Königstein/Taunus, May 2023 – Reiss & Sohn opened its spring auctions on 3 May with numerous top results. On the evening of 6 May, around 1,600 lots had found a new owner. The most expensive lot of the auction with a hammer price of € 160,000 (estimate € 70,000) was the six-volume atlas in the geography section in the Dutch edition by the Amsterdam publisher Willem and Johann Blaeu. The magnificent copy, with 100 additional bound maps, was published under the title “Toonneel des Aerdriicx, 1635-1662.”
Right at the beginning of the auction, 99 selected books, manuscripts and incunabula, including an important collection on the theme of death and the dance of death, united in a richly illustrated special catalogue, went under the hammer. Only 13 objects did not find a buyer. The total proceeds amounted to 116% of the total estimated price of the special catalogue. Particularly noteworthy is the result of € 90,000 (hammer price) for the most magnificent of all floral works, Basilius Besler’s “Hortus Eystettensis” (Eichstätt, ca 1750). A small surprise was the record bid of € 90,000 (hammer price, estimate € 10,000) for P. L. Moreau de Maupertuis’ “Rélation du Voyage de Laponie” (after 1736). A French manuscript of the original account of Maupertuis’ memorable voyage to Lapland (1736-1737), printed only in abridged form, with corrections in his own hand.
For the atlas by de Wit “Atlas (Maior)”, printed with the sea atlas, published in Amsterdam after 1688, the hammer fell at € 75.000 (€ 40.000). A rare map of Africa printed in several sheets by the Venetian engraver Gastaldi from 1564 fetched the pre-auction estimate € 45.000.
Königstein (Taunus), April 2023. – The spring auctions at Reiss & Sohn will offer a high-quality selection of manuscripts, books and prints in 3 catalogues with a total of more than 2000 lots. The auctions will open with a special catalogue containing 26 selected manuscripts and books from the 15th to the 20th century starting at an estimated price of 10,000 euros. In addition, the special catalogue offers an important collection on the theme of Death and the Dance of Death in books, manuscripts and drawings.
At the top of the range, with an estimate of 100,000 euros, is the most magnificent of all printed floral works: Basilius Besler’s “Hortus Eystettensis” depicting the plants of the botanical garden of Eichstätt on 367 beautiful engraved plates.
The famous Nuremberg publisher Anton Koberger is represented with two of his most important printed works. His Ninth German Bible of the incunabulum period, captivates the viewer with the splendour and liveliness of its more than 100 woodcut illustrations, its beautiful typography and print layout. The copy offered by Reiss & Sohn, splendidly hand-coloured at the time it was printed in 1483, is expected to fetch 70,000 Euros.
An important collection on the subject of death and the dance of death with books, manuscripts and drawings will go under the hammer at Reiss & Sohn in Königstein at the beginning of May 2023. Among the almost 80 lots are the first printing of the famous woodcut series of the Basle Dance of Death by Hans Holbein, published in Lyon in 1538 (estimate 12,000 euros), a book of hours manuscript from 1475 with a miniature depicting a skeleton man with 3 arrows sitting on a sarcophagus (estimate 8. 000 euros), to Alfred Döblin’s “Stiftfräulein und der Tod” with the congenial woodcuts by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, his first book illustration work, published in Berlin in 1913 (estimate 2,500 euros). Together with selected works starting at an estimated price of 10,000 euros, this remarkable collection is offered in a special catalogue.
Reiss & Sohn concluded its book, travel and geography auctions in October 2022 with remarkable results. The highest hammer price this time was a Ptolemaic world map in a Roman edition from 1507. With a call of € 12,000, finally € 130,900 was achieved after a lively bidding battle (all hammer prices including 19% surcharge rounded). In second place was the famous Nuremberg Chronicle by Hartmann Schedel from 1493 in a coloured copy (€ 107,100; call € 90,000). A Bible manuscript, a so-called “pocket Bible” from the 13th century with rich illumination fetched € 77,350 (call € 45,000) and a splendid Book of Hours made in Flanders around 1500 also increased to € 77,350 (call € 40,000). The magnificent toy sample book by the Fendler company in Nuremberg rose from € 18,000 to € 40,460. An early cookery book rose from € 8,000 to € 45,220: the famous “Kuchenmaistry” from the year 1500, a work that provided gastronomic accompaniment to the High Middle Ages, was knocked down at € 8,000 for € 45,220 after a lively bidding battle between the auction room, telephone and online bidders. One of the highest increases was again experienced by a map: the contemporary coloured version of the copper engraving map of the world by Gerard de Jode, estimated at € 10,000, which was quite in line with the market, experienced a new auction record with proceeds of € 76,160. Reiss & Sohn just finished an extremely successful auction year 2022 and welcomes consignment offers for the spring sales 2023 (consignment deadline: mid February, valuable items also later)
With the Küchenmeisterei, this time a very special gastronomic rarity can be found in the offer of the upcoming autumn auctions from 25-27 October 2022. The first German cookery book addressed to the kitchen masters of noble lords and princely courts and covering all areas of gastronomy, here in an extremely rare edition from 1500. Only 1 incomplete copy in the Gesamtkatalog der Wiegendrucke!
