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Top-class Finals of the Jubilee Season at Reiss & Sohn

Preview of the Autumn Auctions of the Book Auction House in Königstein/Taunus from 26-29 October 2021

Königstein (Taunus), September 2021 – This year’s auctions celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Reiss & Sohn auction house in Königstein/Ts. will be crowned by an outstanding selection of books, manuscripts, maps, prints and photography. The highlights of the autumn offering are presented in a special catalogue with 40 cimelia from various areas of the 13th to 19th centuries, most of which are estimated at 10,000 euros or more. The absolute highlight is also featured in a separate print. The book in question is the richly illustrated universal chronicle “Rudimentum novitiorum”, whose estimated price of 1.2 million euros reflects its top position among the rarest early prints. Books in this range are quite rare at auctions. The record of 1.1 million euros hammer price held by Reiss & Sohn itself – achieved in May 2017 for Luther’s 95 Theses in the first book edition – could thus be surpassed.
Lot 11: Rudimentum novitiorum. Lübeck 1475
The “Rudimentum novitiorum” appeared anonymously in 1475 as one of the first world chronicles and is the first dated Lübeck print. The work is considered a prototypographic milestone of the very first order, presenting significant cartographic, geographical and iconographic knowledge in book form for the first time. In addition to the first printed topographical map of the world, it also contains the first printed map according to modern geographical knowledge as well as the first printed map of Palestine. All woodcuts are of outstanding quality, the book decoration shines in splendid colouring. Complete copies like the one here at Reiss & Sohn can only be found in 40 libraries worldwide. No complete copy has appeared in the German auction trade since 1951.
Lot 11: Rudimentum novitiorum. Lübeck 1475
An important milestone in scientific terms is Galileo Galilei’s main work, the “Dialogo” on the two astronomical world systems, the Ptolemaic and the Copernican. Although banned and burned by the Inquisition, the work ultimately contributed significantly to the spread of Copernicus’ heliocentric world view. The very rare first edition from 1632 in a beautiful copy is expected to fetch 100,000 euros at Reiss & Sohn. The “Geometria et perspectiva” by the painter and graphic artist Lorenz Stöer in the first edition printed by Rogel in Augsburg in 1567 marks one of the most beautiful and impressive works of its time on perspective representation. Stöer’s three-dimensional geometric bodies and complex architectural fragments have an astonishingly modern effect, seemingly anticipating the ideas of a M. C. Escher (estimate 50.000 Euro).
Lot 31: L. Stöer. Geometria et perspectiva. Augsburg 1567
Lot 17: G. Galilei. Dialogo. Florenz 1632
Collectors can choose from over 3000 other lots of books and prints in two catalogues, including 38 incunabula and 149 old prints and Reformation writings alone. Among the manuscripts, a so-called “Paris Bible” of the 13th century stands out. The richly decorated manuscript is valued at 70,000 euros. One of the most famous incunabula, Sebastian Brant’s late medieval moral satire “Stultifera navis”, which depicts the follies and vices of the 15th century world, is available in the Latin edition of 1497 and contains partly coloured woodcuts, mostly by Albrecht Dürer. (Estimated price 15,000 euros).
Lot 4: S. Brant. Stultifera navis. Basel 1497
Lot 21: M. Luther. First Jena edition with Index and Supplements
In the year of the 500th anniversary of the Reichtstag at Worms, Martin Luther also finds a worthy reflection at Reiss & Sohn, where the complete Jena edition is available in a copy of the first printing published in 1555-1558 from the estate of Cyriakus Spangenberg (son of the reformer Johannes Spangenberg), which contains not only Cyriacus’ handwritten annotations but also a mocking poem in his own hand (estimate 15,000 euros).
Lot 25: T. Morus. De ... insula Utopia. Basel 1518
Lot 2013: A. Preziosi. Stamboul. Souvenir d'Orient. Paris 1861
Several distinguished collections form special focal points in the wide range of books on offer. Worth mentioning is a collection of over 300 works on National Economics, some of them important, including John Maynard Keynes’ major work “The general theory of employment”, published in 1936, his scientific answer to the urgent questions of overcoming economic crises (estimated price 1,000 euros). Furthermore, a collection of works by outstanding philosophers in first and rare editions, including Thomas More’s Dialogue of the ideal state constitution and the new island ‘Utopia’ in the Latin edition of 1518 (estimated price 10,000 euros). Immanuel Kant is prominently represented with 12 works, including a first edition of his Critique of Pure Reason for an estimated 12,000 euros. The history of the Ottoman Empire is depicted in a collection of about 40 works, including the album “Stamboul. Souvenir d’Orient” by Amadeo Preziosi with magnificent, colour lithographed plates (estimated price 5.000 Euro). A collection of 20 extraordinary miniature books gathers a wide variety of works in the smallest format. At just 2 by 1.4 cm, the smallest copy is nevertheless magnificent in terms of its production in the workshop of the inventor of lithography and its storage in a gold medallion (estimated price 750 euros). Collectors of literature in modern and artist-illustrated editions can look forward to this autumn’s particularly rich offer with many beautiful private press books and modern illustrated books from Dali, Delacroix and Delaunay to Max Ernst and Zao Wu-Ki and others.
Lot 39: Cyprus and Levantine coasts. Engraved map by A. Lafreri. Rome 1570
A highlight in the section of maps is the historical map of Cyprus and the Levantine coasts, which the famous Antonio Lafreri published in 1570 as a broadsheet. It shows the course of the Christian Armada from Crete to Cyprus, where it wanted to oppose the Ottoman occupiers in the same year. This rarissimum is expected to change hands at 40,000 euros. Also by Lafreri is a rare map of Malta, depicting the island’s state of siege in 1565, which is estimated at 4.000 Euro.

