Death and Dance of Death, 15th-20th century

J. Clichtoveus. De doctrina moriendi. Paris 1521

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.

Expensive Toys – Successful October sales 2022

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)

Auction – The most famous early cookbook

Augsburg, Johann Schönsperger, 31. Dez. 1500

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.

Biblia latina. Illuminated latin manuscript on vellum, late 13th century
H. Schedel. Liber chronicarum. Nuremberg, A. Koberger, 1493 – Completely colured by hand.
Book of Hours for the in the diocese of Quimper. Northern France, c. 1380

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.

Scarce World Map by Johannes Ruysch. Rome, 1507/1508

Marx and Engels “Communist Manifesto” sold at record price

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).

Catalogues Spring 2022 now Online

Paul Claudel, L’homme et son desir. Poème plastique. 1917 – Est. € 10,000

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.

German Auction Record 2021 for a printed Book

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.

1 Million for “Rudimentum Novitiorum”

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.

Continue reading “1 Million for “Rudimentum Novitiorum””

Autumn Sale Catalogues 2021 online

The catalogues of the autumn book auctions in the Reiss & Sohn jubilee year are now online. The auction house, which was founded in 1971 in the Gutenberg city of Mainz, offers around 3,000 rare books, manuscripts, atlases and maps as well as graphic art and photography. Collectors can look forward to many scientific highlights such as the first printing of Galileo Galilei’s famous “Dialogo” from 1632 (estimated price 100,000 Euros). The most expensive and certainly most spectacular piece is the important universal chronicle “Rudimentum novitiorum”, from 1475 in an illuminated copy (1,2 million Euros estimate). Another very rare work offered is Lorenz Stöer’s “Geometria et Perspectiva”, a most beautiful masterpiece of book illustration, printed in Augsburg in 1567 (50,000 Euros estimate). In addition to the otherwise rich offerings some special collections on national economics, on philosophy and on the Reformation, as well as a remarkable series of 60 atlases are forming focal points of the auction event, which runs over 4 days.

Rudimentum novitiorum. Lübeck 1475
Rudimentum novitiorum. Lübeck 1475

Successful Book Auctions – To Be Continued

Reiss & Sohn, the Königstein/Taunus based book auction house finished an extremely successful spring season. Three anniversary auctions presented in 3 catalogues met with world wide interest. Highest result of the sale was achieved for 2nd edition of Nicolaus Copernicus’ “De revolutionibus orbium coelestium”, Nürnberg 1566. The work marks a turning point towards modern science. After starting at € 130,000 a fierce bidding contest ended with a result of € 261,800. An auction review of the entire sale can be found here. Reiss & Sohn is now ready to accept consignments for the anniversary sales in October 2021.

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