Successful auction launch on World Book Day

World Book Day, a holiday for all book lovers, has been celebrated on 23 April for almost 20 years. So it is more than fitting that this year’s spring auctions in Königstein began yesterday on this holiday. Reiss & Sohn was already able to record numerous fantastic results in the morning. Outstanding was the 180% increase in the estimate of a rare 16th century ceremonial book depicting and describing the ceremonies and festivities in Prague and Landshut on the occasion of the awarding of the Order of the Golden Fleece to Emperor Rudolf II, Archdukes Charles and Ernst and several other noblemen (lot 239, P. Zehendtner von Zehendtgrub, Ordenliche Beschreibung mit was stattlichen Ceremonien und Zierlichkeiten…). After a nerve-wracking bidding battle, a written bidder finally prevailed (hammer price 42,000 euros, estimate 15,000 euros).

Two splendidly illuminated Latin and French books of hours for the use of Rome found new owners for 32,000 euros hammer price (estimate 30,000 euros, lot 21) and 21,000 euros hammer price (estimate 20,000 euros, lot 20). A very rare and early manuscript leaf – from the time of Charlemagne, around 800 – in a beautiful, clear handwriting was heavily contested and was finally sold to a lucky bidder on the telephone for 30,000 euros (estimate 10,000 euros).

In the late afternoon, a magnificent and rare collection of natural history works compiled by the parisian publisher Desnos, including plates from some of the most important botanical and ornithological works of the 17th and 18th centuries by Maria Sibylla Merian, Daniel Rabel and J. Jonston, fetched the highest hammer price to date on the opening day at 55,000 euros.

The auctions will continue until tomorrow evening, with a rich selection of old printed works, atlases, maps, city views, etc. Visit us in the hall or take part in the live auction at

Catalogues of the Spring Auctions 2024 now Online

The catalogues of REISS & SOHN’s spring auctions from 23-25 April 2024 are now available online with over 2000 lots. Once again this season, a wide range of rare, valuable and beautiful manuscripts, books, prints and travel photographs will be on offer.

Particularly noteworthy are three lavishly illuminated Latin and French books of hours for the use of Rome (estimates €20,000-30,000), each one unique, as well as the first complete edition of J. W. Weinmann’s “Phytanthoza-Iconographia” in 5 volumes. This is one of the most beautiful and comprehensive plant works of the Baroque period, here in splendid colouring (estimate €70,000).

Also on offer is J. O. Lewis’s “The Aboriginal Port Folio”, an extremely rare and earliest illustrated work with portraits of North American Indians (estimate €70,000); as well as a rare and decorative world map in double heart-shaped projection from the Salamanca-Lafreri Offizin from 1602 (estimate €35,000). In addition to this small selection, there are of course countless other treasures in a wide variety of chapters and price segments – browse for yourself!

Conclusion of Auctions 217 – 218

The autumn auctions of the auction house Reiss & Sohn in Königstein came to an extremely successful end on the third day. There were also some rarities in the field of maps and sea charts, for example a copper engraved map of North America by C. de Jode from 1593 (proceeds 17,850 euros including buyer’s premium), as well as a set of 5 copper maps with a world map and the four continents by A. Ortelius for 10,710 euros (including buyer’s premium).

C. de Jode, Americae pars borealis. 1593 – Detail

A rare large-format wall map of Pomerania, not published in atlases, by A. C. Seutter convinced several live online bidders with its excellent colouring and decorative staffage and was knocked down after several bidding steps for 3094 euros (incl. buyer’s premium).

Second Auction Day again with Top Results

Königstein (Taunus), Germany, November 2023

The second auction day of the large autumn auctions was also concluded with great success. The highlight of catalogue 218, a collection of important atlases comprising about 100 lots, was called yesterday at noon and attracted international audiences to bid in the hall, on the telephone and live on the screens. Particularly noteworthy in this area were the sales of the 12-volume edition of J. Blaeu’s “Le grand atlas”. The magnificently coloured and gold-heighteneded copy with over 580 engraved maps and plates fetched a proud 202,300 euros (incl. buyer’s premium).