Three richly illustrated print catalogues will be published for the autumn auctions. The complete auction offer accessible by a full text search, can also be found on our website . Please feel free to contact us for further information.

Adelheidstraße 2 · 61462 Königstein/Ts. · Germany
phone: +49 (0)6174-92720 · fax: +49 (0)6174-927249 · email:

Review of the Spring Jubilee Sale 2021

Königstein (Germany), June 2021. – This year’s book auctions of the spring season from April 27-30 at the book auction house Reiss & Sohn in Königstein ended with an extremely successful result. With a total turnover of 3.7 million euros, the sum of all estimated prices was exceeded. Numerically, almost 80% of the lots found a new owner. Despite numerous written bids and telephone participants, the number of online bidders increased by 15% compared to the last auction. The live online bidders thus made the auction days extremely exciting and provided many surprises. More than 500 hammer prices were above €1,000  –  50 of which were in the five- and six-figure range.

On the first day of the auction, 80 selected books, manuscripts and incunabula, united in a richly illustrated special catalog, came under the hammer. This concept of a special catalogue with 50 incunabula and books estimated between  € 10,000 and € 150,000 took great success. Total estimates were exceeded by 40%. Only 6 objects remained unsold.

Particularly noteworthy is the highest hammer price of the auction, and thus a record result for the auctioned work, at € 220,000 (hammer price, estimate € 150,000) for Nicolai Copernicus “De revolutionibus orbium coelestium libri VI.”, printed in Basel, 1566.

Isidorus Hispalensis “Etymologiae” was able to increase its estimate sixfold. This work from 1472 presents the knowledge of its time in 20 books and contains the first printed map of the world, which is the first printed map ever. This fact is probably largely responsible for the fantastic result of 120,000 € (hammer price, estimate 20,000 €).

The following days could follow up on the brilliant start, so the hammer price of 22,000 € (estimate 8,000 €) for a rare first Aldus edition of Erasmus Roterodamus “Adagiorum chiliades” from 1508 is especially worth mentioning.

The first edition of Spinoza’s first publication “Principiorum philosophiae” quadrupled its estimate of 4,000 € with a hammer price of 16,000 €, which is certainly also due to its interesting provenance: the copy stands out with a handwritten ownership note by Karl Friedrich Gauss.

The separately published geography catalog for the auction days on Thursday and Friday also contained some noteworthy results, so a coloured copy of J. H. van Linschoten’s “Itinerarium” from 1614 achieved 42,000 €, the first five parts of T. de Bry’s large travel collection, published at the end of the 16th century, found a new owner for a hammer price of 40,000 €.

Always highly sought after and extremely rare are the “Nachrichten von dem Leben und den Seereisen des berühmten Captain Cook” from 1780. Nevertheless, the more than good result of 44,000 € (hammer price, estimate 20,000 €) was surprising.

The section of maps also convinced with an excellent offer and was vigorously bid online and in writing. Thus, a rare engraved map of Europe by Paolo Forlani at C. Duchetti from 1571 achieved € 26,000. An Italy engraved map by G. Gastaldi from 1561 fell under the hammer at 16.500 €.

Highly motivated by the success of the spring, Reiss & Sohn is now preparing the anniversary auctions in autumn 2021. Your consignment offers are most welcome !

PRESS RELEASE - April 2021

Los 101 - Album amicorum. Nürnberg 1753-1759

lot 101 - Album amicorum

lot 101 - Album amicorum

50 Years Auctions at Reiss & Sohn - Rarities to Celebrate the Jubilee

Preview of the Spring Auctions at Reiss & Sohn in Königstein/Ts.
from April 27-30, 2021

Königstein (Germany), April 2021.Reiss & Sohn has been auctioning bibliophile treasures from the Middle Ages to the present for 50 years and is today one of the world’s leading houses in its field. Since the foundation in 1971 in the Gutenberg city of Mainz, more than 200 successful auctions of high-quality antiquarian books, manuscripts, maps, prints and photography have been held by Godebert and Clemens Reiss.

