sales offers a seamless service for buying and selling art, jewellery and watches outside of the auction calendar, working exclusively with Christie’s specialists at a client’s individual pace.

Recent innovations at Christie’s include the groundbreaking sale of the first NFT for a digital work of art ever offered at a major auction house (Beeple’s Everydays, March 2021), with the unprecedented acceptance of cryptocurrency as a means of payment. As an industry leader in digital innovation, Christie’s also continues to pioneer new technologies that are redefining the business of art, including use of hologram technology to tour life-size 3D objects around the world, and the the creation of viewing and bidding experiences that integrate augmented reality, global livestreaming, buy-now channels, and hybrid sales formats. 

Christie’s is dedicated to advancing responsible culture throughout its business and communities worldwide, including achieving sustainability through net zero carbon emissions by 2030, and actively using its platform in the art world to amplify under-represented voices and support positive change.

Browse, bid, discover, and join us for the best of art and luxury at: www.christies.com or by downloading Christie’s apps. The COVID-related re-opening status of our global locations is available here.