J. Blaeu. Le grand atlas, ou cosmographie Blaviane. 12 vols. Amsterdam 1663

A rare later Dutch edition of the “Atlas novus” by J. Janssonius fetched 89.250 Euro (incl. premium) and the magnificent Dutch sea atlas by P. Goos “Atlas de la Mer, ou Monde Aquatique” was sold for 65.450 Euro (incl. premium). Equally sought after was the rare and also unique compilation of French nautical charts in the 12-volume “Dépôt Général de la Marine” (proceeds incl. premium 59.500 Euro).  But not only the atlases achieved top prices, the other departments already called also look back on very good results, some in the five-figure range, including the first edition of A. N. Vaillant’s “Voyage autour du monde” in a decorative copy for 47,600 euros (incl. premium), C. P. Claret de Fleurieu’s “Voyage autour du monde” in a rare copy of the luxury variant in 4to format brought 29.750 Euro (incl. buyer’s premium) and a copy of J. de Acosta’s “America, oder wie mans zu Teutsch nennet die Neuwe Welt” with an extremely rare map of the Pacific was knocked down to a new owner for 23.800 Euro (incl. buyer’s premium).

C. P. Claret de Fleurieu. Voyage autour du monde

Reiss & Sohn is looking forward to many more exciting bidding battles on today’s last auction day. The results and post-sale lists will be published promptly on our website for interested customers.

Autumn auctions in Königstein successfully started

Königstein (Taunus), Germany, October/November 2023

Reiss & Sohn opened this year’s autumn auctions on the first day with great success. The most outstanding price to date of 131,000 euros (incl. buyer’s premium) was achieved after a fierce bidding battle between room, telephone and live online bidders a unique manuscript with 458 watercolours and drawings of the entire animal kingdom of Polynesia, which originate from the scientific research of Charles-Gaëtan Noury (1809-1869).

C. Noury. Histoire naturelle. French manuscript. 6 vols. France, after 1850. With 458 watercolours and 17 pencil drawings – First zoological inventory of Polynesia

An etching “Scholar in his study, called: Faust” by Rembrandt, in an excellent impression in its first state found a new owner for 54,000 euros (including buyer’s premium). For the first edition of the famous “Encyclopédie” by D. Diderot & J. le Rond d’Alembert in a complete copy of 35 volumes, the hammer fell at 36.000 Euro (incl. premium). A richly illuminated Latin book of hours from the 2nd half of the 15th century also changed hands for an impressive 36,000 euros (including buyer’s premium). The auctions will continue until Thursday evening with catalogue 218: On offer are books and prints with a focus on geography, travel, photography, as well as important atlases, maps and decorative printss.

The Catalogues of the Autumn Auctions 2023 now online available

Bids can now be placed on over 2000 lots of rare books, manuscripts and prints via this website.

Collectors of rare atlases can choose from almost 100 lots, including the most expensive lot of the auction, the Cosmographia of Ptolemy dated 1486 with an estimate of 280,000 Euros. Remarkable are another 19 very exquisite atlases with 5-digit estimates. Early economic literature from an important private collection forms another outstanding section of the autumn auctions.

The forgotten manuscript of the navigator and explorer Charles-Gaëtan Noury, which represents the first zoology of Polynesia with more than 450 watercolours and drawings, is unique and has an estimated price of 90,000 Euros.

Collectors and archives can choose from a total offer of over 170 lots to add rare and sought-after travelogues to their holdings, including over 30 lots in a separate chapter on the Americas.

A rich offer of rare maps can also be found at Reiss & Sohn this time. Among the absolute rarest is Antonio Lafreri’s world map of 1565 in double-heart projection (estimated price € 50,000).

The offer can also be studied on request in two richly illustrated printed catalogues

Strong Spring Auctions In Königstein

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.

Book Auctions Spring 2023 Catalogues Online

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.

B. Besler. Hortus Eystettensis. 4 parts in 2 vols. Eichstätt c. 1750. With 367 engr. plates – One of the greatest flower books ever produced

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.

Das ist ein sehr kurzer Test!


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