For this festive occasion and in addition to the two regular auction catalogues a special catalogue is published with 80 exceptionally beautiful, rare and important books and manuscripts from the 15th to the 19th century, including about 50 incunabula. Over the four days, a total of around 3100 lots is on offer, for which bibliophiles from around the world will also be able to bid live online.

The splendid opening will be made by two precious illuminated books of hours from the end of the 15th century, written on parchment for French use. The estimated prices are 38.000 € and 40.000 € respectively.

lot 1 - Horae B.M.V.

lot 2 - Horae B.M.V. ca. 1485-95

Outstanding from the rich offer of incunabula is the “Chronecken der Sassen” of 1492 written in Low German dialect by Konrad Botho, the chronicler of the Dukes of Brunswick. This first and rarest of the great illustrated chronicles in Germany, richly decorated with approximately 1255 old coloured woodcuts, is expected to fetch 20,000 €. Twenty years earlier, the important “Etymologiae” by Isidorus Hispalensis was published in Augsburg, in the present copy also estimated at 20,000 €. It comprises the entire knowledge of the time and also contains the first ever printed map in the form of a schematic map of the world. At the same time it is one of the first books with woodcut illustrations ever.

lot 19 - Botho, Chronecken der Sassen

lot 62 - Copernicus, De revolutionibus

Undoubtedly “De revolutionibus orbium coelestium” by Nicolaus Copernicus’ is one of the books that changed the world. Copernicus opened up the heliocentric view of the world to mankind and thereby he overthrew both the teachings of the Bible and the astronomy of Ptolemy. The copy at Reiss & Sohn with an estimate of 150,000 € contains Copernicus’ epoch-making work in the second edition of 1566, substantially expanded for the first time by Joachim Rheticus’ famous “Narratio prima”.

Among the numerous scientific works an extraordinary sammelband with no less than 6 rare works by Johannes Kepler from the period 1614-1639 is worthy of attention. It includes the first edition of Keplers’ visionary treatise “Somnium”, which describes a dream journey to the moon. The volume also impresses with its remarkable provenance and is available at 30,000 €. Two of the most beautiful botanical works of the Baroque period can be purchased at Reiss & Sohn: the “Phytanthoza-Iconographia” by Johann Wilhelm Weinmann with 1025 plates of plants from all over the world in brilliant colour engraving (estimate 50,000 €) and Christoph Jacob Trew’s “Plantae selectae” with 110 old coloured copper plates of mostly exotic plants (estimate 30,000 €). The drawings for both works were partly created by the same famous painter Georg Dionysius Ehret.

lot 79 - Weinmann

lot 77 - Trew

The great navigator James Cook, who opened up the Pacific for Western civilisation, died in Hawaii in 1779. The account of his death was edited for the first time in the anonymous German booklet “Nachrichten von dem Leben und den Seereisen des berühmten Captain Cook” (News of the Life and Sea Voyages of the Famous Captain Cook). A copy of this extremely rare work, bound together with another very rare account of the Spanish expeditions by Bodega y Quadra, is expected to obtain 20,000 €. In 1596, the Dutch circumnavigator Jan Huygen van Linschoten wrote the handbook “Itinerarium, Ofte Schipvaert naer Oost ofte Portugaels Indien”, comprising the invaluable knowledge of the East and West Indies and the relevant sea routes. The estimated price for a coloured copy of the rare second edition from 1614 is 60,000 €.

The offer of atlases and town books at Reiss & Sohn is again neither lacking in quantity nor in quality. Among the most valuable items are Blaeu’s Belgian town book in the Latin edition from about 1652 with 296 views and plans and Janssonius’ rare town book of the Netherlands from 1657 with 113 views and plans, both in splendid colouring and each with an estimate of 75,000 €.

A rarity of special kind is the first edition of the so-called Peasants’ Articles of 1525, a unique document of German political and European social history, being the first German statement of fundamental and human rights. Since both the first edition of these six leaves and the numerous reprints mostly were destroyed by the opponents, the offered copy is extremely rare and precious (estimate 60,000 €).

lot 1901 - Janssonius

Three richly illustrated print catalogues are published for the spring auctions. The complete auction offer, with about 12.000 additional illustrations and made accessible by a full text search, can also be found on our website Please contact us for further information.

Adelheidstraße 2 · 61462 Königstein/Ts. · Germany
phone: +49 (0)6174-92720 · fax: +49 (0)6174-927249 · email:

lot 1874 - Blaeu

lot 1874 - Blaeu