With almost 1900 lots, REISS & SOHN’s autumn auctions 2022 offer a wide-ranging cultural-historical panorama with rare, valuable and beautiful manuscripts, books and prints. The catalogues of the autumn auctions from 25-27 October are now available online providing more than 7000 images.
Particularly noteworthy are a 13th century Bible manuscript (estimate 50,000 €), four magnificent books of hours from the 14th-16th centuries (estimates 20,000-50,000 €), a 13th century Latin Psalter (40,000 €), a coloured copy of Schedel’s Liber chronicarum (120,000 €), interesting autographs of renowned natural scientists, important literary works of the Baroque and Classical periods, the fan-shaped world map by Johannes Ruysch (20,000 €), a heart-shaped world map by Gerard de Jode (10,000 €) and many other precious items. From now on you can browse, search specifically with the full text search and place your bids with your user account. We hope you enjoy discovering it.
At the spring auction 2022 Reiss & Sohn sold he first printing of the “Communist Manifesto” by Marx and Engels for a stunning amount of 360.000 Euro (incl. rounded buyer’s premium).
A 13th century illuminated bible manuscript from France with an interesting provenance fetched 142.800,- Euro (incl. buyer’s premium). Worth mentioning was a knockdown for an illuminated Latin and French book of hours, probably from the surroundings of Metz, made ca. 1320-1340, for 119.000 Euro (incl. buyer’s premium).
Leibniz’s earliest work on combinatorics, the “Dissertatio de arte combinatoria” (EA.) achieved around 53.600 euros (incl. buyer’s premium, estimate 10.000 euros).
Book auction house Reiss & Sohn went online with most recent auction offer of over 2200 lots of manuscripts, rare books and maps, Ranging from the 13th up to the 20th centuries including various books of hours, a 13th century bible, a fine selection of illustrated incunabula, ca. 200 works from the 16th as well as a fine collection of 20th literature and illustrated books.
The anniversary year 2021 proved successful for the Königstein/Taunus based book auction house Reiss & Sohn. Since the foundation in 1971 the firm hold over 200 prestigious auction sales devoted to antiquarian books. After the spring season 2021 already saw with 260.000 Euros a record price for Copernicus’ “De revolutionibus orbium coelestium” , the fall sale outscored by far this stunning figure with a result of 1 Million Euros for the “Rudimentum novitiorum” printed in 1475. This result equally marks the most expensive auction price for a printed book in 2021 at a German auction sale. Besides the 2021 Reiss & Sohn book offer was impressively laid out in 7 richly illustrated catalogues. The auctions saw amongst others over 1.000 lots selling in the four- to seven figure price range, making again the city of Königstein to one of “the places to be” for book lovers and bibliophiles also in the coming year 2022. Reiss & Sohn is looking forward to auction consignments for the spring season.
The second part of the jubilee book auctions under the motto “1971-2021, 50 years of REISS & SOHN auctions” closed successfully on October 29th. The most expensive piece of the auction, the important universal chronicle “Rudimentum novitiorum”, from the year 1475 in an illuminated copy, reached a total of 1.000.000 € (all prices incl. buyer’s premium). The masterpiece of geometrical book illustration by Lorenz Stöer, his “Geometria et Perspectiva”, printed in Augsburg in 1567 went for 65.450,- € to a private collector. Thus only the 40 items in the special catalogue, of which 32 were sold, realised over 1.5 Mio €.
This important auction event was followed by the sale of 3000 lots in a 4 day sale marathon with numerous further hightlights. The results for the three editions of the Biblia graeca-latina by Erasmus of Rotterdam were a pleasant surprise.